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darkslide
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I 've been working on some tracks but i 'm not pleased with the sound quality. i have some problems with mastering and especially with the volume of the master. I work with cubase. How can i get a track to sound louder without clipping? Are there any mastering tools i should try out? Do you have other tips?

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tx in advance
08-08-2007 13:42 Send an Email to darkslide Search for Posts by darkslide Add darkslide to your Buddy List
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mixing it well in the first place will stop the clipping. then for volume try a multiband compressor/limiter on the master channel.
08-08-2007 14:59
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Yeah, i reakon multi-band compressor and a limiter is the way to go.

A lot of it depends on the quality of your mix in the first place tho. You need it to be as full and even through all frequencies as possible. If your bass end is too loud it will affect the master limiter when you're trying to bring the volume up.

What I tend to do is mix everything in FL. The export the wav at quite a low volume, and open it into Logic.

The use the multiband compressor just slightly like an EQ. Then use a waves limiter to bring the volume up. I think this part kinda comes down to taste. You can limit it so hard that the entire mix is hitting 0 db, but I prefer more dynamics, so I just watch and make sure that only the big hits etc are really pushing the limiter.

I think mastering is as much about taste as technicalities.

Ultimately tho, even astonishing mastering skills cannot rescue a bad mix down. Thats should be your first port of call.
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Following the replies, I want to post a significant warning to you: mastering tools (such as multiband compressor, limiters, gates etc.) might ruin your mix very easily if you don't know what you're doing.
If you have no idea what compressor does, you can try using the presets that usually come supplied with it. They usually have something like "Whole mix compression ratio x:x" or something.
First start with those. Try switching a few knobs on the presets so you can see how it affects your tune. Also try to come up with the flavour of your favourite tunes.

Mastering was a bitch to learn, but with strong devotion you'll get the hang of it. Just make sure you find some really good resources for learning (check the Tutorials / Knowledge base thread (read all production related informations here!)).

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iZatope has Ozone for mastering. all in one suite. but Voxengo ha the best, i think. easy to use mastering compression called elephant.

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okey doke....

before you start mixing and tracking, you need to set up your mastering effects first. this will help you mix better. if you try to mix and edit without having your master EQ, compressor, or limiter setup when it comes time for mastering effects your mix will sound very off.

in reason you would do a mastering combinator from the presets ( or one you have created). and in cubase you would set up master vst effects. logic i am assuming is similar to cubase as far as setting up the master effects, pro tools i haven't a clue.

if this doesn't make sense i will post some screen shots of what this looks like when i get home.

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quote:
Originally posted by junkhole
okey doke....

before you start mixing and tracking, you need to set up your mastering effects first. this will help you mix better. if you try to mix and edit without having your master EQ, compressor, or limiter setup when it comes time for mastering effects your mix will sound very off.
.


sorry but thats crap.

mix first. master later.

if you were to get a track signed to a decent label they will either master it themselves or pay for it to be mastered. if your mix is shit then what they gonna do. you cant polish a turd. if youre using the compressor/limiter on your master while your mixing then your not doing it properly.

This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by utter muppet: 09-08-2007 13:47.

09-08-2007 13:46
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quote:
Originally posted by munki


sorry but thats crap.

mix first. master later.

if you were to get a track signed to a decent label they will either master it themselves or pay for it to be mastered. if your mix is shit then what they gonna do. you cant polish a turd. if youre using the compressor/limiter on your master while your mixing then your not doing it properly.



wow dude. i throw on my master chain before i mix and it sounds freakin amazing. now after i have mixed i will tweak the masters to get the final sound just right. it is not crap it is a method different from yours.

now if you are talking about Mastering the stereo file after mixdown, that is completely different.

