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Old 05-08-2021, 03:37 PM   #1
Dork Lard
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Default Your favorite unusual techniques/plugins in the Mastering chain

Hey guys. Recently I've been binging mastering vids on YouTube. Some great stuff out there. My mastering chain is now loaded with like 200 or wait maybe more like 15 plugins. Everyone throws a regular Fabfilter type EQ in there, most people probably have a some sort of a comp or limiter for usual purposes... but there are some plugins you can add in there that can REALLY make a change.

I'll give you a couple of nice ones I picked up:

- THICKNESS: use a tube type EQ and boost the 300hz area, but then use a multiband comp around the same area to tame a little. You get more chunk in your song but without it sounding thick/cardboardy and disgusting.

- DYNAMICS 1/Limiters: anything from rock to metal, rnb or rap, anything with dynamics; using about 3 different Limiters to share the gain staging load while emphasizing that Slow Attack/ Fast Release hard transient effect on each one, getting different flavors from all 3 instead of just one Limiter.

- DYNAMICS 2/Comp: add an API-2500 type compressor that's very aggressive with transients, compress barely 1 maybe 2db and emphasize transients. Brings a noticeable bit of snap overall, but doesn't sound ridiculous.

I then used Waves' 'Linear Phase Multiband' which had Atk and Rls functions for all 4 bands. Set them all with slow Atk/fast Rls except the low end, while compressing all bands a default -15db Threshold, it tames any aggressiveness in the high end left, or muddy impurities left in the mids. I heard Softube's Weiss DS1-MK3 is even better for that.


I got more, but your turn now. What's a really neat trick, few people talk about ?
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:28 PM   #2
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...

I got more, but your turn now. What's a really neat trick, few people talk about ?
Turning things over to a competent mastering engineer.

Works every time.
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Old 05-09-2021, 06:03 AM   #3
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Turning things over to a competent mastering engineer.

Works every time.
how much cash ? big result ?
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:13 AM   #4
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What's a really neat trick, few people talk about ?
Apparently listening to the audio first before grabbing even one plugin...

"Mastering" didn't used to mean "mutilating someone's audio to demo your plugins".

My sarcastic take on some of the more crude practices aside...

Probably the thing I'd consider the most unusual to do is using distortion to try to recreate truncated harmonics in lo-fi sources. This would be restoration mastering work where original multitrack or other sources have been lost or never existed. I've disguised anemic mp3 sound doing this a couple times too when someone lost everything in their project except a working mix in mp3.

Backups backups backups!
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:13 PM   #5
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how much cash ? big result ?
"How Much Cash?..."

Depends, But It Is Always A Deal For What You Get.

"Big Result?..."

Not Usually. Which Is Kind Of The Whole Point.
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Old 05-09-2021, 02:39 PM   #6
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I use ReaEQ and ReaComp. A couple of each.

The first ReaComp is set to 250ms precomp and 500 rms. A/R at 0. Ratio like 1.1. Threshold just above where the meter hits when itís loud. Knee enough to make almost always do something but never do much.

Before that is a pre-emphasis ReaEQ to help focus the action of that compressor. Often shelving down the low end a bit to keep it from dominating the detector and allow it a little more impact. Sometimes shelf up the highs and/or push a portion of the mids that I want to smooth out a little.

After the compressor is a deemphasis ReaEQ basically undoing what the first one did. Sometimes Iíll do some color EQing here too, but often I just add another instance for that because my brain canít handle more than a few bands and I start to get confused when bands overlap.

The ReaComp with all time constants at zero, ratio infinity, knee at 6 and threshold just above the highest peaks. Push into that for however much saturation I want, but itís usually just to round off the real aberrant peaks.

If I need more than that, the mix isnít done.


But I have had some fun using the wow and flutter plugin with super low settings just to give it that little bit of tapiness.
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Old 05-10-2021, 06:20 AM   #7
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I use ReaEQ and ReaComp. A couple of each.

