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

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Postby Artie Fufkin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:59 am

^^I usually(if I remember to) put at least 30Hz high pass on everything individually before it gets to the master and then one on the master as well. Is this just overkill or would this negatively affect a song?

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Oh, the ol' Skrillex/Venetian Snares master chain? :6:

Not necessarily on the producing side of things, but I HATE when DJ's use a flanger/etc on the main track that's being played. Some producers spend over a month on a tune and you go and diss on their track with your cheap ass cheesy flanger? :x :a:
....unless that's what you want. :o Because if I hadn't heard the tune before or known better, I would think "eughh why'd they put that on the whole track?" :?
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Postby chaotix » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:16 am

Artie Fufkin wrote:^^I usually(if I remember to) put at least 30Hz high pass on everything individually before it gets to the master and then one on the master as well. Is this just overkill or would this negatively affect a song?

:?



I don't think it would be overkill, but at the same time I don't see a point to it. If your already cutting everything below 30hz, it's already gone. So adding another EQ essentially wouldn't do anything more? But what do i know, it could have a negative effect :cornlol:
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Postby Artie Fufkin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:22 pm

I think the reason I have a habit of putting one on the master is because some plugs (especially if a parameter if moving, some of them go nuts when I assign lfo's to them) add some low crap/sometimes dc offset so I try to zap that stuff before it hits more compression. I put them before each compressor most of the time. When I started out lurking DSF, one of the first things I really picked up on was that a lot of people only let their sub synth occupy the sub range. So I guess I went overboard with that concept. lol
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Postby MikkiFunk » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:49 am

Don't think 'what and what not to' but rather "in what order should I put them in'.

For composing I have nothing on my left right. If i'm bouncing to play a track out (e.g. before it going to get properly mastered), I will do some makeshift mastering to it.

I start with a bounced 24 bit, 44.1 KHz wave, in a new project. This is because it stops me from messing about with a mix unnecessarily and make the job of 'mastering' it a job in itself, rather than an afterthought. It also lets me have a look at the raw waveform to see any problems (such as peaks I may not have noticed while mixing!). If there are peaks I'll zoom right into the peak and fade it out, which isn't noticeable but but completely eliminates the peak. Then grab an EQ (linear phase, when mastering), just to get rid of any problem frequencies. I usually look around 200-800 Hz region but most of the time I don't find any frequencies worth cutting (because I EQ while mixing, if something is going to add mud in the mix, it will get eq'd. The 'problem finding' EQ is just to be safe. Then light compression, just to shave a couple dB off the top of the track where needed. Then I go for a 'nice sounding EQ' (the wonders of hardware emulation eh!) and do some 'character' eq'ing. Always very subtle, sometimes the character EQ is not needed much at all. Then finish with the adaptive limiter in Logic.

RE: people saying don't use reverbs/ delays/ flangers etc on your master out... While it may not be so practical sounding with dance music, I don't doubt that people tried stuff like that on the master out back in the 60s.

A little reverb on your master out can actually breath a lot of life into your track and make it sound a bit more lively. If you use it carefully it will make things like your basslines and drums sound huge. But then again you could just use them on your drum bus(es) etc. But yeah try it. It can really get you vibing to a track while you're mixing it. I personally wouldn't try delay though myself, little too messy (unless you automated it... Hmm!).
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Postby Leave Blank » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:50 pm

What's wrong with having an eq on there with 20hz and 20k rolled off? Just out of interest, beacause that is a standard one for my master channel.
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Postby Cubicle » Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:17 pm

My master:

EQ: Cut on 35-40 hz and on the really highs so you can't hear the cut but i'm still cleaning up the mix.
Multi-band compressor: compressing the lows and the low mids to fit the highs.
(Depends on the mix but often another compressor the glue the track nicely)
Brainworx Shred Spread: Making everything under 200Hz +- Mono and spreading the rest a tad.
Limiter: Well, you should know why the limiter.

After those I often place my correlation meter and RMS meter so I can see how my mix really sits.

Hope any of this info was useful.
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Postby e-motion » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:45 pm

Sound Design/Writting/Composition = Limiter at 0 threshold and 0 gain (it can save your speakers!).
Mixing = Spectrum Analyzer (Voxengo). May ocasonally put a limiter with increased gain since it can make some mistakes in your mixing more obvious, but it's only for testing and will be off 90% of the mixing time and 100% in the final mixes.
Self-Mastering (pretty bad one) = Compressor to Limiter. No eq.
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Postby lowpass » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:06 pm

The only reason to not be putting plugins on the master bus is if you are sending it over to someone else for mastering. At which point it is generally accepted that compression/eq/limiting isn't included on the master bus but some Mastering engineers may have different preferences.

