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dubstep mixing and mastering tips?

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« on: March 16, 2007, 20:58:41 »

I've made hip-hop and sample based stuff before but i've recently started experimenting producing dubstep. I'm pleased with the stuff i'm writing but i think whats letting me down is the final mix. I know there's people on this forum that produce some very pro sounding tracks, so please share any tips and techniques you use for getting the mix right.
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2007, 12:26:07 »

It's mainly about getting the volume of each part just right. Then each part needs it's own space so use eq to remove unwanted frequencies; i.e. low frequencies in hi-hats or harsh treble in a snare
Sorry if this sounds really basic. It is, but I reckon it's the main thing involved in getting a good mix.
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2007, 12:46:06 »

i'd avoid compression or hard limiting on much unless it's really vital... dubstep needs to have decent dynamics imo...more so than other genres perhaps.
and yeh, eq everything into it's own space...
loud bass  Slayer
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2007, 17:13:32 »

Quote
It's mainly about getting the volume of each part just right. Then each part needs it's own space so use eq to remove unwanted frequencies; i.e. low frequencies in hi-hats or harsh treble in a snare
Sorry if this sounds really basic. It is, but I reckon it's the main thing involved in getting a good mix.

Thanks man, thats the fundamentals for mixing anything though so i was already up on this.

Quote
i'd avoid compression or hard limiting on much unless it's really vital... dubstep needs to have decent dynamics imo...more so than other genres perhaps.
and yeh, eq everything into it's own space...
loud bass 

Thats interesting i thought compression and limiting was good for bass, surely there isn't much dynamics wanted in the bass frequencies?. Also with EQing do you guys normally take a lot of the low end out of everything bar the bass?, this is helping me to achieve a less muddy mix but i'm worried other elements will have no impact played on a rig. I'm mixing on hi-fi speakers by the way. 
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2007, 16:45:28 »

Also with EQing do you guys normally take a lot of the low end out of everything bar the bass?, this is helping me to achieve a less muddy mix but i'm worried other elements will have no impact played on a rig.

Thats basically the best way to get a proffesionall sounding mix, subtractive eq and filtering. If you gather a pallette of sounds that are good from the start you shouldnt need to alter them tonally at all, just get away any rubbish so every part has its own space in the frequency range.
Youd be surprised how much bass can be hidden in your hi hats.
Some little tricks i use, 1) get a notch eq set with a really high Q, raise the gain by 6db and then sweep it across the freq spectrum. When you hear nasty whines and hisses then leave the notch there but instead drop it by 6db
2) stick a lo-pass filter over your master bus and drop the cutoff to 300hz or even lower, then you can really hear how the bass is interacting with the kick and other elements.
3) When balancing always start by zeroing all faders and raising the kick, then the bass. This makes a big difference to how the mix take shape as you are basically deciding which elements are taking the main focus. As you cant hit over 0db in digital systems you have a ceiling to work up to, so just decide which parts are going to be given the most room.
One i read in an interview with optical in knowledge magazine was to stick your hand over the porting on your speakers, if the other elements aint interfering with the bass then you should feel the air coming out of the ports as one solid stream of air, or if they are then it will be spluttery and bumpy (the air that is). Probably not easy to apply that one if your using hi-fi's but you should always test your tune on as many different speakers as possible. The KRK's at uni have decent bass porting, or you could come over and test the track on my monitors.

Thats interesting i thought compression and limiting was good for bass, surely there isn't much dynamics wanted in the bass frequencies?.

