Avid Pro Audio Community

Avid Pro Audio Community

How to Join & Post  •  Community Terms of Use  •  Help Us Help You

Knowledge Base Search  •  Community Search  •  Learn & Support


Avid Home Page

Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Legacy Products > Pro Tools TDM Systems (Mac)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2003, 09:22 AM
DeadHead DeadHead is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 53
Default OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

All - (I posted 'OT' cause I'm not a TDM user, I use LE)

I have just recently gotten an opportunity to get some of my songs on three local radio stations. They said they'd work me into the regular rotation and get out a little blurb that I'm a local musician, and a project studio doing my own recording. I live in a small town with a lot of local musicians, and I'm one of the few, if not the only Pro Tools user around. . . .

I have been recording with my PTLE 001 set up for two years now, but have not yet done any work for radio. I am amateur and this is an exciting local opportunity for me.

I have done what I'd call 'home' mastering to get my final stereo mix levels up enough that they sound good on CD and still retain some dynamics. I gently use the Waves L1 for that.

My music is generally acoustic guitar, and my vocal, with occasional bass tracks (very simple) to fill out the sound a bit, and sometimes some additional acoustic tracks to pretty things up a bit. . . . usually just acouostic and a vocal though.

Does anyone have any suggestions, ideas, concerns, for doing amateur 'mastering' for radio play ? Is there anything I should do different ? Anything a newbie to this media might consider ?

Your comments are appreciated.

Regards,
DeadHead
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-14-2003, 09:38 AM
PDupre PDupre is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Cohasset, MA 02025
Posts: 384
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

First off congrats! Now don't blow it! 3 things:

1. Make sure that the volume level of your CD is as hot as the other stuff the stations are playing. When you reference other cd's in their rotation, you won't believe how hot they are. The biggist mistake people make is in shear volume. BTW if you have to lose your dynamic changes - do it. Your competition does. Sad but true.

2. See Number 1

3. See Number 1

Peter
__________________
www.peterdupre.com
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2003, 09:50 AM
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
Bob Olhsson Bob Olhsson is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville, TN
Posts: 3,460
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

Quote:
Originally posted by PDupre:
First off congrats! Now don't blow it! 3 things:

1. Make sure that the volume level of your CD is as hot as the other stuff the stations are playing.

Peter
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">This actually isn't true at all unless you need to sell them on playing the music against louder recordings.

If anything, a recording will usually sound louder and punchier on the air with less compression and limiting than is commonly used today. The problem is GETTING it on the air, not what it sounds like on the air.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2003, 10:07 AM
DeadHead DeadHead is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 53
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

Thats what I was afraid of Peter.

Thanks for the advice.

I hadn't thought of referencing CDs they currently play. I do that when mastering to CD, I just wonder if there's anything else I should consider for radio play.

I guess I'm going to have to squash the hell out of my stereo mix. I normally don't like to do that as I lose a lot of what I'm trying to convey with my dynamics. I guess this is the exception, cause they're not really what I'd deem 'cool' radio stations. Pretty poppy stuff. . . . I should say though there is some power pop type stuff I enjoy or have enjoyed.

So , I must squash . . .

Anyone more ideas suggestions or comments ?

regards,
DeadHead
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2003, 10:33 AM
DeadHead DeadHead is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 53
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

OK Bob, thats what I'm getting at.

They've heard my material. They've committed to putting it on the air.

Now, all I have to do is provide them with the material.

I was considering "re-mastering" the recordings for radio.

So, I'm interested in what you're saying about less compression and limiting and still having a full sound over the air-waves.

What it comes down to is I've never heard my work over the air (radio), so I don't have a reference point. Being a home enthusiast I like to A/B diffenrent things I try. In this case I can't do that. I usually read the forum , and occasionally comment if I can be useful to someone, however since I can't A/B I'm asking the forum for suggestions. . . .

Now, I'm going to make some changes (or not) to the mastering of these particular recordings so I get the 'best' sound possible oer the air-waves.

I am interpretting Peter as suggesting heavy compression and limiting, and sacrifice dynamics.

I am hearing you say I can get away with less compression and limiting for radio.

So, it may be that I don't need to do anything as their program director and one DJ already liked what they've heard. They didn't really comment asking me to re-master or anything, its just a big deal to me so I wanted to 'taylor' the sound for radio as much as possible. I just don't have any experience doing that. . . . Guess I will after this is all said and done.

I have at my disposal :

The Waves Gold bundle
the McDSP stuff and
Bobmfactory stuff as well.

Any suggestions as to things to watch for or problems or concerns that amy arise when mastering for radio are appreciated.

Regards,
DeadHead
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-14-2003, 10:43 AM
pookadilly pookadilly is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 142
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

Here's a big one for you. Make sure it sounds perfect in mono. If you don't already have a way to do this, the best suggestion is to go to Sweetwater and buy the Coleman Audio M3PH. It will allow you to listen in mono and mute the left/right monitors independently to make sure everything sounds the way it should. Don't pan thing real wide or else it won't sound like you think it will for everyone listening. Years ago I learned this lesson the hard way and had to quickly remix a song to make sure it didn't happen again. Not a good situation, especially when this is your big chance to get a lot of listeners to your music.

