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CLub tracks being mastered in the red !!?? Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 22nd December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

CLub tracks being mastered in the red !!??

So I put a bunch of new mp3's Im playing in my set at the moment ( House/tech/deep etc ) into protools 9 , and can't believe that most of them clip the red. Only by about 0.3 db, but still.. Is this a common way of mastering these days ? Unbelievable...
Old 22nd December 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
(un)reason's Avatar
 

I'm afraid so. We passed the stage of just compressing until the track couldn't go any louder in around 2005-6. Now having actual clipping on the master just to get a few decibels beyond that is pretty common. Note that part of the issue is due to the phase shifts and filtering .mp3 encoding inflicts. Even if the original wav isn't clipped, if it's compressed to buggery, the removal of some frequencies can wind up pushing peaks above full scale when decoded again.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Yes this is common things in almost every mainstream release these days.
My masters also going in the red zone becase in the end of the mastering i clip my Apogee AD too a little so yes im not so saint tooheh
Old 22nd December 2010
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Usually (final digital) mastering is done to -0.1dB but wav/aiff -> mp3 conversion messes that 0.1dB headroom up, so that mp3:s are clipping some times. Of course you can't hear those peaks because it's so short period of time that the signal has been clipped.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #5
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Tarkovsky's Avatar
 

Like everyone says this is an issue with mp3s creating distortion.

Lots of people clip a/d, in the mastering process, if the a/d is good it can sound nice/more musical than a limiter.
Old 22nd December 2010
  #6
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the replies guys, cleared that up then
Old 22nd December 2010
  #7
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CRACKPIPE's Avatar
 

I have a quick question. If I'm doing some self mastering and I brickwall it (don't say anything) heh , do I add dither after the limiter? I feel like this is adding a bit of dBs putting me in the red. Am I buggin?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
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Funny thing volume knobs on amplifiers, so simple yet the general public just don't know how to use it.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
Funny thing volume knobs on amplifiers, so simple yet the general public just don't know how to use it.
problem is if you are DJing with a lot of hot (low RMS) tracks and then drop a track which has more dynamic range - its a drop in energy and can be a bummer...and its not always possible to tell on cans in a noisy environment just a few db in RMS can make a difference......its kind of annoying but I wish tracks were just all mastered to say -10 db RMS....none of this competitive bull****....its so childish....'my tracks louder than yours....'
Old 23rd December 2010
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRACKPIPE View Post
I have a quick question. If I'm doing some self mastering and I brickwall it (don't say anything) heh , do I add dither after the limiter? I feel like this is adding a bit of dBs putting me in the red. Am I buggin?
You apply dithering at the very end of your chain, that is, after your limiter. You need to adjust your limiter output level to allow for the dither signal, which is why (i think!) you don't set the limiter output to 0db, but to a negative value such as -0.1.

Edit: added (i think!)
Old 23rd December 2010
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
Funny thing volume knobs on amplifiers, so simple yet the general public just don't know how to use it.
No they actually know but the main problem is they are too lazy to do this i think consumer electronic companys need some kind of adaptive gain controller algorithm to control this stuff actually in my big Samsung TV they already build in some smart multiband limiter so when i change my TV channels levels are more or less the same in RMS.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #12
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Beermaster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
problem is if you are DJing with a lot of hot (low RMS) tracks and then drop a track which has more dynamic range - its a drop in energy and can be a bummer...and its not always possible to tell on cans in a noisy environment just a few db in RMS can make a difference......its kind of annoying but I wish tracks were just all mastered to say -10 db RMS....none of this competitive bull****....its so childish....'my tracks louder than yours....'

..... and the issue is ?

So as a 'DJ' the big 'issue' mixing one track into another .......

.... That the level's are different ?

... and you have a big fader and trim control ? !



What is it that DJ's actually do these day's if not to make one track as loud as another by pushing a fader up or down ?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #13
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
..... and the issue is ?

So as a 'DJ' the big 'issue' mixing one track into another .......

.... That the level's are different ?

... and you have a big fader and trim control ? !



What is it that DJ's actually do these day's if not to make one track as loud as another by pushing a fader up or down ?
In the club I play in there is no limiter on the system. When you push up a track with low rms the peaks cause the speakers to distort and make a nasty flapping sound.
You can see the problem this causes me when im playing.
Basically if the rms aint loud enough I dont play it unfortunately
Old 23rd December 2010
  #14
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Chauvin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
..... and the issue is ?

