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I use Logic Pro. It seems like every song on the radio I hear sounds good everywhere. Headphones, ear buds, loud speakers etc. My music generally feels like it lacks dynamic range. As if a lot of the low frequencies are missing. Is there a guide, or tip on mastering?

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This is a very vague question that doesn't really have a single answer There are a number of implicit questions here: "What is mastering?", "How do I improve dynamic range in my music?", "Why does my music sound like a lot of low frequencies are missing?", "Where can I learn about mastering audio?", "How can I do these things in Logic?" This question might be helpful to start with: audio.stackexchange.com/questions/119/what-is-mastering –  Warrior Bob Jan 6 '11 at 22:40
    
OP: if your question is, "How do I mix to preserve low end?" then please edit the title so that it's clear. I'm with @Warrior Bob -- as it stands right now this question is very vague, many sub-questions to it. Considering vote to close. –  Ian C. Feb 21 '11 at 22:01
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2 Answers 2

If your music is lacking dynamic range, it could be a case of having an issue at mixdown, not necessarily something that can be fixed during mastering.

Consider mastering as taking your already well-produced track and making very subtle changes to get it ready for all of the audio devices you can think of - your computer, the car stereo, an ipod, so on.

To me, mastering is a much more subtle change than an adjustment to making your low frequencies more present. Although, that is highly subjective and your question is a little vague.

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"Dynamic range" and "low frequencies" aren't directly related, but low frequencies at low volumes are harder to distinguish for human ear.

Speaking of dynamic range, if it's very loud all the time, lower it's volume to get more headroom, it'll make your music breathe. Making it louder while preserving breathing should be done by mastering engineers, most labels will get it mastered for you.

As for the lack of low frequencies, it should be done in the mixing stage, your bass should be heard even if you cut everything below 300 Hz, since I can't hear your song the general rule of thumb is to have your bass hearable all the time when it plays during the mix, usually compressor will fix that, and to have the slaps and high harmonics hearable when your song is played through speakers that don't have capacity to play your real bass, raising the highs on the bass track might do that, or you'll need to add something that plays bass notes in other octave but doesn't actually play the bass frequencies.

It's also important to take breaks when you work on a song since your ears get used to the sound you hear, which in fact distorts your perception. During the breaks your ears will reset. I usually listen to Beethoven to clear my ears.

If you have lots of time and energy to do that, I'd recommend to re-set every volume, panning and automation on your song. Then play with the volumes of your tracks until you get it sound at least acceptable for you, bounce it to your ipod along with your old mix, forget about it, and play your song attentively in both variants two weeks later thru headphones, cars, clock radio, you name it, and take notes which parts of the song were best for each setup. When you sit back to work on your mix be careful to have these parts of your song to be the way you liked when you took notes.

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