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Greatest hardware gear for dance music mastering
Old 18th August 2009
  #31
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Originally Posted by matucha View Post
My question would be, what is your monitoring and how well your room behaves? This will have the biggest impact on how good your masters come out.

Manley vari-mu is a subtle compressor. It doesn't like to be pushed very far, 1-2dB of GR works the best and it does some density and gives a sweeter character to the material. Most of the people won't hear much difference between processed and unprocessed material once it is broght to the same loudness. But on the other hand it can fatten the beats and create an illusion of more depth and life on a right material. Don't take it without sidechain (HP) mode! I guess some SSL style compressor or something like STC8 will be more usefull for shaping the beats.

I've recently bought a Gyraf G14 (EQ) and this one works great for boosts and for slight distortion (when you turn the gain trim clockwise). So far I tried it on a few tracks and it seems you can't go wrong with it... only if you need super-clean EQ, then look elsewhere. But for club stuff (mostly mixed ITB) some color is always good. Search GS for comparison of EQs Yareck made, there is Gyraf, Manley, GML, Maselec...


good luck
I am using an Adam P33a pair that u can hear to 36hz in one of the 6" speakers. I think thats enought once Adam is knowed for sound well in many types of other sound systems. I can be whong in some aspect. I have an impression that P33a is too punch on low-mid range.

My room is half treated.. anyway i try to mastering in a low volume to avoid lost wave mess in my ears.
Anyway i really need a better room.

If SPL Tube Vitalizer don't work for color like i expect, i would try other eqs like Ibis and Gyraf for colors.

Thanks!
Old 18th August 2009
  #32
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Originally Posted by macc View Post
Funnily enough I use an Avalon 747 and a Gyratec, and having the tubes switchable on the 747, as well as the gain on the G14 means I can go from relatively clean to pure tubeified-ness. The option's there.

The 747 is useful, I keep thinking about selling it but then it saves my arse in some way. It's not good enough for a main compressor, but the sidechain eq means you can control certain areas that might pop out, or you can tighten very subtly around a snare drum, etc etc. Lots of uses, very underrated IMO. The eq is ok but since moving up to mytek conversion I am aware that just switching it in collapses the image a bit. BUT sometimes that is a sacrifice worth making as the eq has a nice ability to 'un-overprocess' overprocessed stuff. Everyone says about the top end boost, but for me that eq is all about the 2k cut band, and the low end roll off.

G14 is just great, I still love it as much as I did when I bought it. 0.5dB can be loads, 8dB can feel like nothing I do get the occasional track where it is too much colour though, so I am saving for a clean eq to complement it.

IMO you mainly need a versatile compressor though, one that really can impart tightness and punch. I use a Summit DCL200 nowadays and love it for that. An API 2500 might be a good way to go though...

Don't underestimate monitoring and conversion though, seriously. The better my setup gets, the less work I need to do, the better decisions I make, the faster I work.

Good luck
Nice post! Thanks for share your 747 experiences. I like its sidechain feature, but the compression is really not tight and punch. API 2500 is really great for this. I don't know about Summit.

Cheers
Old 18th August 2009
  #33
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Originally Posted by Darius van H View Post
For dance music, i honestly believe that a good room with full range monitors is waaaaay more important than buying some analog gear......i've had great results with ITB mastering on dance, and gear like the mu or MP can easily muddy up electronic music, although might be useful on very good mixes, but then again ITB might sound more direct.................

For sure.. a good room, monitoring and skills.
Sorry my ignorance, but what is ITB?

Thanks!
Old 18th August 2009
  #34
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Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
The Vertigo compressor comes to mind in the analog world. I had one in here for the last four months (she's gone now) and was very very impressed with how tight and slamming this compressor made things. She reminded me of an analog version of my Weiss DS-1 Mk3.

If I had the money right now I would have kept her.
Tight and Slamming is a great feature for electronic! It looks nice!

