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WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM SPENDING ALOT OF MONEY ON MASTERING
Old 14th December 2006
  #1
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WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM SPENDING ALOT OF MONEY ON MASTERING

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Old 14th December 2006
  #2
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You should DEFINITLEY master your records yourself from now on. Don't waste another dime on it [think of all the extra dough you'll have to spend at guitar center!].



BTW, you ever figure out what that compressor thingy does?
Old 14th December 2006
  #3
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Darius van H's Avatar
 

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Sometimes, with very poor material, there's not much that can be done with mastering. In these situations, a good ME won't do too much.

Also, why didn't you go back to Dave Collins when the album was finished?

To be honest, your post reads like it was written by someone quite inexperienced.
Old 14th December 2006
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
yeah compression's that thing mastering engineers over use to make my mixes less dynamic.

and so I buy stuff from guitar center, so sue me. geez man, just trying to share some info of my own experiences and learn some info, not really looking for smart ass remarks that attempt to belittle me. i'm just trying exchange knowledge, you know?
I think Masterer was being sarcastic / tongue in cheek...
Old 14th December 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
yeah compression's that thing mastering engineers over use to make my mixes less dynamic.

and so I buy stuff from guitar center, so sue me. geez man, just trying to share some info of my own experiences and learn some info, not really looking for smart ass remarks that attempt to belittle me. i'm just trying exchange knowledge, you know?
Funny. I didn't see where you mentioned all those great mastering engineers overcompressing your mixes. Must have missed that. It's a long post.

Also don't see any attempt to exchange knowledge. I do see you asking for advice on what software to buy so you can master your own mixes. Hardly an exchange of knowledge.

But let us not quibble over details.
Here ya go.

http://news.harmony-central.com/Newp...udio-XO-Wave-0 .19.0.html


It's free! Or if you're REALLY serious you can pop for the advanced version for 75 bucks.

Better than 10 grand on some overrated mastering.
Old 14th December 2006
  #6
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What have you been checking the original mixes to the masters on?
Old 14th December 2006
  #7
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Question:

Did your record sound great to begin with or were you expecting some magical transformation of ok sounding tracks to amazing via pro mastering?
Old 14th December 2006
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
man you guys got me feeling pretty bad, I was looking for some info and you delivered so thanks, I'm not experienced and I don't claim to be. I'm feeling like a square
A lot of these guys in here are real pros, there are some really good ME's in this forum. Having said that, for someone like you or me who don't have the equipment like they do, it's a little frustrating and scary to ask questions.

I would say to get you going....look at Peak for burning CD's from big long files in PT. If you still have logic use waveburner pro it's the best and easiest.

Personally it sounds like you got some money to spend, I would get a PC and network with your mac and then your program list to burn very good quality CD's goes up 1000 percent.

What ME's need to remember is that it's the musicians that keep the mastering game going! Not the other way around.

By the way I have never had a "master" come back sounding "better" than what I could've done myself. But then again it's hard to find ME's that can master Rap.
Old 14th December 2006
  #9
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preben's Avatar
 

Am I the only person itching to hear some of this material??
Old 14th December 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illynoise View Post
What ME's need to remember is that it's the musicians that keep the mastering game going! Not the other way around.
They forgot that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by illynoise View Post
By the way I have never had a "master" come back sounding "better" than what I could've done myself. But then again it's hard to find ME's that can master Rap.
I know about a 10 here in NY that can master the **** outta rap. How hard are you looking?
Old 14th December 2006
  #11
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toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
man you guys got me feeling pretty bad, I was looking for some info and you delivered so thanks, I'm not experienced and I don't claim to be. I'm feeling like a square
well in all fairness - you did make some pretty adamant and negative statements about something perhaps you have minimal experience of! There are a lot of people here who make their living doing exactly what you are criticising, so maybe it's not surprising you've copped some flak....
Old 14th December 2006
  #12
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I know you. you are one of those clients who keeps me wondering-
is he a genius or stupid.

the answer is not importatnt because you will end up dealing with realestate
in 5 years time.

buy land.god is not making anymore of it.

and yes,mastering is over rated.

ja bless
Old 14th December 2006
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
We incorrectly thought that getting our album's mastered at the same place the beatles recorded their albums would insure we'd have a great sounding record.
I bought a Fender Jaco Pastorius Custom Relic bass yesterday (you know the one with the missing pickguard and the extra holes that were re-driled to original specs).
I incorrectly thought I would sound like 'Donna Lee' now and have Pat Metheny call me immedeatly!


Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
I called up dave collins and he suggested I send him a copy and he'd take a look at it, so I sent it but he accidentally mastered it, however the album i sent him wasn't done.
Maybe he has special 'accidental mastering' rates though?


Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
....some mastering engineers run it through ANALOG GEAR which degrade the audio....
Poor audio! Imagine being mangled and degraded by a Fairchild compressor or Bob Sax's custom console....

Anyway, I think it's in very poor taste to bad-mouth some of the best MEs out there and especially deceased ones (Chris Blair, RIP) when you obviously don't have a clue about anything regarding audio in the first place.
Old 14th December 2006
  #14
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illynoise's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
They forgot that?



I know about a 10 here in NY that can master the **** outta rap. How hard are you looking?
I respect your work, so no disrespect. I haven't heard too many rap cd's come out lately, because I'm on the job with my own, but from what I've heard, I ain't impressed.

Here is a good example of what mastering engineers are faced with (I think): A guy that wanted me to do his album cover brought me in all these words and everything was set up real nice, then he gives me a poloroid and said this is my cover, scan it!

You can only work with what you have. It's got to be frustrating as an ME to see shotty work. BUT you have to work with it. Quality ain't getting better IMO.
Old 14th December 2006
  #15
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if you have too much money, send it to me.
i greatly appreciate it and i will not waste your time.
Old 14th December 2006
  #16
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
We incorrectly thought that getting our album's mastered at the same place the beatles recorded their albums would insure we'd have a great sounding record.
...and.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
you think the vox AC-30 is the best sounding amp, no way! just cause the beatles happen to use it means it's thousands of dollars, it's all economics, supply and demand.
If you want to make a point then at least try to establish a coherent line of thought, thanks!
Old 14th December 2006
  #17
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notice how I said "we incorrectly thought" , I'm not right all the time, I've been learning as I go and am hoping to teach other people the mistakes I've already made
Old 14th December 2006
  #18
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toolskid's Avatar
 

yeah... I think the value of this thread has just about hit zero...
Old 14th December 2006
  #19
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Clearly the problem is that your mixes are too incredibly perfect to be helped by mastering. You obviously have mastered the art of recording, and mastering is simply unnecessary for your work.

How dare a mastering engineer try to degrade your audio with "analog" equipment. Haven't they ever heard of digital??? This is the new wave folks!! Don't they know those old analog EQ's and compressors have been out of date for years now??? We've got plug-ins and the magic of Pro Tools now! Thanks for setting us all straight.

In all seriousness, post a clip or your recordings, I think it would really help you get some good insight into making your recordings better. (as opposed to all these rude, sarcastic comments).
Old 14th December 2006
  #20
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well, I must say...

I just read this whole thread and was ready to kickyou, you knighted, in the head.

But then this previous post is spot on with my opinion. The Vox Ac-30 is a ****tzy amp in DESIGN and materials, but what counts in the end is the SOUND. And that is why it's always been one of the best. Million more gear have the same historial, like the "crappy" sm58 etc

But just to slap you around a bit... You said Abbey Road, Radiohead, ME's and mastering overrrated...

Man, half the VIBE of radiohead comes out through jonny greenwoods Ac-30.

You must be careful. And while yeah I do envy you for your money and gear, you seem to have the right attitude. Record record record, learn learn learn, improve. But you will never get better if you dont humble down a bit.

