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Mastering in Reason

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This is a question for all the Reason users out there. I use this program a lot for my MIDI projects, but am yet to get to grips with the mastering features. Is this the best way to go or should export a finished project in to Logic then go at it with Ozone? Let me know what you lovely people prefer and different methods you find to be effective.

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The term "mastering" has evolved from preparing material for a medium to largely a corrective process, and a crude one at that. Ask yourself:

1) What are you hoping to achieve from mastering?
2) Can this achieved in the mix itself?

There's certain things that can only really achieved from processing the 2-track output (such as certain dynamics processing and dithering) but all to often people start reaching for the eq, compressor and what not because "that's what mastering is about, right?". Sure, this is what a mastering engineer would do but that's because you can only do such broad strikes with a 2-track recording but if the ME had the mix in front of him/her then you can guarantee he/she would try and correct problems at the mx level because this is nearly always the most transparent way of problem solving. The old recording adage of "don't fix it in the mix" should be updated to "don't fix it in the mastering" for the electronic age.

I guess a better question to ask you is what are your intentions with mastering, i.e. what are you hoping to achieve?

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It is often said that the better the mixing, the less things you should do in mastering.

Moreover, most people do some "pre-mastering" without even realizing it since its too easy to slap a multi-band compressor/dynamic equalizer/limiter on a lot of tracks today with the kind of processing power we have.

Having so many possibilities, i think its one of the cases where less equals more.

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Thanks for the input guys. I guess what I'm trying to do is round the sound off with a final EQ tweak and pinch of anything else that sounds right. I try to get my instrument sounds as close to the final mix as possible during the tracking/mixing stage (I usually go back and forth between the two several times during one project). Are there any tools like Ozone available for Reason? or even Ozone itself. I don't do a lot of post-EQing, but it's nice to have the option.

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I try to get my instrument sounds as close to the final mix as possible during the tracking/mixing stage.
I think that's where your problem lies. When mixing you shouldn't aim to mix just close to the final mix, your aim is a final mix, i.e. when you're done there shouldn't be anything in your mix that needs fixing that you are able to hear with your equipment (and ears). If you think something needs fixing, fix it. Only when that's done should you call your mix 'final', and that's when you send it to a mastering engineer, who has much better equipment and tons more experience than you, to critically and objectively listen to it and make sure the song sounds well on all target devices, as well as fixing any flaws you didn't or couldn't pick up on during the mix. Edited by Nyaanyaa

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I'm slightly in the same boat, however I'd be inclined to say the same thing as the other members here.  When I use Reason, I have a mastering suite preset active from the beginning so I'm always mixing through that.  I quite like the one called energy for the kind of thing I've been working on lately. There was a song I was working on, and I had been paying lots of attention to mixing as I went along, and when it came to 'the mastering stage', anything I did seemed to diminish the quality, except from setting up the stereo imager.  Master eq was left flat too.  Some people may see this as bad practice, but so long as you're applying eq(everything in it's own space) as you go, there shouldn't really be much left for you to do at the mastering stage depending on how scrutinous you are with mixing.    If you're interested, this was the song I was working on https://soundcloud.com/echo-gecko

 

If this isn't acceptable sound quality, I guess I should shut up =p  To be fair, it was an extremely rushed project.  I'm normally the one asking for help, rather than giving it.

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