The first ReaComp is set to 250ms precomp and 500 rms. A/R at 0. Ratio like 1.1. Threshold just above where the meter hits when itís loud. Knee enough to make almost always do something but never do much.

Before that is a pre-emphasis ReaEQ to help focus the action of that compressor. Often shelving down the low end a bit to keep it from dominating the detector and allow it a little more impact. Sometimes shelf up the highs and/or push a portion of the mids that I want to smooth out a little.

After the compressor is a deemphasis ReaEQ basically undoing what the first one did. Sometimes Iíll do some color EQing here too, but often I just add another instance for that because my brain canít handle more than a few bands and I start to get confused when bands overlap.

The ReaComp with all time constants at zero, ratio infinity, knee at 6 and threshold just above the highest peaks. Push into that for however much saturation I want, but itís usually just to round off the real aberrant peaks.

If I need more than that, the mix isnít done.


But I have had some fun using the wow and flutter plugin with super low settings just to give it that little bit of tapiness.
thanks for that description. I appreciate how simple this is. Doing that, you'll certainly be sure you're not doing destructive mastering moves to your mix. Then again it depends what style you play, how many instruments and dynamics are involved. Likely if you're doing modern rock with synths and lots of drum items you'll want to overload that mastering chain a bit more, a bit of saturation, limiters/comp to get those dynamics going, and different ones at the same time, prob something like a MB comp in there etc... but ofc overkill is never good, and one needs to resist the temptation of overloading that chain and try to be as conservative as possible.
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Old 05-10-2021, 07:10 AM   #8
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Likely if you're doing modern rock with synths and lots of drum items you'll want to overload that mastering chain a bit more, a bit of saturation, limiters/comp to get those dynamics going, and different ones at the same time, prob something like a MB comp in there etc...
There's an easier way. You can record so that you have the different elements of the mix separated in multiple tracks. Then you can use a mixing board to create a balanced mix. You can work on something over time and finesse the mix. When it's finished to what you want to hear, THAT's when you make your final render.

Working either from a mono or stereo live recording or from an unfinished mix where the multitrack was lost when there are balance issues is more difficult.

I don't know what the deal is with people getting into insanity plugin chains fighting and pulling and tugging on some poor unfinished two track. As though the multitrack was lost or never existed. The mixing board is actually an excellent tool for this! It's like the "Don't worry about that mistake. We'll fix it in the mix." indiscretion has morphed into "Don't worry about the mix. We'll fix it in mastering."
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Old 05-10-2021, 08:44 AM   #9
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If you DO have a mono or stereo mix that needs help but the multitrack is lost or there never was one, try a parallel approach. You have to pay attention to not introduce phase shift between parallel instances but you can get away with things you just can't do with a linear chain of processing. This is restoration work.

Again, the mixing board with multiple tracks to work in is a great tool for this! This is how this stuff is done. Stacking up all kinds of stuff on a master bus is not usually going to get good results.

If you mean to distort something intentionally, that's always cool. Distorting a whole mix intentionally? Well... alright! If it sounds right, it is right! Seeing people stack up multiple distortion boxes on their master bus though (and yes, tape saturation is distortion)... What the heck are you after there?! How did none of this come up in performance and tracking?
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:05 AM   #10
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K.I.S.S.

Get it right in the mix/recording first.

Have monitoring set up so youre accurately hearing what the mastering is doing.

So much of youtube is click bait and throwing techniques at you to keep you watching.

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Then again it depends what style you play, how many instruments and dynamics are involved. Likely if you're doing modern rock with synths and lots of drum items you'll want to overload that mastering chain a bit more, a bit of saturation, limiters/comp to get those dynamics going, and different ones at the same time, prob something like a MB comp in there etc... but ofc overkill is never good, and one needs to resist the temptation of overloading that chain and try to be as conservative as possible.
Genuine question, why are you under the impression that a modern rock mix (modern is confusing seeing as rock for the last god knows how many decades has been full of guitars, synths and drums) needs an overloaded mastering chain?
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:22 PM   #11
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I have nothing to add, except that I think DL has posted another interesting and valid question and I don't see the point of quite so much snark. I think clearly the role of the "mastering engineer" and mastering process -has- changed... with the more or less collapse of the traditional recording business model, more and more recording is DIY, without benefit of an experienced producer, and mastering might be the only time a mix might see a more or less qualified professional, and they -are- being asked to do more and different tasks, and if they want to share these things so people can DIY -that-, well I think that's very nice of them.
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:21 PM   #12
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K.I.S.S.

