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Author Topic: Your chain  (Read 44323 times)

FredForssell

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #60 on: June 26, 2006, 10:00:59 am »

Quote:

...we should call in hutch to tell us why he bothered to make it...


IF I remember correctly,  David Manley designed the vari-mu, not Hutch.  Hutch probably did have his hands in the later modification of the vari-mu so it could use a different variable mu tube. I think that was after David left the company.
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Fred Forssell

jtr

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #61 on: June 26, 2006, 01:34:12 pm »

jfrigo wrote on Sun, 25 June 2006 23:02

In addition to the complexity of chains being discussed, the complexity of their use (M/S processing, multiband and parallell compression) is also an interesting, related subject. I wonder, are the people who love to have complex chains the same people who like complex processes?





I'd suggest that once you find a technique that works for you on a given project, you'll use it again. There are many ways to get there from here.   I don't think anyone loves complex chains, just adequate support for their favorite techniques. And some markets require a more diverse offering of solutions than others.

It's worth noting that M/S isn't really a complex process, although many of the "mastering grade" pieces are now including support for it. This may give the illusion that it is complex.

My first exposure was back in my live classical recording days.   The ability to change the stereo image post recording was priceless. Really understanding M/S and it's value to preserving (or destroying) the final imaging is
a skill useful to all mastering engineers- whether it's Mozart or earsplitting punk thrash bands.
I don't use M/S on everything. It's just a tool that is available when you want to process the mono content or l/r content independent of each other.

Parallel compression isn't all that complex either , although it isn't something I use very often in mastering. Some do. It's a great technique.  Again, some manufacturers build in the functionality hence the perception complex process.



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Ged Leitch

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #62 on: June 26, 2006, 02:29:04 pm »

jtr wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 18:34

jfrigo wrote on Sun, 25 June 2006 23:02

In addition to the complexity of chains being discussed, the complexity of their use (M/S processing, multiband and parallell compression) is also an interesting, related subject. I wonder, are the people who love to have complex chains the same people who like complex processes?





I'd suggest that once you find a technique that works for you on a given project, you'll use it again. There are many ways to get there from here.   I don't think anyone loves complex chains, just adequate support for their favorite techniques. And some markets require a more diverse offering of solutions than others.

It's worth noting that M/S isn't really a complex process, although many of the "mastering grade" pieces are now including support for it. This may give the illusion that it is complex.

My first exposure was back in my live classical recording days.   The ability to change the stereo image post recording was priceless. Really understanding M/S and it's value to preserving (or destroying) the final imaging is
a skill useful to all mastering engineers- whether it's Mozart or earsplitting punk thrash bands.
I don't use M/S on everything. It's just a tool that is available when you want to process the mono content or l/r content independent of each other.

Parallel compression isn't all that complex either , although it isn't something I use very often in mastering. Some do. It's a great technique.  Again, some manufacturers build in the functionality hence the perception complex process.







Well said Jim!

Personally i cant be bothered getting complex,

reasons being that it would distract me from the listening,

the most complex i go is probably M/S EQ, but thats hardly complex lol.

Simple for me is best, as long as the tools im using are up to it

I dont think i could do without the PLPar EQ now, very precise!
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chrisj

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #63 on: June 26, 2006, 03:13:14 pm »

I find that when things get complicated for me I tend to abuse them- being the dumb coder guy I can write whatever I like, but being an ME of sorts I find myself writing some pretty crazy things at times. I'll find someone saying "Yah, ya gotta use XYandZ EQ on latin stuff for the burnished glow of the horns" (okay, so that's a audiophool example) and I'll be off and running trying to measure and/or code a 'burnished glow' knob. Then if I even half succeed, I'll want to hear it doing something...

What I ended up with that sticks around is like this:

-file preprocessing into 64 bit float
-pre gain
-overall high frequency EQ algorithm, not in the form of frequency bands
-EQ with a bit of phase shift and a bit of 'HEDD'-like saturation on each band
-compression
-separate 'HEDD'-like saturation over the whole 2-buss
-limiting
-dither.

If I get non-44.1K sample rates I preprocess them in Audacity with a virtual analog SRC. I run EQ before compression after hearing guys like Brad talk about it, trying  it, and finding I liked the result better than comp-EQ.

I always try to con myself into doing as little as possible- I must be a mix AE at heart because I like re-imagining sounds but I find that works poorly for me in mastering. I'm still very much learning my thing and so much of my 'chain' is a factor of what I'm trying to hear out of the result- so much so that it'd be worth having a separate thread just for the  'mental chain' factor.

carlsaff

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #64 on: June 26, 2006, 03:39:43 pm »

My chain is a little different every time (one of the symptoms/benefits of being plugin based [for now]), but certain rules usually apply:

* I like width enhancement, noise reduction, M/S mixing and de-essing (if any of them is desired/warranted) early on in the chain (process order being program material dependent).

