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Should I do the Berklee Mastering course DAW Software
Old 27th November 2009
  #1
Gear Head
 

Should I do the Berklee Mastering course

I am quite isolated and am thinking of doing the Berklee on-line Mastering course, so as I can develop eqing techniques and prowess to mix and eq my tracks. I am tired of trying to improve via on-line videos and mastering books.
For instance I just found out about surgical eqing. DUH !! and MS equing after equing my stuff for a few years

I am also wanting to understand mastering and know some acceptable methods of approaching this art.

I dont want to become a masterer, as I am a full time performer and composer and music teacher.

But I would love to be able to master my compositions so as to always present good sounding versions when people want to hear them.

Has anyone here done the Berklee on-line mastering course.

Is it similar to the course done at Berklee.

Do people completeing that on-line course go and start mastering professionally, meaning that the course teaches the student well and I will be able to produce good sounding masters
Old 27th November 2009
  #2
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masterizer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8080JP View Post
I am quite isolated and am thinking of doing the Berklee on-line Mastering course, so as I can develop eqing techniques and prowess to mix and eq my tracks. I am tired of trying to improve via on-line videos and mastering books.
For instance I just found out about surgical eqing. DUH !! and MS equing after equing my stuff for a few years

I am also wanting to understand mastering and know some acceptable methods of approaching this art.

I dont want to become a masterer, as I am a full time performer and composer and music teacher.

But I would love to be able to master my compositions so as to always present good sounding versions when people want to hear them.

Has anyone here done the Berklee on-line mastering course.

Is it similar to the course done at Berklee.

Do people completeing that on-line course go and start mastering professionally, meaning that the course teaches the student well and I will be able to produce good sounding masters
The course may teach you how to master your own tracks in a acceptable way, but no one takes a course and instantly becomes a professional. (Especially not a ME!) It takes experience to make great masters, lots and lots of experience. You would also benifit a great deal by getting a few tracks mastered by a pro and attending the session. (I'm talking about the real deal, not a recording studio or other hack mastering) The engineer will be able to give you tips on how to improve your mixes.

I would suggest learning to make better mixes, make your mix sound how you want and leave nothing to mastering except a little gain, fades and sequencing. If your mixes don't sound right until you start adding things to the stereo bounce then you need to revisit your mix.

You will probably benifit from the berklee courses, and it will probably point you in the right direction but, don't expect to become a professional overnight.
Old 27th November 2009
  #3
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for me, my 'inability' (or 'hate' or 'problem' or 'struggle') to master my own music - or music that i've mixed for clients where there's no more budget, is not down to my ability as to master a project. it's a problem with objectivity, obsession and most of all vision.

of course, i am not a mastering engineer by any means, but i have mastered a few projects for low prices for friends that can't afford to spend any more. it was a much easier job to just work with what you've been given, on a piece of music you haven't heard before and have no bias towards, in any way. i'm sure a full time mastering engineer would have done a better job, but i think i did pretty well considering the budget and tools at hand, and everyone was happy.

but back to mastering your own work - imagine for example, that there's an issue with the hihats being too harsh, are you really going to EQ it when you can just pop back into the mix and turn them down/EQ them? don't you just hate the way that when you EQ out the hihats, the vocals lose the their air and breathiness? yeah, just pop back into the mix for one more little change. mm and maybe you should turn EQ a bit of 80hz into the bass, but now look, the kick is too boom... ok back to the mix

i'm only teasing because i've been there... in fact i'm there right now! and i hate it!

what i'm saying is - the berklee course might teach you great EQ and compression techniques, etc, but will it teach you how to maintain that objectivity after you've spent a year writing, recording, producing, arranging, mixing, and THEN come to master your project too?

maybe if you're in a band surrounded by folk with input, then it'd be easier. however if you work mainly alone or you're the main person responsible for the outcome of the album... eh. it's not something i fancy doing... again.

however, if you get someone else to mix and you get the files back and want to master your own stuff, that's probably do-able, i suppose.

how much are those courses, anyway?

thanks

eddie
Old 27th November 2009
  #4
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

re-reading your post though, doing the course to learn more about mastering and being able to master your own tracks in order to just send them off to folk better presented, then that could be a nice idea.

i'll leave it to someone else (perhaps someone who has done/viewed the course) to talk about if they are actually good courses to do, content wise, though!

thanks
Old 27th November 2009
  #5
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silverking's Avatar
 

A short answer would be......"of course it would help you!"

