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Hi

 

Just curious to hear other thoughts on their top tricks in mastering a song using Logic Studio 8 tools.

 

I.e

 

- What are your favourite plugs ins to apply and the key adjustments you make using them?

-Helpful if you can mention the type of music you are mastering when you reply (e.g acoustic, pop, rock, etc)

 

Be great to hear all your thoughts

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Hire a mastering engineer.

 

That is if you are serious about your project.

 

If you are just dicking around or it is for myspace or to give to friends or to listen to for yourself in the car then go for it.

 

my advice...

 

1. Use a reference

2. Use some linear phase EQs, multiband compressors and limiters to get it close to your reference (frequency content and volume).

3. Listen to what you have done and wonder why its still not like your reference.

4. Realize that mastering is an art and there is a reason there are people who do nothing but master audio.

 

It is very easy to make your recording sound AMAZING in your room with some effects, but once you take it outside to the real world it is a much different story.

 

best of luck.

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I agree with you that mastering is an art and there are a select few who are at the top of their craft. That doesn't mean that anyone who wants to improve shouldn't strive to learn as much as they can. Creating and producing music is a lifelong pursuit dude - so not gonna give up just yet...

 

To follow your logic further,if I thought I'll never be as good a cook as Gordon Ramsay why bother, then I'd probably get pretty hungry. It's about learning as much as you can over time and being the best you can be. Man - I'm preaching now :wink:

Wink

 

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts

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2 b honest dude, spend your energy on getting your mixing skills locked down. That is where you'll get your best results. It don't matter how good a Mastering Engineer is, if you turn up with a crappy mix, there's f*** all you can really do with it. Ever heard the saying "You can't polish a turd?" All the experienced Mastering Engineers know this.

 

5c

 

Dirtyy

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I agree with you that mastering is an art and there are a select few who are at the top of their craft. That doesn't mean that anyone who wants to improve shouldn't strive to learn as much as they can. Creating and producing music is a lifelong pursuit dude - so not gonna give up just yet...

 

To follow your logic further,if I thought I'll never be as good a cook as Gordon Ramsay why bother, then I'd probably get pretty hungry. It's about learning as much as you can over time and being the best you can be. Man - I'm preaching nowjavascript:emoticon(':wink:')

Wink

 

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts

 

 

get this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Audio-Science-Bob-Katz/dp/0240805453

 

Get the second edition, it's a revelation, even if you decide it's too much, it'll let you know what you need to do to ensure everyting is in order for your mastering engineer should you decide to use one in the end.

 

Amazing book.

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Hi

 

Just curious to hear other thoughts on their top tricks in mastering a song using Logic Studio 8 tools.

 

I.e

 

- What are your favourite plugs ins to apply and the key adjustments you make using them?

Parallel compression is a good trick to get volume, raise low passages and not significantly change high volume passages and transients.

 

Probably one of the best tricks in the bag, and one that Logics compressor does rather well, especially using the Opto comp.

 

Circuit: Opto

Auto Gain: Off

Limiter: Off

Threshold: -48 to -50 dB (until you get just below 20 dB of Gain Reduction)

Ratio: 2.5:1

Knee: 1.0

Attack: 0.0 (maximum control but slightly closed in) or 0.5 ms (less control and more transient peaks, but also more punch)

Release: 350 to 2 seconds (this is the most important setting to experiment with!) - this parameter should be set after mixing in the parallel signal as it will sound unnatural (pumping) when heard in solo.

 

Then:

Click the Extended Parameters button (the little triangle in the lower left corner) and use the Output Mix slider to change the relationship between the hard comped and original signal. Go back and set the Release now. Try mixing in 20 -35% of the parallel signal.

 

You can use Makeup Gain for easier A/B'ing afterwards as the level will drop when mixing the parallel signal into the output.

 

This trick gives you a higher RMS/louder signal especially in the low passages. It's a fuller sounding signal WITHOUT changing the transients very much. Loud passages still sound very similar to the original signal as the parallel signal adds relatively little to those areas. So quite different from regular downward compression.

