The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
So I got this thing "mastered", why does it sound so flat?? Audio Interfaces
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Head

Thumbs down So I got this thing "mastered", why does it sound so flat??

so i've been desperately trying to get this ready (first real mix) and off to mastering, from some company online that agreed to do it quickly..

well i got the results back, and it doesn't sound anything like a radio ready song..

what gives? what could be improved sonically to save this?

i'm seriously angry right now..sorry dfegad

....btw he also did 3 versions!!

it's a hip hop song (clean) with a down south flavor...

zSHARE - do ya drill his.mp3 conservative mastering

zSHARE - do ya drill1.mp3 high's emphasized

zSHARE - do ya drill bass heavy.mp3bass heavy
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Maniac
LK7's Avatar

Did a pro ME do it? It sounds like it wasn't mastered at all?
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Head

Thumbs down

they claimed to be a professional mastering engineer....

i guess not
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Maniac
LSD-Studio's Avatar

Originally Posted by Randall View Post
How about a copy of the original so we can see what they had to work with
Old 31st August 2007
Lives for gear
FossilTooth's Avatar

Yeah. That's really bad.

It sounds to me like the mix wasn't very good to begin with and will likely never result in a truly 'radio ready' record, but it sounds to me like the mastering is an even weaker link.

While it's true an ME can't 'fix' a bad mix, any decent Pro Mastering Engineer wouldn't give you a finished product with this kind of tonal balance. Yech.

Where did you find these schlubs?

To be fair, we should hear the unmastered version before we criticize the mastering any more.
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Head

okay, this is the original

zSHARE - drill.mp3 the original

zSHARE - do ya drill final mix.mp3 the final mix before mastering

long story as to why it is the way it is...but a lot of it is the "producer/manager" made decisions that had to be adhered to...

basically i spent most of the paid time editing the track as much as possible...mainly because of distance between me and the producer/manager (im in DC, he's in ATL).

the original was recorded on an mbox2 with headphone bleedthrough to beat the band...whoever tracked it didn't label anything, half of it was distorted, so many unecessary tracks...

plus the dreaded deadline... (moved up several days)

so given the circumstances, i feel its an amazing effort
Old 31st August 2007
Lives for gear
FossilTooth's Avatar

Well, the "Final Mix" sounds drastically better than the "Original".

Unfortunately, that's not saying a lot. The "Original" is one of the worst rough mixes I've ever heard. There are clearly a lot of tracking issues. Distortion, lousy performances, etc.,

The biggest issue in the final mix are the background vocals and adlibs. Pretty much all of them. Although most of them are F*ckd to begin with, I think they could have been dealt with more tastefully.

Some of them are ridiculously loud. Some are ridiculously distorted and ridiculously loud, and they often beg to be heavily processed to help compensate and make the tracking errors sound somewhat intentional.

Often the levels between verses are mismatched. The levels within many verses are all over the place as well. The relationships between mains and adlibs are often way off.

The beat don't really knock right.

That said, the "Final Mix" sounds way better than the mastered version.

I don't think this mix will sound "radio ready" with a better mastering job. Additionally, I don't think this particular track will ever sound like a "radio hit"..... even with a much better mix and mastering job, so don't worry about it.

Sorry if I sound too critical. I have a tendency to do that sometimes. You did great! Really. Your mix improved on many of the issues with the original. Clearly some retracking is in order as well, and there's not a lot you can do about that.

I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. Clearly, you're better at what you do than the "Mastering Engineer" is at what he does.

Good Luck!
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Head

given the timetable plus some other circimstances, this was about as best that could be done given what i was given...i needed a lot more time and a "not-so-critical-about-petty-details-when-the-bigger-detail-is-the-song-itself" producer to deal with...

i don't feel good about this whole im going to re-mix it and spend time automating this thing, change some plugs, etc..a good buddy of mine who post on here told me not to beat a dead horse...but...sometimes i guess you gotta try
Old 31st August 2007
Lives for gear
sonicdefault's Avatar
That mastering is absolutely horrible. The mix was workable, but definitely needed some serious attention. Sounds like they just slammed it with too much compressiion and turned up the mids... awful
Old 31st August 2007
Gear Head

i didn't pay the mastering engineer, the producer/manager did but i doubt very much..

i'm going to spend some time fixing the mix, if for no other reason to soothe my soul..

any suggestions on what to bring out/cut down/change in the mix (listen to the final mix one)

i'm very open to suggestions now that deadlines are behind me...

thanks everyone...
Old 1st September 2007
Gear Maniac

I didn't listen to any other versions besides the final original mix.
The harmonies are nice but each instrument and vocal part sounds like it could be refined.
Some parts sound like they could use some effects (and/or EQ) on them. Some of the vocal levels seem too high, but I can see that it's a complicated song. I would have the same problems mixing it probably.

I have this theory that a lot of commerically successful songs aren't just professionally mastered, but are completely mixed all over again in a fancier studio with a more powerful engineer and assistants. After all that, they send it in to a great mastering house.

I truly believe this is the case. Because there isn't that much you can do in mastering. An exception would be "separations mastering"... but then again, that's really just another fancy way of saying "doing the mix over again using subgroups in a master quality environment".

Mixing is hard as hell. Most of us don't have the tools that we need or the complete skillset and golden undamaged ears.

But hey, at least you tried and you keep battling the dragon. Your mixes will get better over time (as long as you keep your ears undamaged).
Old 1st September 2007
Gear Head


its a 2 track of the instruments (exactly what you're thinking is exactly what i was thinking)


i realized a lot with this track:

1. i don't like it
2. it should have been retracked
3. i shouldn't have taken it on thinking it was worth trying to save

a bullet in the head is a lesson learned
Old 1st September 2007
Gear Head
15YO's Avatar

work on mixing a little more before you start taking things to ME's.
My work hasn't even been taken to an ME yet and listen to it.

It's all practice.
Old 2nd September 2007
Gear Head

Thumbs down

Originally Posted by 15YO View Post
work on mixing a little more before you start taking things to ME's.
My work hasn't even been taken to an ME yet and listen to it.

It's all practice.
totally different situation...

that's a 2 track with vocals (quite a number of them) vs. your tracked out beats with no compression whatsoever so of course they sound "better" to you..

not trying to be funny, but i think you came into this post for the wrong reason

Old 2nd September 2007
Gear Head

Damn hope you get that fixed ... shyt sounds like it was recorded in my

be easy!
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
monkeyspanker / So much gear, so little time
no ssl yet / So much gear, so little time
anodecathode / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds

Forum Jump
Forum Jump