Limiting can be good for sub but can make the main lead line lose its groove ness if yournot careful. I always use little bits of compression for feel rather than mixing purposes (try blockfish for a wicked little set and forget compressor www.digitalfishphones.com).
Something i learnt the other day which only recently made sense was that compression for bass can actually be detrimental, as with compression it raises the noise floor along with all the other low db elements, so effectivly everything under 50hz gets wiped, which is were all the 'proper' sub lies. So i dont compress bass anymore.
In genres with exacting tolerences like drum and bass you need control over ever parts dynamics so compression is a must, but for something lumbering and moody like dubstep you can get away with just turning the fucker up.
One last thing, and this may contradict what iv just said, but hi-pass everything from 20hz down out of the bass. This gives you more headroom to crank the bass up and always makes it less likely for the bass to trigger limiters in sound systems when it gets played out, which would suck the volume out of your track and make it sound pretty weedy. Also if you use a resonant filter you can give the bass abit of a boost around 20-32hz which is the real chest rattling stuff, i use these www.gvst.co.uk
Hope this helps matey.
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 00:41:35 »

Have u thought of side chain compression to stop kick and bass interference?
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 17:11:41 »

Heres another thing iv only just started doing (so if im explaining it wrong or have left something out please feel free to correct me).
Find the frequency of the element of your track which you want to have the main focus, and then the closest root note to that frequency, then tune all your like sounding samples to overtones and undertones of that note.
Example: all my tunes are focused around the bass, (which luckily enough is usually the lowest freq element in the track) and if i have a bass line which at its lowest point hits 32.70hz (which is c1 on your keyboard), then i want to be aiming to have all my other sounds tuned to harmonic overtones of c1.
Its like playing a guitar - if you strike a big chord and a few of the strings are tuned flat you'll lose all the articulation and power from the chord.
Apply this rule not the whole track in its entirety, but every section one at a time. Do the bass first, then the drums, then the lead ect ect.
Doing this makes sure no two samples are going to be causing nasty phase problems which are hard to hear as the destructive interference caused by phase problems is only really noticable by what it cancels out (for my ears anyway).
Remember tho, if you have to do drastic tuning to get your sounds to fall into line with the tuning then its cool to let the tuning stray slightly off, with stuff like dubstep it can be the clash of sounds rather than their harmony which makes the musical interest, or maby you need to try some different sounds out!
For ages iv been tuning drums by ear, but google some note frequency charts and start doing it by the numbers, and not just with drums!
Hope i got that right anyway, if anyone else knows the full score about tuning samples then please come and correct us, cos id want to know especially.....
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 17:39:15 »

all that is too much staring at a frequency analyser for me, rather use my ears  Two Thumbs
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 18:20:58 »

Bit of a naff arguement that isnt it mate? Seeing as the title for the thread is tips on mixing and mastering, and all that post was suggesting was a tip on mixing and tuning samples.

Remember tho, if you have to do drastic tuning to get your sounds to fall into line with the tuning then its cool to let the tuning stray slightly off, with stuff like dubstep it can be the clash of sounds rather than their harmony which makes the musical interest


At no point did i suggest not using your ears  Two Thumbs
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 19:03:28 »

Bit of a naff arguement that isnt it mate? Seeing as the title for the thread is tips on mixing and mastering, and all that post was suggesting was a tip on mixing and tuning samples.

Remember tho, if you have to do drastic tuning to get your sounds to fall into line with the tuning then its cool to let the tuning stray slightly off, with stuff like dubstep it can be the clash of sounds rather than their harmony which makes the musical interest


At no point did i suggest not using your ears  Two Thumbs

don't get me wrong mate it wasnt a dig  Smiley
just that elements don't have to be tuned to perfection to work, you said it yourself.
i'm just a bit allergic to frequency analysers...
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2007, 10:27:24 »

frequency analysers are fucking ace and really help clean up a mix

although they're pretty pointless without good monitors, and you may actually do more harm than good

it's about the synergy of ears and technology  NERD ALERT! Perv, mmmhmmm, yummy *rubs hands*
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2007, 11:19:22 »

Yo Alex, thats impressive knowledge mang. if i knew you were that clued up i would of gone straight to you with my mixing woes. I'll speak to you more about stuff next time we're in uni. Thanks for your help  Slayer NERD ALERT!
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2007, 15:47:25 »

