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How to get those SUPER Loud Mixes?
Old 27th January 2007
  #31
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm View Post
I have made a top 10 - list of contributing ingredients:

1. Close high quality miking, low amounts of distortion
2. Efficient input gain + amplification
3. Efficient compression/limiting
4. Low monitoring volume
5. Few elements in the mix, tracked in mono
6. Minimal overall track volume and EQ reduction
7. Hi-mid frequency boost
8. Using delay instead of reverb
9. Reducing high peaks with track fader automation
10. Hi-resolution summing engine
I'll add my slightly different take just for fun (and exemplifying different points of view in general for the original poster). Your example might well apply to the bands and genre he mentioned RainbowStorm, I am not disagreeing here at all.

1. Distant miking is perfectly acceptable if you have a good space and know/learn how to move around (and that is basic tracking 101)
2. Gain staging: that is a foundation to both tracking mixing and mastering and you won't get anywhere without it
3. Compressing and limiting for a reason and IF you can hear it. This does not only apply to mastering but to mixing too. If your monitoring chain (D/A, amp. speakers, room) doesn't let you hear it........you're in trouble down the line.
4. Yes but that depend in no small measure from the room and the speakers employed (too long to discuss it here). Think about how the balance is affected by different listening volumes when using different speakers (selaed box, reflex, TL, hybrids and so on) in you room (Size, shape, acoustic properties etc)
5. Stereo tracking is perfectly acceptable. Know the basic stereo tracking techniques ad experiment an tweak them according to your space and the specific recording/production you are working on.
6/7. Eq in the mixing stage might cause phase shift, how audible, plesing or crap it sounds is for you and your ears to judge. Get things right or as close to right as possuble at the source and then don't worry too much aand use it creatively.
8. Reverb is much nicer when it is "tracked" get it from the recording space (if possible)
9. Hands on "dynamic controlling" or compression is always best (a PITA but hey......)
10. What you arent tracking to 827s and mixing through a board? heh
Only joking on this one..................
Old 27th January 2007
  #32
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stevetgn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartrose View Post
I thought the purpose of a forum like this is to help others? I'm trying to learn, and I WILL get better. I'm not just going to "give up" and "get out of the mastering game". Thanks to those of you who are willing to help and not try to make newbies feel like a**holes. BR
Well said.

You did open yourself up for a bit of a blasting but the purpose of a forum is to help your fellow "forumers" not to put them off!

If you haven't all ready, read the Manley manuals properly, they're very good in the way of tips. Also try a Manley SLAM sometime.

Keep at it and enjoy the learning!

Steve
Old 27th January 2007
  #33
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
Volume knob.


apology accepted.
Old 27th January 2007
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Yordan View Post
Sometimes a mix sounds louder than it actually is.

Very true.
Its all to do with how sensitive our ears are to different frequencies.
As an example, I boosted one of my mixes to same RMS average as a song by Perfect Circle (3rd song on "13th Step") and I comapred the percived volume at the loude parts where the RMS averages were the same for my mix and the ommercial mix.
The commercial mix sounded louder. Thats becuase there were more mids around 1-3K. Our ears are pretty sensitive around this region alhtough most sensitive around 5K, but 5K can be alot less easy listening than 1-3K region, alhtough the 1-3K region can be peircing also if not controlled properly.

Getting the mix to be very clean and have tight controlled low end and lo mid is a good place to start on looking to compete with commercial master volume levels. Uncontrolled boomy low end and low mids eat up alot of the volume in mixes.

Also boost your drums more than you want them to end up in the master, as (especially using an L2) limiters kill kick and snare alot.

