Super Secret MIXING/MASTERING Info!

Hey, massive. Im not sure if you do this, but take a look at my page, i work almost exclusively with headphones. I probably do need to train my ears to properly mix with monitors in the near future
 

mano 1

Founder
Staff member
Great post dvyce!!!

No matter how much knowledge is out there, you'll always read:
"ya but yer mixs get beta if yo plug da beet in pro toons!!"


;) ...
 

Trusty

I use reason and logic.
I would like to add that from personal experience, you can't do a good job quickly...especially if you haven't been doing it for years, and years...

If you compose, record, mix, and master your own stuff, and by all means, not to put a dent in someone's trade or nothing, you should learn how to and save money...I suggest the following:

Practice, and learn the tools you have or can afford to buy.

Never try to mix right after the recording is finished.

Never try to master after the mix is finished.

Take at least a week long break between the recording, mixing, and mastering stages.

Never spend more than four hours at a time on it.
 

jigalow

New member
Take at least a week long break between the recording, mixing, and mastering stages.

Never spend more than four hours at a time on it.[/quote]

Thats killa advice. My best for creativity is when I first get up
in the mornin' and my head is clear.

As far as the comment "Do what the music tells you "

this is related to what I call ghost sounds. Sound that ani't in the mix but, your head plays them in sync. Ok, this is kinda whacked but I will play a mix and I swear I would hear something very fate like some stab's or something and I go back and nothing. I try to remember what the sound was in my head and match it up in my mix. Any one else encounted this ?

Maybe I just need to take my pilly pills...
 

Babylonian

New member
jigalow said:
Take at least a week long break between the recording, mixing, and mastering stages.

Never spend more than four hours at a time on it.

Thats killa advice. My best for creativity is when I first get up
in the mornin' and my head is clear.

As far as the comment "Do what the music tells you "
this is related to what I call ghost sounds. Sound that ani't in the mix but, your head plays them in sync. Ok, this is kinda whacked but I will play a mix and I swear I would hear something very fate like some stab's or something and I go back and nothing. I try to remember what the sound was in my head and match it up in my mix. Any one else encounted this ?

Maybe I just need to take my pilly pills...

naw you aint crazy
i do the same thing all the time
i count on this for making good music,
i hear the melodis and sometimes end up changing the whole composittion because of what i heard in my head,
or i hear a sound and then try to hold onto it while i create the exact sound i heard....
its a beautiful thing lol
 
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PolarBear

New member
As far as ghost notes, I think there are some instances where effect combinations and compression can creat stuff that wasnt originally there. I've had a couple of beats where faint siren or scream-like sounds can be faintly heard in the background where there shouldn't be any, (I can think of 3 cases in my work off the top of my head.) For instance I did a sampled beat over the weekend, just a drum loop, strings sample, and bass sample, and there is definteily an eery faint scream in the background now, that was never present in any of the samples. I did use alot of compression, a decent amount of reverb and a faint delay though, and im guessing that they are the culprits. Either that or my house or computer is haunted.

As far as the art of mixing/mastering, Id suggest everyone gets the mixing down first. A good rough (or pre-mastered) copy of a song should sound GOOD, just dont over compress, youve got to leave the mastering engineer some space to work.
 

moses

hardliner
"youve got to leave the mastering engineer some space to work."

i don't understand this statement at all. why waiting for the ME if you can do it right yourself? the best case is that your ME says "well, that's perfect. i don't need to process it."

forget the mastering topic, that's pure blabla. why processing the stereo-bus if you have individual tracks? get the sound right in the mix. if it doesn't sound right, try again again and again or go back to the recording step, if it still doesn't work: your song is crap.

never use master-bus processing at all (...even in mastering...), the individual tracks are more than enough.

use gain, panning, compression, EQing, layering or whatever on individual tracks to get the sound you want during mixing. if you still don't get the sound you want after trying weeks, forget about all sound-engineer stuff and start rappin ;)

mastering talk is idiot talk if you have the individual tracks.

after having the perfect sounding song on your monitoring system, go to a ME and let him tweak YOUR sound in a way that it translates well to other monitoring systems and to the specified media. that's all. and every serious ME will ask you to send him all individual tracks (their processed versions), so that he can avoid using the master-bus. why using an EQ on the sum if you just want to make the hihat louder? he will simply boost the hihat-track.

many people love to push their own responsibilities to the next step (recording->mixing, mixing->mastering and sometimes even mastering->listener). but the fact is, that professional music production works exactly in the other direction. mastering is perhaps 1% or less of the hole work. forget mastering, that's not important at all, as long as you don't go into mass production.

MIXING is important
 
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dvyce

New member
moses said:
"youve got to leave the mastering engineer some space to work."

i don't understand this statement at all. why waiting for the ME if you can do it right yourself? the best case is that your ME says "well, that's perfect. i don't need to process it."



that statement does not mean you should not have made your mix perfect so the mastering engineer has some stuff to fix in your track.


It is referring to leaving headroom and some dynamic range in the mix so the mastering engineer has some physical space to apply any necessary (non-corrective) processing.





moses said:
forget the mastering topic, that's pure blabla. why processing the stereo-bus if you have individual tracks? get the sound right in the mix. if it doesn't sound right, try again again and again or go back to the recording step, if it still doesn't work: your song is crap.


Why process the stereo buss when you have the individual tracks? Because you may want some overall compression on the overall mix.

that is something that can only be done to a finished mix.




moses said:
never use master-bus processing at all (...even in mastering...), the individual tracks are more than enough.



uhhhhhh



moses said:
use gain, panning, compression, EQing, layering or whatever on individual tracks to get the sound you want during mixing. if you still don't get the sound you want after trying weeks, forget about all sound-engineer stuff and start rappin ;)

Well, that is all part of the mixing process... when all that is finished, then you can move on to the mastering stage.




moses said:
mastering talk is idiot talk if you have the individual tracks.

after having the perfect sounding song on your monitoring system, go to a ME and let him tweak YOUR sound in a way that it translates well to other monitoring systems and to the specified media. that's all.


