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#617226 - 09/30/20 07:06 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering
Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
djames Offline
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Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
Hi all, I’ve just discovered the web site - bandlab.com/mastering - it lets you upload your mixes and then gives you 3 basic options in mastering sounds to listen to then download – it’s free and no account needed to just test it out.

I’m sure many experienced users probably wouldn’t need it, but for me I think it helped to add some polish to my efforts so far, so it may be of use to others who find the dark arts of mastering overwhelming.

The 3 options are CD Quality, Bass Boost and Enhanced Clarity so if you don’t want too many choices it’s a good starting point, and it also helped me pinpoint some issues in my draft mix before adjusting and re-mastering.

I’ve put an un-mastered and a mastered version online of a song I've just used it on at https://www.djhsongs.co.uk/bandlabtest but if you do take a listen please mind your ears as the mastered version is a lot louder. I used the CD Quality setting on this song.

It's definitely worth a test and think I'll be using it on my future recordings.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,
David
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#617769 - 10/04/20 09:17 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 6518
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 6518
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
David,

I listened to one of your songs, Puppets & Clowns. Nice writing and performance. I really like the way you used doubling and background vocals on the singer's vocal performance.

Well done sir.
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#617973 - 10/06/20 04:08 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
djames Offline
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Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
Hi Jim, thanks for listening, that was my first BIAB song - I have "mastered" it now at:

https://www.djhsongs.co.uk/osl-puppets

There's 4 vocals in the mix but the low panned L & R ones are very subtle. I have reduced a bit of the reverb on the main vocal and also added a little bit of compression to it on the mastered version. The other 3 vocals are effect free.

Hopefully it doesn't sound worse!

Cheers,
David
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#618418 - 10/09/20 05:00 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
If they require a reference song there might be some validity to it; otherwise I can see no difference from simply using, say Ozone, and letting it “auto” master your song sans any input from you other than defining the genre and whether for CD or streaming. FWIW we’ve never found a preset that “worked” w/o tweaking. But it’s assuredly in the ears of the beholder and if it sounds enhanced then that’s all that matters. We couldn’t get either cut to play. Will try later.


Bud

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#618474 - 10/09/20 04:07 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 05/19/20
Posts: 216
Simon - PG Music Offline
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Registered: 05/19/20
Posts: 216
The biggest things to remember about Mastering are:

1: Mastering by definition is the process of preparing an audio mix for distribution. It is merely the means of processing the audio for it's target delivery format, whether that's MP3/FLAC, Vinyl, CD, etc.

2: Mastering is not the stage where you make everything sound good. If it sounds bad before mastering, it'll sound bad after mastering.

3: Mastering is not something where you can get great results from a preset or automated system - it requires individual care and attention for each song as every mix is different.

4: Mastering is where you make minor adjustments to the final mix to maintain a consistent sound from song to song in an album. This can mean changes in EQ, compression, reverb, dynamic range, and loudness.

5: You'll get better results having someone else master your track than if you master it yourself. This is because, over listening to the mix repeatedly as you mix it, your ears become accustomed to it and you're far less likely to hear issues than a pair of fresh ears.

I personally think it is possible to get a great master from an automated system; however, the mix has to be consistent and sound good before you try to master it. Because of this, it's generally better to master tracks manually.


Edited by Simon - PG Music (10/13/20 09:47 AM)
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#618475 - 10/09/20 04:08 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20097
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20097
Loc: Mi., USA
On your first post (A Permanent Reaction, with the A/B comparison)
The result is so-so, I'm pretty sure I could do better, not braggin' just being honest and comparing. It's better, but not there yet.

On your later post, the sound is much better, but there is no A/B comparison so it's kind of hard to tell what they did and what you did.
It may be the mix on your second song was simply better to begin with.
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#618518 - 10/10/20 05:23 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
djames Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
Hi All, I did start to reply to Bud before I saw the other comments so will follow up.

I think the cheapest edition of Ozone is around £100 /$129.

I did give it a test on the default setting using the Modern, Loud, & CD options, so it was very simple to use, which I like!

I also did 2 comparatives with Bandlab, one with no effects on the master and one with a bit of compression, both using the CD quality setting.

I have uploaded all 3 to the same link (https://www.djhsongs.co.uk/bandlabtest) and to my ears there is very little difference between them. I think they all sound reasonably good and not sure I could choose a best version of the 3, I could possibly narrow it down to 2.

I think the more I progress then Ozone may become more suitable but Bandlab has been a good starting point for me.

