mixing and mastering

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Brandon W
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mixing and mastering

Post: # 1290948Post Brandon W »

oh god fuck me man..

2 weeks mixing and mastering one song..

fuck it all to hell

question.. this might be a stupid question but do you master one track bounced down or do you apply mastering to all the tracks before you make it one track?

the fucking problem with teaching yourself how to do stuff is sometimes you just don't know any better..

I watch them in the studio up to the mastering and they have one pro tools project file with each track in it but i use too many tracks so i don't do it that way but this is getting so complicated again.. if i want to change something in the drums then i have to open the drum project file and change it, then save it as drums.. then load it into the bass project.. save it as bass and drums.. then load that into the complete instrumental version that has all the guitars ... and then load the instrumental into the vocal project.. then mix it carefully and bounce it down and open the mastering project file.. OMG this is aggravating.. then if i master it and i hear something else off then back to scratch. There is no way that other people do it this complicated. NO FUCKING WAY

So now i have one project with each instrument in it and the vocals.. All the guitars on one track, bass on one track, drums on one track, cymbals and hats on another track, and vocals on another track and i'm mastering all the tracks together at same time. Takes longer and if i don't like it i have to try another preset and this is taking days.. fuck help
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dezb1
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Post: # 1290951Post dezb1 »

I've always mastered a stereo mix.
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Post: # 1290953Post Brandon W »

dezb1 wrote:I've always mastered a stereo mix.
ok thats how i was doing it but this one is giving me fits because this is the first time i'm happy with each instrument and the vocals and dont want to hide anything. I'm going more bass.. fuck now more guitars.. damnitt can't hear the drums now.. too much sizzle on the cymbals.. fuck start over.. ha
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1291006Post singlepup »

Just get a really good mix first. Make sure you're happy with the way the instruments blend.

Then, there are two "amateur" ways to master:

(1) apply limiters or whatever effects to the Master channel. Raise Master channel volume to whatever you want. Louder is not always better.

(2) Bounce the mixed track with no effects on the Master channel. Throw the .wav into Mastering software like izotope's Ozone.

Mastering shouldn't change the mix, it should just change the volume/tonal qualities of the track. The exception is if you're doing heavy EQ work on the Master channel... cutting bass frequencies can definitely change the mix. I do like an EQ on the Master, but I would EQ while mixing (before adding limiters and/or bouncing).
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Post: # 1291011Post Brandon W »

I use ozone and I have all of izotope's software.. Tape, limiters, exciters, maximizers etc and a bunch of waves so I am overdoing it but I'm going back to basics
Thank you
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1291014Post Brandon W »

On that subject, izotope is giving away 2 plugins for a limited time on their website. Ddly and vinyl.
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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dezb1
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Post: # 1291026Post dezb1 »

brandonwinmill wrote:On that subject, izotope is giving away 2 plugins for a limited time on their website. Ddly and vinyl.
Cheers for that just waiting on my download email
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Post: # 1291049Post Brandon W »

dezb1 wrote:
brandonwinmill wrote:On that subject, izotope is giving away 2 plugins for a limited time on their website. Ddly and vinyl.
Cheers for that just waiting on my download email
great! they are both great plugins.. vinyl does some cool lo-fi stuff.
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1291067Post aen »

In my experience, mastering is kind of a "shrink wrap" of music production.
I never used to do it, like AT ALL, until I realized that my meter in Reason was kind of lying to me, in that master volume in the red was not actually clipping. Now I have a tense working relationship with mastering.

Mix that shit all together, with all the tracks, and mix it until it's goddamn mixed. Until it sounds
a) Right (best case scenario)
or
b) Acceptable (More likely scenario)

I realize that's sometimes about the hardest thing in the world, but mastering isn't going to help a mix that's problematic to begin with. Once it's mixed, I oftne don't even bounce it to stereo. Reason is nice because there is a very... ahem... WARM compressor you can toggle on and off on the master output, so sometimes I'll try a bit of that, if I think the track could use some smoothination, or just to keep the volume spikes at a reliable level. Then push up the master fader until loud enough.

*brag warning*
I once turned in a freshly mixed album to be mastered by a friend who was recording for a living. He listened to it and said "It's done already."
It's not that I have superpowers or super software, and I've had some disastrous fucking mixes. I just mix until it's mixed.

