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Preparing for master: Fade-outs, dithering & other optio


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Hi everyone

 

I'm about to start preparing mixes that will be sent to a pro mastering guy (http://www.skyemastering.com). I've not done this before, and wanted to ask some advice on the bounce options given in Logic.

 

Because I've recorded at 24 bit, I'll be providing him with 24 bit wave files, so do I need to use dithering?

 

Should I apply fades on the Output 1-2 channel, or should I bounce without a fade and then apply a fade to the stereo file in WaveBurner? Is there any difference? I've been reading something about fades and dithering having odd relationships.

 

What's the difference between Split & Interleaved file types?

 

What peak level should I mix to?

 

Thanks!

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if you're providing a 24bit master, don't dither (that's only required when bouncing to 16bit)

 

interleaved means both channels are in the one file, split means you've got a seperate file for left and right (mostly for working with pro tools)

 

as for what level you're mixing to, well, try to give between 3-6dB of headroom for the mastering engineer to work with - one tip i've been given is to set ALL faders to -6dB, turn your speakers up, and mix from there - gives you more headroom than mixing from 0.0dB

 

 

as for fades, why do you want/need them? They're usually best done as the final stage AFTER mastering, so i recommend you send as-is, let the engineer do the fades at his/her discretion

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Because I've recorded at 24 bit, I'll be providing him with 24 bit wave files, so do I need to use dithering?

Even when recording at 16 bit you should still provide him with a 24 bit file. Adding or processing 16 bit files will expand the internal resolution to 32 bit floating points, and from this you will go to 24 bits instead.

 

Logic only offers noise shaped dithering during bouncing, so I would not use that on the 24 bit file for mastering (as the noise shaping may become evident during audio pre-mastering).

 

Should I apply fades on the Output 1-2 channel, or should I bounce without a fade and then apply a fade to the stereo file in WaveBurner?

Neither. Do not fade the file.

 

Instead tell him approximately where you want the fade to start and end.

 

He will most likely be able to make a better fade than you, and if you already faded on the file he will lose quality too.

 

What's the difference between Split & Interleaved file types?

Use interleaved.

 

Split is only used in ProTools. There is no sound difference but Split will take up more hard disk space and is less compatible.

 

What peak level should I mix to?

-6 dBFS to -3 dBFS is fine.

Edited by lagerfeldt
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one tip i've been given is to set ALL faders to -6dB, turn your speakers up, and mix from there - gives you more headroom than mixing from 0.0dB

Actually not necessarily (talking about headroom in the system itself), but it's still a good idea because you can avoid clipping some fixed input plug-ins on busses or the master.

 

Another tip would be to set your compressed kick or snare drum peaking at -12 dBFS to -6 dBFS as a reference point.

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Fade Outs are for people who can't write an ending.

 

:)

 

(someone famous said that...don't remember who..might have been John Lennon..)

 

 

+1 for the -6db thing. Headroom is a beautiful thing.

 

 

-

 

no offence, but name a single beatles track that actually has an ending.

 

my guitar teacher said that

 

lol

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