mastering help.

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Soundscapemusic
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mastering help.

Post by Soundscapemusic » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:25 pm

whats up everyone?? so i was mastering a track today within ableton using t-racks. its al ive got soo im trying to make the best of what i can and it wasnt something that needed to be sent off for pro mastering. plus i wanna learn! :p soo i did my thing, had the track sounding nice and loud never past 0db and everything was great. i render the master and dither down to 16bit with triangular? (i just picked a cool one, dont know the difference but experimentation is cool right!?) soo just out of curiosity i listen to my track, and then a pro song, my track then a different song.

i noticed that my track wasnt as loud as i had wanted it to be and didnt even compare to the pro one. now when i had it in ableton it was loud, and sounded great! i think im doing something wrong. any help?




and my comp keeps crashing. fml.

bLumEi
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Re: mastering help.

Post by bLumEi » Wed Aug 05, 2009 2:12 am

normalize on or off when you rendered the track? ;)

Soundscapemusic
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Soundscapemusic » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:17 am

the first rendering? (mixdown) or rendering the master track?

cant remember but i will check in the morning. either way, what is the difference? is that what could be the issue?

magestro
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Re: mastering help.

Post by magestro » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:08 am

just my 2 cents:

first i guess, go for forum standard: http://www.tarekith.com/assets/mastering.html

then have a look into: http://www.dynamicrange.de/

at last you can squash your track with a decent brickwall limiter and make sure you don`t have more than 3 db of Dynamic Range left.

by the end your tracks should be loud enough, though they might not sound good from a hi-fi perspective :)

Mastering is an art, i did not master

Cheers hope that helps

zalo
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Re: mastering help.

Post by zalo » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:07 pm

if you arent applying some sort of limiter on the track you arent going to get the "loudness" you want

a good rule of thumb is to listen to other music while you are mastering, when i master inside ableton i have a track with my song and a track with several similar sounding songs that im trying to match

i put the mastering suite on my track and leave the other track dry and crossfade between the two as im mastering

also listen at different volumes, once you feel like you have it right, cut the volume down 6db and see if you feel the same way

i use ozone but t racks looks pretty cool (jurassic park is my favorite movie)

Soundscapemusic
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Soundscapemusic » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:51 pm

i have been using limiting, eq, all that jazz to get it where i want in ableton. i think im doing something wrong in the rendering process somewhere

Soundscapemusic
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Soundscapemusic » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:02 pm

bLumEi wrote:normalize on or off when you rendered the track? ;)
normalize was off the entire process

Slapdash
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Slapdash » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:08 am

I am nearly ready to master a track. I have noticed that when I have the track mixed to my satisfaction, the master levels look good. The green bar is pretty high throughout, but then when i export it and play it on my ipod or stereo, it's much quieter than my other music.
soundcloud.com/slapdash

Atardecer
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Atardecer » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:17 am

Slapdash wrote:I am nearly ready to master a track. I have noticed that when I have the track mixed to my satisfaction, the master levels look good. The green bar is pretty high throughout, but then when i export it and play it on my ipod or stereo, it's much quieter than my other music.
Thats pretty normal. There is a reason why people pay top dollar for professional mastering. It can be a fairly involved process and is often portrayed as something of a "black art". At the most basic level, while you might have peak levels just under 0dbFS (full scale) this tells you very little about overall average loudness, which is measured in terms of the RMS (root mean square) db levels. This is where we really perceive the "volume" of a track. While everything will peak at 0db, its whats happening below that that counts. Next time you get a chance at mastering against a pro mastered tracks, check your levels in both measurements. Cant remember whether Live Spectrum Analysis has RMS meters or not - if not, its worth investing in a plug that does.

Also if you can afford it, go with a mastering engineer. Theyre worth it, if at the very least to have someone who has no subjective personal attachment to the music analyse and correct. I used to always master my own stuff but found i was doing more harm than good on most occasions. A second set of ears is invaluable. And, dont get sucked into the loudness war! Louder is not necessarily better, in fact it usually sounds far worse. I'd rather someone have to turn my music up than turn it down :)

Jim

magestro
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Re: mastering help.

