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Scott Hull thread! Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 11th January 2017
  #91
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Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
I remember early DAW software came on floppies with multiple installs and authorizations, easy as pie, if you had the floppy or install CD you were all set. But the multilayered internet authorization is a major pita, so,we get used to it.

Best, JT
This is one task I rely on my interns and assistants for. but then when they leave.. ACK ! where is my license? ... ha ha ... my own fault.
Old 11th January 2017
  #92
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Originally Posted by mastervargas View Post
...
so my questions (at last ) are, do you have to deal with similar stuff? what do you do? if it's 44K/16b how do you handle it? stay digital, use the analog chain? do you up-sample? leave it be and do the less possible amount of processing? -
Yes.. Just within the past week.
And recently with a VERY high profile project where the mixer decided to put everything thru multi band compressors and limiters Before mastering.

So .. Yes.. Almost daily.

The approaches you mentions are the only options you have.

I get everything turned down.. a few db from zero - so that i can place EQ's with out distorting.. then find center.. and while that is more like un-mastering " to some - it's necessary in a case like this.
we mentioned earlier - that i almost never switch chains during a project.. but this is one situation when i may use the analog chain w/o limiting on some squashed tracks .. while using the Digital chain on others where i need more precise or delicate EQ. SInce there is no continuity in the projcet .. maybe i can manufacture some.



But your question reminds me of something i find I have to remind my junior engineers of. We can only fix what we can fix. And we can try to educate. But we can not fix everything that is wrong with a project. And sometimes.. those technical errors are intentional creative nuances that give a record some niche appeal.

My standing quote is .." It's our job to make the final product sound better. We can not always make it sounds great. "
Old 11th January 2017
  #93
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Impressive discography highlights here Scott:

Discography | Scott Hull

Did the Sharon Jones 100 Days record come in on analog tape?

Best, JT
Old 11th January 2017
  #94
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Originally Posted by Paul Gold View Post
Happy New Year Scott. I do all my monitor switching analog. I find digital switchers really confusing. Not as confusing as sound card routing but nearly. I've tried to set digital things up so they never need changing.

This part of the thread is basically about ergonomics. How do you feel ergonomics influences the mastering process?
I think it's all what you get used to. I have always found it challenging to get comfortable in someone else's rooms. not just the speakers, acoustic concerns.. For instance i have NEVER felt comfortable with the LCD in the middle front of my console.. But many ME's do that successfully. It's odd that I have mine on the side . but it was like that in my first room and has been like that usually on the right side ever since. it just feels right that way for me.

I agree the Zsys router is mind numbing to deal with on a daily basis, but it can be learned if your motivated to.

I'd say any craftsman would set up his or her tools / work shop/ studio to be a comfortable place to work.. so ergonomic concerns are very high priority.
Old 11th January 2017
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
Impressive discography highlights here Scott:

Discography | Scott Hull

Did the Sharon Jones 100 Days record come in on analog tape?

Best, JT
No it was Dig.. But Gabe had an elaborate process of dubbing on and off tape thru the recording and mix process. There were vintage tape machines and electronics involved.. He explained it to me once.. i can 't remember the details. After first round of mastering he went back and re-transferred some of his mixes thru tape ( slightly differently) my mastering was changing something that he didn't like. as i recall.

There was a LOT going on prior to mastering
Old 11th January 2017
  #96
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Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
So I just got the Two Against Nature CD today. I like the sound of it overall but I will say it does sound a little sterile and digital to me, sort of flat
However this thread is not about you or me, and our opinions of his work!

It's about Scott Hull, his career, viewpoints, discography, and maybe even workflow & gear.

Apparently the Grammy voters of 2000 didn't think it sounded sterile :~)>

Best, JT
Old 11th January 2017
  #97
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Hey Scott, do you regularly reject projects cause of bad music, bad mixes, unlikable clients, unrealistic budgets etc?
How often do you feel the wish to do some dancing while listening to your/clients work? Or better ask how much joy exists in daily routine?
Is there music you favour to work on? Is it the same style of music you prefer to listen in private?
Old 11th January 2017
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
However this thread is not about you or me, and our opinions of his work!

It's about Scott Hull, his career, viewpoints, discography, and maybe even workflow & gear.

Apparently the Grammy voters of 2000 didn't think it sounded sterile :~)>

Best, JT
Oh yea, totally agree and wasn't putting it down at all. Just thought it was an interesting experiment to run it through some class a tube gear
Old 11th January 2017
  #99
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
Yes.. Just within the past week.
And recently with a VERY high profile project where the mixer decided to put everything thru multi band compressors and limiters Before mastering.

