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is this possible in mastering?
Old 23rd January 2009
  #1
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otobianki74's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
a question to the mastering engineer

I have a mastered version of an album I mixed which I think is really solid.

aside from the obvious remix route, is there a way to tame overheads that are a bit too loud at rocking sections? would a mastering engineer use a multi-band compressor or de-esser to do this only at certain areas where this might be happening?

I understand this might impact frequencies/dynamics of other instruments in the same range.

also, as a mastering engineer, if I aksed for a more vintage EQ treatment, is that something that makes sense to you?

I like the energy of my mastered tracks but I'm scared the top end, although smooth sounding, might be too shimmery whereas the vibe of this record is a little dirtier.

I'm curious what can be accomplished without a mix recall.

thanks.

oto
Old 23rd January 2009
  #2
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sinchi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It might be possible, depends on the material. I think, without hearing the material, remix would give the best result. Have you asked the ME who mastered your album what he/she thinks about that?

Cheers,
Ville
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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If you feel the overheads are only a little too loud, taming them in mastering is most likely not a problem. Been there, done that.

Usually a touch of de-essing in combination with EQ (if there's some annoying whizz going on) goes a long way. If it's in a certain part of the song, then I'd touch just that and nothing else.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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🎧 10 years
Using a de-esser is like using a narrow band compressor - only - a de-esser's center frequency maybe the wrong one. So, these settings should be used as a starting point. Open up a RTA to find out exactly where the hats are peaking {usually at around 13K} then dial that frequency, adjust your threshold to start reducing 'by compression' the hats' level. If the hats are present through out the entire song, then I'd recommend a good parametric eq {a good opportunity/reason to add some extra color as you require}. The key is knowing the exact frequency where the hats live to cut into or compress their fundamentals.

Settings for a NB comp:

Ctr Freq: 13K (adjust as needed)
EQ Mode: Split Band
Eq Type: Bell
Q: Narrowest
Look Ahead Function? Yes
Compression
Make Up: 0 dB
Threshold: -10 dB (adjust as needed)
Ratio: 6.50:1
Attack: 1 ms
Release: 5 ms

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea ➑️
Using a de-esser is like using a narrow band compressor - only - a de-esser's center frequency maybe the wrong one.

Say what? Or do you mean one with no frequency adjustment?

I like notch eqs more anyway. But let's not go THERE again
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by macc ➑️
Say what? Or do you mean one with no frequency adjustment?
I am not sure what you are asking me Macc, can you please clarify?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Why would a de-esser's centre frequency be wrong unless you set it wrong in the first place? If it was a de-esser where you cannot specify the frequency yourself, of course. But then I would imagine such a de-esser wouldn't be suitable for mastering, wouldn't operate in split-band mode, ie it would compress everything) etc etc. Something like the SPL deesser is what I am thinking of.

That was what I meant.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by macc ➑️
Why would a de-esser's centre frequency be wrong unless you set it wrong in the first place? If it was a de-esser where you cannot specify the frequency yourself, of course. But then I would imagine such a de-esser wouldn't be suitable for mastering, wouldn't operate in split-band mode, ie it would compress everything) etc etc. Something like the SPL deesser is what I am thinking of.

That was what I meant.
Indeed. But remember, hardware version like the old DBX de-esser had a fixed frequency. Most software plugin de-essers are by default at around 7K {hats don't live there}. You can adjust the center frequency, which is what I advised or use a nb comp, which is usually my choice. Am I clear to you now?

Regards,
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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GAHHHH
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc ➑️
GAHHHH
heh
Old 25th January 2009
  #11
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lucey's Avatar
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by otobianki74 ➑️
I have a mastered version of an album I mixed which I think is really solid.

aside from the obvious remix route, is there a way to tame overheads that are a bit too loud at rocking sections? would a mastering engineer use a multi-band compressor or de-esser to do this only at certain areas where this might be happening?
Side-only eq inserted Ch only might help.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey ➑️
Side-only eq inserted Ch only might help.
Sometimes the ugly stuff can be in the mid channel, too. I've managed to tame ugly overheads a few times by taking high end out of the mid channel, especially if there's nasty whizzing below 10k, filling up the high end with piercing screech.

You've got to watch the stereo balance, of course..
Old 26th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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sinchi's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd first try multi-band compression or eq'ing the troublesome parts. The M/S approach would be the next choice. Like Jaakko said, working with the mid channel is sometimes the way to go, even with harsh hi-hats...

I'd still ask the ME (who mastered the tracks) to give his/her opinion.

Cheers,
Ville
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