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zaclaurent's picture
Joined: 11/18/2013 - 18:43
Mastering Caustic tracks?

Likely our resident tech advisor Mr EIP can answer this?

the closer I get to being confident enough to sequence a full track that could well be released professionally, I'm thinking of how to polish the end result.

for sure, post production can happen in caustic with all the eq, limiter, compressor etc..

but mastering? Not that I understand how to fully!

does anything thing that a literally mastered track can be made using caustic alone? Or do we need a couple more features in the app?

id like to complete everything within the app and absolutely hate using desktop daws now 

please note ( until I get a droid device ), that I'm using an iPod touch and there are some apps I can export Caustic work into to master as best I can, but if possible, I'd like to stay within the app...

skarabee's picture
Joined: 05/15/2012 - 07:52
I think you can achieve very

I think you can achieve very good results within the app. I tried to export some raw mixes in Cubase and Reaper, but even if the result seems more polished, larger, I still prefer doing the whole stuff in Caustic. This way you can share Caustic files, being sure that other will listen to the same sound. One thing I plan to try is to export stems (separate tracks) and put them in a Daw.

But I'm sure EIP will agree with me, you can do it all in Caustic.

My 2db.

Jason's picture
Joined: 03/23/2012 - 21:32
Hey guys what's up!

Hey guys what's up!  Mastering..... sheeesh, I'll keep my mouth mostly closed on that subject, don't want to derail this thread, but I'll say that.... if you know your frequencies and dynamics that your ear picks up -- you can pretty much do it all right here in the app.  Rej has enabled some powerful tools in the Master Strip, which I think is just amazing beyond words.

Cubase, Nuendo and WaveLab are cool and all that (I've used them all) but IMHO, not really necessary.  I am so glad to really be able to unplug from that mess.... those tools are mere luxuries  (well they do have their place for larger scale productions no doubt)

All tracks that I have posted here have all been done in the app for final rendering... no outside tools used.



zaclaurent's picture
Joined: 11/18/2013 - 18:43
Thanks Skarabee:)

Thanks Skarabee:)

zaclaurent's picture
Joined: 11/18/2013 - 18:43
Thanks J! Agree, the master

Thanks J! Agree, the master strip is top notch

my feeling was that it can all be done within Caustic but I needed it confirmed by experienced users like you and Skarabee !

the eqs, limiter and compressor are all fantastic and the mixing desk too of course!

RadioRev's picture
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 02:58
As long as you "play your

As long as you "play your strengths", meaning your musical strengths, as well as caustics inherent strengths, I'm starting to believe a finished album could be created in its entirety in caustic, including the mastering process.

Read, apply, ask, listen, apply, read, read, apply, apply...

Im making beats for some local rappers, and without these forums, as well as many, many, other sites, my tracks would not have cut the mustard! But my understanding of compression was grossly inadequate; as well as my approaches to separation and sound placement (I come from 30 years of piano and acoustic guitar work, which is a different undertaking to mix and master).

I must say, I wouldnt put it past several of us to create the first billboard hit song created on a phone, lol. Anyway back to the grind. Hope I can distill some of my material a little more by xmas to share with you wonderful people.

┬┐que onda, pachuco?

mekanism's picture
Joined: 06/16/2012 - 19:34
I have exported individual

I have exported individual tracks and its fairly easy. The nice thing is you can just solo the track you want, export it and it comes out as the soloed track. I messed around with stemming an entire track and adding ny compression and some other processing but soon realized how important it is to get the source sounds really dialed in. I thought by just doing a little processing I would be able to make the whole track sound fatter, but I noticed it brought out a lot of artifacts I hadnt noticed in Caustic. I plan on trying it again now that I have Izotope Ozone 5. That plugin can really make things sound silky smooth if used correctly.

Barking_Mad's picture
Joined: 12/03/2013 - 11:06
Maybe a silly question but I

Maybe a silly question but I'm technically illiterate, what do finished Caustic tracks sound like on a full speaker set-up. Could you tell it has been written and produced on a mobile device?

lord_bondslave's picture
Joined: 08/30/2013 - 13:35
There are a number of both

There are a number of both amatuer and professionals sharing their work from Caustic on this forum, and they are VERY well produced.  Check out the Show and Tell forum, and the Caustic group on SoundCloud.  Some of us are still just learning the ropes too, so sift a little.

Joined: 12/17/2013 - 07:57
I'm very much a noob where

I'm very much a noob where Caustic's concerned, but here are my thoughts, for what they're worth.

It depends what you mean by 'mastering', because these days there are two meanings: (1) the final polish, loudness maximizing, sprinkle of magic dust, call it what you will, performed on an individual track (2) balancing the relative volumes of several tracks comprising an album or EP, plus final polish etc. Judging by some of the material I've heard on SoundCloud (particularly the recent demos for Caustic 3), Caustic is obviously capable of the first type of mastering. The second type of mastering may be a little more challenging: maybe export the finished tracks as a series of .wav files and then 'play' them back via a PCM synth, using the synth's envelope controls to balance out each song's level?

Joined: 01/14/2014 - 08:40
I have decided to output

I have decided to output individual tracks (with synth automation and effects but no EQ or reverb) to mix on a hardware recorder. It will be easier to add vocals that way, and I like faders.

I assume this means I should solo each track and export the song a number of times?

RobFarley's picture
Joined: 11/02/2013 - 16:43
The way I do it now, which

The way I do it now, which was my mistake before was not listening on multiple devices.

So I do pretty much everything exclusively on headphones, got some nice senny HD215 cans which give a good precise sound. However, they can take as much bass as you throw at them and still keep the top and middle alive.

Put a bass heavy track through a set of speakers and the bass eats up the other frequencies and it sounds awful.

