sound mastering beginner

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by jk1979, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. jk1979

    jk1979 Guest

    Hello everybody,
    During the last two weeks I'm trying to find out about all that sound mastering fuss. I' ve found a lot of software packages that are considered to do the above job. First of alll I want your opinion about the most appropriate one. Furthermore their manuals are focused only on how to do something and not on why. So I would be glad if you told me whether there are books or specific links which contain useful information about sound mastering especiallly for someone who is 100% amateur and tries to deal with this issue from the scratch with the intension to apply this background to specialised software.
    Thank you in advance
  2. lowland

    lowland Guest

    Hi jk1979

    Try Bob Katz' excellent book 'Mastering Audio' (Focal Press) available from Amazon and Bob's website, - while you're at it, have a look at the articles on the site.
  3. lucidwaves

    lucidwaves Guest

    Also, this message forum that you posted on has a ton of information from some very well respected mastering engineers. I've learned quite a bit in my short time here.
  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    read, read, read. then listen, listen, listen. First read everything you can get your hands on. Then listen to everything you can. Not only do you have to train your mind to think a certain way, but you also have to train your ears to hear certain things. This can take a long time. My assitant has been with me for 6 years and he's just now starting to master stuff. If you jump the gun and start mastering before you know what you're doing, You will develope a reputation that will last a lot longer than you would probably like.
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    :cool: @ M.F.

    There is NO SUBSTITUTE for practical experience. Whether that's experience from clients, or freebies for local bands, or trying to mess with old recordings.

    No plugin, no hardware, no monitoring chain will give you experience.

    But on that note, it's difficult to get any meaningful experience without a hearty monitoring chain. You can't tweak what you can't hear. Something to keep in mind...
  6. Nemesys

    Nemesys Guest

    I could only reiterate that you should purchase the Bob Katz book as it is really the only book written thusfar which is really at a level of specificity which is second to none (as far as music books go).

    That being said that its a great book and alll; that I dont think theres any better; ..... the book will likely raise more questions than it answers. "Mastering Audio" is a somewhat superficial book on many levels.... and in any case, the book might not actually be what your looking for (but purchase it anyway).

    Alot of people expect the book to be a sort of step-by-step guide to how you actually master.... and its NOT.... just like theres alot of books out there that attempt to teach you to mix or track music,... but the books often dont end up doing that. Its not so much the authors fault as its simply a daunting task to put experience into words... Some topics just dont translate well to paper.

    As a technical book, I found that substantial portions of the book were wholley superficial to the point of what I call "fluffery".... but yet it still is a fun read. The book has almost zero theory.... or at least what any decent engineer would call theory... People seem to have different ideas about what constitutes a book that teaches sound theoretical concepts; its what seperates electrical engineers from recording "engineers". However, in fairness I can only suppose that the book would be more than adequate for laymen and even people who have a half decent knowledge.... but since the book is so weak on theory, again... I'll stand by my comment that this book will likely raise more questions than it answers because the author does not back up his offhand comments with enough theoretical underpinning.
  7. sheld

    sheld Guest

  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    Probably one of the best things you could do is attend a real mastering session with a real mastering engineer to see how things are done in the professional world. Reading Bob Katz's book would also be a GREAT idea. There is a lot on information on the WWW about mastering. Some of it is pure CRAP some of it is misinfomation and some of it is very GOOD. You have to be able to seperate what is truely good from the other stuff, for instance has a lot of really good information on it.

    This forum is very good for getting a taste of what mastering is all about and you have some REALLY GOOD mastering engineers here on this forum. If you have specific questions most of us, I am sure, would be more than willing to answer them. However if you ask "how do I master my material" you may not get the answers you are looking for.

    Just remember home mastering is like home Dentistry only more painful. :- )

    Best of luck!

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