The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Why is commercial master louder and wider?
Old 6th June 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Why is commercial master louder and wider?

Is it because it is using analog compressor / gear?

I tried to match those kind of volume and intensity. But i am only master itb using ozone.

I know i'm noob, but not that stupid. First i try using master assistant at ozone 8 using bruno mars record as a reference..play them both back, still not the same.

Then i tried to tweak the eq and multiband. Highs open up a little bit but it is still the same.

Rms levels are matched up and the lufs are the same. But why do i perceived the bruno mars record is.louder while all the parameters are the same?

This is still confusing.to me. Please don't be too rude.
Old 6th June 2018
  #2
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
What other track you are comparing to the Bruno Mars one?
Old 7th June 2018
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

My own diy master using ozone. All meters are matched.
Old 7th June 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Wow what an honor to have my post replied by a moderator and a well respected person in this mastering community
Old 7th June 2018
  #5
Mastering Moderator
 
Riccardo's Avatar
Yes I got it it is your Master but what I meant is: is it a master of an unmastered Bruno mars track you somehow got hold of or a different track altogether?
Old 7th June 2018
  #6
I hope this doesn't come out wrong --

Skip the meters, skip the assistant (?), bypass everything -- and do what the mix is telling you to do.
Old 7th June 2018
  #7
Quote:
Why is commercial master louder and wider?
Is it because it is using analog compressor / gear?
No. Hardware and digital gear is only as good as the person using it.
Quote:
I know i'm noob, but not that stupid. First i try using master assistant at Ozone 8 using bruno mars record as a reference..play them both back, still not the same.
There is no magic button to make your music as good as one that is professionally produced.

Please note: That you are comparing your amateur mastering to a professionally produced song that was recorded, mixed and mastered by skilled professionals.

Its an art form, just like painting. If you are just leaning how to paint, you would not be wondering why your painting doesn't look like the Mona Lisa, as you would know that it takes a lot of time to hone in the skills that involve and make you produce such a piece of art. The same goes for audio production.

Learn all about the tools you have and practice, practice and practice. Then after you know all about your tools, your ears will tell you exactly what you weed to do in every situation you come across and make great songs.
Old 8th June 2018
  #8
Loud masters come from loud mixes.

Er, the good-sounding ones do, anyway.
Old 8th June 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jordyzzz View Post
Is it because it is using analog compressor / gear?

I tried to match those kind of volume and intensity. But i am only master itb using ozone.




Rms levels are matched up and the lufs are the same. But why do i perceived the bruno mars record is.louder while all the parameters are the same?

This is still confusing.to me. Please don't be too rude.
First things first. The intensity of any arrangement is reflected by the intuitive intensity of the mix designed to enhance and showcase the stellar arrangement and production techniques.
It's tough to match intensity levels. It's not something realised in mastering, only ever further revealed for what it is.
I'd say a Bruno Mars track has a team of top notch writers and arrangers who know how to make a track pop really well, and at the very least better than most others. Probably not the answer you want to hear and it's not meant to be rude or patronising. But it is the straight up truth and core answer to your presented question.
So you can match the levels and still be nowhere near the same result.
If you get ahold of a pre mastered mix of the BM track, then you might have something more you can comparatively and objectively try to match up. Just keep in mind your'e attempting to compare your work with a team of talent that probably know every trick in the book, arrangement, production, mix wise. I'm not saying they're better, but maybe just more enabled than yourself working solo from home. You can achieve anything others have achieved by persevering, obviously.
The other thing to consider is if the BM track is a radio mix, off a streaming site, youtube, from a CD, they will all be slightly different and mastering folks can walk you through what all those differences are. Mastering engineers vary greatly, their techniques and equipment vary, their perspectives vary but most all are trying to achieve the goals of the mixer producer handing them work. I no longer believe it's about their gear, or where they live or who they have worked for , it's about who they are as people and I find most people who are successful all possess attributes of being quite humble and approachable. Of course there will always be the other insecure type that require time wasting sychophantic praise and the need to run down their resume every time they have an audience but there are so many great talents out there, those types are really easy to avoid.
Old 8th June 2018
  #10
Quote:
Loud masters come from loud mixes.
Not really true
Old 8th June 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Loud masters come from loud mixes.

