My Client wants no rolloff
Old 29th November 2008
  #1
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My Client wants no rolloff

They hear the impairment caused by any eq I have - plugs waves, uad, samplitude, or analog out through prism, through oram mws, back in prism. They hear what's happening and just want it as clean as possible. What they can't hear is what the rumble does to the headroom - but they don't care. Shall I insist, do it behind their backs, or what?

Last edited by tmcconnell; 29th November 2008 at 01:58 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 29th November 2008
  #2
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Give it to em quieter and see how their opinion changes then
Old 29th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcconnell View Post
They hear the impairment caused by any eq I have - plugs waves, uad, samplitude, or analog out through prism, through oram mws, back in prism. They hear what's happening and just want it as clean as possible. What they can't hear is what the rumble does to the headroom - but they don't care. Shall I insist, do it behind their backs, or what?
If extreme lows are giving you a hard time, maybe check for DC offset (just in case).
Otherwise, make it quieter
Old 29th November 2008
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcconnell View Post
They hear the impairment caused by any eq I have - plugs waves, uad, samplitude, or analog out through prism, through oram mws, back in prism. They hear what's happening and just want it as clean as possible. What they can't hear is what the rumble does to the headroom - but they don't care. Shall I insist, do it behind their backs, or what?
I would try to appeal to their common sense and explain that the rumble will have adverse results when they play it in some systems like some club enviroments {assuming this is dance music - of course}. I would show them a screenshot of the spectrum and point out where the rumble is - what it does to the overall sound and what it will do to the end result. My 2C.

Regards,
Old 29th November 2008
  #5
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Rolloffs, if you mean Hi-Pass filters, are not necessary all the time (or even half the time). Do a little shelving cut down very low if you want to clean up rumble; then you can honestly say you used no HPF.
Old 29th November 2008
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Customer is king - if they want the rumble, let 'em keep it.
Old 29th November 2008
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An artist who I just finished mixing a project with wanted the ME to keep as much freq content as possible. Same thing happened, was a little rumbly on a couple of tracks, but in the end the ME found a great balance between loudness and keeping most of the low end.

So yeah the artist accepted that it won't be as loud, but the record sounds much better for it I believe.
Old 29th November 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H View Post
Customer is king - if they want the rumble, let 'em keep it.

Nice avatar man - couldn't help but post these old internet faves... Silly I know, but...




and of course



I must have seen that a thousand times and it still tickles me
Old 30th November 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Give it to em quieter and see how their opinion changes then
This is what usually happens here ........ then they go from no high-pass at all to a "tiny bit of high-pass please"
However low it might be the problem is it will always affect other elements up above anyway ...............
Old 2nd December 2008
  #10
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Thanks and...

Thank you all for the thoughtful replies. I like all the ideas - I think I should just burn them a version with the rolloff and see if they can hear any difference outside the studio. The end product does indeed slam with no rolloff but its too much with a sub. (They say "almost no one has nice subs" - which is of course not true.).

Any suggestions for the cleanest possible rolloff? to my ear, my old waves lineq bass is quite transparant. the UAD cambridge is good too - but you can clearly hear the smear when its inline. In the analog world I'd be tempted wire up a 1st order hp filter - 1 cap. Is there something along those lines in the digital world? Butt simple, and unobtrusive?
Old 2nd December 2008
  #11
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Get a boombox, and play a mix without the rolloff. See how far you can turn up the volume up before it sounds really crappy and the speakers are woofing and puffing like an asthmatic squirrel.

Then play a mix with the rolloff and show them how far they can turn up the volume and still sound great.

Quote:
In the analog world I'd be tempted wire up a 1st order hp filter - 1 cap. Is there something along those lines in the digital world? Butt simple, and unobtrusive?
A -6dB rolloff.
Old 4th December 2008
  #12
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Don't rule out that your client might be right. I remember having a conversation with eddie schreyer about mastering the Kyuss records and the back and forth between he and the clients about this record. They ended up keeping way more low end rumble than would be appropriate on almost any other record but it totally works for the band and there is something really beautiful about the sludgey low end on those album, especially Welcome to Sky Valley..
Old 4th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
Don't rule out that your client might be right. I remember having a conversation with eddie schreyer about mastering the Kyuss records and the back and forth between he and the clients about this record. They ended up keeping way more low end rumble than would be appropriate on almost any other record but it totally works for the band and there is something really beautiful about the sludgey low end on those album, especially Welcome to Sky Valley..
Believe it or not a bit of low rumble isn't bad medicine sometimes. I had a client whose rock mixes were - well - less than ideal. He was not able to do more adjustments as the band needed a record like yesterday. Rather than mastering 'as is' and present a product that obviously wasn't 'up to par' with other comparable CDs - I used the 'darkness' of their tracks to work to the project's advantage {which masked some of the mixes' imperfections}. I don't know if you understand what I mean,

