BEST MASTERING CHAIN


VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Welcome back. I'm Streaky. And, I might not be as energetic today because I've given up sugar for June. So, we'll see how we get on with that. I'm obviously shattered already. But today, I'm gonna talk to you about mastering chains. I've get asked a lot. What do I put first? What do I put last? Why do I do things? So, I thought I'd break that down for you. So that you can have a go yourself and see what you want to do with your mix plus chain or your mastering chain. However, you're mastering your stuff. So first of all, you have to listen to the music quite intensely to understand exactly what you are going for. Now, a lot of tracks that come into me are digital sounding can be all done in the box, which is why some people want to come to me. Because I use a hybrid system. You can see I've got equipment behind me.

So, I'll usually go into something a little bit tubey, a little bit colorful to  bring some color to the track first of all. I've got a summit audio box, which is not many people have those. But it's got tube in it and it warms the sound up. It's called a warm interface going through my lavry converters. Then that's gonna add a little bit of flavor, a little bit of color and give going out into the analog world. I always feel gives things a bit of a breath, fresh air. If I'm going in the box, then I might use something that's like a tape machine emulation. Something like that, or something like maybe a Shadow Hills Compressor, not using the compression side. But using it for the color, for the way that it colors the sound.

So after, I've used something to color the sound up, then what I'm gonna do is gonna start thinking about a bit of EQ. So, I might be adding a little bit of top to open it up, might be having to tighten the base. If I need to tighten the base, then I might go into something like a multi-band compressor. I'll grab the low end so that I can really make sure that's nice and tight. I'll probably do some cuts in the EQ before I get to that. And so, then I'm gonna then think, okay well does the top need  putting together a bit more. So then, I might use like a gluey SSL compressor to gel it together. But usually, I'm going EQ compression. So that's either a mix of the SSL and the multi-band for the low end. And then, I might be using a bit of de-essing as well for the top compression thing going on there.

So there's EQ compression, and then some more EQ to counteract some of the things that I've been doing with the compression. So, if I'm wanting to open the track up, like I say. If I want to add some more bass or maybe add some pointy bass or take some stuff away. I'm doing that again afterwards. And then, after I've done that EQ'ing. Then, I'm more than likely to go into a limiter. Sometimes, I'll go into two limiters. Sometimes, I'll go into a clipper. So each one of these stages, I've actually broken down and done different videos on them. So go to my channel, go to search bar and search in multi-band compression or tightening up low end. And then, that'll give you the bit where I spoke about the multi-band for the low end or de-essing.

I've done loads of videos on de-essing. I've done loads of videos on EQ. I've done loads of videos on dynamic EQ. So really, all of those little stages that I spoke about, there are videos in my channel. So drill into the channel, go to the search bar and they're all there. All of this really depends on what happened at the very start. When I listened to the track and I thought to myself, okay, what does this need. I mean, ideally you don't do any of that stuff. Maybe you might just warm it up. Maybe you might use a bit of EQs, put a bit of top on, hopefully that's what you have to do. So, you don't have to touch the mix. And then, you're just getting the level with the limiter or pushing the gain a bit. So, it's really dependent on what it needs before. But generally my setup is, I'm going to go into something  to color it. I'm going to EQ it. I'm going to compress it in certain ways with different compressors, for whatever I think needs within the mix.

And then, I'm gonna EQ it again as a  finishing EQ. And that's, before I go into the limiter, because if I'm pushing into the limiter, that's gonna start changing the sound of the EQ. So the EQ, that comes before the limiter is really counteracting what's happening when I'm listening to the limiter. So, it might be getting really bright. So, I might curve a bit of top off before it gets to the limiter. Because the limiter is going to make it brighter, or if there's too much bass going on. Then I might have to take a little bit of bass out at that point so that the limiter handles it better and I can get the track a bit louder.

So that's really what I'm doing when it comes to the chain. The chain is totally up to you, but you'll find that by using that structure to get yourself going. You should be able to get a good result at the end. Because, really it's all about gain staging everything through that chain. And making a really nice sound at the end without trying to do too much. So like I say, don't use it if you don't need it. And sometimes turn it off and see how it sounds. So, if you've enjoyed this video, please like and subscribe. The subscriptions are below and I'll see you on the next one. Thanks for watching. Bye.

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