Er, the good-sounding ones do, anyway.
I've heard a same track mixed differently, one pummeled and pushing into a peak limiter so violently it sounded like a wall of exhaustingly loud mush and the other a dynamically handled mix that sounded better and amazingly, perceivable just as loud even though the peak levels were no where near the same, and maybe not to the meters but definitely to the ears. The smashed version was the commercial release and the better mix was done by someone lesser known who made a better mix and a huge point.
A great master starts with a great arrangement with a great tonal/frequency balance inside a great mix created with an energy level that matches up to the intensity of the arrangement expertly.
The other thing to consider about really loud tracks is that those all get turned down now on most platforms, and a dynamic mix with a reasonable peak level are the goal. A powerful dynamic mix is gonna be presented just as loud as a smooshed swirling ball of shi* and probably sound even better and perceivably louder after the loudest track is turned down. IMO

Last edited by GeneHall; 9th June 2018 at 02:59 AM..
Old 9th June 2018
  #12
You guys both failed to quote the most critical part of my post. The good sounding loud mixes will, 100% of the time, result in better-sounding loud masters.

Note that by “better sounding master”, I mean the one that sounds closest to the mix, in terms of fidelity AND intent.

CJ - if you care to dispute that, by all means, do so in detail the way gene did. But just saying “nuh-uh” to a professional who’s had hundreds of records (that’s thousands of songs) of all sorts of varying qualities over a fifteen years (and counting) career mastered by dozens of different mastering engineers working at every level is kinda the weakest of sauces. Try harder.
Old 9th June 2018
  #13
Quote:
CJ - if you care to dispute that, by all means,
Its Fact that you do not need loud mixes to produce loud masters. In fact, a loud mix may not produce a master as loud as a normal mix would be.

You do not need a loud mix to have a loud master. The mixing stage is not ware you want to shoot for your loudness. You want to mix the song so every instrument is balanced (panning, levels, effects) the way you want it to sound, and the mix is at a normal level. not as loud as possible!. The loudness will come in the mastering stage.

Loudness comes from how good the tracks were recorded and how good the song was mixed. Not the loudness levels

The better the song was recorded and mixed, the louder you can get the master. Having you Record as loud as possible and mix as loud as possible will not give you the loudness master.

Loudness in the recording and mixing stages doesn't mean you can get the loudness master.. The mastering stage is ware you get your loudness from. All the mix needs to do is sound good and be at a normal level.

Mastering engineers including myself tend to like the mixes to able lots of headroom, hence they do not want it as loud as possible: There are many artsicles on it and google is the best tool for you to look up how each mastering engineer wants their mixes to be at.
One example
Mixing Levels Before Mastering

Last edited by CJ Mastering; 9th June 2018 at 01:14 PM..
Old 9th June 2018
  #14
You write all that as though a loud mix somehow precludes a good-sounding mix. In fact, well-balanced mixes tend to have a rather healthy inherent loudness. One needn't mix with loudness as a primary objective; that loudness will come as a side effect of good separation, transient and dynamic control, and so forth. The end result being a mastering engineer that needs to do less processing to achieve the loudness during premastering, which means a master that is truer to the musical intent of the mix. IE - a good master.

ETA that the link you shared is a rather poor example of professional knowledge-sharing, and to boot, really doesn't have anything at all to do with the topic at hand.
Old 9th June 2018
  #15
Quote:
You write all that as though a loud mix somehow precludes a good-sounding mix.
The FAct is that you do not need a loud mix to get a loud master. That's the question at hand. Its FALSE thinking that you need a loud mix to get a loud master.

You have a very poor understanding of knowledge in this area as i can see, if you think you need a loud mix to get a loud master. Its very unacceptable also becaus people read this to learn

For Everyone, you do not need a loud mix to get a loud master
Old 9th June 2018
  #16
It seems you are deliberately misreading what I’m writing, because your replies aren’t really speaking to the points I’m making. And typing “fact” in all caps or and using colored fonts doesn’t make your point any stronger.

