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 Post subject: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 4:00 pm
Posts: 593
Location: Slovenia
Hi there !

I would like to ask you, about your experiences and suggestions on mastering and final mix.
What you suggest.
We are talking for home use and not for pro studio :)

Do you use any compression, limiter on final mix , if yes, is it's ok just to apply little compression or better not.

Do you use graphical eq on final mix or better use eq for single instrument and then on final mix just parametric eq ?

I use Optimaster normally, but i think that sometimes i use too much of everything.

I would be happy to hear any tips or similar :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:04 am 
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The really best you can do is an old trick I used very successfully.

You pick up some most simular music out of your CD collection and put the track in your DAW. Then you configure a routing and switch in scope where you can switch between your Track and the most time very professional produced track. This method will keep you in focus of that what a good sound is.

You will find the tools for each weakness of your production without any problems.

Keep it up!

Often I listen just to a looped part of the song, that's enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:12 am 
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Location: antwerp, belgium
as anabella said, use reference tracks, but maybe lower them by 6dB or something.

first, try and fix things in the mix. mastering should not be a process to correct bad mixing.

use very gentle eq (no narrow cuts/boosts, only by small amounts)
compress very lightly, max 2 or 3 dB attenuation, very long release, moderate attack to keep the transients. add a second fast compressor/limiter to catch peaks.


if you want a real pro result, it's called 'mastering' for a reason. you go to a professional mastering engineer. in the beginning, most likely your results will sound good on your system at best, but will fail on other systems. it's something you'll have to, hmmm, master.

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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2003 4:00 pm
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Location: Slovenia
thanks for the replies !

yea, i'm always learning, lately i figured out that i was pushing everything too far.
now i'm trying to make as simple as possible :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2001 4:00 pm
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Location: Melbourne Australia
Good advice, but conceptually mastering is about more than 6db and reference tracks. I dont use them, because I want my masters to sound better, and my own sound.

Here http://www.hitfoundry.com/issue_26/scp_mast.htm check out John Paul Braddock 'Mastering the Cube'.

In the movie 'Star Trek Wracth Of Khan' - Khan was defeated because he was thinking in 2D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbTUTNenvCY

Think in 3D - thats a great place to start.

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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:23 pm 
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Location: Slovenia
thanks Dante :)

I have attached one picture of my setup, which i'm trying to work with.
that second mixer STM1632 could also be replaced by dynamic or micro mixer , cause i have just 3 channels connected to that mixer.
what i have tried is to isolate bass and drum , so they can breathe and doing eq's separate from other sounds and all other sounds comes from STM2448 (VST's) thru EQ and then to second mixer, from which goes, bass and drum sound too.
is that make any sense ?
can i also replace that grapchi EQ also just with parametric EQ or maybe spectral balance controller ?


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:22 pm 
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Location: ghetto by the sea
what is the real point of the second mixer?

you're not recording the mastered mix, unless it's an external piece of hardware, and the graphic eq on the one ASIO channel could be connected to the STM2448. the mastering tools used could be used with the STM2448.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:41 pm 
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garyb wrote:
what is the real point of the second mixer?



that was just more like an idea, i didn't use that before.
i wanted to drum (scope) and bass sound (vst mono channel 2) to bypass mixer, so i can eq and editing them separate, from all other sound which comes from Cubas (VST), so i used stereo graphic eq for all those sounds.

in the past i have used too much eq and i didn't get clean sound, but i figured out that lately, cause my ears were used to that
"too much gain sound" and i pushed everything to the sky :)
so, i'm starting from scratch.
i'm getting some nice results already, but still, want to try more.

when i record final mix back to Cubase, i connect ASIO destination to Optimaster, which is not connected atm on the picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 5:45 pm 
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sure, but you don't need another mixer to do that. of course, it's no problem is you do use another mixer.

also, why not put optimaster and the other mastering devices into the master inserts?

then you can monitor the control room outs, while recording the master out. the advantage to this is that you can raise or lower the control room volume without affecting the master volume(you don't need the control room module).