Hope this helps,
Eck
Old 27th January 2007
  #35
Here for the gear
 

blue meanies

You guys are really mean and bitter. This guy was just asking for a little advice. You should cut some people some slack. I don't know the first thing about mastering and I really need to learn, due to my new job freelancing commercial work. I have been in bands forever and recorded in the best NYC studios. The thing is, getting an apprenticeship in one of these places is like winning the lottery....not to mention most of them are closing down or switching to film work. I can see why proffessionals like yourselves would get upset that the availability of quality home studio gear is threatening your chosen carreer. This is not a new concept, the moment Digi001's came out, studios started shutting down left and right. No longer can a place subside on Joe Bandguy who got a demo deal from a record label because he'll just use 1g of the 5g's he was given to record with his boy then spend the rest on his own setup. Hell, record labels don't even spend money on demos anymore. THis is a sad thing in some aspects (alot of talented dudes are out of work and most Joe Bandguy's demos are gonna sound like ****) but on the other hand, the tools are now in the hands of the artist---how cool is this???!!! Its happening in film too. What we have to learn how to do is accept this and like any store competing with wallmart, offer something they can't live without and that wallmart doesn't sell. Bitchy crybaby **** is just going to make you look jealous and bitter- like the movie industry did after theater systems crushed their ticket sales.......its the future, like it or not........the least you can do is be supportive of someone who loves music enough to try to create it from top to bottom
Old 27th January 2007
  #36
Lives for gear
 

The real answer to this question is technically:

balance the frequency
tame the dynamics
clip the peaks
add an ounce of limiter to top it off and hold it at -.03

Now doing the above well is the hard part.
Old 27th January 2007
  #37
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterygrave View Post
Bitchy crybaby **** is just going to make you look jealous and bitter-
Then I suggest that you refrain from it in the future.

I suppose a little reminder is due that the negative comments were provoked not by the fact that the poster had bought some gear and wanted to learn how to master with it, but because he is offering a service (mastering) that he is currently unable to perform.

This will lose him clients in the long run if he persists on doing it.

If you don't have the opportunity to intern, then certainly you should experiment on your own and glean what information you can, but the process of experimentation and guesswork should not be sold as a full service and done on the client's dime. If that is your business strategy then... what can I say that hasn't already been said?

Fair enough?
Old 27th January 2007
  #38
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by waterygrave View Post
I can see why proffessionals like yourselves would get upset that the availability of quality home studio gear is threatening your chosen carreer. This is not a new concept, the moment Digi001's came out, studios started shutting down left and right.
With all due respect I disagree here.

That is "the" misunderstanding.

The tools have been made available to a wider base and that's cool. Power to everybody!
Prices have changed, gear has changed.
Skills and knowlege not. You still nee the same. Experience? Hasn't come down in price as far as I am aware.

If you seriously believe that the availability and quality of home studio gear is threatening carreers you are missing a big part of the picture.

A good AE could cut a couple of brilliant record with a 001 while another 100 not so brilliant ones would still be arguing about what mic is best or what plug in to use.

Business not being profitable anymore has got nothing to do with the craft and the tools (craft preceding the word tools here).

My 2 cents

Old 28th January 2007
  #39
Lives for gear
 

Making a mix loud can be as simple as turning things off and working more isolated on the material. Have you thought about what happens when you copy a track in Cubase? The output is doubled, so in order to get the same output you need to lower the output about -3dB, in other words you need to compensate by lowering the input on both tracks about -6dB (-6dB/2 = -3dB) in order for the output to be constant. Even though this is true only for duplicated tracks where the signal is constant, adding tracks requires a similar kind of compensation. Now think about how the human hearing perceives loudness, about +10dB is considered to be twice as loud. Even though the mix output is the same the dynamic range of each instrument in the mix drops considerably for each track you add to the mix, that means the dynamic range of the mix drops. This in turn means that the headroom is becoming (relatively speaking) smaller and smaller, hence you can limit the output less and less before the mix gets audible artifacts, which in the end means you can't limit as much and you lose relative mix loudness.

For this reason a lot of engineers want louder mixes because the relative loudness is much higher on the reference material. That sounds better not because of the mix being louder but because of the higher dynamic range within that mix allowing for such a loudness. A high dynamic range means good instrument separation, which in turn means a beautiful stereo image. THAT is what we actually like!