Fair enough blam, no offence meant from my side either. You caught us when i was abit hungover and probably in abit of a rant worthy state  Smashed
Its true what your saying as well, freq analyzers should never be the first port of call when you come to a mixdown, and even when you do pull em out you should trust your ears before anything else.
Think powdermonkey hit the nail on the head

it's about the synergy of ears and technology  NERD ALERT! Perv, mmmhmmm, yummy *rubs hands*

To be honest when i say that you need to be tuning your sounds i mean more at the sound design stage. I only really employ freq analyisers and sonograms (excellant freeware spectral analyiser here: http://ag-works.net/default.asp?page=plugins.sg1) when im finalising the mix, and only on the master bus, tho it can crop up on groups to see what the drums or other busy aux busses are doing.
And by sound design i mean stuff like when im layering sub bass. I (and my ears) are not always able to do it at the volume i need to hear what is really going on, so i have to resort to pure filthy geekery  NERD ALERT!
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2007, 00:45:46 »

Im in the same boat as you Dave, i used to write dirty muddy sample based Hip Hop on my MPC for years and only started using software just over a year ago. The main problem for me has been getting a clean mix that still has all the weight needed to fill the tune out. Had some help from other Dubstep producers but i only felt i was really getting somewhere when i got a copy of Isotope Ozone mastering suite. It has every tool needed to polish off a finished tune, and can be used on individual channels aswell as it doesnt rinse your memory too much. Perfect for eqs and a nice simple graphic equalizer. If you want a copy mate i can sort you out.

Also, lots of good tips in this thread, i still got alot to learn  Two Thumbs
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2007, 11:30:22 »

Ello ello
Ive been producin some dubstep/jungle tunes and have very little knowledge of mastering n tings if anyone could check out my tunes on myspace and mail me some advice would be very much appreciated
safe
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2007, 15:01:16 »

frequency analysers are fucking ace and really help clean up a mix

although they're pretty pointless without good monitors, and you may actually do more harm than good

it's about the synergy of ears and technology  NERD ALERT! Perv, mmmhmmm, yummy *rubs hands*

Any good freeware freq analysers around?

safe x
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2007, 21:17:14 »

frequency analysers are fucking ace and really help clean up a mix

although they're pretty pointless without good monitors, and you may actually do more harm than good

it's about the synergy of ears and technology  NERD ALERT! Perv, mmmhmmm, yummy *rubs hands*

Any good freeware freq analysers around?

safe x

the voxengo one is pretty gd
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2008, 11:20:35 »

Example: all my tunes are focused around the bass, (which luckily enough is usually the lowest freq element in the track) and if i have a bass line which at its lowest point hits 32.70hz (which is c1 on your keyboard), then i want to be aiming to have all my other sounds tuned to harmonic overtones of c1.

I was wondering the other day whether it's crucial to match the pitch of percussions as well, or would one get away with them being slightly off?



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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2008, 17:14:46 »

Example: all my tunes are focused around the bass, (which luckily enough is usually the lowest freq element in the track) and if i have a bass line which at its lowest point hits 32.70hz (which is c1 on your keyboard), then i want to be aiming to have all my other sounds tuned to harmonic overtones of c1.

I was wondering the other day whether it's crucial to match the pitch of percussions as well, or would one get away with them being slightly off?




I don't reckon it's crucial, although it's a good idea to bare it in mind.
Sometimes you'll want them nicely in key but may sound wicked slightly (or a lot) off
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 10:33:35 »

It's mainly about getting the volume of each part just right. Then each part needs it's own space so use eq to remove unwanted frequencies; i.e. low frequencies in hi-hats or harsh treble in a snare
Sorry if this sounds really basic. It is, but I reckon it's the main thing involved in getting a good mix.


