Frequencies, Levels of a Mix and Mastering Tips

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by The Drum King, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. The Drum King

    The Drum King Ultrasonic

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    Frequencies, Levels of A Mix and Mastering Tips
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    Frequencies
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    80hz - rumble of the bass

    100hz - thump of the kick

    200hz - bottom of the guitar

    250hz - warmth of the vocal

    350hz - bang of the snare

    400hz - body of the bass

    500hz - clang of the high hat

    600hz - clang of the cymbals

    800hz - ping of ride cymbal

    1000hz - meat of the guitar

    1200hz - body of the snare

    1400hz - meat of the vocal

    1600hz - snap of the kick/plectrum on guitar (attack)

    2500hz - wires and snap of snare

    3000hz - presence of the vocal

    4000hz - ring of ride cymbal/top end of bass guitar

    6000hz - sizzle of the high hat

    7000hz - sizzle of the cymbals

    8000hz - top end of the kick

    9000hz - brightness on snare and cymbals

    10000hz - brightness on vocal

    12000hz - air on vocal

    14000hz - air on cymbals

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    Levels of Audio :dancing:
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    Snare: -2db

    Kick: -3db

    Compression of 6:1, a fast attack around 5-10, and a Release of: 150 ms, Get rid of everything above 500-750 HZ, Also get rid of frequencies around 110-115 Hz, Do not get near or above 200 HZ for the Kick!

    Toms: -3db to -5db depending on the use

    Overheads: -6db

    Room mics: -6db to -2db depending on amount of ambience

    Bass guitar: -4db to -6db

    Guitar: -4db to -2db (the louder the more 'metal' you sound)

    Vocals: -1db to -0.5db

    Set a the compression ratio at 2:1 for vocals
    Set the threshold at -1db to -0.5db

    Foreground synth parts: -3db to -2db

    Background synth parts: -6db to -8db

    Backing vocals: -4db to -3db

    Ambient sound effects/samples: -7db to -9db

    Complete Drum Set: -6db to -4db


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    -Other Mastering Guide-
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    [​IMG]
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    Also here is an interactive chart about frequencies check it out! You can move your mouse over the instrument and it will tell you on the right side what frequencies are best for the instrument highlighted!

    http://bit.ly/602Mz

    Here is a screenshot of it:

    [​IMG]
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    Here is a delay chart to help with outboard equipment [Credits go to Opty for contribution]

    [​IMG]

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    Preparing Audio for mastering
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    GETTING INSTRUMENTS READY TO RECORD

    1. Tune all instruments - Make sure to tune all instruments and keep them in tune. Although often ignored, drums must be carefully tuned.

    2. Use fresh new strings, drum heads, etc. - Use a fresh pair of guitar strings, drum heads, and amp tubes. The recording can only be as good as the sources being recorded.

    3. Use quality instruments and amplifiers, rent or borrow them if they are outside of your budget - A good all-tube 1x12 amplifier is an excellent choice for every style of music. Tube amp distortion is almost always more tasteful than any pedal, even if the pedal has a tube. If you can't afford the equipment you need, then rent or borrow the best stuff that you can. Local dealers usually try to work with the musicians in-town.

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    AVOIDING CLIPPING WHILE RECORDING

    4. Keep your peaks below -3db - Keep peaks below -3db on your individual track peak meters, plug-in peak meters and on your master output peak meters. All meters lie, so don't trust them about clipping. Don't worry about the loudness, just turn your monitors up. Leave it to a good mastering studio to take care of the final loudness perception. Some meters are not peak meters and do not stop at 0. If you are using one of those meters, such as the K-System meters which may show +20, +14, or +12, then please take the time to understand K-System Meters.

    5. Check for clipping between every plug-in - You have to make sure that clipping is not occuring between plug-ins. Plug-ins usually have meters where you can check the input and output levels. Sometimes a plug-in can raise the output and introduce clipping, but later in the signal chain, another plug-in will reduce the overall output, but the clipping is still there. So it's always good to make sure that clipping is not occurring between every plug-in in the signal chain.

