Mastering Plug ins

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by stormrider_gr, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    Good morning everybody. I'm searching for the best mastering plug in out there. At this time I'm using the iZotope 4 and doing some test with the waves plugins like Kramer and Maserati.

    What in your opinion is the best mastering plug in to use ?

    Thank's a lot
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    The best plugin is the one you need at any given time on any given mix. Some clients send in sets of "This is what I'm shooting for..." files and I can usually tell right off the bat if they used Ozone because of the particular way they hopelessly screw up otherwise perfectly decent mixes without the mix engineer even noticing what happened.

    Granted -- A tool is only as useful - or as dangerous - as the guy using it. But Ozone makes it particularly easy to mess things up in ways that other plugs couldn't even dream of. It should be marked with "CAUTION" labels all over it.

    Personally? Well, personally, I'm more of an analog guy. But when I need ITB tools, if you can't "get there" with "stock" plugins in whatever DAW you're using, it's probably not the tools...
  3. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    Massive I'm new into Mastering and Mixing world, and actually I thing that I'm gonna lose my mind. There are many tools (Limiters, Compressors, EQ's) that described as Mastering tools, and they, as you said, messing things up. Actually I'm looking for a decent tool to help me improve my learning process more about Mastering and Mixing.

    I'm using Cubase 5, and not analog console, as I own a small recording home studio, and looking to expand my knowledge and make a serious and bigger business. At this point I'm collaborating with engineers that I'm giving the recording and sent me the final tracks ready.

    A guy that I'm working with, he told me that he is using professional VSTs plug ins, the same that being used all over the Hard rock and Metal Scene (this is my area also). He said that about the VSTi and the masterings. Are they different VSTs for the professionals than the ones that we found in the internet form the companies like N-I, Waves, and so on ???

    Sorry but I have a lot question on this matter!

    Again thank's a lot !

  4. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    The best tool in the mixing/mastering process is a good set of ears... Everything else is just for talk. From what I have read is that this guy, that your working on the projects with, is using the same plugins that you are reading about on the Internet. That is assuming that he is only mastering these tracks in the box. The real benefit to using any of these tools comes from the experience of an engineer, for they have used their ears so often that they use these tools to make it sound good. So in short if this guy that you send mixes to be mastered returns something that makes the mix worse. Well the only way to combat that is to learn the trade yourself or find someone better. I am not a person of any authority to say that my mixing or mastering is of quality or what not. But what I can tell you is that it always gets better w/ some practice and you always keep learning. One thing I learned over the past five years is that less is more, more or less.
  5. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    DrGonz I think you are very close to what I think. I believe that all the plugins are the same. The are not plugins for pros and non pros...Now, that guy I believe he is trying to convince otherwise. Nevertheless I'm starting a seminar from September based on Mixing and Mastering techniques so to learn more on the subject and to try to make a more serious business on my own. I think that this is better for me and that it will help me to make place all the mess that I have in my mind right now, in the right order. I'm really confused with all the mastering plugins and all of these limiters like Ozone and T-Rack. In KVR audio forum yesterday , I found the Brainworx bx_digital_v2 that the company says is a mastering tool, with EQ and limiters and all of these tools....

    Can someone please help me ? Can someone please answer me this ?

    1st in the mix process :
    -We use EQ from the Cubase EQ Console ?
    2nd in the mastering process :
    - We use the limiters and other tools and also the EQ Console of the Plugin ? Or not ?

    Sorry for that but I'm really confused ??

    Thanks a lot !!!
  6. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    My two cents here: I think you are approaching this in the wrong way. No tools can help your learning process, you need to know what needs to be done in a given mix first and then reach for the right tool to execute what needs to be done.

