Mastering Questions

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 08/14/2003 - 05:21

I've been working with this local mastering guy (at the insistence of my clients, not by choice) who insists that I do not use any compression at all on the 2-bus. Normally when I mix I find judicious use of both channel & bus compression gives me the sound I'm looking for. To top it off, I find the guy's work to be sub-par, and he's ultimately trashing my work as a recording/mix engineer. It's frustrating as hell. Thoughts?

In general, it's good to give him 2 passes. One the way you like it, and one without any 2-bus processing. This will give him more working room in the mastering stage, especially if these are digital mixes with digital compressors. He will also be able to listen to what you are going for. try giving him what he wants and if it still doesn't turn out good, then try someone else until you find one that clicks.

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Don't work with anyone who doesn't give you what you want. Find a way to convince your clients this is not the right person for the job. It's your hard work on the line.

They will love you for looking out for them. It's our jobs as engineers to go to bat for our clients when they don't know whats right or wrong.

By the way.

When someone lays down a blanket statement of any kind like "never use compression on..." that is not a good sign. How could you say that about certain mixes and styles.

what Joe said is correct but I've found in situations where a client insists on using someone, there are politics at play or some other motive besides sonics. Don't bad mouth the ME because you might not know the inner details. Give him everything he wants and let him do his best job. At the same time go have it mastered else where and tell them the situation and that a new client MIGHT be in the works. They might give one song a go or just have you pay for supplies in hopes of winning a new client. whatever the case. then if the alternate mastering is better, then present it to the client and show them how much better it could be by using someone else. What ever you do, don't alienate yourself from the client because of the mastering engineer.