Stainless Steele Audio Mastering
Keep in mind that the better you mixed your song the better your music CD will sound. Distortion in most cases can not be gotten out. Presence and frequency balance without distortion should be the goal for a CD Mastering engineer. Just enhancing the audio file to -0.1 decibels, with no regards to symmetrical graphing, is incorrect. Audio CD Master Engineering is doing more than just turning knobs in hope that he gets it right. A CD Mastering Engineer need to know where the frequency for voice, bass, lead guitar are usually found .
When mixed perfect or near perfect the presence is already there. Just moving a particular frequency to the left or to the right is all you need. Therefore it may be very little a CD Mastering have to do other than balance your music CD. A CD Mastering Engineer just need to do a few frequency adjustments to allow clarity to be evermore in your face. In that case distortion is less a fear. Therefore S.S.A.M. may be able to crank up. That's only because it was mixed so well. Manley's Massive Passive allows me move over frequency you as well as smooth you down using the bandwidth control. However, to do that I may need to stay on one band and do several things. Other CD Mastering 4 Band EQ may and often works entirely different to achieve their objective.
What can you expect from S.S.A.M.( stainless steele audio mastering ) CD Mastering
- A good quality sound in CD Mastering and second to none
- S.S.A.M. CD Mastering is priced very low S.S.A.M will Provide you with a clear sound in CD Mastering. Your presence in your Audio CD Mastering project will be enhanced short of distortion. Sometimes when your music CD is mixed well you may need your frequencies shifted more to the left ( because it sounds too thin) or maybe more to the right ( because it sounds too thick ) more so than enhancement to witness clarity, presence and warmth. A free Mastered sample to evaluate and compare with other CD Mastering houses in the privacy of your own studio is provided through FTP. It is simple ,quick and easy.
CD MASTERING BY S.S.A.M., stainless steele audio mastering.
With Manley's 4 band EQ and it's variable bandwidth controls you will find on your returned sample from S.S.A.M, stainless steele audio mastering,presence is noticeable.Your music is clean and warmer. Ifbass is heavy, and often it's needed in hip hop,presence will still be there and you won't sound muffled. You can get both! In certain situation ifa CD MasteringEngineer knows how to use Manley 4 band EQ a shelf boostshould give more enhancement. But with Manley on some frequencies if usedcorrectly acts as a filter. It is useful in suppressing ambiance and distortion. While it is suppressing the ambiance it will not destroy the highs.
Usingshelf mode in CD Mastering with Manley 4 band EQ is useful too because when mixing to stereo tract the Recording Engineer often picks up some unwanted highs ordistortion. This is due to conflicts with percussion and voice.If it is not doable becausethe distortion is too bad then Mastering by separation is recommended. A CD MasteringEngineer that CD Mastering Multi-track by separation Must understand why and how you gotall thoseunwanted sounds.
If you choose to escape CDMastering by separationlet me make one thing clear,though. It is possible that songs with S'es and the piercing like sound can not be gotten out. That being said, a trip back to the studio to remove them may be in order.CD Mastering by Separation is another option. That' a choice you have to make.CD Mastering by track separationcan be expensive; depending on who. so,SHOP! Remember, with track separation mastering, you are getting both,mix and mastering,hopefully for a reduced priced. Try sending asample of your work, first for CD Mastering. Afterwards make that decision, CD Mastering or CD Mastering by track separation.I think that' the most intelligent approach before you buy anything!
Although, I don't do sample by track separation. I do, do CD Mastering free samples. CD Mastering by track separation, depending on how many bells and whistle you have in your tracks can take some time. Therefore it must be worth my while. In CD Masteringby track separation I have toadjusting and movefrequencies around to stop the S'es ( caused by conflicts with voice) and piercing-like sound ( caused by distortion). It is a task! A fair compensation is fairly asked. Please read my separation mastering page. It may help you to avoid seeing me for track separation. If you want a free sample of CD Mastering your project,email me. I am happy to.
I truly believe that I am very good at CD Mastering. Not many can beat me.But I am not Superman. Often, when I am over worked, my ears will lie to me. That' why I encourage you to ask for changes.Don't assume, please! I can miss things.That being said,if you have not had any success in anyone getting the junk( piercing and S'es)out of your song while not destroying it, email me.Or you can just live with it. Many do. I hasten tosay,youwill be amazed as to how many CD's on the market today, that has those piercing-like andundiminished S'es on a song or songs, that could have been removed, with the right gear and an above skill level CD Mastering Engineer. Oddly, thoseCD'sare on the top of the chart today! Hey, go figure!
Manley Stereo Variable Limiter / Compressoris a major tool for Stainless Steele Audio Mastering as a CD Mastering Engineer.
