How important is masteirng for the big pop acts?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Jesse Skeens, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Jesse Skeens

    Jesse Skeens Guest

    Hi,

    I would like to get an idea on how much of a difference mastering makes for the big pop acts like B Spears etc.

    Some people say that those mixes are already about 99% there and the mastering just adds a bit extra soemthing. Yet a few other people seem to think that mastering makes a huge difference at this stage.

    A friend of mine was at a mastering session for one of Spears' "songs" and said after the mastering engineer was done the track was much better. I would think that who ever is producing her stuff must be getting mixes pretty damn close to what they need tobe already without needing ot be "fixed"

    Thanks,

    Jesse
     
  2. deconstruct

    deconstruct Guest

    Originally posted by Jesse Skeens:
    Hi,

    I would like to get an idea on how much of a difference mastering makes for the big pop acts like B Spears etc.

    Some people say that those mixes are already about 99% there and the mastering just adds a bit extra soemthing. Yet a few other people seem to think that mastering makes a huge difference at this stage.

    A friend of mine was at a mastering session for one of Spears' "songs" and said after the mastering engineer was done the track was much better. I would think that who ever is producing her stuff must be getting mixes pretty damn close to what they need tobe already without needing ot be "fixed"

    Thanks,

    Jesse


    To clarify and expand this question, what difference does mastering make for the vast majority of pop/hip-hop acts out there. So lets say the Billboard top 100, is mastering playing a key role to the radio success of these acts?

    As far as I know, for a lot of hip-hop the original mix isn't that hot, and yet in the end it sounds pretty slick and full on the radio, has better stereo presence, compression, etc...

    Can the professionals out there testify to the importance or unimportance of mastering to the final product?
     
  3. brad

    brad Guest

    ....
     
  4. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    This is a loaded question!

    Being a mastering engineer I could go on all day about this but I wont.

    First off mastering is not looked at as fixing the mix (OK sometimes) but 99.9% of the time a mix can be improved upon. I will tell you the bigger the producer the more concerned and involved with the mastering they usually are. This is because they know mastering has the ability to take even the best mixes a step further. They also know that it can get worse if the engineer is not highly qualified with the proper tools.

    Mixes come in all different levels of quality. Sometimes they need a lot of work other times they may only need small tweeks to really make it magical. You often get projects where the quality in the mixes are varied. But they all have to sound great in the end and that is one of the things that makes a good mastering engineer.

    Remember mastering is needed even if you don't want to change the actual sound of the song! They need to have the proper parts sent to the proper plants with the right codes...

    If you are mixing a record remember that a great mastering engineer makes your work sound better!! Which makes you look better. And to quote a Billy Crystal character, to look good is to feel good.
     

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