The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
How to get those SUPER Loud Mixes?
Old 6th February 2007
  #121
Gear Head
 
punisher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pegleg View Post
Some people see being a musician and engineer as a conflict of interest, some see being an engineer and producer the same way...

The question still stands (directed mostly towards those who went 'on the attack' to the original poster) - if you're going to bitch about studios and engineers who do their own mastering, what are YOU doing to get artists / clients to understand WHAT you do, and WHY they'll get (perhaps) something better from you than any random mix engineer / studio rat? The way some of the responses read, it seems it's OUR duty to supply YOU with clientele, since YOU'RE the Mighty Mastering Engineers, and - with all due respect - that's total bulls**t.

Even some of my veteran recording clients don't really understand what 'Mastering' really means, or why it could be important. The history of mastering engineering, and the current practice among some mastering elite, don't help that... In this day - of indie releases and artist-supplied budgets - I find that if THEY don't understand why it's important, it's not going to happen...

And sending their mixes off to a guy in a little room somewhere, with his mystery boxes and wacky little console... I don't know...

OK -
I don't (as far as I know) know any of you on this forum.
I have sent a few, and know other engineers who have sent many, clients to 'dedicated' mastering houses in one of the biggest cities in the US. Several different mastering houses, a variety of projects, over many years. The number of clients and engineers who felt it was money well-spent were NOT the majority. NONE of them came back with something I couldn't have done better ITB at home... And that's no BS! In one case, I mastered them at the same time, and the clients liked mine better...

My point is - I have yet to experience a 'dedicated' mastering house/engineer, other than a BIG (Jensen/Ludwig/etc) one, that does the project as much or more justice than I can myself. So WHY should I send my client, and my client's MONEY to them, instead of doing it myself? Because these hacks happen to have dedicated their career to it, whereas I haven't? Because they have tuned rooms and were mentored? (Well, hell, I was mentored by guys who cut vinyl masters...)

Now, I have no doubt that somewhere, perhaps even on this forum, there's someone brilliant, and possibly unknown, who can kick some ass. It's isn't necessarily my life's goal to find them.

So, is it just a case of trolling for work from tracking and mixing engineers?

Any ME who bitches about the newbies on the block shouldn't be in the game. Competition is healthy and at the end of the day cream rises and $hit stinks.

As far as your declaration of being such a hot shot, even if you are don't waste your time telling us here. The real deal MEs just go about their business and let their work be their mouthpiece.
Old 6th February 2007
  #122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
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
I can totally understand that.
It means you only have to concentrate on getting mixes to sound their best. Id say tracking and mixing alot of the time would change the way an ME masters, and maybe in a bad way.

Eck
Old 6th February 2007
  #123
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Hey Sluts, getting loud CDs comes from harmonic distortion....am i wrong ? prove it..
Old 6th February 2007
  #124
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
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
Same here we refer clients to another facility for tracking and mix-downs. We are doing some multi-track work for video and for some of the radio programs we produce but 99% of the time we send our clients to other professionals for their tracking and mix-down needs. Our rooms are custom built for MASTERING and are not designed to be mix-down or tracking facilities and we have no studio here so we could not do tracking even if we wanted to, which we don't. I have been asked by a few clients to do their mix-downs but have refused saying they can get a better job at a place that specializes in doing mix-downs. I only wish some of the recording studios in town would do the same and recommend that their clients come to a mastering engineer for mastering. Many studios want the EXTRA income that mastering someone's tracks provides and even though they are not equipped to properly monitor or master someone's material they still want the money. They are basically doing their clients a disservice but greed speaks louder than anything else.
Old 6th February 2007
  #125
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by punisher View Post
The real deal MEs just go about their business and let their work be their mouthpiece.
Exactly!

And nicely phrased BTW.

JT
Old 6th February 2007
  #126
Gear Head
 
beatbed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaza View Post
Hey Sluts, getting loud CDs comes from harmonic distortion....am i wrong ? prove it..
Not gonna argue there, zoom in on some of Timberland's tracks, notice the small jags in the waveform, loud and clear.
But how to get it like that, I have no idea !
Old 6th February 2007
  #127
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaza View Post
Hey Sluts, getting loud CDs comes from harmonic distortion....am i wrong ? prove it..
Ive not really heard much about harmonic distortion.
Could you please exaplin a little about how this can help make mixes louder?