Thanks!
Old 18th August 2009
  #35
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I would suggest to work more on the mix instead of expecting mastering to change final track. Personally I don't like aggressive mastering, if you want warm sound you can have both using hardware or software, it is just how to use it. anyway buying expensive toys is always a good thing if you have money, I love them. good luck.

faust
Old 18th August 2009
  #36
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Originally Posted by WBM View Post
Dance, electronic or trance are made in ITB not mics involved most of the time, so the right thing is add some saturation and harmonics with analog gear.
you not what I'm wrong, since to be most of the time in my experience the client like more the digital routing in this kind of music.

The analog gear I used for dance music depends the track itself few of them they need to be more aggressive or dark MEA-2, Smart C2, and P38. others alive NSEQ-2 with P9, API 2500 and the P38.
The P38 brings the right atmosphere for this kind of music.
P38 is a really cheap compressor. Is it really good, lol? The new P38 EX have sidechain feature added and looks very versatile.

TFPRO Professional Audio microphone pre amplifiers compressors equalizers designed by Ted Fletcher

Can be a good choice!

Thanks!
Old 18th August 2009
  #37
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Originally Posted by kundevelop View Post
I would suggest to work more on the mix instead of expecting mastering to change final track. Personally I don't like aggressive mastering, if you want warm sound you can have both using hardware or software, it is just how to use it. anyway buying expensive toys is always a good thing if you have money, I love them. good luck.

faust
I agree.. i am working more on mixing nowadays. i am loving FATSO on the Drum Buss. Anyway a do mastering for other producers of the label casting.

Cheers
Old 18th August 2009
  #38
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Originally Posted by Adam Dempsey View Post
Whatever it takes minus whatever it doesn't take.. but as with anything a combination of neutral & coloured options are the go. Here: Full range Duntechs, Hypex amps & twin active subs, Lavry Gold DA & A-D, custom console, Sontec 432, 462, NSEQ-f, Massive Passive, Vertigo & STC-8 comps, LTD-2s, API 550m EQs, HEDD192, a few plug ins, etc...

On the dance music style from 100% digital mixing:

Vertigo or STC-8 for compression?

Lavri Gold or Hedd 192 for AD/DA?

Thanks
Old 18th August 2009
  #39
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Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Don't know the Vitalizer but the MP is messy on the bottom and top, best used for it's mids. It's not a 'Class A valve amp' type of sound. And the Mu is not the best dance comp in the world.

DA, AD monitors and room are tops as always ... then you want a tight and punchy comp that takes off where SSL left off .... something like the Elysia Alpha, Mpressor or Vertigo. If you need color, add it.
Elysia Alpha is a dream. Mpressor very very nice too.
But Alpha cost more than my Citroen C3 .
I gonna have to be very rich to buy one.
Mpressor is in my list for sure.

Thanks!
Old 18th August 2009
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasrangel View Post
On the dance music style from 100% digital mixing:

Vertigo or STC-8 for compression?

Lavri Gold or Hedd 192 for AD/DA?

Thanks
The Golds for signal path D-A & A-D.

The Vertigo or STC-8 as needed (if needed), dictated by the mix. Both are clean.. the Vertigo capable of "snappy", side chain filters and auto release can even be handy; the STC-8 capable of being invisible or coloured, smooth or with grab.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasrangel
Sorry my ignorance, but what is ITB?
ITB = "In the box".. entirely within a digital workstation and its plug ins.
Old 18th August 2009
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasrangel View Post
API 2500 sounds nice, but i think it would be better as a buss compressor and use TC Phoenix ME as a mastering compressor for dance music.
After using them both, I am coming to this exact conclusion. The 2500 is the kind of comp I want to mix in to, the Phoenix can be easily used afterwards.
Old 18th August 2009
  #42
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The trick to get a very loud and still fine sounding dance track is to have a limiter on your master (2 bus) while mixing. A limiter set to 7 to 5 rms that is.
This way, the distortion caused by the limiting process becomes part of the arrangement and adjustments in the mix can still be made if things get nasty.
Old 18th August 2009
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasrangel View Post
I am thinking about SPL Tube Vitalizer to add this color "tube color".
I would wait on this one. It's ok at what it does, but nothing to write home about. Doesn't really impart any tube footprint. There are better ways to spend the money if your outfitting a new room imo.
Old 20th August 2009
  #44
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Originally Posted by Waltz Mastering View Post
I would wait on this one. It's ok at what it does, but nothing to write home about. Doesn't really impart any tube footprint. There are better ways to spend the money if your outfitting a new room imo.
It make sense. Thats what i gonna do.

