jrmasteringsmall

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

DEFINATELY 100% NO!!

I've actually seen a few sound engineers online say the opposite.  They say to make your mix sound as close as possible to a finished master.  "All you want the mastering engineer to do is make the song louder." These comments are based on common sense and theory, NOT on real world experience working with thousands of clients (like I have)!

Note - If the only thing your songs really needed was for the mastering engineer to make them louder, why not just make them louder yourself and save the money?  Duh!  No, pay someone $500 to do it in 15 minutes.  I want that job!

Here's why you don't tell clients to partially master their own songs:

1. Because you're paying an experienced mastering engineer to properly do the entire job.  Here's a non-music example.  Before you get your car detailed, do you clean it spotless inside and out, but leave only the windshield dirty?  So that's all the car detailer has to do is wash your windshield and he's done?  NO!  That doesn't even make any sense.

You're paying for a car detail and you want every process that comes with it.  That's their specialty and you want their expertise in every area, not just the windshield washing process.  The same goes for audio mastering.

2. Mixing is not mastering.  For a song to sound like a commercially mastered song on the radio you MUST use effects on the stereo/main out bus.  When you do use effects on the stereo/main out bus you are mastering not mixing.  And you're not supposed to partially master your songs if they're going to a mastering engineer.  Read #1 again.

3. And the #1 reason is THEY CAN'T DO IT!  They don't have the knowledge, skills, replicating abilities, etc. That's why they're looking for a mastering engineer to begin with!

I explain to my clients to submit a mix that's clean, but slightly dull with lower overall volume levels, so that I can bring everything up to where it needs to be.  Nothing on the stereo/main out bus.

In the past, before I was giving this info, do you know what my clients sent me?  I would say half the submissions were partial masters where the clients were trying to make them sound radio ready.  The problem was they were TERRIBLE!  Way over-level, distorted, super bright and/or super bass, way too much compression, etc.  Many times they had everything wrong!

In a perfect world, yeah send me a song that's already mastered and I don't have to do anything to it.  But I know from years of experience working with actual people that this is a very unrealistic request.  Most can't do it, that's why they're looking for a mastering engineer to begin with!

I've also heard the comment that mastering is taking all the songs on a CD and making them all sound similar.  Really?  That's all mastering is?  So, I'm supposed to take the best mix on the CD and make all the other songs sound just like it?  That doesn't even make any sense!  What if the best mix on the CD sucks?

What if someone gives me only one song (which happens daily)?  It can't be mastered because there isn't an entire CD?

I make every song on the CD sound as close as possible to a commercial industry standard song. Each song is mastered to sound the very best it can, regardless of past or future songs on the CD.  Also, every song is mixed differently and requires different actions to achieve this.  After I do this, all the songs on the CD are comparable in every sonic area.

Audio mastering is taking a mix and bringing it up to commercial industry standards.
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The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

Why Does A Mix Need Headroom And Dynamic Range?

16 why do songs need mastering

Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range?  In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
 

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My First Music Video!

Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018.  I also wrote more than half of the script. 

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How Much Should I Charge For Mastering?

I've mastered over 40,000 songs since 1999.  I've charged $10 a song, $20, $30, $50 even $100!  Some prices worked better than others.  Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on what prices to charge.

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What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week.  In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing

 

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What Is Chorus Effect In Music | How To Use Chorus

This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it?  The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.

 

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What's The Vibrato And Tremolo Definition In Music | Differences Between Tremolo And Vibrato

The vibrato and tremolo effects both have their differences.  But the vibrato and tremolo effects also sound very similar; both slightly wave and pulsate the pitch of an audio track. You have to hear it for yourself to understand the sound.

 

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Stereo Widening Techniques | How To Use Stereo Widening In Mastering Music

Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music.  When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!

 

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Mastering A Song For Radio

14 song ready for radio

Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?  Read more....

 

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How Long Does It Take To Master A Song?

How long does is take to master a song?  There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do. 

 

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Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

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Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

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What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mixing
prepare songs for mixing

In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

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John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

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Can Anyone Become A Great Sound Engineer?

11 become great sound engineer

I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.  He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.  And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!  Ha!

 

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Creating Headroom In A Mix

17 how create headroom in mix

OK

To create a mix for mastering with proper headroom is pretty simple. 

 

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Best Free Redbook CD Burning Software
Yes, burning your own redbook master CDs is very easy!  Here's how to make your own redbook CD masters for free! 
 
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Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

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Audio Mastering Software Processors

Here are the series of audio mastering software processors I've used on the over 30,000 songs I've mastered since 1999.  In this video, I use mostly izotope ozone plugins because it's easier to explain using them.  In real-life, I do mix in a few hardware pieces, and a waves plugin.

 

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What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

8 difference between mixing mastering

What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

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Top 17 Common Music Mixing Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
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Monitor Speaker Placement For Your Home Recording Studio And DAW Setup

4 speaker placemnt daw home recording studio

Here's the monitor speaker setup I use for my DAW, and the setup I recommend for your home recording studio.

 

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Cheaply Soundproofing Your Room For Audio Mastering

1 cheaply soundproofing room studio

I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.  I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!  Ha!

 

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What Does Mastering Do To A Song?

10 what is audio mastering

What does mastering do to a song?  Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.

 

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Why Do Songs Need To Be Mastered?

12 why need audio mastering

Why do songs need to be mastered?  I've seen this question on the Internet many times.  The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."  This is a true fact, but not an answer.

 

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