Reference Mastering CD/Music

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Blueraven, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. Blueraven

    Blueraven Active Member

    I did a search here but no luck.

    Is there a CD that gives examples of pre-and-post mastered music one could listen to. Maybe with notes about each example and techniques used to create the final.

  2. DvanH

    DvanH Guest

    I'm not aware of any commercially available CD's or DVD's that do what you're asking.

    The problem is that most artist / producers / engineers would not want their music to be used on such a CD, so that the material used on such a CD would most likely be from more amateur type projects, which would limit its usefulness.

    A lot of mastering studios provide before / after samples on their websites, though I would take these with a pinch of salt, as I heard of people intentionally making the "before" version sound bad!
  3. Blueraven

    Blueraven Active Member


    Well it sure would be a great learning tool. Too bad.

  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You know...about 10 to 8 years ago when I was looking for an ME on a project, I sent out some inquiries and one particular mastering house sent me a sample of before and after mastering. I wish I could recall the company's name or find the disc, but I can't.

    It might be worth a google search to see (that's how I found them then - although at the time I think it was Excite or Yahoo).

    Anyway, in this particular case, they clearly did not "worsen" the original audio - most of it was very good to begin with and just better after mastering.

    I don't think I helped at all other than to say it exists...sorry.
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    The best thing to do is to hire an ME to do one song. Then you'll know for sure what can be done with that song.
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago Bob Katz did a CD where there were both mastered and unmastered cuts. I think he did it for Weiss Electronics. Maybe you can still get a copy from someone. I know we have a copy but darn if I know where it is at the present time. I think Michael's idea is the best one and simply go to an ME hire him or her to do one song and see how it sounds.
  7. Blueraven

    Blueraven Active Member

    Not looking for any Mastering right now nor to compete.

    Just more learning.

    I may post all the books listed on Amazon and see which ones people recommend.

    thanks for the ideas.
  8. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i think there's onlyone book you'll need. the one from bob katz. plenty of information, both technically and musically.
  9. Blueraven

    Blueraven Active Member

    Well John Script at Massive Mastering said:

    <<It's *NOT* a book about "how to be a mastering engineer" or anything else of the sort. It should be required reading - But it's not a training manual for mastering.>>

    I've read abt 3/4 of it so far.
  10. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I have read the Katz book as well; it was one of the best books on Audio I have read.

    But it left me wanting more detail. I really wish he would have explored more of the knitty gritty level.

    Often I found his electrical explanations needlessly unclear. I think this was because he was attempting to make the book friendly to a larger audience base, and subsequently using analogies that were crude at times.

    But all and all I really enjoyed it and continue to re-read sections.
  11. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    It was never meant to be a book on HOW TO it was meant to be a broad overview of mastering, music and engineering.

    Here is what Bob Katz had to say about the book.

    This book is for everyone who wants to increase their mastery of digital and analog audio: musicians, producers, A&R, mastering, recording and mixing engineers. It is suitable for all levels of students and professionals. To master audio you must become a master of audio. Producers and Mix Engineers: Find out the best ways to prepare your files and mixes for further mastering.

    From the Digido website.
  12. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    of course it doesn't make you a professional mastering engineer, but it helps to get an insight into the process, and i think that's what blueraven wanted all along. maybe i misunderstood his intention.
    nevertheless, i think it is the book to read about mastering, cause it will help to make you understand what's happening in the process. i think the lack of technical detail comes from the fact, that there is no one way to do something and no one way to do everything.

    if there is another book that will make you a professional ME, please tell me! ;-)
  13. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    There is no such thing. Becoming a mastering engineer takes time and talent and lots and lots of practice. It also takes a GREAT room and good equipment. There are other books on mastering written by other people here are a couple

    and you might enjoy the one that Dave Collins is writting

    Here are the titles of the chapters <GRIN>

    Best of luck! and let us know if reading a really good book helps you to become a better mastering engineer.
  14. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i was kidding, of course. but thanks for the book recommendations. i'm gonna check those too.
  15. Blueraven

    Blueraven Active Member

    Well I have a feeling someone is cooking up a book on Hands-on-Mastering with an enclosed CD and typical step by step procedures that follow along with the CD explaining pre & post Mastering examples and techniques used.
  16. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Cookbook approaches to learning mastering are not the best way of learning. I see articles in MIX, EQ and Sound on Sound about "this is the way to PROPERLY master your mixes" but they don't take into account that every project is different, that no two people hear the same way, that no two people have the same listening environment or use the same equipment.

    The way they tell people to do mastering with the "large paint brush approach" meaning that they tell in GENERAL terms what is needed.

    Many times what is needed in mastering is the "smaller detail brush approach" and that is an area that the cookbook mastering techniques do not get involved with because it is impossible to do.

    Bob Katz's book was never designed to be a cookbook approach to mastering. His "K" system was not designed to be the holy grail of level matching. He is giving you tools to learn with.

    If you want cookbook mastering then look in Mix, Sound on Sound and EQ and they will tell you what you think you want to know.

    Every day I learn something more about the subtleties of mastering by doing mastering. This is an ongoing educational process that every mastering engineer does as part of his or her daily routine.

    I see post here and elsewhere on the web on a daily basis. "help me I have decided to do my own mastering and I have to get this out by the end of the week can someone show me, tell me what I need to do?" "I don't have the necessary knowledge or equipment but I know someone out their can tell me what to do" " I have Pro Tools and 35 plug ins and I need to get my mastering done so please tell me what settings to use" or my favorite. " I have just spent two years doing this project and I don't have any money to hire a mastering engineer and I need to get this out so can anyone help me by telling me all the secrets of the mastering profession in a reply on this website so I can master my project and get it to the replicator tomorrow"


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