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Topic: Step-by-step mastering order

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  1. #1

    Question Step-by-step mastering order

    Hi,

    Sorry for putting that in this forum.

    After digging two years in mixing and mastering concepts my knowledge is getting a little better. Now when people says it takes many years to master audio I truly believe it. Knowing something and understanding something are two different beasts.

    The web has plenty of tips "on how to" many things on this matter but finding exemples on how to proceed in the right order is more problematic. So, commonly, are the following steps a good template to proceed from ?

    1) Denoising, Deessing
    2) Eq
    3) Compression
    4) Reverb
    5) Harmonic exciter
    6) Stereo Imaging
    7) Dithering

    Thanks,

    SergeD

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    Im by no means a mastering expert, but I dont think Id put the Harmonic exciter and Stereo Imaging after the reverb. Id also put Deessing after EQ.


    Just my 2 cents though.
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

  4. #4

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    Quote Originally Posted by Serge
    1) Denoising, Deessing
    2) Eq
    3) Compression
    4) Reverb
    5) Harmonic exciter
    6) Stereo Imaging
    7) Dithering

    Thanks,

    SergeD
    I've done some mastering and for me this whole list seems strange. Eq, compression (single and/or multiband), limiting and dithering are clearly necessary in most mastering applications but the rest of the list belong to mixing if even there. Denoising, de-essing, reverb, exciters and stereo imaging tools can be useful when remastering an old track or when the mixing is poor and cannot be redone. If the mix is professionally done then these tools will more likely do harm than good. For me mastering means the stage where the track becomes compatible with the listeners and their equipment. The artistic decisions are done in the mix. I think that a good mix should need equalization, single band compression and slight limiting but in most cases even multiband compression isn't necessary.

  5. #5

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    I agree. The question is what you're trying to accomplish and how to go about it, not in what order do I slap on all the junk "because I can."

    I can't remember the last time I used an enhancer, for example.

  6. #6

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    Thanks Houston, I already own this useful document. Their step order is different from the one shown above.

    Thanks Scott, I will try those inversions.

    Janila, I do my best to brighten my AO library which is dark. So using an Harmonic exciter is something to try. Little Stereo widening also helps. Noise prints have been extract from the strings and made it possible to clean some noises found in the strings. But you're right, last week I realized that a well mixed and stereo balanced instruments are the basic achievement before applying alterations. And also learned not to trust headphones (I knew it but not understood).

    Nick, my goal is to give some sparkle to AO by any means.

    All my pieces have been done with AO and I want to finish my project with AO. My hard disk contains brilliant mockups found on this site showing all orchestral libraries. My next one will be a direct heir of AO.

    SergeD

  7. #7

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    Quote Originally Posted by Serge
    Janila, I do my best to brighten my AO library which is dark. So using an Harmonic exciter is something to try. Little Stereo widening also helps.
    Try doing this in the mixing stage before the strings are sent to reverb. The reverb smoothens all kinds of undesired artifacts the exciter or stereo processing might produce. Actually the thing you are doing is mixing, not mastering.

  8. #8

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    Thanks Janila for helping,

    SergeD

  9. #9

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    I don't know AO, but you can spend hours and hours eq-ing to make older libraries sound good. Giga's disk-streaming revolutionized sampling, but the improved quality of the recordings these days is just as big a deal.

  10. #10

    Re: Step-by-step mastering order

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Batzdorf
    I don't know AO, but you can spend hours and hours eq-ing to make older libraries sound good.
    You bet I know ! Hope that will serve for the rest of my life !

    SergeD

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