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Looking for Mastering Engineers to interview
Old 15th January 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Looking for Mastering Engineers to interview

Hi there,

I'm a college student in Nashville, TN, and I'm currently working on my senior thesis research project, which is entitled "Rising Levels in Audio Mastering." I know that this is a topic that has been discussed to death here, but I also know that there are many on this forum that have strong opinions about it. I'm looking to interview mastering engineers, specifically those who were working in the field before the switch to digital, though anyone who wants to participate is very welcome. If you also master vinyl along with digital, your input would be greatly appreciated as well.

If you are interested in participating in this study, you can private message me here, or send an e-mail to domkowskie@pop.belmont.edu and I'll give you the rest of the details.

Thanks!

-Eric Domkowski
Old 15th January 2007
  #2
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dcollins's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericdomk View Post
Hi there,
I'm a college student in Nashville, TN, and I'm currently working on my senior thesis research project, which is entitled "Rising Levels in Audio Mastering."
Your paper is essentially:

Some guy got a digital limiter, and since then audio levels have been rising.

I'm thinking big fonts and really thick paper here.

And footnotes. You're going to need footnotes.

Now, you could interview leading mastering pundits, who would clearly abhor such untoward waveform destructions, and treat it as some sort of un-natural act.

Except when they do it themselves, of course.


DC
Old 15th January 2007
  #3
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
Your paper is essentially:

Some guy got a digital limiter, and since then audio levels have been rising.

Almost Dave .... the wise guys tell me the levels were rising all along, but they had a natural barrier, the needle and groove ... and then as you say, the unlimited limiting began. Yet it played well with the other factors:

You'll want to add a section on 'louder is better' - psychoacoustics and the mind.

A section on Fear ... and keeping up with the Jones' (who knew musicians were such suburbanites?)

A section on the loss of artist development since the musical ears (up til the 70s) were almost all replaced by lawyers (80s) who were later replaced by trust fund kids (90s) and now the corporate bean counters ... leading to a hit-me-now mentality.

A section on increasingly cheap limiters and plug-in bundles landing in the hands of inexperienced mixers, making mixes louder and ruining the Separation of Musical Powers: Tracking , Mixing, Mastering ... the 3 branches of government.

A section on the sales of gear eclipsing actual record sales ... and the engineers making records today often being called upon (and empowered) to make the actual musiciality and musical decisions (like editing, beat and pitch) ... so artists have lost their power to engineers AND to industry, making them more insecure than sensitive people tend to be anyway, and more inclined to Fear, and thus volume as a remedy with no lasting value, but short term satisfaction (see: modern commmerce and society).

A section on radio limiters, of course

A section on dynamic records and sales over a 20 year period vs. projected sales of records post 2000 (bring in a hottie from statistics if you can find one, for late night debates)

A section on 'artists' turning into self-promoting visual and attitude candy since MTV, which leads to "look at me", which leads to "louder is better". Young musicians sensitive to the slow power of dynamics? Seldom.

And a section on the way that A+R is too arrogant or lazy to reach for the volume knob, perpetuating all of the above.

Also a section on major producers auditioning masters in their car.


It's a perfect storm actually.
Old 15th January 2007
  #4
Gear Head
 
punisher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Almost Dave .... the wise guys tell me the levels were rising all along, but they had a natural barrier, the needle and groove ... and then as you say, the unlimited limiting began. Yet it played well with the other factors:

You'll want to add a section on 'louder is better' - psychoacoustics and the mind.

A section on Fear ... and keeping up with the Jones' (who knew musicians were such suburbanites?)

A section on the loss of artist development since the musical ears (up til the 70s) were almost all replaced by lawyers (80s) who were later replaced by trust fund kids (90s) and now the corporate bean counters ... leading to a hit-me-now mentality.

A section on increasingly cheap limiters and plug-in bundles landing in the hands of inexperienced mixers, making mixes louder and ruining the Separation of Musical Powers: Tracking , Mixing, Mastering ... the 3 branches of government.

A section on the sales of gear eclipsing actual record sales ... and the engineers making records today often being called upon (and empowered) to make the actual musiciality and musical decisions (like editing, beat and pitch) ... so artists have lost their power to engineers AND to industry, making them more insecure than sensitive people tend to be anyway, and more inclined to Fear, and thus volume as a remedy with no lasting value, but short term satisfaction (see: modern commmerce and society).

A section on radio limiters, of course

A section on dynamic records and sales over a 20 year period vs. projected sales of records post 2000 (bring in a hottie from statistics if you can find one, for late night debates)

A section on 'artists' turning into self-promoting visual and attitude candy since MTV, which leads to "look at me", which leads to "louder is better". Young musicians sensitive to the slow power of dynamics? Seldom.

And a section on the way that A+R is too arrogant or lazy to reach for the volume knob, perpetuating all of the above.

Also a section on major producers auditioning masters in their car.


It's a perfect storm actually.
Forgot to take your happy pills today?
Old 15th January 2007
  #5
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by punisher View Post
Forgot to take your happy pills today?
100% happy, thanks. It's not about happy/upset, it's about accepting reality.

If writing a paper on "Rising Levels" it would all need to all be in there, from as far back as possible, and as all-inclusive as possible. It's not like anyone is at fault, it's more like no 'one' is responsible and this situation was thus inevitable. Competition for musicality has been replaced for competition for levels, and for sales right now above all else.

There is no way to measure what we can't see ... and the potential sales for music today is unknown. I'm happy about the potential.
Old 15th January 2007
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Hi Dave and Brian,

my paper actually can only be size 12 font, but yes, there will be footnotes

I appreciate your suggestions on topics to cover, do you think you would be willing to discuss some of them in more depth? I would really like to interview both of you, as you seem to know a good deal about this. Hope to hear from you soon!

-Eric
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