Firstly, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I was thrilled when I saw that you had done a MWTM, as you’re my favourite mastering engineer! It was a joy to watch.
I was wondering what the most common revision request you receive is, especially at the top level? What are A-Listers usually the most picky about?
Thank you, Sam! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the videos.
I’d say the most common revision request revolves around something changing in the mastering that the client is used to hearing in the approved mix. This has taught me to always compare the mastering to the flat mix, level-matched, to make sure I’m not taking away anything good about the mix and only enhancing it. It’s easy to be fooled by level, thinking it’s better simply because it’s louder, but that can be misleading. When I calculate the level difference between the mix and mastering, I’ll lower the mastering to match the mix and A/B with eyes closed. Hope this helps.
Hi Randy, just continuing on with this question on getting feedback from a client regarding a change in the sound from the mix to the master. Do you find that some “clean” plugins that suggest they don’t have any saturation/colour alter the sound? E.g pushing up a limiter and an added top end/harshness has been added into the track even with the cleanest settings. If so, how would you go about preventing this? Thanks in advance!
One thing I’ve learned is that everything has the potential to change the sound, no matter how subtle it is or claims to be. In part, it becomes a matter of navigating how you put together your chain for each song to get it to the finish line with minimal or ideally no negative effects. I A/B nearly everything in the chain (with it or without it) to ensure it only enhances the sound (in my opinion). And there are times when you have to employ some corrective EQ to compensate for the limiter’s action. I’ll sometimes do this after the limiter because changing EQ before the limiter can change how the limiter acts. Like you say, the limiter will sometimes add brightness or harshness which can be dealt with using a pre or more likely post EQ to smooth it out. Or sometimes the opposite happens where some air is taken away by the limiter, in which case I’ll add it back in with EQ. Hope this helps.
Thanks for your response Randy, this is very insightful.