What should be in a mastering chain, how is it setup and what’s the difference between a track that is mastered, verses an unmastered track?

When people listen to songs on the radio, they automatically think that this is how it sounds when it’s all finished. But what is a finished track? How does it sound good as an industry standard mastered mix? What’s the difference between a mix that is not mastered verses a fully mastered track altogether? This next part in my mastering engineering series, I’ll be showing you what chains most mastering engineers used, how they are setup and some of the plugins that I use to get the sound as an industry standard mastered track. As previously stated in my previous blog post, it’s not all about loudness, but EQ and leveling out frequencies to get them leveled out through out the entire track as well as having loudness being consistent as a constant level. The video below will go through all of this and I also talk about the order of the chain as well. This is important it you want your mastering engineering to sound industry standard. So? What are you waiting for, let’s dive in and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me on my contact page, through email, twitter or any other method I have on that contact page. As always, thank you all for the support and letting me help you all who are interested in this kind of stuff.

Mastering chain and the difference between mastered and unmastered

Run this track up by Question official. This is the track that I show off in this video and if you like what we both do, hit that subscribe button on our channels.

Guts

Audio mastering, an introduction and how I got started

Hello, this will be a series of blog posts having to do with audio engineering with regards to mastering, weather it be a single that you’re working on or a full album. these next few blog posts, along with some videos that will be added along with the blog posts that I do, will teach you from the basics of mastering all the way to some advanced stuff and what I use but, for now, let’s just talk about the introduction about how I got started and a little bit about what mastering is.

Introduction

What is mastering? A lot of producers, or even artists may or may not know what the process of mastering is in the post production faze and in this part of the post, I will try to explain, my best of what mastering is from a non technical stand point. Mastering is, essentially, the faze of which a mastering engineer will make all the instruments in a track balance out across all levels across the board with some EQ, compression and make the track role out to loudness standards for the music industry. When mastering, a master engineer is able to adjust different parts of frequencies to make certain parts of elements within a track stand out a bit more than others. For example, if you want a bit of warmth added to the vocals because, you, as the mastering engineer, is not feeling where that vocal is sitting at the higher frequencies. If you, as the mastering engineer wants a bit more punch in the lows, yes, you can do that as well and give it that punch. All this and more can be done with mastering and in a few blog posts, I would have hopefully taught you the basics of mastering and so you might be able to do it yourself and get it to industry standards, like I do with all of my masters. Note: The only time you would ever want a producer to remix anything within a song for you to master is the fact that not, everything you can fix with mastering, most things, yes, but others, not so much. This is why, if you want it to sound great with whatever you’re working on, as a master, you must make sure that the mix is how you feel it should be before starting to master. Listen to the track a couple of times before starting out and take it back to the mixing engineer or producer and ask them to give it a better mix. For example, if you feel that the vocals sound a bit muddy across the highs, and or a bit to loud, this is when you would go back to the engineer or producer and ask them to fix. Or if you feel that the levels are all over the place, because lets face it, you want to do much less work then you have to when mastering. You, as the mastering engineer should be focusing on balancing out instruments and elements and adjusting frequencies where you feel they should sit. Mastering is all about making vary subtle changes to a track. When I master, I think of it as a puzzle. What frequencies should I use that best fits this song and what should I either turn up or down within certain frequencies to give it that right feeling of sound that I’m feeling? What plugins should I use for this process on this song because lets face it, you may use a different EQ plugin than you would on another master of what you just did the night before. You may use an imager to spread some parts of frequencies through out the stereo field to make it more of a spacious feel, if you’re feeling it and if you think, the artist will go for it. These are the types of things that you should be asking yourselves, every single time when you do a master. and even if someone is showing me something that they will ask me to master in the future, I already have an idea of what I’m going to use, before I step into the studio and master, but that process will come in time as you start getting more comfortable with mastering. You start to, even before you ask yourself questions, start to get the feel of where everything should sit mastering wise and once you’ve done that, you’re able to work more quickly and efficiently with your masters. To be quite honest, I still ask myself the questions that I have listed above even when I’m mastering just to double check, and even during the post mastering faze. You always want to go back and double check your work and make sure it’s how you want it. People have a different ear when it comes to mixing, but mastering, is indeed a whole different animal. You’ll use totally different plugins a lot of the times and even mix in different plugins from different manufacturers just to give it that sound you want if you feel you don’t have the tools from the plugins you have right now.

