• Super Secret MIXING/MASTERING Info!

    I don't even know where to start here...


    The truth is, it is not inaccurate to say "do what the mix tells you (i.e. what the mix needs)" in response to a question of how to master.

    ...and the fact is, the same thing goes for mixing and songwriting (each of which are all very specific craft and art, no less so than mastering.)


    Mastering, mixing, and songwriting ALL take a lifetime to learn. That is a fact. Every day that goes by, you will get better and better... and if you actually have a talent for it, you may become great.


    It should be a given that you need the highest quality equipment... and that goes for mixing, recording and mastering EQUALLY.

    ...you shouldn't need someone to tell you that... even though it has been told to you countless times.


    in order to master (or mix or record) you will need a complete intimate understanding of various tools such as compressors and EQ's...

    ...not to mention (with regard to mastering) the guidelines for preparing a finished master ready for manufacture, which is really the ultimate goal of having a record mastered... but I have a feeling that when people ask how to "master" they are really asking "how do I make my track sound as loud as that song from that CD and how do I master it so the mix sounds like a professional CD" (and in that case, there are a lot more steps you need to address before you reach your goals.)


    You will need to have the ability to objectively look at a piece of music and hear and understand what needs to be done to it.


    (i.e., doing what the music is telling you to do)



    You can give instruction on the technicalities of how to use various pieces of equipment and what the various controls do and you can explain what types of sounds have fast attacks (or whatever), but actually using it in the proper place in the proper way is up to the users ability to:

    1. hear what the audio needs;

    2. decide which tool is the proper one to use; and

    3. use it effectively




    Some people seem to just be happy having someone tell them what to do whether it is correct and useful information or not.

    Someone could tell you some completely useless and false information and people will say "finally! thanks for the help man! good lookin out!"



    Please understand this:

    There is no "frequency" someone can tell you to boost.

    There is no "compressor setting" someone can give you.

    There is no "level" someone can tell you to make an instrument in a mix.



    --these are all things the audio will "tell" you it needs... and it is up to you to be able to hear what the audio is saying and it is up to you to know how to "answer it when it speaks."



    If you are mastering your own material, there should be NO CORRECTIVE MEASURES NEEDED with mastering.

    If your hi-hat is too loud, you don't need to try to correct it in mastering... you just lower the hi-hat in your mix!



    If your mix doesn't sound right and basically like what it should sound like on the album, then you didn't mix it well.





    With regard to both mixing and/or mastering (not everything I am going to mention will apply to both), you can be told things like "don't overcompress, get your levels sounding good, pan your instruments in a balanced way, make sure each instrument has its own space, make the overall album sound consistent, etc"

    ...but it is up to you to know your tools and how to use them... and it is up to you to know what sounds right.


    Every day, I see several people here saying "you should pan this here and use this compresor setting and boost this frequency and roll this off and copy this to another track and use this plugin and this preset and this synth"

    ...and it is generally bad advice...

    ...and people say "thanks for the great tips!" because they don't know any better.





    If you want to get some help on your mixing, maybe try posting one of your mixes and ask people to critique it. Maybe you can get an objective opinion on whether you need to raise the level of your snare... or if you have too much reverb on your vocal... or if some effect you used sounds cheesy... or if your stereo spread is off... or if the strings sound dull... or you have too much compression on the guitar... or you need to automate the level of the solo section... or whatever


    If you want help with your mastering... post something you mastered and have people critique it. Maybe you can get an objective opinion on it. Maybe someone can tell you "it sounds like you have a lot of compression on the track, which is not my taste, but if that is your artistic decision then it is good... but it sounds like you have the release set too long because I can hear the compressor recovering" or whatever.



    ...and that should do it...