Manley's Stereo Variable Limiter/ Compressor I use.in CD Mastering,because I expect and I know my clients wants and expect a mature, professional and warmsound. It delivers! I like it most for the warmth it gives. It is rare for me if I do a free sample that I don't get the business. I know it is because of Manley's analog Variable Limiter/Compress. I know it appears that I am bragging. No one, including me, likes a blow hard! But with me,ken, S.S.AM., stainless steele audio masteringyou will notice that you have noticeable presence, clean and De-essed. Whatpeople tells most is that you are cleaner, presence is more than mostand you can De-ess very well and not destroy my highs. I owe that to my Manley 4 band EQ with its variable bandwidth controls, for taking out the junk and leaving the best of the audio. I also, owe it to my Manley Stereo Variable Limiter/ Compressor, for warmth.
Why CD Mastering?
Not all instruments, that's within the stereo mix, can be brought to it's full potential in themixing studio. Some instrument's frequency have be isolated then dealt with. Often on several bands.It's the only way.To do that you need a 4 band EQ to which a CDMastering Engineer has. Often onseveral bandsa CD Mastering Engineer may find"crackles" in low, low mid, mid and highs; and often the "crackles arebarleyrecognizable. I might add,there's no monolithic way to CD Master. One thing more. Enhancementby boosting alone is not CD Mastering.
It can be one of the many ways to approach CD Mastering to bring out the nuances. A lot has todo with the problems in the songs presented. You can enhance by cutting too. Usually whencutting for enhancement that's a song thathas a lot of problems. Often, no head room but doable.To fix a song like that shifting frequencies, narrow the band here, widening the band there,and cutting to create room and for balance is so necessary. Also, it takes time to fix that kind of song, provided that's it's doable. A recording Engineer will have to be patient. That song takes thought. A lot of thought! That songs take a special kind of software upstream that's not a compressor, it is not a expander, it's not agate and it is not an EQ. Yet, it has one or more features of each.Let me add too,an EQ in not a V.G. A. in that it does not have a release pot only for the attack to initiate the process all over again. But it is dynamics.
I might further add, any Competent CD Mastering Engineer can make a good mix sound good. What makes a CD Engineer exceed competence is his or her abilities is to make a doable mix but difficult sound good too. Example, in the chorus often the snares and power guitar in Rock Music can drown out the lead vocal. Often an experienced CD Mastering Engineercan bring the lead voice up and hardly harm the music.
Sometimes because of how the snares or the lead instrument was tracked in the mix the left or the right channel may appear larger. Thereforea balance of the channels is so necessary! Each and every song for CD Masteringhas to be approached different from the last.Each song has its own unique problems that requires a different tool and a different skill level that so often many CD Mastering Engineers lack in one area or another. A CD Mastering Engineerneeds to have a working knowledge of V.G.A.'s, 4 band EQ's andtheir idiosyncrasies. He needs to know whathe is hearing whenhe hears it.Please keep in mind, although few, I feel that it is safe tosay,some songs, are just not doable; andthat a trip back to the mixing studio may be in order.
Ideally if mixed perfectlythe onlything a CDMastering Engineer has todo is Compress to smooth out the overall amplitude in low mid, mid and high by threshold, attack, release, ratio and decibel settings; Gate settings, to smooth out the bottom; and the limiter for level setting.
ONE IMPORTANT THING IFYOU WANT TO BE A CD MASTERING ENGINEER
In any style of music, a CD Mastering Engineer should see EQing as subtractive ratheran additive during CD Mastering. If you take out what you do not want what's left is what you do want. Enhance what's left. I should also say that A CD Mastering Engineer' first job is to fix your song not enhance. If the CD MasteringEngineer is advertising "enhancement" ashisway to impress you, RUN! That is not CD Mastering! Often a song needs fixing not "enhancement" . So, when you get the song back don't look for it to sound better in that it has been enhanced; but look for the junkto begone! CD Mastering is a lot more involved than enhancement. Enhancement can be part of it but not always the main thing.
Most songs that comes toS.S.A.M. need fixingmore than enhancement.Nevertheless, in fixing the songsthe CD Mastering Engineer'sintent is not tomakeyour CDsound good. Fixing and balancingyour musictakes care of that! Correct what's wrong with it ; everything else will fall into place. CD Mastering is more than just enhancement.What do I mean by fixing. To removethe piercing-like sound,remove the air around your music, take out distortion,balancing ( sometimes balance includes taking out the hollow-like sound by filling it in with some lows),De-essingwithout destroying the highs,enhancement of some frequencies and not others,bring up highs, lower highs,lower bass, bring up bass, thin it, phatten it, bring out presence, addeffects (addingeffect is applicationthat's notoften used) and thelist goes on........... That's CD Mastering!!!
WHAT ABOUT THOSE V.G.A.'s variable gain amplifiers
They are the main tools of the CD Mastering Engineers. Weather it is amplitude versus frequency; i.e., EQ's or amplitude versus time,i.e. compressors, gates and ex panders.
They are variable because of the potentiometers. They can be adjusted. Amplitude versus Frequencysoftware i.e. EQ and Amplitude versus Time Software, i.e compressors , gate and expander are important as well. However, an EQ hardware can do things that a EQ software can not do. I am in hope that you can appreciate what an EQ hardware does and why would you shift frequencies several bands over to which hardware does anddoes it well.
