Old 01-17-2020, 03:39 AM   #1
Andy499
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Default First mastering attempt

Hi all, new here!

Im wondering if I can share my first mastering attempt with you.

Please, any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Bear in mind, the bass guitar and drums are free VSTs so they dont sound the best, also all the "mastering" is on the master bus fx, I used compression, eq and a limiter, but i dont really know what im doing with them I just move sliders until I like what I hear!

Please be as critical as you want as I need to get better at this!

https://soundcloud.com/user-35058942...ies-master-v10

No vocals as of yet.

Thanks,
Andy
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:07 AM   #2
adXok
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Do not know if it's Soundcloud's bit compression or what, but the highs sound like a 128kbps mp3 file (awful).

To my ears the mids are very prominent and boxy.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:39 AM   #3
serr
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You have to do what is called "mixing" first!

"Mastering" is taking a final mix - that sounds complete and finished - and putting it together with other finished mixes and into consumer formats. (eg. 24 bit FLAC file, CD, mp3) Sometimes we have to master unfinished mixes and we do what we can. Taking the opportunity to alter as needed and so on. Best to finish the mix first!

Taking the raw elements and creating the mix is done first. And it is NOT done by stacking up plugins on the master! Use the mixing board to create the balances you want to hear between sources. Use plugins as needed on each source track.

Understand how to use your volume control.
Understand that some commercial formats (particularly CD and mp3) are boosted slammin' loud! Don't try to mix to 'volume war' master loud. (That ill advised move can be made in mastering for the CD & mp3 versions if you wish.)
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:34 PM   #4
Larry Kriz
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Truth be told I was expecting it to sound a lot worse lol. It's not the worst mixing/mastering job I've ever heard by a long shot. I think you're in a good starting place. It can only get better from here. Nice. Keep at it!

Now... I agree with the few other comments. It's kind of midrange heavy. I assume those are tuned-down guitars, so they're going to be naturally heavier sounding. I like that. But not at the expense of the drums or other elements (even the lead seems a tad buried). These are more general mixing issues. You should try to do as much of the heavy lifting in the mixing side before you concern yourself with final mastering (or maybe you just confused the terminology). What you're calling "mastering" might really have been "mixing". I take it the drums are samples right? Not sure what program you're using. Too many things to discuss here. Scoop the mids on the gtrs a bit, maybe add a little high end to the drums. Bring them forward just a tad. Work in small moves when u do this. Bring up the lead a bit. Or just ignore all this and keep plugging away. A-B against something else similar. That helps a lot. have fun learning!

PS - in case no one's told you, there are loudness standards in play these days for streaming audio (television and radio and vinyl too). Most of the big streaming services are limiting their audio volumes to around -12 or -15 LUs (loudness units). Anything you send them that's louder than that will get reduced. Get yourself a master volume measurement plugin (I have a few but in Reaper I use a nice freebee product called YouLean loudness meter). Cheers!
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:32 AM   #5
Andy499
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Thanks for the replies all!

I have tried to mix it as best as possible, but I agree, I need to put compression individually on each track, rather than the master, because its taking things away from the guitars that I dont want taken away.

The drums are MT Power Kit, not that great but okay for what I need for now.

I need to learn to mix it better I guess.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:59 AM   #6
Andy499
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adXok View Post
Do not know if it's Soundcloud's bit compression or what, but the highs sound like a 128kbps mp3 file (awful).

To my ears the mids are very prominent and boxy.

What do you mean by boxy please?

Also, it is an MP3 file. Should I not render it in in that format?
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:18 AM   #7
OldG
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Render to WAV, then let soundcloud have its way with it from there...

Boxy = too much 800 - 2k, maybe too many instruments fighting over that range.. put ReaEQ with analyser on each track/buss and adjust until the fit better.

Last edited by OldG; 01-20-2020 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:34 PM   #8
Andy499
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kriz View Post
Truth be told I was expecting it to sound a lot worse lol. It's not the worst mixing/mastering job I've ever heard by a long shot. I think you're in a good starting place. It can only get better from here. Nice. Keep at it!

Now... I agree with the few other comments. It's kind of midrange heavy. I assume those are tuned-down guitars, so they're going to be naturally heavier sounding. I like that. But not at the expense of the drums or other elements (even the lead seems a tad buried). These are more general mixing issues. You should try to do as much of the heavy lifting in the mixing side before you concern yourself with final mastering (or maybe you just confused the terminology). What you're calling "mastering" might really have been "mixing". I take it the drums are samples right? Not sure what program you're using. Too many things to discuss here. Scoop the mids on the gtrs a bit, maybe add a little high end to the drums. Bring them forward just a tad. Work in small moves when u do this. Bring up the lead a bit. Or just ignore all this and keep plugging away. A-B against something else similar. That helps a lot. have fun learning!

PS - in case no one's told you, there are loudness standards in play these days for streaming audio (television and radio and vinyl too). Most of the big streaming services are limiting their audio volumes to around -12 or -15 LUs (loudness units). Anything you send them that's louder than that will get reduced. Get yourself a master volume measurement plugin (I have a few but in Reaper I use a nice freebee product called YouLean loudness meter). Cheers!
I took your (and everyones) advice, and I tried again!

Can I have your opinions on my V2.0?

https://soundcloud.com/user-35058942...ies-master-v20

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:57 PM   #9
DVDdoug
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It might be helpful if you post the un-mastered mix for a "before & after".


Here is my collection of mastering links:


Moulton Labs - What's This Mastering Business Anyway? (1998)
Moulton Labs - Tips n' Tricks For Mastering (2004)
Izotope - Ozone Mastering Guide (2015 -This is written for Ozone but most of it can apply no matter what tools you are using.)
REAPER Forum - Discussion of a particular mastering job (2008 The mastering discussion starts at post #8).
Mastered For iTunes (2012)
Audio Mastering (Bob Katz)
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