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amscheme 09-11-2021 07:23 AM

Re: Mastering

Originally Posted by EGS (Post 2613190)
Here's an idea:
BEFORE you master, surgically find and tweak peaks in the mix. Temporarily put an L3 (or similar) on the master fader. Adjust threshold so it starts to hit some peaks. Play through the song and stop when the limiter finds a peak. Locate the offending element(s) in the multitrack (perhaps a snare hit or lead vocal consonant) and manually automate it down a bit at that exact moment. Continue through the entire song. Remove the temp L3, and bounce. Send to mastering engineer, or self-master in a separate session. I find this method of "manual limiting" (i.e. precise & careful mixing) ends up being less distorted than hitting limiters too hard during mastering. Limiters like L3 can definitely introduce distortion, so be careful!

Thanks I usually do not do that and I could see that helping a lot, I appreciate your time !

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amscheme 09-11-2021 07:25 AM

Re: Mastering

Originally Posted by albee1952 (Post 2613211)
Good advice above that I will add my own spin to.

First off, how far down are you dragging your master to get rid of clipping? If its 3-4db, that's probably fine, but if its 10-12db, then I would go back to the mix and lower everything. The 2 easy methods("easy" being a relative term:o) are:
A-select every AUDIO and INSTRUMENT track and create a new group(you don't want AUX or routing folders included). Show volume in the EDIT window>grab the volume line on any AUDIO track(grab AFTER the end of the song) and drag it down 6-8db. Assuming your AUX tracks are fed by post-fade sends, the entire mix should remain intact, but at a lower level.

B-Find the TRIM plugin, set it to -10 and save this as a preset. Then set the plugin to default to that preset. Now in the EDIT window, hold Alt(Option?) and insert the TRIM plugin in the last insert slot(the Alt/Option will add the plugin to every track). Then go thru and bypass(or delete) Trim on all AUX tracks(where it is not needed). This should also lower the entire mix, but maintain the balance(my session templates have TRIM already in place, but bypassed).

On to mastering, I also prefer to bounce to disk, and then master that audio file, but the method doesn't change a lot. I use Ozone now, but previously, this was my chain:
Fabfilter ProQ with a steep high-pass around 30Hz
SSL buss compressor(either Waves or Slate Grey work well) doing gentle 2:1
Waves L2(L3 is a fine substitute)w/ceiling at -.05 and adjust for 2-3db of GR
Another Waves L2. Ceiling at -.01 and adjust for 2-3db of GR

The idea is to let each comp and limiter do a little extra push instead of doing it all with 1 plugin(and I have gone as far as 3 instances of L2 on a soft track). These days, I still have Fabfilter ProQ3 and the SSL comp in the first 2 slots and let OZONE do the rest(now that I have a method to keep all my mixes within a consistent range of volume);)

That’s a wealth of information there, can’t wait to try it out, I really appreciate you taking your time to explain it , very helpful!!

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amscheme 09-11-2021 07:26 AM

Re: Mastering

Originally Posted by albee1952 (Post 2613242)
Indeed, the reason I switched to the Slate Grey over the Waves SSL bus comp is for the hi-pass filter, which I run at around 150Hz. As for wideners like Waves S1, I do use those, but never on the master. Instead, I might bus a bunch of BGV tracks thru an AUX and put the widener on the AUX, and I will sometimes put S1 on some effects. I find this quite effective without a serious compromise to the overall track(wideners work by using phase shifts and I don't want that on my entire mix:rolleyes:).

BTW, plugin presets are a mixed bag. If your mix is different from the mix that the preset was built for, then you might be chasing your tail:-). At the very least, experiment a bit rather than just calling up the preset and assuming its fine. A multi-band limiter is a wonderful tool that can do some amazing things. It can also dig you into a hole that you can't get out of(which is why I suggested the L2 as its nearly impossible to screw up):D

Awesome, will try this out, thanks!

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