The Songwriters' Forum - by Songwriters, for Songwriters Home 

Welcome to The Songwriters' Forum - by Songwriters, for Songwriters!
Please log on to view our discussion forum in its entirety.

One question about mastering?
 Moderated by: Troy33, RainyDayMan, HankTheTank
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Thu Apr 15th, 2010 11:39 pm
  PMQuoteReply
1st Post
aeonic-minus
Member
 

Joined: Sun Apr 4th, 2010
Location: California USA
Posts: 38
Favorite Artist: 
I am a: Songwriter
Status: 
Offline
Dear friends,

I am unsure about one thing:

Lets say I mixed my song (levels , panning of all tracks including adding effects like reverb, delay and compression) to my liking at home and as a result I have one "final mixed" track in which i am happy with the level of each instrument and the recording ................

Is mastering then working on that 'one' last mixed track??

 

Please help!



____________________
J B
Aeonic Minus
http://www.myspace.com/aeonicminus
Back To Top 


 Posted: Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:35 pm
  PMQuoteReply
2nd Post
Abracadabra
Member


Joined: Thu Dec 24th, 2009
Location: Clarion, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 297
Favorite Artist: Jeff Beck
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastering

Back To Top


 Posted: Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 02:23 am
  PMQuoteReply
3rd Post
Chris Baker
Member


Joined: Fri Apr 9th, 2010
Location: Plano, Texas USA
Posts: 198
Favorite Artist: Townes Van Zandt, Glen Hansard, Leonard Cohen
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Wow, wiki! It's like the internet has everything. ;)

Wiki links are either STFU N00B or "ever hear about Google."

amirite?



____________________
http://chrisbakersongs.blogspot.com/
Back To Top 


 Posted: Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 02:38 am
  PMQuoteReply
4th Post
Abracadabra
Member


Joined: Thu Dec 24th, 2009
Location: Clarion, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 297
Favorite Artist: Jeff Beck
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
I didn't know what "mastering" was, so I Googled it, and Goggle gave me Wiki. (ha ha)

Now I know a little bit about "Audio Mastering".

Learn something new every day.  ;)

Back To Top


 Posted: Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 06:21 pm
  PMQuoteReply
5th Post
LisaVonH
Member


Joined: Sun Jan 3rd, 2010
Location: Home, United Kingdom
Posts: 872
Favorite Artist: 
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
i'm confuddled - but i know when i like the way it sounds, i save it as an mp3 ;) x



____________________
you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.... Buddha
Back To Top 


 Posted: Sat Apr 24th, 2010 05:18 am
  PMQuoteReply
6th Post
Johnbee
Member


Joined: Fri Apr 16th, 2010
Location: Reading Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 358
Favorite Artist: Dan Fogelberg, Steely Dan, Alan Parsons, Steve Winwood , Joni ...
I am a: Singer/Songwriter
Status: 
Offline
I always thought that Mastering referred to the process of taking all of the tracks you were putting on an album or collection and normalizing them for relative volume and sequencing the order of play and the like. I could be wrong though.

:)



____________________
https://johnbowen.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soundcloud.com/john-bowen
http://www.soundclick.com/johnbowen
Back To Top


 Posted: Sun Apr 25th, 2010 12:30 am
  PMQuoteReply
7th Post
Abracadabra
Member


Joined: Thu Dec 24th, 2009
Location: Clarion, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 297
Favorite Artist: Jeff Beck
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Johnbee wrote: I always thought that Mastering referred to the process of taking all of the tracks you were putting on an album or collection and normalizing them for relative volume and sequencing the order of play and the like. I could be wrong though.

:)


Like I say, I never really heard of the term before, but from what I read on Wiki, it sounds to me like your description would certainly qualify as one form of mastering since the fundamental concept is to make a 'master' from which all other copies can be made.  So if you're plan is to make an album, you'd certainly want to order the tracks and normalize their volume on the "master" media so that all the copies sound good.

Of course, if you're only cutting a single, then you wouldn't have any other tracks to normalize to, or place in any order.  So I would guess that the concept of "mastering" could be a bit abstract and apply to a lot of different situations.

Just my thoughts.  Like Lisa, I'm confuddled.   Someone needs to write a song about being confuddled and then "Master it" so we can all have a copy.  ;)

Back To Top 


 Posted: Sun Apr 25th, 2010 11:33 pm
  PMQuoteReply
8th Post
Bradley Neal
Member


Joined: Thu Feb 23rd, 2006
Location: Harrisburg, Illinois USA
Posts: 90
Favorite Artist: Hank Jr. - Alabama - Restless Heart - Kendal Marvel ...
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Mastering is done after the final mix is completed and the multiple tracks are processed into a single track, typically stereo.

