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1  Food for your Ears / The Desk / Re: dubstep mixing and mastering tips? on: April 11, 2011, 20:55:21
I can contribute to this article from a mastering perspective as I master my fair share of bass music.

Ideally if you are going to be self finalizing it would be preferable for you to mix your audio without your limiter on the master bus and ensure that your audio is NOT clipping the master bus of your DAW. Mastering requires a different listening technique and whilst you cannot create the objectivity that an independent mastering engineer can bring to your music it is best if the mastering is seen as a seperate process even in a DIY situation.So when you remove the limiter ensure that it is not clipping the output bus, if it is, a compromise is to bring the master fader down.It is a compromise, however less so than re-mixing your entire track. Bounce/export it at 24bit resolution.

One of the challenges of mastering dubstep is coupling deep and significant bass levels versus the onset of distortion related to high average levels (hot masters). This is very important as if you have a loud master it could very easily sound bad in a club situation. Bottom end levels are very important as is punch. So with this in mind you need to work on optimal processing to achieve all 3 goals, level, bottom end without distortion and punch. For this you will ideally have very well treated rooms in terms of acoustics. This will lead to correct basic decisions when it comes to eq and balance of your bass against the rest of the spectrum. Having monitors that allow you hear down to 25Hz will also be of great assistance so you can really gauge what is happening low down. Once these are in place you can use your skill and judgement to balance the spectrum and achieve the mastering goals.You may wish to use some of your analogue outboard equipment to add some warmth to the mix overall and shape the tonal response. Finally choose your best limiter, the one from your arsenal which sounds the best on the given track.

Rather than repeat a short article I wrote recently I will link to it here, it has some very basic info in there as well as technical info for delivery to a professional mastering studio, most people here will already know the basics so sorry for teaching granny to suck eggs :

http://searchwarp.com/swa713982-Mastering-Dubstep-Songs.htm

All the best with your dubstep productions.

cheers

Barry
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