Well to begin with, presenting your work with a comparison between a -10db source and a damn-near 0db master is misleading as all hell. Louder volumes invariable screw the listener into thinking there's been a positive change. Both should be presented at the same relative loudness if you want people to judge the quality of your work. Makes me think you're either trying the oldest trick in the book of bad mastering by making your version so much louder than the source, or that you have actually started working on mastering without normalizing your source first. In either case, not a good sign. You should also have presented the exact same clips instead of flipping the switch mid-track.
As for the mastering itself. Overpowering mids and highs, and weak lows. Just riding the volume fader between the two parts to make them sensibly the same loudness will reveal that the original to have a much better balance between frequencies. It has some mixing problems, like the muddy snare, some annoying frequencies in the organ-ish sound, and the reverb (or release?) on the voice-like pad is a bit too strong but is still overall better than the second part. It's a mid-aggressive result and can't be listened to at relatively high volumes because the square wave and snare will come out and punch you in the teeth before any of the background comes up to support it.
The problems with the original should be fixed at the mix level. Mastering is a subtle thing that is meant to polish a good mix to a high gloss, not change it from day to night or fix mixing problems that shouldn't be addressed by mastering.
It's all good if the artist that commissioned the work is happy with the result. But yknow.. Lars Ulrich was happy with the bass levels on Justice For All......just saying.
Good to see you backing up your comments. But to be fair this is the very first chip music based track i've ever mastered so of course it's not going to be the most amazing work i've ever produced.
The overall level comparison between the two tracks is there to demonstrate two things, what a track should sound like before mastering and then to showcase that level that is made during mastering. I think your interpreting it as me trying to say I can make your music sound huge, which is not what i'm trying to illustrate here.
I'm of the strong belief that the trend to master to extreme loudness has its place in electronic music but loudness is less important than hearing the dynamics that make the music more interesting and less fatiguing on the ears. I would usually stick to around -0.5/-0.9dB to avoid a final output file reaching 0db or close to it. I'm well aware that there are plenty of chip musicians that push the music all the way to 0dB but it's unnecessary in my oppinion.
My original goal was to get really good at mastering chip music, hence i'm offering free mastering with no strings attached so I can try and achieve this. From your post it sounds like your calling me out on some malice to mislead people with some 'old tricks' which is not my goal. I think this sort of treament is a little unfair especially when you don't know me from a bar of soap.
I'm just working with what i had in front of me, I kept the mix fairly honest imo. The EQ could use some work but that's all part of the learning curve working with chip music and i'm sure i'll find my way to the right sound once i find a bunch of reference tracks that allow me to hone in on the right frequencies. (To be honest because most of the chip music i've heard is so loud it makes for a unreliable reference, i've found a few tracks by some dutch artist that work but I could use some more references that fit the bill).
Turns out i'm actually stoked you gave me this feedback, i'd prefer to hear truthful thoughts & comments than one line of negativity that leads to no growth so thanks for getting back to me and being honest in saying your piece.
I'll be up front and say "Justice" is actually one of my favourite Metallica albums, even if that album didn't have much bass I guess we learn from that album its not all about bass levels as it went 8 x platinum in the US alone. Lars Ulrich is a pretty picky dude, the artist in their oppinion is always right even if they are wrong, as a mastering engineer you need to learn that from day one and give them the sound they ask.
Thanks for your feedback.