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CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

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CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby MegaDude » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:08 am

I tried searching the archives for discussion of this, but didn't find what I was looking for.

There were some awesome threads about which of cdsoundmaster's tape programs were great for use in mastering.

I'm wondering if people have similar advice about which of the vintage tube programs (if any) people are using for mastering, and where in their mastering chain the programs are appearing. And are you using tubebooster during the mastering process? (I have been using the cdsoundmaster tape programs but not tape booster during my 'home/hobby mastering'.)

Any thoughts? So far, I've only been using the tube programs on single channels, and have been very cautious and exploratory for the most part. But I've loved the results.
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby richie43 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:52 am

Any answers to your questions will be subjective to opinion, of course. Any of the tube programs, as well as any preset in general, is usable in mastering if your ears hear it as a desirable audio quality in your mastering. Personally, I try to get the mixes as great as possible so very little processing is needed in mastering. Mastering is not the place to "fix" things, or impart radical tonal changes to the audio. Unless it is either desired by you or a client, or especially if you have no access to the multi-tracks. But to your actual question.... I like to use one of the very clean tube presets, like the Bugle-Boy 3K preset, as the very first in my chain for any track. I have been experimenting recently with batch processing whole projects, track by track, running tracks through an entire accurate emulated analog recording chain, and the clean tube is the first preset. So far I have been needing much less eq-ing or filtering and the projects are sounding more cohesive, have more depth, and they just sound better. I would imagine a clean tube would be awesome as a first in a mastering chain as well, but I think that I would not use any tube booster in mastering. Individual tracks, YES!! Sorry if I was a little OT and long winded. Just try different things and let your ears decide whether or not you like it.
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby faun2500 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:43 am

Yeah, Just use your ears and try some different ones.

I personally haven't been using the VTC's in mastering as most of them change the frequency too much (I do use them quite a bit on some channels but I might).

I might try those clean versions though...


Do they actually add/do anything as they are clean versions?
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby richie43 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm

faun2500 wrote:Yeah, Just use your ears and try some different ones.

I personally haven't been using the VTC's in mastering as most of them change the frequency too much (I do use them quite a bit on some channels but I might).

I might try those clean versions though...


Do they actually add/do anything as they are clean versions?


Well, as many Nebula presets, yes the clean versions add something, it is just something very subtle, much like real analog gear. I spent over 25 years in nearly all analog, and the biggest trap I fell into with digital audio is that big audio changes are so easy to achieve that I got lost in them and forgot about subtlety. The clean tube presets are subtle like the difference between a clean solid state preamp and a clean tube preamp. They impart a very subtle (but awesome) "tubeyness".
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby faun2500 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:50 am

Yes I agree, they do do something. But I have just been blown away by my new mastering chain I have started using including the VTC!

Details coming shortly...


:D
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby richie43 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:26 pm

faun2500 wrote:Details coming shortly... :D


Do tell..... 8-)
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby MegaDude » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:41 am

This is the sort of thing I'd like to know too... what the chain your using that incorporates the tube program looks like.

I'm using logic pro 8.

my chain is basically the following:

linear phase EQ, sparingly applied
FreeG (for gainstaging/prefader metering)
Alex B's modern white console, buss group BGC
FreeG
Alex B's modern white console, MBM (console out with EQ sat)
FreeG
The Glue (for compression
FreeG
cdsoundmaster tape program, usually a 30 Studer or Otari
ikm multiband limiter (sparingly used)
ikm metering (for overall metering)

I don't use tapebooser on the master channel.

I'm not sure where would be best in this sort of chain to even stick the tube programs.

I've been using the clean tube programs + low tubebooster on most every channel prior to mixing, so it might even be that I am tubed enough.

I know that I should use my ears, and I am... but it is also nice to have a bit of theory to guide the ears along too.... thoughts?
:D
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby MegaDude » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:39 am

richie43 wrote:Any answers to your questions will be subjective to opinion, of course. Any of the tube programs, as well as any preset in general, is usable in mastering if your ears hear it as a desirable audio quality in your mastering. Personally, I try to get the mixes as great as possible so very little processing is needed in mastering. Mastering is not the place to "fix" things, or impart radical tonal changes to the audio. Unless it is either desired by you or a client, or especially if you have no access to the multi-tracks. But to your actual question.... I like to use one of the very clean tube presets, like the Bugle-Boy 3K preset, as the very first in my chain for any track. I have been experimenting recently with batch processing whole projects, track by track, running tracks through an entire accurate emulated analog recording chain, and the clean tube is the first preset. So far I have been needing much less eq-ing or filtering and the projects are sounding more cohesive, have more depth, and they just sound better. I would imagine a clean tube would be awesome as a first in a mastering chain as well, but I think that I would not use any tube booster in mastering. Individual tracks, YES!! Sorry if I was a little OT and long winded. Just try different things and let your ears decide whether or not you like it.


I've been doing something similar, on single tracks: clean tube program, low tube booster, gain stage, mwc channel line, gain stage, tape program, render file. (then whatever reverb, compression, etc. down the road.)

and i agree: it is subtle, but everything sounds just a little better. warmer, cleaner, just nicer.
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Re: CDSoundmaster vintage tubes and tubebooster for mastering

Postby faun2500 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:23 pm

richie43 wrote:
faun2500 wrote:Details coming shortly... :D


Do tell..... 8-)


OK. :P

First off, Nebula is used a lot throughout the song and I use lots on each channel (maybe 10 instances) and usually about 40-50 tracks in a song.

As I use only the Modern Logic Console I also like to use the S*L 4000 Bus compressor on my final mix but I leave this until mastering so I have more control (That's my the S*L bus comp is in my mastering chain).

My latest mastering chain that has been working very well is:

2x Mullard Short Plate Tubes (L5K).

S*L 4000 Bus Comp.

Studer A800 MKIII - Ampex 499Tape - 30 Ips +15b
with Added Tape Hiss as audio file.
Tape Booster +1db.

GMC - W495STB EQ - OR - Massive Passive EQ as needed.

UAD Precision Limiter.

This is mastering /Tech Trance & Hard Trance leaving a fairly dynamic mix and only taking off about 3db with the limiter. The Compressor & tape really bring the loudness up lot.

I have just bought the TUBE BOOSTER library so will probably be adding this into the chain after the Tubes.

:)
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