What do use for Mastering?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
KVRist
50 posts since 15 Mar, 2021

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:36 am

I could surely list some plugs. But I find more interesting to ask what do you do at that stage? What are your goals, and usual actions. The process, let alone the tools.

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KVRAF
7257 posts since 7 Sep, 2006 from Roseville, CA

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:14 am

Tj Shredder wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:04 am
My goto mastering tool is Acon Digitals Acoustica. Mostly only needed for some fine tuning... I've gone through Sounddesigner, Peak, Sonic Solutions and ended up happily with Acoustica now...
I’m strongly considering moving from Wavelab to Acoustica with their current sale. Wavelab has always been unstable for me and I only use about 2% of its capabilities anyway. Acoustica looks like a lean and straightforward app. Need to demo it this week.
smd12 wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:11 am
A professional :D
Same, for label releases, but I do my own mastering for my other crap work :hihi:

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KVRist
414 posts since 3 Jun, 2017

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:13 am

Always depends on my project and daily mood. Usually it's Acon Acoustica plus 3rd party plugins. No rule as to which plugins, sometimes TC Electronic, sometimes Ozone, sometimes Sonnox, sometimes FabFilter, sometimes Softube. Will likely be getting the Nugen mastering bundle, looks like an absolute steal at the current price, so they might also become part of the 'occasionally used' pile soon. From time to time I'll fire up TC Electronic's Finalizer app, just so I can justify having paid for it in some past offer. I find Bute Loudness Normalizer a pretty useful tool, although a one-trick pony. In general, I think it doesn't matter too much what your tools are, these days most serious audio hosts and plugins have a sufficient level of internal processing quality. Just use what you have available and know, or get something that feels right to you and use that. A lot can be argued about the sense of oversampling, uncramped filters, linear phase, etc. but you'll have a hard time finding an audience that will actually be able to listen to your mp3 or vinyl and tell you if that's a FIR or IIR filter boosting the presence on the vocals. Way more important than what you have is how well you know it, and what you can actually do with it. Unfortunately.
cryophonik wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 9:14 am
I’m strongly considering moving from Wavelab to Acoustica with their current sale.
Do it, do it. If you don't have Wavelab Pro, and you're not using it's 'pro' features all the time, you won't miss much in Acoustica. It's fast, lean, potent and stable. RX's and especially SpectraLayers' spectral editing functionality shits circles around Acoustica's, but for gerenal editing, sequencing and polishing it is perfectly adequate and sufficient. If you go for the big version, you'll get the Mastering and Restoration plugin suites as well, which cover just about any processing effect you need, you can also load and use them in other DAWs and editors as regular plugins. Nope, not affiliated, just very happy.
Confucamus.

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KVRist
90 posts since 1 Jan, 2021

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:30 am

AudioThing|Cableguys|Dmitry Sches|Image-Line|Klanghelm|Pajczur|Tokyo Dawn Records|Tritik|Valhalla DSP|u-he

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addled muppet weed
86091 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:35 am

some guy called bob.

KVRer
22 posts since 27 Aug, 2019

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:20 pm

I like to use IKM’s Lurssen Mastering Console. It’s easy to use but could give a good results!

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KVRAF
2147 posts since 8 Jun, 2018

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:25 pm

vurt wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:35 am
some guy called bob.
which get you lynch-ed....
take me as apple as reed-son as flesh-icon, immediately
shits the wise man. hero and blind. take me as
stick as tongue as dog... Music & Soundscraping

KVRer
3 posts since 29 May, 2021

Post Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:34 pm

Fabfilter for mixing and mastering, but I'm still learning.

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KVRAF
1559 posts since 30 May, 2003 from Milan, Italy

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:46 am

http://hermetechmastering.com/equipment.html

It's not really about the tools, but what you do with them, TBH.

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KVRAF
3613 posts since 8 Jul, 2008 from UK

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:58 am

Hermetech Mastering wrote:
Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:46 am
http://hermetechmastering.com/equipment.html

It's not really about the tools, but what you do with them, TBH.
"Part Man, Part Machine, Part Bird, Part Drum - It's Robo-bongo-cuckoo-cop" - James Acaster

KVRian
890 posts since 28 Jul, 2006

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 8:39 pm

I don't think too hard about it, but I usually use Unisum for compression, waves abbey roads mastering for a little EQ and stereo widening, possibly a saturator like Kelvin but my mixes are usually saturated enough, possibly a parametric EQ like TDR Slick EQ M, usually Limitless for limiting.

I might try out widening with Kelvin now that it's updated with more options and M/S.

KVRAF
4029 posts since 26 Nov, 2015 from Way Downunder

Post Sat Nov 27, 2021 10:16 pm

vurt wrote:
Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:35 am
some guy called bob.
Bob 'Macc' Macciochi :?: :love:

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KVRAF
5936 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:47 pm

Seriously, if you can get at least a couple of your tracks mastered by a professional who is willing to give you advice to improve your mixes / fix problems before they're recorded, and also tell you what they did (rather than treating it as some kind of trade secret), that can really give your own skills and ears a boost. (It's also a good sign that the engineer knows what they're doing and isn't just running it through an automatic plugin or something, I guess... :) )

My own default mastering chain now is:

CraveEQ: with a low cut filter enabled by default, but I usually wind up making some tweaks.

DDMF MagicDeathEye: to me this is a gentle, "harmless" compressor and I have it set to especially tame settings, ready to be slightly tweaked.

TEOTE: also set to really neutral settings by default, with Boost Threshold high. It should not have to do very much during mastering -- if it does, I treat it as kind of a warning sign to try some EQ cuts.

SideminderZL: with 100% neutral settings, but I will often try widening the mids and/or highs. Sometimes I do still catch stereo phase correlation issues at this point.

Elephant: I've gotten used to using this as my main limiter. I will run the entire thing through another instance of this if I feel like the first round wasn't enough.

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KVRAF
4630 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:26 pm

"What do use for Mastering?"

My ears.

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KVRAF
2145 posts since 4 May, 2012

Post Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:39 pm

plexuss wrote:
Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:26 pm
"What do use for Mastering?"

My ears.
I was going to write that but I thought I'd let you be that guy. :wink:

Thought about this. Probably the only consistent thing would be a high pass filter. Otherwise it's the same as processing any audio: Assess the issues and solve them with the appropriate tools.

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