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Newbie question from a guy who mastered his own stuff Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 17th September 2011
  #1
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

Newbie question from a guy who mastered his own stuff

Hey mastering geniuses,

Just a quick question.

I make electronic music and I master all of my own things.

I tend to use a lot of compression during mixdown to control dynamics. When it comes to mastering, whenever I push the multiband on the bass frequencies I always seem to get pretty extreme pumping, especially around the sub band.
I've tried longer attacks, fast attacks, weaker ratios.. but it still 'pumps' to a level that draws attention to the sub and bass end. Is it possible that theres already enough compression on the low end during mixdown?

Or am i just completely using the multiband wrong? heh

Thanks
Old 17th September 2011
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
Hey mastering geniuses,

Just a quick question.

I make electronic music and I master all of my own things.

I tend to use a lot of compression during mixdown to control dynamics. When it comes to mastering, whenever I push the multiband on the bass frequencies I always seem to get pretty extreme pumping, especially around the sub band.
I've tried longer attacks, fast attacks, weaker ratios.. but it still 'pumps' to a level that draws attention to the sub and bass end. Is it possible that theres already enough compression on the low end during mixdown?

Or am i just completely using the multiband wrong? heh

Thanks
Hi there,

The question that everyone is going to throw at you, and it is a very valid question, is:
Why are you arbitrarily throwing a MBC on your tracks?

The first thing I would try, if you feel you need it is, bypass the low bands.
Then, bypass the low mids.

Does it sound better?

I do this a lot, and rarely ever use MBC unless there is a difficult fix.
The low end is definitely going to pump the mix depending on the level you are hitting the MBC with.
Try bypassing the MBC and see if the mix doesn't sound better.


I had a client come in last month (doing electronic music) who presented me with two versions of the same song each mastered by different people.
He asked me what I thought.
My first reaction was, each of them sounded like they were pumping with the bass.
One of them was about 6db lower than the other but sounded better.

We went ahead and loaded the unprocessed song on my system and I ended up getting it very present and punchy without any compression.
It just didn't need it.
He was very pleased but obviously disappointed that there was not a ton of processing.
In the end, his mix was really good.
Both mastering engineers simply ran it through "their chain" without listening to the song.

Start with nothing.
Go from there.

Good luck


B
Old 17th September 2011
  #3
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Mardi Gras's Avatar
 

thanks for the reply. Naturally like any good mix engineer I feel my mixes nail the exact sound of what im trying to achieve.

My mastering chain is just EQ MBC Limiter.

As i said im normally 100% happy with my mixes.. so it could be quite possible all they need is a little EQ + a volume boost from the limiter. Seems I've definitely fallen into the trap of feeling like I HAVE to use everything in my chain
Old 17th September 2011
  #4
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MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 

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If you're actually happy with your mixes, throwing a maul-the-band compressor on (rarely used in mastering, no matter what the marketing guys might say) will usually lead to --- less happy.
Old 17th September 2011
  #5
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try a high pass filter, say at 35 hz, that may help. It may be nice having all that sub, but most listeners don't have systems that go too low. it'll remove some level in that frequency area and maybe make your compressor behave itself.

You could always decide not to use the compressor
Old 20th September 2011
  #6
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Laarsø's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IIIrd View Post
...
You could always decide not to use the compressor


+1




Laarsø


Old 20th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
As i said im normally 100% happy with my mixes.. so it could be quite possible all they need is a little EQ + a volume boost from the limiter.
That would be completely, totally, utterly possible that it needs nothing at all.
Old 20th September 2011
  #8
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tomasrangel's Avatar
 

If you are happy with the mix you probably dont need a multi band compressor. Try a bit of normal compression just to ajust the transients dynamics.
Old 20th September 2011
  #9
Yep definately try a high pass filter on the kick in the mix, somewhere between 30 to 40 hz. Use one as steep as possible. Play with the release time of the compression of your Kick in the mix until you don't hear a sub bass pump sound like it's coming 'late'. I mix and master electronic music by the way with free downloads of my material available at Current Sound

I should warn you though that no matter how good your mix is, there will always be some sort of peak and dip of frequencies over the overall mix even if you are the greatest engineer in the world and putting a general 'mix grade' EQ over your entire mix is not going to be on par with a mastering grade EQ
Old 20th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomwatson View Post
I should warn you though that no matter how good your mix is, there will always be some sort of peak and dip of frequencies over the overall mix
Is this really where we are today? Warning: Even the best of us can't reach the lofty and noble goal of turning a mix into literal pink noise.
Old 20th September 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardi Gras View Post
My mastering chain is just EQ MBC Limiter.
I find that a great mastering chain is almost always:
-> Some Combination of the Available Stuff.

The best thing about that chain is that it is also optimal for tracking, overdubs, and mixing.
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