Get it right in the mix/recording first.

Have monitoring set up so youre accurately hearing what the mastering is doing.

So much of youtube is click bait and throwing techniques at you to keep you watching.
Eight or nine times out of ten?

Seriously competent mastering engineers aren't wasting a bunch of time on making YouTube videos about plugins.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:52 PM   #13
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Eight or nine times out of ten?

Seriously competent mastering engineers aren't wasting a bunch of time on making YouTube videos about plugins.
I dunno about that assertion. Plenty of names have youtube channels. Its a legitimate part of business.

But I feel we're getting off topic with that. My point was more about the abundance of videos and techniques, and the never ending amount being part of a problem of needing more and more 'content' for a channel and how that can lead to getting bogged down in the weeds or techniques and not the appropriate use of tools, which is likely to be very much a case of less is more.

Therefore, an unusual technique under those circumstances is doing as little as possible and getting it right in the mix
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:05 AM   #14
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First things first: If you don't have a well treated room and decent monitors that has been tested for the best possible bass and midrange response, you are already severely hampered. By all means, do try to master, but don't fool yourself into thinking the result will translate well to radio, home stereos, sound bars or earbuds. It just won't. Still, trying anyway is how you learn and develop.

My process:

It's extremely rare for me to have more than 2 plugins/hardware processors when mastering.

I don't stop mixing until the mix is very close to the sound I want, because mangling with mastering plugins to get 'a sound' always moves me further away from the result I want.

I don't have a predetermined mastering chain. I found it to be counterproductive.

I start by listening to 30-60 sec snippets of the song at various places and making notes as to the overall sound and its emotional impact ("how does it feel?"). Then I listen to the entire mix and make more notes, looking for specific anomalys, like string pops, overly sibilant vocals and cymbals, issues with fadeins and fadeouts, anything else that catches my attention as being "not as good as it could be". When possible, I return to the mix to fix these at the source rather than trying to bandaid them in mastering.

Once I loop through the process in the above paragraph a few times, I'm ready to decide what processing to try, to see what might make the song fit within the alloted dynamic range for the project while not damaging its clarity, soundstage depth and width, and emotional impact.

My rules of mastering:
- Do no damage in one area while listening in another. It's super easy to get lost in doing compression or EQ changes, listening for some desired effect, while ignoring what else is being damaged. In fact, I've found it most useful to listen to *everything else* in the mix while making an adjustment, because that gives me a clue that this other stuff is becoming compromised by what I'm adjusting.

- Add a change until you notice it has an effect on the sound, then back that change down till you no longer hear it. That is generally the correct amount of change.

I hope you find some of this helpful on your own journey...
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:57 AM   #15
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On another side note "saturation, limiters/comp", etc...don't "get those dynamics going". They do the exact opposite of "getting dynamics going".
depends on the limiter. The FabFilter L has that 'Punchy' mode, and atk/rel and also Transients. The Ozone ones also have transient options. Other Limiters too.

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Genuine question, why are you under the impression that a modern rock mix (modern is confusing seeing as rock for the last god knows how many decades has been full of guitars, synths and drums) needs an overloaded mastering chain?
definitely a more processed genre than older rock. Over-processed/overproduced in many cases, not that I dislike that but. As far as mastering specifically, obv you can tend to go crazy with sth like modern rock/metal versus if you're mastering classical music or just reggae.