Definitely, don't be afraid to cut down a huge sound to a very thin slice of frequencies for it to stand through a mix. if the track is busy then each sound needs to sit in its own space to be heard, nothing worse than a muddy mix.

always try to make bass sounds mono and central, unless you want chorus etc.

pick 2 reverbs, one short and one medium and reuse them throughout the track to put different sourced sounds into the same space.
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« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2008, 02:11:07 »

powedermonkey: do you teach this kinda stuff on your courses? and broken silence, you give lessons? you've helped me muchly on here, but find some stuff hard to comprehend without a demo...
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« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2008, 10:35:14 »

Some clarification....

When trying to tune elements of your track to one another dont think this means every last bit of the song. If youv got a heavy kick and a couple of meaty subs, you'll find less phase problems if you have them tuned against each other. Thats just for functionality. My early suggestions were for people to play around with this in a creative sense, and use it to trick listeners into focusing on specific elements of the the track. example - tuning certain lead elements, that normally wouldnt intefere with the low frequecny components, to a harmonic of your sub-bass line can force peoples ears to focus more on the bass line.
This is not a concrete answer tho, merely one of hundreds of different production techniques based on how our ears and brain decode sound that can be used to cool effects. Experiment and trust your ears. 
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2008, 10:36:18 »

Also, our hearing is omnidirectional below 260hz, so like Pirate Anthems said keep everything below that mono.
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2008, 15:39:13 »

powedermonkey: do you teach this kinda stuff on your courses? and broken silence, you give lessons? you've helped me muchly on here, but find some stuff hard to comprehend without a demo...

Iv started working as a support tutor to the guys and gals down at the trinity centre, which is cool as they are a very clued up bunch. Main studio is still being built so watch this space for details about opportunitys to get in and learn some skills. In the meantime www.tweakheadz.com
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"If you were to drop a maxi priest plate at one nation, it would be the cause of many pull ups, lighters will get drawn, and a horns crew will be called for" - Geiom

"Learn the core cells. Then winge about how clever you are. Then expect someone learning max/msp to winge at you claiming they're cleverer. Then some other dude learning c++ will come and shit over both things. Then some 12 year old who uses some freeware he found comes along and canes out tunes you'll never surpass and then you'll cry" - Souq
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2008, 08:48:36 »

havnt read most of that^ due to lack of time..

invest in some good monitors.  if it aint soundin clean then find out why.. trust your ears! Plugins jus dont cut it for me, get a decent piece of kit.. save up an splash out on tasty phat analog equipment!

Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2008, 09:15:46 »

Plugins jus dont cut it for me, get a decent piece of kit.. save up an splash out on tasty phat analog equipment!

Smiley

I wholeheartedly disagree. The best thing you can spend a whack on money on is transducers (i.e. good mic, really good monitors). These NEED an analog component (i.e. at the very least a diaphragm/cone and related circuitry, if not the whole thing) and as with all analog kit its worth paying a premium. Everything else CAN be done digitally. From SSL-quality compression and EQ to very phat amp sims (Guitar Rig being my fave) and wicked sample-based instruments (NI Elektrik Piano, First Call Horns, etc etc). Even some of the non-sample-based synth emulators are as phat as the original (or near enough as to be unnoticable). The Korg Legacy stuff from a few years ago still makes the grade, as does Arturia's MiniMoog.

Aside from maybe a decent mono compressor for recording-chain compression (not needed if you're careful with your levels) and a decent pre-amp (got my valve amp for 40 and wouldn't change it for the world) there's little need in going analog. Although there is ALWAYS good reason to spend any spare cash on a hardware synth which doesn't have a good digital emulation. Can't argue with a good sound source. If the sound source is good enough then you'll need little all else but an EQ, a compressor and maybe a reverb or echo. Waves IR1 and OhmBoyz take care of those as well as a Lexicon or a Roland tape echo would anyway, no need for that expensive and ultimately fragile hardware.

However if you're planning on doing a good live set as well as studio tracks, analog hardware can be a god-send.
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2008, 09:38:51 »

Quote
It's mainly about getting the volume of each part just right. Then each part needs it's own space so use eq to remove unwanted frequencies; i.e. low frequencies in hi-hats or harsh treble in a snare
Sorry if this sounds really basic. It is, but I reckon it's the main thing involved in getting a good mix.

