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what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby mertayy » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:38 pm

tumburu wrote:I also have the "mastering" preamp from Alex but only found a use for it in the mix, where it is very nice, never in mastering. I tried but it didn't work for me, al least not until today. Sounds too colorful for that. But YMMV.


Thats a good point as it always depends on the mix ;) I think an ideal Nebulized mix usually does not need much coloration for any goal but if sound is dry (only used mostly super clean plug-ins with vsti's) then the right preset of Nebula can have its benefits.
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby vicnestE » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:34 am

Just bought TapeBooster, and try to master a song with it.
Really "WOW"....Use 2 2dB TapeBoost really saturate a rock song well. It can't be done by simply turning the source 4dB louder or using software with similar harmonics.

Based on the harmonics structure only, a 2dB program is somewhat similar to MBC-PRO MBV. But the TapeBoost is punchier and crispier.
Maybe there's something going on the dynamics side I neglect.

Anyway, TapeBoost is great for mastering and a great tape saturation program.
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby Barendse » Sat May 01, 2010 7:54 am

vicnestE wrote:Just bought TapeBooster, and try to master a song with it.
Really "WOW"....Use 2 2dB TapeBoost really saturate a rock song well. It can't be done by simply turning the source 4dB louder or using software with similar harmonics.

Based on the harmonics structure only, a 2dB program is somewhat similar to MBC-PRO MBV. But the TapeBoost is punchier and crispier.
Maybe there's something going on the dynamics side I neglect.

Anyway, TapeBoost is great for mastering and a great tape saturation program.


Twice 2db tapesaturation boost in the mastering stage? Man you must have a real clean mix there.

Anyway great program yeah, the drumkit loves this one. Can fatten up the snare or the drumbuss nicely. I also render all my tracks trhough it. I use it not for mastering, well maybe the 7/8 setting could be usefull but I found the free dte from Alex sounding nicer.
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby vicnestE » Sat May 01, 2010 11:45 am

Barendse wrote:
Twice 2db tapesaturation boost in the mastering stage? Man you must have a real clean mix there.

Anyway great program yeah, the drumkit loves this one. Can fatten up the snare or the drumbuss nicely. I also render all my tracks trhough it. I use it not for mastering, well maybe the 7/8 setting could be usefull but I found the free dte from Alex sounding nicer.

Ya so I take one of the 2dB TB+ to drum bus and leave one at mastering stage since it has the sound and spirit of rock music.
Thanks for the free dte tip, Alex's program is more wide than TB+ while TB+ provide punchier sound. Both have their use depends on what you want. 8-)
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby ErotiCore SteNch » Sun May 02, 2010 12:50 pm

ive been demoing different librarys,and have come to the conclusion that at some time i will have to buy tapebooster and r2r,but does those librarys give me the "sound"of those old machines??
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby mertayy » Sun May 02, 2010 1:06 pm

ErotiCore SteNch wrote:ive been demoing different librarys,and have come to the conclusion that at some time i will have to buy tapebooster and r2r,but does those librarys give me the "sound"of those old machines??


I also don't own them (besides demo's) but many agree's that its the closest tape sound you can get in a plug-in form.

Though its not released yet, I recently wrote my findings about a library called Behemoth. If you haven't yet, try the demo of it together with "so transcited" demo as though I'm pretty sure it won't be a similar sound to cdsoundmasters tape librarys, you might like the easily achieved glue/balance that can be brought to your style of music (together with other standart mastering processes).
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby ngarjuna » Sun May 02, 2010 1:25 pm

The tape machines and tape booster are awesome, flat out. But since this is a thread on mastering I have to wonder...

I guess I see a difference between being the only engineer working on a piece (so you end up doing de-facto mastering setting the levels at the end) and a mastering process.

In the first case, I can see how some people might do some of their coloration during different phases of the mix just to break up the CPU usage I guess. Although I can't really imagine mixing something to satisfaction only then to heavily alter the color of it, seems like something I would want to be mixing into (and I do indeed mix into my color programs).