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If you mean to distort something intentionally, that's always cool. Distorting a whole mix intentionally? Well... alright! If it sounds right, it is right! Seeing people stack up multiple distortion boxes on their master bus though (and yes, tape saturation is distortion)... What the heck are you after there?! How did none of this come up in performance and tracking?
Light saturation on the masterbus, not up 5 or 6 on the knob. Using a couple of different instances, with different settings, can bring out different harmonics, a bit of thickness and that tad bit of flavor.

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Seriously competent mastering engineers aren't wasting a bunch of time on making YouTube videos about plugins.
That's just untrue. And what's wrong with plugins, remember, they're just as good as 1000$ equipment.
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Old 05-15-2021, 06:05 AM   #16
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My rules of mastering:
- Do no damage in one area while listening in another. It's super easy to get lost in doing compression or EQ changes, listening for some desired effect, while ignoring what else is being damaged. In fact, I've found it most useful to listen to *everything else* in the mix while making an adjustment, because that gives me a clue that this other stuff is becoming compromised by what I'm adjusting.

- Add a change until you notice it has an effect on the sound, then back that change down till you no longer hear it. That is generally the correct amount of change.

I hope you find some of this helpful on your own journey...
helpful indeed. It's sth I do struggle with in mastering. I'll be so eager to open up my mix with boosting the harmonics in the high end, say, or making the whole mix more dynamic with compression, that I'll tend to damage sth somewhere else, and then realize later "oh hey, where are the cymbals ? Where's the backing pad gone ?".
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:14 AM   #17
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Certain settings of attack/release can make a compressor let the louder attacks through and then attenuate the already quieter sustain/decay portions. This quite definitely does increase the overall dynamic range. It's not what I'd generally be trying to do in the mastering stage, but it's a fairly common technique in other contexts.
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:18 AM   #18
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I got more, but your turn now. What's a really neat trick, few people talk about ?
#1 trick: don't pay attention to most of what the internet says about mastering. You'll find that for-real, working mastering engineers don't use a lot of tricks unless a mix has a lot of problems.

There are plenty of advanced techniques you can use to fix problematic mixes. Most of them are covered in Bob Katz's book.

This video series is the absolute best introduction to what mastering actually is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIOIi9G1ClI

And this channel is good as well: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQo...Zn4pTpsMcj245Q (While his setup may look elaborate, he's really just using a few processors to get the job done.)

Oh, and as someone who cuts a lot of vinyl lacquers from supposedly "mastered" material: please tame your sibilance.

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Old 05-15-2021, 08:21 AM   #19
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Certain settings of attack/release can make a compressor let the louder attacks through and then attenuate the already quieter sustain/decay portions. This quite definitely does increase the overall dynamic range. It's not what I'd generally be trying to do in the mastering stage, but it's a fairly common technique in other contexts.
This is true. If I am working on a track that's far too squashed, I'll use compression to increase the dynamic range.

Again, this is if the mix is already trashed. I work on a lot of trashed mixes, I guess!
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:34 AM   #20
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I'm not going to come back and argue with you because this thread isn't really useful to me anyway. But, the fact is, limiters do not ADD dynamics. They do the opposite, doesn't matter what settings you're using, you're still getting less dynamics than if you don't use any kind of limiter or saturation. If you want dynamics, don't use limiters, saturation, etc...
The real-life answer is far more complex than this.

Yes, peak-limiting program material reduces the overall peak-to-loudness ratio. But except in cases of extreme gain reduction, a modern, transparent peak-limiter has almost zero effect on the program's internal micro-dynamics.
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:36 AM   #21
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Using any of the already mentioned effects to increase dynamics is so rare that I think it's ok to call it "wrong", even if it's not technically "wrong". That's all I'm saying.
I'd argue that it's actually super common, though not in mastering. People do it to drums all the damn time.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:06 AM   #22
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I'd argue that it's actually super common, though not in mastering. People do it to drums all the damn time.
...and you're right. But you're talking about a very specific thing that people sometimes do. This thread is about "mastering". I don't think most people use compressors and tape emulators to INCREASE dynamics when they're mastering most of the time, if not all the time.

