We constantly get asked by young producers and engineers what are the tricks of the trade. How can my mixes sound fatter, cleaner, warmer etc... Below is a link to a great article on the Universal Audio site. Check it out and i hope it helps 'someone' on their journey to audio perfection and if not feel free to reach out... we are always here and at your service.
Most recording musicians, engineers and producers are well aware what a difference mastering can make to our mixes. And as we’ve discussed in previous columns (such as Audio Mastering Basics: Taking Your Music That Extra Step), mastering is an art form in itself, and is best placed in the hands of a specialist.
But even expert mastering engineers can only accomplish so much, and it’s largely dependent on the raw materials they’re given to work with. With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the top mistakes people make in preparing their mix for mastering, with the help of veteran engineer of Universal Mastering Studios West, Pete Doell.
1. Too Much Bottom
Excessive low-end is probably one of the most common problems in mixes coming from project studios. Usually this is directly related to the mixing environment. The average home studio or project room is lacking in real acoustical treatment is and rife with reflective surfaces and bass traps. The result is an uneven response across the bass spectrum, with some notes being overemphasized and others being practically inaudible. This translates to a poorly balanced low end in your mix. You’ll find a lot of info on balancing your room’s acoustics in our Studio Basics blog, Studio Acoustics and Soundproofing Basics.
Mastering engineer Pete Doell offers an important pointer: “The most egregious mistake is that people’s monitors aren’t placed properly,” he says. “Speakers need to be as far apart from each other as you are from them. So if your mix position is, say, three feet from either speaker, the speakers should be exactly three feet apart. Moreover, if the speakers are too close or too far from a wall, the apparent bass response will be off.”
You can find more info on monitor placement in our Studio Basics column, Studio Monitor Placement – Finding the Sweet Spot.