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Mastering for Dance/Electronica (pro options)
Old 22nd September 2005
  #1
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Mastering for Dance/Electronica (pro options)

Do you guys that are producing dance tracks get your stuff mastered before shopping it?

My thoughts are that it will need to be mastered separately if it does get picked up. In other words, does it make sense to spend the money for mastering since if it gets licensed to a compilation the label will obviously have the entire thing mastered. And mastering for vinyl is a whole other deal.

Having said that, is it best to do a bit of pre-mastering before sending it to labels? (at least a bit of L2 so it is competitive w/ levels)?

Finally, if mastering is advisable can anyone recommend a good ME that specialize in dance (house). I figure you guys in Europe would have better insight.
Old 22nd September 2005
  #2
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ttauri's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine
Having said that, is it best to do a bit of pre-mastering before sending it to labels? (at least a bit of L2 so it is competitive w/ levels)?
I would say YES! Either pre-master or get it mastered. In my experience, the mastering a dance label devotes to my tracks once they leave my hands is minimal (more likely, it seems, as you climb up the ladder, but indies & smaller labels...not seeing it). Even vinyl, beyond any cutting-related tweaks (though I try to watch out for any problems there on my end too), I haven't heard any noticeable changes from what I delivered, except once (for Tommy Boy).

I still tend to go easy on the limiting, 'cause I can live with my track being quieter if it sounds better to my ears, but I check the balances on different systems a lot.

Peece,
T. Tauri
Old 22nd September 2005
  #3
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i preMaster mainly electronic stuff, and the people really like it....

www.robacidmastering.de

my own artist page www.robacid.de
Old 22nd September 2005
  #4
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Rob, I checked out your site. Do you have a list of your mastering credits?
Old 22nd September 2005
  #5
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not online , i mastered really a lot of european dance/elctronic stuff...

even KOMPAKT ( the distribution ) sending stuff....
Old 8th October 2005
  #6
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Marky's Avatar
 

I used to everything all myself, but this year I got a couple of tracks mastered externally and I was pretty happy with the results. It's nice to hear someone elses perspective on how a track should be shaped up.
Old 8th October 2005
  #7
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Verified Member
because there was no mastering for electronic music available, I mastered a lot of projects myself the last few years. Learning along the way. There is however a choice to be made: are you going that way? do you have the tools and experience? If not have someone else do that. seems logical.

In the coming months there will be a mastering room in my studio. REALLY looking forward to the new setup. My back is not so good though, so I will have to leave most of the (building) work to others.

You have a mighty neat setup there, Rob. really crafty lookin.. How did you come to buy the 2500? How is that sizing up to other compressors and to your Neumanns? I have the same Neumanns, to be built in a Filtek desk, and I need something else for the 2buss so I'm really curious.. thanks

BTW I really like a lot of Kompakt releases, played them a lot in my sets.
thumbsup thumbsup
Old 8th October 2005
  #8
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the APi2500 is great because you have lots of good sounds from this one.... most of the compressor just have 1-2 good settings...

and the API sound is really great on PERC. stuff....
Old 8th October 2005
  #9
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Thanks! thumbsup
I'm a bit at a loss what to put on the 2buss...
I need something that makes things a little bit bigger, more spacier eumm hard to describe, for percussion now I use urei 7110 for that "house sound" and Kultube for the whole drumbuss. brrpffft I don't know, so many choices. I'm going to listen to a Gyraf this month, hope the lack of sidechain doesn't mess up bass heavy mixes, making them too flabby. Did you audition that API before you got it?
Old 8th October 2005
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttauri
I still tend to go easy on the limiting, 'cause I can live with my track being quieter if it sounds better to my ears, but I check the balances on different systems a lot.

Peece,
T. Tauri
THANK GOD heh someone else has the same idea! A lot of "loud" dance music really doesn't translate well on a club PA, what seems nice and fat in the store, listening on crappy headphones, turns out to be thin and shallow and harsh on a big system. That was my experience anyway, coming from a DJ background. If I could I brought my own headphones. This did not go well with everybody. (few raised eyebrows heh)

Most Kontakt releases though translate excellent, nice bass with layers. That is what I like anyhowzz. heh
Old 20th January 2006
  #11
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Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamine
Do you guys that are producing dance tracks get your stuff mastered before shopping it?
Yes, most of the time it makes a lot of sense to get another person´s perspective. Plus the mastering house should have a nice selection of tools to improve your mix that might be out of your budget.

Besides RnB / HipHop, I, like Rob, master a lot of dance stuff - 12", cd-compilations, everything really. I´ll update the reference section of my webiste soon.

Regards,
Bill
Old 20th January 2006
  #12
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i personally would do minimal pre mastering, just enough to get your tracks sounding big, but with enough room for the cutting houses or mastering guys to boost and play with.

it's always tricky because if you over master or dont really know what you are doing, whenever the label sends something off to be mastered to vinyl, the end result can be horrendous.

i've seen lots of cases where a group will take a straight out of the computer digital tune and as long as they keep the levels below zero, even with no l2 or finalizing, the mastering houses can make that track sound masssssive.


really its all trial and error and you will learn more and more as you get your stuff on vinyl or cd.
Old 20th January 2006
  #13
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Billster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BryanGamet

it's always tricky because if you over master or dont really know what you are doing, whenever the label sends something off to be mastered to vinyl, the end result can be horrendous.
True. A lot of producers don´t know how to cope with vinyl. L2ing the **** out of programme isn´t really gonna help on the dance floor. Loudness does not mean to make the waveform look ruler flat. It´s a lot more to it, especially with vinyl.

A couple of weeks ago I recieved a couple of mixes that were heavily limited. I spoke to the producer to give me a softer version since the transients sound like mush. Well, he took the limited versions and pulled the whole thing down by 6dB. So he didn´t just give me mushy tracks, he even messed with the already poor quality due to performing unnecessary calculations.


Bill
Old 20th January 2006
  #14
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JTransition's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Mastering

I would get it Mastered by a professional before you send it off and when i say professional i mean someone who makes their living from Mastering. I am a Vinyl mastering engineer who specialises in Electronic dance (if thats what you want to call it) I spend most of my time trying to fix other peoples **** ups. Nine times out of ten people would get a better end result if they did not use any of the plug ins that are currently doing the rounds, And just left it to the pros.I like to recieve audio with a dynamic range not squashed,Limited,Normalised,Heavilly compressed etc,and not peaking above -0.2dbfs.If you insist on the diy option i woulkd make sure that you keep an untreated version for the mastering engineer to use,( Better still always keep an untreated version for later use because you never know what the future holds).Regarding compilation albums in my experience they are not generally mastered ,Usually they are just level matched and burned.Most A+R people are lazy you need to do the work for them.
Regards
Fat Larry
Old 24th January 2006
  #15
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JonnySun's Avatar
 

Quote:
Nine times out of ten people would get a better end result if they did not use any of the plug ins that are currently doing the rounds,
Hm, even UAD-Pluggies? What plugs do you mean? Waves LinMB, LinEQ, L2 ...

The most important thing is to know how to use this tools to get the desired final result. So, 9 from 10 people don`t know it ..
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