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How come now one ever talks about multiband compression
Old 7th March 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

How come now one ever talks about multiband compression

Everytime I read something about doing "bedroom mastering" All i see is limiters- why does no one discuss multiband compression? that and phase parametrics eqs are the key to getting real punch and loud mixes to me- maybe im ghetto rigging it----

I am no a mastering engineer- but i figured these things out by myself and i truly beleive that my overall sound is as good if not better than alot of stuff i hear out there on the radio- I am doing hip hop and r&b-

Since i dont have a treated room what I do is make a basic mix that sounds good to me, take it to my main three sourcess- ipod- car- and home stereo- note the changes that need to be made and take the average of those and make the changes..... retest- at that point if im good-

1. High Pass Filter a 32 HZ- clears it up- make add a db or two from 6k-8k
2. multiband compress- on the bass- i use a threshold of -18- compressed a a ratio of like 7:1- same thing for other frequencies- I have my presets that work pretty good for my types and i weak em to ear-
3. same thing- mix down and- checl ipod- car- stereo-
4- L2 max- -3 thres- -.4 db max output

are there some other things that I should be doing??????? please tell me
Old 7th March 2007
  #2
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daveseviltwin's Avatar
 

whatever you like. I have banned multibands because I feel like if you have to use a multiband plug in, you need to remix your tune.
Old 7th March 2007
  #3
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MASSIVE Master's Avatar
 

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Quote:
How come now one ever talks about multiband compression
Because it's pretty rare when they're used - Although they're marketed as the great hope of mastering engineers worldwide for some reason.

When they make a rare appearance, it's normally a dB or two here and there.

If you're mastering your *own* mixes, I'd really wonder what was wrong with the mixes to require such relatively drastic treatment - Are you sure it actually sound *better* and not just "different" and hyped?

Still - If that's what makes you happy, that's what makes you happy.
Old 7th March 2007
  #4
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Because they really aren't meant to be used for everyday tasks. I believe that they should be used primarily for extreme situations, such as when you need to salvage a really poor mix but don't have access to the source tracks. In this scenario, multiband comp. is one tool that might allow you to separate the bands for a little fine tuning.

But in general, so much of what is on the air nowadays is really poorly presented as a result of hypercompression. Mixing at a higher monitor level instead, will generally produce a much better sounding mix (which induces less ear fatigue when listening at loud levels), than those which rely on compression to pump everything up artificially. Plus when a natural mix with some dynamics preserved hits the stations pre-broadcast processing chain, this mix will benefit from the simple fact that dynamic movement can be detected.
Old 7th March 2007
  #5
Here for the gear
 

I've been using ozone for a while trying to get the best sound. I've tried many combinations and nothing seems right. Are yall saying all I really need is the Loudness Maximizer? <<(If this is frequent question, I apologize in advance)
Old 7th March 2007
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSIVE Master View Post
Because it's pretty rare when they're used - Although they're marketed as the great hope of mastering engineers worldwide for some reason.

When they make a rare appearance, it's normally a dB or two here and there.

If you're mastering your *own* mixes, I'd really wonder what was wrong with the mixes to require such relatively drastic treatment - Are you sure it actually sound *better* and not just "different" and hyped?

Still - If that's what makes you happy, that's what makes you happy.
MASSIVE MASTER whats drastic ------ i compressed the bass?------ is hip hop- producers that make rap beats usually go waaaaay overboard with the bass
Old 7th March 2007
  #7
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I agree with all the other guys here regarding MB compression's use in mastering. It's marketed as a mastering tool, but mostly used by people who do their own mixing/mastering & not by those in the know.

I would be lucky (or unlucky ) if I used a multiband compressor a handful of times every year & if I do it's not with all the bands enabled. I would only use one or 2 bands at the most, focused on a problem area/s that would have been better sorted out in the mix. In the worse cases I would ask for a remix, but if it's not possible then a good MB comp like the (Waves LinMB or TC's MD4) can be useful on excessive bottom end, sibilance or harsh vocal notes, but this is always my last resort as it tends to affect other areas of the mix as well.

