Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Can we talk about the master bus chain, please? Reply To: Can we talk about the master bus chain, please?

face (chris) Janton

    I am merely an egg. Growing up as a "live musician" I always expect things are being played as they are intended to be. There's no man behind the curtain adjusting the instruments and voicing during the performance. I still find it harder to work with tracks with an unknown "creation story" - meaning is everyone in the room playing and adjusting, or are these asynchronous things that need putting together.

    These days I start by "region normalizing" in Logic - single command, all the regions, set the peak on track-by-track basis to -12 dB. All faders get set to -6 dB to start as well. I bus things to my taste, drums, bass, vox, bvox, etc. and start from there. Turn down the master, play the tracks, let the meters follow along, mostly to see where the busses get to. I don't listen to anything until this part is done.
    I use my control surface and headphones to work on rough levels. I set markers from the control surface as well. Anything that stands out, gets lost, makes me wonder, gets a marker. I don't look at the computer screen during any of this. I like it.

    Balancing and panning are done through an empty mix bus (Ozone 8 turned off), limiter set to no gain, -1 dB ceiling. So far so good.
    This is serving me well with recordings I have made live, and seems to give me a decent starting place for multi-tracks that I get.

    All that being said, I get happy client results way faster this way, and it takes far fewer passes to get a good result.

    Now I need to get busy and start working with new recordings...

    Oh, yeah, if it needs to be louder I just turn the big knob on the monitor controller 😉