Show 182 – Home Studio Mastering with Ian Shepherd

This week we talk with Ian Shepherd about his Home Studio Masterclass online course and answer a few of the common mastering questions.

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13 thoughts on “Show 182 – Home Studio Mastering with Ian Shepherd

  1. Hey HRS!
    Hey Ryan…Fellow DIY’er…I have been messin around with transistors for a few years now, and I’ve got a few tips for you to maybe help you out..Use the static free mats to help keep static away from the transistors( local electronic stores have these blue mats you can get for super cheap)…once a transistor gets zapped, its toast….dont use it, and a simple diode test on your multi-meter can tell you if the transistor is still in working condition…that was a big problem I had with my first few pedal projects as well…especially since it was only a one bad transistor out of the bunch that was bad… Keep up the good work guys!

    also storing the transistors in static free bags helps protect them as well…

  2. Yo
    I think the feed is hacked as i my podcatcher wanted to download every single god dam episode of HRS and on reflection its the best 8 and a half gig I’ve every given over. A formidable reference library is now stored on my HD, to check at any time. I’ve been searching through them to find out when I first started listening. It was when you had the old theme tune around epispde 30 i think. Just listened to the ep about noise gates. Now I know a lot more about noise gates.
    Tell that guy who wants to download all the shows to use
    a podcatcher that when you enter
    should do the trick
    Love you guys
    John’s wet finger

  3. The bandpass-filter inverted polarity thing seems like a lot more work than necessary, and it will be doing odd things to the audio. If it works, it works, but bandpass filters are not going to be linear phase so you’ll get a weird frequency response.

    Just set up an EQ level based parameter modulation that ducks based on the vocal volume. Or a side-chained multiband compressor.

  4. Sibilance filter: I haven’t tried it, but you can block high-frequency sounds with something thin like a pencil in front of the mic – the lower frequencies go around it. It’s on my list of things to experiment with.

  5. I make mixing and “mastering” separate steps (I don’t think it actually counts as mastering if it’s done by the same person on the same system as the mixing, but it works).

    BUT! I find that mixing into a limiter helps my mixes work better. I have to go back and fix the mix less often when I mix into some faux loudness mastering.

  6. IK multi media actually is running a sale on T Racks Standard for $29 until September 5th so I bought it and mastered a track with the collection. It really feels like they kind of want you to use it as preset mastering or something… That said I was able to really bring out a nice sounding acoustic roots music sound. I have mastered all of my own music or the last few years and what I ended up doing was waiting at least a week after mixing to give myself a little time to forget what stuff sounded like…. Then I just go about using some EQ and compression as needed. This next recording should be about the same. Actually this session might make a good show sometime since this will be tracked in a pro studio using some really sweet gear.

  7. Donation Promise kept and Long live my favorite show. I offered Ryan a donation of a 100$ if he did a segment on reaper and 2 shows later it was on air. Thank you Ryan and was wondering if you could maybe give a update on your current use of reaper. You might end up realizing its not for you and that’s totally cool. I’ve just seen a lot of pro tools users rave about it. I myself have never touched pro tools so i assumed it maybe had some user relations to reaper? Take care bro….. Oh? hi Jon. you must feel blessed being Ryan’s co-host eh?? OOOOO!!! Snap Baw!! I am totally just busting your balls my friend. Take care guys!!

  8. Hey guys, what are your thoughts on DIY mods on an audio interface? I have a profire 2626, and I see that black lion audio does a mod on the 2626 where they replace the JRC4580 opamps with OPA4134. I’m not sure if it is as simple as swapping out the opamps or if the circuit has to be modded to accept the new ones. The JRC4580 doesn’t seem to be too highly regarded as an audio amplifier. What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?

    By the way, that’s a fantastic new header at the top of the website.

  9. Great show!

    Right now im still trying to find the suck knob so i can turn it down on my mixes so the mastering class will have to wait for a bit. I’m sure it would be worth it, but my ears are still struggling with some of the mixing fundamentals much less the skills of capturing the nuances required for mastering.

    I definitely think mastering is a crucial part of the process, but after having paid for some great mastering ( we used sterling sound out of NY and they did an awesome job ) we realized that our mixing stage (time and $$$) needed a whole lot more work. GIGO holds true for the mastering as well. on our previous release we did the thing where we allow the guy who just mixed us to slap on a preset on his mastering suit and it really just didn’t cut it, but at the time we were lucky if we were able to stay in tune and we were in awe of all the cool audio equipment so we didn’t care. Ahh there is nothing like the chub you get from walking into a studio for the first time.

    Hopefully as i cut my teeth a little more into this whole mixing thing i will be up to the mastering class the next time he offers it. I can at least pretend i know what mastering is about now. That’s right groupies i listened to an introduction, now who wants to ride the ginger-go-round

    Dont just ride the chicken, Master the chicken.

  10. Hey guys,

    dug the mastering segment. If you have Ian back sometime, I’d love to hear a more in-depth discussion on the EQ phase of the mastering process. I know that people tend to hear the word “mastering” and think “dynamics”, but the EQ step is huge and so rarely discussed in depth compared to the dynamics step.

    also – something that I’ve seen more of recently is the use of high end outboard mastering specific A/D converters to replace digital limiters. The engineers will use these boxes to push the analog input stage hotter than a purely calibrated level into the converter circuit, causing the digital encoder to render the signal with the upper transients just kind of “cut off” Its a similar effect to a brickwall limiter, but a different sound because nothing is being pulled down. In my experience in dealing with sound effects, I’ve found that hard limiting can really mess up the low end of a sound (maybe because low frequency sounds are longer and hold on to the limiter for a longer period of time?) and the end result has been that in the field I’ll often prefer analog clipping to digital limiting as long as I have an unclipped backup to mix in.

    good times.


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