Percieved Loudness, RMS level?
DP40oz
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1st April 2006
Old 1st April 2006
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Percieved Loudness, RMS level?

Howcome certain masters can produce a higher RMS level when they are not pushed as far as others. For example one of the loudest rock albums i've heard is Chevelle's "Wonder Whats Next". Its obvisouly clipped but if you look at the wave forms visually it has retained so much more of the peaks then almost all other hard rock albums i've compared too. These other albums look like they should definitely be louder but arent. The Chevelle albums final master is not a solid bar looking wave but has very big peaks and valleys for every kick and snare hit, yet almost all these other albums are solid bars and should by all acccounts be louder, Right? How does this work. Percieved loudness? But if so then why do RMS meters still read the chevelle as louder?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
Howcome certain masters can produce a higher RMS level when they are not pushed as far as others. For example one of the loudest rock albums i've heard is Chevelle's "Wonder Whats Next". Its obvisouly clipped but if you look at the wave forms visually it has retained so much more of the peaks then almost all other hard rock albums i've compared too. These other albums look like they should definitely be louder but arent. The Chevelle albums final master is not a solid bar looking wave but has very big peaks and valleys for every kick and snare hit, yet almost all these other albums are solid bars and should by all acccounts be louder, Right? How does this work. Percieved loudness? But if so then why do RMS meters still read the chevelle as louder?
RMS is just a guide, a VERY rough guide of loudness. The most important thing to know is that FLAT RMS or even standard averaging or VU meters are only LOOSELY related to loudness. The higher they go compared to the peak level, the less louder the sound gets, because the transient peaks also affect the loudness. In addition, high frequency response, low frequency response, distortion and frequency masking affect perception of loudness. You can have a reggae tune with 3 dB more RMS than a Chevelle tune and the Chevelle will sound as loud or louder, because the predominant bass in the Reggae tune moves the RMS meter more but does not sound as loud to the ear.
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it could be.....

better arranging in the music.
higher population of events in certain frequency areas that are perceived as being "denser".
better planning in the pre production stage.
less comp/lim used at mixdown.
more controlled dynamics on the individual tracks.
DP40oz
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Bob thanks for the response. I just read your mastering book and i'll be reading it again now that alot of it has started to sink in.

This question i asked really started when i mixed a band and they wanted the snare to be very quick and have a huge pop to it. I usually like a more full bodied snare but i went ahead and did this for them, using a slower attack to let the pop through then grabbing the end of the snare hard. Since i work with alot of bands and small budgets they usually ask that i master it as they will never go and get it mastered professionally. Well anyways i did my quick "wannabe mastering" a touch of compression and clipped the track pretty hard and what i found was this particular song with these huge transients from the snare and kick seemed to hold up alot better. I didn't have to flat line the wave to get it equal volume to what they wanted. It went i against alot of what i always thought i knew as far as taming transients.
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2nd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz
RMS is just a guide, a VERY rough guide of loudness. The most important thing to know is that FLAT RMS or even standard averaging or VU meters are only LOOSELY related to loudness. The higher they go compared to the peak level, the less louder the sound gets, because the transient peaks also affect the loudness. In addition, high frequency response, low frequency response, distortion and frequency masking affect perception of loudness. You can have a reggae tune with 3 dB more RMS than a Chevelle tune and the Chevelle will sound as loud or louder, because the predominant bass in the Reggae tune moves the RMS meter more but does not sound as loud to the ear.
I would concur with this. What makes something loud is not just the total modulation level - it's also the freq spectrum and the perceived impact of the production itself. If you want to make a blinding (and stridently annoying) racket it's best to avoid freqs at the bottom and top of the hearing range to which we are less sensitive etc..

Also the average to peak ratio (not the RMS) is affected by the phase relationships of waveforms - if you can get the sustained loud LF passages (which tend to push levels most) to present an optimal phase/freq relationship they can have lower peak level inherantly and so can be increased further without peak overs etc..

But in all this IMVHO we should also remember that actually allowing some dynamics in the result can indeed make a greater perceived impact - because some parts actually are louder than others. Although this may sound like heresy within the current production culture - it really is so that loud bits sound proportionally even louder and powerful if they are preceded (and followed) by something which is noticeably quieter.