So where should the focus be? On the dynamic range! Focus on the input dynamic range and try to get as high as possible output dynamic range from that by using a high quality summing engine and high quality dithering. Remember that effects eat signal, in other words dynamic range, so be very selective when you decide what effects you will apply and on what.


How to achieve a good mix dynamic range?

Often a good mix dynamic range (what you aim for is a beautiful stereo image) can be achieved by using different psychoacoustic effects. This is a lot about trying to do a lot by doing almost nothing or by compromising the signal in an efficient way. Isolation becomes important in this context. Here are some guidelines:

1. Add the opposite effect on the least important element in the same frequency range panned in the same location
2. If you can fix something without touching the signal at all, you should do it. (for example using pan knobs and track alignment as replacement for EQing, delay or volume adjustment)
3. It is better to mute the least important element in the mix than to target the most important element
4. It is better to target one channel a lot than to target a lot of channels a little, for instance when applying effects
5. Use the volume fader when nothing else works and only on the least important element in the mix, for instance when you can't mute a track you would adjust the volume on a track instead.
6. Never touch the mix bus (except when checking frequency balance) as it always violates an isolation rule
.
.
.

So when you want it louder, ask yourself why the dynamic range has dropped this way?! In most cases the mute button has not been pressed as much as needed or there is some expensive fx laying on the mix bus (in rare cases the musician is mainly only using a small part of the velocity range). When you have done everything right but the stereo image is still not as good as you expect it would be you might have to check the tracking or mastering configuration.

When the mix is right it's easy to make the final mix as loud as you want. Most of the loud mixes out there have a good dynamic range and were limited with a high quality limiter during the mastering process. It's not magic, only efficient signal processing.

Keep in mind that the characteristics of a song are much determined by the output transients and how these are translated by the consumer's loudspeakers. For instance the softness of a mix is much determined by the transients on the kick drum. When the kick is too loud the soft clipping within the consumer's speakers will not be efficient and as a result the mix will die flat. Also pay attention to the fact that hard limiting is always adding excessive high frequency energy ultimately making the mix hard and unpleasant.

Frequencies you should enhance for a loud mix are around 4kHz, somewhere around 1 - 4 kHz, where our ears are the most sensitive.

Take a look at this chart:

Hearing sensitivity

So for super loud mixes you should avoid cutting at this range. Also think about low frequency energy. Low frequencies tend to set a max output on the speakers.

Here is a top 10 list of contributing ingredients:

1. Close high quality miking, low amounts of distortion
2. Efficient input gain + amplification
3. Efficient compression/limiting
4. Low monitoring volume
5. Few elements in the mix
6. Minimal overall track volume reduction
7. Hi-mid and high frequency boost
8. Using delay instead of reverb
9. Reducing high peaks with track fader automation
10. Hi-resolution summing engine

Happy mixing!
Old 28th January 2007
  #40
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by crna59 View Post
Let me expand on this... If you take that money that you paid for the MP and Vari-mu and put it towards your room and monitoring... then we can talk.
Right, and no one is disagreeing there
Quote:
These people are missing the point. They need to know what Mastering is all about. Mastering is NOT about getting it louder.
Unfortunately, making things competitively loud and still musical is in the main what Mastering has become thanks to the digital limiting technology and the cheap access to recording technology (newbies with limiters - caution), and mostly thanks to the fear that has overtaken the industry at almost every level. I don't blame one poster for the ills of the music production industry and neither should anyone else.

If a client calls any of us with questions, or brings in a mix with problems, and says they used Manley gear or whatever ... the response is all about learning and bettering their work, right? So why is that not the tact here? I don't care what he owns or thinks today, I care who he is as a person and if he's cool with learning and bettering tomorrow. If anything, when someone is stocked with a lot from the Manley line I assume they're a newbie who hasn't done a lot of comparing and is going on cache.

