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Old 20-07-2007, 06:41 PM   #1
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Mastering

So i take it that most people in this forum make their own music. I was wandering what do you lot do when it comes to mastering? i.e. do you pay for a professional engineer, do it your self or just leave it as it is? I've mastered an EP i made and wasn't sure weather it was the right thing to do. I definatly learned alot along the way!
So whats everyone's view on mastering?

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Old 20-07-2007, 07:39 PM   #2
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Re: Mastering

I do it myself, but it's good to get someone else who doesn't know the track to take a listen.

Obviously, if you can afford / have access to a professional, get them to do it. They know things, have better ears than you, and have better gear.
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Old 20-07-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: Mastering

master-who?! Wha?! Hell, I should be mastering my own tracks right now. But I dont. Cause Im lame.
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Old 20-07-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: Mastering

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I do it myself, but it's good to get someone else who doesn't know the track to take a listen.

Obviously, if you can afford / have access to a professional, get them to do it. They know things, have better ears than you, and have better gear.



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Old 20-07-2007, 09:33 PM   #5
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Re: Mastering

Well, if your stuff is going to be released, chances are the label will pay for it to get mastered. So, when you send out demos, as I understand it, it's generally better to just send unmastered tracks that have a nice flat response across all frequencies. If you have all of your individual parts leveled and EQ'd properly, the tracks should sound nice, albeit a little quieter than something that's been professionally released.

I mostly just don't have the patience for mastering. I'd rather write music. So, yeah, I just pay attention to levels and basic EQ stuff and hope that one day it'll be good enough to release so someone who has years of experience in mastering can actually do the tracks justice.

Now, if you're looking to self-release your stuff, you may want to at least do some basic compression or limiting to boost the volume a bit...
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Old 20-07-2007, 09:42 PM   #6
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Re: Mastering

it's nice to have friends that graduated from full sail, everyone should have atleast one.

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Old 20-07-2007, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: Mastering

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it's nice to have friends that graduated from full sail, everyone should have atleast one.
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Old 21-07-2007, 01:15 AM   #8
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Re: Mastering

I can't stand working on a track that doesn't sound right. For me, at least as far as electronic music goes, mastering is part of the process of composition. 'Course, I plan on switching my major to sound tech ASAP, so I suppose that might make sense.

T_T Why don't they have a programming/electrical engineering/sound tech course? T_T

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Old 21-07-2007, 03:06 AM   #9
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Re: Mastering

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Well, if your stuff is going to be released, chances are the label will pay for it to get mastered.
With the rise and rise of digital formats you'll find that this will become more and more unlikely. Labels will be less inclined to go to the expense as there's less money coming in and so on.

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So, when you send out demos, as I understand it, it's generally better to just send unmastered tracks that have a nice flat response across all frequencies. If you have all of your individual parts leveled and EQ'd properly, the tracks should sound nice, albeit a little quieter than something that's been professionally released.
Everything should be mastered before you send it off. Essentially, mastering is the process of preparing a piece of audio for distribution. It's most unlikely that a pre-master (or even a master) is going to have a nice flat frequency response anyway. This is especially true for dance music which has anything but a flat response.

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I mostly just don't have the patience for mastering. I'd rather write music. So, yeah, I just pay attention to levels and basic EQ stuff and hope that one day it'll be good enough to release so someone who has years of experience in mastering can actually do the tracks justice.
Levels and eq make up the majority of a mastering engineer's job these days. They don't need to worry about the mechanical aspects that were inherent in the old analogue formats. I wouldn't sell short on self-releasing though. It's quite possible to get a track mastered by a professional for around AUD150. I know Tony "Jack the bear" Mantz does his masters that cheap for independents and he's one of the best mastering engineers in the business. I suggest looking at who mastered the tracks you really like listening to and shooting the engineer an email and asking about their prices for single track masters, it probably won't cost as much as you think.
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Old 21-07-2007, 09:30 AM   #10
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Re: Mastering

Some interesting points here.

