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Thread: I want to learn mastering

  1. #1
    Registered User spookz's Avatar
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    23 May 2006
    Pa, Delaware, Texas

    Default I want to learn mastering

    I need more skillz:\

  2. #2
    Registered User Rapproduca's Avatar
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    28 Jun 2006
    Reno, NV/Racine, Wi(home)

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    Mastering Tips for J-Fre

    1. 01. Quik Tipz: How loud do the Top Producers Mix?
    2. 02. Quik Tipz: Secret Techniques for EQ'n Drumz
    3. 03. Quik Tipz: Secrets to EQ'n Bass for Hip Hop
    4. 04. Quik Tipz: Secrets to obtaining a Hotter Mix
    5. 05. Quik Tipz: 5 Essential Mixes Top Producers Use
    6. 06. Quik Tipz: Get Your Beats Bouncin' with Mutes, Drops, & Automation (Get Your Beats Bouncin' like the Pro's)
    7. 07. Quik Tipz: 6 Golden Secrets to a Great Mix
    8. 08. Quik Tipz: Mix Methods used by Top Producers
    9. 09. Quik Tipz: How the Heavy-Weights make Hitz
    10. 10. Quik Tipz: Top Compression Methodz Revealed
    11. 11. Quik Tipz: How much Compression is too much?
    12. 12. Quik Tipz: Secrets to a Platinum Vocal Sound
    13. 13. Quik Tipz: Prized Background Vocal Techniques
    14. 14. Quik Tipz: Sub-Bass Secrets for Hip-Hop Pro's

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 01. Quik Tipz: How loud do the Top Producers Mix?

    If you're asking yourself "How loud do the top producers mix?", then you're asking the wrong question. Try asking "How soft do they mix?". That's right, that's what we said. Below we reveal the reasons Top Producers mix at lower versus higher levels:

    1) Mixing at high volumes for long periods of time can cause permanent ear damage. Yes, it's true...long term exposure to high levels can ruin your ears. If your ears are your assets, best treat them right.

    2) High mixing volumes for long periods cause your ears to over-compensate for both high end frequencies and low end frequencies. If you only mix at high levels, your ears will run out of gas within a couple hours as opposed to mixing at softer levels which allow you to hear accurately for longer periods of time.

    3) Mixing loud may sound great in the beginning, but re-listening to the same mix a day later at soft levels will reveal a myriad of imbalances. However, the opposite is not true! Achieving proper balances at soft levels tends to maintain the same achieved balances when heard later at loud levels.

    Are we saying to mix only at soft levels? No, of course not. In fact, it's necessary to mix loud for a minute or two to ensure proper balance on the low end spectrum of your mix. Also, in order to ensure effects and EQ's aren't saturated, it's necessary to mix for periods of time at moderate levels. But overall...the best balances are achieved at lower mixing levels.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________

    * 02. Quik Tipz: Secret Techniques for EQ'n Drumz

    When it comes to equalizing your drums, don't mess around. The drums represent the heart of your mix & should be treated with respect. Below are some invaluable secrets from ModernBeats for EQ'n drums for Hip Hop:

    Frequency Selection - If your serious about obtaining a clean and punchy sound for your drums, then you'll quickly learn you must be selective in the frequencies you should to boost and cut for each drum track. Most important to remember - Avoid accumulation of the same frequencies. Particularly, avoid over boosting low end frequencies. This will only muddy up your drums, as well as, mask other important tracks in the mix. Ensure your drum frequencies are even across the board!

    Clean it Up - To achieve an overall punchier & cleaner mix, try cutting low end frequencies between 250 - 500hz on drum tracks such as kicks & toms. Cutting frequencies in this range will actually sharpen up drum tracks that sound too bold, harsh, & up-front. For punch, try adding 250 - 350hz into your snare & clap tracks. This will give more snap & body to the rhythm, as well as, balance out where your cut previously on your kick & tom tracks.

    Adding Clarity - Cutting out the low frequencies from 100-200hz on cymbal & hi-hat tracks will add clarity while also allowing the other drum tracks that contain natural lows in those same ranges to come through in the mix. Also, boosting highs from 9khz - 12khz will add brilliance to cymbal tracks & boosting around 8khz will add crackle to your snare & clap tracks. If your not satisfied with the depth & feel on your kick tracks, then add a 4db boost at 40hz using a narrow Q of around 20. This will give the kick tracks the punch you're looking for. But ...don't forget...high pass your sub kick tracks from 34hz & below, canceling out unwanted low end rumble.