Many usesex panders to removes S'es. If that's the only approach that the CD Engineer Mastering Engineers uses then he is in a lot trouble. It does not work in every situation. Ihave listen to many so called mastering job online and the S'eswere removable on the mastered rendition, but for some reason they were ignored. Worse the client bought it, I believe. No doubt he was sold on the idea that it was a good job! Worse he paid a pretty penny for it. Never take my word for it.Go online and download some of their pre and post mastering samples. These are " TOP NOTCH GUYS." I have downloaded their work and remastereditto see whatthey missed.SHOCKING! This tells me that the CD Mastering Engineer know little are have no working knowledge when it comes to V.G.A.'s
When you are considering onlineCD Mastering, please, ask for samplesfrom several CD Mastering Engineers. You owe that to yourself.Don't assume or take someone orthe CD Mastering Engineer's word!Often the person's word, who may have been a client of the Engineer at one time , he may have impressed him. That does not mean that you will be also.Furthermore, if you donot like the work returned that does not meanthe CD Mastering Engineer does not know what he is doing. That meanshe didn't get it the way you wanted it. Ask for changes. That will say a lot to his skills, willingness and confidence in himself to get the job done.You need to know that before you commit. Remember you are interviewing this guy! Never let price be your driving motive. Take the top 3 to 5 CD Mastering Engineer's work that was returned for consideration then look at price.
Never let your personal issuesbe your decision maker. Can he do the job and do it well!That's what you need to know.What I found after I downloaded the pre and post songs of someCD Mastering Engineers may interest you and help you in what to look for. Some, not all CD Mastering Engineers,appear to be confused as to what is ambiance and what is distortion. HEADS UP! Se's that are ambiance are slow in developing and more sustaining. S'es that are caused by distortion, which are frequencies competing for the same space, and usually voice is involved,are quicker in developing and often sharp! Many times to remove the S's caused by distortion you may have to forfeit ambiance as well. It's the nature of the beast. The CDMastering Engineer that can remove the S'es , while keeping the songs closely intact as possible, says he has a strong working knowledge of V.G.A.'s Furthermore, I hasten to add, if, mixed too poorly, a trip back to the studio, maybe in order. Furthermore a CD Mastering Engineer should not take your money until he knows for sure that your songs are doable.
Nevertheless, and to change the subject, most CD Mastering Engineers have their gear V.G.A.'s hooked up D.A.D. To do that you need a A.D. converter and your external hardwaremust be analog. Since my gear is Manley I need not to say my gear is analog. Many CD Mastering Engineerchoose external hardware to beanalog because of the sound quality. Digital can be and sound good but for me its too perfect. However, there are very good Digital gear out there and very skilled gear in the use of them. I like analog because Sine a wave. Sine waveis a natural occurrence. Digital is not. Digital you run risks of clicks and pops in the audio file That may reduce the total amount of doable songs you send to the CD Mastering Engineer. Still there are skilled Engineer out there that know how to use them and use them well!
How to get a good CD Mastering product
EQ measurements for Kick drum to try and avoid the instrument fromcompeting with voice.
.(Kick drum 0db +3 eq at 50 Hz +1 db at 3kHz -3db 275 Hz)The gold here is to get your kick drum up but not fight with voice or the rhythm guitar.Use mono tracks. In many cases there's a ride on the kick drum and there's your problem. At 2 to 3kHz they will fight. Results is S'es. By cutting at 275 kHz you are balancing but giving drums the tone that it needs.Also, because of the ride, the cut at 275 Hz will allow the ride to be heard more at 2 to 3kHz.The more you cut the more thehighs will be heard. However,remember voice is up there too as well as other high frequency instruments. If your music project is an instrumental, please disregard. S'es appears to only occur when voice is added.
When a rhythm guitar isin yourmix with voice try these frequency adjustments to avoid S'es.
rhythm guitar with a range of 250 Hz to 2kHz to 3kHzfollowing EQ notch with the above parameters.Since the above frequencies overlap with presence a notch or cut at 1.2kHz and or high pass filer at 2kHz may be needed to give voice some breathing room.You may have to isolate voice and guitar and play them together to see if they are fighting with each other. If so, then, if you have a frequency shifting software shift the guitar up or down by .0001 Hz. Panning is a form of filtering as well.Try several tools like low pass filter, band pass and a high pass filter in a serial line.EQ a notch -6 dbsat 600Hz and or a notch -6dbs at 1.2kHz on yourrhythm guitar to give voice more room. EQ a -12dbs notch at about 60Hz t 100Hz to remove plosive. Do not rule outa band pass filter. These frequenciesadjustments are suggestions only ,not the rule because there is no rule. Trial and era is the game. Remember if you can filter half way right and the CD Mastering Engineer understands filtering as well you should get a good product back that I am sure you will be proud of.