R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down

Author Topic: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined  (Read 12721 times)

Viitalahde

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 99
  • Real Full Name: Jaakko Viitalähde
Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« on: March 11, 2011, 03:24:20 pm »

You won't believe how often I hear this.

I've had a lot of people feeling relieved when the final product sounds like the mix, but just better. Then they open up about their past projects, usually mastered by professional mastering engineers, and what they remember is that the mastering made it sound worse.

I honestly don't know what to think about it. It makes me think if the working ethics of these engineers is just plain awful, or perhaps these customers just didn't open their mouth before the master went to the plant.

Tight deadlines? Not enough time to digest the sound after mastering? I personally encourage every single one of my customers to have a listen at home before the master goes forward, no matter how busy the schedule is. I certainly don't want to end up being the prick who ruined someone's record.
Logged
Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
http://www.virtalahde.com
http://www.facebook.com/VirtalahdeMastering

jdg

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 119
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 03:26:51 pm »

mixing is the stage where the recordings are ruined

recording is the stage where songs are ruined
Logged
John McCaig
-the caption captain

Allen Corneau

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 125
  • Real Full Name: Allen Corneau
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 03:55:51 pm »

I've never been told this directly, of course, but...

I only hear this kind of comment from mixing engineers, usually because they think their mixes are perfect (when they really aren't).

On a similar note, I hear a lot of (forum) talk from mix engineers talking about "my mix". Sure, you mixed it, but it's the clients' project.
Logged
Allen
=====
Allen Corneau Mastering
http://allencorneau.com/

Viitalahde

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 99
  • Real Full Name: Jaakko Viitalähde
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 04:04:35 pm »

Sure, mixing engineers are touchy about "their mixes", and they have all the right to be. It's the client's mix, too.

I think all of these comments have come from the artists themselves.
Logged
Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
http://www.virtalahde.com
http://www.facebook.com/VirtalahdeMastering

Waltz Mastering

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 57
  • Real Full Name: Tom Waltz
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 04:27:51 pm »

Post like this one always mess with my head:
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/6423417-post91.html

Table Of Tone

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 32
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 04:55:37 pm »

The worst problem I've found is when both the mix eng and the client have been too close to a project for a very long time.

That can be a difficult situation for any ME, as any correction to the mix will just be seen as wrong!

People start to second guess themselves and go round in circles for ages just on one track.

A situation best avoided by pretty much any ME!
Logged

phonon

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 43
  • Real Full Name: Andrew Hamilton
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 06:23:01 pm »

Well, it's, actually, sort of, true, under ideal circumstances.   As I've typed before, I read an interview somewhere of B. G. from back when he was still working the Studer Dyaxis.   He said that mixes sound best right before he touches them.   But that's because he is working from hi-res digital or 30 ips 1/2" (w/SR) and the mixes are done by top pros in million-dollar mixing rooms.   The master is vinyl.   The premaster is 16 bit; 44.1 kHz/2.    Ergo, the master, or premaster, _has_ to sound worse than the mix - under _those_ ideal circumstances.   

The noobie-bedroom (non-Boston) mix is the one that is easy to give the Bob Katz "letter-grade" bump in quality during premastering.   Harmonic distortions, applied even at the penultimate step of production, can, if subtly and well-applied, also benefit future auditions of otherwise sterile, overly in-the-box _sounding_ mixes.    Wooly, rich mixes, of course, want more surgical pincers.

Regardless of input quality, however, it will almost _always_ sound better having been premastered (adequately?) prior to burning to CD.    That's the reason one would pay $450/hr to watch someone make each mix a little worse sounding (but better than anyone else's "worse").   Get me?   (;   


Andrew



www.serifsound.com
1 (513) 542-3555
Logged
Serif Sound Mastering / Dingbat Lacquer Sound Disk
www.serifsound.com
www.dingbatlsd.com
1 (513) 542-3555

Jerry Tubb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 172
  • Real Full Name: Jerry Tubb
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 07:27:06 pm »

No 'teaser titles' for thread titles.

; - )

JT
Logged
Terra Nova Mastering
Celebrating 25 years of Mastering!

adamgonsa

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 36
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 12:02:46 pm »

Tight deadlines? Not enough time to digest the sound after mastering? I personally encourage every single one of my customers to have a listen at home before the master goes forward, no matter how busy the schedule is. I certainly don't want to end up being the prick who ruined someone's record.
Agreed. I also encourage clients taking at least a day or two to closely listen to approval files on their favorite systems.  Sometimes the deadlines are too tight to allow more than one listen, which is a shame. 

On the rare occasions I'm contacted early in the production process I advise adding two weeks to a proposed production schedule, and not to book record release shows until the record is done!  Scheduling a show 2.5 months out when the tracking hasn't even begun yet is asking for trouble. 
Logged
Adam Gonsalves
Telegraph Mastering

SafeandSoundMastering

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 222
  • Real Full Name: Barry Gardner
  • My analogue rack
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 02:21:24 pm »

Maybe it's just someone to blame for a less than stellar product overall?

I do not comprehend why a band, musician or group would let a bad product get released, did they not listen to the end product before pressing?
Logged
Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

bblackwood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 254
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2011, 02:30:43 pm »

I do not comprehend why a band, musician or group would let a bad product get released, did they not listen to the end product before pressing?
Because 'good' and 'bad' are purely subjective things. We're talking about art, everyone 'hears' it differently...
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

SafeandSoundMastering

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 222
  • Real Full Name: Barry Gardner
  • My analogue rack
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 03:57:07 pm »

Yes but "ruination" is a fairly extreme statement, it must be really badly worked to be runied.
Logged
Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

Tim Halligan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 84
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 09:43:34 pm »

Yes but "ruination" is a fairly extreme statement, it must be really badly worked to be runied.

To a highly strung/emotional artist anything that isn't perfect ruins the vision.

Cheers,
Tim
Logged
An analogue brain in a digital world.

zakco

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 26
  • Real Full Name: Zak Cohen
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 02:49:52 am »

Devils' Advocate here.

I have had many records "ruined" at the mastering stage. Never by an ME of my choosing, but IMO, there are proportionately as many hacks working as MEs as there are recording/mix engineers.

Often I think it comes from a misconception that if the record doesn't sound obviously different, then the client will wonder WTF they did. Another situation is simply where the ME is not experienced enough to know when to leave things alone or at least use very minimal processing. Maybe it's ego, maybe it's insecurity I dunno but it happens WAY too often.

The way I see it, if major surgery is required, then, I haven't done my job properly.

Two sides to the coin...

Z

 
Logged

Table Of Tone

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 32
Re: Mastering is the stage where the mixes are ruined
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 05:34:16 am »

So many variables with this situation!

Sometimes the client or producer will have their own idea of what they want done in the mastering?
This may not be what the mix engineer wants?

There may be a certain set of tools that only a certain ME has, that the mix eng doesn't have?

The client or producer may be wanting a certain sonic stamp that only a particular ME will get?

The list continues.....
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up