Mix Buss Compression / Limiting – check your mix, don’t wreck your mix

Sorry for the terrible title everyone. I wrote this in reply to a client wondering about all this sort of thing. Standard disclaimer: it’s not perfect but it can help a lot. “I know everyone mixes into compression these days but I’m not much of a fan. Main reason being, everyone always overdoes it (100% […]

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Guess what? Sidechaining!

Been a while eh? Here’s another one anyway. Client: “How was the kick drum level in the mix?” Kick drum wise, it’s actually a little hard to say. I mean, it’s absolutely fine level-wise from a certain point of view. With what seemed to be very heavy sidechaining holding absolutely everything rigidly in place though, […]

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Sample rate, bit depth etc

Just wrote this out and thought I should post it on here… probably posted the same kind of thing before but never mind. *** Q: “Should I be bouncing [at a] higher [sample rate/bit depth]?” Re bit depth / sample rate… Quick explanation. Terminology thing first: bit rate is different to bit depth. Bit rate […]

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Monoing everything below whateverHz on your master buss

Note: I started writing this article FOUR YEARS ago. And it’s still going on. Might as well publish it, eh… It’s a familiar pattern. Somewhere along the way (thanks internet!), something that is relevant in certain specific circumstances became standard for everything all the time. A practice that’s applicable and required in some situations has […]

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Brief notes on MS stuff

[Another one from an email. I have edited my reply just a little for clarity] “Do you do Mid/Side type processing when you master? Like, compress it separately maybe?” ….. it depends. It all always depends. MS is The Big Thing atm, like sidechaining has been, MB compression before that… it will pass. Just another […]

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Musings on mastering your own stuff

It’s happened a few times now, where I’ve had to dig some old relic I made in a former life and master it. Luckily back in the old days I was thorough, and have a 24-bit premaster with headroom, but that’s beside the point. It’s also beside the point that the mix prompting me to […]

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24 vs 16 bit for the bedroom producer 

Ok so I’ve written this about 50 times over the years, just wrote it again and thought I’d paste it here. If I’ve directed you here by email, apologies for my laziness…  Question: “my track peaks at -11dB, do I have to turn everything up to make it over -6dBFS? I don’t want to mess […]

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Headroom. Again. But simpler.

[So, errr, that ‘6dB on pain of death’ waffle was a bit opaque. Someone actually told me they had no idea WTF I was talking about. Sorry about that. Fortunately, this question comes up a lot. And it came up again today. Hopefully this explanation is a bit more straightforward… Cheers all!]   Can I ask […]

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6dB headroom on pain of death, and other ramblings

​Instagram debate: why do people believe mastering engineers will only accept mixes that peak at -6 on your daw meters? Where did this come from and provided it’s not clippped what’s stopping the mastering engineer gaining it down if needed? Looooooooool It’s because people take a general recommendation (‘leave some headroom, about 6dB will do’) […]

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Another thought for the day

Mixing into heavy buss processing that you then turn off, is like being really, really drunk. Under those particular conditions, all the decisions you take make perfect sense. Then you wake up sober, and think ‘why the bloody hell did I do that?’.

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