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Author Topic: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques  (Read 8769 times)

jdg

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2006, 01:54:36 pm »

loved the track too. my type of thing totally.

Peak 5.2 -> Lavry ->

NSEQ-2
+2dB at 100 (bell)
-1dB at 220 Q 0.6
+1 750 Q 0.4
+2 21k Q 0.4
actually used the tube side this time.

API 550Ms
+1 @ 50
+1 @ 3k
+1 @ 12k

API 2500
thresh -8
attack 3msec
ratio 2:1
release .1sec
knee soft
"thrust" normal
"type" old
Linking - Independant
make up gain - off

back into daw

out AES to

L2
Stereo unlinked
thresh -3.0
out .1

AES into daw

UAD Percision Limiter
gain: 2.5dB
type A
out - .3

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john mcCaig
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UnderTow

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2006, 02:35:06 pm »

First, up, I really enjoyed the music. Smile It didn't get boring during the whole mastering and listening process. Great stuff!. It reminds me a bit of some Tuxedomoon tracks ...

As I had a few comments about the level in the previous WUMPS and I had promised I would crank up the next one, that is exactly what I did. It was an experiment and I would probably leave 3dB of extra breathing room (or more) if this was in another context.

I considerd doing some level automation on the crescendos but found that with all the compression and especially limiting, things smoothed out quite well level wise.

Also, In my home studio, I have really bad accoustics. I tried EQing out some of the resonanance in the strings but it was more guess work than anything else so I turned off those EQ bands before printing. (When in doubt, abstain).

Two of the PSP plugins have FAT turned off. This was purely due to lack of processing power. I had intended to listen to the difference with it turned back on during bouncing but things got really hectic before I left for Italy and I just forgot to test this.

Anyway, here is my chain:

Track loaded in Sonar 5

Voxengo Soniformer

I Started off with the tape compression preset and tweaked from there. There are ALOT of things that can be changed. Too many to list here and anyway, most of it is graphical so can't be written down exactly.

PSP MasterQ
Hipass @ 30Hz with Q 0.71 and 24dB/oct
Low-shelf @ 100Hz with Q0.5 and 2.1dB Gain
Peak @ 249Hz Q 1.02 and gain -1.06 dB
FAT off

PSP MasterComp
Ratio 1.4
Attack 48.1ms
Release 389ms
No sidechain filters
No stereo linking
Mix 50%
Make-up gain auto
FAT Off
Between 0 and 2 dB gain reduction usualy hovering arround 1dB.

Voxengo Marquis Compressor
Ratio 2.0
Attack 0.05ms
Release 150ms
Force 100%
Dry 80%
Makeup off
Knee off
C.Mode Forward, Sharp
Param 1,2,3 set to the default 1.80

There is about 1.5 dB of GR throughtout the track. The intension was to add density more than anything else. Anyway, only 20% of the signal was the compressed signal. So there really isn't much gain reduction on the overall signal.

PSP MasterQ
Hipass @ 20Hz with Q 0.71 and 24dB/Oct
Low-shelf @ 100Hz Q0.5 Gain 1.94dB  (This was probably too much. I could have left this band out and have a leaner low-end).
Lowpass @ 20.1Khz Q 0.71 24dB/Oct
FAT on

Voxengo Warmifier
Type 6550
Prm V -9dB
Prm I -3dB

I am using this very hard. This is to add more colouring or thickness or harmonic distortion or whatever you want to call it. I'm really liking this plugin.

Voxengo Elephant
Lim mode: EL-3
Lim Speed: fast
Shape: 0
RShape: 2ms
St Linking off
4x Oversampling.
No dithering or DC filter.

I'm hitting this really hard. There is nearly constant peak limiting and at its max, it has 9dB of peak reduction! At this sample rate (+4X oversampling making it 352.8Khz) it still sounds amazingly clean.

Sligth fade in/out.

Exported to 88.2Khz/64 bit. Converted to 44.1/16 with Voxengo R8brain.

My version was 1234.

