Author Topic: Is mastering always neccesary?  (Read 14783 times)

Kinesthetics

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2016, 01:03:44 am »
I'm a really firm believer of this. If you're having to make a heap of adjustments during mastering, then you've stuffed up in the mix somewhere. Get the mix right and the track will often master itself, so to speak. The master should just be the final bit of icing to finish off the last 5%.
Build it, and they will come.

Axis

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2016, 01:29:03 am »
I think there's lots of confusion regarding this topic... I agree with Mat that proper mastering is much more than just putting an EQ and a limiter on the master bus, and it's often unnecessary.  On the other hand, when producers talk about "mastering" in the context of club music, what they really mean is getting it to sound as fat and loud as possible without too much distortion so that it does not sound weaker compared to other tracks in the same genre.

There are two aspects to what people refer to as "mastering" (as I see it):
 
1. Gluing the mix together and maximizing the volume.  You can use a (multi band) compressor to glue your mix and even add character (Vengeance MB compressor is really good for adding character), i.e. you don't need expensive equipment and/or a properly treated room to do this.  If you cannot make it loud/fat without audible distortion, you need to work on your mix rather than your mastering skills.
 
2. Treating the mix with surgical EQ to tame annoying peaks or frequency build-ups.  This is better be done by a mastering engineer using proper monitoring and room treatment (otherwise you may not be able to even hear/recognize those peaks).
 
To summarize, #1 is the most important aspect for dance music, and if your mix is good, you can do it yourself.  #2 is less important (not to purists anyway), and labels usually don't care.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 01:30:39 am by dpooga »

Ian

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2016, 02:06:08 am »
Hey guys, I'm really sucks at mastering track at first and now I still learning how to mastering the track perfectly. can you guys give me  some advice so I can make my track better than before ? Btw, I'm using FL Studio 12. Sorry for asking. Future music producer here. I'm still new :)

Wontolla

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2016, 02:18:15 am »
Hey guys, I'm really sucks at mastering track at first and now I still learning how to mastering the track perfectly. can you guys give me  some advice so I can make my track better than before ? Btw, I'm using FL Studio 12. Sorry for asking. Future music producer here. I'm still new :)

Try posting in WIPs, that forum's for getting feedback.

SorenAndrews

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2016, 03:14:08 am »
my mastering is an integral part of how i want my music to sound

Very true! I have been using yours & Andy Duguid's tracks as references for my mix-downs for forever now. It's def helped
in the way I view music production
The Mr. Andrews

Tiongcy

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2016, 03:56:52 am »
Hey guys, I'm really sucks at mastering track at first and now I still learning how to mastering the track perfectly. can you guys give me  some advice so I can make my track better than before ? Btw, I'm using FL Studio 12. Sorry for asking. Future music producer here. I'm still new :)

Play around with maximus. It has good mastering presets and try to understand what everything does.

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2016, 09:04:23 am »
Mastering is not always required. When a track is perfect without it. (and if you have the -3dB of headroom), then don't screw it up with a mastering. I mean, if you don't know how to master your track, it's probably better without it. Just mix it correctly and it will be fine.

SomeCollege

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2016, 11:02:54 am »
My mastering method:  1. Put a SSL Bus compressor in the first slot (like you're supposed to do). 2. Put a real musical sounding analog EQ in slot 2 and crank up the highs (To get that extra sheen). 3. Put a multi-band compressor to control the highs a bit. 4. Put a limiter in the final slot and crank it up, pause to rest my ears, and to assess the results so far (like a real pro). 5. Send the track to a real mastering engineer.

Hope this helps

Rob
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I have been producing dance music for three years. I work a full time job hauling gasoline. My DAW is Logic Pro X.  My CPU is a Mac Pro 12 core running Yosemite. Genres: Trance & Progressive House.

Kyle King

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2016, 03:13:55 pm »
I completely agree that if I were to have my tunes mastered, I would have another pair of ears do it.

