Questions tagged [mastering]

Questions regarding the final stage of audio post production. Mastering refers to the process of taking the final mix of a song and processing it for the master data storage device from which all copies will be made.

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17
votes
2answers
270 views

What is Mastering?

Can anyone explain mastering? What is it for and why should anyone care? Should I have all of my recordings mastered?
15
votes
16answers
78k views

Reason: Why do my songs sound dull and soft?

Just to get it out of the way, I have no formal training in music production, let alone sound engineering. So apologies in advance if I say anything stupid. I have been using Reason to make hip ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

What is the best volume to work with studio monitors?

What is the best volume to work with studio monitors for mastering and mixing tracks? I own a pair of M Audio Bx8 Studio monitors and I always produce with the volume knob at the middle.... so here ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Editing/Mastering workflow for a podcast

I'm creating a podcast with two voice tracks and some intro/outro music, and I'm trying to decide on a general workflow for editing and mastering. Specifically, I'm not sure if some of the effects ...
8
votes
1answer
829 views

In which situations is Audio Expansion applied (opposite of compressors)?

I've encountered from time to time some plugins that allows a threshold and a ratio to be set so that quieter sound can have an even more quieter level (or silenced altogether). Ableton Live actually ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How should you mix / master when producing music for Video Games?

Should anything be done differently when mixing and/or mastering for Video Game music, considering it will play along with various other game SFX? Should a certain range of frequencies (or multiple ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a good mastering chain to use in a DAW?

I realise that there is no one 'correct' answer to this (so maybe this can be marked community wiki), but as a hobbyist with a small home studio I would be interested to hear how others set up their ...
7
votes
7answers
13k views

Bassline Not Audible on Laptop Speakers

I produce EDM (Electronic Dance Music), mainly house. I have this problem with basslines. On my studio monitors, and my headphones, the bass sounds punchy in the mix. I can get it to the point where ...
7
votes
2answers
14k views

What exactly does it mean to normalize a track/how it is done?

When exporting a song I was working on in Ableton I decided to export it as an .aiff file for the first time, just for kicks I guess, when I noticed some options that I had never really paid attention ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Getting the kick drum to really come out in the mix?

When I get done with a mix, no matter how much I work on the bass drum it barely comes out. I'm mainly working with metal bands, so I was wondering if anyone could give me pointers/ suggestions/ ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

General advice about sound spatialization

I am composing music by layering various instruments of different types. Percussions, strings, lead, etc... Is there a generally-agreed "best" way of putting those instruments in the auditive space? (...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why some people high pass and low pass in final mixing? And why some don't?

I am very new at mixing stuff. Some tutorials show that they high pass about 30 hz the final mixing, but some don't do that. My question is - Is it good to high pass and low pass the final mixing? ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How to read and use a Phase / Vectorscope

I been using Izotope Ozone 4 for some time, but I'm still a bit intimidated by the Vectorscope in the stereo-imaging section. When Mastering / Mixing a signal... What "lissajous shape" are you ...
5
votes
5answers
14k views

Do you do any mastering to your film mixes?

I "grew up" under the wing of a Music Mixer, and got my start doing music related audio work, and I am very familiar in the mastering techniques for Music albums and the like. I am now working almost ...
5
votes
2answers
620 views

“diagonal clipping” in recent pop music productions?

Thanks to the loudness war, most modern music productions suffer from bad audio quality, distortion and clipping. However, recently I noticed that some audio productions suffer from something I would ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it wrong to use compression on the master bus?

I've read some pretty conflicting statements about what people should or shouldn't do when it comes to putting effects on the master bus. In general, what I always do is put on a compressor but have ...
5
votes
1answer
694 views

How to check a Master Audio CD for Errors?

Everyone who has dealt with audio production knows that quality of the whole bunch of future cds depends on quality of master cd. How can I check my master cd in order to be sure that there is no ...
5
votes
2answers
230 views

Help with mastering

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 ...
5
votes
4answers
870 views

Mastering for Android

i'm a sound designer and composer for mobile games, especially casual games for android/ios. i still have to learn a lot about mixing and mastering, but when it comes to mastering for an android game, ...
4
votes
4answers
460 views

How to widen a sound effects dynamics? Uncompression?

Hey guys, I have done a lot of sound design using some punches, body falls, kicks, etc. that were mashed and mastered and normalized and compressed and every-which-way processed. Does anyone have a ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between dBFS and dBu?

What is the difference between dBFS and dBu for leveling when it comes to final mix and standards for cinematic release? I know that each country is different. In South Africa, the spec for ...
4
votes
3answers
72 views

Techniques on Mastering

I'm interested in creating the most 'dynamically interesting' sound from music that I've produced on a computer, which includes vocal samples, bass, rhythm and instruments. At first I was happy with ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Getting a sub bass and a 808 kick to play well together?

I've tried various techniques, like scooping out space for the kick drum out of the bass range in the EQ, but I end up with a weak kick drum! I tried side-chaining the bass to the kick, so when the ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

My instruments sound muffled on consumer gear and radio, even though it sounds okay in the studio? What can I do to fix it and why is it like this?

I have been working on my new single but I feel like it could have a brighter more professional finish. To me, it sounds like there is a problem with the dynamics. The drums and the brass sections ...
3
votes
7answers
930 views

Steps to sound effects editing and mastering? Sounds you recorded.

So far what I do is Take the sound effect I recorded Drop it in pro tools Cut up The audio so I have pieces of sounds I will keep Then I name the sound Fade the sound on the back end Add a ...
3
votes
5answers
13k views

What are the correct audio levels for Voice and Music in a web promo video?

