Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD

Barbara Shaw 17 Apr 07 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,John Robinson 17 Apr 07 - 04:56 PM
Willie-O 17 Apr 07 - 08:32 PM
Darowyn 18 Apr 07 - 03:24 PM
treewind 18 Apr 07 - 03:48 PM
Barbara Shaw 18 Apr 07 - 03:49 PM
Barbara Shaw 18 Apr 07 - 03:53 PM
Barbara Shaw 25 Apr 07 - 09:21 PM
treewind 26 Apr 07 - 04:43 AM
GUEST,micca aat work 26 Apr 07 - 04:49 AM
Andy Jackson 26 Apr 07 - 05:28 AM
Barbara Shaw 26 Apr 07 - 07:25 AM
treewind 26 Apr 07 - 09:32 AM
M.Ted 29 Apr 07 - 02:11 PM
Barbara Shaw 29 Apr 07 - 03:31 PM
Big Mick 29 Apr 07 - 04:07 PM
Barbara Shaw 29 Apr 07 - 08:45 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 03:54 PM

Here's the story: we've been back in the studio and I have a couple of songs which I might need to tamper with after the master is made by the sound engineer. He's working with tape and does not have software to do some of the edits I would be able to do easily with my Cool Edit software.

For one song, I would like to take the best fiddle break from one take and insert it into another take that is best overall for everything else. I can do it by looking at the wave file, have done it and I know it works. Should I get two masters from the studio, one for each take and then patch it myself? Will there be any degradation of the quality from the original master if I create a new one on my computer with the patch?

For the other song, I want to completely cut one break out of the song. I already have a final mix of that song and know the cut works. Will there be any degradation of the quality from the original master if I create a new one without that break?

My question is primarily about the sound quality of the tracks if mixed and mastered completely in the studio vs me doing some patches afterwards.

Anyone?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: GUEST,John Robinson
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 04:56 PM

Personally I'd do the edit prior to mastering. I guess your mastering engineer would know you where going to do an edit and so would not treat each take differently, but never the less gut feel tells me that mastering should produce the final master.

No doubt others will disagree.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Willie-O
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 08:32 PM

I won't be the one to disagree! Mastering is just that--making the master copy to make the duplicates from--of the whole recording, not just individual tracks. Including the spaces between, consistent EQing and volume levels, and all that. If you bounce one or two tracks through your PC, it's not your master any more.

What I would suggest, if you are definitely committed to the master-on-tape format, is consulting with a specialist in post-production audio--because that is what you're talking about doing.

Either that or have your current engineer do the mixing he can, then do your mixing, THEN get it mastered. Either by him or someone else.

Good luck.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Darowyn
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 03:24 PM

There are still people in the UK, mostly ex BBC trained, who can edit tape. It's not done in software, it's the ultimate in hardware, razor blade and splicing tape. With a stereo master tape, it's relatively easy, with a multitrack- well, I've seen it done but I've never done it myself. All my students do a little tape editing- just to get the feel of it.
The higher the tape speed the easier it is to edit stereo. A master tape will run at at least 15 inches per second, or possibly 30 ips.
If you cut and splice the actual tape master, there will be no loss of quality- but you are taking a risk. If you clone the master then edit that, there will be a generational loss in quality.
Finally, should it not be the producer who decides on the mix? It is not really a job for the engineer- he or she should be capable of implementing the artistic decisions made by the producer, but may not be the best person to make those decisions.
Cheers
Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: treewind
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 03:48 PM

John Robinson's on the money about doing the editing before mastering - mastering is by definition the last process.

Can't you just ask the recording studio to cut you a CD of the mixes?
If the final product is going to be digital (e.g. a CD), then there won't be any further degradation of the sound if you keep it digital from there onwards. editing takes will make no difference to the sound, except where you do the join if you make a crossfade of course.

If you have to copy the edited version back to tape, then there will be some loss - there is every time you convert between digital and analogue.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 03:49 PM

Thanks for the responses.

I'm in a bit over my head... By master, I mean a CD with all the finished tracks that have been final mixed, normalized (shouldn't use this word because I don't know what it really means) and have equal pauses between songs. I know that the engineer records multi-track onto tape and creates the copy on cd from a hard drive. Don't know how all the pieces connect but I do know that there's no computer software involved in any editing -- it's all by ear.

I was considering 1) taking one song from the master cd and doing some editing myself to remove one break and then make a new master using my edited song and all the other tracks from the CD or 2) remixing the song in the studio to remove the break and using that in the master.

