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Old 02-15-2015, 03:34 AM   #1
macousticboy
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Default Okay, so how about that Mastering Tutorial for Reaper?

On at least 2 occasions, I mentioned the need for two things: 1) A tutorial for Reaper SPECIFICALLY for using it as a mastering platform and 2) A tutorial for ReaXComp. Has these been provided and I just missed the boat? I'm guessing no.

There are some threads I looked at when searching for "Mastering" as a topic that seemed to amount to not much more than a bunch of guys sharing what chain they use, but that's about it. Reaper has a Mastering Chain that I have used in the past. But I haven't seen where it's helped me get up to the quality of Pro-mastered, Radio-Ready audio.

There's also the fact that I have noticed a lot of the plugins people recommend here tend to bang levels in the red automatically, and are a bit pain to try and wrestle down to a decent level. ReaXComp is a good example. Everytime I load it, the meters on both sides are a bright red at 1st, and I always set the Master bus to -4 or lower if needed.

There are tons of tutorials on Youtube that are titled "Master with free VST plugins" and I've always found the results to be less than desirable. Those often recommended Variety of Sound plugins are a great example. Start piling those babies up high enough (like the videos say to do) and say "Goodbye song, hello exaggerated dynamics" (and STILL not as loud a a Pro can do!) BootEQmkII is the only one I found worth a damn - I can sweeten up a harsh sounding harmonica a bit, for example. But, I digress.

So how about it, Reaper? I'm a loyal user with a paid licence. You say I can master on this platform. What's the steps I need to take to get my tracks up to sounding like the Big Boys? When might we expect someone to come forth - even a blog post offsite or a Youtube video would help - with the keys to this mystery?
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:35 AM   #2
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Posting to sub to thread.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:43 AM   #3
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The so called "Big Boys" use a lot of analogue gear, ever thought about that fact ?

And most tracks that were produced on software basis only, sound like they were produced with plugins only,
and I am not only talking about loudness war!
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
On at least 2 occasions, I mentioned the need for two things: 1) A tutorial for Reaper SPECIFICALLY for using it as a mastering platform and 2) A tutorial for ReaXComp. Has these been provided and I just missed the boat? I'm guessing no.

There are some threads I looked at when searching for "Mastering" as a topic that seemed to amount to not much more than a bunch of guys sharing what chain they use, but that's about it. Reaper has a Mastering Chain that I have used in the past. But I haven't seen where it's helped me get up to the quality of Pro-mastered, Radio-Ready audio.

There's also the fact that I have noticed a lot of the plugins people recommend here tend to bang levels in the red automatically, and are a bit pain to try and wrestle down to a decent level. ReaXComp is a good example. Everytime I load it, the meters on both sides are a bright red at 1st, and I always set the Master bus to -4 or lower if needed.

There are tons of tutorials on Youtube that are titled "Master with free VST plugins" and I've always found the results to be less than desirable. Those often recommended Variety of Sound plugins are a great example. Start piling those babies up high enough (like the videos say to do) and say "Goodbye song, hello exaggerated dynamics" (and STILL not as loud a a Pro can do!) BootEQmkII is the only one I found worth a damn - I can sweeten up a harsh sounding harmonica a bit, for example. But, I digress.

So how about it, Reaper? I'm a loyal user with a paid licence. You say I can master on this platform. What's the steps I need to take to get my tracks up to sounding like the Big Boys? When might we expect someone to come forth - even a blog post offsite or a Youtube video would help - with the keys to this mystery?
its not about mastering chains and its not about the plugins in that mastering chains. and of course its not about outboard gear, that is a stupid blahblahing that people do, that do not got anywhere but want to sound important and knowledgeable.

anyway ... mastering is to do to a track after it has been mixed that, what is needed to improve it. sometimes after mixing nothing is needed. so mastering in that cases is only to state, that there is nothing left to do. ready. mastering done by listen twice to a track.

sometimes there can be done a little bit of this or that, depends on the track, the mix, the mixer, the mastering engineer and hows the weather on that particular day. maybe moon-phases. no, I am kidding, not moon-phases, you get the picture.

so dont think from the point that mastering is needed. think from the track: does he need anything, that he cant get at the mix? if you can improve the track at the mix, do it. do everything possible at the mix. only if something cant be done at the mix, then you do it after the mix.

that is called mastering.

and mastering is to bring the track into the various needed formats. and for that is no mastering-chain needed but comversion tools, sometimes dithering. (Bob Katz says, that dithering is overrated. when in doubt, leave it out.)
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lord Marceaux de Champs View Post
The so called "Big Boys" use a lot of analogue gear, ever thought about that fact ?