So as a 'DJ' the big 'issue' mixing one track into another .......

.... That the level's are different ?

... and you have a big fader and trim control ? !



What is it that DJ's actually do these day's if not to make one track as loud as another by pushing a fader up or down ?

Also its very common to see dj's pushing the mixers gain upto the max & into the red from the start of the night, so when a track gets played which is quiter, they have no more gain to make it louder
Old 23rd December 2010
  #15
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chauvin View Post
Also its very common to see dj's pushing the mixers gain upto the max & into the red from the start of the night, so when a track gets played which is quiter, they have no more gain to make it louder
Yeah I hate it when I play at venues and they run it like this. It sounds like **** when they push the mixers into the red. I like to always have them sitting at the top of the yellow at the max
Old 23rd December 2010
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Yeah this is completely ridiculous, I make my own music and and DJ and I have never had any problem with playing my own stuff which is not over compressed. I refuse to be a part of the problem. Its simple, you watch your meters, good gain staging on the mixer and if a track needs to be boosted you gain it up! None of this running in the red 24/7 crap that has become so common (partly due to it being so easy to do on pioneer mixers). In fact you play something with good dynamics against compressed **** and it can sound amazing. People really do appreciate it. Anyway like someone said above the whole idea is childish of over compression.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhono1 View Post
Yeah this is completely ridiculous, I make my own music and and DJ and I have never had any problem with playing my own stuff which is not over compressed. I refuse to be a part of the problem. Its simple, you watch your meters, good gain staging on the mixer and if a track needs to be boosted you gain it up! None of this running in the red 24/7 crap that has become so common (partly due to it being so easy to do on pioneer mixers). In fact you play something with good dynamics against compressed **** and it can sound amazing. People really do appreciate it. Anyway like someone said above the whole idea is childish of over compression.
Have you ever played an early 90's house track next to something from today? Live Element - Be Free is one that springs to mind

Also does your club have a limiter on the system? If so increasing the gain pushes the track into the limiter which makes the RMS louder (in other words compresses the **** out of it)

I would rather get my RMS levels to be in the region of todays modern tracks by proper compression at the mastering stage then by some hack DJ just ramming it into the ****ty limiter in the clubs sound system......thats just me though heh
Old 23rd December 2010
  #18
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tvsky's Avatar
I cant listen to lots of modern dance music because of this

I dont care how much energy it has in the clubs , on a good speaker system in my studio its just awful and painful to listen to
Old 23rd December 2010
  #19
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Funk Fiction's Avatar
 

It's not about music anymore. It's just a contest for who's louder. F*** mainstream club music. fuuck
Old 23rd December 2010
  #20
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Tarkovsky's Avatar
 

Getting the volumes right is a part of DJing IMO.

Oddly enough too much volume is a reason I won't play a track. Not because of clipping or volume continuity or anything like that... but simply because even with proper mixing it feels way too heavy at that point in the set.
That really heavy feel can work well, but I find it to be hyper pronounced on a club system.

Take for example this track



I think it's great. However the bass so is so hyped/limited that it quite unexpectedly just smashes the dance floor. I mean that's great, and sometimes that's what you want. i.e.



But that's not I expected from it when listening at home. Anyway, what I meant to say from the start is this sort of thing is fantastic... for those tracks that warrant it (read: second and not the first example).

There are also tracks out there where it has been gotten entirely wrong.

However I'd say 95% of those tracks are quotidian bull**** (read: electro house, the crappy end of progressive, beatport style tech-house, 'dubstep' etc).
Old 23rd December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarkovsky View Post
Like everyone says this is an issue with mp3s creating distortion.

Lots of people clip a/d, in the mastering process, if the a/d is good it can sound nice/more musical than a limiter.
Clipping the AD in the mastering process? I don't understand. What's there left to record in the mastering process?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
..... and the issue is ?

So as a 'DJ' the big 'issue' mixing one track into another .......

.... That the level's are different ?

... and you have a big fader and trim control ? !



What is it that DJ's actually do these day's if not to make one track as loud as another by pushing a fader up or down ?
Haha Beermaster I forgot how much you respect DJs...good to see your customary patronisation...

