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Examples of colorful mastering chains in commercial recordings
Old 10th February 2009
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six_wax's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Examples of colorful mastering chains in commercial recordings

Greetings mastering gurus! Question for you:

As my ears have gotten better, and I've gained more experience, I've come to notice that frequently there's an identifiable stamp or tone on a record after it comes back from mastering.

I'm wondering, can you seasoned mastering guys identify colorful mastering when you hear a record? Enough to have some confidence that a particular limiter or chain was used? If there are examples you can cite or point me to (e.g. "Album by SoAndSo has Varimu written all over it..."), I'd love to hear them.

This kind of tone selection is part & parcel of the great MEs I've been able to work with. I'd love to benefit from your aural vocabulary, if you don't mind sharing.
Old 11th February 2009
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Ben F's Avatar
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
It would be almost impossible without hearing the unmastered material. How would you know 'tone' what is in the mix and what is the mastering?

Having said that, the unmistakable sound of the L2 is written all over many commercial CDs. I can sometimes hear a Sontec 432, Massive Passive, or HEDD unit on some albums, generally only if I know the ME and their style.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
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phild's Avatar
🎧 15 years
It gets easier to tell if you're listening to several releases of the same engineer?
If you're aware of the gear they use and/or if it's the same stuff you own then it progresses from there.

I'm good at picking out the tone-ier stuff like Chandler, Manley, Api's. Focusrite stuff too.
L2...for sure...

Otherwise, no idea about identifying whole signal chains. In fact, in the hands of another engineer I'm not sure I could identify my system either.
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