And most tracks that were produced on software basis only, sound like they were produced with plugins only,
and I am not only talking about loudness war!
Funny, but I've heard stuff that was done mostly in the DAW without a lot of the bells & whistles of a "real" studio, and they manage to make it sound awesome!
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:25 AM   #6
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its not about mastering chains and its not about the plugins in that mastering chains. and of course its not about outboard gear, that is a stupid blahblahing that people do, that do not got anywhere but want to sound important and knowledgeable.

anyway ... mastering is to do to a track after it has been mixed that, what is needed to improve it. sometimes after mixing nothing is needed. so mastering in that cases is only to state, that there is nothing left to do. ready. mastering done by listen twice to a track.

sometimes there can be done a little bit of this or that, depends on the track, the mix, the mixer, the mastering engineer and hows the weather on that particular day. maybe moon-phases. no, I am kidding, not moon-phases, you get the picture.

so dont think from the point that mastering is needed. think from the track: does he need anything, that he cant get at the mix? if you can improve the track at the mix, do it. do everything possible at the mix. only if something cant be done at the mix, then you do it after the mix.

that is called mastering.

and mastering is to bring the track into the various needed formats. and for that is no mastering-chain needed but comversion tools, sometimes dithering. (Bob Katz says, that dithering is overrated. when in doubt, leave it out.)
I saw a video on dithering recently and I thought it was the silliest thing!

If I knew what I could do to boost the audio at the mixing level, I'd be doing that already. I suppose I should be looking at the Reaper mixing tutorials?

What conversion tools are you referring to?
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:38 AM   #7
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For "mastering" you need, above all, the ears and the experience. And an acoustically treated space with full-range monitors that you know. How does that come as a plugin?

The better the ears, the more demanding the specific sound or features of the tools. That doesn't mean you can't "master" within Reaper and its plugins.
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:58 AM   #8
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For "mastering" you need, above all, the ears and the experience. And an acoustically treated space with full-range monitors that you know. How does that come as a plugin?
Well, actually there's an avid Reaper user on Youtube - RealHomeRecording - who has a plugin he recommend to do just that - correct your "room" problems to give you an accurate rendering of what you should be hearing in your speakers!

Quote:
The better the ears, the more demanding the specific sound or features of the tools. That doesn't mean you can't "master" within Reaper and its plugins.
Okay so great! When can I expect to watch your tutorial? ;-)
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:52 AM   #9
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Well, actually there's an avid Reaper user on Youtube - RealHomeRecording - who has a plugin he recommend to do just that - correct your "room" problems to give you an accurate rendering of what you should be hearing in your speakers!



Okay so great! When can I expect to watch your tutorial? ;-)
My tutorial would consist of:
- listen to music
- compare different eras and mixes
- listen again, what do you find "pleasant" and what "unpleasant". Why?
- do this for about 8 years
- get speakers you trust
- after 3 years you might have found (or learned) them
- now that you know what you want you have to look for the tools to achieve that sound
- voilà
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:19 AM   #10
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Funny, but I've heard stuff that was done mostly in the DAW without a lot of the bells & whistles of a "real" studio, and they manage to make it sound awesome!
You talked abot the "BIG Boys"

here the links to three of the best Studios in the world, please have a look at the gear !



http://electricladystudios.com/studios/studio-a/

http://members.bitstream.net/tgg/tgg.../studiob2.html

http://www.sunsetsound.com/?page_id=50
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:21 AM   #11
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You talked abot the "BIG Boys"

here the links to three of the best Studios in the world, please have a look at the gear !



http://electricladystudios.com/studios/studio-a/

http://members.bitstream.net/tgg/tgg.../studiob2.html

http://www.sunsetsound.com/?page_id=50
one more Big Boy

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb0...es/jmjarre.htm
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:23 AM   #12
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You talked abot the "BIG Boys"

here the links to three of the best Studios in the world, please have a look at the gear !

http://electricladystudios.com/studios/studio-a/
http://members.bitstream.net/tgg/tgg.../studiob2.html
http://www.sunsetsound.com/?page_id=50
So what? Do you think the OP would get better results working in such a studio?
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:20 AM   #13
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Mastering mainly means 'having someone at it who knows what he/she is doing'. So basically you need to learn it, like everything else. There is no magic silver bullet.

