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Thread: My mastering technique, working well

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    My mastering technique, working well

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    I run Pro Tools to mix and master. I do mostly acoustic recordings, and when you're working with 12 or more songs on a CD, it's more efficient to keep the mixing to just that (a little compression on each instrument or vocal, and EQ on each, getting each song as good sounding as possible without putting compression, eq, or anything else on the master fader for the mix. I usually keep the mixes consistent with equal headroom for the master session by using a mixing limiter/maximizer set to -6 dB or so.) That way each mix is consistent in sound, volume, tone, etc.. It's also easy on the CPU.

    Then the master session. I import all the mixes in order onto an audio track. I create 4 auxillary inputs. Then a master fader.

    Aux input 1 = reverb
    Aux input 2-4 = lows, mids, highs for my own homeade multi-band compressor (I talked about it earlier somewhere on this site)

    I have 4 stereo sends off of the audio track, one for each of the aux inputs. I'm sure to shut off the output of the original audio track. So, the master fader is getting it's signals soley from the 4 aux outputs.

    On the master output I usually use some width, analog saturation, and a maximizer with high bit dither. The compression comes from working the lows, mids, and highs individually. After separating the frequencies on Aux 2-4, I compress the lows and highs a bit more than the mids, using a Waves Renassaince set to a fat warm mastering opto on each. For EQ, I adjust the volume of each of those same aux outputs.

    Then I bounce to disk, and each song sounds the same, if that's what you're looking to do, and are consistent in headroom or volume. I burn using Steinberg's Wavelab Essential 6 and just use the internal 16 bit dither, and burn with this program also.

    I've had really good results. Most of this stuff I come with playing off of a mentor who remixes in Pro Tools for many big name Nashville acts. He let me watch as he mixed and mastered one of my tunes, and I was busy writing things down, and saving the settings off the session dvd when I got home. So I owe a lot of credit to my friend for giving me flexible ideas.

    Doug

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    so on each one of those aux sends you have (2-4)...

    Parallel Input>EQ>Comp>Main Out

    how are you dividing the frequencies to acheive the multiband effect?

    with the EQ? (One HP, One LP, One bandpass)?
    -I think when your argument necessitates the inclusion of time travel, you might want to concede the argument -

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    Quote Originally Posted by themdla View Post
    so on each one of those aux sends you have (2-4)...

    Parallel Input>EQ>Comp>Main Out

    how are you dividing the frequencies to acheive the multiband effect?

    with the EQ? (One HP, One LP, One bandpass)?
    Ya, I'm dividing the frequencies with

    aux 2: 40hz to 200hz
    aux 3: 190 hz to 3500hz
    aux 4: 3400hz to 13000hz

    Notice the overlaps.

    This method isn't perfect for eq'ing the final master, so I forgot I do add a final eq on the master fader just to be sure all bases are covered.

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    ...

    How specific!

    What do you do when you get a song that requires a different mastering process? Send it back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
    How specific!

    What do you do when you get a song that requires a different mastering process? Send it back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by banjo71 View Post
    ... set to a fat warm mastering opto on each.

    I'll have to try that.
    I wonder if any of my compressors have that option...?

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    Are you aware of the phase effects of band-passing and remixing the signal? And why are you overlapping bands?

    Ultimately, all that matters is that it sounds good, but it's always a good idea to know the rules before you break them.

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