What would a Pro Mastering Job do for my Recording?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Johnjm22, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    I'm currently in the process of tracking and mixing a 7 song CD. But when I'm done with it, I'm not sure if I should master it myself, or spend the extra money to send it off and have a real pro master it.

    So here's a mastering job I did of one of my peliminary mixes. I guess my basic question is how much better would it sound if it was done by real mastering engineer?

    http://www.chrysalismusic.net/roughmix.html

    Haven't put vocals on it yet.

    Any input and advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    Well Jon, mastering would do a great deal for your song, i can't say exactly what for every mastering engineer operates differently but id say turn the drums down a bit in your mix (toms especially), if you were to give it a go at mastering, you may be doinig more harm then good so i would say go with pro mastering

    i downloaded your mix and i will do a rough master for you and then send it to you so you can hear what mastering will genrally do (mind that i am not at quite ballpark with some of the other MEs in this site), ill get back to you later tonight and ill post a link, best of luck. :cool:
     
  3. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    I did a quick master, note i said quick because i didn't spend too much time (i also forgot to do fades), im in a bit of a rush, but anyway, i have it posted online, i will remove it in 5 days in case i am violating any copyright infringements, best of luck, this is just to show you how that mastering can help, note that i am not a pro ME and the quality of my work is mediocre compared to pros on this site. :cool:

    http://


    Edit: you said you mastered the mix.... what did you use to master it cause the mix didn't sound mastered at all off of that site you gave.
     
  4. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    First off let me say thanks for the response and your input is greatly appreciated.

    Well like you said, when I master it myself it usally sounds worse afterwards. The only thing I do when I master is bring up the volume by using a maximizer. I don't really know what else to do.

    What exactly do you mean when you say it didn't sound mastered at all? Please go into detail. What makes a mastered mix sound like a mastered one?

    What did you do to it when you mastered it?

    What would you use fades for?

    You mentioned that the drums seemed to loud. I would agree. But they didn't seem that loud until I bounced the song down to a low quality mp3.

    I hate to say it but I can't really tell that much of a difference after your mastering job. But then again I am listening to it through crappy computer speakers, and on top of that the site wouldn't even let me download the MP3 version so I had to download something that was even lower quality.
     
  5. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    Hey John, yeah i listened to it up there for the first time today and the site made the mp3 sound absolutely horrible, the wav sounded so much better. What i meant by it didn't sound mastered was well... there was too much low end and not enough high end, you did a GREAT job mixing the cymbals and crash but in the mastering stage you left them very unheard, also i would say that the song sounded "boxy". Also i heard LOTS of background noise is the song. The first thing i did was i loaded it into Seqoia and gave both the seqoia noise reduction a try and the waves x-noise reduction a try. Waves x-noise did the best job in removing the noise a wanted. Next i ran it through a mastering Eq, and i worked mostly with high end boosting at 3kHz and giving a huge 3db boost at 10kHz, and some at 6kHz, i can't quite remember where else i boosted, i then ran it through a different EQ and gave different boosts (i know my EQs quite well and some do better at different frequencies), then i rolled off very low bass and high shelved the tops. Then came a compressor, i set a simple 2:1 -10db threshold and i worked with the attack, release functions till it sounded perfect, i did some other things too i believe i filtered DC offset (i believe it found that it was at -.02 db), and .... there might have been some delay but truly i can't remember because i was in such a rush last night.

    The main problem in the mix was the overdomintating drums and the too loud guitars, when the vocals come make sure to see that everything runs smoothely by well, maybe compressing each part harded in the mix and maybe adding some reverb to each drum channel to put the drums "farther back" in the mix.

    Best of luck :cool:

    p.s. - the fades are there so that you don't have a too loud introduction to the song, but i don't think your song really needs fades, maybe a little fade in fade out, but not much.

    p.s - if you'd like the wav i prob could find some way to get it to you

    p.s p.s - also one more thing, remember that i am not quite in league with the pro mastering engineers here :( , if one of them responds that could be great help to you, the master i did was to the best of my skills, a master that they could do would be to the best of their skills, and their knowledge and setup will beat the crap out of mine anyday :cool:
     
  6. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    John,
    To put it as simple as I can (pre) mastering is the final artistic process to make every song and project as good as possible. Every project benefits from proper mastering. Some may need a little work, some (especially indie stuff) can sound dramatically better.
    My analogy about mastering without experience is like asking someone to play guitar on a track who has never played before but has a new Strat. Or using someone who has playd hours everyday for years. Which one would you pick?
     
