Individual Track Volumes and Demo


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

Individual Track Volumes and Demo

Individual track volumes, obviously you don't want any song song to some two different, and oftentimes you'll need to push the volume of frequencies up or down to make tracks work. This is the part of the mastering that gets to be the sad part where you thought your kick drum was just so ruling in that song, and now we have the make it rule little less to be consistent with the rest of the mix is you didn't kick so much ass on, um, you want to use me during here when I'm making sure track volumes there going, I use my ears, but at the end, I like to make sure I didn't mess up anything I'm often mastering the morning I am not a morning person, so I'm going to make sure that I fully woken up at the end and I'm going to scroll through and I'm gonna look at my meter and just make sure I didn't overlook anything and I don't want to second guess myself, I'm not gonna let that meter be my final say, I'm going to let my years be the final say as we have been discussing, but I'm gonna let the m...

eter be my backup on my check, um you could go back to the mixed and fix things like loud vocals or whatever you want to do. I just finished a twenty seven song record with band called morning glory on fat records this week past two weeks and over the course of twenty seven songs shockingly, I had to adjust a few vocal levels at the end. Some of them were a little louder than the others and there's nothing wrong with going back when you realise this, consider if you want to make it more consistent yet again, even the big guys on big record is set back mix revisions to the mastering us. I worked in one of the big mastering houses, and I can't tell you how many times I was loading those into the computer at three am all the time so that alan could master him again the next day. It happens all the time, there's no reason you can't play by the same rules that all the big guys played by, um, it's important to make sure to do this also because it makes your records sound consistent professional when you go through and you're going to scroll through these track volumes and do this sequencing you got to make sure this happens. Um if you skip this part out of laziness and you're just going well, they seemed all right when you listen, you may be wrong and other people are going to notice and you could feel like an idiot when they tell you that or you see that a record reviews so why not fix all this in the mix? If you have the access to the mix? Like I said, you do it as you mix, you shouldn't think of the mastering like I just showed with that a being thing when you're mixing it's really, really important after the first song that you should go back and listen to the other mix is on the record all the time I once I'm done with the first song on the record, I'm listening to the other song and making sure that the kick drum is not three d be louder, just cause it feels good in this song than the other side of the mix. If it's feeling better, maybe I make it one day be louder because that's going to be within the rain of consistency on a lot of records, but you want to make sure that these are all feeling in the same way that will make it so when you get to mastering life's a lot easier. As I said, they're many of the big guns here, a test master while they work, a lot of guys call up even by smaller clients now called me up and say, I'm going to send you the first mix can you just master it? And then I'm basically going they're going to tweak it so little that it's gonna take me almost no time to tweak it again when I actually do the full record, they hear it, they know to tweak things quick question for you along those lines I know the audio hammer guys he's alan for everything s on dh they've worked with them enough that they have an idea of what the mix into what they know he's going to do, which is, you know, specifically that the guitars come up to d b or whatever because the snare comes down want what? I don't know what it is, but what do you think about that idea of, like it's in the same way as, you know, your speakers, you know, you're mastering engineer and or in this case, you know what your mastering settings they're going to do, aiken literally that recall doing that for jason back today that he learned to do that and like it is a thing that you do learn what matt master is like a lot of times if I get hit with somebody saying I think the kickette stare are a little loud I'll sum it back mastered a little bit further and say now do you think it is they go? Oh great u turned it out and I know I just did some more mastering and got it as loud as I think it's going to be that is something you weren't as you go through the process that I mean I think also the mixes end up sounding good and right with that, but I also think you should be listening back to your mixes when you're processing them with a brick wall women because that's what they're going to get to it and listening without that I don't think gives you a perspective it makes it harder day be so you're gonna want to put that software on and listen to it and give it to people because that they think about is you don't want to make me, um excuses when you send it to other people that's the rest of your band or the band you're working with, you don't want to say oh it's could be louder later you want to say, hey, it sounds good, no excuses and let there be no excuses about it so let's uh shoot over to my computer screen and let's go through how I sequence a record and do all this fun stuff so this is ahh the band stolen I worked on before I think