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Author Topic: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?  (Read 42555 times)

tom eaton

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 10:13:09 pm »

Been using Jam 6 for quite some time (years?).  Never had an issue and it reliably writes CD-text.  Easy to save disk images from there, too.

I do the gaps in Nuendo and then just enter the gap times into Jam.  Takes about 30 seconds to do that manually.  ISRC and all that stuff, too.

-tom

Ben F

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2008, 12:42:34 am »

I think once you have used Sequoia there is no going back. It's like having Pro Tools on steroids, or Pro Tools with all the functionality of Logic Pro. It's rock solid and very intuitive.

Ideally I'd like to have a Mac Pro with dual boot, OSX for Logic Pro and Pro Tools stem mixes, XP for Sequoia...but the solution for the moment is a Mac and PC both for there own specific purpose.
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Matt_G

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2008, 08:16:48 am »

What seems to be a common thread is that most people are relying on 2 applications to do the complete job. No one has mentioned 'Reaper' which if you were like me had never heard of it. I read about it in the latest Audio Technology magazine (Mac Section) & it sparked my curiosity enough to investigate it further.

Andy, you pretty much summed up how I feel about changing from what I know & use daily. The thought of learning a new application is a daunting exercise & one that would require getting up to speed either in down time or with unattended sessions. Not to mention as you say the added cost of buying new hardware & software.

As a lot of people are using a separate application for CD assembly it really was an easy choice to swap Waveburner for Sonic PMCD & the price was right. As for replacing Pro Tools that is not an easy task as I have so much invested in terms of hardware & plug-ins. Most of the plug-ins have an AU or VST installer but some of the plug-ins I use don't mainly MDW EQ & Sonic NoNoise (although I could get the NoNoise II license for PMCD).

Reaper for OSX isn't much of a risk in terms of the initial outlay with the commercial license being only $225US. It's the best bang for buck software I've ever seen. Having set up a test case session I was able to do pretty much everything that I would normally do in Pro Tools with the exception of the plug-ins I've mentioned that aren't compatible. This program has really impressed me in both sound quality, reliability & functionality. It's always growing in features & is truly cutting edge (perhaps the equal to Samplitude for Mac).

Even if I was to get this & soundBlade the outlay would be minimal & yet the possibilities are endless with this combo. Reaper can also be duplicated to run 2 or more instances simultaneously each one can use a different core audio driver if you have 2 soundcards. Allowing multiple source/destination sample rates. Alternatively Reaper could act as the source playback & digital processor with soundBlade capturing & doing the editing cutting post the analog chain. This with a new 8 core Mac Pro seems like a very powerful combo, also bootcamp or parallels could run Plextools. Perhaps the sale of my HD rig & some plug-ins could pretty much cover the cost of the complete upgrade.

Anyway just thinking out loud for now... decisions, decisions. Thanks to everyone who have replied so far, it's a timely thread with all the new choices available.

Matt
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Matthew Gray Mastering

Brisbane Australia

bblackwood

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 08:26:19 am »

FWIW, Sequoia (and Samp) can run multiple instances at once - I choose to use Wavelab to fed the analog chain simply because there's less of a chance of confusion (on my part or in the playback engine/sound card assignment) and Wavelab will open just about any digital file ever made.

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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

masterhse

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 09:22:52 am »

Also investigating options, I think that you often need to as technology changes or issues are raised.

I've been running tests here on the Waveburner issue as well.

I'm still not clear on if the Wavburner issue happens at the bounce or somehow when burning the disc. The bounced files used to be SDII but can't seem to open these now as they moved to some proprietary file format. In the meantime it's back to booting in OS9 for assembly.

Matt, if you're still using sample manager for SRC I tested this and it nulls when converting to 16 bit. From tests by others it appears that adding indexes to an existing 16 bit in WB is not an issue (have yet to test this). The only drawback is having to do fades and final edits in PT.

I've also been playing around with Soundblade, but it just doesn't seem to have the routing capabilities that I like in PT yet. I'll probably end up just replacing Waveburner with SB and sticking with PT for processing of more complex sessions. At the college they have a Pyramix system that I'm thinking about as well.

Doesn't the new version of Sequoia have issues with dithering properly? Also how is the SRC?
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
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mastertone

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2008, 09:33:11 am »

I switched from Cd architect / wavelab to Samplitude about 6 months ago, Made a big diffrence! It really helped speed up my workflow, does everything i need. Just to bad the graphics arent as fast as nuendos Sad
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Jonas Ekstrom
Mastertone Mastering
www.mastertone.se

Jerry Tubb

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2008, 10:39:20 am »

Andy my bro... consider these comments (with apologies for dissecting your post).

Andy Krehm wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 20:26

I'd love to try some of the PC applications. Sequoia, in particular, seems to do everything I'd want in a DAW.


Yeah but with 20+ years of daily Mac OS use, why switch horses now?

Quote:

 Unlike my learned web board buddy, Jerry Tubb, (who likely would have been exploring the New World, had he lived in that era)


Hahaha, well... our name does translate to "New Turf" I can see the new motto already... Where Change is Constant!

Quote:

 I just want to go to the studio every day and master.


Hey me too, but the experimentation time has been a necessary indulgence (hey that's an oxymoron!) over the last year.

With testing WaveBurner, CD-Text enigmas, confirming PT fidelity, & learning soundBlade, I've found new meaning to the term soft-ware.

Quote:

I only change things up or experiment when something is not working or if I have a new piece of gear to test.


By the looks of all the groovy gear at your place, it must have been like the Manhattan Project around there for a while!

Quote:

Using my current setup, PT & WB, I'm fast and efficient. The few little things that WB doesn't do, causing one to go back to PT, are few and far between and when necessary, only add a few minute to a session.


