If you need to eq at the master stage....

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by beyarecords, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. beyarecords

    beyarecords Guest

    isn't the mix wrong in the first place?

    I ask these and many more questions to come as a complete newbie to the world of mastering.


  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily. Could be that it was mixed on monitors that have a funny curve or a boost here or a dip there. Maybe the room was less than ideal. Also if the ME is using compression and or limiting, this also changes the eq of the mix slightly depending on how hard you're hitting it so you have to compensate for that. Also translation is another reason. maybe it doesn't translate as well as it should for various reasons.
  3. TotalSonic

    TotalSonic Guest

    Actually this brings up an important point to me in that so many of the posts from the "home mastering" guys that are working on their own mixes on the same monitors at they tracked and mixed with, and they go on to describe a long chain of plugins that they put on the 2-bus, and then wonder why it just doesn't sound the same quality as their favorite CD -

    and I always think to myself "whatever happened to working on the mix itself until you are happy with it the way it sounds in your room?" Everyone has been marketed to by plugin makers that this or that toy put across the stereo bus will suddenly make everything sound "pro" when this more than not simply isn't the case. Usually applying eq's or compression to individual tracks goes a lot farther to get the desired space and spectrum & depth in your track than throwing some digital schmutzer on everything. To me the point of mastering is to bring the mix to another environment with extraordinarily accurate monitoring to a person with a ton of experience hearing lots of different mixes all the time so that you can get a true perspective on whether after gotten everything sounding as good as you could in your studio whether anything else needs to happen at that point.

    And yes - a truly fantastic mix can often simply not need any eq - but for me where I deal with a ton of stuff done in project studios with questionable monitoring or inexperienced engineers a lot of times I have to do some major cuts and boosts to get things sounding nice.

    Best regards,
    Steve Berson
  4. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    Yeah, I agree completely withTotalSonic on this one. Get your mix sounding as good as possible. Then go in a week later and make it sound even better.

    I often get stuff that needs serious mixing work, and come to this dilemma: tell them to remix it, or just go ahead and master it. Obviously what would be what's best for the project is to tell the prospective client to remix it, and to have them come back with a better mix. BUT I've also had people get all hurt feelings when I tell them that, and they find someone who will tell them the mixes are fine, master it, and get their business while I just piss someone off at me.

    Total Catch 22. :|
  5. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    But often great mixes still need a little EQ when it comes to mastering. Especially in order to get it to sit well between two other tracks.
  6. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    If you find the great number on the album you will not have to EQ on it, but instead maybe a little on the other tracks to make them more the same(if needed).
    I hate to put an EQ on a good mix that not really needs it.
  7. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    But if they're all great mixes.... (y)
  8. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    You compress them until you have to eq. :p
  9. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    You go out and cellebrate! (y)

    There are different solutions to different styles and needs, but Michael has a good point... but I'm sure you will run into level sharcs that needs more level so you will have to EQ anyway.
    Or it it fits the style just leave it completely alone.
  10. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I'm actually working on a project today that I'm making (2) .5dB cuts and (1) .5dB "air" boost on most tracks.

    Sounds great, I don't want to mess with it. Heavy guitars... I don't even want to take the "hair" off of them.

    Just a little trim behind the ears. :lol:

    Once in a while, you know? It's almost like having a day off.
  11. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    I wish!
  12. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    I think in the old days you would be correct. i have heard that in the past at A&M records that no one could tweek the eq except the mix engineer & herb Albert himself...definitly not the transcriber(mastering engineer) or heads would roll.

    a friend of mine still uses Altec 604e's. & when you get the mix sounding right on these there is no need for further eq once it leaves the mix session.
  13. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Just wait until that band I'm working with sends you the song we recorded....you're going to be dying for a day off! It needs quite a bit of help that I can't "hear" to correct. I can hear what sounds screwed up, but I don't know how to correct it.
  14. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Art, I've heard some of your stuff.

    There's no way it can be as bad as some of the stuff that's come in here in the past couple weeks... No way. :lol:
  15. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Well I appreciate that....it's nice to hear that I'm not the worst. I don't want to hijack this thread so I'll stop my comments now and create a separate post.

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