How I got interested in mastering

A couple of years ago, or maybe even less than that, whenever I would want to release something as an IR, (independent artist) and if I wanted it out on all music streaming platforms, I would have to pay someone for mastering and my thought process goes like this. I would want to make money in the stuff that I sell, not lose it, and so thus my research for mastering began. I started asking mastering engineers that I knew and how they would master, and even then, I’d have questions about where everything should go and how you know, what loudness levels should be at at the end of your mastering process. I’ve asked a lot of questions during this time and while I thought I had everything figured out, I still would have more questions. At the end of the day, it’s all in how you want your sound as a mastering engineer. I would go from using stock logic plugins and when using all of that, wouldn’t achieve the sound that I would want. I went from that, to native instruments plugins and believe it or not, I’d use some compressors and EQs from NI to make it sound how I would want my tracks to sound. When my first single came out, Hillbilly chase, I mastered that single with all native instruments plugins and while that did work and achieved most of the sound that I wanted, there was still some stuff that I was missing. So, then again, I went back to the drawing board and found Ozone. I will link that at the end of this blog post, but Ozone, what it is is essentially a mastering sweet of plugins and they had, everything that I was looking for, and more. You can get either standard, or advanced but I did end up getting advance, and that costed me like $500 but it was all worth it. After my first single, Hillbilly chase, and another single that I have produced with a couple of people, I use Ozone as my main mastering sweet and love it every step of the way. I’ve also switch from logic to reaper of the fact that with Reaper, I can use meters that I would have access to that I wouldn’t have access and otherwise, see in logic. With Reaper, it’s become my main DAW for mastering, not for what it can do, but how I can have it do whatever, I want with my masters. I always get tuns of questions of what I would use when mastering, and my answer is always, Ozone. Maybe, I’ll throw in different plugins, but I haven’t had to do that as of yet. That is essentially how I got started with mastering and now, I’m mastering for people, from singles to albums and it’s a lot of fun! In the next blog post, I’ll be going over what a chain is in mastering and how a typical mastering chain should look like. I’ll also post some videos on how my setup would look like just for people who would like to know. Stay tuned. We’re not done yet with this series. I hope I explained things as thoroughly as I could but should you have questions, feel free to comment on this post and I’ll answer back in the comments.