In the second, I can't understand how these highly colored programs would figure into much mastering. And they're awesome programs, I use R2R and TapeBooster in every single mix but for a master? If I referred a client to a mastering engineer and got back a track that was slathered in 'the spirit of rock and roll' not only would that masterer never get another referral but I'd probably try to help my client get their money back. Maybe it's just me but my expectation for a mastering process is highest fidelity reproduction of the original material at proper levels and ready for whatever media is going to be used. I don't expect all this 'problem solving' because if I think there are problems with the mix, it's not done (although I know realistically that there will probably be some slight eq'ing for 'problem areas'); but a good mastering engineer would do this with a very light touch.

I'm not sure which kind of mastering the OP was even referring to, but either way I'm not so sure tape programs are what the OP is looking for.
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby ErotiCore SteNch » Sun May 02, 2010 2:06 pm

well i want to use the tapebooster and r2r for mixing ,i was just interested in if those librarys would give me the "analogue"sounds of those machines.

im demoing some different 3rd librarys for mastering right now,but will have to test some more the following days before i make my first buy
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby mertayy » Sun May 02, 2010 2:49 pm

ngarjuna wrote:I guess I see a difference between being the only engineer working on a piece (so you end up doing de-facto mastering setting the levels at the end) and a mastering process...


Well, I'm not the most experienced guy here to write about mastering but here are my opinions.

I don't disagree with any of your opinions but I guess what mastering means to someone can change by the genre of music they're working besides their understanding of sound aesthetics. Keep in mind though marketing can have a huge influence to mastering too...

Take for example the Steven slate mix's that he posted for his upcoming console program. Personally I found the mixes to be sounding pretty dull and boring. And sometime ago he shared a mastering example of one of those tracks and the low-mid was absolutely killed, louder and duller than anything else I know (keep in mind I'm commenting on sound, not song). At that thread not a single professional mastering engineer replyed from what I remember but the whole gearslutz community absolutely loved it...sonically it stinked (at least to me) but if you look to music as "product" then it would sell good with sound it had. Go figure... :roll: also while I fooled around with those mixes at certain approaches highly colored Nebula presets had a positive effect to the general sound of the mix, anyone can download those mix's from the thread to try various approaches.

A different example is what I noticed from my own stuff I did in the past. I once recorded a demo of a song I composed and really didn't care much for recording quality (acoustic guitars, female vocal slow-pop type music). It was basicly bombarded by Nebula presets and sounded very good (sweetish) if you don't mind recording quality problems. So a long time later I saw it while looking for something else and for fun I mastered it. I remember the low-mid's were too much, very muddy sound but the moment I decreased them for clarity the sweet sound was gone...so with cross-over approach for nebula after a while I (sort-of) brought back that quality and improving the clarity of the song.

If we were talking about jazz, classical music then these process's would be very wrong but for the style's mentioned coloration can work. Sometimes people wants smashed, shaped mixes and sometimes they only want corrective approach.

Sure this has nothing to do about saying "we'll fix it in the master" but expectations can change a lot and for the mastering engineer its very important to understand what the client wants (and most of them work on a huge variety of music types).
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Re: what 3rd party libraries is great for mastering?

Postby Barendse » Sun May 02, 2010 3:37 pm

ngarjuna wrote:The tape machines and tape booster are awesome, flat out. But since this is a thread on mastering I have to wonder...

I guess I see a difference between being the only engineer working on a piece (so you end up doing de-facto mastering setting the levels at the end) and a mastering process.

In the first case, I can see how some people might do some of their coloration during different phases of the mix just to break up the CPU usage I guess. Although I can't really imagine mixing something to satisfaction only then to heavily alter the color of it, seems like something I would want to be mixing into (and I do indeed mix into my color programs).

In the second, I can't understand how these highly colored programs would figure into much mastering. And they're awesome programs, I use R2R and TapeBooster in every single mix but for a master? If I referred a client to a mastering engineer and got back a track that was slathered in 'the spirit of rock and roll' not only would that masterer never get another referral but I'd probably try to help my client get their money back. Maybe it's just me but my expectation for a mastering process is highest fidelity reproduction of the original material at proper levels and ready for whatever media is going to be used. I don't expect all this 'problem solving' because if I think there are problems with the mix, it's not done (although I know realistically that there will probably be some slight eq'ing for 'problem areas'); but a good mastering engineer would do this with a very light touch.

I'm not sure which kind of mastering the OP was even referring to, but either way I'm not so sure tape programs are what the OP is looking for.


Adding subtle tapesaturation fx during mastering isn't unusual. It all depends on the mix, some mixes are screaming for tape saturation others don't.
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