What do you use to master?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Cash, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Good day all,

    I wondered what you mastering pros use to master vocals. Do you just use the things everyone knows (like CEP's EQ, compressor, etc), or do you have special mastering equipment (which makes that pro-sound we all know from i.e. the radio) that you use?

    And is it possible to professionally master a track with just a random program (like CEP)?
     
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    There's a gear list on my site...

    (Dead Link Removed)

    What the hell is CEP?

    For the most part, you don't master vocals alone - Unless you're working a'capella, anyway. Or from stems...
     
  3. Cash

    Cash Guest

    lol, CEP - Cool Edit Pro... a random recording program most amateur cats use ...
     
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Gotcha - :wink:

    Well, the tools are only as good as the engineer behind them. On the other hand, the engineer can be limited by his tools.

    A nasty, vicious cycle, isn't it...?

    I haven't used CEP - Couldn't tell you how good the plugs are. I do 90% of my processing using analog gear.
     
  5. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Oh I see .. what would it cost to get a track mastered then?
     
  6. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    If you're looking for some mastering, just email any of the ME's here and they'll(we'll) be happy to quote you. Prices vary so it's best to contact privately.
     
  7. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Thanks for your concern. But thats some monster prices lol :shock:

    Is there a way that you tell me some processes you used to use for, like rap? I know its a rather dumb question, but awell. :(
    just if its possible... because then I'd be able to work with such a process as a guideline ..
     
  8. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    There is no standart process.
    The best thing you can do is to listen through all your EQ's and Comp's on your rap material and proper eveluate what you are going to use and why.
     
  9. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Depends on what's needed. There is no set process. Just make it sound good.
     
  10. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Yeah, making it sound good is the goal, innit. lol

    but I tried out every preset EQ in CEP, and it just wont sound good!! lol
     
  11. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    There are several isues here, the EQ could be a bad one for the project and you shouldn't use presets.

    Why do you use presets? -because you don't know what to do?
    Rule nr. 1: If you don't know what to do then leave it alone, because if you don't you will only make it worse.

    Maybe the best you can do is to just leave it alone?
     
  12. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    What are you trying to correct or improve?
     
  13. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Yeah, I really kind of dont know what to do .. but when I EQ'd my tracks they at least sounded a BIT better... and definitely clearer. But it didnt sound half as good as pro tracks.
     
  14. Cash

    Cash Guest

    I want my tracks to sound more professional.
     
  15. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    amen!
     
  16. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Cash - Some ME's here might offer a "sample" service where you can send them a track and perhaps a blank disc and a SASE (Self-Addressed-Stamped-Envelope) for return.

    Then, you can hear a more "finished" sample of what you have. Of course, examine and explore their websites for this info, and contact them directly. :)

    But as mentioned, there are several... "Rules" isn't the word... "Guidlines" (THAT's the word!) when it comes to mastering. First and foremost, mastering your own mixes is akin to a plastic surgeon giving himself a kidney transplant. He may be medically qualified, but that's not his specialty. Add to that trying to do the operation in a verteranarian's office (with gear and surroundings of a lesser quality than one would want for such a critical operation).

    And of course, the whole point of the mastering session is to examine what the mix may be lacking (if anything). For the mixing engineer to do this is to automatically second-guess yourself. The point is, once you've worked a project from recording through mixing, it's very hard to stand back and take in the "big picture" like someone who has never heard it before.
     
  17. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Would it also be possible to send one of you a short bit of an acapella and/or together with the beat (I duno if you need the beat) through MSN or something, and you try to "master" it, then send that joint back to me and tell me the process you used so that I can work with it on other tracks .. I know I'm asking for much, but it's just a question .. if not, then no problem.
     
  18. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    That may get sticky.
    giving you a sample of ones work is one thing, but proccessing one part of the mix & giving you notes on what &how it was done so you can use that same setting on the beat etc. wont work.
    1.you don't have the same gear & more than likley it wont translate the same. ex. boosting 1khz +3db will sound totally different on most eq's
    2. mastering is making judgmant call on the whole mix.
    we might as well all do samples of the whole mix for you to deside.
    Contact who you want off list.

    IMO
    If you really want to learn how to do this on your own. keep doing it & listen to the results on as many systems you can, mostly the car stereo untill you get the best you can get.
    If you just don't want to spend the $$ on a pro( & let me tell you most on this board are very affordable). you may end up getting what you pay for....$00000.
    Ed
     
  19. Cash

    Cash Guest

    Nah, I'm just trying to get a process that I can use on my tracks so that the vocals sound more professional. Just trying to get heard, and then I'm gonna make a demo album so that I can get into the game more and more. Its not like I'm starting a label or something. lol.
     
  20. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    From my experience.
    The best process to get a pro vocal track starts with an experienced vocalist, then a quality mic, preamp, cables/connectors, & decent recording levels recorded flat with little to no eq/compression. (the last one is just my preference).
    Keep it simple but with a quality signal chain.
    ed
     

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