    6. Think of the flow - The signal flows through the signal chain. It starts with the digital recording and then it flows through any plug-ins and then through the master output. You must check that the peaks are below -3db at everywhere in this flow. That means taking charge of your signal flows by checking individual track meters, plug-in meters and master output meters before saying that the mix is final.

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    ACOUSTICS ARE IMPORTANT

    7. Acoustic treatment is cheap - Owens and Corning 703 is cheap and amazing. You don't have to spend a bundle to get the ball rolling on professional acoustic treatment.

    8. Build your own acoustic baffles - If you don't have a recording room that has been designed by an acoustician, then you will almost always want to record very dry and add in artificial depth yourself using the delay and reverb techniques we discuss later. You can make your own acoustic baffles to help you create a very tight, closely miced recording that is perfect for adding artificial depth (see our reverb and delay techniques).

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    THE ART OF EQUALIZATION

    9. Get serious about EQ - Explore the technique of subtractive EQ. An informed approach to Q is one of the biggest steps you can take towards a professional sounding recording. We have a good visual explanation of subtractive EQ in our video.

    10. Low-frequency roll offs - In almost all cases you will want to use EQ to remove bass frequencies from all tracks that are not bass instrument tracks. To remove bass frequencies, you may want to cut around 175Hz and below, then adjust the frequency and the slope of the EQ Curve (the Q) while listening to the mix.

    11. Try to avoid adding too much "air" - Many times, so much extra high frequency, sometimes called "air", is added to hi-hats and vocals that the mix becomes like sandpaper. Adding excessive high-frequencies by boosting an EQ can tie the mastering engineer's hands because the really sweet mastering EQs cannot be used to add the needed high-frequency sparkle because so much has already been added. You should always be very careful when adding high frequencies. If there is a problem, then the real problem is normally that subtractive EQ is not being considered.

    12. Subtractive EQ - Taking frequencies away from a recording, rather than boosting them, is the most basic description of Subtractive EQ. To boost highs, take away mids, to boost bass, take away mids or highs. Also, to increase the overall fidelit y of your recording, you can remove the less important frequencies of an instrument to reduce frequency overlap in the mix. We have a wonderful visual explanation of this concept in our video "How to Prepare Your Audio for Mastering" which is available by clicking here.

    13. EQ is not always necessary - Like any effect, EQ can be overused and sometimes it may not be necessary.

    14. EQ Before Compression - Most engineers agree that audio should run through the EQ before the compression unless you are using the EQ as an effect.

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    COMPRESSORS AND LIMITERS (DYNAMICS PROCESSING)

    15. Using Compression - Compression should not be used all the time. It's good to use compression when something varies in volume too much, or if you want the change in tone that compression can provide (such as added warmth and more sustain). Overusing compression can destroy the dynamics that makes a vivid recording. There are many professional engineers who use very little or no compression.

    16. Parallel Compression - Parallel Compression should be used when you want the tonal benefit of compression but you don't want to lose any punch. Engineers most often find it useful on drum buses (or on a bounced down mixdown of all of the drum tracks).

    17. Don't overdo compression - Compression can reduce the overall vibrancy of the music, so it must be used carefully. Always error on the side of too little, or no compression, rather than over-compressing a recording. You can tell when something is becoming over-compressed because it sounds more lifeless and dull.

    18. Using analog / analog-emulation compressors - Analog compressors and digital models of analog compressors usually color the sound more than limiters and transparent digital compressors. Many engineers use compressors with color on vocals, guitars and basses. For instance, many engineers find the sound of an LA-2A compressor (or the UAD-1 Digital Plug-in emulation of it) on bass guitars, because of the way it can round a bass-guitar sound.

    19. Digital limiters - Use a digital limiter to raise the sound in a mix, without the color that compression can add. This is used very often on keyboard sounds or software synthesizers.

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    DELAY / REVERB TECHNIQUES

    20. Reverb Techniques - Panning - Panning reverb into the opposite channel (2 channel or 5.1) can produce a very classic and depthful effect. For example, in a stereo recording, you can pan the source into the left speaker, and pan the reverb of the source into the right speaker. A plug-in can be used

    21. Reverb Techniques - Pre-delay - Pre-delay can help with temporal un-masking. Basically, you must tweak the pre-delay of a reverb every time you use a reverb, so that the reverb signal and the original signal does not overlap in time. Many engineers will not use a reverb without pre-delay unless they create the same pre-delay effect by other means.

