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Bob Katz's "K System" - Nuts N' Bolts Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 24th September 2011
  #91
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Imagine a proposed levelling system that actually only works wonderfully in one specific location on this planet and then go figure the usefulness in that.
Old 24th September 2011
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrikT View Post
Imagine a proposed levelling system that actually only works wonderfully in one specific location on this planet and then go figure the usefulness in that.
Where?
Old 24th September 2011
  #93
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I just downgraded this thread from five stars to four.
Too much silly meaningless banter.
Typical of GS.
JT
Old 24th September 2011
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
I just downgraded this thread from five stars to four.
Too much silly meaningless banter.
Typical of GS.
JT
I'm wit' tu, JT.

Totally OT: Now folks, stop agonising over 'stuff' (which, let's face it, isn't that important), and witness some undeniable musical talent (which is).

My "Somebody To Love" audition - YouTube

This had 'only' about 800,000 hits on Friday, see where we are today. [EDIT: As of 6th October 2011, it's just topped four million.]

Mods please delete if inappropriate, though I'm sure you don't need me to nudge you. Perhaps by watching and listening to this a few esteemed GS colleagues may realise there's more to life than bickering about mastering.
Old 5th October 2011
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas West View Post

The zero mark on each K meter scale is where, if your monitor volume control is set properly for the meter your are using, the monitor speaker loudness will equal the industry standard 83 db SPL. That zero mark is not a reference to a recording level, it’s a reference to a listening level. However, the headroom between that zero mark and 0 dbFS, the digital signal clip point, at the top of the meter, is different for each meter.

Using the system is actually rather simple…you choose which meter you need according to the dynamic range you want from your finished recording, set your monitor volume control to work with that meter, and then get a basic loudness level by adjusting the amplitude of your file so that the AVERAGE base level (RMS) of the material reaches the zero mark on the K meter.
I'm a small timer so go easy! Also I'll spare you the details of confusion experienced in the pursuit of clarity.


If I've connected the dots correctly, then there needs to be a mix bus just before the main out in order to adjust the playback volume so the the chosen K Meter (with it's predefined monitoring level) will have an RMS at the meter zero point on the main out. Yes?

I've saved all of the K monitoring levels in Apogee's Maestro for easy recall. But my room is small, about 1200 square feet so I also have a preset for a monitor level of 76 dB. I can chose a louder monitor level preset to briefly check the balance when needed.
Old 5th October 2011
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSeye View Post
my room is small, about 1200 square feet so I also have a preset for a monitor level of 76 dB. I can chose a louder monitor level preset to briefly check the balance when needed.
A 1200 sq foot room (length x width) is not really small...Maybe you mean 1200 cubic feet (length x width x height)?
Old 6th October 2011
  #97
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Cubic feet.

Do you have any response to my question?
Old 6th October 2011
  #98
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FWIW: I worked for a decade on films assisting Tom Holman's mentor who taught him about calibrated monitoring. I'm also a friend of Bob Katz and support him in fighting excessive distortion in music recordings.

A reference listening volume is very important however Dave Collins' point also couldn't possibly be more correct. Film is a whole different world. It's far more different than most people realize because while we use the same tools, the goals are very very different.

I was taught to use a reference listening volume in 1965 at Motown by my supervisor, Bob Dennis. After I left mastering for the studio I was taught to always check balances and eq. at a variety of listening volumes by Cal Harris who had learned the importance of doing this at United/Western Recorders.

A reference listening volume and rechecking at different listening volumes are simply two of the most basic, traditional audio production techniques one could possibly be aware of.
Old 6th October 2011
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
FWIW: I worked for a decade on films assisting Tom Holman's mentor who taught him about calibrated monitoring. I'm also a friend of Bob Katz and support him in fighting excessive distortion in music recordings.

A reference listening volume is very important however Dave Collins' point also couldn't possibly be more correct. Film is a whole different world. It's far more different than most people realize because while we use the same tools, the goals are very very different.

I was taught to use a reference listening volume in 1965 at Motown by my supervisor, Bob Dennis. After I left mastering for the studio I was taught to always check balances and eq. at a variety of listening volumes by Cal Harris who had learned the importance of doing this at United/Western Recorders.

