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Larry Jones

How Do You Master an Album?

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18 hours ago, Leizer said:

I cheat. I use Izotope Ozone.

I was going to post this, except that's not what Larry's asking. That's the answer to "how do you master a song?" 😂 Actually, my full answer to that is "I use the 'heartbreak method,' which is to spend years reading books, forums, studying videos, practicing, auditioning plug-ins, then get an Ozone Elements 8 license free when I buy Vacuum Pro, then try a few presets and realize that I'd be lying if I said it doesn't do a great job right out of the box. And that's the 'lite' version!"

Larry wants to know how you master an album, as in a collection of songs so that they're all listenable together no matter how different they might sound individually. Like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or  Nevermind or Rumours or Siamese Dream or Disintegration or any number of great rock or pop albums that have harder and softer songs together but still sound coherent.

Which is an excellent question.

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I've mastered an EP, not a full album, but I've also mastered a collection of backing tracks for gigging, and I used exactly the same process:

1. Mix each song in their own CbB projects - don't try to make the output too loud, in fact I make it purposely quieter so I've plenty of headroom for mastering.

2. Depending on the genre, you may want to check you've got a consistent sound across the songs when you're mixing.

3. Export each stereo mix as a wav file.

4. Create a new CbB project, and import each stereo wav on a separate track (so you've got a song per track)

5. Go through the mastering process almost as if it's a massively long song. 

What I tend to do, is master each track separately, but when I start mastering a new track, I start playback at the end of the previous song so I can check that the changeover "works".

To keep CPU use to a minimum, I'll freeze a track once it's mastered.

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6 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

Larry wants to know how you master an album, as in a collection of songs so that they're all listenable together no matter how different they might sound individually. Like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or  Nevermind or Rumours or Siamese Dream or Disintegration or any number of great rock or pop albums that have harder and softer songs together but still sound coherent.

Right, that was my question. Thanks to everyone for showing me how. I know I'm tilting at windmills, but I thought I'd try an album. The Studio One Project Page seems like the perfect platform to sequence and assemble this, but there's all the preliminary stuff like writing, playing, singing and mixing. I'd best get started. 🙃

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Pfft, you can fix all of that stuff in the master - don't let that "actually playing the song" business hold you up! 😁

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50 minutes ago, Lord Tim said:

Pfft, you can fix all of that stuff in the master - don't let that "actually playing the song" business hold you up! 😁

Hahaha! I know, there's probably a plugin for that!

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5 hours ago, Larry Jones said:

Hahaha! I know, there's probably a plugin for that!

 

I think they sell it on the dark web though!!

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