this record comes out tonight at midnight if I just saw the, uh internet correctly um on bandcamp so if you look up the stolen you like what you hear you can get it there um so this is the record of five song e p so I mixed this very consistent because you know I cared about making sure it was right at first so all these mixes air now printed out with everything but the loudness maximize because the one thing I wasn't sure of is are they all going to be as loud as each other so as I scroll through let's get that so that goes so I listen I'm michael they're pretty consistent volume but I got to that last one I went there's a lot less based on that one um so sure enough I do a lot of this once I get the song sounding good on their own and then I go in and I will now say, well, let's see what happens I know because I mixed this where I rolled off the bottom and not at and I'll say I remember that from when we looked this truck before that was doing a high shelf of one hundred hertz on a low shelf let's see what that sounds like with some more of that on here and see if we get this clothe so obviously I'm not in my ideal monitoring land so somewhere around here sounding write to me with speakers to my back but that's the general process that your first gonna want to do is make sure your tracks are consistent in frequency so that one now sounds more like the rest of them all their volumes were cool but as you can see I had a different brick wall liver on all of them and turns out they're all set the same cause I'm that awesome and where are they yeah okay there um so I did that so now we need to put the songs or so this was the order I decided worked best the bad had given me one and then we talked and compromised um disorder and we were all really happy with it so now we have to do song spacings so I'm going to mess these up and here's the real fun stuff so top of a record gotta have a little extra space if you're pressing on cd you want tohave you know about one hundred milliseconds before there's even any sound so you measure that out so I only have a fifty year right now through the power of prepping for class is and I'm gonna scroll this out so you're thinking jesse why do you want a hundred milliseconds? Because cds constantly clip off the top of songs and not everything is itunes and when you're constantly see if you work on it, if you listen on spotify rto mog beats music, you get songs clipped off at the top all the time. This gives you a little cushion and one hundred milliseconds is short enough that you don't feel like there's a lag when you hit play so that's especially great with song one, especially if it's a cd you've gotto give it that back in the day, people would give it a half a second at times, so that's the start of our record and then we get to the end of the song, so I listen, the end of the song get a vibrant, thier way, so as you could see, I have a fade there already, so a lot of the time would I'll go in and I'll say, how long does that feel like that? Fayed should really be sitting there. Um, so in this case, I felt like it was apparently seven seconds, so but what I might want to do, though, is I want to keep the vibe going because these guys are rockin band and I don't want anybody loser ji, I don't want to just butt the next song up to it, so if I saw out this next song, um, as you can hear there's a whole lot of space so the reason there's a whole lot of space there is because when I bounced it down I bounced down with two bars of counter because every time I record a song I want the drummer here in eight count before he comes in or foreign six eight years twelve count um so you're then wanted teo go into here you want to kill off this dead space lee so as you can hear there's a tiny little breath before that but I love that breath because it sounds nice and vulnerable and keeps with these rocket nemo sounds were doing here so I want to zoom in and make sure I don't kill that breath I also want to be lee audible within the guitar fade but I don't want it to be that the song starts ravis I wanna have a little bit that fade in there so I'm going now listen and here where thiss fades out and so I hear that right about here the sound kind eyes and that if I put that fade over it it will be perceived as these songs air just rocking right into each other and I'll go wear the night and wife sounds fantastic I keep my energy yet again nice long fade my next song starts with so because we're starting with a drum fill I tend to feel like you know there's nothing more exciting then feeling like that drum fill should come in while the song's fading out so I'm going to go even further of I'm gonna listen I'm gonna want that to come in real nice and soon while that's going on so that's sounding like it's pretty awesome me, I'm going to do that I got two more quick ones to go you guys probably got the point of this by now so I'm gonna make this fast so that happens and I figure e I want those two notes to overlap a little bit, but not too much leone clash so yeah, I do that. And then I put one last song on on dh so this song I actually want it to this's like the conclusion the record I actually wants him dead space sometimes it's like that dead space could be a good palate cleanser before you do it, move this one's pretty rocking thiers this one's pretty melancholy and sad. I think the dead space kind of helps that mood change. So, hee, let there be a nice little half second space there and then we get to the end of the record. So I'm personally a fan of if there's a ring at the end of the record, let that thing just ring for however long you think it should ring and you can get all source of artsy