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-   -   I really suck at mastering. (https://www.idmforums.com/showthread.php?t=147316)

Chaotix 27-06-2017 04:38 AM

I really suck at mastering.
 
I always get discouraged when I finish a song up and I think, damn I got this one sounding pretty loud. Then I scroll through some tracks on SC and think NOPE, mine still pails in comparison. I don't understand how people are getting their stuff so loud, and still having dynamic range.

It truly baffled me, and I've prowled all over youtube trying to find any source of information to help tackle this. Do any of you guys have any good sources on the loudness war and how to achieve what everyone else achieves haha.

-Agu- 27-06-2017 09:14 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaotix (Post 1450359)
I always get discouraged when I finish a song up and I think, damn I got this one sounding pretty loud. Then I scroll through some tracks on SC and think NOPE, mine still pails in comparison. I don't understand how people are getting their stuff so loud, and still having dynamic range.

It truly baffled me, and I've prowled all over youtube trying to find any source of information to help tackle this. Do any of you guys have any good sources on the loudness war and how to achieve what everyone else achieves haha.

I think the best source of information for me has been to analyse Noisia & Knife Party tracks in my DAW. But it's still a pain in the ass.

Entox 27-06-2017 10:04 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
I've been getting my tracks as good as i can through my DAW then smashing then through the high density mastering filter on landr.

Quite impressed tbh.

It's obviously just an algorithm but it does a good enough job for me.

I have signed up for the monthly version which gives unlimited mastering.

[Only registered and activated mad cunts can see links. Click Here To Register...]

Anyone else use landr?

Mario D 27-06-2017 10:51 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaotix (Post 1450359)
I always get discouraged when I finish a song up and I think, damn I got this one sounding pretty loud. Then I scroll through some tracks on SC and think NOPE, mine still pails in comparison. I don't understand how people are getting their stuff so loud, and still having dynamic range.

It truly baffled me, and I've prowled all over youtube trying to find any source of information to help tackle this. Do any of you guys have any good sources on the loudness war and how to achieve what everyone else achieves haha.

Probably studios and actual hardware instruments do the job. I can't achieve loudness too. I think it takes a lot of patience. Getting that little of overclipping and then fixing each clipping problem one by one.

A.M 27-06-2017 11:00 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
The best thing I can offer is to mix as low as possible , so you end up with a good deal of headroom when it comes to mastering..that helps cut back on the clipping and gives you more room to compress for loudness, though I don't really go down that road myself..more interested in keeping as much of the dynamics in the mix as possible..but I get that some genres need to "sound" loud.

Proper gain-staging is another thing. I know that's a term that gets kicked around a lot, but it really does make a big difference to your end sound and the headroom you end up with..which again translates into more room to allow for compression in the end.

joem 27-06-2017 02:05 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
2 words....... bus limiting.

chasedobson 27-06-2017 02:49 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Mastering =\= louderizing


Maybe it's in the mix...

joem 27-06-2017 04:00 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Entox (Post 1450366)
I've been getting my tracks as good as i can through my DAW then smashing then through the high density mastering filter on landr.

Quite impressed tbh.

It's obviously just an algorithm but it does a good enough job for me.

I have signed up for the monthly version which gives unlimited mastering.

[Only registered and activated mad cunts can see links. Click Here To Register...]

Anyone else use landr?

no because its full of shit.

Chaotix 27-06-2017 05:36 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by A.M (Post 1450374)
The best thing I can offer is to mix as low as possible , so you end up with a good deal of headroom when it comes to mastering..that helps cut back on the clipping and gives you more room to compress for loudness, though I don't really go down that road myself..more interested in keeping as much of the dynamics in the mix as possible..but I get that some genres need to "sound" loud.

Proper gain-staging is another thing. I know that's a term that gets kicked around a lot, but it really does make a big difference to your end sound and the headroom you end up with..which again translates into more room to allow for compression in the end.


Yeah I've tried mixing around -6db since that seems to be a good range a lot of people talk about. I find it actually sounds worse if I go lower on the overall mix throughout making the track. Because then when I try to bring it up, I'm really hammering on the compression to try and bring it up so it almost sounds worse that way... (I know I'm doing it wrong haha)

I downloaded one of those cymatics projects to see how they got their stuff so loud. When i looked at the master it was all stock ableton stuff, and when I turned all the mastering off to see where it was peaking at.... it was actually redlining haha.

So I'm starting to think a lot of these artists with super loud tracks do the same. The weird thing was, it wasn't super noticeable as distorting with the mastering chain turned on.

Evelon 27-06-2017 07:18 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
It's usually about the mix and having a good mix as possible. This takes time, experience and dedication. At this point you are not (and should not) "mixing towards a meter". The main objective would be to get a good and balanced mix, where everything sits in its seat.
You can still have 10 or more dBFS of headroom on your master. 24bit has 144dB of dynamics, which is alot.