    22. The Haas Effect - Delay time set beteen 12-40ms, or multiple delays set between 12-40ms - The Haas Effect can be noticed when you set a delay but the original signal and the delay blend and the delay does not become and echo. The delay is happening so quickly that it the source and the delay sound like one. This is extremely useful in creating depth in a mix.

    23. Depth and Space - Reverb using pre-delay and Delay/Multiple Delays using the Haas Effect can help create depth and space if they are used correctly.

    24. Creating space - Some of the best mixes make the listener feel as if they are moving into different spaces. Using these techniques, you can create the sensation of moving from space to space as songs or parts change.

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    OTHER PROCESSING

    25. Reverse delay and reverb - In almost all DAWs, you can reverse a recording (so that it plays backwards) then apply an effect, and reverse it again. When you think of that odd effect on modern horror movie preview voices, then you are thinking of the reverse delay. If you have never experimented with this technique, then you will likely be very happy to add it to your tools.

    26. Auto-Tune - Many modern engineers are using auto-tune processing such as Antares Autotune on almost every vocal. We're not saying it's the best thing to do, we are just saying that it is extremely common.

    27. The huge modern rock and metal guitar sound - There is no one answer, but there are some very typical things used to create great modern rock guitar sounds. Often, it's a tasteful guitar going into an all-tube 1x12, with different microphone positions and types being tried out and the best one selected (many rock engineers prefer ribbon microphones). The microphones are amplified by a great preamp, and may go through a "color" compressor (often a high quality tube compressor). Finally it is converted with a high quality AD/DA converter as they the sound is recorded into the DAW. There may be several overdub layers recorded and mixed in subtly. Many of the other tips suggested here are in use.

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    DIGITAL RECORDING

    28. High Quality AD/DA Conversion - This is key to overall fidelity improvement. We don't say that for anything else on this entire list. The overall fidelity possible at a studio depends, in our opinion, most heavily on AD/DA conversion. The AD/DA conversion in a stock interface such as MOTU, Lynx, M-Audio and Presonus cannot begin to compare with what is possible with an Apogee, RME, Crane Song, Benchmark, Lavry, Prism or other high-quality converters.

    29. Record at high-sample rates - You can hear a difference, but it is mostly due to the process of converting audio from sample rate to sample rate. The difference is due to filter design rather than the actual differences in sample rate. For the most part, if your sample rate is 44.1 or above, then everything is fine. Although sample rates have become the focus of marketing hype, many engineers agree that it has an extremely subtle effect on overall fidelity.

    30. Bit Depth - You should always record at 24-bit. Unlike sample rates, bit depth can make a big difference in the overall fidelity of your recording. At 24-bit you can record at levels far below -3dB (on a standard peakmeter) and still have a very high-fidelity recording.

    31. Using Digital Cables - If you are using digital AES/EBU connections, make sure to use digital 110ohm cable instead of standard 75ohm cable. When recording at higher sample rates, there can be audible differences.

    32. Firewire Interfaces - If you are using Windows and a firewire interface, you may need to disable the 1394 Firewire Networking device in Network connections.

    33. Optimizing for background services - Most DAWs will function better if you go to your windows control panel, then to advanced, then to performance settings, and under the advanced tab if you select "Adjust for the best performance of: Background services" instead of Programs.

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    LATENCY AND BUFFERS

    34. Recording Latency - Latency is a very common problem that plagues inexperienced engineers. While recording, it is best to go into your DAW's options and switch the driver system to ASIO (WDM is usually the default), and set your audio interface buffer settings (which are in it's options) to the lowest that your computer will allow. Setting your buffers below 512MB usually give acceptable latency. Set your DAW back to WDM to hear the full resolution sound of your mixes. ASIO gives lower fidelity but is faster.

    35. The plague of MIDI Latency - Having problems with latency when you use MIDI? Go into your DAW's options and switch the driver system to ASIO, set your buffers low and set your audio interface's buffers to below 512MB. If you still experience latency, you may need to lower the buffers further or upgrade your computer.

