Helpful ReplyMastering with the plug-in inside Sonar

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HELLYA
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2015/07/25 12:31:15 (permalink)

Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar

Hi every one
I have Sonar X3 and I want to master my songs only with things that I already own with Sonar (I think the Nomad Factory stuff is especially for mastering). But i just can’t seem to find videos, tutorials  or else that are especially dedicated to mastering with the plug-ins that come Sonar.  Any suggestions?
Thanks

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#1
batsbrew
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 12:53:07 (permalink)
it can be done with those plugins,
but they are not really designed for the task.
 
there are better tools available,
some even free.
 

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#2
HELLYA
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 12:55:24 (permalink)
So are they any plug-ins in Sonar for mastering?

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Wouter Schijns
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 13:16:41 (permalink)
yes the LP-64 in Sonar is a mastering plugin.
I would advise you to play around with that for a while before you add more mastering plugins (if you need to add any more).
The Nomad factory BT Limiter is a mastering plugin too (would not advise the Nomad Brickwall Limiter as it has no attack knob)
just want to warn you to not go blind on Youtube mastering vids and bare in mind that it's not always 'the truth' in them, but they're great to learn / pick some things from
post edited by Wouter Schijns - 2015/07/25 13:30:53
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garyhb
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 13:18:00 (permalink)
Hi Hellya,
 
Yes, it is so that that DAW plugins generally aren't for mastering with, but then I would argue that isn't really the issue here, it's what the song needs, the type of PI you choose and how much control they give you over your content. Depending on how good your mixes are, you could get way with just a simple stereo buss compressor. However, you defo want to get a 3 or 4 band multiband compressor and a really precise multiband EQ (A multiband comp can also be used like a multiband EQ). Don't forget, Producer versions also have the linear-phase LP-64 EQ  and multiband compressors.
 
A couple of chains might be
e.g. buss compressor > EQ > Limiter > Reverb or
buss compressor > EQ > Multiband compressor > > Widener > >Exciter > Limiter > Reverb
 
And - to get a more analog/vintage sound you might add a unit offering a degree of distortion and high end roll-off somewhere in the mastering chain such as the TL-64 Tube Leveler or even the Blue Tubes Analog TrackBox or ProChannel Tape simulator. Also have a look around for free PIns.
 
Here's a nice intro to setting up a basic mastering chain:
http://www.musicradar.com...ain-in-your-daw-601562
 
Grab this for a comprehensive overview
http://downloads.izotope....MasteringWithOzone.pdf
 
So - listen to the mix first, decide what processing it needs and then choose the units. Remember, there are no rules, just guidelines.
 
One last thing - it's hard to mix your own music but if you do, take a few days, even a weeks break from those tracks to rest your ears and get them out of your head! It'll help to make you more objective. Try to take a lot of breaks. Mastering is about adding polish, not fixing - any problems need to be sorted out back in the mix. It shouldn't take more than an hour to master each song - any longer then you need to stop and rest and think about why it's not working.
 
Not sure if this answers your question properly but I hope it helps - all the best with it!
 
Gary

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#5
Wouter Schijns
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 13:43:49 (permalink)
sorry, have not found a Sonar Mastering vid.....but this one helps understand Mastering basics I think/hope
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53oGeuTZ6IY&list=PLzY0sjgTLt5xHBORU5SI2Dj7cf-VZdW1l&index=1
 
 
#6
HELLYA
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 18:24:18 (permalink)
Thank you all...really

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HELLYA
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 18:32:37 (permalink)
But isn't kinda strange that there are no vids or tutorials about mastering with Sonar?
 
 

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Danny Danzi
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 18:53:41 (permalink)
I master in Sonar every day. It's how I make a part of my living. That said, Sonar is not really a mastering program when you compare it to those that are more geared for mastering. I would guess that very few master in it. For example, I do my edit mastering in one program, my processing mastering in Sonar and my finalization in yet another program. They each have tools that the other does not.
 