Quote:
If more tracking/mix engineers educate their clients then most of the ME's wouldn't feel threatened or what have you.
I see the negative responses as playing politics, macho posturing and laziness ... as much or more than any fear.
Quote:
People have become money hungry and it's sad. When a tracking/mix engineer comes on here and wants a quick fix then we feel threatened that it will take food out of our mouths. I love the post by not_so_new. We need to educate our clients so they know where to go and what is expected.
Clearly some are threatened. They say they aren't but how could they not be ... look at what happened to the high end studio situation over the decade. But mastering remains an elite tower for many, and that will never change very much. The skills and rooms are there. The major labels have accounts in place. The momentum of past music is there, as is the cache of working with _____ . Butcher a few records as they are occasionally asked to, they top MEs will likely always have all the work they want. The artist (who makes the music and deserves most of the credit or blame) may die or faulter with the changing times but their almighty ME lives on in a timeless halo!

Nice people with dumb questions always have something to offer in their innocence, enthusiasm and openness. Cranky Tradesmen have nothing to give here unless they're wise and kind.
Old 28th January 2007
  #41
Lives for gear
 

You forgot to tell him to get Har-ball!!!



I'm BANNED!!!!!!!!
Old 28th January 2007
  #42
Gear Head
 
Morrillo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post





Dear board,

This thread again shows how the GS Mastering corner, unlike most of Gearslutz, is leaning more and more towards becoming a cocky jerk zone. An often ugly place where the power hungry take aim and fire (often anonymously, but not always) ... and that's not only pathetic on a personal level - it's a boring and divisive read.

Reality check: There are going to be newbies in tracking, mixing and mastering engineering just like there have been newbies in music making since the electric guitar ... and it's not stoping because you think you're better than someone else or had a better internship/apprenticeship, or because you have a list of credits that make you proud. Please get over your insults, because you're not helping music making or the world of engineering by being an asshole to an honest poster.

Apprenticeships in musicianship have been dead in the main for years. On one hand, that sucks and so does a lot of the music the amateurs (untrained enthusiasts) produce ... and on the other it's cool because the door is open wide and a few things come through the frey that would not exist otherwise. I like a lot of punk spirited music and a lot of the self-produced work from the 'naive' masses who have never practiced for hours a day for years on end far more than I enjoy the book-smart and learned musics of arrogant twits with no heart and lots of finger atheletics and/or pedigree.

Equipment buying has overtaken music buying in dollar volume thanks in no small part to that amazing music that the 'experienced' are putting out ... so apprenticeships in recording are often happening right here, as it were.

Let it be, eh? The sky is not falling just because junior has a MP and Vari Mu, is untrained in how to use them, and asks for your help.
Old 28th January 2007
  #43
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I started doing mastering 11 years ago. I have been a professional audio engineer since 1969 (meaning I am being paid and earn my income from doing audio full time). I see a lot of people asking questions on these and other mastering boards. I see a lot of people offering good suggestions and really trying to help. When possible I try and help as well and share my knowledge.

I guess the one thing that still amazes me is that people on this board will share their knowledge with others when those "others" are trying to basically trying to take away business from them. In other words you are telling people how do the best possible job of mastering so they can take your potential clients and turn them into their own clients. Now this may not be what the person asking the question is trying to do or maybe it is but what other profession can you find that will share information that will allow others to take your business away? Maybe the people that answer the questions are so secure in their profession that they do not feel threatened or maybe they are only doing mastering as a part time occupation and don't really have to worry about others taking business away from them since their other, full time, job is what pays the bills.

As others have pointed out three things that make a good mastering experience are good equipment, good monitoring and loads of experience. By simply telling someone how to make a louder mix you are only giving suggestions that if used properly can result in a better/louder mix and this is where the experience part comes in. You have to know both how and what to listen for and that is what differentiates the pros from the amateurs.

I use to think that this forum was different and that information was freely shared and that people respected each other's opinions. After reading this topic I am no longer so sure that this forum is not like so many others when it comes to respect and name calling and that it has lost its special quality.

