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Pros and Cons of doing your own mastering
Old 5 days ago
  #241
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
None of these records are famous, I don't have any Grammys, but it feels really good to know I've helped a lot of people make their records sound a little bit better.
Same here. I LOVE the idea of helping folks get their music out into the world. Make this rock a better place, one album at a time!

Jeremy
Old 5 days ago
  #242
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
100%. Great monitors in a bad room are useless.
Great headphones in any room are great.
Old 5 days ago
  #243
The perspective of someone who has never heard the record is key to why going to mastering is so useful. And how they can dial in on what might be missing, or overblown. Or even add something cool on a creative level in regards to how a groove can feel by altering frequencies and dynamics. It's such an incredibly useful service in the process of record production.

I recently had a single done over at Sterling by an engineer I've wanted to use for quite some time. What he brought to the end result was so cool. I never could have achieved what he did had I done it myself.
Old 5 days ago
  #244
Lives for gear
 
scraggs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by engmix View Post
The perspective of someone who has never heard the record is key to why going to mastering is so useful. And how they can dial in on what might be missing, or overblown.
The mix I mentioned above, with the obviously way too loud subkick....when I heard that last night I was like man, that's what I sent to mastering

In my room at the time it sounded right, and I thought I knew what I was doing. I also thought I was fully capable of mastering it myself, in that same room, and I was wary of ME's doing anything to change my "perfect" mix.

I was young(ish) and arrogant, and therefore not surprisingly, wrong.

Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone mastered it and did a great job. Way better than what I could've done.
Old 5 days ago
  #245
Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
The mix I mentioned above, with the obviously way too loud subkick....when I heard that last night I was like man, that's what I sent to mastering

In my room at the time it sounded right, and I thought I knew what I was doing. I also thought I was fully capable of mastering it myself, in that same room, and I was wary of ME's doing anything to change my "perfect" mix.

I was young(ish) and arrogant, and therefore not surprisingly, wrong.

Michael Fossenkemper at Turtletone mastered it and did a great job. Way better than what I could've done.
That's very cool!

Quite frankly the only times I ever got back suspect masters, was because the mix wasn't ready for prime time.

When I have the budget, I will sometimes send a nearly finished mix off to be mastered, and then crank it up in my car and see what it sounds like. I learn so much from this, versus listening for hours or days in my studio till I'm torturing myself wondering what it's going to sound like mastered. Usually in 2 to 3 passes in the car gives me a sense from the listener perspective. But at the same time, I can put the engineers hat on and see how reverb levels are sitting, low end bigness, kick and snare punch, and vocal balances etc..are sitting after being polished. Because to me when working with a great / legit mastering engineer, I get back what I like about the record, but super imposed. And that sometimes means letting me know that the mix treatment of the lead vocal may not be quite right yet. This is also why it's important to have a good relationship with a mastering studio. So they can work with you on the price if you're going to be sending revisions.

In my humble opinion, if someone is mastering their own record, then it's not truly mastering...it's mixtering.
Old 1 day ago
  #246
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Cons of DIY
1. You will never know what your music could have become, potential left on the table and not fully realized. Every single we do is our calling card, immediate results and a timeless memory.

2. You won't have a way to learn about your mixes by doing an A/B with a great master, where you can ponder what could have been better in mixing for next time.



It's always a bummer to hear about the bad experiences people have in mastering.

Then again, there is a lot of bad mastering out there, there is a lot of mediocre mastering (that should not upset anyone as it's safe) and there is very little great mastering.

I have around 500 clients a year, and maybe 2 of them are unhappy ... 0.4% ... that's on a bad year. Maybe 1 or 0 on a good year.

These experiences fall into a few categories, here are some examples:

A. Poor communicators, sending chaotic or self-contraditory notes in successive emails. Can usually be resolved.

B. Mixes not ready ... they didn't like the mixes in the first place and are never happy with anything, likely very DIY and have a bad process in place. They want mastering to fix things that can't be fixed, or see A, D, E.

C. Bad Frame of Reference ... their monitoring and awareness of the monitoring is way, way off. They hear bright in something not bright, or fat in something not fat. Leads to bad communication. Usually resolvable, see A

D. Insecurity, the assumption that I "don't care" about them because they are not famous. In fact, very few of my clients are famous. Tough one to figure out unless I push them to communicate what's up, see A.

E. Attachment As a mixer we get in the weeds with details, and mastering is about musicality and overall impact. Attachment to details can go too far, wood for the trees. This one is usually solvable by compromise, see A


The bottom line is that with MIXES YOU LIKE a POSITIVE ATTITUDE and GOOD COMMUNICATION there is no reason to have a bad experience with a good or great ME.

Then again, there are literally thousands of people who are "mastering" for money. The number of people I would consider hiring are a tiny percentage of those.


A note on Budgets

We have an imaginary notion of "budget", yet it's not real. Budgets are for corporations. You DO NOT have a budget. You have a WISH and a DREAM scenario. Your imagination on cost is not the real world, and if something has VALUE to you and you want the BEST RESULTS ... then you will find the money.

Every record goes over budget historically, way over time and money ... and recording in 2020 is cheap compared to every year before this one.

If you shop for mastering based on the idea that "I will hire someone better when I have more budget and more success" .. you will never get there. That's just a plan to fail and stay unknown.



In my experience, everything we do needs to be our very best work, as it's our calling card to anyone that hears it, and WE CAN CREATE a better future by going ALL IN on every project.

Peace
Old 1 day ago
  #247
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
WOW!!! I have around 500 clients a year, and maybe 2 of them are unhappy ... 0.4% ... that's on a bad year. Maybe 1 or 0 on a good year. Do you ever get a chance to sleep? Impressive. That amounts to 10 clients a week. I guess you are becoming the new Gateway. Congrats.
Old 1 day ago
  #248
Gear Maniac
 
DBarbarulo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Cons of DIY

If you shop for mastering based on the idea that "I will hire someone better when I have more budget and more success" .. you will never get there. That's just a plan to fail and stay unknown.

Peace
Old 10 hours ago
  #249
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
WOW!!! I have around 500 clients a year, and maybe 2 of them are unhappy ... 0.4% ... that's on a bad year. Maybe 1 or 0 on a good year. Do you ever get a chance to sleep? Impressive. That amounts to 10 clients a week. I guess you are becoming the new Gateway. Congrats.
10 clients a week is pretty normal as some of them are singles and demos. 10 albums a week would be extreme unless you had more than one engineer on staff. Last week I worked with 16 different clients. Lots of singles last week!
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