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Why most commercial masters clip.. Mas­ter­ing Plugins
Old 3rd January 2017
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Anyone who cuts knows that clipping vinyl master files is a terrible idea. Clipping just gives more distortion. There is no up side.
I understand we are talking clipping vs clipping here, while this kind of clipping is a bit OT maybe.
And we should note that providing a "master" to the cutting guy has nothing to do with providing a master for CD or iTunes. The cutting guy is doing his own levelling and procressing as well and it makes no real difference if our file it hitting -0,5dBfs, -1dBfs or even -5dBfs or more.
So the risk for tp overs should be minimal and a good master for vinyl does not correspondent to the guideline of this thread. So we should better not confuse clipping with clipping.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
As most others here (whos master arent also clipping) Im only about to try helping you to understand the complexity about decision within the mastering context.
May you dont want to name yourself confused, maybe naive is the better word then...?
As a consumer to you really hear any issues with the clipped music you have bought? Or is it a topic that only becomes aware due to the possibilty of some random measurement tools?
Do you really understand what those meters are showing? If you hear any negative effects how you can be sure its from the clipped masters?
If you really have problems listening to those music then better write a complaint letter to those labels, maybe they change their mind then...?
But posting in a forum saying " you finally know why so much masters are clipping" and therefore calling a lot of MEs dumb or at least uneducated as they seem to not use this ultrasmart solution to prevent clipping you have named here, is quite a bit arrogant and pretentious sounding for me.
It seems a continous topic for you and from an argumentative point we are hunting our own tail here again and again and again...
Honestly your posts often come across as coming from someone who is bitter and angry. You often name call and then in the next sentence accuse the person of name calling. I haven't called anyone dumb, there's no need to get defensive or start name calling.

There are working mastering engineers that probably don't realize that their masters are clipping because of their metering. It is that simple. What matters in the end is the sound. Again, that is where its your job to educate to achieve the best sound quality.

Do you have any work of yours that I can check out? All your posts in this thread have made me wonder what you're all about and interested to check out your work.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
I understand we are talking clipping vs clipping here, while this kind of clipping is a bit OT maybe.
True, sorry. I recently started cutting for a broker and some of the masters I've been getting are terrible. When they are willing and able to send new masters the difference can be dramatic.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #64
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Haha, same here.
Old 4th January 2017
  #65
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Historically I'd say the top tier of MEs can cut any level they want,
as long as the producer, artists and label approve,
clipped or not,
without any regard for the analysis and opinions of any mastering forum members.
:~)>
Best, JT
Old 4th January 2017
  #66
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Its about the trust in music, not in technology.
Old 9th January 2017
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
True, sorry. I recently started cutting for a broker and some of the masters I've been getting are terrible. When they are willing and able to send new masters the difference can be dramatic.

Clipping buys you nothing on vinyl. It certainly does not buy you more level. Often the opposite since it may need to be cut quieter to minimize distortion.
I wanted to share this "infographic" I did comparing various degrees of hyper-compression in source material versus Inverse RIAA overshoots.

In a preemphasized environment, vinyl and FM, the overshoots are significant.

Without Inverse RIAA EQ, No Compression, Limiting, +6 dB Overdrive, +12 dB Overdrive



After Inverse RIAA EQ:



Peaks squashed in the original master are like a boomerang when pre-emphasized: They come right back at you.

Statistics of post RIAA preemphasis:

Track 37 No Limiting:

Peak Amplitude: -12 dB -12.01 dB
Total RMS Power: -32.78 dB -32.78 dB

Track 37 Limiting (20:1 @-9dBFS in original):

Peak Amplitude: -7.55 dB -7.54 dB
Total RMS Power: -28.93 dB -28.93 dB

Track 37 with +6 dB Squash:

Peak Amplitude: -6.01 dB -6.01 dB
Total RMS Power: -26.94 dB -26.94 dB

Track 37 with +12 dB Squash:

Peak Amplitude: 0 dB 0 dB
Total RMS Power: -21.92 dB -21.92 dB

Assuming that there's no acceleration limiting triggered in the lathe the highly-crushed master in the example above will have to be cut about 12 dB lower than the unprocessed one for the same amount of peak modulation.

Put another way the lightly processed master could be cut significantly hotter and have higher overall RMS than the crushed ones.

Last edited by mediatechnology; 9th January 2017 at 03:29 PM..
Old 10th January 2017
  #68
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significantly? it looks like a 1.1db difference between the original and the +12 version. and there's essentially no difference between the original and the +6 version.
Old 10th January 2017
  #69
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The 1.1 dB difference is the added distortion.

