Old 02-22-2015, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default "Ain't Gonna Lie" is back from the Mastering!

You heard the mixdown.

Now hear the master


https://www.dropbox.com/s/78qeh99p39...aster.wav?dl=0

Feedback if you would, please?

Coming soon: The Video!
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:15 PM   #2
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Yeah.Definitely sounds better
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:22 PM   #3
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Yeah.Definitely sounds better
Thanks. And thanks for posting, since I forgot to sub! Hahaha
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Old 02-23-2015, 05:24 PM   #4
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they definitely brought the clarity out. who did the mastering?

PS. you don't have to "remember to sub". there's a preference option
in your Reaper acct that asks if you want to be automatically subbed to
anything you post or reply to. it's one little check box option.
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:57 PM   #5
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Actually, I didn't hear the mixdown, and couldn't find it in your list of started threads. Can you link us?

Personally I think the mix and performance needs a lot more work and it wasn't ready for mastering - especially the vocals, very resonant and over reverbed and autotuned. The low end of the mix is very boomy - this won't translate well at all to a PA system.

With all due respect I hope you didn't spend too much getting it mastered.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:00 PM   #6
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Only me, or does anyone else expect the lyrics to break out into

"Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run run run run run run run away"

Getting much closer, but still agree with Fergler's comments regarding vox (he can be kind of harsh, though )
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:15 PM   #7
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Sorry did not mean to come off as harsh, rather to give you some perspective. Many mastering engineers with a wallet to keep filled understandably are not going to turn down work and won't waste time giving you advice on the mix before he deals with it as a final copy.

Artistic vision is one thing, and in that respect I can forgive all sorts of things. To me however, playback fidelity from a purely technical perspective and avoiding perception fatigue are important for any mix commercial or not, so I want to help you there in maintaining your artistic vision but achieving a mix that will play back well.
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:58 AM   #8
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whoever did the mastering on this has no idea what he is doing. It even clips... I won't even get into more details... I agree with Fergler too.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:41 AM   #9
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sounds better than most VEVO crap these days. thumbs up. I swear if I hear another happly doodly-doo VEVO song OMG...

Last edited by poplomop; 02-24-2015 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 02-24-2015, 06:07 AM   #10
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I just had a listen and can definitely hear the difference, as you would expect. I won't make any comment on the job done because I have no idea what you contracted the ME to do.

I have listened to all three versions you have posted. My personal opinion is that neither of the two mixes you presented were ready to be taken to the next step.

IMO, you would have been wiser to send the stems or individual tracks to a mixer. The mixer likely would have offered some advice on how to get the best results from what you sent and could have also given some advice on how to improve some of the elements. A good mixer could get the product to a broadcast ready state without involving a "mastering engineer".

Having said all of that, it is your project and your money, so who are we to say what you should do. You did ask for opinions, and you got some. I hope they were useful.

Going back to your original thread you asked the following

Quote:
So how about it, Reaper? I'm a loyal user with a paid licence. You say I can master on this platform. What's the steps I need to take to get my tracks up to sounding like the Big Boys? When might we expect someone to come forth - even a blog post offsite or a Youtube video would help - with the keys to this mystery?

My answer: "Get the mix right, don't expect "mastering" to fix anything, and enjoy making the music".
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:20 PM   #11
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I dont comment on that. I second Fergler in all what he has said.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammydix View Post
they definitely brought the clarity out. who did the mastering?
T.J. Habibi, who goes by mixermaster on Fiverr.com He also did my song "Beatitudes."

Quote:
PS. you don't have to "remember to sub". there's a preference option
in your Reaper acct that asks if you want to be automatically subbed to
anything you post or reply to. it's one little check box option.
Please... WHERE? I can't find it, and why can't the drop-down menu just default to "subcribed" every time someone posts, just like most forums?
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:32 PM   #13
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IMO, you would have been wiser to send the stems or individual tracks to a mixer. The mixer likely would have offered some advice on how to get the best results from what you sent and could have also given some advice on how to improve some of the elements. A good mixer could get the product to a broadcast ready state without involving a "mastering engineer"
Okay thank-you for your advice, here. Where would I find such a "mixer" and do they charge an exorbitant amount? If advice is all I need, then it shouldn't be a need for too many consultations.

Quote:
don't expect "mastering" to fix anything
Idk exactly where this is coming from, but at no time did I ever make any statement or even an implication that mastering can "fix anything." All I did was simply ask Cockos to cough up a simple tutorial on mastering, if they are going to claim Reaper is a mastering platform. Most people without any interest in this discussion would think that's a logical step to take.

