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Thread: Mastering

  1. #1
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    Mar 2015
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    I usually just use a compressor and a low pass filter on my overall track... Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Thanked 57 Times in 54 Posts
    That's not really mastering.. that's using a compressor and filter on your master bus during the mix
    Which is totally fine and valid by the way.. but mastering is (and should be) a separate process!

    My tips would be to use the low pass filters earlier on the chain, make sure you don't those unwanted highs in the master.. they just take up headroom.
    Also if you're working with lots of reverb, filtering and eq'ing the high end on the master channel is a pretty brute force tactic! It's better to keep those bands clean for a sparkly high-end.

    Other things you could try:
    -tape saturation: always works (subtle) wonders on any bus, including the master
    -exciters: liven up sounds, tame peaks.
    -Mid/Side EQ and Compression: boosting the sides allows you have a much nicer pronounced stereo effect, without destroying the mono base.
    -dynamic EQ: suppose you have a sudden spike that only happens once or twice and you want to tone it down. A compressor or EQ will effect the entire track, a dynamic EQ can surgically
    attack those spikes, leaving the rest untouched. With a good mix you wont need it much, but when you need it, it's a lifesaver.
    -analog EQ (or a good emulation of it): they're less precise and versatile, but more 'musical'. An analog EQ boosting the high-end can sound very nice.. while a digital EQ will just make things harsh.
    The big secret is that those old units don't just cut and boost frequency bands, but also add their own flavours of saturation and harmonic excitation. Same thing for (emulations of) old vintage compressors.
    -subtle reverb: can liven up a dull track.. also ruin it.
    -limiter: limiters are one of those plugs where it pays to pay for a good one. Using a great one like the Waves L2/L3, Fabfilter Pro-L, Izotope Maximizer, etc.. really makes all the difference (like 3-4db's worth).
    Actually the L2 isn't all that great, lol.. it can kill your track dead, but it's probably the most widely used one.. and cheap. Pro-L and Maximizer are the business though..
    lwj - local space music

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