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i have to agree, i was taught not to ahve TOO MUCH compression on , if you do it that way. you can ahve enoguh to not dmg your speakers, but really you should have the mix settled before you play with the over-all balance. and it might work for advanced users, but for starting out guys, that's a BIG no-no.


in the chain of events, master is the LAST LAST LAST thing to be done. usually it is mixed by an engineer, then it is sent to a mastering studio. it is not mixed as the mastering studio. you should fallow this rela world example of how records have been done for the past few decades.

mix then master.


let me say tho, that i never mix with any mastering effects, i ahve my suite all saved in presets, it add's a nice analog mesh tot he high end, thena transperent Master comrpesser with a side chain low-freq, then a tube emulator sound, then a transperent mastering limiter.

the most i would have during mix down, is a clipper, just to stop it from scratching, but if you're mixing and it's going int eh red, you are making your songs too hot to start, and you should just turn up your speakers, and not the tracks.

after it's all mixed, it can clipa bit, but when you added a limiter one it should just balance it all out. if you mix with the limiter on, you don't get a full concept of how loud everytihng actually is. then you'd be adjusting the mastering effects after.

you'll be adjusting the mix to the mastering effect, instead of teh proper way of the mastering effect to the mix.


you may make music, but mastering isn't a producer thing. most producers never do mastering. mastering is an ENGINEER. it's a TECHNICAL job, not a CREATIVE JOB. MIXING is a CREATIVE JOB, MASTERING ISN'T.

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10-08-2007 00:34 Send an Email to Halph-Price Homepage of Halph-Price Search for Posts by Halph-Price Add Halph-Price to your Buddy List
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my mastering presets are applied to the final mix.... so what i am hearing is the sound i want. (this is as far as digital audio. when i track drums and other real stuff i don't use any mastering pre's until i am done with the sound)

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quote:
Originally posted by Halph-Price
...
you may make music, but mastering isn't a producer thing. most producers never do mastering. mastering is an ENGINEER. it's a TECHNICAL job, not a CREATIVE JOB. MIXING is a CREATIVE JOB, MASTERING ISN'T.

Yeah, but it won't hurt if you learn it. Much more so, that you already have a background (know how to mix and work with effects) and you can learn it more easily than someone that has no clue about what's going on.

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quote:
Originally posted by junkhole
quote:
Originally posted by munki


sorry but thats crap.

mix first. master later.

if you were to get a track signed to a decent label they will either master it themselves or pay for it to be mastered. if your mix is shit then what they gonna do. you cant polish a turd. if youre using the compressor/limiter on your master while your mixing then your not doing it properly.



wow dude. i throw on my master chain before i mix and it sounds freakin amazing. now after i have mixed i will tweak the masters to get the final sound just right. it is not crap it is a method different from yours.

now if you are talking about Mastering the stereo file after mixdown, that is completely different.


sorry yeh crap is perhaps a lil harsh.

but try getting the mix sounding good/loud without slapping anything on your master channel and then add the multiband etc at the end. Or better still, dont bother and get someone who knows what their doing to master it.
10-08-2007 14:36
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export a wav, load into audacity, normalize at -3db, pull up volume to 0db?

and you can add a lil eq inbetween as well, fe ii your track seems to have not enough bass (but this works best the the only thing going on down low is your bass)

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normalize is not compression. i suggest not to do that.

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HP is right, you should never need to normalize, it's basically the same as moving the master fader up in your mixing soft.

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quote:
Originally posted by thechronic
HP is right, you should never need to normalize, it's basically the same as moving the master fader up in your mixing soft.


agreed

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None of you are mastering engineers. damnit.

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no just chronic is. and i was just taught by studio engineers, music producers and front of house mixers.

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This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by Halph-Price: 12-08-2007 05:44.

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quote:
Originally posted by Digital Cause
None of you are mastering engineers. damnit.

I went to a basic course Big Grin

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I do mastering but have no experience with software that is within a reasonable budget Wink

I always book a studio and do it mainly with hardware. Just the final parts are done in software, but this is just the topping/tailing, setting the pauses or crossfades between tracks and final export to the master CD. All the 'audio' stuff is done with hardware.

I have some gear that is suitable for mastering use, but I lack a good EQ and a monitoring environment atm. Clients expect the best possible end result so I have to rent a studio instead of using my own gear.

There is ofcourse a difference between tracks that receive a mastering budget for release by record labels and tracks that are released on the internet for free download. You can do all processing with software as well.

I have already written a lot about mastering on this forum, but it will take some searching Big Grin

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