Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account
learning

Mastering at Home - Part 20

Tips for Using the Oscilloscope When Mastering Music

To finish with the helping tools for mastering, in this installment we'll talk about the oscilloscope — very often underestimated by home studio owners — and a utilitarian plug-in, which, even if not indispensable, can come in very handy...

View other articles in this series...

The Oscilloscope 

An oscilloscope in the form of a plug-in will allow you to see the waveform of your signal in real time. “But my DAW already does that!, ” you say. Which is true, except for the fact that your DAW displays the waveform of your source audio file. That means that it does not take into consideration all the processing you’ve applied to the track. In fact, during mastering (and even during mixdown), the sound you hear probably don’t have anything to do with the waveform your DAW displays, due to the plug-ins inserted into the tracks. So, rather than doing yet another rendering of your track with all the effects and then importing it back into your project to see the real waveform, you can use an oscilloscope in real time placed at the end of the insert chain.

Oscilloscope en Home Mastering

But, what is it good for? Quite simply, to see the impact of the processors applied on the waveform. If your ears don’t have enough training to adequately recognize when a compressor is crushing the dynamics of a song, your eyes will certainly be able to spot the difference between a flat, brick-like waveform and another one with a nice landscape of peaks and valleys.

In terms of plug-ins, we can recommend the very affordable Schwa Schope and, especially, the superb Oscilloscope Multi from Blue Cat Audio, which, like many analysis plug-ins of the brand, lets you visualize several waveforms from different instances of the plug-in within one single window. That feature comes in handy to compare the waveform before and after a processor

A history of perception

MeterPlugs Perception

Throughout this series of articles dedicated to mastering at home, we have insisted several times on the importance of comparing the signals at the same level before and after applying any processing, in order to avoid the famous “louder is better” syndrome. Coincidentally, while we were writing these articles, MeterPlugs brought out a plug-in that simplifies this task. Perception is presented as two modules/plug-ins, one of which is placed at the beginning of the effects chain and the other at the end. In addition, it allows you to bypass your effects chain in a very transparent way, since it compensates the differences in perceived volume. Not bad, eh?

Granted, it doesn’t do anything that couldn’t be done manually and it’s a bit expensive, but the flexibility and productivity enhancement it provides are, in our view, significant enough to be worth mentioning.

Stay tuned to Audiofanzine for the next installment in our mastering odyssey, which is coming to an end soon!

 

 

← Previous article in this series:
Mastering at Home - Part 19
Next article in this series:
Mastering at Home - Part 21 →

Would you like to comment this article?

Log in
Become a member
cookies
We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent
These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Example: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).
Google Analytics
We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.
Advertising
This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies
Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine. The website cannot function properly without these cookies. Examples: cookies that help you stay logged in from page to page or that help customizing your usage of the website (dark mode or filters).

Google Analytics

We are using Google Analytics in order to better understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it. When this parameter is activated, no personal information is sent to Google and the IP addresses are anonymized.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :) We are using Google Ad Manager to display part of our ads, or tools integrated to our own CMS for the rest.


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.
You can also find information about how Google uses personal data by following this link.