Best Signal Flow For Mastering?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by bigjamesmonroe, Nov 17, 2001.

  1. My thanks for the "welcome" and the "tips". The part I like about the "new" scene (for me anyway) is that since we all have to wear so many hats it's created the need for a more familial community. I used to just do my job and go home. Now I AM home... and it's all my job!

    For those of you that may have missed my initial message here it is in it's lengthy entirety...

    Hi Joe, and welcome. I'm new on this site too, as a subscriber. I'm a 45 year-old union (local 47) composer. Like many I have moved to wearing all the "hats"... composer, arranger, engineer, producer, etc., so I'm relatively new at working every position on the assembly line. My request is that you post the correct order for creating a mastered file. Here's what I do. Final master fader mix bounce to new file/ master fader master bounce to export. The burning question for me is: Should I use a master fader for the final and/or for the master bounces? If so...plug-insonly on the master faders? All final mixes on the same document? All final masters on the same document? Projects for outside mastering on a master fader or just a stereo bounce?

    Or just tell me what book to buy!

    It's a little bit embarrassing and at the same time a bit exciting to feel so "new". I've made a living as a professional musician for almost 3 decades. Thanks for your attention. My sincerest apologies to you and the forum for being long-winded and off topic. It won't happen again.
    Big James Monroe
    G4 500, G4 466, G4 400, Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Waves Gold, Mackie, E-MU, Roland, Alesis, diet Coke, mild cigars, little exercise, hate TV, love God.

    That's the entire previous post. Thanks everyone.
  2. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Oct 17, 2001
    321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
    Home Page:
    Topic: Best Signal Flow

    First let me start by telling you I dont do any of this. How I work is people bring me there master tapes, files, discs, whatever and I run them through a custom console that includes equipment like Avolon, Sontec, Manley, Prism, all hi end gear which is how most engineers at mastering houses work. I use Sonic Solutions for a variety of things but rarely for EQ. I've never found software based EQ's and compressors that sound up to par.

    With this said i'm not sure if I can aswer your question but I will tell you what some of my clients and friends do. Bounce to disc your mix including all plug ins, effects, fader moves to a 24bit stereo SD2,Aiff or Waves file. If your taking this to a mastering house call the mastering engineer (I prefer SD2 or Aiff)and ask if they prefer a specific file. Different file systems work better with different software.

    If you are mastering it yourself use this file with your mastering software, make the adjustments you feel are right and save it as a new file. This file will need to be 44.1 because of the CD red book standard so keep that in mind.

    I hope this helps. If not let me know. You can email me direct at


  3. Thanks for the reply, Joe. The info you offered plus a couple of processes I've learned from researching the subject have given me a clearer picture. Enjoy the Holdiays!

    Big James Monroe
  4. Is this an ad for engineers or what? You're feeling the pressure we all get these days: the pressure to be everything. Guess what, I'm not a great musician any more you are a great engineer. You play, and hear, the music: I hear, and play, my recording toys. When we work together, great things happen. When we try to be each other.....TRASH ensues.
  5. br0d

    br0d Guest

    If anything saves the mastering market from the trend of home recording, it will be professionalism, not scare tactics.
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