(SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

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vido
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(SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by vido » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:27 pm

I'm going to play some of my songs out tomorrow. Only my own tunes, so I wont have to mix with commercial pro-tracks.

I know it would be best to have them mastered first, so they are "in the same ballpark of sound".

How important is it to master my own tracks before playing live? Is there any good reason to even do this since I control the faders anyway? (Here I mean mastering them fast and bad by myself, more or less putting a few plugins over each of them without any autoamation etc - sure it would be best to use a pro-studio)...
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beats me
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Re: (SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by beats me » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:23 pm

I’m assuming you practice and test your sets ahead of time? That should tell you how they will sound when you are in control of the mix. However depending on your home setup you might be shocked at how the low end plays out on another system.

See how it goes at tomorrow’s gig to hear how far on or off your productions are for future gigs.

Tarekith
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Re: (SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by Tarekith » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:03 pm

If you're just playing your own tunes, then there's no reason you HAVE to self-master them first.

A lot of it depends on your audience and the setting too. If it's just some friends at a chill spot, nice and dynamic can be loads of fun. If it's a bit more of a commercial venue and there's an expectation for a certain sound, then it might be beneficial to just gently limit a few dBs on the tracks to give it a bit more commercial sound.

vido
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Re: (SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by vido » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:28 pm

Thanks guys!

t seems I mix a bit too heavy on the bass for big systems. So I'm rendering new mixes with less bass. And will do the gentle limiting as well :) Thanks again!
Collab with Jeremy Blake of Red Means Recording:

Blake and Axe; "All The Light I Do Not See"
Spotify: https://goo.gl/MR8Wjr
Tidal: https://goo.gl/s35W33
Google Play: https://goo.gl/HQ1g7E
Amazon: https://goo.gl/cx5dUL

Not the usual stuff.

fishmonkey
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Re: (SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by fishmonkey » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:46 pm

it's a good idea to have an EQ and a limiter setup on your master ready to go for quick tweaks on the fly in the venue...

for example, if you start playing and there is some massive bass booming or some nasty ear-ripping highs you can go straight to your master EQ and very quickly tame things a bit with a couple of cuts...
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chymera
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Re: (SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by chymera » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:14 am

The most important thing you need to do is make sure your mixdowns are as good as you can get them. Don't worry about mastering as such - that's really only an important process when your tracks are being pressed to vinyl or released digitally.

However, there's no harm at all in throwing a compressor and limiter on the master just to gently bring your track up to a similar volume as properly mastered tracks. I wouldn't worry about doing complex Eq-ing on a master. Better to do that on the individual elements

You'll find after playing your tracks out a few times that it's one of the best ways of spotting mix errors. If you throw in your track halfway through a set you can straightaway tell what's too low or too high in the mixdown or what needs to be eq-d better, just make mental notes and correct the errors for the next time you play. If you get it so that it sounds 99% as balanced as the other tracks you're playing then you are set.

Edit: after re-reading your post I see that you are playing live, not DJ-ing. Well this is an eternal problem, as I play live every weekend.. But again, pretty much the same information holds - make sure every element is mixed as well as you can get it. Depending on the sound system, I often find I have to tweak certain elements - sometimes they need to be a little louder, sometimes softer .. you'll get a feel for this as you play. I have a gentle compressor and limiter on the master output.. The problem with playing live is that it's never going to sound as "neat" and well rounded as a fully pre-mixed and mastered released track, however it is going to sound much more dynamic and "live".. Hope that your monitors are good as well (can't understand why venues spend $$$$ on the soundsystem and then put the cheapest monitors possible) ... Then like I said, just adjust the elements live until they sound as good as you can get them. Usually I just have to bring up the kick or some drum elements a little, the worst that happens though is some overly zealous EQ-ing on the house system which smothers all the mid range, terrible for melodic music.

Stromkraft
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Re: (SELF)-Mastering own tunes before playing live

Post by Stromkraft » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:17 pm

chymera wrote: However, there's no harm at all in throwing a compressor and limiter on the master just to gently bring your track up to a similar volume as properly mastered tracks.
I use the volume control for that. Mastering doesn't have anything to do with actual volume. Which doesn't mean using a good Master EQ and a gentle limiter on the master when playing Live is a bad thing.
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