Also, the whole squahs the crap out of your music, well, that depends on what you are up against. If they are playing Dave Matthews Band, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls, etc. on the same playlist as your songs then yes, it will have to be loud, but, there are ways to do this properly without losing all of oyur dynamics. The idea is to still get the point across in your music with the volume level of the changes consist against one another so as to create the illusion that the volume is changing when it actually isn't. This is why mastering engineers get paid the big bucks and master differently for radio then they do for commerical CD's.

Anyway, hope that helped a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-14-2003, 11:12 AM
DeadHead DeadHead is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 53
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

Thanks Joshua !

It helped, one more thing to consider, a good suggestion and a technique.

Thanks ! I'll do that.

Regards,
DeadHead
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-14-2003, 11:19 AM
jho jho is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 184
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

Devil's advocate here - it doesn't hurt to have someone elses ears on the material when it comes to mastering, especially if it's getting airplay.

The other distiguished DUC member responses above are all good if you are DIY. I'd like to add that, you take those 3 songs (or whatever) and, if nothing else for comparisons sake, have them mastered by a real mastering engineer. You also get the benefit of being able to compare 'notes' with a pro.

You can have a mastering guy like Rodney Mills (amoung other great engineers) run it thru all the killer mastering gear, and most importantly, run it by his seriously experienced ears. And I know Rodney (www.rodneymills.com) does it for, like, $10 per final mastered minute of music...thats only $40 bucks for a 4 minute song. You can email him SDII L/R files too!! That's a bargain in my book. IMHO it's that final polish that can take a home job to a world-class sounding record.

Anyway take a gander at the idea, maybe do it just for comparison's sake to see how your version stacks up.

jho
__________________
J.Ho
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-14-2003, 11:45 AM
Jeff Schmidt Jeff Schmidt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Francisco CA
Posts: 298
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

As someone who actually works in radio - here's the bottom line on this entire issue.

It does NOT need to be more complicated than this and I would caution you against listening to people who advise making it so.

Make your mix sound great on as many different systems as possible and it will translate well to radio.

That's it.

You will WASTE more time, money and effort trying to GUESS what your mix will sound like on specific radio stations and then trying to mix it or "master" it accordingly.

Every radio station applies totally DIFFERENT processing procedures and techniques to their signal. There's no "standard" for which you can apply a process to take advantage of.

However, ALL radio station processing fall into these categories - Band Pass EQ, Multiband Compression and Limiting, and Spectral Enhancement.

Making your mix "LOUD AS HELL" may sound great on a station that employs very little processing, but will quickly turn to thick as a brick muck on the "average to high" processing level employed by most stations.

Here's the point everyone misses on this issue.

The radio station wants their signal to be LOUD on the dial. So it pumps EVERYTHING EQUALLY.

That's radio's job. To make EVERYTHING it broadcasts sound loud.

My station will regularly play stuff like classic pink floyd with lots of dynamics and segue into modern rock with the whole brick wall waveform thing going on and the station's processing compensates.

BTW - strictly sonically speaking - the floyd almost always sounds better on the radio.

So, to re-iterate.

Your job is to make a great sounding mix that translates across as many playback systems as possible.

A great sounding mix will sound great on radio.

Period. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
__________________
Curiosity skilled the cat.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-14-2003, 12:13 PM
doug_hti doug_hti is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Calabasas, CA
Posts: 669
Default Re: OT-\'Home\' mastering for radio question. Please advise.

I agree highly with the last post.

But I HIGHLY reccomend you spend the money to get it mastered somewhere else. If you expect to get mileage out of it, then wouldn't this be a good investment?!?!

But if you MUST do it yourself, then don't focus as much on the dynamics as you seem to think, IT needs to be "louder", but with the limiting that the station has (magic box), I would concentrate on making the track brighter....burn some cds and make sure it sounds bright enough on all the car and home stereos you can try, that have no "bass" or "treble" increases....

I've heard a considerable amount of singles (on cd) remastered for the radio, by professionals, and they are definately a lot crunchier and brighter. Yes they are loud, but they are also almost harshly bright. But be careful if you increase the high shelving, especially if using plugs, as it will turn to plastic very quickly...

You also may want to edit your intros and outros down (if needed)...but the station may do that since they know it's coming from your home studio and may not expect you to deal with that.

But I promise if you send your songs off to Nashville or LA to get mastered, you won't regret it. Unless you have an incredible room and incredible playback system and incredible outboard dynamics and EQ, you can't touch what a even mediocre mastering facility can do.
__________________
Doug
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Engineer Mastering Question-VS- Home PC Speakers Dre aka Producer G Post - Surround - Video 2 09-20-2004 10:36 AM
Engineer Mastering Question-VS- Home PC Speakers Dre aka Producer G 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Win) 3 09-19-2004 07:45 PM
'Home' mastering for radio question. Please advise. DeadHead 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac) 10 02-18-2003 04:26 PM
'Home' mastering for radio question. Please advise. DeadHead Tips & Tricks 5 02-17-2003 12:20 PM
Mastering singles for radio with new Waves Mastering suite. Dimension Zero Tips & Tricks 0 06-15-2002 01:32 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:48 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2008, Jelsoft Enterprises Limited. Forum Hosted By: URLJet.com