What software should I think about getting for my Mac?

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by sparksofurantia, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. I don't know the first thing about mastering and I have only just started on my recording path. I have a Mac and I am just using garage band for now. I wonder if there is something out there for mastering music that is as introductory and elementary as garage band. I like the idea of just figuring out how to use what is simple first and then upgrading. Kind of like going from garage band to logic, which will be my next step. And I have all of these recordings that definitely could use it, I would rather buy some software and do it myself than pay anyone. Even if it takes me a yr, I am young, got plenty of time.

    Any ideas?
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Tacoma, WA
    First...read this topic:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    Second - it will take more than a year to learn mastering.

    Third, software should be the least of your concerns when dealing with mastering. It's a tool. Just as there are many varieties and brands of hammers, some with special applications, it's usually up to preference of the person doing the hammering.

    I don't mean to sound rude or mean, but if you have to ask these questions, you don't have any business mastering.

    Sorry - the truth only hurts when it's supposed to.

  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    You have everything you need in Garage band. there are eq's, compressors and limiters. No need to buy anything else
  4. I am not planning on learning to do it professionally in a day or a year, and certainly not without research. You must start somewhere, I know that I did not learn to play the guitar well in a week, things take time, but in a yr I would be better at it than I am today. Like I said, I am young I have until I physically die to learn it, if that is what I choose to do. I have a beautiful guitar now but I didn't learn on one. And just like the hammer I can play them both now equally as well, the expensive one just sounds better.
    You don't sound mean, just arrogant and sad. I am not offended by your demons, (or wrong thinking), they are yours and you can keep them. You just seem to be projecting to me. I have read plenty of your responses and they are typically sarcastic and conceited, just like the link you gave me to look at. I will not be your judge so you don't have to answer to me. I just believe very strongly that the "golden rule",and the, "judge not..." stuff is kind of universal truth. So, that is what I try to live by and that is all I can do for you.

    -in the future if you have anything sarcastic to say, keep it to yourself.

    However I do respect your technical knowledge and thank you for your time.

    Love and Unity
  5. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    What Jeremy was trying to instill was:

    You don't just become an ME when starting your recording career.
    Establish yourself as a very competent AE first.

    You just started your recording path, get that experience first.
    Do your recordings really need mastering, or do you need more experience mixing.
  6. I have about a hundred recordings and they are all mixed basically the way that I want them. Some of them recorded in studios some of them recorded on crap. I will definitely be investing time in learning about these filters, limiters, and compressors. The real help came from the other gentleman that pointed out that I already have what I need on Garageband. I have been playing around with the different filters and so on, I am sure they are very basic. The real problem comes when I record my acoustic or the triton extreme on a piano/bass, it becomes too bassy and I can not effectively reduce the bass with the one size fits all eq on Garageband. Do I need to get an eq? My hollow body and acoustic sound like crap as well. Do I need a tube preamp? What should I get?
    Also I don't really want a career in it, I just want the music that I record for myself and my friends to sound good recoded, period. Is it really out of reach to begin doing both simultaneously? Why? Isn''t it all about sound, and learning how it works?
  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    Now you are really talking about mixing and recording. Quality gear is always nice to have but throwing money at your problem isn't going to fix it. You'll just have a more expensive too bassy sound.
  8. Multi-band compression will let you compress and 'thicken' ranges of the audio spectrum of your mix. You can fatten bass this way.

    However if your bass is just too loud compared to the rest of the signal, you should just EQ it. Roll off some of the bass until it sounds right to you. I have a Triton, and it's really bass-heavy.

    Basically, start by mixing the levels, move on to EQ'ing the separate tracks, then compress things that 'spike' and then become too quiet. Then go back and adjust the mix (of each audio track with each other). Try sending all the drums to one mixer group, vocals to another and so on, and playing with these.

    Mixing is a bit like cooking, you just have to experiment with all the ingredients, spices and tools until you get the flavor you like.

    Once my mix is as good as I can get it (I've tweaked it for a few days with fresh ears), that's when I will master.

    Mastering is what happens when you've done all of the above steps. It's typically a process where each of the tracks you've recorded is optimized to fit in with the rest of the tracks. I use tracks by artists similar to me who I know have been mastered really well, and toggle between my mix and theirs. If it needs it, I will EQ each mix (stereo file). A little goes a long way.

    Personally, I always use a multi-band compressor because I make a style of music that I want to be as present as possible (metal/goth/rock). However, that doesn't mean I squash the life out of it. There are many free plugins - try mda multiband. Try them all. Figure out what it is you are trying to do, and then you will know which one to use.

    Then I will limit. For the kind of music I make, which requires almost no dynamic content (signal-wise), I will crank the limiter up until the point I can hear it, and then back it off 2-3 dB.

    If it comes out crap, I just go and mow the lawn or go for a walk, and try again later from scratch. Doing something you love affords you that luxury.

    It's a good thing to learn mastering, as it will make you aware when you've used too much reverb, or the vocal's not mixed high enough etc. As with anything, learning about one aspect of a subject will often make connections in your mind for another.

    Try this book, 'Digital Home Recording: Tips, Techniques, and Tools for Home Studio Production':

  9. jonnystevens

    jonnystevens Guest

    If you buy logic go to the apple store in your area and they usually have free classes so you can learn the basics. Thats what I did. The new logic just dropped in price a lot and if your a student you could get even a better deal. Good luck
  10. Thank you so much guys. I really appreciate the in depth explanation, that is exactly what I was looking for. I had a similar trial and error philosophy but my path needed some improvement. And I do not know if I am in the market yet for logic as I have only just figured out where everything is in garageband, I just am not yet familiar with what they do. Like what a limiter does or compression.

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