FWIW and MTCW
Old 28th January 2007
  #44
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I started doing mastering 11 years ago. I have been a professional audio engineer since 1969 (meaning I am being paid and earn my income from doing audio full time). I see a lot of people asking questions on these and other mastering boards. I see a lot of people offering good suggestions and really trying to help. When possible I try and help as well and share my knowledge.

I guess the one thing that still amazes me is that people on this board will share their knowledge with others when those "others" are trying to basically trying to take away business from them. In other words you are telling people how do the best possible job of mastering so they can take your potential clients and turn them into their own clients. Now this may not be what the person asking the question is trying to do or maybe it is but what other profession can you find that will share information that will allow others to take your business away? Maybe the people that answer the questions are so secure in their profession that they do not feel threatened or maybe they are only doing mastering as a part time occupation and don't really have to worry about others taking business away from them since their other, full time, job is what pays the bills.

As others have pointed out three things that make a good mastering experience are good equipment, good monitoring and loads of experience. By simply telling someone how to make a louder mix you are only giving suggestions that if used properly can result in a better/louder mix and this is where the experience part comes in. You have to know both how and what to listen for and that is what differentiates the pros from the amateurs.

I use to think that this forum was different and that information was freely shared and that people respected each other's opinions. After reading this topic I am no longer so sure that this forum is not like so many others when it comes to respect and name calling and that it has lost its special quality.

FWIW and MTCW
Thanks for your reply! I share my knowledge because that's what I want others to do as well. People that don't share but always read and take are selfish. Helping each other through good resource reuse is a fundamental thing in a good economy.
Old 28th January 2007
  #45
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cellotron View Post
* 1st getting a well balanced frequency spectrum - and usually slightly forward upper mids will get things seeming "louder"
* possibly some amount of compression (usually done in the analog realm)
* possibly some amount of clipping (aka "flat topping") - either done at the input of the ADC (and generally you need a high quality to converter for this to sound ok), or done by overloading a digital gain stage
* possibly the use of one or more digital peak limiters


Best regards,
Steve Berson


I'm just curious, do you mean that you imply digital clipping to get more loudness??? That just sounds insane but maybe your'e right... If you check out the waveform on these loud productions you can clearly see the "flat topping"!!

Hmmm... Not "pure" in any way.



//Jamzone
Old 29th January 2007
  #46
Lives for gear
 

In the jan 2007 issue of SOS David Pensado ( yes a mix engineer not an ME) shared allot of his chops in a article. Heres a quote about his attitude on this...................


Quote:
David pensado also has no hesitationin breaking another industry taboo. Under the motto " trying to guard ones trade secrets is as useless as hemingway trying to hide his verbs" he happily spills any beans he possesses . The reasoning is simple : his settings only represent 25 percent of his work , and in any case they will work in the environment for which they were created: for instance, the reverb settings on Mary J Bliges' vocal for "Be Without You" will work only work for the vocal in that track.
It seems like Lucey is the only guy here who isn"t MONDO insecure

To the original poster: I don't know if your as lazy as some of these guys have accused you of being, but if your serious about mastering, just get Bob Katz book and read it many times. everything is there. IT's not a "take a seminar and 2 weeks later you a pro. That's what all the defensiveness in this thread is al about. These guys have all paid allot of due's and it's naturally just human nature to feel under appreciated. To bad they get there panty's all twisted so easily!!!
Old 29th January 2007
  #47
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamzone View Post
I'm just curious, do you mean that you imply digital clipping to get more loudness??? That just sounds insane but maybe your'e right... If you check out the waveform on these loud productions you can clearly see the "flat topping"!!

Hmmm... Not "pure" in any way.



//Jamzone

Here is a quick master I just did that is all clipping no limiting. Its pretty loud, and still has punch.

http://www.yellowmatterrecords.com/s...yMasterCUT.mp3
Old 30th January 2007
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
Here is a quick master I just did that is all clipping no limiting. Its pretty loud, and still has punch.

http://www.yellowmatterrecords.com/s...yMasterCUT.mp3
What did you use to clip it?
Isnt clipping when the signal goes over 0dB? Then that cant be good if its digital.
Ive heard of plug ins that clip ratther than just limit butI dont understand the concept of it.
Could you explain please?
Eck
Old 30th January 2007
  #49
The drums still have nice punch.
Where the drums pretty loud in the mix compared to the master, to compensate for the clipping/limiting?
The snare sounds pretty quiet compared to the kick but that is prob the mix rather than the clipping/limiting.