The last example, or worse, looks like a lot of material I see.
Old 11th January 2017
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin P. View Post
The overall loudness and especially the digital/true peaks were very alarming. +2dB! Yes, this is a modern pop/dance type production but +2dB on the lossy encode seems a bit much. It sounded "OK" but I didn't bother to test on cheaper systems, only my studio.

I was able to do a more reasonable album master that they are very satisfied with but it was interesting to see how one of the biggest mastering studios in the world is operating regarding loudness and peak levels. It seems careless.
.
Most purchased popular music MP3s peak above 0.0 if decoded to floating point. +0.5 db, +1.0, sometimes even +2.0 digital peak, without even considering ISP. The MP3's are nearly always hotter and higher rms and peak than the MFIT AAC, although there are exceptions where they're the same.

Last edited by walter88; 11th January 2017 at 09:35 PM.. Reason: added they're the same
Old 24th October 2017
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Anyone who cuts knows that clipping vinyl master files is a terrible idea. Clipping just gives more distortion. There is no up side.
And yet clipped masters still get cut to vinyl all the time. I was dropped from a job last year because my masters - intended for vinyl - were not loud enough. I got sent the masters that were used for the cut (done by another guy I won't mention) and the level of clipping was absolutely horrendous - I really don't know how they weren't refused for the cut, they were squared off so terribly.
Old 24th October 2017
  #72
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Probably sounded fine on the Crosley at the label office...
Old 24th October 2017
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreltch View Post
I was dropped from a job last year because my masters - intended for vinyl - were not loud enough.
This sentence doesn't make sense.
Old 24th October 2017
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
This sentence doesn't make sense.
Why?
Its a pure myth that premasters for vinyl should the quieter the better. Its about the best possible compromise for each project. The widespread approach to just leave the limiter alone when doing masters for vinyl can fit those needs or may be a completely wrong decision, it just depends. Still much too much second guessing around when it comes to vinyl...

Last edited by JP__; 24th October 2017 at 12:08 PM..
Old 24th October 2017
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Why?
Its a pure myth that premasters for vinyl should the quieter the better. Its about the best possible compromise for each project. The widespread approach to just leave the limiter alone when doing masters for vinyl can fit those needs or may be a completely wrong decision, it just depends. Still much too much second guessing around when it comes to vinyl...
At no point have I said 'the quieter the better'. I had already made the best possible compromises - imo - for this release. There was a limiter, of course, as the last plugin but it was doing nothing for most of the duration of the tracks - just catching the odd peak. Pushing the limiter further would have bought nothing (except maybe an email from the cutting engineer to tell me that!) - but the client clearly didn't know this and went with a *much* louder master - a master with much reduced dynamic range compared to mine.
Old 24th October 2017
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Why?
It was tongue-in-cheek. But won't the cutting engineer determine the ultimate loudness?
Old 24th October 2017
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
It was tongue-in-cheek. But won't the cutting engineer determine the ultimate loudness?
Sorry, Dom. Got it... I just thoughed making jokes is forbidden here...

No, the cutting engineers determines the level, but not the loudness of the record. But overdone loudness could mean a low level cut, of course.
Old 24th October 2017
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wreltch View Post
At no point have I said 'the quieter the better'. I had already made the best possible compromises - imo - for this release. There was a limiter, of course, as the last plugin but it was doing nothing for most of the duration of the tracks - just catching the odd peak. Pushing the limiter further would have bought nothing (except maybe an email from the cutting engineer to tell me that!) - but the client clearly didn't know this and went with a *much* louder master - a master with much reduced dynamic range compared to mine.
But my post wasnt aimed at you.
I know the very same scenarios as well. Its all so fear based....
Old 24th October 2017
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
But my post wasnt aimed at you.
I know the very same scenarios as well. Its all so fear based....
Oh I see.. Sorry!
Old 24th October 2017
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gearsluz View Post
Send it to Sterling Sound or Chris Athens. I imagine they're going to ignore you and keep mastering the heavy hitters and going over 0 despite what the article says.
Athens is one of the two guys I send to. He's probably done around 300 songs for me at this point. I could not possibly tell you if there is ISP in his masters or not. He probably couldn't tell you either half the time.

We just listen. And if it doesn't sound distorted, then no one cares. No one cares what the RMS is. No one cares about ISP. We care if it sounds good and the client is happy. That's it. And frankly, much more concerned with the latter.

