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 Is this mastering house full of BS?
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sonusman Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can upload .wav files as I recall. A stereo .wav file is about 10mb per minute...

If you did two 30 second examples that would be reasonable for people with high speed.

I would take a 30 second clip of a transition in a song from like a verse to a chorus, as this is usually where you hear the most drastic results from mastering. Or, just any part to goes from spartan to dense, low in volume to high...etc....

The problem with just ONE song as an example for how good "mastering" is is that anybody posting that could be showing their "best" work, and only the best in a collection of songs. The true test of mastering ability is bringing the good and the bad together and creating an acceptable "average" that makes the collection of songs cohesive. Another good display is taking something that wasn't mixed that well and doing improvements to it that most would find to be "good" improvements. I guess that I am saying that usually, it is harder to mess up something good than it is to improve something that is not so good.

Yeah, mp3's, even at 192kbs rates still don't quite capture what was really there. On the casual listen, it is fine, but upon closer inspection between the mp3 and the original .wav, there is definately differences!

GIGO does apply to mp3's though.

I won't get started on different codecs either. Well, maybe I will. Smile

I DON'T like the Lame codec at all. Compared to Fraunhofer, it does things at even 256kbs that I don't like compared to Fraunhofer. I feel Fraunhofer is a more "natural" sounding mp3 codec. To my ears, a Fraunhofer codec encodes something that is much closer to the original that Lame does. The difference is admittedly sublte, and missed by many it seems. Some will claim I am just wanting to notice a difference, or that my "preference" is simply that. Some don't agree with me at all! But at the end of the day, I don't use Lame, and do use Fraunhofer. Smile

Anyway.....mastering, what a subjective art! Very Happy

Ed

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MC Gitarz Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well your ears are definitely trained better than mine for that sort of thing. I was just impressed that I noticed the h-u-g-e difference after the mastering. And that led to my mp3 epiphany. More on that later.

I'll post up those samples this weekend if that's OK - it'll take me some time because I have to use MusicMatch to do the curtailed versions. I'll pick a couple tunes and post the samples up - I think it would be a good learning/listening experience.

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MC Gitarz Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted two 20-second clips in the "Listening Room." (Can't upload music files in this forum.) The thread is called A-B Mastering Experiment (or something like that.)
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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Son of Mixerman wrote:
What Xarc is claimning is nothing new. Lots of ME's are doing this, your just won't find it on the radio right now as much. Brad Blackwood, Dave Collins, Bob Katz and about another 30 to 300 ME's know how to made loud and clear without crushing it. I have seen Xarc over at the mastering webboard chatting with other ME's and seems to be as knowldegable as most but certainly not in the same league as Glen Meadows and Bob Ohlsson.
Alot of what ends up crushed it usually already crushed when it hits the ME. So its difficult to really guage how well an ME does when you can ref the source. I haven't heard anything from Xarc so I can't say but John Scrip drew the same amount of criticism at first.

Has anyone asked John Scrip to moderate the mastering forum here at RP?

Peace,
SoMm


I didn't want to wake up an old thread, but I saw my name in there...

(A) SoMm, mallcore - Thanks for the vote of confidence. If nominated, I shall consider. If elected, I shall serve.

(B) I'm not sure about the subject that I drew criticism from... Not like I haven't drawn criticism before, but the claim in that (allegedly, to wit, XARC) makes is somewhat strange... There really isn't any particular way once 0dB is reached that you can increase gain without messing with the dynamics. I could see "increasing clarity and punch while preserving as much of the dynamic range as possible," (which I should probably put on my site if it's not there already) but I don't remember ever making a claim like the one in question. Again, not that I don't draw my fair share of criticism. I guess... But it's usually about something goofy like 5-way parallel compression or something...

HOWEVER - I did check out their site for a few minutes and found a quote that I find far more disturbing... "...we are able to use our specialized equipment and experience to bring even the worst recordings up to the high quality required for commercial release."

And this, when I'm in the middle of an article about the "potential" of a mix... That one is just bizzare unless they've never actually heard some of the "worst" recordings before. I know I have, and they came out of here "less irritating" and maybe "slightly better sounding" but certainly not "up to the high quality required for commercial release" even though a few of them were commercially released (I kindly asked that my name NOT be mentioned or credited in any way).