Eck
Old 30th January 2007
  #50
Here for the gear
 

making it loud in the box:

1. Cut the low end bass with a highpass filter

2. Psp vintagewarmer preset 10 (Mix lite driven tape)

3. Sonic Timworks Mastering compressor

Presto!
Old 30th January 2007
  #51
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
What did you use to clip it?
Isnt clipping when the signal goes over 0dB? Then that cant be good if its digital.
Ive heard of plug ins that clip ratther than just limit butI dont understand the concept of it.
Could you explain please?
Eck
I just ran it into the A/D. What kind of A/D do you have? Try it. If you immediately get distortion, it means the mix needs fixing. This mix went cleanly to -9 RMS without distortion.
Old 30th January 2007
  #52
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
The drums still have nice punch.
Where the drums pretty loud in the mix compared to the master, to compensate for the clipping/limiting?
The snare sounds pretty quiet compared to the kick but that is prob the mix rather than the clipping/limiting.

Eck
No, as matter of fact, clipping does not alter the kick snare level, at least not even half as bad as a limiter does. The kick was louder in the mix then the snare hence the loud kick and medium volumed snare. This mix was kind of showing off the new sample Cd, plus I love that kick.
Old 30th January 2007
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
No, as matter of fact, clipping does not alter the kick snare level, at least not even half as bad as a limiter does. The kick was louder in the mix then the snare hence the loud kick and medium volumed snare. This mix was kind of showing off the new sample Cd, plus I love that kick.
Your going to laugh. I am using a Soundblaster Audigy2 soundcard, ao I dont think the A/D is going to be that good.
Do you think its even worth trying to clip using the Soundblaster?

I cant understand how clipping the A/D doesnt cause harsh digital distortion.
Is it something to do with the signal being analogue as its going in? So its clipping as analogue before being converted to digital? Is that right?

Thats impressive, the amount of punch and high end your kick drum kept going up to -9 RMS. My mixes turn out around -20 RMS then when I boost them to -9 RMS the kick drum looses all its high end and punch. Thats using an L2 though! Not exactly pro mastering gear really!

Ps, I amnt a mastering engineer, well Im an ameteur ME, im more into mixing.

Cheers for the info, interesting stuff.

Eck
Old 30th January 2007
  #54
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
Your going to laugh. I am using a Soundblaster Audigy2 soundcard, ao I dont think the A/D is going to be that good.
Do you think its even worth trying to clip using the Soundblaster?
That's bad idea with noise blaster, but with good AD converter you can really boost even to -9db without loosing punch and without audible distortions.
Old 30th January 2007
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by yareck View Post
That's bad idea with noise blaster, but with good AD converter you can really boost even to -9db without loosing punch and without audible distortions.
Yeah thats kind of what I thought.
I like your name "noiseblaster"

Do know of any nice soundcards that arent break the bank price?

the A/D conversion only happens in the soundcard? Or do folk get A/D converters aswell as a soundcard?

Cheers,
Eck
Old 30th January 2007
  #56
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
Do know of any nice soundcards that arent break the bank price?

the A/D conversion only happens in the soundcard? Or do folk get A/D converters aswell as a soundcard?

Cheers,
Eck
Most ME's go for the outboard AD/DA and go into their computer via a Lynx or RME AES, Firewire or MADI. The only decent converters that are on a card are the LynxTWO and the RME Hammerfall cards.

Regards,
Bruce
Old 30th January 2007
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by crna59 View Post
Most ME's go for the outboard AD/DA and go into their computer via a Lynx or RME AES, Firewire or MADI. The only decent converters that are on a card are the LynxTWO and the RME Hammerfall cards.