  7. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    I would hope that you are not talking about me Joe :(

    ... cause i can play guitar very well :wink:
     
  8. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Benny
    Of course not. I 'm sure you rock like a mo fo! Guess I'll find out tomorrow.
     
  9. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    he cut out the low end rumble get a pair of phones and listen to your song man this "master" is now very tinny you cut a tad to much low end benny and im no mastering engineer but i can tell there is no bass presence other then that he did a good job id bring up the low end a lil more and i mean very slight and id cut a lil on the 10 k a tad to much have you listened to many metal mixes benny? just curious
     
  10. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    benny im sorry but a and bing them it sounded better when it was left alone a tad bass heavy yes but more natural sounding i do belive ive read this in the master engineers handbook if your doing eq changes over 2 db in diffrence you should have remixed the song before mastering something to that effect
     
  11. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    now im curious if could do better im gonna give it a whirl tell me what you think of this "master" as i said im no mastering engineer but i think i can do better then what i heard http://www.nowhereradio.com/artists/?aid=2997/singles give a listen if you like ill explain the process i used
     
  12. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    The wav sounded totaly different may i add, maybe i should get a different mp3 converter, you are right, after the conversion many things were exagerrated, i will try to find a free ftp server so that i can load the wav, if anyone has one that they can loan for a few days or that would be great. :cool:

    EDIT: I got a new mp3 converter, this sounds almost exactly like the wav, please visit my new site for the mp3 and then you can critique my work

    http://

    doulos, id say you underdid the guitar and the bass guitar, maybe its just the mp3, i don't know. :cool:
     
  13. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    I was thinking the same thing.
     
  14. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    Listened to the track, I like it. Its very difficult for me to tell much of a difference becuase I'm listening on crap computer speakers.

    The mix seems to sound more smooth, seamless, and cohesive. But maybe I'm just hearing things.
     
  15. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    i hope that you visited my new site to check out the newly convertedm mix before you reply. :!:
     
  16. Johnjm22

    Johnjm22 Guest

    That's the problem. That site won't let me download your MP3 because I'm not a member.
     
  17. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    johnjm Its the wonders of multiband compression. 6 bands to be honest. The only eq i did was subtractive eq and its hard to tell the way to master it cause there is no vocals if its scremo metal or even heavy metal as the guitars sound the cymbols should be further back in the mix, wich is what i did, wich is oposite of what benny did. I used a shelf eq and lightly brought down from 7k and up down like 1.2 db then used a multi band compressor locked around 7-12 k with a very natural compression and brought the gain down around 2 db. The mid bands i brought down around 4 db thats so the low end and the mids blends creating the smooth transition between the bands. I cranked the low end 85-220 up around 4 db to add presence but not volume to the bass and i left the tone of the guitar tracks alone as a mastering engineer its not your job to change the tone of the material only the polish and i think i did that very well. the overall volume came about 3 db on the spectrum analyser commerial cds in this type of music hit around 6 to 8 db but being compressed already i think i did ok. I only played with the song for 20 mins. and in that time i was able to give the mix better stero imaging, more of a tighter feel, a more seamless sound, over all more bottom end without cranking an eq through the roof a lite exciter on the cymbols and overall a tad bit more volume. Not bad for 20 mins and less then a thousand dollars in gear imho
     
  18. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    stream it :cool:
     
  19. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    benny now not only is your master tinny its clipping badly i can hear clipping at a volume of 20 out of 99 on the soundclick player if you want to be a mastering engineer may i suggest that you learn to hear what clipping sounds like and double check your masters to a spectrum analyzer when starting out also i suggest you listen to some metal cds and hear how they sound cause this type of music the guitars are almost always bottom heavy and the cymbols are further back in the mix. The guitars are as prominent as the vocals sometimes a lil more then the vocals depends. This sounds absolutely opposite of every metal cd i own which btw i have around 200 metal cds i listen to metal music daily.
     
  20. doulos21

    doulos21 Member

    benny i just ran the statistics for your mastered mp3 out of 32,768 samples you were clipping 5,056 samples about 1/6 of the song you averaged around -3 db peak amplitude and i ran mine as well i averaged -4 db also your high end chopped off at 16k while mine went as high as 20k i think your mp3 converter is at fault there so you got 1 db volume over my master with the added clipping of about 1/6th of the entire song not a fair compromise for 1 db of volume i think
     

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