when my mix is played on the radio it sounds like crap..

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by dissinagrace, May 3, 2003.

  1. dissinagrace

    dissinagrace Guest

    i'm curious as to what i can do to make my recordings not sound like crap when they go through the radio's compressors and limiters and whatnot. i want to keep my mixes dynamic, but what can i do to the whole thing to make it not sound like crap when it runs through those compressors? should i fight compression with compression? and if so how?
  2. Sen

    Sen Guest

    I think your mixes should be pretty good sounding if they are on the radio...you said they sound crap on the radio...what stations play them?
  3. I've had a couple of opportunities to hear mixes of mine on the radio. In the first instance the mix sounded like $*^t- the mix pumped drastically w/every snare hit- in the other case the mix sounded great! The difference between the two cases was that the second mix had been professionally mastered. In my opinion one of the benifits of a good mastering job is you will have better "radio translation" ie the stations compressors will not do quite so much violence to the recorded material. Of course I'm sure it's possible to do this yourself but at least in my case I don't feel comfortable doing home brew mastering when I know that radio airplay is a possibility, as at least for me it's too much of a crapshoot...
    Bob Green
    Area 51 Recording Studio
  4. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    You can have it properly mastered! Sounds simple but this is a mastering forum and getting songs to sound great on radio is one of the main reasons we have mastering.

    Getting the proper dynamic range is very important. I havent heard your mixes but this is probably the biggest reason your mixes don't jump out as much as the average song on the radio.

    Also the proper EQ.. all the things we talk about and do everyday.

    Did you do any mastering to the song if so what was done?
  5. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    I think "fighting compression with compression" is NOT a good idea. Let the station's compression & limiting do what they do to your great sounding finished product. Over compression is a sure recipe for radio disaster.

    You did not mention in what way the mixes sounded bad. Please specify.

    Mastering can help make your mixes radio friendly by correcting deficiencies in the balance due to poor room acoustics in recording or mixing. The perspective that a good Mastering Engineer can provide is important in removing the "tunnel vision" that self mastered projects are often subject to.

    If you are getting radio airplay, Mastering is very cheap insurance that a great opportunity will not be blown. Radio airplay is tough enough to get. Don't make the mistake of making a bad radio impression.
  6. dissinagrace

    dissinagrace Guest

    recently i haven't had any of my stuff played on the radio (probably within a year or so was the last time), but i basically leveled the final mix to -.1, and tweaked the overall eq and such. i didn't add much compression so i could save at least most of the important dynamics. i was just wondering what the best way to make my mix not sound all squashed when it goes through the radio. i haven't heard my new stuff lately, but maybe i'll see what it sounds like. :confused:
  7. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Did the mix sound exactly like you wanted it to before radio airplay?

    If not, then perhaps it could have been "tweaked" more before sending it off. [insert mastering plug here] Listen on a variety of systems, including a system that duplicates the speaker size of a table radio (remember Auritones?).

    If it sounds really good outside the studio, then radio compressors should not kill it.

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