Eck
Old 6th February 2007
  #128
Lives for gear
 

I think it's time to discuss some basic stuff about dynamic range, signal-to-noise, noise, headroom, limiting techiques, signal distribution, dithering etc. to give some of you a better understanding of loudness, since that's what you want. Ok?

- The signal-to-noise ratio is the ratio of the signal intensity to the noise intensity.
- The headroom of a signal is the max signal level before distortion.
- The dynamic range of a signal is the signal to noise ratio plus the headroom.

In theoretical terms, there is an increase in dynamic range by approximately 6dB (6.02) for each bit added to the word-length of an ADC/DAC. Because a CD is 16-bit its maximum theoretical dynamic range is 96dB (6.02 · 16 = 96.3 dB). When mastering a CD this is the playground you have to utilize your final mix against.
But since the ears are not equally sensitive to all frequencies dithering can be used to fake the perception of dynamic range by optimizing the location of noise when downsampling the signal from a higher bit resolution. Studies suggest there is critically important audio information at frequencies up to 40 kHz and possibly 80 kHz.

1) The first important aspect of loud mixes is the efficiency of the dithering algorithm, the use of 96KHz sampling frequency and the use of a high quality sample rate converter.

Recent advancements within the past decade in human hearing indicate the sensitivity of the human ear is such that the dynamic range between the quietest sound detectable and the maximum sound which can be experienced without pain is approximately 120dB. This means that a max theoretical dynamic range of 144 dB (24-bit recording) is enough. However, in the world of digital signal processing there is something called quantization noise, which is the noise generated from the rounding errors as a result of one or more iterations on the calculation process of bit-limited data types. The higher the bit depth of the audio engine is, the bigger the dynamic range will be and the higher is the maximum level before distortion. It's impossible to determine the quantization errors of a certain process since that totally depends on the efficiency of the signal process implementation.

2) For loud mixes the bit depth of the summing engine needs to be as high as possible and you need to be selective with effects.

Cumulative noise results in a worse mix dynamic range. This happens when you for instance add tracks to a mix. There is a golden rule within mixing that says you should use max 4 elements in a song playing at a time. When a lot of tracks are stacked the dynamic range drops and as a result you get clipping sooner when you limit the mix. (partly because of quantization errors in the summing process)

3) Use side chained noise gates.

Sound sources that consume a lot of mix signal and are dynamic in the mix become expensive when it comes to the maximum loudness of a mix. For instance the cumulative output level of transients from vocals + bass + kick drum hitting at the same time can dramatically lower the max possible RMS before clipping when limiting.

4) Keep the transient control high. The use of side chained limiters becomes crucial when going for loudness.

Each effect you apply on a mix consumes signal. Add to this an inefficient wetness ratio of each effect and you end up with a lot of noise. This means that the signal noise ratio drops and as a result the mix cannot be limited as much. With digital signal processing you get less noise from effects the higher the effect input level is. For a good wetness ratio the track effects must be added at the right time and the balancing process must be in the right order.

5) Keep all the tracks dry at first. EQ tracks. Then balance centered panned instruments. After that you can balance instruments on the sides. Then you balance mid and side and finally you add effects on the material. Avoid limiting a wet mix signal.


So this was a quick lesson about loudness... Happy mixing and mastering!
Old 7th February 2007
  #129
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
Ive not really heard much about harmonic distortion.
Could you please exaplin a little about how this can help make mixes louder?

