Doing my first re-edits - how much do I need to learn about eqing and mastering?

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tone7777
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Doing my first re-edits - how much do I need to learn about eqing and mastering?

Post by tone7777 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:46 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm just getting into music production mainly to expand out my DJ sets. I play a lot of old Afro latin music.

I want to start really simply by just creating my own edits - doing some rearranging, warping some of the tracks and putting on some kicks and possibly the odd bit of additional percussion here and there.

Later I want to move to more complex remixes.

Note, that I don't want to release any of this music, just play it in my own sets which are to small rooms to 20 or so people.

I know my way around Ableton, and can make a basic mix and eq that sounds fine to me on my monitor speakers.

However, I find the whole world of really detailed eqing and mastering completely baffling.

I am really struggling to understand how much of this is necessary for such simple re-edits. I did have one lesson with a guy who was making changes to the bassdrum sound that I found completely inaudible and found myself wondering "why?".

So I guess my question is - if I make a mix that sounds ok to me, can I just get on with it and start DJing with it, or are there really essential additional steps that I absolutely must learn (or get someone else to do for me?). I have done a ton of youtubing on this, but everything seems really overcomplicated for my needs!

Any advice really appreciated!

T

jestermgee
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Re: Doing my first re-edits - how much do I need to learn about eqing and mastering?

Post by jestermgee » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:49 am

In short, just trust your ears to begin with and build your experience from there.

I would say that most people can achieve a good sound that is about 95% of the way to a proper "professional" release with just basic techniques using EQ filtering, compression and multi-band dynamics and as long as it sound good to you and half decent to your audience then I wouldn't stress too much about the small fiddly stuff.

However, that last 5% is what training, experience and quality tools will cover and is what makes a "decent" sounding track sound "amazing" and it's a combination of many little things which on their own may not make much of a difference but overall can make a real difference.

I'm far from an expert, if I needed to commercially release stuff I would simply hand it over to someone with that experience. It's a lot like cooking. Someone with just basic knowledge of how to switch on an oven and chuck something in can end up with a meal that tastes ok and fills you up but a trained chef can make the same thing taste amazing and leave you wondering how...

My suggestion would be to skip youtube as it can be a minefield of information and look at a dedicated course that offers a mixing/mastering course for the basics. I sat through a course from ProductionMusicLive.com a while back and it had a decent level of information to really understand some of the basics. Has certainly helped improve some aspects of my own sounds but i'm far from an expert.

Tarekith
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Re: Doing my first re-edits - how much do I need to learn about eqing and mastering?

Post by Tarekith » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:29 pm

You definitely don't NEED to worry about mastering and what not for this, especially since you're editing tracks that have already been mastered. If you now make your edits and they sound good enough to you in your sets, then by all means keep it simple and just work that way. You can always slowly learn those kinds of skills as you go if you find yourself with a need for them, for now just have fun and don't stress about the those aspects of production.

Here's a real basic mastering primer that will get you started if you choose:

http://innerportalstudio.com/articles/Mastering.pdf

tone7777
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Re: Doing my first re-edits - how much do I need to learn about eqing and mastering?

Post by tone7777 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:32 pm

These are both SUCH helpful responses, thanks so much for taking the time to write them. They were exactly what I needed to hear at this point.

I was definitely falling into the trap of feeling like that if I couldn't get this right then things would sound awful. But I'm definitely overthinking it. It also is really motivating, as (like you @jester) I just don't have the motivation to spend hours tweaking stuff to make it sound perfect, it's not what I'm doing this for. I really like your home cook / chef analogy (it's how I actually think about cooking funnily enough - I just like being able to make food that's good enough that my family, friends and I will enjoy..)

For now I'm going to get some monitors, try to roughly max a few reference tracks and start playing some stuff out to see how it goes. The acid test will be whether anyone even notices the difference between my edits and commercial ones!

A

jlgrimes
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Re: Doing my first re-edits - how much do I need to learn about eqing and mastering?

Post by jlgrimes » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:39 am

tone7777 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:46 pm
Hi everyone,

I'm just getting into music production mainly to expand out my DJ sets. I play a lot of old Afro latin music.

I want to start really simply by just creating my own edits - doing some rearranging, warping some of the tracks and putting on some kicks and possibly the odd bit of additional percussion here and there.

Later I want to move to more complex remixes.

Note, that I don't want to release any of this music, just play it in my own sets which are to small rooms to 20 or so people.

I know my way around Ableton, and can make a basic mix and eq that sounds fine to me on my monitor speakers.

However, I find the whole world of really detailed eqing and mastering completely baffling.

I am really struggling to understand how much of this is necessary for such simple re-edits. I did have one lesson with a guy who was making changes to the bassdrum sound that I found completely inaudible and found myself wondering "why?".

So I guess my question is - if I make a mix that sounds ok to me, can I just get on with it and start DJing with it, or are there really essential additional steps that I absolutely must learn (or get someone else to do for me?). I have done a ton of youtubing on this, but everything seems really overcomplicated for my needs!

Any advice really appreciated!

T

I'd say starting out keep it simple. The worst thing is to EQ without a plan.

Think of EQs as filters.

They can cut lows.

They can cut highs.

They can cut "bad" frequencies.

They can boost good/interesting frequencies.

Sometimes you dont need to do anything.

If anything has too much bass or highs, a shelving EQ usually does the trick.

If something sounds muffled/unfocused cut low mids.

If something sounds harsh, cut high mids.


Biggest mistake though is to EQ just cause. Only do it if you know it doesn't sound right (or you think you can improve it by an appropriate boost/cut)

Think in terms of brightness/darkness, boomy/thinness, fullness/muddiness, harshness/dullness.

The more you do it, the more you get the hang of it. It is a lifelong journey, so it pays to read up and study EQ. And the EQs that come with Ableton are great EQs especially starting off. You most likely can do professional projects with just the Ableton EQ8 and Channel EQ.

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