Maybe a spec check if it's borderline and going to vinyl or cassette.
Old 24th October 2017
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
We just listen. And if it doesn't sound distorted, then no one cares. No one cares what the RMS is. No one cares about ISP. We care if it sounds good and the client is happy. That's it. And frankly, much more concerned with the latter.
Are you listening to low bitrates codecs that are common for streaming services?
Old 24th October 2017
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Are you listening to low bitrates codecs that are common for streaming services?
not when assessing the quality of the master
Old 24th October 2017
  #83
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Then you are not hearing what the vast majority of your listeners are hearing - the ISP induced clipping that is inherent to lossy codes and hot input signals. That's what this and a million other threads about ISP are talking about.
Old 25th October 2017
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Reierson View Post
Then you are not hearing what the vast majority of your listeners are hearing - the ISP induced clipping that is inherent to lossy codes and hot input signals. That's what this and a million other threads about ISP are talking about.
I see. Does that clipping really change much for the 2ms that it's happening? It's a bit hard for me to assess what's working for SoundCloud since it all sounds kinda like garbage. I'm not precious about mp3s, I think higher res mp3s sound good enough - but whatever Soundcloud and Dropbox do to their streaming mp3s sound friggin TERRIBLE.
Old 25th October 2017
  #85
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It's always program dependent and the more harmonically dense (distorted, noisy) the music the less is tends to matter, but it does have an effect that should be auditioned before approving loud releases. Pro Codec is a great option for real time codec evaluation. It will give you a better idea what many of your listeners are hearing than linear PCM.
Old 25th October 2017
  #86
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I just assumed it was because -0.2/-0.3 ceilings suitable for CD were still the "done thing" and consideration of overs in MP3 conversion was not much of a concern outside the "Mastered for iTunes" workflow.
Old 25th October 2017
  #87
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It's a streaming world now. We need to be aware of what codecs will do to our masters.
Old 25th October 2017
  #88
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Working on an album with one of my music projects and thinking about releasing an alternate 'Unlimited' version without master limiting and also possibly scaled back compression - for those real sonic fans who are more than comfortable turning their soundsystem up and enjoying the full dynamic range of the music. Bad idea?
Old 25th October 2017
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MogwaiBoy View Post
Working on an album with one of my music projects and thinking about releasing an alternate 'Unlimited' version without master limiting and also possibly scaled back compression - for those real sonic fans who are more than comfortable turning their soundsystem up and enjoying the full dynamic range of the music. Bad idea?
What style of music?

I think I'd feel comfortable with a limiter there as a safety net, just catching the odd peak here and there but nothing heavy. I don't know if it could still be classed as "unlimited" then though
Old 25th October 2017
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Why?
Its a pure myth that premasters for vinyl should the quieter the better. Its about the best possible compromise for each project. The widespread approach to just leave the limiter alone when doing masters for vinyl can fit those needs or may be a completely wrong decision, it just depends. Still much too much second guessing around when it comes to vinyl...
this is exactly what I´m seeing day by day...too much guessing, too little knowledge about vinyl (also in the so called vinyl only label scene) and myths everywhere! like the one, that a vinyl master should be low in loudness and shouldn´t be compressed etc or has to be 24bit. e.g. from time to time people send me masters of older releases to be prepared for vinyl. sometimes I just let them know that the master is fine and can be used for vinyl without any problems. then I get the message that the master has to be in 24 bit and that I should convert it to 24 bit because it is only in 16 bit. of course I do it if asked, but it just doesn´t make sense!
After my experience, depending on the source, style and last but not least the cutting engineer a loudness arround -10/-11 LUFS (for house and teckno - maybe a few db lower for more dynamic material) gives best results. sometimes even much louder masters can be used for vinyl without compromises. although you better trust your ears than some values on loudness meters. in the end the tonal balance is IMO most important and differs from style to style a lot. maybe banal, but if it sounds good it will most likely sound good on vinyl! and if limiting or compression is part of the sound (which is at least in my mastering often the case - especially given the variety of modern limiters and their different impact on ther sound) then it should be aplied (IF it sounds good and gives the track what it needs). of course very often heavy limiting doesn´t sound good and therefore shouldn´t be applied to a vinyl master (or any master!). this statement is based on the experience from my daily work for mainly vinyl projects over the last 15 years.

Last edited by mastermat; 25th October 2017 at 02:23 PM.. Reason: sp
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