MASTERING

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#1
:confused: A massive pain in the arse...
What DnB records do you use as a reference for final stage mastering?
And which programs and device settings would you most often go for (referring to compressors/limiters etc...)?
 

Mattix

Sub Focus anyone?
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#3
If your mixdown is decent, the mastering process will be much easier and less painful.

All I use on my mastering chain is a Linear Phase EQ, Multipressor and Limiter to boost loudness without sacrificing too much of the dynamics.

Have a read through this:
http://www.tarekith.com/assets/mastering.html
This! Got to get the mix down sounded real tony! I usually just have a multipressor, limiter and eq on my master channel and work around that as i go.
 

moriaty

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#6
perhaps you're best of using a sample editor for mastering, Audacity, wavelab, sound forge, etc. ideally something that can host VSTs rather than offline processing, so you can hear what you're doing to the tune at any time.
then again, i remember that the M class suite in reason is pretty decent too, so perhaps you can apply any knowledge you get from the videos to your working methods.
 
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#7
perhaps you're best of using a sample editor for mastering, Audacity, wavelab, sound forge, etc. ideally something that can host VSTs rather than offline processing, so you can hear what you're doing to the tune at any time.
then again, i remember that the M class suite in reason is pretty decent too, so perhaps you can apply any knowledge you get from the videos to your working methods.

Yeah absolutely man, I've got Cubase 3 and Soundforge but I just always try and keep everything within Reason unless I've (rarely) got an accapella then I'll do a bounce and stick the track in Cubase along side the vocal track. . .

I guess my main headache is getting my overall levels and EQ shit right. At the moment I'm referencing Hazard's 'Taktix', the Bad Company album 'Inside The Machine' and last years' DJ Hype Drum & Bass Arena. I suppose it depends on how you want your stuff to sound, but I would have thought by now there'd be some sort of universal standard in DnB.
 

DJPancake

NEW NAME IS DJ INCLINED
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#8
...the M class suite in reason is pretty decent too, so perhaps you can apply any knowledge you get from the videos to your working methods.
I agree GorDo,

I learned from "Boy in a Band" (dude with funny accent and long hair) that if you add another M-class mastering suite between the default patch and the transport, you get a much more pro sound. BUT, only if you use the right patch, click on the patch selector/folder, and choose the "8 Band parallel mastering" or something similar sounding, and create that. It sounds allot better.
 

Protoplasym

Nuskool
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#9
If your mixdown is decent, the mastering process will be much easier and less painful.
All I use on my mastering chain is a Linear Phase EQ, Multipressor and Limiter to boost loudness without sacrificing too much of the dynamics.

Have a read through this:
http://www.tarekith.com/assets/mastering.html
I can't second this enough. Make your mixdown flawless and all you'll ever have to do is Limit the mix and EQ out the bottom end (i.e. 30hz and below).

Definitely take a look at Tarekiths' guides, Eric has been doing this a long time and knows his stuff.
 

Protoplasym

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#10
I guess my main headache is getting my overall levels and EQ shit right. At the moment I'm referencing Hazard's 'Taktix', the Bad Company album 'Inside The Machine' and last years' DJ Hype Drum & Bass Arena. I suppose it depends on how you want your stuff to sound, but I would have thought by now there'd be some sort of universal standard in DnB.
It takes time, sometimes years to 'figure out' where your levels for things should be... this is a combination of trial and error, the speakers you use to monitor, the speakers you use to reference your music against other "pro sounding tracks", and the room/s you do all this listening in.

If you listen to other styles of music, you can pick reference material for that too.... you don't have to reference DnB material 'only'... there's all kinds of solid music to compare your tracks to.

Find some Breakbeat tracks, some House, hell, some rock, etc, etc...

The most important thing imo: is to learn the Speakers you monitor on, and the room you monitor in... that way, you'll have a solid idea how your mix is going to translate on a host of other sound systems without actually having to go around and listen to your mix on a million other systems.

When you become good enough, you'll usually be able to 'finish' a track, and at most, only have to go back once to touch something up in the mix. When you reach this stage, you'll be 'there'.


:g/l w/it and keep at it:
 

subprime

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#14
Getting levels right isn't overly hard as long as your bringing everything up in order of dominance in the mix. For dnb, drums first, kicks and snares. Then perc, then next up, bass, then leads, etc.
This definitely. And if you start with your first level (say, the kick) at -3 or -6 db, then bring the others up like this, you should end up with enough headroom at the mastering stage to boost the overall level.

It's tempting to bang the bass up too loud because often that's the part you've worked on the most.
 

moriaty

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#15
i know these are merely guidelines,but id say start with the kick at -10. theres no point flirting with the red line. Having a quieter mix wont affect your balances, and you can easily just bosst everything at the mastering stage. but if its clipping, and you need to start turning things down, then thats gonna mess all your balances, and you might as well start the mix again from the beginning.
 

H*product

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#16
i know these are merely guidelines,but id say start with the kick at -10. theres no point flirting with the red line. Having a quieter mix wont affect your balances, and you can easily just bosst everything at the mastering stage. but if its clipping, and you need to start turning things down, then thats gonna mess all your balances, and you might as well start the mix again from the beginning.
keeping things quiet is the single best mixing tip i've ever had.
 

Protoplasym

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#18
i know these are merely guidelines,but id say start with the kick at -10. theres no point flirting with the red line. Having a quieter mix wont affect your balances, and you can easily just bosst everything at the mastering stage. but if its clipping, and you need to start turning things down, then thats gonna mess all your balances, and you might as well start the mix again from the beginning.
keeping things quiet is the single best mixing tip i've ever had.
I don't think that's the most sound advice. One should not simply, "squash" the mix at the end of the mixdown simply to compensate for making the mix too quiet in the first place.

The general rule of thumb in regard to staying under 0 is always solid advice... but the Golden Rule is to get as close to 0 without clipping with ZERO compression/limiting... 'then'... when it comes time to Master, one only has to do a soft Limit and the mix will smack.

Otherwise, your track will come out sounding squashed and limited all to hell like 70% of the "dance music" around.
 

moriaty

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#19
I don't think that's the most sound advice. One should not simply, "squash" the mix at the end of the mixdown simply to compensate for making the mix too quiet in the first place.

The general rule of thumb in regard to staying under 0 is always solid advice... but the Golden Rule is to get as close to 0 without clipping with ZERO compression/limiting... 'then'... when it comes time to Master, one only has to do a soft Limit and the mix will smack.

Otherwise, your track will come out sounding squashed and limited all to hell like 70% of the "dance music" around.
i dont think you got it right mate.
even if you got a mix peaking at -10 dB, you can just increase its peak volume with any gain plug in without any squashing or alteration in quality.
the squashing that you talk of is to increase the average volume, and that can happen the same regardless of what volume the material peaks at. The problem with aiming to peak just under 0 dB is that many software mixers dont show a true representation of headroom, and will often peak and distort before they actually register any overs.
if you check some mastering services faqs, they mention that they prefer mixes that peak around -6 dB, so i guess its better to go with that.
 

subprime

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#20
As I understand it you're both on the same page, only Gordo is suggesting taking -10 db as the '0 db' mark.
Applying equal gain across the mix won't squash anything.
I take Gordo's point that for 'less experienced' producers, aiming for 0db will result in more ruined mixes, or just clipped and ugly renderings.
I certainly did that a fair bit in the beginning.
 
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