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Old 28-06-2017, 11:03 PM   #21
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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I read an interview of Tareketh (sp?) talking about that. All the streaming is changing. It's a cool step, but for now it may mean we need 2 masters.
Personally I don't like that balancing system at all.

You can grab some rnb/rock/whatever tune and it's really loud on spotify because of the lack of sub bass. If that same tune would have a present, sustained sub bass underneath, RMS level would be automatically a few dBs higher -> Spotify would make the track a bit more quiet

It seems to me that the system encourages artists to increase highs and reduce the sub bass to prevent the RMS level to go too high, (at least partially) resulting as what Pegboard Nerds call "a brightness/high-end war".

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Old 29-06-2017, 02:15 AM   #22
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Algorithms are smarter than just checking RMS now, they can be weighted to the levels the human ear is more sensitive too. But still interesting thought. Everyone is going to be looking for that advantage in the war for listens.

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Old 29-06-2017, 03:33 PM   #23
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

also, if you are squashing everything on the master bus and its "not as loud as the rest" consider that you may have too much unnecessary sub happening taking up headroom in your mix.

try taking out some sub, squash just as hard and see what you end up with.

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Old 29-06-2017, 04:02 PM   #24
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by chasedobson View Post
also, if you are squashing everything on the master bus and its "not as loud as the rest" consider that you may have too much unnecessary sub happening taking up headroom in your mix.

try taking out some sub, squash just as hard and see what you end up with.
I've started pretty aggresively attenuating everything under 150hz. I work on 5inch monitors and headphones. I shouldn't be getting a ton of presence in that region. I know I've got things decently leveled when I can only just here the <100hz stuff going on.

Then I take it to listen on my Bose hifi and everything sounds pretty good for a dude working in the corner of an untreated room.

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Old 29-06-2017, 08:03 PM   #25
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Algorithms are smarter than just checking RMS now, they can be weighted to the levels the human ear is more sensitive too.
Not sure if I make myself an idiot now by saying this out loud but I'm assuming they don't use anything smart atm. However it would be fine by me if they did. With the current system, random pop songs from 2002 will pierce your ears more than EDM from 2015.

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Old 29-06-2017, 08:36 PM   #26
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by -Agu- View Post
Not sure if I make myself an idiot now by saying this out loud but I'm assuming they don't use anything smart atm. However it would be fine by me if they did. With the current system, random pop songs from 2002 will pierce your ears more than EDM from 2015.
That's another thing. I hear a lot of those loud mixes are so ear piercing in the highs. Especially snares. It's another thing you gotta avoid.

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Old 30-06-2017, 12:08 PM   #27
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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..(and that dude with the satan fish avatar thinks im a bot)..
Classic..welcome to IDMf.

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Old 30-06-2017, 01:46 PM   #28
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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(and that dude with the satan fish avatar thinks im a bot)
You'll be shocked and amazed to find out that 'that dude' is actually a bot. We've been working on it for years and I think it's coming along nicely.
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:51 PM   #29
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

As soon as you get your bottom end at the same volume and perhaps sidechain as other track you like. Get the kick and subbass at the same volume as those tracks. Look at spectrum analysers to get it excact. Then you can raise the volume a lot more, and then go back and get the bass right again, and keep repeating until you reach that volume you want.
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Old 03-07-2017, 10:49 PM   #30
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

I know it probably doesn't mean a lot from some guy on a forum, but your tracks typically sound loud (and balanced) to me, and this is coming from someone who normally doesn't like stuff in the EDM genre.

By balanced, I think they usually sound loud 'enough' while still retaining transients and dynamics. People who push it harder than that just sound like they're clipping everything. If I were you, I'd only get shit professionally mastered in order to get a better sound that I couldn't already achieve, because the loud-factor is definitely there.

FWIW, YMMV, FYE, IMO, etc
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:47 PM   #31
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Yeah I've tried mixing around -6db since that seems to be a good range a lot of people talk about. I find it actually sounds worse if I go lower on the overall mix throughout making the track. Because then when I try to bring it up, I'm really hammering on the compression to try and bring it up so it almost sounds worse that way... (I know I'm doing it wrong haha)

its been mentioned in here already, about headroom, and more is desirable for mastering. dont compress your stuff so much, you shouldnt be adding a lot anyway, if you are, you likely have an adjustment that could be made elsewhere to alleviate the level of compression you have...

Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science 3rd Edition
by Bob Katz read this book, no ... study it. and find more from katz... trust me, its worth your time and money, but you can get free pdf online, just google it.

This is why I am so glad I got Reason... idk if other DAW do this, im sure they do but to what degree of quality or detail, idk...

I gain stage at -10 db and try to leave at least 6 db of headroom ...

Also, being as you said you want to learn the ways of a mastering engineer, start learning everything about their setup, ie hardware, software. at this stage, specific hardware is used... to acquire a specific taste or feel, for example, the shadow hill compressor, or manley gear... tube tech... these are made for but also used for mastering... there are many others commonly found in your mastering studio. Find what these gear pieces are and get them yourself in plugin if you cant afford 6K for a single compressor. UAD allows use of high quality mastering plugins, i havent seen many others compare to the hardware as well reputed.

keep your samples in the green all they way from the generation or sample stage, ie, if you have yellow to red meters, try keeping everything green. this gives more headroom and keeps your signal sounding clean.

I like this one artists advice about compression, or any otehr dynamics for that matter... if you dont need it, dont add it. its meant to correct... what should be first addressed in the mixing phase. are you EQing your tracks properly, etc. all of these do affect the mastering outcome.

Id say send it out for mastering by a pro but that shit is expensive and yea you CAN do it at home, BUT before you even go on to further the above... you need to know a mastering studio is designed differently than an engineering studio. the speakers, are different. Using an analogue chain is common, coming out of a 5k$ ad/da, into tens of thousands of dollars of compressors, eq, etc... back to the converter to record.

the connects you use, alter the sound too... the cables to and from the converter, to your daw, etc. these guys spend thousands of dollars to get the most accurate sound.

granted you may not need to do this but to understand why is crucial. is your room treated? diffusors? hem holz? diaphragmatic absorbers? cloud?

your listening environment is where I would start, and once you have a room scaled down for mastering, then, work on the eq, or leveling, listening... at least from my understanding this is what those pros have done...

many interviews on youtube of mastering engineers gloating over their 2k$ cables and so on... but their info is valid, listen to them, chose what gear you can or use plugins of those replicated, and treat your room. start with the size of the room and shape.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:32 PM   #32
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science 3rd Edition by Bob Katz

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Old 04-07-2017, 09:36 PM   #33
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Old 21-07-2017, 05:50 AM   #34
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by Chaotix View Post
I always get discouraged when I finish a song up and I think, damn I got this one sounding pretty loud. Then I scroll through some tracks on SC and think NOPE, mine still pails in comparison. I don't understand how people are getting their stuff so loud, and still having dynamic range.

It truly baffled me, and I've prowled all over youtube trying to find any source of information to help tackle this. Do any of you guys have any good sources on the loudness war and how to achieve what everyone else achieves haha.
I would pull some of those tracks that you think are louder than yours into your DAW and take a look at the wave form. You will most likely see your song has more low and high peek dynamics compared to the "professional" stuff, and if you compare for example an older daft punk (non remastered) compared to the latest release, you will most likely see their older stuff has more dynamic range than the newer stuff.

In digital recording, digital 0 is the absolute top before the digital music starts to distort. Therefore, your music can't be quieter than others, it can however be perceived as quieter because other's music has less dynamic range and more peeks hitting or getting closer to digital 0 (and less valleys).

The use of a limiter will get your's sounding louder. Unfortunately, the free limiters suck. They don't handle the compression process well enough, it's just too slow and doesn't catch the peaks fast enough. The outcome is heavily distorted sound when turning it up. This is true for the Pro Tools limiter and the Ableton Live plugin. The reason for this is the job of a limiter is to catch the loud parts before they hit 0 and stop them from going over by squishing them back down. if a slower poor quality limiter doesn't catch them fast enough it will distort.

The Best of the best are Class A hardware units costing $3,000-$10,000 per unit This is what the pros use to get a really great sound in mastering. The best plugins I've used are the Waves L1 (or L3) Limiter and the Universal Audio Precision Limiter I even think the Universal Audio is cleaner and less distorted than the Waves. It's $200.

