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First, weeman, you did an EXCELLENT job of bringing our mix to life. it sounds as good and in ways, better than the mix we got back from our "Professional" paid mastering house.

 

Second, you did a great job listening objectively and critically analyzing the song itself and deciding what the overall soundscape needed to be a commercially successful master.

 

Third, you low budget monitors and gear have turned out a master that could EASILY be dropped onto a commercial press CD or confidently given to any Program Director at a radio station for playback rotation. If it sounds great to them, they won't care if it was completed by STERLING or on my 4 track cassette.

 

My band also liked what you did and asked for your rates. Let me know if you would consider doing this for money in the future.

 

I'd highly recommend weeman's service

 

 

Bruce, I understand what you are saying and respect your experience and ear. But having "fooled myself" onto radio rotation using gear that was HALF the quality of CHEAPEST stuff out today, I'd bank on SKILLS over GEAR anyday.

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Bruce, I understand what you are saying and respect your experience and ear. But having "fooled myself" onto radio rotation using gear that was HALF the quality of CHEAPEST stuff out today, I'd bank on SKILLS over GEAR anyday.

 

So would I. There is intuitive knowledge and it always outclasses gear any day of the week. I don't think an STC-8 with sidechain hurts anyone, though...

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thanks again wwwjd and yes theirs still room for more free masters so please keep the thread alive x. Blue your entitled to your own opinion but this isnt a place for ranting it, p.s i own the 2nd edition of the book YATTA!

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Well its pretty common for mastering engineers too go with the whole line of thinking that only they can perform it. Its apparent also in his book, kinda focuses on elements but not how to put it all together and leaves that section too you. Im just learning as i go along, i have no doubt a professional could do better but i have one thing here that pro's do not which is time and commitment. I'm not charging by the hour so even a pro 2 hour job probably wont compare to me cross referencing over a week. I know why the high end gear is needed so i completely agree with you but for us guys who cannot afford all that {censored}e we need to learn ourselves. Who send me a mix called destroyer which sounds like a band rehersal?

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Oh really - if not here then where would you suggest???


Seems to me someone offering "mastering" (notice the quotes) should expect some commentary when they don't appear to be equipped to actually handle it.




Then that makes this entire thread all the more baffling... perhaps you didn't read or understand the book???


:rolleyes:

 

Just out of curiosity; if someone wants to get started mastering but doesn't have the budget for high-end gear, what would you suggest?

 

I would think that if someone wanted to get into this and was serious about it, then they would have to start somewhere. I would think free mastering (or "mastering") would be a good place to start. What does the client have to lose? especially when said client seems to be satisfied with the end-result. Even if it sounded like ass, then no harm no foul....it's FREE! right?

 

Look, if I were in weeman's shoes, I'd keep doing it for free until I felt that I could start charging clients. Then I'd save that money and eventually get better speakers and/or a better amplifier. Then I would further evolve my craft, start charging a little more and save up for better converters or maybe some room treatment and so on.... progressively working my way up to a proper professional mastering rig.

 

Now, since you're a professional, I would think you'd maybe have a few pointers you could help weeman out with as opposed to discouraging him. Isn't that what these forums are for?

 

Just sayin'

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Just out of curiosity; if someone wants to get started mastering but doesn't have the budget for high-end gear, what would you suggest?

 

Nope. You can not "MASTER" without a $500,000 initial investment.

 

For that matter, you can not "record" any good sound unless it is on 2 inch analog tape.

 

You can not sing well without a Neumann U87.

 

And that lossy MP3 garbage will NEVER catch on.

 

And you ABSOLUTLEY CAN NOT MAKE PIZZA by putting Pineapple or Shrimp on it! uh uh!!!

 

:blah:

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Look, if I were in
weeman's
shoes, I'd keep doing it for free until I felt that I could start charging clients. Then I'd save that money and eventually get better speakers and/or a better amplifier. Then I would further evolve my craft, start charging a little more and save up for better converters or maybe some room treatment and so on.... progressively working my way up to a proper professional mastering rig.

 

That's EXACTLY my point....

 

Every 14-year old with a computer speakers, Dell, and a pirated copy of Waves in the corner of their bedroom is a "mastering engineer" these days.... throw up a website and charge $25 a song and they're in business.

