Mastering.... - Jemsite
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
 
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Mastering....

Just wondering whats involved with mastering ,is it just EQ-ing each instrument and adjusting the levels in the mix etc...or is there more to it than that?

The reason i ask is our band has just recorded 13 tracks and we're mixing it ourselves...do we need a professional engineer to 'master' it ?
will it make that much difference to the sound ?

Its gonna cost us too which is another factor...

Any advice appreciated
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

mixing is setting the levels of the instrument/vocals you are going to record before you record. Mastering is changing the recording and playing with it.

If you guys have the money, i would definitely get it mastered. You could sound sooo much better. and mastering is much harder than mixing.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Mastering....

Can you master stuff with cubaseSX ?
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

that's what the program is for. the recording is mainly done using hardware equipment like mixers, mics, amps. but mastering is EQing it on the pc, fading in.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Get the stuff mastered.

More than just EQ, mastering will help keep levels uniform from track to track, get the overall levels up where they should be, keep phasing correct, set levels & spaces between tracks. Since you are doing it all yourselves, getting someone unbiased involved for a minute can help things sound better also.

In short it should make the overall disc sound better.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-03-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

You may be able to mix a decent CD yourself, maybe for reference or to demo the band to book some shows.

If you're wanting something to really showcase the band, do yourself a favor and get a pro. Many of them can do magic!


JV
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

yeah mastering takes a long time to get the hang of. i've just started delving into it with my recordings. it's totally different than mixing because mixing occurs with the individual tracks. setting levels so that everything sits right (volume-wise) in the mix. once you've done that, you record or render the whole thing to one track. this is where the mastering comes into play. as stated previously, eq-ing is definitely one part of the process (it can make a certain instrument really stand out in the mix or obscure a certain frequency), but there's also things like compression and limiting that play a huge part in mastering. you can also affect the stereo imaging of the track as well. one of the most important things that i like about mastering is getting your track to sound as loud as possible.

anyway, if you haven't done it before, it's best to take it to a pro. but it is a very useful thing to learn.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 07:37 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Most professional cds are mastered with gear that costs upwards of 200 thousand dollars. The mastering engineer sets the time between songs. You want the next one to start on a downbeat etc. They tweak the stereo mixes with eqing and then slam it to digital 0 to make it sound loud. Mastering is an art. You can get a really good mastering program called Wavelab. There are great plug ins but personally id get it mastered by a pro. Take a look at discmakers.com They have engineers to master your cd when you buy from them. They have great deals. Also if this cd is being pimped to labels or sold Id get a professional engineer to mix it. I find that when musicians mix they are biased and dont have trained ears for mixing. Its an artform also. Thats why someone like Bob Bullock or Chuck Ainley get $150 to 300 an hr to do it. The guy who mixed Avrils 1st cd gets $15000 a song. Get pros dude
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 08:57 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

You could try the Waves L2 plug-in for some 'home made' mastering. Just experiment with it. It's fun if nothing else...
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-05-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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Re: Mastering....

hmm interesing info,

can i just get something straight ..?

after recording, would you do your effects for multitracks(including compression etc) and eq and mix levels on the multitracks. then record to 1 track and send off to be mastered?

or leave off the eq or anything else for the masterer to do?
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 04:06 AM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyo1299 View Post
but mastering is EQing it on the pc
or Mac

Personally, when I master stuff, I adjust volumes to make a good blend of all tracks, to make it sound like one unit.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 05:02 AM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Quote:
Originally Posted by yoyo1299 View Post
that's what the program is for. the recording is mainly done using hardware equipment like mixers, mics, amps. but mastering is EQing it on the pc, fading in.

this isn't true.

i would never try and master a track using stuff that comes in sx, and sx is a whole production tool, i track to it and use some of its processing power. the waves l2 plugin is good as a start off limiter, but as several people have said, mastering is really an artform.

it includes not just the creation of a cohesive cd (or vinyl! or mp3!) but involves several complicated processes (multi band compression, limiting, eq'ing(sometimes) sometimes time correcting and audio dithering). to get it done seriously costs a fortune.

a good half way house would be to buy some semi pro mastering gear (such as a tc finalizer or a selection of decent plugins) or find someone with some of this semi pro gear and get them to do it 'on the cheap'. it takes time to do it properly though.

and one or more pairs of serious speakers!
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 05:03 AM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ki swordsman View Post
hmm interesing info,

can i just get something straight ..?

after recording, would you do your effects for multitracks(including compression etc) and eq and mix levels on the multitracks. then record to 1 track and send off to be mastered?

or leave off the eq or anything else for the masterer to do?
basically, you make it sound as good as you can, and then send one or more stereo mixes to a masterer to make it awesome.
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 05:44 AM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyfingersminion View Post
basically, you make it sound as good as you can, and then send one or more stereo mixes to a masterer to make it awesome.
+1 - Mastering is a dark art not comprehensible by normal human beings!

Unless you have a huge knowledge of multi-band compressors and peak limiters, find someone with a flawless rep and get them to do the job - it will make the difference between cool demos and a truly professional "release" quality album!
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2007, 10:11 AM
 
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Re: Mastering....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyfingersminion View Post
this isn't true.

i would never try and master a track using stuff that comes in sx, and sx is a whole production tool, i track to it and use some of its processing power. the waves l2 plugin is good as a start off limiter, but as several people have said, mastering is really an artform.

it includes not just the creation of a cohesive cd (or vinyl! or mp3!) but involves several complicated processes (multi band compression, limiting, eq'ing(sometimes) sometimes time correcting and audio dithering). to get it done seriously costs a fortune.

a good half way house would be to buy some semi pro mastering gear (such as a tc finalizer or a selection of decent plugins) or find someone with some of this semi pro gear and get them to do it 'on the cheap'. it takes time to do it properly though.

and one or more pairs of serious speakers!
i know it's more than EQing, compression etc, i was just being basic for his sake. mastering is the longest, hardest process in making a track. You have to add any plugins or SFX, balance the volume, get the tracks together etc. it's hard and long
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