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master the mixed and exported wav, or just master it on the output track?


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As @triplets said, it's a workflow preference. Separating the two processes allows you to make them really specific processes with a different mindset. Other than that there's no difference in result, so in the end it's up to your own personal preference. The flexibility of readjusting the mix during the mastering stage can be a gift or a hinderance, depending on how you use it. 

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certainly lower cpu demands mastering the stereo mix.

i got in the habit (with ozone 9) of getting a mix done, then mastering in ozone 9 (standalone)... then going BACK to the mix every time i needed to tweak a high-hat level, or brighten a snare, or raise a vocal phrase, etc.

ozone 10 runs in the DAW only; i mixed an EP this week in that back & forth process, but next project... will try mixing the original logic file.

that one benefit... that i can tweak elements of the mix throughout the mastering process... seems really appealing (but will see how my cpu likes it)...

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22 hours ago, fisherking said:

certainly lower cpu demands mastering the stereo mix.

i got in the habit (with ozone 9) of getting a mix done, then mastering in ozone 9 (standalone)... then going BACK to the mix every time i needed to tweak a high-hat level, or brighten a snare, or raise a vocal phrase, etc.

ozone 10 runs in the DAW only; i mixed an EP this week in that back & forth process, but next project... will try mixing the original logic file.

that one benefit... that i can tweak elements of the mix throughout the mastering process... seems really appealing (but will see how my cpu likes it)...

you got me youtubing Ozone now.  :)

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23 hours ago, fisherking said:

certainly lower cpu demands mastering the stereo mix.

Definitely, that's a good point. Free up the Mac to focus only on the mastering. Also make the mix static so that any random or pseudo-random processes are printed to tape and sound exactly the same with every playback. Also reverb tails etc... will always sound the same if they're printed rather than processed in real time, etc. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/6/2022 at 1:51 PM, David Nahmani said:

Also make the mix static so that any random or pseudo-random processes are printed to tape and sound exactly the same with every playback. Also reverb tails etc... will always sound the same if they're printed rather than processed in real time, etc. 

This is one of the really annoying aspects of Logic. 
 

WTF would an identical mix with identical settings sound different each time it’s played back because reverb tails (for example) can sound different? In low-latency Mode, I can understand. 
 

But in a production DAW? Seriously, what the hell?

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3 hours ago, fuzzfilth said:

That's very easy to explain.

All elements that are supposed to be random will and should be, well, random. This includes free running LFOs and VCOs, S&H, Noise, and also modulated reverb tails.

That makes sense, thank you. 

It does make Logic a difficult platform for mixing, since results aren't reproducible without freezing all tracks. 

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This is no different for any other DAW, and applies also if you run analog tape into a reverb unit (acoustic, electric or electronic) so I fail to see the problem. If you need bit-identical playback, then either don't use random elements or record them first.

And - apart from, say, extreme flanging or somesuch, the results will not be drastically different between passes anyway, they may be barely noticeable, or not. 

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57 minutes ago, fuzzfilth said:

This is no different for any other DAW, and applies also if you run analog tape into a reverb unit (acoustic, electric or electronic) so I fail to see the problem.

I was under the impression anecdotally that other DAWs (notably Pro Tools) handle this differently. 
And as for the tape-and-reverb-unit argument: to my mind, the whole point of working with a DIGITAL audio workstation is to not be subject to the variances, quirks, and limitations of analog technology (unless I want to). 

 

57 minutes ago, fuzzfilth said:

And - apart from, say, extreme flanging or somesuch, the results will not be drastically different between passes anyway, they may be barely noticeable, or not. 

Yes. The people I've heard complain are those who deal with things that are "barely noticeable" — the psychoacoustic subtleties where the things that "don't make a difference" actually do. 

 

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23 minutes ago, analogika said:

The people I've heard complain are those who deal with things that are "barely noticeable" — the psychoacoustic subtleties where the things that "don't make a difference" actually do

I wonder if you'd be willing to bet that these are *not* the same people who not more than 30 minutes ago have been ruthlessly comping a vocal performance from fifteen takes recorded on three different days ? 😆

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39 minutes ago, fuzzfilth said:

I wonder if you'd be willing to bet that these are *not* the same people who not more than 30 minutes ago have been ruthlessly comping a vocal performance from fifteen takes recorded on three different days ? 😆

Anecdotal, of course, but the ones I know definitely aren't. 🙂 

Reading up on the subject, I suspect they mean the tendency of Pro Tools users to use "commit" very early on in the workflows, which of course fixates any convolution reverbs and other variables early in the process, much in the tradition of analog recording. 

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1 hour ago, fuzzfilth said:

Which is equivalent to Freezing Tracks in Logic, no ?

No. It's more the equivalent of Bounce In Place. (Pro Tools also has a "Freeze" function.)

But I gather it's an ingrained tradition in the Pro Tools workflow as a central function, as evidenced by the name: "commit" implies a finalised pre-mixing stage, rather than the "goddammit, my CPU is overloading again" desperation of "Freeze". 

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anything happening in real-time (synths with modulation, reverbs, etc) is subject to the laws of 'real time', whether you're in pro tools, logic, or anywhere.

i sometimes have to do a realtime bounce, to deal with some of these things. but there's always a way.

anyone who 'hears' the differences in, say, reverb reflections from one mix to another with the same settings deserves a grammy... or hospitalization... 🤣

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