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My recordings are good, but a little more.......
Old 31st May 2003
  #31
Lives for gear
 
Ted Nightshade's Avatar
 

e-cue says: "I understand. If you do the best, most balls shakinest mix and the song right after it sounds like it was mixed by a deaf audio school student, then would you agree that mastering would tend to "dumb down" your mix so it fits into the record better (after trying to smarten up the bad mix)?"

Ouch! That must happen a lot.
Old 22nd May 2004
  #32
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally posted by laser
[B] Phoenix DRS-2. A killer preamp.

Laser.
AMEN
Old 22nd May 2004
  #33
Gear Head
 

Re: Re: My recordings are good, but a little more.......

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim L
Sounds to me like the "box" you need is a good Mastering Engineer. Have your stuff mastered by a good ME
Mastering Smastering. I've heard plenty of MEs **** up a good mix to where it was better left alone. A ME is icing on the cake. The sound should be there by the time it gets to Sterling Sound. If it's not well than
Old 23rd May 2004
  #34
Quote:
Originally posted by laser


Nathan, Fletcher, Rick Krizman.... anyone care to give their 2 cents? Hell, if you provide good information, I'll buy the first three rounds and we'll get stoned-ass drunk together.

Laser

Laser...my apologies, somehow I completely missed this thread. I'd love to take you up on that offer!! Short of the obvious, of sitting in and watching over the shoulder of an ME for at least a few years, I would say there definitely isn't one single thing that's the most important "gear-wise". Experience and the room are the first and foremost of importance. Bass buildup/room modes, nasty early reflections, and having your room too "live" can get you into a lot of trouble. To get the experience it takes a lot of cognitive insight (believe it or not, some people just don't have the imagination, creativity or mental flexibility to be an ME) and objectivity regarding what you want to hear, and simultaneously knowing (by learning) which knob to turn (or not turn) and how to get there. None of these mastering guys just popped out knowing how to do it.

Just like anything else, it's critical listening, trial and error, and talking and learning first hand knowledge from people who are already doing it as practice. And simultaneously as important are the listening/monitoring path; speakers, and D/A...if either of those is lying to you then the results will be skewed. Even the most talented ME in a bad room with a bad listening path won't be worth much. And of course, processing is the least important thing but of course without it necessary changes cannot be made.

I think that EQ is far more important than compression. If the frequency balance is off, it won't be musically pleasing. Compression is almost 'icing on the cake' so to speak, many types of music can do without it, and for me it's often for skewing the frequency curve (to necessary affect) in addition to EQ more than leveling. It can be very subjective, give your album to 5 respected ME's and they will come back sounding 5 different ways...which one is right? And which EQ is the right one? That's a subjective call too, but make sure it's a clean one. If it's got a lot of coloration, it's an effect.
Old 23rd May 2004
  #35
Laser,

One simple answer is a Crane Song IBIS or an STC-8.

Another is the room / monitors suggestion. Or a better DAC.

You asked to not hear it but the more honest answer: get a 1/2" machine and get it in great shape, with great heads, and learn how to tweak it to various tape formulations and bias/eq settings to taste for the project at hand.

Then send it to mastering, preferably where you can get a free sample or reference work they did that you know, for a base of dialog with the ME.

My humble operation's solution for 1/2":
IBIS
STC-8
Model One HDCD A/D 24 bits
L2
HEDD 192
samplitude (fades, levels, spacing)
Digitally through HDCD for dithering 24 to 16

all that = a Cd with all you could ever want to hear from the mix


this is ASSUMING the mix has potential. by 'potential' I mean that the mix is even, at least unto itself.


It doesn't have to be perfect to polish up nicely, it DOES have to have some consistency.

Dynamics and variety are a plus. You get that in mixing. Mixing tips for better masters are listed on my site, and have been debated online in many forums if you Search.
Old 24th May 2004
  #36
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laser's Avatar
 

Nathan,

No apology necessary. I just figured you were kicking back with a marshmallow on a stick while I was getting flamed heh

I almost choked on my coffee when I saw that this thread was resurrected. Preferred to let it die, actually. Guess I need to get a little less sensitive to some of the flame throwers.

Still have a bare 2-bus, but now I've got a little more money to buy EVEN MORE expensive gear.

On another forum, Mixerman said that it's good to have the mixing engineer put the compression on the 2-bus--it maintains the integrity of the balances of the mix. And, it's good for someone like me to screw it up, because they'll never learn to do it right without first screwing it up. Mixerman is my hero.

I absolutely agree with you on the listening environment. I love my Adams 3a monitors, but my control room is a converted office that is much less than optimum. It does have high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (filled with books) that actually make pretty good absorbers. I pretty much have to live with this for now.

So far, I've followed Brian Tankersly's philosophy of getting the sound right on the front end, which is where I've spent the majority of my money and time. I play/sing 90% of my own tracks, which enable me to adjust the elements of a good mix while I track.

I use a RADAR S-Nyquist for tracking and then convert to Sequoia (BWAV) for mixing. I send the mix out of the DAW to the RADAR D/A converters and mix the channels with a custom-made (Dangerous 2Bus-like) mixer--this mixer sounds fantastic (I've mixed in the box too--not to start another of those inbox-outabox wars).

Since I have my mix in the analog domain, it seems like a good idea to utilize this with an eq (for air, high end sparkle) and compression (glue and punch) using quality analog equipment. I will then convert back through a HEDD192 into a Masterlink (right now, I send it back to my computer, which I'm not real happy with).

