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anyone brought a DAW to mastering?
Old 8th September 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 

anyone brought a DAW to mastering?

I'm taking my digi001 setup to mastering next wednesday. The project is very important to me so I want the mastering engineer (whos done a lot of my favorite records, so I trust his ears) to be able to make a few small tweaks if he has to. I'm also going to use one of his old plate reverbs he has around for the drum verb. I've been mixing with a ****ty plug in plate preset... so I'll just replace his for mine and hopefully no problems.

So anyways anyone do this? It seems like a cool way to get a last opinion on a mix and hear it in a good listening enviroment. I'm just worried about driving 6 hours with my G4 in my trunk. I'm definetly bringing backups.

So any of you DAW guys doing this for mastering? If it turns out well I'll try to develop a relationship for some place more local and start doing it all the time.
Old 8th September 2002
  #2
UK dance act Leftfield spent 2 MONTHS in a high end mastering facility with 2 x PT Mix + rigs. They tweaked in 'situ' (mastering eq & Fairchild compression etc) untill they were absolutely happy. The album is widely known as AMAZING sounding! Sony paid the bills.

It is not an unknown thing to do.

Set up the Mac behind something if you can, to keep the fan nose down.

Beware, the mastering engineer may not be up to speed on all tweaks needed to the PRODUCTION once you get rolling as he will be a newbie to it. But YOU know what going on with it, that's the important part. Don't lose sight of that. Follow your instincts.

Old 8th September 2002
  #3
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
For surround work I expect this or perhaps the use of stems to become the norm because of the massive musical balance translation issues.
Old 8th September 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I've taken a DAW to mastering for a live album with some continuity issues, having been recorded in more than one venue.

One word of warning. If you take a DAW to mastering, take some deep pockets, too. Once you open that can 'o worms, it's hard to close it again. Tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak. Resistance is futile.

These days, I mix in mix room, and master in the mastering room.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 9th September 2002
  #5
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

I bring/send CDs in Masterlink CD24 format (88/24 or 96/24) or 1/2". Maybe someday 1".

Brian T said it...mix in the mix room.
Old 9th September 2002
  #6
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Not really mixing, just checking to make sure everything is perfect and making a few last minute adjustments.... and his reverb. Then print the mix, hopefully to 1/2". Take a lunch break, get back and master the record.

The mastering engineer wants to take a big break so he can get back out of mixing mode, and back to mastering.

Plus I can avoid the bounce to disk function in PT.
Old 9th September 2002
  #7
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT
I've taken a DAW to mastering for a live album with some continuity issues, having been recorded in more than one venue.

One word of warning. If you take a DAW to mastering, take some deep pockets, too. Once you open that can 'o worms, it's hard to close it again. Tweak, tweak, tweak, tweak. Resistance is futile.

These days, I mix in mix room, and master in the mastering room.


Regards,
Brian T
Right, Brian. For one project I was foolish enough to try to merge the last phase of mixing with mastering. Showed up with my DAW and the tunes 98 percent mixed, and invited the mastering engineer "into the mix". His instincts were to zero all my faders and start over. This went nowhere and resulted in a lot of arguments and additional hours booked, to the detriment of the music. Hindsight shows me that it wasn't the most brilliant idea I've had, but hey, who knew?

-Rick
Old 9th September 2002
  #8
Craneslut
 
Brad Blackwood's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Some clients have done it and none of them were able to stop tweaking. It's always resulted in very large billing for mastering (not that I'm complaining, mind you...).
Old 9th September 2002
  #9
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Brad, do you feel it normally helped the project? Im not mixing in the greatest room with the greatest monitors so I'm hoping I'll be able to make a FEW small tweaks.

Luckily I have a limit time-wise as to how long I can be there so the bill wont be too big. Either way I'm not paying it so it doesnt matter.

I love finally getting larger budgets to work with.
Old 9th September 2002
  #10
Craneslut
 
Brad Blackwood's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally posted by planet red
Brad, do you feel it normally helped the project?
Typically not. Like I said - you tend to get caught up in tweak-world and get waaaaaayyyyyy to analytical. I imagine Steely Dan does this, if you catch my drift...

Quote:
Im not mixing in the greatest room with the greatest monitors so I'm hoping I'll be able to make a FEW small tweaks.
As long as you don't get caught up in it - plan ahead and know what you are going to do and do nothing else. The only time it's been helpful was if we catch some distortion due to internal porcessing in themix or clicks and pops that need to be removed...

Quote:
Luckily I have a limit time-wise as to how long I can be there so the bill wont be too big.
Good. Make sure you make a list of the stuff you want to do and keep it simple. Stick to that aside from trrack fixes and you'll be fine...
Old 10th September 2002
  #11
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Verified Member
My advice would be to never intentionally leave anything for mastering except for the amount of overall peak limiting which will change depending on the context of the track. Mastering processing is ideally about making different tracks fit together and getting rid of unwanted colorations that build up due to a particular combination of monitors and eq.
Old 19th September 2002
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I recently brought my TiG4 ProTools rig to Bernie Grundman's with me, containg all the stems from the mix - on a hunch. Boy, am I glad I did! The label in London, who had been holding the 1/2" mix masters, only sent reels 2 & 3. Reel 1 had the tones and the master mix! Having had a tight deadline to meet, we'd have been ****ed! Would I rather have used the 1/2"? Of course. Brian Gardener didn't even raise an eyebrow. He just made it sound great.
Old 20th September 2002
  #13
cool!

Do you know what converters your mix "came out of" ?

Did he pick up the mix via AES and take it from there?
Old 20th September 2002
  #14
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Last year I got a call to mix consult for a guy doing an album at home. He was sending it to a well-known (on rec.audio.pro) mastering engineer and he wanted some last minute thoughts. Rather then spending a few hours like he thought we ended up making major tweaks to all of the songs over three or four days. The first thing I did was pick new samples for the kick and snare (V-Drums), tweak reverbs, re-EQ'd a lot of things, as well as adjusting placement and levels of things in the mix.

If he had waited until mastering for that the bill would have been astronomical. It's way too easy to sit there and tweak and tweak and tweak. Also, If I were the mastering engineer I'd want to take something longer then an hour break. Maybe a night or even a few days.
Old 20th September 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
cool!

Do you know what converters your mix "came out of" ?

Did he pick up the mix via AES and take it from there?
I have a 1622 in my travel rack, so I went S/PDIF out to his converters, then through all of his custom analog goodies (can't remember what he uses for converters, and their site wouldn't load just now). The mix stems needed some "glue", so he used custum built version of an Alan Smart version of an SSL compressor. And just for fun, this really great stereo'izer box with some German sounding name on it. Very nice - left the center image completely intact, just added some goosebumps in the wings. He didn't use any peak limiter (L2, etc.), said his converters did that on the way in.
Old 20th September 2002
  #16
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I got back a couple days ago. I think overall the mix turned out a LITTLE better, but probably not quite worth the extra time we ended up spending.

Either way going to mastering is always fun. I need to make a point to do it more often.

Jay I know youre in NJ, do you ever send stuff to Alan Douches at Westwestside? He's now done about 4 records I've recorded and seems to do really good work. Too bad he's always booked about two months ahead.
Old 21st September 2002
  #17
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I know Alan's work. He's done lots of records for bands I know. I haven't used him yet.
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