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MASTERING ENGINEERS ADVICE

QUICK TIP: TIGHTING UP KICKS

advice low end mastering tips

QUICK TIP: TIGHTING UP KICKS

We all want that big, thumping kick going on. But sometimes it's quite hard to do because you might have a few different instruments working in that area, getting in the way of each other. The way I approach this is I forget about what's doing what and who's doing what in the low end. I'm listening to this whole sound of kick ā€“ not to the individual instruments ā€“ which goes anywhere from like 20 Hertz up to about 100 Hertz, and around the outside too. What I do is get that, so it's a bit tighter. For me,...

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WHAT LIMITERS I'M USING FOR MASTERING

advice limiters mastering

WHAT LIMITERS I'M USING FOR MASTERING

Limiting never used to be really important. When I first started mastering 20 odd years ago, we used to master to 0 PPM. And only when it was peaking over will we use a limiter, a clipper-type one. That left the level about -14 LUFS, which is kind of where we're going back to. But ever since the TC Finalizer came along, and people started to smash their tracks and work from home with them, the whole mastering landscape has changed. Now limiters are used to get things as loud as we possibly can, whether that's -8, -6 or -4...

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LOUDER MASTERS - THE REASON IS SIMPLE

advice loudness mastering

LOUDER MASTERS - THE REASON IS SIMPLE

I noticed that it has now become a standard procedure that people want their stuff loud over the years, with things even going to -14 LUFS on streaming and download services. Things don't need to be super loud; they still need the RMS up high because the limiters act as compressors. They're making a certain sound on the track. They still have that compressed sound when they're pulled down to -14, but they're crushed up and are hitting a super loud level. If you're mastering up to -14, you won't get the same sound and feel as when you're pushing...

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ONLY AUDIO ENGINEERS WILL GET THIS

advice clients mastering

ONLY AUDIO ENGINEERS WILL GET THIS

Sometimes clients just have to have their input. Most people these days work remotely, and they probably know what I'm talking about. You work remotely with a client, and there are times when you can send them back the exact same track ā€“ not even turned up or had any changes done to it ā€“ and they're going to have feedback. Other times, you could master it, so it sounds ridiculously good ā€“ the best thing you've ever mastered in your life ā€“ and they'll still come back with a tweak. They just want to have their say. They just...

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SEEING EQ CURVES I NORMALLY HEAR

advice EQ mastering

SEEING EQ CURVES I NORMALLY HEAR

So when I first started mastering, I didn't have any plugins whatsoever. There were no computers to master with; I would just use tape. So I'd have an EQ, and I would have some numbers on it, cues and gains and stuff. What I would do is I'd have to change them and listen to what they did. The thing that's been quite strange for me is now that I've got plugins, I use them in a similar way, where I'll do stuff, and I'll listen to it. The curves that I'm using when I go into the presets and...

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