Mastering a digitally recorded mix..

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by RyanJG87, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. RyanJG87

    RyanJG87 Active Member

    Hi Guys,

    I know this is my first post on here so go easy on me, my experience with sound engineering is rusty to say the least!

    I was just looking for some tips on how I might go about bringing out the best sound quality possible for a mix/set I'm producing at the moment. It's taken ~3 months (on/off) of planning and I just have to record it now, so I want to try and make sure the final product is as crisp sounding as possible! :)

    Is there any software/techniques/equalization I could apply to the tracks before they're put through the recording software to give them that polished 'recorded on good decks' feel (high fidelity, 'warm' bass etc)? I was also wondering if there was a good method for perfect normalization of the tracks involved? I'm using 'mp3gain' for the latter at the moment but at times I can't help but wonder how accurate it is, sometimes getting clipping when I don't believe I should be..

    I'm using vdj to record it (not proud of this fact, though I tried getting to grips with Ableton live and failed magnificently in honesty! haha). The EQ settings are very limited with regards to it (as I'm sure a few of you are aware) so I was thinking about perfecting the tracks beforehand and only slightly varying the EQ while mixing in/out...

    The software is also configured to a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme (Sound card) set-up on 3-channel configuration (for headphone cueing) with the master sampling rate set at 96kHz and the bit-depth, 24 (not sure if this helps things?).

    All the tracks are at 320 kbps which is the bitrate the final mix will be at :)

    I had a look at a few of these apps, though they seem to speak in a language I'm not fully understanding tbh.. Plugins for VST, TDM, RTAS and AU | Waves

    Anyway, any help/advice on this matter would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance, Ryan
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'll start with the hard core facts.
    If you are serious, forget about doing it yourself and get a RO ME to do it for you.

    If you don't have great monitors and a great room, you are already at a mass disadvantage and will be going in circles. I read over and over how people are buying this and that thinking it will improve their sound or mixes while they miss the big picture.

    It truly is all about your ability to hear the sound properly in an acoustically treated and tuned room and then, have golden ears and stellar gear and the knowledge on mastering music.
    Also, if you are mastering in the same room as you mixed in, you are only compounding the problems you aren't aware of. You need a second system in a different room to really help. It's also advised not to master the music you mix but we are all on a budget these days and are doing what we can to get buy.

    If you are mastering your music, before you spend a dime on plug-ins, treat your room for certain.

    Looking forward to other comments :)
  3. RyanJG87

    RyanJG87 Active Member

    Thanks for the reply audiokid :)

    In honesty I'm sort of in agreeance with you mate, judging by the know-how and setup that's necessary to do it well - what you mentioned might be the much better option! Though I've put a fair amount of time into bringing the mix up to my personal standard, I don't think sound engineering is something I can see myself getting into in the long run for reasons of time/money (I've seen how much of a financial strain production can be from other people I've known on the local scene, and anyway I think mixing is moreso just a side-hobby for me at the moment)! That said, it would definitely be a massive shame if I took it this far and the sound quality let the overall mix down in the end..

    So how would I go about getting one of you more able, and experienced guys to do it for me? Are people open to doing things like this (providing the price is right, as per usual)? And what would be the process of it - would I have to record the mix and send it on to you? I'm guessing it's this for reasons of copyright!

    Judging by the fact that your'e a site administrator as well as the number of posts you've put out.. I'm quite tempted to ask you to be honest! Would you be open to doing something like this?

    Cheers, Ryan
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for your vote of confidence. Mastering is something I'm developing but I'm not there yet. Try someone in our mastering forum, we have some of the finest engineers there. Also, read more about it by searching. The more you learn about Mastering the better you skills will get in all areas of recording.

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