Can any Mastering Professionals Teach me Mastering over AOL

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by imdookieatmaster, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Can any Mastering Professionals Teach me Mastering over Aol Messenger or Yahoo Messenger? I will pay you money. I watched almost every video on the internet about mastering. And read a book but this guy name Bob Katz but I understand the concepts but when I really apply the stuff it doesn't work that well.

    Thanks so much. :oops:
     
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    What do you need help with?
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Mastering is a word used too often. Let's just say that in the old days of vinyl, you needed somebody competent to record a continuous spiral hacked out of a piece of lacquer coated aluminum. Their job was to make sure to protect the cutter ahead & styli along with the expensive lacquer masters. In the process, last-minute touchups were made to equalization, level & insuring that the cutting styli wouldn't jump off of the platter. This frequently meant that if your bass guitar was only in the right channel? They would have to use some pretty sophisticated filtering to bring that right channel guitar into the center. This really screws up everything. Not the way the engineer nor the producer intended for you to hear it.

    Introducing digital technology with the CD changed a lot of things.

    Radio stations were always into ratings. The louder the station, the higher the ratings it seemed? And it was true to a great extent. I know that they have taken on-air signal processing about as far as it can go. So now, the loudness wars have shifted to the CD.

    Everybody thinks that the mastering engineer will take your pig slop and turn it into filet mignon. All the time making it louder than anyone else's. This type of mastering is falling out of current trends with the proliferation of digital broadcasts & digital audio. But if you have a crappy sounding recording? Mastering can make a significant difference.

    If you already are a fabulous engineer? Like myself. My mixes already sound as if they have been mastered! Lots of people have told me that there is no need to master my mixes. So I actually do that through the recording & mixing process. Most of my own mastering is done by myself. I generally equate to a little bit of compression, some limiting, touching up some equalization, preventing overloads.

    So there really isn't any way to teach you what to do with somebody else's "finished product". Which obviously, is not exactly finished. These are all very subjective decisions based upon knowledge, experience and having the proper tools before one. That's not necessarily teachable. You could learn from an intern position. But I don't know too many mastering engineers who bother having intern's bugging them?

    You can go get the tools? Then you can start mastering. How you attract business? That's a whole other subject. But having a thorough knowledge of all kinds of equalizers, all kinds of compressors and their effect on audio is the first place you need to start. So in a sense, you need to teach yourself how to listen to what you are listening to. It's sort of like writing a song. Nobody can tell you how to write a song. They can explain concepts, ideas, laws but they cannot make creative decisions for you. That's up to you.

    So how do you make yourself sound like Bernie Grubman, Doug Sachs, Bob Ludwig or, any of the really fine mastering engineers who also frequent Recording.org? Simple. Practice with only the best equipment for about 20 years. Then you'll be ready to master projects for others. I'm not kidding. I used to think that mastering engineers were nothing more than frustrated recording engineers? They're not. It's a specialized highly professional position not accomplished easily by wannabes. So it really has nothing to do with making things loud. You can make anything loud with any kind of lousy software. That's not what this is about. This is about utmost quality and how not to be heard in the most obvious of ways. That's a good mastering engineer.

    Good recording engineer wanna be mastering engineer
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  4. You're the coolest moderator I've ever met in a forum. Thanks for that insight.
     
  5. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Remy knows her stuff.

    Mastering a recording - in the historical sense and to paraphrase Remy - was about preparing the recording for the distribution medium, which until 20+ years ago was vinyl or tape (cassette/8-track).

    The individual tracks for the albums were (are) often wildly different with regard to EQ and volume, so mastering was also about attaining consistency. Just think about later Beatles albums; you would have everything from blazing rock tracks to ballads with string quartets. The mastering engineer tries to bring all of these sonically disparate styles into a cohesive whole for the album. Many albums back in the late 60's through the mid-70's were "concept" albums meant to be listened to in sequence in one sitting (Sgt. Pepper, Days of Future Past, Tommy, Thick as a Brick, etc.). The mastering engineer would do things like slightly increase the upper EQ as the album continues. Why? Because over time the listeners lose hi-end hearing so the ending tracks needed to be just a little crisper than the beginning tracks.

    Traditional mastering is all about "ears". It is a talent like any other. The technical aspects can be taught and all of the specialized gear/software can be at your disposal, but not everyone has that magic touch. Mixing and mastering engineers were quite often someone other than the recording engineer. You often need that fresh set of ears and objective viewpoint to make your project the best that it can be.

    Anyone can make it loud, only a very few can make it great...
     

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