Eck
i do not claim to be a mastering person, but i get my loud mixes from tracking, i use API 3124 on drums, guitars, vocals sometimes, that box right there is enough to fill up a boat load of volume, its not the levels as much as its the fullness in the mix, it has that nice edge to it, then i run a 2 mix buss thru my Sintefex compressor to finish it off. I can run even lower levels and still be louder than my louder mixes before i got my preamps and compressors. Pushing those 3124s to the red really can feel up a mix. (pushing those transformers gives off harmonics)
its a day and night difference in a snare drum, the 3124s and my compressors are the best thing i have ever used in high end gear. None of my clients raise hell about low volume now, i give it to them out the butt. Also i do not mix ITB. all outboard gear for me at 44.1 tracking/mixing.
Old 7th February 2007
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaza View Post
i do not claim to be a mastering person, but i get my loud mixes from tracking, i use API 3124 on drums, guitars, vocals sometimes, that box right there is enough to fill up a boat load of volume, its not the levels as much as its the fullness in the mix, it has that nice edge to it, then i run a 2 mix buss thru my Sintefex compressor to finish it off. I can run even lower levels and still be louder than my louder mixes before i got my preamps and compressors. Pushing those 3124s to the red really can feel up a mix. (pushing those transformers gives off harmonics)
its a day and night difference in a snare drum, the 3124s and my compressors are the best thing i have ever used in high end gear. None of my clients raise hell about low volume now, i give it to them out the butt. Also i do not mix ITB. all outboard gear for me at 44.1 tracking/mixing.
Really wish I could afford some proper pre amps. :(
Cheers,
Eck
Old 7th February 2007
  #131
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartrose View Post
As the original poster, I would like to clarify something. I refered to myself early on as a "newbie", but perhaps I didn't know the true meaning of "newbie". I am not new to audio production. I have been recording and mixing for 17 years. Similar to the guy in the small town in Canada, I work in a fairly small music community where there is no dedicated mastering studio in my town. Therefore, I am dabbling in mastering as a learning tool, and also to please clients who can't afford dedicated mastering houses. So if "newbie" means I am new to audio, then I used the wrong term. If "newbie" means I am new to this forum, then that is what I meant. So to answer the questions of some of you, no I have not just started to work in the audio field, trying to be a mastering engineer right off the bat. I've made hundreds of great recordings over the years. Just trying something new to break the monotony a little bit. There have been some very informative posts on this discussion. Thanks again to those of you being so helpful. I think we can put this discussion to rest now. My questions have been answered. Thank you and goodnight. Bart Rose

Hello Bart Rose,

I had to chime in.

I wouldn't call Dallas/FtWorth "a small music community." And we have some very qualified ME's with great mastering rooms in this area, not to mention down in Austin (thank you Jerry Tubbs). And I would hate to think that your clients would skimp on the mastering as you "dabble in the process.' Take the time to visit some of these rooms in the area and talk to these guys, it would be well worth your time.

Good luck,
MV
Old 7th February 2007
  #132
Registered User
 

[QUOTE
So this was a quick lesson about loudness... Happy mixing and mastering! [/QUOTE]

I'm going to print that entire post and tape right beside my desk.
That was Fing awesome. I'm not being sarcastic. Nice post. Seriously.... thanks

Bdiggy thumbsup
Old 7th February 2007
  #133
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Um. :D

I'm used to getting Sterling loud and can get Vlado loud when asked, though I really hate to, and dithering really has squat to do with it...

To a point it's compression and limiting. With regard to voicing the track so it sounds loud, highpassing is your friend, you don't want particularly deep bass (I can do it anyway but I use weird limiting).

When it's a matter of getting REALLY loud it's invariably going to be harmonic distortion, which can be produced in tracking (hitting API pres real hard, or whatever). That basically means clipping or saturation, though there are many ways to accomplish this and straight digital (or A/D) clipping isn't always going to be the ideal way.

Really, the ultimate formula for loudness is multiple stages of increasingly unforgiving processing. First clean compression, bringing up quieter passages. Then limiting, flattening out the transients while still being mostly clean. Then saturation, getting everything upfront without necessarily going into hard clipping. Then if you want, hard clipping until almost everything is splat against digital full-scale with some things blasting right through it.

If you don't do that, then when you do clip for level, it's a bright splat of distortion heard against an otherwise not loud background. If you set it up properly beforehand the distortion is masked by the sheer loudness of the surroundings- but it has to go softest to hardest, always. And don't EQ it all smiley-face- think midrange, and you can get some mileage out of brightness too but it will turn nasty at high levels if you can't control the brightness. However, nasty bright is loud bright too- nasty bright is another form of distortion.

Now, making all this still sound good...
Old 7th February 2007
  #134
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

The suggestions and statements that i made toward your topic work for me, yet while they may not be a standard they still work for me and my work.
Mastering is always a must BUT you can lesson it if you track with the proper tools, preamps are a must for tarcking, also there is a lot more engineers using ITB than not, i happen to be one of the few that do not, i use the Akai DR series recorders and track at 44.1, i almost never track at 48, things tend to thin out in a rock and roll mix, however vocals are great tracked at 48. They are some really great smart engineers on this board that could whip my ass real good, but im happy and my product sells, to me this field is a never ending learning job....AND I LOVE IT !!!! Good luck Slutz !!! Rock On...
Old 7th February 2007
  #135
Lives for gear
 
Masterer's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
........I'm used to getting Sterling loud and can get Vlado loud when asked, though I really hate to, and dithering really has squat to do with it...
WTF?
Old 8th February 2007
  #136
Lives for gear
 
Nordenstam's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Hi Rainbow! You obviously put a lot of thought and energy into this and that's splendid! Though, there's a few things that can be commented and corrected in your post. Hope it doesn't come across as a personal thing, it's certainly not. All in the interest of factuality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowStorm View Post
Because a CD is 16-bit its maximum theoretical dynamic range is 96dB (6.02 · 16 = 96.3 dB).
With a sine wave, it's more corretly 6.02*N + 1.76 = 98.08dB at 16 bit word lenght. But IMHO, that's actually quite an odd thing to state! Without dithering, there is no noise when there is no signal present, so there is no noise floor. The noise that do come when there is action in the bits is signal dependent truncation distortion. The signal have theoretical infinite dynamic range, apart from the obstruction from the truncation distortion. If dithering is added before truncation, as is recommended in all cases, the truncation error is removed, but there is a noise floor at -93dB or more depending on shaping. Again, apart from from the obvious obstruction in the dynamic range by the noise floor of the dithering, the signal still have infinite dynamic range.

Such numbers are nice for quick reference but does not relate entirely to what we hear. The ear is a spectrum analyzing filterbank and the question is what the signal to noise ratio is within each of the bands. Noise shape dither provides an apparent depth beyond the typical 16=96/24=144 word length figures.


Quote:
But since the ears are not equally sensitive to all frequencies dithering can be used to fake the perception of dynamic range by optimizing the location of noise when downsampling the signal from a higher bit resolution. Studies suggest there is critically important audio information at frequencies up to 40 kHz and possibly 80 kHz.
Dithering is for word length reduction and sets dynamic range. Sample rate conversion deals with frequencies and sets bandwidth.


Quote:
1) The first important aspect of loud mixes is the efficiency of the dithering algorithm, the use of 96KHz sampling frequency and the use of a high quality sample rate converter.
Respectfully disagrees. Dithering is mostly a concern in more subtle stuff than ultra loud music. I bet no one would notice if
hypercompressed modern Cd's was 12 bits. That's more than a hundred minutes on a CD! Anyone wanna introduce the super long playing 12 bit CD player? Given 16 bit or more real performance in the converters, 12 bits can be plenty enough for a lot of music. Additionally, the hearing system have at any time a dynamic range of about 80dB, a window that slides in the 120dB possible range.

Regarding sample rate. The SRC is indeed very important. I do process digitally at 88 or 96 kHz base rate, often oversampling to twice or four times of this SR in certain plugs. Most digital processing sounds better at higher SR in my ears and in limiting it's essential to keep the digital signal from overloading the end user output DAC. See the "Beginners guide to A/D clipping" thread for further explanation. But it does not help loudness, quite the contrary! Limiters will react harder given a stream of higher sample rate. The added number of dots on the line gives a more realistic representation of the final smooth flowing analogue waveform. At 96kHz and four times oversampling in the limiter, the SR is 384Khz, 8.7 times higher than 44.1. At that rate, the difference between the digital sample values and the real output signal is within a tenth of a dB or less. Given no oversampling and clipping, the difference could be several dB's. Please note that I don't suggest using clipping as a tool for loudness. There's other ways to acheive loud that's a lot less potentially harmful down the line of events that may happen before it reaches the consumers ears.


Quote:
However, in the world of digital signal processing there is something called quantization noise, which is the noise generated from the rounding errors as a result of one or more iterations on the calculation process of bit-limited data types. The higher the bit depth of the audio engine is, the bigger the dynamic range will be and the higher is the maximum level before distortion. It's impossible to determine the quantization errors of a certain process since that totally depends on the efficiency of the signal process implementation.
The quantisation noise can be set at any arbitary depth as wished, given the constraint that longer wordth lengths consumes a lot of memory and computing resources. It's very possible to determine this design parameter while coding, but it's hard to guesstimate an undocumented process for us mere mortal end users, indeed!


Quote:
When a lot of tracks are stacked the dynamic range drops and as a result you get clipping sooner when you limit the mix. (partly because of quantization errors in the summing process)
Stacking tracks at different levels builds dynamic range. One signal with a range from zero to -80 added to another signal at -10 to -90 makes for a larger range. This have little to do with the clip point.

Clipping happens at the top of the signal level range and is unaffected by changes to the noise floor. Including quantization errors from truncation or poor computer code with rounding errors. There is negligible errors in a properly designed digital summer. If so wished by the coder, it can be abselutely correct within a certain range, as in a calculator.


Quote:
With digital signal processing you get less noise from effects the higher the effect input level is.
That holds true for all systems. The question is how much dynamic range is needed for a given situation. In a high bit depth system there will be such a tremendous range to use that there is no point in going near the digital ceiling. Clipping is much more harmful than loosing some information that is -144dB down, a billionth billionths part, or whatever that huge number add ups to. At 24 bits, the signal can peak at -20dB and still have the needed 120dB's of range left. That said, I'm all for preserving every small nuance as much as possible and prefer as high bit depth as possible in all cases.



Hope that clears up some issues! Feel free to ask or comment. If I've done any omissions or mistakes, I love to stand corrected.


Regards,

Andreas Nordenstam
Old 8th February 2007
  #137
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
WTF?
TF, definitely TF

You guys at Sterling can consistently get the body of the track right up to -9 dbFS _dynamically_ while keeping the hottest peaks from going past -6. I've seen this more than once. It's screaming loud AND sounds good to anyone who isn't really uptight about limiting AND isn't full of flat-topping. Really, my hat is off (if I wore a hat), this is in no way any kind of dis.

I can do that too. I just happen to use 'sterling' as my handy reference-label for 'screaming loud while still absolutely excellent in every respect, even dynamically'.

Vlado loud is more 'Californication' or for that matter 'Queens of the Stone Age' also gets that hot. It hovers as close to -6 as it can get, sometimes going over, and it's really flattened. I don't consider that a compliment, but I do consider 'sterling loud' a compliment and something to aspire to.

OK? If you're still offended, I shall apologize, but this was not an insult- especially in a 'how to get those super loud mixes' thread. I've repeatedly heard Sterling get it right, whether it's Ted or others working there.

And yes, I can do that too. Do you think I can't? It's not like I have the experienced judgement working with sound that you guys have- that's why I emulate good examples- but I'm a software developer, after all. I wrote code to do that, because nothing off the shelf would do it. In a few days you can buy AU plugins and see for yourself what I'm using. Getting to -9 db with headroom and good sound is hardly impossible, you're just not going to do it with a bunch of Waves plugs or straight clipping.
Old 8th February 2007
  #138
Lives for gear
 
Masterer's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
..... I just happen to use 'sterling' as my handy reference-label for 'screaming loud while still absolutely excellent in every respect, even dynamically'.
..................
but I do consider 'sterling loud' a compliment and something to aspire to.....
Oh, I guess that's O.K. then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
..... And yes, I can do that too. .....I'm a software developer, after all. I wrote code to do that, because nothing off the shelf would do it. In a few days you can buy AU plugins and see for yourself what I'm using. Getting to -9 db with headroom and good sound is hardly impossible, you're just not going to do it with a bunch of Waves plugs or straight clipping.
Well alright-y then. Rock on.
What's your plug-in called?





P.S. Did a record today with an RMS aound -16 or so.
So there.
Old 8th February 2007
  #139
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Which one? There are 23 (counting four freebie ones and one that I'm trying to get in touch with the guy who recorded the acoustic bass impulse, so it's on hold)

-16? Good for you. On this very forum not long ago I saw a guy show off a Vlado job that was *gasp!* not loud. I mean, it was solid, it was EQed well and it flat-topped, but it was not LOUD loud.

Everybody gets to show off attributes other than THRRAGGGGHHH now and then if you are patient and get a smart client
Old 8th February 2007
  #140
Lives for gear
 
Masterer's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Which one? There are 23 (counting four freebie ones and one that I'm trying to get in touch with the guy who recorded the acoustic bass impulse, so it's on hold)

You gonna tell your life story or you gonna tell me the name[s] of your plug-ins?

Jeez!


Good thing you're a developer and not a salesman.
Old 8th February 2007
  #141
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
*DEEP BREATH*

Air, Boosts, BrightAmbience, ContingentDither, DeEss, Density, Distance, Drive, EVCab, Highpass, MarshallCab, Pafnuty, PeakLimiter, Point, Pressure, Slew, TapeDelay, TapeFat plus the free ones Channel, FreeverbCJ, FreeChamberCJ, and RMSBuddyCJ.

*phew!*

Here, have the free ones. With any luck the store will go live tomorrow and you can read the damn blurbs instead of me typing them all over again like a boring salesman.

http://www.airwindows.com/f/Channel.dmg
http://www.airwindows.com/f/FreeverbCJ.dmg
http://www.airwindows.com/f/FreeChamberCJ.dmg
http://www.airwindows.com/f/RMSBuddyCJ.dmg

When you play Californication and observe it on RMSBuddyCJ, when it goes beyond -6dbFS the flashing color show goes black, as if you broke it
Old 8th February 2007
  #142
Lives for gear
 
Bob Yordan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Really, the ultimate formula for loudness is multiple stages of increasingly unforgiving processing. First clean compression, bringing up quieter passages. Then limiting, flattening out the transients while still being mostly clean. Then saturation, getting everything upfront without necessarily going into hard clipping. Then if you want, hard clipping until almost everything is splat against digital full-scale with some things blasting right through it.

...

Now, making all this still sound good...
That sound like a lot of fun, must try it out.

Old 8th February 2007
  #143
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
Um. :D
Really, the ultimate formula for loudness is multiple stages of increasingly unforgiving processing. First clean compression, bringing up quieter passages. Then limiting, flattening out the transients while still being mostly clean. Then saturation, getting everything upfront without necessarily going into hard clipping. Then if you want, hard clipping until almost everything is splat against digital full-scale with some things blasting right through it.

Now, making all this still sound good...
I tried out digital clipping and it worked really well.
I had my mix loaded into Wavelab and all I did was boost the master out by 6dB and rendered it. Then did the same again, so I had boosted my mix by 12dB
It was now at a decent level, not too far off commercial levels. (-10dB RMS)
But it was obviously in the red since I had clipped the mix.

So I felt like I had to put an L2 on so it wouldnt go into the red, but that killed my mix.


Im wondering is clipping digitally then using an L2 exactly the same as just using an L2?

Thanks, im confused.

Eck
Old 8th February 2007
  #144
Gear Maniac
 
magellan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecktronic View Post
I tried out digital clipping and it worked really well.
I had my mix loaded into Wavelab and all I did was boost the master out by 6dB and rendered it. Then did the same again, so I had boosted my mix by 12dB
It was now at a decent level, not too far off commercial levels. (-10dB RMS)
But it was obviously in the red since I had clipped the mix.

So I felt like I had to put an L2 on so it wouldnt go into the red, but that killed my mix.

Im wondering is clipping digitally then using an L2 exactly the same as just using an L2?
re 'digital clipping' in this context, i believe most engineers are talking about clipping their converters, not 'itb' clipping (even though there does seem to be some popular plug-ins that 'sound good for clipping'). i rarely use a limiter, but instead let the lavry A/D take care of transients, and can get the mix quite loud if that's what the client is looking for. imo, if you're looking to get 'extra' loudness without 'killing your mix', the L2 is NOT the way to go.
Old 8th February 2007
  #145
Lives for gear
 
jslevin's Avatar
Quote:
I certainly care about every project I record and mix, but - seriously - is it MY freaking job to sell YOUR services to MY clients?
Actually, I kind of think it is. Speaking as a tracking/mixing joint that occasionally does mastering. We educate all our clients on the importance of mastering. It boggles my mind when people talk about finishing the mixes, and the band knows nothing about mastering. You mean to tell me you've spent 100 hours producing recordings with this band, and the subject of mastering never came up once? Seriously?

A lot of accusations have flown around in this thread, but how much insecurity is behind being afraid to bring up mastering?

Just yesterday, one of my engineers was commenting that he gets a lot less flak from clients about rough-mix loudness than he expects. Sure, he occasionally has to have "the loudness talk," but usually only when we're first "adopting" a project from another studio that has been overhyping roughs. This is an engineer who literally does nothing on the 2-bus during mixing, other than an L2 just to avoid clipping, not for loudness. (He kills the L2 while mixing and un-kills it for bounce-to-disk).

I think the total lack of 2-bus processing is actually the reason why he doesn't get flak about loudness. For one thing, it forces him to hammer on the fundamental quality of the tones and balance before bringing 2-bus compression into the picture, so his mixing is just more fundamentally sound.

But even more than that, his rough mixes aren't just "not as loud" as finished CD's, there nowhere near as loud. They might be 20-30 db down from a CD, maybe even more. They don't sound mastered. They're enjoyable to listen to in their own right, but they're simply not limited. Meaning, from a client's point of view, they don't even invite the comparison with the sound of a final-CD. He also doesn't make much effort to match levels from track-to-track, further distancing the client's volume-knob expectations from that of a finished CD.

I really think this guy might have accidentally stumbled onto a valuable insight in dealing with clients' loudness concerns.

Think about it, and then go re-read the original post in this thread.

Quote:
What have YOU done for ME lately???
Now there is a good question. Mastering specialists are in a tough position because, like retailers and replicators, they rely on referrals from multiple studios and producers. So it's tough for them to "do" anything for you other than (a) offer a wholesale rate so you can resell their services, (b) work collaboratively with mix engineers, (c) be great at what they're doing.

I'll tell you what, though ("you" meaning the mastering houses): I'll stop mastering when you stop tracking and mixing. For that matter, you could offer me (a high-quality local studio) a non-compete agreement. Or an exclusive cross-promotional agreement. Any takers?

I do think that some dedicated mastering houses have become downright uppity about what they do and what it's worth in the market. While I do think we need to sell our clients on the value of good mastering, it's not my fault that the price that good mastering commands in the market has fallen. Mastering business will have to deal with these issues creatively in order to thrive. Their challenges are no tougher ours (recording studio) with respect to competing with amateurs on price. Focus on delivering more value, focus on selling your value. And by the way: I could care less that you now "offer" replication. The replication joints also "offer" mastering.

I'm not sure who I'm arguing with or against in this, but self-pity isn't going to help anyone.

JSL
Old 8th February 2007
  #146
Gear Maniac
 
madcowvt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
P.S. Did a record today with an RMS aound -16 or so.
So there.

LOL!
Old 8th February 2007
  #147
Lives for gear
 
Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
P.S. Did a record today with an RMS aound -16 or so.
So there.
Maybe we should start the Quietness Wars?

See who can cut the quietest record and still get it played on the radio.

Cheers JT
Old 8th February 2007
  #148
Gear Head
 
punisher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Masterer View Post
P.S. Did a record today with an RMS aound -16 or so.
So there.

I don't think he's kidding folks!!!!
Old 8th February 2007
  #149
Here for the gear
 

I drive my clients from my house at 9500 feet down to denver and back, their ears pop and they say Holy Sh*t! Thats loud and good sounding too!
Old 8th February 2007
  #150
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
re 'digital clipping' in this context, i believe most engineers are talking about clipping their converters, not 'itb' clipping (even though there does seem to be some popular plug-ins that 'sound good for clipping'). i rarely use a limiter, but instead let the lavry A/D take care of transients, and can get the mix quite loud if that's what the client is looking for. imo, if you're looking to get 'extra' loudness without 'killing your mix', the L2 is NOT the way to go.
Yeah but someone mentioned A/D clipping and also digital clipping. Digital clipping I assume is when its done in programmes like Wavelab.

I didnt use any plug ins to clip. I just boosted the master out by 12dB and it went right into the red! But I couldnt hear much distortion atall. And certainly there was no digital clicks either than I expect from digital clipping without andy plug in.

I was very suprised.

Eck
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