DIY Mastering

Lesson 8/26 - What is Objectivity


DIY Mastering


Lesson Info

What is Objectivity

We're going to talk about objectivity so we touched on what this is before and I guess I kind of gave away this answer but I'm going to say what is objectivity mean to you guys for me it's having a perspective that sort of outside of yourself um you know ah it's a good example is that for me anyway everybody in my band we we record and do everything ourselves but we don't necessarily you know, we want like another set of years and so I think sometimes you kind of have to like get everyone's like somebody else's opinion outside of that which is why we usually go to friends or whoever and that's great that you all record because that somebody has some other way when somebody's been getting a little bogged down tto say hey that's symbols um yeah it's a collection of perspectives is pretty right on onda also I would add uh different headphones and speakers as one of those perspectives that's something we'll get into it that's a great answer. Yeah, I think when you work on a project you you...

tend to listen stuff over and over again and just trying to listen to with the a fresh perspective yes that's great, I would say like lots of different sound devices but I also like to add the idea of what is the what's the optimal air intended reaction teo whatever it is you're making reaction or like outcome and exactly we're having a gold yeah that's great yeah I would agree I guess it's just sort of finding a compromise where everybody is going to feel comfortable listening to it nothing is going to stick out you got you got a rough job of being a double five theo okay so let's go here so basically it's the ability to judge your work with a clear perspective perspective when you talk about regaining objectivity and obviously this is really important I'm sure there's no one here whose mixed more than five songs who hasn't felt confused disillusioned like they're worthless and feel like hell at some point in the process that they can't get what they want so objectivity reason it's important is is you need to do this now what makes object have even worse and mastering is the idea that like you've now listen to the song for hundred times for months and you wrote the song then you recorded the song then you mix the song and now you have to do something else to it and it could be pretty rough um so we want to get rid of that confusion and like you don't get you back into a really good head space so how do we regain objectivity um we want to listen to the mixmaster annd mastered and set up a b for the duration of the session and then we want to use palace cleansing tracks maybe material to regain your objectivity and is well reestablished with the goal you're going for us so um I would start with the first of those points if we could go to the computer that be awesome guys so what I like to do when I'm mastering a track is, um I like to first set up a thing of to make sure I'm doing no harm like a doctor I want to make sure I'm not messing up what I originally had it made it worse especially when I'm mastering somebody else's stuff but mastering my own it's also important to go back and like I said, like what? We're listening to the stolen song I hear that trouble when I go ah man, I wish I got some of that symbol ring in there and if only I had done that and that's a big thing with this so what? The first thing I do is is so usually when you have an audio to face most people go why don't have eight outputs that's so dumb? I only used the two to listen back oh the third and fourth out what you have can come in a lot of handy right here so the first thing I do is I go in and I duplicate my track that I'm working on the master of and once it takes ten years to do that in my very slow up top, I turned off all the plug ins except for one to get the volume to match, so the next thing I'm gonna do is without even is I'm going to set that this one without all the plug ins on I'm gonna set this to my three four up put so on my nice little handy monitor selector here I have three four plugged into the other input on here so that I can listen between the two of them and make sure I'm doing no harm and only making this better. So the next thing I would want to do is I have a meter here, so to get into our meters before we even listen to any of this, um, I'm gonna make sure that he's too worried about the same volume of what I've established as a master when it comes time to do this. So right now we're looking at a pretty decent level for bastard I'd be this could be a little hot for a lot of stuff, but I do look at that and I see that that's good to go so that I take make sure I have a way to measure this on my other three four output, which I have to make real fast, so I make this master fader I put this on and then I make sure that these meters are aboutthe same loudness so I just didn't copy that right by hitting the button live tv will who on dh so what I have here now is the bottom one is my one two and my three four which is mayan mastered out I want to get these to look pretty similar to each other so I know we talked about not using the meter's as much and listening we're going also listen to make sure they're right but I want to get in the ballpark and make sure that these are pretty similar so I'm doing a equal volume comparison so yeah that's real out on the bottom or top so now that I have this a little closer I want to start so obviously this track is already mastered so wait this's then we must do before the cold streets on fire out of virginia beach great great bunch of guys who produced some great tracks so I'll have this set up so I can go back and forth so I have two buttons here so it's easy for me to switch that's not good that's not working um let's see what's going on here um I have a different way of doing this okay, so I can then go back and listen to my masters in on