This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:
Once I had all of chosen tracks bounced down, I loaded up a new Pro-Tools session at 16 bit/ 44.1Khz Sample rate and imported all my chosen tracks plus a master fader. I also imported a song from my iTunes collection to act as a reference for what sort of level I should be achieving, using the Queens of the Stone Age song “Avon” which I used previously for my last mastering session.
I then proceeded to move the tracks along the grid so that when one finished I could get an idea of the same level I had to obtain, as well as get an idea of how the tracks sound in a particular order.
For this section, I will be using the Parallel Compression technique, which involves having the stereo mix track bused to two auxiliary inputs equipped with compressors.
One of these compressors is designated the “heavy” compressor and has a much lower threshold an a higher ratio, while the “light” compressor is has a higher threshold but a lower ratio, this allows you to keep the dynamic range using the light setting, while bringing up the overall level using the heavy setting. I also applied Maxim as a Limiter, set at -0.1dB to stop any of the tracks clipping.
Song 1 Drink Up:
I decided to have Drink Up first as it’s a upbeat Pop Punk number with a really catchy chorus, starting the CD off with a bang. Since Its was the first track on the album, I had to use my reference track to get it around the same level bringing it up to that of the original using the settings in the example above. I also added a fade out after the gang vocals, which made sense to do it here as if I had done it in mixing it would of be been compressed more and the dynamic range would be lost.
Song 2: Get Out:
Next up was Sound the Siren as I wanted to maintain the moment cause by the first song, plus the gang vocals transitioned nicely into the siren at the start of Get Out. This song was around the same level as Drink Up, so only required some slight tweaking on the faders to get it the same.
Song 3: Love Me Like You Do:
I decided to place this track in the middle of the CD as it’s a nice change of pace from the heavier songs, as well as being the only cover. The tempo’s of both this and The Motion’s where around 90bpm mark, so the drums in this work well going in to guitar of the next song. due to its nature, this song was the most sparse and also the quietest overall, with me having to use some of the makeup gain on the compressors to get it to compete with the Sound the Siren track.
Song 4: Down to Dusk:
Originally I was going to put this song last on my recording, but having Got no Pity in the final slot allowed the CD to end on a more energetic number. As mentioned above this song fits well in the middle, going from energetic to calm. This song was also fairly quiet in comparison, sitting in the middle ground between the previous two tracks, requiring the faders to also be quite high.
Song 5: Got No Pity:
This song is the only track on the album to not be guitar driven, but the drums are quite heavy so its a nice closing track. I had to bring up the level about the same as the previous one.
Once I did this I burned the tracks to an Audio CD using Toast Titanium, and checked it in multiple different mediums, such as a CD player, Laptop and a Car Stereo.