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Question for mastering engineers (and those who love them)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Question for mastering engineers (and those who love them)
visible cow
Small dilemma:

I've got an instrumental electronic track I'm working on and I've noticed that I love running it through a pair of ez1073 preamp/eq's and then into a linked pair of FMR pbc-6a compressors. This is all going straight to a "nice" cassette deck (denon something or other). I'm recording all of this live in one take. It's part of an album I'm almost done with although this is the only track (so far) with the ez1073's on the master bus, the others use just the linked pbc-6a's doing some light compression.

I love the way it's sounding but I'm concerned that I'm taking a lot of options away from a mastering engineer. On the flip side I feel that with this set up I can hear and correct mistakes in the sounds much more easily. I've already spotted some unwanted noise that I was able to get rid of and I was also able to hear that one of my drum sounds was annoyingly (and slightly) out of tune.

I plan to release this music on vinyl and maybe cassette at some point early next year so I'm hoping I'm not printing anything too uncontrollable. I'm not looking for miracles from a mastering engineer but I don't want to step on their toes too much as I've certainly experienced what great mastering can do for a track. That said, using this audio path makes me feel very excited about the music and I'm hesitant to print a less satisfactory sound to tape just in the hope that mastering will get me back to this sound.

I should also add that I have decent monitoring in an acoustically treated room. I'm not going to claim it's perfect but I've been recording here for 7 years and feel like I more or less know it.

So, any ideas as to whether recording this way is going to hinder a mastering engineer too much or is it a good idea to get the best sound possible to tape?

I really appreciate any advice.
what i always tell my clients who ask me similar questions is this:

if you're putting processing on your 2-buss for effect, character, color, etc, and you like it.. then keep it there.. it's part of your song and vision...

if you're putting stuff there just to crank the volume, leave that to the mastering engineer.

also, another route, is you can tell your mastering engineer what gear you're using for that and maybe he or she has something similar but better.

one example was a client of mine who was using the UAD massive passive, he knew i had a hardware MP and asked me to just duplicate his settings with the hardware. the plug in is very good, but the hardware is a bit nicer.

so, yeah, i say process if it's part of your vibe, but don't do it just for volume's sake.

if you're making the mastering engineer's job easier because of what you're doing, then that's a win-win!
visible cow
Thanks so much for your input. I guess I need to determine how much of the processing I like just because it's louder and whether or not it is essential to the sound. My gut tells me to keep using what I'm using since it has helped me make arrangement decisions but maybe I can compromise and dial it down a bit.

I might try doing a quick mix with and without the stereo chain and try to match levels to make sure I'm making the right decision.
Hermetech Mastering
The mastering engineer is likely to very much appreciate the care and attention you have brought to your mixes, 2 buss processing or no. It won't be a problem!
mastering guys I have talked to all circle back around to the same thing. Leave them some room to work. Give them something with dynamics, bandwidth and even headroom! And also if you are shooting for vinyl, mind your phase.
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