    __________________________________________________ _______________________

    * 03. Quik Tipz: Secrets to EQ'n Bass for Hip Hop

    As a Hip Hop Producer, one thing you must learn to respect is the power of bass and how it can control your entire mix for better or worse. So, for the benefit of your mixes, take note of these important tricks of the trade we reveal below:

    1) Bass frequencies are omnidirectional. This means the lows within bass instruments contain alot of power and energy, so powerful they can control the overall output of the master mix level. Plus, your bass track should almost always be panned in the center. Panning your bass other than to the center is senseless as it will only generate a mix that is lopsided and artificially hot on one side.

    2) Don't EQ your bass with the same frequencies as you used on your kicks. For example, if you boosted 40-80hz in your kick tracks, then boost around 120hz for your bass, or vice versa. It's very important to avoid accumulation of the same frequencies when dealing with lows as these tracks control the overall output level of your mix. By assigning different frequency settings to each low end track, your overall mix level can become louder.

    3) Boosting a particular frequency on a kick track, calls for cutting the same frequency by the same amount on your bass track. Specifically, when boosting 80hz on a kick track, be certain to cut 80hz by the same amount on your bass track. Likewise, if you boosted 130hz on your bass track, cut by the same amount and frequency on your kick track. This secret technique will give your song a far more low end sculpted sound, allowing for a hotter overall mix.

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 04. Quik Tipz: Secrets to obtaining a Hotter Mix

    If you are sincere about getting the best possible mix out of your productions, then you'll be certain to read the following unknown EQ mixing secrets below...

    Know what to boost & where to boost

    Too many amateur mixers think just because they've discovered a low frequency EQ knob, and know how to turn it up, that they've suddenly become an expert on Equalization. The truth is there isn't a quicker way to ruin a mix than EQing your tracks using the same global EQ boosts. A professional mixer quickly understands that while boosting the same low frequency on a bass guitar as that on a kick drum may sound great when listened separate from each other, when combined the cumulative EQ creates an overall loss of output volume for the entire mix due to lows controlling the mix level.

    Give each track it's own timbre

    A professional mixer understands to avoid using the same frequencies when EQing each track in a mix. In fact, by making sure each track has it's own proper & unique EQ settings, you're overall mix will sound more professional, balanced, and louder. To take it a step further, clearing out frequency ranges with low pass and high pass filters on tracks that don't fill the entire frequency spectrum grants you more control over boosting & cutting EQ where it is needed. For example, opening up the low end of the spectrum with high pass filtering so kick drums and bass can fill in with more definition, as well as, opening up the highs with low pass filtering where cymbals and hi-hats can be heard more clearly.


    Where you boost, you must cut - A professional mixer understands that where he/she boosts, he/she must cut. For example, if your kick drum needs more lows, then give it a 4db boost around 60hz. certain to compensate this boost with a corresponding cut by subtracting the same 60hz from your bass guitar track. Furthermore, before creating unwanted cumulative EQ effects by boosting lower mids on your congas or toms, clear out the EQ path by high passing tracks that don't use natural low mids such as strings, hi hats, and background vocals. By boosting where you cut & cutting where you boost, you keep the overall EQ spectrum balanced. The results will astonish you. Your overall mix will be more balanced, smoother, and best of all - Hotter!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 05. Quik Tipz: 5 Essential Mixes Top Producers Use

    If you're serious about your career as a Top Music Producer or Engineer, then be sure to collect all of the 5 essential mixes listed below for each song you lay to the mixed master.

    1) Main Master Mix - This is the main mix to be used for album, single, and radio releases. It's the mix that appeals to the widest audience of listeners.

    2) Raised Vocals Mix - Just like your main master mix, only with both lead and background vocals raised in level by approximately 1 to 2 decibels. Depending on the demand for your music, industry types may request this special mix.

    3) Lowered Vocals Mix - Just like your main master mix, only with both lead and background vocals lowered in level by approximately 1 to 2 decibels. Vocal performances can make or break a hit. Make sure you have this mix on hand in case later the main master mix is voted against.

    4) Television Live Performance Mix - Just like your main master mix, only with no lead vocal. This mix will be used for television and other types of live performances.

    5) Instrumental Mix - Just like you main master mix, only with no lead or background vocals. This mix serves as material for radio and television promotions, as well as, giving you the freedom to record different vocal/lyrical performances over the main instrumental mix at a later date. Also, this mix enables you to later edit & rearrange your song without having to redo the instrumental part of the main master mix!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 06. Quik Tipz: Get Your Beats Bouncin'with Mutes, Drops, & Automation

    So you've finished with the bulk of your mix - you've EQ 'd, compressed, gated, panned, & added effects to your complete satisfaction. So you're ready to lay down your final mix, right?