Cheers,
David
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#618519 - 10/10/20 05:42 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: Simon - PG Music]
Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
djames Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
Hi Simon, I'm using the term Mastering more in adding the final sparkle to an individual song once I've got what I think is a reasonable mix.

As an amateur I'm happy if it just sounds good - great is for the pro's :-)

Definitely would love the option of 5 but the costs soon add up. Though if I were ever in a position to do a proper album I would use a professional.

Cheers,
David
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#618520 - 10/10/20 06:01 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: rharv]
Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
djames Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
Hi rharv, thanks for listening - yes it's still early days but for someone who doesn't really know what they're doing it's a start - happy to send you the stems :-)

I hadn't done an A/B on Puppets & Clowns but have done an A/B/C as mentioned above on a different song at the link (https://www.djhsongs.co.uk/bandlabtest)

Cheers,
David
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#618523 - 10/10/20 06:29 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
It depends so much on what YOU want. I typically use individual modules from Ozone, e.g., the imager, the EQ, the multi-band compressor, the limiter, etc. Sometimes we use Waves multi-band compressor and Waves limiter. We always use Izotope's Tonal Balance and Logic Pro's Loudness Meter.

My experience is (beyond adding a little "sparkle" and getting the volume correct for your objective) mastering will "color" your mix to a certain extent. We might like a certain mastering protocol but for a particular song it might alter the "color" of the vocal enough not to use that chain. The IRC selected on Izotope's Maximizer can hugely change the sound of your mix.

FWIW, we like clean, open mixes with a lot of dynamics ... akin to the sound of a tight 4-5 piece band playing live. Thats why we use only multi-band compression in mastering.

I've read the arguments for years about how one should not master their own songs and I call BS. We know what we want the final product to sound like. And, while we assuredly agree that you need an excellent mix to begin with we will still spend considerable time mastering. Over the years we've narrowed down our chains to 4-5 go to's that seem to work for us. We don't claim to be experts by ANY stretch of the imagination but we have had 24 songs licensed by some big companies so I guess we are doing something right. Although I often wonder if we are deluding ourselves. One thing we have learned is that an expert's opinion on your mix/mastering is absolutely golden. Somebody whom you highly respect, understands your music and with whom you can openly and honestly converse with.

Pardon the ramble ... enjoy the journey!

J&B

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#618704 - 10/11/20 01:39 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1058
Loc: Central Ohio
edshaw Offline
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Registered: 10/09/16
Posts: 1058
Loc: Central Ohio
Any opinions on SoundCloud mastering service?
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#618779 - 10/12/20 05:47 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
djames Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/12/19
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
It depends so much on what YOU want. I typically use individual modules from Ozone, e.g., the imager, the EQ, the multi-band compressor, the limiter, etc. Sometimes we use Waves multi-band compressor and Waves limiter. We always use Izotope's Tonal Balance and Logic Pro's Loudness Meter.

My experience is (beyond adding a little "sparkle" and getting the volume correct for your objective) mastering will "color" your mix to a certain extent. We might like a certain mastering protocol but for a particular song it might alter the "color" of the vocal enough not to use that chain. The IRC selected on Izotope's Maximizer can hugely change the sound of your mix.

FWIW, we like clean, open mixes with a lot of dynamics ... akin to the sound of a tight 4-5 piece band playing live. Thats why we use only multi-band compression in mastering.

I've read the arguments for years about how one should not master their own songs and I call BS. We know what we want the final product to sound like. And, while we assuredly agree that you need an excellent mix to begin with we will still spend considerable time mastering. Over the years we've narrowed down our chains to 4-5 go to's that seem to work for us. We don't claim to be experts by ANY stretch of the imagination but we have had 24 songs licensed by some big companies so I guess we are doing something right. Although I often wonder if we are deluding ourselves. One thing we have learned is that an expert's opinion on your mix/mastering is absolutely golden. Somebody whom you highly respect, understands your music and with whom you can openly and honestly converse with.

Pardon the ramble ... enjoy the journey!

J&B


I love the rambles on these forums! I've learnt a lot from just reading the posts here.

Personally I just want a nice "polished" sounding song, with the minimum of knowledge and expense. For me it's just a bit of fun, for the professionals like yourselves then as always having the right equipment is worth spending the money on as you also have the knowledge on how to use it.

I'm not even sure what an IRC setting is - it could be dangerous in my hands!

Originally Posted By: edshaw
Any opinions on SoundCloud mastering service?


I've not personally used it but I do think you have to create an account to try it out where as you don't with the bandlab site.

Cheers,
David
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#618808 - 10/12/20 09:57 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: djames
Originally Posted By: Janice & Bud
It depends so much on what YOU want. I typically use individual modules from Ozone, e.g., the imager, the EQ, the multi-band compressor, the limiter, etc. Sometimes we use Waves multi-band compressor and Waves limiter. We always use Izotope's Tonal Balance and Logic Pro's Loudness Meter.

My experience is (beyond adding a little "sparkle" and getting the volume correct for your objective) mastering will "color" your mix to a certain extent. We might like a certain mastering protocol but for a particular song it might alter the "color" of the vocal enough not to use that chain. The IRC selected on Izotope's Maximizer can hugely change the sound of your mix.

FWIW, we like clean, open mixes with a lot of dynamics ... akin to the sound of a tight 4-5 piece band playing live. Thats why we use only multi-band compression in mastering.

I've read the arguments for years about how one should not master their own songs and I call BS. We know what we want the final product to sound like. And, while we assuredly agree that you need an excellent mix to begin with we will still spend considerable time mastering. Over the years we've narrowed down our chains to 4-5 go to's that seem to work for us. We don't claim to be experts by ANY stretch of the imagination but we have had 24 songs licensed by some big companies so I guess we are doing something right. Although I often wonder if we are deluding ourselves. One thing we have learned is that an expert's opinion on your mix/mastering is absolutely golden. Somebody whom you highly respect, understands your music and with whom you can openly and honestly converse with.

Pardon the ramble ... enjoy the journey!

J&B


I love the rambles on these forums! I've learnt a lot from just reading the posts here.

Personally I just want a nice "polished" sounding song, with the minimum of knowledge and expense. For me it's just a bit of fun, for the professionals like yourselves then as always having the right equipment is worth spending the money on as you also have the knowledge on how to use it.

I'm not even sure what an IRC setting is - it could be dangerous in my hands!

Cheers,
David


David, professionals? Hahahaha. We’re a couple of retires who decided to dabble around with creating some Americana music other than the traditional bluegrass that we played for many years. Much, much more of our time is spent hiking and mountain biking and building/maintaining trails. The songs were licensed via Songtradr. We got lucky!

Bud

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#618853 - 10/12/20 02:57 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 365
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
Mike Halloran Offline
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Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 365
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
Mastering? It depends… on what? Well, that's the question. Mastering is the art of optimizing a track for the delivery medium. Radio, soundbed, surround, theater, CD, AV, KLOVE… each has its own requirements.

Mastering is often confused with mixing but it is a separate process. Sometimes, I have to remix to get a good Master, however.

If you submit your tracks to an online service, you'll get compression, bass compensation (can be either boos or cut) plus some bandpass filtering including a de-esser to try to optimize according to some formula.

It will sound different but definitely no substitute for ears and knowledge. Those are the only tools that have ever really counted. Yes, I know that marketing departments everywhere cringe at that statement but it's true.

Ozone is a good suite of basic tools. Nectar isn't bad either.
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#618855 - 10/12/20 03:11 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: Mike Halloran]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 9549
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: Mike Halloran


Ozone is a good suite of basic tools. Nectar isn't bad either.



Basic? Are you referencing Ozone 9 Advanced and Nectar 3?

The individual modules of Ozone (which can be loaded separately if desired) are in IMHO more than basic after one goes beyond presets and digs deep into each module ... but perhaps I'm a basic kind of guy smile

Bud

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#618870 - 10/12/20 08:37 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 365
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
Mike Halloran Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 04/24/17
Posts: 365
Loc: Sillie Con Valley, California
I've been using Ozone Advanced since v.2 and Nectar since v.1. Because of Izotope's bundling, I have licenses for the Basic and Elements packages also. Ozone Standard is very good.

I use the plugins but otherwise do not use a dedicated mastering tool — except for CDs where I use DSP-Quattro to ensure Red Book compatibility.

I still have the reverb, compressor and EQ units that I used to master to vinyl in the 1970s. They're in the Basement where Analog Goes to Die along with my tape machines.
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#619746 - 10/20/20 10:37 AM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 78
Loc: Windsor, Ontario
Marty Ricciotti Offline
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Registered: 06/14/19
Posts: 78
Loc: Windsor, Ontario
Mike Halloran of Detroit's Radios in Motion Fame!
Well you certainly do have some legit credibility!