As the guy has correctly noticed earlier in this thread, the loudest perceived result is not produced by the highest level, flat out, full level and straight line result :-) Thinking that it must - is a common fallacy caused by a visual representation of sample values on a time line, which belies what we actually hear, because we simply don't hear stuff that way :-)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
Bob thanks for the response. I just read your mastering book and i'll be reading it again now that alot of it has started to sink in.

This question i asked really started when i mixed a band and they wanted the snare to be very quick and have a huge pop to it. I usually like a more full bodied snare but i went ahead and did this for them, using a slower attack to let the pop through then grabbing the end of the snare hard. Since i work with alot of bands and small budgets they usually ask that i master it as they will never go and get it mastered professionally. Well anyways i did my quick "wannabe mastering" a touch of compression and clipped the track pretty hard and what i found was this particular song with these huge transients from the snare and kick seemed to hold up alot better. I didn't have to flat line the wave to get it equal volume to what they wanted. It went i against alot of what i always thought i knew as far as taming transients.
When people deliberately clip transients such as these what they are really doing is converting the overshoot into higher harmonic bursts. Since these bursts occupy a higher freq range than the original stimulus, they can still seem to have impact even though the sample values don't get as big as they originally were. The procedure may even produce sound that has even more impact than the original - if the drum was a bit soft and dull in the first place.

Whether this procedure is successful or not depends on the sound character of the drum itself within the mix and the most obvious freq range it audibly occupies - and not necessarily what it actually occupies. :-)
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2nd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle
When people deliberately clip transients such as these what they are really doing is converting the overshoot into higher harmonic bursts. Since these bursts occupy a higher freq range than the original stimulus, they can still seem to have impact even though the sample values don't get as big as they originally were. The procedure may even produce sound that has even more impact than the original - if the drum was a bit soft and dull in the first place.

Whether this procedure is successful or not depends on the sound character of the drum itself within the mix and the most obvious freq range it audibly occupies - and not necessarily what it actually occupies. :-)
And may I add (and Paul knows this, so he could have said it, too) that digital clipping to achieve "extra loudness" can produce serious distortion problems downstream, anywhere a filter is added after the clipping (e.g. codecs, sample rate converters, radio processing). Only in the analog domain, or in an extremely-oversampled digital domain, can you add clipping without creating spread-spectrum inharmonic distortion.

Distortion is a very powerful tool to increase loudness and interest in a production. However, the language of distortion has distorted so much and the tools that can produce distortion abused so much that we have to pay close attention to what the mentors tell us. I can show you a spectral analysis of a digitally-clipped program that produces extreme density in the entire spectrum, such an unnatural result that MP3 codecs give up the ghost and produce a totally-distorted noise that in a variable bit rate system fills up the entire channel allocation! The satellite radio people are going crazy over trying to encode clipped records without taking up the entire channel allocation!

So, all the clipped records that have been made turn into mush with the preprocessing the satellite guys are forced to do to make them "radio playable" again.

This new digital world requires serious training and retraining for engineers. Digital is DEFINITELY harder than analog to learn and do right and don't let anyone try to tell you differently. The potential to abuse the equipment in negative ways that produces OBJECTIVELY WORSE-SOUNDING product is right there in your workstation.
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3rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz
And may I add (and Paul knows this, so he could have said it, too) that digital clipping to achieve "extra loudness" can produce serious distortion problems downstream, anywhere a filter is added after the clipping (e.g. codecs, sample rate converters, radio processing). Only in the analog domain, or in an extremely-oversampled digital domain, can you add clipping without creating spread-spectrum inharmonic distortion.

Distortion is a very powerful tool to increase loudness and interest in a production. However, the language of distortion has distorted so much and the tools that can produce distortion abused so much that we have to pay close attention to what the mentors tell us. I can show you a spectral analysis of a digitally-clipped program that produces extreme density in the entire spectrum, such an unnatural result that MP3 codecs give up the ghost and produce a totally-distorted noise that in a variable bit rate system fills up the entire channel allocation! The satellite radio people are going crazy over trying to encode clipped records without taking up the entire channel allocation!