 

Problem is, that ISN'T mastering.......... mastering is a process of critical listening/sound analysis that can only occur with an engineer whose ear is sufficiently developed in an environment that actually allows the critical listening/analysis to take place.

 

There is no such thing as a novice mastering engineer because until the novice has developed the critical listening ability, they aren't mastering anything. And by the time they've developed their critical ear and have a sufficiently revealing signal/monitoring chain, they are long past the novice stage. That ear development takes a long time to occur........

 

Anyways - those 14-year olds with Dells are popping up all over the place - and some even grab content and pics from legitimate mastering houses and put them on their own websites in order to fool the less-informed musician.

 

If Weeman were actually charging, I'd be riding him much harder than I have, because I have a huge issue with people charging others for services they're not equipped to provide, but for now, I'm done with this discussion.

 

Weeman - I have no doubt that your intentions are good, and you're not trying to fool anyone. I simply don't believe you can call what you're doing "mastering" at this point - but anyways, good luck in your endeavours.

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Mastering is the final process on a recording before it is released to the world. There aren't requirements.

 

A 14 year old with a Dell + a song + SOME skills + some products = final process before releasing his CD or MP3s. THAT is mastering.

 

Was a time when "Recording" had to be done in big studios with expensive gear that no one could afford or knew how to run. Those days [and a lot of the studios] are gone. Now, said 14 year old could release the next uber hit right from his bedroom. If the consumers love it, it doesn't matter how it was mastered.

 

And for the record:

WEEMAN's MASTERING SOUNDED BETTER THAN THE "MASTERING" THAT ENDED UP ON OUR CD THAT WAS DONE FOR MONEY BY AN INDUSTRY MAJOR

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That's EXACTLY my point....


Every 14-year old with a computer speakers, Dell, and a pirated copy of Waves in the corner of their bedroom is a "mastering engineer" these days.... throw up a website and charge $25 a song and they're in business.


Anyways - those 14-year olds with Dells are popping up all over the place - and some even grab content and pics from legitimate mastering houses and put them on their own websites in order to fool the less-informed musician.


If Weeman were actually charging, I'd be riding him much harder than I have, because I have a huge issue with people charging others for services they're not equipped to provide, but for now, I'm done with this discussion.

 

 

I didn't realize that MEs were having to contend with this, and it does sound bad...although part of me can't help but think that if a 14 year old with computer speakers can master something that ultimately satisfies a client, that doesn't speak very well for somebody.

 

Who is that somebody? Well, it may be everybody. Is it the 14 year old for fooling people? Or perhaps the client for not being able to discern from a real mastering engineer and is happy because they think their song sounds great? Or perhaps an ME who can be shown up by a 14-year old with computer speakers?

 

I don't know. I don't have the answers.

 

I'm a tracking and mixing engineer. Some of my clients can't afford to go to an ME, so they'll ask me to "master" it. This basically equates to making it as loud as a commercial CD because that's what everyone seems to be concerned about. I'll ask if they want it to sound good or be as loud as , telling them that past a certain point, there's often a trade-off (no dynamics, etc.). They'll usually say that they still want it as loud as everyone else's. Fair enough.

 

If all that's going to be asked of an ME is to jack the volume, maybe I should slap up a website, charge per song, and run it through. I can make any song sinfully loud. I won't advertise anything else...

 

WANT YOUR SONG LOUDER THAN EVERYTHING ELSE?

 

GIVE KEN A CALL!

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And for the record:

WEEMAN's MASTERING SOUNDED BETTER THAN THE "MASTERING" THAT ENDED UP ON OUR CD THAT WAS DONE FOR MONEY BY AN INDUSTRY MAJOR

 

 

I caught that before, actually, when you wrote that.

 

Can you post a before/after? You could weeman some more business. I'd love to hear the difference and hear what weeman has done with the mastering.

 

BTW, who is the industry major that you are referring to?

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Problem is, that ISN'T mastering.......... mastering is a process of critical listening/sound analysis that can only occur with an engineer whose ear is sufficiently developed in an environment that actually allows the critical listening/analysis to take place.