Here is a thought to ponder... If you are mixing & doing your own mastering (not recommended) then you shouldn't need a MB compressor as you have the mix at your disposal & it's best to get it right there first. If you can't hear the bottom end accurately when you are mixing how can you judge if there are any problems when you master it? Using MB compression in mastering is just a band aid for a bad mix & an easy way to wreck a good mix. If you are looking to MB compression to achieve hot levels, then this is not the right tool/s for the job. There are much more transparent ways to increase levels then using MB compression.

Having said that I could see how using the low band only in a multiband compressor could be useful in Hip Hop or RnB due to the heavy nature of the subs in these genres. But -18 @ 7:1 across all bands... that is excessive!

Matt
Old 7th March 2007
  #8
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Quote:
I've been using ozone for a while trying to get the best sound. I've tried many combinations and nothing seems right. Are yall saying all I really need is the Loudness Maximizer? <<(If this is frequent question, I apologize in advance)
I think what everyone is trying to say is mix your tunes well and you won't need to use multiband "mess" and to me that's what they can make your mix sound like, a big pile of mess. Mix it well and if you're doing hip hop and need that bass, just give your mix a little boost in the lows.

Loydma3, Yes, Hip Hop guys do go way over board. Does that sound good to you? If that's what you want, then do it. Personally, I hate the way "radio hip hop" has gone. It's not a lot about the rhymes or the character any more but about how loud the bass is. Honestly, you don't need to kill everyone with low end to get your point across. If you're using electronic sequencers and drum machines it should be pretty bad ass to begin with. I work with a guy that worked on a lot of Jay-Z's records and he is not very generous with bass response. It's all about the mix. I miss Rap that was raw and you could get a feel for what the rapper was trying to say. Take some of the old Wu-Tang stuff as an example. It was not all about beating your brains out with low end but trying to get a point across. It's all about the mix... You should be killing with bass before you get to the mastering process. And I will say from experience that I love to work with all electronic music and I rarely do much to my mix but hit it with a limiter and be done, if it's not going to the mastering house.
Old 7th March 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 

ill clarify- im not the producer- i dont make the beats- usually these come from other people- i am a recording artist - i cant remix the beat once i get it- not that big in the game yet

I think you misread- I use that on the bass- just from 90hz- down to 32- that was he only section that recieved really any compression at all-


also i ll just throw this out there- are "real" mastering engineers feeling a little threatened because of guys who are doing things at home and geting some pretty outstanding results- because it seems like you guys make a big deal about who is in the "know" and who isnt. Music has changed- so has technology- many of us who make music now are the ones who actually have talent- not just the ones who could afford it in the past- I got alot of respect for u guys though
Old 7th March 2007
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loydma3 View Post
ill clarify- im not the producer- i dont make the beats- usually these come from other people- i am a recording artist - i cant remix the beat once i get it- not that big in the game yet

I think you misread- I use that on the bass- just from 90hz- down to 32- that was he only section that recieved really any compression at all-


also i ll just throw this out there- are "real" mastering engineers feeling a little threatened because of guys who are doing things at home and geting some pretty outstanding results- because it seems like you guys make a big deal about who is in the "know" and who isnt. Music has changed- so has technology- many of us who make music now are the ones who actually have talent- not just the ones who could afford it in the past- I got alot of respect for u guys though
hey loydma3,

I'm not an ME but I'll chime in: For me it has nothing to do with changing technology or the music scene. Music is music. Engineering is engineering. The goal has always been to capture and produce, the best engineered sound that the equipment is capable of. If I want something unusual or outside the lines, I think it's cool to re-deploy gear in bizarre ways. But many times these days, the end result when dynamics are bent folded & mutilated, is 'Loudness Wars' +1, 'Hi-Fidelity' -1. Not saying you would do that, or are doing that - but too many folks are. And most consumers don't care or know to ask for better, so it turns into a race to the bottom.

