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Author Topic: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)  (Read 7625 times)

CbMedia

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Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« on: November 06, 2013, 12:41:15 pm »

Hello!

***Update, please see my charted workflow post below for better presentation***


I would like to streamline my mastering workflow and have done some reading on here and other places to gather some idea... but I would like to express my conclusions and see if there may be any readers who could suggest improvements or further optimizations.

I currently use Pro Tools (10) exclusively for this application paired with Lynx Aurora conversion... I process individual files and I handle all of my processing (24/96) inside Pro Tools (Plug-ins and Hardware chain as a effect insert)... followed by final limiter/dithering. I then bounce each track to a hard final file... which is then processed through another program for coding/tagging/DDP etc.

What I am thinking of doing is to continue to use PT in the exact same fashion as above and upgrading to Wavelab 8 to use for the final coding/tagging/DDP... I would still be bouncing to flat files from PT and then organizing/finalizing on the same computer with Wavelab 8.

The one thing I am considering is adding in a second card/AD so that I can catch in Wavelab 8 in real time... but I am wondering if this is really necessary or what benefit it might add to all of this... seems I will be accomplishing one single DA/AD conversion loop either way.

If you have been so kind as to read thus far please let me know if you see where this can be improved or further optimized... if i have missed previous postings already covering this topic please redirect me or offer keywords I might not have tried.

Thank you for your time and patience!

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djwaudio

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Thank you!)
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 07:53:58 pm »

I pitch with Wavelab, as it syncs to whatever the incoming sample rate is.  That goes out to the analog chain via a Weiss DAC1 MK2.

I capture the EQd audio back through the AD which feeds the TC6000 for final limiting.

That signal is caught with SADiE at 24 bit.  Edit, fade, PQ, dither, deliver. 

The beauty of this setup is, with SADiE running in E-E mode I can compare the level and tone of the track I'm working on to what has already been recorded.  Just tap the space bar while in record mode.

Note: I do not use plug-ins and am gun-shy about sample rate conversion.
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Respectfully submitted,

Dana J White
Specialized Mastering
www.specializedmastering.com

CbMedia

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Thank you!)
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 10:00:47 pm »

Thank you for the reply!  ;D

I am wondering what the benefit of pitching from one DAW into the other provides other than hosting native sample rates... and if you need two completely different conversion devices to accomplish this task successfully on a single computer... do you have a second A/D device to get things back into Sadie or is the TC6000 providing this stage too? is there a second digital card on the same computer which is controlled by Sadie? or a second computer for Sadie altogether?

Thank you for your time!
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ggidluck

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Thank you!)
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 10:42:33 pm »

It seems that your current workflow is working for you.

There probably isn't sufficient reason to warrant going outside of the box unless it would be to use an analog processing loop with gear inserted.
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CbMedia

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2013, 08:57:00 am »

***charted workflow post***

I have decided to do a complete workflow charting for the three potential options I now see before me, I believe this will facilitate this thread much better than my initial posting. Thank you for bearing with me!:

Option A (current):

(upsample source, 44/16 limited/dithered bounce into Wavelab as final coder/organizer/DDP)

PT 10 (upsample to 96/24)--> AES-16--> D/A(Aurora)--> Hardware--> A/D(Aurora)--> AES-16--> PT 10--> Limiter/Dither--> 44/16 Bounce--> Wavelab8--> Fade/edit,sequencing,coding--> Final print

Option B (higher quality dither in Wavelab):

(upsample source, 96/24 limited bounce into Wavelab as final dither/coder/organizer/DDP)

PT 10 (upsample to 96/24)--> AES-16--> D/A(Aurora)--> Hardware--> A/D(Aurora)--> AES16--> PT 10--> Limiter-->96/24bit Bounce--> Wavelab8--> Dither,Fade/edit,sequencing,coding,--> Final print

Option C (pitch/catch upgrade):

(original source, second A/D converter, capture 44/16 into PC with Wavelab as final limiter/dither/coder/organizer/DDP)

(Mac) PT 10 Original SR playback--> (Mac) AES-16--> D/A(Aurora)--> Hardware--> Separate A/D (T.B.D.)--> (PC) Emu1212ADAT--> (PC) Wavelab 8 Capture--> Limiter/Dither--> Fade/edit, sequencing,coding--> Final print

Option C (final) Post Monitoring Solution:

All other monitoring coming from pitch computer D/A (Aurora) stage (original, post fader, reference track) so in order to re-achieve final post monitoring I would do the following, ( considering no quality analog output from PC Emu1212card, would rather pipe digital to Aurora):

Emu1212ADAT Output (PC)-->AES-16-ADAT Card Input (Mac)-->Routed through (Aurora) D/A internally to correct analog output for post monitoring

Further notes: EMU PC card will be replaced with something better (RME or another AES16, also supplying analog out for final post monitoring) and I have not decided on what the second A/D converter will be for this stage yet, possibly the BLA White Sparrow.
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djwaudio

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 07:01:39 pm »

Here's a more clear version of what I'm doing.  I treat the source as if it were something like a tape machine. This requires 2 DACs that can run at different sample rates, and an A/D converter.

