So i have been working on a small Doom Metal project. I have done the mix, now when mastering, when i have the mix at suitable volume it starts to horribly crack. Before the mastering the clip's are at about -5db and when mastered i have it at -0.1db and it's ****in' unlistenable. Any help, dudes?
Here are the audio files.
One is with the song pre-mastered, the other one is after the mastering process :
If it will help, when mastering used (in the same chain) :
Parametric EQ (AngelTone)
Paragraphic EQ (iZotope Ozone 4)
Multiband Harmonic Exciter (iZotope Ozone 4)
Compressor (Nuendo 4)
UltraMaximizer (Waves L3)
I can't hear any cracking in the master. It may be your (or my) speaker
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You have to leave a fair bit of headroom when mixing. Try to set the mix so the very highest any tracks get is about -10 to -8dB, that should leave you enough headroom to master it. You dont really want to get too close to 0dB, because thats when it'll clip like crazy. With digital recording, dB are measured full scale, which means in a 16 bit recording at 0dB, the cycle of a wave will take up the full 16 bits, and it will clip because thats all the headroom you have.

EDIT: I just listened, I cant hear any clipping either. It does sound a bit fizzy, but its not clipping.
Last edited by littlephil at Jun 2, 2010,
i didnt hear clipping, but the master is bass heavy and the drums are so much covered by other sounds that are nearly inaudible.
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I think you have bigger problems than the mastering, some that should have be fixed during recording (pitch and timing) and some that should have been fixed in the mix (relative levels and EQ). I do agree with the others though, there's no clipping but it does seem as if you're overloading one or two of your mastering plug-ins because there is high-frequency distorsion on the master that isn't on the mix version.

I'd like to know why you chose this particular mastering chain of effects. Unless you're trying to fix issues with a poor mix (and you haven't, you've basically just made the original mix louder) then the two EQ's seem a bit redundant.
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Yeah this mix needs to be helped alot, you really shouldn't need that mastering chain EVER (in a digital world) sometimes its easy to go wild like that.

perfect your mix, if there are any other issues after fully mixing, use a multi band compressor on the culprit freq's the whack on that ultramaximizer

-0.1dBFS is ****ing crazy unless you are on the wrong side of the loudness war, try -0.3dBFS it doesnt sound like much, but it will clear up some of the added digital distortion and be easyier on the ears nobody wants another death magnetic....