I'm editing a promo video that will appear on the web (specifically, PledgeMusic) and I'm curious what is the current best practice for the correct audio levels (base -dB) for: Music (when no other ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

What are the steps/phases of a CD/Album production

What are the steps/phases of a CD/Album production? From the moment of recording to when it's out?
3
votes
2answers
22 views

Generating massive-sounding duplicated noises

I'm using SONAR 5 Producer (I know, it's old.) to record/mix/master my recording. What I'm looking to do is with certain sounds, I'd like to create the effect of having hundreds of instruments without ...
3
votes
3answers
599 views

Can compressed music files be adequately recovered by remastering?

I have some rare old music files on my drive that are compressed to 128 kbps in the mp3 format. Some of them are of digital origin, and some of them are vinyl rips. Audio data compression affects ...
3
votes
2answers
804 views

Ableton Mastering: Is It Recommended That I Use Maximizers/Limiters Before Everything Else?

I recently asked a question regarding increasing the loudness of my mix, and after receiving a lot of helpul tips + knowledge, I am now curious as to wether or not I should be using my Maximizers/...
3
votes
1answer
515 views

Final Mixer Vs. Mastering Engineer

I'm new in the field and I hear these terms flying around and i'm down with most of them but when it comes to final mixing and mastering i get stunned as a person who does music and sound design so is ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

is there a common low-end level for a song?

I am currently mastering a song in iZotope Ozone 6. Both in Ozone's EQ and Multi-band Compressor, if I boost up the low frequency it sounds muddy, but it sounds soft if I bypass it. Is there any "...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Audio Mastering Book Recommendations

I am in the initial stages of a recording project of my own and am interested in doing my own mastering work once it is finished. So, I am looking for books/reference materials on audio mastering as ...
3
votes
1answer
497 views

Loop Group - Caveats?

I've always been under the understanding that Loop Group is SAG/AFTRA jurisdiction, and since these actors make royalties, that any recorded group ADR cannot be custom-library-mastered (no licensing, ...
3
votes
3answers
366 views

Why signal is overloaded when I use a low cut filter?

I have a stereo mix file at about 0 dbfs. When I put a high pass filter and cut below 30Hz it boost the signal +3db up. Is this normal? I tested it with different filters (plug ins only) and I had the ...
3
votes
2answers
580 views

Removing subsonic frequencies when mastering

In general (for music where lf are not important): To increase space for dynamic range in audible frequencies, is it a good idea to remove low frequencies when mastering? More specific: I am ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

Tips for Mastering my Track in Ableton Live

I am a drum and bass (Jump Up) producer using ableton, I have been producing for about 8 months now and I would say I have proggressed really well with it. I have got to the stage with it where i am ...
3
votes
3answers
997 views

Mastering sound effects and impulse responses

Hi! I'm hoping to produce both an impulse response library and a sound effects library for commercial distribution. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to master sound effects and impulse ...
3
votes
4answers
705 views

Headphones for film recording and mastering (music)

I need to buy a new headphone for film recording, but a good reference for editing and mastering music too. I have always used Beyer Dynamic DT100, very strong and closed, ideal for live recording, ...
3
votes
3answers
298 views

FLAC mastering best practices

A musician friend, who is producing his own album, asked for advice about how best to master the FLAC edition of the album. It will be distributed as a physical CD, as MP3 files, and as FLAC files. ...
2
votes
4answers
783 views

Making your track “sparkle”

Have you been in this situation? You spend days (and possibly weeks) creating your sound design masterpiece but find that it lacks that certain…something. It's hard to put your finger on it. The best ...
2
votes
2answers
227 views

Voice narration mastering?

I'm a web developer who wants to start making screencasts, with emphasis on quality. One of the things that I have to take care of is the voice quality - I want it to be as good as possible for a ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

What are important considerations when mixing and mastering a track for vinyl distribution?

Music on vinyl frequently has a different sound characteristic than music released in digital formats. This is mainly because the unique characteristics of vinyl. But from what I've heard, the vinyl ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

How to blend vocals into music using Adobe Audition

Ever since I've started editing my vocals/music, I've used Adobe Audition. Something that I've never fully understood, was to properly mix the vocals so that it blends in with the music (so the music ...
2
votes
2answers
719 views

How to use multiband compressor in Mixing and Mastering?

I try to use Ozone-5 Multiband Compressor, but it looks very confused to me. I really want to know what is the purpose of doing Mutiband compression and How do you usually use it.
2
votes
1answer
15 views

How to achieve overcompressed sound?

How can I make a track sound like its over-compressed, like this one: http://mp3.juno.co.uk/MP3/SF1228842-02-01-02.mp3 ? (I'm using the izotope Ozone plugin inside a VST host)
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Learning how to create, record, mix, and master audio

I've been messing around with digital audio production for something like six years on and off, and it's been a beautiful frustrating experience. I know very little if any "textbook" information and ...
2
votes
2answers
324 views

What does mastered mean on a commercial library?

All the libraries I have bought/seen advertised say mastered at 24/96. Is this meaning simply that the audio was cleaned up, metadata was added and its ready for drag and drop use? Or is there ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

What is the difference between staged limitting and normal limitting?

i was checking some mastering document and i saw something about staged limitting. What is its benefit ? Is that better than normal limitting techniques ?
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Tool for improving old recordings

I'm looking for a tool like this, but not quite sure what to call it. I have a number of MP3s of recordings I did on 4-track tape back in the day. I quite like them but the recording is fairly poor ...