If I was forced into buying only one plugin and having to use the stock plugs that came with my daw for everything else, I would without a doubt purchase a limiter plugin. compressors, eq, effects can all be tweaked enough to get the job done, but you can't fake a good limiter.

Hope This helps!
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Old 21-07-2017, 05:00 PM   #35
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by Lotus_Jewel View Post
Mastering Audio: The Art and the Science 3rd Edition
by Bob Katz
Came in the mail today:

IIRC, it was 39 on Amazon.de

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Old 21-07-2017, 08:39 PM   #36
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Came in the mail today:

IIRC, it was 39 on Amazon.de
I feel, your skills and sound in music will only get much much better...
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Old 21-07-2017, 08:48 PM   #37
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

I am not sure I mentioned it...

but for people like me, the DIY type - for better or worse lol, um who are doing their stuff at home and they design and make their studios, etc...

dennis foley, from acousticfields, is a great source of information regarding design and planning of your studio. we all take it serious to some degree within out capability and this guys videos on youtube are a must watch imho.

I keep going over stuff and have missed things and am having to always learn and re do... in a sense, planning can change etc.

for engineering sound, vs mastering sound ... im geeking out like mad right now but i think i forgot what i was gonna say. :notafinga: fuck

oh yea dennis foley... youtube... STUDY!!!! great stuff...
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Old 22-07-2017, 01:33 AM   #38
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Icon2 Mastering advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotix View Post
I always get discouraged when I finish a song up and I think, damn I got this one sounding pretty loud. Then I scroll through some tracks on SC and think NOPE, mine still pails in comparison. I don't understand how people are getting their stuff so loud, and still having dynamic range.

It truly baffled me, and I've prowled all over youtube trying to find any source of information to help tackle this. Do any of you guys have any good sources on the loudness war and how to achieve what everyone else achieves haha.
Dude, I'm shocked to hear you say this!
You have some of the highest quality tracks I've heard.
Yours are much better mastered than the junk that's squashed to heck or too weak to vibrate a feather.

That being said, there's a nice plugin called RMS Buddy that's useful on the master stereo bus. Use it to check and see that the levels of a final tune are about -14 to -12 dB RMS fs.

Also, use BuzMaxi Limiter or a similar lookahead limiter on the master stereo bus after EQ to get a nice heavy sound. You can boost a bit more on the EQ to get a fuller sound if you have a limiter. Just be sure to play around with the EQ's to make sure you're boosting the area that needs it.

And try to remember how psychoacoustic masking happens. If you boost the bass too much, it will make the treble sound cloudy. And if you use too many high-impact cymbals it will make everything sound really hard to hear clearly and it will cause a lot of listening fatigue.

I find that if you can stop using cymbals entirely, it really opens up the dynamic range A LOT!!!! Then you can use all that dynamic range for more instruments or deeper and wider EQ boosts for that really full sound.

Also, if you group your drums and multiband limit them, you can get a VERY powerful drum sound with a compact dynamic range, so that you can make the music louder too.

Good luck and keep up the fantastic tunes!

Last edited by Daggit; 23-07-2017 at 12:09 PM..

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Old 20-10-2017, 05:29 PM   #39
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

I tried mastering a track I did the other day. mix was ok, main issues was kick thumped the shit out of car speakers and high solo part didn't push through.

I took a parametric EQ and chopped the lows until I thought it just barely thumped. then I fed this into a maximus and chose "max loudness". then I tweaked. the highs were clipping, so I used maximus on the high guitar part (fake). I cut the lows and highs from the solo to reduce harshness as well. this added a lot of headroom and smoothness.

this is all I really think mastering is. ....an effort to get things sounding good across a maximum amount of devices. the loud parts stayed loud even tho I thought the thump that I dialed in what was caused the loudness; it wasn't.

Basically what I'm aiming at is that if you solo the mids section and still hear your track, then you generally just need to make it without ear splitting treble and ass rocking bass getting in the way.

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Old 24-10-2017, 07:00 PM   #40
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

I've watched a lot of walk through tutorials with artists who often say they struggle to mix or master their own tracks.

Sometimes its hard to detach yourself from the production side and purely focus on levels etc.

Don't feel ashamed to use a mastering service or get someone you know to give it a shot.

Also, a lot of tracks out there are often pushed too much so that they sound louder in a club. This isn't always the best way!

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