----Recommendations Pleez----

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by DUDE007, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. DUDE007

    DUDE007 Guest

    Hey everyone!
    Ive been reading for awhile and finally decided to join the community and I must say this is an awesome forum indeed...so first off a big shout out to you all. Anyways, for my first post I wanted to get some recommendations or perhaps some guidance on my current studio setup. What I would like to do is eventually equip my studio with all the necessary gear to offer my client base some mastering services. I have begun purchasing some key pieces but I just wanna make sure im on the right path and perhaps get some recommendations on stuff that I might be missing. Currently I am running a Mac G5 Dual 2.3 with 3 gigs of Ram. Software wise I have Logic Pro 7 and a smaller Pro Tools rig running off the MBox2. Plug in wise I have all the ones you get when you purchase both platforms but I also purchased the UAD Card with the Ultra Pack. For outboard gear I have a few key pieces which include a Focusrite ISA 220 (Session Pack)...Avalon 747 & 737...TL Audio 5021...and a couple of Lexicon efx. Soundcard wise I have the Motu 24 I/O and Mbox 2.
    Im curious to know if what I currently have is up to par and capable of allowing me to master projects. In regards to my software im debating if I should use Logic or Pro Tools to open up the projects???? Some recommendations on this or personal experiences would be appreciated. When in comes to burning I prefer Jam 6 and Toast..but my question is....Are any of these acceptable in producing master disc recording with low error rates???...on Tayo Yuden Cds.
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Hey Dude!!

    Welcome to RO.

    I would say you have some nice recording gear - more than enough for a respectable project studio and better than some "commercial" studios I've seen. (Don't let me blow TOO much wind up your skirt - a TRUE commercial studio would have far more, but many so-called studios have far less and do just fine).

    That being said, it appears that your only mastering gear is the UAD card. And while the plug ins in the UAD are fine, and even okay for mid-level mastering, they aren't really "mastering" grade devices.

    In general, most high-end mastering takes place outside of the box. It's a cool endeavor to strive for (one I'm also personally working towards right now) but make no mistake, it's definitely not a cheap endeavor.

    For a mastering comp/limiter, you're out at least $3K. I wish this weren't the case, and I've been trying to cut corners myself with this one (looking into the Langevin or Manley ELOP - which I bought the Lang and will see how I like it for mastering. I may decide that it's destiny lies only on the tracking floor. I got the DVC setup though, so if I do have to relegate it to that, no harm - a good EQ and Mic Pre are attached.)

    For a mastering grade EQ, you're talking a few standards, all of which are dreadfully expensive.

    There's (Analog):
    Crane Song
    and a few others

    Z-Systems (they do make the "Z-qualizer though, which is only about $1300 and from what I've heard of it, quite worth the money and then some!)

    Most analog mastering EQs have fully detented controls for reliable resetting of positions. I'm finding out the hard way that this is dreadfully expensive. (Like $160 or more per knob!!!! YIKES)

    Your software will work just fine, as many people master on many different platforms. My preference after much research was Sequoia. Many folks prefer Sonic or SADiE or even Pyramix, but other contenders are Wavelab, Samplitude, and many others.

    Toast is also a fine burning program. I'm not aware of a program causing burn errors, but I may be wrong.

    T.Y.'s are good blanks to go with too.

    So, I guess that's all of the questions. :D

    Welcome to RO!!

  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Distinguished Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:

    what cucco said. What I would suggest is you don't advertise mastering until you feel confident that what you are doing is good and isn't damaging. word of mouth spreads fast and if you aren't doing a good job, you may be killing the chicken in the egg. It's best to practice and listen and practice some more. compare what you do with what is out there and refine your skills and then you'll begin to know what you need gear wise to get what you are looking for. I mastered for 2 years before I even let anyone hear what I was doing. If you are asking if what you have is good enough, that should be a clue that you don't know what you have is capable of.
  4. DUDE007

    DUDE007 Guest

    I agree that it is an expensive venture but its a goal I intend to acheive in the years to come. As for asking if what I got is capable of such mastering tasks isnt due to lack of experience but rather one out of curiousity and knowledge. Many mastering engineers that I have come to know use different techniques, theories and gear to achieve that optimum sound and polished final master mix. I also know that no matter how good your outboard gear is or how advanced your plug ins are...the ears are the best tool to have as an Engineer or Mastering Engineer..period.
    As for my background, ive been in the business for over 8 years and its mainly on the production and engineering side of things. I also have an extensive list of credits in all areas including radio and tv productions.
    I guess what im saying is that eventually I would like to perfect the art of "Mastering" and perhaps be one of the best alongside you legends..lol.
    Remember....some of the greatest Engineers were in the exact same position at some point during their career and they too had to learn from their mentors :cool:
    Anyways, ive had a long session and cant ramble anymore as these tired ears need a break.........sooooooo feel free to continue sharing opinions and recommendations as we continue on our quest for good sound.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Very true - ears are the most important part.

    One issue though, is that you mention many approaches/theories towards mastering. This is where I take a lot of issue with much of what's going on in the audio world.

    There really shouldn't be that many approaches to mastering. There's the el-cheapo way and the real way. El-Cheapo involves Behringer boxes and plug-ins. The real way relies on devices which you choose based on their sonic signature (or lack thereof) and their precision.

    I don't really see much in between. You are right that it's VERY difficult to get started in this world without help from mentors, but I think Mike is right - you've got to practice on your own with your own gear before you launch off and get really going.

    Anyway - good luck. I can tell you, I've been trying to break into the mastering world for a year or so now and I'm really enjoying it, but my bank account keeps taking hits...

  6. axel

    axel Guest

    welcome to RO,

    i don't have much to add, all the 'keys' have been said already.

    you are on a G5 based system, peak is rather nice to "open" projects as you will do masters from the bounced stereo tracks... and it's a stereo wave editor / mastering software for the Mac, that said Logic or Pro Tools are just fine as well, as it is more about your skills and ears. (and yes decent sounding gear, too) also Jam is very nice to create 'red book' standard CDs, the error rate is more about your burner / media... plextor + tayo yuden is fine, but also other combinations will do just good.

    cheers, and work on your skills.

    this link might help to get you into the right direction...

    (Dead Link Removed) a major KEY i forgot, a very de...ears and skills... happy mastering axel
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Arguably the MOST important part I'd submit. Just like other areas in audio, you can not tweak what you can not hear.
  8. axel

    axel Guest

    :D :D :D

    Cheers John.

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