Writing is going somewhere, mastering sucks, help?

November 29, 2014 11:13 PM

I am useless at mastering.. I can articulate what I want to happen, but not how. (Crappy speakers and headphones don't help.)

Is there anyone who'd be interested in helping out? I know it's asking a lot. Recently I've found I've been writing (electronic, dance, specifically trance, oonst oonst oonst oonst) music that I'm actually kind of proud of and would like to send off to a label in a way that makes them actually think it might be worth releasing.

Full credit--as in "myname feat yournamewhohelpedmaster - trackname"--provided, and if money changes hands, I am totally into negotiating what that number is before anything is (hopefully) offered, if anyone is interested in helping out. (as in, if you want to but want to be paid, we can discuss and agree on a generous percentage before you start working).

posted by feckless fecal fear mongering (3 comments total)

I have a decent mastering set-up here but I really don't do the the oonst oonst thing. However, why don't you give LANDR (landr.com)a try? I recently mastered my own album, and when I did a comparison with LANDR it was well-nigh identical (to the extent that I couldn't tell the difference in a blind A/B). You can do unlimited free MP3s. I have a WAV account so if you want me to do a WAV for you I'm happy to. It sounds like the kind of thing that shouldn't work, but it does, much better than you'd expect. I think they are optimized for dance music, too.
posted by Sportswriters at 8:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]

...holy crap. What a fantastic service, thank you for that! (I'm going to fiddle with it now and see what happens).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:14 PM on December 5, 2014

Yeah, honestly, if your mix is any good, a little brightening and limiting will be "good enough" to finalize it. I've never used LANDR but I suspect it can't be far off from the mastering chain I stick on my mixes when I'm in a hurry, and that's pretty much all it does. A little gentle glue compression, a little cut in the low-mids, a little boost at the top end, then crush it down to -10dB RMS or so.

Especially with dance music, though, it's important to get the mix right, which usually means meticulous inspection of the low end. It's not really my forte, but when I have to do it, I try to have sub bass really only coming from one source at a time, which means most of the synths get highpassed and ducked by the kick, with a sine providing the sub. If I really need loudness I'll add some parallel distortion on the subs so I can pull down the fundamental (which eats up headroom) and still get the illusion of weight down low.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:47 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

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