R/E/P > Mastering Dynamics

New blog post: In Defence of "In the Box" Mastering

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Lemme know what you think!

Yeah, I liked the honesty in the write.
It wasn't condoning one or the other, if at all. Good job mate.

Personally, my point has always been; If you use plugins (and they are getting really good lately) then, that's a good point to start training your ears and mind .. as they simulate the real world stuff, which you will encounter sooner, rather than later. Just learn learn learn - read read read - apply apply apply ... the more you understand how things work and why things happen when? Then, it's all fantastic knowledge awaiting that encounter with the real boxes of the plugin simulations or otherwise. Plus, just understanding each tool in a software form, is gearing you up for the boxes - and what they can do, can't do or how far you can push an approach. If anything, you'll learn the tolerances between the two mediums and that's an important aspect. As a mastering engineer, keeping the signal clean and avoiding unintended coloration, is mighty important.

Also, if you've noticed, a lot of Big/Good engineers, all use plugins at some point and some even daily in their chain. It's the way of the new world! My suggestion is, gain knowledge first, then throw the book away and start tinkering with active thought provoking tangents.

Remember: there are no rules, just intelligent approaches. Get humble - listen and learn first ... and as you grow, the gear will follow.


The above statement, this is a great value for me and many people here.

Thomas T:
"and as you grow, the gear will follow."

I experienced the contrary. I was pretty much an ´analogue fascist´, and after 10 years of engineering (and starting with gear like Thermionic Culture, Focusrite red, Universal Audio and such), I am using plug-ins as much as never before.
my opinion:
it´s not a quality thing, I did compare the emulations (plug-ins as well as digital outboard like the Liquid Channel) to ´the real thing´, even wrote a diploma work about that (practical approach) and yes, the analogue boxes always were ´better´. but, you never use just one EQ or one comp. the question is not what´s better. but if a chain of good VSTs can or can´t do something. all I can say is that I recently mixed and mastered the best album release in my engineering time, and that was without leaving the box after recording again.
now I´ll read the surely interesting article.

Thomas W. Bethel:
My mentor always has maintained that clients are coming to you for your expertise and not for the equipment you use. He also says that the clients assume that if you are in business that you are using the proper tools for the job. I still use my outboard dbx Quantum and my Weiss EQ1 MKII but more and more I use various carefully chosen Plugins for mastering. The two biggest reasons are that there are some things a plugin can do that a outboard piece of equipment cannot do (RX4) and I can save the presets in WL so I can redo the mastering at some future date and e sure that all my settings were exactly as I left them.



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