So, all the clipped records that have been made turn into mush with the preprocessing the satellite guys are forced to do to make them "radio playable" again.
This new digital world requires serious training and retraining for engineers. Digital is DEFINITELY harder than analog to learn and do right and don't let anyone try to tell you differently. The potential to abuse the equipment in negative ways that produces OBJECTIVELY WORSE-SOUNDING product is right there in your workstation.
Absolutely in agreement Bob :-)

In the many other discussions we have had in public (and behind the scenes) on these issues, a great many even highly experienced people have been amazed at very simple demonstrations of how their systems and perceptions are hiding gross potential errors.

And the point you make about bit rate reduction coding (i.e. MP3, WMA etc.) is a really good one. At the point where the dynamic and freq profile of the programme itself starts approaching a resemblance to 'spectrum modulated noise' from the coder's perspective, the underlying tenets of the bit rate reduction methods break down dramatically - for obvious reasons :-(

It's not so much that digital in itself is fundamentally more complex in principle than analogue - it's just that designers (and early founders) of digital equipment have sometimes taken more liberties with their products (and standards) than the medium itself can tolerate theoretically. And the current 'atmosphere' within the pro-audio fraternity (such as it is today) makes it difficult for people to redress the issues - even if they actually wanted to..

Therefore (as is so often the case these days) it is left to the user to discover these pitfalls by stealth and 'bad experience' and find some (plausible) corrective action within a haphazard and often (deliberately?) misrepresented technical environment.

It's only this that makes it harder to drive than analogue... IMVHO, this is reprehensible :-(
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3rd April 2006
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Ahh Good on you Bob, I believe misguided attempts at getting more loudness via clipping converters is counter productive too. I mean yeah sure listening to a square wave may have more impact when used in a quiet monitoring situation but what happens when you want to crank it up,all I hear is a distorted mess 99% of the time. Digital has thrown in a bunch of new problems with recorded sound,which is less forgiving than analog when distortions occur. Clipping converters is the most horrendous thing you can do to a carefully mixed great sounding record,I think.

I guess a good mastering engineer not only knows how to make a great mix sound better but also knows when to tell the owner of the material being mastered when to take his/her tracks back to the studio for a remix (when little can be done to fix something),instead of saying yeah I'll do it and torturing a mix till it sound nearly ok.

I think a lot of inexperienced engineers these days just don't understand individual track compression techniques,parametric eq and basic audio theory. The main question asked these days is whats the best comp setting for a........ whatever it may be. Just listen to the transients. Most screw up on the attack and release settings,which if set incorrectly will destroy all your transients. Time your compression to the rhythm of the recorded instrument,a too short attack will not let any transient through and too long a release will kill successive transients with residual compression.

Heath
DP40oz
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3rd April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle
When people deliberately clip transients such as these what they are really doing is converting the overshoot into higher harmonic bursts. Since these bursts occupy a higher freq range than the original stimulus, they can still seem to have impact even though the sample values don't get as big as they originally were. The procedure may even produce sound that has even more impact than the original - if the drum was a bit soft and dull in the first place.
This explains so much. I mix mostly hard rock music and when i clip the master i end up loving the sound of the bass drum especially. The attact of the bass drum seems to have so much impact. I could see how this could be a bad thing for alot of genres but in hard rock it's made some clipping necassary for me to get "That sound".
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Run the kick through a jcm 800 on turned up to 11 and mic that and you will get a better distortion.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
This explains so much. I mix mostly hard rock music and when i clip the master i end up loving the sound of the bass drum especially. The attact of the bass drum seems to have so much impact. I could see how this could be a bad thing for alot of genres but in hard rock it's made some clipping necassary for me to get "That sound".
I agree - a good bit of hard clipping can do wonders for a solid rock kick drum. But the trick is to get this sound on the mix channel itself - i.e. before mixing into the rest. For all sorts of reasons, this is far far better than clipping the mixed output :-)
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4th April 2006
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Thats right,it's usually always better to capture any distortion in actual tracking and still using conservative individual track levels. Recently Australian mastering engineer Rick O'Neil wrote an article on this exact subject,saying recently alot of mixes he was working on had distortions added to various instruments including vox as a last minute creative decision. He advised it is usually best to actually record the distorted instument and then mix it in instead of adding distortion during mixdown. This makes alot of sense,Rick knows his stuff he is 1 of the best.
I think next time I need more beef on a kick drum I'm going to patch it out through my marshall amp and mic up the quad box,then blend it with the original from 2 channels.
Today I set up a rough K14 monitor calibration ( Bob Katz your a champion) and started work on a track I was mixing yesterday. Well basically I have always been monitoring too quietly ( I now know) though have had little to no trouble. But...... When I began monitoring it was too loud, first thing I did was turn down the out puts from my mix buss comp by about 3-4 db and bring down the threshold 1 db and bingo,it hit a sweet spot and just sounded great instead of on the verge of torture.Which is where it may have ended up otherwise.
This mix is quite loud and still very pleasing,much better sounding than yesterday. When I master it tomorrow I bet it sounds fat loud and still quite dynamic.
All I can say is thanks Bob Katz for edumacating people on the importance of calibrated monitoring. The K calibration method should be industry standard,well it is for me now.