 

I thought mastering was the process of compressing and peak-limiting music to within an inch of its life in order to maximize its perceived volume. :confused:

 

...kidding, just being sarcastic :p

 

I know you mean well and that you're truly passionate about what you do. I just think we have to agree to disagree on what some of us consider "mastering". To me, mastering is an art form all its own. Some MEs have their own sound and/or style, and just like any other art form, some make do with what they've got regardless of whether or not they have $100,000+ worth of gear. Critical listening is another issue, but just assuming someone doesn't possess that ability right off the bat without hearing any of the product is an unfair judgement.

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Well get some up here for critical listening soon im sure. This entire thread was started as a learning curve so even when this is dead and buried im sure il still be learning. Im really glad people have been sending me pre-masters through it gives me more scope on the field and how to deal with different products.

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"A 14 year old with a Dell + a song + SOME skills + some products = final process before releasing his CD or MP3s. THAT is mastering."

 

I suppose.

 

But the -entire- idea behind hiring a master engineer (hell, behind hiring anybody here that does work) is that the person can do something that you can't. If I can't do better than "A 14 year old with a Dell + a song + SOME skills + some products" then I'm f-ed.

 

Frankly, this idea of "mastering" in this way ultimately says "hey, ignore the fact that there are actual folks out there who have real engineering skills and proper equipment and use me, because I have some skills and some equipment."

 

It also seems kind of odd because "mastering" a single track kind of misses the whole goal of the final product, i.e. leveling tracks to create coherence between all the tracks on an album, or bringing the sound into spec for TV, or making wild guesses about what the FM station is going to do to your spot.

 

Third, realistically what is weeman going to do to my tracks that I can't? When I cut a radio spot, I run it through an L2 and cut the highs. That isn't mastering. That is a plugin on the master bus.

 

Finally, I don't see how having more time to spend on a mastering session is helpful. If you can't hear what is going on and you don't have the judgment to say pretty quickly what needs to be done, then what are you going to be able to do in an hour or two?

 

As far as how to learn that skill, which seems initially to be a legitimate point, going around and collecting a bunch of premasters to play with is fine. But I am skeptical that it does that much good, especially compared to spending decades listening to recorded material and making decisions about how stuff oughtta sound.

 

I don't really care what people do with their time, but I don't see how compressing the levels on a premaster and maybe applying some EQ counts as "mastering". It is kind of like throwing a couple of mics up on a drum kit and pressing the red button "engineering." It isn't that people shouldn't just pop up some mics and see how it goes, but the whole point even calling it engineering is that you know before-hand what the right set of solutions looks like.

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Mastering is changing anyway. And with albums being less of an issue, the job of creating seamless transitions and flow and consistency from track to track is going to grow less important eventually, if it hasn't already.

 

It already changed once when we made the transition from records to CDs. And it's changing again.

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Mastering... hem what can i say about mastering. Well its really subjective but i see it as looking at a product and improving it either for commercial use or for artistic desire. The more methods your aware of the better the final product, so knowing what to do and when too do it is essential. It doesnt mater what processes are applied between the previous product and final product just that it improves the product too the desires of the clients specification.

 

Music is subjective but i believe im aware on a novice level the processes involved and how to apply them. And for those who believe in high end gear to death heres what i think F*CK YOU. An idiot with 100k's worth of equipment is still going to make a {censored} product whilst a good engineer with a good home studio is going to make a great product.

 

The end consumer in this day of age only cares about mp3 quality products. So really it doesnt mater if the product sounds great on high end equipment aslong as it translates to (A) myspace and (B) Ipod. Atleast 30-40% of all record sales now are via the internet through such services as iTunes in mp3 format. Aiming more towards the broadcasting section such as Radio or TV mix's are compressed to death and suck all the dynamic's a engineer has worked so hard to preserve. So the only real person or person's who are going to hear high fidelity are the engineers/artists working on the material.

 

WeeMan 30/3/2009

"not that i would advise working towards 128kps mp3 format but realistically the only requirement at this moment in time is weather it sounds good in mp3".

 

You can quote me on that because its how the industry has moved and is more fact than opinion. My personal thoughts are that the industry should release a medium that cannot be reduced too a low grade product thus re-esstablishing the record companys hold over commercial music. I predict that in 15 years their will be major label collapesses because of the monopoly domination of iTunes too come. My 2 cents on the industry and consumer relative to mastering.

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