Correct flow/Mix to get to Mastering

Alpha Company
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2017/12/26 14:44:22 (permalink)

Correct flow/Mix to get to Mastering

How to get to the MASTER mix?
DAW: Sonar Platinum
I have my tracks recorded & EQ'd. I have routed them to their instrument group's Aux Bus (strings to string bus, brass to brass bus, piano to piano bus, etc.).
Pro-Channel (for each track) = Compressor, EQ, & Console Emulator (in that order).
I also have setup sends of my tracks to their own Aux Bus (send effects include reverb & widener) which routes to their appropriate Aux Bux (Strings, Brass, Piano, etc.). Then each instrument group's main Aux Bus routes to the MASTER bus. I'm trying to get to the Mastering of my song but don't know the proper mixing steps to get there (or what effects to add to the master bus or Sends bus) or where to put them in the Master chain (which one goes fist – compressor, EQ, LPMB, widener, etc.). Any ideas, or suggested reading, would be greatly appreciated. Just don't know the correct flow to mixing after the tracks are recorded. I know this is a very complex subject, but if there are any "Rules of Thumb" or what you've found that works best, please advise. :-)

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    Alpha Company
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    Re: Correct flow/Mix to get to Mastering 2018/08/06 05:22:35 (permalink)
    I keep trying to get through to Sonar's tech support via their listed email but keep getting the following:

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    Re: Correct flow/Mix to get to Mastering 2018/08/06 19:35:30 (permalink)
    my rule of thumb:
    mix everything down to a stereo two track,
    just exactly the way i want to hear the final mix. should sound so good that it really doesn't need mastering.
    except to attain level.
    how you get there varies,
    but ultimately, everything should route to your main outs, and THIS is what you export as a stereo file at least 24 bit and as high a sample rate as your system can handle.
    then, use THIS stereo file to master.
    a lot of modern DAWS can handle mixing inside a song and mastering at the same time,
    but i never do this.
     i always start a NEW session setup for strictly mastering.
    if you are mastering a group of songs together (as you should if you are putting together an EP or cd) then you need to have all of these finished 2-track mixdowns lined up in running order, and mastered in relation to each other.
    this is the heart of mastering.

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    Re: Correct flow/Mix to get to Mastering 2018/08/09 15:18:38 (permalink)
    If you are going to put something on the master bus, put it there from the start so you mix through it.
    Export the project as a Mix at the project sample rate and depth.
    Put the Mix file back into your project on the Mix track and mute.  You can use solo and mute to hear any differences between your mix output and your finalized track.  Save the project with the Mix track in it so you won't lose it - your Mix stays with the project as a back up.
    Now you can "Master" with the Mix file, either in another SONAR session or something like Sound Forge.  However, as Bat sez above, you shouldn't need to do anything drastic to the Mix at this point.  Maybe a little nip and tuck of frequencies and pumping the average volume w/ a limiter (a few dBs is all you should need).  Just as it is easer to mix a song if the sounds are properly recorded, it is easier to master a file/song if it is mixed properly.  "Fix it in the mix or mastering stage" is not an answer.
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