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  • #91
    Just wanted to mention my own experiments in this area, for anyone interested in trying it.

    I do electronic stuff using ACID and Sound Forge -- all mixing and processing done in the computer. These are somewhat primitive tools, but I've gotten very proficient with them and know how to get a lot out of them.

    After researching multi-band compression, I came up with my own technique:

    1. When I finish a song in ACID, I export it as a single WAV file. I then open this WAV in Sound Forge, and use SF's equalizer to create frequency band separations. I generally create 5 separate bands. I just kill all the bands except the ones I want. So on a ten-band software EQ, I start by killing bands 3-10, leaving bands 1 and 2 alone, and saving that EQ'd file. Then I go back to the original WAV and EQ it again, killing bands 1, 2, and 5-10, but leaving bands 3 and 4 alone. I do this till I have 5 frequency separations.

    (Note that you can't totally "kill" any frequency bands in the SF EQ... but you can lower them to like -60dB, so they are practically inaudible. It works fine.)

    2. I then create a new 5-track project in ACID. (You could do this in ProTools or any other similar program.) Of course the 5 tracks are the frequency separations I just created. I listen to it and decide which bands I want to tweak. Then I go back to Sound Forge, and apply compression processing to each band as desired. (I did a lot of research on compression to get some ideas... then a lot of my own experimentation.) REMEMBER: Save your compressed versions of the frequency bands with separate filenames from the uncompressed ones! You may want to go back and start over if a given compression setting doesn't work well for you.

    After I compress each band, I listen to the multi-band mix in ACID to check how it fits in. I try to leave the levels at 0.0dB in the ACID mix at this stage, and do all the tweaks in Sound Forge... but sometimes a small cut or boost to one of the frequency bands is warranted.

    3. I try to eliminate clipping at the initial mixing stage, but if I see any during the MBC stage, I can scotch it by applying compression to selected portions of a given frequency band. (And volume graphing in ACID can be used too, but if the initial mix was well done, it shouldn't really be necessary.) This can be time-consuming, but it works well.

    When the new multi-band mix is sounding good, I export it to a new WAV file.

    4. Finally, I apply some compression to the post-MBC mix... for my material, I've generally used a ratio of 1.5:1. I found that compressing with a ratio of 2.0:1 (recommended by some) created unwelcome "pumping" and "breathing" (read up on compression if you don't know what those are). I don't EQ at this stage -- there's no need to if the MBC mix was done right.


    So that's my method. It takes time, because it involves a lot of software processing (and reprocessing, if you don't like the results), rather than tweaking settings on hardware EQs and compressors in real time while the music is playing. But I believe that the results can be as good as "real time"/hardware-based procedures, if you know what you're doing. (And the ability to do spot EQing and compressing is something that arguably gives software an advantage over hardware.)

    Hope this is useful...

    Comment


    • #92
      One more note about multi-band compression:

      When you create frequency separations for your own song, you can also do it for other commercially produced recordings that you are trying to emulate.

      Then look closely at the waveforms, and (more importantly) LISTEN closely. This can help you in compressing and EQing your own frequency separations.

      Of course if the commercial recording you use for reference has radically different instrumentation, vocals, etc. from yours, this kind of comparison may be meaningless, or even harmful.

      But if it is comparable, it can really be helpful in giving you a sense of how much to cut, boost, or compress highs, mids, and lows.

      Comment


      • #93
        [QUOTE]Originally posted by MASSIVE Master
        It's 90% EAR and 10% GEAR.

        Quote-"I've heard wonderful "world-class" recordings done on Behringer units in people's bedrooms and I've heard horrific audio monstrosities recorded in amazing multi-million dollar facilities."
        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        I couldn't agree more. So true. The pieces of equipment are just tools, focus on finding the right engineer/mixer/producer.
        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Quote-"As an example, I do a lot of live/theatrical audio - On the occasion that I'm mixing FOH, the artist will sometimes ask for a board recording. I'm pretty happy to do so. I'm using whatever is there - An Allen-Heath 2200, a stack of 58's and 57's, you know - Nothing extraordinary. The thing is, these recordings sound wonderful - World-class artists have world-class sound and abilities."
        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        This can also be surprisingly true for average musicians/bands.
        Many musicians are more comfortable playing live than in a studio.
        This fact translates to the performance.
        Live location recording should be a more common consideration with modern tracking/recording technology. This could possibly save much $ on tracking which you could then use for professional mastering.

        Good luck to all

        http://www.bigsoundproductions.net[/URL]

        Comment


        • #94
          What mastering equipment is in these big named master houses? What brand and models are they using for this top notch sound? I know I can't afford it but I'm just curious.
          <div class="signaturecontainer">Rock On!</div>

          Comment


          • #95
            I use and am partial to Manley, Massenburg, Lavry, Bryston, Bowers & Wilkins.

