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  #41  
Old 02-03-2004, 04:58 PM
Calvin Calvin is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

The only difference between a stereo track and a master fader is that the stereo track is routed threw the pluggins then threw the fader then on to where ever it's going. With the master fader the audio actually hits the fader then goes to the pluggins then to the track meter and out. It's really only usefull in a few applications, but I am just in the habit of working that way.
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  #42  
Old 02-04-2004, 06:04 AM
silence_of_stone silence_of_stone is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

I see.
I have to wonder if during the stereo mastering, would it be beneficial to place the plugins on a stereo aux rather than directly on the track. Have you tried this?
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  #43  
Old 02-04-2004, 07:27 AM
Calvin Calvin is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

Are you saying to split the audio and have a stereo track and a aux track that is being processed? The only problem is that the audio on the aux track will have some major latency issues due to the mastering pluggins. This is why I have to have two stereo tracks with one 6159 samples ahead of the other.
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  #44  
Old 02-04-2004, 07:34 AM
silence_of_stone silence_of_stone is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

ok... hehe.. I guess I needed to look at your post more carefully. You are running two stereo tracks and a master fader which I somehow skimmed right over. In that case I can see where there would be some latency issues using an aux.
I will have to give that a try for sure, one plain track and another with the treatment.
In my case, at this time I only run one stereo track, so I guess that wouldnt make much of a difference whether the plugins are on the aux or the main track.
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  #45  
Old 02-04-2004, 03:39 PM
RBaker RBaker is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

whats up calvin and everyone? interesting thread.

Maybe you should have used a hpf. Did anyone else notice the thumb at about :28?

Anyway I kinda agree that in the mastered example here, the "after" track is a bit too loud but it's all about taste, so let it rip. I did the recording quality.

I think it's hard to evaluate mastering on things like this especially when there are no drums. I'll try and find something I can post that I've done---not sure if I still have the pre-ruined masters. ha!

I've done some lame mastering for people in the past (projects I didn't record) as well as some demos which I usually slap the c4 and l2...I've also done some bigger label stuff (I mixed) where they had it mastered at marcussen mastering in hollywood, and I went to "supervise" (actually It was more like me walking around as my jaw hit the floor...it's a different world)

I will say that the overall job marcussen did wasn't THAT much different in sound from mine but more importantly it made the mix translate to EVERYTHING very well and it just sounds very smooth. Maybe thats something that is overlooked in home mastering. The project ended up going gold, so go figure.
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  #46  
Old 02-04-2004, 11:34 PM
John Shryock John Shryock is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

Excellent, excellent thread. Extremely useful.

I have a question about going from the mix to the master. Someone mentioned above that you should make the mix however you want, and not to think about the mastering while you are mixing.

I'm going to refer to mixing a rock band - say, 4 to 8 tracks drums, bunch of guitars, etc etc...
When I'm mixing, I always create a master fader. I use that to watch for the overall clipping of the song sum.

Setting the levels for all the instruments and parts, and I know this may seem amateur-ish, I'll creep up faders slowly and slowly, and then I'll turn on the "all" group and drop that down, and pull down everything uniformly. I'm assuming that it keeps the relative levels the same, although I'm not positive. It probably affects it some, due to less signal goes to the plug-in(s) and other similar things.

So, all the faders creep up, then the master fader starts clipping, so I bring down everything in the "all" group (all the tracks), and then rise the master fader back to unity. Then I'll push stuff up or down, until I'm too loud, pull down, wash, rinse, repeat.

During this whole process, I try and get the master fader (in the mixing session) as loud as possible without clipping. Then I export and pull it into a new session and try some mastering.

Questions:

- Does it matter where the master fader is set? Should I just get it to be putting out as much as possible - possibly in a scenario where all the tracks are really loud, but the master fader is pulled down enough so the 'whole mix' doesn't clip?

- When you pull down all tracks uniformly, using the "all" group, does it maintain relative levels?

- Is it better to work in Vu's rather than Db's? I heard someone saying Vu was better, and that Db was "for wussies." I don't have an opinion yet, b/c I haven't used Vu's yet. Can you even do those in Pro Tools LE?

- Should I worry about getting the maximum volume during the mix, or just relative levels without clipping? Should I work on gettin the best volume during mastering?

(note - I'm not trying to over-compress/master to get the record really "hot" so mine will be louder than everyone else's - I couldn't do that anyways! I've read about the dangers of trying to go too loud.)