Thanks!
Old 20th August 2009
  #45
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Originally Posted by Radiance View Post
The trick to get a very loud and still fine sounding dance track is to have a limiter on your master (2 bus) while mixing. A limiter set to 7 to 5 rms that is.
This way, the distortion caused by the limiting process becomes part of the arrangement and adjustments in the mix can still be made if things get nasty.
Nice trick.

I gonna try it.

Thanks!
Old 20th August 2009
  #46
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Originally Posted by markmark View Post
+1 room/monitoring first
i'm a mastering engineer, 90% electronic music
i master on mm27s, prism orpheus, attack wall treatment. i have shmc, altamoda, culture vulture, pultecs, anamod dangerous master, etc and i go outboard for probably only 70% of my masters. a lot of tracks sound better never hitting hardware - though it took me years to truly accept/realize this, and to be able to tell which tracks would do better staying in than going out.

if i was starting with 20 grand i'd sink it all into monitoring/plugs/conversion (for monitoring and potential future hardware.). you should hit a wall with plugs before you even think about hardware. you should get flux and ozone 4 and use those with your uad first - you will be using some combination of these anyway for limiting/harmonic enhancement, it makes no sense for you to be looking at hardware limiters. start shooting out plugs now - get ozone and shoot it out with uad precision and see which you prefer. demo waves maxxvolume, try that out, etc. get a fully working digital chain that you know well before looking at hardware.
one of the main reasons to advise purchasing caution with hardware is that the louder you get the less of a difference hardware is going to bring, especially when mastering at -5-7 rms which is the reality of electronic music today. you should have a system in place and be actively mastering several tracks a day for several months, or the equivalent, and have plugs dialed before you demo hardware. otherwise the emotion of the purchase and the expectations for what hardware can actually do will sway your judgement. plus if you are going to master start mastering with what you have, even as tests. otherwise you'll be in hardware "research" mode for 6 months, and just have collected a bunch of opinions that all contradict eachother and be no closer to having better ears or abilities, just more confused. there's a unit mentioned in this thread as great on electronic which i demoed and thought was totally unfit for electronic music mastering. never buy any hardware without demoing extensively against several other comparable units at the same time and against your current setup. also keep in mind that whatever you get is going to break and need to be repaired - not only will you be without it and need alternative units to use in the meantime but you will be on the hook for shipping, as well as wondering if the unit will actually make it back to you. there's so much fetishism with hardware. don't get sucked into it. only get hardware because you have heard a demonstrable difference in your studio, and have the time and money to invest in buying and maintaining it. also keep in mind that there's a 50% chance you're going to eventually sell it for something else when you discover certain limitations or whatnot - how much can you get in your local market? its brutal to sell a piece you got for 5k new for 2500 trade in 6 months later, and its happened to me many times, and with gear i was naive enough to think i'd "keep for a lifetime."

this is all from the perspective of unromantic functional mastering. not very exciting, but its been my experience. i wasted a LOT of time on thinking i couldn't really get going until i had hardware. i thought if i started with the "best" equipment i'd get better faster, and my masters would start out at higher quality. instead, i spent several years making questionable to outright bad mastering decisions, all a result of the time and money i;d sunk into hardware.
Fair!
Nice post.
I have long experience with plugins but i feel that its time wasted.
How can i be satisfied with plugins without listen properly to what i was doing.
First thing is room and monitoring.
After that i can make conclusions about other tools.
Thats right!
Thanks a lot!
Old 3rd January 2010
  #47
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Nice to see you embrace this idea. Acoustics really opens up the door to "time well spent", rather than constantly changing mixes and masters.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #48
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Oh, I must say the Vertigo is awesome for all things electronic/dance...just not on everything, rather for the mixbuss or mastering.