master to make sure I'm doing no harm to this thea other thing I have is they did another song on this record, so here I have a really cool plugging that just came out from sample magic um called magic baby magic baby allows you to, um, go back and forth between a bunch of reference trucks, so in this case, my reference track is a song we already did that sounds great on this record, so my goal is to get the song I'm working on now to sound as good as this so you can put magic a b on your bus and, um, put upto it looks like nine tracks into it and listen back and forth, so if I hit play on my master, hit that button, it allows me to go back and forth between the two and you comparisons and do tweaks um, so this is like a fifty dollar plug in and what's really cool about it is is when I'm working. The one thing I don't like to do a lot of the time is while right here I'm doing one track because of this course is a paid course we have to would have to pay a lot of music licensing, go up against real professional tracks what I would normally do if I was at home is in all of these slots here I would load up a whole bunch of different songs I think sound great in this genre and I would use that to get a fresh perspective over and over and over again and figure out what my goal is now there might be one track I assigned as my goal like so for instance, with this, the first truck I got sounded good in this record is my goal let's now get it right with the second one, so I'll go back it out a b I a sounds like it's a little too basie compared to the other one at first, so I'd see that maybe I need to make the other one basic or that one basie and make a compromise between the two of them as I'm working up a master thie other thing, I would do it if I was, you know, first getting my master going and this is the first song I'm doing is I would load tons of different songs that I think are my goal songs, they're realistic that the other thing about goals is is, you know, if you just recorded on, you know, your did your m box or you know your apogee duet and then you put on the way to screen day record, you might be coming up a little short with your results for if you're just getting good at this it's important to have something that's realistic for you to obtain in your rabies as well and then work upto one day obtaining what chris lord alge gets with his mixes and masters well, he doesn't master, but, um, because you have nine thoughts in this, you're good to go the other way to do this if you don't want to pay the fifty dollars for this is put a bunch of songs and play list in your itunes or your spotify, spotify khun get weird if you're not paying for it, the stream sounds a little less I know they did or are they making the stream less high quality if, ah you don't pay for it so that's a little problematic, but you can put on there and you can measure it out, so with that then so then you have two sources and you can't measure that inside you're off perpetual smile. So how do you measure and get an absolute way of knowing if you're doing a comparison that's where your device comes into handy self, what I have here is a great app called sound meter from favor acoustical so this one super super expensive but there's tons of one's for a dollar in every app store and what this does is it measures how loud the sound we have coming out iss so what you're doing your comparison, what you can do is you can pick up your phone and listen, you're speakers and make sure you're comparing everything you're comparing it at the same violent is the one thing is is your master's stuff might be something terrible because it's three d be lower than what's coming out of your laptop hitting play on itunes or what's there you want to try to get your comparisons to be the same volume I like to work at eighty two d b you put this here? Um so eighty two b b, which will go into a little later is the ideal curve for what's called the fletcher munson curve will go into that in a little bit more detail, but that's an ideal volume? Um so what I'll do oftentimes is what I'm doing the comparisons and doing these a bees oh, theo and as you can see in here, I can change levels up and down to get my baby to be nice and precise, which is another reason this plug it totally awesome, but so to get your objective, the biggest thing is yep, three tools basically on your side one that's fantastic is time we all know the feeling of going out clearing your hedge some people love to take a shower um to clear her head and it shockingly looks really well for me as well white noise in the shower or something really helps me but you want to get away from it, clear your head when you start to get confused, to not know what you're doing. Number one number two, go back to your goal, really listen to back and forth to what your goal is and what you're not getting from your goal and keep experiment to got it number three is is if you have another track of yours that you like that sort of good, see what there is about that that's. Good, what I'm going to encourage you to not teo is not get too crazy with looking at meters and sound things it's one thing to look at the mirror is to see if you're at a about the right volume, but don't look at the frequency in the spectrum analyzer and say, well, I obviously need more ten k to be exactly like this that can go weed you down a really bad pike, it's one thing if you see a huge disparity, it's another thing to try to make lines matchup, but I know there's tons of software that do these days. I've never heard a single good mix or master come out of it and in fact, a lot of time when I send stuff back to people in the what they confess to me is they're like, well, I was looking at that ozone meter a lot, and I tried to get it to add the frequency span of this band. Don't do it. Listen with your ears. Get good with your tools.

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.