Mastering instrumentals/vocals, which first?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by bridgehatsynth, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. bridgehatsynth

    bridgehatsynth Member

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    Okay so I might be overthinking this but if a track is going to get professional mastering, should I record the vocalist on it once the mix is done then send the vocals and instrumental together to the mastering engineer? Or do I master the instrumental then record the vocals over that?
    Also if you are working with a mastered instrumental, how do you keep the vocal levels loud yet not clashing on the limiter with the instrumental?

     
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  3. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    As to my experience it's not possible to mix the instrumental version in a way that the vocals will sit perfectly in the mix. You have to mix both at the same time.
    Recording vocals to a mastered version is probably the worst idea.
     
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  4. bridgehatsynth

    bridgehatsynth Member

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    Really interesting cause a lot of hip hop production nowadays is done to already mastered tracks, but those are usually mixed to have a lot of space in the vocal range. So maybe it depends based on genre?
     
  5. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Ah, that explains a lot, [​IMG] no, just kidding. :winker:

    Seriously, I have no clue about Hip Hop production, but I wonder how they will make space for vocals they don't know of. I mean, it could be a low male voice or a high female voice, so...
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  6. bridgehatsynth

    bridgehatsynth Member

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    lmaooo yeah it does.
    I suppose because 70% of hip hop vocalists are in the same range and sound similar it isn't an issue lol
     
  7. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    Why not get multi-tracks/stems and mix everything once everything has been recorded/produced?
     
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  8. coolbeanz

    coolbeanz Producer

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    i deal with this scenario quite often.

    even if the beat is 'mastered' or at full volume already, the beat still should be gain staged in the mix, therefore you'll be turning it down since headroom is required for the entire mix (with vocals) to be mastered properly.

    not sure how to gain stage? hope this helps:

     
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  9. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    I really can't believe that someone is still believing the above 'proper gain staging' bullshit. :facepalm:

    Firstly, it does not depend on your DAW, at least I don't know of any halfway modern DAW which isn't capable of FP (but maybe I missed one).
    Secondly, with 32 or 64bit FP no channel is clipping, even not the master.
    Thirdly, keeping the master's level at -6 or -10dB is of no technical, theoretical or practical use at all.
    The only thing you need to take care of is not go above ~ -1dB (for safety purpose) if you're working with 16 or 24bit.

    P.S. And before you start to give me disagrees, dislikes and nasties, all this had been proven years and years ago and of course I can prove this too, no prob at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
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  10. Baxter

    Baxter Audiosexual

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    All DAWs use 32bit FP internally. Some use 64bit (like Cubase). Yes.

    I think Coolbeanz just meant to say that when adding vocals to a "mastered beat" you just need to use *proper gainstaging in order to not clip the master, when exporting to 24bit. This is pretty self-explanatory anyway, because you can't fit your family inside the small closet anyway.

    Also, ALL AD/DA converters clip at 0dBFS. Some clip even before that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  11. Gyro Gearloose

    Gyro Gearloose Rock Star

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    i love gain staging :dunno::hillbilly:
     
  12. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    I don't say you must not do it, but the way it's described in the vid is completely outdated bs.
     
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  13. Lieglein

    Lieglein Producer

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    I do not know why you need to change the volume of your tracks just because you add some vocals anyway. :dunno:

    (And this "5 minutes to a screwed up mix"- guy doesn't seem to know the "trim"- button yet. Maybe someone can tell him? Because then he doesn't need to adjust his sinus-faders again after inserting a compressor.)
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  14. NeverenoghFun

    NeverenoghFun Producer

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    Um.... I dont know how to tell you this brah,
    But your doing it wrong.
    TONS of great advice around here. Though real mastering is a very well kept secret.
    There is a reason why there is only a hand full of people who master what we hear on radio.
    Cause the popped the code and not sharing lol
     
  15. SceleJohn

    SceleJohn Producer

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    Well "that" guy is an absolute moron. His videos contain useless and misleading tips just to get clicks and to get aspiring producer's attention. His Youtube channel is just an ad for his real PAID lessons.
     
  16. SceleJohn

    SceleJohn Producer

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    @No Avenger You are right about gain staging. The producer who makes the music for some of the projects I'm working on, just barely gets everything to an even level by ear. Then he just mixes straight away without looking at decibel meters and crap like that, and he gets amazing results.
     
  17. evolasme

    evolasme Kapellmeister

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    Mixing is where you get all the levels correct and "make room" for all the elements in the track

    Mastering is the final process to treat the overall mix.
     
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  18. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Oh, as to my experience you have to. Like for instance the snare. You also need to change some eq settings.
     
  19. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    As I said, this depends. If you're working with 16 or 24 bit clipping does occur above 0dB FS. You also have to take care about limiters that don't have an input controller and clippers.
    But in the vid he's not talking about plugins, only about channel and master level.
     
  20. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    @SineWave I'd really like to know in which way you disagree. But we can do this in PM if it goes too off topic here.
     
  21. The Pirate

    The Pirate Audiosexual

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    Best Answer
    This is Matthew Weiss' take on it:

    https://theproaudiofiles.com/tips-for-mixing-vocals-to-a-two-track-instrumental/





     
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