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Is Everyone Mastering Now Days? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 6 days ago
  #211
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Originally Posted by GemCity View Post
I come at that same conclusion, but through a different approach. I tell my clients to make their mix as close to perfect as they can with nothing on the master bus. Occasionally, I'll let them "talk me into" some "artistic decisions" regarding the master bus (which are pretty inevitable). But I find encouraging thinking within limitations breeds more favorable outcomes in creating something that sounds great than the analysis and choice paralysis that can come with unlimited options for the master bus.

But I think both approaches challenge the artists and engineers in the right way.
Except popular and modern music is processed on the mix bus. I get less than 5% naked mixed and 100% of the top mixers are all over the mix bus with compression and often limiting done well, great skills, great monitors.

I can't responsibly tell people to go against the moment, but you are welcome to of course.
Old 6 days ago
  #212
DAH
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I found that for setting levels of the mixes to compare, the lead vocals is the reference, at least in the same genre.
Old 6 days ago
  #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Except popular and modern music is processed on the mix bus. I get less than 5% naked mixed and 100% of the top mixers are all over the mix bus with compression and often limiting done well, great skills, great monitors.

I can't responsibly tell people to go against the moment, but you are welcome to of course.
I suspect we work in different moments. Which, hey, that's great. I'm working mostly with indie artists and producers that are going for a nostalgic, 1980s/1990s vibe, and I do my best to direct them according to that market. There's all sorts of room in music for all sorts of approaches, and I think that's a beneficial thing for music as a whole.
Old 6 days ago
  #214
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Originally Posted by GemCity View Post
I suspect we work in different moments. Which, hey, that's great. I'm working mostly with indie artists and producers that are going for a nostalgic, 1980s/1990s vibe, and I do my best to direct them according to that market. There's all sorts of room in music for all sorts of approaches, and I think that's a beneficial thing for music as a whole.
For sure those eras are VERY dynamic and your advice would work well. You are simply telling them what was the method and mindset of the time. My advice would also work well, as they will notice that a CD from 1985 in their session is not needing much compression at all, if any. Check Thriller or Dire Straits or anything really.



Big picture, it's important to challenge people to THINK FOR THEMSELVES with the LEAST amount of our supposedly expert input. There are many people new to this who grew up in an era lacking individual thinking and they are TOO EAGER to hand over the reigns to someone they see as an 'expert'.

There is no gain to them, in doing the thinking for them, as it relates to their creative choices. We are only giving minimal guidelines and common sense practices.

I'm Gen X, we didn't listen to anyone! To a fault at times, we are innately individualistic and prone to resist bad authority. That is good for creativity. Many younger people today are the opposite. They need to find themselves and not take to others so easily. Music is about uniqueness and authenticity, not social acceptance thinking that is homogeneous in nature.
Old 6 days ago
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
For sure those eras are VERY dynamic and your advice would work well. You are simply telling them what was the method and mindset of the time. My advice would also work well, as they will notice that a CD from 1985 in their session is not needing much compression at all, if any. Check Thriller or Dire Straits or anything really.



Big picture, it's important to challenge people to THINK FOR THEMSELVES with the LEAST amount of our supposedly expert input. There are many people new to this who grew up in an era lacking individual thinking and they are TOO EAGER to hand over the reigns to someone they see as an 'expert'.

There is no gain to them, in doing the thinking for them, as it relates to their creative choices. We are only giving minimal guidelines and common sense practices.

I'm Gen X, we didn't listen to anyone! To a fault at times, we are innately individualistic and prone to resist bad authority. That is good for creativity. Many younger people today are the opposite. They need to find themselves and not take to others so easily. Music is about uniqueness and authenticity, not social acceptance thinking that is homogeneous in nature.
Amen. Wow.
Old 6 days ago
  #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
For sure those eras are VERY dynamic and your advice would work well. You are simply telling them what was the method and mindset of the time. My advice would also work well, as they will notice that a CD from 1985 in their session is not needing much compression at all, if any. Check Thriller or Dire Straits or anything really.



Big picture, it's important to challenge people to THINK FOR THEMSELVES with the LEAST amount of our supposedly expert input. There are many people new to this who grew up in an era lacking individual thinking and they are TOO EAGER to hand over the reigns to someone they see as an 'expert'.

There is no gain to them, in doing the thinking for them, as it relates to their creative choices. We are only giving minimal guidelines and common sense practices.

