Mastering Question(s)...

Discussion in 'Mastering Engineers Forum' started by Jimmy, Jun 10, 2001.

  1. Jimmy

    Jimmy Guest

    Great forum idea! Let me begin by saying that after reading through the other posts, I’m thrilled that there are those of you out there who are willing to share your knowledge and kick this forum off. My many thanks in advanced.

    Now then, here are a couple of questions for the gurus out there:

    I’ve been doing a lot of analyzing (FFT) of pro CD’s lately (mostly pop/rock), and seem to notice that although songs vary greatly from one to another, they all share a very similar EQ characteristic; which is that both the low end and high end seem to have had high pass/low pass eq’ing (filtering) applied. In the case of the low end, there seems on most tunes to have a very heavy roll off around 60 or 80hz. On the high end it’s a roll off that starts around 8000hz and gradually tapers to infinity around 17000hz. Is my interpretation of this accurate? Is there any ‘rule of thumb’ when it comes to allowing what the overall frequency range will be? e.g.: “never allow above ‘X’ and never allow below ‘X’?” I realize that music is never an exact science, but in the case of Pop/Rock (Foo Fighters, Green Day, Everclear, etc.), are there in fact some guidelines to follow? It seems in my experimentation that when I emulate the EQ curves of some of these pro CD’s, it bring my song more inline with that ‘pro sound.’ Also my ears tell me that below 60 or 80hz, there isn’t much to hear except rumble, and anything above 10000hz can really make a mix sound tinny…(if there’s too much of it)

    And lastly, to go along with the above question, what are some of your overall methods when it comes to mastering. What techniques do use and what over time have you found that really works?

    Again, many thanks…

    Jim
  2. SonicPan

    SonicPan Guest

  3. brad

    brad Guest

  4. Stephen Paul

    Stephen Paul Guest

    Wait a minute! I'm a remix engineer as well as recording engineer! So that doesn't apply to all of us who master! :D Naturally everything depends on your own level of experience... I just do whatever I need to to make stuff sound good...

    Again, however, Brad's advice in general is good advice... I just have the advantage of being in on every segment of the process, but again, if you don't know how to step back from your own work, this can be a disadvantage...

    As Clint Eastwood said, "A man's got to know his limitations..."

    Thank you Inspector Callahan... ;)
  5. brad

    brad Guest

  6. Hey JAB, could you check an mp3 of mine in your scope? i'm going to master it, and i know it needs something to clear it up but i'm not sure how to go about doing it, and I love this band and want their recording to sound as good as it can(It's quiet right now too, I haven't pumped the level yet). anyone else who can help me I'd so appreciate it, I'm desperate to give this recording the life and presence it needs. I tried running the stereo mix through the pair of neves i just bought, and i'm not sure it helped. I think it's bad for me to go D/A then back to D again with my poor converters(RME's are on the way though :) )
    www.clarityrecords.com/frequencyofhappiness.mp3
  7. Jimmy

    Jimmy Guest

    Thanks Brad and others the replies—

    Sonicpan- great thread—just what I was looking for…

    Blake—In so much that I’m here seeking the same advice you are, I don’t feel qualified to answer any questions about mastering. Maybe another ten years or so! Artistically, I liked the song a lot, although I wish I could hear the vocals a tad more (I believe there’s a male and female? The female vocal seems to get washed out a bit)…just my two cents.

    I realize this forum is not for critiquing other people’s work, so I’ll stop there. It does make me think however that it would be kind of cool to have a place (forum) to put up songs to be checked out (in terms of mastering) by some of the guys here that are qualified to do so—that is if they don’t mind.

    Again thanks all and if anyone else cares to comment on my original post above, I’d certainly welcome it…

    Jim
  8. ok, and thanks for sharing your findings.

    anyone else that doesn't mind is welcome to give some input, i'm quite the novice masterer(if that's a word).

    Best regards
  9. e-cue

    e-cue

    Joined:
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    Amen to Brad- a Mastering engineer who masters & doesn't try to change an engineer's mixes. I hate it when mastering engineers think they are mixers (and I'm sure mastering engineers feel the same about mixers that overcompress/eq they stereo bus).
    I'd suggest EVERY mixer try to attend the mastering session on a record they mixed. Even if you only go once, you learn a ton from the experence.
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