Need a recommendation for a budget mastering package

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Guitarfreak, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Need something better than the supplied Logic Limiter. Now don't get me wrong, I find it acceptable and completely useable, just so long as the attenuation is less than 0. I want something that is going to help make my mixes louder while retaining a full frequency spectrum and without compressing the mix too much. And without that goddamn scratchy clipping or sudden volume dives. I DONT want this to turn into a schooling/shootout on the loudness war. Budget is about $200 and it needs to be Mac/Logic Express 9 compatible.
  2. Ravikash

    Ravikash Active Member

    What you want is a mastering engineer, there is no magic plug-in that can do that. You need a good listening space, really nice monitors, a few mastering plugins, and most importantly mastering knowledge, to accomplish what you want.

    The cheapest plug-in I can think of that can help you is, izotope ozone 4, which is available for $250, in the following formats, RTAS/ AudioSuite, VST, MAS, Audio Unit, DirectX. I have been told by a few mastering engineers that this is the best plug-in for the value.
  3. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    It is interesting you should bump this topic, as I was just thinking about it the other day. Since this topic's creation I have tried demo versions of a few different programs, the Ozone was one of them. I tried PSP VintageWarmer 2, Yohng W1 (a Waves L1 copy), and Ozone 4. I spent a good amount of time with them all and got them tweaked into perfection using a number of different source materials spreading different genres of music and made clips of the resulting sound. The Ozone software was the least impressive of them all, and the most expensive. It's not that the program didn't work, it just didn't do it for me. The W1 is free and to me sounded very very good for a free plug, which is obvious because it was based on the Waves L1 which is pretty popular, it sounded very transparent. The PSP VintageWarmer was the biggest win of the bunch. I found great uses for this plug as a drum bus saturation plug as well as using it as the mastering limiter on the final mix. It seemed to have a warming personality to it that just tickled my ears and made my mixes sound better not just louder. I am keeping W1, I haven't yet purchased the PSP but plan to do so in the next few weeks, and the Ozone is off my list.

    If you get the chance maybe you could even try the plugs, they all have free demos.
  4. Ravikash

    Ravikash Active Member

    cool, i'll check those out. I still think ozone 4 is a good plug-in, but its true that you can only use what works for you.
  5. geoffbrecker

    geoffbrecker Guest

    There is a way to get world class mastering done in the box. Having the monitoring to do it well, that's another story.
  6. Red Mastering

    Red Mastering Active Member

    budget mastering can be done well,
    as others mentioned, you need to hire engineer who knows his job;
    if you don't have experience, acoustically treated room, great monitoring, amp, dac... - and trained ears - you will make mistakes;
    as with ozone - it's not bad sounding unit, just it's easy to make it sound bad if you don't know what to do
    mastering audio is not about slamming limiter on the master bus and call it a day,
    quality control and fresh pair of experienced ears are priceless!

    good luck

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