Heath.
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4th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heathen
Thats right,it's usually always better to capture any distortion in actual tracking and still using conservative individual track levels. Recently Australian mastering engineer Rick O'Neil wrote an article on this exact subject,saying recently alot of mixes he was working on had distortions added to various instruments including vox as a last minute creative decision. He advised it is usually best to actually record the distorted instument and then mix it in instead of adding distortion during mixdown.

Heath.
This is ok too - because if you do it in the analogue domain and reconvert it you may avoid much of the aliassing that digital clipping produces. But it's not what I really meant. I was talking about getting your clipped/saturated sound within the mix down channel of your W/S - pre-fader as it were - before the mix buss. This isn't ideal, but a whole lot better than simply applying distortion by overdriving stuff at the final output.

In this way you can saturate plugs and processes without passing over high signals right through to the output. There are many advantages in doing this over clipping the output, some being:

- you avoid intermodulating the whole mix with the sound of a few prominent instruments. This means your mix is much more solid and stable - and you can achieve much greater overall impact.

- you avoid using DAC saturation as part of the sound, which means your sound is more robust and will be less subject to variations depending on the user's playout system and processing down line etc.

- Because you provide a legal signal at your output, your final compression (and mastering stages) will perform more effectively (because they don't have to clip) and give you much more control of the final dynamics of the product - and produce far greater loudness and punch before the 'nasties' set in.

- because you are no longer 'plastering' the whole mix with the same distortion process, you can be much more selective about which tracks get which treatment. This means you can get a better end result.

- because the sounds of your instruments are stable during the balancing and mixing process, it's much easier to follow the mix as it progresses and get a better result more quickly, with less uncertainty and confusion.
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4th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
Howcome certain masters can produce a higher RMS level when they are not pushed as far as others. For example one of the loudest rock albums i've heard is Chevelle's "Wonder Whats Next". Its obvisouly clipped but if you look at the wave forms visually it has retained so much more of the peaks then almost all other hard rock albums i've compared too. These other albums look like they should definitely be louder but arent. The Chevelle albums final master is not a solid bar looking wave but has very big peaks and valleys for every kick and snare hit, yet almost all these other albums are solid bars and should by all acccounts be louder, Right? How does this work. Percieved loudness? But if so then why do RMS meters still read the chevelle as louder?

It has to do with 'percieved' loudness. I'm not to familiar with chevelle but I belive they are hard rock with 'big' guitars?

The human ear is most sensative between 1 - 6 k. Which is the bulk of rock guitar.
If these freq's are dominant in the mix they with be percieved louder than an other mix were lets say low or higher frequencies are more dominant.

Listen to a band that has what is called scoop tone. Where the guitar mids are cut/scooped much like metallica or pantera. Take other guitar sounds like Randy rhoades or even nirvana where the mids are really boosted. The rhodes guitar sound will be percieved by your ears as being louder. Although the rms peak level may be lower.

