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Mastering in pro tools

After having read the recent article in the September edition of Sound on Sound about mastering in Pro Tools I was wondering if anyone out there has mastered their own tracks this way in pro tools i.e. setting up several stereo tracks and importing each stereo mix you want to master into its own stereo track and the using an EQ plugin, a multi-band compressor plugin followed by a limiter plugin on each stereo track?

If so can anyone recommend some good plugins for the above?

Also are there any DSP cards for pro tools out there that will run on windows XP using Pro Tools 6.9?

Or should I just look at getting a hardware rack to do my mastering i.e. something like TC electronics Finalizer Express?

Any help and advice would be appreciated!

Also has anyone used sadie or Pyramix to burn their mastered files onto CD?


Thomas W. Bethel Sun, 08/20/2006 - 06:00
Protools cannot burn a CD so you would be better served using a program like Wavelab or Samplitude if you want an all in one program.

It has been my experience that ProTools is a good tracking and mixing program but not a good mastering program.

If you want to get your stuff mastered take it to a good mastering engineer and sit in on the mastering you will see that there is a lot more to mastering than having some plugins or an all in one outboard processor. First you have to have a really good listening environment, secondly top quality (read expensive) outboard gear, thirdly lots of experience and finally someone who can put it all together.

Self mastering is like self barbering. You maybe able to do it but can you live for more than a month with the results?

Michael Fossenkemper Mon, 08/21/2006 - 05:44
I work with several engineers that print their mixes in two streams. 1 stream is just the mix coming out of the 2-bus. They then just run it through a finalizer to squish it a little to give to the client so they don't complain about level. They then send me the unsquished to master. My point being, squishing is not mastering. So if you just want it to be a little louder without having to be a rocket scientist, just buy a finalizer type box and select the squish preset. But don't call this mastering, please.

sheet Mon, 08/21/2006 - 10:36
ProTools doesn't burn the Red Book CD master as someone said. In the old days we had a master application, but it sucked and Digi never made it work or developed it for HD.

There are many good programs to drop AIFF or WAV files into to burn a Red Book. I actually master in PT HD, not LE, using Roger Nichols new plugs or Waves plugs. I play that file into an Alesis Masterlink via AES, and the burn the Red Book CD there.

When at my other studio, I use the latest version of Toast, which also allows me to rip audio from DVDs, etc.

ghellquist Mon, 08/21/2006 - 14:23
Thomas W. Bethel wrote:
Self mastering is like self barbering. You maybe able to do it but can you live for more than a month with the results?

I like that one !

You should see my crew haircut right now. It started out just a little uneven, so I adjusted a little. Still a bit uneven so I had to adjust. Now it is all 2 mm.

I´ve done mastering the way it is described. Or I really should not say mastering, tinkering might better describe what I can achieve. It can be done, but why? There are better tools so why not use them. And self barbering does have its shortcombings. (Sorry)