But first off, let me just say, you MUST become WAY more humble about your conclusions. Think - if these guys have been around since the early ages of record making... a serious part or rock n roll history... and I'm not HEARING it.... then maybe I must be MIXING not too good. Maybe there is a "secret". Did I ask the M.E. what YOU could do to the mix so HE can bring it to life?

So my suggestions?

Stop listening in mp3
Get good monitors - personally I'm not much into tannoys, but thats personal
Read about mastering. I got into audio when as band musician we cut a record. I was there all the time, drooling over the incredible mixing I saw in front of me. From rehearsal to ProAc, this stuff sounded AMAZING. I nearly cried. I was there at the mastering session with a top act name. I was REALLY intimidated with all the analog gear I had only seen on a screen. My jaw dropped, and was quite hard to walk home this way. Three days later I started to feel my muscles again. Pre and post masters translated REALLY well throuout many speaker, the mastered was alive while the pre sounded good, but "dulling" compared. My first go at it made blush and sit in my bedroom too emabrassed to come out for WEEKS. Then I started understanding. Then my mixing learnig curve went up a bit, them my mastered really started to live, then, all of a sudden, as if by magic, I started to be regarded as a very cool person to record with ! Mind you, at a very VERY limited budget.

Man, analog is... let me refrase that....

Analgo vs. digital is like... oooofff...( I am soooooooo tired of this)

I would give out my whole studio I someone would let me work for, food and shelter, at an analog shred house for a year, or two, or three, as an intern. That quote completely discredits you and I suggest you buy a valve and build a shrine on repention. With repitition you will fool youself and start believing. Then you will feel alive. Only then will you understand. go!

Oh, and 8 bit beats are TOP NOTCH FIDELITY, if you mix'em right.

Bottom line. I TOTALLY believe mastering enginners deserve their credits. I think of them like the editing and editors in film, being the lost hidden art of movies. Ok, mixing engineers broth some fine concoctions, but mastering, when the material is good, is like wrapping a x-mas present, instead of old street-newspapper with tape, bur rather like a silk wrapping with a slighty perfumed scented tone.

What do you pay for a top perfume vs a really crap one? All in all it's just water with stuff in it!

You are the stuff in it. make it better

Last edited by Big_Bang; 14th December 2006 at 12:15 PM.. Reason: I was slapping WAY too hard...
Old 14th December 2006
  #21
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Hi Little Knighted,

Assuming you're not a troll (big if, seeing your followups...), I'd offer that you've answered your own questions already.

You've been reading GS trying to learn a thing or two about recording. That's good. You've proabably learned that gear doesn't make a recoring great, the pilot does. It's good you've got good gear, it sounds like you need more experience using it. I'd politely suggest you follow your own advice - read more GS, post a bit less. Experiment with what you have, try out whatever you can and learn as much as possible. I think you'll find your results will improve.

Further down, you again answer your own question/problem. Mastering engineers doon't have magic buttons that fix everything. Welcome to the real world. Does that make mastering an expensive but useless luxury? By no means. At minimum, having an objective set of experienced ears in a great listening room is an excellent last quality check before going to pressing. Most projects can benefit from mastering, whenther it requires slight adjustments or major surgery. But mastering is not a cure all, nor will it turn a hobby watercolour into a van Gogh oil masterpiece, to use an analogy. There's a limit to how big an improvement one can acheive, and the mix is often the limiting factor. Since you've done some mixing, you already know that the mix will be limited by how well the tracking is done. There's no free lunch. This leads back to your first issue, reading GS and learning more.

If you'd like to try sequencing your own songs and burning CD's on a Mac, there are three programs in general I know of, from simple consumer apps to professional mastering systems:

1. Jam (comes with Toast)
2. WaveBurner Pro (comes with Logic)
3. Sonic Studio PMCD, DDP or soundBlade

As far as I know, none of them will work within ProTools, all are stand alone applications (sinec I don't have ProTools, I can't really be sure).

Cheers,
Thor
--
Sonovo
www.sonovo.no


Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
This is my first post on gearslutz, which I've been reading for a while now trying to learn a thing or two about recording...