Thanks man, thats the fundamentals for mixing anything though so i was already up on this.

Quote
i'd avoid compression or hard limiting on much unless it's really vital... dubstep needs to have decent dynamics imo...more so than other genres perhaps.
and yeh, eq everything into it's own space...
loud bass 

Thats interesting i thought compression and limiting was good for bass, surely there isn't much dynamics wanted in the bass frequencies?. Also with EQing do you guys normally take a lot of the low end out of everything bar the bass?, this is helping me to achieve a less muddy mix but i'm worried other elements will have no impact played on a rig. I'm mixing on hi-fi speakers by the way. 

this is your main issue.  hi-fi speakers have a habit of giving a 'loudness' style sound where the frequency response looks like a smiley face.  therefor you are probably overcompensating on the lack of midrange.  when the track is played on a flat responding rig (hard to find one) your mid will be too loud.  you need to be mixing on monitors that give an accurate guide to your levels.

also, a good trick with all production is to make the track without any comp/limiting/eq on your master output.  everyone seems to start with a loads of processing on their output.  if you can get the mix sounding amazing and clear/powerful/glued together without any compression/limiter on the final mix, you will end up with a better sound when you then intoduce a eq/comp/limiter at a later stage and that final glueing together and maximisation of the mix will be 10 times better.
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« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2008, 17:14:31 »

Definitely! Always mix with flat eq, no limiters, or compressors.

Aim to bring a mix in a few db under 0 to allow headroom, you can always normalize at the end then master. And if you working at 24bit there will be negligible noise difference.

Side chaining bass drums into bass sounds helps to give both punch & weight. use the bass drum to trigger a slight dip in the bass so that it can cut through, a few milliseconds is enough to have both sounding big and fat.
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« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2008, 17:22:58 »

Also, plugins are working well for me. i tend to have a few select ones that i use allot and know well. i have some analog outboard that i bring in as external effects such as a great british spring, tape delay & akai MFC42 filter, but mainly keep my audio inside the pc.

one day i will have enough cash to afford the luxury of both pro outboard and high quality inboard.

also, trust your ears. listen to others people's music as if you produced it. listen to the reverbs, the air at the end of snares (or lack of), how this affects feel/energy & how delays are used etc.

a dub in the right place can be as effective as a drum roll, in or out of a section, signifying change to the listener.

always listen to a mix on a shitty speaker before committing to a final mix, its amazing what can pop out.

turn the volume right down so you can only just hear it, working at lower volumes makes sounds that are too loud stand out even more.
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2008, 21:12:58 »

First rule, don't forget the DJ. They want nice bits to mix but don't make it too easy Wink
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« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2010, 01:46:35 »

I gave the mastering a go in Reason4 on my track so far before reading this or using any tips/advice yet, How do u guys reckon it sounds?
Ill be having a read through this tommorow when I get back to work on it!

<a href="http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fg-reg-bristol%2Fg-reg-transduction-unfinished" target="_blank">http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fg-reg-bristol%2Fg-reg-transduction-unfinished</a>
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« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2010, 09:28:52 »

wow  Slayer you guys got this one covered! I'm impressed!  usually there are no pro's around to help on most boards!  I'll just throw in my reply to a similar question on another board,,, maybe there will be a few tricks in there you haven't thought of  and this is how we get better at what we do right? share info! =)

To begin the mastering process you MUST have a song that has been mixed well. (ie: "you can polish a turd but in the end it still will be just a turd" really what this means is it's only gonna be as good as what you put into it.)  You will need several days at the EQ to get this right. Each channel in your mix must sound good on it's own but more importantly it must sound good in the mix. If two tracks are too close in frequency then they will sound "muddy" or cancel each other out; this is called masking and why we say EQ EQ EQ in your mix.. I also recommend adding depth to your music by panning certain instruments left and right in the stereo space and placing some in the "back" of the mix with reverb. For example: pan a guitar track a bit left, a string or bass track a bit right and give the drum track depth by sending it to the back with some good reverb. ALWAYS have your vocals straight up the middle. This will give your music a full range professional sound. You should also overdub your vocal tracks when recording.  Always give your ears a break too.. every two hours take 15min to get outside and go for a walk or something at the least- leave the song for a day and come back fresh. It will sound different the next day.