I'm finding mixing a tremendous challenge. Sometimes, it takes a few strokes of the brush and it sounds great. Other times, I work on it for hours and only make it worse. It seems to me that good ears will get you there, but good experience and technique will get you there a lot faster. The ears are either there or they're not. The experience only comes from jumping in and doing it--which is what I'm trying to do.

And for all you ME's, if I ever put together anything resembling a hit song--I'll send my mixes out to you without hesitation. For the stuff that's strictly B-side, I'm going to keep doing it myself.

Thanks for your suggestions. They are extremely helpful. This forum is a great resource for me.

Laser
Old 24th May 2004
  #37
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laser's Avatar
 

Lucey,

Excellent suggestions. Definitely have to check out the Crane Songs.

I especially like your humble operation's solution for tape.

I think your phrase "polish up nicely" is exactly what I'm looking for.

I'm thinking of checking out the Grace m904 (maybe the PreSonic Central Station or Crane Song Avocet) and maybe using it's A/D for my monitors. I'm not familar with the Model One HDCD A/D, and will definitely check it out.

Would I lose something by using the Grace, PreSonic or the Avocet as converters to the monitor? As Nathan says, it's a very important part of the signal chain.

Thanks.

Laser
Old 24th May 2004
  #38
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laser's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Re: My recordings are good, but a little more.......

Quote:
Originally posted by Jmess
Mastering Smastering. I've heard plenty of MEs **** up a good mix to where it was better left alone. A ME is icing on the cake. The sound should be there by the time it gets to Sterling Sound. If it's not well than
....and one big AMEN back to ya'.

Old 24th May 2004
  #39
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Laser, I will be as polite as possible.

I read this thread from top to bottom... and I think you are approaching the problem from the wrong side, and you have an attitude problem. I read some of the best replys, by great AE's, which you totally discarted because they where brave enough to be honest with you. On your original post which was very interesting, (the i need some more.. this.. etc etc) I thought you knew what you were looking for. But in my honest opinion, YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! Dude, stop saying you have great ears (CAUSE YOU PROBABLY DON"T), if you really would , I think you would stop braggin about them.. And last, your problem is not gear, it's that you are doing B-Side songs you don't even like or feel proud off. Think about it for a sec. If you do drugs (which I don't), use them to inspire you on making great songs, after you have mastered THAT part, everything else will fall into place. I will probably end up in your ignore list, and that is cool.. but if you would like to discuss songwriting PM me and I will be more than happy to share my opinions with you. I have been doing B-Sides for years, and would always blame the GEAR, the AE, the room.....,the list could go on for ever... now that I like the songs I'm doing, for some misterious reason I also like the way they sound. Learn to drive a car before buying more Ferrari's.. is all I can say to you. By the way, do you have a clue of the big names answering to your other posts ???? grudge
Old 19th May 2009
  #40
roc
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roc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek View Post
Laser, I will be as polite as possible.

I read this thread from top to bottom... and I think you are approaching the problem from the wrong side, and you have an attitude problem. I read some of the best replys, by great AE's, which you totally discarted because they where brave enough to be honest with you. On your original post which was very interesting, (the i need some more.. this.. etc etc) I thought you knew what you were looking for. But in my honest opinion, YOU HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! Dude, stop saying you have great ears (CAUSE YOU PROBABLY DON"T), if you really would , I think you would stop braggin about them.. And last, your problem is not gear, it's that you are doing B-Side songs you don't even like or feel proud off. Think about it for a sec. If you do drugs (which I don't), use them to inspire you on making great songs, after you have mastered THAT part, everything else will fall into place. I will probably end up in your ignore list, and that is cool.. but if you would like to discuss songwriting PM me and I will be more than happy to share my opinions with you. I have been doing B-Sides for years, and would always blame the GEAR, the AE, the room.....,the list could go on for ever... now that I like the songs I'm doing, for some misterious reason I also like the way they sound. Learn to drive a car before buying more Ferrari's.. is all I can say to you. By the way, do you have a clue of the big names answering to your other posts ???? grudge
Yea but you don't have to be an ASS about it.tutt

Laser has been very cool about the whole thing, most of you guys are just idiots.
What you guys said was like a teacher telling a 1st grader if you can't read you will never read. All you ME was not always ME you had to start out somewhere, don't forget where you come from.Truth be told most of you guys are scared because people
theses days are doing great work at home (mastering included) and don't need your expensive asses anymore. stay positive
Old 19th May 2009
  #41
roc
Lives for gear
 
roc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
....and one big AMEN back to ya'.

laser I hope you found what you where looking for if so please share.
Forget what some of these guys are talking about.
You just maybe becoming a great mastering engineer your self.

peace
Old 20th May 2009
  #42
A really great mastering engineer will make even a crappy mix sound better than it did. It won't sound great because as we know, ya can't polish a t**d, but, alas the great ones really know what they are doing. As said, it can be as important to know when not to turn that knob as when. I see a lot of adds in magazines for mastering... Up to 12 songs for $495 or less. I am astounded at this, and it puts a tarnish on the real pros of the business. I guess with the advent of the computer and the plugin, everyone is a mastering engineer.
I hope the OP finds the holy grail he is in search of and I am glad I read through this thread... I learned a few tricks... Thank you all!
Old 20th May 2009
  #43
Gear Nut
 
squidsquad's Avatar
 

This thread was started 6 years ago!!!!
Old 20th May 2009
  #44
Gear Maniac
 
musicmatt's Avatar
 

and some of those silly people are still looking for the answers

----> ME

If that original poster guy is still out there, I'm gonna get an API 2500 and let you know how it goes haha.
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