The mystery of mastering.

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by killersoundz, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    I've heard numerous recordings done by people in their home studios, and yeah, they've sounded ok, but then they've sent them to get them professionally mastered, and the finished product is a world of difference.

    Here's what I currently believe "mastering" is consisted of:

    1. The person mastering is a new set of fresh ears.
    2. The person mastering is in a very acoustically treated room with good monitors.
    3. Mastering is just a process of limiting, compression, and plain old EQing.
    4. They're probably just more experienced then you at mixing.

    .....I'm not too sure.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Yes it's all of those things. It's also really knowing your equipment and have good stuff. It's also a different mindset. It's knowing what things do and don't translate and how to make them if they aren't. It's being able to train yourself to hear differently. It's being able to zoom in and out at will so you not only hear little tiny details but also the big picture.

    Mixing and mastering are two different things. You can't really compare the two process. Some familiar types of tools are used but how they're used and the differences between them are big.

    The room and monitoring system are very different too. They are built for completely different purposes than a mixing or tracking room.

    It would be like saying a brain surgeon and a heart surgeon are both doctors and both have similar kinds of tools but they do very different things with them and look at what they do differently than each other.
    audiokid likes this.
  3. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Eloquently spoken, as usual.

    I was working on a project to day that was like brain surgery... Delicate, intertwining passages... Tiny but meaningful EQ adjustments, mild, carefully applied compression to the sides (but none to the mids).

    As opposed to Friday - That was more like a proctologist... It was a pain in the ass and sounded like sh*t no matter what. :lol:

    Bah Boom! Thank you. I'll be here all week...
  4. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    What kind of effect are you looking for when you compress the sides? did you also level the sides up a bit for a broarder level increase?
    what was wrong in the mix?
  5. edboy7

    edboy7 Guest

    im sorry but when you say sides, what badwidth are you referring too? hi's and lo's? can you compress it if its already mixed? by EQ? a newbie here on music mastering and mixing
  6. chriscavell

    chriscavell Guest

    M/S processing
    (l/r->matrix->m/s->processing, eq, compression, etc.->matrix->l/r)
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    It's just one of those typical "everything panned to the edges" type mix. It was like listening to a "butterfly" - Huge, colorful sound spread out to the sides, and a somewhat thin mono image in the center.

    The sides were more spiky than the mono, so I compressed the sides (gently, of course) and lowered them in level a bit to lessen the "holes" between the sides and the mono.
  8. TrilliumSound

    TrilliumSound Active Member

    John, it is funny, 2 days ago I just had a job exactely like the one you are reffering to. Sounded almost Out of phase very strong all the way!

  9. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    The "what is mastering" question pops up routinely in the various forums. People have discussed aspects such as audio processing, fresh ears, etc., etc. I would add to those explainations with the following...

    Mastering is the process of... making a master.

    This may seem like an over simplification. But this is at the core of mastering: forming a high quality album for replication from various individual mix sources, on what ever media they are contained. This is not a trivial task. Making a clean transfer from one medium to another, while avoiding sonic losses, is difficult. Yes, even in the digital domain.
  10. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    yes, that is true. I get a lot of "my master failed 4 times at the plant, can you help me?" finely tuning your burn is a long a expensive process if it's done right. Properly preparing a master for duplication is an often overlooked aspect.

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