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Get my mastering more upfront Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 20th December 2010
  #1
Gear Addict
 

Get my mastering more upfront

Hey guys, first off I'm not a real mastering tech. I'm just mastering a demo project for a band - It's a great band and the mixing also turned out a great so I wanna do it the best I possibly can.

There's unfortunately no money left from the band to send the project to a real mastering house so they rely on me

No I'm trying to stay away from the loudness war so I'm not gonna limit the songs to the sky

But we still wanna get them a bit agressive and up front sounding.

It's kind of hardcore music - melodic hardcore - a mixture between slipknot and green day and we're pretty much nodding at Chris Lord Alge...

While mastering the songs now I've got the EQ bit down pretty well and found a pretty good tonal balance

After my eq:s I've inserted a compressor - SSL clone (the glue) which actually did the job best of the ones I had at hand.

Last in the chain is the TC 6000 Brickwall limiter - only knocking around 2db at most.

But I'm very light on the compression in the chain. The SSL compressor is just abaout moving the needle.

Would you advice to maybe try and compress more?

As I said - it sounds pretty good now, only difference is - when I'm listening to the latest paramore album it sounds a bit more up front and dry.

My songs are in comparison a little further away... Could it be the release on the compressor being to fast?

Any thoughts?

Johan from Sweden
Old 20th December 2010
  #2
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greggybud's Avatar
Could any of these issues have been addressed in the mixdown?
Old 20th December 2010
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Hmm, probably not...

The mixes are pretty good - in your face and kinda dry. But when you start to compare it to a finished mastered album it's kind of the next level if you see what I mean.

Now I wanna bring the whole tracks just a bit more up front if it's possible.

The songs are pretty agressively mixed - and very little reverbs.
Old 20th December 2010
  #4
Gear Addict
 

I also used a little mixbuss compression.

Long attack, short release 1,5:1 - under 1 db of GR - So it was more for the sound of the compressor than actually "compressing" mix - as I said - the first GR Led didn't even light up so it was pretty light
Old 20th December 2010
  #5
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
The differences in comparing with any other album are likely due to the mixes. Try mixing with the SSL comp already on the mix buss, ie mixing via that, rather than adding it on later. If you really want to do it "the best I possibly can" then get as happy as you can with the mix (it may or may not need buss comp). From there, mastering may involve just some minor EQ tweaking and level matching from track to track.
Old 20th December 2010
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Okay thanks Adam,

Unfortunately the mixes can't be redone. Can't recall them and the console is taken by other projects so the mixes are "gone"

For future education - what is different when you're mixing into the SSL comp instead as you said? I always thought the effect of it was more obvious when you engaged it towards the ending of a mix.

To me it feels like you never really hear what it's doing to your mix if it's always on cause you haven't head your mix without it. You're mixing everything around it...? But obviously I'm wrong
Old 21st December 2010
  #7
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clivek's Avatar
Try pushing the ssl clone a bit more, experiment !

I've been doing some rock pop stuff lately. Been using the xlogic ssl stereo compressor and its been working great. I think the settings were mid attack, fastest release, around 4 db compression. 2.1 ratio.

Also try out, demo some of the other limiters !

There are quite a few threads regarding mixing thru compressors, have a search. Personally im not a fan ! Someotimes I might tweak the odd thing after I slap on the mix bus compressor !
Old 21st December 2010
  #8
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macc's Avatar
 

Verified Member
High shelf, +1dB, 2.2kHz and up.

Might help.... just a thought
Old 21st December 2010
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Someone mentioned fast release settings - but wouldn't that increase the room sounds even more?

Wouldn't a slow attack and slower release retain the punch but hold down the sustain of the material - making it more "in your face"

Or am I totally wrong?
Old 21st December 2010
  #10
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maxwelldub's Avatar
 

Get my mastering more upfront

A couple ideas: the glue has parallel compression (wet/dry mix): use it! It's a great way to squeeze some more volume out of a mix without dulling the transients. Try Increasing the ratio, tune attack/release to taste, then mix in a bit (10-25%) of the dry signal. Works wonders.

Try putting the EQ after the compressor, lots of eq boosting can cause dramatic changes in gain reduction, which can result in lots of artifacts. Its a matter of taste of course though, if you think it sounds better pre-eq go for that.

Try using the peak clip function and the gain reduction limiter. This way you can get more volume but disengage the compressor when the signal passes the user-defined threshold to avoid artifacts and sudden jumps in gain reduction.

Scope out a good limiter, I love Voxengo Elephant in clip mode. Used judiciously you can boost your level a bit more in a very open, transparent way.

Good luck!!
Old 21st December 2010
  #11
soulstudios
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollow View Post
Hey guys, first off I'm not a real mastering tech. I'm just mastering a demo project for a band - It's a great band and the mixing also turned out a great so I wanna do it the best I possibly can.

There's unfortunately no money left from the band to send the project to a real mastering house so they rely on me

No I'm trying to stay away from the loudness war so I'm not gonna limit the songs to the sky

But we still wanna get them a bit agressive and up front sounding.

It's kind of hardcore music - melodic hardcore - a mixture between slipknot and green day and we're pretty much nodding at Chris Lord Alge...

While mastering the songs now I've got the EQ bit down pretty well and found a pretty good tonal balance

After my eq:s I've inserted a compressor - SSL clone (the glue) which actually did the job best of the ones I had at hand.

Last in the chain is the TC 6000 Brickwall limiter - only knocking around 2db at most.

But I'm very light on the compression in the chain. The SSL compressor is just abaout moving the needle.

Would you advice to maybe try and compress more?

As I said - it sounds pretty good now, only difference is - when I'm listening to the latest paramore album it sounds a bit more up front and dry.

My songs are in comparison a little further away... Could it be the release on the compressor being to fast?

Any thoughts?

Johan from Sweden
Sounds more like a mix issue to me.
If you can, go back to the mix, and do some comparitive subtractive eqing between the tracks (sucking the dominant frequencies of each instrument out of the others).
Old 21st December 2010
  #12
Gear Addict
 

I don't usually do hard core stuff myself, but I can tell you the Green Day / American Idiot sound is very hyped in the 2k - 6k region.
(And of course totally crushed in dynamic range - no need to get that insane! )

I've been loading various recordings into my DAW and just watching the Dynamics and Freq response using Voxengo SPAN (free!) and TT Dynamics meter. Why not load some of those bands you are emulating and see what they have in common?

For my owm demo "mastering", I have had much better results with Limiters than compressors. Especially for faster stuff.
Old 21st December 2010
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Those Paramore and their ilk type records are really heavy on the presence mids 1-5k ish. Their -10 dbrms will sound louder than your -10 dbrms due to this.

Worth experimenting with bosting these frequencies if that is the sond you want.
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