Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: The need for good mastering software?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    The need for good mastering software?

    Sign in to disable this ad
    When I create something, I'm always like. "Yeah, this sounds alright" until i compare it to other tracks and then get disappointed. The best way I can put it is that my music always seems to sound like it's being played directly in front of you. Whereas other peoples music sounds like it's in your ears a lot more, or more in your face perhaps? Closer, I guess. It's hard to explain but you can certainly hear it. Sometimes I feel like my finished mastered track sounds like the final mixdown that now needs to be mastered, if i put it in another way.

    I've splashed out on a lot of well known VST products and other software so it wouldn't be the quality of the sounds I'm using, but I haven't bought any mastering software and use the basic Logic Multipresser and built in limiters and stereo spreads and such that you get as standard.

    My mastering ability is poor. Sure, I can read some guides and watch YT videos and copy those, but I don't 'really' know what I'm doing. So before I pay about 500 on some sort of mastering suite, (quite like the look of this one... Ozone 7 Mastering Software | iZotope ) I wondered whether this would actually help in getting that 'closer in your headphones' more 'in your face' finished article sound that I can't seem to get with what I'm doing at the moment.
    Last edited by nm133775; 08-29-2017 at 03:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Missoula, MT, USA
    Posts
    1,270
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 104 Times in 102 Posts
    I use Ozone and am pretty happy with the change it made in my finished tracks. I don't see a lot of need for the advanced version though, I have Ozone 5 regular (two versions out of date) and I can't really imagine that the "basic" $200 version nowadays wouldn't work for most people.
    Hit me up on Facebook! Producer album on Spotify and Bandcamp if you want to check it out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    613
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 61 Times in 58 Posts
    I'd grab that Izotope production bundle, it's on sale now.. for the extra 100 over Ozone Advanced it throws in a bunch of extra stuff like Neutron, Nektar, Trash and Vocalsynth.. pretty good deal if you ask me.
    lwj - local space music

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Funk Junkie View Post
    I use Ozone and am pretty happy with the change it made in my finished tracks. I don't see a lot of need for the advanced version though, I have Ozone 5 regular (two versions out of date) and I can't really imagine that the "basic" $200 version nowadays wouldn't work for most people.
    Thanks, that's really good to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by localspace View Post
    I'd grab that Izotope production bundle, it's on sale now.. for the extra 100 over Ozone Advanced it throws in a bunch of extra stuff like Neutron, Nektar, Trash and Vocalsynth.. pretty good deal if you ask me.
    Yeah, I am tempted with that bundle. I might pick it up when i get paid this week. But the question really, is how limiting (lol, pun not intended) are the standard logic masting VSTs? Essentially i want to know whether my failure in getting that finished 'phat' polished sound is down to using basic studio technology or whether it's just my mastering ability as a whole. It's probably a difficult question to answer without hearing examples but i wondered whether it make a substantial difference even or whether it's just me and my mixing that's poor and not really the software.
    Last edited by nm133775; 08-30-2017 at 06:07 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    613
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 61 Times in 58 Posts
    The sale lasts until tomorrow only :\

    I don't have a lot of experience with Logic's effects but I imagine it'll cover all the basics. It's known for having good stock plugins. So, no.. getting a package like Ozone isn't going to revolutionize your tracks on it's own.
    It's not the end all be all. I even use free and really cheap effects in my mastering chain alongside Ozone. The fat polished sound has to already be there during the final mix.. good rule of thumb is that mastering can only enhance what's there (for better or worse.. mixing mistakes get blown up too)

    The big reason for me to get it was convenience. I like having all I need in one package, similar slick GUI's etc.. and a bunch of the other plugins they add. Insight has all the metering you will possibly ever need. Neutron is nice although it eats CPU for breakfast. I use Nectar as a channel strip a lot (even though it's meant for vocals) because it has nice compressors, saturation and pretty sweet (but limited) reverb. Vocalsynth is hilarious. Trash is great for distortion. If I was in the market for mastering plugs on their own I probably would've looked elsewhere... but if you take the package as a whole it's hard to beat. Can you find higher quality processing.. yes probably. Would that make a huge difference? Probably not. What's also good about it is that it's always well documented and they provide learning materials for their software aimed at all levels from beginners to professionals..