Not that there haven't been some "miracle" masters in here... Recordings that sounded... "weak" is a good term, I guess - that came out sounding completely different on the way out. I even have a sample file up that I've been (publicly) accused of faking. Someone actually thought that I took a good recording and made it sound worse to make myself seem better. But anyway, the point is that truly bad recordings normally have a tendency to stay that way.

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sonicpaint Offline
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 10:08 pm    Post subject: Again I agree. Reply with quote

I have to agree with Massive on this one too. If these claims are being made then the mastering house in question hasn't really heard "bad recordings".

I think what bothers me the most is that for those who are unaware of what takes place in Mastering can be sucked in to crap like that when they could have gotten someone else to do it with either more experience, or at the very least a person that doesn't promise miracles where they can't be produced.

Good response Massive. I'm sure there would be more if the site was read all the way through.

sonicpaint

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Son of Mixerman Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the original comments/question towards Massive Mastering was soley based upon a knee jerk reaction to the influx of web based mastering "facilities" using SF and PC speakers that have come and go on this BBS in the past.


And there are ME's that almost never get bad mixes so who know what their complete skill set is really like.

Everyone starts somewhere and so I understand that Lorenz may not have exact grasps on terminology or complete understanding on certain aspects, who really does if it comes down to it. I certainly have not experienced every piece of gear and AE technique known to man. Even the best in the business are constantly learning and adapting to the ebb and flow. I think if everyone keeps an open mind and a willingness to listen then we all benefit from the total experience.


SoMm
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sonicpaint Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Everyone starts somewhere and so I understand that Lorenz may not have exact grasps on terminology or complete understanding on certain aspects, who really does if it comes down to it. I certainly have not experienced every piece of gear and AE technique known to man. Even the best in the business are constantly learning and adapting to the ebb and flow. I think if everyone keeps an open mind and a willingness to listen then we all benefit from the total experience.


I don't know about anyone else but I know I never said anything regarding knowing every AE technique known to man or anything even remotely close to that. When someone has the understanding as you said this person does about mastering or anything for that matter, they shouldn't make claims that are not true. That is the issue that we are discussing here.

Anyone that makes claims regarding something that is not the truth will be "exposed" from those who also know and understand any given process. That's just the way it is and I don't think anyone is exempt from that, not me not Massive not even the almighty Bob Katz. It's not a bad thing (at least not in my eyes) because I think this process is what keeps everyone in check.

You are right though everyone does start off somewhere and that's a given. I just think it's wrong to give people false perceptions as to what can be done to any given material.

I'm not trying to offend anyone here I'm just trying to get to the truth that's all. We all learn from each other when we keep an open mind but if we believe everything that is said by people in the "business" then we're just being gullible and blind to the truth.

Take no offense guys, just my two cents. Wink

sonicpaint

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Son of Mixerman Offline
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonicpaint wrote:

I don't know about anyone else but I know I never said anything regarding knowing every AE technique known to man or anything even remotely close to that.


It was a thought that popped into my head and had nothing to do with anyones comments. ADHD does that Smile


I did see where Lorenz said he wasn't an ME in this thread and that alone tells me something about the learning curve.


sonicpaint wrote:

When someone has the understanding as you said this person does about mastering or anything for that matter, they shouldn't make claims that are not true. That is the issue that we are discussing here.



Sometimes people don't know something may not be true, even amongst the top 10 percent of the best ME's they sometimes get caught up in the advertising hype without realizing it. I think in todays world its a much safer bet to ask the tough questions even if its not always recieved gracefully. For myself I've been trying to use my ears to whether or not someone knows what their doing rather than what their saying. The proof is in the pudding if you will.

SoMm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2004 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sometimes people don't know something may not be true, even amongst the top 10 percent of the best ME's they sometimes get caught up in the advertising hype without realizing it


I don't see how someone can make statements when they don't know it's true. Is it that or is it that they make the statements hoping that the potential clients will think that they have something more substantial then other Mastering Engineers?