    36. Buffer settings - Higher buffers will make the recording environment more stable, but with higher latency. Lower buffers will make the enviornment more volitle, but will reduce latency. If you reduce buffers too far, you will get a very weird, obviously choppy sound. Both your audio interface and your DAW will have buffer settings. Switching between the WDM and ASIO driver systems is another option for reducing latency. WDM gives you the full fidelity of the recording while ASIO allows for lower latency, but with lower fidelity.

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    MICROPHONE TECHNIQUES

    37. Mic Placement - Adjust, re-adjust. Don't be afraid to experiment. Explore the classic microphone arrays that are used by professionals.

    38. Stereo Micing - Many times, engineers will place one microphone close to the source, and the second microphone at least three times the distance between the first microphone and the source. Usually stereo paired microphones are 'aligned,' which means they are the same brand, model, and were manufactured as close to same date as possible sometimes even with only one number of the serial number being different. Experiment using stereo paired microphones in different configurations. A few of the more common techniques will be discussed below.

    39. Coincident Pair - A pair of directional microphones placed such that the diaphragms nearly touch and are mounted vertically relative to the sound source. Two common techniques used are 'XY' (sometimes referred to as LR) and 'MS' (or mid-side). Typically XY consists of two cardioid microphones, each symmetrically left and right to the center of the source. Mid-side technique usually refers to a cardioid (mid) and bi-directional (side) microphones placed so that the cardioid microphone picks up most of the center information and each side of the bi-directional serve as left and right. Be sure you have either passed your signal through an MS decoder or simply double your side information, being careful to reverse the phase on one side, and sum the Mid information panning left and right.

    40. Near Coincident - Similar to the previously explained technique, near coincident placement allows a small yet significant time difference between channels which can enhance stereo image and localization. This technique is popular because the distance between microphones closely approximates the distance between the average person's ears.

    41. Spaced Pair - Two microphones usually placed horizontally a few feet apart pointed at the sound source. Always be conscious of the 3:1 rule to avoid phase misalignments. The "Decca Tree" is a classical way to position the microphones involving three omni-directional microphones placed 90 degrees from each other with the center microphone spaced slightly forward. The 3:1 rule says that the distance between microphones should be at least three times the difference between the microphone and the source it is recording.

    42. Reading up on micing - There are many places you can go <link>LIST</link> to find micing techniques. You should read up on micing techniques for every instrument you plan to record before you begin recording.

    43. Capturing high frequencies - Normally, the higher up a microphone is placed (elevation), the higher the frequencies it will capture.

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    MONITORING

    44. Using good monitors - The adjustments you make can only be as accurate as the accuracy of your monitoring environment. Imagine painting while wearing foggy glasses, the painting could not possibly be as detailed as it could be with clear glasses. Monitoring is about both high resolution monitors and the acoustic environment. If you cannot afford an acoustician and building modifications, then you will likely want to deaden the room as much as possible. A very practical home studio fix is to move a mirror around the wall of the room and place an Owens and Corning 703 panel ($18) at every place where you can see the monitors in the mirror from the mix position. You may want to cover the panels with fabric to make them look more attractive.

    45. Monitor placement - You will want to place your monitors symmetrically in the room (each monitor should be the same distance from the wall as the other). You will want to make an equilateral triangle with the 2 monitors and the mix position as the end points. Basically, that means that there should be the exact same distance between you, each monitor and the monitors themselves. Monitors will sound brighter the farther away they are from from the wall (Speaker Boundary Interface Response). For instance, if your mixes sound too bright everywhere else that you play them except in your studio, then you can move your studio monitors a little closer to make them more bright to compensate. Therefore, you can move your monitors with this in mind to achieve a better frequency balance.

    46. Two subwoofers - Using a left and right subwoofer will result in more accurate bass adjustments.

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    RECORDING/MIXING GOALS

    47. Maintain Punchyness - You will want to make sure that your final mixes are punchy. You will want the bass drum, and the overall punchyness to be a little more than you would expect from the final master. If you are thinking that a bass drum punchyness transformation is going to happen in mastering then you are not on the right path. If your bass drum is not punchy enough, revisit #___ about Subtractive EQ and #___ about Low-frequency roll-offs.

