10 top reasons for mastering

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by realdynamix, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Hey all! I detect a lot of apprehension to the decision made to have even a few songs mastered, and sometimes even more for an entire project.

    In the simplest of analogies as to why, is like when I painted the outside my whole house.

    That summer was hot, the house has a lot of surface, I think it took 30 gallons just for the walls. I balanced, and teetered like a ballet dancer with the tips of my toes on a ladder for 2 weeks, lost weight, and got a nice tan.

    I was so proud of the look when finished, until a month or so, when all the crap I painted over bled through. I didn't know about using a coat of primer first.

    In mastering, I have seen an ME find saw tooth in the waves of a decent recorded, and self mastered song. This sawtooth was never even observed by the engineer. This distortion of the wave itself could have rendered his project useless for CD distribution.

    So, let's list them, the 10 top reasons for mastering by a pro. What's number 1?

  2. I don't know if this ranks as number one, but having another set of highly trained ears hear the project before manufacturing is a good thing. Doc
  3. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    How about the hoards of sweet gear they have?

    It can cost thousands and thousands...

    Later :cool:
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I thought it would be interesting to approach the question from the other side;

    1. I’m cheap.
    2. I’m a moron.
    3. I have me head up me bumm.
    4. I’m deaf and I can’t hear the improvement.
    5. I don’t give a sh*t about my music.
    6. My music is so crappy it will never be distributed.
    7. I think I am so great that there is no room for improvement.
    8. I am on such a big ego trip that can’t stand the thought that anyone
    else could do anything to improve my work. (see #3)
    9. I would rather spend my money on drugs and alcohol. (see #2)
    10. They call me “Lefty”.
  5. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    You forgot this one Kurt...
    "But it sounds O.K on my speakers...." :eek:
  6. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    11. My home mastering version version sounds louder and punchier than AC DC, Sabbath albums!

    12. I have PT, Nuendo, Motu, Sonar and nice [k]´s. I have the secret PRO MASTERING Preset.

  7. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member

    Sep 23, 2002
    I like Kurt's 1 - 9. Number 10 was not necessary...

    and would add Perspective
  8. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) OK, so we have...

    And we have...
  9. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    just north of NYC
    Home Page:
    To be sure the master "is all it can be": sonic certainty

    To make sure you're aware of all options.

    To learn a little about your mix enviornment & make a better mix next time.
  10. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    ok - you guys all seem to be pros - so i understand ......... but i WILL have my CD mastered - and these are my reasons....

    1. Because after all this blood sweat and tears - i will not accept this being anything less than perfect.

    2. Because i absolutely know my limitations.

    3. Because another set of ears is like another set of eyes - we sometimes see the same colour slightly different.

    4. Because - even though my band mates said no to mastering - when i said "yes" and i will pay for it out of my own pocket..... they say the logic of my reasoning.

    5. Because i am honest enough to hear the difference between my great mix (and i really am rather proud of it) and the quality of a mastered product.

    5. Because i really DO want this to be broadcast quality.

    6. For the same reason that i took the time to copyright the music - for prosperity's sake.

    7. So 70 years from now it will still be decent enough for my great great grandchildren to laugh at me about (see 6 above).

    8. Because i am sooooooo anal - but it isn't my fault - it's genetic.

    9. Because everyone said i wouldn't do it - i like to be contrary. (this too is genetic)

    10. Because i understand economics....... hell if no one used the services of the mastering engineers - they would end up like farmers - subsidized by the federal govt - thus i am protecting the taxpayers.


  11. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Good stuff there Don and Rod, tell me, I have about 20 tracks out hind the ol sound room, what kina soil is good fer a crop of dithers? The compressor's kina old but will be ready by hargerst time, I keep it tweaked sum. I'm a gonna re-roof the burn with CD's, and cut a bit of a groove long the 196 fer eargation.

    P.S Just a little farmyard humor guy's hee hee
  12. omegaarts

    omegaarts Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    On going relationship and information to get it closer to right the next time!
  13. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    1. To make all the songs on the record have a somewhat similar sound. Most of the time this ends up 'dumbing down' your song, which sucks.
    2. Loudness. Yeah, this sucks too. I don't so much have a problem with loudness, just the fact that most of the time it is achieved by sucking the dynamics out of the track I worked ever so hard to get sounding dynamic and interesting.
    3. So they can print up a cd copy for the A&R, the Manager, each individual member of the band, each individual member of the band's girlfriend/boyfriend, each member of the individual band's mother and father, etc... This is something I, or should I say my assistant, hates doing. Anytime I get done with a mix, I ask "who" needs a cd, not "how many".

    Clients just showed up...
  14. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    HI e-cue! It is cool to have ya around again!
  15. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    I come and I go...

    *pulls cap over face and jumps back over to Gearslutz*
  16. sioux

    sioux Guest

    The question to me would not be why but how to choose the best person to do it. ;)

  17. werewolf

    werewolf Guest

    I am currently working on, throwing up some samples for don so he can show me a demo of the mastered and unmastered sound.

    But besides whether to master or not to master, the biggest thing for me is price. I understand that ME's have tons of gear they have to pay for, and the amount of man hours they sit in front of a computer and monitors is overwhelming.

    I know exactly the kind of people you are talking about Kurt. They are the ones that are sooo exicted that the DAW age is apon us that they think mastering is a waste. They are just so happy that there not recording on a 4 track in someones basement that they cant hear that the tracks dont sound "in place" "polished" as they do on a well mastered CD. These people in my ear all the time, saying, "wow that sounds great, your ready to go to radio. Yea I know there morons.

    I have never had anything mastered , simply because it cost's sooo much just to get a good signal chain to record, than after that im broke for a long time. My wife is saying, "mastering? what tha hell you just spent $3000 dollars on all those mics and that big soundcard preamp thingy!!"

    I think the only way mastering would be affordable for me as if I got signed to a label from a home recorded demo, and then get the label to pay for the re-recording , and mastering.

    I just thought I would give a differant look on why "some" people cant do mastering. But I do agree with Kurt about all of the jerk offs.
  18. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Nebula, even if you don't go with mastering right now, save those tracks, even at 16/44 if you have to, you can always have it mastered later on.

    To save money, it helps to get as close to a good translation on other systems as possible, not perfect, but close sounding, but mix it the way YOU like it.

    Even if you have to turn up the playback level of your track when compared to a commercial track, leave it to the ME to get it there.

    Make sure tracks are cleaned up within your ability. Don't compress too much, over EQ, or burn too hot.

    When you have a bunch of songs, say a CD's worth, that are relative in sound and quality and things fall into a zone for a ME (giving him a taste in advance), it may not cost as much as you think.

  19. werewolf

    werewolf Guest

    thanks rick I will keep that in mind.

    I am saving all of them for a moment like that. But as it looks it will probibly be tax return time before I can call an ME. But I guess that gives me lots of time to get levels, mix, and song to that level.

    peace :tu:
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