    Like if you asked me what's the best plugins money can buy, I'd point you to something like DMGaudio's Limitless, their EQ's etc... That's brilliant stuff, but completely geared towards professionals that know all the ins and outs. If you're just getting started it's like: where do you even start with these?
    lwj - local space music

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I guess it's in the mixing then. People have said that things sound really good from a production point of view, but perhaps I struggle with placing things in the stereo field as well as I'd like. In my opinion, it always sounds like it's one thing slapped on a wall in front of you and doesn't really 'fill' the area.

    Here's is a demo of something I have been working on.


    And a track of a similar genre.
    Sub Pub Music - We Will Rise (Rise 2014) - YouTube

    In my opinion, you can easily hear that mine is just not, quite, there... You could tell which one is the professional and which one isn't.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    613
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 61 Times in 58 Posts
    Hmm that sounds pretty good, I like yours better than the example, lol. What do you work with? Lots of Kontakt I imagine. But yeah it lacks a certain sparkle and width. That imager in Ozone would work nice on this.
    Another thing that doesn't contribute directly to a wide stereo image, but does help in making things more grounded is saturation, like from tape or tube gear.. it'll give it a bit more grit and warmth, tame the harshness a bit.. leaving you more room in the high end to create details. Because I feel that may be lacking a bit too.. it could be as simple as adding some small but very bright elements, like a white noise sweep, cymbals, small percussions.

    There's also a really cheap and old trick I just remembered you could try:
    mix about 5% of your left channel into the right channel (and vice versa) and invert it. That should give the impression of a widened stereo field.... I use to do that all the time when I had no gear..
    most audio-editors will let you do that pretty easily.
    lwj - local space music

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    26
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by localspace View Post
    Hmm that sounds pretty good, I like yours better than the example, lol. What do you work with? Lots of Kontakt I imagine. But yeah it lacks a certain sparkle and width. That imager in Ozone would work nice on this.
    Another thing that doesn't contribute directly to a wide stereo image, but does help in making things more grounded is saturation, like from tape or tube gear.. it'll give it a bit more grit and warmth, tame the harshness a bit.. leaving you more room in the high end to create details. Because I feel that may be lacking a bit too.. it could be as simple as adding some small but very bright elements, like a white noise sweep, cymbals, small percussions.

    There's also a really cheap and old trick I just remembered you could try:
    mix about 5% of your left channel into the right channel (and vice versa) and invert it. That should give the impression of a widened stereo field.... I use to do that all the time when I had no gear..
    most audio-editors will let you do that pretty easily.
    Thanks. Yes, lot's of Kontakt. Bought NIs complete 11 edition and re enforced it with Shreddage, some 8dio libraries, Albions Spitfire One and some VSTBuzz bundles but I haven't bought any processing elements. Maybe I'm trying to copy other people and I just have my own musical identity that I'm not particularly keen on haha.

    Thanks for the tips. Not sure how to do that last one, but it doesn't seem too difficult.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Some people mention Ozone above. Ozone is great. Wavelab is also great. I love it. That being said, I use a lot of other tools for mastering too... but I think they key is a great room and great monitoring system... and experience. Even with all of the right tools, if you're room and speakers are not right, you will make incorrect decisions when attempting your own mastering. Also, it's tough to compete with someone who is mastering every single day. Experience is the best teacher, and like anything, the more experience, practice, work, failure, etc that you put into something, the better you will get. In most mixes people send me for mastering, I find they usually nail the midrange pretty well (between 250Hz and maybe 5k). EQ adjustments I make for people are usually in the bass or highs - not always, but usually.

    If you want to do it on your own though, a great mastering limiter alone can probably get you 85% of the way to where you'd like to be. The other 15% may require more effort, money, help, gear, etc.

    Good Luck!
    -Todd

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Posts
    47
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
    Don't get me wrong, ozone is an amazing audio tool, and it does a fantastic job in the hands of just about anyone trying to dial in their sound... Mastering is definitely an extremely important part of any project, but it's beyond important to not overlook just how important the mixing stage is.

    When you're listening to a great finished product, and you find yourself being able to hear the instruments so clearly and upfront; I would bet my bottom dollar that the particular mix was absolutely amazing before it was sent out to the mastering engineer. Like CLA says so often... Don't rely on the mastering engineer to fix the problems in your mixes.

    Logic actually comes with some great plugins as I'm sure you're well aware of... Before you shell out the cash on ozone, it wouldn't hurt to continue fine tuning your skills with the tools you currently have. If you have the extra cash, getting ozone would most definitely be a positive.

    The magic is in the mix...

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •