Opinion of Mastered Track

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by tweeg, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. tweeg

    tweeg Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Hi All,

    I'm just learning the art of DIY mastering and wanted to get your opinion of a track I've done. The original mix was given to me so I have no ability to remix (I'm not the hugest fan of the mix but you deal with what you have). Here are the links to the unmastered and mastered tracks:

    03 Johnny Mastered by tweeg on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    03 Johnny Unmastered by tweeg on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    The gist of what I did to the track is:
    - EQ'ed to remove problem frequencies
    - EQ'ed to bring out snare drum and cymbals
    - Added a small touch of verb
    - EQ'ed a broad mid-range cut (maybe 0.5dB) for clarity
    - Boosted bass drum (~55Hz)
    - Compressed the track to slightly round off peaks and increase volume (Low threshold/low raito)
    - Compressed (100-250Hz) bass frequencies to round out bass guitar
    - Widened stereo field
    - Added saturation for "analogness"
    - Further compression to round off peaks
    - Limiting (-5.5dB)

    Since this is my first "real" mastering attempt I'd love to hear any opinions on how it sounds/ the processing I did to the track. Thanks in advance.

    Shannon Ezzat
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    I think you are relying on your processing by itself too much? It's not just about doing what you did but about what you didn't do. This is where parallel processing can make a huge difference. You do your processing and then you pair it up with the original that might have some additional EQ also but not the dynamic processing. You might also want to try some multiband spectral processing and then also utilize the parallel process? Both their original and what you've done sort of sits there like a lump of sound. It's not opening up. You might even want to try some more radical processing and then parallel that up with the original?

    Just a suggestion.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. equivalence82

    equivalence82 Active Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    Cheshire UK
    Yeah this isn't too bad considering its your first try at mastering. The thing you just need to be mindful of is using reverb in the mastering stage. This very rarely happens at mastering if ever at all. The problem you have is that your putting verb on the stereo mix, which can sometimes smear the mix a little and make it sound washed out! So wherever possible DO NOT put verb on the stereo bus, even in the mixing stage. Always put your verb on the individual tracks that really need it, if its not needed, then don't put it on, as some instruments will benefit from a dry sound in the mix. Finally, be careful of your signal chain, make sure that you are running the signal into an EQ first (to cut frequencies), then a Comp, then if you want to boost frequencies, try to use a Multiband Compressor, this will do a better job than simply using an EQ to boost, as the frequencies you boost will be more controlled. What you do not want to do is boost frequencies then compress them with a separate compressor as they will be pronounced by the comp too much. Then finally use a Brickwall Limiter with an output ranging from -0.1 to -1bd (this prevents digital overs). But don't over compress, and certainly don't over limit. Finally, you need to run your track through a frequency analyser/phase meter/loudness meter (use the TRacks 3 for this). These meters will enable you to master with a good view on what is happening with the volume, you need to make sure your track is loud enough for this genre (around -8 to -6.5 db should do it for max loudness).
  4. Wizard of mixing

    Wizard of mixing Active Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    in a house
    take the style into account...

    The first time I posted, I had some suggestions. However, I listened to it a couple more times, LEAVE IT ALONE!.

    The version below is the better of the two:

    03 Johnny Unmastered by tweeg on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    It's got issues, but it works well for this song. Take off the engineer hat and try it as a listener. The lo-fi vibe makes cool.

    I like it the way it is. You don't want polished because that's not what punk /avant garde is about. Besides, these type of styles sound shitty /weak when the mix is too clean. This is also a style that's in your face so comp'd/ limted like that is acceptable.

    Someone called it a "lump of sound", however i think of it more like grit /sludge or "punk glue".

    the mix reminds me of an old tascam portastudio, old school punk sound. It's perfect for that song. (don't F with the glue...)

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