heres a cheat sheet for you to use in your eq process:

 50Hz 
1. Increase to add more fullness to lowest frequency instruments like foot, toms, and
the bass.
2. Reduce to decrease the "boom" of the bass and will increase overtones and the
recognition of bass line in the mix. This is most often used on loud bass lines like
rock.
 
100Hz 
1. Increase to add a harder bass sound to lowest frequency instruments.
2. Increase to add fullness to guitars, snare.
3. Increase to add warmth to piano and horns.
4. Reduce to remove boom on guitars & increase clarity.
 
200Hz 
1. Increase to add fullness to vocals.
2. Increase to add fullness to snare and guitar ( harder sound ).
3. Reduce to decrease muddiness of vocals or mid-range instruments.
4. Reduce to decrease gong sound of cymbals.
 
400Hz 
1. Increase to add clarity to bass lines especially when speakers are at low volume.
2. Reduce to decrease "cardboard" sound of lower drums (foot and toms).
3. Reduce to decrease ambiance on cymbals.

800Hz 
1. Increase for clarity and "punch" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove "cheap" sound of guitars.
 
1.5KHz 
1. Increase for "clarity" and "pluck" of bass.
2. Reduce to remove dullness of guitars.
 
3KHz 
1. Increase for more "pluck" of bass.
2. Increase for more attack of electric / acoustic guitar.
3. Increase for more attack on low piano parts.
4. Increase for more clarity / hardness on voice.
5. Reduce to increase breathy, soft sound on background vocals.
6. Reduce to disguise out-of-tune vocals / guitars.
 
5KHz 
1. Increase for vocal presence.
2. Increase low frequency drum attack ( foot / toms).
3. Increase for more "finger sound" on bass.
4. Increase attack of piano, acoustic guitar and brightness on guitars (especially rock
guitars).
5. Reduce to make background parts more distant.
6. Reduce to soften "thin" guitar.
 
7KHz 
1. Increase to add attack on low frequency drums ( more metallic sound ).
2. Increase to add attack to percussion instruments.
3. Increase on dull singer. 4. Increase for more "finger sound" on acoustic bass.
5. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
6. Increase to add sharpness to synthesizers, rock guitars, acoustic guitar and piano.
 
10KHz 
1. Increase to brighten vocals.
2. Increase for "light brightness" in acoustic guitar and piano.
3. Increase for hardness on cymbals.
4. Reduce to decrease "s" sound on singers.
 
15KHz 
1. Increase to brighten vocals (breath sound).
2. Increase to brighten cymbals, string instruments and flutes.
3. Increase to make sampled synthesizer sound more real.

Turn the monitor volume down low - this is crucial and EVERY professional mix engineer
will work the music low first! Listen for any sounds that are too prominent in the mix -
the drums stand out too much or the vocals are too bassy etc.
Once you have a good mix, then you can master. remember your Tune should sound great without mastering!!!! Mastering is the process of bringing a track to level, getting the most bang for your buck while still retaining the songs dynamics!! Use a spectral analyzer to check for phasing.. too much phasing means you have a masking problem in your mix.

To master a song you should have it mixed down to a single stereo track. Now using a parametric EQ balance your song out. Compress it down a bit and bring the
gain/volume up. Resist the urge to over compress for added gain. Over compressing
will loose nuances in your music. this step is to "mellow out" all the eq you have just done.. Fine tune your EQ settings if needed then use a compressor / limiter to reach the maximum about amount of gain without distortion and the dynamic level you want (this is where your ears really come in) for maximim gain I usually set my limiter to -1 so I have the maximum amount of gain and I still have a peak of 0 to fall into.