Whether it represents good value is a question only you can answer, but in terms of learning, any learning is better than no learning.

If you consider yourself a self-directed learner, then there may be other approaches you might want to consider as well, but even self-directed learners can benefit from formal instruction if that instruction is well prepared.
Old 27th November 2009
  #6
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Table Of Tone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
You don't need to go to college to learn how to hear things properly!
You just need to cut a bunch of albums, deal with a bunch of flakey artists, managers, labels etc, for a long time!

College won't prepair you for the way it actually is!
Old 28th November 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8080JP View Post
I am tired of trying to improve via on-line videos and mastering books.
For instance I just found out about surgical eqing. DUH !! and MS equing after equing my stuff for a few years
This got my attention, did you actually read bob katz's book? not to mention other online free sources that actually explains what you mention. I didn't understand how you missed to read them.

I'm also on my own, never actually been in a session (and don't have much chance about it due to where I live). It takes time but trying to replicate avalible mixes to their masters (check re-mix competitions or even some are sold online), analyzing by carefully listening (M/S) or even simply looking at a gear and think why is that knob there leads to many answers, but takes a lot of time.

I also checked out some courses avalible online or schools that gave it as a lesson. Turned out with even a hobbyist attention of whats what (just reading threads here) I had already too much knowledge about mastering and they didn't seem to be a benefit for me.

I suggest reading this forum (even quickly) everyday and research if you don't understand what people are talking about (usually you find the answer somewhere over the net or forum searches). If you get stuck, just ask maybe not many engineers want to share their secrets but always someone is ok to explain basics or (more important) share their experience.
Old 29th November 2009
  #8
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I'll respond to this since I am actually in the course right now(85% done). I'll add that prior to taking the course I sat in and mastered a few songs at a locals studio. I also have mastered about 20 records/tracks prior to signing up.

The class is good, but I'll say that mastering in general is meant to be an objective listening session, unrelated to the mixing of music. You loose quite a bit of objectivity mastering your own music.
It is hard to get direct mastering training at times, since alot of people act like they figured out the black art and you have to find your way now .

The course will walk you through every aspect of mastering, from setting up monitoring, compression, to editing, eq, and layout of albums. You'll have workshops to EQ material from string ensembles, to rock and roll, to removing coughs from live recording sessions. The class covers a broad range of applications and is taught by Jonathon Wyner who runs Mworks mastering studios. I can't tell you if the investment is worth it for you or not, but I am getting more into it, and I'm trying to gather even more info as I go. Bob Katz book Mastering Audio is the text book.

As stated in some posts, you'll still have to practice the techniques over time, but it lays a great foundation for you to move forward. I've enjoyed the class, and it has given me more confidence to move forward with mastering, and helped me gain some more insight from the chats with jonathon.
Old 29th November 2009
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strobian View Post
I'll respond to this since I am actually in the course right now(85% done). I'll add that prior to taking the course I sat in and mastered a few songs at a locals studio. I also have mastered about 20 records/tracks prior to signing up.

The class is good, but I'll say that mastering in general is meant to be an objective listening session, unrelated to the mixing of music. You loose quite a bit of objectivity mastering your own music.
It is hard to get direct mastering training at times, since alot of people act like they figured out the black art and you have to find your way now .

The course will walk you through every aspect of mastering, from setting up monitoring, compression, to editing, eq, and layout of albums. You'll have workshops to EQ material from string ensembles, to rock and roll, to removing coughs from live recording sessions. The class covers a broad range of applications and is taught by Jonathon Wyner who runs Mworks mastering studios. I can't tell you if the investment is worth it for you or not, but I am getting more into it, and I'm trying to gather even more info as I go. Bob Katz book Mastering Audio is the text book.

