No, honestly I can see neither an advantage nor any sense mastering outside your DAW. Years ago I thought about buying a mastering software, in this case Ozone 6, but what for? Would the result be significantly better? Or even a difference like day and night? Or is there anything you can’t do within Renoise? I really don’t think so, so what for and why should I spend hundreds of Euros at least? If your mix is good, you won’t have to work that much on your mastering. I think the less you have to work on your mastering the better is the result.
I love composing with a master chain on but a full chain can add too much latency (even when disabled) and consume too much CPU so normally I just have a basic low latency limiter on and then master it in the free Cakewalk with Ozone9 when done.
Most won’t notice the end result and it’s certainly never night and day if you have a good mix but once you have tried Ozone (9) you likely won’t stop using it, it’s just convenient and it does give you a lot of control but you are absolutely correct it’s not needed to get a professional sound.
I once tried Ozone version 1 or 2, it was so fragile to use, I wasn’t ready for it and I never touched it again before I bought Ozone 9 Elements on sale for $49 (which I thought was a super bargain) and then upgraded it to Tonal Balance bundle on another sale for $199.
yes, because mastering process is not the stage in which you consider elements in mixing realm - or if that’s the case, eitther get back to mixing stage… or tell the mixing engineer what should be edited in which manner
if you want quick results i recommend izotope products, but if you want to understand it completely, avoid it for starters…
Also i can recommend puremix for tutorials… (not freeware tho)
Brian is amazing!
you will learn about how to approach it and many more…
if you are not satisfied with the mix, then fix it… do not transfer it to the ‘mastering’ stage to fix mistakes - or undesired results…
Mastering is not ‘fixing’ stage at all - like most of the folks think…
Why? It’s the same like any other, isn’t it? You can also use it as a parametric eq. Or am I missing something?
Guess you’re right. But I don’t think the possibilities within Renoise are inconvenient. In my case there’s not much to do in relation to the mastering. The mix is crucial! In the master channel I only use monoizer, mixer eq and a limiter. In my opinion the maximizer from Renoise is good enough, the only job it has to do is to avoid clipping and maybe to boost the signal before the threshold, and that’s what it’s doing. I don’t think there’s a need for spending more than 200 Euros for the standard version of Ozone or more than 400 Euros for the advanced version just because it maybe is more convenient in some cases. Even the mixer eq is not really needed in the master channel, I just boost the lows and highs slightly by 0,1 dB and the mids by 0,05 dB, because in the end it all sounds “clearer”.
I agree, but luckily I “only” paid in total $249 for Ozone 9 Advanced, Neutron 3 Advanced, Nectar 3 and Tonal Balance Control 2, these plugins are included in the Tonal Balance bundle when it was on sale, to this day I think that was worth it. I rarely buy things fully priced hence why I don’t own Serum sadly
Mastering (and/or mixing) outside the DAW has some reasons for me. Both in workflow and in quality.
Depending on the track and the destination of the piece I’m choosing to mix and master in Renoise, or outside.
For more complex tracks I like to export multitrack the unmixed channels. Then load them in for example Studio One, or Cubase. This gives me a separation in the process of production and post production. Keeps the work environment for the task I want to perform (not hassling around between devices used in production, but not in post) and freezes the production in some way. So you are forced to move forward. And it’s also less consuming on the machine resources (CPU and memory).
Depending on the project I’m also sending a proper mixdown made in Renoise, or in an external DAW, to a mastering engineer. The outboard gear they use can’t be beaten by what’s in a DAW. Beside that they are specialized on the subject and having a second pair of ears. After producing a large scale track for a couple of weeks it can be hard to be critical on your own sound while mixing and mastering.
