Hook - Hook mastering

HOOK - HOOK Front

Hook is a punkrock collective from Lille, France.
After mastering their first demo they asked me to master their first album.

Hook - Hook

Bandcamp : https://hooklille.bandcamp.com/releases
Mastered at White Noise Studio by Marlon Wolterink april / may 2018

by Marlon Wolterink

The album has 15 tracks which were recorded in Leipzig, already sounded pretty good. Good vibe, good energy.
The sound of every song was about the same.

My task was to enhance the energy and add some fullness to the overall sound.

Resonating :

I noticed while listening to the tracks, that there was some ringing in the cymbals.
This is often happening with cheaper cymbals, close mic'd cymbals or cheaper microphones who have a sort of spikey frequency response.
I can't say if that was the case here, but it was something which needed attention.

I opted for using an dynamic eq in notch behaviour instead of automated frequency, eq-ing.
This is a very small band of eq applied which is ideal to reduce or remove certain frequencies.
The tool used here was the BX_dyneq v2.  You set a threshold which triggers the notch after an x-amount of gain on that band has been reached. It also features a max gain setting which allows you to restrict the amount of gain reducing or boosting. Very useful if you want to keep things natural.

By removing those resonating frequencies other slight disbalances came forward. This is a form of masking. Some frequenies are too loud which blocks you from hearing other disbalances in the audio spectrum. After removing the resonances in the cymbals it uncloaked thet there were a small disbalance around 2,5 Khz  and 6 Khz. It created a bit of an harsh sound. So, after adressing all of those frequencies I could boost the entire mid range for more impact.

Hook General EQ

The consequence of doing dipping in the frequency spectrum is that the overall sound can somewhat appear a bit duller. But with a more even spectrum, broad boosting will add the excitement needed. The entire master was routed through the Studio's WNS Transformifier, which is a device which adds transformers into the signal path. These add color and some harmonics to the sound, making it sound richer and glue the overall sound a bit more together. It was set to m/s processing with the sides adding more midrange boost and the mid more high frequencies. A bit of low end boost was added to fill out the bottom end of the songs. Mid side eq was added to the mid channel to add some beef to the vocals. The mix was already pretty flat dynamics wise so I didn't have to do too much dynamics wise, just a bit of limiting at the end to capture some random peaks. In the end a great kickass album!