Mastering multiple tracks in one session

From a workflow point of view, what is the best way of mastering multiple tracks at once. I wanted to have all WAV’s loaded and have separate plugin chains for each one, but when I switch from one WAV window to the next, the plugins stay the same settings - so it seems I can’t do what I wanted unless I use Audio Montage.

So how do you - for example - master an album in Wavelab where you need to refer to other WAV’s and make adjustments to them ?

You can save/restore Master Section effects per file (recall is not automatic).
But why not using the Audio Montage?

I am mastering 24/96 files which I will eventually downsample to 16/44.1 WAV. I don’t see how I can open an Audio Montage where I can work at 24/96 and then downsample to 16/44.1 and export as individual tracks.

Add all the tracks into a 24/96 montage. Use Effects / Clip to apply separate chains to each track. These will change depending on the track playing. When you’re ready to create final files then add Crystal resampler into the master section along with dither. Render tracks to 16/44.

For me, the montage section is essential for mastering albums. I add unique plugins to each song/clip (and audio tracks if needed) and then I do more global type stuff like final limiter and dither on the montage master section.

The montage makes it so easy to adjust spacing between songs, add the track markers precisely, add CD-Text/Metadata and render various formats of the master so they are identical in sound and sequence aside from the format you render to (mp3/WAV/DDP).

I do see a small point of the original post in that I don’t think it’s ideal to get from 24-Bit/96k to 16-Bit/44.1k in Wavelab because then you have to have the Crystal Resampler on the GLOBAL master section followed by some brickwall limiiting and then dither. And of course, the global master section doesn’t save easily within the montage (must be separately saved and reloaded) leaving a little more room for user error. The Crystal Resampler also adds more time to renders and I think leaves more room for an error or bug when rendering with other 3rd party plugins.

I typically assemble a montage at 44.1k first for clients to approve a DDP version. Once the album/project is approved, I painstakingly reassemble the montage at the native sample rate (88.2k or 96k) so I can then render 24-bit/high sample rate masters.

I do the sample rate conversion outside of Wavelab with RX4 or Saracon.

Also, in your original workflow, it would be possible to save a plugin chain for each WAV file in the EDIT portion of Wavelab (non-montage) but that gets to be a lot of work saving and loading a chain for each song, easy to make an error.

Or a faster but less ideal (in my opinion) than my previous post would be to make a 96k montage, assemble the album (add track ID’s now or later before rendering), add specific plugins to each clip, and other plugins on the montage master or global master.

If you need to downsample within Wavelab you have to use the Crystal Resampler on the GLOBAL master section. A peak limiter followed by dither after that is a good idea usually.

From there you can render each track as it’s own file to 16-bit/44.1k and if you also need 24/96, remove the Crystal Resampler and render to 24/96.

My main beef with the Crystal Resampler is that it only works in the GLOBAL master section which puts a wrench in my workflow because I dislike saving the global master section and reloading it. I much prefer the montage master so it’s all contained within the montage.

What would be nice is if the SRC could happen after the clip and track effects but before hitting the montage master.

That would allow the clip and track effects to be processed at a high sample rate, and then everything is SRC’d to the same rate before it hits the master section. Then the SRC is saved as part of the montage.

It’d be even nicer if you looked into adding/licensing something like GoodHertz SRC/iZotope SRC/Saracon SRC into Wavelab to have the best of the best SRC.

But how do you create a 24bit Montage ? I see a Sample Rate selector but no mention of Bit Rate …

Thanks Jperkinski - I’m going to work through your suggestions on Monday when I have more time.

The montage plays files of all bit depths so you don’t have to define one. Check the bit-depth meter when you play files in the montage and you’ll see.