So .. Yes.. Almost daily.

The approaches you mentions are the only options you have.

I get everything turned down.. a few db from zero - so that i can place EQ's with out distorting.. then find center.. and while that is more like un-mastering " to some - it's necessary in a case like this.
we mentioned earlier - that i almost never switch chains during a project.. but this is one situation when i may use the analog chain w/o limiting on some squashed tracks .. while using the Digital chain on others where i need more precise or delicate EQ. SInce there is no continuity in the projcet .. maybe i can manufacture some.



But your question reminds me of something i find I have to remind my junior engineers of. We can only fix what we can fix. And we can try to educate. But we can not fix everything that is wrong with a project. And sometimes.. those technical errors are intentional creative nuances that give a record some niche appeal.

My standing quote is .." It's our job to make the final product sound better. We can not always make it sounds great. "
This is very insightful, thanks again Scott for taking the time to do this.
... and in regards of this last part, I remember Chris Athens saying something along those lines a while back when he was posting here, a pro shouldn't bitch about it and deal with any situation he's put in, and like you said, make it at least a bit better.
Old 12th January 2017
  #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
No it was Dig.. But Gabe had an elaborate process of dubbing on and off tape thru the recording and mix process. There were vintage tape machines and electronics involved.. He explained it to me once.. i can 't remember the details. After first round of mastering he went back and re-transferred some of his mixes thru tape ( slightly differently) my mastering was changing something that he didn't like. as i recall.

There was a LOT going on prior to mastering
Maybe it was the Clasp system that interfaces analog tape with a DAW(?)

Very enjoyable record!

JT
Old 12th January 2017
  #101
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Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
Donald Fagan - forbid any compression.
Scott I noticed you also mastered the favorably reviewed "Sunken Condos".

Was it a similar process to "Two Against Nature".

Did DF attend, was it all digital & hi-res?

Sunken Condos - Donald Fagen | Credits | AllMusic

Thanks, JT
Old 13th January 2017
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Hey Scott, do you regularly reject projects cause of bad music, bad mixes, unlikable clients, unrealistic budgets etc?
How often do you feel the wish to do some dancing while listening to your/clients work? Or better ask how much joy exists in daily routine?
Is there music you favour to work on? Is it the same style of music you prefer to listen in private?
Regularly? - No.
But clearly challenged mixes - where i give concerned feedback - suggesting possible mix fixes... that happens pretty often.

other causes :
Bad music .. - No
UN-likable clients - never. They just need to be heard and understood. My classical training helps here.
Unrealistic budgets - Everyday probably - but they reject themselves if they think i'm out of their budget.

I really enjoy my work just about all the time. To be honest - the only time i loos that feeling is when im not given enough time to do my best work.

No real clear "Best " music.. i'm often surprised when a song / projcet is particularly moving. Some stay in my regular rotation... for years, shared with my kids and friends. But no trends that i can find.
Old 13th January 2017
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
Scott I noticed you also mastered the favorably reviewed "Sunken Condos".

Was it a similar process to "Two Against Nature".

Did DF attend, was it all digital & hi-res?

Sunken Condos - Donald Fagen | Credits | AllMusic

Thanks, JT
.. am preparing my reply.. .. more to come .
Old 13th January 2017
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
However this thread is not about you or me, and our opinions of his work!

It's about Scott Hull, his career, viewpoints, discography, and maybe even workflow & gear.

Apparently the Grammy voters of 2000 didn't think it sounded sterile :~)>

Best, JT
Thanks JT.
For the record - I'm not offended in the slightest, by the comments.

My short reply " Donald forbid compression ) was made on purpose - but might not have been clear why. That record - or any of DF's records could have been made many different ways. But it was made Donald Fagan's way - as he was 100% in charge of every sound - level - timing - placement and tone. As i mentioned adding .2db of eq - in the mid range changed his balances...

Several of my regular clients are like this .. for them It's right when they feel it's right and all other options are wrong. I admire that clarity..
For me - I see all three sides to most conversations... I wake up tomorrow feeling different than today and my work is different. Still "Good" but Inspired by my surroundings and my own emotions. So for me absolutes aren't as obvious. I've often thought of myself as a chameleon. Changing or adapting to the mood of the song - the performer - the situation.
so - me - chameleon- Donald Fagan - Tiger ( who is not changing his stripes because i have some other idea for how his record should sound. )

hope this makes sense
Old 14th January 2017
  #105
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Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Oh yea, totally agree and wasn't putting it down at all. Just thought it was an interesting experiment to run it through some class a tube gear
Excellent motivation then, the experimentation.