There are well established ways of operating the gear, which should open up endless possible paths to reach whatever result is desired. Using the gear in ways that subvert that process, resulting in a harsh or ear fatiguing product seems, to me, self-defeating in so many ways.

So for me it's all about speaking out for something I love - the sound of music. But to each their own.

As always, YMMV
Old 7th March 2007
  #11
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daveseviltwin's Avatar
 

Hey man, no offense to you Loydma. I'm just stating my opinion. If you would like me to sum it up for you I will.

The reason that no one talks about Multi-Band compressors very much is because they can be dangerous if used the wrong as anything else can be in recording. That can be cool sometimes but mostly a mess. Another reason you don't hear about them much is because if the recording is done right a little eq or overall compression should take care of what needs to be "excited" in the mix. I'm not going to speak for really good mastering engineers but my opinion is that when you put it in a multiband it sounds like it has been in a multiband.

No, mastering engineers aren't concerned because if it's a successful project it will end up in their hands 99% of the time anyway before it hits the shelf. All engineers are concerned because of home studios because we now have the convenience of having studios in our home but there are only a few of us that can make it sound like it came out of a studio.

Regardless, anything can be a good tool if it's used with respect. But I don't know too many engineers in life or on here that feel the need to use a multi band and that's probably why no one talks about it much. No disrespect to you at all, don't take any of this the wrong way. I'm just giving you my opinion
Old 7th March 2007
  #12
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lucey's Avatar
 

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Very well said.

I've never had any interest in it. It's like the eq sold in some monitors now ... more of a gimmick than a necessary tool for a real problem. Sure anything can be used well, so if you use MB please dont get defensive. But no client has ever said, "where's the ____" that might lead me to MB. Nor have I not been able to do something with a mix that MB would solve.

Tools are about the trade offs and MB has much more to lose than to gain IMO. Simpicity and ease of use with the least potential negatives, that's my thing. Three compressors with fully different characteristics and floating crossover points per track? Not interested.
Old 7th March 2007
  #13
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Brad Blackwood's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Very well said.

I've never had any interest in it. It's like the eq sold in some monitors now ... more of a gimmick than a necessary tool for a real problem. Sure anything can be used well, so if you use MB please dont get defensive. But no client has ever said, "where's the ____" that might lead me to MB. Nor have I not been able to do something with a mix than MB would solve.

Tools are about the trade offs and MB has much more to lose than to gain IMO. Simpicity and ease of use with the least potential negatives, that's my thing. Three compressors with fully different characteristics and floating crossover points per track? Not interested.
Agree 100%...
Old 7th March 2007
  #14
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Agreed also.

I'd say I've used MB compression on less than 1% of projects, never needing more than 1-2 bands at most and certainly nowhere near 7:1 ratio.
Old 7th March 2007
  #15
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MattGray's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by loydma3 View Post
ill clarify- im not the producer- i dont make the beats- usually these come from other people- i am a recording artist - i cant remix the beat once i get it- not that big in the game yet
Are you the artist, recording engineer or the mix engineer or all of the above?

Quote:
I think you misread- I use that on the bass- just from 90hz- down to 32- that was he only section that recieved really any compression at all-
This is what you said
Quote:
2. multiband compress- on the bass- i use a threshold of -18- compressed a a ratio of like 7:1- same thing for other frequencies- I have my presets that work pretty good for my types and i weak em to ear-

Quote:
also i ll just throw this out there- are "real" mastering engineers feeling a little threatened because of guys who are doing things at home and geting some pretty outstanding results- because it seems like you guys make a big deal about who is in the "know" and who isnt. Music has changed- so has technology- many of us who make music now are the ones who actually have talent- not just the ones who could afford it in the past- I got alot of respect for u guys though
There's no insecurity here, you've asked the question "why no one discusses multiband compression" & we gave you our honest opinions. We aren't insecure or ganging up on you, basically we rarely use it unless there is problems in the mix that can't be fixed reliably any other way. There will always be artists that can't afford professional mastering & they have to live with whatever they can make do with but lets face it most of these tracks will probably never see regular rotation on radio either because of the level of production. I'm a firm believer that those who can hear the value in a professionally mastered track, will usually find a way to get it done if they place any real value on their music & it's presentation.