Alistair
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cerberus

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2006, 05:03:37 pm »

hi alistair;

you and i felt this music very differently i think. it seems as if we both wanted to push the music toward our aesthetic preferences for the music a bit farther than the client told us to, though the opposite way.

i think that when people hear both our masters, they do not wonder so much what we did, as much as why we could all read the same brief and yet some of us came up with such divergent aesthetic solutions. i think we both knowingly were attempting to present something that we knew would be outside a statistical deviation from the mean, in an aesthetic sense; that it would get noticed, and there would be strong opinions.

so i hope we can have a deeper discussion on how we why we pushed various aspects of dog days to almost try and prove that it could fit the rock genre, or in my case a more classical motif.  (to paraphrase lennon: "you can rattle your jewelry", but please, no moshing!) the client appeared to be almost sitting on the fence, imo....so i think we both took the chance to demonstrate which way it might want to lean more than the other.

and one of us -really- loves the effects of compression; i think i am overdosed myself. what's up with that?

jeff dinces

UnderTow

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2006, 06:00:08 pm »

Hey Jeff, which was your version? I think your comments would make more sense if I could listen to what you did with the music. Smile

Btw, the WUMPS are all learning experiences for me. I am not trying to get the best master per say or trying to stick out or anything like that. I'm doing this for my own experience and pleasure. If anyone can learn anything from my sound+techniques description so much the beter. Even if it is what not to do! Smile

If this was a paying job, note that I am not a professional mastering engineer at this point so that is unlikely right now Smile, I wouldn't have slammed the levels this way. In other words, what you hear isn't a direct translation of my esthetic values. Rather it is how can I get the best results within a very strict set of constraints. In this particular case the constraint was that I had promised (myself) to get things loud in the next WUMP. That was before I heard the material. I stuck to my promise for good or bad. The other constraint is my studio limitations.

I don't think I have ever tried to make anything this loud actually. Smile That in itself was a challenge but even harder with this material. Things could have gotten much more distorted than they did. Wink

I also think that my ears were a bit too tweaked towards heavy bass music when I did the mastering. Anyway, as soon as I have some money, I'm spending it on improving the accoustics. That should really help with the low-end which is all over the place in my home studio.

Alistair
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MT Groove

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2006, 06:26:02 pm »

I'm not sure if I overlooked anything.  Were the entries revealed yet?  If we don't know what's what, how can we look at the settings and techniques and imagine what the +3dB is doing?  Very Happy
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Ged Leitch

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2006, 06:29:58 pm »

MT Groove wrote on Wed, 02 August 2006 23:26

I'm not sure if I overlooked anything.  Were the entries revealed yet?  If we don't know what's what, how can we look at the settings and techniques and imagine what the +3dB is doing?  Very Happy


Yeah MT,

guys, can we post our numbers yet?
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cerberus

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2006, 06:30:45 pm »

UnderTow wrote on Wed, 02 August 2006 18:00

Hey Jeff, which was your version? I think your comments would make more sense if I could listen to what you did with the music. Smile
i'll pm you, and anyone who wants to know until steve makes his observations. he's hinted that he might include perspectives from his bandmates who are his  clients. in that case, it's likely the opinion of musicians who are not mastering engineers; i think it's better to give them a blind listening test. imo,  the anonymity works to good purpose for that circumstance.

thanks for explaining more about your own perspective, it helps me understand much better.

ged, i think we are allowed to reveal our numbers now by brad.

jeff dinces

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2006, 06:48:18 pm »

Ged Leitch wrote on Wed, 02 August 2006 23:29



guys, can we post our numbers yet?



Brad gave the OK in the other thread. Time to discuss technique WITH the sound. Smile

I've revealed my number anyway. It is in my techniques description post.

Alistair
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bblackwood

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2006, 06:49:16 pm »

OK everyone, reveal your numbers!
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cerberus

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2006, 06:52:46 pm »

0905

jeff dinces

Ged Leitch

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2006, 06:53:03 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 02 August 2006 23:49

OK everyone, reveal your numbers!



Woohoo!