So I now listen to the track in my car after the headphones. Plug my phone into my aux jack in my car, play the track through and monkey with the EQ until it sounds good.

Back to headphones again and make sure everything still sounds tight there.

Then onto my girlfriends crappy hi-fi, aux in that too, same as I do in the car.

Back to headphones...

Then I'm pretty much done.

I do everything on my phone, no external apps, I even export and upload to soundcloud on the phone, and usually take the soundcloud picture on my phone too... And... I think I get away with it. I only switch on a computer to update the tags in soundcloud!

LogicalFrank's picture
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 15:00
Honestly, I think the concept

Honestly, I think the concept of mastering is sort of becoming obsolete. Mastering is for when you had to commit a mix to tape in the studio you mixed in it. It would naturally have some flaws due the accoustics and equipment you used so you'd send it off to a mastering engineer to fix that. A good mastering engineer can do a lot of good for a lot of recordings, it's true, but the three steps of recording, mixing and mastering can be much more fluid w/ a program like Caustic. You can be a little more iterative. Take a break from composing/arranging/sequencing from time to time and check your mix on different speakers. Build a good mix first and if there is something wrong, fix it in the mix. It is easier and more flexible at that point anyway.

As far as using the EQ and compression on the master bus in Caustic, my suggestion is to use a light hand and do most of the work there only after you have your song sounding really good using only the mixer section. Compression is a really difficult concept to get your head around in practice and I can assure you nobody is every going to be able to tell you: "Twist this knob to five and move this slider to seven and you have a goodly amount of compression." I tend to do more harm than good w/ compressors on the master bus so I just avoid it. The EQ is a little more straight forward. My mixes tend to need a boost in the high end when I start testing them out on different speakers so that's about all I really do. Again, use a light hand and don't be afraid to go back to the mixer section and tweak your instruments.

womble dung
womble dung's picture
Joined: 07/13/2016 - 18:19

I tend to use Ableton to "master" tracks, and till recently was making stems by exporting all the individual tracks one at a time.
it was only recently i bothered to notice the stems function in export.

i understand some folk reckon they prefer all the mastering to be done in cauctic itself so as to send the caustic files to other users.
but i don't think it matters,  because you still have the raw caustic file to send folk anyhow.

it just hasn't had any post production added via DAW, so in effect the other users get the raw unadulterated files to experiment with so as to give it their own individual working.
so it's all good! each to their own, and do what you can with what you have.
i've also been enjoying, once i've a peice i'm happy with that's been taken from caustic (using stems, or individual tracks) dropping them into Ableton, then once i've a satisfying version mixed, i then mix it down into as good a quality stereo track as i can muster, then load it in to a fresh workspace as up to two tracks- known as "doubling"  (if i need to give it OOOMF) then create work alongside it in seperate tracks on the same workspace, with my Roland Aira gear (tb-3, system-1m, tr-8, the four fx modules, and the mx-1, and use those to get the live feel to it all.
bl**dy great fun i'll say!

here's a wee number i worked on tonight after having listened to some chunky house/tech, and The Orb all day:
would be nice to see who can have some fun with the file! it's quite a mental deep south r&b dub-tech style.

since soundcloud link didnt seem to embed here in a reply, i've edited this and popped the raw link here for "Funky Arran Bee":

Caustic Song file (optional): 

womble dung
womble dung's picture
Joined: 07/13/2016 - 18:19

as mentioned above, "mastering" in the classic sense is fairly obselete as we have better recording equipment now.
however, simplified it just means making the work you've done sound more "finished".
it seems it is possible to do so with caustic itself, but i think many folk might prefer popping it into their favorite DAW.
i find Ableton tends to give caustic files a really clean smooth lubricated sound and feel which seems to suit my style of recording and sound.

someone above says that for making "stems" they solo each channel on caustic, then export.
well, though i haven't used the function as yet, in the newer caustic release there seems to be (in export) a function for stems which may be worth an experiment, and seems to have one of the stems function that exports them all in one go, if i've got the idea of it correct, though it says it is slow, it may still be quicker than manually exporting each channels file.

stePH's picture
Joined: 04/01/2014 - 13:15
I've been using the stem

I've been using the stem exporting function since before it was made an official feature in 3.2 - the secret numpad unlocked it prior to then. It's a lot quicker than soloing tracks one by one.

Most of the time I start a track in Caustic, export stems and finish in REAPER. I've recently acquired Acid, Sound Forge, and Samplitude in a Humble Bundle deal but haven't tried them yet.


Amel's picture
Joined: 02/21/2015 - 10:00
When I do mastering I picture

When I do mastering I picture. A angle. In Wich my track will be. It has nothing to do with geometry of course, but it helps a lot to my view as a artist. Before that I was struggling. With compression Wich is most fundamental part in mastering. Now I simply put the compressor on max, then I set eq, Wich is vise versa to reality but it works, then I set master volume on 2 a clock. After that you can take.The loudest part of a song and tweak the compressor slightly and smoothly until you set everything on a pleasant level for listening. But, my advice is to this when your ears are fresh and when everything around you is quiet. So this how I usually do it. Mastering of course is not most important part of production. Most important part is composition. No matter what type of music you do, you will always need to think on harmony. If your song is not sounding as you imagine, you probably made mess in frequency range. Cheers

Listen to Rej by MELEVEN #np on #SoundCloud

womble dung
womble dung's picture
Joined: 07/13/2016 - 18:19
yes, the "stems" means of

yes, the "stems" means of exporting indivual files works really well, if a bity slow when you have full length and processed arrangements, BUt still faster than manually exporting them as individual exports (even though thats what stems are.... ocht... u kno what i mean! :-/