As stated in some posts, you'll still have to practice the techniques over time, but it lays a great foundation for you to move forward. I've enjoyed the class, and it has given me more confidence to move forward with mastering, and helped me gain some more insight from the chats with jonathon.
This is a great answer.
The fact that you have already had 20 goes at mastering, is a little similar to me.

My attempts at mastering have allowed me to understand what the professional masterers of my releases were doing and also to have a chat with them about the sound they achieved.

My eq-ing is pretty okay already in an amateur way and just recently did some so called surgical eq-ing and they were fairly accurate.

I am hoping that many areas are covered and if a person who has a good ear and can eq well already, on completeion of the course, could infact do mastering professionally.
I am hoping that all the basic areas of mastering are covered.
I am hoping the the course is that good.

It will be interesting if modern loudness and clipping is covered for instance.

You know, it is really compression and limiting with complex programs which ceate the most difficult decision making for professional masterers theses days, not equ-ing IMHO, and that is the area which takes years of experience and knowledge of limiters and compressors.


I am very keen on having good sounding demos of my compositions for show at schools on a weekly basis for instance.


With regards to mixing.
If I can learn more about eqing, compressing and limiting it will surely allow me to mix better as I will eq the tracks better.
Again I am hoping that this will be a positive outcome from the course
Old 29th November 2009
  #10
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Strobian's Avatar
Modern loudness and clipping is covered. What can prove useful , is every week there is a 1hr chat where you can ask questions and cover any topics you like. Also there is a class forum as well, where that can be answered. I think you can do it professionally, but you have to look into all the pieces, the room, equipment, monitors etc. There is a ladder like any industry, you'll start on the bottom and work your way up, learning as you go, and hopefully adding a more equipped client list as well. I think the class helps you realize that this is a profession that can be learned with practice. Experience is also the key, so obviously the more of that the better you are doing. The class won't familiarize you with every situation you'll have with eqing etc, but it will give you some tools to learn how to address those problems.
Old 29th November 2009
  #11
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Storyville's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8080JP View Post
This is a great answer.
The fact that you have already had 20 goes at mastering, is a little similar to me.

My attempts at mastering have allowed me to understand what the professional masterers of my releases were doing and also to have a chat with them about the sound they achieved.

My eq-ing is pretty okay already in an amateur way and just recently did some so called surgical eq-ing and they were fairly accurate.

I am hoping that many areas are covered and if a person who has a good ear and can eq well already, on completeion of the course, could infact do mastering professionally.
I am hoping that all the basic areas of mastering are covered.
I am hoping the the course is that good.

It will be interesting if modern loudness and clipping is covered for instance.

You know, it is really compression and limiting with complex programs which ceate the most difficult decision making for professional masterers theses days, not equ-ing IMHO, and that is the area which takes years of experience and knowledge of limiters and compressors.


I am very keen on having good sounding demos of my compositions for show at schools on a weekly basis for instance.


With regards to mixing.
If I can learn more about eqing, compressing and limiting it will surely allow me to mix better as I will eq the tracks better.
Again I am hoping that this will be a positive outcome from the course
how much does the course cost?
Old 29th November 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
how much does the course cost?
It's $995 without credit and $1195 for credit. I'm two classes from finishing my masters certificate in music production using Pro Tools and it's been a wonderful experience for me. It really depends on whether the $ is worth it for you, but the education I've gotten has really benefited me in terms of my knowledge of Pro Tools, workflow, and production skills. I've considered taking the mastering class myself, but I'm really looking forward to have less time allocated to school work. - paul
Old 13th December 2009
  #13
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So, I am also considering the mastering course and the Cubase course. Is It possible to take two at a time and about how much daily time does each course require, also how flexible is the weekly schedule.


Thanks
Old 13th December 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steveooo View Post
So, I am also considering the mastering course and the Cubase course. Is It possible to take two at a time and about how much daily time does each course require, also how flexible is the weekly schedule.


