View Single Post
Old 08-14-2019, 04:34 PM   #40
Human being with feelings
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,856

Originally Posted by 3buddhas View Post
Thanks for the answer. I'm also not wanting any mastering-stage time-syncing. So I suppose I'll just lay out my eleven mixdowns in sequence and not worry that Reaper'll try anything synchy with bpms or time signatures.
If you have the project and/or item timebase set exactly wrong, it could mess some things up. By default it should work fine, but if you hear any stretching or weirdness, you'd want to look there.

I'm also thinking now how am I going to apply limiting, to bring up volume, without damaging tones and timbres? I'm guessing you put some limiting on and just assess it. Did that much limiting do what you consider damage? Can I go further? Do I have to back it off?
I mean theoretically you've already controlled the dynamics at the track, bus/group, and mix level so the dynamic range should be pretty close to what you need to begin with. Again, if you need to make big changes at the mastering stage, then then mix isn't actually done. It definitely will be easier to do well if you go back and address those things on a more micro level.

But a lot of times when you're doing an album, the actual DR and overall loudness of an individual track will depend on the context of the rest of the material around it, so it usually does make sense to leave some of those real small tweaks until the mastering stage.

Usually at some point toward the end of the mixing process, I've decided that it pretty much works and every individual track and buss is pretty well controlled and doing what it needs to do, but it wants a little bit of that glue and a final bit of overall peak control for when things accidentally all push at the same time, and I add what is basically my mastering chain to the master mix. I'll tweak those parameters until I get the DR (and sound obviously) that I'm shooting for, and if it starts to have an adverse effect, I try to figure out which track or group of tracks is creating the problem and do what I need to make them play nicer. If I know this is just a one-shot type thing, it's pretty much done after this, but if it's going to be part of an album, I usually bypass those master FX before I render the mix file. Then I bring all the individual tracks into a mastering project, apply basically the same chain, and adjust the individual track volumes so that they each hit that chain at an appropriate level and end up where they need to be relative to one another.

Related to this, do you compare your mix-volume levels at this point with commercially-made cds?
TBH at this point I have a pretty good idea of how a given DR is going to compare to other things. I actually went through a long time back and analyzed a lot of different music that I have some kind of benchmark numbers for different styles and whatever. I can generally just kind of hear and feel the DR without much looking at meters, and in fact tend to come pretty close to my targets just by mixing until it sounds right to me. I listen to all kinds of things on my system all the time, so I don't really need to specifically reference things during the process the way a lot of people seem to like to do.

Now, I've been talking about DR because right up until the very final render of the mastered product ready for distribution, that's all that matters. A Dynamic Range of 9 is -9dbRMS/LUFS once you normalize it so that he peaks hit 0, and until you're ready to do that, it completely doesn't matter where those peaks hit. If you're peaking at -9, it'll look like -18LUFS, but you know that it's DR9, and if that's what you're shooting for, you know that you're there.
ashcat_lt is online now   Reply With Quote