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#575560 - 01/11/20 02:27 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Mastering
Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 535
Loc: Wisconsin
Bernier Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 535
Loc: Wisconsin
I’ve been using PT for quite a few years. Lately I’ve been reading on mastering. My problem is some songs sound ok and others are missing something but I have no idea what. I can pick out obvious things like tracks too loud/soft, but overall I don’t know what I can do to get a a better sound. From reading about mastering, it sounds like the listeners experience has so much to do with mastering - they know what to do to get a better recording.
I’ve read there are services that will master online but are done digitally and not very good. I’ve played around with eq and compression and honestly cannot hear any difference. I do all my listening through headphones and maybe that has something to do with it.
Advice is greatly appreciated!
Bernie

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#575570 - 01/11/20 03:57 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Bernier]
Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 942
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
Teunis Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 942
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
From my opinion the trick to mastering is to get the mix right first. Then to master I use Izotope 9 and also the Tonal Balance Control. Using the Mastering Assistance puts it close then watching the Tonal Balance Control do a bit of tweaking to get the track where I want it. Note that it still has to sound the way I like it.

Seems easy with the right tools but all this can be achieved using free tools. For example Limiter 6 and a good EQ plus something like Voxengo Span or Melda’s analyser. Then use something like a Youlean LUFS meter to keep a check on volume. Total cost is nix. Is it as good as Izotope Ozone 9? Maybe, but Ozone makes it much simpler particularly with Tonal Balance Control.

My thoughts

Tony
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#575650 - 01/12/20 06:55 AM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Bernier]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20072
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20072
Loc: Mi., USA
I'll second Ozone.
If you feel the sound is missing something, this is likely the answer.

I also like the YouLean meter Teunis mentioned. But that's just a volume/level/LUFs measuring tool.
Ozone does the magic.
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#575659 - 01/12/20 08:06 AM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: rharv]
Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 535
Loc: Wisconsin
Bernier Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 535
Loc: Wisconsin
I went to the Ozone site and listened to before and after and honestly can’t hear a difference. What am I missing! I’ve been a musician for 40+ years! Thanks!

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#575718 - 01/12/20 02:00 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Bernier]
Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 942
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
Teunis Offline
Expert

Registered: 12/20/16
Posts: 942
Loc: Gold Coast, Queensland, Austra...
As I said in a post about Audiophiles etc they often use the term subtle which to me usually means “you won’t hear a difference but the difference is huge.”

Often the mixes they use are already so good not much change takes place. Also what you a listening on makes a huge difference. I use an iPad to look at online videos. Therefore I use earbuds. The earbuds I use come off my old Walkman MP3 player. The difference between them and some lower end Sony earbuds are unbelievable (the Walkman earbuds are very much better in the low end). Listening via my PC through a good set of headphones makes a difference as does going via the speakers.

But Ozone makes a huge difference and it makes the task far easier than using different EQs, Compressors and Limiters. The Tonal Balance Control makes it much easier to achieve consistency across a number of tracks.

Tonal Balance Control does not affect the signal but gives you a good visual aid. Similar can be achieved using something like Span or Manalyzer but they are not nearly as intuitive.

My experiences

Tony


Edited by Teunis (01/12/20 02:11 PM)
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#575724 - 01/12/20 02:25 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Teunis]
Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 535
Loc: Wisconsin
Bernier Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 12/01/06
Posts: 535
Loc: Wisconsin
Thanks so much for your input!
Bernie

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#576221 - 01/15/20 09:21 AM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Bernier]
Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 8021
Loc: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
silvertones Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 8021
Loc: Rio Grande Valley, Texas
I'll add my 2cents.You can't Master one song. It's just mixing. Mastering is all about getting a cohesive project of multiple songs that sound good together.
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#578243 - 01/28/20 12:20 PM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Bernier]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1057
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Offline
Expert

Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1057
Loc: Central Ohio
One thing that helped me, a self confessed newbie, was when it occurred to me that the elements could be mixed and mastered as individuals; for example, backing and instrumentals can be muted, isolating the vocal, with the effects applied to one element at a time. Maybe you already know this. You can easily hear the differences, esp. EQ and Comp.
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#580390 - 02/11/20 09:03 AM [PowerTracks Pro Audio] Re: Mastering [Re: Bernier]
Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 17
Loc: USA East Coast
epunk Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 17
Loc: USA East Coast
This post from Reaper is about overall approach than about any specific tool or method.

"Why do your recordings sound like a**?"
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=29283

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