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Mastering:

 

Recommended Equalisation Frequencies:

Grassic Gibbon Songwriting Group

Grassic Gibbon Songwriting Group

   

Sometimes the final mix is good enough to release without additional processing, however mastering can sometimes add sparkle and oomph to a song.

50Hz

+

to add more fullness to low frequency instru-

   

ments like foot drum, floor tom, and bass.

 

to decrease “boom” of bass but increase clarity of bass in mix

-

 

Recording and Mastering Tips

Recording and Mastering Tips
 

Here are suggestions to try with your final mix:

100Hz

+

to add harder bass sound, fullness of guitars /

snare, warmth to piano and horns

Compression:

to decrease “boom” on guitars but increase clarity of guitars in mix

-

Low ratio 1:1—1:5

Low threshold –30dB

200Hz

to add fullness to vocals, add harder guitar / snare sound

to reduce muddiness of vocals, “gong” sound of cymbals

-

+

Ian Simpson

http://thefamilysimpson.wordpress.com

Long attack time to let drums punch through

     

Soft knee compression is best

 

Tube compression settings are best

 

Equipment Needed:

EQ:

Cut mid range slightly to make mix appear louder

400Hz

+ to add clarity to bass

- to decrease “cardboard” sound of foot drum and

toms, decrease ambiance on cymbals

Mixer (optional) Microphone
Mixer (optional) Microphone

Mixer (optional)

Mixer (optional) Microphone

Microphone

 

Enhancer / Dynamic Equaliser:

Dynamic equaliser redistributes harmonies to give a smoother sound

Can add power at the bass end

Be subtle!

800Hz

+ to add clarity and “punch” to bass

- to remove “cheap” sound of guitars

1.5kHz

+ to add clarity and “pluck” to bass

- to remove dullness of guitars

Recording software Mastering software Optional
Recording software Mastering software Optional
Recording software Mastering software Optional

Recording software

Recording software Mastering software Optional

Mastering software

Optional

 

3kHz

+ to add “pluck” to bass, attack on guitars/low

Limiting:

 

octave piano, clarity and hardness on vocals

Internet access

CD Writer

Headphones

 

Set

to –0.5 dB

-

to increase breathy soft sound on backing vocals,

 

disguise out of tune vocals/guitars

Computer

Timing:

 

5kHz

+

to add vocal presence, attack on foot drums /

 

Make sure there is at least 100 150ms of space at

toms, “finger sound” on bass, brightness on guitars

 

Microphone Placement:

and piano

 
     

the beginning of each song so CD player plays song properly

The first track must have a 2 second space at the beginning of the song for proper CD player indexing and playback.

to make background parts sound distant, soften “thin” guitar

-

 

7kHz

+

to add attack to percussion instruments, brighten

7kHz + to add attack to percussion instruments, brighten  
 

vocals, more “finger sound” on bass, sharpness to

 

synths/guitars/piano

CD Burning:

- to decrease sibilance on vocals

Burn audio CDs at as slow a speed as possible so there are less errors.

   

Close mike

Mid range

Far range

10kHz

+ to brighten vocals, “light brightness” in acoustic

 

Play the CD mixes on as many devices as possible before duplication e.g. headphones, stereos, car

guitar/piano, hardness on cymbals

-

to decrease sibilance on vocals

 

Detail

CD

players, monitors.

15kHz

to brighten breath sound on vocals, cymbals/ strings/flutes, make synths sound more real

+

Room ambiance

15kHz to brighten breath sound on vocals, cymbals/ strings/flutes, make synths sound more real + Room
15kHz to brighten breath sound on vocals, cymbals/ strings/flutes, make synths sound more real + Room
15kHz to brighten breath sound on vocals, cymbals/ strings/flutes, make synths sound more real + Room
Recording and Mastering Tips

Recording and Mastering Tips

Stages of Recording:

RECORDING

Recording and Mastering Tips Stages of Recording: RECORDING • Set up audio levels and mics to

Set up audio levels and mics to suit

Use compression

Use level and pan controls only

STATIC MIX

(2D MIX)

No processing or effects!

 

Add reverb for depth

FINAL MIX

EQ each track to make instruments stand out

(3D MIX)

RECORDING

Compression:

A compressor evens out the difference between loud and quiet parts of a recording. It crushes the audio if it gets too loud and raises the audio in the quiet sections.

INPUT:

THRESHOLD: Sets how high the signal must reach before compression takes place

RATIO: Sets how much compression is ap plied to any signal above the thresh old

Sets the input level

ATTACK:

Sets how fast the compressor kicks in to any signal above the threshold

DECAY:

Sets how fast the compressor lets go once any signal has dropped under the threshold

OUTPUT:

Sets the output level

Example compressor settings:

Sound

Attack

Release

Ratio

Hard /

Gain

Soft

reduction

Vocal

Fast

0.5

sec

2:1—

Soft

- 3-8 db

 

8:1

Loud

Fast

0.3

sec

4:1—

Hard

- 5-15db

vocal

 

10:1

Acous-

5-10ms

0.5

sec

5:1—

Soft /

5-15db

tic gui-

 

10:1

Hard

tar

Electric

2-5ms

0.5

sec

8:1—

Hard

5-15db

guitar

 

10:1

Foot

1-3ms

0.2

sec

5:1—

Hard

5-15db

drum &

 

10:1

snare

Bass

1-10ms

0.5

sec

4:1—

Hard

5-15db

 

12:1

Mix

Fast

0.4

sec

2:1—

Soft

2-10db

 

6:1

General

Fast

0.5

sec

5:1

Soft

2-10db

STATIC MIX

(2D MIX)

Panning of instruments & vocals in stereo field:

tom 1 foot drum tom 2 cymbals snare cymbals rhythm bass hi hat guitar other
tom 1
foot
drum
tom 2
cymbals
snare
cymbals
rhythm
bass
hi hat
guitar
other instruments & vocals should be panned evenly, working
IN from full pan left / right
L
C
R

Levels:

An individual track’s level should be between –1 and –6 dB—NOT IN THE RED ZONE!!

FINAL MIX (3D MIX)

Reverb:

Reverb is added to increase the depth of an instrument. For some instruments (foot drum, bass guitar) little or no reverb should be used.

Start by listening to the snare drum recording in isolation. Find the level where reverb starts to sound obvious and then reduce the level back slightly. TAKE A NOTE OF THIS (LEVEL A).

Now listen to the whole mix. Find the level where reverb on the snare drum starts to sound obvious. Again, reduce the level back slightly. TAKE NOTE OF THIS (LEVEL B).

Set the final level of reverb on the snare drum at some point between LEVEL A and LEVEL B.

Apply reverb to other instruments as appropriate between LEVEL A and LEVEL B.

The more reverb you add to an instrument, the further back in the mix it appears to be.

NB: Drums should sound bigger with reverb than without but the reverb should not be obvious.