you can put in that thing where your guitarist screamed into the amplifier to show him how much he liked men ninety zemo in it and you know do whatever you whatever you want george bush speaking backwards talking about you know, planning nine eleven whatever you please so now you have a record in order so what do we do so all these track volumes were the same so I want to do there this properly but the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to check if I didn't mess these track volumes up so I'm gonna pull call up my old trusty friend the view meter so pro tools is so nice and they give you this free view meter where you can just see if you're relatively in the right ballpark so way quite awesome I am just kicking ass and I'm so good so now that I check that and saw that I'm not awesome I'm ready teo bounce this song down so I'm gonna get rid of that fader that plug in because there's some superstition that these plug ins khun sound and in part of sound even other just visual and I believe that superstition just cause it's easy to believe it and there's no reason to not because it takes being two seconds of my life I put this on I then wantto do our friend dithering so our friend dithering is where we take it down to sixteen bits forty four one killer hurts so we're going quantifies sixteen bits dither I tend to like type one sounds fine to me than our noise shaping ultra those always sound great to me these are the subtle ist tiniest little tweaks I suggest if you want to read about these you use your friend to google because they're so subtle but they do make a difference so once you do this you want to highlight your entire record and do about stuff you're good at this point if this is what you want to send to the plant and you're like I am done with my record your cd pressing plant your tune course cd baby reverb nation all want sixteen forty four bit waves that's what you should send now now here's another nice haul truck is if you um personally um like to ah have high quality of the threes most of the time the mp three encoder and your dog is a lot better than making mp three's an itunes so do it right here and just do a separate bound since that's going to make your mp three sounds so much better we all know those are pretty depressing so right now I wouldn't hit sixteen forty four one wave and I would say time to send this down to the plants so I hit bounced on this but we're obviously not going to sit through the fifteen minutes to do that because I was awesome enoughto last night do this anyway, and so I have all these files broke up. So the next thing I do is I go in and I find where the idee points I want our so this would actually be the different file since it's sixteen forty four one um and you do not want to put that back in your twenty four, ninety six killer her file. So I go in and I then look where the song starts now so and this one I could obviously see where this one would have started, but you won't have that luxury and the other track because you didn't you're dithering you went down to another thing I tend to write down the times beforehand and then I have a nice, easy thing I write it down down to the millisecond um, so once that's done, I break up the files and I make them all different files. I do that using in pro tools a nice little trickle duplicate and you just go over each file and you hit process and it makes you a whole new file and then you just re title it, so this one has all the song names in it because I did that last night once you have so what you want to do, that the big tricks first play in order for it to woe on itunes, not in a random, orders you to put zero, one zero, two and then anything after you get past ten, won over the order you want, it is literally that's simple, and then it will show up in itunes in that order. But then the problem becomes, is why does an itunes display my artist, an album name that's, where we get to the awful, boring subject of metadata? So with that if we could go to, oh, I didn't should one thing you want to export these next, so the other thing about it is, if you're in pro tools, your files are not stereo into relieved. You then have to export them as stereo into relieved. You do that, you choose the folder and you hit export, and it is literally that simple as you have those files all ready for you to go.

Class Description

Mastering is often the difference between a good recording and a bad one, but mastering is notoriously difficult to understand. In this two-day workshop, sound engineer Jesse Cannon — who’s worked with the likes of Ross Robinson, Saves the Day, Animal Collective, The Misfits and Man Overboard — shares what he’s learned about mastering from working at top-tier studios like WestWestSide Music and Cannon Found Soundation. 

While there’s no substitute for having an engineer master your music, that’s just not feasible for many artists. This class is the next best thing: a comprehensive guide to DIY mastering.

Jesse breaks down the mastering process from start to finish. You’ll discover the basic principles behind mastering, and learn about the processes and tools at your disposal. Jesse will identify and troubleshoot basic rookie mistakes, discuss lesser-known essential concepts as well as share his essential behind-the-board tools as he takes you through a few real-life examples.

After two days with Jesse, you’ll have everything you need to master your tracks with affordable tools.


Michael Pena

This class was awesome. Jesse goes into detail about the mastering process and best practices for mastering in an easy to understand way. The live mastering session was very informative and educational.