The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
prepping mixes for mastering Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 6th September 2007
Gear Addict
hw2nw's Avatar

prepping mixes for mastering

Hi guys, I need some advice beyond what engineers have told me in passing. I finished tracking an album a few weeks ago and am working on the final mix for it.

My question is, what advice can you give me about providing the best possible final mix for the mastering house? I know I can get it to where I think it sounds perfect, but I mean as far as levels/comps/reverbs/etc so that the mastering house will be able to do their job to make a great mastered product. I've been told not to put comp/major effects on the master track, also keep my tracks 3-5dB from peaking, among lots of other things.

If it makes any difference, the style is indie rock- big drums, delayed guitars, reverb/delay on vox, and sometimes mixes thick with keys and whatnot.

Any advice from you mastering masters would be great

Old 6th September 2007
Audio Alchemist
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Originally Posted by hw2nw
know I can get it to where I think it sounds perfect
.. and that's really all we can ask.

Apart from that, you could:

...send the mix in advance for comments. a vocal up mix just in case
...check for sibilance in vocals
...provide a 24 bit file at 44.1 kHz or higher peaking at somewhere between -6 dBFS and -3 dBFS
...don't fade the file
...don't put on master effects
...but do leave on gentle master compression used during mixing e.g. SSL comp - if you mixed through this only
...provide notes if needed about special wishes, fades, etc.

That's a quick check list.
Old 7th September 2007
Gear Addict
hw2nw's Avatar

thanks! anything else?
Old 7th September 2007
Gear Nut
dsteve's Avatar

Get your mix sounding like you want it to sound - except for the level. It's good to leave at least 3dbfs of headroom for the ME. If you're A/B'ing against commercial CDs, reduce the volume on the CD track to match your level. Personally, I would go easy on 2-buss compression and rely more on individual track compression or multi-buss comps. Good luck with the mixes!
Old 7th September 2007
Gear Guru
lucey's Avatar

Verified Member
Originally Posted by hw2nw View Post
thanks! anything else?
A few ideas here
Old 10th September 2014
Here for the gear
stannesmusic's Avatar

Originally Posted by lucey View Post
A few ideas here
Great tips.

I would like to add that if possible, you should take the time to book a session with a mastering engineer to listen to a before/after track (you could even request these files be sent using dropbox or similar). This will give you an insight into how to optimise your mix for their methods and gear.
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
MaJo1 / Mastering forum
jazzy655 / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
Drzayuss / Q+A with Michael H. Brauer
Darth Fader / Q+A with Dave Pensado
Dave Martin / So much gear, so little time

Forum Jump
Forum Jump