    48. Final mixes do not need to compete with final mastered recordings - Due mostly to higher dynamics, final masters usually sound different, and do not need to compete in volume with final commercial masters. This is especially important because if the final mixes are as loud as a commercial master, then the mastering studio cannot use their sweet limiters and compressors to increase the levels in the ways that make mastering magic.

    49. Focus on achieving a good balance - The main goal in your mixes should be to achieve a good frequency balance and a good volume (level) balance between recorded tracks.

    50. Reference CDs are not always as good of an idea as you might thin - Sometimes mixing engineers have a client bring in a reference CD and the goal is to make the mix sound like the commercially released reference CD. That reference CD is almost always a final mastered CD, and chasing after its sound is often like a cat trying to catch a laser dot. After all, the reference CD has been professionally mastered, and you are comparing a final mix to a final master. Trying to achive that "huge" sound you hear on a commercially released master recording while mixing can stop the mastering engineer from being able to help you actually achieve it. Concentrating on getting a good balance is usually the best main goal.

    51. Don't be afraid to do the work - I learned in the military that while shining boots, there are many methods but the most important factor is the time you spend. The same holds true for mixing -- the more time you spend checking this list against the work on your mixes, the better your recordings will sound.

    52. Don't go overboard with effects - Just because you have them doesn't mean you need to over-use them. This is especially true with compression and EQ. A little bit of compression and EQing goes a long way. Reverb can become over-powering, especially if you don't use pre-delay. You must understand how to use the tools that you have, but it is equally important to know when they should not be used.

    53. Good Mics and Good Preamps - Using high quality microphones and preamps can have a serious impact on your recording. If money is not an issue, we recommend George Massenburg preamps, if money is a factor, the grace designs preamps are a very good value.

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    PREPARING A FINAL MIX FOR MASTERING

    54. Have your levels set and make sure there is no clipping.

    55. Send high bitrate mixdowns to your mastering studio - You should mix your final mixes down to 24-bit and not 16-bit. Also, you cannot just convert a 16-bit .wav to 24-bit, it just doesn't work that way.

    56. Make a "room tone" recording for your mastering engineer - It is always good to make a 10-second recording of the room you are working in as a "room tone" recording, it should be a recording of silence in the room used for recording. Supplying your mastering studio with this file will help him make better transitions, because he will not have to fade completely to digital silence between tracks.

    57. Loudness for the Radio - Louder, more compressed mixes will not sound louder on the radio. Orban processing (used at almost all FM Radio stations) processes almost all audio to have a similar dynamic range, and higher limiting will not give any advantage. Highly compressed recordings can actually sound less competitive than a recording with higher dynamics.

    58. Getting a thick bass sound without a bass - Many producers use a MiniMoog to produce round, rich bass sounds without a bass guitar. It is a very notable sound for bass. You may even use it in combination with an LA-2A, as many people do with real bass guitars. Of course, there are many other synthesizers that can be used to create rich bass lines.

    59. Make sure not to place microphones too close - One thing in recording that often helps contribute to the sense of space is the distance away from the source that a mic is placed. Micing too closely can deaden a mix, and you should always experiment with microphone placement to get good tones. If you're always putting microphones an inch away or two away from the source, you should pull them back a bit and see how it sounds. This can often be very important with vocals. You can also use microphone distance to help create layers in the mix.

    60. Get professional mastering - Many home studio engineers and project studio engineers do the mastering themselves and find themselves unsatisfied. If you are in need of a professional sounding album, and want to participate in the professional process, then send your final mixes to a reputable, professional mastering studio. You'll only spend about $400, which is well worth it for polishing something that you are creating to be a legacy. Low-quality and even medium-quality mastering can break an album's potential. Professional mastering means professional quality. Even with raw music like metal or raw blues, professional mastering is usually far more more important than many people know.

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    Too Many steps to read? Watch the video instead! :wink:
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  3. AnotherIdol

    AnotherIdol Newbie

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    Nice post. I'm sure this will come in handy for me as a reference later on!
     