Jeremy

Http://www.MothershipMastering.com
Old 3rd January 2010
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasrangel View Post
I am using an Adam P33a pair that u can hear to 36hz in one of the 6" speakers. I think thats enought once Adam is knowed for sound well in many types of other sound systems. I can be whong in some aspect. I have an impression that P33a is too punch on low-mid range.

S3A (and P33A wouldn't be too far from that) doesn't go low enough. They play something at ~35Hz, but it is not certainly a proper sounding bass. I worked with them for a long time and it was easy to get bass heavy without realizing it. You just boost the sub area and sounds get fatter and better. But what you hear is mostly some distortion from the lows and in reality your mix/master just gets too heavy with all the consequences for limiters etc. No HW will help you with this, because you can't hear it properly. I just moved to another set of speakers instead of trying subs, but you should at least consider adding a sub to your P33A. For dance music I think it is essential.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post

Lastly, if you are going outboard you will need excellent AD/DA converters. I would say the Prism Orpheus is an excellent choice for the money.
Apparently not, atleast according to this thread.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #51
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Originally Posted by Lemonsqueezer View Post
Apparently not, atleast according to this thread.
Have you heard or used one yourself? It is excellent for the money.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmark View Post
+1 room/monitoring first
i'm a mastering engineer, 90% electronic music
i master on mm27s, prism orpheus, attack wall treatment. i have shmc, altamoda, culture vulture, pultecs, anamod dangerous master, etc and i go outboard for probably only 70% of my masters. a lot of tracks sound better never hitting hardware - though it took me years to truly accept/realize this, and to be able to tell which tracks would do better staying in than going out.

if i was starting with 20 grand i'd sink it all into monitoring/plugs/conversion (for monitoring and potential future hardware.). you should hit a wall with plugs before you even think about hardware. you should get flux and ozone 4 and use those with your uad first - you will be using some combination of these anyway for limiting/harmonic enhancement, it makes no sense for you to be looking at hardware limiters. start shooting out plugs now - get ozone and shoot it out with uad precision and see which you prefer. demo waves maxxvolume, try that out, etc. get a fully working digital chain that you know well before looking at hardware.
one of the main reasons to advise purchasing caution with hardware is that the louder you get the less of a difference hardware is going to bring, especially when mastering at -5-7 rms which is the reality of electronic music today. you should have a system in place and be actively mastering several tracks a day for several months, or the equivalent, and have plugs dialed before you demo hardware. otherwise the emotion of the purchase and the expectations for what hardware can actually do will sway your judgement. plus if you are going to master start mastering with what you have, even as tests. otherwise you'll be in hardware "research" mode for 6 months, and just have collected a bunch of opinions that all contradict eachother and be no closer to having better ears or abilities, just more confused. there's a unit mentioned in this thread as great on electronic which i demoed and thought was totally unfit for electronic music mastering. never buy any hardware without demoing extensively against several other comparable units at the same time and against your current setup. also keep in mind that whatever you get is going to break and need to be repaired - not only will you be without it and need alternative units to use in the meantime but you will be on the hook for shipping, as well as wondering if the unit will actually make it back to you. there's so much fetishism with hardware. don't get sucked into it. only get hardware because you have heard a demonstrable difference in your studio, and have the time and money to invest in buying and maintaining it. also keep in mind that there's a 50% chance you're going to eventually sell it for something else when you discover certain limitations or whatnot - how much can you get in your local market? its brutal to sell a piece you got for 5k new for 2500 trade in 6 months later, and its happened to me many times, and with gear i was naive enough to think i'd "keep for a lifetime."

