i should probably put "mastering" in quotes haha, i don't know what i'm doing.
i used to do some multiband compression but it feels like overdoing it now.. now i concentrate on getting the mix as good as i can beforehand..
so lately just been doing a bit of EQ if needed, followed by smackos tape station (ableton rack plugin thing). i turn off the fake tape noise and warble, and usually turn the lowpass and bias knobs right up (so, not trying to make it sound like tape but just using smackos's compression/limiting).. start by turning boost and compress right down, then turn one and/or the other up as needed. sometimes only slightly, sometimes heavily depending on the track.. cuz i love how it sounds.
then i look at the spectrum analysis and if it's noticeably lopsided, tweak the pre-smackos EQ slightly to even it up (again depending on the track, some are meant to be lopsided)..
sooo basically i use a magic loudness plugin and make actual mastering engineers cry =)
sometimes i look at/listen to reference tracks that have a similar sound to what i want, compare their freq spectrum and try to shape mine similarly. i usually forget tho.
i seem to have totally overdone it on 'ancipital', it's way more squashed and dead sounding than intended..
edit- sometimes for "mastering" i record to cassette, trying out different levels to see how much tape comp/saturation sounds good.. eg 'the kwem' is straight off tape, i liked how it sounded with that. preferred straight digital for mosquito tho..
edit2- oh yeh and i'm doing this on headphones, i don't have studio monitors.. dunno how alright it is compared to proper mastered tracks.. i listen back on laptop speaker, earbuds, crappy car stereo, some 1970s hifi speakers, and my good headphones at the lowest possible volume, to try to step back and get an idea of what it ACTUALLY sounds like as a whole..
Edited by wobbegongs, 20 September 2018 - 05:27 PM.