There is an array of Ardour hints and tips here:
I noticed you had a post on your blog about utilizing high frequencies to bring definition to a mix. Additionally, you should explore the use of a tube and/or tape simulation plugin to add "presence" or "warmth". TAP TubeWarmth, for example, is often on every single track, to greater or lesser extent, in my sessions. One could call it the great "secret of the pros". It's a very subtle effect, but try hitting the bypass button a couple times to hear the difference. Plus the cumulative effect of using it on many tracks can really bring a mix to life. You can put it on the master bus too, though keep in mind you can actually *lose* definition if you put too much of it there, because essentially what the plugin does is add a bit of harmonic distortion (of a variety determined by the tube/tabe balance setting). "Tube" adds mostly even-ordered harmonics, as tube amps do... these have a warm character. "Tape" adds mostly odd-ordered harmonics, which have a crisp and present character. How you use them in the mix depends on the source material. I usually don't turn the drive up beyond 7 or so, unless I am trying to make a distorted guitar really "scream".
NB: normalisation is not a good tool to end up with professional sounding masters. If you normalise every track, they could end up with wildly different loudnesses since by its nature it can only examine peaks. To properly master (in dynamics terms) you rather need limiting, compression, and perhaps maximisation.
Thanks for the comments guys. tgoose, I was not suggesting that normalisation is a way of mastering, but rather a good tool for getting your tracks on an even gain level. After normalising you would want to firstly tweak the levels of each track and then master with JAMin which can maximise, limit and compress. I have a few articles on mastering here:
I would be keen to hear any thoughts you have.
Slightly OT from Mastering, but I checked out your blog and found it very informative, especially how to create your own Hydrogen kit, I was hoping there was an easier way than writing an .xml file. I've got some good samples I will put up of my studio kit when I get around to it. Thanks again for sharing your info!
Its awesome to hear such good feedback. I look forward to hearing your kit.
A blog relating to playing and recording music with Ubuntu Studio and Freeware: http://briansbedroom.blogspot.com/
Re: normalisation is not a good tool to end up with professional sounding masters.
Normailsation isn't a method for equalising loudness, so the above is correct, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be used. If you have relatively modern high resolution digital kit you can record with enough headroom to know you're not going to get clipping at the A/D stage, and then hit normalise to have an optimal signal to do further work with. I'm not saying record 20 dB below where you should, but you don't need to fight for that last dB.
I understand Normalise also removes any DC bias, although that's not something we encounter very often and it's usually a sign someone has been hunting for tone in the relics box....
I haven't done anything with my music yet but I plan on doing so soon. This looks like a good tool to do some creative music mixing and editing. I have read as many comments as possible about your software and the overall opinion seems very positive. I will continue to read your blog site to get more information and advice. online casino
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