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Michael McBroom

CD burning -- what do you use?

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On 10/20/2020 at 9:18 PM, Michael McBroom said:

Well, apparently CD Architect lives on -- and is being marketed by Sony, no less. A bit too pricey for my tastes. Here's a link to v5.2 at Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sony-CD-Architect-5-2-Download/dp/B00DQG89XU

 

 

I have been using CD Architect for over a decade now and i will probably be using it for another decade. Im wish it had DDP though, as i use another program for that.

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I've been using burnaware recently instead of my old standby, CDBXP. Mostly because burnaware has one feature that CDBXP lacks. It allows the user to specify the volume balance between tracks. This is a feature that has ended up saving me a lot of time and aggravation. Previously I spent a lot of time with my mixes getting them to play at the same (or at least close) relative volumes. But burnaware takes care of this automatically. Because of this, I've used it to burn several CDs and it's worked well.

 

Edited by Michael McBroom

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16 hours ago, Michael McBroom said:

I've been using burnaware recently instead of my old standby, CDBXP. Mostly because burnaware has one feature that CDBXP lacks. It allows the user to specify the volume balance between tracks. This is a feature that has ended up saving me a lot of time and aggravation. Previously I spent a lot of time with my mixes getting them to play at the same (or at least close) relative volumes. But burnaware takes care of this automatically. Because of this, I've used it to burn several CDs and it's worked well.

 

That's a bit risky to trust an automated algorithm to master your songs. This is why Mastering is so important. And one of the tasks during mastering is setting  the average RMS level. Peak level is next to useless as that only shows the loudest transient. Average RMS or LUFS tells you the actual loudness of the entire song. 

I use a free trial version called YouLearn Loudness Meter https://youlean.co/youlean-loudness-meter/ and put it last in the effects chain of my master Buss. It has presets for standards set by different formats.  I also Master with Wave Lab Elements which has a Global Analyzer which gives the results for the whole song.   The end result is once you know how "loud" a song is you can either turn it down ( rare) or slap a  compressor / limiter in the master buss and push it a little. I'm using a combo of the LP Multi band and the BT Brickwall which good results so far.   You have to sometimes go all the way back to your tracks and put a lid on all overs and loud transients at that level. But Mastering is as important as the Tracking and Mixing to having a good output. 

In the old days these were often 3 different professions and people and for the most part they were specialists at there jobs. 

Tracking- Producer, Tape op and Recording engineer. 

Mixing- Producer, Tape op and Recording Engineer 

Mastering- Mastering Engineer, Lathe operators 

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Thanks for your perspective, John. I think that perhaps the only reason why burnaware has worked as well as it has is because of the amount of mastering I'd already put into my songs. So it didn't have much to do.  I've been using a plugin called TRacks CS Metering that provides me with a perceived loudness index as well as RMS, plus it has a couple of VU meters that are more detailed than what I get with the standard Cakewalk tracks. It also shows a readout of the file's actual frequency output. There's even a visual representation of left to right balance. I find it helpful, all in all. It gives me a decent glimpse of what's going on. So, I've been using this to monitor my Cakewalk files before I convert them to WAV for burning, which allows for me to make any last minute adjustments to the mix.

Thanks for the tip on the YouLearn Loudness Meter. I'll certainly take a look at it. This whole process is still pretty much a learning experience for me, although I do feel I've come a long way.

Edited by Michael McBroom

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10 hours ago, John Vere said:

Thanks for the tip about T-Racks, Just downloading now. Seems like a good Mastering tool. 

I recently acquired T-Racks 5 and haven't had a chance to explore all of the modules yet. But thanks for the tip!

I just looked and the TR5 Metering looks like a great tool! I will try it out!

T-Racks 5 Metering.PNG

Edited by abacab

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Audacity Manual

Tutorial - Burning music files to a CD

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/burning_music_files_to_a_cd.html
 

Quote

This page provides an overview of how to burn an audio CD.

Audacity does not burn CDs directly but audio files created with Audacity can be used with a CD burning application to create an audio CD.

 

Edited by abacab

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Got this T-racks installed, was a lot of hoops and 1.7 GB?? oh well but the meter seems to work great the rest of the stuff is a 9 day demo? Not clear what you get for free at this point but will dig around. 

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12 minutes ago, John Vere said:

 Not clear what you get for free at this point but will dig around. 

Not much. Mostly demos...

I got the full version with Total Studio Max2.

T-RackS CS:

Quote

First, you'll find out that you got the Classic EQ module, a 6-band parametric mastering EQ, and we have also provided you with a basic metering section which contains detailed displays of peak and RMS values of your audio material. Both the EQ and meters can run as separate plug-ins in your DAW, or as part of the integrated T-RackS suite

If you are working in your DAW, you will notice that all the T-RackS processors have been installed. To use a processor not previously purchased or used in demo mode, simply select it as a plug-in on your channel strip. You'll be asked if you'd like to visit the custom shop to activate the demo period of 14 days

 

Edited by abacab

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OK that would be cool because it's often months before I get around to trying demos. So sounds like If I don't open them they will still work later on for the 9 day period> Then you wait around for deals on the ones you like. 

I'm still exploring better ways to master from within Cakewalk. I still depend on Wavelab because I can work faster and more precisely. 

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1 hour ago, John Vere said:

I'm still exploring better ways to master from within Cakewalk. I still depend on Wavelab because I can work faster and more precisely. 

Check out this video on mastering in Cakewalk. This guy has a good series on YouTube for Cakewalk techniques.

 

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Yes he covers every thing and it's great he points you at some good free software. I guess the only thing I disagreed with is using those saturation and console emulators plug ins. He does stress that these are optional so forgiven. 

Span is OK but I'm really liking the free iK Multimedia Meter you recommended earlier in this thread, thanks for pointing that out. It's seems just a hair more user friendly than the free Youlearn one I was using, I ran both side by side and the results were both identical. 

I then tried the iK Brickwall limiter and was also impressed how easy it was to set my loudness, in his video he uses the free Loud Max plug in. I just downloaded that and will try it.  I was using the BT Brickwall but the Meter plug ins showed I was hitting above the threshold I set of -.4db. If I set the iK Brickwall at -.4 that's what the meter will show. 

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I've been using the BT Brickwall as well -- extensively in fact. I've found that sometimes I still get clipping when I use it, so I end up turning down parts of the mix. I guess I should give the IK Brickwall a try. I have a bunch of IK stuff installed, guess I need to search through what I have.

I agree with you about the saturation plug-ins and the console emulators. I have no use for the emulators, I've found. And after trying out the saturation plug-ins, I've deleted most instances of them. Seems mostly all they do is add distortion to an increased signal, which I have no use for.

 

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