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Mastering plug-ins on stereo out bus or after bounce
Old 22nd October 2013
Here for the gear

Mastering plug-ins on stereo out bus or after bounce

Should mastering plug-ins (multi-pressor, limiter, eq) be added to the stereo out bus before bouncing to an aiff audio file, or should it be bounced down dry, then have mastering plug-ins added to the stereo bounce? I've done it both ways with various music and have received several different outcomes with each, sometimes better or worse with each method. What is the standard for this process and what makes the difference?
Old 22nd October 2013
Lives for gear

IMHO, if u r mixing and have access to the full session why not fix what needs to be fixed on the individual tracks. Kill the multiband that destroys more than helps. If u use a mix bus compressor build ur mix with it on. Don't just slap it on afterwards. Throw ur brick wall limiter on for level at the end then bounce.

Just my opinion but this is the advice we give to our interns.
Old 22nd October 2013
Here for the gear

Thanks for the reply! If the goal of my limiter is to get volume at a good level, is it better to add that before I bounce or after all songs are bounced, then use separate software (waveburner in my case) to add a limiter to all the songs? Is multipression not used primarily in mastering stages?
Old 23rd October 2013
Lives for gear

I actually believe that the mix buss compressor should be applied much later in the process. Usually I find when I'm about 75-80% through a mix is when that "this mix needs a little compression" moment hits.

To begin with compression is perfectly fine, but limits your options later on. What if you find halfway through that a different compressor or tape saturator suits the song better? Your mix falls apart if you bypass the initial compressor!
Old 25th October 2013
Lives for gear

Mix ( over ) compression is often substituted for good mixing and careful instrumentation and placement. It's sometimes impossible to fix in mastering. We often see multiband compressed mixes that pretend to be exciting but are mushy and ill defined because the multiband ( Damn You Waves C4 ) removes the coherency between low mids highs and destroys the focus and transient propulsion of the mix.

Mastering Studio Boston - New Alliance East Audio Mastering Cambridge MA

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