Mastering Home Recordings

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by duffo, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. duffo

    duffo Guest

    I'm currently at the final stages of mixing my bands EP which I've recorded entirely at home with my own gear. I would really like to get the tracks sounding good enough to be played on local radio, but i'm not sure whether it is worth the effort to get them mastered. Is it common to get a decent sounding home recording mastered, or would i be just wasting my money?
  2. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    hey duffo....
    is it just one song you are planning on having on the local radio?....i would say it might be worth paying someone to master. - depending on how big this station is. do they normally play other local bands music too? if so, then maybe you could master at home? -cause i'm guessing not all the other local plays are professionally mastered songs.
    if you're going the self master attempt route, just try too get the song nice and hot...while still trying to keep decent dynamics to your song.
    maybe do some light compression with some limiting. - many pro bands' waveforms usually look like a solid brick. - my personal suggestion would be to just mess around with it a bit to get it sounding as loud as you can without noticing any pumping and what not
    i've submitted a song before to be played at a local radio station....i did it all myself and i think it sounded just fine.
    remember - radio stations also do a good bit of compression to their playlist also...i think
    hope that helped ya atleast a little
  3. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member


    I suggest not purposefully trying to make it loud. True mastering should have little to do with making it loud. Mastering in my mind is about the following:

    -Converting Mediums to mastering media. I.E. Tape to .wav file

    -Enriching the tracks, via equalization, compression and/or expansion, peak limitng, noise reduction or edits, ambience.

    -Organizing the indidual tracks and sequence for
    the album. This includes spaces between songs.

    -Coverting the album to the final master format i.e., Red Book CD ,

    In the end mastering should enhance the aesthetic intentions of the album. It should, in its subtle way, allow the listener to be drawn into the artisitic statement being made by the music.

    This requires much more than being loud.
  4. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    totally agree with you link.
    in no way was i trying to downplay what mastering is all about. - i know it takes a truly skilled professional to get good top notch results. i was under the impression this guy was deciding whether or not to get his one song professionally mastered to be played on his local radio station.
    i guess i personally would be torn between deciding whether to try the DIY or dish out some dollars for "mastering" one song for local promotional use. - if this was a big station in a big city that would be playing my song in pretty decent rotation, then i'd probably pay for real pro mastering. ....on the other hand, if i lived in a small town (i do), and my song on the local radio was only to get my name out...not to be in any usual rotation throughout the day....and i thought i got good mix already...i'd prolly just mix it down.and try to make it as loud as i could without taking too much away from the dynamics of the song (to try to be up to par as much as i could with the current loudness of commercial music nowadays)- i know - some people are noncomformists...but thats just me....idk
    if it's just a one time play thing at a local station...i don't'd kinda seem pointless to me to pay some serious dollars for a good master....but who knows? - maybe this station has some serious connections?...and you'd want to have a top notch mastered song?
  5. jarduli

    jarduli Guest

    that may help


    they master one sample song for free
    try with the one you want to be played on the radio
  6. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I'd submit that the home & hobby recordist has the most to gain from professional mastering.

    Paradoxically, it's the professional recordist, who has the least to gain sonically, that places the most importance on the process.
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Hey Jordy, I guess I am in the non-conformance camp. I like the way Joe Meek said it best…

    “If it sounds good, it is good”

    Maybe I have goofy ears, but all that crispy distortion caused be over limiting really sounds bad to me.

    I realize that the masses have become accustomed to squished music and don’t seem to care. However as audio professionals I think it our job to try and maintain the quality standards. Otherwise why have professional engineers?
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I think I could sum some of this stuff up a little clearer for you?

    Incredible engineers that produce incredible mixes really don't need much mastering, at all.

    Inexperienced engineers frequently need a little extra help in creating consistency.

    So if you want a better master? Go to the master betterers. At Stratavarious Productions, our hands are always on the controls.

    I always make Masters Better
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    At first i didn't think the meters were showing what was going on, until I heard the after. It does sound like 10db of compression on the mix.
  10. duffo

    duffo Guest

    thanks for all your advice. I've decided to get 1 (maybe two) tracks mastered professionally instead of the whole five that we've recorded. I'll post them on here when they're done to see what you all think!

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