The basic premise of mastering is to equalize all the frequencies of the final mix making it pleasing to the average listener. While there are standards for mastering as well as mixing and etc for various genre's, it is a subjective process for the most part.

If you listen to professionally mastered music in a certain genre, most will sound close to the same overall as they relate to frequency. Mastering technicians have a signature, though it may be slight, much the same as the producer and mixing engineer which you can tell by the sounds of the individual tracks if you listen close enough.

Mastering is an important part of making a song what is considered "radio ready" as most radio stations will not play recordings that deviate outside a certain 'norm' for a genre as the recording relates to clarity and frequency response.

Mastering does require a great deal of knowledge about frequency response and the overall sound of a particular genre. It also entails a great deal more information than can be vetted here in a single post. Needless to say, experience in mastering is the best teacher.

Hope this helps somewhat...

B...



____________________
"Do or Do Not! There is no try!"
Yoda to Luke
Star Wars Episode 5 - The Empire Strikes Back

http://www.risengospelband.com
http://www.risengospelband.com/forum
Back To Top


 Posted: Tue Apr 27th, 2010 08:22 am
  PMQuoteReply
9th Post
Gu Djin
Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 20th, 2010
Location: Newark,UK, United Kingdom
Posts: 694
Favorite Artist: I love Norah Jones and Mariza's voice and music is ...
I am a: Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
I also understand that final mastering aims to get the track or tracks to be best balanced, within the limitations of the media, across a wide range of listening devices,  from ear buds, through to the your Hi Fi.

That's always something I find very hard to achieve, particularly with mp3's.



____________________
Leigh
Guild Starfire 5, Fender Telecaster, various acoustic guitars and other music making boxes - including mandolin, bouzouki and 5 string banjo, uke and acoustic bass - all played and treated with equal love and attention
Back To Top 


 Posted: Mon May 3rd, 2010 12:31 am
  PMQuoteReply
10th Post
aeonic-minus
Member
 

Joined: Sun Apr 4th, 2010
Location: California USA
Posts: 38
Favorite Artist: 
I am a: Songwriter
Status: 
Offline
Thanks friends and thanks a lot Bradley Neal!!
That helped! :)



____________________
J B
Aeonic Minus
http://www.myspace.com/aeonicminus
Back To Top


 Posted: Fri Feb 4th, 2011 02:32 pm
  PMQuoteReply
11th Post
mikeshrout
Member
 

Joined: Fri Feb 4th, 2011
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA
Posts: 13
Favorite Artist: Dave Matthews
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Depending on which DAW you use there is great software that interfaces for mastering... I use PT8 with a 003 Factory workstation because I prefer more out of the box mixing... I use frequency analyzers for mastering then Dither the Master Track to get true 16 bit resolution when burned to CD... Maxim is descent for plugging on your Master track...



____________________
I piss excellence!
Back To Top 


 Posted: Tue Oct 25th, 2011 02:37 am
  PMQuoteReply
12th Post
freakingidol
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 23rd, 2011
Location: Los Angeles, California USA
Posts: 29
Favorite Artist: 
I am a: Songwriter
Status: 
Offline
I have mastered my last song 'Ground Bottom Up', man, it's a world of difference, absolutely essential. The mix was already perfect, nothing wrong with the recording, but mastering adds seperation between instruments like you can't do at the mixing stage, it increases the volume alot and ultimately allows your recording to compete with all other songs on radio.

It is also pretty cheap, I paid $45 for it, you can find deal at $25. Let me recommand you trprecordingstudio.com I gave him a very positive review on his website.



____________________
Visit my Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/freakingidol
Back To Top


 Posted: Tue Jan 31st, 2012 12:26 am
  PMQuoteReply
13th Post
PatrickReedy
Member


Joined: Mon Nov 29th, 2010
Location:  
Posts: 49
Favorite Artist: 
I am a: Singer/Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Mastering is making the music easy on the ear. Taking everything and turning it into what you hear on the radio. You can only master as good as the mix will let you. If you have a poor mix, mastering wont do much for it.



____________________
http://www.FullCircleUniversal.com
Back To Top 


 Posted: Tue Jan 29th, 2013 11:36 am
  PMQuoteReply
14th Post
GRiFF
Member


Joined: Tue Jan 29th, 2013
Location: Surrey / London, United Kingdom
Posts: 8
Favorite Artist: 
I am a: Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Mastering could be made to just one song, for fixing any balance issues not necessarily picked up in the mixing stage.
Then using compression and limiting and judicious use of very high end EQ, they can potentially take a great mix upto a commercially accepted, broadcast quality loudness with broadcast friendly sonics.
They will also prepare recordings for mass production, sort out the starts and tails etc.

