What's your Mastering STEP??

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by ray1018, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. ray1018

    ray1018 Active Member

    Apr 25, 2005

    everybody got his own Mastering style...

    Mind to share your very own style of Mastering step with us??

    Like what is the first step?? would you like to use Limiter for last step?? How you EQ your final song?? and so on...


  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    That's an impossible question - I do everything exactly the same every time. Here are the steps -

    1) Listen objectively. Ultimately important.

    2) Mentally "visualize" what the mix will sound like when finished. Have a "game plan" in mind. *Know* what the mix will sound like when it's done.

    3) Hit STOP.

    4) Assemble and adjust a chain to get from point "A" to point "B" - EQ settings (if needed), dynamics (same thing), order of processors, etc. Get it all basically adjusted to get to point "B"

    5) Hit PLAY again

    6) Tweak.

    Every project (every MIX) has it's own style - You have to treat it as such. There is no "how do you EQ a song" - You listen to what the mix is asking for, then do what the mix tells you to do.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    DITTO here

    These types of questions have no answers. Which is better red wine or white wine? Mountain water or spring water? Sea salt or mined salt? What are my steps in mastering? - depends totally on the music I am mastering.
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Distinguished Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    Step one, take a sip of coffee.

    Step two, listen to each song for a little bit.

    step three, decide which song I want to master first.

    step four, put the songs in order to find out where the song I want to master first falls.

    step five, take another sip of coffee and make sure my chain is setup and zero'd.

    most of the sound I get is how my compression stages act. by act, I mean relative to the eq balance that is hitting them. different balance, different compression reaction. I don't look at my eq as a sound, I look at is as a tool to make my compression sound different. Kind of like shifting the weight on a motorcycle so it reacts differently.

    step six, bounce back and forth between the song i'm mastering and the songs i've mastered.

    step seven, assemble cd, clean the tops and bottoms, do fades, spacing, name the songs, check all the burning settings, burn.

    step eight, type up the labels.

    step nine, listen to the cd.

    step ten, check my email.
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Distinguished Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    But I never actually *forget* the coffee steps... :mrgreen:
  6. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    (Dead Link Removed)

    But I never actually *forget* the coffee steps... :mrgreen:[/quote]

    You've talked coffee on other forums.

    That's your understood Step 0.
  7. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    May I suggest 8 O'clock Coffee brand, DARK Roast, whole bean. (Arabica Beans) Grind 'em just before brewing.

    Rocket fuel, indeed, and it'll get you through anything.

  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    And don't forget to smoke a doobie if you're mastering doesn't sound right? Then it will sound perfectly imperfect.

    Doobie a good bie, don't be a Dolby
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. zemlin

    zemlin Distinguished Member

    Sep 4, 2004
    Indianapolis, IN
    Home Page:
    Brings back memories from LONG ago - something about a doobie or two, Dark Side of the Moon on the stereo, and The Exorcist on TV - with the sound off. We were - like - so freakin' out there, dewd. :-?
  10. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    Man---how I miss those days!!!!!
  11. skyy38

    skyy38 Active Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    For me,90% of mastering occurs during recording and mixdown.Solid tracks are the only way to go and if you haven't taken enough care with the structure of your "house" the "paint job" ain't gonna matter much.

    I only use enough compression to make the mix "pop" and I don't bother at ALL with EQ-All of the EQ that you need should be contained in your samples or the way that you tracked your instruments,which goes back to my first paragraph."Fix it in the Mix" is a myth-get what you want during tracking/mixdown because ,later on you'll just be further degrading already inferior and/or weak signals with EQ.

    The above is what I use for just about everything except orchestral soundtrack music(ie "Star Wars" type stuff). In that lone case,I do NOT use compression-I just try and see what kind of "room" that I want for a particular project and that goes to reverb.Orchestral recordings depend heavily on different volume levels between different sections and if you compress them then they'll just sound lifeless.

    The "Loudness Wars" should be reserved for "Battle of the Bands".
    Let your music *breathe*!

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