Regards,
Bruce
Cool.
Cheers Bruce, im really starting to learn about the pro mastering process now.

So would I be right in saying that when the ME gets a CD to master he doesnt necesseraly import it into his DAW, but rather he plays it from a CD player into his D/A converter. T
hen through whatever other outboard gear he requires to get the best sound. Then from the outboard gear through his A/D converter to a CD recording device?

Eck
Old 30th January 2007
  #58
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

I use an onld Layla 20 bit, you can find them quite cheap and they sound just fine to me. If the L2 is changing the tone of your kick you're probably limiting too much. If the meter past 6db of limiting, you need to go back and re-think your mix. As I said in a previous post, loud masters started out with loud mixes, they had that loudness potential there in the track. I've shown people rough mixes a friend of mine did and most musicians thought it was mastered already because it was so hot, and he wasn't using a lot of compression in the 2 bus. The tones were just well defined, full, the arrangments were tight and the fader moves were sublime.

If you start to notice the limiter changing your kick tone, just think of what it's doing to everything else. L2 isn't bad, people just do a lot of bad things with it. I'm sure there is plenty of options out there that smoke the L2 (sony oxford comes to mind as far as software is concerned) but it can do a fine job in conservative ammounts.
Old 30th January 2007
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_bunny View Post
I use an onld Layla 20 bit, you can find them quite cheap and they sound just fine to me. If the L2 is changing the tone of your kick you're probably limiting too much. If the meter past 6db of limiting, you need to go back and re-think your mix.
If you start to notice the limiter changing your kick tone, just think of what it's doing to everything else.
I know that a bad mix cant be boosted as much as a good mix, but I dont know what I am meant to do with my kick drum so it doesnt loose its high end and punch. I have used compression to get the kicks roughly similar in volume and also I replace any hits that are too loud/quiet.
The kicks sound real nice in my mixes, but with the L2 they die, along with the rest of my mix when I boost to -9dB.
Im liking the idea of using clipping rather than limiting at the mastering stage.
Hopefully our mastering engineer will be good at this. He is Dennis Smith, he mastered Aqualung and that "Mad World" remix by Gary Jules.

Eck
Old 30th January 2007
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
I know that a bad mix cant be boosted as much as a good mix, but I dont know what I am meant to do with my kick drum so it doesnt loose its high end and punch. I have used compression to get the kicks roughly similar in volume and also I replace any hits that are too loud/quiet.
The kicks sound real nice in my mixes, but with the L2 they die, along with the rest of my mix when I boost to -9dB.
Im liking the idea of using clipping rather than limiting at the mastering stage.
Hopefully our mastering engineer will be good at this. He is Dennis Smith, he mastered Aqualung and that "Mad World" remix by Gary Jules.

Eck
Very cool. I love that Gary Jules version. The L2 is working on the whole program. So whatever crosses that threshold be it in the top or bottom range, will be the first thing clipped. It sounds to me like your kick might be too out front of the mix if it's being so adversly affected. Also, pushing something to -9 arbitrarily isn't really the goal of mastering. There is a point where you just shouldn't push a mix any further. Also, you might want to use a combination of multi-band compression and an opto-style compressor before the limiter. There are many great articles online about multi-band compression that you should study, because it's something that can just as easily ruin a master as enhance it.

People often mix kick too loud. It's because the kick is percieved on major records as being bigger than it is. Because it's a nice drum, a good player and great eq'ing, the kick sits in their mixes like a dream, and it imparts a sense of power without having to be so prominent. One thing I had to do was remember that when I place the kick is to check back to mixes I admire that have some contextual silimarities to the task at hand.

Don't draw from memory, thats what my art teachers alwasy said. Look at the subject. So have a mix on hand in your sessions that you can turn to for context until your really comfortable.

Last thing: When The Levee breaks has the biggest "sounding" kick drum in history IMHO. Hip Hop will always have a louder kick objectively, but Zepplin will make you believe theirs is bigger.
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