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Interesting Mastering Technique


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  • Interesting Mastering Technique

    I wanted to master Mark Longworth's "Magic Spell" to make it "dance music-friendly," which means really loud, bright, heavy kick, etc. But, I hate killing dynamics like that. I thought that if parallel compression could work for drums, maybe it could work for mastering...

    So I bounced the tracks down to a heavily "squashed" track using an L3 Ultramaximizer, with some extra low end to push the kick and some high end for sparkle. Then, I bounced the tracks again, but mixed the squashed track in around -12dB.

    I thought it worked very well, and it's the version I'll be putting behind the video. Now, not all DAWs can handle this task elegantly, but Sonar is sample-accurate so the tracks can co-exist in parallel without any weirdness.

    Anyway, this probably isn't an original idea, but I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere and thought y'all might find it interesting. Try it out and see what you think.

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  • #2

    I'm curious as to why you didn't just develop your mastering mix in realtime using sends and bus compressors?

    I have some old mixes I used to like but now sound 'too dull' by the sparkly standards of the day (which, despite my rugged iconoclasm nonetheless have subverted my own sensibilties to some extent), so I think I may try a variation on this.

    Thanks for the tip!   thumb.gif

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    • Anderton
      Anderton commented
      Editing a comment

      blue2blue wrote:

      I'm curious as to why you didn't just develop your mastering mix in realtime using sends and bus compressors?

      Because I would have had to think of it at the time This was more of an after-the-fact thing. I'd already done a master I liked, but it wasn't horrible enough to meet today's standards. That's when I thought "I wonder if..."

  • #3

    Interesting Craig, I`ll have to experiment with that.

    Something I`ve been playing around with during mastering of late is to compress/limit the low and top ends while leaving the mids untouched. I`m not shooting for maximum loudness but I am looking to keep things dynamic in the mid range with a steady low end and rounder top.