  4. felino

    felino Newbie

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    The some members of the old school says that you can't master one song. Mastering is usually process that comes in a time of making an album. I mean, after mixing is done. It means making it "sound better" in order to smooth out frequencies, make songs tighter, more punch, louder (don't overdo it!) and what is very important, to make them like they come from one studio, from one artist, both frequency and loud wise, to breath well together, to make a unity of the songs. It sometimes involves problem solutions, sometimes you just can't mix the song again and you have to tame a snare that is too loud without disturbing the rest of the mix, sometimes the chorus is not good so you copy the good one :), you make fade outs and stuff...Haven't enough time to write more now.

    The chart above is useful, but ears and experience have to guide you the most of all.
     
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  5. The Drum King

    The Drum King Ultrasonic

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    Yes you are very right! Also it does not help at all if you have "cheap" monitors. Your ears are the best judge and of course with the help of some great monitors you will be able to pick out which frequencies are conflicting in your mix.

    I hope my info was helpful. Just remember this is a "template" where you can start from. Different genres of music and complexity may require different mastering...of course :)

    Have Fun! :thumbsup:
     
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  6. SAiNT

    SAiNT Administrator Staff Member phonometrograph

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    i have several printed copies of these charts... it's a must! :thumbsup:
     
  7. Antilles

    Antilles Noisemaker

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    you cant say set the compressor to this and this setting... you cant do that with anything in audio. you have to treat each track on each song for its own. there are no rules.

    the better question than how to set the compressor is which compressor to choose, because they react totally different. same applies to EQ and so on.

    if there is one good advice that fits to nearly all material, then it would be to clear the bass frequencies very carefully und try to maintain them almost or fully mono for biggest impact. Locut every element that is not supposed to create bass impact or bassline. and use early-reflections to create some sense of depth, even with inyaface-mixes.

    Also applies: dont always pan with the pan pot, try to create panorama with a short delay without feedback. (sample delay is handy) the localization is better and the source is equally loud on both sides (if this is desired) best is to mix both the pan-pot-panning and the delay-panning. because we are used to hear like that in our everydaylife.

    and perhaps the best thing is to treat your room to suppress resonant frequencies mainly in the bass-area, choose good ad/da converters and decent speakers and cables to clearly hear what you are doing.

    You should consider letting someone else master your tracks, because you where probably involved in the recording and did the mixing afterwards so it is really refreshing to let someone with fresh ears do the finnishing touches, who never heard the song before and has the equipment and the environment plus the experience necessary, to detect problems and resolve them for a high quality result.

    greetz
    Antilles
     
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  8. The Drum King

    The Drum King Ultrasonic

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    Like I said this is a "Template" you can base off, if you don't know where to start.
     
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  9. hexor

    hexor Newbie

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    Thank you for the nice chart.
    May I ask you where you got it from ? A magazine or something ?
     
  10. Kalymero

    Kalymero Newbie

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    It look more about a tutorial on how to mix your song than a tutorial on how to masterize your song in my opinion. but oh well. thanks for this! =)
     
  11. ghost47

    ghost47 Newbie

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    Man I'm making A book on basics of the Studio template based...

    Thanks Drum king!
     
  12. Upsagain

    Upsagain Newbie

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    Generally speaking this is what? Mastering a mix ???? Mix is mix and mastering is mastering. Makeup your mind about what you are trying to write here! “Mastering more in depth – snare -2db” How you can step down for -2db snare in mastering phase? If you are trying to explain mix stage then is wrong again simply because in real life you will never get same source. In real life I found so much sound technicians (for live or studio performance) they stuck because of using so called templates. There is only one approach -> like sound engineer you have to treat each source (instrument or voice) one by one. In this phase are most important gain and EQ. Like sound engineer you have to know how some instrument must to sound. If you are not sure the best practice is to consult player of this instrument.
    There is only one good approach -> before starting any project (live or in studio) make sure that all buttons are in “0” position. Sound engineer (or you are) is special kind of people with sensitive ears, so use them! By simple moving knobs left right in second you will know where you are and what you have to do. To be able for this kind of tasks you HAVE to practice.
    Before it was hard to practice but today you can find on internet raw material (multitracks). For practice I will recommend live recordings. Practice is essential in this kind of job, you should be able to recognize when to stop moving knob in split of second or to say on other way to recognize what is good and what is wrong. Also, good way for practicing is to play with an instrument and to analyze “What if” for this instrument. And most important -> do not practice with samples, especially not with quality ones. Practicing with real instruments is important even for electronic music. Huh -> typewriting is not for me, I’m going to make some good noise :break:
     
