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Thread: Opinions on this image, please.

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    Opinions on this image, please.

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    When one is very new to this, like me, something like this could be very useful. Does anyone have a better one? One that includes pre-mixing?


    audiomasteringflowchart.jpg

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    I don't have a physical flow chart like that, but I have a broadly similar mental checklist.

    There is also another step of you are mastering a number of tracks, rather than a single track, and that step is to make the tracks sound consistent with each other and develop a cohesive suite.

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    Thanks Zed, for the input. This one starts with the "mixdown." I looked for a similar chart that actually began with the actual setup for first recording sound. And though I realize that this is a creative process that shouldn't be done by rote, so to speak, it seems that a flow chart would provide a great path to start from which folks would inevitably fine tune their own approach.

    What I'm finding is that the further I get into the software (and I'm certain that this is the case with all audio recording, whether digital or analog) the more I discover that there is so much further to go. That, plus my natural inability to "know when to quit!" LOL.

    I started out with Reaper just happy to be able to lay down a track. Then WHOABOY! What the H#*& happened? If anyone gets a notion to do such a chart, I'd be eternally grateful.

    I was reading a Noob post in either mixing or mastering and the level of very passionate disagreement about technique among seasoned pros really leaves a noob like me feeling lost. I mean, "if the pros can't agree on an approach, what chance to I have to arrive at a sound that will stand up to scrutiny?"

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    Adding reverb as the last stage of mastering? 16.5K low pass?
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    I don't know anything, mjb, about the recommendations, I just cut and pasted the only thing that I could find to demonstrate what I was thinking.

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    ^^^+1 to mjb
    As an aside, I would have to say that part of the reason for so many different approaches to our work/hobby/love etc. is the simple fact that everyone hears differently and no two people have EXACTLY the same tastes or opinions. Ultimately I believe this means that its best to remember why you're doing something-not get totally tangled in the how and forget the target. Which could be : Does it sound good to me, my client or whoever it is for? There are so many playback options these days that mixing and mastering(which are very different,see this forum subject) is often an act of compromise as well as creation. They are also endeavors that both require a lot of "do it, learn it , do it some more". If you feel the need for a workflow chart, than I say go with it-I would only suggest try moving the blocks around to see what works for YOU.
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    Reverb is added during the mixing stage - speak up anyone here who adds it during mastering.

    Putting a 16.5k low pass - for what purpose? Maybe if you are mastering for some particular format? (Itunes, vinyl? I have no idea, never heard of anyone doing that.)


    Like gto says "its best to remember why you're doing something" - why would you put a low pass on something? Because there is high frequency something causing a problem in the mix. Same as the suggestion some people have of putting a high pass on every track to get rid of low frequency build-up/mud. If you have that problem in your tracks, by all means do it, but don't do it just 'because you should'.

    If you are doing your own mastering - like many of us do either because we can't afford to have someone else do it (like me), or because we're not trying to make a 'commercial release', then you have to be aware of the limitations - you're mastering on the same system (same monitors, same room) as you mixed on.
    For that reason, I try to get things fixed in the mixes, and the 'mastering' is just getting all the tunes up to an acceptable level and sound (master limiter + a tiny bit of compression) and occasionally a little overall EQ.
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    Reverb is added during the mixing stage - speak up anyone here who adds it during mastering.
    I've done it on occasion. I agree that reverb is generally added to taste during the mixing. But, for example, I once recorded a choir in a very dry room, so after the event I added reverb at the very end to create the sense of space that was missing. Also there have been times when I've been given a stereo track to 'fix' and have done the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjbphotos View Post
    If you are doing your own mastering - like many of us do either because we can't afford to have someone else do it (like me), or because we're not trying to make a 'commercial release', then you have to be aware of the limitations - you're mastering on the same system (same monitors, same room) as you mixed on. For that reason, I try to get things fixed in the mixes, and the 'mastering' is just getting all the tunes up to an acceptable level and sound (master limiter + a tiny bit of compression) and occasionally a little overall EQ.
    Yes. There are things that you can't do if you master a track yourself, and that is yo listen to it from a third person's perspective objectively. So, other than the mechanical processes of getting cohesion across a suite of tracks or, and adjusting final levels, any messing around in mastering is simply second-guessing yourself and your mixing.

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    I've used Sound Forge in the past to do fakey "mastering" and one of the isotope plugins has a reverb as part of the mastering chain, but it was ahead of the "limiting" function. The chain in OP shows it after limiting, which frankly I find Um, weird. As in won't you have to limit again after reverb?
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    Again, in my defense, the image was the only one I could find that represented the thought that I was trying to express. I'm too green to be able to look at it and make any definitive critique of the processes suggested there. But, I'm listening to all of yours, for sure.

    But the beauty of that chart is that it, or something like it, gives me reference so that when I have done a task I can ask myself, "what's next, why, how and what are my personal preferences with regard to that aspect of audio." Not to mention giving me a name for a task of which I may have been previously ignorant. Then I have something to search and inform myself. And, no matter how debatable or incomplete, it's something to keep me moving forward. For in spite of the disagreement you fellows have expressed with the contents of the chart there's little doubt that if I applied exactly what it suggest, my stuff would probably sound better than it does now!! LOL

    In my brief efforts I have, more than once (and no doubt will again have), discovered that I am missing entire processes that would produce much more satisfactory results. And sometimes the difference had been shocking.
    Last edited by rose62; 12-19-2017 at 01:12.

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