In fact with so many home recording studios & DIY, ITB mixers, a good mastering engineer is even more essential to the success of these projects. Not because there isn't any talented home based engineers but because so many have inadequate monitoring or acoustic treatment in their bedrooms. I know I was there once...

Matt
Old 7th March 2007
  #16
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I don't think there's a lot of point spending ages making a room as useful as possible in terms of acoustics... getting the tone of an instrument right in itself... auditioning mics to find which are the most appropriate for recording it... making sure you don't pollute the signal too much by running it through some junky equipment before you get the recorded signal... finely EQing the signal in the box or whatever, so it seems to work OK in the mix... blah blah blah... ONLY to throw the balance of frequencies you've set up completely off (and introduce undesirable compression artifacts) by giving different bands of frequencies different amounts of compression and emphasis. My advice would therefore be to try to get the sound as close as possible to being right without resorting to MB compression.
Old 7th March 2007
  #17
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pelliott's Avatar
 

"[I][/I]also i ll just throw this out there- are "real" mastering engineers feeling a little threatened because of guys who are doing things at home and geting some pretty outstanding results- because it seems like you guys make a big deal about who is in the "know" and who isnt. Music has changed- so has technology- many of us who make music now are the ones who actually have talent- not just the ones who could afford it in the past"



I work with independent musicians and engineers everyday and saying that people are getting outstanding results from home is just an overstatement at the very least. I believe that just like you have talented people for writing songs or singing there are people that have specific talents for recording, mixing and mastering. Technology has allowed people to achieve better results at home but the results for a LARGE majority are not outstanding.
Old 7th March 2007
  #18
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Multibands often make good mixes sound worse especially after they get slammed with one a second time on the radio.

I'll occasionally use one channel of the the WAVES linear phase as a de-esser and sometimes the low frequency band is useful but this is only on one project in 20. I've found that it does less harm to most mixes than dedicated de-essers. Still the best is none with the right overall eq. and then spotting out any troublesome individual sibilants.
Old 8th March 2007
  #19
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Bob Yordan's Avatar
I only use one multi band, Finalizer (Wizard version), but never on the
master bus. Only to get a specific coloring on sub bus during mixing.

I have tried a couple of soft multi's but have not liked any of them, except for Endorphin (dual band), that got a loud preset. "Nice" for instant loudness. But I hardly use it.

Old 8th March 2007
  #20
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Another thing to throw out there, I've messed with L2's and Multibands and all that jazz that companies claim you can have a great mix and maybe better than a mastering studio but it's all pretty much crap. There are too many variables. A mastering engineer with a well tuned room and golden set of ears can master a record in a few hours but you'll spend weeks and months trying to make those 0's and 1's sound like a good mastering house. And then you pry yourself up from that computer chair you'll realize that it sounds nothing like a good master. It'll be too thin or too dark or too bland. It'll always be missing something. I think some folks (and I'm not calling anyone out) just don't have the ears for mastering and if you have the ears for mixing you'll notice that it doesn't sound like what comes out of a mastering house. And once again I must say that just from what I read from the post that I don't think these ME's are too intimidated by mastering plug ins. If nothing else, I would think that you guys (ME's ) get more work now because people are doing pretty good recordings at home and that just gives you more business, right?

As a matter of fact, I think that there would be a few of you that would say that if it weren't for home recording being such a big deal these days, you might not have gotten into mastering. I know that if it weren't for availability, I wouldn't have gotten into recording. Let me re-phrase, I might not have had the ability to have recording gear in my house besides and 8 track machine or something to that effect.
Old 8th March 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveseviltwin View Post
I must say that just from what I read from the post that I don't think these ME's are too intimidated by mastering plug ins.