I think the biggest problem with rock music today is this maximzer loudness crap.
These jackass mastering guys think they are making the music bigger by limiting the hell out of it. Sure the rms levels are slamed and the wav looks cool as one big block. But there are no dynamics left in the mix. Now all your ears perceives is this mess of frequncies all at the same level that it can not distinguish between. Due to this your ears percieve it as being not as loud and less clarity
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5th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins
It has to do with 'percieved' loudness. I'm not to familiar with chevelle but I belive they are hard rock with 'big' guitars?

The human ear is most sensative between 1 - 6 k. Which is the bulk of rock guitar.
If these freq's are dominant in the mix they with be percieved louder than an other mix were lets say low or higher frequencies are more dominant.

Listen to a band that has what is called scoop tone. Where the guitar mids are cut/scooped much like metallica or pantera. Take other guitar sounds like Randy rhoades or even nirvana where the mids are really boosted. The rhodes guitar sound will be percieved by your ears as being louder. Although the rms peak level may be lower.

I think the biggest problem with rock music today is this maximzer loudness crap.
These jackass mastering guys think they are making the music bigger by limiting the hell out of it. Sure the rms levels are slamed and the wav looks cool as one big block. But there are no dynamics left in the mix. Now all your ears perceives is this mess of frequncies all at the same level that it can not distinguish between. Due to this your ears percieve it as being not as loud and less clarity

Whoa. Sounds like you're using the wrong jackass mastering guys.
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5th April 2006
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Hi!
I'm not a ME... I don't pretend to be lol
I use only plug-in for master ... don't have any outboard.
But I've always found that my master where easier to make & louder when band played well & when the song was good. It is even more easy to see this, than in the mix part to me.

Nirvana's "Nevermind" is a great album, PLAYED great (with Dave G.) & the songs were incredible. That's a big part of the clue ... no ?

That's only my 2cents.
Bye.
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5th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frindle
I agree - a good bit of hard clipping can do wonders for a solid rock kick drum. But the trick is to get this sound on the mix channel itself - i.e. before mixing into the rest.
Understandably, but why would i do this when "that sound" that im looking for, has come from other records that got this sound by clipping the converters.

I totally have the upmost respect for all of you who have the technical background and intelligence to understand the real science behind these things, but just as far as the ipod loving market goes i feel like the negatives talked about by clipping are noticed by virtually nobody outside the audio community. LOUDNESS on the other hand is noticed by everyone. It is common knowledge that if 2 things are backed to back whatever is louder is usually percieved by the general population as sounding better regardless of quality.

I guess that i see clipping as a newer style of distortion that has become "a sound", just like anything else in the past. If everything is clipped (which now it basically is) radio will figure out how to play it, CD players will make it sound good and it just will be what it is. Clipping's not the enemy its just a way to satisfy the Mcdonalds eating, Ben Affleck loving, Bigger is better market that keeps us all working.
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5th April 2006
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Normal distortion is a part of everyones playing repertoire. Everybody likes to bang on their instruments from time to time to give the louder harmonic structure associated with near overload conditions. Every natural sound creates more harmonics as it is driven hard.

Clipping is one of a zillion ways of doing it. Probably not the best one for every sound available in the universe. Imagine if that was the only way to distort! No stomp boxes, no preamps to smash, no toobes, no hard driven amp stacks to mic up, nothing but converter clipping. Would be quickly become boring and fatiguing, wouldn't it?

The biggest problem though is that we have no control over the effect. It's very random. Some playback devices will render the audio quite fine, some will distort nicely, some distort more harshly and most just sounds like crap. The studio technician have no control over the final output when clipping it.


Given the radio treatment things really go havoc. Phase rotation moves the distortion from the peaks to somewhere else, making it sound more like cross over distortion than flat topped distortion. The difference in likeability is huge. Radio haven't 'figured it out' and I guess they won't either. Phase rotation to achieve louder voice transmission will still be important as long as spoken word is a driving factor in the radio community.

Mp3's aren't much easier. Try this: clip something, flat-topping it. Change gain by -3dB. Render this to a Mp3 and decode it back to the wave editor. Check the peak levels! They'll be far above the previous limit of -3dB.

