I have a Support question I’ll get to in a moment, but before that I really need to mention that I’m truly settled in with Podium now and have reached the mixing and mastering stage with a few of my projects. I am getting fantastic results with everything using Podium. I had expected a few issues with some of my more demanding plugins but have had none. I like REAPER almost as much, but their latest couple of releases have a few annoying little bugs and issues going on, so until some of those are addressed I think I’ll finish most of my work using Podium. I also installed their SWS Extension, which adds loads of options, but now I’ve got a zillion items on every menu and it’s getting me lost sometimes.
Ive decided to do all my own mastering this year — unless someone magically appears with a new record contract and is willing to advance for a reputable mastering house. You follow these mixing/mastering forums and you’ll realize how every young kid is out there now with minimal experience, offering production services and posting some of the scary shortcuts they admit to. No thanks. I know the drawbacks of end production on one’s own stuff, but I think I’ll take my chances. You need to trust your own ears.
For support, what I’d like help with if anyone can, is that I’ve come up a little short in my search for good dithering software. I have the mda and RDR’s plugins, and I can get by with these, but is there anything else free out there? I’m coming up empty. I’m also willing to spend on an item such as this. Any suggestions? What’s everybody else using? How is Podium working for you in these final stages? I like the options Podium offers in the metering. Anything I ought to be aware of with Podium’s mixer?
Along with this, I’d be very interested in suggestions for plugins that any of you feel are excellent for comp. and limiting in the final mix and mastering positions. I think I’m okay there, but these are such critical “make or break” issues that I’m very open to any experienced advice. What are your views on the super-hot levels that seem to be the vogue? It seems like everybody is going to -.001 dB and compressing everything to smithereens. I don’t like a lot of the latest commercial mixes I’m hearing these days.
Please feel free here to pour it on regarding compression and limiting. I didn’t see another focused thread on these two together for mixing and mastering. I’d like to hear anything you’ve got to say.
I tried a bunch of different limiter plugins for mastering, and Melda Limiter was by far the most transparent sounding. I think I’ve mentioned the Melda Free plugin bundle here before.
I used to master all my tracks with Audacity. That’s got all the dithering options that aren’t in Podium, and some useful stuff for controlling volume and dynamics. But these days I don’t even bother. I just master straight from Podium with some EQ (mainly just a high-pass filter), Ferric TDS, and Melda Limiter on my 2-bus.
If there’s any nasty artefacts from downsampling from 32 bit to 16 bit, I’m not hearing them. And if it really mattered that much, then I know a professional mastering engineer locally who masters tracks for not very much money.
As for Reaper… it looks great. It’s got all the features you could want. It’s also very popular, and people get passionate about it.
When I go to use it, however, I don’t get very far in before all the little niggles start to add up. Podium’s spoiled Reaper for me.
MELDA: Yeah, thanks to your mention in that other thread, I installed their whole free bundle but haven’t used any yet. I’ll try their comp. soon. I’ll bet their for-$ plugins are really something. I read their tutorial pages about a few of them. Some are rather pricey, too. It sounds like their commercial-edition comp./limiter is one of the best out there from the site info.
REAPER: Niggles, you say? REAPER will always be my 2nd or backup, as there is just too many good features, options, and lots to like about it; however, they are so adventurous with their updates that bugs and issues inevitably creep into almost every new release. Some or all of the original designers were guitarists. REAPER is somewhat targeted toward guitarists — I swear I can just feel it when I use it. Seems set up for the un-technically oriented player who just wants to record his instrument or his band. There are some awesome user-created skins for it, too. One mimics Pro Tools, another various Vox equipment. But I think what you call niggles is exactly what I was talking about. It can be kind of “jumpy” — very unlike Podium.
@The Telenator wrote:
Along with this, I’d be very interested in suggestions for plugins that any of you feel are excellent for comp. and limiting in the final mix and mastering positions.
For free stuff worth trying out I recommend Sir Elliot plugs, SL-1 C in particular.
Wow, rinxai! Thanks so much for that Sir Elliot link. I’ve never seen those mentioned anywhere, and believe me I’ve looked and thoroughly scanned dozens of sites.
Don’t forget to take a look at ToneBoosters and DDMF, excellent quality at affordable prices.
About these plugins, but not only…
I think there’s alot to do with the graphics. They have a nice graphic – they must sounds good! The best the graphic, the best of a sound!
This I notice is a general thing. There are very few exceptions when people believe a plugin has a great sound, inspite of poor graphics – probably a good example is Terry West plugins.
Funny how mind works!
I guess we just love nice…
Yeah, I think there’s a lot to that. Those ToneBoosters — they sure look nice! But then there’s Ohmforce’s Frohmage that I picked up a couple of weeks ago — it’s one of those VSTs that looks like it was designed by a drunk, yet it is possibly the most musically creative and interesting of any I’ve got.
I think what blows me away the most, though, is how visually and soundwise you can now have a very close emulation of some totally pro $100k rack units nowadays, the kind of hardware they didn’t want you anywhere near in the control room.
I’ve already snapped up a careful selection of the Sir Elliot plugs. A couple of those were exactly what I was missing. Anyone else want to post their favorite mixing/mastering plugins?
My suits – all freeware:
1. Khaerhus Classic
7. Variety of Sounds
But then there are single units VSTs I like and use, too many to mention.
@The Telenator wrote:
What are your views on the super-hot levels that seem to be the vogue? It seems like everybody is going to -.001 dB and compressing everything to smithereens. I don’t like a lot of the latest commercial mixes I’m hearing these days.
I think it’s horrible. No dynamics, just a constant din. I hate it when I listen to otherwise good productions where obviously talented people have been involved all the way, from songwriters to singers and instrumentalists to mixing engineers and producers, just to have the recordings rendered absolutely lifeless at the mastering stage.