There should never be even a second thought on something like that. And I remain in my position. Full stop.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
T.J. Habibi, who goes by mixermaster on Fiverr.com He also did my song "Beatitudes."



Please... WHERE? I can't find it, and why can't the drop-down menu just default to "subcribed" every time someone posts, just like most forums?
If you're signed in, go to User CP-->Options-->Messaging and Notifications.
Does exactly what you just said. Some folk would rather make that choice and that gives them the option.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:04 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
Okay thank-you for your advice, here. Where would I find such a "mixer" and do they charge an exorbitant amount? If advice is all I need, then it shouldn't be a need for too many consultations.
here. 50$ per hour.

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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post

Idk exactly where this is coming from, but at no time did I ever make any statement or even an implication that mastering can "fix anything." All I did was simply ask Cockos to cough up a simple tutorial on mastering, if they are going to claim Reaper is a mastering platform. Most people without any interest in this discussion would think that's a logical step to take.

There should never be even a second thought on something like that. And I remain in my position. Full stop.
and you didn t get it. there were a lot of people that explained to you why a tutotial on mastering is pointless, because mastering heavily depends on the given material AND on the to achieving goals. besides dithering and converting to and for any formats and platforms.

you dont understand what mastering is for, thats why you claim an tutorial, if you would understand what mastering really is, you wouldnt make such a claim. and that is what I conclude from that you want to have things fixed in mastering.

answer please the following question: why dont you mix in a way that you dont need mastering? in different words: why dont you mix it right in the first place? and what did you think mastering would do your track? please answer the last question in detail. and then ask yourself, why you didnt make that changes yourself in the mix.

if you could do the mix right, you wouldnt need mastering and you wouldnt need to put all hopes for a killer-sounding track in mastering - of what you dont know what that really is, you assume, its something thats makes a track "right". no, it doesnt. and that where you implicately say, that mastering fixes mixes.

so mastering is not the solution for you, its the dream of someone making a perfect track out of your track. and that doesnt work, as seen in your example.

so: learn mixing, do it right and you dont need no mastering.

btw: I do mastering too. making not so good sounding mixes a little better sounding isnt really rocket-science. (that was sarcastic ...)
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:36 PM   #16
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I think mastering might be better seen as a way to make a collection of songs sound better together rather than a fix to an individual piece. I also am not always clear on what people expect from "mastering' in most discussions.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:45 PM   #17
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here. 50$ per hour
Thanks, anyway. I could probably get just as good advice here:

https://class.coursera.org/musicproduction-008

Complete with an instructor from Berklee. ETA: And for FREE!

Quote:
you dont understand what mastering is for, thats why you claim an tutorial, if you would understand what mastering really is, you wouldnt make such a claim. and that is what I conclude from that you want to have things fixed in mastering.

answer please the following question: why dont you mix in a way that you dont need mastering? in different words: why dont you mix it right in the first place? and what did you think mastering would do your track? please answer the last question in detail. and then ask yourself, why you didnt make that changes yourself in the mix
Let me start out by saying I find your insinuations and foregone conclusions about my motive to be highly rude and patronizing and I wouldn't pay you 2 pennies for advice if Sony & Universal were knocking on my front door asking for a demo. You can consider that a personal thing, if you want.

My motivation was ONE thing and that one thing only. And I already stated that.

Quote:
if you could do the mix right, you wouldnt need mastering
No, that is false. Mastering is always the last step in any radio-ready, commercial production. You forget, I also had an album recorded in a Pro Studio. Opal Studios Portland, if you want me to throw names around. Did the drum mixing for Scorpion's recent album "Comeblack."

Quote:
and you wouldnt need to put all hopes for a killer-sounding track in mastering
Please show me where I made any such statement anywhere in my request for a Mastering Tutorial. Where I said "Hey d00dz, my mixes are just perrrrrfect, but they need one last thing. Mastering." Or where I said "My mixes still have an element of suckage in them that I feel like if I can just get mastering down, I could make the grade!" Feel free to quote me, right here.

Quote:
of what you dont know what that really is, you assume, its something thats makes a track "right". no, it doesnt. and that where you implicately say, that mastering fixes mixes
Wrong again, buttercup. That is where you READ INTO my statements. Did it ever occur to you that I wanted to learn the skill of mastering because I seek independence from having to shell money out to do that step? No? Because you're a belittling asshole who types before he thinks. There. Now I've just speculated on your motives without asking. How does it feel?