I'm Gen X, we didn't listen to anyone! To a fault at times, we are innately individualistic and prone to resist bad authority. That is good for creativity. Many younger people today are the opposite. They need to find themselves and not take to others so easily. Music is about uniqueness and authenticity, not social acceptance thinking that is homogeneous in nature.
Well said, Brian!
Old 5 days ago
  #217
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Originally Posted by XKAudio View Post
Well said, Brian!
Very!
Old 5 days ago
  #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
Yea this is just the wrong approach. Removing things from the master bus is very 1980, and it's just not done today by anyone. Mixers need to hear it close, and clients need to hear it loud. Sounds like the advice of Craig Anderton that I countered on another thread.

Instead, we have to tell people how to be good, how to be musical, and how to stand out in this era, pleasing the client or themselves ... and not make them reliant on us, or teach "safe" methods that are counter to what they need (loud mixes that make them think they are on target).

My approach has always been to encourage greatness and teach confidence and uniqueness, only those things makes anyone better, and when a mixer or artist wins we all win.

A collated reply to a few questions folks ask could be something like this:

"You and your team need to love the mixes in every way EXCEPT the overall volume. Use all the processing you need to use in order to get the mixes as close as possible to your vision. Consider fader automation and master fader automation in some cases instead of over-compression. Compression is for tone, not level. If necessary bring a few reference tracks into your session and LOWER THE LEVEL of the mastered refs, then listen to those refs initially to get a feel for your mix. Then mix. Do not try to match the refs exactly, only use them as a guide on the overview. Please send tracks labeled in order, all processing, no limiter added at the end for volume (the hot ref you might have send the client). The mixes do not need to exactly flow, that is my job, make each mix to stand out on it's own. Anything you have heard in many settings that is in line with your refs and you approve of I will be happy to enhance and it will sound great in the end."
Well you are an award winning mastering engineer with lots of clients so you are doing things that people like and respect you for. I can see the other side of this argument which is someone bring a mastering engineer a piece of crap and the mastering engineer sprinkles some "mastering dust" on the project and charges the client a hefty amount for doing so. There are unscrupulous people out there who would do this day in a day out and not think anything of it. FWIW
Old 5 days ago
  #219
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Well you are an award winning mastering engineer with lots of clients so you are doing things that people like and respect you for. I can see the other side of this argument which is someone bring a mastering engineer a piece of crap and the mastering engineer sprinkles some "mastering dust" on the project and charges the client a hefty amount for doing so. There are unscrupulous people out there who would do this day in a day out and not think anything of it. FWIW
There is a lot of bad mastering out there, yet do you hear my point?

I am self made, from Ohio like you .... no internship at Sterling or Abbey Road. No connections in a city. Nothing but the work and word of mouth.

And I used to ONLY GET so-called bad mixes. A bad mix has a huge upside. A good mix has more challenges. Both are good work.

Same approach since day 1.
Old 5 days ago
  #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
There is a lot of bad mastering out there, yet do you hear my point?

I am self made, from Ohio like you .... no internship at Sterling or Abbey Road. No connections in a city. Nothing but the work and word of mouth.

And I used to ONLY GET so-called bad mixes. A bad mix has a huge upside. A good mix has more challenges. Both are good work.

Same approach since day 1.
Not singly you out. Far from it.

I get clients who are vastly different from the ones you are getting.

I get clients who have gone to another "mastering engineer" who basically sends their material thorough a limiter compressor and an EQ and slams the living he!! out of it and charges them a hefty sum. When I get their material they are usually out of time and out of money and they want me to "fix it". If I cannot fix it then they get upset. If I can fix it they want it done for free. I guess we just have different clientele.

Keep up the good work!
Old 5 days ago
  #221
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post

I get clients who have gone to another "mastering engineer" who basically sends their material thorough a limiter compressor and an EQ and slams the living he!! out of it and charges them a hefty sum.
Somehow, I find this very hard to believe, because I have been around for a while and although I understand that not everyone is at their best day every day, I still havent met or heard of someone "who charges a hefty sum" just by running a mix through their processors without trying to make them sound their best...

I could swallow it easier if you named some names or if you actually are talking about people you would find on Graig's List (who do not charge a hefty sum)

People who charge a hefty sum are usually the ones who MUST charge a hefty sum otherwise us (who are at the bottm of the food chain) wouldnt be able to charge anything at all



Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
If I can fix it they want it done for free.
I also find this extremely difficult to believe.
It can happen, but surely this cannot be the normal...
People are generally nice and quite happy to pay when you provide value.
Old 5 days ago
  #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucey View Post
I am self made, from Ohio like you
Woohoo! #TeamOhio Dayton, here (somewhat obviously by my username). Go Flyers!
Old 5 days ago
  #223
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I've not read the whole thread, but have to say that—imo—any 'non-pro' not using a professional ME is nuts.