A reference listening volume and rechecking at different listening volumes are simply two of the most basic, traditional audio production techniques one could possibly be aware of.
'Like'.
Old 7th October 2011
  #100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas West View Post
MONITOR VOLUME to your Zero point
I understand everything except this.

Where is my "monitor volume"?

Is it the (in my case, tiny, knobs) on the back of each Mackie MR5 speaker?

Is it the master fader in TotalMix (software for my interface)? How do I 'clearly mark' a software fader for K 12, 14 and 20?

If I have no hardware/ analogue master volume fader...how do I mark K 12, 14 & 20 spots on the tiny black knobs on the back of each MR5 speaker? I'd need the eyes of a hawk and the night vision of a cat to see them...not to mention the neck of a giraffe!

Do I need a hardware master volume control to do all this?

If so...that's the spanner in the works right there isn't it!
Old 8th October 2011
  #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
I understand everything except this.

Where is my "monitor volume"?

Is it the (in my case, tiny, knobs) on the back of each Mackie MR5 speaker?

Is it the master fader in TotalMix (software for my interface)?
Oy......no, it's whatever knob, either software or hardware, that controls only the volume of both your monitor speakers simultaneously WITHOUT CHANGING THE LEVEL OF YOUR TRACK ON THE METERS.

The master fader will change the buss level of your track. It'll change the volume as well, but that's not what's being talked about.

After you set your master fader for your master stereo level, what do you change to listen at different volume levels? That's your volume control.
Old 8th October 2011
  #102
That'd be the Main Out in the software, TotalMix....so if I calibrate K20 at 0db on that Main Out...then -6db is going to be K14?
Old 8th October 2011
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hello people View Post
That'd be the Main Out in the software, TotalMix....so if I calibrate K20 at 0db on that Main Out...then -6db is going to be K14?
Theoretically, but you've got to check each K meter calibration to see what it actually says on the sound level meter.
Old 8th October 2011
  #104
I've set it for K-14...that'll do
Old 8th October 2011
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Mark 83dB SPL at your meter reference level (generally 0VU) and you have your own K system! It just isn't called the K system.

It is an interesting system but I have yet to meet an ME that uses it...maybe Australia is a bit behind.

That's so true!!

I too have come across this occurrence, more than once.
Several studios and Mastering engineers later, and none, seem to even acknowledge the proof in the pudding, regarding the K-System.

Personally, I have always used it and it delivers and serves a roboust purpose. That’s why I wonder, why others don’t?!

Ciao’
KAyo

PS: Can someone brief me on adding and callibrating a sub into the K-System. Please ….. thank you.
Old 23rd October 2011
  #106
I have a room with wood floors, bit of carpeting, a bed, bookcases...anyway:

4.5m long x 3.5m wide x 2.1m high

Sorry...I forgot if I had a question...sorry

Old 24th October 2011
  #107
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Hey Kayo!
Bob Katz has a section on this in the Avocet manual.

Gordon
Old 24th October 2011
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
FWIW: I worked for a decade on films assisting Tom Holman's mentor who taught him about calibrated monitoring. I'm also a friend of Bob Katz and support him in fighting excessive distortion in music recordings.

A reference listening volume is very important however Dave Collins' point also couldn't possibly be more correct. Film is a whole different world. It's far more different than most people realize because while we use the same tools, the goals are very very different.

I was taught to use a reference listening volume in 1965 at Motown by my supervisor, Bob Dennis. After I left mastering for the studio I was taught to always check balances and eq. at a variety of listening volumes by Cal Harris who had learned the importance of doing this at United/Western Recorders.

A reference listening volume and rechecking at different listening volumes are simply two of the most basic, traditional audio production techniques one could possibly be aware of.
to me, that's a balanced and intuitive approach...
Old 27th October 2011
  #109
Gear Head
 

I dont have a huge discography to my credit list ... but I have ears and an amazing set of speakers - Lipinskis! (and more analog gear ) ... So I really dont think anything but basic levels matter at all. After all, its usually *always* that pleasing the client is your first and foremost preference ... if they want it louder, you cant tell them about the K-System!