You could just master a single song but its probably more beneficial to mix a handful or at least 3 since then the mastering can also play a role in creating a consistent family sound, ie the recordings as a combo have a certain through line feel to them.



____________________
Musician / Producer / Mixing Engineer

Great results - for any budget
http://www.griffinpromixing.com
Back To Top


 Posted: Wed May 22nd, 2013 10:58 pm
  PMQuoteReply
15th Post
seriousfun
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 27th, 2012
Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Posts: 33
Favorite Artist: wow there are just so many of 'em
I am a: Singer/Songwriter
Status: 
Offline
Mastering makes a huge difference and while it is best used over an entire album it is also beneficial on an individual track though if that track were to be later included on an album it would be beneficial to remaster it.

To start with it is best done out of the daw and should be performed by a different person with different ears ( omg that sounds dumb, of course he has different ears, but you know what I mean). The process is er subjective and a mastering engineer will in all cases have a particular sound in mind. They will have the ability to fix some of the small issues which are present, reduce sibilince, minimise boom ness etc... But to be able to do their work they need some room to work with. To be ready to master the tracks(s) should be saved as wav files to a -3db level. This gives some headroom left for the mastering to do its work. As well as maximising volume and tweaking frequencies mastering also adds the correct gaps between songs, manages fade ins and outs, imbeds track data and various other bits and bobs.

Having said how important it is to use a different individual to complete the mastering process, I do my own simply because of financial restraints. It means unfortunately that I don't have the feedback from professional ears but my various friends on forums such as these soon let e know if I have made a critical error.

There are some very good mastering program's about that automate a lot of this work for you but they need to be used with discretion as mastering can mess with a mix just as effectively as it can screw it upon. The program I use and cannot recommend highly enough is t-racks by 1k. They also have a free version with a limited number of units which can be added onto in a modular fashion if and when you need to. It's great to use as you can load up a bunch of tracks for your next album, tweak the frequencies using a bunch of presets and get the levels all the same and a very consistent sound and then resave mastered versions of each and every track.

Hope this helps somewhat.

Back To Top 


 Posted: Sat Aug 17th, 2013 03:17 am
  PMQuoteReply
16th Post
exinated
Member


Joined: Thu Aug 15th, 2013
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 3
Favorite Artist: Yasutaka Nakata, Above & Beyond, Mary J. Blige
I am a: Songwriter/Musician
Status: 
Offline
Hi!

I'll give my 2 cents worth on the process of mastering. I'm a freelance mixing engineer and have been mixing for the past 6 years.

I don't usually recommend doing your own mastering if you're going to release it commercially.

I've recently finished a track that was released commercially and decided to fork out a bit of cash for professional mastering, and it definitely made a difference to the end product. A mastering engineer has specialised equipment for the process and thus will be able to do a much better job compared to home mastering. That being said, with constrains of budget sometimes people do their own mastering and that's fine, but if ever you had the choice, professional mastering is always the way to go. Keeps the industry running with all that cash going through as well. =)

The aspect of mastering is much more a creative one rather than a technical one, not saying that the technical side is disregarded.

Also with pre-master files, here are some guidelines to take note of:

1. Always take off any limiter or maximizers at the end of your track. This gives headroom for the mastering engineer to work with. Bus Compression is fine just so long as you're not slamming the life out of the track. I usually have it on to 'glue' my mix together

2. Always do alternate versions for the premaster e.g. 1 version of the mix that you think is the best, 1 version with vocals up +2dB, 1 version with drums up +2dB etc and let the mastering engineer choose.

Sometimes when the track goes through the mastering process, the level and frequency balance between tracks will change and you'll find that at times after the mastering process, the drums are much softer than your mix, or the vocals can't be heard. Always have alternate versions.

3. have a reference track for the mastering engineer. Find a record that you like and put it in as a reference track, and put some notes to tell the mastering engineer to refer to the reference track for tonal balances that you'd like to hear on your track. That being said, give the engineer some room for his personal creative input as well.

4. Put in CLEAR and CONCISE notes. You can just type your notes in a text file and save it in the same folder as your pre master tracks.

E.g. Version 1 - running time: 2:50 minutes,
version 2 - running time 2:50 minutes, drums up by +2dB

I hope that helps for anyone considering mastering!



____________________
Fame is a measure of recognition; excellence is a measure of skill, determination and hard work.
Back To Top


Current time is 04:14 am

Top



UltraBB 1.172 Copyright © 2007-2016 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.1785 seconds (7% database + 93% PHP). 27 queries executed.