If it is your own track then same rule as usual applies. if it sounds good then you are probably doing it right! creative effects like reverb aren't normally used on the master bus but sometimes a tad bit of 'verb on the master bus can help bring a certain ambience and softness to a track which can be useful (if you're looking for that sort of sound)

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Postby sketchyderek » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:26 am

I went to one of those albeton masterclasses for a dubstep producer a while back,
and he said the biggest thing for him was when he started treating the master bus like an individual instrument (ie not keeping it completely dry). To each and his own, I guess. There's some things you definitely should stay away from, though.

I'm still reluctant to put a lot on it. I mean, I like to treat the different parts of a track separately, so by the time they're mixed down it sounds good in my ears.
That being said, I want to give Ozone 5 a try.
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Postby nowaysj » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:43 am

*PUT A DONK ON IT*
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Postby coogcoo » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:38 am

chaotix wrote: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.


damn you highpass it way up there.. you never get that 30 hz whoooooooooomph shit if you do that
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Postby safeandsound » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:19 am

I would say there are no hard and fast rules as long as you understand what you are doing, technically and aurally, however you might want to ask why you are applying what you are applying. It may be best to make the adjustments in the channels. Sure this is likely to be dubstep specific, but most big console mixes either had a master bus compressor with a few dB of gain reduction and possibly a tape machine on the output. All the "heavy lifting" was done on the channels before it made it's way down the copper to Mr. L.R. Bus

No rules, but nothing extreme is a good plan and consider if you can improve things on your channels. of course maybe you have some highly euphonic analogue gear that gives that something extra.

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Last edited by safeandsound on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Today » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:54 pm

legend4ry wrote: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 Mad EP » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:23 pm

I usually have Cytomic's Glue compressor - the Transparent Master setting on the Master...

I don't use it to keep my levels out of the red- but rather to make the the channels bit more sticky-icky-icky as they come together.

Incidentally - I usually have it on from the beginning too - so that I am creating my sounds and mixes with that gooed up sound in mind.
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Postby Perfecture » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:49 am

Just want to get a clear answer on my situation specifically.

I have put an EQ on my mater channel which has a 1.5db boost from 0 - 130hz just to give my the bottom of my basslines, kick and sub a little more umph (basically to give the low end of the track more beef). Is this ok to do before sending it for mastering?
The EQ is the only thing I have on the master channel and I have left more than enough headroom for the mastering engineer.

If this is a no no, is it very common for mastering engineers to eq as well as bringing up the volume of the track at the mastering stage. I know that the main part of the mastering stage is to bring up the volume to 'commercial level' etc. but do they also eq to and punch and clarity to the track where it's needed?

Thanks for any replies and help guys.
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Postby e-motion » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:21 am

Perfecture wrote:Just want to get a clear answer on my situation specifically.

I have put an EQ on my mater channel which has a 1.5db boost from 0 - 130hz just to give my the bottom of my basslines, kick and sub a little more umph (basically to give the low end of the track more beef). Is this ok to do before sending it for mastering?
The EQ is the only thing I have on the master channel and I have left more than enough headroom for the mastering engineer.

If this is a no no, is it very common for mastering engineers to eq as well as bringing up the volume of the track at the mastering stage. I know that the main part of the mastering stage is to bring up the volume to 'commercial level' etc. but do they also eq to and punch and clarity to the track where it's needed?

Thanks for any replies and help guys.


No, you should not put that EQ before sending to the ME. You should leave that to the mastering engineer as he will know if you should make that boost or not, or maybe he wants to boost at 131hz and not 130hz (just an example). You could say you did it or even send it as a reference, but not for the material he will work on.

Mastering stage includes EQ, Loudness and Dynamic control, Stereo Control and even Reverb in some cases.
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Postby Sharmaji » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:13 am

Mad EP wrote:I usually have Cytomic's Glue compressor - the Transparent Master setting on the Master...

I don't use it to keep my levels out of the red- but rather to make the the channels bit more sticky-icky-icky as they come together.

Incidentally - I usually have it on from the beginning too - so that I am creating my sounds and mixes with that gooed up sound in mind.


at this point, i'm hearing about the Glue so much that i'm hearing about it IN THE PAST from this post.

i guess it's time to buy this sucker, huh?
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Postby Eat Bass » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:58 am

i usually throw a compressor on it but very very light with just a tad bit of gain, and turn the limiter on. i dont use it to keep my master out of the red, i do that in the mix down. idk seems to work for me. it glues it together a bit and adds volume
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Postby 2mb1o » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:13 am

Ringmod + Flanger + Autopan : it sounds tasty and wild.
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Postby Mad EP » Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:55 am

Sharmaji wrote:at this point, i'm hearing about the Glue so much that i'm hearing about it IN THE PAST from this post.

i guess it's time to buy this sucker, huh?



Hahaha - yeah, I love it. You and I tend to have similar tastes in compressors ... so I think you would find quite a few uses for this bad bwoy.
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