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Jeffrey 008

Role of a Mastering Engineer

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When audio mastering is done to the track, the difference is apparent. Mastering is performed for two purposes. It is either used for correcting the given track or for enhancing the voice quality. It is always a better choice to do mastering for enhancing the quality, rather than corrective measures. The music quality is enhanced through mastering by increasing the volume, altering width, dynamics, frequency etc. to make it sound better. mastering engineering is performed using a range of equipments like the compressors and equalizers. The musical tracks may confront some deficiencies while getting recorded. These are completed when the audio track is mastered. The process of mastering the soundtrack is essential if it is to be released for commercial purposes. When the track is played on a radio or any other medium, it sounds professional and clear. Mastering the soundtrack offers it the crispness or finesse that is essential for a commercially released music track. The trained ears of a mastering engineer can find out the deficiencies in a song that can make it unmarketable. The engineer edits and tweaks it to make it sound better, clearer and louder. The mastering engineer knows how to enhance the sound quality by equalizing the sound frequency, bring out the clarity by compressing the music etc. The whole process is aimed at making the track cohesive and sound professional. Mastering provides the polish to your commercial song. In today’s competitive industry, music mastering is important for grabbing the attention of the music lovers.

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I get it.

 

But whats a home hobbyist to do?

 

My question is, what one does if access to a Mastering engineer is not a possibility or economically prudent?

 

For the "home recorder" who wishes to master a mix are the available mastering programs worth it?

 

I am thinking about getting the small version of the recent wave lab 7 to 'finish' some of my tracks (hobbyist only) but I'm no engineer so I wonder if a 'hack' can get the results either by enhancement(preferred) or correction (most likely) to make a decent CD for family and friends.

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Guest BentonC

Hi SJL200,

 

There are definitely some usable software plugins for mastering that would do great for a home hobbyist. If you can spring for the Waves, IK, BIAS, etc all make good plugins that might be worth a try.

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sjl200; study, practice what works, experiment, etc............Digital is awesome because you don't burn up tapes etc.....go nuts, try wild things, etc.....

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Hi SJL200,

 

There are definitely some usable software plugins for mastering that would do great for a home hobbyist. If you can spring for the Waves, IK, BIAS, etc all make good plugins that might be worth a try.

Thank you Benton! Yes, we have a very nice mastering suite called IK Multimedia T-RackS.

We acquired and modeled some very rare old school tube gear. T-RackS technically stands for "Tube Racks", but it is appropriate that it is named after a dinosaur as well, since the equipment we modeled is so rare it's almost extinct. We have extremely accurate models of one of the best Fairchild 670s left, a Pultec EQP-1A, and modules from an ultra-rare Calrec "polar" console that was originally used at Abbey Road Studios.

 

The role of the mastering engineer is often misunderstood, and has only become more obscured in the digital age.

Originally, mastering engineers' primary job was to prepare a recording for a particular medium, such as vinyl.

If there were sharp transients, the needle could actually jump out of the groove. If the tracks were too loud, the songs might not all fit on the platter. Plus, albums were often collections of recordings made at different times, often with different performers. The recordings could vary greatly in volume and sonic qualities. So the mastering engineer's job was also to make all of the songs on an album sit together as one cohesive work. From this grew the practice of "sweetening" a record.

 

In the age of digital and mp3s, it seems that the objective is just "louder than the next guy." This 'Loudness War' is unfortunate, because the push to be ever louder in a medium that has an absolute maximum of 0dB has sacrificed the dynamics and the nuance of many performances. Our mastering effects are designed to preserve transparency with processors like the Opto Compressor, or add warmth and 'magic' with the Vintage Compressor 670 and Vintage Equalizer EQP-1A. And we also have processors for loudness with precision, like the Brickwall Limiter, Classic Multiband Compressor, and Linear Phase Equalizer.

 

When used responsibly, these processors will give your mixes extra character, while preserving the character that's already there. [wink]

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great thread. the art of recording, mixing, and mastering is becoming a lost art. i think with technolgy, we are losing more sound quality as a whole because of lack of awareness and knowledge than we realize. while a computer program makes it easier, even possible for the average musician to do his own mixing, it does not replace a person with the knowledge that can not come from a program.

 

on the one hand, i think it happens often the a musician recording his own stuff will tend to do a lot of mixing himself and what is handed to the engineer is more comprimised than what the engineer could have done. the musician not only deprives himself of the skill of an expert at mastering, but may create even more work for the engineer, driving the cost up while making a less quality final product.

 

at the other end, there are more and more engineers that use technology to the detriment of the quality that can be had, by fixing something in the mix as opposed to recording it better in the first place. i think more and more engineers get better at changing things by computer programs and mixing that they don't even know or care how to get a quality track in the first place. what ever happened to mic placement?

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Great news, and very timely.

I've just learned that we're starting a sale on the very T-RackS "SINGLES" that I just mentioned!

We're selling them for just $39.99/€29.99 each, from now until April 30th! [thumbup]

So now's a pretty good time to dip you toe in the water and try your hand at mastering your own tracks.

 

And... we've also extended the "HOTBUY" on AmpliTube Fender and Ampeg SVX for just $99.99/€74.99 each until the end of the month.

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the art of recording, mixing, and mastering is becoming a lost art. i think with technolgy, we are losing more sound quality as a whole because of lack of awareness and knowledge than we realize.

 

on the one hand, ... the musician not only deprives himself of the skill of an expert at mastering, but may create even more work for the engineer, driving the cost up while making a less quality final product.

 

at the other end, there are more and more engineers that use technology to the detriment of the quality ... i think more and more engineers get better at changing things by computer programs and mixing that they don't even know or care how to get a quality track in the first place.

 

I still think that this is a temporary phenomenon. Computer technology develops so quickly that people do not have time to understand it thoroughly. I.e. one can hope that people do not throw away old knowledge forever, but they are under study rapidly evolving computer innovations. Then it will be settled down. For example, plugins VST3 with 64 bit system, perhaps, can capture the imagination. Appear remarks hope, for example, to get a reverb effect with all the nuances and reverb "tails" with the help of this handy technology. Then when it becomes clearer and will be visible to the end of all these radically innovations man again return to the old achievements, as it happened with the Tube once. It is back in vogue [smile] . By the way, Kat Bush has an album (I do not remember the name) where she used the work of three master engineers because fully to all the songs it did not suit her either one of these engineer. But if, after the progress of computer programs, they will be available for the average person then the capricious woman cease to torment the poor master engineers and she will be able to do everything herself [thumbup][lol] .

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