#1
Hello,

How do you use brickwall limiters, Stereo Enhancers and other mastering tools?

Any other tools I should know about?
#2
Brickwall limiters : Pretty much like the name. It is a limiter that doesn't let anything through the threshold. The signal hits a brickwall... It is used to allow signal to be pushed to its max without clipping. Some people don't think they sound great though as they leave artifacts within the sound from the heavy limiting (Brickwall ratio is 20:1 and up)

Don't use it if you don't have to, dynamics are not a bad thing to have in a mix, contrary to how everybody mixes now... It's almost like volume is all that matters. If it sounds loud it's good seems to be the logic. Hence the 'Loudness Wars' you may have heard about.

Stereo Enhancers: Used to improve stereo image in your mix. It will allow you to gain better separation between instruments as well balance the image. Can be helpful but not completely necessary, you could just learn to mix a nice image and separation yourself!

#3
Quote by Zeppelin Addict
Brickwall limiters : Pretty much like the name. It is a limiter that doesn't let anything through the threshold. The signal hits a brickwall... It is used to allow signal to be pushed to its max without clipping. Some people don't think they sound great though as they leave artifacts within the sound from the heavy limiting (Brickwall ratio is 20:1 and up)

Don't use it if you don't have to, dynamics are not a bad thing to have in a mix, contrary to how everybody mixes now... It's almost like volume is all that matters. If it sounds loud it's good seems to be the logic. Hence the 'Loudness Wars' you may have heard about.

Stereo Enhancers: Used to improve stereo image in your mix. It will allow you to gain better separation between instruments as well balance the image. Can be helpful but not completely necessary, you could just learn to mix a nice image and separation yourself!



Thanks

So Stereo Enhancers can be easily replaced by a properly placed EQ or something?

Yup I have heard of the loudness wars all right. At first I used no compression or anything else for my tracks(Still just starting back then). I just noticed that they were too quiet. Then I discovered limiters and pumped them up to a desirable level.

I don't know if - 8 db is a good enough setting for a limiter(just the normal one in REAPER) but it seemed ok.
#4
Stereo enhancing is just doing what the name says. Enhancing your stereo image. If you mix well and utilize EQ, and panning properly, it's safe to say that in general you won't need to use one.

As far as EQ goes, You can make something sound further back by taking some high end off it and dulling it up.

The opposite effect is achieved by adding highs.
This seems most effective on vocals as the high end brings out sibilance and the 'smacking' sound of a vocalists lips and tongue. You can make it sound like somebody is right inside your ear.

Panning is probably the most important one. It is an overlooked skill. People generally like to pan hard (all the way) left or right or just a signal right up the middle. Using all the space in between your extreme left and right is an artform in itself.

If you layout your signals in the stereo field not only can you create depth but also separation as no instruments are sitting on top of each other. It is most important when they are in a similar frequency band. You will pretty much always have your lead vocal, bass, kick and snare right up the middle but because they sit in different frequency ranges they don't compete and they stay separate.

You can take that further by EQing instruments to their own frequency ranges. You most likely don't need any frequencies below 100/200hz in your guitars since your bass and kick will be down there. If you filter those frequencies out the low end will be less muddy and you will have more separation since there will be one less signal contributing to that frequency band.

Last edited by Zeppelin Addict at Dec 28, 2011,