*Pitch*
Client source mix file
Wavelab
Lynx soundcard out AES (clocks to file native sample rate)
Weiss DA

*analog chain*

*Catch*
Prism AD converter (set to destination sample rate, usually 44.1)
AES to TC 6000
SADiE (for edit/PQ/dither/delivery via SADiE AES interface)

*Monitor*
Signal is monitored with my console using another Prism DAC


The entire chain is always being monitored when making EQ decisions.  There is also a feature on the console that routes the source to the monitor, so I can compare the mix to my mastering with the push of a button.
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Respectfully submitted,

Dana J White
Specialized Mastering
www.specializedmastering.com

BiigNiick

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 12:59:21 am »

hi christopher,
my setup is very similar to how your workflow goes.


*client files *
PT 10
Lynx AES card
*digital chain*
Lavry Blue DA


*analog chain*


Lavry Blue AD
*digital chain (if needed)*
Lynx AES card
PT 10


export hi-res files to DSP-Quattro
edit, sequence, fade and codes
dither to 16/44.1k DDP/PQ export -or- hi-res export for MFiT




i have used wavelab in the past and found DSP-Quattro works better in my workflow.  not to knock wavelab in any way, it does a lot of things very well.  i find i like the workflow and ease of DSP-Q.  i like the way i can work hi-res until the very end and deliver the DDP for CD production and 24/96k MFit or HD Tracks or such from one sequence/edit process.  it's very efficient for me.  also, i can wait to dither until after i do fades.  they sound much smoother to me this way.


 - nick

CbMedia

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 09:49:14 am »

Thank you to both of you for responding!

BiigNiick, I am wondering... are you upsampling the source file in PT? running the source session in 24/96?

and are you catching through a separate track recording in PT and then exporting to a flat file? or bouncing directly to a flat file?

Any SRC before going to DSP Quattro? and finally, what are you using in DSP Quattro for dithering down to 16?

Thanks so much!

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CbMedia

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 11:02:16 am »

Done some more research and more reading on here and after much deliberation I think the following is most likely the best way for me to get the most out of my current setup with minimal upgrade costs:

Option D

Sample Manager (iZotope SRC to 96/24)--> PT 10 (96/24 session)--> AES-16--> D/A(Aurora)--> Hardware--> A/D (Aurora)--> AES16--> PT 10--> Limiter--> 96/24 Bounce--> Sample Manager (SRC to 44/24)--> DSPQuattro--> Fade/edit, sequencing, coding, Dither, DDP--> Final print


All SRC handled in Sample Manager with iZotope, DSP Quattro to replace Wavelab (seems to have better performance ratings/reviews and service response), final dither provided by DSP Quattro.

The only thing I wonder about is dither quality provided by DSP Quattro... or if it might just be best to add dither in sample manager before going to DSP Quattro.
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Twerk

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 03:35:32 pm »

What if your client asks you for some 96k masters a week later? If you had them in Quattro as 96k, it would be quick and painless to create those for them at any point down the road. Doesn't happen to me often, but it happens. And it would be a pain to reprint all the songs again or have to set them up again in a new Quattro session set to 96k.

I haven't tested yet, but I wonder if Quattro would load a previously saved CD layout that was built using 44.1 files with 96k files swapped out in the same folder. Hmmm.. I'll need to check that later. If that works, I'd at least save the 96k bounces with the project just in case.
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BiigNiick

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2013, 10:23:40 pm »

I haven't tested yet, but I wonder if Quattro would load a previously saved CD layout that was built using 44.1 files with 96k files swapped out in the same folder. Hmmm.. I'll need to check that later. If that works, I'd at least save the 96k bounces with the project just in case.


it doesn't work...  :-(  i thought that might be cool workflow, too.


are you upsampling the source file in PT? running the source session in 24/96?
sometimes...  if they bring me 48k files i usually upsample.  if they bring 44.1k or 88.2k or 96k, i'll work at those sample rates.
and are you catching through a separate track recording in PT and then exporting to a flat file? or bouncing directly to a flat file?

yep.  pitch and catch with PT on separate tracks.
Any SRC before going to DSP Quattro? and finally, what are you using in DSP Quattro for dithering down to 16?



usually no SRC.  it's more a workflow thing...  that way i can export a DDP, 16-44.1k and 24-96k files all from the same layout.  it makes for Digital distribution, CD and hi-res download are all easily generated from very easily.


some things will call for external SRC before i go to DSP-Q and it takes a little more work, but if the client wants it, no problem.


DSP-Q has TPDIF dithering that works fine for me and sounds pretty good.


i wish DSP-Q would let you choose from a few different dither choices.  actually, i have a whole list of feature requests i've sent to stefano. . .

Twerk

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 04:46:51 am »

Stefano actually just released a new version today, as well as let people know over at GS that a new version is coming built from the ground up for 64bit Intel machines. For a while there, I was worried it had been abandoned. Exciting times are ahead.
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BiigNiick

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Update!)
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 09:55:27 pm »

Stefano actually just released a new version today,
...
 Exciting times are ahead.


i agree.  i got the notice today ;-)  time to do a system backup and try the new update.


 - nick

KAyo

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Re: Mastering Workflow Advice Requested (Thank you!)
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2013, 08:10:12 am »


Note: I do not use plug-ins and am gun-shy about sample rate conversion.

Ditto..
Sample rate conversion is an absolute irritant [[ gggrrrr...

NO Soup for you!


:) KAyo
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