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I have no decent mastering plugins
Old 17th February 2019
  #1
I have no decent mastering plugins

My mastering chain tends to look like this:

Ferric TDS (tape dynamic simulator). Usually just a touch of this, as I've already also applied it to each of my main busses.

EQ (either parametric or shelving). Not something I commonly use on the mastering bus. Generally use ReaEQ for this. MOST of the time it's just for a LPF at 20kHz, and that's if I even use it at all.

A1 Stereo Control. I usually just use this to flip from mono to stereo when listening to test mono compatibility, but sometimes I'll also use it to widen up the master by 5-10%. This is something I'm trying to get away from using. I've started finding that if I need something super extra wide, say a pad, I can just throw it on the track for that pad and add the width I'm looking for without causing phase issues on the master.

W1 Limiter (waves L1 clone). Basic brickwall comp/limiter. Generally set this with a max level of -0.1dB and mix into it. I don't tend to use it to boost the level of a mix, unless I've intentionally mixed quiet and want to make it a bit louder.

Frequency Spectrum Analysis. Does nothing to the signal, just lets me monitor overall EQ and phase.

...and that's it. I've stopped applying reverb to whole mixes. Maybe I should get back into it, but I'm not the biggest fan of it. Occasionally

I tried and Ozone trial and liked it but can't fork out for the full version right now.

Any tips on what tools I can use to make things a bit smoother? I've definitely learned how to use what I have about as well as I can use it, but if there's something that, after learning how to use, can really help improve my masters, what should I look into? Mostly alt/rock in terms of genre.
Old 17th February 2019
  #2
Quote:
Any tips on what tools I can use to make things a bit smoother?
What you use depends soley on the mix you are mastering. What do you want to make smoother? This can mean 10000 different hings to 10000 different people.

But what is done in the mastering stage is not replicated for every song. you will use different tools/effects and settings for every mix you master.
Just get yourself a good EQ, comp, and limiter. Thats basically the mastering chain. make sure the EQ can do mid and side edits.
Quote:
.and that's it. I've stopped applying reverb to whole mixes. Maybe I should get back into it, but I'm not the biggest fan of it. Occasionally
Reverb has no place in the mastering stage, leave that for the mixing stage
Quote:
but sometimes I'll also use it to widen up the master by 5-10%.
using that effect like that will kill the center channel and make things sound weak in the center.
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