• How EQ can make your music sound louder – using LESS compression and limiting
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  • MrBouzouki
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Here is an older article by Ian Shepherd on the Production Advice website that he's just highlighted again in a recent e-mail I get from him.
In it he explores how EQ can make your music sound louder – using LESS compression and limiting.

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-eq/

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Hey @MrBouzouki . I read Mr. Sheperd's articles and I try to watch his videos. I'm pretty sure I've seen this one before.

 Do you do any of his courses? How do his techniques work for you?
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Hi @Bill from November Sound - when I had got 16.5 minutes of music from Lighthouse Keeper I had now idea how to balance and then master a big monster like this. I'd read some of the Bob Katz articles and got to the recording levels around -14dB dBfs level , in fact some of it was-20dBfs level, for mixing to give the dynamic headroom so orchestral stuff etc. I didn't want it squashed flat too early and i'm a great believer in leaving things alone. I chanced upon Ian Shepherd, who, as a traditional mastering engineer of some experience, seemed to know what he was talking about. He went on about mostly using compression, limiting and EQ as really the only things you really need if you've done your mix right, and I found his articles and videos useful in understanding dynamic range.

Obviously he's in business and trying to plug his courses, his home mastering course seems very good but I haven't done it yet. I have done his free course Mastering Plugins Quickstart Course, in fact talking about the free course here are links to each of the pages on his site without having to sign-up to his  mailing list. I have them bookmarked for easy access.

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-1intro/

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-2meters/

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-3limiter/

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-4comp/

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-5eq/

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-6gain/

http://productionadvice.co.uk/mastering-plugins-7advanced/

I like his 'less is best' philosophy, as every time you tweak something away from the original, by adding another plug-in, I feel you are trying to fixed something that should have been recorded better from the start.
Perhaps it needed to be recorded at a better level, with the right technique, or just played right, or sung right, or  whatever, so unless you need a specific artistic effect then keep it simple. I also wonder if many companies are trying to exploit punters general lack of knowledge in what is in fact quite a complex subject, to sell their 'snake-oil' for the season. Use plug-in YYYY and your mix will sound great ?

Yes from the date I guessed it was an old one, 2013 date, but it seemed an interesting alternative to compression. I'm sure he is highlighting this article to help sell his new course about EQ, £67,  but I think understanding EQ is so important, I feel I might take up his offer at some point to deep-dive into properly understanding EQ.

I will actually put these links in a different post @Mar T. as a useful reference for members. :-)





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Isn’t that often the case, @MrBouzouki ?
I take a picture at 1/500 of a second, and I sit before a computer for 2 evenings to make it passable?
Life too lovely for these kind of chores.

In ‘liberation day’ i’ve described how I record my music. So I record the parts, mix it in an acceptable way and then send it to the place where I can collect it to file.
Tweaking, mastering (other than making sure the thingy doesn’t go into red) are absent from my list.

I know that in real life in a studio some things need a bit of dolling up in the studio. But in my opinion, the rule must be to record in such a way, that all the treatments afterwards are avoided if possible.

Kind regards, Gus