question on pre-mastered mixes

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by gossimer, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. gossimer

    gossimer Guest

    Hey everybody...Well here is my situation followed by my question. I have been doing mixes lately for much more professional artists than the run of the mill local kid garage bands I used to get. I produce mainly rock projects. Usually I used to just do the poor man's mastering cause the kids couldnt afford to pop down any more cash for a true mastering engineer. Well it's nice to finally take the step up and record better artists but my problem is this...I got so used to using the poor man's mastering method across the master bus that now when I went to mix down just the mix (unmastered) and I play it in the car to examine the balances between elements it sounds so dull and lifeless. The balance is there. Yet nothing sounds polished. It sounds like someone kind of has a blanket over the speakers maybe. I raise the treble in my car and the bass level a bit and it starts to sound a bit better. So is this something that I should leave for mastering or try to fix in the mix within the individual elements of the song? For example: the guitars sound small for some reason. I boosted them a bit in the 100-240hz range with a small broad bump and it helped but I don't want to muddy them up to get that defined fullness. Are these type of things that I should fix in the mix or leave for mastering? I guess the mix as a whole just lacks that definition I'm used to hearing. I've been looking at some freq spectrums of some reference cds and my mix resembles the freq plots so it would seem I am on the right track. I really wish I could find a way to post the mp3 file or .wav file right now. Maybe tomorrow I can. I appreciate all the help and advice.
  2. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    Home Page:
    If you can hear/identify what you're missing in the mixes, and can make it sound better in the mixing stage, then definitely do it that way. It's always best to make things sound good as early in the process as possible.

    The better the raw tracks, the easier and better the mix. The better the mix, the easier and better the mastering.
  3. gossimer

    gossimer Guest

    Is it normal though to get a mix that, for lack of a better word, lacks some "sheen" to it or sounds relatively dull before the mastering process. I definitely want to try to give the mast. engineer the best product I can but I'm afraid I'll try to tweak too much to get it there sometimes and might end up making things worse. Like I said, I'll try to post a sample tomorrow. Maybe then, people can hear what I'm talking about.
  4. Assis Rosa

    Assis Rosa Active Member

    Oct 3, 2005

    The car is not a good reference
    try to listen your mix in diferent sound equipments.
    After de mastering process the final product can sound much better
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    It's more of a matter of low level information being heard. You are hearing more detail because you've pushed it up by inserting stuff on the 2-bus. I call it crack for the 2-bus. It sounds good initially, but you'll begin to notice the down side. the compensation isn't going to come quick but when you get the hang of not smashing the mix, your mixes will come out better.

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