Listen to the song on as many devices as possible - your home stereo, in the car and
through headphones. Make sure it sounds good on every device. If you don't have
good monitors then you might not know that your song has too much bass. By
listening to it on multiple devices your can get a feel for how your song will sound as
a finished product.  Hope this helps! Cheers! Pimp
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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2010, 09:58:27 »

Quote
To master a song you should have it mixed down to a single stereo track. Now using a parametric EQ balance your song out. Compress it down a bit and bring the
gain/volume up. Resist the urge to over compress for added gain. Over compressing
will loose nuances in your music. this step is to "mellow out" all the eq you have just done.. Fine tune your EQ settings if needed then use a compressor / limiter to reach the maximum about amount of gain without distortion and the dynamic level you want (this is where your ears really come in) for maximim gain I usually set my limiter to -1 so I have the maximum amount of gain and I still have a peak of 0 to fall into.

All the mastering engineers I've spoken to would rather you left all the main bus processing to them, or at least send them a clean copy and a copy with the EQ/limiting so they can see what you're trying to achieve then do it better than you did it.

Also, here is a handy piano roll chart showing important frequencies and their note equivalents. Taking an all-in view of production, that is actually producing individual parts which are written to leave gaps in certain frequency areas for a vocal or instrument you intend to over-dub, can make the mixing process a fuck of a load easier. Like a jigsaw, it will fit together best if the pieces are the right shape. Also sibilance lives at 3k - 7k. "Air" tends to live at 10k or so. (gawd I hate that term it doesn't mean anything and yet I can hear it when I boost 10k-15k  Smashed ).

http://www.har-bal.com/index.php?/frequency-chart.php
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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2010, 19:52:20 »

Quote
To master a song you should have it mixed down to a single stereo track. Now using a parametric EQ balance your song out. Compress it down a bit and bring the
gain/volume up. Resist the urge to over compress for added gain. Over compressing
will loose nuances in your music. this step is to "mellow out" all the eq you have just done.. Fine tune your EQ settings if needed then use a compressor / limiter to reach the maximum about amount of gain without distortion and the dynamic level you want (this is where your ears really come in) for maximim gain I usually set my limiter to -1 so I have the maximum amount of gain and I still have a peak of 0 to fall into.

All the mastering engineers I've spoken to would rather you left all the main bus processing to them, or at least send them a clean copy and a copy with the EQ/limiting so they can see what you're trying to achieve then do it better than you did it.

Also, here is a handy piano roll chart showing important frequencies and their note equivalents. Taking an all-in view of production, that is actually producing individual parts which are written to leave gaps in certain frequency areas for a vocal or instrument you intend to over-dub, can make the mixing process a fuck of a load easier. Like a jigsaw, it will fit together best if the pieces are the right shape. Also sibilance lives at 3k - 7k. "Air" tends to live at 10k or so. (gawd I hate that term it doesn't mean anything and yet I can hear it when I boost 10k-15k  Smashed ).

http://www.har-bal.com/index.php?/frequency-chart.php

another useful little resource.

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2010, 21:12:55 »


All the mastering engineers I've spoken to would rather you left all the main bus processing to them, or at least send them a clean copy and a copy with the EQ/limiting so they can see what you're trying to achieve then do it better than you did it.

http://www.har-bal.com/index.php?/frequency-chart.php

yes but this is a DIY were not talking about how to send a mix off to a mastering engineer were talking about how to do it yourself! =P
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« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2010, 18:32:38 »

I am really comply with this article. Dubstep mixing and mastering tips are avaluable and charming article for all. Everyone please visit this site and discus about this post each other.
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« Reply #36 on: April 30, 2010, 23:10:25 »

I am really comply with this article. Dubstep mixing and mastering tips are avaluable and charming article for all. Everyone please visit this site and discus about this post each other.

Fucking legend, sigged!
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« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2011, 19:55:21 »

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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