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What's on your Master Buss if anything?

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What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby TheLegit » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:07 pm

I understand a few engineers like to put some plugins on the master buss off the bat, for example maybe a tape plugin, EQ, compressor. Do you guys put anything on there or leave that completely free for Mastering to take care of?
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby desmond » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:14 pm

It's common these days for the master buss to get some processing, but when and what will vary.

While I'm composing, I don't tend to have anything on there, and I don't have templates that feature plugins here, often because these plugins induce some latency which can be a pain to deal with.

At some point though during the process, when stuff starts to sound good, I'll probably put a bit of buss compression on there to start to gel things together, but not usually much more than that until I really get to a more finished mix stage.

Then I'll start putting various finishing tools there, maybe some tape saturation, mastering stuff like Ozone etc.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby CS70 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 4:50 pm

TheLegit wrote:I understand a few engineers like to put some plugins on the master buss off the bat, for example maybe a tape plugin, EQ, compressor. Do you guys put anything on there or leave that completely free for Mastering to take care of?

I always start with nothing, but for pop/rock stuff I observe that I almost invariably end up with a Waves J77 Stereo tape emulation in one of the "as flat as possible" modes - to get the natural compression of the final print to tape.

I sometimes have Cakewalk's ProChannel console emulation going on, which is subtle but imparts a character, and occasionally a little EQ to get the feel I want.

My starting point is that I want to hear the "right" sound from my speakers, and what I get back from the mastering engineer shouldn't sound any different at all thru the same speakers.

If it is different, either I've messed things up, or he has! :D
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby IAA » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:21 pm

Same here, nothing but metering.
On final mixdown, Izotope Neutron.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby The Elf » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:26 pm

TheLegit wrote:I understand a few engineers like to put some plugins on the master buss off the bat, for example maybe a tape plugin, EQ, compressor. Do you guys put anything on there or leave that completely free for Mastering to take care of?
I'm not a fan of EQ on the master - if I felt I needed it then I would be going back to the sources. To me it's liked editing a photo with blue plastic over the screen.

Get your mix sounding of its best with nothing muddying the waters - then add mix buss processing to get that final 1%.

All IMHO.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby Jack Ruston » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:13 pm

For me ALWAYS.

1. EQ - This will be on from the get go, with added highs, high mids and lows. But I will sometimes change the amount and frequency of the high mids when I see exactly how the vocal is sitting. The only time I don't use the EQ is if it's JUST a guitar and vocal.

2. Compression - this is envelope shaping the mix effectively - it's making the all the sources react to the loudest source at any given point. I'll put it on as soon as I have a very rough balance.

3. 'Tape' - Acustica Taupe on the C4 preset - I very rarely find it doesn't do something beneficial.

There's no other way to get the mix to sound the way it will sound by processing the bus. I'm not saying it's better, but there's no other way to do it. But it IS better. A LOT better.

J :lol:
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:02 pm

I have the following on my Master Buss from day one, but only activate them once the mix is coming together.

1. Pink Noise MIxing: mda TestTone with pink noise at -18dB, for basic mix setup.

2. Final EQ Tweaks: Tokyo Dawn Labs SlickEQ M

3. Bus Glue: Tokyo Dawn Labs Kotelnikov GE (under 3dB gain reduction)

Occasionally other plug-ins will put in an appearance on my Master Buss, but mostly they are on individual channels.

All my final mixes still go through the standalone Har-Bal utility for final EQ tweaks and balancing - even if the changes it suggests are tiny, I've never known it do anything but enhance the mix.


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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby blakedirksen » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:41 pm

Any recommendations for a tape plugin that would work well in this situation? I would like to give it a try.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby desmond » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:48 pm

blakedirksen wrote:Any recommendations for a tape plugin that would work well in this situation? I would like to give it a try.

Everyone's idea of what "Tape" sounds like tends to be different.

My fave magnetix flux processor of choice is Softube's "Tape", mostly because it's quite subtle - it's not the kind of crank it up overblown compress/distortion thing that some people seem to favour.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby blakedirksen » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:57 pm

desmond wrote:
blakedirksen wrote:Any recommendations for a tape plugin that would work well in this situation? I would like to give it a try.

Everyone's idea of what "Tape" sounds like tends to be different.

My fave magnetix flux processor of choice is Softube's "Tape", mostly because it's quite subtle - it's not the kind of crank it up overblown compress/distortion thing that some people seem to favour.

Thanks! Will check it out.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby CS70 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:04 pm

As above, I use the Waves J37 (ops see now I had mispelled the name), but Jack's Taupe is great as well - Acustica plugins are weird and terribly coded, but they generally sound very good. I am sure there are others.

There are some that I do not like in that role, Waves Kramer tape for example does nothing for me.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby Rwkitch » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:12 pm

EQ, compressor for glue, tape, Voxengo SPAN.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:22 pm

blakedirksen wrote:Any recommendations for a tape plugin that would work well in this situation? I would like to give it a try.

I have a few (including Slate Digital's Virtual Tape Machines, but why not try the 14-day fully functional demo of Fuse Audio Labs' Flywheel. I'm auditioning it at the moment, and have been impressed.

It's rather versatile for more more extreme track duties, but can also be subtle enough to be placed on the Master Buss for some added glue and oomph.

Image

https://fuseaudiolabs.de/#/pages/product?id=300989942

If you like the demo version and you're quick (before Nov 21st 2020) you can buy it for just £22.50, which is an absolute bargain in my book:


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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby RichardT » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:35 pm

While I’m mixing I have some glue compression from Magic Death Eye Stereo, sometimes a little EQ from Fabfilter Pro Q3, but I take the compression off before sending for mastering. My mastering engineer can judge the master bus processing better than I can with his much better monitoring system. There’s no point having two sets of compression processing.
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Re: What's on your Master Buss if anything?

Postby CS70 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:55 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
blakedirksen wrote:Any recommendations for a tape plugin that would work well in this situation? I would like to give it a try.

I have a few (including Slate Digital's Virtual Tape Machines, but why not try the 14-day fully functional demo of Fuse Audio Labs' Flywheel.

Haha Martin, you keep me checking your Fuse Audio recommendations and I end up buy the things! :D I've put the EQ you once recommended to good use so gonna check this out as well.
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