What equipment is used, is of secondary importance (and it is very well possible to get stunning results with Reaper's internal Fx or freeware.... If you know what you're doing).
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:57 PM   #14
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You talked abot the "BIG Boys"
Yes. The producers I'm referring to are able to get a sound "like the Big Boys," without spending a lot of money.

ETA: You can find them anytime, day or night, residing on Gearslutz.com.

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Old 02-15-2015, 01:03 PM   #15
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https://www.gearslutz.com/board/low-end-theory
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:13 PM   #16
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I saw a video on dithering recently and I thought it was the silliest thing!

If I knew what I could do to boost the audio at the mixing level, I'd be doing that already. I suppose I should be looking at the Reaper mixing tutorials?

What conversion tools are you referring to?
what do you mean by "boosting audio while mixing"? do you mean to make it sound well? ok, you have to make to make the tracks sound good, each one of its own, and THEN to make them sound good together.

the crux is, that noone can explain really how that is done. because it depends. I know that that is the killer answer at all, "it depends" means all and nothing. you have a track and you listen to it and you think: doesnt sound good. so, what is lacking, what is too much? too dull? take an eq, make it brighter, or try Thrillseeker, or cut out some basses and make it louder. you have to change it so that you think it sounds good. refer it to CDs you know and like how it has to sound.

and so on and on ... you see, that it depends. it depends on the sounds you have.

so I dont think anyone can teach you how to mix, because it depends and its everytime a complete different story. and nobody knows your material. so you even cant use presets. or at least you can use them as starting point.

you surely can have a look at that lots of mixing tutorials @ youtube. but that can give you only ideas, some kind of glance at the ballpark.

sorry, there is no answer to the question how to mix. you learn to mix by doing mixes. but you can be sure, that they get better and better.

and it hasnt anything to do with the gear you use or ITB or OTB, that is really a bullshit discussion, thrown up everytime by stupid people. for mixing and mastering Reaper is out of the box really well prepared. and there is no shortage of 3rd party free plugins for whatever ...
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:17 PM   #17
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talking of "big boys":

Alan Parsons was asked what he uses for mixing. his answer was: whats around.

Lord LoudMouth, please enlighten us and post some of your elusive mixings and masterings out of your world class repertoire ... as a mixing and mastering guru you surely will have kinds show-reel ... we will all bow our heads and praise your godlike abilities if you would do us the favor ...

... or simply shut up. if the only thing you can do is posting links from all over the internet. that do mean nothing. I bet you have not the slightest thing to show ...
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:30 PM   #18
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You know, there are copious tutorials for Reaper on the internet. There's even a whole Youtube channel dedicated to it. All I ask for is ONE SIMPLE TUTORIAL for using Reaper as a mastering platform.

It's not true that you can't give someone tips or tricks. Example: "Mix is muddy? Try turning down your GRAPHIC EQ ;-) at about the 200k range."

So I guess I need to go beg the makers of those videos on their blogs & channels. Doesn't appear to be anyone interested in responding in the affirmative, here.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:42 PM   #19
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You know, there are copious tutorials for Reaper on the internet. There's even a whole Youtube channel dedicated to it. All I ask for is ONE SIMPLE TUTORIAL for using Reaper as a mastering platform.

It's not true that you can't give someone tips or tricks. Example: "Mix is muddy? Try turning down your GRAPHIC EQ ;-) at about the 200k range."

So I guess I need to go beg the makers of those videos on their blogs & channels. Doesn't appear to be anyone interested in responding in the affirmative, here.
Ok..its pretty simple.

Render out your mix into a folder with all the other mixes from your album or whatever.

Create a new Project in Reaper and import each song into it on its own track

Then on each song adjust the sound of each so that they work together with some semblance of cohesion.Volume wise and all the rest.

Then once you're happy with that create track markers and export the session.Done.

If you want to send off your stuff for CD duplication or replication, you'll have too use an application that can create REDBOOK files

There isnt really anymore to it my man.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:43 PM   #20
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You know, there are copious tutorials for Reaper on the internet. There's even a whole Youtube channel dedicated to it. All I ask for is ONE SIMPLE TUTORIAL for using Reaper as a mastering platform.
I don't understand the term "mastering platform"!? Import your audio tracks, treat them the way you think they should be treated in order to sound "better" and consistent, and that's it. You can use software, hardware, included plugins or 3rd party - all is possible.