I admit I need advice, and so that's why I waste time here. What I don't need are rude people. So you can kindly go fuck off because I'm done listening.

There are other places besides this forum, where I'm sure I can get schooled in the basics quite well. And they don't fly off the handle at something so basic, when a Mastering Tutorial exists for practically every other platform out there.

Except for this one, whose forums are populated by guys who charge $50 an hour
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:44 PM   #18
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I've been following the Berklee course online. it's shit so far.

Didn't like the 'master/mix' at all.

I read Whiteaxxxe's comment and didn't see it as rude at all. just blunt.
lots of anger in the threads today.. must be the long winter..

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Old 02-25-2015, 07:08 PM   #19
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I've been following the Berklee course online. it's shit so far.

Didn't like the 'master/mix' at all.
If you frequent the Forums at all, you'll see that I started a thread recommending Reaper for those who are on a tight budget, one on screen recording software, and one on asking ppl what level's they liked to start with for recording/mixing
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:19 PM   #20
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**Commercial Break**

Reaper for those on a tight budget?
I could be a millionaire, and if I still mixed for fun, Reaper would remain my DAW of choice. It by far exceeds its price.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:34 PM   #21
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**Commercial Break**

Reaper for those on a tight budget?
I could be a millionaire, and if I still mixed for fun, Reaper would remain my DAW of choice. It by far exceeds its price.
And now a PSA about c-o-n-t-e-x-t

There were several different "free" options listed for people, but they all were hampered in some way that seemed to me would make it harder for a newbie. Studio One, for example.

So I told 'em get Reaper, use it for awhile, and eventually pony up the $60 for a liscence. I did the same thing, for a couple of years |m/
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:36 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
If you frequent the Forums at all, you'll see that I started a thread recommending Reaper for those who are on a tight budget, one on screen recording software, and one on asking ppl what level's they liked to start with for recording/mixing
not sure what any of that means in context
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:38 PM   #23
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not sure what any of that means in context
The Forums on the Coursera site? The one that's facilitating the Berklee course?
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:41 PM   #24
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you've been posting there also.. ok.. got it. not sure why that's a response to what I posted here but ok. the course is crap and a waste of time. I just take the quizzes.

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Old 02-25-2015, 07:49 PM   #25
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you've been posting there also.. ok.. got it. not sure why that's a response to what I posted here but ok. the course is crap and a waste of time. I just take the quizzes.
I actually am behind on the course by about 2 weeks. So I'm curious: If you think the course is that bad, why bother with the quizzes?
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:53 PM   #26
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I actually am behind on the course by about 2 weeks. So I'm curious: If you think the course is that bad, why bother with the quizzes?
just to test myself to see if I know the stuff. it's pretty basic. It's just a few minutes a week.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:16 PM   #27
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just to test myself to see if I know the stuff. it's pretty basic. It's just a few minutes a week.
The lecture on the DAW was pretty boring. How to zoom in. Wow. :P

What was your reaction to that bit about elevation & temperature effecting the speed of sound? There was a ruckus in the forums pver just how relevant that was to recording music lol
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:50 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by macousticboy View Post
The lecture on the DAW was pretty boring. How to zoom in. Wow. :P

What was your reaction to that bit about elevation & temperature effecting the speed of sound? There was a ruckus in the forums pver just how relevant that was to recording music lol
I'm not watching the videos or doing assignments or chatting up the forums, just taking the quizzes.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:53 PM   #29
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I'm not watching the videos or doing assignments or chatting up the forums, just taking the quizzes.
That was in one of the quizzes. Week 1. Propagation. Question #3.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:56 PM   #30
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That was in one of the quizzes. Week 1. Propagation. Question #3.
It's a physics issue. not music.
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:57 PM   #31
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It's a physics issue. not music.
That seems to be the general consensus.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:41 PM   #32
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Okay, so the idea is that this is supposed to be a disco-style song, right? The problem right off the bat is that it's not mixed like a disco song - it's mixed like a soft rock or pop song with the vocals forward and the instrumentation pulled back. For example - where is the bassline? I can't hear it well enough to know if there even are variations in it. A dance song should have that front and center. Bro, do you even funk? The kick and bass should be the biggest elements in your mix so they translate well onto a dance floor. This mix will not.

