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!  Read more....

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.  Read more....

The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

7 mastering hardware equipment daw recording studio

Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

 

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How Much Headroom Before Mastering Should I Leave?

mastering headroom

How much headroom before mastering should you leave in your mix?  Here's the correct amount of headroom you should leave, using detailed graphic examples.

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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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Which Is Better For Audio Mastering Analog Gear Or Digital Software Plugins?

18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

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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 To Master A Song In Only 5 Minutes!

Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music?  So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD.  Well, mastering is a lot more than just that! 

 

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How To Mix And Master Songs

If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website.  Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!

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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Best Mixing Levels Before Mastering

set mixing level meters

Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results.  Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical.  Here's how to properly do it! 

 

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Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

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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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Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.  Read more....
 
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What Is Reverb Effect In Music | How To Use Reverb

This article discusses what is the reverb effect in music and how to use it?  The reverb effect is used to simulate space. When reverb is applied to a dry vocal or instrument track, it will sound like it was recorded live in the space size that was selected on the processor. Common space size options include a small room, vocal plate, large hall, etc.

 

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Best Room Size For Audio Mastering DAW Home Recording Studio

6 best room size for audio mastering

So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio?  Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.  But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.  I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.  It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.

 

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#1 Best Website Hosting For Musicians, And Music Recording Studios

If you're looking for the best website hosting for musicians, bands, and music recording studios, here's my own personal experience with website hosting companies.

 

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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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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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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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