Yeah, many can master to a good (or even very good level), but for not much cash you can get a song passed through the ears/experience/creativity/gear of a seasoned pro. The kind who can make those final tweaks to really polish a track and make it shine. Invaluable.
Old 5 days ago
  #224
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Originally Posted by Apostolos Siopis View Post
Somehow, I find this very hard to believe, because I have been around for a while and although I understand that not everyone is at their best day every day, I still havent met or heard of someone "who charges a hefty sum" just by running a mix through their processors without trying to make them sound their best...

I could swallow it easier if you named some names or if you actually are talking about people you would find on Graig's List (who do not charge a hefty sum)

People who charge a hefty sum are usually the ones who MUST charge a hefty sum otherwise us (who are at the bottm of the food chain) wouldnt be able to charge anything at all

I also find this extremely difficult to believe.
It can happen, but surely this cannot be the normal...
People are generally nice and quite happy to pay when you provide value.
Welcome to my world. No I am not going to post my clients names up here nor am I going to post the names of the "mastering engineers" for obvious reasons. Just believe me. I do get these clients, they do get charge hefty rates for nothing and they don't have any money by the time they get here. It maybe different where you live and work. I am not making any of this up as any of my interns can attest. We get wacky and broke clients all the time. Maybe it is a Northern Ohio "thing". Just got a call from someone last week who wanted me to master his material and WHEN he became famous he would send me all his work. For some reason I turned him down...

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 4 days ago at 02:57 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 5 days ago
  #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Just got a call from someone last week who wanted me to master his material and WHEN he became famous he would sent me all his work. For some reason I turned him down...
That's par for the course in the music business, though. Everyone's gonna get famous and then pay you.

Not mastering, but I got a call from a girl last week who's writing a musical and wanted me to work on the music for her starting next week. When I tried to bring up payment she told me that she's broke, but her musical is definitely going to go to Broadway and then she'll be able to pay me the "thousands that she'll owe me".

I told her thanks but no thanks and then she threw out there that she'd be willing to f**k me each time we work together but just not next week because she just started her period and she "feels gross".

I don't know how I ever found it within myself to turn down such an offer.

This business is filled with all kinds of nut cases, especially everyone hustling to get work done for nothing. I don't understand it because I've always paid and it's too embarrassing to me to try to get people to work for free but really the amount of people who have no shame never ceases to amaze me. I don't take it personally.
Old 5 days ago
  #226
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Originally Posted by ionian View Post

I told her thanks but no thanks and then she threw out there that she'd be willing to f**k me each time we work together but just not next week because she just started her period and she "feels gross".
ermm, send me her number?
Old 5 days ago
  #227
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I am very turn off by many top Mastering Eng that now are even pretending to charge to upload the files of their mastering work, I find this ridiculous...

I find that mastering eng are like the attorneys of the Music Process...

Very cold cold dudes in many cases...
Old 4 days ago
  #228
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Originally Posted by zak7 View Post
I am very turn off by many top Mastering Eng that now are even pretending to charge to upload the files of their mastering work, I find this ridiculous...

I find that mastering eng are like the attorneys of the Music Process...

Very cold cold dudes in many cases...
What is ridiculous?

Cold in what way?
Old 4 days ago
  #229
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Originally Posted by Apostolos Siopis View Post
People are generally nice and quite happy to pay when you provide value.
i second this. well said.

Buddha
Old 4 days ago
  #230
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Once the value of a product collapses then the value of the process involved in making that product falls too - its simple economics.

When an artist or label was spending large amounts of money creating a glass master to have 10,000's (and multiples of that) of CD's printed from it then "Mastering" was a professional service, provided by a professional that was CRITICAL to prevent economic and commercial failure.

Today (through personal observation and experience) it appears to me those imperatives, with the advent of endless digital streams billowing out music from all and sundry at a rate beyond comprehension, are slowly fading (no pun intended)
Old 4 days ago
  #231
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Originally Posted by lucey View Post
What is ridiculous?

Cold in what way?
A long time ago (10 years) I saw a price list from a professional mastering house in the North East.

There was a charge for everything, hospitality charge, up load charge, reference master charge, duplicated copies of mastered CD and the list went on and on. I would not be surprised if they had "pay toilets" in the facility. AND they were charging $400 an hour for their mastering. I wonder what that list looks like today.

