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Author Topic: Long Mastering Sessions..  (Read 8165 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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Long Mastering Sessions..
« on: October 11, 2011, 05:56:46 am »

Recently I have had a couple of really long mastering sessions without a break. One 8 hours long and one 9 hours long. At the end I was really drained. I was wondering how others on this forum prepare for long mastering sessions (exercise, longer sleeping periods, etc.) and how you relax after the session? These were both because the clients waited until the very last minute before getting their stuff mastered and there were some problems that had to be solved before their material could be sent off. The longest mastering session I have done was 13 hours and that was not fun. Suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

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Celebrating 23 years in business in 2018

bblackwood

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 07:19:44 am »

Why aren't you taking breaks?
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 03:48:43 pm »

I take bathroom breaks but these clients wanted to get the stuff done and into the mail and pushed like he!! to get it done. Most times if it is a long session I schedule a lunch break in the middle and maybe a coffee break or two but clients are clients and these two wanted to get stuff done on their time table.

I really wish people would stop setting up their CD release party before they have a finished master in hand or at the plant. Also people seem to wait until the very end to decide to do mastering and then expect you to move heaven and earth to get it finished in a ridiculously short time frame.

These two sessions really wore me out. Must be getting old.

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Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 23 years in business in 2018

Twerk

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 05:59:23 pm »

I really wish people would stop setting up their CD release party before they have a finished master in hand or at the plant. Also people seem to wait until the very end to decide to do mastering and then expect you to move heaven and earth to get it finished in a ridiculously short time frame.

Not a week goes by that I don't have several projects that need mastering and the release date is just days away. Someone forgot to give the next generation of labels and artists the handbook on how this sh** works. ;)
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jdg

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 06:38:46 pm »

i wont do it, not worth it for me.

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John McCaig
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adamgonsa

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 08:48:01 pm »

Breaks are crucial for attended album sessions. 
Do you have a set of terms that you can put in an email for clients to read and agree to Thomas?  That way they'll know even if they need it done immediately you're not going to fry yourself with some 13-hour mastering session (which is completely insane btw).   
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Adam Gonsalves
Telegraph Mastering

djwaudio

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 01:45:20 am »

You gotta be the alpha dog on attended sessions, or the clients will walk all over you until you assert yourself. YMMV
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Respectfully submitted,

Dana J White
Specialized Mastering
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lowland

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 02:56:39 am »

Some of this goes with the territory - mastering engineers will from time to time inherit track and mix time overruns colliding with release dates, and dealing with that can be part of the job.

However, running oneself ragged does no favours to anyone, and it's surprising how often ways round present themselves. One that comes to mind is that CD plants commonly build an extra couple of days' buffer into their delivery dates, and a little negotiation can work wonders for one's sleep schedule.
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Nigel Palmer
Lowland Masters
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PBM

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 06:58:22 am »

Recently I have had a couple of really long mastering sessions without a break. One 8 hours long and one 9 hours long. At the end I was really drained. I was wondering how others on this forum prepare for long mastering sessions (exercise, longer sleeping periods, etc.) and how you relax after the session? These were both because the clients waited until the very last minute before getting their stuff mastered and there were some problems that had to be solved before their material could be sent off. The longest mastering session I have done was 13 hours and that was not fun. Suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.

After an 8 or 9 hour session with too few breaks I'd be seriously keen to re-visit the material the next day to see what tricks my ears had been playing in the last couple of hours ...

Cheers,

Eric
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Philosophers Barn Mastering
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bblackwood

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 07:28:36 am »

Only you know how long you can work before it becomes detrimental, therefore you have to make that call.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Jerry Tubb

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2011, 07:31:22 am »

Yep, one of the Perils of attended sessions.
I try not to do marathons these days.
Gettin' too auld for that shyte!
A couple of months ago I had one with a popular Austin band.
Session ran for 14 hours, project was "due" the day before we mastered.
3 versions of a 15 song record; CD, instrumental, Vinyl HD prep.
Including stems :-) PT-HD>ATR-102>analog EQ>soundBlade 2.0.
They surprised me with the quantity of work & deadline,
but i decided to hang tough and do it.
I always take a good ear/brain break every few songs.
Plenty of food/drink/personal time included.
Clients were pleased, Record got great reviews.

Warning, "glorious tales of yore" to follow:

Of course, all thru the 90s I did two-session 12-14 hour days every day,
With almost ~no~ days off. Worked many holidays, even Easter Sunday morning.

Many all nighters as well, watching the sun rise as I was driving home with bloodshot eyes.
I wore my stamina as a red badge of honor, and spat in the eye of any whiny newbies.
it was before the availability of energy drinks, so you just got tough and did the gig ;-)

One particular morning, after working all night with a picky OCD gospel producer,
I was driving home and saw a type of ultra rare lunar eclipse (there's a term for it that escapes me),
one where the eclipsed magnified crescent moon was beginning to set in the  west,
while the sun was beginning to rise in the east.
Looked like something from a SciFi movie.
Had just topped a really tall hill on my drive, and the view was perfect, stunning, breath-taking.
It was a brief fleeting moment though, by the time I had reached the bottom of the hill, the view was gone forever.
Before digital cameras were kept at hand, so only a deep impression burned in the memory remains.
When I got home, showered up, changed clothes, and immediately drove 400 miles for a family reunion.

Cheers, JT
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Terra Nova Mastering
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 07:38:21 am »

Oops double post, not enough java yet.
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Terra Nova Mastering
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Gregory Thompson

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2011, 07:54:03 am »

The irony here is palpable, Jerry.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2011, 07:54:59 am »

The irony here is palpable, Jerry.

"like" :-)

JT
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Technologyworks

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Re: Long Mastering Sessions..
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 11:29:19 am »

Breaks are essential for me to retain objectivity, and for me to be confident in my decisions, eq choices etc.

I try to schedule attended sessions to start at 10, so we get our overall approach dialled in and several tracks printed before we break for lunch. I always make sure we break for lunch. I need to refresh my brain. Maybe psychologically this is where a charging scale based on per track instead of an hourly charge helps. Clients know any breaks are on 'my' time, not theirs.

Having said that, I have had recently a couple of projects where there were hold ups and a mix had to be recalled and re-printed. Makes for a long day for sure if you have a lot of tracks.

So long as I'm not fatigued during processing I'm fine. I'm ok even at the end of a longish session to wrestle with Soundblade CD Text, EAN, ISRC and so on.

I try to make attended sessions rewarding, fun and informative for my clients, but it is MY studio so I feel I need to run the session to suit me as well as them. If my ears or my head need a break, we take a break

Peter
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Peter Beckmann
Technologyworks Mastering
http://www.technologyworks.co.uk
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