Compare Original Mix to Mastered Version - any ears out there?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by pilsenaudiolounge, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. pilsenaudiolounge

    pilsenaudiolounge Active Member

    Original Mix:

    Mastered Version:

    I mastered the track on a pair of M-Audio BX5a's, not the greatest for accuracy and sub-harmonic/low-end response and have listened to it with AT in-ears and a shitty pair of radioshack headphones. Haven't done the car test yet. It seems a bit bass heavy, but part of me feels that this style of music sort of calls for it, although I'll admit there's a muddiness to it I'm not thrilled with, at least on the monitors and two sets of head phones I've listened to it on.

    I need to transfer the masters over to the band soon, so any tips, criticisms, words of encouragement, anything, would be a relief and greatly appreciated!
  2. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    initial impression via iphone and senn hd280's

    unmastered version sounds way better. the bass on version 2 is wildly out of control and masking everything.

    version one just needs a little help where the bass guitar and snare are making this low level "ringing"... somewhere between 180 and 300 hz?
    i think you did a good job a capturing the craziness of the song without letting it get out on control. i dont like the style, but it sounds good man
    pilsenaudiolounge likes this.
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Same impression for me, the so called mastering seems like a overcompress wall where everything lakes definition and dynamics.

    There could have many reason for this but the first that pop up to me is that
    your listening environement may not be accurate and/or the m-audio monitors might not be precise enough for mastering.
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    You went in the right direction just too far. Stick to something about halfway between the 2 and you should be fine on an iPad the mix sounded good overall. The master had too much bass. Aim for something that is like a mildy enhanced version of the mix but retain the balance and overall feel. The mix is good. So don't mess it up. Lol. See if you can make it just a little more of what it already is if not, I'd leave it alone.

    If you wanted the mix to sound like the mastered version why didn't you mix it like that? You didn't mix super bass boosted with hyper top. If that's the direction you want, go back to the mix. I know I've fallen victim to it too, but I think a lot of people get fooled that because ,astering is like its own thing and step, it has to be dramatic, or is super super important. Most of the stuff I do is just like an l2 or 3 and maybe a compressor and or eq. No micro adjustments, just a little bit of enhancement.

    your in the same room and speakers you mixed in, so the same things that were hidden still are and the same things that are exaggerated are as well. So if your doing a lot in mastering it's either unessesarily, or the problem is in the mix. I try to use to diff rooms, but either way I go pretty light especially w the eq.

    What is your mastering Chain?
    pcrecord likes this.
  5. pilsenaudiolounge

    pilsenaudiolounge Active Member

    The master was terrible upon listening on Dynaaudioacoustics/M-Audio BX5a's and computer speakers. I'm in a new room and I'm using new monitors, but I'm not working on that project any longer. My signal chain is: Audio Output (Tascam 2488 or Sonar 8.5 PE DAW > Fostex 450 Console (for EQ and prop. colorization) > Trace Elliot Graphic EQ > RNC 1773 FMR Audio Comp > SSL Comp/API 2500 Comp > DBX120XP Subharmonic > (occassionally) ART Tube Pro Channel Comp/EQ.

    I'd like to post a new mix/master for judgement/criticism, but it's not ready. Post it later tonight. thanks everyone for your input. Means a lot. - JW
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Truthfully? The original version needs remixed before it's mastered. It's low mid heavy, muddy, undefined, lacking air on the top and clarity in the hi mids. Mastering isn't a fix for a sub-par mix.

    If I were you, I'd rethink your signal chain. Much of the "mud" you are hearing is likely the result of busing through all that gear you mentioned. I'd go back to square one and start again on the mix, null everything out, get balances first, then panning, then EQ, then processing, then effects. I would also avoid using any processing ( GR, EQ, Spatial Enhancement) on the master 2-Bus. Save that for Mastering. Set your master volume to sit around -18 to -12db RMS, with peaks at -6db, to allow room for the mastering stage.

    If I was the engineer on this project, that is the way I would approach it.

    Although, you've mentioned that you are no longer working on the, I don't know what to tell you there.

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