It's questionable as to the reasons behind why people make statements as they do. I do think though for the most part that people who provide a service (in this case Mastering) do know that their claims are false. If they didn't, then they are not qualified to provide the service in the first place. That's how I feel anyway.

sonicpaint

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Son of Mixerman Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sonicpaint wrote:

I don't see how someone can make statements when they don't know it's true.
Happens all the time. in every walk of life. For instance look at the news, how often have they said something "thinking" they knew something only to have to correct themselves? Misinformation is easily spread and repeated many times over. Wives tales are another example. Go look in the "other places" Mic section you will see planety of example of people talking about things as if they knew the truth. Mythology depends on it. But as an example over at the other site a well known member who has tons of high end gear and a really nice studio with gobs of experience as a recording engineer and does mastering made some comments that 99% of the people would buy into it. Another professional ME with way more mastering knowledge and experience called him on the info. Big eye opener for me and other as well. I still can't say whether it was misinformation or an outright deception.


sonicpaint wrote:

Is it that or is it that they make the statements hoping that the potential clients will think that they have something more substantial then other Mastering Engineers?
I think there could be some of this going on and poking fun at them can sometimes make them retract misleading comments. I think alot of people don't realize that the importance of truth is on a steep decline. We see it in the news all the time, especially in politics at the moment. May I suggest reading some of Prof. theMarianne M. Jennings material. In 2003 I had to a take a 4 hour long class on eithic because of the poor ethical decisions made by some co-workers. I was blown away at the statistics gathered from studies. She he a leading educator on Business Ethics. She told us how Enron got to where they ended up, and it all started with a "little lie".

sonicpaint wrote:

It's questionable as to the reasons behind why people make statements as they do. I do think though for the most part that people who provide a service (in this case Mastering) do know that their claims are false. If they didn't, then they are not qualified to provide the service in the first place. That's how I feel anyway.

sonicpaint


I used to think that people who provided a service needed to know the truth about thier products. Guitar Center proved me wrong in addition to the previous example above. So the way I feel is that you just keep doing what your doing, if it doesn't sound right ask the question.
Ive been learning mastering for about 3 years now and Im still scratching at the surface. So much to learn and for me, some of the more advanced stuff is so easily misinterpreted that I have mislead people Im sure. Newbies I believe need a different margin of error.

My original comments were not specifically addressing ethical issues but just plain old weeding out information. But now you've got my brain working on maybe taking closer looks at webvertisements.

Peace,
SoMm
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TheCrappyBeatle Offline






PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no moderator here!!!

WHOOOOOOOO!!!!!

I can ramble on & on about nothing!

PFFFFFFFFTTTT!!!!

Poop!!! Poop!!


Ummm....



Sorry....


I'll act better now....


Laughing
Crappy B
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sonicpaint Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2004 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But as an example over at the other site a well known member who has tons of high end gear and a really nice studio with gobs of experience as a recording engineer and does mastering made some comments that 99% of the people would buy into it.


lol.....I wonder who that is? I guess I've always been the type of person to kind of learn but to keep my mind open about what people say. Some people have tons of experience but there work isn't all that great. I'm sure that we all know people that have a lot of experience doing something but surprisingly enough are not that great at what they do, not to mention what some people say and what is the truth can be completely different things. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are different levels of experience and not just the amount of time in months or years that a person has been doing something. I hope this makes sense.

I think your right when you mentioned that the truth is in short supply and it sucks that some people can be taken in by someone that is completely full of BS. It's just the way it is but sooner or later those people who either lie, twist words or mislead others will be tested from time to time from others who have the experience and knowledge to correct what's being said or advertised.

Great points Son of Mixerman. Thanks for posting your comments.

TheCrappyBeatle I'm not sure how to take your post dude...lol. Confused

sonicpaint

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TheCrappyBeatle Offline






PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="sonicpaint"]
Quote:
But as an example over at the other site a well known member who has tons of high end gear and a really nice studio with gobs of experience as a recording engineer and does mastering made some comments that 99% of the people would buy into it.


I know of whom you speak...And I agree.

[quote="sonicpaint"]
Quote:
TheCrappyBeatle I'm not sure how to take your post dude...lol. Confused
sonicpaint


With a grain of salt, my good man...
I actually try to balance humour with seriousness when it comes to this whole recording thingy.

Very Happy

Crappy B
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MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="TheCrappyBeatle"][quote="sonicpaint"]
Quote:
But as an example over at the other site a well known member who has tons of high end gear and a really nice studio with gobs of experience as a recording engineer and does mastering made some comments that 99% of the people would buy into it.


I must be a moron - Who are you talking about? Who tore him apart?

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

The "other site" is HR, right?

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Son of Mixerman Offline
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you asking for dirty laundry here?

The sordid details ....the truth...the whole mexifry?


SoMM
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2004 12:06 pm    Post subject: You'll get to know him Massive....lol Reply with quote

Hey Massive your not a moron dude just a newbie to the forum, you'll find out soon enough I think. It's all good. Very Happy

CrappyBeatle that's a good way to think about it. Keep it up we need the humor a lot of the time.

