#1
So you know on CD's they say Mixed by so and so and Mastered by so an so. Well what is mastering? Is it when they make the song like high radio quality? What is it and is there a guide that could show me how.

And what is the BEST RECORDING software that I could go out and buy. Could I master in the Recording program or do I need to buy another program to master my recorded song?
#2
You'll want to ship it off somewhere to have it mastered. It's probably a bad idea to master it yourself, because you'll want a third party who doesn't have a bias or something. (The best way I can explain this is a bass player might want the bass line brought up higher in the song, but it doesn't really sound good. A bad example, but whatever.)

For what mastering is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastering
#3
Good mastering requires very expensive gear, especially for the monitors and listening environment. Like retribution said, its hard to do it yourself and a fresh set of ears is important.
Quote by CowsWithGuns
And the facade of heterosexualism in the punk and ska forum came crashing down like a fat girl falling off a balcony...
#4
you arent going to master a song, you master an album (or EP or whatever). mastering is to the album what mixing is to the song. when mixing you are going to set the levels of each part, the panning, etc. to make sure it all fits together and sounds good. mastering is like doing this to all the tracks. you make sure the transitions are smooth, make sure that the volumes are correct, make sure that everything is panned correctly, etc.
#7
Cubase and pro tools are both good and you can check the recording software sticky.
Quote by CowsWithGuns
And the facade of heterosexualism in the punk and ska forum came crashing down like a fat girl falling off a balcony...
#8
Mastering is an art that demos don't need, but albums do.

Mastering makes an album an cohesive unit. I just had an album mastered by a robo mastering guy. I was expecting him to improve each song. He improved the entire album as a whole by making sure that levels of the entire song, the vocal, etc were all consistent from song to song.

You can certainly make a song loud yourself. It won't be as pleasing as real deal mastering, but you can make your clients (or yourself) happy with this way.

Mastering isn't going to make a bad mix sound good. It will make a great mix sound better. So, if your mixes don't sound great everywhere you take them, I wouldn't bother with mastering yet.

Brandon
#9
Yeah, honestly I wouldn't bother with mastering unless you're intent on becoming a studio engineer or whatever. And what's the point in mastering home recordings anyway? They pale in comparison to anything studio anyway, so it's not like it's really worth it. I've been recording for well over decade now, and I wouldn't master any of my material because it's just not good enough to bother with such an expense. It's like waxing a wrecked pinto. Personal opinion obviously.

Mastering is definitely an art and it's really cool when you hear the before and after. You're kind of right when you talk about making the song "radio quality". It has that finished, polished, professional touch that you'll never get out of even great mixing.

So, for gee whiz info, read up on it. It's definitely cool.

One thing I've noticed about home recording, is that it really makes you appreciate the professionals.
#11
Please for the love of god, if you decide to master an album, hire someone who has a clue on what they are doing. My band once recorded a 5 song demo that sounded pretty decent when it was mixed. We were strapped for cash so there was this college-guy who said he would do mastering for $15 a song. I listed to a sample track he did at it sounded "better" but when we got the demo back, it sounded worse than when we sent it into him. He was using this really shitty program called Sound Forge. I should have known not to trust me when I found out he was using a PeeCee.

A lot of professionals use BIAS PEAK for mastering so I hear.
I was once heavily prominent on these forums from 2004-2007, let's see how long I can stay now that I'm back.
#13
I went to school for 12 months for Studio Engineering, and they taught a lot on mastering and different techniques. I can do it fine and very well with professional equipment like they use in the local studio, but with just Pro Tools a mixer and an interface my mastering sounds not near as good as when you have tons of expensive equipment at your disposal.
#14
Quote by ParanoiaMusic
What's wrong with a PeeCee?


Didn't you read the rest of the story? Also see my reply in the other post.
I was once heavily prominent on these forums from 2004-2007, let's see how long I can stay now that I'm back.
#15
He was using this really shitty program called Sound Forge.


I can do it fine and very well with professional equipment like they use in the local studio, but with just Pro Tools a mixer and an interface my mastering sounds not near as good as when you have tons of expensive equipment at your disposal


#1 Sound Forge is a great program capable of doing great things.

#2 The equipment is a very small part of the equation.

I think you guys are putting equipment much higher on the pedestal than it should be. Pro gear helps, but the skill of the engineer is EVERYTHING! If a college guy screwed up the mastering for $15 a song, it's no wonder. Third world countries would charge more than that! It's the human being's fault...not Sound Forge. The same goes for using mega pro gear verses using plugins. It comes back to the skill of the individual.

When I was getting my last producing gig mastered by Eric Conn (Garth Brooks, Dixie Chicks, George Straight) last week, on one song he said he didn't have to do anything. In other words, the pro gear at his disposal didn't do anything at all. His decision making decided that the song needed nothing...not the gear.

There is nothing wrong with getting your mixes loud at home, but don't consider it "real" mastering. It is not. As they saying goes "Mastering at home is like dentistry at home"...or something like that.

Brandon