Criticism retracted!

Best, JT

Last edited by Jerry Tubb; 15th January 2017 at 12:38 PM..
Old 14th January 2017
  #106
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Hi Scott,

I noticed that you use the magnificent Duntech Sovereigns.

Have you ever listened to other speakers and thought that they compared/improved on the sound or are you just very used to the Duntechs?
Old 14th January 2017
  #107
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I have always said that music is more powerful than any drug. I run the emotional roller coaster everyday. It can make me laugh, make me cry make me get up and dance. I love the power of it. I love that it uses and is stored in every part of the brain. Nothing else in this life uses our brain like music does... now think about that for a minute.

What better job could any of us have?
Old 14th January 2017
  #108
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Funny Scott when asked to describe myself I always say "chameleon like", I'll adapt to any situation and make the best of it.

Also what you touched on with regards to clients is so true. Often people will think we ME's have the final say about level and sound but 9.5 times out of 10 it's the client, producer or label that has that final say. We just get blamed if the general public doesn't like their vision.
Old 15th January 2017
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
I have always said that music is more powerful than any drug. I run the emotional roller coaster everyday. It can make me laugh, make me cry make me get up and dance. I love the power of it. I love that it uses and is stored in every part of the brain. Nothing else in this life uses our brain like music does... now think about that for a minute.

What better job could any of us have?
Yes! Music has that spiritual nature, that transcends the brain and connects us all.

I think that's why we do this, work in the music world.

Peace Brother, JT
Old 15th January 2017
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Funny Scott when asked to describe myself I always say "chameleon like", I'll adapt to any situation and make the best of it.

Also what you touched on with regards to clients is so true. Often people will think we ME's have the final say about level and sound but 9.5 times out of 10 it's the client, producer or label that has that final say. We just get blamed if the general public doesn't like their vision.
Some days I'm the Chameleon, some days I'm the Tiger with unchangeable stripes.

Most days it's a hybrid of the two.

Depends on the artist, producer, & music.

Now back to All Things Scott Hull.

JT
Old 16th January 2017
  #111
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Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Funny Scott when asked to describe myself I always say "chameleon like", I'll adapt to any situation and make the best of it.

Also what you touched on with regards to clients is so true. Often people will think we ME's have the final say about level and sound but 9.5 times out of 10 it's the client, producer or label that has that final say. We just get blamed if the general public doesn't like their vision.
but rarely ( if ever ) applauded when their work is brilliant. But we chose the behind the scenes work on purpose.
Old 16th January 2017
  #112
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Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Hi Scott,

I noticed that you use the magnificent Duntech Sovereigns.

Have you ever listened to other speakers and thought that they compared/improved on the sound or are you just very used to the Duntechs?
I love my monitors, but they are not the best sounding speakers I've ever heard. - Not by a long shot. BUT>>>. they are the only speakers ( this particular pair ) in the world that i have listened to and mastered thousands of albums on . So - Until i have to - I'm not even going to test drive another set of room sized speakers.
Old 16th January 2017
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
Scott I noticed you also mastered the favorably reviewed "Sunken Condos".

Was it a similar process to "Two Against Nature".

Did DF attend, was it all digital & hi-res?

Sunken Condos - Donald Fagen | Credits | AllMusic

Thanks, JT
Sunken Condos was different.. Same process, but the Time factor / budget factor was REALLY different. Label wanted time to give them a fixed price for the mastering.. With my experience with DF i thought that would be a big mistake. For everyone. Donald need the time it takes to be satisfied.. That said - he was much more time and budget conscious this time, and we "flew through " the mastering in a tenth of the time. That still was about 4r or 5 revisions over a week or so.

Michael Leonhart co-produced with him and i think that helped DF make and justify decisions with less back and forth. The other BIG difference is- we actually had the Loudness discussion this time.. He was finally ready for his record to have a higher average level - to sound closer in level to to what was popular... so we auditioned several different methods of peak limiting. I went with a hybrid of a hardware and plug in situation - neither one was all that great on it's own - but together he was happy that the tone didn't change much ... the limiting was on the order of 3 db.. it's far from Smashed !

We also prepared this record for vinyl - and i think that turned out really nicely. The 96k master without the limiting made a nice Vinyl cutting master. I cut the lacquer. I was concerned about the plan for clear vinyl - but the end results sounds good.. And looks crazy.