If nothing else, I would think that you guys (ME's ) get more work now because people are doing pretty good recordings at home and that just gives you more business, right?

As a matter of fact, I think that there would be a few of you that would say that if it weren't for home recording being such a big deal these days, you might not have gotten into mastering.

According to ludwig, in a recent interwiew (RECORDING MAG) he has never seen worse engineered mixes than in the last few years. Everybody runs out and gets the gear but they don't have the experience to apply it. Maul the band compression is applied to make up for other mistakes along the way.
If M.E.'s are seeing more buisness, they probably are getting into more repair mode than sweetening mode. Is that a correct theory M.E.'s??

It takes a great mix to make a great master. Many great mixes were arrived at before the arrival of the MBC.
Old 8th March 2007
  #22
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pelliott's Avatar
 

I would strongly agree with that assessment. "Repair mode" is a far-too-common state for me and the guys at our facility. And yes, we are busier than ever.... The gear is more and more accessible and people seem to value a talented engineer less and less. I plead with client to PLEASE hire pros to do the recording and mixing... your job is to worry about writing good songs and performing them.

I also love Bruce Swediens take on the subject here on the boards:

In my opinion, Multi-band compression is no better than any of the units of that species. Don't do it. That type of compression and that line of thinkiing is EXTREMELY lazy.... It falls into the "Just Plug It In And Sit Back And Listen" catagory!!!

IT IS NOT TRANSIENT WIZARDRY!!! It is pure DOG-DOO!!!

Music Recording is work!!!! Get used to it!

Make great sounding records and people will love you!!

Bruce Swedien
Old 8th March 2007
  #23
Gear Head
 

I see where alot of you guys are coming from

First, Im glad so many of you have responded because its helps me learn more about what i love doing......Im guessing for me the situation I was describing another level of work which is probably below the one where you guys are use to being. So while I completely agree that mastering is better left to mastering engineers- and mixing is left to mixing engineers- there are alot of us guys- including myself who a good deal of the joy of music making is being able to recording mix it and yes "master" it ourselves. Its like working on an old car. Shure pimp my ride could make it nice in two days- but its just seems more of you own accomplishment when you do it yourself, even if say the hems on the custom seats you were sewing came out after a few weeks (just speaking from experince hereheh )

All I know is there is something very pleasing about being able to make music in my room- work very hard on it- not just slapping plug in's but getting on forums and asking you guys- ok- whats the difference between a low shelf and a high shelf?.....what it multiband compression?...and why dont you use it that much?..... I dont know if you guys get where Im going here.


A last and final statement is that simply put, many of us dont have money- I have been writing and rapping my whole life but ive never been able to record a CD- simply put I was poor, and i didnt realize it then but the bum in my city who had a protools setup (Mbox lol) and a few mics was charging everyone 45/hour to record- I could had recording say 10 songs- and been broke again- or gotten my firepod like i did- heaven forbid downloaded CEP off limewire ...... am i rambling..... yeah I guess one day I would like to recording, mix, master or whatever with the right tools - but till then its what I have now------- could anyone listen to the file on these links and give me some tips- seriously-
http://profile.imeem.com/MTWIiR/musi...9pOv/gun_2_ya/

http://profile.imeem.com/MTWIiR/musi...think_it_over/

I love rapping- but I love as one guy put it- "the sound of music" jay z to john mayer
Old 9th March 2007
  #24
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I don't know where the "don't have money" thing comes in - I see that a lot. If I had the most expensive MBC in the world, it would collect just as much dust.

When we talk about MBC being a "cheap fix" we don't mean "inexpensive" -
Old 9th March 2007
  #25
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MASSIVE Master View Post
I don't know where the "don't have money" thing comes in - I see that a lot. If I had the most expensive MBC in the world, it would collect just as much dust.

