The mastering way

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by neverexists, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. neverexists

    neverexists Guest

    hi all , another question for you :)
    this week we are going to finish the mix ;)
    and then we'll send it to a mastering studio.
    one question more.
    In the studio all sound good but when i go home and play the cd in my stereo or in other stereo, bass & kick ( the bass frequencies) sound louder and then the mix sound a jumbled, confused ( not too much but enough for me).
    so the question is :

    to the Mastering Engineer we have to give a mix that sound well in the studio monitor or in the stereo at home?

    Bye Marco
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    It's common for a mix that doesn't translate outside of the studio. That is one of the reasons for having your mixes mastered. If you are using a good ME, then they'll be able to make the mixes translate on a wide variety of systems.
  3. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Keep in mind also that poor translation is often a symptom of a bigger problem - Generally speaking, a poor monitoring scenario.

    Low end problems are all too common in rooms that don't have proper bass management. Your mixing skills will only be as good as your speakers allow them to be. But your speakers will only sound as good as the room allows them to. Good room + good speakers (+ good skills, of course) = good mixes.

    And although ensuring good translation is something that is a part of the mastering stage, having that translation there in the first place will allow the M.E. to concentrate his efforts on other things - "Enhancement" instead of "repair" so to speak.
  4. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    "Enhancement" instead of "repair" so to speak.

    Well put John :cool:
  5. beht

    beht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2004
    I find one way to avoid this problem is to constantly check the mix on other systems, other environments. I would never finish a mix without listening on at least two other systems aside from studio monitors, as well as middle-of-the-road walkman headphones. Okay, so it takes me HOURS/DAYS to do my mixes, but they're all good.
    You can also (if you're me and started out a complete novice and not a pro engineer) gradually start to get to the point where you know what it's going to sound like on the other systems before you even play it on them.
  6. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    There's the rub - When you have an reasonbly accurate room and reasonably accurate monitoring, you won't need to check on other systems.
  7. eddies880

    eddies880 Guest

    reasonably accurate monitoring,,,,got it----reasonbly accurate room,,,,,,, working on it.
    The difference of change in monitors for me, have made mixing so much easier.
    I just dont have the room yet! to properly master. :(
  8. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    Mastering should not be a substitute for a proper mix. Though a good ME will be able to adjust the overal freq to correct some issues it will be impossible to change the relative level/freq of individual instruments. Nor should a ME be expected to do that which should have been done during mixing.

    The better the mix the better your mastering will be.
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Well put, Digit. And to take it further, the better your mix, the LESS Mastering (as such) will be needed.

    I'm not knocking anyone's good intentions here, but I always cringe at scenarios where "Fixing the EQ" is seen as a routine part of "Mastering" something. To me, it's worse than a band-aid if it goes too far. When there's extensive EQ going on at the mastering stage on just the 2-track mix, then all frequencies of the entire work are being affected, and sometimes that's just overkill, esp when the problem may involve just the kick drum, or just the drum overheads. Working on problems with the cymbols can easily cut into the same freqs in and around the strings, the horns, or worse - the lead vocal.

    Ideally, a mix should leave the studio in good shape as-is, but of course we don't live in a perfect world. (And what fun would THAT be anyway?)

    With a little extra effort, a good mix can be had at the mixing stage, with little left for the mastering engineer to have to "Fix" after-the-fact. (Let the mastering be mastering I guess is what I'm saying....) If it's more than an EQ tweak here or there, IMHO its' time to send it back to the mixer, if at all possible.
  10. barnee

    barnee Active Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    For what I know, when mastering if the engineer applies more than 5/6dB to correct the sound (and he is supposed to enhance not to correct) then the trouble is in the original mix.
    So the tape go back to the mixing stage.

    Am I wrong?

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