There is really no set way to master something. You use the tools that are needed and they won't be the same every time. For example, I have anywhere from 9-15 plugins in my mastering chain. Sometimes only 3 are used, other times a few more. It depends on the source material and if it needs mastering polish or a full blown surgical procesure. For what it's worth, I only use the Sonar 64 EQ for high passing and low passing in my mastering chain. All other plugs are from different companies.
 
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HELLYA
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 19:12:09 (permalink)
I see Danny but i always thought that you could do everything with Sonar...I went to see the Waves stuff and oh it's expensive. I mean although i want some kind of quality for my music i'm still doing it for fun. I can't see myself paying 1 000.00 of $$$ for mastering my songs.
 
Batsbrew you said free plug-ins....any link? I'm open to pay a certain amount of money but i've bought stuff early on that i just don't use. So i don't want to spend my money for nothing. And for the free stuff,  i have free plug-in that i have install and i'm not using them. Don't want to have something just for saying that i have it, i want to use it.

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Woodyoflop
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/25 19:31:39 (permalink)
Iv encountered this and managed to get pretty good masters (including semi-high quality loudmasters) with the STereo imager, BT compressor/brickwall, LQ Multiband Compressor, LQ-64, sometimes id used Gclip Soft-Clipper.. its free and works very well actually. I usually used multiple of these on one master in combination with eachother, takes awhile to fine tune them all but came out with good sounding stuff. Now i use Ozone 6 mostly.
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bitflipper
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 12:14:43 (permalink)
Short answer, Hellya, is yes, you can definitely master in SONAR using only the bundled tools.
 
The basic mastering chain consists of just an equalizer and a limiter. Bus compressors, tape emulators, exciters, multi-band compressors and such are optional but unnecessary. Most of us do use third-party tools, not because we have to but rather for ergonomic reasons and personal preferences. 


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HELLYA
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 12:50:03 (permalink)
Thanks bitflipper. But the more i think about it i might buy the ozone 6 stuff (200.00$)...which is not that expensive plus there are plenty of tutorials on the net.. Thanks for the answer...A+

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batsbrew
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 14:12:28 (permalink)
HELLYA
 
Batsbrew you said free plug-ins....any link?




 
yes, start here with your searching (sonar site)
 
then look at KVR:
 
http://www.kvraudio.com/

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clintmartin
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 14:46:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby mettelus 2015/07/26 15:09:04
...I'll try to help.
For real mastering a good wave editor is nice to have. You can get Adobe Audition 3 for free. It can do so much, I'll leave it to you to google eveything it can do. I use it to edit peaks all the time. That helps reduce the work a compressor and limiter have to do later.
A good free cd burning program is good to have. I use CDburnerXP.
One of the best limiters available (IMHO) is free. LimiterNo.6 by vladg sound. He now works for Tokyo Dawn.
One of the very best Bus compressors is free...Kotelnikov by Tokyo Dawn. Get everything they have for free. They make awesome plugins!
Remember a project happens in steps...
1. Recording
2. Mixing/editing
3. Mastering (usually referring to the entire project or album)
Sonar excels at the first two, but since you can't insert cd markers your reduced to exporting each song and reassembling them in a cd burning program or a wave editor that can insert cd markers. Sonar can master songs individually, just not as a group.
Programs like Ozone and T-racks are great, but they are not wave editors. If you want one song to cross fade into another you will want to get an editor. There are others that are free (audacity, wavosaur), but I prefer Adobe Audition.
If you don't need to do cross fades (I rarely do) the one at a time approach will work with Sonar. You can create a project and import your mixes on separate tracks and balance the levels and eq...then export them. This is what Ozone and T-racks does.
Hope that helps. If you need any help finding these programs or if you have other questions...let me know.
 
post edited by clintmartin - 2015/07/26 16:03:42

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#15
Danny Danzi
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 16:30:36 (permalink)
HELLYA
I see Danny but i always thought that you could do everything with Sonar...I went to see the Waves stuff and oh it's expensive. I mean although i want some kind of quality for my music i'm still doing it for fun. I can't see myself paying 1 000.00 of $$$ for mastering my songs.
 



