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Mastering Engineers Help!
Old 23rd July 2005
  #1
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Mastering Engineers Help!

I've been starting to master some stuff and I'm looking for approaches, techniques, and gear suggestions that might help me tame harsh and heavily distorted guitars during the mastering process. I only work with various forms of "rock" music.
Thank you in advance --
Old 24th July 2005
  #2
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It really depends on what "harsh" means on any given mix...

If it's a pretty narrow window of nastiness, a de-esser might not be out of the question if simple EQ isn't pulling it off. A little multi-band compression might be in order if you need more flexibility in dialing in the offending frequency. If you're digital, Voxengo's Soniformer plug can work wonders once you get used to the unusual control & interface - Still, it has to be fairly "on its own" or it can affect too much of the surrounding parts of the mix.

Nothing I can think of is going to pull off a miracle - Overly fuzzy guitars just aren't easy to work with - Especially as late as the mastering phase. If a remix isn't in order, shoot for "less irritating" as opposed to trying to force it where it doesn't want to be.
Old 24th July 2005
  #3
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Drumsound's Avatar
You might want to ask over at Brad Blackwood's forum at R-E-P too.
Old 24th July 2005
  #4
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Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravity8058
I've been starting to master some stuff and I'm looking for approaches, techniques, and gear suggestions that might help me tame harsh and heavily distorted guitars during the mastering process.
Bob Katz´ book "mastering audio" is a good starting point. check www.digido.com

Cheers,
Bill
Old 24th July 2005
  #5
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Harshness

John, Tony, Bill --- thanks, I'll be insidering all of that. I'm relying more on analog outboard gear than digital but I've got the Waves master bundle?? I think most often the freqs are in the 2-7k region depending on the project.
Old 25th July 2005
  #6
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If possible I´d fix it in the mix. This freq range is really important because we´re most sensitive to it. Multiband comp will be tough, too, because the sensitivity of our ears in that range does not allow for any artifacts, pumping or whatever.

One thing you might come away with is automating eq boost / cut. I once did that because a bass note was too dominant on a certain note. I just pulled it down on that note through the entire song. That was way more transparent than multibanding.

Good luck !

Bill
Old 25th July 2005
  #7
Lou Judson
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"f possible I´d fix it in the mix." - go even farther back. Get the amp to sound the way you want it and then record it so it doesn't need to be fixed. Or record direct and re-amp it to get the sound you want. Once on "tape"and mixed, anythiong you do to it will affect everything else, usually not for the better.

Mastering is not miracles - it is the fine polish on good woodwork.

<L>
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