boji

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2018, 10:23:37 PM »
Quote
Once you truly understand something
Sounds like the classic advice,  'learn the rules before you break them'.

Melismatics... I've sung in choirs, chamber singers, all state in HS, and I learned a word today. Thanks!


JohnRoberts

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2018, 10:59:49 AM »

This has been going on since the beginning of recorded music. Slamming level and having little dynamic range was a requirement for acoustic recording to wax cylinder. Same with shellac 78's. Although not  requirement for signal to noise ratio 7" singles were usually mastered as loud as possible. Sonic compromises were par for the course.

Everything I do is for the lay listener. I could care less what some genius bedroom producer thinks.
+1

All else equal louder generally "sounds" better, so gives a competitive advantage especially in broadcast situations where songs are played side by side with others at same playback volume. Broadcast engineers got serious (less serious) with post processing back in the 70s cobbling together loudspeakers crossovers and multiple compressors. Since then the squashing machines have gotten more sophisticated, but pretty much any way you squash it you are distorting the signal. The trick is not to be so obvious the listener hears you doing it. Modern listeners have probably become accustomed to some clipping by now (unfortunately).

Good luck.

JR

PS: I remember back then buying an album with songs I liked and hearing them untrashed for the very first time.
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

ruffrecords

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2018, 12:25:44 PM »
Since then the squashing machines have gotten more sophisticated, but pretty much any way you squash it you are distorting the signal. The trick is not to be so obvious the listener hears you doing it.
JR

What I dislike most about multi-band compression by radio stations is its detrimental effect on many classic tracks. These were beautifully crafted with the sound created by the arrangement of different instruments blending together. Multi-band compression has a nasty tendency to alter the mix so that blending no longer occurs and destroys the intended sound.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

boji

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2018, 05:50:49 PM »
Quote
Multi-band compression has a nasty tendency to alter the mix so that blending no longer occurs and destroys the intended sound.

Sounds like the tone of some brewery threads!  ;D ;D

mross

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2018, 07:26:20 PM »
It’s all about the mix. I listened to a guy who has mixed several Grammy nominated albums, and his mixes were loud as hell. Each element had its own special place in the mix. Very little, if nothing at all needs to be done in the mastering stage.
So when problems arise during mastering, it is always going to be your mix that needs improvement. For example, If you have one element that is triggering the comp/limiter or both on the master chain, it will squash and compromise all other elements in your mix, making things sound “Bad.” Gain staging is probably the most overlooked element in mixing. Plugins should not be overloaded/clipping. A good starting point is -18dBfs for single tracks. Set your levels correctly first, then subtractive eq, transient shaping/compression, saturation, and additional eq only if need be. Overheads are most important elements of a drum mix imo, always ensure you are not having phase issues with your overheads. High pass filter on elements at frequencies where they stop becoming relevant:(low frequency elements need room to breathe). Mid/side eq can help clean up mud in your stereo image. Set your monitors at a reasonable volume, so your ears can handle long sessions.

Well this is my two cents,
Hope that helps!

Michael

ruffrecords

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #65 on: July 23, 2018, 04:13:22 AM »
It’s all about the mix. I listened to a guy who has mixed several Grammy nominated albums, and his mixes were loud as hell. Each element had its own special place in the mix. Very little, if nothing at all needs to be done in the mastering stage.
So when problems arise during mastering, it is always going to be your mix that needs improvement.
Michael

Which to me is an excellent summary of exactly what is wrong with mastering today.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

leitmo

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #66 on: July 23, 2018, 10:08:44 AM »
What I dislike most about multi-band compression by radio stations is its detrimental effect on many classic tracks. These were beautifully crafted with the sound created by the arrangement of different instruments blending together. Multi-band compression has a nasty tendency to alter the mix so that blending no longer occurs and destroys the intended sound.

Cheers

Ian

Multi-band compression was a necessary evil then. Now is just evil.

I grew up in the 80s. Mainstream stations all sounded similar (smiley curve) but there was this alternative music station sounding not only softer but vaporous, ethereal, airy, natural. This station made me love radio. And here I am, almost in my 40s and working in this radio station I loved (and still love). I asked then which gear/who was responsible of that sound imprint: a very old Orban Optimod set up by an old school engineer. Unfortunately he retires many years ago and Orban Optimod was replaced by a digital one (not bad per se) configurated for competitive sound (aka mainstream sound although music is still alternative).

This leads me to a strange moment listening to this "All time hits station from 60s to 00" and it amazed and scared me how similar Velvet Underground sounded compared to Shania Twain and Nirvana...thanks multiband compression for killing classic records' sonic signature!

