Most mastering engineers I know give a client at the very least the opportunity to preview the kind of work they do – whether that’s a single track as an example of what they intend to do or the first pass of the whole job depends on the engineer, but nonetheless, it’s a pretty standard [...]
In my recent binge of plugin purchases, I broke down and bought TheGlue, based almost entirely on the recommendation of Dan Clark (of The Dark Clan and ListlessWorks studio). Like offerings from Waves, UAD and SSL, TheGlue is a compressor that models the famous (infamous?) bus compressor from an SSL G-Series console. Never actually owning [...]
The first “BussColors” plugin by Airwindows was clever, a little dig at the long-vaporwared Slate Virtual Console (which is now out, of course, but at the time). It lacked features, it was pretty rudimentary, but it was an assertion that virtual console emulation by convolution modeling wasn’t just something for larger software developers to tackle. [...]
Airwindows is an eccentric company. It’s basically one guy (Chris Johnson) doing one thing (making specialized AudioUnit plugins) in one esoteric way (he uses a default GUI and never adds any fancy graphics). The way he does things allows him to write plugins that are absurdly cheap, very stable, and well-supported. Of course it also [...]
I am a little bit in love with this compressor. Or should I say “suite of compressors.” The value of McDSP 6030 isn’t in its full-featured-ness as a compressor, it’s in the fact that it’s basically 10 simpler compressors, each with different characteristics, that can be switched seamlessly. There’s everything from a simple one-knob, LA-2A [...]
I picked up NI’s new “Razor” Reaktor ensemble last week. Not like I really had a ton of money burning a hole in my pocket, but, hey, it wasn’t terribly expensive and you know what, I didn’t own an additive synth yet. So now I do. (I’ve always wanted one, to the point where I almost [...]
A few months back, FutureMusic did a shootout between three different mastering houses – Abbey Road’s “online” mastering, a dedicated small studio that also did mastering “in the box”, and another guy that mastered the entire track specifically with Logic’s bundled plugins. The results were…interesting.
With the rise in the DIY Mastering ethos for independent studios, a number of companies have put out all-in-one mastering solutions, generally a single program or an all-in-one plugin that handles every major step in the mastering chain. I can’t say I’m a huge fan.
While maybe it’s true that the mastering engineer *can* indeed fix these things, the smartest policy is to fix these things in the mixing stage first. Any fix in the mastering stage comes with a cost, whether that cost is monetary (extra engineering time means extra $$$) or just the cost to the overall quality of the track.