The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
*Why* do HW compressors outperform VSTs? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 27th March 2019
  #601
Lives for gear
 
nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Denying mastering is the most crucial part of audio production is inexplicable.
The above is what I'd expect someone who has the mastering engineer fix their mixes say. I havent denied and did say a mastering engineer will enhance the end product... However, unless you are making terrible mixes, an excellent master will sound very similar to an excellent mix. It is indeed not about loudness, but in the mix you should already account for all the things you say mastering does. Frequency balance, possible harmonics usage to account for all sorts of speakers, as well as the basic balance also to account for all sorts of speakers. Mastering is the icing on the cake, if you are doing excellent mixes, and the savior if your mixes are terrible. That being said, if you have a great cake, the icing makes it look more perfect for sure
Old 27th March 2019
  #602
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Mr Williams referenced this track:


I don't know if digital distortion is the culprit, but to me Clarkson's song has that generic modern pop sound to it - the dynamics seem very synthetic and squashed. I've no idea what the "grind" Jim is alluding to...maybe it's the overall sound?
I had to look this song up, so first time listening.

However, after a couple listens I hear a couple things going on here.

1. The whole mix is super compressed during the choruses for sure.
2. The guitar and bass have some intermodulation distortion going on that gives that grinding sound.

However, I don't think the grinding part is particularly a digital effect. I can get a very similar gutteral distortion texture using several analog pedals i have and a tube amp. I can also get something close just by pushing my old vox into distortion on its own because you can get that grinding sound when the power supply has very light filtering and, therefore, ends up introducing that sort of distortion. It can be similar to a ring modulation effect if severe, but just a bit of grind when not pushed quite as far. I suspect a similar distortion is going on with the bass.

Could it be digital? Sure. However, I have heard amps in the room sound a lot like that too.
Old 27th March 2019
  #603
Lives for gear
It's just got a punk ethic .... in your face man.

If they'd recorded this song on a Neve desk onto 2" tape but still performed and mixed it with the same attitude it would still sounds terrible to my sensibility.

I've heard many digital recordings that sound elegant and beautiful.

It's not the recording medium, it's what you do with it that defines the finished product.
Old 27th March 2019
  #604
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Its not that any part of the record making process is NON-important. Its just mastering is the least important, now that "screwing the whole thing up to the point of a non-functioning product" isn't a realistic factor in mastering.

In order of importance to making a great record:

1. A great core song / compositional idea
2. A great arrangement of the song
3. Great performances of this arrangement
4. Great production and engineering of these performances
5. Great mixdown
6. Great master

If you have 1-5, then some light EQ and a FabFilter Pro-L on the master bus will take you to like 92% of the best possible master you could get.

I get masters back from rooms that look like spaceships, and the label has gone with my Pro-L master instead sometimes because of "magic" and "energy" and all those kinds of words.

Again, every step is important. But "mastering is the most important" has gone the way of pocket calculators IME.
I think there has been a clear misunderstanding on your side.
Please take more time to read more carefully posts before replying.

I didn't use the word "important", I clearly wrote the word "crucial".
There is a semantic difference between these two words.

Mastering is the last phase of production before distribution, it' error prone, it's delicate, it requires skills, it is therefore "crucial".

As for your 6 lecturing points. Those are clearly a given in my world. (dough!)
Here again you missed the point were I wrote "garbage in garbage out".
It is also true that many bad songs benefit from the shine and gloss of a good mastering job. Just like a bad movie benefits from great visuals.

Anyhow, let's not hijack this thread.

regards
Old 27th March 2019
  #605
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Mastering is the last phase of production before distribution, it' error prone, it's delicate, it requires skills, it is therefore "crucial".
The above is a perfect non sequitur. You might want to look up the meaning of the word "crucial" before making more of a fool of yourself.

Alistair
Old 27th March 2019
  #606
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
The above is a perfect non sequitur. You might want to look up the meaning of the word "crucial" before making more of a fool of yourself.

Alistair

Ignore list thank god!
I come on this site for knowledge, not for bickering.

Last edited by audioloud; 27th March 2019 at 02:38 PM.. Reason: cleaner
Old 27th March 2019
  #607
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
Mastering is the last phase of production before distribution, it's error prone, it's delicate, it requires skills, it is therefore "crucial".

regards
I think it has become increasingly so as the required levels of volume, bass, stereo "ambiance" and (often), limited dynamic range associated with a "good mix" have increased over the years.

However, although some pioneers were gaining reputations as great master disk cutters in the 60's, I really don't remember "mastering" as it now seems to be defined (a substantial alteration in the sound of the final mix for aesthetic purposes, rather than alterations in an attempt to overcome the limitations of disk cutting and playback) having much prominence before the late 70s

I still think the first Beatles album sound very good, although no-one really "mastered" it in the sense we use today.
Old 27th March 2019
  #608
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Wow . . the last chorus - the lead vocal sounds like it was quadrupled, there's a wall of guitar, everything is squished right up to -.01dB. It's definitely ear candy! Anybody have an idea as to how many tracks total there are on a production like this?

