Just wanted some advice on if it’s user friendly etc to master the tracks myself but more importantly, how to do I go about assembling the 10 songs in order to create a finshed cd album. There would be some cross fades etc as one song runs into another to.
well, it depends if you want to burn some CD (regular CD-WAV format) just for you and your friends or if you want to get it published following the Red Book CD Standard.
If you wnat to just burn some CDs, export the tracks as regular WAV in 16 Bit stereo / 44.100 Hertz and use a burning tool that allows you putting them in the wanted order.
If you want to do that like a prof, I would advise you to look up a studio that would do that for you. That will cost you some money but if you are lucky, they might let you assist the mastering process and how to comply with the Red Book CD Standard. Then you would have some more return on your investment and try it yourself next time. Be prepared to assist up to two days. Just google “Red Book CD Standard” and have a look in to how complex that is. First you need some mastering tool and even if you had one, you have to learn how to use them. This is still something where there is no one-click automation magic button available.
I know that some people claim they were mastering with Cubase - which theoretically should be possible - but you must be a very good skilled sound engineer to go that way and have some very good mastering plug ins.
Good luck with it (no sarcasm) and let me know the outcome.
As Zibin says, if you’re just wanting to burn a CD on your computer, you can export as 16-bit wav files. Windows Media burns a CD easily, if you’re on Windows.
There are specialized tools for red book standard. Wavelab is one of them.
Lots of us amateurs do our own “mastering” using Cubase. It’s not a simple subject for a single post, but there are many resources online about it. In my case, I’m using the Ozone plugin from iZotope. But there are plugins supplied with Cubase that cover it as well. You would put them on the master buss. The aim is to lightly compress, final equalization, maybe a little amp distortion simulation, and loudness. The cubase loudness plugin is called Maximizer. Some also use multi-band compression (also in Cubase) and some are violently against it! MBC is difficult to use.
That fully depends on your own level of expertise and the result you expect from the end product
I always run my own tracks through someone else for the final touch. Simply because that person can still listen to the track objectively and fresh.
Most pressing plants accept DDP (Disc Description Protocol) 2.0 projects. There are some free/demo DDP creators available, also programs like Wavelab are able to create DDP projects. In these programs you can do what you want according to fades etc. Overall these programs are costly and not worth the investment when not using it a lot. The actual work for a 10 track CD isn’t much, so I’m sure when you deliver a good set of instructions you can find someone who can do it cheap.
Good luck with the CD!
Firstly, if it were me I would have them properly mastered - even though I mix and master myself, I find I cannot master my own mixes as I am too close to the project & tend to revert back to multitracks & redo the mix rather than simply let it go & get on with it. Maybe it is just me but I honestly cannot find the objectivity to deal with my own work.
As far as it goes though you have a few choices.
1 - Master it in Cubase (why not?) and set your crossfades there. Add markers at the right track points & export as a CSV file (or else write down the timings) and make the CD in a standalone app like WaveLab or similar.
2 - Again, Master in Cubase & use the HOFA DDP plugin (or the standalone) for the CD creation http://hofa-plugins.de/pages/start_en/hofa-cd-burn-ddp_en.php
It’s got a learning curve but will get you there.
As hard as this is to do, it’s good advice that I myself should take whenever the time comes.
…I always run my own tracks through someone else for the final touch. Simply because that person can still listen to the track objectively and fresh…
…Firstly, if it were me I would have them properly mastered - even though I mix and master myself, I find I cannot master my own mixes as I am too close to the project & tend to revert back to multitracks & redo the mix rather than simply let it go & get on with it. Maybe it is just me but I honestly cannot find the objectivity to deal with my own work…
The reason I say it’s hard, is because I’m involved in all aspects of the recording - from the initial song writing to arranging it, playing all the instruments and laying down the vocals.
Them trying and deciding on which VSTs to use, if any etc.
Finally mixing the whole thing down, only to hand it over to someone else.
Because by then, it’s ‘my baby’ and yet it’s like I’m handing it over to Family [Social] Services who supposedly will do better for it than I will.