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 Music production & Gear talk
 The dreaded mastering word
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SparkzMusic
Senior Member



United Kingdom
300 posts
Joined: Apr, 2011
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  03:46:16  Show profile Send a private message
I think after 16/17 years of production I should be shit hot with mastering and over the years some of my tracks have been mastered well, others not so much.

I would put all that down to guess work which prevents consistency in my mastering due to the restrictions in only being able to use headphones (Currently sennheiser HD215's which I've had for over 8 years, they still work fine so I still use them).

I could buy monitors but it's not a good idea where I live mostly due to not wanting to piss off the neighbours.

So.... firstly, can anyone recommend some headphones that can be ok for mastering? (None will be better than monitors I know).


Secondly, anyone have any mastering tips, especially when only using headphones?

Its a real PITA making a track one evening, thinking it sounds decent. Then the next day when my ears have reset, hearing it and it sounds like shit. Or that whole crap with thinking some sounds need EQ tweaks, getting that done and later when hearing it realising it didn't need to be tweaked.

Cheers


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LeVzi
Senior Member



United Kingdom
262 posts
Joined: Feb, 2019
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  08:16:10  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit LeVzi's homepage
Never try to master your own stuff.

Get a mate to do it. You will never hear it as you think you want to. It's simply not possible.




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Si Thompson
Advanced Member



United Kingdom
950 posts
Joined: Mar, 2016
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  08:23:26  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Si Thompson's homepage
I can understand you not wanting to piss neighbours off, but surely you don't have it blasting anyway?

Do your neighbours live in the next room?


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The Rave Music Archive
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Guest
Advanced Member



United Kingdom
1,334 posts
Joined: Feb, 2015
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  10:18:17  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Guest's homepage
monitors suck and are a waste of time, stick to headphones that are 20hz to 20khz, which is the frequency range of pro hardware, from sub's to mid's' to tweeter's

any hardware with frequencies above 20khz or below 20hz, is made for dumb ****'s who don't know anything, and the PCB, transistor's etc can't even handle those frequencie's to reach your output hardware you paid £10,000 for


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youtube channel / soundcloud and mixcloud suck


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Edited by - Guest on 2019/06/15 10:21:37
Guest
Advanced Member



United Kingdom
1,334 posts
Joined: Feb, 2015
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  10:42:12  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Guest's homepage
all hardware is based on RMS and the has the same volume's for peak meters. which are represented in sound editor's by the peak line's at the top and bottom of the waveform



so you master everything within the typical -10db RMS level, then after you have the bass, mid, high's sorted, it should RMS normalize to within those peak line's without any clipping, but intodays world you need soundforge, for RMS normalize, but you can do it in reaper DAW, if you search, RMS normalie is'nt the standard normalize which is rubbish, all the tracks in this playlist is RMS normalized to -16db https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fA_caWDycw&list=PLu4u8jly0TwzxEVqQ5037swyBUgS4MpWk but the tracks i mixed are all -12db


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Edited by - Guest on 2019/06/15 10:44:36
DJ_FunDaBounce
Advanced Member



Colombia
1,418 posts
Joined: Nov, 2001
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  22:33:33  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit DJ_FunDaBounce's homepage
quote:
Originally posted by SparkzMusic:
I think after 16/17 years of production I should be shit hot with mastering and over the years some of my tracks have been mastered well, others not so much.

I would put all that down to guess work which prevents consistency in my mastering due to the restrictions in only being able to use headphones (Currently sennheiser HD215's which I've had for over 8 years, they still work fine so I still use them).

I could buy monitors but it's not a good idea where I live mostly due to not wanting to piss off the neighbours.

So.... firstly, can anyone recommend some headphones that can be ok for mastering? (None will be better than monitors I know).


Secondly, anyone have any mastering tips, especially when only using headphones?

Cheers



I use a pair of audio technicas ATH-M50's which I use in conjunction with a set of yamaha monitors. What you really want to check is how well your track sounds on multiple systems. Set up a system if you want. Like say, using your car's sound system, your cel phone, and your best available headphones and keep checking across them as you progress in your projects' final mixdowns/masters.

I know you said '...only using headphones' but the truth of the matter is you will get a better result by checking across multiple systems and even more importantly getting familiar with their own sonic imprint.

Bonus tip:

Get a LUFS meter. It will make your masters consistent.

Second bonus tip:

Use reference tracks so as not to stray too far from your aimed quality standard.

:)


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"Fun with a capital F-D-B!"

http://djfundabounce.com :: https://sptfy.com/djfdb


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Edited by - DJ_FunDaBounce on 2019/06/15 22:57:17
DJ_FunDaBounce
Advanced Member



Colombia
1,418 posts
Joined: Nov, 2001
Posted - 2019/06/15 :  22:43:41  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit DJ_FunDaBounce's homepage
quote:
Originally posted by LeVzi:
Never try to master your own stuff.

Get a mate to do it. You will never hear it as you think you want to. It's simply not possible.



again... reference.