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Its like the ad you see in the back of EQ/MIX magazine. "Mastering yourself? Thats like home dentistry." Then they show the picture of the guy with the wretched teeth. It is marketing but there is truth to that.

 

That doesn't mean that anyone who wants to improve shouldn't strive to learn as much as they can.

 

I am not saying that you shouldn't learn as much as you can, I encourage it, and I guess I should be more understanding? :? After all I've had to slap plenty of limiters on mixes when clients are too cheap for mastering.

 

What I am saying is that if you create music and you are releasing it you should focus on your mixes and hire a mastering engineer. If you care about your art then I'd say you owe it to yourself, maybe consider it a birthday gift of some sort.... I know its expensive and I know its not fun to pay for but it is well worth it.

 

Not only do they have the skills, the ears, the room, and the gear, they also have an outside perspective. Assuming you composed, recorded, and mixed your project yourself, you are not going to hear it for what a consumer is going to hear it as.

 

If you are going to master stuff though try the things suggested in this thread.

 

EQ's (for bass heavy mixes, etc, etc...)

Multiband Compressors/Parallel Compression (To glue sh*t together)

Limiters (TO MAKE YOUR WAVEFORM LIKE CAPITAL FONT THAT WAS CRUSHED BY BRICKS AND TO MAKE YOUR MIX SUPER LOUD SO THAT YOU CAN WIN THE LOUDNESS WARS AND BE LOUDER THAN YOUR FAVORITE POP RECORD)

M/S encoders ( t o m a k e t h i n g s r e a l l y w i d e )

 

again, good luck.

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"Mastering Audio, The Art and the Science." -by Bob Katz was curriculum for a year in my degree program. Its a great book and really gets into the minute details inherent with mastering. Its not an end-all reference, but its a good book. Very insightful.
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Multiband Compressors [...] (To glue sh*t together)

Multiband compressors usually tends to do the opposite: take things apart. When needed I go to the Waves Linear Phase Multiband.

 

It's a tool best used for delicate operations where eq alone isn't good enough. Sometimes a dynamic eq is a better choice than MB comp though, such as the Sonalksis DQ-1.

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Just had a tune done by Precision Mastering in LA. Was it worth it? Absolutely!!!

 

Bottom line, is that if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Sure I could try and learn everything I need to know in order to take a stab at it, but my efforts will pale in comparison to the acquired knowledge and experience that I get from a pro service. I will never "catch up" to that.

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Well I guess its all in how you use em, I was speaking more on compression as a whole as "glue." If you start processing each frequency range drastically I can see it pulling stuff apart but I would still say overall it brings out interactions between instruments and solidifies things.

 

We all have our own tricks. Personally I stick with the Smart Research C2 (which is not multiband) as my main compressor on the stereo bus.

 

That thing works f&$^in wonders on hip hop and electronic music...

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Hey thanks - some great tips so far. Thanks to Lagerfeldt for your detailed descriptor on the Opto Compressor. I'm about to head down into my recording dungeon to try some of these out.

 

Agree - the mix is the most important thing. On GB all I knew how to do was record the tracks and mix them as best I could - so hence I developed a reasonable ear (if i do say so myself) for this. Trick is not to get so tied up in all my new Logic gadgetry that I skimp on the vital mixing task.

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the mix is the most important thing.

 

You know what? I'd actually go a step further. The arrangement is even more important. If the song is not properly arranged, it becomes impossible to mix, hence to master correctly. You can't make a poor arrangement sound good, be it a nu-metal, hip-hop or classical arrangement. And there are arrangements that are so ingenious that the song almost mixes itself.

 

When you listen to a song you really enjoy, don't just focus on the way it was mixed. Listen to the way it was arranged first, then mixed. That will make a lot more sense.

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1. Use a reference

2. Use some linear phase EQs, multiband compressors and limiters to get it close to your reference (frequency content and volume).

3. Listen to what you have done and wonder why its still not like your reference.

4. Realize that mastering is an art and there is a reason there are people who do nothing but master audio.

 

I was gojng to reply with something like that!1 you beat me to it!!!

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