Budget mastering software

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by diatomano44, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. diatomano44

    diatomano44 Guest

    Im new to recording and have limited equipment and funds, so if my method seems unorthodox, please forgive me. What I have been doing so far is recording through an analog mixer to a stand-alone 24 track hard disk (Mackie SDR). I track up to 22 tracks and then mix these while bouncing the stereo mix to the last 2 tracks. Then i use the usb port on the SDR to bring the stereo mix onto my computer as 24 bit 44.1khz brodcast wave files. The reason i have to do it this way is because i dont have any suitable sound card or interface for high quality audio. So what i need now (I think) is a program that can take my wav files,change them to 16 bit for cd burning, maybe compress, limit, normalize, eq, fades etc. I am not very familiar with audio software, but after reading other posts, I guess this would be a mastering program. So my question is what are the options as far as entry-level programs with decent sound and everything to get me from the mix to cd. I cant really give a budget because i have no idea what to expect, but id just like to keep it as cheap as reasonably possible. Also, if there is a better way i could be going about mixing or mastering (hopefully with the stuff i have or with inexpensive upgrades), I am open to and grateful for your suggestions.
    Thanks,
    Charlie
     
  2. sapplegate

    sapplegate Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2001
    Hey Charlie, the way you are doing it is actual pretty cool. If you flub a move during the mixdown you can just go back and punch in on the mix since the stereo tracks are self-synced with the basic tracks. Or you can work on a mix in sections if you prefer.

    As far as mastering goes, there really is no substitute for a good mastering engineer working on your stuff. To answer your question however, on the PC two retail programs come to mind: Steinberg's Wavelab and Sonic Foundry's CD Architect. Both contain tools to edit, dither, perform fades, and get your tracks into redbook CD format. Both support plugins for compressing, eq'ing, etc. Both are somewhat expensive (it's all relative I know). Another choice to get you started would be n-Track Studio by FASoft. It is really more a multi-track recording software package, but it has CD burning capability in it. It also supports plugins. For $70 you can purchase the 24-bit version to get your feet wet. There are tons of plugins on the market. You might want to post a few questions down in theplug-insforum to find out what people are using for mastering.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
     
  3. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Get sound forge 6.0 and have a go at it. I will be happy to teach you some of my dirty tricks.

    SF is one of my main tools...with some certainplug-ins


    Then actually, I go back to analog, then use it again for the sweep editing.

    Many stages to be a top mastering engineer.

    Get the Sound forge.

    Call me if you need a connection there.
     

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