When I make a copy of the master cd, is there any loss of quality? If I replace one of the songs on the master with one that I have edited and then make a new cd, is there any loss of quality?

Since I'm the producer and prime pusher to get this project done, I'm making most of the decisions. All options are still open.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 03:53 PM

treewind, I think you answered my question about loss of quality while I was posting.

If the final product is going to be digital (e.g. a CD), then there won't be any further degradation of the sound if you keep it digital from there onwards. editing takes will make no difference to the sound, except where you do the join if you make a crossfade of course.

But what do you mean by crossfade?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 09:21 PM

Just got back from a mixing session where the engineer attempted to patch the mixed fiddle break from one take into another mixed take, all by ear. It didn't quite work. I was able to do this at home on the computer by looking at the waves and pasting it in exactly where the sound started, visually rather than just by ear. Mine worked fine.

So now I've decided to take the mixes of the two takes and patch them at home on the computer with editing software. Then I'll give my final mix back to the engineer on a CD, who will use it when doing the mastering of the full album.

Rather than editing the master, I'm editing the mix. Hopefully the quality of that one song will not be degraded. We'll see.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: treewind
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 04:43 AM

Rather than editing the master, I'm editing the mix
Assuming my understanding of the terminology is the same as yours - that's exactly what you should be doing!

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: GUEST,micca aat work
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 04:49 AM

Barbara, that can be the best way of making fine edits as you can "match the join" better visually than by ear,esecially if your editor allows you to zoom down so that individual waves are visible. Recently a friend made a small but significant error, in an otherwise "perfect" recording, by inadvertantly singing "she" insstead of "he" at the crux point of the song and by using similar editing software we were able to take out the "s" and "restore" the "he" sound aand thus the sense and intent of the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 05:28 AM

Ahh proper editig, like what it used to be. Early "Forest Tracks" productions where all recorded straight to stereo and cut with a razor blade. An even earlier L.P. "Frost Lane" was a challenge when I inadvertently erased the first verse of one of the numbers!! The last verse was ALMOST a repeat but odd words here and there throughout the song were cut in and I defy you to guess which track was reconstructed. Later working on Audiophile and now P.C. gear always makes me wonder how I would do it now.

Andy (One of those aforementioned BBC trained chappies)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 07:25 AM

It occurs to me that I didn't ask this question: is there any loss of quality converting from cd to wave file? To do my edit of the mixed versions, I need to "rip" the cd tracks onto the computer, edit them in wav format in the software, and then create another cd track of my finished product.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: treewind
Date: 26 Apr 07 - 09:32 AM

If you use a good ripper program it will tell you if there were any uncorrectable errors. If there weren't, the copy can be perfect.

There's a small window of uncertainty: CD rippers deal with some kinds of error by attempting to re-read a block that has an error it it. When it does that, it has to read overlapping data and match the content to stitch the parts together. With a good CD and a good drive this is quite a reliable process, and if it fails you'll probably know because there'll be an audible skip or repeat in the sound.

When burning the new CD there's a good chance of a perfect copy.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: M.Ted
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 02:11 PM

I have to ask the obvious question, why did you record to tape in the first place?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 03:31 PM

That's just the way this studio works. It's Phil Rosenthal, former lead singer/guitarist of Seldom Scene, and he runs American Melody Studio in Guilford, CT. We chose him because of his knowledge and sensitivity to acoustic music, his easy-going manner, and proximity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 04:07 PM

I am anxious to hear this one, friend Barbara. I still love recording to tape even though I don't do much of it anymore. Something about the sound, I think it suits acoustic music much better. I always worry when folks get crazy in digital with the compression. I want the fullness of the acoustic instruments to come through loud and clear.

All the best,

Mick


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tech: Mixing and Mastering a CD
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 29 Apr 07 - 08:45 PM

I'm eager to get this project done! At this point, we still have 5 more songs to record, 11 done. We're waiting for #2 son to get home from his current tour (rock musician on keyboard and trumpet) so he can fill in on bass for the final 5. He knocked us out on bass for the first 11 and we decided to keep the bottom consistent throughout. Pretty soon now.

Anyway, I did the edits on the mixed tracks and they came out FINE. I don't think anyone can tell where a better break was pasted into one song or a break was cut from the 2nd song. I stared at those bleepin' little waves much longer than necessary, trying it one notch further this way, one notch that way, over and over until I was convinced it was OK. It seems totally seamless to me, so when the CD is complete I look forward to getting the mudcat opinions on the results.

Thanks for the help and comments! I'll be back...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 13 August 2:26 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.