Now think about the battery size of the ipods and other tiny little players. How much headroom there is available in a 1 volt DC portable audio system. Or a regular CD player with about 1VAC max output. Compare this to the typical +-15Volt driven studio gear. Digital can have 'hidden' overshots up to 10dB above the maximum sample value. That's a lot of voltage to ask for.

No sane manufacturer will spend time, energy and money to develop more headroom in their gear when all it takes to playback perfectly fine is a bit of (un)common sense when setting the digital level in the source. Why should gear manufacturers raise the prices of their product to cope with illegal samples? They won't. They spend the finances to get more of whatever they need more of to sell more. Tiny physical size, larger storeage capacity, better hardware protection, better design and so forth.



Nika Aldrich on the 'hidden overs': http://www.cadenzarecording.com/pape...distortion.pdf
Several TC papers on the subject: http://www.tcelectronic.com/TechLibr...olandMastering
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5th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer
Whoa. Sounds like you're using the wrong jackass mastering guys.

Actually I don't need to use any mastering guys since I have never recorded anything that needed to be mastered. But I was refering to some cd's I have bought recently.

like...

Dream Theatre Octavium. Way over limited
Audio Slave's first cd . Horribly over limited

I could go on but I'm sure you don't care........

My point was ... well...........lol actually lol just forget it ! it doesn't matter
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6th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz

I totally have the upmost respect for all of you who have the technical background and intelligence to understand the real science behind these things, but just as far as the ipod loving market goes i feel like the negatives talked about by clipping are noticed by virtually nobody outside the audio community. LOUDNESS on the other hand is noticed by everyone. It is common knowledge that if 2 things are backed to back whatever is louder is usually percieved by the general population as sounding better regardless of quality.
Taken to its logical extreme, you just said, "OK, everyone turn all your pots up to 11, clip the pants off of everything, forget the mixing and the mastering..."

BK
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6th April 2006
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I'm just wondering when some bat eating gothic death metal band is going to realise you can wreak more chaos and physically hurt people with extremely dynamic material.

Have parts of your music real low, so they have to turn up their volume. Then hit them between the ears with a sudden 24db boost that will kill their speakers and rupture ear drums. That's got to be more macho than listening to a boring square wave.
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6th April 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz
Taken to its logical extreme, you just said, "OK, everyone turn all your pots up to 11, clip the pants off of everything, forget the mixing and the mastering..."

BK
Bob im glad you responded because i've read almost everything you've written and i think you're perspective and insight is brilliant to me. All i am saying is with the new trend of IPOD's, Itunes, Computer Playlists etc.. more then ever people are listening to songs from different artists one after another. Volume differences have become very noticable because of this. Even the most trained ears will still fall for loudness sounding better at times.

My statement was made because of lack of faith in the conusmer market. One of the first questions i'm asked at the start of working with almost any band is "Can you make it as loud as this?". Do i explain the negatives that they will barely notice about sacrificing quality for volume or do i do what the client asks. I struggle with that just live everyone here.
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6th April 2006
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I think people need to always be looking at the purpose and goals of the recording when they make choices.

When a major purpose is obtaining exposure for the artist, how a CD sounds when broadcast becomes pretty important.
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6th April 2006
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  #25
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not_so_new's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,754

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
I think people need to always be looking at the purpose and goals of the recording when they make choices.

When a major purpose is obtaining exposure for the artist, how a CD sounds when broadcast becomes pretty important.
I agree... I think the problem (often overlooked I might add) is making a decision to consciously turn down the master takes logical thinking not artistic thinking.

Much of what makes music interesting to musicians and the audience alike is the gut-levelness of it, the unconscious part. Many "artists" (I use the term loosely for some of today's music) are very used to reacting from a gut level with any musical decisions and when they hear their CD side by side with a hot master 4 or 5 or what have you db louder their gut tells them their CD does not sound as good. At that point they may logically want to back down a bit from the edge but the artistic unconscious part of their mind is calling out with a warning.