- One specific thing about Calvin's before and after mp3's, in the first post - does it seem like the guitars become too loud in the mastered version? They just got really loud, seems more loud than the vocals. But I've only listened in headphones. Also, the stereo really got much louder. Just seemed bigger. Does anyone else get the feeling that the vocals need to be kicked up more in the mastered version? Just questions - just curious.

Also, about this thread - it's a very civil thread. I appreciate that - controversy with civility and agreeing to disagree. Sweet!

[note: i realized that some of these answers can be found in another thread, but i'm leaving them up here in case anyone wants to add a new spin to it. sorry if this offends anybody!]
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  #47  
Old 02-05-2004, 06:10 AM
silence_of_stone silence_of_stone is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

HI John... Welcome to the DUC. This is a pretty civil place for the most part. There area few grinch-trolls around, but they are the exception not the norm

Here we go talking about masterfading again...lol. Like everyone does it man!
Mainly the master fader is to keep your whole mix out of the red. I admit to using it sometimes, and sometimes not. Just depends. I think the fear is that without it you will end up with a square-wave mix because it is so loud... no one wants to distort. I find when I do not push the levels and rely soley on the master fader, then I wind up with a teeny sounding mix...if I dont use one though I get a robust mix and still no audible distortion, so I am honestly on the fence about it. I mainly rely on my ears, for what its worth.

Which leads me to the topic of "loud". Everyone wants their music louder and for good reason... the commercial cds we buy are loud. They are loud because the record companies warrant that they be loud. They want them loud for the radio. They figure you will hear it and like it better if it were louder, especially if the previous song was not mastered as loud. So the next record company hears about this and they demand the mastering to be louder. The mastering engineer begrudgingly complies, and makes it louder. Tiny square-waves are showing in his mix too, but maybe no one will notice. So it escalates and escalates until all the commercial recordings are getting louder and louder, more and more compressed.
And nobody cares about how it sounds. Just as long as it is louder.

You can take a number of modern commercial cds and string them up to see their wave files... you will see it too... clips at the tops of the wave form... even some of my favorite bands - Rush for instance, their latest cd is so squashed and you really can truly hear that there is distortion - and you can SEE it too. I found a website on the net where some guy had documented the wave files of every Rush cd since their first totally digital recording back in the 80s and you can see the progressive increase in volume and decrease in sound quality. I was fairly amazed.
So where does this leave us? Well, we want our cds loud of course, but I tell you I wish it werent so. Louder doesnt mean better. But we all are in the same boat, do as the pros do or get left behind..
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  #48  
Old 02-05-2004, 07:20 AM
wonderfall wonderfall is offline
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Default Re: How I master

Hi Calvin!
Sorry not to give here my own experience, but I did my first mastering attempt after I read your post !
Like it's been already said before, THANK YOU for your post, really informative for many I guess (for me, I'm sure)...
I tried something similar to what you explained, and I get a problem with latency : I get a latency similar to yours (about 6500 samples) for LinPhase + LinMB. When I nudge for compensation, things still aren't aligned...
I figured out that if I don't activate LinPhase and nudge the audio by the latency induced by LinMB only, then it's all aligned perfectly...

Does LinPhase have a problem when it comes to estimate its latency?
Ever experienced that?

Thanks again!

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  #49  
Old 02-05-2004, 07:44 AM
Calvin Calvin is offline
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Default Re: How I master

Hmmm that sounds like an interesting problem. So you are checking the latency on the track after your done inserting the pluggins like I explained? I know that sometimes my latency value will change, I don't really know why, but I am always checking the latency on the track by holding "Ctrl" and clicking on the numbers below the track twice. I have never had it give me a value that didn't work. Now your not putting anything pluggins on the original track right? Because that would cause some latency also.
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  #50  
Old 02-05-2004, 07:58 AM
KennyLee KennyLee is offline
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Default Re: How Does My Mastering Compare to Yours

Quote:

And nobody cares about how it sounds. Just as long as it is louder.
I hear this a lot but I don't think this is the case. Loudness can sound great. It just takes more attention to detail. The good thing about the new digital world of mastering is that one can attend to detail down to the smallest microsecond and micro frequency.

As far as comparing my mastering to this, I master on the Digi 001. At Pro levels.

my tunes mastered on Digi001 (encoded at 160K .wma)

These tunes are very loud blues. And the sound is retained as live and natural, I believe. Due to attention to detail.











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