[linux-audio-user] Thickness envy

Leonard Ritter contact at leonard-ritter.com
Wed Feb 28 11:39:39 EST 2007

On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 22:30 +0800, Chris McCormick wrote:
> I listened to the tracks that Leonard Ritter posted recently and then
> listened to my own latest track immediately after, which made me realise
> how innadequate it sounds, no matter how loud I turn it up. Does anyone
> have any mastering tips? I have no idea about mastering. Leonard, how
> do you get your stuff to sound so fat? Here's my track that doesn't
> sound fat enough:
> <http://www.sciencegirlrecords.com/chr15m/music/CD005/Chris%20McCormick%20-%20A%20Simple%20Plan.mp3>
> It's also written in a tracker.

I think I heard your track. I can't listen to it again right now (work),
but I believe there are a few simple rules to get your track to sound
good. "Mastering" actually means "preparing the track for the master",
but these days it involves a lot of fiddling with frequency ranges,
stereo field and dynamics. It is less an act of magic, more a matter of
taste. People complained to me because of the lack of dynamic in the
track as well. It really depends on what you intend the music to be used

I made these tracks with Buzz on Windows using a pair of Alesis M1
Active Mk2 nearfield monitors (because they are cheap and said to be ok,
however i'm now using alesis active 620, which sound about the same) and
an M-Audio FW 410 (which does currently not run with freebob, but has
excellent ADCs/DACs). I used Steinberg Wavelabs and Izotope Ozone 2 for
mastering. Ozone is a mastering plugin whose fancy graphics and shitty
cpu performance can only be excused by its comprehensible GUI and
excellent processing quality. I set the stereofield to mono for the
lower frequencies and gradually expanded the stereofield towards the
higher frequencies. I applied a bit of exciter to the high freqs, and
usually something like a -6dB mid-soft limiter - I tended to equalize
the tracks using the exciter.

When I moved to Linux I lacked a proper mastering tool, and I still do,
however I had a look at JAMin, and I believe that with some attention
and adaptions it can be turned into something that can be used as a
replacement for Ozone. Right now I'm missing an exciter section.

Hope that answers your questions.

Leonard Ritter

-- Freelance Art & Logic
-- http://www.leonard-ritter.com

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