Toughest Mastering Problem

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Don Grossinger, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    What's the toughest mastering problem youv'e ever faced. How did you solve it?

    What's the toughest problem you ever presented to a mastering engineer & how was it solved? (if indeed it was solved)
  2. nu dubs

    nu dubs Guest

    trying to master the art of be an engineer!!!!! :D
  3. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    I don't have years and years behind me, but I'd say that the most consistently difficult thing to be presented with is unbalanced low end- like a kick drum with not enough, and a bass with too much, or some combination of beefy keyboards and wimpy bass. If the whole track is too boomy, or too thin, that's not difficult. It's when you have to take away low end from something that *really* needs it just to tame something else that is a pain in the ass, and usually should signify a remix.
  4. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    to me.. inconsistences within the very same audio file like: heavy dull snare/ thin voice/ sick bass
    too sibilant vocals/dull backing vocals/ loud hihat
  5. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member


    Boy, that's the truth!! It's less common than a pure sibilence problem, but even tougher to solve.
    No easy answers either. And usually for a variety of reasons a remix is impossible .

    Makes you appreciate the good mixes all the more.
  6. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    One of the toughest problems is what I'm working on right now! The song is in 2 parts recorded in different spaces. So trying to get them to match up is very challenging.

    I will let you know how it comes out.

  7. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Is it classical or pop? is it a question of room tone or sound of the instruments themselves? Is it half the song/half the song or verse/chorus?

    When you're done please fill us in on all the gory details. Good luck!
  8. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    A new client that hasn't learned to trust you yet.

    A client that has listened to the mixes every hour of their life since they completed them a year ago and can no longer hear it any other way.

    Over compression on the 2-bus.
  9. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    wow Michael, if anyone can trust ya with all the heavy experience ya have, the guy must be an idiot!

    Thois happened to me twice... They endededp up doing at a biiig mastering facilty... however, the final result sucked completly because they had no nerve to learn the thing...

    Hi Don! It is great to know you mastered All Around The World - Lisa Stansfield/ My favorite singer and song!

    Nice wekeend to all
  10. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    I meant if any guy can´t trust ya.. so he must be an idiot!
  11. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Don/ everyone,

    It was a contemporary composer. Both part were live with full orchestra and choir. The hard part was matching the choir. The first room was very large sounding. The second was smaller so they used a plate reverb on it. You think adding a large room to it would solve the problem. Not really. Because you don't really loose the close sound of the plate.

    How I fixed it. I used a TC Electronics' M3000 with a custom reverb it sounds good. We all want to live with it for a few days to see how everyone feels about it. If the composer, conductor... and everyone else is not happy they will remix.

    Rock / pop records are easier with these things. Today I'm working on a club mix and I mastered it in 3 parts! But when put together it sounds great. With acoustic instruments, especially voice you really have to match these in the mix as much as possible.

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