    Now it's time to take your mix to the next level. Adding in mutes, drops, & other types of automation will help shape and give a new energy to your mix that you hadn't imagined before:

    Try muting out bass & drums tracks near the end of 4 bar phrases throughout your song and you'll see what we mean. Listeners love dynamics - adding in automated mutes & drops on bass & drum tracks throughout your song adds the dynamic energy hits require. Also, experiment with different combinations of drum drops. Don't use the same exact drum drops over & over - Mix it up!

    So what other types of automation will bring the final mix to higher grounds? Well, depending on your console/computer setup, all of the following can be automated: Mutes, Pans, Effects sends, EQ, Compression, Gates, and more. Don't fall short during the mix process, your beat deserves more. Imagine the energetic & dynamic possibilities with all that you could automate!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 07. Quik Tipz: 6 Golden Secrets to a Great Mix

    If you want to impress your listening audience, you've got to cover your basics when mixing your productions. Below we list 6 secret methods in order to achieve a professional mix:

    Volume Balancing - All your instrument tracks added together must represent an even/balanced structure with volume. It's easy to lend too much volume to the wrong tracks in your production. Coming up with the proper balance where each tracks has it's own proper level is a practicing art.

    Panorama & Placement - Whether you're mixing in stereo or surround sound, achieving a unique pan & placement for each musical track within a mix is essential. Proper sound field placement fro all tracks will reveal the detail & beauty of your entire production while, at the same time, satisfying the listener's ears with acoustic balance.

    Frequency Spectrum - One of the biggest problems producers create for themselves is not making sure to fulfill the entire audible frequency spectrum in a mix, approximately 30hz-18khz. Too often, mixes have too many ear-piercing highs or too many muddy uncontrolled lows. Today's hit songs demand a proper mix & balance of the full frequency range. And, as a reminder, "proper balance" doesn't mean boost all knobs!

    Effects & Dimensions - Learn to entertain and embellish your mix with subtle effects such as reverb, delay, overdrive, and chorusing. Be careful to not overdo it, but by giving a variety of the tracks in your mix their own unique ambient dimension and effect, the overall mix can become a richer listening experience.

    Compression & Dynamics - While giving some tracks in the mix their own dynamic freedom, other tracks (particularly vocals) need more dynamic control for two main reasons. Reason one: You don't want a track to sound amateur, being too quiet to hear at one section and then suddenly too loud in another - so compress it! Reason two: You don't all the hard work you've put into track placement, EQ, and dimension to be over-masked and thrown out of balance by uncontrolled dynamics from competing tracks - so compress them!

    Keep it Interesting - Ok, so we've laid down a foundation of elements to adhere to above, but that doesn't mean your mix should end up cliche'! Keep it interesting and original by trying more experimental methods such as over-compressing a certain track or creating abrupt drum and/or bass mutes. If you want to try something real extreme, try your tricks on tracks that have a short presence in the song rather than on tracks that are consistently present throughout. This keeps it interesting, yet not annoying!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 08. Quik Tipz: Mix Methods used by Top Producers

    Building a great mix starts with organizing how you approach it. To achieve the best mix for hip hop, break down your mix into a specific order of steps as the Pro's do. The following mix methods will help you avoid rushing or losing focus on achieving the best sound:

    Place priority on mixing the drums & bass first. Achieving a soild drum & bass foundation gives your mix a strong backbone. If you focus on the drums and bass first, the rest of your mix will naturally fall into place.

    Even though many producers mix the entire instrumental song before adding in the lead and background vocals - it's a big mistake! After you've built the drum and bass mix, move straight into placing your lead vocal tracks into the heart of it. Build a solid mix with these 3 components before adding in your other tracks.

    After the drums, bass, and vocals are solid, add in your other melodic tracks such as guitar, piano, strings, etc. Leave out any percussion or sound effects at this point. Pan these melodic tracks around the lead vocal, finding a pocket for each addition. Make sure not to compete for the lead vocals attention, but instead support the vocals as complimentary.

    Save the percussion and sound effects tracks for last. Typically it's wise to pan these last tracks outside your drums, bass, vocal, and melodic tracks. Use your percussion and effects tracks to fill in spaces in the mix that seem unbalanced. By this step your mix should be well shaped and balanced!

