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Hearing pro mixes BEFORE and after mastering?
Old 5th March 2011
  #1
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007's Avatar
 

Hearing pro mixes BEFORE and after mastering?

Perhaps this has been discussed before, sorry if that is the case.

Too often in the past I found myself mixing projects trying to make them sound like their 'would-be' master equivalent. All low-budget stuff, usually mine or friend's projects, so it never ends up in the hands of a pro mastering engineer in the end anyway. Talking to some peers, it seems to be common practice, often unaware of the fine line between a seemingly ordinary (but well balanced) mix and one that has too much spice in it, and when we have crossed that line vs. knowing when to call it 'done' and stop the incessant noodling over 2 buss compression and endless eq'ing.

So it got me wondering, all these pro mixers, no matter what genre, from mainstream pop to indie rock and anything in between, what do those mixes sound like before they get to the mastering house?

For example, I would love to hear unmastered mixes from, say, Massive Attack (any track off Mezzanine), or Radiohead, or TV on the Radio, Black Keys, The XX, or even a Britney or Katy Perry or Goldfrapp tune, etc, just naming random stuff off the top of my head. I'd like to hear at which point did the mixing engineer say "ok this is done, off it goes", knowing full well that the final 'glue' and 'sheen' and 'loudness' is best left to the next guy in line.

I think it would be an interesting reference to see how we do, many of us in our home studios with our modest gear in our modest rooms with modest speakers yet with a few years of noodling and learning behind us and still questioning if our mixes, while much improved over time, would stack up to the big releases, perhaps we'd be surprised to hear what some top mixes sound like before the mastering fairy dust is sprinkled on top?

Are there such examples out there that can be posted, somewhat known tracks before and after the mastering stage?
Old 5th March 2011
  #2
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Charles Dye put out mix it like a record a while ago. Walks through exactly how he got El's She Loves Me put together. Also, the ROM part of the DVD has not only the source tracks, but stems....

definitely worth the $99 on Amazon.

todd
Old 5th March 2011
  #3
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007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaddai View Post
Charles Dye put out mix it like a record a while ago. Walks through exactly how he got El's She Loves Me put together. Also, the ROM part of the DVD has not only the source tracks, but stems....

definitely worth the $99 on Amazon.

todd
Oh cool I'll look into that, thanks!
Old 5th March 2011
  #4
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Steve G's Avatar
I think you'd be amazed at how much doesn't change at mastering. It's usually just some level, and matching song to song, but nothing dramatic. The really good mixers get it right.

Steve
Old 5th March 2011
  #5
The perfect mastering senerio would be not to do nothing to the mix, except add track markers and sequence order, but thats very very rare.
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