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Old 02-11-2017, 08:16 AM   #41
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

I just get the mix as best as i can with what i have, then i listen on many different mediums, like shit headphones, laptop speakers, bluetooth speakers, bigger speakers, etc. and if it sounds decent i just loudize it and if it's decent ill release it.

However, it's very important to master properly, i just don't do it....If i had a REAL release i'd probably hire somebody as i don't have the means for acoustic treatment as i travel around a lot.

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Old 03-11-2017, 03:09 AM   #42
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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.
Do you have a song as an example that you have heard that you think, "DAMN! That's loud!" and are impressed with?

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Old 08-11-2017, 12:43 AM   #43
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by Vault O))) View Post
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
Im going to endorse this. I was actually surprised to see you posting this Chaotix. Your mixes sounds fine.
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.

However I do understand where you are coming from and ironically, your mixes was the first that came to my mind regarding loudness. So I dont feel you are too far off.
I often see the Bob Katz book referenced as a mandated "Must Read".
I believe from my homework, there's also a lot to be said about understanding gain induced with various plugins itb.
Also keep all your tracks prior to master sub -6db, leave the master gain to the final master mix.

I will echo though your thoughts, my mixes are very low in volume compared to many even when the master level is showing at maximum anything above starts to sound distorted. My current working theory is getting a low level balance of all the frequencies. Then work up on the master.

Still experimenting with a combo of plugins on the master with this limiltess, N4 and elevate.

However one thing I am going to test, is rework a mix without any plugins and only use Klanghelm plugins on the mix to see how they level out. These all default at -18db and are regarded (my personal understanding) as one of the best true levels for mixing.

Now Im rambling...so checking out to loiter mode for thread

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Old 29-11-2017, 05:47 PM   #44
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

I've frequently heard mastering referred to as a "dark art" and people who master as "sorcerers."

I think there is a lot of truth to this. It's easy to dismiss subtleties as not that necessary, or to think one can just put limiter and compression on a track and it's done. I think, yes, you can totally get away with this, and put it on soundcloud and people will like it. BUT, when you hear professionally mastered albums, there is clearly something different. It's nearly impossible to articulate what or how or why it sounds different, but it does. It's just better.

I just returned from a class with field recording pro, Chris Watson, and he said he's given up understanding it or trying to do it himself. He said he has a guy he trusts, and he simply gives him tracks and says make it sound better and it does. I think if you have the money, you should pay someone who knows what they're doing. Otherwise, it's not worth worrying too much about if you're not looking to get a record deal or make a bunch of money.
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Old 29-11-2017, 06:13 PM   #45
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

How I stopped calling it a dark art, even though I'm still mystified by it, ymmv:

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Old 07-12-2017, 05:56 PM   #46
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by eesn View Post
How I stopped calling it a dark art, even though I'm still mystified by it, ymmv:
The page is very interesting. What headphones did you get? I was told that buying good headphones without proper audio card makes no difference and is pointless.
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:43 AM   #47
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by Lalo View Post
The page is very interesting. What headphones did you get? I was told that buying good headphones without proper audio card makes no difference and is pointless.
I threw out the Sennheiser 280s (red) and got the HD25-s (blue). Worth the investment as, unlike the 280s, I could actually learn how the 25s sound. That 70-200Hz uneven drop on the 280s - killed all my mixes over N years.

Modern electronics are more effective at driving without changing frequency response a wide range of headphones, except for very high impedance ones (600Ω) that may be too quiet. 64Ω works on everything. Also, any quiet and stable audio interface works.

Basically beyond not having drastically uneven space+speakers or headphones, it's not a technical issue. Allow time to learn the sound/response, and mind how one frequency range can mask another.

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Old 08-12-2017, 09:49 AM   #48
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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This site is great for judging headphones.
You can search through approx. 500 headphones, and they have FR as well as FR with delay over time which is where real mixing values truly come in, because if all frequencies but the low end die off, then build up and issues can happen.

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You, or anyone else, are free to do anything with the music that I make. I consider all of my productions to be public domain. If someone asks, I will give them the source files and any related sample files if they are needed. Music is a dialogue, not a speech. Any listener must be free to become the speaker at any time for the life of the dialogue to be retained. Let us, then, discuss in tone.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:55 AM   #49
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eesn View Post
I threw out the Sennheiser 280s (red) and got the HD25-s (blue). Worth the investment as, unlike the 280s, I could actually learn how the 25s sound. That 70-200Hz uneven drop on the 280s - killed all my mixes over N years.

