Best mastering chain with plugins?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
Azbest
KVRist
126 posts since 17 Oct, 2020

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:38 pm

jamcat wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:37 am
Wondering if most people responding even know what mastering is. Hint: it’s not what you put on your master buss.

You shouldn’t be using saturators and other beauty products when you master. You really shouldn’t be mastering your own work at all.

But if you’re going to, you will likely have better results using automated processes that 1) match level and balance between songs, followed by something that 2) sets ideal loudness for your target format. If you’re not mastering a collection of songs to be packaged as an album, then you should skip step 1.

Anything other than those two steps should be addressed in the mix, not during “mastering.”
This is the most 20th century thing I've read in a while. Plenty successful artists master their own work. But I'm into electronic music, so yeah, in the world of recording acoustic instruments things are different.

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cryophonik
KVRAF
7541 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:39 pm

jamcat wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:25 pm
Have you tried exchanging tracks with a friend to master? Getting another set of ears in a different studio will do a lot more for your tracks than you ever could on your own.
Yeah, a few times when I had a few people that I collaborated with regularly in the past. I totally agree with your sentiment and it’s definitely good practice to have a different and trained set of ears master it, but for casual work that won’t be released to anything other than SoundCloud or YouTube, it’s usually just more convenient to do “master” it myself (even though I still suck at it!) :lol:

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jamcat
KVRian
1344 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:41 pm

Azbest wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:38 pm
jamcat wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:37 am
Wondering if most people responding even know what mastering is. Hint: it’s not what you put on your master buss.

You shouldn’t be using saturators and other beauty products when you master. You really shouldn’t be mastering your own work at all.

But if you’re going to, you will likely have better results using automated processes that 1) match level and balance between songs, followed by something that 2) sets ideal loudness for your target format. If you’re not mastering a collection of songs to be packaged as an album, then you should skip step 1.

Anything other than those two steps should be addressed in the mix, not during “mastering.”
This is the most 20th century thing I've read in a while. Plenty successful artists master their own work. But I'm into electronic music, so yeah, in the world of recording acoustic instruments things are different.
Keep reading, because what I'm saying applies to all music, even electronic.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

Azbest
KVRist
126 posts since 17 Oct, 2020

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:48 pm

jamcat wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:41 pm
Azbest wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:38 pm
jamcat wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:37 am
Wondering if most people responding even know what mastering is. Hint: it’s not what you put on your master buss.

You shouldn’t be using saturators and other beauty products when you master. You really shouldn’t be mastering your own work at all.

But if you’re going to, you will likely have better results using automated processes that 1) match level and balance between songs, followed by something that 2) sets ideal loudness for your target format. If you’re not mastering a collection of songs to be packaged as an album, then you should skip step 1.

Anything other than those two steps should be addressed in the mix, not during “mastering.”
This is the most 20th century thing I've read in a while. Plenty successful artists master their own work. But I'm into electronic music, so yeah, in the world of recording acoustic instruments things are different.
Keep reading, because what I'm saying applies to all music, even electronic.
Except it doesn't and there are many examples why. Different people have different approaches to this.

The Main Event
KVRist
105 posts since 20 Jul, 2012

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:20 pm

Absolutely no point in discussing with someone that it obviously wrong and is only here to defend his opinion, no matter what argument you have. Just leave him like that.

kPere
KVRist
76 posts since 15 Mar, 2021

Post Sat Oct 30, 2021 11:54 pm

Azbest wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 5:38 pm
jamcat wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:37 am
Wondering if most people responding even know what mastering is. Hint: it’s not what you put on your master buss.

You shouldn’t be using saturators and other beauty products when you master. You really shouldn’t be mastering your own work at all.

But if you’re going to, you will likely have better results using automated processes that 1) match level and balance between songs, followed by something that 2) sets ideal loudness for your target format. If you’re not mastering a collection of songs to be packaged as an album, then you should skip step 1.

Anything other than those two steps should be addressed in the mix, not during “mastering.”
This is the most 20th century thing I've read in a while.
Haha

In a perfect world, sure - it'd be great to always send your music to mastering engineer, or having it checked by some other pro pair of ears in a diffrent enviroment. But the world of music has changed a LOT - and most of artists and mixing engineeres are shorter on money and abbities to work that way. Music making has become a common thing, hence quality of most of it will drop to a certain degree, like with any other thing that has dropped down from elites to peasants. But it became acceptable by the listeners, so workflow of the past is no longer a must - and we are getting to the middle of that. Times where if you wanted to make and put out music you needed to have million dollar studio and same worth of crew are gone. Its a good advantage if you have them, but if you know your stuff and have good ear - its all possible in your bedroom. We have examples, so we are discussing facts.

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Bodhisan
KVRian
711 posts since 7 Aug, 2015 from H2O

Post Sun Oct 31, 2021 4:48 am

The Main Event wrote:
Sat Oct 30, 2021 9:20 pm
Absolutely no point in discussing with someone that it obviously wrong and is only here to defend his opinion, no matter what argument you have. Just leave him like that.
"Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying." So...yeah.

For my "home mastering," it's sort of an ever-revolving (it seems) assortment of plugins and configurations within them. Right now, which I like, I've got on my master out:

Edited after trying Ozone, having my eyes opened to my muddiness and too-goddamn-loudness, and then using plugins to recreate what it taught me:

TB E.Q. 4 (using the AI)
TB BusCompressor
TB Barricade 3 (but my peaks generally don't reach it)

Josh Unity
KVRer
1 posts since 4 Nov, 2021

Post Thu Nov 04, 2021 7:20 am

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That's my mastering chain with the link to plugins : [https://www.audio-unity-group.com/maste ... eat-sheet/ (https://www.audio-unity-group.com/mastering-chain-cheat-sheet/)]

Stokely
KVRist
227 posts since 11 May, 2010

Post Thu Nov 04, 2021 9:36 am

I've been messing around with stuff on my master buss (I won't call it "mastering", because as noted it isn't what I grew up understanding what mastering entails).

Yesterday on a more up-tempo poppy tune it was Teote and a compressor doing only a small amount of compression (I went between Katelnikov GE and bx_Townhouse, I liked them both but they sounded fairly different, Katelnikov being less colored imo). I can't say I fully understand Teote or know how best to dial it in (I tend to turn down the amount somewhat from the presets) but I do like what it's doing!

Ozone elements, similar thing--I liked what it was doing, but I didn't really know WHAT it was doing, and that makes me a bit nervous! :D

So, basically, EQ and compression, and not much of it. I have more stuff happening on group busses, you need to keep an eye on things if mixing into these types of plugins because you can start doing more than you intended (or less) as levels change. I also have to remember to always volume match when asking "which one do I like" because as we all know, louder fools us into thinking "better".

I bought Big Clipper from Boz on sale after watching a video reviewer praise it, but I have yet to really wrap my head around it. When I first learned, I don't think clippers were much of a thing! The controls are a bit strange on it. Limiter No 6 has clipping as well, I've used that a couple times on the master and also on a drum buss.

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