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  • best free 'mastering' software?

    There's something better than audacity, isn't there...? oke:

    I'm looking for something better compression, easier to work with EQ and one that writes the alterations to the WAV files as each effect is applied.

  • #2
    There's something better than audacity, isn't there...? oke:

    I'm looking for something better compression, easier to work with EQ and one that writes the alterations to the WAV files as each effect is applied.


    That is a oxymoron. There is no good mastering software available for free, period. Listen to Waves or some of those and compare to the free stuff. A Yugo will get you from A to B but not at 160 MPH like a Ferrari or as comfortable as a Mercedes Benz. The free stuff is free for a reason. Peak is decent and relatively inexpensive.
    "The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson

    Band promo shots on railroad tracks were cool in 1981...

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    • #3
      Or....

      You could look at Reaper as a host. It's a DAW, but opening a 2-track waveform is certainly within its means and you can load VST effects on its tracks. It's shareware, but a fully unlimited free trial version is available.

      www.reaper.fm

      You might want to also look at this for an interesting free eq:
      Pushtec
      http://www.kvraudio.com/get/2761.html

      It's not the most surgical eq but it certainly has character.

      Also, Kjaerhus Classic, also free:

      EQ: http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/downloads/products/classic_eq_v104.zip

      Mastering Limiter: http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/downloads/products/classic_master-limiter_v106.zip

      Both fairly nice.

      Be sure to check out www.kvraudio.com for a whole slew of free VST plugins and intruments of all sorts.

      Also, the Free Stuff link in this very forum is a good place for info: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?t=1006407

      But with all of this, these tools are a decent starting place but will not necessarily produce radio-ready results. However, they will help get the average volumes up to make your records more listenable against commercial releases.

      Good Luck!
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      • #4
        Thanks a lot. I realize the analogy of the yugo...after all I'm already using audacity, right?

        Yeah, I have reaper, but I think it's difficult to master without seeing the effects you have on the waveform. Is that possible to do in reaper? Ie, add an effect and apply it to the waveform itself? That would probably solve a lot of my problems.

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        • #5
          Thenabi-

          Try Wavosaur for editing stereo files with VST effects. Wavosaur is free and available here:

          http://www.wavosaur.com/#download_wavosaur

          Try Sweetboy's T-Sledge for mastering. It's free and might suit your purpose.
          Get it here:

          http://rekkerd.org/sweetboy-vst/

          peace

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          • #6
            Thenabi-

            Try Wavosaur for editing stereo files with VST effects. Wavosaur is free and available here:

            http://www.wavosaur.com/#download_wavosaur

            Try Sweetboy's T-Sledge for mastering. It's free and might suit your purpose.
            Get it here:

            http://rekkerd.org/sweetboy-vst/

            peace


            I'd never seen Wavosaur. That looks pretty cool. The T-Sledge stuff also looks good. The "Volcano" basically has all the same controls as the Waves L1/L2 (which got a *lot* of use back in the day--there was no replacement for it until relatively recently).

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            • #7
              Try Schope

              http://www.stillwellaudio.com/?page_id=26

              Itll show you whats going on, plus some triggered o-scope modes

              Same sort of license as reaper
              REAPER - Shirts and Stuff

              REAPER Chat - Realtime REAPER Help

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              • #8
                Well you really shouldn't "master" your own stuff. It is like home dentistry. You would probably be better off even using some of the really cheap places online.

                But if you are really determined...

                Reaper is pretty cool, wavosaur looks interesting.

                I have found Digital Fishphones stuff to be pretty cool:

                http://www.digitalfishphones.com/main.php

                Mix that with Kjaerhus audio:

                http://www.kjaerhusaudio.com/

                You will have a pretty decent chain. I am amazed that these tools are free. Now a mastering engineer or a pro audio engineer may puke and flame away.
                But I am willing to bet, that those guys would be able to turn something out pretty damn good with those tools. It is more about the driver than the car.
                www.decibelfoundry.com

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                • #9
                  I'm reconsidering the idea that one shouldn't master one's own stuff. Mastering studios are so expensive, and if after taking the mastered material and evaluating the result you're not satisfied, bringing it back is a dear price to pay.

                  Anyway, there is a piece of mastering software that is free and it's excellent. The Massey L2007 mastering limiter is a free demo for Pro Tools. It's only crippled to the extent that the software won't remember settings. Others have compared it favorably to the Waves L1, L2 and L3; actually liking it better.

                  I liked it so much I paid the $85 for the full version. The plug in has lots more applications than just mastering. It's a really superb limiting compressor.

                  It's almost too good to be true, but it is free.

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