    ...you are now on your way to becoming a great recording/mixing/mastering engineer!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Super Secret MIXING/MASTERING Info! started by dvyce View original post
    Comments 108 Comments
    1. DubyabeatsCKtG's Avatar
      DubyabeatsCKtG -
      Quote Originally Posted by Xabiton View Post
      kanye (maybe)
      wayne (doubtful)
      snoop dogg (nope)
      this industry only loves u for 10-15 years in the rap game. Lets not forget Wayne has been in the game for 10+ years on a mainstream level people will tire of him soon i think. Snoop Dogg is a rare exception to the rule. Kanye is getting to his 10 year mark so its very possible. I think Kanye will always have a place as a producer though
      I most def think Kanye will be around, making hits. Hes one of the most innovative hip hop artist of this generation. I doubt Lil Wayne will still be making hits but hes made a pretty big imprint in modern hip hop so i def think that he will still be around and Snoop Is the god father haha he doesnt need to do anything and people will listen to his music out of respect...
    1. orjanbeats's Avatar
      orjanbeats -
      puff daddy, because Ten years from now we'll still be on top
    1. Xabiton's Avatar
      Xabiton -
      Quote Originally Posted by DubyabeatsCKtG View Post
      I most def think Kanye will be around, making hits. Hes one of the most innovative hip hop artist of this generation. I doubt Lil Wayne will still be making hits but hes made a pretty big imprint in modern hip hop so i def think that he will still be around and Snoop Is the god father haha he doesnt need to do anything and people will listen to his music out of respect...
      Kanye innovative? Idk everything I see Kanye doing are things other people did years ago just in other genres usually. Thats not to say that I dislike Kanye I like him but I don't think hes really innovative.
    1. needledust's Avatar
      needledust -
      10 yeas from now.. seriously the artist/producers fosho. example. timbaland, dre, eminem, neptunes(pharell), kayne, usher. Artist wise... It depends on the drive.. away from pop rnb and hip hop/ look at groups such as Metallica. I think once they've run close to out of money.. they'll jump back into the game. But any artist has potential to stay / come back out in 10 years. it just depends on their drive to push back out. backstreet boys tried to come back out. LOL. a true artist never runs away from his/her craft. making excuses that family/drugs/financial problems stop them from doing so is bs. that's just my 2 cents.
    1. D-Bils's Avatar
      D-Bils -
      I can see Chris Brown still making occasional hits even if he loses popularity
      Kanye too
    1. skillz's Avatar
      skillz -
      Me. I love music due to the fact that I can't hear whinging, whining, complaints, arguements or nothing.

      I hear sound.

      Sound takes me away.

      So while some of you do it for the money, I do it because it eases the soul.

      Amen.
    1. deuce63's Avatar
      deuce63 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Coop. View Post
      Drake and J Cole will become the closest thing to the new Nas and Jay status wise.

      Justin Bieber will last as well.
      I agree. Justin Bieber make be the new Justin Timberlake in a few years, and like you said Drake and J. Cole will be as good as it gets later on.
    1. Fyu-chur's Avatar
      Fyu-chur -
      Ima go with Gaga, Drake, Nicki, maybe Justin Bieber, I think Chris Brown can do it, Kanye prob, cant sleep on snoop, Busta Jay-Z or timbo tho.. you never know with them. I kno im forgetin someone tho
    1. jayrx's Avatar
      jayrx -
      If Eminem came out in the last 2 years and released his first albums.. Would you guys honestly think he would be still making hits 10+ years later?
    1. kanjeeny's Avatar
      kanjeeny -
      Lil wayne wont be making hits 10 years from now haha I think if snoop is still alive he will.Beyonce,Chris brown,Eminem,Usher and mhmm probably soulja boy he's weak but i swear for some reason people love to listen to his weak rhymes smh hopefully he will be done in the next 1 hour lo
    1. dimesproductions's Avatar
      dimesproductions -
      I think Dimes will be making hits!!!
    1. JayJim's Avatar
      JayJim -
      I believe Kanye West, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Eminem, Usher will be relavant in 10 years.
    1. Ayham's Avatar
      Ayham -
      I learned this the hard way..thers no right way to mix your trax..with time you are able to polish your skills and you ear..but the best way to enhance you mixes is to create a HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT..because if you mix ur beats or songs in a bad environment you will be hearing false frequencies..once you have a better understanding of you mixing environment you will be able to push your mix to the limit and achieve that professional sound!
    1. StretchGunna's Avatar
      StretchGunna -
      Quote Originally Posted by JayJim View Post
      I believe Kanye West, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Eminem, Usher will be relavant in 10 years.
      I'd like to remove Usher and Chris Brown from that list, and add Lupe Fiasco
    1. gabberdyne's Avatar
      gabberdyne -
      nas will be there somewhere and krs will pop something out
    1. KelevraOne's Avatar
      KelevraOne -
      Quote Originally Posted by gabberdyne View Post
      nas will be there somewhere and krs will pop something out
      When's the last time either of them had a hit?
    1. XtheDETECTIVE1's Avatar
      XtheDETECTIVE1 -
      wow does any body love real hip hop any more?
    1. TEKONE BEATS's Avatar
      TEKONE BEATS -
      Quote Originally Posted by JayJim View Post
      I believe Kanye West, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, Snoop, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Eminem, Usher will be relavant in 10 years.
      i hope your wrong hahahaha
    1. XtheDETECTIVE1's Avatar
      XtheDETECTIVE1 -
      i need to learn how to mix