I don't want to de-rail the thread. I might have already and I apologize if I have. I hate when conversations get into "semantics" territory and people arguing just for the sake of sticking to a small point that isn't very important. But I just don't think it's helpful to someone learning to read about "mastering tricks" that involve a million plug-ins and using compressors to "get the dynamics going".

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Old 05-15-2021, 10:31 AM   #23
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definitely a more processed genre than older rock. Over-processed/overproduced in many cases, not that I dislike that but. As far as mastering specifically, obv you can tend to go crazy with sth like modern rock/metal versus if you're mastering classical music or just reggae.
Again tho, what are we classifying as 'modern'? And how many decades has it been around, and how many major albums in the genre have either 15 plugins on the mastering chain or the equivalent hardware? And again, we're just talking about how one type of music can take more of a 'mastering' battering than another.

Why tho? What is making you think this? What is it about these types of music that makes you think they need more 'over processed mastering' than just reggae.

If youre 'mastering' so heavily that the cymbals are disappearing, youre arguably not mastering, youre making major decisions that effect the entire mix. Which would suggest you havent finished mixing and that youre mixing still. I know all these job titles cross over these days, but still, understanding why is a good thing.

Which leads me back to getting it right in the mix in the first place (unless you're having to work from a stereo file), and doing a way 'less is more' approach. I'd be almost certain that those over processed/over produced albums that you like didnt make those decisions in the mastering phase.

We're back to 'subtle but profound' again, and dare I say it, in a room that isnt set up for adequate monitoring.

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That's just untrue. And what's wrong with plugins, remember, they're just as good as 1000$ equipment.
It is untrue. But on the other hand, someone who is trying to teach about mastering isnt going to be throwing new techniques at you once or twice a week without shooting themselves in the foot saying 'none of this is necessary, its only to be used under very specific circumstances, very sparingly and usually for fixing problems or for purely taste reasons, or because I needed a new video this week and I'm running out of things that would ordinarily be used' or the dreaded 'I needed to show myself using this plug in because I wont get any more freebies otherwise'.

Differentiating between all these things is a fucking nightmare, but finding out what major commercial releases you love and have a sound you aspire too would be a good place to look to see what mastering they did, or how they achieved the mix.
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:04 AM   #24
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If you have a mix where your complaint is it sounds over processed, doing more over processing in mastering is only going to make it worse. Do what you need to do with what you have left if it's not possible to go back to the mix! Just sayin.

Dynamic range compression isn't going to weirdly magically start doing the opposite. (Ashcat technique aside apparently.) Just like turning down the volume isn't going to make something louder on Tuesdays. Hitting an already over processed mix with a chain of plugins with multiple distortion boxes and compressors is only going to saturate it and compress it more.

Maybe something comes up where that final damaged result is still the right thing to do? If it sounds right, it is right. If you're getting desperate like that with some troubled mix though, maybe try to get your hands on the mix multitrack where you can go straight to work. Restoration mastering on historical artifacts is all well and good but any modern studio project should not have multitracks getting lost and/or desperation mastering on unfinished mixes.
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:05 PM   #25
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On the other hand, if it sounds 'right' or 'good' its not over processed or over produced. Both phrases that imply a negative but confuse things when used as a positive.

If the end result is intended, its not been over done.

Obviously, hind sight and the passage of time can change these things (hello mutt lange and some 80's snares), but its still a matter of artistic taste and the end result being intended.

I know its semantics again, but its important to know what our terms mean if we're really talking about one genre needing to be or benefitting from being over worked.

Less is still more. A frequency range is a frequency range. Dynamics are dynamics. Yes, genre may lend itself to the use of certain techniques over others, but the idea that one genre inherently needs way more over working than another when it comes to mastering probably needs scrutinising for its validity.
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Old 05-15-2021, 12:16 PM   #26
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#1 trick: don't pay attention to most of what the internet says about mastering. You'll find that for-real, working mastering engineers don't use a lot of tricks unless a mix has a lot of problems.
I think this is where it becomes a language thing. I think what dork lard is actually talking about is mixing but using mastering plug ins on the mix bus to fundamentally change the mix, creatively, while having access to the original files.