As much as I like to think, the mastering engineers don't have magic buttons that fix everything, they can only do so much, so I'm beginning to think that I'd like to buy a program that works within protools, that allows me to sequnce the songs myself, I can tweak it as many tims as I like then burn a copy, (but not in Itunes?) and send my album to the plant, (which happens to be a place called www.cdsg.com, which contracts out work for jvc) with the titles imbeded for those certain sony cd players and all.

So after all that I was wondering...
can I buy a program that can allow me to sequence and burn within protools or on my G5? I have enough gear and enough time to get my mixes right, I'll use the extra money I save from not mastering to buy more gear, or maybe super bowl tickets to see the Chargers...

any thoughts?
Old 14th December 2006
  #22
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WHAT ?!?! Obviously digital CAN produce good tones. Sounds to me as if would like to record stuff that magically get mixed out. Regardless of WHATEVER, may it rain, shine, balance cables or record with earphones, every every every single time you MUST eq everything to THE SONG'S NEED. There is no standard. That is why live shows are so great. it's raw. In the DAW, every song has it's own message and vibe, every composer knows the feeling that originated it, every one must be treated indiviadually, given their "relatives" in an album...

Degrading ?!

Do you have some sort of spectrum to data loss analyser ? or measure this by the file size?

What is your criteria? If it's your ears, the you must not be with the right company next to you while they tweaked those analog knobs.

Yes, it's true it DOES degrade the sound. But there is a ghost of LIFE in analog. Depth and warmth digital still hasn't achieved. Note, this is 99% oriented opinio towards stringed instruments with real players. And stuff with skin on it.

Record some drums all digital, I'll record with half the mics but send them to tape. We can go one-on-one. my studio for yours wanna go? heh

Cheer up. it is normal to get bashed if one comes into a mastering lounge and pisses on the tables dfegad

That's what the talent lounge is for...
Old 14th December 2006
  #23
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we've learned not to share our opinions with folks, I'll see you guys around
Old 14th December 2006
  #24
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I'd suggest that if you want to be taken (more) seriously, and really are interested in people actually listening to your mix, that you post a wav or aiff, not an MP3.

Thor



Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
you're gonna hate this song cause you already hate me but whatever

and I don't claim to know everything. I'm just giving my opinion like everyone else. in fact, in most of my first post I was letting you know how stupid I've been. and of course I think vintage stuff is good, and analog is great. But it's getting out of hand, I spoke with someone recently that was telling me one of the guys at the mastering lab is building a ad/da converter with tubes on the back. "to give it that warmth digital can't produce" digital CAN produce beautiful tones. I was just saying you shouldn't go out of your way to intergrate generation loss. now, if you wanna send your signal through 20 tubes before it goes into protools, go ahead, but it's probably gonna need eq on the bottom end anyway.
Old 14th December 2006
  #25
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Right.

just like brilliant footage, great story and acting, with brilliant fotography, but you get bored and fall asleep in the theater.

There are a million speakers out there. You know 4 or 5. The impact of mastering to the general population is NOT heard. It's FELT.

Just like in a theater you get hooked waiting for the next scene, the editors are the most valuable secret weapon in a film. But it is totally "invisible" to the majority of the population.

If a M.E. charges a ton of money to a record label, he very well should! That means he was CHOSEN for his results. The guy next to him with the same equipment wont! These results end up selling more records and get more airplay. That means the kids get more gigs and record sales, and if the music is good, this might turn into a snowball.

A M.E. is a valuable consultant after weeks and months of straining your ears to that project. You are biased as hell. Mastering engineers hear audio like the best wine tasters taste wine. Why pay? FOR RESULTS! If he doesnt cut right the next two, he will definitely NOT be able to charge whatever.

And lets NOT start talking about the "hidden" features of a master, like cd error correction bla bla bla... I'm just talking sound.

Anf this ALONE closes the case.

Man, quit it already. If what you are suggesting is slightly true, why the heck would the WHOLE professional industry regard that stage as a sort of win all, loose all situation? Why WOULD record labels (who know how to MAKE records) invest in it?

