What to and not to put on a master bus??

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Postby GuerrillaWarfare » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:43 pm

Could someone give me some help with this please, I've heard that there are some processors that you should not put on a master bus, but I'm confused to which ones? or is it just not true in general?
I've heard compression is a big no on the master but that surely can't be true?


Thanks :)
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Postby baboon2525 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:03 pm

no expert on this, but usually EQ and compression/maximisers/saturators as far as I understand
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Postby serox » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:05 pm

Put nothing at all on the master is my advice. I would only ever put a limiter on the master if I wanted to send to a CD to play out.
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Postby Today » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:09 pm

when i run a mix, i'm producing a self-master, not just a mixdown.. so for me:

"Do's" -- Compressor (low ratio) --> master EQ (a very subtle curve) --> Limiter (zero dB Threshold and -0.1 ceiling)

"Don't's" -- reverb, delay, saturation, distortion, glitch fx, rolloff at 20Hz or 20k (i just don't do that), any other obvious "don'ts"

but since i'm self-mastering, i start the whole mix bearing that in mind, so i'll hard limit many elements, and generally push everything pretty hard into the 2bus. Then i do apply some compression, EQ and limit on the master. So when I'm trying to max the volume, i just need to find a good balance between easing up on the compression ratio (less gain reduction), vs. allowing more gain reduction and instead riding the compressor's output into the limiter
The equalizer is just for a bit of minor shelving or possibly a very small boost here or there.
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Postby wub » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:11 pm

My main template has the following preloaded onto the Master;

Voxengo Span
Edison
Fruity Notepad


That's usually about it. Occassionally if I'm making multiple bounces of a project for comparative purposes, I might dick around and slap a limiter/compressor on there with a very slight input (10-25% via the effect level knobs in FL), but that's very rarely.
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Postby wub » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:12 pm

And if I want a laugh;

Brickwall compressor
dbGlitch
Limiter

8)
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Postby Earjax » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:53 pm

Saturation can actually be really good for your mix, especially if your going for an analog feel. However I think its more useful for rock and the like rather than edm ;)
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Postby blinx » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:26 pm

Writing/Composition/Mixdown = NOTHING on the MASTER
Mastering = Ozone4
Djing = Limiter set at 0 gain and -.3 for ceiling so i dont digital clip during mixing.
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Postby Today » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:41 pm

so you don't give it the Ozone treatment when you're going to play a track out?
do a lot of people play unmastered dubs in their mixes? it actually seems like a decent idea since you'd be mixing another tune over it as well, and they will hit some kind of a chain together on the system being used..?
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Postby legend4ry » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:44 pm

The master buss or the master channel?

My master buss has a nice SSL Buss compressor and a EQ to finalize the whole mix.


My master channel has nowt.
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Postby Today » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:46 pm

could you tell me the difference quick
i thought they were the same
is one the bus from your DJ mixer, and one the DAW channnel?
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Postby legend4ry » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:48 pm

I have a "final" buss, which I route my reverb, delay, mid, high and drum busses to, which I used to round them out finally (max loudness/cleanliness)


The master channel what everything is sent to.. (mainly the master bus goes into the master channel).
Last edited by legend4ry on Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nowaysj » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:49 pm

If you have to ask, don't put anything on there at all.
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Postby Sharmaji » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:21 pm

^ this is true, though to get beyond that point, i'd say experiment with anything any everything.

people DO mix with reverb on the master, they do mix into flangers/distortion units/plugs/etc, to say nothing of compression, eq, limiting, multiband this & that, whatever.

better to know what the outcomes are and choose based on that, than to continue to produce plain-vanilla sounding/feeling stuff because you never tried anything. quite often, you really don't need anything on the master; almost equally as often, some compression can help dial the mix from good to awesome. experiment and learn.
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Postby blinx » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:41 pm

I write in three phases.

1. Write and Compose = clean master
2. Mixdown = clean master
3. Mastering = ozone on the mastering buss then i render the track or "master" it and use that mastered copy in my dj sets. I Compose and Mixdown in a single project file > then render the mixdown > create a Master Project for the track and master the trck in its own project so i can edit things at different stages of the process with out to much hassle. jUst my 2 cents though lol.


and as far as i know (which isnt too much) but to me a master bus and a master channel are in fact describing the same thing.
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Postby Today » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:54 pm

legend4ry wrote:I have a "final" buss, which I route my reverb, delay, mid, high and drum busses to, which I used to round them out finally (max loudness/cleanliness)


The master channel what everything is sent to.. (mainly the master bus goes into the master channel).


ooh.. well then, in your case.. why wouldn't you just route all your busses to the master channel and put your ssl & eq on that channel?

just wondering.

the SSL sounds tasty either way but, do you mean an outboard or a plugin tho?
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Postby GuerrillaWarfare » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:14 pm

Thanks guys, I tried to keep it simple and just chucked a limiter on there just to keep it from clipping and it sounds great :D
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Postby B-Frank » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:16 pm

serox wrote:Put nothing at all on the master is my advice. I would only ever put a limiter on the master if I wanted to send to a CD to play out.


This pretty much in my opinion.
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Postby Altron » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:48 am

I would suggest leaving the master clean while you make a track. I use a limiter mostly when I have a finished track or something I want to send out, other than that, try to get a track sounding as good as possible without anything on your master. If you mix like the money shot thread advises, your mix will have headroom leftover, and you can use a limiter to get your levels up a bit afterwards when you decide to demo your track. If you have a limiter on the master buss when mixing, even if it is off, you may be tempted to turn it on. I know I get tempted at least. =p Then you leave the limiter on and proceed to mix with it on/eq things with the limiter on, etc... Turn it off again and you will get stuck in a loop trying to correct your mistakes. That has definitely happened to me before atleast. I would say anything on the master track should be done in the mastering stages of a track, whether you master the mix, or someone else does.
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Postby chaotix » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:58 am

I always throw an EQ on my master bus, cutting everything below 40hz out...why would you want that from any of your channels. Only reason i see to use an EQ on your master.
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