All can be done in Renoise too. These are choices I make in the process.
actually it’s not complicated at all… You use the same tools for both mixing and mastering… eq, compression etc…
well - what it does give you depends on how you use it, but the tools are the same, the idea is not… In mastering phase you focus on ‘complete’ picture, not on separate elements… or if you do, it’s not mastering process then, it’s all-in-one…
If you do not get the ‘vibe that you like’ in the mixing stage - it’s not done yet. Mastering is emphasizing material that you already have mixed, not fixing it to your taste.
example: the band sends you the mixed song, and they want you to master it… They are satisfied with the mix… What are you going to do? emphasize it or adjust to your personal ‘vibe’? but in that case the song will not sound like bend intended to… so at this point it’s not a mastering at all…
now you have to define what ‘beating’ is. If you compare hardware la2a to TDR kotelnikov software, what’s the result then?
also, Andrew Scheps would not agree with you, since there are professional mastering engineers who often reach for ITB mix/master only… It’s more of a myth than actual facts why one is better over another.
also, if you analyze what certain outboard does to signal in every aspect, you could also imitate that ITB, with far less artifacts…
Look I know I can become much much better at mixing and so far “I can not make it done”, I always end up needing to sprinkle stardust on it, no doubt about it, also you seem very pure and classical about the mastering stage and that it’s just refinement of a mix, but I think it can depend on what genre you make as the tone/vibe changes when heavily compressed and limited, it becomes part of the sound and therefore I like it on while finishing a song, I don’t begin with it on I put it on after I have build an initial sound of the song, but that happens after already after half an hour or so.
I tend to Master in REAPER. I like separating the production. Get the mix down, then export to REAPER for polishing. I have also Mastered in Renoise alone, both with only Renoise DSP and with plugins. I love the builtin Renoise stuff. I also love most of my plugins. Hard to choose sometimes. Comes down to what sound I want and how I want to go about getting that sound. Usually when reaching for a plugin its because I don’t want to build a chain for the same effect. Renoise gives you most of the building blocks you need to craft most of the sounds you want, you just have to fit the pieces together. (I really need to start messing with Doofers more.)
Edit: Forgot to name-drop plugins.
Any mastering chain I use as of late includes something from Black Rooster Audio and Voxengo. I love Elephant. BRA’s VLA series is fantastic. Been using VLA-FET alot (“all” mode, Auto Fast, default attack/release). Also, been using Kazrog KClip more and more. Varisaturator and Shumovick (which I have started using a lot more, especially on drums and sends) from Voxengo are bread and butter.
I stopped nerding about mastering when I decided to spend the time learning about composing, mixing etc. I think mastering is a job in itself and I won’t get into that. The time cost / benefit on the tracks is too low for me.
I try to get the cleanest mix possible with precise eq and compression on each track, monoing basses etc.
On the master track I often have tdr kotelnilov in “slow/transparent” mode followed by limiter6 to increase the volume… but not by crazy amounts. And that’s all.
You export “unmixed tracks” before your mix is finished and you’re mixing afterwards outside of your DAW?
Everybody has its own way.
You can also separate without exporting anything. First compose, second finish the mix and third execute mastering. I can imagine having fun mastering outside of the DAW and fiddle here and there for a better detail, I just can’t imagine that the difference is worth the effort. Maybe I’m not audiophile enough.
But if you have these resources, why not using them? I don’t care how much CPU or memory is needed, if my machine can handle it, which luckily is the case, then I’ll go for it. That’s the only reason why I own this machine aka a powerful computer. Use your resources! My CPU usage while composing is always around 25-30%, so hopefully there’s some room for more left.
You’re a professional musician and you’re successfully creating music for a living?
Personally I wouldn’t like to spend money for that, I prefer facing the challenge doing it on my own. And of course there are A LOT of pairs of ears out there, way more than just two, for example in this forum. Not to mention the guys around you in real life. Not to mention the possibility of using all the different playback devices like your car radio, your studio headphones and so on. For me it’s good enough if the feedback is positive and if it sounds “good” on all the different playback devices. But I have to mention that I’m a noob and not a pro.
That’s what I did for years, but I broke with that some time ago. Now I compose with an empty master channel, but there are a few devices within the single instrument channels like eq, filters or maybe a compressor (soft compression just for regulating the peaks), after that I finish the mix. And then, after finishing the whole mix (including all the parallel processing), I use the limiter in the master channel for the first time, boost the signal before the threshold and the volume of the whole sound. And that’s it, nothing more to do relating to the mastering. Song finished.
The benefit is a better, deeper sound and a higher probability that it sounds good everywhere. But you’re right, as long as you’re not creating music for a living it has to be enough knowing the mastering basics and some “tricks”. Doesn’t cost much, just a few minutes of your time, and it’s worth it.