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Mastering without killing the snare drum

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by MultiM, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. MultiM

    MultiM Member

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    The master buss compressor in the mastering phase affects the snare, it becomes pillowy/ soft.
    One trick I know is to mix with the master compressor, then remove it. Didn't really work for me.
    Any ideas how to avoid that?
     
  2. He's Dead, Jim

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    I would play with the compressor settings before trying anything else. Slower attack, faster release, and I usually have it at a 3:1 ratio, tops 4 db of GR in most cases. That doesn't usually neuter the snare too much for me.

    Other than that, I tend to clip my top snare channel a moderate amount and compensate by boosting the amount of snare going into my parallel compression bus to bring some life and snappiness back into it. But since both are thoroughly compressed, there won't be those peaks that are likely to get destroyed in mastering, so you have a better idea of how it's going to sound and can boost/cut to your heart's content without worrying about how different it will be at the end.
     
  3. FrankTheSmith

    FrankTheSmith Member

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    Never had master bus compressor do that to a snare, it's always been a limiter that does that for me. I just use a real slow attack, fast release, 2-4:1 ratio, maybe 2-3db reduction on loud parts. You putting summa that Gclip on the snare?
     
  4. cobhc

    cobhc Amiga Enthusiast

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    Which compressor are you using, and what's your chain? Also, do you have any sound samples for us to listen to?
     
  5. greyskull

    greyskull Member

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    Use The clipping mode on your limiter.
     
  6. Studdy

    Studdy Member

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    Any particular ones you prefer? Are you using it on the snare bus/track of the final mix?

    I've noticed the Slate FG-X seems to do a solid job of getting the mix loud without killing the snare.
     
  7. cfh11

    cfh11 Member

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    one thing i have been liking lately is to use one instance of ozone on soft clipping with no GR followed by another instance of ozone with the full mastering chain. this seems to help give it a little more headroom and prevent the snare from getting squashed too much.
     
  8. drew_drummer

    drew_drummer Dancefap

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    If it's your mix, clip the snare in the mix itself. This will help further down the line when running through your 2bus chain and/or mastering chain.
     
  9. mephetic_exhumation

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    In ozone 5, there's a "preserve transients" slider. Never played with it myself as I only have version 4, but I just saw that in a video and it seems like it could help for this purpose.
     
  10. MultiM

    MultiM Member

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    Thanks guys, I'll try using Gclip on the snare, I use Waves SSL-G master buss compressor on the master buss, it's my best compressor in the meantime, till I buy a new one.
    But when you say use fast release and slow attack(my snare settings) with a 2-3db of gain reduction, do you mean on the master buss or on the snare channel
     
  11. LeSedna

    LeSedna Mat or Mateo

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    Normally you shouldn't have too much of a problem about that.
    SSL G with 30ms attack and only a few dB of GR, and later on Ozone, should do the trick.
    I personnally realized that since I used VCC and compressors emulations for harmonic distortion, I don't need drastic equalization or compression to make drums pop well. It just makes everything clear and separated to the ears and you don't need to have the snare dominate the mix in order to hear it. Then, you don't have problems with it in the mastering stage. It does something cool to stereo images especially with guitars, it helps differentiate them and as a result they don't eat the snare or voice as much !
     
  12. He's Dead, Jim

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    Both. Think about it intuitively: the reason you want it on the snare channel is to preserve the snare attack by not letting the compressor affect it too much, and you want to add some body and sustain to it with a fast release. On the master bus, your goal isn't to control transients or compress large peaks like on an individual channel- that should already be taken care of- but to even things out subtly and add glue. Hence slow attack, fast release. But obviously you need to play around with the times and use what sounds best. I use MH Channel Strip for my snare and the 3 compressor types within the channel strip all need different settings to get similar end results.
     
  13. wishtheend

    wishtheend clip the apex

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    I set gclip on snare buss towards the end of the chain to about 5% under the average peak level just eyeballing where the average solid hits are. Then with about 3db on the FG-Red on the master buss for glue and AOM Limiter for loudness. Use to like FGX but the AOM is killer. The Pro-L was good when I demoed it, those would be my suggestions until we compare with FGX2
     
  14. MultiM

    MultiM Member

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    I use Pro-L, the FG-X is nice but it has a bit of distortion.
     
  15. EOC

    EOC Member

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    It is all about staging the compression, limiting and cliping.

    I have a cliper on the snare, a limiter on the drum bus (and comp) and comp and 2 limiters on the 2bus (one set to clip)

    Of course, that is if i master my own mix.
     
  16. Dollarosa

    Dollarosa Member

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    My mastering chain consists of. VCC 2.0, VBC ( attack 30ms, auto release, 3:1 ratio most of the time), mid side eq (normally boost around 400hz on the sides (low shelf boost), fills the gaps), VTM and then FGX. Can get really loud masters without distortion.
     
  17. jackobme

    jackobme Member

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    You could always master while you mix...
     
  18. GearMan2point0

    GearMan2point0 Musician/Engineer

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    Go back to the mixing stage and solo your snare track. Look at the transients before any compression. Your transient should look like this "|>". The highest peak, which most commonly lies within the first 20ms of the transient, is what would be slapping against your master compression. What I do, is I get rid of that high peak using compression. Instead of "|>" you want "=>". Why? Because if you duck the high peak, you can boost the volume of the snare for make up volume, and more of the body will sit on the mix rather than be buried because the peak is already pushing too much. Know what I mean?
     
  19. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    With the new wave of limiter algorithms and saturation plug-ins I haven't needed to clip snares in quite a while. It can still help to make the mix more 'portable', but it does affect the tonality of the snare. The key is just to mix into a rough mastering chain, and account for what's going on. The mix should sound excellent before you've even done anything crazy on the 2-bus.
     
  20. ApeScaleConflict

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    Said many ways up here, but your snare transients dominates other transients so that the compressor eats it alive more than other thingamajiggys.

    EDIT: im not sure if i tried to sound like Borat
     

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