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Topic: Mastering the final mix

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  1. #1

    Question Mastering the final mix

    Hey guys,
    One part of the creative process that I have not made "leaps and bounds" in, is the final mastering of my songs. I got Ozone awhile back (and read their manual) and while that helped, I'm still lacking. The other day I popped in a CD I had done about a year ago and was shocked at how "thin" and "quiet" the mix sounded. I was wondering what good websites and/or other resources could you guys recommend for getting that "studio" sound? I'd like to start at the very basics in this area, to make sure I get a solid understanding of mastering. Thanks!!!!!!!!
    I think a favorite gag in medival times was to sneak up behind a Knight and stick a "kick me" sign on his armor with a magnet.

  2. #2

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    Surely somebody has something... please...
    I think a favorite gag in medival times was to sneak up behind a Knight and stick a "kick me" sign on his armor with a magnet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,073

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    I'd first ask what your "MIX" sounds like...


    Great?

    Pretty good?

    OK?

    Not so good?


    If you're doing orchestral-ish music, the goal is to put a 'slight' compression over it. You aren't trying to slam it. Well, not usually anyway.




    KID-

  4. #4

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    Thanks Kid! Yeah I know about compression, limiting, eq all to a degree. My music depends on whatever project I'm working on. I just want to increase my limited and lacking knowlege in this area and would like to find a website or book that acts as a "primer to professional" source of information.
    I think a favorite gag in medival times was to sneak up behind a Knight and stick a "kick me" sign on his armor with a magnet.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,073

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    Hmmm...

    Yeah I don't know any sites or books. There must be something though. (maybe try www.gearslutz.com there's probably some mastering engineers over there)

    Although, it may mean just getting a better grasp on compression and multiband etc. In theory it's pretty similar if you are referring to only mastering "one" piece of music. Or are you trying to master an album?


    KID-

  6. #6

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    JoshJ,

    I also use Ozone, and have found it quite capable of creating "that studio sound". Read more of their own liturature (I devoured lit on EQ, multiband compression, stereo field enhancement, etc). They (Izotope) have some very good articles on how to do this.

    The most obvious mastering technique is hard limiting or "sonic maximization". It makes you mix louder overall (most all commericial mixes use this - just rip a few from CD and you will see waveforms flattened substantially at top and bottom). To experiment with Ozone, I select the CD Master preset, then, as I auditioned my mix, I slide the control on the left side of the hard limiter (sorry, not in front of product right now, or I would give you a better roadmap) down, increasing the amount of gain, until it gets messy. This has a tendency to make a mix sound more consistent across various platforms (boombox, home stereo, car, etc). The next thing I do is try different levels of stereo field enhancement. One very cool thing to do is to unlock mutiband delay in this screen, and try adjusting lows in one direction, mids and highs to another. The effect is dramtic but can be goofy if used too much.

    Ozone can do some great stuff, provided you give it a reasonable mix to begin with, then spend 1,000s of hours becoming a mastering guru. No one said it would be easy, but Ozone makes it possible. I have been doing this for 20+ years, and I am just now getting around to liking my own mixes.

    Best,

    Poco

  7. #7

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    P.S.

    I also have created a preset to "pre master" my vocals. It compresses, adds some excitation, and sort of guts the mid range (which is what makes most vocals sound honkey and home recording-ish). I then take the premastered vocals and do the mix.

    Poco

  8. #8

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    Perhaps this thread helps?

    "Getting a warm mix"

    http://www.northernsounds.com/forum/...ight=mastering

  9. #9

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    I really love L1 Sonic Maximizer by Waves. It tightens up the mix and levels considerably, even used in a very subtle and judicious way. Also keep an eye out on those low end frequencies, they will use up all of your amplitude without adding any perceived loudness. You might consider running a High Pass at around 60hz to curb those subsonics that could affect how loud your material seems.

    Lastly, I would encourage you to listen on different speakers (burn your mixes on CD's and take them to other people's houses and studios and listen). You might be surprised to learn that something that you felt was adequate in your room might sound pretty different everywhere else.
    >>Kays
    http://www.musicbykays.com
    Music Composition for Feature Films, Television and Interactive Entertainment

  10. #10

    Re: Mastering the final mix

    Great ideas. Sorry if this so obvious but import a cue/song that closest matches what you are going through. Run it through your speakers / sound card and just plain imitate the mix (A/B). First time or two will take a while but you will soon get the hang of it. Hope this helps.

    Rob
    Rob Elliott Music
    www.robelliottmusic.com

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