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Good Engineering vs Good Mixing vs Good Mastering Special Ef­fects Plugins
Old 7th September 2007
  #1
Good Engineering vs Good Mixing vs Good Mastering

I'm always seeing comments here on GS in regards to this album (or track) was well engineered or well mixed. I know I can pick the difference a well mixed and poorly (IMO) track and sometimes a well mastered track.

But can anyone honestly say they can always tell if a track or album sounds good because it'ss either down to the engineering (i.e. recording) or the mixing or the mastering (maybe even just well produced, good well layered sample or instrument choices).

If so are able to list tracks or albums that shine due to one or the other of:

Well recoded?
Well mixed?
Well mastered?
Well produced?
Old 7th September 2007
  #2
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

from an engineering standpoint. each compliments(or hinders) the other.

record it well----- it can be easier to mix.
mix it well----it can be easier to master.

if the recording sucks...the mix engineer may/will have a hard time correcting it in the mix.
If the mix sucks...the mastering engineer might get pissed and return your masters to you to be remixed. heh Because most can't perform miracles.

but no one can really point of every little detail of each part unless they were there to hear(see) what the "before" version sounded like. You can make an educated guess.
Old 7th September 2007
  #3
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
it all starts with picking the right sounds in production. Arranging them to enhnace each other and not fight each other. So many times i get songs in to mix that have a sub bassline out of tune with the long 808, a heavy kick, fill in other low muddy element here.... And the producer just expects me to work miracles to clean up the mud and "give it that crazy low end". Minor miracles can happen in the mix, but they arent supposed to. Everything sonic starts with production.
Old 7th September 2007
  #4
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Masterer's Avatar
 

No,
If you weren't privy to the various production phases you'll never know.
One thing that is always true though is that if it sounds amazing as a commercial release then it started off that way from the beginning of the production.
The later production stages can make something good even better but it can never turn something bad into something great.
Old 7th September 2007
  #5
Gear Head
 

i suffered through that recently....

poorly recorded tracks full of distortion, clipping and lack of labeling

that made me do an incredible editing job to the point i said **** it...

and didn't want to invest the time in a better than average mix

and then an inexperienced mastering engineer mastering crap to make it sound like worse crap...

now i told the producer, he needed to go back to the tracking stage and retrack from the jump...but sometimes:

producers need to waste your time and hopefully their money to have a point proven to them so they go back to the first flawed stage to get the idea back on track
Old 7th September 2007
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
No,
One thing that is always true though is that if it sounds amazing as a commercial release then it started off that way from the beginning of the production.
The later production stages can make something good even better but it can never turn something bad into something great.
This is what I'm thinking.

I'm doing part of a album at the moment and co's the producers only using phones to lay up the track he keeps adding more an more low end sounds which just ends up muted in the mix by the time I'm finished. But luckily he's here while I'm mixing (which I normally don't do) so I can just show him look when I mute this the whole track sounds better. If I try to mix the track as is they just sound cluttered and I can't get that bounce he keeps asking for.
Old 8th September 2007
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
Well recoded?
Well mixed?
Well mastered?
Well produced?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

That's how you make a good record.
Old 8th September 2007
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Tabnetic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joemamma View Post
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

That's how you make a good record.
i had to explain to my niece what a mix engineer does and this is the analogy i came up with:

the album is a photo
the recording engineer tells everyone where to stand, how to smile, puts the tall people in the back, short people in the front, etc.

the mix engineer takes the photo

the mastering engineer retouches it and frames/mattes it.

it might be a stretch, but i think if i could get a 7 year old to understand that good records are made with all of the above, then it might make a little sense
Old 8th September 2007
  #9
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabnetic View Post
i had to explain to my niece what a mix engineer does and this is the analogy i came up with:
I disagree.

Ideally:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabnetic View Post
the recording engineer tells everyone where to stand, how to smile, puts the tall people in the back, short people in the front, etc.
This is the job of the producer and arrangers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabnetic View Post
the mix engineer takes the photo
That's the recording engineer. Similar to the cinematographer on a movie shoot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tabnetic View Post
the mastering engineer retouches it and frames/mattes it.
And this is where it falls apart for me. I don't know how to fit the mixer and mastering engineer into this analogy.

If we were talking motion pictures, I'd say perhaps Mixing=editing, Mastering=Color Correction.

But, you taught a 7-year-old a valuable lesson about teamwork. That's a good thing, so I should keep my mouth shut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
If so are able to list tracks or albums that shine due to one or the other of:

Well recoded?
Well mixed?
Well mastered?
Well produced?
Not always, but It's pretty easy to tell exactly what I don't like about record, if something feels off to me.

It should also be pretty easy to figure out if the arrangement or production choices turn you on as opposed to the mix and mastering.

Just MHO.
Old 8th September 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Tabnetic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FossilTooth View Post
I disagree.


If we were talking motion pictures, I'd say perhaps Mixing=editing, Mastering=Color Correction.

But, you taught a 7-year-old a valuable lesson about teamwork. That's a good thing, so I should keep my mouth shut.
yeah, i've since thought about it and realize that your analogy (motion picture one) is probably more precise. i really was trying to explain to her the way that everyone relies on the person before them to do a good job. ie: the mastering engineer cant' change the way the people were standing, etc.

maybe when she gets older i'll teach her about how to miss a punch-in and just tell the band "great, let's do another one with the same intensity to make sure!!"
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