Since my first release back in 2020, I’ve learned quite a bit more in regards to mixing and mastering. I decided to remaster my first three releases. I will leave what is in the digital stores because DistroKid doesn’t have an easy way to swap out song files. There would be a possible 3 weeks window to take the old versions out of the stores and then another 2-3 weeks to get the new masters on the platforms. I will use the new masters on the 10 song album and resubmit the songs for radio play. Those stations that are playing my songs, I’ll ask them to exchange them. The metadata will be the same as I am not changing the duration of the songs by more than 10 seconds and I’m not changing notes and arrangements.
Let me explain what I am doing differently and perhaps help you with some new ideas or methods. I am using a M1 mac mini and Logic Pro X. I finally am utilizing busses for group effects. This is really helpful with background vocals or like guitar parts. It also uses less CPU of the computer. I created names and saved all the plug in patches that I used. This way if I like the settings of a particular plug in, lets say for a piano sound, it’s real easy to find and use again. I added Melodyne Editor 5 to my arsenal and use that as a plug in. Gain staging is super easy, particularly with the vocals, to make a more cohesive track if needed. The ability to correct pitch issues is also much easier in Melodyne than using the tools in Logic. Moving or changing notes is also more intuitive and visually easier. My version of Melodyne can analyze and manipulate polyphonic tracks which is not possible in Logic.
On the busses I am utilizing the Logic Multipressor plugin to create parallel multiband compression on vocals, drums, and bass. If it sounds good with other instruments, I add a little bit. This usage fattens and tightens the track. I recently purchased Soothe2 which eliminates the need to make notch EQ adjustments to eliminate resonances. I use this plug in a few busses and have settings for guitars, backing vocals, and lead vocals. I am also using the plugin StageOne. This plug in helps create width and depth in your tracks. I have one setting in the busses for lead vocals and one for the backing vocal tracks. It also works great with parts that are “ping ponging” back and forth in the stereo field.
On the Stereo Out in the mixer I have added the Gain plugin to boost the side only material to widen the stereo image. I have also added two instances of Channel EQ. One with mid only and one with side only adjustments. Soothe2 is placed before the EQs to take out the “junk” and I end the plugins with the Directional Mixer giving a touch of stereo width to the mix.
The last piece of software I added was Reference 2. It is the last plugin in the mastering stage. With it you can compare your original track with multiple reference tracks. Within it’s display, you can compare the levels, EQ curve, dynamics, compression, and stereo width within frequency ranges of your master mix with your reference track. Logic Pro has Match EQ which enables you to compare the EQ curves, but can’t compare the stereo field or the dynamics of the songs.
I hope you find some or all of this useful. Keep learning and creating! Sue