Me was number......(drum roll.........) 1978!!!
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chrisj

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2006, 07:05:42 pm »

I'm 0001 Very Happy

Wump VI used the 'faux vari-mu' compression with 6.4 db of gain makeup and a threshold of -0.6 dbFS. That was to stop it hitting limiting too hard, as the compression won't stop overs.
It uses the dreaded 'Rugged Cross' air band boost, which was ceremoniously torn out and killed following this debacle- this time the effect was only a boost of 1.12 db but it was still 1.12 dbTM (too many).
I've actually replaced it with an almost identical routine which is in fact an IIR filter, not a super-short FIR. I believe it's the extreme shortness of the FIR window that was causing such grief, and also producing funny tonalities- would have actually done better to leave that effect off entirely. But I am angsting, let's move on.
The shelving EQs are producing around 12 db of boost below 46 hz where there's practically no signal anyway, and about 1.8 db above 1.3K. The lower one has about one degree of phase shift pushing the bass component sooner and the high one has the over-1.3K part 0.24 degrees sooner- which may also be producing unwanted results- I got paranoid and scrapped the phase anomaly part of that code. Ever end up with a set of controls that just gets you in WAY over your head?
Finally, there's some scary transient designer code which is trying to produce about 2.1 db of extra dynamic punch around 290 hz, and 0.26 db around 5.4K, which also could have been cause for much fear and scariness.
I consider that I've learned some things about EQ in this go-round, but seriously stumbled over the idea that the track shouldn't 'put ice-picks in your ears' on headphones. This led me down a false path of going way skimpy on upper-mids. On the bright side, I nailed a very acceptable and dead-average loudness and compression setting first time off, which was a goal of mine.

My reaction to how this one went was the opposite of Cerberus's- where he'd gone too simple and recanted, I ended up stripping out a bunch of stuff- phase anomalies in the EQ shelves, the whole transient designer section, the dreaded Rugged cross high boost- that wasn't serving me well.

I'm happy to say I got that high boost out of my system before I ever turned it on a paying victim, I mean customer  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Ged Leitch

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2006, 07:12:39 pm »

ok so i was 1978, and i guess the comments mine recieved were some good and some bad.

The repeated dislike was the HF boost,
which i totally agree was too much,
again i feel it's cool to make a mistake here and learn from it (Which I completely have BTW) than just get all defensive about peoples negative views.

If i didnt boost the air so much i guess i'd be happier with it.

I hardly compressed it at all, and the only thing that was needing some correction was that low mid clutter, which was still audible on some entries.

My mindset was >

It sounds fine, but, clean the low mid up around 150HZ
give it some more bottom circa 50HZ
midrange was fine with me,
It could benefit from some extra air as requested.
But, again I guess, tired ears and made the wrong decision regarding the air boost with the IR EQ.

I think, with a mix like this, i should have treated it with a more "Kid gloves" approach, i guess this is true of all mixes.

I recently just re-done Dog days, in a more simpler way, and think it's sounding great, i can post a link to those who wanna hear it?
just pm me.

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UnderTow

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2006, 07:44:48 pm »

cerberus wrote on Wed, 02 August 2006 23:30


thanks for explaining more about your own perspective, it helps me understand much better.



I'm listening to your version now. We did indeed take this in different directions. Smile The one thing I don't understand in your version is the reduced stereo field. Was that intentional or accidental? The way it sounds to me is that certain instruments (that were out on the sides) are now at the back behind other instruments. This makes things less clear for me.

I would like to add to my previous post that my chain would look quite different if I wasn't aiming for loudness. For instance, the choice of the "tape compression" in Soniformer was meant to really flatten things a bit. It works for that purpouse and also adds detail through the high-end boost intended to counter the "tape compression" of the high frequencies. If you look at the rest of my chain you will see that there is no high-end (or mid) EQ boost in any other plugin even though my master is brighter than the original material.

I have done another version for my personal pleasure that isn't slammed. The two extra compressors (MasterComp and Marquis) are out of the chain. The second MasterQ, which was to readjust the sound after compression, is also out. There is much less gain on the Warmifier and there is no gain on the input of the Elephant (this gives 0.7 dB max peak reduction). So the chain then looks like this: Soniformer, MasterQ, Warmifier, Elephant. Very simple and quite effective I think.

(Jeff or anyone, if you want to hear what this version sounds like, PM me and I can post it on Yousendit. It is arround 0 dB on a K-14 scale (AES-17 compliant) which I personaly think is more pleasing and fits the material much better. Smile )

Alistair
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mbruce333

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Re: WUMP VI -- Mastering Techniques
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2006, 07:59:26 pm »

For me...

0603

I liked this little bit of secrecy around our entries!  It was kinda fun...now I've got to go back and connect the names and numbers!

Mike Bruce
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Mike Bruce
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