The weiss eq (hardware ) was the main tool for that record. As usual the challenge was keeping everything tightly clocked and sounding the same every time.
Old 16th January 2017
  #114
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Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
I love my monitors, but they are not the best sounding speakers I've ever heard. - Not by a long shot. BUT>>>. they are the only speakers ( this particular pair ) in the world that i have listened to and mastered thousands of albums on . So - Until i have to - I'm not even going to test drive another set of room sized speakers.
You're in good company. Bob Orban uses them to develop broadcast processing!

I've never found anything that translates as well as mine but as you suggest, they are utterly merciless and not remotely a recreational listening speaker.
Old 17th January 2017
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
Sunken Condos was different.. Same process, but the Time factor / budget factor was REALLY different. Label wanted time to give them a fixed price for the mastering.. With my experience with DF i thought that would be a big mistake. For everyone. Donald need the time it takes to be satisfied.. That said - he was much more time and budget conscious this time, and we "flew through " the mastering in a tenth of the time. That still was about 4r or 5 revisions over a week or so.

Michael Leonhart co-produced with him and i think that helped DF make and justify decisions with less back and forth. The other BIG difference is- we actually had the Loudness discussion this time.. He was finally ready for his record to have a higher average level - to sound closer in level to to what was popular... so we auditioned several different methods of peak limiting. I went with a hybrid of a hardware and plug in situation - neither one was all that great on it's own - but together he was happy that the tone didn't change much ... the limiting was on the order of 3 db.. it's far from Smashed !

We also prepared this record for vinyl - and i think that turned out really nicely. The 96k master without the limiting made a nice Vinyl cutting master. I cut the lacquer. I was concerned about the plan for clear vinyl - but the end results sounds good.. And looks crazy.

The weiss eq (hardware ) was the main tool for that record. As usual the challenge was keeping everything tightly clocked and sounding the same every time.
Great story Scott, just having that third party person, and a budget constraint made the session flow much easier.

I'll want to seek out the vinyl version of this and Two Against.

I assume there may be HD digital versions available as well, via download.

Best, JT
Old 17th January 2017
  #116
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Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
I love my monitors, but they are not the best sounding speakers I've ever heard. - Not by a long shot. BUT>>>. they are the only speakers ( this particular pair ) in the world that i have listened to and mastered thousands of albums on . So - Until i have to - I'm not even going to test drive another set of room sized speakers.
That's also how I feel about the Dunlavy monitors I use, SC/IV-A

They scare people, with the brutally honest detail in the highs and mids. But I've been using them daily for 11 years, so they feel like home.

So I suppose it's what ever you get used to, as long as the monitors you get accustomed to are up to the task of mastering.

JT
Old 17th January 2017
  #117
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Scott, I'm also curious about the mastering on the other DF record you mastered "Kamakiriad" from 1993.

What can you tell us about this session & recording?

Did Roger ever attend, or just DF?

This CD has a distinctively digital sound to it.

Cheers, JT
Old 19th January 2017
  #118
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Scott, do you use dithering when monitoring?
Old 20th January 2017
  #119
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Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
I love my monitors, but they are not the best sounding speakers I've ever heard. - Not by a long shot. BUT>>>. they are the only speakers ( this particular pair ) in the world that i have listened to and mastered thousands of albums on . So - Until i have to - I'm not even going to test drive another set of room sized speakers.
on that note, just out of curiosity, what speakers did you hear over the years that blew you away? for home/HI-FI buf use, not as a mastering engineer - you made it very clear why you're using the Duntechs for work.

and a second question, how often do you get mixes above 96K? the fact is, nowadays, when 96K and above is in everyone's reach and storage is cheap, paradoxically, mixers seem too lazy or who knows what because, and this is my experience, I don't even get projects in 88.2K or 96K as many as I'd expect. 44.1 and 48 24b is the most frequent; I alway inquire and ask for higher res but many times the mixing was done in that sample rate and there's no higher res available at any point of the chain - so I was wondering what's the deal at your level ( )

thanks.

C.
Old 11th March 2017
  #120
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BUMP!
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Originally Posted by ScottHull View Post
That is the main benefit of working along a senior engineer. Assisting - not interning... My assistants get to hear my before and afters every day - and have occasional opportunities to ask why... That's what i did for nearly 10 years assisting Bob Ludwig. Everyday.. Hundreds of albums a year.. Thousands of songs each year !!! wow - THEN after years of that.. i got the chance to master myself.
What did Bob teach you about making loud, warm clean masters Scott?

And approaching EQ & Compression that would translate on any playback format?

Curious minds want to know:~)>

Best, JT
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