            Other top-notch nameplates are Cranesong, Sontec, Pendulum, Dunlavy, Pass, Summit... The list goes on for the most part.
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>John Scrip</b> Massive Mastering <br />
            <font size="1">Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.), IL - USA<br />
            <br />
            <a href="http://www.massivemastering.com" target="_blank">MASSIVE Mastering</a> -- <a href="http://www.johnscrip.com" target="_blank">johnscrip.com</a><br />
            And mucking up the Mastering forum at <a href="http://www.studioforums.com" target="_blank">StudioForums.com</a></font></div>

            Comment


            • #96
              Originally posted by LookB4ULeap
              What mastering equipment is in these big named master houses? What brand and models are they using for this top notch sound? I know I can't afford it but I'm just curious.


              For outboard gear:

              Weiss, Z-SYS, Waves, Crane Song, Manley, TC Electronics, Sontec, Massenburg, Avalon just to name a few.
              <div class="signaturecontainer">Tom Volpicelli<br />
              <a href="http://www.masteringhouse.com" target="_blank">www.masteringhouse.com</a><br />
              <br />
              </div>

              Comment


              • #97
                Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

                Test - Test...

                No posts in almost 6 months on this thread... Wow...
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>John Scrip</b> Massive Mastering <br />
                <font size="1">Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.), IL - USA<br />
                <br />
                <a href="http://www.massivemastering.com" target="_blank">MASSIVE Mastering</a> -- <a href="http://www.johnscrip.com" target="_blank">johnscrip.com</a><br />
                And mucking up the Mastering forum at <a href="http://www.studioforums.com" target="_blank">StudioForums.com</a></font></div>

                Comment


                • #98
                  My participation will be very low for a while, I work 50+ hours a week and I am working on a masters degree.
                  <div class="signaturecontainer">Monthly Podcast: <a href="http://fuzzballrecordsradio.tk/" target="_blank">http://fuzzballrecordsradio.tk/</a><br />
                  <br />
                  Or <a href="http://www.myspace.com/quixoticrage" target="_blank">Quixotic Rage myspace info here</a><br />
                  <br />
                  Band web page: <a href="http://JMBess.googlepages.com/home" target="_blank">http://JMBess.googlepages.com/home</a> <br />
                  <br />
                  Studio web page:<a href="http://JMBess.googlepages.com/fuzzballrecords" target="_blank">http://JMBess.googlepages.com/fuzzballrecords</a><br />
                  <br />
                  <img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/thumb.gif" border="0" alt="" title="thumbs up" class="inlineimg" /> Great trades with: Stazinish, Silverring233, sirkonks, Facing Failure, yuantian, simplestargazer, Juan M, jcloud, and you can check my ebay account for more!<img src="http://img3.harmony-central.com/acapella/ubb/thumb.gif" border="0" alt="" title="thumbs up" class="inlineimg" /></div>

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by LookB4ULeap
                    What mastering equipment is in these big named master houses? What brand and models are they using for this top notch sound? I know I can't afford it but I'm just curious.


                    Recently I was present at the mastering of my bands next album. The signal chain was something like this:

                    Wav > converted to analog with a quality conventer (can't remember the brand)
                    Fairman TMEQ Eq
                    Fairman TMC Compressor
                    Manley Massive passive Eq
                    Manley Slam Compressor
                    <div class="signaturecontainer">Most people wouldn't know good music if it came up and bit them in the ass<br />
                    - Frank Zappa</div>

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by IsildursBane


                      Are you tired of the constant drip, drip, drip of gonhorrea? If so, try new Peter-Rooter

                      ** Peter Roote, that's the name. Just flush your troubles down the drain. **

                      ** Peter Rooter **
                      -Dan.


                      It can also be a prostate gland problem... check w/your medic, but be aware the test may make you feel like a plug-in.

                      Getting back to Topic, It's a really good post. Thanks for the info.

                      Kiyoshi
                      <div class="signaturecontainer">I do not intend to rant @ my gear, it's a useless, conceited excercise... better hear the results. Probable hearing damage warning: may bother your ears, but if you must, then go http://www.soundclick.com/joeykaye<br />
                      <br />
                      &quot;Heavy are the mountains, But that changes with the passage of time&quot;<br />
                      R. Ayanami</div>

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by came2play
                        Yep, great thread.

                        Here's my situation:
                        I just recorded & mixed my project on my Yamaha AW16G and it sounds pretty damn good. My main concern right now would be to have the levels of the songs sound about the same on the finisehd CD. I have T-Racks on my computer and was going to attempt to export a wav(s) & master on my PC.

                        Questions:

                        1. Since it's T-Racks, should I even bother? How does it rate? I think it includes a compressor, Limiting, and ...I forgot what else. Can it "normalize" the levels?

                        2. My soundcard is a Soundblaster Audigy, not the best card to say the least. Will this affect the results?

                        3. Anything else you can suggest? Take into consideration that this is a DIY project, 'cause I have no money.

                        Thanks, c2p


                        It's been so long C2P put this on, but oh, well I guess I can't help answering this. Here it goes...

