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How many mastering effects to use?

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  • How many mastering effects to use?

    This might be a silly question, but I still would like to know your thoughts on it.

    I have found that mastering plugins such as Izotope Nectar always make the final mix sound better and it made me wonder .......

    Should effects such as this be used on each instrument channel to make them sound as best as possible, before using another effect for final mastering?

     


  • #2

    A plug in like Nectar allows you to do most of the processing in itself hence removing the need for individual plug ins. But i still prefer Voxengo GlissEQ for eqing. For the final master I use Izotope Ozone. Once you know how to work the parameters of Ozone well I think you should be able to get a pretty good mix.

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    • WRGKMC
      WRGKMC commented
      Editing a comment

      Its better if you treat mastering as a separate job from mixing in a separate process, preferibly in an audio editor program that is more accurate for mastering tools.

      Heres the process I've been using for about 10 years. If you follow it closely and use your ears, you can get commercial grade masters much more easily than using those all in one bundles like Ozone which dont do any one thing really well.

      The three main items I use are EQ - Multiband and Brickwall Limiting.

      If you cant get a good commercial grade master using those, then you have issues with your mix. You may not need them all, but you must always use a brickwall limiter to prevent peaks above 0db.

      Heres a tutorial on the process. It begins with a mix at the correct db level. From there your mastering tools will work right. If your mix is too hot you dont have enough headroom to use mastering tools. If its too low, you may wind up overworking the mastering tools and introducing noise.

      You can use substitute plugins as mastering tools using this tutorial. I happen to have the same tools and it works like a champ, but I have used many substitutes to get a variety of tonal qualities.  

      Download this PDF and study it carefully. http://www.har-bal.com/files/Har-Bal_Mastering_Process.pdf

       

      You can use a regular EQ instead of Har Bal, but it is a very fine tool because the EQ changes you make dont make the program material or softer like a normal EQ does. It can also be used for matching loudness between tracks, something difficult to do when building a CD full of songs. The program is worth every dime you spend on it and you'll see how cheezy other mastering programs are in comparison after you've used it for awhile.

      http://www.har-bal.com/product-information/har-bal-videos

      By the way, your purchase for this is put in escrow for 30 days until you are sure you want to have it perminantly. Then they will issue you a perminant code. Noone does this in the industry. In reality you have to confirm you want the program or they refund your money.

       

       


  • #3
    You can very successfully implement some plugins on the master buss that add something special to the final mix.

    The old school way was to do it later in a separate editor but that does add an extra step and processing.

    If you do use some plugins on the master buss you should place them on the buss BEFORE you start the mix.

    This way you are mixing threw them and not adding them later as an after thought.

    Generally, you don't want to add too many plugins on the master buss, try using maybe an EQ and limiter only.
    Use ONLY plugins that are know to be as transparent as possible.

    Keep it simple, then it can still be mastered by a professional if necessary.

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    • #4
      Originally posted by Zalvador Dalí View Post
      You can very successfully implement some plugins on the master buss that add something special to the final mix.

      The old school way was to do it later in a separate editor but that does add an extra step and processing.

      If you do use some plugins on the master buss you should place them on the buss BEFORE you start the mix.

      This way you are mixing threw them and not adding them later as an after thought.

      Have no idea where you came up with that and its surely not the way you master. Its impossible to set up your mastering effects properly before the mix is complete. You can run them in the bus but your cant mix through them. Every time you make a track adjustment its going to screw up the mastering plugin settings.

      The old school way as you call it is the only way its done effectively. When you mix, you mix. When you master, you master. The reason you want to do it in s separate editor is because its much more accurate. The meters in a DAW wind up being pegged if you try and get the music to commercial levels. Most are highly inaccurate. Part of using an editor is so you can analyze the levels carefully and not over apply the effects.

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