Modern electronics are more effective at driving without changing frequency response a wide range of headphones, except for very high impedance ones (600Ω) that may be too quiet. 64Ω works on everything. Also, any quiet and stable audio interface works.

Basically beyond not having drastically uneven space+speakers or headphones, it's not a technical issue. Allow time to learn the sound/response, and mind how one frequency range can mask another.
As a person who moved to HD280s some time ago, it's really interesting too see this chart.

While not being used to them yet, I still think they are miles better than my old AKG240 MKIIs after all.

EDIT: btw, after reading this, I instantly noticed how the tune in my sig has way too much of that low mid/high bass mud, thx!

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Old 08-12-2017, 06:04 PM   #50
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Agu- View Post
EDIT: btw, after reading this, I instantly noticed how the tune in my sig has way too much of that low mid/high bass mud, thx!
lucky you. by the time i'd notice, the mix would require such deep changes, i'd spend a day stressing out and finally losing track of what needed doing, never able to explain why it sounds so weird.

anyway, they are very musical, just don't trust them to mix with.

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Old 08-12-2017, 09:52 PM   #51
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Agu- View Post

EDIT: btw, after reading this, I instantly noticed how the tune in my sig has way too much of that low mid/high bass mud, thx!
Not to throw this into even more of a tangent, but I think it sounds great.

You guys are all too hard on yourselves

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Old 09-12-2017, 06:04 AM   #52
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Originally Posted by Vault O))) View Post
Not to throw this into even more of a tangent, but I think it sounds great.

You guys are all too hard on yourselves
Thanks!

But I still couldn't resist so I had to tweak it.

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Old 04-01-2018, 01:50 PM   #53
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

For me, what got my mixes a lot louder and clearer was, quite ironically, LESS compression and MORE saturation.

Saturation obviously makes things seem louder, which makes it a good alternative to compression on it's own. But somehow it also seems to do things to the high mid and high end that make the whole mix sit together better with less work. Rolling off a bit of the highs, but it seems to round off and fill out the sound in general. Once it comes time to do the final loudness, a mix like that reacts much better to any compression or limiting you want to apply to it. I wouldn't call what I do 'mastering' but I get my tracks to a loudness I'm perfectly happy with, without it being a struggle.

It's made a huge difference for my sound.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:42 AM   #54
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Arrangement and sound design, while not on the mastering end, could help with loudness. Ive been wanting to find something loud and clean lately and see if I can copy the loudness by studying the sound design and arrangement elements.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:39 PM   #55
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Arrangement and sound design, while not on the mastering end, could help with loudness. Ive been wanting to find something loud and clean lately and see if I can copy the loudness by studying the sound design and arrangement elements.
this.

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Old 26-01-2018, 11:25 PM   #56
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Get a test master on Landr. Use that master as a reference while using your own software to emulate it. Should get you 3/4 of the way there. Just add youtube video tutorials (yes, really).
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:44 PM   #57
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

Are you a producer or a mastering engineer? They are different things.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:34 PM   #58
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Are you a producer or a mastering engineer? They are different things.
Such a hollow post in 2018.

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Old 03-03-2018, 03:29 AM   #59
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

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Get a test master on Landr. Use that master as a reference while using your own software to emulate it. Should get you 3/4 of the way there. Just add youtube video tutorials (yes, really).
I googled it after your post. I am a beginner so I am not acknowledged with techniques now but I remastered there all my tracks for free and they really sound good now! Good stuff especially if I am not thinking about releasing but just publishing on SD from time to time.
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Old 16-03-2018, 01:51 AM   #60
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Re: I really suck at mastering.

The salient points are already written in this thread by others.

Just to emphasize:

1) Mastering is not about loudness. Mixing is about loudness. If you want a loud master you're going to need a loud mix. Why? Because loudness =/= amplitude. It's not something that gets applied at the end. You have to make your tune sound loud.

2) Mastering is now even less about loudness, because Youtube and others are using peak normalisation. This is a good thing. It means you should focus on the mix. That's what you should have always been doing anyway. Youtube is now punishing music which was too focused on being squished. This is as it should be.

Get your mix right. After that, get your mix right. Then, when you're done, get your mix right.

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