We charge for the mastering and for extra copies of the mastered CD. We do not charge for anything else. FWIW
Old 3 days ago
  #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Welcome to my world. No I am not going to post my clients names up here nor am I going to post the names of the "mastering engineers" for obvious reasons. Just believe me. I do get these clients, they do get charge hefty rates for nothing and they don't have any money by the time they get here. It maybe different where you live and work. I am not making any of this up as any of my interns can attest. We get wacky and broke clients all the time. Maybe it is a Northern Ohio "thing". Just got a call from someone last week who wanted me to master his material and WHEN he became famous he would send me all his work. For some reason I turned him down...
Tom, what percentage of your clients fit this description? I saw you post on PRW a while back about a project you really enjoyed, so it can't be all of them. Would certainly be interested to hear more about the good ones.
Old 2 days ago
  #233
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
A long time ago (10 years) I saw a price list from a professional mastering house in the North East.

There was a charge for everything, hospitality charge, up load charge, reference master charge, duplicated copies of mastered CD and the list went on and on. I would not be surprised if they had "pay toilets" in the facility. AND they were charging $400 an hour for their mastering. I wonder what that list looks like today.
"We can't shaft you anymore because there's CloudBounce. There's an open bar in the lobby ("Please leave a tip"). The restroom is to the right. Please donate a can of food on your way out."
Old 2 days ago
  #234
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Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
Tom, what percentage of your clients fit this description? I saw you post on PRW a while back about a project you really enjoyed, so it can't be all of them. Would certainly be interested to hear more about the good ones.
I would say 10 to 15%. Most of my clients are GREAT.

I just got done doing one song for a long time client and it was GREAT to work on it with him. Good song, well mixed and recorded and it was a gift for the artist's father who is dying.

Also just got done with a lot of transfer work for a long time client and it too was a great project to work on and to renew a friendship with my client.

I really love to work with people and 85% of my clients are really great to work with it is the 15% that give me grief.

I am normally a very upbeat person but working with a client who is "difficult", to say the least, brings me down pretty fast.

One BIG problem today is the client's expectations of what their materials will sound like after mastering far exceed what they are providing me to master. I had a client who brought me a 22 song CD project. Each of the songs were 3 to 5 minutes long, far exceeding what could be put on a CD. He also had rented a studio and done all the recording and mixing himself with help from his brother. When he did overdubs he left on the studio speakers so not only did he get the overdub but a lot of bleed from the studio speakers. He wanted the CD to sound like Nickle Back but it was so messed up due to his poor recording techniques that it was almost impossible to master. He had "allotted" $200 for the mastering of 22 songs. At that point I told him it was going to cost a lot more than $200 and that I probably could not make it sound like Nickle Back, who are known for their very simplistic recording techniques and "in your face sound". It was a no win situation from the get go. The client was clueless and thought that by simply mastering his materials I could make him sound like Nickle Back. Long story short... it was not a fun project and in the end the client and I were not "friends". FWIW
Old 2 days ago
  #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
When I get their material they are usually out of time and out of money and they want me to "fix it". If I cannot fix it then they get upset. If I can fix it they want it done for free. I guess we just have different clientele.

Keep up the good work!
Are you serious? Someone else produces a bad mix and you are expected to fix it for FREE???
WOW...NO way at my place..
Old 2 days ago
  #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post

He wanted the CD to sound like Nickle Back . . .
Your first clue it was not going to be a good day.
Old 2 days ago
  #237
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Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Are you serious? Someone else produces a bad mix and you are expected to fix it for FREE???
WOW...NO way at my place..
Again - welcome to my world.

I keep getting calls from local people who want their stuff mastered for $5 a song like they see on the internet. I also get a lot of calls asking me to work for free because the artist spent all their money on the recording/mixing and now they want me to master it for nothing. They all say that get famous they will pay me. I also get clients who inform me AFTER I have mastered their material that they have no money and will I just give them the mastered tracks. Those clients hurt the most since I have already done the mastering and now they cannot pay me.

I got a call last week from someone who wanted me to record. mix, master and produce her album because she was going to be the next big pop star and could I do all of this for free since she did not have any money. What a load of CRAP!

This is not a great area to be in business. Lorain County, where I live and work, always ranks third from the bottom of the 88 counties that make up the state of Ohio. (and NO I cannot move)

FWIW
Old 2 days ago
  #238
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Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I would say 10 to 15%. Most of my clients are GREAT.
Wow, ok. That's probably not that different from the rest of us. The impression I had was that it's much higher for you.

Quote:
I just got done doing one song for a long time client and it was GREAT to work on it with him. Good song, well mixed and recorded and it was a gift for the artist's father who is dying.

Also just got done with a lot of transfer work for a long time client and it too was a great project to work on and to renew a friendship with my client.

I really love to work with people and 85% of my clients are really great to work with it is the 15% that give me grief.
I'm really glad to hear this!

Quote:
I am normally a very upbeat person but working with a client who is "difficult", to say the least, brings me down pretty fast.
Maybe that's the bit to work on. Thanks for responding.
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