So, as counterpoint to what sounds to me more like multi-multi track production rather than digital artifacts, I give you a 70s "over" produced tune: (it gets really dense at around 3:30)



Cleaner? clearer? Whatever, I like it.

What the heck, another one - skip to 6:00 . . .

Also keep in mind the Clarkson is 15 years old. That'd be like using "Satisfaction" as the current reference in 1980.

Here's a modern version of the same general kind of 'wall of sound hard rock" production approach, to see where things have come. Its notably improved. Definitely a different kind of record than the 70s though.

Old 27th March 2019
  #609
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioloud View Post
I think there has been a clear misunderstanding on your side.
Please take more time to read more carefully posts before replying.

I didn't use the word "important", I clearly wrote the word "crucial".
There is a semantic difference between these two words.

Mastering is the last phase of production before distribution, it' error prone, it's delicate, it requires skills, it is therefore "crucial".

As for your 6 lecturing points. Those are clearly a given in my world. (dough!)
Here again you missed the point were I wrote "garbage in garbage out".
It is also true that many bad songs benefit from the shine and gloss of a good mastering job. Just like a bad movie benefits from great visuals.

Anyhow, let's not hijack this thread.

regards
You said its "the most crucial part of audio production." I used "most important" and "most crucial" interchangeably.

You seem to be saying its the most crucial AFTER my 6 "givens" though. So then mastering is the 6th "most crucial" to you too and we're in agreement
Old 27th March 2019
  #610
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoepedals View Post
I had to look this song up, so first time listening.

However, after a couple listens I hear a couple things going on here.

1. The whole mix is super compressed during the choruses for sure.
2. The guitar and bass have some intermodulation distortion going on that gives that grinding sound.

However, I don't think the grinding part is particularly a digital effect..
I think that is quite an important point. Even if the "grinding" is a "digital effect" it is one that the producer intended not something that is inherent to digital recording and the engineers /producer wanted to avoid.

It is quite true that digital technology enables this sort of thing, but not true that it requires anyone to do this. Saying the digital recording " produces" this grind is rather like saying a speeding ticket was caused by a powerful engine, and not by the drivers foot.
Old 27th March 2019
  #611
Gear Addict
 
loji's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Also keep in mind the Clarkson is 15 years old. That'd be like using "Satisfaction" as the current reference in 1980.

Here's a modern version of the same general kind of 'wall of sound hard rock" production approach, to see where things have come. Its notably improved. Definitely a different kind of record than the 70s though.
Youtube normalized the Clarkson track down -8.6dB to hit target
Godsmack was normalized down -6.5dB ...

so only a 2db difference, it's more production style helping it be clearer.

by Comparison that Elton John track was 3.5 db UNDER the normalization target .... so is 9dB quieter (6db is twice as loud, so .... )

Totally different eras
Old 27th March 2019
  #612
Lives for gear
 
robert82's Avatar
Both the Clarkson and the Godsmack recordings had what I might call grind - an ear fatiguing wall of . . . . I guess, noise. To me, there isn't that much difference between the two, other than their genre-istic differences. Pick your favorite flavor of future tinnitus.
Old 28th March 2019
  #613
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Both the Clarkson and the Godsmack recordings had what I might call grind - an ear fatiguing wall of . . . . I guess, noise. To me, there isn't that much difference between the two, other than their genre-istic differences. Pick your favorite flavor of future tinnitus.
It sounds like some sort of clipper/limiter artifact.
Old 28th March 2019
  #614
Mainly, because HW compressors either try to mimic hardware processing (emulations), or because they are doing too much processing (even when parameters are left untouched, in many cases).

A possible solution:

simple algorithms that are only available within digital processing.

I've only found one example (for mastering mostly, but also useful in mixing with parallel bus or aux channels). Airwindows buttercomp2 outperforms Cytomic The Glue (IMHO). A small amount goes a long way. Combining Pop (barely touching it, wet turned very low), can be useful. Combining a small amount of clipping, and doing more with limiters than with compressors, is essential. I find multiband compressors to be a last resort, and prefer dynamic EQ or use of harmonics, in 95+% of cases. A good multiband limiter is very useful, if balancing of spectrum is needed/wanted.

Honestly, I find that using harmonics can yield th best results (in masering, if spectral balance, cleaning of mud, deessing, harshness, etc is a necessary or desirable). However, it seems to be the most challenging, and its not a straight shot (like EQ or compression). EQ and compression both do a solid amount of damage, no matter what (which is why one EQ change often results in a need for 2 or 3 more EQ changes). The same is true for limiting or clipping (if dynamics should be preserved). Its a constant battle between preservation of tracks VS. the loudness wars.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Music Bird / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
1
HaveItAll / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
29
rossta1 / Music Computers
6
gainreduction / Music Computers
16

Forum Jump
Forum Jump