Mastering tutorial

Author
greg54
Max Output Level: -80 dBFS
  • Total Posts : 535
  • Joined: 2011/01/27 18:13:52
  • Status: offline
2018/07/02 19:59:56 (permalink)

Mastering tutorial

Can anyone suggest a tutorial on how to master a song in Sonar?  I don't have a ton of time.  I just need something that explains it as easy as possible.  I've looked at some videos, but I personally did not find them helpful.
 
Thanks!
Greg

Intel Core i7 4770 quad core 
16 GB DDR3, 1600 MHz SDRAM 
1T SSD; 2T 7200 GB HD's
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit   
Focusrite 2i4 (1st Gen) interface 
Sonar Platinum

 
Some clips:
https://soundcloud.com/greg-williams
By the grace of God..
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    batsbrew
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 9813
    • Joined: 2007/06/07 16:02:32
    • Location: SL,UT
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/02 21:25:14 (permalink)
    you need a ton of time.
     


    Bats Brew music Streaming
    Bats Brew albums:
    "Trouble"
    "Stay"
    "The Time is Magic"
    --
    Sonar 6 PE>Studio One 3.5>RME BFP>i7-7700 3.6GHz>MSI B250M>G.Skill Ripjaws 4 series 16GB>Samsung 960 EVO m.2ssd>W 10 Pro
     
    #2
    dmbaer
    Max Output Level: -50 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 2542
    • Joined: 2008/08/04 20:10:22
    • Location: Concord CA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/02 22:08:33 (permalink)
    IMO, mastering is about the simplest use of a DAW there is, so the SONAR-specific part of your question isn't all that important.  Mastering is usually just a short series of FX inserts of the basic types: EQ, compression, saturation (maybe), and limiting (not necessarily in that order except for limiting being last).
     
    I would suggest you not bother looking for a SONAR-specific tutorial and just look for a good mastering tutorial.  You didn't say if you were looking for a video tutorial.  If just a written tutorial works for you, track down Izotope's free guide to mastering.  It's Ozone-based but the information applies equally well to any virtual mastering rig.
    #3
    greg54
    Max Output Level: -80 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 535
    • Joined: 2011/01/27 18:13:52
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/03 01:37:25 (permalink)
    Thanks, dmbaer!  I prefer a video, as I learn best by seeing, watching.  I'll check youtube.   
     
    I do have a question, though.  After a track has been mixed down and exported, I know that to master it you have to then import it.   Do you add eq, compression, etc, to the Master bus or the track?  Or does it matter?
     
    Thanks!
    Greg

    Intel Core i7 4770 quad core 
    16 GB DDR3, 1600 MHz SDRAM 
    1T SSD; 2T 7200 GB HD's
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit   
    Focusrite 2i4 (1st Gen) interface 
    Sonar Platinum

     
    Some clips:
    https://soundcloud.com/greg-williams
    By the grace of God..
    #4
    mettelus
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5103
    • Joined: 2005/08/05 03:19:25
    • Location: Maryland, USA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/03 09:45:08 (permalink)
    Bats Brew has a point in that time investment is required. If you "don't have a ton of time," then a third party is probably a better route to go.
     
    The Mastering with Ozone 2015 that dmbaer mentioned is a good reference (found in iZotope's Educational Guides), but is not "short," and again takes time to read. That guide is definitely worth taking a gander at, since the tools can be replaced with whatever you have that does the same job. To answer your question above, EQ and limiting (compression) are used, but not to be confused with mixing (you are only using one track). The real goal at the mastering stage is to bring up levels to a target reference (often to a reference, and in-line with other tracks being mastered), polish stereo image/harmonics, and dither the result to the target media.
     
    In its most rudimentary sense (if you have a good mix and one track only), the essence of things is a limiter and dithering. The biggest advice is if you feel the need to mix, then fix the mix first - do not attempt to mix here - and if time is truly crucial, a third party may be a better route.

    ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero (Wi-Fi AC), i7-8700k, 16GB RAM, GTX-1071Ti, Win 10 Pro, Saffire PRO 24 DSP, A-300 PRO, plus numerous gadgets and gizmos that make or manipulate sound in some way.
    #5
    Starise
    Max Output Level: -4.5 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 7080
    • Joined: 2007/04/07 17:23:02
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/03 11:27:07 (permalink)
    There are also a few preset mastering chains in CbB that make use of the included plugins. Click on fx >+
     
    You will wee a list. On that list are "fx chain presets". If you click on that you will see a "mastering" folder. These might get you close to something in terms of limiting and basic master. You are still free to adjust the fx in the chain to your liking. 
     
    This is a good way to begin to understand the signal chains involved in mastering but as others have said, you will need to invest some time to learn it and get it right. 

    Intel 5820K O.C. 4.4ghz, ASRock Extreme 4 LGA 2011-v3, 16 gig DDR4, ,
    3 x Samsung SATA III 500gb SSD, 2X 1 Samsung 1tb 7200rpm outboard, Win 10 64bit, Presonus Firetube Studio
    Laptop HP Omen i7 16gb 2/sdd with Focusrite interface.
     CbB, Studio One 3 Pro, Mixcraft 8, Ableton Live 10 
     
     www.soundcloud.com/starise
     
     
     
    Twitter @Rodein
     
    #6
    greg54
    Max Output Level: -80 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 535
    • Joined: 2011/01/27 18:13:52
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/03 14:13:08 (permalink)
    First of all, thanks for everyone's input.  I appreciate it.  
     
    By saying I don't have a ton of time, I meant per day.   I can spend time to go over things, but it will be over a long period of time.  I should have clarified myself on that.
     
