WHAT IS MIXING ADVICE FOR MASTERING?
It is a process through which, in the face of attentive listening, with professional quality equipment (enclosure with treated acoustics, ad/da Class A converters, professional monitors) we seek to know and / or find future problems that, at the time of mastering, may bring us inconvenience.
COMMONLY ENCOUNTERED ISSUES
HIGH FRECUENCY ENERGY IN VOICE
Either by the nature of the shot in the recording, by excessive use of EQ, or by listening in rooms without acoustic treatment, we found energy exceeded in the frequency range of 6000 HZ to 9000 HZ.
Therefore, a possible solution would be to apply a de-esser. While there are excellent plug-in de-essers, ideally a hardware one should be applied. However, it is easy to overstate the role of this tool. So we have to be extremely careful when applying it, since with incorrect use, it can crush the natural wheezing given in the voices.
Free Plug Ins:
– Lisp (Sleepy Time DSP) – Dead Duck De-esser –
EXCESSIVE PREPONDERANCE OF LOW AND MIDDLE BASS FREQUENCIES
They can come from either the bass, kick drum, or another instrument that is in this range. As a consequence, the room’s own acoustic modes cause certain frequencies to be canceled, thus being unable to accurately evaluate the energy in this frequency range.
EXCESSIVE PREPONDERANCE OF HI HAT
One of the most common mistakes, found throughout our mastering task. Probably some of the sources of this error come from:
1) Drummer: the playing of certain drummers with HH open even at a higher volume than the rest of the drums.
2) Microphones: Selecting the right microphones for HH recording makes a fundamental difference.
3) EQ: Incorrect use, excessive brightness, incorrect treatment of the acoustic enclosure, which leads to an erroneous evaluation of the energy present in the mix.
INCORRECT USE OR APPLICATION OF STEREO FIELD, FREQUENCIES IN MONO OUT OF PHASE
Another of the most common errors that we find in the tracks that come to us for mastering.
On the one hand, the abuse of delays and reverbs in the stereo field results in an oversized or ‘dry’ mix depending on the case. On the other hand, we recommend continuous listening in stereo and mono of the mixes to be delivered, since in many cases we notice the excessive use of delays and reverbs that when translated into mono, certain elements are perceived with less energy or are directly lost.
In addition to the equipment in our study, these also fulfill these functions:
Paid plug ins: – Waves PAZ – LEVELS
Free Plug Ins: – Flux Stereo Tools – Bx Solo
Also, in the following paragraphs we detail some important points about your mixes, and how you have to deliver your material.
Advice on mixing for mastering.
Before doing the process in which you are going to achieve a stereo file, listen carefully to each track separately to find wheezing, pops, clicks, annoying noises, etc.
HOW IT SOUNDS
Make sure that both the end and the beginning of your track sound the way you want. Although, when we do mastering we make sure that the fade in and fade out are in a correct and harmonious way, we work on the general render, not being able to eliminate elements that are at one point, the responsibility of whoever has mixed the theme.
First, at the beginning of your song, leave 1 or 2 seconds. In this way, with that, if there is any noise, we can make a sound profile of that existing noise and then remove it.
END OF TOPIC
Check that the fade out is correct. Many times we find that when several instruments stop playing, and only one remains, for example a guitar, the ambience or reverb of this instrument is incorrectly set.
Check that your song sounds correctly in MONO.
The incorrect use of panning and certain effects such as delays, chorus and flanger, make certain instruments in mono sound with less energy or directly disappear (cancellations). Nowadays all DAWS have MONO listening option.
Free plug ins: – PANIPULATOR –
LISTEN TO THE FINAL PERFORMANCE
I even got someone else to participate.
In this way, it is possible to find noises, glitches or different anomalies that can harm the mastering work.
NO TO LIMITERS
Don’t use limiters of any kind on the master.
As a result, a limiter set to the master makes our mastering task very difficult.
ABOUT THE DBFS
In the song (s) to be mastered, the peaks should not exceed -1 DBFS.
And in no case should it be at 0 DBFS.
Your final mix, in the master or master output, the signal peaks should reach a maximum of -1 DBFS, this means: Peaks by -1 db below zero.
In your favorite DAW or project, turn ALL faders, including AUX, so that the maximum peak is -1 DBFS.
On the other hand, we strongly recommend DO NOT NORMALIZE!
HOW TO RENDER
Render at the same sample rate and bit depth as all your channels. Example: Even though the voices have been recorded at 48000 hz, then, at the time of rendering, you will surely do it at 96000 hz. But, don’t do that!
We repeat! Render at the same sample rate and bit depth of your project.
Therefore, the downsampling / oversampling tasks will be the job of us and our converters.
HOW TO NAME YOUR TRACKS
The neatness when naming your tracks simplifies everyone’s work:
Artist + Name of the theme + V Version or date + MIX.
WAV – AIFF. Without Normalization. Without Limitation. No compression. If compression is strictly necessary for an artistic or color theme provided by the processor, we recommend not compressing more than 2 DB.
In no case will files in MP3, OGG, etc. format be accepted.
Finally, you have to like the mix that you send to master.
Not even the best mastering in the world, will make an unbalanced mix sound good.
In the same way if you have a track with a mediocre recording, mastering doesn’t save a bad mix either.
If all the previous steps are checked, it is when it is convenient for you to send us your track so that we can get to work with your album or song!
Other services offered by Online Mastering Services Casa Rara:
Analog Digital Mastering – Stem Mastering – Digital Platforms Mastering (Spotify, You Tube, Tidal) – Apple Itunes MFIT Mastering
We hope that MIXING ADVICE SECTION has been useful to you.
If you have any questions, contact us.