Go mix. You're wasting time here. I am lucky to have a flew and be able to type in front of a screen all day...
Old 14th December 2006
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you knighted View Post
the mastering engineers charge these bands via their label HUGELY inflated prices to adjust audio that most of time your casual listener wouldn't be able to hear.
Did you ever consider that these HUGELY inflated prices (that have barely changed in 10 years, by the way) are a result of the engineers and the studio actually being WORTH that price according to the current market rate? Why do you think some people charge $30 a track, and some charge £400 an hour? The $400/hour guy didn't just come along and decide he would charge that amount - he got to be worth that rate by hard graft, experience and dedication.

I thought your mix sounded ok, for an mp3. Maybe it doesn't need to sound much different...whatever. I agree with Thro, post an uncompressed file and people might take you seriously. You can't judge dynamics and EQ from an mp3, they sound sh*t. Period.

And if you can't hear the differences between an unmastered and a mastered track, then you are living proof of why mastering engineers are mastering engineers, and why everybody else isn't. An engineer learns the subtleties of his room, his kit, and his ears so that no matter what kind of music comes in for him to master, he can make it sound better, whether that means adding 1/2 dB at whatever kHz or if he has to turn his head upside down to get something out of a truly awful mix.

I think also that since you're only 24 you have a LOT to learn about making recording, mixing, mastering, budgets, promotion, distribution, record deals, etc before you can start to tell every single person that they are wrong. I'm not being ageist, it's just a fact.
Old 14th December 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thor View Post
I'd suggest that if you want to be taken (more) seriously, and really are interested in people actually listening to your mix, that you post a wav or aiff, not an MP3.

Thor

I think there is a problem in general with attaching files to this board. AIF files are toast when trying to post.

AFA the track.......I'm a hip hop guy, so this is just my skewed opinion, but the vocals sound like they are distorting and need to be deessseddddd and the problem is the mix. It sounds like a demo, not a record, your close but then again, I listen to rap. It just sounds like there isn't enought seperation in the mix. It's all wrong in the midrange.
Old 14th December 2006
  #28
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Guys guys ..

I think most of this is some sort of confusion about what mastering actualy is.
A lot of people that make home recording seem to think that mastering will make their mixes sound like the big boys. That even the worst mix will sound like heaven if a great ME sprinkles his fairy dust over it.

If nothing else, mastering will make your mixes sound worse (to the creator) most of the time.

But, Mastering will bring your mixes up to a level where it transfers well to a medium and different listening situations.

Nothing more and nothing less.
I think mastering is invaluable.

My mixes always sound less great on my own monitors when I get them back from mastering.
But suddenly they do sound good in my car, on my hifi and even on my iPod.
That's the real magic of mastering.

I always think of mastering as the frame around my musical painting.
People can't enjoy my paintings at home without a frame.
But a great frame doesn't make for a better painting.
Old 14th December 2006
  #29
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@ you knighted

I checked out your MP3 - was this mastered or unmastered?

Anyway, that's a great example of a track that has limited potential mastering-wise.

It's a bit dull sounding, yet at the same time it's got some very bad esses in the vocals........the esses are high frequency distortion.

Your money would have been better spent on mixing, or recording.
Old 14th December 2006
  #30
try changing the freq the ss sounds higher than 3k IMHO. Sweep and EQ to find the freq.

The reason you can't hear a difference is the same reason your tune is resonating akwardly. The Midrange needs some real work. Of course this is an MP3 and you can't gauge properly in that context.

This doesn't really have a lot of dynamic range which is why you're complaining about overcompression. If you strap a compressor to this, it'll help that weird little rhythm pattern but will mess up the vocals probably.

But it's relatively clear from a recording standpoint, I don't hear too much issue except some uncompinsated proximity effect.

But I think the issues with this track need to be addressed in the mix and the final few layers of clearcoat need to be applied by someone else.

This is too loud as well. There's no room to go for a M. E.

but as for my artistic end, the postal service called, radiohead didn't.
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