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New to Mastering - Question Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 22nd December 2010
  #1
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New to Mastering - Question

I would like to get into mastering , basically up and coming bands , mostly just mastering thier demo's or final mixes. If i use a software based mastering program , do i still need a dedicated mixing board , or can i use just a DAW controller with faders, or i dont need faders at all ?. I know in going to need a USB or firewire interface between controller and monitors for PC based. What about using an all in one board , ie: Tascam 2488neo or Korg d3200 , even though i will be doing no recording or mixing , just mastering . I new to this , so dont jump on me to hard I appreciate any advice and guidance.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #2
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If you're staying 'in-the-box' then you don't need anything other than "the usual." A quality monitoring chain (that includes the playback DA/controller, amplification, loudspeakers themselves) in a quality room.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSIVE Master View Post
If you're staying 'in-the-box' then you don't need anything other than "the usual." A quality monitoring chain (that includes the playback DA/controller, amplification, loudspeakers themselves) in a quality room.

+1

Invest in good monitors and room acoustic treatment. If your going to be mastering, you'll need to be flexible. Looking into a DAW and a good interface. Apogee,etc...)

If your going to be staying in the box, look into some good plugins. There a lot of stuff out there that will get what you need to start. Don't settle for the plugs just in the box.

Look into some eduction. There are a lot of books out there, classes, and certifications.

If your serious, it will take a lot of work but it can be a fun journey.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #4
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Originally Posted by Fairford View Post
What about using an all in one board , ie: Tascam 2488neo or Korg d3200 , even though i will be doing no recording or mixing , just mastering .
Don't even think about it. THe DSP in those sorts of units is the absolute least the mfg can get away with in the year of manufacture - they're optimized for maximum track and plug counts, not fidelity or aesthetic qualities. There's no comparison between a well-designed VST or AU and most low-dough standalone daws. The processing is just not up to par for stereo mixes (you actually need much greater precision at this stage to avoid damaging things).
Old 22nd December 2010
  #5
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Thanks for all the advice, I still on the fence as to go VST / PC , or outboard gear. I was looking at the TC Electronics mastering finalizer or similar, but at $1500, not sure if its worth it, even though some say that the TC finalizer is the only piece of gear you will need.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #6
Anyone who tells you some bs like that isn't a mastering engineer, or works for TC. That wasn't even true in 1996 when the box was released as an all-in-one mastering solution! Today that's just silly.

All-in-one anything is generally NOT great for mastering. I'm sure there are exceptions. I guess a Finalyzer beats a tascam or korg scratchpad daw, and many cheap plugs... it's certainly no worse than T-Racks, and can do all the basic tasks. But it's not an optimal solution, egronomically or even sonically today.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #7
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As of now , i dont have anything as far as equipment goes. Im thinking i will be better off with a software based setup, for it seems the best option for future proofing / upgrading down the road as things progress. Again , i'm just getting my feet wet with mastering and would appreciate it if someone can reccommend a software based system, ie: I was looking at Steinberg Mastering Suite , Bias Peak Pro 6 or Ozone 4. Aslo , will it be easier to work with a DAW controller , or just stick to the mouse.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #8
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Stick to the mouse, much greater possibilities IMO. But (yes, the big but), first things first like mentioned above, room treatments. This point cannot be stressed enough.

I just swapped my main speakers (i guess it's not right to call them "monitors" as they are just high quality vintage bookshelf speakers) with the ones that were sitting in the living room unused. I knew those had good midbass and very good treble extension. And indeed they barely need any EQ as compared to the ones i was using (i use TrueRTA for measurement), but... the dips at 80Hz and 400-something Hz are still there, and to make matters worse the right speaker has a quite different response compared to the left speaker. This is all caused by the room and placement, confirmed by swapping channels and swapping the speakers themselves, and unfortunately space is tight so another placement is out of the question for now. So i still have to rely on headphones for critical frequency balance.
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