Better Mastering Comp. than the PSP Mastering Comp.?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Dozer, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Dozer

    Dozer Active Member

    Nov 21, 2006
    Home Page:
    With regards to the Pluggin Realm:
    Anyone know of a better pluggin compressor than the PSP Mastering Compressor?
    Ive tried alot of different ones, but none come close as far as being able to get my music loud during mastering, without crushing the dyanamics. Its pretty transparent.

    Ive tried Izotope Ozone, Waves compressors for the mastering process but they dont do as well. It seems the ones modeled after the old school compressors do well. For instance the compressor in the T-Racks mastering suite comes close. Its an emulation tube compressor where the input knob controls the amount of compression.

    Of course if youve never used T-Racks you wont know what I mean.
    So my chain right now is

    Uniquel-Izer Eq by Roger Nichols, or his Frequ-elizer
    PSP Master Compressor
    and depending on certain factors of course
    Finis Limitier Maximizer by Roger Nichols
    Izotope Ozones or others HF Exciter, (might go before the Finis)
    Izotopes Dithering

    And its always different, just an example.

    So, anyone know of a good Mastering Comp.

    Whats your choice? And yeah I know it depends on what the song asks for, but in general, within the plugin realm.
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    I think you need to make a disconnect -

    "Mastering" does not equal "getting stuff really loud" - Although it does tend to happen during that phase.

    A compressor isn't going to decide a mix's "volume potential" - The MIX is.

    Certainly, there is technique to going about getting sheer volume while doing less damage - But it's rarely going to be this plug or that plug. And when technique is thrown in, again, it's the *mix* that's going to dictate that technique.

    You can take a really great mix and just ram it into a limiter and presto - Loud. A mix that isn't up to snuff on the other hand - Tracked too hot, mixed too hot, core sounds not in the pocket, arrangement and instrumentation issues - any of a million different reasons... If it can't take simply being rammed, it probably isn't going to react well to much else. Not that there aren't better ways than just "ramming" it - But it's normally a good indicator of what you're up against.

    On to the plugins that do less damage - The PSP compressor is pretty nice, Waves are okay, T-Wrecks, Blow-zone (you can probably assume what I think of those)... The UAD stuff is pretty stellar as far as plugs are concerned. But again, as important as the tools are, technique is king. And the mix is the supreme ruler.
  3. silicon_demon

    silicon_demon Active Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    Waves are okay

    i'm surprised you say Waves are "okay." A lot of people i know consider the L2 and L3 (admittedly more of a limiter) to be the ultimate as far as plug-in comps go.

    Lotsa these guys are professional engineers who prefer working outta the box, but when they do work ITB, it's always Waves that they rave about. :shock:

    your thoughts?
  4. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Same thing. I'm one of those "out of the box" types. But shortly after I installed the UAD collection, I sold my Waves license. Couldn't even compare them.

    If I did a reasonable amount of mixing, I'd have probably kept them around. They didn't suck a lot of DSP power. Although with the current native stuff in Samplitude...

    In any case, no doubt - 7 or 8 years ago, nothing could touch the Waves stuff. Now, they're "okay" and WAY overpriced (IMO). And for mastering purposes, I mean... When I *did* use Waves plugs for mastering (I went through a short "digital" phase some years ago), I used maybe three of them. And not the stuff from the "masters" bundle either.

    Still - The Waves stuff is probably ideal (due to the DSP demands) for heavy mixing projects. But as far as mastering is concerned, the only plug I miss, even a little bit, is X-Hum. That thing was brilliant. I'll save my thoughts on the L-series... :-?

    Not that I have anything against engineers that use the Waves stuff - I know plenty of engineers that use them as "bread & butter" plugs. And there are few things that you can't do with Diamond. But with UAD out there, some Voxengo, Eliosound, PSP - even some freeware plugs out there - Waves just isn't as "impressive" to me as they were in the late 90's.

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