Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Psuedo-mastering at home

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,190
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    10329

    Psuedo-mastering at home

    Sign in to disable this ad
    I know just how important the mastering stage is, but my friend's band charged me with the task of mastering the album we've been working on nearly a year due to low funds. I've got an album worth of premastered waves in 32-bit (I don't think it's possible to mixdown to 24-bit in Adobe Audition or else I would have). I have some decent plugins at my disposal (such as the Waves Ultramaximizer) to do the job. One question I have for you mastering pros out there is should I EQ before or after squashing my beloved mixes into a brick?

    Thank you for your time. It is much appreciated.
    [B][COLOR=DarkRed]Listen to my songs at[/COLOR]:[/B]
    [url]http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/discography.php?aid=2076[/url]
    [B][/B]
    The purpose of a cable is to get stuck under everything in its path.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Chicago, IL. USA
    Age
    59
    Posts
    10,526
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
    Rep Power
    7981374
    I'm not a mastering pro per se, but in general the way I do it is

    1. EQ to "fix" any glaring problems in the mix first, and to minimize any low-level frequencies that may wind up getting accentuated in an unwanted fashon by the compression/limiting process.

    2. Compress to a wet brick (not quite yet limited solid.)

    3. EQ post-compression just to polish or sweeten the results as necessary.

    4. Normalize or limit the result into the final brick.

    (and if it were me)

    5. Throw the brick out and start over again, holding back on the limiting this time because bricks sound like crap

    G.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
    SouthSIDE Multimedia Productions[/COLOR]
    [COLOR=DarkGreen]RECORDING RESOURCES AND INFO SITE:[/COLOR]
    [URL="www.independentrecording.net"][SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/URL][/B][/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago area, probably looking for more coffee.
    Age
    51
    Posts
    8,801
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 182 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    16178427
    Absolutely. Do things that make it sound good *before* you do things that will inherently damage it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    ArizonaMaybe
    Age
    68
    Posts
    9,448
    Thanks
    192
    Thanked 158 Times in 146 Posts
    Rep Power
    9581209
    Quote Originally Posted by FattMusiek
    ...squashing my beloved mixes into a brick?
    Smashtering.
    Because we like pissing in our drink.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,261
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    1164570
    Every type of processing does some sort of damage to the audio. Either adding noise, quantization distortion, removing transients for the sake of overall volume, etc.

    When putting together a chain try to figure out how you want to manipulate the audio, kind of like a ball of clay, and shape it into what you want (wether a brick or a ball).

    The first thing that I would do (in general) is to remove any sibilance or plosives. So you can consider this EQ and/or compression. The idea here is that the threshold will change if you have anything before it, and it helps stop you from chasing your tail.

    Next (if needed) perform any adjustments to the imaging (like M/S, or other stereo enhancements).

    After any image adjustments strive for a good overall frequency balance. If there are frequency bands that are giving the mix a "lumpy" quality a compressor will react to those possibly in a way that is unmusical or at least not what you want in the final product. So EQ before overall compression is a good idea.

    Next go for average level or adjust areas that are uneven volume-wise in the mix, usually with a compressor. I like to start with a low ratio and tune the threshold a bit higher than the average level, then adjust the ratio to make the mix as dense as desired. You may also have to re-adjust the threshold and other parameters to suit your taste.

    After you have the mix sounding well-balanced in both frequency and volume, go for overall level if it needs it with a limiter or gain adjustment, then final in the chain would be to dither if you have completed fades and editing for the final CD.

    It's not always the "formula" but works pretty well in general.
    Tom Volpicelli
    The Mastering House Inc.
    www.masteringhouse.com

    Selected Credits

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    53
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    39

    A few things to ponder

    EQ prior to compression usually has a more buried effect as any significant adjustments are usually countered by the following compressor.

    EQ post compressor usually has a more up front feel.

    Linear phase EQ post compressor has a wonderful clarity to it as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    236
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    25
    Quote Originally Posted by RDMSstudio
    EQ prior to compression usually has a more buried effect as any significant adjustments are usually countered by the following compressor.

    EQ post compressor usually has a more up front feel.
    As a general rule of thumb, though, compression should
    come after the EQ, correct?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago area, probably looking for more coffee.
    Age
    51
    Posts
    8,801
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 182 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    16178427
    *Corrective* EQ, in general, should come before compression.

    After that, it's up to what the source is asking for.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
    Age
    61
    Posts
    2,261
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    1164570
    Isn't all EQ corrective? Why add it otherwise? Please elaborate further on this John.

    One reason to use EQ post compression is so that you don't have to keep re-adjusting the threshold of the compressor when making EQ changes. I'm not really keen on this and feel it's just laziness as it's my belief that the compressor should be acting on audio that is well-balanced throughout the frequency spectrum and the final intent of what the tonal goal of the music is. I.E. don't add compression until you have it sounding the way that you want. Adding two EQ processing stages when only one is required is adding unnecessary distortion. Less is more.

    Another argument to EQ post compression is to make up for the loss of brightness when cutting down on transients. I can see justification for this.

    Again, all of this depends on your tastes and workflow. If it sounds good either way, it sounds good.
    Last edited by masteringhouse; 05-26-2006 at 09:24.
    Tom Volpicelli
    The Mastering House Inc.
    www.masteringhouse.com

    Selected Credits

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Chicago area, probably looking for more coffee.
    Age
    51
    Posts
    8,801
    Thanks
    60
    Thanked 182 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    16178427
    I mean corrections such as hiss, whine, sibilance, "thwumpies" and such - Things that you don't want *getting to* the compressor.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Mastering sample from my home suite.
    By ryanlikestorock in forum MP3 Mixing Clinic
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-28-2003, 10:09
  2. Mixdown media for mastering from?
    By RICK FITZPATRICK in forum Analog Recording & Mixing - Tape & Gear
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-03-2002, 09:40
  3. My first mastering experience
    By MrLip in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-08-2002, 13:30
  4. home mastering of studio recordings
    By billycatfish in forum Mixing Techniques
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-11-2001, 07:30

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •