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How to get those SUPER Loud Mixes?
Old 4th February 2007
  #91
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Masterer's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac View Post
....Then I hear one from the newbie guy who hasnt a clue what hes doing using a few plugins and can often hear excitement written all over them..
I thought I smelled something. It's "excitement"!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac View Post
And how come ITS ONLY FORUM MASTERING ENGINEERS that are always complaining about loudness. The ones I spek t in person who happen to work in commercial rooms never do.
Commercials can never be too loud... or exciting.
Old 4th February 2007
  #92
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scraggs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac View Post
And how come ITS ONLY FORUM MASTERING ENGINEERS that are always complaining about loudness. The ones I spek t in person who happen to work in commercial rooms never do.
uuhhhh....mr All Caps, what do you mean by forum mastering engineers exactly? are they just clever actors who've decided to make it their life's work pretending to be real, live mastering engineers on dorky internet messageboards? i mean, that DOES sound pretty exciting.

you might be surprised to know that some of the guys who post here and elsewhere have actually mastered loads of records. every day for years.

and i would think any ME who's not complaining about loudness doesn't really give a **** about their job.
Old 4th February 2007
  #93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Yordan View Post
Hiya

Must check out the 1-2k tip. Usually I think that boosting at 1k is a bit sharp for my ears. Even though I kind of boost the whole freq spectra doing my experiments. heh
Yeah well I think good tracking plays a big part in getting those mids to be loud but not harsh. Ive never managed to get the 1-2K mids boosted as much as some commercial releases. :(

Eck
Old 4th February 2007
  #94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
Not a bad Idea.

A F.A.Q. sticky might not be a bad idea as well.

A single spot to peruse threads like "how to get my **** loud" and "clipping the converters [to make my **** loud]" and "adding midrange so that my **** is perceptually louder" and "mastering room dimensions for louder ****" type threads [O.K., that last one might be a stretch but you get the point].

I'm not kidding BTW. I do think it's a pretty good idea.
Yeah I agree with that.
Eck
Old 4th February 2007
  #95
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Gravity8058's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
Not a bad Idea.

A F.A.Q. sticky might not be a bad idea as well.

A single spot to peruse threads like "how to get my **** loud" and "clipping the converters [to make my **** loud]" and "adding midrange so that my **** is perceptually louder" and "mastering room dimensions for louder ****" type threads [O.K., that last one might be a stretch but you get the point].

I'm not kidding BTW. I do think it's a pretty good idea.
I'm not going for loud or anything, but I'm wondering, Chris:

When dressing for a session where you expect the client to want it loud,
do you choose cotton shirts, or clothing that might absorb more high frequencies, thus enabling you to raise the mid's and therefore make it louder?





Old 4th February 2007
  #96
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jayfrigo's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac View Post
And how come ITS ONLY FORUM MASTERING ENGINEERS that are always complaining about loudness. The ones I spek t in person who happen to work in commercial rooms never do.
I've met or spoken to many, if not most of the "household names" in mastering, and they do indeed talk about loudness, understand the tradeoffs, and wish the genie could be put back in the bottle. It's just that many of them also understand it's a service and a business, and want both happy clients and repeat business. This is not to say it's right or wrong, but it's not just an internet discussion, nor a discussion that happens only at the low end, nor are all internet posting engineers low end. We have plenty of gold, platinum, and grammy winning guys posting here. As to your point, perhaps if you are approaching them as a client rather than a colleague they are less willing to openly discuss it.
Old 5th February 2007
  #97
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Chrisac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
uuhhhh....mr All Caps,
UUUHHHH, what did you go and get personal for. I have a reply for you but quite frankly your not worth it.
Your a chump but I still love ya!
Old 5th February 2007
  #98
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Chrisac's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Maybe it is because a lot of us CARE about what we are doing. If people want to go to someone that will take their money and never say anything then there are plenty of people out there that will do just that. In my 11 years as a mastering engineer and my 35+ years as a professional audio engineer I have seen many audio engineers who are in this strictly for the money and could give a rat's a$$ about the quality of the product they are producing or what they are doing to the career or the goals of the musician that has come to them for help. All they really care about is getting the money at the end of the session PERIOD.

What I understand you to say is that anyone that questions the loudness race is not a good mastering engineer? I don't think so. I think that people who genuinely care about their clients and what their music sounds like when it leaves their mastering room are the best of the best.

So think whatever you want to but I don't believe in taking someone's money for doing nothing more than making their stuff EXTRA loud. I think they deserve more than that. I will try to find out exactly how they want their stuff to sound and do my professional best to make it sound that way. Then and only then will I collect my fee for doing my job to the BEST of my ability.

When I hear a newbie saying that he can do a better job than a "professional" mastering engineer I start to wonder three things 1) does he or she really know what they are listening to or for and 2) how much of that excitement is mirrored by the client they are working with/for and 3) What are they comparing their stuff to is it commerical material or something they have done earlier before they posted their question on the WWW and got an answer saying boost the mids 2.3 dB? MTCW and FWIW

Hi,

Quote:
What I understand you to say is that anyone that questions the loudness race is not a good mastering engineer?
No this is not what I meant at all. I meant there seems to be a large amount on forums that grumble on the loudness issue. It had nothing to do with one that doesnt like it not being good at his job.

When I approach a mastering engineer I basically say -10 or -11. I dont care about the issues all i care that my record sounds as loud as the rest of them. A good mastering job to me is one that has the loudness but doesnt sound as squashed as one of my home made efforts. As well as that it has to be able to translate across systems and if Im really lucky he has used some karma on the mix.
If a mastering engineer has to many personal issues with loudness then im not sure he should be working in todays market.

The thing that irritated me on this thread was the bullying of the original poster. I understand hes an engineer/producer. So what gives a number of posters on this thread the right to dictate what he should and shouldnt learn.. or even question his abilities. His question was perfectly decent and didnt justify the wrath.
Old 5th February 2007
  #99
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StinkMonkey's Avatar
 

There's a big controversy over CD volumes at the moment, by pros and the home studio guys. It has to do with volume vs. dynamics. Read the links below it may help. If a masteing engineer raises a fuss what the 'talent' or record company wants they'll go somewhere else to get the product they believe will sell. You can't stay in business if your not making money. A lot of this is covered above but they're good reads anyway.
Bob
http://johnvestman.com/hot_cd.htm
http://www.music-tech.com/recording...._from=&ucat=1&
Old 5th February 2007
  #100
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robot gigante's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisac View Post

The thing that irritated me on this thread was the bullying of the original poster. I understand hes an engineer/producer. So what gives a number of posters on this thread the right to dictate what he should and shouldnt learn.. or even question his abilities. His question was perfectly decent and didnt justify the wrath.
The "wrath" has nothing to do with the poster wanting to learn how to get masters loud.

It has to do with bad business practices.

It is more and more common for small places to offer mastering as an 'add on' even though the skills and tools are not there- monitoring for example- and THAT is what provoked the wrath, not the poster's desire to learn.

Would you pay him to learn how to master loud on your music? Because he's charging.

Anyway, forums are the perfect place for mastering engineers to grumble and blow off steam about the loudness issue. Most often times while working there is no place for grumbling.
Old 5th February 2007
  #101
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JockeSkog's Avatar
 

A conversation between a band and me:
- Will you do the mixing?
- Yes.
- Good.

After listening to the mixes:

- It's not loud enough.
- Well, it's not mastered yet. I know a very ME who can do it.
- We're sorry, we put our whole budget in you.
- Huh? But I don't do mastering jobs.
- Well you have to do it.

If I refuse to do it = bad for bussiness. Words spread fast nowadays, so I say:

- Sure, no problem.

So there I am, sitting in a tracking studio with a mastering job in my hands. Of course I'll do it. They probably can't tell the difference anyway (since they didn't calculate for a proper Mastering). In their world, it's all about volume, no ISRC codes, no SMPTE, no nothing, just loud enough so they can put the songs in their mp3 player without hearing any loudness difference from the pro-mastered stuff.

BTW, we're talking metal here. Death metal. I guess it's different in other specified genres. Or is it?

edit: I didn't charge them extra for the loudness
Old 5th February 2007
  #102
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erwinor's Avatar
 

same here!!
The clients asks when its time to pay if the cd is ready for duplication!!
Meaning if its loud to hell..........dont care about mastering....they dont know what is that,they think its only about volume!!

@#%[email protected][email protected]$% stupid people that I have to work with,if I dont do it I have a bad studio.
Old 5th February 2007
  #103
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lucey's Avatar
As far as bashing the original poster, that was unnecessary and inhospitable. That poster is not the problem, it's their clients. If a client asks us for something we don't do, or don't want to do ... we can discuss and then either give it to them, or we can send them away. That's a professional choice, case by case. It's not for people on the net to be telling anyone what services they have a right to provide or what they should charge for it. Price is an illusion. Quality is very subjective these days. The real issue is the same issue no matter what you charge ... some people are going to be too cheap for your price, no matter how low - and some aren't. Some will have the experience to care, will find the money to care, or the mindset to care, or the principles to care ... others just want to get by and git 'er done. Some will shop by dollars, some by credits, some by referrals, some by this, some by that ... and a few by actually listening and thinking for themselves. That's all their issue, not ours. Try as we might to educate or suggest things in music's name, it's on the clients to run the game we serve. Worrying about, judging, or trying to control client trends by bashing other engineers for what they do makes no sense whatsoever and is just an opportunistic way to T off about a frustration we all have ... of being undercut, or of high volume demands, or whatever.

Oh yes, I've been undercut by 'ProTools recording studio mastering' offers locally, and it's annoying. They know what I charge and can half it, just as I can half what others charge nationally. It sucks but that's the new market. All I can do is offer a sample, and let them hear it for themselves and then decide based on music in addition to other factors like money. So yes I understand the frustrations of "lower priced, unqualified", etc, etc. But we can't control what we can't control (other people). The industry is moving downward in many cases, many things are devolving to some extent. And yet there's always hope.

-10 or -11 RMS is not all that loud as compared to some major releases lately. But I agree that -10 or so is loud enough for most cases. FWIW, I sense the volume trend is pulling back a little, at least where it matters most. The thing is not getting worse IME. My 'loud' clients are asking for "loud but not crazy flat" as if they know the score ... and that's around -9 or a touch more for me. Everyone is happy there. I've made peace with the loud game in recent years, and find it challenging to flirt with the line-in-the-sand.

As far as online openness ... as was said, some people cannot afford to be honest online as they are either too high profile, or are known for mastering loud, or whatever their issue may be. But they are suffering too no matter what they dont say. In general, if you read these posts with the assumption that we all love music and want to make an honest living ... then a compassion and understanding of others as being like you is your starting point. If you read the forums as if we're looking for a target for our personal baggage about what's wrong with the world ... well ... you'll see enemies and opportunities, and off you go.

Old 5th February 2007
  #104
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punisher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scraggs View Post
i would think any ME who's not complaining about loudness doesn't really give a **** about their job.
I disagree. Complaining and whinging and whining like a sissy will get you nowhere. Face reality. Loudness is here to stay. It isn't a passing fad like 80's reverb. The challenge now is to cut records that are loud and "good".

My understanding is that this business is a SERVICE first and foremost. MEs who don't cater to their clients needs in a smart way are the ones who don't give a $hit.
Old 5th February 2007
  #105
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Reptil's Avatar
 

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K.
And where do you "stand" personally, as far as squashing for the sake of squashing is concerned?
Old 5th February 2007
  #106
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robot gigante's Avatar
Personally I don't feel like I'm undercut by the studios that tack on mastering as an add on- but I'm not sure that it really is a good practice in the long run for those studios to aquire long-term clients and keep them happy.

I feel for you guys that have clients that want things loud and don't want to pay for mastering though- it's the guys who proactively push to "master" their own mixes just for the extra $$ or promote a "mastering" service when they have neither the equipment nor the experience/knowledge to do so that I have a problem with.

It really downgrades the level of service to the client when that happens. I know that internships are less possible these days, but besides the knowledge and experience that you aquire as an intern, perhaps equally as important are that you can aquire humility and a sense of your own limitations when it comes to being able to take on certain things all at once... like mastering for instance.

You don't HAVE to intern to aquire those qualities of course, and it's no guarantee that interning will give someone those qualities, but either way I think that knowing what you're capable of with your level of experience, knowledge and equipment and offering that is the best way to run a business.

If someone offers something that they aren't capable of doing a proper job of, then yeah, it's rough, but they should rethink things or get out of the business. That goes for any aspect of it, from tracking to mixing to mastering. As far as rude comments go, a little heat on an internet forum will pale in comparison to some of the situations that will potentially arise in the course of running the studio that way anyway.
Old 5th February 2007
  #107
Quote:
Originally Posted by StinkMonkey View Post
There's a big controversy over CD volumes at the moment, by pros and the home studio guys. It has to do with volume vs. dynamics. Read the links below it may help. If a masteing engineer raises a fuss what the 'talent' or record company wants they'll go somewhere else to get the product they believe will sell. You can't stay in business if your not making money. A lot of this is covered above but they're good reads anyway.
Bob
http://johnvestman.com/hot_cd.htm
http://www.music-tech.com/recording...._from=&ucat=1&
And this is NEW news?!!

Eck
Old 5th February 2007
  #108
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prosodio's Avatar
Well Dave Gilmour lastest release (on an island) is mastered with a very low level (according today´s standards, maybe k12) and for me it sounds very good. The industry is trying to make the engineers to kill the dynamic of the records.Aren´t records like "Dark side of the moon" or Alan Parsons "I Robot" mixed/mastered in wonderful way? For me today, that sound and dinamic records are missed. A lot of people forget the volume knobs in their sound systems are there for something. For me k10, is very loud, it kills part of dynamics.

Greetings
Old 5th February 2007
  #109
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosodio View Post
Well Dave Gilmour lastest release (on an island) is mastered with a very low level (according today´s standards, maybe k12) and for me it sounds very good. The industry is trying to make the engineers to kill the dynamic of the records.Aren´t records like "Dark side of the moon" or Alan Parsons "I Robot" mixed/mastered in wonderful way? For me today, that sound and dinamic records are missed. A lot of people forget the volume knobs in their sound systems are there for something. For me k10, is very loud, it kills part of dynamics.

Greetings
What does k10 mean? Is that the same as -10dB RMS Average?
Yeah there are the volume knobs on stereos, but the volume wars are all about making the commercial releases stand up to one another in other situations like radio play, TV play, compilation CDs, Jukeboxes, in pubs, in clubs etc. Anywhere that you dont really have control of the voluem knob and where its not just 1 commercial artist you are listening to.

Eck
Old 5th February 2007
  #110
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prosodio's Avatar
Yeah, I mean average RMS level. Well, I´ve been in a pub this saturday, ... and Dire Straits "Walk of life" sound better for me that those Anastasia or Linkin park... I listen to the radio and The Police, Pink Floyd, Queen, Stones, Beatles... are still there... with -18db or -20 or -14 RMS, I don´t see why a record can´t be mastered this way.

Greetings
Old 5th February 2007
  #111
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punisher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
K.
And where do you "stand" personally, as far as squashing for the sake of squashing is concerned?
Well if you're directing the question at me here's my take.......if the client wants his master squashed then I squash it trying to preserve as much of the fidelity as possible.

My job is to facilitate the process of realizing HIS vision of HIS art.
Old 5th February 2007
  #112
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosodio View Post
Yeah, I mean average RMS level. Well, I´ve been in a pub this saturday, ... and Dire Straits "Walk of life" sound better for me that those Anastasia or Linkin park... I listen to the radio and The Police, Pink Floyd, Queen, Stones, Beatles... are still there... with -18db or -20 or -14 RMS, I don´t see why a record can´t be mastered this way.

Greetings
Do you know the RMS for Dire Straits? Im sure Linkin Park and Anastasia use around -9dB RMS, well Linkin Park prob use like -7!

Eck
Old 5th February 2007
  #113
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no idea of the RMS for "Brothers in Arms", but ever since my dad got a copy of it (around '92) I've thought it was a really really quiet CD, even compared to other CDs of that sort of time.
Old 5th February 2007
  #114
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
no idea of the RMS for "Brothers in Arms", but ever since my dad got a copy of it (around '92) I've thought it was a really really quiet CD, even compared to other CDs of that sort of time.
Good chance it would sound better than a louder song, but it wouldnt stand out or even stand in line with the newer releases when in a club, pub etc.

Eck
Old 5th February 2007
  #115
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beaxarthur's Avatar
 

To poster: I was in the same boat many years ago. Any new recording engineer wonders why their mixes are not as loud as the mixes on their cd's at home, and it's a shame that ME's on here are such d*cks about giving newcomers a simple answer.

Simple Answer:
Get clean tracks. Minimize signal-to-noise ratio in your tracking chain. Take out problem frequency areas (220Hz is a big culprit) in your tracks. If you mix down digitally, I would suggest experimenting with a couple "all-in-one" mastering programs like izotope ozone or t-racks. Play around with the presets that come with the program. You'll learn one big underlying rule. As mix "volume" goes up, clarity will be sacrificed. Just find your desired balance.
Old 6th February 2007
  #116
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Offering a one stop shop is now becoming a necessity in some markets, so I can understand why the orriginal poster is offering mastering. I think that the issue people have is the way it is being marketed by the guy. On my site, I offer "budget mastering", and I readily and openly admit that it is not as good as you would get from a pro (I typically use Joa Carvalho in Toronto). I give that disclaimer on my site, and I have Adam S3a's and Genelec 1031's for monitoring, a Manley SLAM, API 2500, Massive Passive, 2 TG Channels, 2 Distressors, vt747sp, 2 API 7600s and a smart C2, as well as a ton of software. I use the Nyquist converters in my Radar. Am I being too honest or modest by letting people know that I am good, but not great, or are the amateurs just writing cheques they can't possibly cash? If this guy claims that he is a real good mastering guy on his site, then it forces me and other real engineers to claim that they are amazing mastering guys, because more than likely my work is 10 times better than his. That then means that Joa Carvalho has to claim that he is an astronomically fantastic super engineer who will turn mixes into solid gold.
I know, I am crazy to ask people to be honest when marketing, but when guys do that it reflects badly on every single commercial facility out there. If they did a mastering job for a band that was not good, there is a possibility that the band will draw the conclusion that mastering is not necessary, or that they could do it themselves with their own $800 monitors and some software.
Old 6th February 2007
  #117
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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Quote:
:
psycho_monkey:
no idea of the RMS for "Brothers in Arms", but ever since my dad got a copy of it (around '92) I've thought it was a really really quiet CD, even compared to other CDs of that sort of time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
Good chance it would sound better than a louder song, but it wouldnt stand out or even stand in line with the newer releases when in a club, pub etc.

Eck
I'm sure Bob Ludwig's not copped any flack for it , nor for the '96 remaster.
It's not quiet, only quieter than most of today's releases of the genre.
Still sounds great on radio, too, of course.
Old 6th February 2007
  #118
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JockeSkog View Post
So there I am, sitting in a tracking studio with a mastering job in my hands. Of course I'll do it. They probably can't tell the difference anyway (since they didn't calculate for a proper Mastering). In their world, it's all about volume, no ISRC codes, no SMPTE, no nothing, just loud enough so they can put the songs in their mp3 player without hearing any loudness difference from the pro-mastered stuff.

BTW, we're talking metal here. Death metal. I guess it's different in other specified genres. Or is it?

edit: I didn't charge them extra for the loudness
Well as per my post at
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/107575-its-spectrum-you-idiots.html
I'd never assume a client wont know the difference. Knowing what you've described can happen, just one of many exceptions is proven with a death metal EP the other day: Mixes already maxxed out level-wise and no option to re-do without the plugin they'd used across the mix, but the band came to pro mastering 'cos they wanted it to sound better, knowing that it could. The result, after careful EQ, tubes, just a hint of compression for some 'movement' - a slightly lower level and better sounding product.

'cos it matters.
Old 6th February 2007
  #119
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Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Are you seriously telling me ALL you 'Mastering Engineers' do NOTHING but master? NO tracking, NO mixing?
Many here, myself included - yes. And we're proud to specialize in the art and service of bringing fresh ears and experienced objectivity to artists' visions.
Old 6th February 2007
  #120
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomshanka View Post
Many here, myself included - yes. And we're proud to specialize in the art and service of bringing fresh ears and experienced objectivity to artists' visions.
Same here, only Mastering.

No tracking or mixing... we're specialists.

I've always felt it would be a conflict of interests.

We refer any tracking or mixing jobs to one of our clients who do that.

JT
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