And I'd be the first one to tell you NOT to waste money having your songs mastered.....UNLESS you were going to release something and sell it. :) The good thing about having someone master that knows what they are doing....they can save you from yourself in times where you can be too close to the material to make the right calls. But you are going about it the right way. As a hobby guy, have fun with it.
 
As for free plugs, there are a few good ones out there but I don't have much luck with them. The majority of my stuff is between Waves, stock Sonar (Sonitus/Blue Tubes/Pro Channel) and UAD.
 
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garyhb
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 17:02:45 (permalink)
Danny Danzi
 



And I'd be the first one to tell you NOT to waste money having your songs mastered.....UNLESS you were going to release something and sell it. :) The good thing about having someone master that knows what they are doing....they can save you from yourself in times where you can be too close to the material to make the right calls. But you are going about it the right way. As a hobby guy, have fun with it.
 
-Danny




Audition 3 free? go get it!
 
I know this isn't about Nomad etc but I thought to offer this too...
 
Also - not about mastering but a  great book to read is Mike Senior Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mixing-Secrets-Small-Studio-Senior/dp/0240815807
Towards the end he goves a nice run-down of issues in the final mix and remedies before sending to the ME.
 
Danny makes a good point about paid mastering and commercial releases, however, I have students who attempt basic mastering on their own material in Pro Tools with the built in plugins and yes, they make horrendous mistakes to for quite some time to begin with, but once they get the philosophy of mastering, learn to listen and improve micing/tracking/mixing, after about a year of hard work, they can start to produce material that sells fine for them at gigs and online. What is interesting is that electronic music dudes just see mastering as part of their workflow, but then again they don't have as much to do as their samples & synths are of such good quality that mastering is 'easier' for them. 98% of everyone else eventually sees the light and thinks that mastering is best left to the pro's. Quite right too.
 
But don't let that stop you. Go for it with whatever tools you have. Review your mixes first and yeah, Sonar has what you need to get started. For one thing, the more you understand about the whole process, the better the end results will be when working with any good mix or mastering engineer. It's never wasted.
 
I hope you have great fun on this journey 
 
Best
 
Gary

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#17
Danny Danzi
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/26 17:33:10 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby garyhb 2017/10/22 12:55:25
garyhb


Audition 3 free? go get it!
 
I know this isn't about Nomad etc but I thought to offer this too...
 
Also - not about mastering but a  great book to read is Mike Senior Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mixing-Secrets-Small-Studio-Senior/dp/0240815807
Towards the end he goves a nice run-down of issues in the final mix and remedies before sending to the ME.
 
Danny makes a good point about paid mastering and commercial releases, however, I have students who attempt basic mastering on their own material in Pro Tools with the built in plugins and yes, they make horrendous mistakes to for quite some time to begin with, but once they get the philosophy of mastering, learn to listen and improve micing/tracking/mixing, after about a year of hard work, they can start to produce material that sells fine for them at gigs and online. What is interesting is that electronic music dudes just see mastering as part of their workflow, but then again they don't have as much to do as their samples & synths are of such good quality that mastering is 'easier' for them. 98% of everyone else eventually sees the light and thinks that mastering is best left to the pro's. Quite right too.
 
But don't let that stop you. Go for it with whatever tools you have. Review your mixes first and yeah, Sonar has what you need to get started. For one thing, the more you understand about the whole process, the better the end results will be when working with any good mix or mastering engineer. It's never wasted.
 
I hope you have great fun on this journey 
 
Best
 
Gary




Haha you share my pain, Gary! Yeah I get quite a few of my students doing the same. I love that they try it, but they always seem to over-do it or they are just way too close to the material. I think the biggest issue is (at least in my experience) when you are done with a mix and press that export button, you're done or you would have never exported.
 
To the untrained ear, where do you even start to master? So they load up an Ozone preset and ruin the entire mix. LOL! Do you know what I tell my students? Mix it, put a light limiter on it and let it fly. 9 times out of 10, the mix is good enough without all the excessive eq, compression and verb/wideness they think they need in a mastering situation. I'm all for seeing/hearing them have fun....but I cringe when they ruin something. They come to me to learn how to record and mix.....when they get that down, then we can maybe tackle what I call "little m" mastering. That's really all most of them need. :) The other hard thing is recording, mixing and mastering on the same set of monitors. It makes it so much harder, sometimes it's not even worth visiting.
 
