Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mastering Mastering chain

  • This topic has 17 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Arthur Labus.
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  • #4561

      @camoe Well since I own a Rupert Neve MBP this is easy to answer 🙂 It's okay to be a Rupert Neve fanboy especially in our line of work, however that unit was designed by Hutch, who also designed the Massive Passive by the way. However, that probably explains why the silk circuits are in backward. The Blue is actually Red silk. Not sure if they fixed that issue yet or not.

      The MBP is a really flexible unit. There are so many features in one box, you get multiple compressor styles, silk circuits, a limiter, M/S functionality and a stereo field editor. I think the box doesn't get a lot of play around here because it's not as clean as the Dangerous Compressor and not as soulful as the Shadow Hills Mastering Compressor. I find that most often I'm using it for the silk circuits or as a mix bus compressor. I've contemplated selling it here recently just to get something a bit more specific and focused. It's a jack of all trades kind of device, but every time I think about it something comes around that makes me want to keep it. Like the silk circuits are saturation and they are phase neutral so you can add it to stuff even while mastering to give things a lift.

      My advice is if you are looking for a single compressor that is flexible and does multiple things, there really aren't many devices in this category and the MBP really shines. If you already have buss compressors and are looking for something additional, then the MBP may not be what you are looking for.

      Arthur Labus

        What about my mastering chain ?

        All in the Box, using mostly free plugins, in order:

        BootEQ (Variety of Sound) - cleaning up/ boosting eq
        Baxter EQ (Variety of Sound) - transparent eq
        ThrillseekerXTC blue (Variety of Sound) - not so transparent eq
        DensityMkII (Variety of Sound) - bus compressor
        [option] ClipShifter (LVC-Audio) - soft clipper
        Charly [Prime Studio] - gain & "analog" summing
        TB Barricade [ToneBoosters] - limiter
        and some metering plugins

        It seems to work fine. Any comment(s) would be highly appreciated !

        Michael Hordorwich

          Hey @a-labus i'm curious to hear some mixes with the free plugs. I have just about every paid plug out there and their great but i still use some free and stock plugs and they sound great. Again arthur would love to hear your mastering sound! Thanks, mike

          Arthur Labus

            Well, my latest academy mixes are "mastered" that way.
            My "Stone" that you know and my "Stronger"

            Also did some attempts to master older, very funny stuff:

            Have fun Michael ! Any comments are warmly welcomed.

            Len Baird

              I am by no means an expert , just learning like others.
              But here's what I have been using to do my fake mastering lately.
              If it has a lot of peaky drum hits or any unruliness when I look at the waveform, I start with an L1 limiter set to just tame down the peaks a db or two. I just use it in linked mode so the volume stays the same. I might raise it a couple db, but not up to full final volume. I am trying to get away from this by fixing this in my mixes. Saturation helps on the peaky drum parts I learned.
              But on a non peaky mix I start with a Fab Filter pro q2. I have been expirimenting with low cutting the sides, at a 6 db slope, somewhere around 80-100hz. I either low cut the middle at 20 or so, or sometimes leave it alone. I do other EQ as needed, hopefully not if I did a good job in the mix (rare). On one mix, when I low cut the sides, it needed more bass, so I did a low shelf of +1db in the middle of the same frequencies I cut on the sides and it put me back in business.
              Then I use compression slowish attack and release to suit the tempo of the song. Sometimes I use the Puigchild after this with no compression, if I want to soften out the sound a little. I also tried raising the input on the Puigchild to add some saturation or drive, and it seems to help fatten up an ear hurting mix. The Klanghelm MJUC just using the saturation, and the dark/hifi as a bright/dark knob is great too.
              Then I use the L2 Limiter to bring it up to final volume.
              My rms averages are usually around -7 to -6 on the loud choruses, less on the verses or quiet parts/songs.

              If I am screwing this up I'd love to know about it 😛 That idea of using a multiband compressor to just compress the mids sounds cool I am going to try that. I often EQ out upper mids when I make my mix too bright, I'll try a multiband compressor next time.

              • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Len Baird.
              Arthur Labus

                It is middle of 2019, meanwhile my common mastering chain looks as follow:

                Mastering as separate process, using bounced stereo file with Master Bus processing.
                All in the Box, using free and affordable plugins, in order:

                vMeter (TBProAudio) - setting the signal to 0 VU (-18 dB)
                NLS Bus Stereo (Waves) - console vibe and stuff
                BootEQ (Variety of Sound) - cleaning up/ boosting eq
                ThrillseekerXTC blue (Variety of Sound) - exciter
                [option] GEM Dopamine - dolby simulation
                Baxter EQ (Variety of Sound) - transparent mastering eq
                DensityMkII (Variety of Sound) - bus compressor
                TB ReelBus (Toneboosters) - reel simulation
                Charly Limited [Prime Studio] - gain & "analog" summing
                TB Barricade [ToneBoosters] - limiter
                Youlean Loudness Meter [Youlean] - metering (usually aiming for- 14LUFS)

                Any thoughts ?

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