Would anyone mind sharing their Wavelab “stock” plugin chain that they’re using to master files (from start to finish of course) ? I use Wavelab Elements 9. It would be interesting to try, and very helpful to me!!! There are so many third party plugins today, I really would like to try to achieve this with the stock plugins that come with Wavelab. I use Cubase for production, but not for mastering as this is pretty much a new adventure for me. I would really like to get my two track mix to be and sound “radio ready”, or at least in the ballpark of what music libraries, publishers etc. would at least consider. Thanks in advance and have a super great day! All help would be appreciated. Even mastering chains with third party plugins! But mainly Wavelab stock plugins.
I never use any kind of standard chain. I do what each song requires and that is all. The master rig is a great place to start… I know everyone has their own way, but here is some of my advice for what it’s worth:
I would recommend listening to a bunch of your favorite professional masters. If you’re just learning, try to emulate them - and A/B back and forth between them and your stuff often. The absolute cleanest way to make something loud in my opinion is clipping, but it can get harsh. Limiting works well, but it can get squishy or weird sometimes. Compression works well, but the pumping can be good or bad depending… EQ before/after dynamics can cause the dynamic stuff to operate a little different. Use that to your benefit… for example, if a compressor is pumping too much, try reducing the extreme low frequencies with an EQ before it… then add the frequencies back in after… working with MS and/or multiband stuff can be a lifesaver sometimes, but I usually try to keep things simpler if I can. Don’t be afraid to do very little in mastering. If a mix is amazing already, don’t muck about with it… let it be.
If you have a good speaker system and a great listening environment, just listening will tell you whatever you need to do. I think a lot of people are confused by mastering and think it’s some kind of weird magic mojo or something… I think it can be really simple sometimes – but the room and the speaker system you’re working with is absolutely critical when you’re making the decisions. Magic comes from the song/arrangement/mix. Mastering is secondary.
No standard chain here either. And I’m not sure a standard chain is a good thing to do. However, you’ll surely have a bunch of ‘go to’ plugins in the various categories. From the supplied collection in Wavelab Pro I think Master Rig, Curve EQ, Brickwall Limiter and Maximizer are quite good (I don’t know what is included in Wavelab Elements).
Perhaps the best idea is to maybe pick three or four plugins … an EQ, compressor style plug and a couple of limiters.
Really get to know them really well. And how they react when used in combination. That’s actually not as easy as you would expect.
Be sure to include the gain plugins into this chain … digital (at least as much and possibly more than analogue) is sensitive to levels.
See if things like mid/side options on the EQ work for you.
You might want to look at a couple of additional third party limiter options … if only because not everything works with everything all the time.
Good luck with all of this and remember to have fun.
Thanks for the advice from everyone. So, pretty much no “Standard” way of doing mastering. A lot of referencing other finished tracks, and ad plugins when needed. I’m gonna dive into it and give it a go! Thanks to everyone. Wavelab’s Master Rig does sound like a really good start for me!