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FYI: Interview with me about mastering at home


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I think the first part of using HarBal is training your ears to correlate what you're seeing with what you're hearing. The second part is figuring out the right amount of correction. I don't know if I'd say it's an "easy" program to use, but once you get experienced with it, it's "fast" to use. In other words, you may be doing some pretty complex things, but it doesn't take you long to do them.
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I don't mean to quibble- However,

Is it realy correct to say that samples have been "mastered".

They may have been EQed to be bright.

They may have been compressed a bit - just as some tracks are.

 

However, I thought the term "mastered" would apply only to a full-up mix.

 

We'd never say that an individual track had been "mastered" - I think.

 

Sincerely , the semantics police ;)

Check out some tunes here:

http://www.garageband.com/artist/KenFava

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Excellent straight forward tips. I recently had the pleasure of having a well known mastering studio basically return most of the project because it couldn't be improved upon enough for him to take the artists money. The two most important elements of mastering are by far on each side of your head.

 

One additional "trick" if I may, is that if you are doing everything yourself, is to think about the final process, throughout the project. As example an Acoustic guitar that will be more prominent in the mix when done might warrant a punchier microphone where if it's just going to be eventually "in the mix" a more subtle mic might be the choice. This resulting in that much less EQ in the pre-mastering stage.

 

I totally understand (and have dealt with) "Mastered" samples and loops. Very crucial with drums where the "sample" of the snare is eq's and even placed spacially, and in a particular room. It could end up sounding terrible when placed into a kit that was recorded to sound completely different. It is a little bit of symantics, and you are right that mastering is the final step, those loops or samples can be treated as a final step and the result may not be what you want.

Desdinova

"...I am the one you warned me of."

 

www.BaronAudio.com

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Thanks for freely sharing your expertise, Craig. Practical and timely! :thu:

(I don't know why it didn't occur to me to mix using the loudness maximizer prior to saving the file...)

-Steve

-----------------------------------

Sometimes ya gotta find out what it ain't, to find out what it is...

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<

Is it realy correct to say that samples have been "mastered".

They may have been EQed to be bright.

They may have been compressed a bit - just as some tracks are.

 

However, I thought the term "mastered" would apply only to a full-up mix.>>

 

Good points, I meant samples in the sense of loops, which often contain multiple instruments, like a mix. I don't really think of, say, guitar multisamples in a sampler as being "mastered."

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"I truly believe that what makes a good master is not the plug-ins, but the ears of the mastering engineer. The only "trick" I have is to listen really carefully to the EQ. I think EQ is the key to successful mastering, not dynamics control. Once you get the EQ right, it doesn't matter how much or little compression you add to make the music a little "louder," the sound will still be right."

 

:thu:

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  • 4 months later...

Craig, in the interview you say this:

 

Right now most of my mastering is done first by optimizing EQ with the HarBal program. After the EQ is right, I use the Waves L1 UltraMaximizer to maximize the level. I used to use multiband compression a lot, but found that with the right EQ and maximization, I can get the same effect but the dynamics sound much better.

That's the center piece of my 'mastering' plan right now - getting the EQ right first then just using dynamics processors to adjust any final loudness or in your face sounds I might want...

 

Now that I've had Harbal 1.5 on my desktop and it seems stable I thought I'd start using it again.

 

Any Harbal comments anyone ? Craig has made comments in the past, how bout some other folks Phil ? Anyone else a fan of visual references while EQ'ing ?

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I'm sorry I didn't post earlier in this thread.

 

It's a good short interview with surprisingly much information and some really good tips for recording & mixing.

 

Two tumbs up! :thu::thu:

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What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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Originally posted by Botch.:

Thanks Craig, I learned a few things! :thu:

Yeah.. me too. Like: Leave the mastering to the Pros! :rolleyes:

 

Yeah - I'm half-kidding. An interesting point from that interview is how often Craig says - use EQ and not a lot of plug-ins. And... the (plug ins and stuff) more you use, the more it degrades the sound. In many instances, simple definitely is better.

 

Thanks Craig!

 

Tom :cool:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Originally posted by Anderton:

I think the first part of using HarBal is training your ears to correlate what you're seeing with what you're hearing. The second part is figuring out the right amount of correction. I don't know if I'd say it's an "easy" program to use, but once you get experienced with it, it's "fast" to use. In other words, you may be doing some pretty complex things, but it doesn't take you long to do them.

Craig, I used Har-Bar to master my latest album and I can say, it helped immensely. Very cool tool. Overall, I like the way it came out, but there is a bit too much high end, so i just turn it down a little and it's cool. You should check it out if you get a sec. It's all available for streaming on my site. I will attest to how cool HarBar is though! One of the most usefull tools I have purchased in quite a while!
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Kendrix you are hilarious.

 

Craig that was an enjoyable interveiw to read.

It is nice to hear cats like yourself talk about how you do things and your enthusiasm is like oxegen. Thanks.

I pulled out "Home Recording For Musicians", the other night. That's a great book.

You have helped a lot of people get started.

When do we get another CA single btw?

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