So, mastering. This part of it is all about getting into each track, listening to each individual instrument and tweaking the "sound" - tone, reverb, other effects - maybe trying to get rid of extraneous noise, all that sort of thing. Then I listen to the section and try and make the relative volumes and stereo placings work (having stereo is brilliant, it's gives you more "space" to fit instruments in, and for them not to mask each other.
Some of the sections have been broken into smaller projects, mostly because if there is too much on, cubase is susceptible to crashes. I have been having problems particularly with the sampler Kontakt, where it tends to (more often than not) crash when I try to master out a track. The first half of the second section was fine. The second half was the one where the title of this post comes from. Last night I spent an entirely frustrating 2 hours trying to master out. There were several things I have tried, which have been intermittently successful in the past - mostly around saving as a new filename and restarting the project, or making a copy of the project file and restarting, or restarting the computer and starting again. In more extreme cases I have had to get rid of Kontakt from the project and start again for that bit. Nothing worked. In this case it was a flute line I was trying to sort out, so I managed to master without the flute in, and took the flute line into a separate project on its own, thinking this surely must be OK - nope, refused to master and crashed.
Eventually I did get it mastered, when I decided to just try and change which reverb plug-in I was using. So maybe Kontakt and that reverb don't play nicely together (I'll have to watch out for that). This is a shame because it is a beauuuuutiful convolution reverb which mimics some real (and lovely) spaces).
So finally I got section 2 mastered. Section 3 took 15 minutes, and section 4 another 30. I'm just listening through now as write and it all seems quite nice and shiny.
After I have mastered all the sections, I need to have more listening to see if there is anything else I would like to fix, and then the final thing to do is check the relative volume of all sections. At the moment there is some discrepancy.
And so... into section 5