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viitalahde

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Posts: 597 Member Since: 04/02/2011

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Sep 15 16 5:09 AM

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I'm sure I'm a little late to the game, but it's only recently I've noticed you can do some great sounding masters completely ITB, if the mixes are right. Better late than never! I did hybrid work for many years, and the majority is still like that, but never leaving the box is new, revealing and fun for me.

What are you people using for your ITB mastering work these days, and why?

For me it's pretty much DMG Equlibrium for EQ, TDR Kotelnikov for compression (the first digital compressor that I can set up to sound good), and the Fabfilter + Voxengo limiters. For de-essing I'm still on Spitfish (which was replaced in analog by the Maselec de-esser), but this is where there is clearly room for improvement. So I'm looking for a good de-esser, maybe a 2nd compressor of a different flavor, and a general problem-solver EQ/dynamics processor. All clean sounding software.

Limiting I feel is well covered, but the DMG Limitless seems to be good.
 
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gr

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Posts: 357 Member Since:21/02/2011

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Sep 15 16 8:17 AM

Give the Hofa dynamic EQ and DMG Essence de-esser a try. Both excellent problem solvers. I'll try TDR Kotelnikov. Fabien is a seriously smart dude.

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morespaceecho

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Posts: 2,323 Member Since:29/01/2011

#2 [url]

Sep 15 16 11:11 AM

it's gonna be funny if we're all using mostly the same stuff. 

equilibrium is incredible. i really like the TDR slick eq ge as well. love the german high shelf on that thing. haven't tried his new one yet.

for compression it's usually kotelnikov, sometimes compassion.

i haven't bothered with other limiters since i got limitless. it just sounds great to me. vlad g's lim #6 can hang though, pretty impressive for a freebie.

for dessing i still rock the spitfish too, love that little guy. but dmg essence is a whole other league. just an amazing piece of work. jaakko, you could just buy that right now, no need to demo, you won't regret it. besides de-essing i use it for taming unruly bass drums all the time. if you wanted to you could probably do all your eq with just essence if you were feeling sporty.

those are the mainstays....brainworx dyn-eq gets used now and then, if i have a singer (or a telecaster) that gets shrill on certain parts i'll use that instead of essence sometimes. 

i also like u-he satin tape sim, but that's a secret.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

morespaceecho.bandcamp.com

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lowland

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Posts: 360 Member Since:21/02/2011

#3 [url]

Sep 15 16 12:20 PM

I recently started a large project remastering vintage material, all ITB, and I'm finding the Tokyo Dawn mastering version of the SlickEQ works for me on it. Very smooth-sounding, it's parallel and has a number of useful tricks such as MS manipulation if you need them. The basic version with most of the functionality is free, the full version is €50 - I don't mind paying for a proper tool, but to find one this good *and* cheap has been a pleasant surprise. Best of all, I find it fast and intuitive to use, I like the interface and I'm able to dial up something useful quicker than other plug EQs I've tried.

No doubt you're already aware of this if you have Kotelnikov, Jaakko, but perhaps worth a punt if you haven't given it a try.

http://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-slickeq-m/

Last Edited By: lowland Sep 16 16 9:39 AM. Edited 1 time.

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viitalahde

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Posts: 597 Member Since:04/02/2011

#4 [url]

Sep 15 16 3:29 PM

Thank you! Good suggestions, Hofa plugins are pretty much unknown to me although I've heard the name. DMG Limitess + Essence, I might just buy them as suggested.

Nigel, I have had the free SlickEQ on my DAW for 1,5 years and I rarely use it. I always thought the mastering edition was the same + some gimmick. That looks completely different, so I might check it out too. On the other hand, like with my hardware, I would like to keep the plug-in choices to a minimum. Each tool for a purpose.

That's why I like Equilibrium, it's so deep that you can do anything with it. I especially enjoy shaping the low cuts in various ways. Some of my findings are the "harmonics" low cut, which works a treat for some metal records, the "flat top" mode for low-mid resonance clean-ups, "EE" mode for tight notches and the 8k2 mode in 0,2dB spoons for upper mid glare.