Thanks
I don't think there is a limit to how many courses you can take at once. Not sure though. You would get an advisor that might offer some advice on it though. For me, with a family, band/work, and school, 2 classes was very labour intensive. Some classes take way more work than others as well. I have not taken the classes you mentioned, but I would think that having both of them at once would be around 20 hours of work a week or more, give or take. I guess it depends on your skill level at the time of enrollment. I have spent more than 20 hours a week on just one class before, but I can be very anal about some of my projects, and if I had the time, I'd put it in. PT 101, 110, Mixing & Mastering with Pro Tools, and Advanced Mixing & Mastering with Pro Tools were very labour intensive classes, but as I got better with Pro Tools a bit less time was needed. - paul
Old 13th December 2009
  #15
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I'm very tired of school at the moment, and I want to have more time to spend on my own projects and others for clients, but I must admit the Mastering course looks pretty cool. I really like Ozone 4 a lot as well. Although, I must say, I do not like the reverb at all. Maybe I'm missing something though. - paul
Old 13th December 2009
  #16
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Strobian's Avatar
I work 45 hours a week at my job and still have time for the mastering class. It is like any audio class. You'll have a series of audio test or assignments and reading to do each week. They use Ozone 4 as a standard to really be able to grade the class the same and it has a lot of features that are handy. you do your asignements and you can turn your presets in as well and it standardizes alot of the work. They don't promote Ozone as a mastering solve all, both prof's clearly use analog gear in their studios at least 70% of the time. They have some amazing gear just like GS style Anyway I don't think the work load was that dramatic, but I did a little each night. And yeah the reverb on Ozone stinks for program material
Old 5th January 2010
  #17
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Verified Member
@Strobian: I have read the syllabus of the course. I can't seem to find if they will cover harmonic distortion / saturation (tube and tape) for example?
Old 5th January 2010
  #18
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8080JP View Post
You know, it is really compression and limiting with complex programs which ceate the most difficult decision making for professional masterers theses days, not equ-ing IMHO, and that is the area which takes years of experience and knowledge of limiters and compressors.
Really, it's listening skills, people skills, knowing, for example, which EQ device is best for a specific EQ setting for the task at hand, or knowing when to leave well alone. While learning is always a positive thing (and I'm sure the course offers something for some people), working in the varied fields of audio in any way you can tends to teach those things better via experience. In my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8080JP View Post
It will be interesting if modern loudness and clipping is covered for instance.
Dare I say it: overrated. (I'd like to say: it's 2010, done & dusted!)
Old 6th January 2010
  #19
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Strobian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackZero View Post
@Strobian: I have read the syllabus of the course. I can't seem to find if they will cover harmonic distortion / saturation (tube and tape) for example?
there isn't a chapter on it persay, but coloring devices did come up in our chats etc.
Old 6th January 2010
  #20
Gear Nut
 

In my very, very humble opinion, the Berklee course is way overpriced.
You will get an much better bang for your dollar if you purchase several instructional mixing and mastering DVDs.
The great thing about them is that you can watch them over and over again and learn things you've missed or you've forgotten.

The best overall mixing / mastering courses i own come from German Engineer Friedemann Tischmeyer. The courses are several hours long, but in the best German Engineering tradition they are very through because they cover theory and practice. The information and explanations on the DVDs are very clear.. i doubt any Berklee course could ever match the content of his DVDs.. i've spend months watching and rewatching parts of his mixing DVDs alone.
His DVDs can be purchased from amazon.com

I am currently watching a hands on mixing AskVideo DVD with James Tuttle.
Another good mastering video is Groove 3's Mastering with T-Racks 3 with Michael Costa, which has a lot of useful info, even if you don't use T-Racks to do mastering.

Why am i including mixing DVDs as part of a mastering course? because I believe that understanding how mixing is done and having some kind of basic mixing proficiency will help you to become a competent mastering engineer.

I am sure the experienced folks here have good lists of instructional mastering DVDs.

Cheers
Old 6th January 2010
  #21
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IIIrd's Avatar
 

Verified Member
If I were you I'd read Bob Katz's articles and his book...thats all you need academicly...That'll give you the insight and tips as to what mastering is and can be. The only way to really learn is by doing it. You can practice on your own stuff and friends stuff and it'll only cost you the time and the electricity.

