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Thread: Mastering help/suggestions

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    Question Mastering help/suggestions

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    [BACKGROUND]
    Guys, I've been lurking hear for a few yrs.. mainly reading and educatingmyself - thanks !! I'm in a cover band and we have recorded some 'live' demos to use as handouts along with the requisite pics in the promopak !!

    I have a Korg D1600, so we used that. We are limited in the number of tracks we can record simultaneously, so we went with 4 at 24-bit vs. 8 at 16-bit. We are six-piece.. 2 gtrs, keys, drums bass and 4 vox. We took the matrix outs on our A&H GL2400 and basically bussed drums onto track one, bass on 2, instruments on 3 and vox on 4. I set up the input levels, etc. and our soundguy actually did the physical recording - as I play guitar.

    I transferred all to the computer via 24-but wav files on a CD. Mixing down and doing my own mastering has been fairly easy, in spite of not so good balances between keys/gtr and lead vs BGV's on some of the songs. I have a boom box, Creative Labs computer speakers, Event TR8N studio monitors, Infinity car stereo and a range of headphones {MDR7506, AKG240M and Yammy's [forget model]} to listen/mix on. Should be enough right ?

    [PROBLEM]
    My problem is this - and I'm guessing [hoping] it's not unique. I just can't get the balance of drums/bass to the rest of the mix to my satisfaction. I get a really good mix on the TR8's and PC speakers, but when I play the CD on the boom box, there's barely any bass or kick- unless I have 'loudness' on. Then, the same mix in my car has W-A-Y loads of bass and the kick is making the windows flex !!! I have FFT'd the mix. Nothing untoward...

    Please HELP!! What can I do to fix this... I just can't figure out why the difference in playback on these songs....
    suggestions welcome..
    Regards,
    Steve
    Last edited by S0C9; 04-17-2007 at 17:35. Reason: grammar

  2. #2
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    I don't want to twist this sideways right off the bat, but this has nothing to do with mastering.

    You're having low end issues. You need to up your monitoring scenario and or room treatments. You will only ever mix as good as your monitors allow you to. Your monitors will only ever sound as good as your room allows them to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S0C9
    ... when I play the CD on the boom box, there's barely any bass or kick- unless I have 'loudness' on. Then, the same mix in my car has W-A-Y loads of bass and the kick is making the windows flex !!! I have FFT'd the mix. Nothing untoward...
    Sounds like these two systems are just completely different.
    Get a selection of ref. cd's in there to get a handle on where (what) the normal sounds like, including on your monitors, go from there.
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    what settings do you have in your car?

    i think that's just how its gonna be. you can't expect the bass to be huge in crappy speakers.

    and...your low low end may need a little rolling off. sounds like the car speakers could be hyped in the low low end, and your boom box simply can't emulate those frequencies.

    so...roll of some lows...and you may want to turn up a little.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cello_pudding
    what settings do you have in your car?

    i think that's just how its gonna be. you can't expect the bass to be huge in crappy speakers.

    and...your low low end may need a little rolling off. sounds like the car speakers could be hyped in the low low end, and your boom box simply can't emulate those frequencies.

    so...roll of some lows...and you may want to turn up a little.
    Good point. Bass and lick live in two places -the bottom few octaves, and the upper handles that get to speak' on the little woofs.
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    and now another anomaly !!
    Just got back from band rehearsal, where I took the same CD and played it for the band, thru the PA in one of my church's smaller Worship rooms (we have 5 separate systems). This one has hung [inverted] Yamaha S15V speakers, no sub, B*ringer board.... IMHO, CD sounded like crap !! I had to BOOST LF gain by about 8db, cut the lower-mid and upper-mid by about same amount and add about 2 Db of HF to get rid of the harshness and brittleness, and bring out some of the highs...

    This WAS after noting channel EQ settings for the commercial CD's that get played in that room, zero'ing out the channel and EQ'ing from scratch.
    Interesting thing is that when I was done, turns out MY EQ settings were identical to the settings I had noted down earlier. Thats' telling me something, but I'm not sure what. And no, I don't hardly ever run that board....
    -Steve
    Last edited by S0C9; 04-17-2007 at 23:09. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by mixsit
    Sounds like these two systems are just completely different.
    Get a selection of ref. cd's in there to get a handle on where (what) the normal sounds like, including on your monitors, go from there.
    Yeah, I have done this - compared these to the originals on my TR8N's.
    The mixes sound PFG on them - when A/B'd with the originals. Just seems like everything else I play them on has too much bass, or not enough. Or too much upper mids, no highs... or soemtihng else.

    And I just don't buy that my mix is that FAR outta WACK, or that the systems I've played these mixes on are frequency enhanced/stunted such that I have these wide-ranging issues.

    Somethings wrong - and I'm humble enough to know it's likely in my mix - so I'm trying to find the root cause and fix it.. I'm no pro, but I've done this enough to know to test on all these systems, but I've never had this kind of LF trouble before.

    Advice welcome..

    PS: room treatment is not an option - $$$$

    -Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by S0C9
    PS: room treatment is not an option - $$$$
    More times than not, though, Steve, it's a monitoring or room problem in the mixing room that causes such LF playback problems in mixes.

    It doesn't necessarily cost much to fix it. Make sure your monitors are placed symmetrically around the middle along the long wall of your room, Not put in or around corners, throw some padded furniture or bookshelves or some cheap Owens Corning from Home Depot in the corners of your room to trap some bass. See the Studio Building forum for more on trapping bass with little or no money.

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    Thanks folks.
    suggestions much appreciated...

    -Steve

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