As for your current specific problem, it sounds like you've got some serious mix fatigue going on. Been there. I assume you'd rather get it done than take an epic break... is there anyone else around whom you can trust and can take a crack at the mix? (tall order, I realize)
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Post: # 1291080Post Brandon W »

aen wrote:In my experience, mastering is kind of a "shrink wrap" of music production.
I never used to do it, like AT ALL, until I realized that my meter in Reason was kind of lying to me, in that master volume in the red was not actually clipping. Now I have a tense working relationship with mastering.

Mix that shit all together, with all the tracks, and mix it until it's goddamn mixed. Until it sounds
a) Right (best case scenario)
or
b) Acceptable (More likely scenario)

I realize that's sometimes about the hardest thing in the world, but mastering isn't going to help a mix that's problematic to begin with. Once it's mixed, I oftne don't even bounce it to stereo. Reason is nice because there is a very... ahem... WARM compressor you can toggle on and off on the master output, so sometimes I'll try a bit of that, if I think the track could use some smoothination, or just to keep the volume spikes at a reliable level. Then push up the master fader until loud enough.

*brag warning*
I once turned in a freshly mixed album to be mastered by a friend who was recording for a living. He listened to it and said "It's done already."
It's not that I have superpowers or super software, and I've had some disastrous fucking mixes. I just mix until it's mixed.

As for your current specific problem, it sounds like you've got some serious mix fatigue going on. Been there. I assume you'd rather get it done than take an epic break... is there anyone else around whom you can trust and can take a crack at the mix? (tall order, I realize)
you're in my head.. yes and no to the last question.. there are plenty of friends that are more than capable, however, it's way too complicated for them to figure it out and this stp cover i'm doing probably has about 23 gigs of raw audio.. haha.. song clocks in at 2:52 and i have an incredible amount of raw audio for such a short song.. But the other things you said are dead on. My wife told me "remember how sometimes when you have a lot of time on a song and you just keep going with messing with it after it's done and you said you think it peaks and then begins to get worse? Well don't be mad but that's happening"... So yes not to brag either but i spend so much time on every detail of the song all along the way that i also don't really need to master. Like i said in the first post, I don't usually have time to get a band together so i do it the hard way. I create a separate project in audacity for each part of the song and i start with a click. It's hard this way but it's the only way i know. Sometimes i play one song to a click on guitar or bass for 4 or 5 hours straight and then i listen back and begin cutting it. Once i have a decent scratch track i start playing it again over and over and more focused each time. I eq and compress and add efx from my plugins at that point and make sure it's smooth before i load it into the master project. Once i have it all in there i begin adjusting the volume's until it sounds perfect. Then i go back to each note or each snare or bass hit and i may amplify one here and there or lower one here or there all the way through until it sounds natural and i've accented parts i really like or buried parts i noticed weren't up to par. So I guess what i do is manually pre-mix and glue the tracks together without running it through a "mixing" plug in. What i'm noticing is when i run it through software designed to mix and then master it's putting even more gain on things i already have perfect and making it too much. If any of this makes sense. Long story short, i really do my work ahead of time so mixing and mastering doesn't really do me any favors. Instead what i usually do is use some stereo expanders with very little gain to widen it. I think i feel like i "have" to master it for it to be legit and take it from cheap demo to studio quality but that is in my head i think.


edit.. let me clarify something.. the tracks i have played on actual records do go somewhere else after we finish them and they have incredible equipment that isn't a "plugin"... it's actual vintage gear that they run the mix through and it does work. Like it really makes it sound awesome but i don't have that kind of external gear to run the track through. That's totally different than what i'm talking about. I'm using nice plugins that model those neve boards and fairchild limiters or whatever. It's not the same. It takes hours and hours also and the guy's that do it also do it for huge bands and they won grammy's for their work.
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1291154Post ultratwin »

Not sure if I could add much, so much good advice going on. I'm still a confused amateur trying to get a grip on how the process works, but after several hundred mixes by moi for commercial jobs, I'm mildly convinced that the process I've been using for the past few years as listed below isn't entirely off ;)

