Is there a way I can keep mastering from affecting my mix?

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Is there a way I can keep mastering from affecting my mix?

Postby Craig Reeves » Fri Dec 28, 2007 1:16 pm

I don't know if I'm mastering wrong or not, but everytime I finish mixing a track and normalize it and take it to har-bal, I'll usually low shelve it at 45 hz, and hit Intuit Q. But for some reason when I get to compression and limiting I can make it sound good but the vocals are always different in volume compared to the rest of the track when I finish, and most of the time the mix is perfectly how I want it when it comes out of the DAW so I don't want it to change when I finish mastering it....I just want it to sound clearer and louder but the vocals stay the same volume in ratio to the rest of the mix because for some reason after I finish mastering the vocals wind up too loud and I have to go back in my DAW and turn them down. Is there a way that I can mix or master to where I am able to always be able to tell what the final product is going to sound like after I master it and not have to use so much guesswork? Is there something I'm not doing right? Essentially, the only Har-bal-ing I'm really doing at this point is low-shelving and Intuit-Q because the mix is really good (IMO) when it comes out before mastering.
Craig Reeves
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:23 am

Postby HarBal » Fri Dec 28, 2007 6:07 pm

Hello Craig,

To answer that you need to first determine which stage in your mastering process is causing this lift in vocal presence. Is it EQ compression or limiting? Then you need to look in detail, at what you are doing in the process causing the problem and do something different.

IntuitQ isn't an absolute truth. It is just a tool to help people get the results they want without having to think too much. You are free to make adjustments manually afterward, or do all adjustments manually.

Finally, it may be that intuitQ is attempting to fill a hole that is present simply because you have a sparse mix with few instruments. In that case intuitQ will undoubtedly bias the mix. Now if you like the balance of the sound but not the added vocal presence you might like to try adding another instrument to your mix to occupy the spectrum space that is weak and give it some more body there. It's all up to you as to what you wish to achieve artistically so you'll have to make the decisions.


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