    __________________________________________________ ________________________

    * 09. Quik Tipz: How the Heavy-Weights make Hitz produced a mad beat. The artist and record company love it. They buy it. They take it into the studio to record vocals to it. Now they're ready to mix. the beat truly as hot as it could be?!? Heavy weight producers would say no! Here's why...

    Too often in Hip Hop, producers make killer beats only to have artists record vocals over them that simply don't agree with the arrangement of the original beat. The problem is the lyrical ideas of the artist and the production ideas of the producer don't match on first try. So..when a producer sells a beat that isn't then re-arranged to better fit the lyrical performance that is recorded over it, the overall song will lose it's power due to the vocals & beat clashing.

    The lesson to be learned is 90% of the time production should not end when the beat is sold. Heavy weight producers take pride & joy in re-arranging their productions to fit around vocal performances by opening up spaces for certain lyrical lines while adding in new fills & riffs in between other vocal lines. In short, professional producers sculpt their beats around vocal performances!

    In fact, with the perfect combination of catchy hook vocals answered by catchy hook fills & riffs, hits can truly be born! Nothing makes a better formula for a hit than catchy "question and answer" phrasing. The problem with alot of amateur hip hop productions is that the artist's vocals (the questions) simply run over the producer's riffs (the answers). Real producers re-pave the road and come out with hits!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 10. Quik Tipz: Top Compression Methodz Revealed

    Ready to achieve optimum, punchy, in-your-face, hip hop compression settings for a kick? a snare? bass? percussion? Learn what compressor settings platinum hip hop producers use below...

    Ratio & Threshold settings dictate amount: Heavy weight producers use Ratio settings 4:1 to 7:1 for most hip hop applications. Ratios 8:1 & above are more effective for limiting, not compression. For Threshold settings, the Pro's use anywhere from 10db to 15db of gain reduction on kicks, snares, percussion, bass, or guitar. After you set the ratio and threshold, the real power comes in with your attack and release settings...

    Attack times dictate snap: To ensure the most punch per track in your mix, you need to assign each track it's own compressor attack settings one at a time. Starting with the kick, set your attack to its slowest possible setting. Next, increase the time of the attack until the kicks timbre dulls slightly. Once you've reached this point, decrease the attack time slightly to un-dull the kick timbre and leave it at that setting. Repeat this method for all other tracks you wish to add optimum punch to!

    3) Release times dictate recovery: Now that you've optimized the attack for each individual track needing punch, now you must assign each track its own release setting too. Again, starting with the kick, set your release to its fastest possible setting. Next, decrease the time of the release until you hear the compression fully recovers the kick's volume before the next kick pulse begins. Repeat this method for all other tracks needing optimum volume recovery!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 11. Quik Tipz: How much Compression is too much?

    While compression can work wonders to add punch and presence to your mix, it can also ruin it faster than you can say "it's destroyed". Below are some guidelines to help you avoid destroying your mixes with too much compression...

    Compression typically performs best when gain reduction occurs only where peaks in audio signal are present, even if those peaks occur several times throughout a mix. The idea is to control the peaks in signal all the while having most of the signal remain underneath the threshold and hence, uncompressed. Optimum gain reduction occurs once you have achieved this type of balance.

    If the compressor is always attenuating (gain reducing) the signal you feed it, you are not achieving optimum gain reduction. This is where compressors start to ruin mixes with what is called pumping and/or breathing.

    Pumping and breathing occur when so much of the signal is crossing the threshold that the overall volume of the signal is reduced entirely! Once the dynamics and/or peaks in the original signal soften & go back underneath the threshold, the volume actually becomes louder again due to the original signal recovering from excessive compression!

    Compression is a powerful tool: Abuse it, and compression will ruin your mix. Treat it with respect, and compression will enchance your mix!

    __________________________________________________ _________________________

    * 12. Quik Tipz: Secrets to a Platinum Vocal Sound

    Nothing is more important in a song than the lead vocal. Simply put...the lead vocal is the primary focal point of your entire mix. Because of its importance and need for constant placement within a mix, proper microphone, EQ, and compression techniques are essential. Learn the same techniques as used in platinum hits...

    1) Microphone Techniques: In order to achieve a professional high fidelity vocal recording, using a condenser mic along with a good pop-screen is the only way to go. Condensers capture vocal resonance and vocal frequency spectrums far better than dynamic microphones. Also, before recording, be certain to switch the mic's settings to the cardioid pickup pattern with the high pass filter enabled to remove low end rumble from the source recording signal.

