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Mixdown for Mastering Tips (PDF)


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I wrote a comprehensive guide called Mixdown for Mastering.

 

It's not a mastering or mixing guide as such, though it does contain a few mixing tips.

 

This guide will help you get a technical perfect mixdown. It will make your mastering engineer very happy - and provide you with an even better final result.

 

Mixdown Tips for Mastering

http://www.onlinemastering.dk/how-to-get-mastering#mixdown

 

Headlines

· Plug-ins on the Master Output

· Headroom

· Tips for Mixing - From a Mastering Point of View

· Alternative Versions

· Start/End

· Fades

· File Format

· Stereo Format

· Bit Resolution

· Sample Rate

· Dithering and Noise Shaping

· Normalizing

· Realtime or Offline Bouncing

· Listen to Your Mixdown

· Common Problems and Solutions

· Sending Files over the Internet

· Delivering Files on a CD

· Projects With More Than One Song

· Song Order and Other Notes

· Red Book Master CD or DDP

· ISRC

. MP3

· Gracenote Database

· CD-Text

· UPC/EAN

· Evaluating Your Master

· Loudness Potential

· Important Information About the Sound in iTunes

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Just reading this bit-

 

Headroom

Your 24 bit mix should have its highest peak between -12 dBFS and -3 dBFS. This

translates to between 12 and 3 dB of headroom before exceeding the digital ceiling of 0

dBFS.

 

I know this will vary from track to track but would you say on a very tidy mix with alot of space between instruments ect having the level closer to -12 on the mix before sending to master you would be able to push it harder or say just give you more flexability to play with higher compression settings and get a louder final product.

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Thank you!

 

I know this will vary from track to track but would you say on a very tidy mix with alot of space between instruments ect having the level closer to -12 on the mix before sending to master you would be able to push it harder or say just give you more flexability to play with higher compression settings and get a louder final product.

..than what?

 

Any peak level between -12 and -3 dBFS will be fine. A mix peaking at -12 or peaking at -3 dBFS won't result in a better, worse or even a different master.

 

But if you peak at 0 dBFS (full scale) you could risk either:

 

A) the mastering engineer having to do an unnecessary step of digital attenuation in order to avoid overloading digitally, if the first processing step is a digital processor.

 

or

 

B) that your mix will cause 0 dBFS+ overloading at the D/A conversion stage, if the first step is going directly to D/A for analog processing

 

Any type of unnecessary processing or overloading can cause distortion. Since distortion accumulates it becomes more and more audible.

 

This is all a bit theoretical but there's no reason to push your luck, especially when it's so easily fixed by lowering the master fader.

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cool thanks for the info! Do you peronally use software limiter/compressors ect for the mastering stage or do you have any hardware gear. If so what are you using and whch do you prefare

You can check out my mastering gear here:

http://www.onlinemastering.dk/studio.html

 

I use a combination of solid state/tube hardware equalizers and compressors and digital processing.

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Very nicely done... in plain simple visual english :D

Your training must be pretty good.

 

Question: do you prefer receiving alternate mix versions that don't include master buss compression and EQ?

Thank you!

 

Do you mean if I prefer the alternative versions (such as the vox up version) to be with or without the mixing engineer's bus compression?

 

In general I prefer to get one version with and one version without - of all the mixes, including the alternative versions.

 

In reality the way it works is more like this:

 

People who do great mixes usually don't apply a lot of processing on the mix bus, maybe a couple of dB with a glue/SSL type compressor. They leave it on for all mixes and versions because that's how they want it to sound like.

 

People who use a lot of digital processing or just bad processing on the master bus often aren't even aware of the need for alternative versions. I discuss what they should deliver on a case-by-case basis. I always try to educate my clients, which help them do better mixes, and makes my job easier on their next track.

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Very nice.

 

Used too own a pair of Great Rivers myself - where great for running mixes through them. Unfortunately the had get sold when I closed down my business. that and many other really nice bits. :cry:

 

Your room is real neat well done. 8)

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I'm glad you guys like it!

 

I do take pleasure in knowing people can use this stuff. When I started working professionally, the Internet had barely taken off, and you couldn't get any up-to-date quality information about audio engineering.

 

And while there's philantrophy involved, it's also a smart way of building brand awareness of my company.

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Thanks so much for this. This is really helpful. Your studio is unreal. Modern, sleek and sexy. I love it. Mine has a grand piano and various other instruments etc in it. I fear if mine looked like yours I would become so compulsive about being clean that I wouldn't get any work done lol.

 

All Jokes aside, great information and beautiful setup.

 

Maestro2be

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Thanks so much for this. This is really helpful. Your studio is unreal. Modern, sleek and sexy. I love it. Mine has a grand piano and various other instruments etc in it.

I have some bongo drums though.

 

I fear if mine looked like yours I would become so compulsive about being clean that I wouldn't get any work done lol.

Sometimes I just sit there.. afraid to even breathe or touch the knobs. But remember, drugs are bad for you, mm'kay?

 

All Jokes aside, great information and beautiful setup.

:P

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