EDIT.
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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
It's not true that you can't give someone tips or tricks. Example: "Mix is muddy? Try turning down your GRAPHIC EQ ;-) at about the 200k range.
If you can hear it - why don't you change your mix then????

EDIT2.
Why do you consíder "mastering" superior to "mixing"? Do you really believe you can "master" your music yourself on the same monitors in the same room with the same pair of ears? Why? What do you want to achieve? I don't get it, honestly.
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Old 02-15-2015, 02:55 PM   #21
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There simply is no shortcut for experience and critical listening, sorry.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:04 PM   #22
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As someone who makes tutorials for Reaper, I'm confused why this would be a "need".

Mastering by itself is obviously a skill worth discussing. But there's plenty of those.

What is difficult or confusing about doing that with Reaper?
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:48 PM   #23
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I assume the OP is looking for THE solution, for the mojo-tool that nobody of us wants to tell to a newbie.

or he wants to have a one-klick-solution that spares him a lot of work.

to the OP: if you think mastering can make all your tracks sound awesome, send them to me. I will do the best I can to each of your tracks and I promise to use at least 10 plugins on it and I charge only € 300 / track.

and I promise to use all my secrets in mastering them.

so let em come ...
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:38 PM   #24
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See this:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...CD7E9E86345CE4

That's a list of about 30 something mastering tutorials for Waves products.

Do something like that for Reaper! I don't see why that's so difficult to conceive of?


I found it because I was at one time interested in L1 Ultramaximizer (on sale for $25!) it was recommended to me as a "Mastering" plugin. That was over 2 years ago, and at the time they didn't have it rolled out for Reaper yet, although they said they planned to. My "other" DAW (Mixcraft) wasn't supported by it either. Idk if they've managed to correct those "oversights" or not, as of yet! ;-) Hmmmm... I see it's on sale again for $50!

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/deta...FRSIfgodoQoARQ

While I'm at it, can anyone tell me what freeware out there is the closest in quality & functions to L1 Ultramaximizer?

And is it possible I can get someone to move on just ReaXComp, if nothing else!
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:40 PM   #25
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to the OP: if you think mastering can make all your tracks sound awesome, send them to me. I will do the best I can to each of your tracks and I promise to use at least 10 plugins on it and I charge only € 300 / track.

and I promise to use all my secrets in mastering them.

so let em come ...
Thanks, but I got a guy on Fiverr who does excellent work for me. He may move on one day, so I'd like to possibly learn it myself if I could. He's working on a track for me as we speak, so maybe I'll post it when he's done.
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:47 PM   #26
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While I'm at it, can anyone tell me what freeware out there is the closest in quality & functions to L1 Ultramaximizer?

And is it possible I can get someone to move on just ReaXComp, if nothing else!
the l1 is just a lmiter man..and a very simplistic one at that..which is good thing I reckon.

A comparable processor in Reaper is Event Horizon 2..which sounds a lot better to me

As for ReaXcomp..I'm afraid I've no real experience with multi band compression..so someone else might go into that with you..or you could google it

If I find I need to start reaching for things like that..I just go back and do it inside the mix
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:02 PM   #27
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the l1 is just a lmiter man..and a very simplistic one at that..which is good thing I reckon.

A comparable processor in Reaper is Event Horizon 2..which sounds a lot better to me

As for ReaXcomp..I'm afraid I've no real experience with multi band compression..so someone else might go into that with you..or you could google it

If I find I need to start reaching for things like that..I just go back and do it inside the mix
It's marketed as a mastering plugin. Even more so with L2.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:06 PM   #28
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It's marketed as a mastering plugin. Even more so with L2.

I don't follow you...

Whats that got to do with anything?
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:11 PM   #29
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I don't follow you...

Whats that got to do with anything?
You said:

Quote:
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the l1 is just a lmiter man
So maybe I misunderstood you?
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:17 PM   #30
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You said:



So maybe I misunderstood you?
I just looked at the waves site .. http://www.waves.com/plugins/l1-ultr...ltramaximizers

It says quite clearly..its a peak limiter

And I suggested you an alternative that you already have..

Ahh here, yer on yer own, good luck.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:22 PM   #31
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I just looked at the waves site .. http://www.waves.com/plugins/l1-ultr...ltramaximizers

It says quite clearly..its a peak limiter

And I suggested you an alternative that you already have..

