Mastering

Since my last post I've been busy, amongst other things, Mastering mixes.


What is Mastering and why does it help?


Well, Mastering really gets the most out of a mix, it's a bit like a Song's MOT, everything needs to be in order before release, and a good master will ensure that everything is sorted, and as I say "The best it can be" before releaseing into the big wide world.


When I get a track to be mastered the first thing I do is listen to it, and I mean A LOT, so I can get the feel for it, on a bunch of devices, becuase as Pete from ToneChasers says, a speaker is the biggest filter you can get.


Listening on an iphone is very different from listening on earbuds on an iphone, or a bluetooh speaker, or JBL reference monitors...In Mono or Stereo or 7.1 surround...


Is it too bright, dark, muddy, thin, boomy, harsh?


Is it too quiet or blindingly loud when played on Spotify, but unhearable when on CD?


All of these are addressed by decent mastering.


It all starts with a good mix, if I get a mix that needs attention, then I return it with a list of recommendations for adjusting the mix, once this has been done, the magic can begin.


If a mix is perfect, then there's not much to do, but usually that isn't the case, and then mastering involves EQ and limiting, both of these need to be super transparent, so there is no colour introduced, and certainly no artefacts.


I use a bunch of tools, for EQ I use FabFilter Pro EQ3, IK Sontec 432, Softube Chandler Curve Bender, maybe the PA AMEK 200.


For limiting it's FabFilter L2, IK Multimedia Stealth Limiter, Sonnox Inflator.




Sometimes depending on the mix I might stick a clipper between the EQ and Limiter, just to trim the peaks if they poke out too much, but never much.



Each one is very different from, as are the songs both in genre, what they are trying to put across and the way they are mixed.


The detail of mastering is usually in half a dB.


Tiny amounts of EQ are made, to remove all the of the sounds that I mentioned earlier. thenonce the EQ is right it can be brought to the right level for publishing with a limiter, and I usually do the final analysis and adjustment in a great peice of software called Soundforge, then it's ready.


Hope this was interesting for you, and of course I'd be happy to master your mixes, my rates are probably the lowest anywhere.






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