February 7, 2008 2:42 AM

A track from my new project called Mustache, as seen in the phrase "In Space, There Is No Mustache".

Looking for mastering tips. Recording in 48khz/24bit, and it always sounds so much better in the host software. I end up having to use some kind of sonic maximizer to make it listenable at 44khz/16bit. And then it sounds like shit. I have decent monitors and a low-end OK room.

Am I missing some step? Not spending enough time EQing? Poor performance? Poor placement of instruments in the mix? Bad effects? Any general advice or criticism of this track would be appreciated.

posted by BoatMeme (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Don't worry, it sounds really great. Thanks.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:20 AM on February 7, 2008

What is it that you don't like? Everything seems to be on its place to me. The only thing I would perhaps change is the flanger in the second voice, but that's a matter of personal preference and might be exactly what you wanted. In terms of recording and mixing, you are done, I think.
posted by micayetoca at 8:30 AM on February 8, 2008

Thanks for the feedback.

The flange was a last minute addition to seperate the second voice from the first a bit more, though maybe just more EQ and the pan was all that was necessary. I have a hard time mixing vocals, but it's becoming more apparent to me that most of the work should be done in the initial performance and I need to develop the discipline to just keep re-recording until I've nailed it and the patience to step away and return to reappraise the performance at a later time.

The part I don't like is hard to convey without hearing the final mix through my monitors and in my DAW, which I would be satisfied with before I'm ready to export to a 16bit file for CD.

Obviously, I'm going to expect to lose some depth and nuance stepping down from 24 bit to 16 bit, but I'm very much not satisfied with the results I get from using a sonic maximizer - my standard procedure - which just ends up making everything louder (good) but also flatter and harsher (bad). I can understand this as an artifact of poor-use-of-compression, yet this is the only way I know to make the 16-bit end result loud enough to hear.

I get the feeling that I'm missing some crucial step in the mixing/mastering workflow. Maybe I need to use EQ to carve out narrower notches on the individual tracks, or maybe in the final mixdown track. The levels on the individual tracks sound great, with no clipping and are consistently high enough.

I don't know at this point. Maybe I just need to turn down the volume on my monitors. Or, EQ the mixdown AFTER a sonic maximizer. Or learn how to properly use the sonic maximizer. The problem is the same with every song.
posted by BoatMeme at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2008

I understand what you're saying and I think I'm hearing it too. Does it sound to you like you're losing some of the dynamic range? The only thing I might be hearing is that it's a wee bit flat sounding.

And hey, I'm just a noob and whatever I've learned about recording I've learned here. That said, is it necessary to record at one rate and then change the rate? Is there supposed to be any benefit to that? Just thinking that if you recorded in 16 bit it would be WYHIWYG and might be better off than trying to reformat.

Whatever the case, I really dig the song and think it sounds great.
posted by snsranch at 6:15 PM on February 8, 2008

So 'Floydy :)
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:49 PM on December 10, 2012

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