You are here

What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:01 am

Title says it all really. Which tracks are you currently using for reference when you're mastering? Be nice to see some ambient/instrumental/folk/jazz stuff highlighted as well as the usual pop and rock fare. Cheers
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3407
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Gallifrey
"The performance is 99.9% of what people hear"- J. Leckie
"It's all complete nonsense, anyone who knows what they're doing can deliver great results with whatever comes to hand" - H. Robjohns

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:44 pm

On the synth/electronica side of things I often reference tracks from Oldfield's "The Songs Of Distant Earth". As an album it has a lot of dynamic range and to my ears the engineering is really good.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3349
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works.
Please consider supporting the SOS Forum Album project.
 

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:31 pm

I was just wondering how you'd differentiate between great production and good mastering? How do yo know what the mastering engineer did and what the original producer/mixer did?

You could only really tell what the mastering engineer did on albums that have been released some time ago and then remastered several years later. And even then you don't know whether the original master took away from the original mix or added to it. There have certainly been some very badly mastered CD releases of classic vinyl-era albums in the past.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10563
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby blinddrew » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:47 pm

But for the purposes of this discussion, does that matter? As long as the final mastered version functions as a good reference then it doesn't really matter surely?
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9099
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Wonks » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:52 pm

Well, then it becomes a 'favourite reference tracks' thread. But the word 'mastering' implies that it's specifically about that aspect of the mix. I know I'm being slightly pedantic, but there are times when the small differences matter - especially to those starting out who often have the idea that mastering can make a bad mix sound good and rebalance instruments etc.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10563
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:53 pm

Wonks wrote:I was just wondering how you'd differentiate between great production and good mastering? How do yo know what the mastering engineer did and what the original producer/mixer did?

I feed Ozone with it mainly, but also use it as reference listening when I've 'finished' something. For me, not being a mastering person as such, it's probably a bit of both but ultimately it's useful to me because whatever the mixing and/or mastering engineers did on that album it really works for me and is a 'sound' I aspire to match.
User avatar
Eddy Deegan
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3349
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 12:00 am
Location: Brighton & Hove, UK
Some of my works.
Please consider supporting the SOS Forum Album project.
 

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby DC-Choppah » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:04 am

These Contemporary and straight ahead Jazz and pop productions sound very good to me in all listening environments and over the years I have heard them in many places and they hold up unusually well. I often use these as a reference at the mastering stage.

Yellow Jackets: Daddy's Gonna Miss You , Manitee island. Listen how tight the bass and drums are and how everything is forward and clear. This is hard to do.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CszDlZiYhss


This Joe Farrell/Art Pepper album sounds really good everywhere. To duplicate this sound you have to get the mastering step right and bring everything forward while keeping the processing completely transparent. I worked with an experience producer who showed me how to get this sound. Quite a lot goes into it. I love the way this Jazz is presented.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiiphIIxSaM


This is an Al Schmitt jazz production and is really nice. Bill Evans said this was his favorite sounding record. Listen how it captures Bill Evans detailed technique. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO5dSvdkVTc


THIS sounds great on an iphone speaker! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17o1OlroNSE

Magic!
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1299
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:46 am

Thanks BD, DC and Eddy, keep em coming.
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3407
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Gallifrey
"The performance is 99.9% of what people hear"- J. Leckie
"It's all complete nonsense, anyone who knows what they're doing can deliver great results with whatever comes to hand" - H. Robjohns

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Arpangel » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:35 am

I don't have any reference tracks, as I like to start with a blank canvas, and never know where I'm going to end up, sonically.
I could say I have reference "vibes" or atmospheres though, that are always in my mind, lurking, like guiding lights.
The album "You" by Gong, any organ recordings by Messiaen, piano by Satie, and anything by Aphrodite's Child, or the folk band Renaissance, these people are always holding my hand.
User avatar
Arpangel
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2607
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Zukan » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:14 am

For percussion and a mix of orchestral with synthetic sounds I use Devdas. It's actually the soundtrack from a Bollywood movie but it is produced very well.

For EDM I use the following:

Amon Tobin
Tipper
Stuart Stunami Timberlake
Sam Gellaitry
Stimming

They tend to lean towards intimate productions but are good nonetheless.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8395
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:37 am

Any particular tracks you can point us to?
User avatar
Dr Huge Longjohns
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3407
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Gallifrey
"The performance is 99.9% of what people hear"- J. Leckie
"It's all complete nonsense, anyone who knows what they're doing can deliver great results with whatever comes to hand" - H. Robjohns

Re: What are your current fave mastering reference tracks?

Postby CS70 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:09 pm

Wonks wrote:Well, then it becomes a 'favourite reference tracks' thread. But the word 'mastering' implies that it's specifically about that aspect of the mix. I know I'm being slightly pedantic, but there are times when the small differences matter - especially to those starting out who often have the idea that mastering can make a bad mix sound good and rebalance instruments etc.

Agree. Don't think it's pedantic. :) It makes sense to distinguish between mastering and mixing only because they deal with different concerns.

With a digital production what we reference is the mix. With a good mix, mastering should well be inaudible. It's just the same, louder.

For cross-system playability, so much of it is in the mix that it's hard to think of it as primarily mastering function.

It was different on vinyl/tape as final medium, however - mastering there was specifically needed also to translate the mix to the deficiencies of the medium, and thus keep the essence of the mix sound in a medium which couldn't really carry it all (especially in different parts of the disc :D).

So if one wants to get a "vinyl finish" feel, part of mastering would be to band limit, reduce the lows etc. - stuff that used to be done to adapt a tape master to a vinyl master.

A rip of "Thriller" vinyl edition is excellent for that.

Just wrote a couple posts on the subject in my blog. :)
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4809
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page