I don’t know how many high profile mixers you’ve mastered for, because I don’t recognize any of the credits on your page, but I’ve recorded and produced a number of records that have been mixed by the likes of Michael Brauer, Paul Kolderie, Lou G, Paul Hager, and a host of other world class engineers, and in every case, the mixes gained little in the way of loudness after being mastered. The same goes for my own mix work (though I’m hardly in the same league as a mixer as those guys). Loud mixes yield loud masters, with little to no change in the dynamics the mixer has worked so hard to craft. This should be obvious: if a mastering engineer is applying an excessive amount of eq, compression, or limiting to make a master sufficiently loud, he or she will be disrupting the integrity and intent of the mix.

These points aren’t hearsay or forum “wisdom”. They’re based on the experience of the thousands of songs I’ve engineered, and the discussions I’ve had with mastering and mixing engineers alike whose skills and knowledge far exceed our own.

Also, because you’ve clouded the waters here and I completely agree that people might come here to learn and would come away more confused for reading this discussion, please note that I’m not claiming a loud master from a not-loud mix isn’t possible.
Old 9th June 2018
  #17
You can name drop all you want, it doesn't make the point correct. Loud mixes will not give you a louder master.

The bottom line is that if you say a louder mixes will give you a louder master, That is not really true. You can get a equally loud master and a even a louder master with an average level mix as well. Its a Fact. Its not my opinion.
A loud mix, may even hinder you in getting a loud master

Thats all im saying.
Old 9th June 2018
  #18
Old 9th June 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

IME how loud a mix can be mastered has little to do with how loud (or soft) it's mixed.

A loud mix DONE WELL can be a breeze to master. Done poorly, it can be a PITA.

A dynamic mix done well can be a breeze to master. Done poorly, it can be a PITA.

A good mix is a good mix. Good mixes make for good masters.

Last edited by SmoothTone; 10th June 2018 at 03:38 AM..
Old 9th June 2018
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
IME how loud a mix can be mastered has little to do with how loud it's mixed.

A good mix is a good mix. Good mixes make for good masters.
Exactly.
Old 10th June 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
In fact, well-balanced mixes tend to have a rather healthy inherent loudness. One needn't mix with loudness as a primary objective; that loudness will come as a side effect of good separation, transient and dynamic control, and so forth.
I agree with this. I think the whole notion of trying to match or compete with loudness of a commercial release already mastered is an exercise in futility. Trying match up LUFS, DBFS, db's etc is going down the wrong path, a run-out level report tells nothing really. I suppose measuring short term levels may have some valuable information but this stuff will all be obvious to the naked ear and no need for any meters or run-out reports to state the obvious.
The healthy inherent loudness you mention goes right back to how the track is arranged and to a lesser degree, maybe some automation moves, particularly at start of choruses or transitions. I try really hard not to look at all this level reporting until I'm near completed, I think a conscious effort to subscribe to some LUFS formula and magic number undermines the focus that should be on the arrangement. Anyone with a DAW can make a mix hit predetermined levels , thats easy! Having an arrangement that , as you say, has inherent properties that determine a loudness factor that sells the track well and caters to it's intentions is a bit trickier, but you usually know when you have nailed something that displays all the intentions of the song it's arrangement and emotional effect. Without wanting to sound harsh, to try and match levels with another track solely to mirror it's loudness is kind of a fools errand. Each song has it's own needs and those needs can not be served to the songs best interest via looking at a meter or taking a punt on a mastering guy realising something that should have been a core fundamental of the song from it's inception. To me the mastering can only really help make sure the mix has the designed effect across the myriad of platforms with complete awareness that on some platforms it's gonna get turned down and on others it may get turned up or left alone. I listened to a recent Drake release that on some platforms was turned down by .8db and on another it was turned up 1.8db, in both cases it sounded great. Not sure what the lesson learned really is and as much as I am interested in knowing, my preference is that whichever of the 3 mastering people I send stuff to will know and be able to inform me if there is anything I need to be doing or consider doing to best enable them in their processes.
And, regarding the Bruno Mars track, if it was made prior to 2018, there is a fair chance it is getting turned up or down more than I'm sure the mixer/producer is entirely thrilled about, to which I would suggest that it further negates any plausible attempts to "match" it's levels. I've tried this stuff of matching levels, I totally get why someone would try it and my heart goes out to them if they are stuck in a place where the answers they want and need are thin on the ground. I think there should be some comfort in knowing that just about everyone is having the experience, pro's , aspiring pro's alike. The edge the "pro's" have is they are probably more engaged with a community of others and in that they all find answers to the questions that concern them. I'm also not entirely convinced that the world of mastering has comer to some sort of unified perspective on this topic either, so just like any other service provider one is considering hiring, get 3-5 opinions and bids and in that process , at least another breadcrumb will be revealed
Old 11th June 2018
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for all your feedbacks. I thank you.

