Bill's Conversational Musings

Mastering the Mix


I am working on a set of reference tracks and software tools for my music production hobby. You use reference tracks to compare your music against other tracks of similar style. Alternatively, you might just like the way the horns or guitar sound in a particular song. Therefore, you will try to make your music sound similar. You use the software to manipulate the waveform. That means either expanding it or compressing it or processing it through an EQ, for example. I am posting these as I find them and adding my own personal notes. I will updated this page as I find more examples and figure out how to apply them.


Paquito D'Rivera - Portraits of Cuba - "La Bella Cubana" – This sound is very similar to Session Horns. Good dynamics and stereo separation. Horns express loud and soft throughout the song. Percussive use of a shaker as well. Mix of Latin drums. Upright bass. Notes: "Engineered and Mastered by Bob Katz. Big Band Latin Jazz. A bit bright, but extremely natural. Recorded with minimalist miking. Turn it up! Chesky Records, JD145, ©1996. +2 dB"

Open Air

Body and Soul - Joe Jackson - The Verdict - Track uses a lot of reverb on the drums. Lots of space betweent the notes. Vocals are on par with horns in terms of loudness. Very compressed on the top-end compared to modern recordings. notes: "Mastered by Bernie Grundman. Engineered by Rik Pekkonen. The slightly harsh high end reflects synthesizers and A/Ds of the period, but the sound is open and marvelous. It’s moderately compressed at the top for effect, with great dynamic range. A&M Records, CD-3286, ©1984. 0dB"


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