What should I do?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by thepooch, May 28, 2003.

  1. thepooch

    thepooch Guest

    I'm in a Rap group under under ground. To get straight to the point, we don't have much money, but we have been blessed with many programs. To name as many as I remember: Cakewalk, Fruity Loops, Cuebase, WaveLab, Sound Foundry.

    We already have songs fitting for the album. It sounds straight to me, but I think we need to send it to a company to get mastered. But my producer wants to save money and do it ourselves (because we have the programs needed I guess). We may have the programs but we don't have the ear nor the experience to master anything to my knowledge. I just know whether it sounds good or bad, but I wouldn't know what to do about it.

    So basically, if a person has no experience, but low in the pockets, should we take a risk and do it ourselves, or should we save up the money (which is possible) and send it off to get mastered?
  2. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    just north of NYC
    Home Page:
    Master it yourselves & make a back-up copy of each version (as a safety), then ask a mastering studio to give both the unmastered versiion & your attempt a quick listen. Ask them if they can do much better than yours. Ask for a sample of what they can do.
    Listen carefully on a variety of systems & decide.

    I would be glad to provide this service, as would any of the Mods here.
  3. doulos21

    doulos21 Active Member

    May 26, 2003
    don that is an awsome idea and very true some so called mastering facility or studios that claim to do mastering is nothing but an untrain ear operating a c4 and waves q10 or a stand alone unit like the finalizers out there and a spectrum analizer if your lucky lol
  4. joe lambert

    joe lambert Active Member

    Oct 17, 2001
    321 West 44th Street Suite 1001
    Home Page:

    You need to have it properly mastered by a proffecional. There is no other answer.

    My friend has a Stevie Ray Vaughn model Strat. but he can't play it anything like Stevie could!!

    It's not the gear it's the experience. You just worked hard making a record do you want it to sound great, something you are proud of the rest of your life or something that everytime you listen to you are wishing it sounded better?
  5. Doug Milton

    Doug Milton Active Member

    Sep 23, 2002
    For an underground project you may find that the answer is to do it yourself. If your goal is to sell some units and create a buzz on the street, that’s probably the way to go. If your goal is to attract label interest and be taken more seriously, you should probably at least consider having it mastered by someone other that yourself. You don’t need to spend a fortune but I believe you will find it helps the project immensely to get a fresh set of ears and speakers involved. It’s not the gear as much as the ears and experience along with new perspective that you want from a mastering studio.

    I would be happy to do a test track for you if you want……
  6. Jon Best

    Jon Best Active Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    I'll agree with Doug. A hip hop production company I work with on a regular basis just put out a short run sampler, something to get it out on the streets and make a buzz. It was tracked and mixed here, and we ended up doing the master here as well. Everyone's happy with it, but everyone also knows that when they release a more 'official' album, it's going to a different mastering house.

    The programs you have are all well and good, but that's maybe, oh, 5% or less of what matters in good mastering. It's the unbiased ears and experience, followed by the monitoring chain and room, followed by the responsiveness of the engineer to your needs (maybe this is second), followed by the processing choices, followed by the processors, followed by the amenities and overall comfort of the place, followed distantly by the bit of code that burns you a CD, as long as it's not broken, that matter.

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