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How would you master my song ? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 12th March 2018
  #1
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Thread Starter
How would you master my song ?

Edit : after comments, here is the corrected mix : Pre-master. (Original version here)

Here is a song I've just created for learning purposes.

Since long months (years) I've been trying to learn the subtilities of the mastering art. Yes, I think it is an art and mastering engineers are artists.

Please describe how you would process my song, show me the way!

For instance, I think it is really boomy (maybe to much 250hz?) too much hhats ? Vocal too harsh ? Needs compression ?

Thank you for replies!
Old 12th March 2018
  #2
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___GLM___'s Avatar
Hire a mastering engineer. What are you asking for is really worth some money. In fact you want the stuff a mastering engineer would do (his job) without doing it himself but telling you what you should do to achieve the same result. But without the hassle to pay for that expertise. Did I get this right?
I mean , gearslutz is for helping each other and the like. But I cannot help thinking that your request is a bit on the "outrageous " side. Please correct me fellow gearslutz, if I missed the point
Old 12th March 2018
  #3
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Thread Starter
glm,
I am sorry you think that but it is absolutely not my intention. I am just in the process of learning and searching for informations on how to improve my mixes. I am not a pro and I just share songs I create with my friends and my family. Maybe I should indeed pay for lessons instead of searching for informations on the net.

Musically yours
Old 12th March 2018
  #4
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___GLM___'s Avatar
I wouldn´t exclude that somebody is willing to help you for free this way. Probably some people will chime in here and give great advice! and your question has totally its place in this forum. Did not want to cut up you, just wanted to state my opinion. To be honest, I am in a similar situation: my intend is to get my songs mastered by a professional, and when there is a good connection, the mastering engineer will (hopefully) be willing to help you out and give you tips to improve your work. In the end, he will also be able to do a better job when your work is better.
Old 13th March 2018
  #5
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bcgood's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by wistiti3000 View Post
Here is a song I've just created for learning purposes.

Since long months (years) I've been trying to learn the subtilities of the mastering art. Yes, I think it is an art and mastering engineers are artists.

Please describe how you would process my song, show me the way!

For instance, I think it is really boomy (maybe to much 250hz?) too much hhats ? Vocal too harsh ? Needs compression ?

Here is the file :
Dropbox - premaster.wav

Thank you for replies!
This needs a lot of work in all sorts of areas. Did you mix this?
Old 13th March 2018
  #6
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
This needs a lot of work in all sorts of areas. Did you mix this?
Yes I tracked and mixed myself quickly, but as I wrote I am not a pro at all - I do music on week-ends for myself when others do cooking and dream to became a master chef!
Old 13th March 2018
  #7
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The song itself is quite nice, and the arrangement is tasteful. FWIW, I'd suggest trimming the song length down, and trying to automate in certain elements instead of having all of them present throughout. I also would suggest mixing it so that the elements have more of a groove between each other.

Cheers!
Old 13th March 2018
  #8
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wistiti3000 View Post
Yes I tracked and mixed myself quickly, but as I wrote I am not a pro at all - I do music on week-ends for myself when others do cooking and dream to became a master chef!
It's a cool song if not a bit redundant with the chorus repeated too much.

At any rate just out of curiosity, what did you record this on and what monitors are you using for mixing? What kind of room did you mix this in?
Old 13th March 2018
  #9
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
It's a cool song if not a bit redundant with the chorus repeated too much.

At any rate just out of curiosity, what did you record this on and what monitors are you using for mixing? What kind of room did you mix this in?
Thank you for your comments.
My room has some little Yamaha MSP3 monitors + Focusrite Saffire 56 audio card and its built in preamp + Studio One
Old 14th March 2018
  #10
From a mix and mastering perspective there is considerable opportunity to improve the track.

The vocals are a little too buried for my taste - bringing the vocals forward would highlight the primary feature of the track - the lead vocal.

The lead vocal appears to have been damaged by a de-esser - the singer sounds like she is lisping. Restoring some of the sibilance would help improve the articulation.

The muted trumpet is also a little too buried and small sounding - this instrument is much more impactful when presented in full range.

The percussion, piano, bass and rhythm guitar are nicely presented.
Old 14th March 2018
  #11
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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The lead vocal has a really strange muffled quality. It also sounds nasally and over compressed.

The high timbre percussion, is it a triangle? That is really loud and much too shrill. Lower it in the mix and eq it, mellow that out big time.

There is too much bass in general. You want the bass to be present but not boomy; its muddying up the mix.

Fixing these things in the mix will be much better than trying to, "fix it in mastering"
Old 14th March 2018
  #12
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Thread Starter
Thanks for your comments, here is another version made with no compression, no desser, less effects and more natural, I think :

Dropbox - premaster.wav
Old 14th March 2018
  #13
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

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I really like you music. Yes there are some small problems but you are on the right track. Keep up the GREAT work and find a good mastering engineer (there are a lot of good ones on this web board) and let them put the final polish on your project. All the best!
Old 15th March 2018
  #14
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wistiti3000 View Post
Thanks to your comments, here is another mix made with no compression, no desser, less effects and more natural, I think :

Dropbox - premaster.wav
Yea, this sounds a lot better now.