This is very very hard to overcome. It is very easy to tell them to turn down, it will sound better but it is hard for them to get past the roadblock in their head. This is not something that is easily defeated with logic and reason.
#26
6th April 2006
Old 6th April 2006
  #26
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Joined: Dec 2002
Location: U.K
Posts: 2,066

Quote:
Originally Posted by DP40oz
My statement was made because of lack of faith in the conusmer market. One of the first questions i'm asked at the start of working with almost any band is "Can you make it as loud as this?". Do i explain the negatives that they will barely notice about sacrificing quality for volume or do i do what the client asks. I struggle with that just live everyone here.
I realise you are between the devil and the deep blue sea and you must make your clients happy to survive - and that's actually the problem. I think you are under estimating the audience - and in fact this is one of the biggest threats to the survival of our business. It's just that no one will admit it and 'go first' as it were. The pay masters have taken hold of your business - told you what to do - and the end the result will be at their loss - because they are no longer taking advice from anyone who knows better. They may eventually actually even blame you for it as well :-(
IMVHO - soon as the pay masters take over the art - the art evaporates quickly.
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#27
7th April 2006
Old 7th April 2006
  #27
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heathen's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,525

Equipment abuse has always lead to new and innovative sounds. Take this for example a friend of mine has an "Avante Guarde" show ,ummmm noise basically. Taking to old instruments with power tools is a novel approach to making new sounds,is it nice ,noooo way,is it coool ,ummm probably. Even running reel to reel tapes through crucified frozen chickens was part of the show,all while blasting the audience with bleeps and squarks and screams. Now his shows were going well ,untill a neighbour near the place was so fed up with the blatant noise racket he tossed a brick through the window nearly hitting my friend and threatening to burn the place down with everyone in it. Hmmmm, I can understand his frustration.

My point being,whats good for some is not good for others. Some people enjoy the sound of clipping,I do not,especially as we have the best digital technology ever, at affordable prices these days. Be artistic with your mixing. Mastering is a science as well as having the final creative decision in record making and compiling. Great idea again Bob K,master for archive an unclipped version and for release an "Artistically" distorted one.

I think all consumer stereo systems should have a button which just says "crush". So they can clip and squish anything they feel like. Then all you clippers could be certain and assured that all unclipped undistorted clean sounding pristine mixes could sound crushed clipped and distorted at the push of a button at the users discretion. Cool idea hey. Call it the "Consumer Crusher",Sh.. I better trademard that.
lucey
Verified Member
#28
7th April 2006
Old 7th April 2006
  #28
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lucey's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles - Atwater
Posts: 12,671

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Loudness is about perception, and there needs to be a balance of movement and of constancy to hear it. RMS is one measure but it doesn't address the balance.

Some parts of every mix (hopefully) have punchy energy that moves in and out, while other parts of the mix are a more static energy that hums along. Blend them just so and you get loudness. Too much of the static energy and you have a nasty wall-o-sound. Too much of the punch and you have thin stabs that lack body. (Too much clipping in every chorus and you turn a potentially timeless record into a poster child for abuse)
#29
7th April 2006
Old 7th April 2006
  #29
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theblotted's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,306

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger
Have parts of your music real low, so they have to turn up their volume. Then hit them between the ears with a sudden 24db boost that will kill their speakers and rupture ear drums. That's got to be more macho than listening to a boring square wave.

That reminds me "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins. i remember hearing it for first time, couldn't hear the initial guitar lick, so i cranked it in my phones to hear it.

if you know the song, you know what happens next
lucey
Verified Member
#30
7th April 2006
Old 7th April 2006
  #30
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lucey's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2002
Location: Los Angeles - Atwater
Posts: 12,671

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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblotted
That reminds me "Today" by Smashing Pumpkins. i remember hearing it for first time, couldn't hear the initial guitar lick, so i cranked it in my phones to hear it.

if you know the song, you know what happens next
Gabriel's 'UP' does this on the first track ... my wife and I were on holiday in LA with a rented convertible and a 'new' CD ... had turned it up a lot ... then it HIT!!! wow, I was terrified! I thought there was a major accident behind us and my heart skipped a beat.




The forcing of dynamics with automated faders is not dynamics, however.



I was fortunate to master a dynamic single today ... from Poland. Trying to make musical square waves is more like a science project.
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