Cheers though, to Nic ... amazing thread!
Old 27th October 2011
  #110
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Just wanted to get in on this one. Thanks op!

Sent from my ADR6300 using Gearslutz.com App
Old 29th October 2011
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggidluck View Post
Hey Kayo!
Bob Katz has a section on this in the Avocet manual.

Gordon
Thanks ggidluck..
Wiil try and source that manual.

KAyo
Old 13th January 2012
  #112
Gear Nut
 

Good grief.... what a can of worms.

I find the following method works for me, if anyone's interested.

I set my amp so that both channels read '2' on each volume knob. And leave them there..... Ermm...... that's it.

Isn't that a lot easier? It's always the same level - I have Dorrough meters which I use to check if anything weird and unexpected is going on before I print a master, but I've learned to completely trust my Tandberg monitors.

I know when something is too loud, because it sounds too loud. I know if something has too restricted a dynamic range because it sounds like it's got too restricted a dynamic range.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned....


J.
Old 13th January 2012
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol View Post
Maybe I'm old-fashioned....
Dare you say . . .
Old 17th January 2012
  #114
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To the original poster, thanks for putting that together.

IMO, I find little value in the K system as a practical tool for mixing and mastering.

However, as a tool for understanding the relationship between dB, dBFS, dBu or v, VU, SPL meters and their A or C weighting, Pink Noise, White Noise, 1kHz sine waves and how they all are used in the measurement of sound is very, very important.
Old 17th January 2012
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
He would think all this stuff is nuts, I imagine.
Tom Dowd had the meters removed from his control room and painted the front panels of all the outboard gear over with flat black paint!

Dave and I, by the way, have both worked in film where calibrated levels are SOP and in mastering for record labels.

Lots of the same tools but very different goals. In fact I don't know of anybody but the two of us who has done both. Now I know why when I start a sentence he can often finish it!
Old 17th January 2012
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Lots of the same tools but very different goals. In fact I don't know of anybody but the two of us who has done both. Now I know why when I start a sentence he can often finish it!
That's very kind of you Bob. As you know, I think the K-system is a waste of time and energy, not to mention fundamentally flawed.

Outside of that, I recommend everyone use it - especially the competition.


DC
Old 18th January 2012
  #117
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dcollins View Post
That's very kind of you Bob. As you know, I think the K-system is a waste of time and energy, not to mention fundamentally flawed.

DC
Let's be honest though, it's the closest thing that's come to a standard for good practice in the industry.

I myself don't use it, because I know my monitors/room/equipment and how they all interact - in fact I'm not sure I could translate the K-System into my environment now...

But as a starting point to better sounding commercially released music, I can't see how it can be criticised; if every fledgeling mastering engineer was to adopt the K-System and then adapt and form their own working practices based upon the fundamental concepts of it, then there might be the possibility of finishing the loudness war.

Romantic musings, I'm sure....

J.
Old 18th January 2012
  #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyPaulCarrol View Post
...

But as a starting point to better sounding commercially released music, I can't see how it can be criticised; if every fledgeling mastering engineer was to adopt the K-System and then adapt and form their own working practices based upon the fundamental concepts of it, then there might be the possibility of finishing the loudness war.
That's great but this assumes that mastering engineers' ignorance and bad practices are driving the loudness war!
Old 18th January 2012
  #119
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The loudness wars are the problem. Its up to all of you and your clients to figure out how to not kill your tracks by making them 1 giant log.

I work in film and I love that we have standards. I hear what bob is saying about needing to check the material at different levels. I think you can do that and still have a "loud" setting that is the same everywhere. Some kind of uniform loudness would be great and it would maybe allow no compression from the radio side as well.

I approve of this. Let your music breath.
Old 18th January 2012
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSt0rm View Post
...I work in film and I love that we have standards...
You have an audience that is listening at a standard fixed volume level.

We, on the other hand, need to produce recordings that can stand up under the widest imaginable number of different listening situations.
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