if you use the monitoring in the STM2448 the normal way that you would in a real studio, with the sequencer being the tapedeck, i think routings will be much simpler and when you get good results, it will not be as arcane a study(figuring out what works well and not).

i'm not telling you that you're doing anything wrong, per se, just giving my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Location: Slovenia
garyb wrote:
i'm not telling you that you're doing anything wrong, per se, just giving my opinion.


no problem at all, i'm glad to hear opinions.

i know it's also problem, that i have monitors in my room and i'm not getting real picture for monitoring,
but for home use, i'm trying to do as much i can :)
it's hard to get / hear proper sub bass frequency, which is important for my genre, the same with compression.

i'll try different setups in scope and i'll see how it goes.

what's your opinion on Optimaster wizard, does this makes any sense for startup or ?
i have tried with soft compression option and large window while scaning signal.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:39 am 
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Location: Slovenia
after just a half hour of little tweaking, already much better results.


i must have been blind before that i didn't try that way at first place.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:26 am 
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if you connected the Luna Analog Dest to the Control Room out on the STM2448, you wouldn't need the channel strip as a volume control. the Control Room output has a volume control.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:44 pm 
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garyb wrote:
you wouldn't need the channel strip as a volume control.


yea, will do/try that.
i'm using this channel just for controling volume for active monitors. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:11 pm 
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look at the descriptions about the master panel of the STM2448 in the manual...


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:42 pm 
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fidox wrote:
garyb wrote:
you wouldn't need the channel strip as a volume control.


yea, will do/try that.
i'm using this channel just for controling volume for active monitors. :)


Just wanted to suggest that it might be worth getting a hardware volume control instead of using Scope mixer or channel fader to your monitors. The reason I say this is I too originally used Scope mixer fader to control main volume output, but one day I opened up a new Scope project which I had forgotten to save previously with a lowered main output fader, and as a consequence I blew the woofer on one of my old monitors. I am sure you are careful, but I know from my own experience that sometimes things happen. I now use a Goldpoint passive volume control, http://www.goldpt.com/sa1x.html which I have been very happy with, and is very transparent (one thing it doesnt have is a headphone output, but I route a couple of channels to my XITE-1 headphone out for that when needed)

An interesting article on volume control which might help and also mentions a few other makes. http://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advic ... lour-sound

Maybe someone else will chip in with a better idea, but if you have decent monitors I think it is worth spending a little extra on a half decent volume control as well. Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:58 pm 
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i agree. it's nice to have a knob to grab that isn't virtual.

using the volume on the control room out of the STM2448 mixer, you can at least set a maximum volume so that even if a sound is much louder than expected, your monitors won't suffer. it's best to have an external hardware volume on the monitors, still.


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:15 pm 
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A hardware Loudness controller is essential for surviving and expanding your speakers life. It is the insurance and cheaper to get any solution that can mute and tame or limit the power of the amplification. There are so many reasons why a PC can buzz like hell and take your beloved monitor into the fire.
I used my regular stereo amp and passive speakers with no additional cost, today I use active speakers, you need any hardware monitor controller.

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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:08 am 
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t_tangent wrote:
and as a consequence I blew the woofer on one of my old monitors.


yea, i understand.
that's why i have all my projects saved to 40% channel volume, so everytime i load projects stays at 40% :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 am 
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ok, so i find out that my setup now is much more "clean" and organized, also, overall i'm getting better results.

what do you think about Optimaster in general, i normally use little compression there, really not much.
i was checking Waves L3 Multimaximizer also currently on sale
http://www.waves.com/plugins/l3-multima ... maximizers
do you think that i have all that covered with Optimaster or will i have better control with Waves plugin ?
also , any other suggestions would be nice :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mastering and mixing
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:59 am 
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optimaster is great if you learn to use it. you certainly don't need the L3, but there's nothing wrong with using the L3 if you want to. i use the optimaster for sure.


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