Mbira

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #67 on: July 23, 2018, 11:34:39 AM »
I'm not sure how you guys feel about Ian Shepherd as a mastering engineer, but in case you don't know-he has (what I consider) a really good podcast about mastering.  It's worth listening to.  A subject that he talks about a lot is how all the streaming music sites have been changing how they do normalization and at what LUFS those changes are around now.  It definitely is a situation where there is no one solution for mastering engineers.  We are in a time right now where what works for CD is different than what works for radio and that's different than what works for streaming.  I don't envy the real mastering engineers out there because you have to decide which  platform is more important, or on the flip side I guess the artist needs a team that is competent enough to push several different versions of a song to the different platforms.  It seems like that is what happens with the stars, but the small independents are still not able to do this (like how "mastered for itunes" is something that small artists generally can't access).

I may be wrong about some of this stuff, and I'm loving learning as much as I can about it.  It's fascinating!
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

JohnRoberts

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #68 on: July 23, 2018, 11:44:11 AM »
Multi-band compression was a necessary evil then. Now is just evil.
some might argue it wasn't necessary back then, but in competitive markets like big cities, there was pressure to win loudest on the dial (without saturating the transmitter). 
Quote
I grew up in the 80s. Mainstream stations all sounded similar (smiley curve) but there was this alternative music station sounding not only softer but vaporous, ethereal, airy, natural. This station made me love radio.
college radio stations were less squashed (perhaps because they couldn't afford the gear), as well as some classical music stations.
Quote
And here I am, almost in my 40s and working in this radio station I loved (and still love). I asked then which gear/who was responsible of that sound imprint: a very old Orban Optimod set up by an old school engineer. Unfortunately he retires many years ago and Orban Optimod was replaced by a digital one (not bad per se) configurated for competitive sound (aka mainstream sound although music is still alternative).
The "old" Optimod wasn't always old. Robert Orban was pretty well respected for his work in less offensive sounding limiting/compression.  Limiting was the first line of defense to prevent transmitter problems  (over modulation splashed signals to different frequencies and gets the FCC on your butt).  Then compression closely followed desired by the marketing/sales dept.
Quote
This leads me to a strange moment listening to this "All time hits station from 60s to 00" and it amazed and scared me how similar Velvet Underground sounded compared to Shania Twain and Nirvana...thanks multiband compression for killing classic records' sonic signature!
I listen to CDs in my car because local radio sucks that bad. Ironically perhaps my car CD player has a compression button to deal with that noisy environment (sounds like a simple 2:1).

Maybe I am getting old but I listen to old music from my satellite TV receiver and while not completely authentic (for better and worse) it doesn't totally suck, a respite from the 24x7 political ranting from the talking heads (not the band).

JR

PS: For an odd footnote, while growing up we had a Muzak receiver in the living room (at one point my dad was chief engineer there). Now that was easy listening.... ;D
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

mross

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #69 on: July 23, 2018, 12:58:46 PM »
I'm not sure how you guys feel about Ian Shepherd as a mastering engineer, but in case you don't know-he has (what I consider) a really good podcast about mastering.  It's worth listening to.  A subject that he talks about a lot is how all the streaming music sites have been changing how they do normalization and at what LUFS those changes are around now.  It definitely is a situation where there is no one solution for mastering engineers.  We are in a time right now where what works for CD is different than what works for radio and that's different than what works for streaming.  I don't envy the real mastering engineers out there because you have to decide which  platform is more important, or on the flip side I guess the artist needs a team that is competent enough to push several different versions of a song to the different platforms.  It seems like that is what happens with the stars, but the small independents are still not able to do this (like how "mastered for itunes" is something that small artists generally can't access).

I may be wrong about some of this stuff, and I'm loving learning as much as I can about it.  It's fascinating!

Then funny thing about music nowadays is the majority of people are getting used to listening on limited bandwidth systems. iPhones, $5 earbuds, iPads, laptops, sh*tty Bluetooth speakers. In addition to listening on these devices, most audio is either 256kbps-320kbps. On YouTube it is probably even worse. I believe, 99% sure,  xm radio is 96kbps. I mean what the heck. There is plenty of bandwidth/harddrive space on today's smartphones computers etc, to store all their favorite music as uncompressed .wav files (16/44.1) It's laughable that most people pay for music of lesser quality, but hey,  most listeners  won't hear the difference on their iPhone or soda-can Bluetooth jambox anyways.



