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  #1  
Old 03-12-2021, 02:04 PM
bonzerboy bonzerboy is offline
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Default 2 schools of thought in a mix

As far as a final mix i have heard this and would like to hear what anyone else thinks. I have heard try to get the mix as close to sounding done before mastering, like it was mastered..... The other thought I have heard is get it good but not so close to a mastered sound because mastering will polish it.....One thing I did notice when trying to get it sounding as best i could then mastering it seemed a little too bright and then the other way it seemed a tad bit dull. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

The whole point of mastering is another set of ears in a calibrated listening envirnonment. When your mix comes back it just reveals something about your monitoring.
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Old 03-12-2021, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Get it as close as you can.

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Old 03-12-2021, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

I agree with the others here. Mastering is not done to make up for a so-so mix. Its done to take the best you can do, and make it just a bit better. The next purpose is to make all your songs(assuming its more than 1) and make them sound like they all belong together as a collection(this includes song levels, EQ, space between songs, etc). Then there is the intended market. If you plan on selling CD's, the mastering will likely push the volume up a fair amount. But if you plan on selling downloads, a loud master will just get turned down by the website(think Spotify, iTunes, etc). A good ME will deliver the proper levels for your market.

If the mastered version comes back sounding seriously different(especially in the lows or highs), that could mean that your monitoring is less than accurate. How does that happen? Too many ways First off, the average home/project studio is going to be quite inaccurate in the bottom octave or 2(small room, insufficient bass trapping, low ceiling.....etc). If the high end comes back different, maybe you need to change the setting for your tweeters? Maybe your hearing is not what you think it is(trust me, this happens a lot). Most mastering houses spend more on speakers and acoustics than the rest of us spend on our entire setups

As always, its good to compare your mastered track(s) against some other commercial releases in the same genre to see if they all jive(and to make sure your mastering person is on the same wavelength as you).
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Old 03-12-2021, 03:26 PM
bonzerboy bonzerboy is offline
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Great feed back. From all the info out there and reading things i thought i would ask. here is a follow up question. because most rooms as mine is home I have seen IK has a system you do mic placement and it is supposed to calibrate your system to the room i think. Is this hocus pocus or do these things work. Another thing i have seen lately is these plug in supposedly you can mix with head phones to emulate abby road or ocean way studio. Seems like a lot od snake it out there.?
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Old 03-12-2021, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzerboy View Post
As far as a final mix i have heard this and would like to hear what anyone else thinks. I have heard try to get the mix as close to sounding done before mastering, like it was mastered..... The other thought I have heard is get it good but not so close to a mastered sound because mastering will polish it.....One thing I did notice when trying to get it sounding as best i could then mastering it seemed a little too bright and then the other way it seemed a tad bit dull. Any thoughts?
Mastering engineers are often looking to add some "boom and tizz" to the mix, plus some level. I often left a little work to do in the top end so they could add their juice. Occasionally I'd see cuts, often to excessive bass end from other's mixes or occasionally top end but not so often. I've mastered at most of the main mastering houses in and around London.

Stephen
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Old 03-12-2021, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Mastering is to translate your mix.


if it's really "coming back too bright" then it's not mastered correctly. Right?
Why would a good mastering engineer make something "too bright"?
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Old 03-12-2021, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Best thing is to attend if you can. Then you can ask to hear the before and after processing and see what is being done. If you go with some notes (for an album and what each song needs) you'll be able to judge what you are hearing in the room, even if you haven't worked in there before. That way you'll know if they are overcooking things. However, if you choose a reputable house, a know engineer who is used to dealing with the genre(s) you work in you should be able to trust their judgement, whilst giving them a few pointer and parameters to work within.

Stephen
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2021, 05:04 PM
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albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonzerboy View Post
Great feed back. From all the info out there and reading things i thought i would ask. here is a follow up question. because most rooms as mine is home I have seen IK has a system you do mic placement and it is supposed to calibrate your system to the room i think. Is this hocus pocus or do these things work. Another thing i have seen lately is these plug in supposedly you can mix with head phones to emulate abby road or ocean way studio. Seems like a lot od snake it out there.?
It CAN help. Does that mean it will make every room dandy? Not likely, but if your setup is not way off, ARC can get it quite a bit closer to ideal. The 2 most valuable things that an ME brings are; really great monitoring(hopefully) and a fresh perspective(its really tough to be objective when you've mixed a song for several hours). I use ARC here in much the same way I would use another set of speakers. Listen with it on, listen with it off and try to make it sound good in both scenarios

Re a ME making something too bright; that would be a case for some deep comparison listening, along with some commercial CD's. If all sounds fine EXCEPT the mastered track is too bright, then I would have a conversation with that ME. If the mastered track sounds balanced against some commercial product, then maybe your monitoring has a major issue. I am not letting the ME off the hook here as I had one screw a CD release because his masters were all out of phase!!! (that can happen when the record label goes for "cheap" over "good"....)
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Old 03-12-2021, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: 2 schools of thought in a mix

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
Mastering is to translate your mix.


if it's really "coming back too bright" then it's not mastered correctly. Right?
Why would a good mastering engineer make something "too bright"?
If it is coming back too bright, then maybe you have something wrong in your monitoring?
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