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-   -   Mastering - suite versus individual plugins (https://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=417072)

musicman691 09-18-2021 05:53 AM

Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
This thread isn't about having a discussion of what mastering is/isn't or that someone other than the person who did the recording (me) should do the 'mastering'. What I'm wondering about is would using an all-in-one suite like Ozone (regular) bring anything to the table versus using individual plugins? I ask because I have a loyalty offer of a crossgrade from any iZotope product (and I have several) of $69 US (which is good until the end of this month) for Ozone 9. I know that's not big bucks but would it really do anything useful for me?


I have almost everything from Fabfilter, a whole bunch of plugins from Plugin Alliance (Amek. elysia, Millenia, SPL), etc. Have several flavors of Pultec-style eq's, a Baxandall EQ, eq's that can do API proportional EQ at the push of a button. Same thing with compressors: feed forward/feed backward, vari-mu, regular comps. My limiter of choice is Fabfilter Pro-L. I know Ozone 9 has other modules I haven't covered. Keep in mind I work ITB.


I use Wavelab Elements for cd assemblage. Being it only has 2 insert slots for plugins per individual song I do my heavy 'mastering' in PT so I don't have to worry about having an adequate number of spaces for plugins. And this brings up an interesting point: would there be any benefit to 'mastering' in Ozone seeing as how iZotope markets it?


The last bit to this is: considering the low loyalty price I have to wonder if there's an Ozone 10 coming? It's been what 2 years since Ozone 9 dropped and there's RX9 due in October. Different products I know but still if they're doing a whole number update for one would they do the same for other products?

JFreak 09-18-2021 06:25 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
IN THEORY...

The less plugins you instantiate, the cleaner your mix (or master) will sound. And because mastering is all about subtle changes, theoretical answer would be "less plugins better sound". Even if you master with analog gear, you "plug in" a sound of AD/DA conversion so you would want to have the best converter money can buy.

In real life though, there are no rules. Use whatever gets the job done. Tweak it until you get the results you need. Then stop.

JFreak 09-18-2021 06:34 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
What I just told about "in theory" means every time you make a floating-point calculation you make a (very small) rounding error. When you make a rounding error after a rounding error after a rounding error, it begins to "smear" the sound. Only a little at first, but after a while, especially if you have gone to red, the smearing is so noticeable when you disable all plugins you wander what has been going on all the time and need to start over.

TDM was great in mastering, because fixed-point math is deterministic and (again in theory) every bounce is identical to the previous bounce. This is of course only true if your plugins do not modulate anything. But the fixed-point math does not add any extra rounding errors. Only downside is you need to pay attention to gain staging, which in case of mastering is a good thing because you need to stay out of the red.

musicman691 09-18-2021 06:50 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JFreak (Post 2613954)
IN THEORY...

The less plugins you instantiate, the cleaner your mix (or master) will sound. And because mastering is all about subtle changes, theoretical answer would be "less plugins better sound". Even if you master with analog gear, you "plug in" a sound of AD/DA conversion so you would want to have the best converter money can buy.

In real life though, there are no rules. Use whatever gets the job done. Tweak it until you get the results you need. Then stop.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JFreak (Post 2613955)
What I just told about "in theory" means every time you make a floating-point calculation you make a (very small) rounding error. When you make a rounding error after a rounding error after a rounding error, it begins to "smear" the sound. Only a little at first, but after a while, especially if you have gone to red, the smearing is so noticeable when you disable all plugins you wander what has been going on all the time and need to start over.

TDM was great in mastering, because fixed-point math is deterministic and (again in theory) every bounce is identical to the previous bounce. This is of course only true if your plugins do not modulate anything. But the fixed-point math does not add any extra rounding errors. Only downside is you need to pay attention to gain staging, which in case of mastering is a good thing because you need to stay out of the red.

All great points and the reason I made this thread - so I could learn a bit more from another point of view.

So in essence you're saying a single suite like Ozone would be better than a carefully curated bunch of separate plugins right? And I do pay attention to gain staging like you wouldn't believe. No modulation going on.

JFreak 09-18-2021 06:56 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
In theory, yes. Less plugins means better sound, especially true with floating point mixers.

But for example if you want to use Sonnox Inflator in your final master, then you will use Sonnox Inflator in your final master even though most of your processing would be iZotope. And sometimes decisions like this make using a suite plugin impractical as that may mess up the order of processing you want to do.

its2loud 09-18-2021 07:08 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
Download the free demo of Ozone 9 and see if it works for you. If not, then don’t spend the $69.

musicman691 09-18-2021 09:06 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by its2loud (Post 2613959)
Download the free demo of Ozone 9 and see if it works for you. If not, then don’t spend the $69.

That's not the answer I was looking for. My question was something you failed to grasp - which is better: an all-in-one mastering program or separate plugins. It was never specifically about the brands mentioned. Besides the Ozone 9 demo download is for the Advanced version not the regular version.

its2loud 09-18-2021 09:14 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
“What I'm wondering about is would using an all-in-one suite like Ozone (regular) bring anything to the table versus using individual plugins? I ask because I have a loyalty offer of a crossgrade from any iZotope product (and I have several) of $69 US (which is good until the end of this month) for Ozone 9. “

What did I fail to grasp? You mentioned Ozone twice in that question.

I suggested downloading and seeing for yourself.

Ozone Advanced and Standard are essentially the same with the exception of some additional features

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/ozone/features.html

Google is your friend

musicman691 09-18-2021 09:48 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by its2loud (Post 2613967)
“What I'm wondering about is would using an all-in-one suite like Ozone (regular) bring anything to the table versus using individual plugins? I ask because I have a loyalty offer of a crossgrade from any iZotope product (and I have several) of $69 US (which is good until the end of this month) for Ozone 9. “

What did I fail to grasp? You mentioned Ozone twice in that question.

I suggested downloading and seeing for yourself.

Ozone Advanced and Standard are essentially the same with the exception of some additional features

https://www.izotope.com/en/products/ozone/features.html

Google is your friend

And you STILL don't get it - it's not about the specific brand - never was and is. That I mentioned Ozone a couple of times means NOTHING. I know the differences between Standard and Advanced. I'm NOT asking about brand recommendations - Janne gets that so why can't you? There are other all-in-one 'mastering' programs - would you have been happy if I just mentioned using a generic term like 'mastering program' versus mentioning a brand?


I used Ozone like people use Scotch tape to refer to any adhesive tape whether it's made by 3M or some other company.

its2loud 09-18-2021 09:51 AM

Re: Mastering - suite versus individual plugins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by musicman691 (Post 2613971)
And you STILL don't get it - it's not about the specific brand - never was and is. That I mentioned Ozone a couple of times means NOTHING. I know the differences between Standard and Advanced. I'm NOT asking about brand recommendations - Janne gets that so why can't you? There are other all-in-one 'mastering' programs - would you have been happy if I just mentioned using a generic term like 'mastering program' versus mentioning a brand?


I used Ozone like people use Scotch tape to refer to any adhesive tape whether it's made by 3M or some other company.


Ok, good luck to you


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