When we talk about MBC being a "cheap fix" we don't mean "inexpensive" -

nevermind- you obviously dont get the point- i guess that means ur in the "know"

thats not a smart remark either- I guess what im saying is- is that some of us are searching for whatever we can find- you telling me that a MCB doesnt work means....well crap.... when all my friends, family, whoever like my music 10 times more after i began using one-(what I would call sparingly) ive always had talent- but they said i sounded demoey- but now its sounds more "pro" but whatever- its a mute point- skills beats engineering anyday
Old 9th March 2007
  #26
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Those of you who have read my posts know that I'm a home studio guy who records my own stuff for fun.......but I'm very serious about improving my recording quality.

I read EVERYTHING here.

For the last couple of projects it's been 'slap on the C4 and the L1' and print it!

I just finished a tune that was all about trying out the stuff I have learned from all of you. I, of course, slapped on the C4.....and realized immediately that the tune sounded WORSE. The balance that I had worked so hard to achieve sounded stilted and squashed.
I took a deep breath, trashed the multiband and cranked up the volume.

Thanks again, gentlemen.
Old 9th March 2007
  #27
anytime i've needed to use multiband compression to salvage a track i've been better off recording a cleaner take.
Old 9th March 2007
  #28
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

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OK. You can shoot me now.

I like multiband compression.

I find it very useful, not all the time, but often enough. Way more than 1% of the time.
I like the TC 5000 MD2 at the end of the chain picking off the odd peak. I have a Tube-Tech SMC2B and have never found it to be effective at mastering, but it has other tricks that I keep it around for.
I'm glad I got 'em and I admit that I use them.
Old 9th March 2007
  #29
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the general tone of this thread is not what i expected at all.
im not a professional ME, but the ones i have worked with have usualy used a multiband. ive been leaning alot about multibands recently and how usfull they can be. in the past i never liked them, every multiband i used sounded like crap, the big thing with many multibands is that the filters arnt perfect. when you use one that is good or when you build your own multiabnd you can realy start to enhance the sound without the suck factor of most crappy plugins out there seem to have. i tend to use quite low ratios for the majority of my compression be it single or multiband and i certainly agree if you need to be doing alot of grain reduction with it you should go back to the mix. of course its just one of many tools.
Old 9th March 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loydma3 View Post
ill clarify- im not the producer- i dont make the beats- usually these come from other people- i am a recording artist - i cant remix the beat once i get it- not that big in the game yet

I think you misread- I use that on the bass- just from 90hz- down to 32- that was he only section that recieved really any compression at all-


also i ll just throw this out there- are "real" mastering engineers feeling a little threatened because of guys who are doing things at home and geting some pretty outstanding results- because it seems like you guys make a big deal about who is in the "know" and who isnt. Music has changed- so has technology- many of us who make music now are the ones who actually have talent- not just the ones who could afford it in the past- I got alot of respect for u guys though
Well I guess the discussion got a little "concept driven" I mean , it is'nt going to be of help to tell a guy to go back to the tracking stage "drawing board" if he is'nt doing the tracking!!!!tutt



I also think that the way a M.E is integrated into a project is going to affect the way he approaches the job. If he gets a 2 track put in his lap with the mandate " here it is, there will be no re- mixing , then I guess he's going to wip out the 'ol MBC if he's got to.
If he's included in the project from the get go and has rough mixes brought to his room for monitoring that is going to exceed that of the average mixing studio, he can help in getting the mix perfected and the MBC collects dust.

This begs the question " how do you define a real M.E.?" and depending on there role in the project (see above ) why would they feel threatend!! Probably not threated, just don't wanna be handed 2 tracks that need serious repair all the time!!!!!


I think there are allot of different stations in the "mastering strata" . I think you can get a additional set of ears listening to a great set of speakers in a tuned room a lot cheaper than you might think so why no collab
orate a little ???
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