Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Mastering

legionserial

New member
It misses out the plethora of questions asked about mastering that actually have nothing at all do with mastering. :p
 

DrewPeterson7

Sage of the Order
One question I've been wondering that doesn't really come up (or didn't at a quick glance); how "hot' should a mix be when it's sent in for mastering? Obviously you don't want it clipping, and I've been told it's a good idea to leave at least 6db or so of unused headroom for the ME to work with, but given the preference where would you mastering guys want a mix to peak? -6db? -12? Does it even really matter, as long as it's below 0?
 

Massive Master

www.massivemastering.com
I'm in the "naturally doesn't clip" category. Although I don't feel there's an advantage to going just short of clipping (I'm not going to mess with a mix that peaks at -6dBFS just to get it to peak at -3dBFS), as long as it doesn't clip without the use of limiting or excessive 2-buss compression, it's fine.
 

masteringhouse

www.masteringhouse.com
One question I've been wondering that doesn't really come up (or didn't at a quick glance); how "hot' should a mix be when it's sent in for mastering? Obviously you don't want it clipping, and I've been told it's a good idea to leave at least 6db or so of unused headroom for the ME to work with, but given the preference where would you mastering guys want a mix to peak? -6db? -12? Does it even really matter, as long as it's below 0?

I'm with John. The purpose of a peak cushion is to help ensure that clipping hasn't occurred and to have a little room to breath when EQing. The bigger factor regarding headroom in my opinion is the crest factor (peak-to-average ratio).

I'll take a mix with a healthy crest factor that peaks at -1 over a mix with little room between average and peak that's at -12 any day.
 

DrewPeterson7

Sage of the Order
Cool, thanks guys - basically, as long as it's not clipping it's fine, provided the mix itself isn't absolutely slammed and is any good?
 

flatfinger

Use every dam bit!
I'll take a mix with a healthy crest factor that peaks at -1 over a mix with little room between average and peak that's at -12 any day.


Oh come on; What's wrong with a little :eek:"pre-mastering" :eek: with "T-wrecks" or "overblown4" :p:p:p


Those two are'nt mutually exclusive Tom !! ( Just so you're ready for my next project I'm sending you !!!!:D:D)






( I know ; I'm bad :( )
 

buzzard bass

Terminated
After reading this article I still have no idea what mastering is all about. All this stuff seems to begin with a line like, in music production there is a desire..Which you know means the article's gonna be a bunch of bullshit.

What does the mastering engineer statr with, and what do they finish with? Give me the meat and taters and enough of the side dishes.
 

SouthSIDE Glen

independentrecording.net
After reading this article I still have no idea what mastering is all about. All this stuff seems to begin with a line like, in music production there is a desire..Which you know means the article's gonna be a bunch of bullshit.

What does the mastering engineer statr with, and what do they finish with? Give me the meat and taters and enough of the side dishes.
Which of the meat and potatoes in the answer to the first question did not satisfy your appetite? Here's what I read:
Mastering is essentially the step of audio production used to prepare mixes for the formats that are used for replication and distribution.
...
The mastering engineer picks up where the mix engineer leaves off. Mastering is geared toward creating the balance required to make the entire album cohesive. The mastering engineer is most concerned with overall sonic and translation issues. A mastering engineer works with the client to determine proper spacing between songs and how songs will be ordered on the CD.
...
Any final edits will be addressed during the mastering process as well.
...
Finally, the role of the mastering engineer is to provide preparation and quality control of the physical media send to the plant for replication. This includes listening to the premaster CD to verify integrity, along with the more technical aspects such as encoding text, UPC/EAN and ISRC codes, checking for errors within the media and providing any necessary documentation such as a PQ list.
Now, that pretty much covers an accurate and fairly complete description of mastering, and right in the answer to the the first question in the article. Where are you still left wanting?

G.
 
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