song mastering vs project mastering

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helllo

i am about to put out an ep for my band and would like some advice. There are 5 songs and I mastered them all individually once they were done.
I am very happy with the way they all sound on their own. When i listen to them in running order they dont seem to bad but there is definatly
a difference in sound between tracks. Each song was mastered using waves. Firstly light compression, then eq, multiband, vintage warmer and finally waves L2.

my questions: should i scrap the mastered versions which I love and master the ep as a whole or should I make mixes with only compression and leave EQ and limiting for the EP mastering session? Or should I just use the mastered versions and work from there?

I do know tha I can master individual tracks quite well, but i suspect mastering over 5 tracks iis something quite different.
Any thoughts?



I ve heard its not good to do anything to a file once its been limited..
I usually do dancefloor tracks which is why i master individually, but the project the EP is for is more song based vocal electronica and i feel a little more continuity between tracks would help..

thanks
cam
 
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Ott^

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With Blumenkraft I took the "mastered" versions and the "un-fucked-with" versions to the cut and let the mastering engineer [Kevin Metcalfe @ The Soundmasters] decide which he preferred.

He chose my home mastered versions for all except one track where he preferred the original.

My suggestion would be to let the engineer choose and follow his advice.
 
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hey OTT

hi dude!!

thanx for the response!! do you remeber me from Turaya? I was the young chap who gave you a CD of my Nagual stuff before you and Simon left. We talked nerd-style and I asked if you were going to play the melodica live(btw my wife got me a melodica for Xmas!!)...
. I liked your Moog tattoo and told you that one of my synthesis teachers at college has Mac tattoos..

Did you listen to the CD by any chance? :Smile3:
would love some feedback if you have any time...your skills are definatly something i aspire too...


back to topic...

I have actually taken it upon myself to master this myself due to lack of funds and also that the last time i spent money on outside mastering, i felt the results were worse than my mastered versions.

What kind of mastering did you do at home before the cut?
I am thinking of running each track clean through its own discrete channel for light compression and EQ then using the master bus to add multiband, warming and limiting?

And what say on the fact that things shouldn't be touched after limiting?

.....and just out of intrest whats your live rig consist of? I saw your laptop but you wern't running Live or anything so I assume you were feeding the mixer from DAT or something?

thanks again OTT you rock my socks.....(and isn't Deepest India great!!!)
:Wink3:
Cameron
http://nagualsound.chaosmagic.com
 
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Ott^

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hey OTT

cameron-nagualsound said:
Did you listen to the CD by any chance? :Smile3:
Yeah - it got sucked into our vortex of CD's in the van and as I remember was well received.

I have actually taken it upon myself to master this myself due to lack of funds and also that the last time i spent money on outside mastering, i felt the results were worse than my mastered versions.
I've heard a lot of bad mastering jobs - some of them quite expensive.

Be careful though because a big part of the mastering process is compensating for anomilies in your home monitoring set up, and "mastering" on the same setup will mean either you don't get the benefit of this or possiblly even make it worse.

Mastering stereo tracks is a super-skilled job and the process can be incredibly subtle. Us clumsy old studio monkeys become used to making huge 12db - 20db cuts and boosts in sounds with "experimental" compression effects, and we get away with it because it all forms part of our "unique" sound. On a sound that sits amongst maybe hundreds of others, this isn't usually a problem, but with a stereo master, the effect can be devastating and if you're not trained to hear the damage you're doing it won't become apparent until its too late.

If you have to tinker with your finished master keep things to an absolute minimum and use only the best equipment at your disposal. Cubase or Logic channel EQ is not up to the job.

I'd recommend Waves Linear Phase EQ [link] and Waves L2 for limiting. [link]

We've had the multiband compression debate on here before [do a search] and I'm firmly of the opinion that they should be absolutely avoided for home mastering jobs - for reasons I'm not typing again.. :Grin:

I really think trying to save money and mastering at home is a false economy. Its a bit like lovingly restoring a vintage car down to every nut and bolt, and then hand painting it in Dulux gloss cos its cheaper than a respray.

A good mastering engineer will be worth what he charges and this final crucial stage in the process should not be considered a pointless expense.

The Soundmasters - who I can really highly recommend - have just started a service called "Emasters" [link] for those who want really high quality mastering on a budget.

I recommend you take a look and don't risk buggering up months of hard work cos you're too fucking cheap to finish the job properly.

:Grin:

What kind of mastering did you do at home before the cut?
Light EQ and a bit of L2 limiter.

And what say on the fact that things shouldn't be touched after limiting?
Any EQ [additive or subtractive] or any dynamic processing can cause increases in overall level - which would introduce clipping. The only way round this would be to limit again and we don't want to do that do we...

.....and just out of intrest whats your live rig consist of? I saw your laptop but you wern't running Live or anything so I assume you were feeding the mixer from DAT or something?
Gah!! The cheek of it!!

At Turaya I was using the laptop just to play little 30-second sound loops to cover the gaps between songs whilst I set up for the next one.

The bulk of the sound was coming from an Akai DR-16 HD 16 track HD recorder and for mixing I had 2 x behringer 16 channel mixers, one for the output of the DR-16 and one to cope with the external signals fromYouth's bass, Simons guitar and synths and a few other bits of nonsense.

DAT... pah!... *mumble* *grumble*
 
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