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Thread: Audacity for mastering?

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    allegro1650 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Audacity for mastering?

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    Is this a fool's errand, or is Audacity (v 1.2.6 and later) a good enough program for cleaning up tracks, EQ'ing, limiting, leveling, etc. before sending to a pro mastering house?

    Yes, it works in 48K/24-bit. Yes, it works with lossless formats (.wav, .lame, etc.). Perhaps most importantly, I know it inside and out.

    I'm sure there are purpose-built (purpose-code-written?) programs, but I'm on a budget... that is to say, flat stone cold broke!

    I need to get off the ground with a solo project, and I'm 'dancing with the girl I brung' so to speak. I've been using it for restoring cassette demos and vinyl transfers to mp3.

    Your thoughts, ladies and gents?

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    TyphoidHippo's Avatar
    TyphoidHippo is offline 1Trillion K Platinum User
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    I've never heard of any "real" mastering engineers using it, but Audacity will work just fine for the things listed in your first sentence.

    My thoughts are - why are you anticipating that you will need to be cleaning up and EQing your finished mixes, of the solo project you haven't started yet, at the mastering stage? Are you like... planning on recording messy tracks and mixing them poorly? Your post is kind of all over the place - do you know what mastering is?

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    allegro1650 is offline Junior Member
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    Let me clarify:

    I was referring more to pre-mastering, rather than the actual mastering process itself.
    No, I don't anticipate recording "messy" tracks; I just like to line up my ducks in a row. Yes, I'm well aware of the mastering process; I want to make sure I've done all I can at home before I spend the (admittedly limited) cash on a professional master. "Measure twice, cut once", that sort of thing.

    My planning involves anticipating the end result, and working out solutions for potential hazards or problems.

    If my post is a little scrambled, that's because I'm still organizing the methods and the thought processes. I've downloaded the eval version of Reaper, and I've still got a lot to learn.

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    TimOBrien is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    "Mastering is a PROCESS, not a tool."

    If you understand the process, you can do it in nearly any audio editor.

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    240v is offline Super Perfectionist
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimOBrien View Post
    "Mastering is a PROCESS, not a tool."

    If you understand the process, you can do it in nearly any audio editor.
    True. Plus if your making the tracks yourself why not use your DAW?
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    GazEcc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimOBrien View Post
    "Mastering is a PROCESS, not a tool."

    If you understand the process, you can do it in nearly any audio editor.
    This, this right here, but yeah before I give someone a mix I generally either use Cubase or Audacity to top and tail it, if i'm working on multiple tracks I use cubase gives me more control over segues etc. but if I'm just doing a quick burn of a single track audacity and a few little tips and tricks, but I'm no mastering engineer, maybe someday
    God this signature is outdated

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    VomitHatSteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazEcc View Post
    This, this right here, but yeah before I give someone a mix I generally either use Cubase or Audacity to top and tail it, if i'm working on multiple tracks I use cubase gives me more control over segues etc. but if I'm just doing a quick burn of a single track audacity and a few little tips and tricks, but I'm no mastering engineer, maybe someday
    +1 to that.
    Basically, the only FX that I would endorse within audacity are volume adjust and fade in/out. If you're planning on doing anything with EQ or any effects that you might need to tweak as you work, go with something non-destructive.

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    kristianzhe is offline Registered User
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    I am using the Izotope Ozone 5 advanced plugin within Audacity and it`s great. But for Audacity as a standalone I don`t think its any way good enough.

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    RAMI's Avatar
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    This thread is so all over the place. Half the people are talking about mastering, the other half are talking about mixing. Some are talking about both in different posts.

    It's pretty simple: Mix your song as well as you can, getting as close to the final product as humanly possible, then master it or get it mastered. Or, more accurately, Mix ALL the songs that will be part of a collection, and get them mastered together. It's not more complicated than that.

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    chuckduffy is offline 1K Silver Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMI View Post
    This thread is so all over the place. Half the people are talking about mastering, the other half are talking about mixing. Some are talking about both in different posts.

    It's pretty simple: Mix your song as well as you can, getting as close to the final product as humanly possible, then master it or get it mastered. Or, more accurately, Mix ALL the songs that will be part of a collection, and get them mastered together. It's not more complicated than that.
    It seems that that people aren't even clear that recording should come before mixing. This comment is serious.

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