You may have a very simplistic notion of what DJing is but doing a really good job of it can build something much more than the sum of its parts...and part of that is to tell a story with the track selection - create a flow of energy and music - sometimes building - sometimes plateauing or falling a bit...if you have a ton of tracks, some at markedly different RMS its not always easy to remember or tell in a noisy environment - especially when the peak meters tell you otherwise...often its only when you have fully mixed thru that you can tell there is a slight change in loudness that affects the energy (and even a very slight change can affect the energy on the dancefloor) - and by then the mix is finished and the moment where 2 tracks mix in a musical way is gone...its like missing a wave...and it can be frustrating to not make the most of that moment...

Yeah you can crank the gain at a late stage - but its a bit crass and pointless once the track is mixed.

Channel faders are usually always pushed up to full throw-so its the gain that might be used...

Some may think that most DJs are musical philistines - and many are - but when its done really well - the result can be magical....an amazing DJ set is really powerful. A crap one is 'meh'.

Anyways - its not the end of the world - just an annoyance. When I DJed in Live I really liked how I could pre-set all the levels of the tracks so old 90s records could stand next to modern ones. Rushton is right - there is a BIG difference between older and newer stuff...and you have to be quite careful if you want to mix them...IMHO
Old 23rd December 2010
  #23
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djanthonyw's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster View Post
What is it that DJ's actually do these day's if not to make one track as loud as another by pushing a fader up or down ?
It's called programming a set, on the fly. That's what it has always been about and always will be about. The gear, the mixing, vinyl, cds, mp3's... this and everything else is secondary to song selection and timing.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #24
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PeteJames's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djanthonyw View Post
It's called programming a set, on the fly. That's what it has always been about and always will be about. The gear, the mixing, vinyl, cds, mp3's... this and everything else is secondary to song selection and timing.
True Djing is more exciting and spontaneous than producing for me but I do l do love both.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #25
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A good DJ set is much like a good song. It builds and drops in energy creating an interesting and exciting musical journey. I really respect someone that can put together a really good set. Ive even seen producers DJ before and they were so bad I lost a lot of interest in their music to tell you the truth.
I was a DJ first though and I got into making music because I loved EDM so much. I do this for the dance floor and probably always will. Ive played the same club nearly every Friday night for 4 years. I pretty much love the place and always will have a spot in my heart for clubbing in general.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #26
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mans View Post
Clipping the AD in the mastering process? I don't understand.
What a bunch of nonsense lol
Old 23rd December 2010
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rushton View Post
A good DJ set is much like a good song. It builds and drops in energy creating an interesting and exciting musical journey. I really respect someone that can put together a really good set. Ive even seen producers DJ before and they were so bad I lost a lot of interest in their music to tell you the truth.
I was a DJ first though and I got into making music because I loved EDM so much. I do this for the dance floor and probably always will. Ive played the same club nearly every Friday night for 4 years. I pretty much love the place and always will have a spot in my heart for clubbing in general.
whats the location of that club in Byron Bay? Can I google it? Man I loved that place when I went....had some insane nights out...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #28
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shaft9000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhono1 View Post
In fact you play something with good dynamics against compressed **** and it can sound amazing. People really do appreciate it.
This is exactly the thing that club owners and younger DJs don't get a chance to learn. It is also a large part of why the atmosphere in the late 80's-mid90s was so much more inviting to the dancer than it typically is today.

the principle is this:

In general, music inevitably gets better when it's COMPLIMENTARY in nature, and gets worse when it is motivated by COMPETITION to exceed the last thing you heard. Factor in economics and the disposable nature of most dance music... and here we are.
Instead of the massive diversity and vibrant energy in abundance as before, we today have homogeneity and DJ 'worship' in abundance. Commodification.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #29
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rushton's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
whats the location of that club in Byron Bay? Can I google it? Man I loved that place when I went....had some insane nights out...
Lala Land - Byron Bay

Its just been remoddled from what you see in the pics. They changed the dance floor area so that the toilet next to the booth is gone. Both toilets are against the back wall and that little room is gone. The df is much bigger and its all tiled and nicer looking. Also the lounges up the other end are gone and they opened a smoking area up outside as you arent aloud to smoke in Australian clubs anymore.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
(un)reason's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mans View Post
Clipping the AD in the mastering process? I don't understand. What's there left to record in the mastering process?
You send the track to outboard gear, and then back to the computer. The clipping takes place on the way back in, after the external eq, compression, limiting, etc. Exactly what effect this has varies quite widely depending on the interface used. Often, it's more pleasing than just turning the volume up a few more DB in the box and creating flat clips with no smoothing at all.
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