links

Friendship

When I try to reach out to you, lately, it seems that you push me away. Even though you may not mean to do such things. I miss talking to you on a day to day bassist and we don’t get to talk much anymore as it seems like for the past couple of weeks. the only time I get to see you is at the bar, regularly, when I gig there or come to hang out, just to see you. I care about you, and I hope you still care about me as well. Can you here me? Do you not want to be friends with me? Are you ignoring me? Do you mean to avoid? Why? These are the questions that I raise as of this moment as I’m writing this post. I don’t want to lose you as a friend, I can’t give up on this, I won’t give up. I miss you and working this out is what I wanna do. I miss things in how they use to be. I know you’re going through a lot and I’ll always be here for you. I miss texting you, and talking to myself about what I’m going through as of late, is what I’ve been doing. I feel as if you don’t care about me anymore, even though that’s not the case. I think about you daily and even more so after you gave me that bracelet about a couple of weeks ago and have it hanging on the back of the door to my studio. I ware it lots and especially, when I come to see you and when I gig. I don’t sleep much and especially last night, after getting like 4 hours of sleep, this, is what I’ve been inspired to write. I don’t know. Maybe this is how I need to express my feelings. I’m afraid to text you just to checkup on you now , because of the fact that you have told me last week that I was blowing up your phone. I’m working on that and trying to not make the same mistake as I did. I feel ignored, I feel avoided, I feel pushed away, I feel abandon in the thoughts that you don’t want to talk to me. I don’t know, I’m hoping I’m so wrong about all of this. What did I do wrong. Do you not want to be friends with me no more? Do you not want to talk to me? What has happened to you. I’ve tried to contact you about a day ago in the hopes that I could talk to you about all of this, sooner, rather than later because I know that when I see you when I’m gigging, I’m not gunna want to talk about shit and even when giving me a ride home, we don’t even have that much to talk. I want so much to talk. I want so much, to express how I’ve been feeling. but what good will that do if said person can’t or won’t, respond to me, no matter how hard I try to reach out. I’m trying my best here to not let this go. I’m trying to keep it all together, but I just, don’t know anymore. I want so much to show you that song that I wrote for you in the studio and we had that planned a couple of days ago, but blowing it off just made it worse. I keep my word about everything. I just hope I didn’t do anymore harm yet again, I just hope that I didn’t do anything to make you not want to talk to me anymore. I just hope you still want to be friends and to so much to talk to me. I think about you constantly and well I don’t know. Maybe it’s because we have a strong connection and you’re the closest best friend that I could ever ask for right now. I need you, I want you to still be my friend, I want to talk to you and I just hope things are okay with us. This seems like a lot but what else was I suppose to do in a time like this. I always look forward to seeing you and to all the conversations that we always have, late at night. You’re there for me when I bitched about something that I wasn’t happy about a few weeks ago, you were there when I was feeling scared a few nights ago, but when we go our separate ways, it’s like you don’t want to talk to me anymore. You mean so much to me as a friend and you’re the one thing, I can’t lose. I don’t want to lose you, I can’t lose you, I can’t and will not give up on this. Now let’s fast forward to last night. Still seemed like a friend like 3 weeks ago to the present because you still came up and talked with me and expressed your feelings for the song that I wrote. That was like 3 weeks ago. Ever sense then and when walking me out to my uber that night, when you couldn’t give me a ride back home, of which, I understood, that was the last time, I’ve talked with you. The fact that you’ll talk to anyone else but me for the past couple of weeks as of late is really quite sad. If you didn’t wanna talk to me anymore, or if I did anything wrong, why the hell don’t you say something instead of running away from your issues, which you have already done because when checking my messenger and or FB, last night just for shits and giggles, I found that you unfriended me from facebook. Yeah, I know that friendship doesn’t matter when it comes to FB, but you know what, it means a hell of a lot when you don’t explain why you deleted me, and for what? No reason at all, or from what I can tell. Yeah, now your with a boyfriend that, okay, don’t really think he likes me because when coming to your birthday party 3 or 4 weeks ago, because he seen me hanging out with you and you introduced me to your whole family. Which, I thought was pretty cool. I knew part of your family before he did and if he didn’t like me hanging out with you, he could have said something? You know, but you know what? That’s not really a right thing either because no boyfriend or girlfriend should control what or who, they hang out with. I’ve had friends who couldn’t hang out with me because of their either boyfriends or the opposite, were too protective of their significant other. I’m sorry but if you’re in a relationship, you don’t fucking control who hangs out with you and this, is what it seems like what goes on here. Not your fault, but I’m sure you’ll come to the realization here that this shit that you’re pulling on me and possibly a few others is kind of ah, not good. the reason I’m writing this all out here is 2 reasons. One, I don’t wanna display all of this shit on FB, when I can just give people a link to read from and 2, my hopes that you’ll come to see this post some day, sense you know my website and you’ve seen it before, you’ll come to this post. I do however, after writing all of this, have hopes in the fact that you will come and talk to me about all of this and explain what is going on. I do have hopes that you’ll come to your senses and tell me what’s going on. If I’m suppose to b e your best friend, then, why do you not talk to me? If I’m or we, suppose to be best and close friends, then why don’t you tell me everything like you use to and you also keep avoiding me? There have been countless times when at the bar, I look for you and you say that you’ll come and say hi, from what I gather from other bar tenders, oh wait, that’s another thing. Who else was I suppose to turn to when you weren’t there, yep. I’ve asked one of the bartenders , when one of them gave me a ride home to ask how you were doing, to which he did because I was worried about you and concerned. All you said is that, everything is fine. Well, if everything is fine, then why don’t you talk to me anymore, and why the unfriending on FB? These, are yet again the questions I raise and still do. I will never understand this, I will never give up on this friendship but it seems like you would love to give up on this friendship for another guy to which my response to that would be, I’ve been replace. Is that a right thing to do also? Ah, no, don’t think so. Again, I ask myself. What the hell did I ever do to you for you to be doing all of this. Nothing. I try to be a friend to you and this, is what, I get? I was even going to release that song to you that I wrote for you but now, I’m not so sure anymore. As every time I look at that song, My heart breaks. I still may release it, I’m not sure yet, as I had people tell me, go ahead and release but them questions are still going to remain. There is so much I could write about here, but it’s nothing but the same feelings, over, and over again. So I guess I’ll leave it at this. when you see this post, or whenever you do, I’ll always be here for you when you wanna be my friend again okay? I’m here whenever you want someone to talk to but remember this. When you come back as being a friend to me, we’re gunna have a long talk and it’s not because I’m mad at you or anything, it’s because I care about you and still want to be there as a friend and would love to know what the hell is going on.