Best regards,
Old 4th December 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcconnell View Post
They hear the impairment caused by any eq I have - plugs waves, uad, samplitude, or analog out through prism, through oram mws, back in prism. They hear what's happening and just want it as clean as possible. What they can't hear is what the rumble does to the headroom - but they don't care. Shall I insist, do it behind their backs, or what?
I hope you're joking here.

I don't know how these sessions go, but right then and there can't you explain to him the reprecussions? Is it their 1st mastering session? Likely they already know how low end effects their mix, which is why the specifically ask to not process it.

I appreciate the care you have for your customers end product, but who is to say that your idea of "right" is the sound they want?

Doing it behind their back, to me indicates that you arent capable of communicating or listening to your customer.
Old 5th December 2008
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Plenty of great sounding albums, including rock, feature healthy to surprising amounts of lows or subs. It can actually add to their sense of "bigness", whilst being loud enough. All things in context with the rest of the spectrum, the mix, the vibe of the thing and the album as a whole.
Old 5th December 2008
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomshanka View Post
Plenty of great sounding albums, including rock, feature healthy to surprising amounts of lows or subs. It can actually add to their sense of "bigness", whilst being loud enough. All things in context with the rest of the spectrum, the mix, the vibe of the thing and the album as a whole.
Very true But let me remind you that if real 'loudness' is also the goal here {RMS total power between -9 and -7dB} you just can't afford to have too much sub sonic density. It's a luxury you don't have at these ridiculously loud levels. You need to roll that off and hopefully under your client's nose.

Best,
Old 5th December 2008
  #17
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Not many people complain about too much bass. If they like it then leave the subs there, less work for you.
Old 5th December 2008
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Not many people complain about too much bass. If they like it then leave the subs there, less work for you.
Hi Ben! Not many complain about loudness in this part of the world either - yet if you want to have it - you need to compress bass tight and roll off everything below 20 and even up to 38 Hz. Bottom line you can't have a very bassy loud mix at least not the kind of loud mixes found in metal music.

Regards,
Old 7th December 2008
  #19
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honesty is the best policy

No way I'd give them a product that did not reflect their request - but, I am allowed to give them 2 versions and ask them which one they like best. t
Old 7th December 2008
  #20
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Does it need it???
If it was mixed right, it should not.
Is it appropriate for the style of music?
Old 7th December 2008
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward_Vinatea View Post
Very true But let me remind you that if real 'loudness' is also the goal here {RMS total power between -9 and -7dB} you just can't afford to have too much sub sonic density. It's a luxury you don't have at these ridiculously loud levels. You need to roll that off and hopefully under your client's nose.

Best,
If.
Loudness may (or may not) be an outcome, but the sound is the goal. Always. The client may be oblivious to how you got there, but not oblivious to the result.
Old 7th December 2008
  #22
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your job as a mastering engineer is to do what you think is right for the final master. Thats what they hired you for. If they don't want certain things that you are doing and you feel they are best... then you and this client are not a good match. Cut your losses. Perhaps they should master it themselves.
Old 7th December 2008
  #23
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where is the high-pass being set? i regularily set on at 32 for rock if they want that -9 to -7 rms thing.

usually in the mix this stuff has been addressed and anything going down that low is sounding appropriate anyway.
Old 7th December 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
your job as a mastering engineer is to do what you think is right for the final master. Thats what they hired you for. If they don't want certain things that you are doing and you feel they are best... then you and this client are not a good match. Cut your losses. Perhaps they should master it themselves.
As a guy that both masters for clients but is also a regular client of mastering engineers I could not disagree with this more.

The mastering engineers job is to help translate the producer and the artist's vision to the final master.