The only thing I'd add is you don't need to keep the level so low. I'd mix with your peaks hitting closer to 0 dB that way you're making decisions based on what the mix sounds like when its louder, (Closer to final mastered song).

Basically you can keep everything in your mix the same just push the master fader up until the loudest parts peak somewhere around -2 dB or so.

I like the addition of the flute, it adds a nice organic touch.
Old 15th March 2018
  #15
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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You should still mellow that triangle out. It still has too many high frequencies and its distracting. Also, I wouldn't pan it so far right. Try to get it to fit in the mix without being distracting. Otherwise the mix sounds pretty darn good.
Old 15th March 2018
  #16
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I thought it was a great mix. Perhaps a tiny bit more sparkle on the top end...Perhaps a tiny bit more boom on the low end...

But that's what car stereos are made for.
Old 15th March 2018
  #17
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
You should still mellow that triangle out. It still has too many high frequencies and its distracting. Also, I wouldn't pan it so far right. Try to get it to fit in the mix without being distracting. Otherwise the mix sounds pretty darn good.
Interesting you notice that because on my speakers and headphone and my ears, I am really not annoyed by the triangle. I will lower it (or remove it)
Old 15th March 2018
  #18
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bcgood's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wistiti3000 View Post
Interesting you notice that because on my speakers and headphone and my ears, I am really not annoyed by the triangle. I will lower it (or remove it)
You can keep it in, but I would roll off the highs and pan it left if you do.

It was improved on the latest mix but still distracting on my main speakers and especially distracting on headphones.
Old 16th March 2018
  #19
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Beside the fizzy triangle, this sounds very lush an have personality! Great song.
Old 18th March 2018
  #20
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Here's a short sample of how I'd master it.

I took the triangle out then ran the mix through a short hardware chain.

This was mastered for sound quality not loudness.


You can stream or download the short file here: bcgood_master_sample.wav - Google Drive
Old 18th March 2018
  #21
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polybonk's Avatar
Thanks for posting this. Really quite like the track and it's so nice of you to share the mix in a public forum like this! Its hard to get quality audio that can be put up here so its really nice of you to do so.

I used the audio to make a shootout of analog Tape simulators here:
Battle of the Analog Tape Simulators

To answer your original question I would send you the ATS1 Ampex 351 Analog Master file and see where you want to go from there.

Personally I think the triangle is fine. Go with your instincts and make your music the way you want.
Old 19th March 2018
  #22
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Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wistiti3000 View Post
Edit : after comments, here is the corrected mix : Pre-master. (Original version here)

Here is a song I've just created for learning purposes.

Since long months (years) I've been trying to learn the subtilities of the mastering art. Yes, I think it is an art and mastering engineers are artists.

Please describe how you would process my song, show me the way!

For instance, I think it is really boomy (maybe to much 250hz?) too much hhats ? Vocal too harsh ? Needs compression ?

Thank you for replies!

Thanks for sharing this.
I like your music a lot! Good work!
There's always room for improvement, always. In general is a good work, a bit dull I have to say, but ME like that instead of the opposite coz its defenitely easier to give bright life instead of dealing with harshness in general. Down below the kick is pumping a little to much around 88hz, and there's a general honking sound around 800hz, but nothing that can't be dealt with.
I gave it my quick pass, of course it could be improved, but just to give an idea of the mix potentials. Hope you like it.
Cheers


Swan Audio
Old 20th March 2018
  #23
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Giuseppe it sounds good

the song is great thanks for uploading it , i used it for trying some plugins with it and decided to try a mastering as i have no experience with this genre of music , it could be better with fine tuned settings specially on the deEsser it's the second time i use one , maybe there is still big flaws ?

first like is a earlier version wihtout deEsser , fixed the low mids with eq insteed , maybe it sounds better , maybe i badly tweaked the deEsser, it destroyed the voice and the 4/6k area a little and not fixed the low mids very well or maybe i need fresh ears to judge

Dropbox - Mastering test.wav

Dropbox - Coloredmaster.wav

frequency balance i have find the mix lacking low and highs , with a major problem around 90 hz like Giuseppe mentionned

i can t say about the stereo image with the way i could listen but it can probably be improved as well , it's maybe narrow, i used mostly mid/side equin and boosted slighty the side channel

some instruments sound a bit lofi , like mp3 , or like they are run into something that alias

if you could tell me how it sounds

Last edited by Fred_Abstract; 20th March 2018 at 06:13 PM..
Old 23rd March 2018
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Very enjoyable track - thanks for sharing!

Vocal could definitely use some shine. I agree on the triangle - it's doing something sharp and unpleasant to my right ear through the whole last section of the track. Maybe transient shaper to take some attack off and some reverb to push it back a bit? Just seems to poke through too much, distracting my ear off to the right side when it shouldn't.

Love the drum sound.

EDIT: Just listened to the original mix too. Man what an improvement you made.
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