I would suspect the type of mastering youre talking about is something quite different.

Unless I've missed something, Dork Lard isnt doing corrective work on a final stereo mixdown file without access to the Reaper project.

I think crossed wires might be happening all over this thread
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Old 05-16-2021, 01:40 PM   #27
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This video series is the absolute best introduction to what mastering actually is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIOIi9G1ClI
thank you for your advice, and I'll watch that and get back to you.


maxdembo
"Modern" here as in late 90s and onward, essentially something like Linkin Park.
Why more processed ? In short, it's a style that generally requires more compression, more tinkering with individual instruments, more EQ moves, etc. It's not a "natural" or organic sounding genre by any stretch. Not that such a band would be your cup of tea, but a band like Fear Factory, they sound nothing like the real instruments do in the room, on the record. It's overprocessed music, and that's how some like it. Although I should surely go less apeshit on the mastering chain, but it'll still likely have a few plugins rather than just one or two.

serr
I realize the mix needs to be ready, and you shouldn't count on mastering to compensate for a shitty mix, but mastering is that much more potential improvement. If your mix is a 7/10, mastering will help it. If your mix is a 9.5/10, mastering will still help it. It'll always add that +1. You can always open up the high end, grab the low end a bit more, make the dynamics pop some more, clean up the low mid mud a tad, etc.
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Old 05-16-2021, 05:09 PM   #28
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thank you for your advice, and I'll watch that and get back to you.


maxdembo
"Modern" here as in late 90s and onward, essentially something like Linkin Park.
Why more processed ? In short, it's a style that generally requires more compression, more tinkering with individual instruments, more EQ moves, etc. It's not a "natural" or organic sounding genre by any stretch. Not that such a band would be your cup of tea, but a band like Fear Factory, they sound nothing like the real instruments do in the room, on the record. It's overprocessed music, and that's how some like it. Although I should surely go less apeshit on the mastering chain, but it'll still likely have a few plugins rather than just one or two.
I mean, its not overprocessed if its what the band set out to do and achieve. Its also more than likely that the majority of that sound is from the mix decisions, the choices of production and recording, rather than the mastering. I think its way less likely to be a product of going apeshit on the mastering chain.

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Old 05-16-2021, 05:32 PM   #29
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You can always open up the high end, grab the low end a bit more, make the dynamics pop some more, clean up the low mid mud a tad, etc.
If the mix is leading you to making comments like that then it's not finished.

It sounds like you're suggesting that any and all mixes are going to have problems that benefit from serious alteration. (You said "always".) That's what is triggering a few of us to defend some of the mixes that don't need that. There's also the history of the volume war aesthetic breaking the rules hard and doing damage to make loudness. Don't be doing more of that, please and thank you!

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Old 05-16-2021, 05:46 PM   #30
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I'm still just hearing a lot of "Tone Attorney..."/"Cork Sniffer..." garbage.

No one has ever once listened to a Linkin Park number, and actually thought "Wow, The High End Really Sounds Open..." or "Wow, The Dynamics Really Pop Here..."

It's ninety percent nonsense that someone is on about, and ten percent nonsense that someone else wants to believe actually amounts to anything in a given context.
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Old 05-16-2021, 05:48 PM   #31
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Man, "Stupid Things Accepted As 'Standard Operating Procedure' To Make Things 'Modern' Loud..." is a whole other kettle of fish.

That said?

Agreed.
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Old 05-16-2021, 05:54 PM   #32
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I mean, its not overprocessed if its what the band set out to do and achieve. Its also more than likely that the majority of that sound is from the mix decisions, the choices of production and recording, rather than the mastering. I think its way less likely to be a product of going apeshit on the mastering chain.
Straight Talking...