That's true what you said up there ^ about "the more you understand" etc. What people fail to realize is....sometimes what we create just sounds good and it doesn't need "mastering" as much as it may just need "a little polish". :)
 
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Amine Belkhouche
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/30 01:38:28 (permalink)
Hey HELLYA,
 
You've been provided with a lot of good info here. When it comes to using information on the internet, I tend to narrow my search to a couple of sources that I have been to be reliable over time. This guy has a pretty useful blog on mastering:
http://productionadvice.co.uk/
 
It's especially helpful if you're looking to get your feet wet. It's always tempting to make these huge moves in mastering because we have these powerful tools, but I find that less is definitely more in the context of mastering.
 
Also, if you're looking for some mastering tools, here they are:
http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2013/06/26/free-mastering-software/
 
I hesitated posting this because presenting someone with more tools can do more harm than good. I suggest you identify what you need for mastering, you pick 1, maybe 2, for each job and commit to learning them. In SONAR, you have a linear phase EQ and multi-band compressor. If you commit to learning those, you can certainly go far. You might find that all you need to do is pick up some metering tools and a limiter to complement the ones already in SONAR.
 
Of course, if you get Ozone and you commit to learning how to master with it, that could be a reasonable alternative. Just don't go looking for more plug-ins as that can be a huge distraction.
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Amine Belkhouche
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/30 03:21:38 (permalink)
Hey HELLYA,
 
If you're looking for some resources, here are a couple:
http://productionadvice.co.uk/
http://www.izotope.com/masteringmonth/
 
I usually like to get my info from 2-3 sources that I have found to be reliable when it comes to the internet. This way you don't have to sift through an overwhelmingly large amount of info in order to learn. It has the added benefit of giving you focus and avoiding spurious information. Hope this helps.
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Keyport Shuffle
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/30 03:36:51 (permalink)
I'm having a hard enough time mixing, let alone mastering. I use Sonar Platinum, Waves Gold, Waves CLA plugins, and Izotope 5. Best of luck to you,
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bitflipper
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/30 09:21:20 (permalink)
HELLYA, you can't go wrong with Ozone. Whether you end up getting it or not, grab the iZotope mastering guide, which is a free download and 90% of the information is relevant even if you don't have Ozone.


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Amine Belkhouche
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2015/07/30 10:26:35 (permalink)
I've been through the free guide a couple of times, it's definitely worth your time, especially if you're just getting started.
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garyhb
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/22 13:01:59 (permalink)
Just to revisit this...
 
Critical listening skills are what is really needed (what some call developing 'Golden ears' - hate that term, it's totally meaningless). CLS require patience, guidance, self-reflection and a properly setup listening environment with calibrated speakers. I would say, 'learn to mix well before attempting mastering' but getting into mastering taught me a tremendous amount about mixing and recording that I thought I know but didn't.
 
All audio work is, in the end, psychoacoustics which means the buck stops with the person. Developing CLS will pay more return on investment than anything...
 
Gary  

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#24
bitflipper
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/22 17:55:53 (permalink)
Wise words, Gary. If you're unhappy with your mastering (or mixing) results, lack of fancy software is probably not the problem.


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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/22 21:17:36 (permalink)
I'm probably the last guy in the world who needs to weigh in on mastering (but why let that stop me).  I think mastering began back in the days of vinyl records to control sonics and stop the needle from jumping off the record, as well as keeping all the tracks at the same volume, so there might have been a reduction in bass or maybe a slight HF boost, but I don't think mastering was done to make major sonic changes in the recording.  Today (I think) mastering is used to prepare a recording for different play-back systems, i.e there may be a radio master, a CD master, an itunes master, a youtube master etc.  So, all that goes to say mastering isn't meant to "fix" a mix or be a magic bullet to make a bad mix "better".  If you find you need to fix a song, don't expect that to happen in mastering, instead go back and remix it.  Think about mastering as making your music ready to distribute and what smaller touches it needs to do that.  Just my thoughts.  Others may disagree and YMMV.
 
best of luck with your music!

