How do you handle mixing/mastering on the M+ standalone?

tribepop Member Posts: 159 Advisor

Hey friends,

I just wanna get some feedback on how you approach mixing and mastering on the M+ in standalone mode without the use of 3rd party VSTs.

Traditionally, when I was working in the SW, I would use FabFilter Pro-Qs all over the place with Ozone mastering suite on the master. With the standalone arrangement I obviously can’t do this so I’m using similar EQ curves just with the native EQ and am making use of the filter, limiter, transient master, and compressor devices at the group and master level and it produces pretty decent results.

I probably wouldn’t try to mix and master a track for release solely in standalone but for jamming and live performance I absolutely need a comparable way to get my mix sounding good and be at the right loudness without the use of 3rd party plugins. Is there any info on what the numbers mean on each channel for the mixer (not the mixer level but the smaller font value that changes). Are these LUFS units or True Peak db? In the software you can go to the mixer (or maybe it’s called the control view) where you can see a visual representation of how the limiter is triggering, is there a way to do this on the plus or do I just have to use my ears?

please share any signal processing chains you use or tips when it comes to getting your mixes where they need to be.


  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 366 Pro

    Not sure what "Sounding good and Right loudness" for live and jamming even means, I have never come across anybody who has worried about loudness for live work in 30+ years of doing gigs, what exactly is the sound engineer doing if he is expecting specific levels, that is just incredible? and worrying about loudness for jamming is a case of changing the level in the shared mixer, its a jam.

    You might be overthinking things here, LUFS etc is generally used to get loud level but still fit within the requirements of streaming services to avoid their post upload compression etc.

    As for getting it a bit louder on the M+, just use the EQ limiter and maximiser, there is very little else there that is going to provide you with anything even in the ballpark of loading a master up to a desktop computer and using real plugins, the built in EQ and dynamics are some of the worst you will come across for doing mastering.

  • tribepop
    tribepop Member Posts: 159 Advisor

    What I meant regarding the right levels, is if I’m doing a live set where I am switching between projects, I want to ensure that the output level is relatively consistent in terms of perceived loudness. I don’t want to be manually adjusting levels halfway through each song unless I have no other choice.

    I’d like to be a lot more “scientific” about it rather than “well this song’s level is good when the volume knob is at 12’o’clock but this other song has to be cranked up to the 3 o’clock position”.

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 366 Pro

    Ok well you may want to move on from M+, it has nothing that will help you do any scientific mastering.

    It is a groovebox with very limited effects and limited resources to run them.

  • Nico_NI
    Nico_NI Administrator Posts: 1,125 admin
    edited October 2022

    While there is no dedicated mastering plugins in M+ yet (fingers crossed for iZotope addition), it might be more convenient for you to have external gear for this purpose.

    Just a few ideas:

    And this one is clearly out of reach, but looks very good!

  • tribepop
    tribepop Member Posts: 159 Advisor

    Ooh you heard it here first, Ozone is coming to the M+, haha jk.

    Thank you sharing those options. I guess I’m looking more for monitoring tools so that I can have more consistent output levels and dynamics between songs. I think Maschine’s internal tools will work fine for mastering the song for a live context but it would be nice to maybe have an external rack with some EQ and signal monitoring so that I can truly be PC-less on the go.

  • darkwaves
    darkwaves Member Posts: 326 Guru
    edited October 2022

    Could just have a few reference tracks?

    I never put any effects on the master out of maschine. I route everything to a group that goes to the master. It would be a like for like comparison if I just had a few clips of audio routed directly to the master. It might even make sense to create a group with 16 samples of audio for testing. Maybe 4-8 bar loops. Then you can just mix against a known reference and remove it from the project when done.

    (ugh - I think that's a pretty fantastic idea and is now on my todo list)

  • Flexi
    Flexi Member Posts: 366 Pro
    edited October 2022

    You need to uncross those fingers, Izotope plugins have huge latency, no PDC makes them unusable on anything but the master, and even then live playback using pads and encoders will be a bit fruity.

    Lets keep our fingers crossed for NI addition and finally get the NI effect plugins on the + please.

  • D-One
    D-One Moderator Posts: 2,689 mod
    edited October 2022

    Hi. Tricky topic but overall I'd say you really don't need any surgical Mastering plugs such as Ozone or Pro-Q for that, just like any other instrument player.

    I play in a band with the M+ and what we did was simply have a session with our front and stage mixing engineers where they used loudness measuring tools so I (and other band mates with electronic equipment) adjusted our project levels. All you need to worry about is having your stuff consistently at the same perceived level. So... Just analyze your project's loudness and adjust using a computer or make adjustments in rehearsals.

    Usually, when I go on a new album tour the first gigs are a bit messy due to the lack of adjusting, for a few gigs the engineers will tell me details about my mix they feel need tweaking and after a while, it's pretty much set. I sort of have to accept that a live show and gig aren't meant to sound exactly the same, a songs Master is a super polished version of the music while a performance is more about the feeling, show, and interaction with your audience... this is subjective tho.

    I only send a Stereo Out so I have to define the volume relationships between all instruments in the project myself but even if I used multiple outs I still wouldn't 100% trust a mixing engineer to do that unless he rehearsed with us and knew all my beats very well, at the market I am in that is not possible since mixing engineers work for like 5-10 bands or more and don't get paid enough to came to every practice session. IMO we should do half the job for our own comfort, especially when monitoring thru headphones and the mixing engineer the other half - this is the reality of the everyday musician.

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