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Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
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Originally Posted by Howling Terror View Post
I'm giving that a 8/10 on the curmudgeon scale.
Thank you!

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Many would say that mixing for today's listener takes a different approach so it sounds great on phone, Bluetooth speaker, record player and the club's PA.
"Many" would say a lot of things. Most of them are usually wrong.

If something is mixed and mastered so that it sounds great on vinyl it will sound great on anything. Remember, crappy sounding cheap playback devices are nothing new, regardless of what people who were born after 1980 might "think". Ever heard a pocket transistor radio from the '60s? No bass, no real highs, sound quality comparable to an iPad. And the crystal ear plugs that went with them make modern ear buds sound almost like real speakers. NOBODY back then was so stupid as to "mix for transistor radio."

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Do a lot of people habitually low cut everything? Well I suppose anything much below 20 Hz isn't required in most recorded music as you can't hear much below that. Put a cut in at 30 and there's plenty of thump. At 40 and it'll still be deep enough for most rock music but certainly not for orchestral.
Not really. Many, if not most people these days are pretty uneducated about what a HPF actually does.

You see, when you HPF at, say, 30Hz you're not just cutting below 30 Hz. The stated frequency on such filters is the 3dB down point - depending on the severity of the slope cutting might start as much as two octaves above the stated point, which means that with a 30 Hz HPF you might actually start cutting around low E on the rhythm guitar, which is enough to make it sound a bit thin. If you make the slope steeper it lessens the frequency problem at the expense of scrambling your phase response on the low end, which can make things sound "funny" in ways that are difficult to pin down. If you use a linear phase digital filter you don't get the phase shift but it induces other problems.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Unlike some speakers ears do not age well. Get older and some frequencies can appear more piercing plus modern music is definitely more hi-fi even if recorded onto tape and played via vinyl. Steve Albini being a big proponent of this approach.
I'm not a huge Albini fan - some of his production ideas are a bit wack -, but I too track to tape (Studer a-800 MKIII 24 track).

I disagree about modern music being more "hi-fi", regardless of what digerati might claim. It's just that digital induces a different set of problems. From what I've been able to deduce, digital recording has an effect somewhat like an audio equivalent of running a photo through that Photoshop plug-in that sharpens edges. That creates an illusion of greater detail, but it's really just a different form of distortion. (I can go into greater detail if anyone's interested, but otherwise will not for the sake of brevity.)

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I've noticed that 'they're' managing to get a little more width from the low bass on vinyl these days. That Post pop Depression record by Iggy and Homme sounds fantastic.
I play it back on my phone and it still sounds as though the bass is all there. Remarkable in my opinion.
There has been progress in mastering technology. It's not entirely digital, either. Achieving good low end in vinyl is a subject deserving its own thread.