Mastering suite

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spm_gl
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Mastering suite

Post by spm_gl »

We've been mastering for quite a while now, but only in our control room. Now we've begun building the new (surround) mastering suite. You can follow the progress on our new blog: http://blog.spreemusik.com
I'll be glad to answer any comments/questions you have.
Jan

Update (already): Added a few pics of the speakers.

Update: We've started construction
Last edited by spm_gl on Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
--- Spreemusik ---
Jan Fuchsmann, Audio Engineer
Check our blog at http://www.spreemusik.com/blog

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Capoeira
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by Capoeira »

geile sache, sieht jut aus ;-)

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DioXide
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by DioXide »

I know you're not stupid, but I can never overstate this enough: Use Ambisonics! :D

Even if you're just converting an already existing dumb-style 5.1 mix into Ambisonics (as it would be with pure mastering) with 5 panned sources, it has advantages over dumb 5.1 (like making all the speakers cooperate for bass)

I'm very tired of listening to crappy surround mixes even from multi-million-dollar productions that could be solved with just a touch of the Michael Gerzon stuff :|

If you already knew it, disregard this message, I suck :roll:
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spm_gl
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by spm_gl »

Using Ambisonics is not that much different to doing M/S encoding/decoding, which we basically always do for our stereo masters. Our control room doens't have a surround setup, so I haven't had a chance to test various surround options in a decent acoustical environment, but thanks for the pointer.
(If you look closely, you'll notice our mastering setup is still very much stereo-oriented, the center and surrounds are a lot smaller than the main L/R speakers. But the Canton we use are so rare, I doubt I'll ever find 3 more for any reasonable price, and the bulk of our work is stereo.)
--- Spreemusik ---
Jan Fuchsmann, Audio Engineer
Check our blog at http://www.spreemusik.com/blog

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studio32
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by studio32 »

Interesting, thanks for posting.

You use JAMin, aren't you?

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DioXide
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by DioXide »

I don't think that's a problem, actually you're probably better off that way since most consumer surround systems are set up like that, except for the center which is usually oversized. (Nice speakers, by the way.. That's one classy room you got there :wink: )

If you're familiar with M/S then you'll have no trouble, but Ambisonics is superior even if you're only doing stereo mixes (because of the different localization techniques for bass and treble, which on M/S are only present on native recordings, not to mention that it's only one mix for stereo and surround).

(And on studio32's note, sorry for hijacking the thread, but I don't know why everyone loves JAmin.. Just use the plug-ins directly on your DAW, and Japa is a better spectrum analyzer)
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studio32
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by studio32 »

How do you use Japa? Can't find it in Ardour (thanks for the tip)

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spm_gl
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by spm_gl »

We don't master in linux yet (blasphemy, I know), but I'll be setting up a dual boot system in the mastering suite. Not sure what chain, I'll do some tests in the cutting room (which uses only linux) soon, and see what works best. The main problem is finding a good software compressor (single band is okay, we do our frequency separation manually), and a really good metering plugin. On xp, we rely heavily on RME's DigiCheck.
On the surround side, I've never seen a correctly set up consumer system anywhere. Come to think of it, who actually has a decent stereo setup at home?
--- Spreemusik ---
Jan Fuchsmann, Audio Engineer
Check our blog at http://www.spreemusik.com/blog

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DioXide
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by DioXide »

studio32 wrote:How do you use Japa? Can't find it in Ardour (thanks for the tip)
Japa is a stand-alone JACK program. You have to start and connect it manually. (Connect it as an insert in your Ardour track)
spm_gl wrote:who actually has a decent stereo setup at home?
No one (not even me, hehe), that's why I mix for headphones instead of 60deg. There's more people using headphones correctly than using speakers correctly...

As for the compressor, I always use TAP Dynamics... Is there really any difference? (It's single band, and AFAIK the only multi-band compressor is on JAmin, but I don't see the _need_ for it either)
Then again I'm not very fond of compressing, I follow the "as much as necessary, as little as possible" way, so I've never used any compressor hard, mostly just to keep the vocals stable...
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spm_gl
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by spm_gl »

Good news:
We had a team meeting, and decided we will definitely be mastering exclusively on linux.
Even better news:
I'm considering a discount on e-mastering rates for linuxmusicans board members, once the room is ready.
--- Spreemusik ---
Jan Fuchsmann, Audio Engineer
Check our blog at http://www.spreemusik.com/blog

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studio32
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by studio32 »

spm_gl wrote:Good news:
We had a team meeting, and decided we will definitely be mastering exclusively on linux.
Even better news:
I'm considering a discount on e-mastering rates for linuxmusicans board members, once the room is ready.
great news man!

Vielen dank.

It's very good to have someone with such an pro experience onboard, we learn a lot from you!
And a discount sounds always good to me :)

Keep us up to date. And don't hesistate to point Linux devs to maybe the less strong points of Linux mixing/mastering, so it will be improved ;)

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spm_gl
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by spm_gl »

studio32 wrote:And don't hesistate to point Linux devs to maybe the less strong points of Linux mixing/mastering, so it will be improved ;)
That's my main reason for using free (as in freedom) software. We've already spent a few grand on software, and the cost of windows software is actually negligible compared to construction and hardware. For example, we spent 30.000 EUR on constructing the recording and control rooms, while the Cubase licence cost 400. So that is really not the issue.
--- Spreemusik ---
Jan Fuchsmann, Audio Engineer
Check our blog at http://www.spreemusik.com/blog

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DioXide
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by DioXide »

I agree it's very nice to see real pros making the jump, this is what will (eventually) make Linux out-sound other platforms right off :D

As for metering, I looked a bit into it today, and looks like the best shot is Meterbridge with Fons Adriaensen's ACweight plugin if you need weighting

It's pretty much what you already knew (everyone and their brother has Meterbridge), but I didn't know about the Jellyfish mode until now.. It will come in very handy :)
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spm_gl
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by spm_gl »

Another case of RTFM I guess. I've used Meterbridge, but never actually read the documentation. Now I see it is actually complies to standards. Maybe I'll have a look into the code, to make the VU and Peak comply more to international than british standards. There's currently work going on on an international standard for loudness measurement, perhaps that could be incorporated too. Now all we need is a bit-meter.
The goniometer (jellyfish) is a very important tool. I suppose I should send the the author our script on stereo monitoring (we give courses in audio engineering now and again). I'd have to translate it first, though.
--- Spreemusik ---
Jan Fuchsmann, Audio Engineer
Check our blog at http://www.spreemusik.com/blog

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qharley
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Re: Mastering suite

Post by qharley »

Another great tool is the jkmeter from Fons Adriaensen.

Check it out here: http://www.kokkinizita.net/linuxaudio/d ... index.html

aliki (on the same page) is a handy tool if you want to do a basic plot of your new room's frequency responce in the sweet spot. This is helpful if you need to find ringing frequencies left untreated.

Good luck on your build!

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