    I am no good at plumbing and I know that even if I buy the best hi-tech sophisticated wrench, I would not know what to do with it because I don't really know what it is capable for and I am not even sure about what my plumbing problem is. Man, if I want to know what to do... you bet that I will call this guy to fix it and while he is here, I will watch him and ask tons of questions. I have the impressions thought that he will probaly come with this old and plain wrench to fix it.
  7. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    As I mentioned before I'm gonna start lessons from September on Mixing and Mastering....but thanks a lot to all of you guys for your support from this thread !!!
  8. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    I'm glad to see you being so open to suggestion and so eager to learn. Keep up that attitude and eventually you will get to where you want to be.
    Learning to engineer could be looked at like learning to play a musical instrument. A seminar may teach you what your instrument is capable of, and what goals to set, but you can take a dozen seminars and still be incapable of playing a single note. (I'm not saying don't take the seminar, just keep your expectations in perspective).
    So constant, relentless practice, with all the flubs and mistakes and sour notes, is the ultimate road to where you want to be. When it comes to the question of which tool is "best", the answer is always "it depends"... it depends on exactly what it is that you are trying to accomplish. So you really need to back up one step, and instead of asking "what tool", first ask "what does this mix need or lack?". The answer to that question will point you to the proper tool to use to accomplish the desired result. If you don't know the specific answer to that question, the best "tool" in the world will not help you.
  9. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    Thank's a lot. At this time I'm really into learning more on mixing and mastering..from the baby steps to the most advance techniques. So since I only recording and this is not enough for me, and since I love playing with the sounds, and the effects and all the other magical tools, that takes a good recording to the next level, I believe that with some knowledge I have, some seminars, and daily experience in the studio I will able sometime in the near future to accomplish my goals.

    Can you help me with that and have an open line ? Or if not you can someone please help me real time? To get to know people and talk through emails and skype or MSN could be really useful for me !

    If anyone can and is willing to help me through skype or MSN and emails please sent me a PM.

    Stormrider - OUT
  10. DrGonz

    DrGonz Active Member

    I would like to add one more thought... There are plugins that are better than others, but simply thinking it is "pro" is not ever gonna get better results. A "pro" will take a 3rd rate software and make it sound way better than a 1st rate software used by a newbie. Although when learning, it was great when I finally got the right tools (waves) to make something sound great. But when I had the "crappy stuff" I used it till I got better stuff. In the end though my crappy stuff still did the job and I learned a lot from those tools that were included in my DAW. Anytime you want to email me or ask any questions I would be interested to learn more w/ you. Just send me a PM message and I will respond w/ an email.
  11. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    Thank's a lot DrGonz. I will sent you some question that popped up last night soon.. andy one willing to help me with mixing and mastering are welcome to help and bring me new ideas and hints & tips.

    Thank's again to all of the guys that writing to this thread and helping me out
  12. alavila

    alavila Member

    I agree abot the best gear for mastering is pair of good and trained ears. Seminars and courses are the way to learn the esential functionality of the hardware (or plug in) and which is the best hardware pr plug in is the one you can master and reach the best results you can imagine, if you have in your mind and you can bring it to the audio you are mastering, you can say is the best plug in or hardware for you.
    Stormrider_gr ask about re-using EQ in the master, ther is no re-use in the EQ when mastering, is a tool for refine the audio, in my case almost all the times i get a good mix in my hands i use really small EQ amounts just for adding or cutting some out of range expressions or frequencies, compressors or limiters i use them depending on the gender of music or brodcast medium, if i'm mastering an audio for television brodcast i always use large amount of compression and limit the sound to the brodcaster standards.
    As you can see this is a matter of what you want, what you need and what is expected to be.
  13. stormrider_gr

    stormrider_gr Active Member

    I get it man...thanks a lot mate !!!!
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Let me throw in my two cents as someone who was at your stage a lot more recently than most of the guys posting on this thread. I think it's a mistake for someone starting out to make a distinction between mixing and mastering. What you need to do right now is to get a deep knowledge of the basic tools of eq and compression/limiting. You need to learn to use those tools on individual tracks (bass, guitar, vocals, snare, kick, overhead), stems (drum bus, vocal bus), and a full mix (mastering if you want to call it that). You can learn the basics of all that with just the stock tools in Cubase, and someone who really knows what they are doing can do more with those stock plugs than I can with a whole truck load of expensive plugins. But certainly you can improve your sound by buying more and better eq, compressors and limiters (pluging or outboard). Now, some of these plugings usually sound better on individual tracks, and some usually sound better on a full mix - but the key here is the word "usually." You have to figure out what different sources need and why. One of those sources is the two bus, and if you want to call yourself a mastering engineer when you put a limiter on that and a mixing engineer when you put a limiter on the bass track there is no law against it.

    Another personal opinion is that until you know how to use the basic tools you should forget all the black box "exciters" and "enhancers." I've never been happy with the results when I demo them. And I figure that if I screw up a mix with an eq or compressor I learn something that can be used elsewhere. If I screw up a mix with a black box all I learn is "don't use the black box."
  15. jshonuff

    jshonuff Active Member

    Everyone is right but as far as plugins OZone 4 First, T-racks, Slate digital

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