Of course its the mastering engineers job to give me advice and to warn me if he/she thinks one of my ideas might create technical problems, or go against he what I have articulated as the goal of the album, but if I ever worked with a mastering engineer that told me he was doing it his way, or go somewhere else, you can guarantee I would go somewhere else and that guy would never have to worry about ever having me as a client again.
Old 7th December 2008
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomshanka View Post
If.
Loudness may (or may not) be an outcome, but the sound is the goal. Always. The client may be oblivious to how you got there, but not oblivious to the result.
I am not arguing your point - but I need to stress the fact to all Slutz that you can't have extra sub sonic content if your mix is to be insanely loud. That's all I meant to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_bunny View Post
where is the high-pass being set? i regularily set on at 32 for rock if they want that -9 to -7 rms thing.

usually in the mix this stuff has been addressed and anything going down that low is sounding appropriate anyway.
There are no rules as to where you can set a low cut filter, you do it wherever the mix tells you or wherever is appropriate for the music. Knowing whatever the mix tells you however is the trick.

Peace out,
Old 8th December 2008
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
your job as a mastering engineer is to do what you think is right for the final master. Thats what they hired you for.
Yep. Work with the client wherever possible*.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
If they don't want certain things that you are doing and you feel they are best... then you and this client are not a good match. Cut your losses.
Which, to me, only further emphasizes working with the client, educating them as to why you'd feel it would be best a certain way, clarifying of course you can go their way if they insist. IME most clients, by far, are happy knowing you're on the ball & able to forego any unnecessary processing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
Perhaps they should master it themselves.
They're not likely to get the experienced objective insight via mastering it themselves. *Mastering is a service above and beyond any specific processing. Level may be an aspect of the desired sound but the sound is the goal, within the context of the client's vision and your experience in an honest reference monitoring environment. My main point is the sound: If real loudness = "bigness" then, more often than not, music's lowest octaves are a significant contributor.
If you're talking specifically metal music then sure it may well have significantly less subsonic content anyway than rootsy rock, dub, hip hop, etc, etc.
Then again, if others are going to mp3 convert later - possibly unknowingly via further 20Hz HPF - then that will essentially further steepen the effect of any existing filter, and more thinning damage (and possibly clipping via filter ripple) is the result.
Old 8th December 2008
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
As a guy that both masters for clients but is also a regular client of mastering engineers I could not disagree with this more.

The mastering engineers job is to help translate the producer and the artist's vision to the final master.

Of course its the mastering engineers job to give me advice and to warn me if he/she thinks one of my ideas might create technical problems, or go against he what I have articulated as the goal of the album, but if I ever worked with a mastering engineer that told me he was doing it his way, or go somewhere else, you can guarantee I would go somewhere else and that guy would never have to worry about ever having me as a client again.

as a mastering engineer I couldn't disagree with this more. The mastering engineer shouldn't be translating any vision.. thats what MIXERS are for. The mastering engineer takes the mixer and producer's visions and makes any final necessary decisions to make the ultimate final product that will SOUND GOOD. To say they are translating a vision makes the process sound less transparent then it should be. And the beauty of good mastering is its transparency.

If you are hiring a mastering engineer, you are hiring them because you LIKE THEIR WORK. So if you like their work, you trust them to do their thing. By hassling them about something like a hi pass rolloff, you are NOT letting them do their thing. So the whole process is pointless.
Old 8th December 2008
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
as a mastering engineer I couldn't disagree with this more. The mastering engineer shouldn't be translating any vision.. thats what MIXERS are for. The mastering engineer takes the mixer and producer's visions and makes any final necessary decisions to make the ultimate final product that will SOUND GOOD. To say they are translating a vision makes the process sound less transparent then it should be. And the beauty of good mastering is its transparency.

If you are hiring a mastering engineer, you are hiring them because you LIKE THEIR WORK. So if you like their work, you trust them to do their thing. By hassling them about something like a hi pass rolloff, you are NOT letting them do their thing. So the whole process is pointless.
What kind of translation are we talking about here?
Old 8th December 2008
  #29
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Originally Posted by aivoryuk View Post
What kind of translation are we talking about here?
13th century French to assembly?
Old 10th December 2008
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
as a mastering engineer I couldn't disagree with this more. The mastering engineer shouldn't be translating any vision.. thats what MIXERS are for. The mastering engineer takes the mixer and producer's visions and makes any final necessary decisions to make the ultimate final product that will SOUND GOOD. To say they are translating a vision makes the process sound less transparent then it should be. And the beauty of good mastering is its transparency.

If you are hiring a mastering engineer, you are hiring them because you LIKE THEIR WORK. So if you like their work, you trust them to do their thing. By hassling them about something like a hi pass rolloff, you are NOT letting them do their thing. So the whole process is pointless.
I couldn't disagree with this more

This post is all about ego, in my opinion.
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