Kinh wrote:Is it necessary to do any widening in the mix if it's done in the master?
The reason I ask is most of my widening happens in the mix so when I get to the master there seems to be too much high on the sides which results in weaker mixes.
If you have control of the end result as a whole it would make sense to widen it there rather than in mix. Is this how you do it?
The rule of thumb is that if you can do it in the mix, do it there.
Some stuff - like monoizing the bass - may be easier to do on the full mix and it makes not a great deal of difference if it's done in the mix or at mastering.
If the mastering engineer notices something odd about the stereo image, he should tell; but his assumption will always be that you want it like you gave it to him. At most, ask the question and he'll give you feedback that allows you to change the mix and resend, if needed.
A possible reason to do something at mastering stage is that the monitoring and room at your mixing station is tricking you. In that case you either change the mixing station (go headphones for example, but you need to be aware on how they behave, or rent a studio for a couple hrs) or allow for changes at mastering - but again, only if you direct the mastering engineer to check that the stereo image is how you would like.. references are good for that kind of communication.
The other reason to do something at mastering (other than changing as a consequence of the mastering engineer's feedback) is that the mix is "finished" - i.e. you've run out of budget.
For self-made productions that's seldom an issue, as the budget is your own time, but if you have hired a mixing engineer or a studio, it may well happen.