Oh, and the Kotelnikov: It took me awhile to get my head around it, but most of the time I use it in parallel mode (which I never do in HW), and shape the ratio with those shelfs, sometimes even a bell curve.

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ruairi

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Posts: 2,622 Member Since:10/02/2011

#5 [url]

Sep 15 16 11:54 PM

Hi Jaakko,

Huge DMG fan here but I did not like Essence, be sure to demo before you buy. If you do like it you are welcome to my license (I mean that, email me). For de-essing try Fabfilter Pro-MB in Dynamic Phase mode, a single band in bell or shelf does the trick. I find it very controllable, predictable and benign when it digs in too much. I liked it much better than Fabfilter's dedicated de-esser.

Equilibrium is my only EQ, it beats everything I've tried in Digital. IIR only, stock curves (the only deviation being first order shelves).

Compassion is my only ITB compressor. I had to print the manual and spend time really digging in but I have some presets now that I start from each time.

Limitless is winning 90% of the time here for limiting, single band only. Fabfilter and Ozone covering the other 10%.

Cheers
Ruairi

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rat

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Posts: 143 Member Since:14/03/2011

#6 [url]

Sep 16 16 12:50 AM

Ditto DMG Equilibrium, Elephant and Limitless as the usual suspects. Sometimes the Sonnox Limiter as a subtle element of the compression scheme. I, too, have all the DMG stuff and a few other limiters.

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reynaud

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Posts: 202 Member Since:13/07/2011

#7 [url]

Sep 16 16 3:33 AM

WholeGrain Digital's Quartet/Trio DynPEQ are transparent de-essers, among the many uses for them. Rarely punted.

It's interesting to see a definite trend in plugin selection.
Essentially, I'm still using the same processing plugins:

EQ:
Sonic "Mastering" EQ (stereo-only)
Flux Epure (8 channel)

Dynamics:
Quartet/Trio DynPEQ (stereo-only)
Flux Solera (8 channel)
Flux Syrah (8 channel)
Flux Elixir (occasionally Pure Limiter is preferred) (8 channel)

All the Flux plugins use OSC, allowing for more physical hardware control (or use TouchOSC on an iOS device).

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Hermetech Mastering

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Posts: 386 Member Since:22/02/2011

#8 [url]

Sep 16 16 3:57 AM

Similar here:

DMG EQuilibrium in IIR mode or TDR Slick EQ M (ought to state up front that I'm a beta tester for TDR so get them all for free, but I would have bought most of them anyway, seriously!)
Kotelinikov GE for Compression.
DMG Limitless for Limiting, tramples all over Elephant, haha.
Voxengo MSED for M/S stuff if needed.
I am also using Spitfish for De-Essing, but looking for something else that will do that well, so thanks for all the suggestions. I ought to give TDR Nova a go at De-Essing but it always confuses me.
The only thing I occasionally use that hasn't been mentioned so far is the Klanghelm MJUC compressor, been spending quite a bit of time with it recently, and it can do that old school squidgy Fairchild VariMu thing pretty well. You have to go VERY easy on it though. As with the TDR stuff, it's priced surprisingly low. You can't try before you buy though (there's a freebie with a similar vibe but it's nothing like its big brother).

Gregg Janman, Hermetech Mastering

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tbethel

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Posts: 306 Member Since:21/02/2011

#9 [url]

Sep 16 16 6:00 AM

This is a good topic.

It is funny that a topic such as this, 10 years ago, would probably have been scoffed at.

A lot of people who normally post here would probably have commented that "Real" mastering engineers don't use plugins.

It is interesting how how time changes things.

I use mostly the plugins from Fab Filter and find them to be excellent.

-TOM-
Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director, Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
www.acoustikmusik.com/
Celebrating 22 years in business in 2017

Last Edited By: tbethel Sep 16 16 8:34 AM. Edited 1 time.

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lowland

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Posts: 360 Member Since:21/02/2011

#10 [url]

Sep 16 16 9:37 AM

tbethel wrote:

I use mostly the plugins from Fab Filter and find them to be excellent.