                        1. T-Racks rates 8.5 for me. I know it is not the greatest mastering software, but after finishing any multitracked dabble I have into a stereo WAV file, it comes out too low on the level comparatively to any other professional recording I take as a "sound reference", so to say. So, to me is a nice tool to work with. It has a 6-band mixed eq (configured as follows low freq. to hi freq.: lo cut shelf, sweepable low bandpass, two 2-width selectable sweepable bandpass filters -lo mid, hi mid-, sweepable high bandpass, and hi cut shelf) note that the shelves are cutoff sheepable too; an allegedly emulated single band stereo tube compressor; a multiband stereo compressor; and a knee-selectable limiter from tube-like soft clip to brickwall hardcore limiting with simulated RMS LED indicators and Eq response curve scope. Additional facilities are automated fade-in&out plus selectable "ultra-fast one pass" or "real time" mastering - that is, hand-tweakeable on the fly. Oh, no, it does not normalize. You may want to do that on individual tracks as needed (but not by much, my guess).

                        2. Your card would have an effect on the audio should any of the following conditions are met: a) you're capturing your recording from an extra source, and your sound card can't handle 24-bit input headroom. That leaves recordings to 16-bit with a very close noise floor. b) your sound card has an impedance mismatch with the source, rendering a poor digitzation of your music. Overcoming these two stumbling blocks, there is no pain on it. As for my personal experience, once you have the stuff mixed (I usually record to my software, mix and output to WAV. My worries are to get the desired sound into the computer overcoming the second block) going to T-Racks will help you to get your music up to a more competitive level. But beware of overdoing it. It may adversely affect the final result.

                        3. I am on the very same position, I have no money and I have sadly skipped very agreeable things to get my hands on any of the stuff I own now, just for the kick of playing with it. Be it my bass, keyboard, computer or any of the stuff I don't even use. I do my stuff in a "DIY" fashion too. Who cares more than you for your own creations?. Everybody else have said more than enough about how you have to use your ears and not let the technology game get you because is not what you play with, but what you play. Get my drift? just don't allow yourself to say "my sound comes absolutely thanks to Yamaha Corporation, Thanks" not like that.... take heed of what the guys say... the actually have shed more than a beam of light into this... And don't take my advice too serious! they have the word...

                        Kiyoshi.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer">I do not intend to rant @ my gear, it's a useless, conceited excercise... better hear the results. Probable hearing damage warning: may bother your ears, but if you must, then go http://www.soundclick.com/joeykaye<br />
                        <br />
                        &quot;Heavy are the mountains, But that changes with the passage of time&quot;<br />
                        R. Ayanami</div>

                        Comment


                        • I need to re-read this one tomorrow...I am learning about mastering right now..
                          thanks for starting this thread...good info!

                          Comment


                          • uuh! great topic!

                            I will ask You all about sample rates, how do You prefer to do:

                            1) Record (or create on VSTi) all material in highest possible Sample Rate (SR) (in case, that final product will be, say CD (16/44.1) and all procesing will be in digital domain (no transfer to analog tapes to get "warmth") on mastering stage too. And during mastering session resample it down to 44.1

                            or

                            2) Record/create all in the same SR that will be final product (44.1 to CD, 48 to DVD, 96/192 to DVD-A. 512 to SACD )

                            I prefer 2)


                            Thax!

                            Comment


                            • I'm somewhat into the target rate.

                              However, 99% of the time I run an analog chain, so it really doesn't make a difference. Although the target rate is almost always more convenient.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>John Scrip</b> Massive Mastering <br />
                              <font size="1">Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.), IL - USA<br />
                              <br />
                              <a href="http://www.massivemastering.com" target="_blank">MASSIVE Mastering</a> -- <a href="http://www.johnscrip.com" target="_blank">johnscrip.com</a><br />
                              And mucking up the Mastering forum at <a href="http://www.studioforums.com" target="_blank">StudioForums.com</a></font></div>

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by jazznfunk
                                uuh! great topic!

                                I will ask You all about sample rates, how do You prefer to do:

                                1) Record (or create on VSTi) all material in highest possible Sample Rate (SR) (in case, that final product will be, say CD (16/44.1) and all procesing will be in digital domain (no transfer to analog tapes to get "warmth") on mastering stage too. And during mastering session resample it down to 44.1

                                or

                                2) Record/create all in the same SR that will be final product (44.1 to CD, 48 to DVD, 96/192 to DVD-A. 512 to SACD )

                                I prefer 2)


                                Thax!


                                I do the second. Probably I'm sound quality-deaf or haven't experimented enough with high SR, but I haven't detected any difference between recording 16/44.1 and 24/48.

                                Besides, a friend of mine told me there is no need to use higer SR's and stuff on your projects (as much as on pro recordings he does) since there's a lot of room in the 16/44.1 spec and then he gave me a colorful example using MS Office, but I forgot it and I'd rather not bore you guys with it. Go figure.

                                Ky.
                                <div class="signaturecontainer">I do not intend to rant @ my gear, it's a useless, conceited excercise... better hear the results. Probable hearing damage warning: may bother your ears, but if you must, then go http://www.soundclick.com/joeykaye<br />
                                <br />
                                &quot;Heavy are the mountains, But that changes with the passage of time&quot;<br />
                                R. Ayanami</div>

                                Comment

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