    2) Vocal EQ Techniques: If proper microphone techniques have been implemented, a minimal amount of EQ should be needed. However, if you find the vocals could still use added clarity, try boosting 1-3 decibels between 5khz - 7khz. If you're needing an extra airy texture added to the vocals, try boosting 1-3 decibels between 10khz-12khz. Also, any low frequencies 100hz and below should be rolled off and/or high-passed to add further low end control to your overall mix.

    3) Vocal Compression Techniques: With compression, you are seeking to even out inconsistencies in volume levels while at the same time trying not to destroy the natural dynamics inherent in the vocal performance. The trick is to set your compressor with a high ratio of 5:1 to 8:1 with a semi-fast attack and a medium release time. Most important is your setting of the compressor's threshold: Set your threshold level where gain reduction occurs only for the loudest volume peaks in the vocal recording. This will even out level inconsistencies all the while retaining natural vocal dynamics.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    * 13. Quik Tipz: Prized Background Vocal Techniques

    You've put in some hard work to achieve the perfect lead vocal mix. Now, it's time to bring the song to a new level by adding the background vocals to the mix! Below are some great unknown tips on how to attain some prized background vocal textures...

    1) Add Silk: Unlike the up front full-bodied texture of your lead vocal track, take a different complimentary approach with your backing vocals. Add some silk by applying an overall high-pass filter as high as 900hz to the background vocals. The higher the high-pass the more sheen and silky the texture becomes. Also, for even more sheen, boost 11-12khz 1-4 decibels using high-shelf EQ.

    2) Add Depth: To ensure a large impressive sound, you need to record several tracks of background vocals: double takes, triple takes, as well as, stacking harmonies. Take advantage of this multi-tracking by assigning each track its own panning placement. For example, pan low vocal/harmony tracks hard left & right. Next, pan medium vocal/harmony tracks 75% left & 75% right. Lastly, pan high vocal/harmony tracks 40% left & 40% right. Now your backing vocals will hug around your lead vocal perfectly!

    3) Add Distance: To further add contrast apart from your lead vocal, apply different effects settings to your background vocal tracks. Typically, heavier effects should be applied to background vocals when compared to lead tracks. This helps add distance & a unique character apart from your lead mix. Some good background effects to apply are subtle ping pong stereo delays, hall reverbs, plate reverbs, and choruses!

    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    * 14. Quik Tipz: Sub-Bass Secrets for Hip-Hop Pro's

    There's nothing more powerful to add to a hip hop mix than smooth "feel it more than hear it" sub-bass! Read below to learn some of the most coveted sub-bass secrets in tha industry...

    Hip-Hop Sub-Bass Secret #1: Learning the Low Pass

    Many amateur mixers think the way to create powerful sub-bass is by boosting low-shelf EQ. Well, we have news for's not! The most direct route to creating sub-bass textures is through the powerful use of a low pass filter. By applying a low pass filter to a source signal such as a bass guitar track, high timbres can be filtered out completely letting only low-sub frequencies pass through to be heard.

    Easily control how high or low of timbres to let pass through the filter by assigning the filter's settings to a specific frequency number such as 80hz or 70hz, etc. The lower you toggle your low pass filter setting (70hz, 60hz, 50hz), the more sub-only signal you are creating in your mix. Try it on your kicks & bass instrument tracks and experience the control!

    Note: Before testing out the techniques described above, please keep in mind the following...To monitor sub-bass frequencies accurately, you will need a sub-woofer. While you can still hear some sub frequencies without a sub-woofer and apply the techniques described, the accurate amount of sub-bass being produced will go somewhat unnoticed when using only near-field monitors/speakers.

    ModernBeats - Quik Tipz (Hip Hop Samples, Drum Loops - Download Free Reason,Soundfonts,EXS24,Halion,Kontakt Drum Loops Samples)

  3. #3

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    yo check this vid wid some tips

  4. #4
    One Bad MuthaShutYoMouth! FarGone's Avatar
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    18 Oct 2005

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    thats some quality advice up there, dont sleep people

  5. #5
    Registered User -TeGo-'s Avatar
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    04 Oct 2006
    H-Town, VA

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    props on the vid.. i learn better visualy..

    props on the txt too..,i remember readin
    tht here before..

  6. #6
    Registered User brandon54's Avatar
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    29 Jun 2008
    Detroit, Michigan, United States

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering


  7. #7
    Elite DJ
    funkyone's Avatar
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    22 Apr 2007

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    really good tips , thanks for postin this


  8. #8

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    propz on the info.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Fantastique's Avatar
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    16 Nov 2008
    Queens, New York

    Default Re: I want to learn mastering

    Thanks alot Rapproduca, that helped me out alot

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