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Mixdown/Mastering Question

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DDman465
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Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 12th, 2012 @ 04:46 AM Reply

I use the method where a track gets exported out of the mixing phase and the WAV gets loaded into a new project.

Assume that the mix has volume adjustments

With that said, would it be better to:

(A) - Lower JUST the master channel to a certain amount, then export as one file to mixdown/master

(B) - Leave the master channel volume alone, but lower each individual channel so that the master reads a certain amount of db, then export as one file to mixdown/master

(C) - Don't alter any volume settings when you know the track is "done" being mixed, export each individual channel as a WAV and then recompile everything back together in a new project and proceed to mixdown/master

The-iMortal
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Response to Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 12th, 2012 @ 05:28 AM Reply

At 11/12/12 04:46 AM, DDman465 wrote: (A) - Lower JUST the master channel to a certain amount, then export as one file to mixdown/master

This. With digital consoles/DAWs, if the master is not clipping, nothing is clipping.

MetalRenard
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Response to Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 12th, 2012 @ 05:29 AM Reply

Your best bet is to mix to -6db from the very start, giving yourself plenty of headroom to master later on. :)


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gavkay21
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Response to Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 08:45 AM Reply

What i ussally do is EQ and level my channels/intruments/samples to where i want them. Then i turn down my master level to around -6 Db (sometimes -8Db if it was a tricky song to level) , TURN THE LIMITER OFF and export it as a wav. Than i master this wav with a mastering plug-in. (Izotope ozone 4).

EQ'ing and leveling is the hard part. Make sure the limiter is off or your guaranteed to over compress your sound during the mastering process.

Another tip: If your running out of "space" in you EQ specturm look into stereo shaping. Something im currently getting into. It allows you to move sounds around a little and squeeze in a extra synth or instrument without the EQ's clashing to much.

eppskevin
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Response to Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 09:39 AM Reply

Option B is your best bet. Because this method actually ensures that your mix is clean to the point your don't lose the energy of your individual instruments. Simply turning down the master channel doesn't really give you a mix. EQing, stereo shaping(really good for bringing out your lead instruments like drums, vocals, and lead melody), leveling is what give you a good mix. You should do this to the point where your master channel is between -2db and -5db. Then you can use mastering bring out that mix. Also, you want to look into getting a few tools to make sure that you have a good frequency curve(image attached).

Look into these tools:
Isotope Ozone (Mastering Suite VST)
Wavelab (Mastering application)
BlueCat Frequency Analyst Pro (Spectrum Analyzer VST)

Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Mixdown/Mastering Question


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MetalRenard
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Response to Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 09:44 AM Reply

Good tips from the previous poster, I just want to comment on the "-2 to -5db" part. You really want to leave 6db (or more) headroom for mastering, any less and it can leave you with less options and you may end up having to re-export it which is a waste of time.
Some people I know leave 12db (which I feel is a bit too much haha).

:)


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eppskevin
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Response to Mixdown/Mastering Question Nov. 14th, 2012 @ 11:20 AM Reply

At 11/14/12 09:44 AM, MetalRenard wrote: Good tips from the previous poster, I just want to comment on the "-2 to -5db" part. You really want to leave 6db (or more) headroom for mastering, any less and it can leave you with less options and you may end up having to re-export it which is a waste of time.
Some people I know leave 12db (which I feel is a bit too much haha).

)

Oh no, I'm not disagreeing with you at all. I usually use that range because my mixes are pretty clear and have a lot of energy. I think it also depends on the type of music you create, too.


A tribute to the Ace Attorney Series and OST. I have so much respect for both of those, that I decided to start my own Remix series.

Here is the link to Volume 1

BBS Signature