Second Attempt at Mastering

This one was trickier.

  1. It’s me singing, and I can’t stand the tonal qualities of my voice. It sounds very nasally and the fact that I can’t do anything about that without the help of an ENT surgeon annoys me to no end.

  2. The stereo image in this song really lacked in terms of the amount and character.

As a result, I decided to adjust the mix from the get-go to try to deal with some of these issues. I re-EQ’d a number of individual tracks, and switched inserts to try to accomplish specific goals on individual tracks from another path.

Taking a cue from the last mastering attempt, I also lowered the stir fry immediately. This also hopefully addressed a comment with the original version of the song: the drums seemed to be in competition with each other. In the original mix, I had to pan the stereo cymbals track a bit to one side to avoid it but the general comment was, while that helped, it didn’t get rid of the problem entirely.

Then I went through the mastering “process” that I used last time. I had to tweak the master EQ a bit differently, especially on the lower end, but it was essentially the same.

Here is the original

Here is the mastered version

Your comments would be greatly appreciated.

They both sound fine to me, listening on my theater playback system.

The only things that stand out on me is mix things:

The sax lacks body and so does the bass (bass is a taste thing as I play upright). Vocals are a tad sibilant and it is highlighted by the verb you have them going into. Vocals sometimes exhibit pitch correction artifacts.

You don’t need an ENT to change how vowels sound when you sing them. Trust me on this. The way we produce sound is complicated and versatile. You just have to experiment and learn a new approach if you don’t like your overall tone.

I listened to this song today in the car and noticed the same things.

  1. The bass was originally lacked punch so I boosted it’s high-mids to give it more oomph. But I think I went too far in the other direction from an attack perspective. And even though the lows are cut a little too much, the volume is high enough to drown out the other instruments and vocal.
  2. The sax isn’t present enough in the mix.
  3. The vocals do have some sibilance but I lack a quality De-esser (read: FabFilter hehe). Not only that, but they are also a bit…meh.

As far as my vocal timbre, I have a nasty deviated septum in a C shape that impacts both nostrils. That causes intonation issues, which is really what I was complaining about.

I’ll remix and re-master either tonight or tomorrow.

Ok, new version is up (same link in the first post).

The vocal artifacts were actually caused by the M/S EQ being used in zero latency mode. I switched it to linear after all of my edits were made (medium latency) and the problem went away, or at least it sounds like it did.

I think I got this right this time, but it wasn’t easy. I needed to step away for a few days after really trying hard to correct it on the 15th. I started fatiguing so some time away was what the doctor ordered. :slight_smile:

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated as always.

I’m with Woodcrest here - those things are mix issues that should not be “fixed” in mastering but dealt with in the mix stage as trying to do things like this will cause issues.
|Always bear in mind that when mastering everything you do affects the entire mix - not just one component of it, and trying to go that route is like trying to add an extra egg into a baked cake.