Michael Ross


ruffrecords

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #70 on: July 24, 2018, 05:09:33 AM »
Then funny thing about music nowadays is the majority of people are getting used to listening on limited bandwidth systems. iPhones, $5 earbuds, iPads, laptops, sh*tty Bluetooth speakers. In addition to listening on these devices, most audio is either 256kbps-320kbps. On YouTube it is probably even worse. I believe, 99% sure,  xm radio is 96kbps. I mean what the heck. There is plenty of bandwidth/harddrive space on today's smartphones computers etc, to store all their favorite music as uncompressed .wav files (16/44.1) It's laughable that most people pay for music of lesser quality, but hey,  most listeners  won't hear the difference on their iPhone or soda-can Bluetooth jambox anyways.

Michael Ross

I think the majority of people have always listened to music on limited bandwidth/quality systems. When I was a teenager it was AM radio and Dansette record players. Very few people had hi-fi systems. Even when FM came along most people had tinny plastic cabinet radios with no bass to speak of. Reproduced audio quality probably peaked in the late 80s up to the millennium with CDs as the main audio source and half decent electronics and speakers available for modest cost. But this was counteracted by the Walkman culture from 1979 onwards that used cheap headphones and cassettes. This continued with the advent of MP3 and cheap memory until today.

Probably the best quality audio people hear today is in their cars.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

JohnRoberts

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #71 on: July 24, 2018, 11:03:11 AM »


Probably the best quality audio people hear today is in their cars.

Cheers

Ian
You can play music on home theater sound systems that will hopefully be better than car acoustics, if done right.

JR 
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

ruffrecords

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2018, 12:07:30 PM »
You can play music on home theater sound systems that will hopefully be better than car acoustics, if done right.

JR

Maybe the USA is different but here in the UK most people do not have home theatre systems, just a regular flat screen TV with very poor speakers.

I meant to mention in my last post that I suspect most ordinary folk are not in the least interested in the quality of the sound. All they are interested in is the music.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

john12ax7

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2018, 04:16:46 PM »
I remember hifi systems being a show piece of the home entertainment system.  But these days huge tvs are common place, while speakers are nowhere to be found.

I think tons of music is being  consumed,  maybe more than ever.  But it is not a focus of attention anymore,  more background for another activity.

DerEber

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2018, 04:24:26 PM »
Well there still must be music lovers.

Like.........
most of my friends.  ;D

They do have decent speakers.
I can go to them to check my mixes and they can describe faults in the mixes in their own language pretty well.

Just my two cent.

PS: some really love loud multiband Comp mixes, some not.
So there is still hope.

DerEber

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #75 on: July 24, 2018, 04:29:22 PM »

PS: some really love loud multiband Comp mixes, some not.
So there is still hope.

I wanted to say that it is still a matter of taste to some people.

JohnRoberts

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2018, 04:56:45 PM »
I wanted to say that it is still a matter of taste to some people.
I recall back in the 70's/80s after buying albums and hearing the unprocessed cuts for the first time. The crunched FM radio version never sounded better than the originals IMO.

JR
Don't only half-ass tune your drums. Visit https://circularscience.com to hear what properly "cleared" drums sound like.

moamps

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #77 on: July 27, 2018, 04:10:43 AM »
FM channel is very limited from today's perspective, in dynamic range and stereo separation. The frequency spectrum is also limited to cca 30Hz to 15kHz. There is also  complex  elliptical LP filter to ensure that there is nothing left at 19kHz where the pilot frequency sits after very aggressive pre-emphasis at 50 or 75uS.
So, any critical listening of jazz or classic music isn't possible. With or without a processor.

Then funny thing about music nowadays is the majority of people are getting used to listening on limited bandwidth systems. iPhones, $5 earbuds, iPads, laptops, sh*tty Bluetooth speakers. In addition to listening on these devices, most audio is either 256kbps-320kbps.

Sad but true.  Btw, most of radio stations in my country play music in 128kbps format.



Seeker

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #78 on: July 27, 2018, 05:30:38 AM »
I’ve found the dynamic spectrum mapper to be one of the best tools for making things loud without obvious distortion...  it’s unlike any other multiband type compressor I’ve ever used,  it’s become one of my favorite plugins.

"Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” - Miles

ruairioflaherty

Re: Mastering Techniques for LOUD
« Reply #79 on: July 27, 2018, 12:23:46 PM »
I’ve found the dynamic spectrum mapper to be one of the best tools for making things loud without obvious distortion...  it’s unlike any other multiband type compressor I’ve ever used,  it’s become one of my favorite plugins.

Paul Frindle is phenomenally smart man.

I've has DSM since it came out and while it has made it onto some projects, it's mostly been rescue jobs.  It can make things very loud without distortion but never IME without changing the mix balance and tone.  I could see mixing into it if I had control of the levers but for me in mastering I need to respect the client's mix first and foremost,

Any chance you could show a screenshot of your make it loud settings?  I'd love to see how you are approaching it, I may be missing something.




 

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