Once, I either saw/read Howie Weinberg talking about mastering the Nirvana album Nevermind. He said that he was so amazed by how great what he got to master was that he got in touch with Andy Wallace to inquire about how he had achieved such an amazing mix.

"Well, I Just Got Rid Of Most Of The Stuff That Didn't Need To Be There..." is about what I recall Wallace's response being.

There's an ace that you can keep.
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Old 05-16-2021, 06:00 PM   #33
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About 57:30 -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2omnANYrlI
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Old 05-16-2021, 06:00 PM   #34
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I'm still just hearing a lot of "Tone Attorney..."/"Cork Sniffer..." garbage.
Those could both be either band names or album names. That's gold right there!
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:55 AM   #35
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more compression, more tinkering with individual instruments, more EQ moves, etc. .
Tinkering with individual instruments? Are you sure you know what "mastering" even is?

You're 100% talking about "MIXING". In fact, if you simply changed the title of this thread by replacing the word "Mastering" with "Mixing", this thread would actually make sense and be useful.

I deleted most of my posts from this thread because I didn't want it to look like piling on. But, as others have said repeatedly, "Mastering" is not what you think it is. Everything you're going on about is all about mixing.

I feel sorry any newbies stumbling upon this thread. They're going to be screwed up for years.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:54 AM   #36
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And again again again again, finish that mix from the multitrack!

I've been wondering. You know how you see children try to treat old display screens and even signs like touch screens? It looks slapstick funny but they're genuinely confused because they grew up with touch tablets from birth. Or how people know some image and document files keep a record of edits and changes? You know you can open the image in an editor and get to see the boobs she cropped out.

Maybe people think the original multitrack sound elements are "still in there" to manipulate after the song is mixed?

It's more like baking a cake. If you decide 3 eggs is too many, you need to make that decision before blending it together and baking it. There are no frosting techniques that will remove one of the eggs after baking. Anyone remember that Lil Jon Bake a Cake mashup?
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:10 PM   #37
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I think this thread has derailed. I'll ask again - genuinely interested in reading any potential actual answer to the question - any trick you stumbled across that you use in your mastering chain you think is worth sharing here ? A method/technique, a piece of hardware, a specific plugin, whatever.
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:23 PM   #38
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You need to watch that video series. It'll help you 1) understand what mastering is, and 2) provide valuable insights about it including methods and plugins you'll be using. Until you watch all those videos, asking further questions here is just spinning your wheels. If anything you need a better grasp of what mastering is, and some of that advice and techniques (some of which seems obvious but actually isn't), and then you can ask more specific/detailed questions and not just vague "hey guys how do you master?"-sort of questions.

As with your other threads about mixing/production, it's not really about specific plugins / gear which are "perfect for mastering" and far more about your knowledge and experience. Like, not even close.
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Old 05-19-2021, 04:22 PM   #39
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I think this thread has derailed
maybe it's more a case of not checking the departures board before you got on the train?
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:48 PM   #40
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I think this thread has derailed. I'll ask again - genuinely interested in reading any potential actual answer to the question - any trick you stumbled across that you use in your mastering chain you think is worth sharing here ? A method/technique, a piece of hardware, a specific plugin, whatever.
I have been exploring and enjoying a bit of M/S eq on my 2Bus.

I definitely agree with the general opinion that a great mix is what you need to get yourself like 90% of the way there. But I do still find it beneficial to run processes across the entire mix. It changes from project to project, of course. But I find that careful m/s Eq on the master can really make a mix shine. I'm using PA's 2098, but you can of course use whatever you like. I think you definitely have to be careful with this too, and check your mixes in mono and other device etc.

Anyway, I do I have to parrot everyone else and say it's really about knowledge, experience and learning about processes as a whole. M/S equalization is hardly a casual 'trick'. The Dan Worrall video on the subject is, of course, superb.

Another thing I've been playing around with is mixing into a compressor on the master. For projects with a stable and simple arrangement, i find it very effective. If a project is really long or changes a lot, then less so.
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