I've just mastered a track and would welcome constructive feedback/thoughts

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Bunford, May 21, 2023.

  1. Bunford

    Bunford Audiosexual

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    I've just mastered a track and would welcome some constructive views on it, just to gauge thoughts really :wink:

    So here is the original, unmastered and mixed track:



    And here is the mastered track:



    And here is the second version of the mastered track:



    And the third, and final version of the mastered track:



    The process and how I went about will no doubt come out in the comments (if I get any to respond to!), but wanted some blind feedback first.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
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  3. Lieglein

    Lieglein Audiosexual

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    At 0:39 one can clearly hear that the drums sound like synth drums now.
    And the mids are gone as well.

    But one can do it like this. It's just not raw anymore. :dunno:

    I wouldn't change anything because for example the drums are already very processed anyways as far as I recognize.
     
  4. Stuck In The 80s

    Stuck In The 80s Rock Star

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    OK, the second track is louder BUT.... because it's louder shows up more of the less well recorded aspects.
     
  5. Bunford

    Bunford Audiosexual

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    It's not my band nor anyone I know by the way, just in case people are polite. It's just a mastering test for myself with a random unmastered track.

    When I listened to it, I did detect a few horrible bits, like the drums being quite rigid and lifeless, some of the recordings having built in hiss and so on, but still thought I'd try and polish it a bit. My aims where to try and bring a bit more life into the rigidity of the track along with bringing the drums and bass a bit more into the track, whilst still enabling the lead guitars to be prominent as needed, all whilst trying to bring the vocal a bit more forward too.
     
  6. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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  7. lxfsn

    lxfsn Platinum Record

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    In mastering the only people who's opinions matter are the artists that made that song. What if the "horrible bits" were intentional (they often are)? You just can't take a random song, master it and ask other people how you did, that's not how mastering goes. Ask the artists.
     
  8. Bunford

    Bunford Audiosexual

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    If they were intentional, then that's fine. Something can be intentional and still horrible. And by horrible, I mean horrible and awkward to work with, not that it's derogatory towards the artistic intent at all. Everyone knows that if something is, for example, poorly recorded, uses poor quality samples, or has added some creative effects like vinyl crackling too loud over the entire track, then it can be horrible to work with. That's not intended as a negative comment towards the artist, just an observation on the ease of working with certain things, as ultimately the artist creates whatever they wish for whatever reason they wish.

    I believe that it is is perfectly fine and can ask. It's how people learn and develop, by getting feedback from others that have the necessary knowledge to provide constructive feedback. The artists do not normally have that expertise, or otherwise they'd master the tracks themselves. Therefore, getting feedback from others is a way to develop and broaden knowledge and skill. That's my opinion, but I appreciate that you have your opinion too.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2023
  9. Trurl

    Trurl Audiosexual

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    Lars Ulrich thinks so, at least. Seriously, when mastering the only opinion that matters is the mastering engineer. That's what you're paying for. If the artist wants it different go to a different guy or they can do it themselves if they're so smart.

    (Bob Katz, of all people, once mastered an album of mine louder than we asked for, significantly, because he thought it worked. And it kicked.)
     
  10. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

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    Im not really a fan of massive low end for this type of song, rather chesty 90s alternative style. So just gave it a quick try for fun. @Bunford and @No Avenger have their own style but my taste for this type of music balance wise is more screaming midrange guitar driven style, where the drum not dominating the song. Well I'll mix it that way but the mastering engineer probably has different idea about it.

    https://mega.nz/file/9FYT2AyJ#0GmXN1VApCZe0ytQOPHZmKb01l_Ha6Eb3r9Rg56SLHo
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2023
  11. JMOUTTON

    JMOUTTON Audiosexual

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    Good balance I wouldn't push so much mids around 2.5KHz maybe a dB less but that's just a matter of taste and the only one that didn't fall into the pumping compressor trap. There are compromises of course but for the 5mins spent on this it sounds good.

    Overheads sound wrong, but it is in everyone's so I am guessing that's part of the track.