I do recomend though,....get someone else to master you're own stuff...you wont be able to be objective about,...and you'll need to be.

Above all, enjoy it..it's great fun
Old 6th January 2010
  #22
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Strobian's Avatar
The class is a bit pricey but it just depends on how you want to learn. You get realife tracks to master, work on dynamics processing, EQ, Data editing etc etc. Bob Katz book is required reading for the class, although I already had read it. The class isn't a solve all, as practicing the techniques is where all the information takes ahold. I do not regret taking it, I learned somethings, networked with a few more people, and can say I have a bit of formal training now. It isn't for everybody, but you work on alot of different styles of music, techniques, and restoration projects. I had started mastering tracks for people prior to taking the class, so a few parts were redundant, but still OK. If you could get an internship or job at a studio that would be valueable although there are not many options lilke that by me.
Old 7th January 2010
  #23
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I feel pretty skeptikal about these on-line courses since you are not inside the same acoustical environment as the teacher/instructor is.


I receive emails from dozens of potential students asking me to do MSN/Ovo/Skype (conference) courses but I think that is not the way to go.
Old 7th January 2010
  #24
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Verified Member
@strobian: Thanks!

@yj777: I'm watching the first DVD of Friedemann Tischmeyer and it is indeed very thorough. Thanks for mentioning it in your post!
Old 7th January 2010
  #25
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Every learning opportunity is good, but the best choice is to study at the feet of a Pro.
Old 8th January 2010
  #26
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Strobian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alécio Costa View Post
I feel pretty skeptikal about these on-line courses since you are not inside the same acoustical environment as the teacher/instructor is.


I receive emails from dozens of potential students asking me to do MSN/Ovo/Skype (conference) courses but I think that is not the way to go.
You work on music in your own room , just like you would any job. then the feedback is given to you. One of the major downfalls though I agree is not being able to be in a studio with jonathon (proffessor)(mworks). I would like that to be different. The class isn't for seasoned veterans. It is just meant to give you the tools to go an practice and make records.
Old 9th January 2010
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrackZero View Post
@strobian: Thanks!

@yj777: I'm watching the first DVD of Friedemann Tischmeyer and it is indeed very thorough. Thanks for mentioning it in your post!
Cool, i am glad i could help.
I just realized, the Friedemann Tischmeyer courses are the only ones they sell at Universal Audio's web store (disclosure: i have an UAD card with quite i few plugins)..

I am not associated with Friedemann or with Universal Audio, but his mixing and mastering courses are by far and away the best your money can buy.
Old 18th January 2010
  #28
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I haven't read through all the posts yet but thought I'd put my opinion in. I'm about to finish up berklees masters certificate. I'm currently 2 weeks into the mastering course. The things I've learned there have been so great and have really taken me to the next level. Sometimes however, I feel like Im armed with a lot of knowledge without being sure exactly how to apply it. Applying it correctly takes experience and tons of it. Even after my courses I'm still looking for a really excellent mixer to intern under amd learn more tricks from and learn how and when to use the things I've learned. One thing I'd suggest if you want to just get better (mixing or mastering) take the critical listening course.
Old 19th January 2010
  #29
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ONDRAY's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
You don't need to go to college to learn how to hear things properly!
You just need to cut a bunch of albums, deal with a bunch of flakey artists, managers, labels etc, for a long time!

College won't prepair you for the way it actually is!
Well said. I took an audio engineering course 10 years ago, didn't mean **** (ok maybe a bit). 10 years later and i'm only getting my feet wet.

Hunt for the projects, do the projects, deal with clients, grow your business. It's a life course. Besides, no one can teach you how to hear, it's all about practice.
Old 22nd January 2010
  #30
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Kayo's Avatar
 

As many of these post have already stated what needs to be said.. all good and real advice, especially, regarding online courses…
But, so is Gearslutz in many ways.. and I can assure you, I have learnt so much from the knowledge asset here on this inexhaustible forum.

So, knowledge is empowering, and don’t let a couple of nay’s detract you from engaging in your passion for fruitful knowledge..

Give it your best offering, nothings perfect .. but, that’s how the light gets in!

Good luck
KAyo
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