    I don't understand the mastering process because when I mix, I try to get it the way I want it to sound during the mixing process.  So I don't get why I then have to add more of what I already did to get it to sound different than what i already have and already like.   So I would like some kind of tutorial that I could go through to help me understand it all - and how to do it.
     
    Thanks!
    Greg

    Intel Core i7 4770 quad core 
    16 GB DDR3, 1600 MHz SDRAM 
    1T SSD; 2T 7200 GB HD's
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit   
    Focusrite 2i4 (1st Gen) interface 
    Sonar Platinum

     
    Some clips:
    https://soundcloud.com/greg-williams
    By the grace of God..
    #7
    bitflipper
    01100010 01101001 01110100 01100110 01101100 01101
    • Total Posts : 25693
    • Joined: 2006/09/17 11:23:23
    • Location: Everett, WA USA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/03 14:17:14 (permalink)
    Starise
     
    You will wee a list. 




    Don't know if Tim meant "see a list" or "wee a little"...either one works. Either way, he's right about the inescapable time factor. Unfortunately, there's just no substitute for practice, practice, practice.
     
    However, the iZotope guide mentioned above is a good place to start, regardless of what tools you end up using. And of all the possible routes you can take, I know of no quicker path for a beginner than Ozone. 
     
    You're already taking the right approach by getting it sounding the way you want in the mix. Technically, mastering is an optional step, because it's possible to get there in the mix. The better the mix, the less "mastering" you'll need.


    All else is in doubt, so this is the truth I cling to. 

    My Stuff
    #8
    greg54
    Max Output Level: -80 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 535
    • Joined: 2011/01/27 18:13:52
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/03 15:01:21 (permalink)
    Thanks, bitflipper!  So many different ways to do it.  I just want something simple.   Someone also mentioned Wavelab Elements, saying it's pretty simple.   I'll also look into Ozone.
     
    Thanks!
    Greg 

    Intel Core i7 4770 quad core 
    16 GB DDR3, 1600 MHz SDRAM 
    1T SSD; 2T 7200 GB HD's
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit   
    Focusrite 2i4 (1st Gen) interface 
    Sonar Platinum

     
    Some clips:
    https://soundcloud.com/greg-williams
    By the grace of God..
    #9
    greg54
    Max Output Level: -80 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 535
    • Joined: 2011/01/27 18:13:52
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/04 14:34:09 (permalink)
    Thanks for the link, mettelus!
     
    Greg

    Intel Core i7 4770 quad core 
    16 GB DDR3, 1600 MHz SDRAM 
    1T SSD; 2T 7200 GB HD's
    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit   
    Focusrite 2i4 (1st Gen) interface 
    Sonar Platinum

     
    Some clips:
    https://soundcloud.com/greg-williams
    By the grace of God..
    #10
    Bristol_Jonesey
    Max Output Level: 0 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 16667
    • Joined: 2007/10/08 15:41:17
    • Location: Bristol, UK
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/14 09:07:47 (permalink)
    greg54
    Thanks, dmbaer!  I prefer a video, as I learn best by seeing, watching.  I'll check youtube.   
     
    I do have a question, though.  After a track has been mixed down and exported, I know that to master it you have to then import it.   Do you add eq, compression, etc, to the Master bus or the track?  Or does it matter?
     
    Thanks!
    Greg


    There is no practical reason to export & re-import.
     
    You can just as easily master within the project.
     
    Once you've decided what your mix needs in order to master it, just insert the plugins of your choice on the master buss, or indeed a ready made FX chain
     
    The only caveat would be that you need a reasonably well endowed pc to cope with the extra overhead, particularly if you employ Linear Phase EQ's and/or compressors / limiters with look-ahead

    CdB, Platinum, 64 bit throughout
    Custom built i7 3930, 32Gb RAM, 2 x 1Tb Internal HDD, 1 x 1TB system SSD, 3Tb External HDD's, Win 7 64 Bit, Saffire Pro 26, ISA One, Adam P11A,
    #11
    Jeff Evans
    Max Output Level: -24 dBFS
    • Total Posts : 5118
    • Joined: 2009/04/13 18:20:16
    • Location: Ballarat, Australia
    • Status: offline
    Re: Mastering tutorial 2018/07/15 08:49:09 (permalink)
    Bristol_Jonesey
     
    There is no practical reason to export & re-import.
     

     
    Yes there is and the most practical reason is after mixing for a long period of time you are no shape to master.  Your ears are fried already. You will make very poor mastering decisions.
     
    What you do in mastering to an overall mix is quite different to what you are doing in mixing. You certainly can apply all the mastering processes to a mix while you are mixing but the best mastering engineers are actually not doing this.  And they usually ask the client either to not do anything to the mix or very slight compression is considered OK.
     
    You should aim to get the mix sounding as great as you can without anything on the master buss.  (slight compression is actually OK and can give you an idea of what a compressed mix will sound like.) Some say the compression on a master buss can change the mix slightly. I have found from experience if the mix is really great then this applies even less.
     
    Print your mix (without mastering applied at the time) and live with it for a week. You will be amazed at what you hear and I can guarantee you will refine it and modify it for the better. Even after that, leave it for more time and approach mastering fresh. (In the morning too after a good nights sleep) And by the way when you start mastering this way the decisions you make will be totally different to the decisions you make if you master at the time of the mix.
     
    Great mastering is a slower process. Let go of trying to get it all done in record time. 
     

    Specs i5-2500K 3.5 Ghz - 8 Gb RAM - Win 7 64 bit - ATI Radeon HD6900 Series - RME PCI HDSP9632 - Steinberg Midex 8 Midi interface - Faderport 8- Studio One V4 - iMac 2.5Ghz Core i5 - Sierra 10.12.6 - Focusrite Clarett thunderbolt interface 
     
    Poor minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas -Eleanor Roosevelt
    #12
    Jump to:
    © 2018 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1