Thursday, September 23, 2010

Robotic Pirate Monkey Debut EP: Disturbing Pleasant Streets! Mastered @ ZeSoundSuite

Below you'll find a link to a blog post from featuring the new Robotic Pirate Monkey EP.  I mastered the entire album and have to admit that I had a fucking blast doing it.  No doubt this will remain a memorable moment in my career as it was really the first full length album I've ever mastered from beginning to end.  The first CD I burned of the EP to check in my car is currently hanging on my wall if that gives you an idea of how important this craft really is to me.

It was honestly quite the challenge balancing all the intense heavy sounds that is RPM but all in all I'm very pleased with the result and feel it represents Robotic Pirate Monkey's character and style, as well as my own personal sound I like to create during the mastering process.  Crisp & bright, present yet spread out highs with a massive detailed low end and a mid range full of so much grit you'd swear you needed a shower after hearing it.

Six of the ten tracks I ran through a Neve V3 to pick up on the dark sonic qualities that console is famous for.  I pushed the preamps fairly hard and left the sends to the Pro Tools HD system relatively low to grab some of the natural compression that's impossible to replicate without a large format console.  You can do this with any large format console by driving the preamp's relatively hard while leaving the faders (sends to tape) at a lower amplitude.  Try it out next time you get your hands on a large format desk.

After the work on the Neve was finished up everything was sculpted at 24bit/96kbps on my Pro Tools LE system with the aid of software plug-ins & DSP from: Solid State Logic, Waves, Sonnox & URS.  Solid State Logic's Duende & it's plug-ins (Bus Compressor, Channel Strip, X-EQ) played a massive role in mastering this album and without them I'm almost certain the final product would've been much less impressive.  Equally important was the Oxford EQ & Filters from Sonnox.  This is an old school software EQ that's still in use by many of the major studios in the world today.  Just use it, you'll understand why it's so popular and sought after.  Finally I slapped Wave's L316 Limiter over all the tracks to get them up to their final volume level whilst still having the multi-band control to maintain the original dynamics.  Beyond that was the final dither process to get the album to 16bit/44.1kbps and ready to be converted to mp3's for distribution.  That pretty much sums up two weeks worth of work in a couple paragraphs as best as I can. :) 

Honestly though, that's a fairly good general explanation of how I mastered the EP, hopefully it will give some of you at least a little idea of what the mastering process involves and how I went about finalizing Disturbing Pleasant Streets.  Be sure to support Robotic Pirate Monkey & Join their Facbook Page.  

Link to Download Robotic Pirate Monkey's Disturbing Pleasant Streets EP

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