I nowadays have access to great hardware in a mastering studio (it's treated by pros and sounds awesome), and have great masters (pun) that teach and have tought me well. The importance of hearing masking, spotting annoying and overpowering frequencies, mid and side balance (and individual M/S EQ, compression, etc). Knowledge about psycho-acoustics and the human hearing mechanism.

It's very often better that several processors (or plugins) do little, than a few doing alot. You can have one clipper before going into two SSL-like compressors (with gentle glueing compression) before finally going into a limiter. Keeping transients is key.

relic 27-06-2017 08:18 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Not that id call what I do mastering but I almost always have two compressors on the 2bus for final processing.

joem 27-06-2017 09:59 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaotix (Post 1450412)
Yeah I've tried mixing around -6db since that seems to be a good range a lot of people talk about. I find it actually sounds worse if I go lower on the overall mix throughout making the track. Because then when I try to bring it up, I'm really hammering on the compression to try and bring it up so it almost sounds worse that way... (I know I'm doing it wrong haha)

I downloaded one of those cymatics projects to see how they got their stuff so loud. When i looked at the master it was all stock ableton stuff, and when I turned all the mastering off to see where it was peaking at.... it was actually redlining haha.

So I'm starting to think a lot of these artists with super loud tracks do the same. The weird thing was, it wasn't super noticeable as distorting with the mastering chain turned on.

yea word of caution dont go off the cymaticks projects there awfully done and pretty much a con.

NewWorldOrder 27-06-2017 10:44 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
why not outsource?

Chaotix 28-06-2017 01:51 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NewWorldOrder (Post 1450448)
why not outsource?


If you mean get someone else to do it for me, I'd like to try to learn to do it myself. Plus it's cheaper haha.

Vault O))) 28-06-2017 02:48 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chasedobson (Post 1450398)
Mastering =\= louderizing

This

relic 28-06-2017 03:03 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaotix (Post 1450465)
If you mean get someone else to do it for me, I'd like to try to learn to do it myself. Plus it's cheaper haha.

Both valid points, however I'd argue you are paying for someone with a well trained ear and the tools to get the job done. For my an ME is going to hear what I can no longer hear and add a final touch from a differen perspective.

So much of what we do is already a one person affair. The collabrative part of music is dubiously lacking in the world of electronic bedroom producers.

soundmodel 28-06-2017 03:27 AM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Mixing and mastering for loudness starts from selecting the right type of instruments and sequencing them in a "loudness maximizing way". Some genres are better suited for loudness than others. Mainly what you need is space. You have to have every element have enough space in the frequency spectrum so that they can hit as hard as possible and so that they aren't hindered by other, colliding sounds.

Also, different frequency areas are perceived more powerfully than some others. So instrument and sound selection plays a key (they have to have "good frequencies" in those areas). Also the pitches of all instruments play a key.

A compressor does not increase loudness, rather it does the opposite, it decreases the dynamic range. Loudness is greatest when the difference between the loudest and most silent part of the sound is greatest. A compressor reduces this.

What a compressor can do is make the tracks "glue" together better.

---

Another trick is to use small delays, like few 10s of ms between different sounds or hits that play at the same time. Few 10ms is not enough delay to be perceived as the rhythm not being tight, but it's enough to give the initial transients more power. This way the hits may separate better.

Evelon 28-06-2017 06:30 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Also, the loudness war is finally getting to an end.
Spotify, Youtube, iTunes (and soon more) are loudness normalizing at around -14 LUFS now. So you don't need to aim for loudness anymore.
Bring dynamics back. :)

Edit: [Only registered and activated mad cunts can see links. Click Here To Register...]

Numerical 28-06-2017 06:46 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chaotix (Post 1450465)
If you mean get someone else to do it for me, I'd like to try to learn to do it myself. Plus it's cheaper haha.

Mastering usually doesn't cost that much, depending on who you're using. I mean it's good that you're learning to master but if you're spending all this time and effort making music and mixing it to your satisfaction, why skimp on the final stage? It's actually better imo to have someone else master since they come at it with fresh ears.

Always have a great mix before you attempt to master it, otherwise you're just going to end up going too far attempting to fix the things that are wrong in the mix and just make it worse. Small changes are the best and having to make big ones during mastering just tell you that there's something wrong with the mix.

Oatbag 28-06-2017 06:49 PM

Re: I really suck at mastering.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Evelon (Post 1450577)
Also, the loudness war is finally getting to an end.
Spotify, Youtube, iTunes (and soon more) are loudness normalizing at around -14 LUFS now. So you don't need to aim for loudness anymore.
Bring dynamics back. :)

I read an interview of Tareketh (sp?) talking about that. All the streaming is changing. It's a cool step, but for now it may mean we need 2 masters.


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