Fab FIlter Pro-DS is the closest I've found so far to a plug-in de-esser capable of a similar result to that in the TC 6000 hardware, which I like a lot. I had Essence on trial, but found it too fiddly and tweakable for my taste - no doubt you can get top results with it if you take the time on each piece of music, but that wouldn't be for me.

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viitalahde

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Posts: 597 Member Since:04/02/2011

#13 [url]

Sep 16 16 3:24 PM

Yes, things have indeed changed. Maybe the stigma goes away as well. I do believe that if I had an attended session and started working on the project 100% ITB, the clients would be massively underwhelmed. But if it's for the best for audio.. Recently I've started to obey a dogma of sorts: If I feel like I can't quickly get what I want on analog, I do it digitally. This reduces guesswork time. I try to be very efficient these days.

This brings in another point. Colored plug-in processors make very little sense to me. I might still try out Gregg's MJUC compressor, but the idea of having a super clean chain on the DAW appeals to me. On the othe hand, I don't always use stock curves in Equilibrium, and the choices can be colored. I need to experiment. Either way it's going to be a few simple tools.

Recently I did a master completely ITB for a project that already sounded very colored to me. I assumed this was because of the massive amount of tape saturation effect on the mixes, and I silently, slightly cursed tape emulation in my head. The master turned out very well though. It turned out the mixes were done in analog, and printed on a 1/4" Studer deck! I could have sworn it was a plug-in.

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scullyfan

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Posts: 1,612 Member Since:27/07/2011

#15 [url]

Sep 16 16 5:17 PM

Do any of you guys use Waves L3? My former studio partner uses it on EVERYTHING he masters ITB because he says it makes the tunes "sound like records".

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maarvold

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Posts: 3,143 Member Since:23/01/2011

#17 [url]

Sep 16 16 11:46 PM

compasspnt wrote:
Well, I have most of the plug-ins mentioned, but I still prefer to do 95% of my EQing and compression (if any) thru the analogue chain.

I always use a plug-in limiter though.


.

 
That's funny... I use Equilibrium (ITB) and a GML 2030 (analog).  I love the sonic purity of the 2030 approach so much I can't bear to think of using a plugin limiter.  But guys who use plugs can probably safely get it hotter than me.  

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ruairi

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,622 Member Since:10/02/2011

#18 [url]

Sep 17 16 12:09 AM

scullyfan wrote:
Do any of you guys use Waves L3? My former studio partner uses it on EVERYTHING he masters ITB because he says it makes the tunes "sound like records".


It's been said many times but even when new the L3 was not a winner in any shootout, it was comprehensively beaten by the L2.

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adam

Silverado

Posts: 95 Member Since:21/02/2011

#19 [url]

Sep 17 16 12:09 AM

Fabfilter Pro DS gets a ✅, and I had cause to dig out the Pro MB for about the third time this year so far.
Pro-L, usually in transparent mode with a longer than default look-ahead.
Occasionally even the Waves De-esser for a touch of HF limiting. I tested the RS56 EQ, which I thought was quite good for "non-neutral" ITB EQ (and I like the limitations of the interface).
Haven't had time for testing anything lately but my nOb should arrive this month... Maybe, in time, its toggle switches could also be used for plug-in toggle functions.

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compasspnt

Diamond Forever

Posts: 21,216 Member Since:08/01/2011

#20 [url]

Sep 17 16 12:27 AM

maarvold wrote:
compasspnt wrote:
Well, I have most of the plug-ins mentioned, but I still prefer to do 95% of my EQing and compression (if any) thru the analogue chain.

I always use a plug-in limiter though.


.

 
That's funny... I use Equilibrium (ITB) and a GML 2030 (analog).  I love the sonic purity of the 2030 approach so much I can't bear to think of using a plugin limiter.  But guys who use plugs can probably safely get it hotter than me.  

Well, my "brickwall" limiter plug-in is a one-of-a-kind made for me privately by one of the best known analogue and digital designers. It's the only copy of it.



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