I mentioned that I think I know who it is but now that I did and someones has mentioned it too, I want to know for sure.....lol. A clue? Is his studio picture up in the forums header?

sonicpaint

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Son of Mixerman Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: You'll get to know him Massive....lol Reply with quote

sonicpaint wrote:
Hey Massive your not a moron dude just a newbie to the forum, you'll find out soon enough I think. It's all good. Very Happy

CrappyBeatle that's a good way to think about it. Keep it up we need the humor a lot of the time.

I mentioned that I think I know who it is but now that I did and someones has mentioned it too, I want to know for sure.....lol. A clue? Is his studio picture up in the forums header?

sonicpaint


No. His studio as far as I know has not been banner'd.

SoMm
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: My guess was wrong....lol Reply with quote

I'm stumped then and I'm in the same boat as Massive then. Laughing Embarassed It would be nice to know who it is now.

sonicpaint

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really stupid for me to reply to such an old post,,,, but

I'm going to shed my "Dan Quayle" persona,,, (potato"e"s)....!aka normalizing..!

I'm accused of "HOT" level CD's almost to the point that people are annoyed for taming the volume because mine are so LOUD!!

My peaks are beautiful,,, and not "fenced-topped"!! My peaks are healthy with lot's of "airy" ambience!!

I do push the limiters so my final levels read between -.5db to -.2db ..

... is that so hard?

....is it my technique by "daisy-chained" dithers?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MC Gitarz--. By the way, Milan's CD sounds incredibly good! Lots of depth, clarity and air in the mixes. Very balanced in terms of overall EQ--it just has that extra component that makes it "right".
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My peaks are beautiful,,, and not "fenced-topped"!! My peaks are healthy


Now THIS is what I like to hear coming out towards the end of the production line. A real turn-on. Shocked Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:30 pm    Post subject: .... Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi
yea unofrtuantkly I wish it was that easy. To gain commercial volume you have to compromise the sonic integrity of the wave to a certain degree. Thats what the whole volume verse dynamic argument has been for years. I have mastered over 200 albums nowand trust me there not way to eliminate distortion and gain a comercial volume.

The good thing is that there are more producers around that are willing to choose the "right" volume (relatively speaking). I have 5 producers that i work for an all of them are not as much into volume as they are into dynamic integrity and musical mastering rather than "smash it ont he head" mastering

Its teh mastering engineers job to give the illusion of dynamics even if there not in reality there by placing everythng in its own sonic bubble

is there anywhere where we can downlaod a comparison?

kind regards
Andy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old thread, but I'll pipe in. When the hell did mastering turn into a freaking loudness contest? In a former life I was an audio/video mastering engineer for 10 years. The whole point of mastering up until the modern digital age was to prepare content for target media. IE vinyl, 1/4" stereo tape, cassettes, 8-track cassettes, vhs, radio and/or tv broadcast, and then cd's showed up. We compressed and limited for the purpose of making sure things "fit" on the target media. Not for "loudness" or effect. That was just a sonic bi-product that somewhere along the line became desirable and eventually the primary reason for mastering. I think it's more accurate to call today's mastering "finalized mixing". Then your "master" might get re-mastered at the dupe plant when they get stuff prep'd for the the glass master.

Personally, I think mastering for the home job or even project studio is pointless. Unless you're doing commercial grade work and need your high bit high sample rate stuff knocked down to 16 bit 44.1k with as little artifacts as possible, mastering is a waste of a money. I mean, look at the primary target media now... mp3's for people's ipods. Plus, there are so many tools out there now compared to my day. Like the magazines sell ya..."anybody with sound forge is a mastering engineer."

OTOH, I used to do quite a bit of corrective mastering... taking care of tape noise, mysterious hums, pops, drop outs, sibilance, etc. It's not that I had great tools but I had a lot of experience to take care of those things and could probably do it quicker than most people. We did have an awesome listening environment though. Urei time aligned monitors were sweet.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi
you have a valid point mastering now unfortunately has turned into a volume shit fight. ITs all about balancing the commercial volume requirements of a commercial release with as much sonic integity as you can manage. As for when it started being about volume? I am not sure where you have been but I have been mastering commercially for over 10 years now and its always been about volume with my clients irrespective of whether I try to tell them otherwise
kind regards
Andy
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