What are the most popular plugins for mastering?

Discussion in 'Mixing' started by engineer971, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. engineer971

    engineer971 Active Member

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    Roanoke, IL
    I guess this is something I should have asked long ago.

    I've been putting this chain together

    EQ
    Multiband compression
    Magnetic simulation
    Limiter
    Maximizer/Dither

    What other good plugin chains are good to use when mastering?
     
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

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    You use what the mix asks for - Not a predetermined chain...

    I'd start by removing the maul-the-band compression and the tape simulation right off the bat... Sure, typically you're going to use some sort of equalization and dynamics control (I haven't used a MBC on a mix in --- well, it's been months at least -- And if the mix is screwed up enough to need it, I'd much rather ask for a remix) and tape sim is *very* program dependent to say the least.

    What's your version of the difference between a limiter and a "maximizer" in this case...?
     
  3. engineer971

    engineer971 Active Member

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    Be easy on me, I'm just trying to learn here.

    I'm no expert or trying to portray myself as such.

    I don't know what the difference between a limiter and a maximizer is. All I know is I add things that sound good to my ear, and usually in the type of music I play, bluegrass, there's less variation in mixes, even good mixes, in the line up.
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

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    A maximizer has nothing to do with Dither. Check our glossary of terms for dither. A maximizer is a cock-a-mamy attempt at an all in one box that turns an audio track into a lifeless brick. Basically a limiter (which is a different type of compressor) without a conscious or good taste.
     
  5. engineer971

    engineer971 Active Member

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    I've been using what I have available to me right away, not that I won't get something else in good time, but Pro tool's maxim has a dither on it.

    Bomb factory BF76 has a peak limiter on it. Is it a better choice than the maxim, then?
     
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

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    http://akmedia.digidesign.com/products/docs/prd_1052_8564.pdf

    The dither function would be used when bouncing down a track to a different bit rate. This is a separate function from the actual compressor/limiting function and is included because Protools didn't contain a built in dither (unless PT9 now has one). Also, some plugins change bit or sample rate when they process in order to relocate any digital errors out of the human range of hearing (noise shaping).

    So it is a function of understanding what the words mean and what their functions are. And not believing all the propaganda Avid or anyone else publishes.
     
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

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    A suggestion...instead of posting why not take some time to search out and read other posts on this same question. Your question gets asked about once a week or more. Answering the same question over and over and over again seems pointless since the person asking for the information can just as easily do a search on the forums and find all the answers. Also if you are REALLY interested in mastering the first thing I would do is get Bob Katz's book and read it cover to cover twice. That will answer a lot of questions AND will help you understand more about what mastering is all about. If you still have questions that you do not understand then come back and ask them.. Here is the book on Amazon Amazon.com: Mastering Audio, Second Edition: The art and the science (Book) (9780240808376): Bob Katz: Books

    FYI there are NO SET rules for mastering nor are there "preferred plug-ins" or setup "order". Every song is different every mastering setup is different and everyone has different ways of working. As a famous mastering engineer once said "do what the song tells you to do"

    Hope this helps!!!
     
  8. engineer971

    engineer971 Active Member

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    Roanoke, IL
  9. SASman

    SASman Active Member

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    The answer is : The ones that can most effectively correct the problems that your perfectly tuned monitoring and acoustics reveal.

    Finding them and discerning them is a skill in itself. (and the same goes for analog tools)

    SafeandSound mastering
    online mastering
     
  10. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

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    I would say a more typical chain would be EQ-Comp (maybe)-Limiter-Dither. There are no rules, but I have never liked the sound of multiband compressors for mastering.
     

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