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#26
batsbrew
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/23 14:15:42 (permalink)


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#27
Starise
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/23 16:04:18 (permalink)
I do wonder what happened to Danny D. since this thread? 
 
The original poster used X3. We are light years ahead of that now in terms of mastering potential. No mention was made of the material being mastered either. This would figure into some of the techniques/plugins used. 
 
 
 

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#28
Danny Danzi
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/23 22:00:11 (permalink)
Starise
I do wonder what happened to Danny D. since this thread? 
 
The original poster used X3. We are light years ahead of that now in terms of mastering potential. No mention was made of the material being mastered either. This would figure into some of the techniques/plugins used. 
 



 
I'm still here Tim...I just read these days as my opinion is a little too strong for people to handle...thus getting me into trouble and wanting to choke them out. ;)
 
I will say this real quick....I have to disagree with the golden ears thing, Gary mentioned. There are super obvious things that many people just don't understand until you DO have the right ME in your corner.
 
Golden ears means "save my ass because I'm too close to my material." If I had a nickel for every client I saved due to them not noticing something that was extremely crucial, I'd have enough to share with you guys and we'd all be rich.
 
Golden ears means you are attentive, you hear everything, you can separate music from the non-music. You can judge what calls to make for the better of the project instead of putting your own personal stamp on something. You can remain biased yet informative and as close to the music as the creator. You have a knack for album creation that goes beyond just eq-ing, compression and fixing noises and oscillations etc. You are a musician that is into several styles of music so you know how to handle the different genre's and client needs. That's the guy I want as my ME.
 
Jude77: For the record, you're correct. Too many try to recreate their mix within the mastering stage and ruin it. However, sometimes we need polish, other times you work it harder. Some clients have the master mix but may not have the work files to remix. So, unfortunately, we have to master and sort of recreate for the better of the material, which will sound drastically different from the mix export. But in the real world, it normally doesn't happen that way.
 
For example, I won't do a master for someone unless the mix is right. If I hear errors that I think they can fix, I tell them what they are and how to fix them. This way, when we master, this baby is ready to go. Not many want to go through that trouble. But alas, there is one left that lives for honesty and the quality of audio. If I can't make a project better, I won't take on the job.
 
There should never be loads of mastering to where a project no longer sounds like what was exported out as the mix unless the client asks for that or like I said before, there are no mix files to remix. Mastering is not a dark art. It is, however, a gift when you have the right person. I can hear two gnats getting it on in another room if it's been printed in a song.....we need to be critical as we are the last people to touch the material before it goes to pressing.
 
You want someone that goes through everything with a fine toothed comb that thinks more about your happiness and the fidelity of your audio over a quickie master and a paycheck. That's the guy you want in your corner...and you only need him if you are selling something to the public. All other projects for your head etc....can be done on your own. :)
-Danny

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#29
jude77
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Re: Mastering with the plug-in inside Sonar 2017/10/24 00:35:10 (permalink)
Danny Danzi
Starise
I do wonder what happened to Danny D. since this thread? 
 
The original poster used X3. We are light years ahead of that now in terms of mastering potential. No mention was made of the material being mastered either. This would figure into some of the techniques/plugins used. 
 



For example, I won't do a master for someone unless the mix is right. If I hear errors that I think they can fix, I tell them what they are and how to fix them. This way, when we master, this baby is ready to go. Not many want to go through that trouble. But alas, there is one left that lives for honesty and the quality of audio. If I can't make a project better, I won't take on the job.
 
There should never be loads of mastering to where a project no longer sounds like what was exported out as the mix unless the client asks for that or like I said before, there are no mix files to remix. Mastering is not a dark art. It is, however, a gift when you have the right person. I can hear two gnats getting it on in another room if it's been printed in a song.....we need to be critical as we are the last people to touch the material before it goes to pressing.


That, to me, is what mastering is all about and what I was trying to say.  Very well pull.

You haven't lived until you've taken the Rorschach.
 
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#30
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