Help, or no help

when it comes down to it, when I help someone, It’s not because I think they need it, but it comes from the goodness of my heart and the fact of the matter is, is that helping people or, giving advice to people is something that I feel is a big calling in my life when someone needs help. It’s not because of the fact that people want advice for the taken, but it’s because someone really wants to seek out and ask for someone’s opinions on the subject of the matter at hand. When it comes right down to it, If someone gives advice to another person, it should be taken into a consideration that they are at least trying to help you and not thank them for the advice and or, help that they were given and then, half ass throw it back at their faces. In the case of me, that’s exactly what happened. I’m not going into details, but when I give relationship advice, it’s because I really want to help that person out and it goes without saying that when I help people out with them situations, it’s usually because I want to try to get them out of trouble and to prevent situations from happening again. the fact that I have given advice, and or tried to and the fact that people kind of half ass took it, thanked me for it, and didn’t do anything about it but was going to, just really makes me upset. I feel hurt, , and upset that I have to experience this feeling of giving out the help and me thinking that the advice was going to help, based on their reactions, but then such said person didn’t do shit about it. I’m sorry yall, , but when I give out advice or help to a person, it’s not a toy that you all should take jokingly and play around with. It hurts me to see this, it hurts me to see that some people don’t take the stuff that I have helped them out with into consideration and some, just throw it back and I watch it happen, right, in, front of me! It hurts me to see that the fact of me helping the same person is going to be next to none if this keeps up. It hurts to say that if people don’t take the things that either people help them out with seriously or advice that they were given, I’m just done. Don’t, ever, treat advice, or help from someone like a toy. At least take the help or advice into consideration and then, either you thank them when you do take the advice, or don’t take it. either way, it just fucking hurts me. and the fact that this just happened to me, really just makes me think. Is my help worth giving? is my advice not good enough for people anymore? Is my stuff that I do for people really a toy that people just love to play around with? the answer should be, no, but sadly, , some people love treating it that way and it just makes me sad. I can’t help but just think about all of this and to experience, what I’ve been through. Oh well, I’m sure that people are going to come, asking for help again, but the truth of the matter is, is that it may or may not happen. I don’t take this kind of stuff playfully, I take it to heart and if you don’t like the advice or help that I try giving out to you, then, respect and move on to someone else. I try helping, I really do, but oh well, what can you do. It’s out now, and it’s been a toy and thrown back at me like a football that’s been thrown around in the field. I’m sure am glad that someone understands me and what I’m going through and that is there for me no matter what happens. I’m out. Yall have a good day and before anyone bashes me for this post, just note, that this needed to be put somewhere out here and this is the only place that I thought to do it.

Up all night

Today, as I sit in the studio, trying to come up with things to write about, I remember that I’ve been up sense like 12 in the morning. and why is that? Well, I couldn’t sleep. Just because I can’t. Well, guess my sleeping schedule is screwed up again now isn’t it… It’s okay. I’ll get it back some day. In other news, glad to have my phone back. Now, why am I talking about this. Well, I was gigging on Thursday and came back home, and well, I guess I went to the restroom to do, ah, ya know. We’re not gunna talk about that. so guessing when I got up, my phone fell out of my pocket into the trash… Don’t know how it got in there, but it did. Well, that’s a bit about what my day has been like and stuff. Started school back up last week and so far, things are going well. I can’t wait for the future with my music. I’ll tell you all about that in a later blog post but for now, you all take care and have a great day and love yall.

Just another day in the life of me!

Usually, when I feel like writing about stuff, usually it has to do with music and this, is what this blog post is all about. Yes! 4 gigs this weekend? Fucking yes! Love being a musician. but the fact of the matter is that being a musician is such hard work, but just remember , that this pays off for what I do. If you wanna know more about my music, you can visit this site or if you want to go to my FB page, ,
Go here.
I Just want to thank you all for your support and if you want, by my single, Hillbilly chase!

Been a wile all

Figured I’d make this quick post to say hi and to tell you that I finally got this thing back up again after some time with configuring our new servers that I have switched to. I’ll tell you all for right now that things are going well and that music is going well as well. I don’t even know what else I am going to say right now so I’ll just leave it at that. I’ll post a bit more tomorrow as soon as I get some thoughts out. You all have a good day.