  13. Taper

    Taper Newbie

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    I like to share a good guideline of equalisation points for different instruments. Use it to get a start for a good mixing, practice it and always trust your ears as a final judgment.

    Violin:
    Frequency Range (FR) :
    (G-C4) 196 Hz to 2100 Hz
    Overtones @ Up to 10 kHz
    EQ :
    Warmth around 240 Hz
    String 2.5 kHz
    Attack 7-10 kHz

    Double Bass:
    FR : (E-C1) 41 Hz to 260 Hz
    Overtones : Up to 8kHz
    EQ:
    Fullness 80 Hz to 100 Hz
    Body 200 Hz
    String Noise 2.5 kHz

    Acoustic Guitar:
    FR : (E-D3) 41 Hz to 1157 Hz
    Overtones : Up to 12 kHz
    EQ:
    Warmth 240 Hz
    Clarity 2 kHz to 5 kHz
    Attack 3.5 kHz

    Electric Guitar:
    FR : (E-G3) 82 Hz to 1570 Hz
    Overtones 5 KHz
    EQ:
    Fullness 240 Hz
    Warmth 400 Hz
    String 2.5 kHz

    Trumpet:
    FR : (E-D3) 160 Hz to 1175 Hz
    Overtones : Up to 15 kHz
    EQ:
    Fullness 120 Hz to 240 Hz
    Bell 5 kHz
    Attack 8 kHz

    Tuba:

    FR: (B2-A1) 29 Hz to 440 Hz
    Overtones: Up to 1.8 KHz
    EQ:
    Fullness 80 Hz
    Resonance 500 Hz
    Cut 1.2 kHz

    Grand Piano:
    FR : (A-2-C5) 27 Hz to 4200 Hz
    Overtones over 13 kHz
    EQ:
    Warmth 120 Hz
    Clarity 2.5 kHz to 4 kHz
    Attack 8 kHz

    Flute (small)

    FR: (D2-C5) 587 Hz to 4200 Hz
    Overtones around 10 kHz
    EQ:
    Warmth 500 Hz to 700 Hz
    Breath 3.2 kHz
    Air 6 kHz

    Oboe
    FR: (B-F2) 247 Hz to 1400 Hz
    Overtones up to 12 kHz
    EQ:
    Body 300 Hz
    Resonance 1.2 kHz
    Attack 4.5 kHz

    Clarinet
    FR: (D-G3) 147 Hz to 1570 Hz
    Overtones Up to 4 kHz
    EQ:
    Bell 300 Hz
    harmonics 2.5 kHz
    Air 5.2 kHz

    Timpani
    FR: (D-C) 73 Hz to 130 Hz
    Overtones up to 4 kHz
    EQ:
    Warmth 90 Hz
    Attack 2.0 kHz
    Air 4.5 kHz

    Bass Guitar electric:
    FR: (E-C2) 82 Hz to 520 Hz
    Overtones: up to 8 kHz
    EQ:
    Body 80 Hz
    Warmth 300 Hz
    String 2.5 kHz

    Viola
    FR: (C-C3) 130 Hz to 1050 Hz
    Overtones: Around 8 kHz to 10 kHz
    EQ:
    Fullness 200 Hz
    String 2.4 kHz
    Scratch 4.2 kHz

    Bass Drum
    Overtones around 4 kHz
    EQ:
    Body 120 Hz
    Box Sound 400 Hz
    Cut 3.0 kHz

    Snare Drum
    Overtones Up to 8 kHz
    EQ:
    Body 120 Hz to 240 Hz
    Hollow 400 Hz
    Snare 2.5 kHz