...or send them to me



__________________________________
"Fun with a capital F-D-B!"

http://djfundabounce.com :: https://sptfy.com/djfdb


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SparkzMusic
Senior Member



United Kingdom
300 posts
Joined: Apr, 2011
Posted - 2019/06/16 :  00:52:48  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit SparkzMusic's homepage
quote:
Originally posted by Si Thompson:
I can understand you not wanting to piss neighbours off, but surely you don't have it blasting anyway?

Do your neighbours live in the next room?




Well I can hear the neighbour wallking up the stairs and showering, plus if I got home pissed I'd blast out core. Not good with monitors and making an earthquake.


Good advice all and Guest, not sure I fully know the technicalities of that but I will look. After all those years I should know better but what does RMS even stand for?

I'm the sort of person who knows a lot about production and putting stuff down, but useless at anything to do with making it sound fine,



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DJ_FunDaBounce
Advanced Member



Colombia
1,418 posts
Joined: Nov, 2001
Posted - 2019/06/16 :  01:37:24  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit DJ_FunDaBounce's homepage
Over the years I've heard you post up stuff on here, Sparkz. And I must say I rate it of a high quality standard.
I remember hearing your "Find a way" remix and pinching myself to get to that level. Mastering, especially in hardcore, can seem like slippery terrain. I for one think that if it's well mixed one should really only have to set up a limiter for volume's sake (which is where the LUFS meter will give you consitent results).

again, my perception from this side on your productions is that they are very well balanced.

feel free to reach out for a second pair of ears on my end, if you ever feel the need! :)


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"Fun with a capital F-D-B!"

http://djfundabounce.com :: https://sptfy.com/djfdb


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SparkzMusic
Senior Member



United Kingdom
300 posts
Joined: Apr, 2011
Posted - 2019/06/16 :  01:52:25  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit SparkzMusic's homepage
TY FDB, I guess I;m one of those honest people and it's definitely a buzz from you saying a lot of my work sounds good in terms of the standard.

I always put my hands my when I'm out of my depth and I think music wise I often am. For example, I don't even get the DB thing (Well yeah I do in terms of levels but now how it's measured. I'm used to 0 is silent, 10 is loudest on a shitty cd player).


You've definitely done a lot better than the fine a way track. Legit even though I use stuff life that, ive no full idea of limiting or even compression. Usually it's just play around and if it sounds ok, then fine.

Ty, will send some over.


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Anon.
New Member



United Kingdom
44 posts
Joined: Dec, 2014
Posted - 2019/06/16 :  09:40:29  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Anon.'s homepage
These days, most people will usually listen to songs through headphones. I made my tracks through high end seinheisser headphones. Although speakers are essential too.

I suspect the only time a track would get played through speakers is if your tracks are played at events or such. Maybe a house party , I dunno.

When I finished/worked on a track I used traktor dj studio 2 as a guide to see what needed tweaking in the mix, because I could see the track in wave form and it helped me to see if the kick and bass was to loud or lacking in oomph.

One thing you do need though is a really really high end PCie soundcard, without that nothing else will workout.


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Guest
Advanced Member



United Kingdom
1,334 posts
Joined: Feb, 2015
Posted - 2019/06/16 :  10:05:20  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Guest's homepage
you can use anything to master as long as its 20hz to 20khz, i can use a soundblaster card and some razor adaro dj headphones and master tracks better then most people who use studio's, and end up with no bass, no mid, loads of treble

master it to RMS level's and it will be the same on all "pro" hardware

probably help's if you have built a few car system's over the year's and know what a frequency actually sounds like, when its 4x louder then a club


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youtube channel / soundcloud and mixcloud suck


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Edited by - Guest on 2019/06/16 10:22:15
Guest
Advanced Member



United Kingdom
1,334 posts
Joined: Feb, 2015
Posted - 2019/06/16 :  10:28:25  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Guest's homepage
need a sweep tone generator too, just in case you have a rubbish system, and get some pops and clicks, instead of clean crossover's through driver frequency ranges

20hz to 20khz download = https://x42-plugins.com/x42/x42-testsignal


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Edited by - Guest on 2019/06/16 10:29:14
Si Thompson
Advanced Member



United Kingdom
950 posts
Joined: Mar, 2016
Posted - 2019/06/17 :  21:00:33  Show profile  Send a private message  Visit Si Thompson's homepage
quote:
Originally posted by SparkzMusic:
TY FDB, I guess I;m one of those honest people and it's definitely a buzz from you saying a lot of my work sounds good in terms of the standard.

I always put my hands my when I'm out of my depth and I think music wise I often am. For example, I don't even get the DB thing (Well yeah I do in terms of levels but now how it's measured. I'm used to 0 is silent, 10 is loudest on a shitty cd player).


You've definitely done a lot better than the fine a way track. Legit even though I use stuff life that, ive no full idea of limiting or even compression. Usually it's just play around and if it sounds ok, then fine.

Ty, will send some over.





I've played stuff of yours too, Sparkz. Never has an issue with them. I even played your Techno Wonderland remix in my Christmas Day set.





__________________________________
Si Thompson
https://soundcloud.com/si-thompson

The Rave Music Archive
https://soundcloud.com/the_rave_music_archive
https://www.youtube.com/c/theravemusicarchive

Kool Katz Digital
https://soundcloud.com/kool-katz-digital


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