Yup but at this point, at least for me, WaveBurner is Toast ... oh wait a minute,

Quote:

The big question is cost versus perceived and practical improvements. <snip> The total cost would be anywhere from 6 to 10K! <snip> My work is not going to be significantly faster nor will it sound better!


Exactly!  

Well, a blind A/B test between otherwise identical discs made with WB and sB might be interesting.

Quote:

The simple alternative to WaveBurner is to just go with SoundBlade and stay on my current computer.


Ditto!
------------------------

current workflow:

PT HD for the playback & EQ processing, including external analog EQ loop, minimal use of plug-ins.

Capture on the same PT DAW at the sessions' native sampling rate.

Export the mastered files to stereo interleaved, SRC with Sample Manager if needed.

Reset CoreAudio to default at 44.1kHz.

Drop the soundfiles into the top panel of soundBlade

Adjust the sequence, fades, gaps. Set the PQ Marks, populate CD-Text and ISRC.

Insert a blank disc, specify a DDP folder, burn & test the master. Print the PQ Log.

Easy as pie, no big  dilemma.

----------------------------------------

As an alternative I'll do the whole process in sB, including external analog loop.

As another alternative, been considering using my backup G5 as a second "capture only" DAW with sB, but the first scenario is working so well...

All the Best - JT
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Terra Nova Mastering
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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2008, 10:45:34 am »

masterhse wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 08:22


I've also been playing around with Soundblade, but it just doesn't seem to have the routing capabilities that I like in PT yet.

Expanded routing, I/O and editing flexibility are available via the Multichannel option.
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Bob Boyd
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Andy Krehm

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2008, 10:52:50 am »

Bob Boyd wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 10:45

masterhse wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 08:22


I've also been playing around with Soundblade, but it just doesn't seem to have the routing capabilities that I like in PT yet.

Expanded routing, I/O and editing flexibility are available via the Multichannel option.

Hey Bob:

What exactly do you have and how much does it cost?

masterhse

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2008, 12:03:48 pm »

Bob Boyd wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 10:45

masterhse wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 08:22


I've also been playing around with Soundblade, but it just doesn't seem to have the routing capabilities that I like in PT yet.

Expanded routing, I/O and editing flexibility are available via the Multichannel option.


Bob, does it have plug-in and level automation on the routing channels?

Another option that I'm thinking of is just moving my PT rig over to a PC to have more options for CD creation, or using it for feeding SB on a Mac.
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
CD Mastering and Media Production Services

jdg

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2008, 12:13:53 pm »

the multichannel for sB is $800
and you get more panels, same routing, but more of it.
there is not any plugin automation per se, but u can have object based plugins, on as many edit points/objects your computer can handle.

level automation is done by the gain overlay
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john mcCaig
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Peter Beckmann

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #26 on: June 15, 2008, 12:33:41 pm »

My workflow is almost identical to JTs, and his encouragement to persevere with Soundblade has led to me leaving Waveburner behind me.
My workflow:

Playback/capture on Protools HD. Mostly analogue processing DA/AD via Hedd into analogue chain. I use Massenberg EQ and very occasionally Oxford EQ ITB.

I assemble PQ and burn in SB.

The bonus for me in using PT is automation, either for level rides or specific EQ in/out on problem areas. Also, I edit incredibly quickly in PT and incredibly slowly in SB!!

If I have non 44.1 source files I cam either SRC post capture, or play at native rate out via Protools LE digitally to HEDD and capture at 44.1 in PT HD.

I don't mind using 2 apps. It means I can archive processed files with the SB project for neater archival.

Just finished a really nice EP today [yeah its Fathers day here in the UK...] and I really appreciated SB very fine fade adjustments. And the master sounded great, the client VERY happy.
What's not to like?


Peter
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Peter Beckmann
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masterhse

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2008, 12:37:53 pm »

I'll have to play around with routing further in SB to see if it can do what I want. For example, how difficult would it be to create an M/S matrix with plugs that are object based? Not being able to control them in a timeline like the gain overlay is a restriction IMHO. Not that I do this in a typical session, but it's very nice when I need it.

I'm not really trying to replace PT, actually I like it for processing when used as many here do. I feel the main issue is the lack of reliable and professional level CD burning options on OS/X. There should be a satirical Mac commercial with the "PC guy" burning a CD and the "Mac guy" looking around the room for a box of software.

At this point it seems that Sonic is the best in this area. Being able to handle chores other than just CD creation is an added bonus and may offer other possiblilites in my workflow that can save time. There are some audio post functions that I also need where PT is well suited to the task while other software may not be. Just being able to run these on one machine without having to add additional wiring, reboot, or duplicate hardware would be great.
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
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zmix

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2008, 12:49:30 pm »

Other?

Seems that the ommision of Waveburner or even Logic is pretty glaring, considering the number of threads about them on this forum....

Andy Krehm

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Re: Which DAW do you use for Mastering?
« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2008, 01:27:15 pm »

zmix wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 12:49

Other?

Seems that the ommision of Waveburner or even Logic is pretty glaring, considering the number of threads about them on this forum....

Watching the threads and posts it would seem that Logic is seldom used by mastering specialists. Given the success that many of us have had with Pro Tools as a processing DAW, there is no reason not to adapt any other DAW but for whatever reason, PTs is more popular, at least on this web board.

WaveBurner has not at all been excluded and is/has been used extensively by many mastering pros. However, recently it was discovered to have a programming glitch resulting in an inaccurate rendering of bits in certain modes.

Whether this is making an audible difference in sound is disputable (and would need a proper A/B/X test) but given that ME's pride themselves on accuracy and detail, this problem is making us abandon or think about abandoning what is a very easy to use, full-featured sequencing program with very, very few operational downsides.
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