Post by magestro » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:48 am

Atardecer wrote: And, dont get sucked into the loudness war! Louder is not necessarily better, in fact it usually sounds far worse. I'd rather someone have to turn my music up than turn it down :)

Jim
+1

If you pay for mastering, you pay for a good overall Sound on any Sound System and not for the loudness alone. At least i can turn the volume on my Stereo, lol.

Superchibisan
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Superchibisan » Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:06 pm

zalo wrote:if you arent applying some sort of limiter on the track you arent going to get the "loudness" you want

a good rule of thumb is to listen to other music while you are mastering, when i master inside ableton i have a track with my song and a track with several similar sounding songs that im trying to match

i put the mastering suite on my track and leave the other track dry and crossfade between the two as im mastering

also listen at different volumes, once you feel like you have it right, cut the volume down 6db and see if you feel the same way

i use ozone but t racks looks pretty cool (jurassic park is my favorite movie)

this is a good idea, it helps a lot actually.

one thing to consider is the music you are comparing to. it is a very very important thing you make the right song choice in this situation. i think being a dj will help people in this choice. :)

aaanyways.

its just probably that their frequency balance is quite good. applying mastering "tricks" to well balanced music does wonders more. so, im just shooting in the dark at this point cause i do not know the material you're working with. its a good idea to provide an audio reference when posting this question. so, maybe share a minute of your track and point out which track we should check out as a reference to the sound you wish to achieve.

its questions like these that are really hard to take care of when you're not in the studio with the person... lol....

Da hand
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Da hand » Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:29 pm

Also, please note that mastering can only go so far and sound good. The tracks that are loud and sound good, do so because the pre-mastered track was already mixed for this purpose: i.e the proper compressors and EQ applied to individual and grouped tracks.

Mastering will be there for that extra bit, but no mastering engineer is going to be happily squashing the life out of a track to get it up to the necessary levels. If they are good and care about the end results, they will ask you to go back and work on your mix some more.

Therefore, I would advise to play around with all the parts of the process - the individual sounds, the mix and the mastering - not just the mastering alone - to learn how each contributes to the end result.

Soundscapemusic
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Soundscapemusic » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:38 am

Da hand wrote:Also, please note that mastering can only go so far and sound good. The tracks that are loud and sound good, do so because the pre-mastered track was already mixed for this purpose: i.e the proper compressors and EQ applied to individual and grouped tracks.

Mastering will be there for that extra bit, but no mastering engineer is going to be happily squashing the life out of a track to get it up to the necessary levels. If they are good and care about the end results, they will ask you to go back and work on your mix some more.

Therefore, I would advise to play around with all the parts of the process - the individual sounds, the mix and the mastering - not just the mastering alone - to learn how each contributes to the end result.

+1
When i did the particular sample i was very pleased with the way i had mixed it and it sounded great even on other speakers. It was just a matter of bringing overall volume up to as close to a competitive level as i could, and i figured out what i did wrong (normalize). But your input is definetly correct, in no way am i a mastering engineer but i do want to learn and master my own tracks that arent material i would need sent off for my own benefit :D

Thanks

Da hand
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Da hand » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:41 am

Oh, but there is no problem at all if you are not a mastering engineer. The engineer had to learn somehow before he/she got good ;) And the mastering engineer should be constantly learning and improving as well.

I would encourage everyone to learn mastering techniques because it is when you begin to learn the limits of what you can do with mastering that you then begin analyzing what you can also do before this step. At least, this is what I found through my experience.

Soundscapemusic
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Re: mastering help.

Post by Soundscapemusic » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:18 pm

Da hand wrote:Oh, but there is no problem at all if you are not a mastering engineer. The engineer had to learn somehow before he/she got good ;) And the mastering engineer should be constantly learning and improving as well.

I would encourage everyone to learn mastering techniques because it is when you begin to learn the limits of what you can do with mastering that you then begin analyzing what you can also do before this step. At least, this is what I found through my experience.

I totally back that up!

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