Your right, if your signed the label will most probably pay for mastering by a professional but all of us unsigned artists i feel that having your stuff mastered is important.
Whoever said that your premaster will have a flat response is right in some respects but it will never sound great on every system, which a good master would. I'm sure if you sent a label two recordings of the same song, a mastered one and pre master, they would definatly prefer the master.
Like i said in at the start of this thread a mastered my first EP myself and i'm prity happy with the results. It sounds quite good on most systems. Although it was a very slow process and trail and error i would do it again, if i had to. Here in England its usually 25 per track or 45 a hour but the final price can vary depending on how long it can take to do one track.
I'm currently getting a pro i know to master a track from the EP to compare the two. I think i will post my version and the pros so people can see the difference between doing it yourself and a professional job.
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Old 22-07-2007, 02:29 AM   #11
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Re: Mastering

i've heard some poeple say that its totally worth getting some of your music professionally mastered. go to somewhere awesome and get someone who has dedicated their life to just mastering. then sit next to them, watch what they use, how they use it and write everything down.

while you may not ever get it to sound like what they can do, you might get close
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Old 23-07-2007, 01:18 AM   #12
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Re: Mastering

^ Jack the Bear... nuff said :-P
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Old 23-07-2007, 01:49 AM   #13
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Re: Mastering

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Old 23-07-2007, 05:14 AM   #14
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Re: Mastering

A very important part of the release process. I enjoy mastering, but I'm still learning. There is a lot more to Art. It is definitely not a science. My opinion is it all comes down to gain staging your inputs, and getting a good clean signal, but if all you are using is a sequencing program with multiple tracks layered funny, you just got to get them right. It's a lot of work, and if you want people to listen to your stuff, you got to spend time on it, that is the bottom line.
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Old 23-07-2007, 08:12 PM   #15
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Re: Mastering

master...ing. i always do it myself. heh.
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Old 23-07-2007, 09:39 PM   #16
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Re: Mastering

Mastering is fun, and to me is a part of the whole creative chain that involves making music. I'm finally starting to get a hang of it. Studied soundengineering for a year in 1998 at a great school with lots of hours "hands-on" with talented teachers. Still, have been learning new things ever since. EQs, multiband-compressors, exciters, stereo enhancers, etc etc. I've seen the scary evolution though, the loudness war:
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I try to think "less is more" while mastering, but with all the goodies out there it's hard. I use Izotope Ozone, Waves EQs, Endorphin, Sonalksis plugs, Elemental audio plugs, Spectrum analysis programs. I also use analog gear like Aphex Aural Exciter and an old taperecorder to get that tape saturation.



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Old 24-07-2007, 09:47 AM   #17
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Re: Mastering

I'd love to master a track, but first I'd better finish one

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Old 24-07-2007, 10:58 AM   #18
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Re: Mastering

I master my own tracks. If you're releasing anything it should be sent out to someone experienced and well known for their mastering in whatever genre you're working with, unless you're very experienced yourself..
But for my purposes, my own mastering is fine..
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Old 25-10-2007, 07:11 PM   #19
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Re: Mastering

mastering is good for fun...but when u make an awesome track u can't master it by yourself...u must send it to the PROs!
my eng suck ...but i think that the point of it can be understanded
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Old 25-10-2007, 07:33 PM   #20
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Re: Mastering

well depends on what you mean by pro's -- if it's somewhere in an established area -- sure (like US or UK) but back home(and yes I mean Serbia too) ... the "pro"'s will be using the same software as you, same monitors as you (if not worse) and just .... selecting presets.... I know for sure about Bulgaria (and as far as I know it's not much different in your neck of the woods) that there is not a single good mastering studio... A couple of places have boxes that will help but the people using them are just "preset Selecta"'s.... So it's very subjective what is a "pro" and what not when talking about developing countries (YES, I do consider all those ex-eastern block as developing in the area of audio engineering... if not just plain "third world" :-P ) .... The word "Pro" only means that this is what is paying the bills, not that they know what they are doing ) ... Now, you'd want somebody else to master your stuff not because they have the "Pro" gear (and trust me in the more established countries you still have amazing setups wwith people who only know how to smash the sh*t out of program material), but rather becuase you trust their work in the genre you're in... and because !!!!!!!!!!!!! they are not emotionally involved with the track as you are and can make sound judgements that you can trust .... jsut a couple of thought son the matter...

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