Is there another term for processing the track on the master channel? Is that just part of the mixing process? How do you feel about mixing the track yourself?
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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2016, 03:25:47 pm »
It was actually detrimental for me to realize that writing, arranging, effecting, mixing & mastering are all separate entities when creating a track. It really sped up my work flow and slowed things down. It made it way less overwhelming because I sat down to write and already wanted the final product. Although I think it is a useful tool to learn how to master, I don't think it's important at the beggining. Working on my mix-down and making it the best I can will make or break any track I'm doing. Like what has been said here, you should'nt have to do much to your track if it's mixed properly. It's always better to send it off to an engineer to get it mastered. A pair of fresh ears in a professional recording studio will enhance the track just enough to make it "radio quality." Personally, and I think it's due to my producing environment I have troubles getting the mids/lows right. Sending it to an engineer over at Black Octopus, they give me feedback on what to improve,, I change a couple things and send it back in. It's always important to have a good relationship with your audio engineer. :)
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flightpattern

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2016, 03:25:55 pm »
I sometimes see some people ask how they can master their tracks better, but is mastering even necessary?

I thought I'd give a rundown of when mastering is necessary and when it isn't.

Firstly, lets not get confused with mastering and processing your master bus. Putting a limiter and a few other plugins on your master channel is not mastering. Mastering is a whole process. First you bounce down your premaster (just a bounce of your track with at least -3b headroom) and then you edit and process the audio separately. You can also do stem mastering which is bouncing down the different parts, then editing and processing them in the same way.

So, do you need to always master? I personally believe it's not always necessary, especially in the world of electronic music. The purpose of mastering is usually to make things suitable for release on physical media, or radio. If your track is just going on soundcloud, then I don't think it's usually necessary.

The MOST important thing is getting your mixdown nice and balanced, if your mixdown is off then no amount of mastering will fix that.

Lets say you do have to get your track/s mastered, should you do it yourself? I got a lot of stick on twitter a while ago for saying you shouldn't master you own tracks, even if you can (probably cus of the way I said it). However, I stand by this opinion, because no matter how good you are at mastering, your judgement is biased when working with music you've spent a load of time on. A good master from a new set of ears can bring out things in the music you didn't even hear. If you master your own tracks you might miss something you didn't notice because you've gotten so used to it. Also, you tend to be a bit more precious with your own work. It's your baby, and no one wants to cut and slash at their own baby.

Remember though, this is just my opinion, so please discuss if you agree or disagree!

I have to agree 110%. If your mixdown is done well and your instruments are coming through without being over-compressed or butting heads with kicks/snares/etc.; then there's no real need to "Master" your track.

The only instance where I'd do any sort of mastering is bringing up the loudness, in which I would just bounce the mixdown and separately put a limiter on afterwards.

Volant

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2016, 05:48:51 pm »
I personally just mix mine and then throw a limiter on, so I guess I don't really "master" either. However, when I send my music to mastering, they never really make any changes to it, only difference is that they probably drive it into an analog console to bring up the volume instead of my supposedly shabby digital processing.

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2016, 05:51:38 pm »
I personally just mix mine and then throw a limiter on, so I guess I don't really "master" either. However, when I send my music to mastering, they never really make any changes to it, only difference is that they probably drive it into an analog console to bring up the volume instead of my supposedly shabby digital processing.

Sometimes, that's all it takes. Mastering is never too drastic a process. As Kevin from Wired Masters put it in a tweet today "less is more when it comes to mastering"

Anjunagasm

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2016, 06:27:29 pm »
When I master someone's track, I always tell them to mix like it's not gonna be mastered. Then when it get's to me, it's like polishing silver, and it provides the best possible product for them. Makes them look stellar and I feel good about my work. When I make my own tracks, I like to mix it exactly as I'd like the master to sound. So that way when I master or ask someone else to master it, all they really need is a compressor, and maybe a slight bit of EQ'ing if any, and, as a personal preference, some light saturation (Multiband, on Ozone it's called "exciter") as well. Of course stereo widening, limiting, and making sure the track sounds consistent is a good thing. I also like more energy, so Making the compressor as punchy as possible without making it sound too jumpy is great. Saturation and compression are the two most valuable things for making the track energetic, at least from my experience. Faking dynamics with a compressor is always a good trick. You can also fake dynamics with a saturator, although that's more left up to the effect rather than the actual pump or punch of the compression.

FarleyCZ

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Re: Is mastering always neccesary?
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2016, 08:18:01 pm »
Yeah. I also feel that mastering is kinda more technical thing. People try to make art of it, choose the right analogue emulations, come up with unique chains. But what's the point? In case label wants to do their mastering (I heard quite common thing), you'd strip it all off and send them essentially different sounding track as all the saturations, wow & flutters and analogue frequency adjustments dissappear.

So yeah. I believe in this too. Make it mixed properly and then don't worry about it too much. For "home made" releases I think EQ, widener if needed and limiter are more than enough.
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