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Up In Your Face
Old 2nd March 2012
  #1
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Up In Your Face

I'm by no means a professional Mastering Engineer and I'm wanting to walk along that path but I'm stumped at how to achieve that nice, wide, "up in your face" sound. Stereo enhancers???Blah...they only do so artificially and leaves the mix thinned out. So any information on this would be greatly appreciated....
Old 2nd March 2012
  #2
You can use stereo wideners to a certain degree if the Mix has a decent stereo spread in the first place. But take care not to over do it as you can end up with nasty phasing issues as this is what a stereo widener does, it shifts the phase between left and right channels.

You can also use M/S processing to widen the Mix. Split the Mix into Left and Right channels and flip the polarity of 1 of the channels. This produces only the sides Mix with none of the mid mix.
Then import a left and right summed mono Mix also.

So you have sides and mid. You can add compression to the sides and bring them up in the Mix a bit and/or use EQ on the sides.

G
Old 2nd March 2012
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trakslasha View Post
I'm by no means a professional Mastering Engineer and I'm wanting to walk along that path but I'm stumped at how to achieve that nice, wide, "up in your face" sound. Stereo enhancers???Blah...they only do so artificially and leaves the mix thinned out. So any information on this would be greatly appreciated....
If you're not starting with a MIX that has a nice, wide, up-in-your-face sound, you're waiting a bit too long. Core sounds and mic placement (along with the actual use of space and depth) are going to have a far bigger impact on space and depth than anything the mastering engineer might use to preserve, slightly enhance or call attention to that space and depth...
Old 2nd March 2012
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"In your face", to me, implies a sense of depth – foreground & background – rather than width. And yes it must be in the mix, and usually comes from the arrangement as much as the mix itself.
Are you listening on headphones? Maybe you're hearing more of a left/centre/right type of mix, with healthy amount of transients & mids detail in the centre image slightly contrasting with the sides, which also helps give separation to that?
Old 2nd March 2012
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trakslasha View Post
I'm by no means a professional Mastering Engineer and I'm wanting to walk along that path but I'm stumped at how to achieve that nice, wide, "up in your face" sound. Stereo enhancers???Blah...they only do so artificially and leaves the mix thinned out. So any information on this would be greatly appreciated....
You gotta' get that sound waaaaaay back at the recording stage. You will find no answers to this question from mastering.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #6
nms
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Yup.

A lot of people have the greatly mistaken notion that mastering is where dull mixes come to life and everything is made to sound pro.

Not the case. Great masters come from great mixes of great recordings.
Old 4th March 2012
  #7
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Thanks for the responses guys and they all made sense. So how does one go about creating "density" in a mix?
Old 4th March 2012
  #8
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Also in agreement ^.

Thankfully, most are just looking for that little trim and icing on the cake, and not a replacement cake.
Old 4th March 2012
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trakslasha View Post
that nice, wide, "up in your face" sound. Stereo enhancers???
Is not up in your face more down the middle?
Old 4th March 2012
  #10
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Hi trackslasha. You're going to need some high end analog compressors to achieve your goal. Think in terms of compressing and hard limiting. That's how this stuff happens. Bringing the sound up close to achieve that percussive effect is definitely a vital contributor to the loudness of a master. Don't be miss led down the road of software plugins as an attempt to make this happen either (if you're even using them).

You may also want to ask these guys your question since their video points out both of the exact elements you speak of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhaCW...Uu8xqkHrwixQKl
Old 4th March 2012
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trakslasha View Post
Thanks for the responses guys and they all made sense. So how does one go about creating "density" in a mix?
You missed the point -- Density is easy -- Record everything from 6" away from the mic and you'll have a mix that's 6" deep.

Use space and depth with mic placement - use the room - visualize the soundstage - think in 3 dimensions (blows my mind how many people have never mic'd an acoustic guitar with a vertical X-Y).

You're looking for contrast - not density.
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