Thread: Mastering
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Old 09-10-2021, 08:55 AM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Norwich, CT
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Default Re: Mastering

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) 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)
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