A few tips for success with the Greg Calbi Mastering Presets for Ozone
A/B’ing multiple versions
For Greg, multiple comparisons are a must. Doing frequent A/B comparisons between two versions helps him decide which sounds better. Making minor adjustments along the way to each subtle variant of each family of presets, Greg continues the process of comparing and deciding which works better for the mix until he’s arrived at the ideal master.
It’s very important to ensure your final mix has a good deal of headroom to work with before applying any mastering processing. If your final mix is too loud, the mastering processing will sound harsh and over-distorted in most cases, and can make it more difficult to arrive at a great-sounding final master. Greg will even send back mixes that he receives which are too loud or so limited that he has no room to work.
Tweaking for Ozone
In order to get the best results from these presets, you’ll need to take some care setting the incoming level of your mix. The presets expect an ‘average’ (sometimes referred to as RMS) input level of about -16 dBFS, give or take 4 dB. To accomplish this, adjust the input slider within Ozone while watching the plug-in meters. Use -16 dBFS as a target, and adjust the input level up and down by a few dB while listening through Ozone until you like what you hear.
And remember, always compare your master to the original mix at the same level. Ozone’s “Bypass” and Effective Gain Match features allow you to hear the musical effect, independent of level, of how your mastering is affecting the blend, color, and quality of the material.
“Having Ozone and the availability and the flexibility of the presets makes the job a lot easier,” Greg says, “in terms of walking out at night knowing that you did the best thing that you could.”