this is all from the perspective of unromantic functional mastering. not very exciting, but its been my experience. i wasted a LOT of time on thinking i couldn't really get going until i had hardware. i thought if i started with the "best" equipment i'd get better faster, and my masters would start out at higher quality. instead, i spent several years making questionable to outright bad mastering decisions, all a result of the time and money i;d sunk into hardware.
Every now and again you get a post that reminds you that being a gearslut is not actually that helpful and in many cases can take you backwards and not forward. Thanks Mark
Old 3rd January 2010
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Have you heard or used one yourself? It is excellent for the money.
No I haven't, but then I am not a mastering engineer. In that test I ABX the samples and picked out the Prism 10 times in a row. Do I think it is worth it? For me, no way, even though I was apparently one of few who could pick it out in an ABX test even though I dont own or have even used one heh

Guys that do own them in that thread couldn't pick it out in ABX

When and if I reach the stage where I have (what I believe) to be the best monitors and room and of course sources, mics and pres would I then consider converters in that price range.

Do I think you need converters of that quality for dance music? Hell no! Why? I simply found out what was used on some of my favourite tracks. The ones I loved the production of. Thankfully I learned that you don't need to be a gearslut to produce or master quality dance music.
Old 3rd January 2010
  #54
Hey Thomas,

I'm mastering for EM for a few labels at this moment. As i see are you Brazilian also! I would recommend you an Ibis equalizer and TC fat bustard for some valve vibe (attitude rocks!). But that only if you know what valves are about and if you are really after it. For compression there are many great choices ITB for this kind of music. But i think a great room treatment comes first!

PS: I know Chris D'nox and think most of its sound quality regards to his and Frank Beckers mixing skills!

Check some of my masters at Larski - Tracks - SoundCloud

Please PM me if you want wav samples.
Old 4th January 2010
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starseed View Post
Nice to see you embrace this idea. Acoustics really opens up the door to "time well spent", rather than constantly changing mixes and masters.
For sure! Thanks for the emphasis and for the Vertigo indication too.

Best regards,
Old 4th January 2010
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha View Post
S3A (and P33A wouldn't be too far from that) doesn't go low enough. They play something at ~35Hz, but it is not certainly a proper sounding bass. I worked with them for a long time and it was easy to get bass heavy without realizing it. You just boost the sub area and sounds get fatter and better. But what you hear is mostly some distortion from the lows and in reality your mix/master just gets too heavy with all the consequences for limiters etc. No HW will help you with this, because you can't hear it properly. I just moved to another set of speakers instead of trying subs, but you should at least consider adding a sub to your P33A. For dance music I think it is essential.
Oh yeah.. the P33a low end is really restrict. I am using a subwoofer as well. Its really necessary for dance music.

Cheers,
Old 1 week ago
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom H View Post
After using them both, I am coming to this exact conclusion. The 2500 is the kind of comp I want to mix in to, the Phoenix can be easily used afterwards.

Why everybody here goes with the 2500?? What does it have in the sound of it that is so special and better than other compressors??

And why the Phonix is better than 2500 for mastering?? whats the difference between their sound??

Thanks
Old 1 week ago
  #58
'best' didn't exist in context with 'art'.
often in use with dance are units from maselec.
also ssl, foote, k&h or neumann eq's, sontec, manley mini massive, porter eq, elysia, crane song...
Old 5 days ago
  #59
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Also, now that we are in 2017, a lot of dance mixes have already been ridiculously heavily processed. What I'm leaning towards more and more is to be completely in-the-box (ITB) for these kinds of heavily processed mixes. Especially if they have already gone through a heavy analogue chain.
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