Greetings from Windsor On

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#619784 - 10/20/20 04:34 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20097
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20097
Loc: Mi., USA
I welcome Mike also. smile
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#619839 - 10/20/20 11:03 PM [Recording, Mixing, Performance and Production] Re: Free online mastering web site - bandlab . com / mastering [Re: djames]
Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 2585
Loc: Stanwell Park NSW Australia
rayc Offline
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Registered: 04/13/16
Posts: 2585
Loc: Stanwell Park NSW Australia
Mastering requires GOOD ears more than anything plus an awareness of psychacoutic tricks...not to use them but to recognize and avoid them as needed.
A LOUDER master will, initially sound better to most listeners, a master that uses an enhancer/exciter will sound brilliant, initially. Louder, enhanced/excited do often cause listener fatigue and that's a bad, bad thing.

Mastering is the process applied to a final mix - usually a stereo track/file/cut - to have it ready for reproduction and distribution.
For example good old LPs the master included RIAA EQ reduction to allow for the most audio on a side of a disc...bass makes wider waves and can make the stylus jump out of it's groove as well so it's "cut" before the disc is cut and restored in the phono preamp.

Today it's also about loudness penalties - the reduction and compression used by streaming services etc...if done in advance by the mastering engineer or home recordist it'll mean the song won't be as "damaged" by the automatic processing of a given site.
Good M.E.s also make minor adjustments to the audio to make the track sound "finished" for a given genre etc.

I know Bud & Janice's final "masters" sound great - they can use the bits of technology that work for them and use their ears as well to achieve a great result.

I don't trust my ears, (slight hearing loss on one side, tinnitus at different frequencies on each side and a lack of critical listening skills after working on a track for ages), so I save my $$$ and send finished tracks to an M.E. I have a good relationship/communication with and get mine done professionally @ around US$33 a track. Now that I have a solid relationship with the M.E. he often sends me two masters...one that's straight up from what I sent him and another that he's been a little creative with.

He supplies an objective set of ears, experiences and different tastes.

He's also a producer and mix engineer, (been in the business since the mid 60s), so he has experience that can offer a little bit extra. he's also not shy about telling me the mix isn't up to scratch: he'll let me know if something isn't quite right to his ears though he'll do the sow's ear thing IF I want him to.

The Soundcloud and bandlab online things are VERY broad brush strokes and don't involve A.I. let alone ears.

I occasionally "faux master" to get an idea of how my mix will respond to limiters - particularly things like reverb but that's just a checking process, (stacked gentle limiters with EQ between them and some compression). I know less than an half a dozen home recordists that can "master" with a professional sounding result. It's a VERY hard thing to do.
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Where would music be today without the sultry sounds of the Saxophone? Fortunately, because of Adolphe Sax, we don't have to find out!

Today we celebrate his birthday, and with that a nod to our extensive collection of Saxophone RealTracks for Band-in-a-Box®!

Saxophone RealTracks sound so amazing that they were one of the first RealTracks we developed and released for the program with Band-in-a-Box® 2007! Now there are more than 200 Saxophone RealTracks available for Jazz, Rock, Blues, Country, Funk, and Pop!

Our Saxophone RealTracks Artists include:
Eric Alexander
Eric Marienthal
Gary Smulyan
Jack Stafford
Jim Clark
Mark Douthit
P.J. Perry
Phil Woods
Tom Keenlyside

Click on their name to be taken to their bio page where you can learn more about the artists and listen to demos of all their RealTracks.

Upgrading to Band-in-a-Box® 2020 is Easy!

Did you know... anyone who has owned a previous version of Band-in-a-Box® is entitle to upgrade pricing - you do not need to have your old version installed!

Maybe you used to own the Windows version, but you now have a Mac... that's not a problem either!
(or if you owned the Mac version, and now you have a Windows computer)

In both cases, you would purchase from the "Upgrade from 2018 or earlier or crossgrade" row here for a new Mac version, or here if you want the newest Windows version. Just need to upgrade your 2019 version? Use the "Upgrade from 2019/2020" row.

When you purchase your upgrade from either of these rows, you will receive a complete installation - just follow the steps of the setup, and your Band-in-a-Box® will be ready to use!

PG Music Inc. shopping cart accounts were not required to purchase from our website prior to October 29, 2014. With that in mind, you may have to create an account in order to upgrade - that's OK! You'll still be entitled to upgrade pricing.

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