I can't comment on the difference between this mix and its predecessor because the earlier mix seems to have been deleted. Overall I have to say that the mix has a polished feel to it, but I can't say that it has a ton of clarity. I'm having a hard time hearing the individual instruments, so I guess this is more of a "vintage polish" than a "modern polish".

There are a few parts that I like, I do like the mini-breakdown-ish section at 3:06, that sounds cool with the guitar/instrumentation interplay, it seems like that's more of the atmosphere that you'd want the whole song. On the other hand, some things seem a little tacked on and out of place. E.g. where does the acoustic guitar come from at the very end of the song? I don't hear it playing up until that point.

After a second listen through I can't figure out what the point of the samples is. They're distracting and too up front and seem to be off-topic or tangential. E.g. why are a bunch of people cheering at 4:21 or so after you say "people get it right this time"? It doesn't seem to fit. Another example would be the bubbling and groaning (?) at 3:35. Some of the sample execution is a little off, for instance, I can clearly hear the (beer?) pouring sample at 1:15 end at 1:20. I don't know why there's a beer pouring, but I guess there is.

Flat out, the vocals don't fit. They don't sit well in the mix, they're off-key, and there are some timing issues. It's exactly the same issue as the other video you have on YouTube, Beatitudes or whatever the title is. I get that this is something that you're doing that you enjoy and you want to do the best you can, but that means you need to improve your vocals. Instead of paying the ME to Auto-tune your voice, perhaps spend the money on a vocal coach.

This is my honest, no-bullshit take. It's tough love, but it's like you said - I ain't gonna lie to you.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:02 PM   #33
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For example - where is the bassline?
What exactly are you listening on, that you can't hear the bassline? It comes through loud & clear on my system! 0.o
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:30 PM   #34
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As for mastering in Reaper - that isn't something one needs a tutorial on specifically to Reaper because mastering is about what you do with the track to correct things using effects, very little to do with editing.

The only thing you may want to do that directly involves Reaper functions would be lining up all your songs and getting the amount of silence right between them, etc. Clip gain to have nice volumes between soft and loud tracks. All pretty regular stuff you should be familiar with from mixing.

If you mean 'how to master in Reaper with only stock plugins'?

Easy. Use Kanaka MS tools (JS effects) to turn any plugin into a mid/side plugin, for example ReaEQ and ReaComp. That should fit 99% of your needs.

JS plugins you may want/need for mastering:

Utility/dither_psycho
LOSER/MGA_JSLimiter & MGA_JSLimiterST
Meters/dynamics_meter

Mastering is about fixing any issues in a mix that you don't have access to anymore, and creating consistency across an album, and finally dithering to distribution formats.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:33 PM   #35
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Some of the sample execution is a little off, for instance, I can clearly hear the (beer?) pouring sample at 1:15 end at 1:20. I don't know why there's a beer pouring, but I guess there is
If you hear beer pouring when you pour it, you're doing it wrong.

Like the perfect place in the toilet bowl that doesn't make any sound, beer should be poured onto the side of the glass to avoid aeration.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:39 PM   #36
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Use Kanaka MS tools (JS effects) to turn any plugin into a mid/side plugin
Okay, so for plain English - what do I want to "to turn any plugin into a mid/side plugin" for? What does that mean?

Quote:
for example ReaEQ and ReaComp. That should fit 99% of your needs
Sounds like you're just saying use those 2 plugins. I personally like BootEQmkII for EQing, but I have experimented with ReaComp some.

Quote:
Utility/dither_psycho
LOSER/MGA_JSLimiter & MGA_JSLimiterST
Meters/dynamics_meter
So essentially you're saying look at those plugins and figure out what they're for, right? Some of these just about could use their own tutorial. Like ReaXComp, for example. Why would I use it if I already have ReaComp on the master bus? That would be a couple of things that could be discussed.

Seems like these would all be part of a larger tutorial - when and how to use what plugin or whatever. Most of the JS plugins have no presets. It may be overrated to rely on those, but presets do give you an idea of what a given piece of software can do.

KanakaMSEncoder1 not only has no presets, it has no sliders, tabs, menus or controls - nothing! lol

All of these could be covered in one comprehensive tutorial quite easily. Under the topic: Mastering.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:04 AM   #37
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What exactly are you listening on, that you can't hear the bassline? It comes through loud & clear on my system! 0.o
Sennheiser HD280 Pros. I use them because they are relatively neutral and don't over-hype the bass.

EDIT: So it turns out that I can hear the bass... when it's not being obscured by the kick. I was listening to a section of the song where that was happening.