Ok point taken. Maybe it's because arragements, techniques and tricks.

BUT, is it just me or the analog mastered track do sound wider, richer and louder than the ITB / digital master?
Old 11th June 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 
GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jordyzzz View Post
Thanks for all your feedbacks. I thank you.

Ok point taken. Maybe it's because arragements, techniques and tricks.

BUT, is it just me or the analog mastered track do sound wider, richer and louder than the ITB / digital master?
Mate, I don't know really if the analog signal chain makes that massive difference you are hearing, maybe, I mean, I pass my mixes though a pair of Neve channel strips I have because I have them and because it's what I have become accustomed to doing. If it does impart something extra, great, if it doesn't and I'm just wasting my time in a literal sense, the peace of mind and personal security I get from it believing I have done everything I can possibly do in pursuit of great sounds is enough for me at this point in my own history!
I read a thread wherein a pretty experienced guy suggested that because he was passing audio through his esoteric cables and back into his box was what he felt was making a difference. The cables themselves...
I think giving any of this stuff too much thought will make your head explode and only serve to distract you from what I assume is your primary mission, to make great sounding music that sounds it's best. Any perceived failure or short coming on your own part is a vital ingredient of your, everyone's success.
I would offer up that implementing tried and true mixing techniques to maximise the impact of your music will be the most rewarding for you as a music maker. Integration and release readiness is a whole other can of banana's that you can only really attempt to be ready for as you hand over the chain of custody to those whose entire focus is only that of release readiness.
I also think there is probably more to be gained from comparing your tracks to each other rather than just comparing to the big budget commercial stuff, because ultimately we are all in competition with ourselves first and in that, we stand a greater chance of hanging onto ourselves rather than chasing a moving target. Best wishes and hopeful encouragement to you that you enjoy your process of unlocking your highest form inside your own music.
Old 12th June 2018
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneHall View Post
Mate, I don't know really if the analog signal chain makes that massive difference you are hearing, maybe, I mean, I pass my mixes though a pair of Neve channel strips I have because I have them and because it's what I have become accustomed to doing. If it does impart something extra, great, if it doesn't and I'm just wasting my time in a literal sense, the peace of mind and personal security I get from it believing I have done everything I can possibly do in pursuit of great sounds is enough for me at this point in my own history!
I read a thread wherein a pretty experienced guy suggested that because he was passing audio through his esoteric cables and back into his box was what he felt was making a difference. The cables themselves...
I think giving any of this stuff too much thought will make your head explode and only serve to distract you from what I assume is your primary mission, to make great sounding music that sounds it's best. Any perceived failure or short coming on your own part is a vital ingredient of your, everyone's success.
I would offer up that implementing tried and true mixing techniques to maximise the impact of your music will be the most rewarding for you as a music maker. Integration and release readiness is a whole other can of banana's that you can only really attempt to be ready for as you hand over the chain of custody to those whose entire focus is only that of release readiness.
I also think there is probably more to be gained from comparing your tracks to each other rather than just comparing to the big budget commercial stuff, because ultimately we are all in competition with ourselves first and in that, we stand a greater chance of hanging onto ourselves rather than chasing a moving target. Best wishes and hopeful encouragement to you that you enjoy your process of unlocking your highest form inside your own music.
Thanks gene. Really motivating. From now i'll just focus on getting the best from what i have.
Old 12th June 2018
  #25
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
You can name drop all you want, it doesn't make the point correct. Loud mixes will not give you a louder master.