    Isn't that old analogue gear so sublime, it comes with the hiss for free BTW, you don't need to pay extra for that :)
     
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  12. justwannadownload

    justwannadownload Audiosexual

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    These cymbals give me headache.
    This is very much mixing and recording fault, but you only made it worse.
    I like the lows and low mids tho.
     
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  13. Bunford

    Bunford Audiosexual

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    In what way specifically? I did actually try to roll off the highs and tried various tools from multibands to de-essers, but by removing the cymbals and hats' harshness it then began to make the track even lower frequency focused and got a bit muddy. Is this something fixable potentially? Anyone know of any tricks or tools?
     
  14. Lieglein

    Lieglein Audiosexual

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    I never process Cymbals. No compression, no filtering, de-essing or spectral stuff. Harshness is not a thing to me and I strongly believe, that all this "error" finding in songs or instrument comes due to an unfavorable listening environment. Because mids and highs are a big problem in small and mid-sized rooms.

    One should clear something for himself: Every processing you apply on single acoustical instruments fundamentally means, that the instrument builder did something wrong here. :yes:
     
  15. justwannadownload

    justwannadownload Audiosexual

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    They hiss the whole way. They're recorded and mixed shittily and you can't send it back, so again: not your fault.
    I would've tried downward expansion at around 8-10k after all the compression and enhancement you have there. Or if you have a multiband transient processor, then I would've also lowered sustain at around the same spot. Something to relieve the constant shsssss shssss
    Or the recording engineer. Or the performer.
     
  16. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Sure you can. We can give feedback about freq balance, dynamics, loudness, phase, ...

    Completely wrong approach. :rofl: :winker:

    Dynamic or spectral EQs or spectral compressors can help.
    Neither the recording nor the mix are really good and in such cases I'd ask for stems - which wasn't possible in this case. Therefore you got to live with some flaws, you just can't fix them.

    I'd say this depends on the cyms and the recording.

    In this case I have very bad news especially for BD makers. :winker:
     
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  17. Lieglein

    Lieglein Audiosexual

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    Yes, this is correct. To my experience it's enough to volume adjust.
    I just want to point out, that to me there never is harshness and I do not think that it is a problem that comes from the cymbal sound itself. (Besides somethings like ringing of course.)

    Everything can be harsh if you just listen with "bat ears". That's why a lot of people tame so called resonances with all kinds of tools. :winker:
    To me they are never there.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2023
  18. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

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    Fair, your version feels wrong to me too. I don't do generic and getting businesses for that reason alone, I stick with what I believe. I don't have to be like everybody else. :winker:
     
  19. justwannadownload

    justwannadownload Audiosexual

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    Waaaaait a minute.
    Did you imply that OP's master has a massive low end?
    I thought you're complimenting OP for not overdoing it.
     
  20. axelfender

    axelfender Member

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    on what equipment did you these mix and master,interface,outboard gears ,to tape etc...?
     
  21. Stevie Dude

    Stevie Dude Audiosexual

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    I didn't, I just don't get the idea of smiley EQ mastering that we heard a lot now. Especially when Electronic Music driven engineer doing rock records. It's like the engineers never really listen to rock records anymore. I understand the needs to respect the mix and but I think it was poorly mix in a sense that it lacks attitude for that genre. If I were to get this type of mix, a riff driven, guitar driven music I'd remove the low end so the guitar become bigger than the drum first before everything else. I know the low end will get massive (atleast for this genre) when you pushed the volume up just by listening to the mix. From talking with my fellow mixers and bands here, we all agree fat drums means your guitar sucks and can't drive the song. This song, the guitar is good enough and should shine above everything else. That's why I said I'm not a fan of massive low end for this type of song, it will make the guitar smaller.

    Some people look at it from frequency whatever, I look at it as music/genre/band/vibe first and make the decision.

    It's a decision I will make instead of respecting the mix and just do typical mastering balance, I would rebalance it so it sound they way it should (from what I believe) that I know from listening to records I like for this type of music. If the client don't like it, they can go to somebody else. That's what I do.

    Back to the topic, OP's master is okay I guess, as how others would master it, except I think it could do better with clearing the midrange a bit IMO and yes the low end is too big for my liking for this type of music.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2023
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