Mastering for Vinyl a few more questions

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by lebus44, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. lebus44

    lebus44 Guest

    Hi Guys ..
    thanks for all your help with the last little Mastering to Vinyl session . All the tips have been a big help . especially Tom's to check mixes with a low pass and high pass filter to see if the definition stays ..

    Now , i'm wondering since we are trying to avoid excessive bass if i should be using a low cut on my mixer on , well kick and bass lines .. I have a mackie 1604 VLZ , the low cut is a -18 db at 75 Hz .. I find it cuts a lot of the thump out when i press it , but watching my analyzer ( Software , not very accurate ) i do notice it cleans up the the 40 Hz area quite nicely . I guess my question is if the mastering studio would preferr getting my mixes with the low cut ? and if this cut is compensated for at cutting stage ?

    I think since i'm also a DJ, i have nightmares of making records with no kick . But i notice that now i really give too much kick to my mixes . Especially since i make quite minimal stuff . I would imagine that this means my records though will be quieter overall since the kick is peakign way above other levels ..

    i guess the answer is to feel it out but is there ,more a less a good level for the kick as compared to the rest of the mix.

    Should it be the loudest ? or am i still looking for a even mix ..

    I think since my ears are still relatively new to mastering i listen more like a consumer and less like a mastering pro . I'm trying to shift this to creating warm and even mixes and letting the mastering studio make the record loud ..

    If anyone would like to listen to some stuff .. My recent ep is called runaway and you can listen to it streaming from the site ..

    all the best to everyone
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    You might want to invest in an outboard equalizer.
    Presonus has a good one that is reasonably priced. Here is the website
    75 Hz is a bit too high. Most problems come in the below 60 Hz and many in the below 30 Hz area. The nice thing about the Presonus is that it sounds good and has sweepable eq points that you can overlap. The 75 Hz points on the Mackie is basically for use in getting rid of low end garbage when the mixer is used for voice in concert sound applications.

    As to listening. Your ears are the best test equipment around. You have to train them just like an athlete has to train his or her body. The best way to do that is to listen to lots of different music that you are interested in mastering and try to make comparisons. Is there music overly hyped in the bass? Is it one particular frequency or is the whole bottom end of the scale boosted? Is there a lot of compression used along with the equalization? Does the bass sound punchy or muddy? Is the bass way out of proportion to the rest of the mix or is it just slightly above the overall sound? What are the levels of the overall song? How close to zero is the majority of the song? Does it go over zero and how often? Can you hear any artifacts of it clipping? What do you like about the song, the way it was recorded or mastered? What don't you like about the song? Is there something that could be improved?

    Lots of questions but until you can do this critical listening as to what you want your stuff to sound like there will be no way that you can start to master your own stuff. Try to use the best possible speakers and make sure the room you are listening to the material in does not have acoustical problems so you can really hear what is being reproduced by your equipment. Then after you can do some critical listening you can start to evaluate what it is that you want to do to your music to make it sound better. It takes some time but the time spent is well worth it.

    Best of luck and I hope this helps.
  3. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    just north of NYC
    Home Page:
    75 Hz is indeed cutting off too much low end. Rather than take the quick method & filter all that nice low end, work on perfecting your mixes. When I cut, if things are right, I go all the way down to 12 Hz before filtering. I don't think we want to be the ones to totally "build" bass below 75, although we can.
  4. lebus44

    lebus44 Guest

    thanks guys ..
    I have been wanting to get an outboard EQ for some time . I will look into a new one soon . Thanks for the link to Presonus ..

  5. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    You could also try a "shelf" EQ shape to check. There is often that shape in software.
  6. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    Having recorded many albums I will say that the equalizers the mastering engineer are usually far better than anything you can usually afford for your own studio.

    These guys are obsessed with bass! They also know the sound of their own monitors better than anyone else.

    I personally would try my best to get the mix the way you want it at the studio without trying to do the mastering engineer's job, and listen to the advice of the mastering engineer when you get there. He may well advise you to remix it (it happened to me more than once).

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