Ahh here, yer on yer own, good luck.
1:12 mark on the video at your link:

"...the L1 Ultramaximizer. It's a full Mastering plugin..." ;-)

Thanks for the EH2 recommendation, though. It has some interesting display functions, I'm looking into what all these things do right now.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:38 PM   #32
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Odd... Is the slide faders on EH2 supposed to snap back to their original spot after you release them?
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:45 PM   #33
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I note this Macousticboy'
Quote "There's also the fact that I have noticed a lot of the plugins people recommend here tend to bang levels in the red automatically, and are a bit pain to try and wrestle down to a decent level. ReaXComp is a good example. Everytime I load it, the meters on both sides are a bright red at 1st, and I always set the Master bus to -4 or lower if needed"
If you are having problems like this the question I would ask you is... are you recording your wave files with too much volume?
I never got any results at home without putting in Acoustic treatment my wave files were too much for me to conquer. I will always be in debt to those professional masterers who put up with my early work and made them playable.
Question -- what quality of recorded files are you presenting to yourself for mastering?

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Old 02-15-2015, 08:36 PM   #34
macousticboy
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If you are having problems like this the question I would ask you is... are you recording your wave files with too much volume?
What is "too much volume?" Do the tracks look like one solid brick from top to bottom? No.

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Question -- what quality of recorded files are you presenting to yourself for mastering?
Huh? I usually use .wav files, if that's what you're asking?
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:13 PM   #35
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haven't seen it mentioned in this thread, but there are some good mastering tutorials on Groove3, as well as the excellent "mixing in Reaper" by KG.

Reaper comes with some very good and innovative effects, but not usually associated with mastering (just fwiw). DAWs are not usually associated with mastering, but rather the plugin suite that works for you, and runs on any DAW. The tools you can use are almost unlimited, and have no particular relationship to Reaper - so there's really no "mastering in Reaper", but rather mastering with waves, ozone, ik t-racks, uad, etc. Many great free tools suitable for mastering, like TDR Kotelnikov and Limiter No6, might also work for you.

As others have said, mastering is a skill that takes time to, er, master. Just keep experimenting, and in five or ten years you'll be all set.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:19 PM   #36
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The tools you can use are almost unlimited, and have no particular relationship to Reaper - so there's really no "mastering in Reaper"
That isn't what they themselves have been saying, as well as others about them.

I'll check your references, thanks.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:08 PM   #37
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Macousticboy
It is normal practice to record wave files up to-12db or thereabouts which leaves you headroom hen you come to mix the project.
This level in no way interferes with the quality of the recording.
I record my bass to about -7db as this does can be as plain as for me as I do not effect it.
Might pay for you to read up on how to record pre mix and the ways of mastering there is heaps of info on the web.
It takes time to understand these things for all of us so it pays not to shoot the messengers.

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Old 02-15-2015, 11:11 PM   #38
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Macousticboy
It is normal practice to record wave files up to-12db or thereabouts which leaves you headroom hen you come to mix the project.
This level in no way interferes with the quality of the recording.
I record my bass to about -7db as this does can be as plain as for me as I do not effect it.
Might pay for you to read up on how to record pre mix and the ways of mastering there is heaps of info on the web.
It takes time to understand these things for all of us so it pays not to shoot the messengers.

Grinder


https://soundcloud.com/steve-maitland-1

I saw a mixing tutorial that said something about making sure everything started around 10ish. Gee, I always thought you started at 0 ;-) And then dropped the levels if you see any red. Red is bad, I always make sure to do everything possible to get rid of it!
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:18 PM   #39
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Ok Ponk, I just gave a quick try on Limiter No. 6. So far it seems to be the closest I've come to volume & presence of the track I'm currently working on with an engineer to have it Pro Mastered. Real close. The EQ on his is still better and the track sounds more colorful in his work as opposed to mine, but this is the 1st time I've gotten some serious results that seemed to make a difference. I think we have a breakthrough!
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:28 PM   #40
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It is normal practice to record wave files up to-12db or thereabouts which leaves you headroom
Thought just crossed my mind... vox that I record are through an older PreSonus channel strip run though EMU 0404. When I use that, I was always advised to set the channel levels on EMU on roughly 0 to +1. Seems like if I put a signal like that through the DAW at -12, I'd be getting some shitty presence on the track read-out. I'll have to look at it next time I record, but I'm thinking there must be some exceptions to this rule?
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