That is not all.

There is more to mastering than that.

One thing i will mention is that a mastering engineer acts as a fresh set of ears who can look at your music and work with the overall mix in a way that the person mixing it may not be able to do in an objective way (they are too close to it... too familiar with it)

I personally like a liberal amount of compression on my music in many circumstances (call me "new-school" but that is the way I sometimes like it :) )

I address that compression in mastering... i have very good experienced people who I work with who know what i like and do a good job, and who I have good communication with.



moses said:
many people love to push their own responsibilities to the next step (recording->mixing, mixing->mastering and sometimes even mastering->listener). but the fact is, that professional music production works exactly in the other direction. mastering is perhaps 1% or less of the hole work. forget mastering, that's not important at all, as long as you don't go into mass production.

MIXING is important


I do agree that mixing is important. Without good mixing, nothing else matters...

...and in that same line of thinking, though... tracking is important, because if you tracked everything poorly then you have no quality tracks to mix...

...and performance is important, because if your performance sucks, then you are only tracking crap anyway...

...and writing is important, because if you don't have a good song to begin with, then all you will have is a crap song... but very well played and produced.
 

moses

hardliner
dvyce you are absolutely right. leaving alot dynamic range is really important in the mix. and even after mastering. although many ME's forget that many serious music listener have good audio systems at home and really think most people like the sound of compression. an example is the jazz field or... ...simply ask your girlfriend or any other woman if she likes overcompressed sound... ...they mostly don't, but that's another topic.

what i wanted to say is: don't wait for someone else fixing your problems in the next step, you have to do it right immediatly. the only processing done during mastering should have the intention of increasing the translation quality (using compression for example, what was the reason for this invention? bad medias and speakers) and adapt the material to a specific media. every other processing is usually a symptom for a bad or incomplete mix. another thing is passive quality control, but that goes hand in hand with the translation quality.

i hear thousands guys talking about mastering without even knowing what the white and red cables behind their hifi's are used for. they see a catalogue, and 2-3 forum posts about "mastering" and think that's where the "sound" is made. they make ultra crapy mixes and get angry if you don't give them the super secret nuclear compressor/EQ mastering plugin and setting the pro's use everyday (beware: joke!). i think they all need some kind of "MIXING" hype before they start thinking (or a DRE talking about the importance of the mixing process ;) ).

sorry for the lurid language in my last post, but i'm getting more and more mastering-smalltalk-allergic... ...i don't say a ME is useless, i say mastering is seriously overhyped.

...it was the job nobody wanted to do 30 years ago, they all prefered recording and mixing... ...2-3 catalogues and a little marketing and it's nowadays the exact opposite... ...what a strange world...
 
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dvyce

New member
moses said:
...it was the job nobody wanted to do 30 years ago, they all prefered recording and mixing... ...2-3 catalogues and a little marketing and it's nowadays the exact opposite... ...what a strange world...



What makes you think it is a job that everybody wants to do today?
 

dvyce

New member
moses said:
this forum



The only thing I get from this forum regarding peoples desire to enter into the field of mastering as a profession is that people want to know "how do I master my tracks so they sound professional"

The general population here does not even know what mastering is
 

MASSIVE Mastering

New member
dvyce said:
The only thing I get from this forum regarding peoples desire to enter into the field of mastering as a profession is that people want to know "how do I master my tracks so they sound professional"

The general population here does not even know what mastering is
And they think that it's just to "make it loud." While part of it, only a small part.
 

codexlf

New member
Either that, or that it makes your production sound better... Like you do the mix, which sounds ok... Then you master it, so it sounds amazing!
 

mostro1600

New member
To ASTAR, if you produce your music you will know how high or low each of the instruments should sound like, listen to your track, there might be an instrument that's too loud or too low and you're looking for a specific sound from that instrument, that's when you start to level the volume on that instrument to your likeing, you have to remember that each instrument goes on a different channel so you can tweek each one of them to the best possible sound and you might want to change the sound a little bit on that specific instrument, that's when you use efects on each channel that you want the sound changed, you could use plugins ect. Now when mastering that's when you wanna make your track or whatever sound loud and clear good enough for Radio play and club play, you don't want your stuff to sound amature when it's playing on the radio, at least that's my understanding of mixing/mastering. There's more to it but these things you learn them as time goes by. Let me know if this little lecture is helpful.
 
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rathkana

New member
MASSIVE Mastering said:
Verb will generally be a post-EQ auxiliary send. EQ will be in-line. Compression will be an insert (hopefully, post EQ but there are occasions where you'd want it pre-EQ also).


yes, thats for people who are using a mixing desk.not every one here is using a mixing desk for thier stuff. .........software...........
 

dvyce

New member
rathkana said:
yes, thats for people who are using a mixing desk.not every one here is using a mixing desk for thier stuff. .........software...........


that has absolutely nothing at all to do with a "mixing desk" vs "software"
 

stryder

New member
mastering is a clean-up no? the trick is for me to get all my eq's right one setting, one fixed freq area for each sound, or is it really true that you should constantly adapt to the whole setting of the song? constantly changing eq's even for one sound?masterin
 

MASSIVE Mastering

New member
rathkana said:
yes, thats for people who are using a mixing desk.not every one here is using a mixing desk for thier stuff. .........software...........
As Dvyce observed, I *was* talking about software. But of course, the same thing is applicable to hardware.

@ Stryder - If the mix needs different settings and/or automation, that's what it's there for.
 
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