      ---------- Post added at 11:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:29 PM ----------

      haaahahhah thats dope SUN!!!! HHAAHAHAA

      ---------- Post added at 11:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 PM ----------

      I really like that beat tek ahahahahahha =d

      ---------- Post added at 11:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:37 PM ----------

      How u make a beat like that!!!

      ---------- Post added at 11:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:38 PM ----------

      i will learn and be great producer

      ---------- Post added 05-16-2011 at 12:12 AM ---------- Previous post was 05-15-2011 at 11:55 PM ----------

      I been hearing good stuff so far

      ---------- Post added at 12:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:12 AM ----------

      1 more thing

      ---------- Post added at 12:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:21 AM ----------

      Hhahahaahahhaahhaahahah

      ---------- Post added at 12:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:25 AM ----------

      Gotta have power and faith

      ---------- Post added at 12:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:30 AM ----------

      Making beats right now

      ---------- Post added at 12:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:34 AM ----------

      I am making beats now
    1. IHIambo's Avatar
      IHIambo -
      Kanye West:

      I see Kanye still in the game at least from a production/engineer side with No I.D. If any thing he'll still be in the game off features from his G.O.O.D. music artists. Besides unlike many artists, Kanye always comes back with a new addictive sounds. Every album he put out has gone at least platinum in the US so he'll definitely be around.

      Lil Wayne:

      Wanye is going to be around because he's Wayne. He flooded the industry gradually over the past years by doing features with other prominent artists and releases mixtapes keeping his voice in the minds of listeners. Nowadays it doesn't matter how well he raps, it just he put so much music out there he has become a household name so you expect to have him in the industry. He has pulled the ultimate marketing strategy of himself just by convincing you to like him. Simply put "Imagine The Game Without Wayne". You don't have to like him (he knows this) but your going to hear him.

      Snoop Dogg:

      Snoop Dogg did and does the same thing. He knows how to market himself to the public because he has been in the game so long (20+ years). He developed that brand hooked up with the right people and continues to align himself with hot young talent. Prime example Wiz Khalifa. Snoop timed his alliance with Wiz down to the brim and rode the success of Wiz like it was nothing. Now Wiz is hot on the mainstream and Snoop got a little piece of that exposure for himself.

      Drake:

      Drake will do well in the industry if not, he is a great lyricists and believe or not as good as "Thank Me Later" was Drake says it wasn't his best work. He was rushed in the process and had too meet deadlines. Now that he has the budget and time he wants I'm sure his next album will be just as good.

      Other artists:

      All of the other artists who should be prominent are proteges if the people mentioned above basically cementing these industry greats in the game for a long time. You also have artists like Rick Ross and Young Jeezy(if you didn't know) who are slept on sometimes I stress sometimes. But note all of the albums Ross and Jeezy released all went platinum in the US at least.

      Note: All of these statements are just my personal opinion, don't rip your hair out if you think differently. It's just one forum post.