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  #1  
Old 11-07-2002, 10:00 PM
Superclock Superclock is offline
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Default Referencing to major label stuff

When I mix I like to listen to other people's albums to reference. My dilemma is whether or not I should be mastering while I'm mixing. How can I reference the sound of the other albums to my own if they are not being treated with similar mastering techniques?
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2002, 10:36 AM
ReniuR ReniuR is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

I would focus on getting the mix to shine, and worry about any mastering it may need once the mix is as good and natural as it can get. I advise against trying to master while you mix. When you refference to a mastered recording, listen more for elements of the mix instead of the polished sound. You can EQ your mix to sound a little better in comparison, but I believe that if you start piling things on the master fader while you're still mixing, you aren't going to end up with a very natural result because you'll end up mixing to compensate for your mastering instead of the other way around. I recommend fixing things in the mix that need it, instead of giving everything that treatment by processing the master fader. Once your mix is as good as you can get it, the mastering stage will only help that much more and produce a more natural result.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2002, 11:08 AM
Superclock Superclock is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

The problem with a "natural" sounding mixes is that once they get mastered they don't sound "natural" anymore. I spent a lot of time working at studios, primarily small studios, and I always wound up mastering the stuff I mixed after the fact. Nowadays, however, it's almost as if everything is so compressed and limited that you have to mix with that in mind. Why not just do it when you are mixing?
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2002, 02:53 PM
ReniuR ReniuR is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

Quote:
Originally posted by jbartunek:
Nowadays, however, it's almost as if everything is so compressed and limited that you have to mix with that in mind. Why not just do it when you are mixing?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">sigh

Many would argue that over-compression is the disease of today's music.

I'm not trying to start a fight here, so this is the last post I'll make on this sub-topic. Does over-compression and limiting with more compression on it sound natural to you? it doesn't to me. It also depends heavily on what kind of music you're making. Most heavier music today is so compressed that there is no dynamic to the final result (it ends up at threshhold for the entire thing), and to me, dynamics are what make a recording sound natural, not how loud it is or how perfect the EQ's are. I have found that if the balances in my mixes are where they should be, then a little something during mastering can make it sound a lot better than if I said "it's fine" and compressed it till it sounded different. I have moved away from doing anything to my masters. For me, if it's not hitting the way I want it to, I adjust the mix. Then mastering adds the polish that it should.

To each his own. These are just my opinions, and every engineer works differently and has techniques that work best for his methods. Experiment with mixing, lots can be accomplished in this stage.

Lets get some more opinions here.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2002, 03:11 PM
Bassart Bassart is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

Some great points made here. Another thought is that unless your tracks are destined to fight for radio airplay in terms of volume, to hell with trying to be as loud and compressed as the next guy. Some of my favorite recordings actually have dynamics, loud and very soft and to me thats ok. I agree that the focus should be, at least for me, on a good natural mix and then if it needs specially mastering for "airplay" or whatever, take care of it then.

Just my .02.

Bob
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2002, 04:55 PM
Superclock Superclock is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

Renuir,
I certainly agree that over compressed mixes do not sound natural. And I also agree that this is not a fight, merely a discussion (apologies if I came across that way.) I should also point out that I typically do not compress AND limit when mixing. Sometimes a little compression can add a nice touch . . . I'm sure we would all agree. At times I have had mastering engineers suggest I go back and adjust a mix after they have spent time applying some mastering techniques. The mastering techniques obviously do certain things to the sound of the mix. I am just trying to suss out the potential pitfalls of mastering when mixing by presenting it to the forum. And as always . . . if it sounds good, then who really cares how it was done!
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Old 11-08-2002, 05:25 PM
ReniuR ReniuR is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

Quote:
Originally posted by jbartunek:
this is not a fight, merely a discussion (apologies if I came across that way.)...

...I should also point out that I typically do not compress AND limit when mixing...

...if it sounds good, then who really cares how it was done!
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I never took your posts as an attack, I just didn't want you to take mine that way [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

Some here actually do limit AND compress (sometimes 2 compressors). I was just making a worst-case scenario.

True true. If it's the sound you're after, then who's to say you did it wrong.

Keep up the good discussion, all.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2002, 07:16 PM
Rational Punk Rational Punk is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

Interesting topic. I'm certainly no expert engineer, so take my two cents for what they're worth. I do a certain amount of A-B comparisons to commercial releases in my genre, but only to get things at least "in the ballpark." I don't know that I necessarily want my mixes to sound like the ones I'm comparing them to. Natalie Merchant once said something in an interview to the effect that, "I just try to get things to where they're sounding good to me and try not to get too caught up in comparison."

I do use both compression and limiting on individual tracks in mixes, but the idea is to control dynamics on the individual elements in a hopefully transparent way, so that you don't have overly strong peaks jumping out from anything in your bounced mix...that way you can more easily apply final limiting without the whole mix getting audibly clamped here or there just because there was a strong bass guitar transient or whatever.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2002, 04:33 PM
Chris Scott Chris Scott is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

God your right, I worked with a big producer who has a who's who list of people he has done( to big to tell) and he used to overcompress everyhting and then say what if we compress it again and it would turn into some fake recording...I agree dont kill the mix...Just sweeten it...Chris

Quote:
Originally posted by ReniuR:
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:<hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by jbartunek:
Nowadays, however, it's almost as if everything is so compressed and limited that you have to mix with that in mind. Why not just do it when you are mixing?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">sigh

Many would argue that over-compression is the disease of today's music.

I'm not trying to start a fight here, so this is the last post I'll make on this sub-topic. Does over-compression and limiting with more compression on it sound natural to you? it doesn't to me. It also depends heavily on what kind of music you're making. Most heavier music today is so compressed that there is no dynamic to the final result (it ends up at threshhold for the entire thing), and to me, dynamics are what make a recording sound natural, not how loud it is or how perfect the EQ's are. I have found that if the balances in my mixes are where they should be, then a little something during mastering can make it sound a lot better than if I said "it's fine" and compressed it till it sounded different. I have moved away from doing anything to my masters. For me, if it's not hitting the way I want it to, I adjust the mix. Then mastering adds the polish that it should.

To each his own. These are just my opinions, and every engineer works differently and has techniques that work best for his methods. Experiment with mixing, lots can be accomplished in this stage.

Lets get some more opinions here.
<hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2002, 06:38 PM
ztereoimach ztereoimach is offline
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Default Re: Referencing to major label stuff

For a while I would mix, then master, then listen to it in the car and stuff. Finally I just burned a mix and listened to that instead, it sped up and enhanced the mixing so much. My point being that it seems to be better to focus on the mix only, then master.

To me mastering is like the icing on the cake, you can eat a mix but a mastered song tastes so much better.

I think too that the biggest bennefit of having someone else master is that they are not biased to the mixes. It is impossible to come fresh to master mixes that you have been working on for days. It seems if you wait a week or so to master it works better.

Peace,
Jason
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