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mastering feedback pls: Waiting For Dark (edit)


grimydiner1

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All - I was advised to post a song sample to this forum in answer to a question I had about mastering quality using Logic presets at this post: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=98272&p=513182#p513182

 

sound file:

https://soundcloud.com/grimydiner1/edit-waiting-for-dark-grimy

 

Duration is 1:29. The mastering preset used in Logic is the "Refresh & Compression Soft", with no tweeks.

 

If any of you could be so kind as to give a listen and tell me whether you think the mastering stands up well or should I get it mastered outside. Personally I'm pretty happy with it, but things can always be better. Thanks in advance!

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You should get someone else to master it. It's not just about making it loud. It's also getting a fresh pair of ears and a good monitoring environment to iron out problems. This mix has a build up of low mids that should be attended to.
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...This mix has a build up of low mids that should be attended to.

 

I also noticed this. It sounds like the build-up is occurring in the synth reverb - it may be valuable to apply additional EQ to the reverb input/output. It is preferable to fix this in the mix versus corrective mastering.

 

I would be happy to run your final mix through my mastering chain - I am auditioning a new mastering technique.

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Hey Simon, thanks so much. I love these forums, you can get so much feedback. You obviously have some precision ears and I'm totally with ya about having a 2nd pair of ears & monitors etc. In the programming world (I do biz apps forever, boring as hell but pays good…) it's almost a magic axiom that you need a 2nd pair of eyes to unlock a sticky bug. I definitely agree it's not about making it loud, and I am never going just for the loudest I can make it, which is why I used the preset I used.

 

re: the mix issues - I'm sure you're right. FYI 'fisherking' had the same take on the low-mids in response to my starter post

 

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=98272&p=513242#p513242

 

.. which I thought was cosmic. But then I'd have to remix everything. Maybe you can give me some directions on what freqs to bring down/up based on your ears, I'll try it and send you the mix and you can run it through your mastering and see how I did. The frigging budget is always the thing with me on this. If I have a pro engineer with years & hits behind him that I can readily bounce stuff off of, then I can get the mixing education by proxy and cheap. Otherwise I have to trust my ears and get good at it. If I didn't have a budget to watch, I'd never bother mixing anything, just lay down the tracks and send it off (believe me, it would be a relief as I find mixing a pain in the butt after awhile). But then I'd never get good at mixing. Maybe I should go to school (!) I think fisherking's final word bats for all of us: "… remember, too, that six people here will have six opinions; yours matters most…"

 

So… if you want, give me some tips and I'll see how good I am at following them and I'll send you the revised. Thanks again!

 

best,

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This would be a very slow way to learn how to mix. You're heavy all around at about 250Hz, maybe lower. If you have mid side processing you can hi pass the sides, since the low end is very diffuse, this will focus the low end in the center and not be as much of a problem. You can't just open up the session and hi pass the reverb at 160Hz? How much and where you cut the low mids depends on which EQ you use. I would have the Q a little higher than 1.0. Maybe around 3 or 4 so that the mix doesn't become thin. Etc.
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osumosan - well slow is just fine. There's no deadline on this project. But, I tried what you suggested and put a slice of the new mix/master out there at

 

 

As "FORUMSMIX...." I made the following adjustments:

- drum reverb cut 8db @ 160hz Q= 3.2

- Basic Pad - cut 5.5db @160hz Q = 1.6

- Resonant Falls (end synth) - cut 5.5db @160hz Q = 1.8

- main bass (Dark Trance) - cut 3.5db @160hz Q = 1.9

 

For good measure I went and found a good vid on high-pass basics in Logic at

 

Believe it or not the majority of that reverb is on the drums. The main synth "Basic Pad" has no verb on it at all, except inherently in that synth sound. Likewise with the Resonant Falls and Dark Trance. Nevertheless, I made more or less the same cuts there for the hell of it. I made the Q factor high in the reverb bus, but left it a bit light in the other stuff. I can definitely hear more room when I cut that reverb, very educational. I'm impressed that you can hear those frequency slots like that right off the bat. Looking forward to your feedback.

 

best,

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Definitely in the right direction. Try making the pad cut a shelf and maybe not so deep. There's a great book on mixing by Bobby Oswinski that can give you a running start on mixing called the Mixing Engineers Handbook. That and youtube will get you pretty far. There's nothing like hands on, so if you know someone locally that can come down and point you towards the piñata of excellent mixes, go for it.
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As "FORUMSMIX...." I made the following adjustments:

- drum reverb cut 8db @ 160hz Q= 3.2

- Basic Pad - cut 5.5db @160hz Q = 1.6

- Resonant Falls (end synth) - cut 5.5db @160hz Q = 1.8

- main bass (Dark Trance) - cut 3.5db @160hz Q = 1.9

 

Believe it or not the majority of that reverb is on the drums. The main synth "Basic Pad" has no verb on it at all, except inherently in that synth sound. Likewise with the Resonant Falls and Dark Trance. Nevertheless, I made more or less the same cuts there for the hell of it. I made the Q factor high in the reverb bus, but left it a bit light in the other stuff. I can definitely hear more room when I cut that reverb, very educational. I'm impressed that you can hear those frequency slots like that right off the bat. Looking forward to your feedback.

 

best,

 

I find the revision to be lacking the "darkness" of the original - the cuts are somewhat aggressive!

 

I grabbed your original (mastered) version and ran it through my mastering chain with some corrective EQ:

Waiting For Dark.wav

 

Let me know how this sounds to you!

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Simon - your mastering sounds gorgeous, really. Love it. Interesting that you could hear the "darkness" disappear, I wouldn't want that to stay, but now I know what kind of changes are too drastic; I'll back it off. For my ears 2db seems to be the significant change factor and , but I know less than that can be a difference. Really appreciate all the input, now I know what I'm up against.

 

cheers,

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