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Some Quick Questions on Mastering. Mas­ter­ing Plugins
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Some Quick Questions on Mastering.

Hey Guys!

After the last couple months I've been teaching myself how to master.

I have a couple questions:

1. Should I master vocals and instrumentation separately or instead master them together as a singular track?

2. I'm mastering in Izotope Ozone 8. With Ozone 8, you're given the option in the maximizer to "learn the threshold", which is basically just the where the software "listens" to the track and gives an automated computation of where it believes the threshold of the song should be at.

My question is this: Is this a reliable method for setting the threshold of the maximizer? It seems like I can push the compression a lot harder and make the song a lot louder than the "learn threshold" suggests, but I'm not sure if I'm messing up the audio quality or not. It doesn't really sound like it, but I guess you can never be too sure.
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbartsctr View Post

1. Should I master vocals and instrumentation separately or instead master them together as a singular track?
while there are a few examples these days of a 'trend' of people offering "stem mastering", it is generally understood as mastering engineers who are frustrated mix engineers. They really want to mix your song. At least that's how it is 'generally understood' by me!

If I want to group parts together and process them as stems, I do. But I consider that still part of my mixing process.

IMHO, if your song is well-mixed, it should only need one level of mastering. YMMV

Quote:
2. I'm mastering in Izotope Ozone 8. With Ozone 8, you're given the option in the maximizer to "learn the threshold", which is basically just the where the software "listens" to the track and gives an automated computation of where it believes the threshold of the song should be at.

My question is this: Is this a reliable method for setting the threshold of the maximizer? It seems like I can push the compression a lot harder and make the song a lot louder than the "learn threshold" suggests, but I'm not sure if I'm messing up the audio quality or not.
You can always make it a bit louder and past a certain point you will always pay a price. It's your music, you will need to listen to it and be very objective as to whether you are really making it better or just louder. Whether you are getting that extra loudness "for free" or if you are starting to mess up your song.

Quote:
It doesn't really sound like it, but I guess you can never be too sure.
this is why people say doing your own mastering is like cutting your own hair. You are not in the position to get the best "view". Sometimes I feel it is more like taking out your own appendix. In the traditional model - before automated 'assistants' like Izotope existed - one of the big reasons to send your stuff out to a Mastering Engineer was to get that "second pair of ears".

You might be missing something - for whatever reason: your lack of experience, weird speakers, a physical problem with your hearing, strange uncorrected modes in your listening space, or just a mental blind spot (deaf spot?).

But now there was someone there who had
1) incredible speakers
2) impeccable room treatment
3) the experience of working on literally thousands of different recordings

and that person is double-checking you. It can really take a load off your mind!

Obviously, you are not going to get that in an automated software. That puts it back on you. If you are going to do your own mastering, you will have to be your own backstop. You will have to up your game at hearing those subtle things that you are not too sure about.

Even working with another person at your same level using that same automated software might be something worth considering. Just because of the added perspective.

Last edited by joeq; 6 days ago at 04:20 AM..
Old 4 days ago
  #3
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CJ Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
I have a couple questions:
1. Should I master vocals and instrumentation separately or instead master them together as a singular track?
you do not master individual tracks that you are mixing. Mastering is done to the entire mix, not individual tracks in the mix. You might be missing the meaning of mastering.
Quote:
2. I'm mastering in Izotope Ozone 8. With Ozone 8, you're given the option in the maximizer to "learn the threshold", which is basically just the where the software "listens" to the track and gives an automated computation of where it believes the threshold of the song should be at.
My question is this: Is this a reliable method for setting the threshold of the maximizer?
Ever mix that you master will need different settings and different things done to it. For me, I do not like anything set to auto, ware the software determines what to do. You as the mastering engineer, needs to determine what to do, as every mix you master will need different settings and effects inserted into the mastering chain.
Quote:
Is this a reliable method for setting the threshold of the maximizer?
NO!
In mastering, you use your ears, just like in mixing and recording and do not set and forget. You use your ears to determine what the threshold should be.
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