The bottom line is that if you say a louder mixes will give you a louder master, That is not really true. You can get a equally loud master and a even a louder master with an average level mix as well. Its a Fact. Its not my opinion.
A loud mix, may even hinder you in getting a loud master

Thats all im saying.
He is saying to leave the intent intact you can't expect to get all of the loudness just from the mastering. Which is so obvious, you trying to argue with it is a little embarrassing.

You also seem to be assuming 'a loud mix' means some hack having smashed it with a limiter across it already as opposed to doing what Bgrotto said, as in just having good transient control, balance and maybe using small amounts of louder making stuff on the separates inside the mix. Creating an already loud mix with the intent correct and nothing about it making it harder to master at all.
Old 12th June 2018
  #26
Lives for gear
 
NoVi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Loud masters come from loud mixes.

Er, the good-sounding ones do, anyway.
I would rather rephrase that to: "it takes an excellent mix to produce an excellent master".
Old 12th June 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
He is saying to leave the intent intact you can't expect to get all of the loudness just from the mastering. Which is so obvious, you trying to argue with it is a little embarrassing.
Yes. I'm finding myself baffled as to why anyone would so vehemently argue this point.

Quote:
You also seem to be assuming 'a loud mix' means some hack having smashed it with a limiter across it already as opposed to doing what Bgrotto said, as in just having good transient control, balance and maybe using small amounts of louder making stuff on the separates inside the mix. Creating an already loud mix with the intent correct and nothing about it making it harder to master at all.
Precisely. It's reassuring to see that someone here read my posts for what they were actually saying. I don't know what CJ's agenda is, but it makes for some rather strange posting. I'm resigned to give him the benefit of the doubt and simply assume he doesn't have the opportunity to work on the sort of high-level material that illustrates my points, thus he simply doesn't know any better.
Old 12th June 2018
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVi View Post
I would rather rephrase that to: "it takes an excellent mix to produce an excellent master".
But that's not the point I was making. We were talking about loudness, not simply the overall quality. Contrary to how some of my later posts were spun by CJ, I'm not equating "loud" with "good". I'm saying good is good, and loud is loud. The two can coexist, but they are not mutually exclusive. And also that good mixes tend to have an inherently high loudness, or perhaps more precisely, a loudness that is inherently appropriate for the given genre. In other words, a good metal mix will be very loud. A good pop mix will be very loud. Bringing the masters of those good mixes to modern commercial standards/expectations of loudness won't require much in the way of additional loudness processing during premastering.

ETA: i've heard (and indeed, had!!) some truly excellent masters come from less than excellent mixes. Few, if any, of my mixes are "excellent", yet I'm fortunate to work with some incredibly gifted people who absolutely do *excellent* mastering work. I suppose it depends on your criteria for what makes a master good or bad, though.
Old 13th June 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
 
NoVi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
But that's not the point I was making. We were talking about loudness, not simply the overall quality. Contrary to how some of my later posts were spun by CJ, I'm not equating "loud" with "good". I'm saying good is good, and loud is loud. The two can coexist, but they are not mutually exclusive. And also that good mixes tend to have an inherently high loudness, or perhaps more precisely, a loudness that is inherently appropriate for the given genre. In other words, a good metal mix will be very loud. A good pop mix will be very loud. Bringing the masters of those good mixes to modern commercial standards/expectations of loudness won't require much in the way of additional loudness processing during premastering.

ETA: i've heard (and indeed, had!!) some truly excellent masters come from less than excellent mixes. Few, if any, of my mixes are "excellent", yet I'm fortunate to work with some incredibly gifted people who absolutely do *excellent* mastering work. I suppose it depends on your criteria for what makes a master good or bad, though.
If you know 'master magicians' who can turn bad mixes into excellent masters, good for you.
Old 13th June 2018
  #30
What is with folks’ reading comprehension on this site? Jesus.
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
Forum Jump
Forum Jump