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Old 08-14-2019, 08:55 AM   #35
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 54

Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
I always say ďLeave the mastering engineer nothing to do.Ē Mix it it til it sounds the way you want it to and donít send it down the line until itís what you want on the record. Doesnít matter whoís doing the final assembly. Whether thatís me or ME, the point is the same.

I usually do turn off any master bus stuff on the individual song projects and render the mix to 32bit floating point. Iím kind of a whackjob, so sometimes when I turn off that master txt chain itll be peaking way over 0dbFS. I donít care. Sometimes Iíve turned down the master fader 12db to get a different perspective and give my ears a little break. I still donít care. Floating point doesnít clip and doesnít add noise. At this point, actual levels are arbitrary.

Then import the individual mixes into a mastering project. Sometimes you might want individual tracks so you can process each slightly differently. Take FX do the same thing, but if it needs a lot of that, it probably means your mix isnít done. The benefit of doing it yourself is that you can easily just pull up the songís project and make the changes. This might be a spot where subprojects come in handy, but thatís above my pay grade.

Normalize them all. Add whatever little bit of overall eq/comp/limit routine you want for the overall album feel. Lay the mixes out on the timeline to get the order and spacing that you prefer. Bounce around listening to short pieces of each song and adjust item volumes until everything feels about right and proportionate and appropriate. If certain tracks do need a little EQ or dynamic control or whatever, add it. Trim your heads and tails and fades. Double check your pacing. Create regions. Render. Rock.
I've kept this post in mind these last two months. "Leave the mastering engineer nothing to do" has translated in my sometimes overly-optimistic thinking as "You can do this. You can master your own album." Maybe that's just twisting the advice the way I want to hear it. But I've been encouraged by it. And now I've got my eleven song mixes in shapes where there aren't many things about them sticking out to annoy me anymore, either on my $100 Logitech desktop monitors w floor woofer or in my $100 Brainwavz headphones, I'm thinking, why not? OK, I can think of reasons why not. You lose the benefit of a separate set of ears, maybe the biggest why not. But this is, after all, rock. Sort of, in my case. Sort of rock. Can't shake the thought maybe the thing you make in your garage without professional guidance is the thing that will speak.
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