Did you audition your mix on multiple systems before you released it? Are you using flat-frequency studio/reference style monitors? Is your room treated, or are you taking steps to minimize room modes?


Quote:
what do I want to "to turn any plugin into a mid/side plugin" for? What does that mean?
There have been at least two different mid/side threads recently. Read them. The shortest answer is that it turns left/right into "stuff in the middle"/"stuff on the outsides". It works for some people, others not so much. It is not a magic bullet.

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=155185
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=155215

Quote:
Like ReaXComp, for example. Why would I use it if I already have ReaComp on the master bus?
Google "multiband compressor". It's having multiple compressors running at the same time on different frequency bands. As for why, you tell me - should the midrange be compressed the same way your bass frequencies are? Would your mix benefit from a tight mid-section but a more airy treble? It's flexibility.

Quote:
All of these could be covered in one comprehensive tutorial quite easily. Under the topic: Mastering.
No, no they can't. Not easily, at least, and certainly not under the topic of "Mastering". Each one of the topics mentioned is a specific tool with multiple techniques and applications. It takes time to learn what each one does, when to use them, and especially when not to use them. Even with that understanding, it's not under the realm of "mastering"... it's learning how to get a good mix.

Mastering is the final 10%, if that. You can't fix a bad recording in the mix, and you can't fix a bad mix during the mastering process. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you stop throwing your money away and the sooner your mixes start improving.

There are lots of good resources out there. You have a lot to learn - think of it as a challenge. Put in the time and you'll eventually learn how to make the most of what you have. This is a forum with several lifetimes of collective experience - we could be a good resource for you, but you have to get over yourself first and be willing to learn.

Or you could just keep searching for the magic silver bullet "mastering" plugin that will make it all perfect and keep unsubbing from a thread every time someone tells you something you don't want to hear.

Last edited by SaulT; 02-26-2015 at 01:18 AM.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:27 AM   #38
macousticboy
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Is there some particular reason why you are answering questions in a conversation I'm having with someone else? Or are there some sock puppets running around here? Jw.

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If it's coming through loud and clear on your system it is probably because your system has the bass boosted
No, I don't think so. The bass track is actually doubled. There's a locut filter preset on ReaEq on one of them. Plus compression & chorus. The other just has Eq, and compression. The ME worried that he was overdoing the bassline at 1st, in fact.

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keep unsubbing from a thread every time someone tells you something you don't want to hear
And that... is a perfect example of why I unsub threads. People like yourself who read their own spin into my motives for doing things. You don't know me, so where do you get off with these assertions? I haven't unsubbed this thread, have I? Usually when I do unsub its because I'm done with a particular convo, or no one else is actually addressing me about anything. As with the original thread about mastering tutorials, where other participants started fawning over Kenny Gioia. There was no more reason to hang around.

Oh you know what? Fuck off, I don't have to justify my actions to you. I'll go where people don't get their undies in a twist when it comes to talking about something that is a base that should have already been covered. Have a nice day.

I'll wait until the person I posed the questions to has any answers, then I'm done.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:36 AM   #39
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I just checked through my posts and I unsubbed from a total of 2 threads. Wow. Great PR Mr SaulT. There's a saying about flies & honey vs. vinegar that applies here.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:38 PM   #40
SaulT
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Is there some particular reason why you are answering questions in a conversation I'm having with someone else?
Are you really complaining because I answered your questions?


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I just checked through my posts and I unsubbed from a total of 2 threads. Wow. Great PR Mr SaulT. There's a saying about flies & honey vs. vinegar that applies here.
http://xkcd.com/357/

People have been polite and diplomatic with you. You have argued with them when they were telling you something you didn't want to hear. You unsubbed from a thread when Sammy gave his opinion on a mix that wasn't even yours. Just going by your actions, dude.

I am still willing to answer your questions, but you also need to ask the right questions. There's no point in answering "how do I master?" when you don't know some of the basics, e.g. what multiband compression is. There isn't a point in answering "how do I master?" if you don't understand what mastering is or its purpose. There isn't a point in answering "how do I master?" when you haven't learned how to mix properly yet, because it takes those skills to do the mastering process, and it won't matter if the mix isn't good!

I would like to help you. I would like to share what I've managed to pick up along the way. It would make me very happy if you were able to absorb some of the information offered in this forum and come back with an improved mix.

I can't do that if you are going to storm off when someone gives an opinion or says something that you don't like.
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