Q: TYVM..can you tell me more of what you are using on the master buss, in terms of VST chain? EQ, Limiter, compressor, etc....my mixes sound very muddy, and I want to learn how to make them sound good.
A: I don't usually use much on the master buss. For limiter I use Limiter 6 (free)
Compressor TDR Kontelnikov (also free)
EQ Acon digital Equalize (any good EQ will do.. some prefer linear phase for the mastering bus..but its way more important to just make a good EQ decision than it is to have a linear phase EQ)
If I EQ on the master bus its just a very minor boost/cut with wide Q (1-2 db)
When my mix's are muddy its usually from a buildup in the low-low/mids that needs to be fixed in the mix.
One trick I do is get an instance of voxengo span (free..or any other spectrum analyzer) on the bass, kick drum and guitar tracks (and anything else that lives in the low mid range), and watch each instance of span while your song is playing to see where they all are trying for the same frequency space.
You may for example, see that they all have a peak between 100-and 350 hz. I then use an EQ and sweep with a boost on each track to find where the most important frequencies are for each instrument. I then make a cut in the other instruments in that area. So say I swept a boost in the kick drum between 100 and 350 and decided around 200 was its sweet spot. I would then cut some from the bass and guitars at around 200. Then do the same for the other instruments. Its just one trick.. not always the best approach for every song.
Also, I usually put a hi pass filter on bass and guitars... sometimes drums to just shave off unnecessary low end frequencies. I just move it up until I hear it removing stuff I like, then back it off a tad.
this guy has a great tutorial for producing metal (if that's what your into)
this is the first part.. there are many videos in this series..