I often mix as I track for better or for worse. This usually takes the form of individual track EQ and often some multiband compression to gently soften the freqs that noticeably stick out. Double tracked guitars will be EQ treated and then run through WAves CLA-76. I'll also have 3 stereo bus channels set up to feed the masses into: (1) MOTO Proverb set to church reverb, for general ambiance (2) Vahalla UberMod for wobbly (dark) delays that sounds more like a blur of sorts, fed about 50% into bus 1, and (3) Waves JJP Strings, acting mostly for adding presence/airband when needed, also fed about 50% into bus 1.
► Show Spoiler

If bass isn't sticking out enough, I'll often carefully cut certain boomy freqs, push it up a tad, but most importantly add tube grit and see what kind of colors come out when I apply some brickwalling, both via the very useful Waves CLA Bass plugin. Possibly one of my favorite plugins ever, it rarely fails to put a bass where it's needed in a mix.
► Show Spoiler
If things start to sound okay and I'm ready to export using some mastering plugins, I'll prep the master fader but not before making sure things aren't exploding all over the place: Invariably I find nearly all tracks really pushing into the red, so I'll go back to all tracks, multi select the volume faders, and then collectively drop them all by about 6dB. Of course, this also means that what tracks are feeding into the busses may be somewhat lopsided, so I try to make sure that nothing is overly "effected" vs the dry signal of each.

I go simple with the master fader, and although I used to use a 3-band compressor to soften things by no more than 3dB wherever it gets hot, often I'll just go straight to the really good sounding 5 band + hi/lo pass MOTU Masterworks EQ, and gently sweep narrow-Q bands with about 5 - 10dB of gain to find where things are obnoxious, then dip them up to 5dB below 0 to knock things out. When it comes to Samsung Mobile work, it's also a necessity to apply the hi pass and nudge it over to the 50-70hz range, cause I use so much thunder and earthquake BWAAAHCHKAPONG'ing that it will affect the entire mix's dynamic range. I otherwise try not to use the hi pass: so many engineers have told me that if the original mix was safely and carefully done, then there shouldn't be any "unwelcome subs" that'll need the boot.

Waves L3-LL Multimaximizer is the final deal for me, and I try to get the threshold only low enough that there is about 3 -4 dB of gain reduction in any one frequency range, and nothing more. It's a real lifesaver when a client needs a track like right now, I've even skipped the whole EQ stage so many of times, simply because the gain reduction on this thing was more than enough to boost the entire track without sounding strained at all.

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Post: # 1291156Post Brandon W »

oh wow this is incredible info... thank you
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1291158Post ultratwin »

I hope some of it was useful/applicable. We're all in the same boat and stuff ;)
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Post: # 1291164Post Brandon W »

ultratwin wrote:I hope some of it was useful/applicable. We're all in the same boat and stuff ;)
literally every word!
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1291966Post Brandon W »

i have 106 different masters for one song.. yay
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1292003Post dezb1 »

brandonwinmill wrote:i have 106 different masters for one song.. yay
Don't take this too personally... But that's FUCKIN MENTAL!
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Post: # 1292151Post Brandon W »

dezb1 wrote:
brandonwinmill wrote:i have 106 different masters for one song.. yay
Don't take this too personally... But that's FUCKIN MENTAL!
i know man.. i'm aware.. still trying to get it perfect when i know damn it well it never will be
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1292862Post Brandon W »

figured out a huge fucking problem.. soundcloud is inconsistent with the quality of the stream.. so i would have it mixed and mastered perfectly off the computer with the cheap stuido monitors and then move it to another computer and upload it to soundcloud and listen... i realize now that soundcloud streams bad sometimes.. it sounds terrible sometimes and sometimes it doesn't.. Most of these mixes and masters i did are basically the same but sounded different.. anyways.. problem solved. Soundcloud blows but the mix and master was good all along
cur wrote:I need it to be smaller or I get shitty messages from mezz telling me my junk's too big.
Chico Malo wrote:This thread just went down the toilet. Bye
iCEByTes wrote:Carrot´s and pussy party ((run))
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Post: # 1292934Post henkstroem »

Nice that at least sometimes there actually was a understandable, sorta scientific explanation to a recording related inconsistency
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Post: # 1292935Post henkstroem »

Nice that at least sometimes there actually was a understandable, sorta scientific explanation to a recording related inconsistency
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