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Mastering a bad mix

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Mastering a bad mix

Postby talktalk » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:04 pm

Recently I heard one of my friends tracks and it sounded good musically but the mix was really bad..well he took the bad mix to a master place not sure which one but the mastered song sounded amazing.
So lead me to think can mastering do such wonders for bad mixing?
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby Jack Ruston » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:13 pm

Sometimes...Totally depends on what is wrong with the mix.

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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby talktalk » Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:17 pm

well i dont mean to be an ass but I just thought his mix was kinda muddy but maybe i was wrong
Im just kinda in awe how great it sounds now
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby Daniel Drummond » Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:02 pm

If you can pleae post a sample of the original and mastered versions so we can check it out.
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby talktalk » Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:12 pm

Daniel Drummond wrote:If you can pleae post a sample of the original and mastered versions so we can check it out.

Hi Daniel

Well its not my music so I dont wanna upload something that my mate doesnt want people to hear yet.
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby MASSIVE Mastering » Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:16 pm

I'd assume that what you may have heard was a dull or perhaps "boring" sounding mix that was polished up.

I could be wrong - Maybe the mix actually sucked. In any case, a "play it safe" mix may have a lot of potential at the mastering stage. Not that it's a "bad" mix - Just a little dull or unexciting.
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby Syncratic » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:21 pm

could you upload, say a 10 second sample?
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby The real musiclover » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:42 am


That's the thing... Was it a bad mix? Just a bit dull sounding? Therefore if the mastering engineer knew his onions then through some good monitors in a good room he would hear what's wrong with the mix. Maybe he simply denoised it if applicable, applied a respectable eq, and boosted the volume a little, though hopefully he didn't smash it, hopefully?

Mind you, if the music is good then your halfway there. Erm?
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby Pete Thomas Music » Sat May 03, 2008 9:43 am

If all that is "wrong" (and that is subjective) is EQ - either due to bad monitoring or "bad" EQing in the mix, then a lot can be fixed in mastering.

Same with levels - a good multiband comporessor in the right hands can do wonders.

If the mix is too dry overall ambience can be added successfully in many cases.

If the nix is too wet overall, then not much can be done.

Mind you, to fix a bad nix in the mastering process takes a very very good and experienced mastering engineer.
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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby Pure-Tone » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:37 pm

most of the stuff i work on is badly mixed. careful selective eq then multiband peak limiting (if you have instruments that are jumping out too much). then multiband compression . a dynamic eq (like the sonalksis DQ1) can be very powerful too . im currently mastering a rare live level42 recording found on tape. there are a ton of resonant spikes and kick too loud etc etc. but with careful tool choices an acceptable finish is possible. just make a list of realistic goals before starting. keep in mind that your not going to get a perfect finish, so dont drive yourself mad trying to get it there.

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Re: Mastering a bad mix

Postby PKRain » Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:56 pm

I work with a lot of bad mixes, one thing I do that I haven’t heard much about is EQ automation. Sometimes it’s ALOT of automation in general. Like If they got their adlibs slamming the mid range too much I’ll add some automation where they sound out of place, then (if I can) I add some multi band compression to help glue it together. Sometime I even automate a linear phase wet/Dry knob on my compressor (I use Maximus). Sometimes a lot goes along way so be very careful and take breaks. The idea is to make the song sound better and louder without taking out its original flavor.
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