    Cymbals
    Overtones up to 10 kHz
    EQ:
    Bell 220 Hz
    Clarity 7.5 kHz
    Air 10 kHz

    Toms
    Overtones up to 3.5 kHz
    EQ:
    Fullness 120 Hz
    Cut 5 kHz


    I hope this would help you to have a starting point in your instruments EQing during your mixing state.
    Of course the mixing state has not much to do directly with the mastering state but to get a good master at the end of the day, you should start with a good mix of your track and of course a good arrangement of the instruments.
    The mastering state is only to form the sound of a track for the market IMHO. Where it is played, Radio, Club, Home etc.
    Also the mastering process is also a pure technical state, to get a rid of errors before you send your track to the pressing.

    EQing your instruments: For a tight loud mix there is a lot of work to do. Most engineers go the frequency mixing matrix way, means,
    each instrument has a fundamental note/frequence (FR in the chart), has its overtones and maybe one more important element only to get regognized by our brains as a piano, Bass drum or whatever. So every instrument has only two or three important elements in the frequency spectrum the rest can and should be cut out to clean up the frequency spectrum, make place for the other instruments.
    Otherwise said, each instrument need its frequency domain in a mix and thats why a good track needs a good arrangement of your instruments.

    How to clean up the frequency spectrum, build a frequency domain for a instrument?
    Lets take a bass drum, solo it in your mix and load a parametric EQ. Enable a most narrow mid band, grab it with your mouse/knob and sweep through the frequency band downwards with maximum gain. PLEASE REDUCE YOUR MONITOR LEVELS WHILE YOU DO THAT, take care of your equipment and ears.

    When you reach somewhere around 120 Hz you will hear a loud resonance, when you move away it will vanish again, that is the fundamental frequence, the body that we need.The second important element is the punch, take another narrow mid band from the same EQ and sweep with highest gain to somewhere around 2kHz and more, you should hear another resonance, thats where the club hits the skin of the bass drum (acoustic), we need that too, keep it.
    Thats all elements we need for the bass drum, the rest can be cut out. Boost the important elements you found as you like and proceed to the other instruments. A long way but the most rigorous one.

    Practice this sweep way with other instruments HH, cymbals, guitars etc. and you will learn not to watch the EQ curve but trusting your ears, close your eyes can help.You may also consider not to boost the important elements only, think about reducing the frequencies around the important ones to make them stand out.

    Good luck and enjoy making good music and mixes !
     
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  14. Gulliver

    Gulliver Noisemaker

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    Hi Taper,

    thanks for the effort you took for this very useful post, but I'm afraid that your list contains some errors.
    Maybe you can take another look at it, and edit it.

    Violin: 196 to 260 Hz?
    Double Bass: 41 to 260 Hz?

    Just two I noticed.

    And yes, the tread title should be changed, because that is really not about Mastering.
     
  15. Taper

    Taper Newbie

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    Thanks for the heads up Gulliver, the violin was wrong goes up to 2100 Hz of course and has its warmth at 240 Hz, changed now. The double bass is correct though.
     
  16. RicardoPadua

    RicardoPadua Newbie

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    Why do people say you can't master on Ableton? I've done it lots of times, it's actually pretty simple and it gives you the CD quality sound you're looking for.
     
  17. opty

    opty Newbie

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    Padua is right. For a good mastering job the DAW is less(!) important than having an excellently treated listening environment, very good listening equipment and a great deal of experience. It always gives me the creeps when people consider themselves "mastering engineers" when all they do is slap on some Ozone or Waves plugin presets and listen to that with their 50 dollar headphones. which is all ok and fine as long as they don't charge people for the "mastering job" or tell them honestly that for a real mastering job they should maybe go elsewhere

    opty
     
  18. The Drum King

    The Drum King Ultrasonic

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    Yup, changed the thread name :wink: I just had the wrong title is all :grooves:
     
  19. The Drum King

    The Drum King Ultrasonic

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    -Post updated new chart at bottom- :wink:
     
  20. Gulliver

    Gulliver Noisemaker

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    :wink:
     
  21. ionutz

    ionutz Newbie

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    I'd love to sample a male voice @ 100hz lmao, make that bass rumble
     
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