* I usually like corrective equalization before compression.

* I usually like "sweetening" equalization after compression.

* Limiting and dither are always last, and in that order (of course).

Beyond these simple rules, lots of other things can and do happen. But there are jobs that end up being simple level sets, corrective EQ and limiting, and jobs where far more than is outlined above is called into play. The quality of the mix master is usually inversely proportional to the ammount of processing employed.

As for what makes me happy about my chain and what could be better...

What I like about my system now is that I frankly love working in the box. I can't deny it. I rarely feel the desire for knobs and instant recall lets me work with ridiculous efficiency. Nuendo is, for me, a great host for mastering, but then my methods are probably a little "unconventional" at times.

What makes me not happy is knowing with certainty that analog processing is better for some things. I can't wait to get my new STC-8/M into the chain (waiting on a new Lavry DA and RME AES-32 card to come online so that I can feed it), and a tube EQ (Massive Passive, most likely) will be the next thing to drop into the desk. I don't mind doing corrective EQ in the box at all. I think that I actually might prefer that indefinitely. But I defintely would like all of my broadband compression and "sweetening" EQ to be handled by out-of-the-box analog devices. I just think those processes will always sound best in the analog realm (watch me be proven wrong after I've already coughed up the cash for them... I keep waiting for Tritone Digital to break the "analog is still better" ceiling).

cerberus

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #65 on: June 26, 2006, 04:38:29 pm »

chrisj wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 15:13

 'mental chain' factor.

i've read the journal of mastering tools at your site. imo when you decided to gang multiple paramaters on single knobs in an effort to simplify, it was like tying one hand behind your back. i think mastering comprises a series of incremental improvements, it cannot be done in broad strokes.  if i could choose a version of mastering tools to try, it would be from before what i perceive as a turning point or milestone in the formation of your 'mental chain'.

carlsaff wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 15:39

What makes me not happy is knowing with certainty that analog processing is better for some things.

i am totally unconvinced.. chrisj refers to "HEDD-like"...implying to me that he uses a digital emulator as a  reference point, and it seems "acceptable" now that he didn't say "tape" or "transformer" or even "portico".

jeff dinces

chrisj

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #66 on: June 26, 2006, 05:00:26 pm »

cerberus wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 16:38

chrisj wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 15:13

 'mental chain' factor.

i've read the journal of mastering tools at your site. imo when you decided to gang multiple paramaters on single knobs in an effort to simplify, it was like tying one hand behind your back. i think mastering comprises a series of incremental improvements, it cannot be done in broad strokes.


You could be right- I've been considering  breaking  out some of the 'hidden' stuff that's ganged together. In fact  I've already done some of that, but I'm reminded of how much ganged stuff is under the hood in my  EQ. Maybe it's not best to try and compensate for a lack of self-discipline by  restricting tool choices. The trouble becomes, where do you stop?

cerberus

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2006, 05:05:17 pm »

use scientific method. it is not easy because everything interacts, so removing one thing may sound better, but adding it with something else may also sound better. at least science offers us guidelines for navigating this chaotic territory.  

jeff dinces

ammitsboel

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #68 on: June 26, 2006, 05:42:18 pm »

There's no chain like no chain.
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masterhse

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #69 on: June 26, 2006, 09:25:20 pm »

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.


That's about as minimal as you can get.
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Tom Volpicelli
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Mark Donahue

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #70 on: June 26, 2006, 09:52:48 pm »

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.

Then there really isn't much use for a mastering engineer either now is there  Wink
At that point you're just the copy boy.
-m
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ammitsboel

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #71 on: June 27, 2006, 04:13:15 am »

Mark Donahue wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 03:52

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.

Then there really isn't much use for a mastering engineer either now is there  Wink
At that point you're just the copy boy.

Or the project saviour!
I hope that your excuse for using one is another than "otherwise I'm just the copy boy"? Smile
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zetterstroem

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #72 on: June 27, 2006, 05:22:34 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 23:42

There's no chain like no chain.


there's no music like silence  Very Happy
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jazzius

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #73 on: June 27, 2006, 07:15:49 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 09:13

Mark Donahue wrote on Tue, 27 June 2006 03:52

ammitsboel wrote on Mon, 26 June 2006 17:42

There's no chain like no chain.

Then there really isn't much use for a mastering engineer either now is there  Wink
At that point you're just the copy boy.

Or the project saviour!
I hope that your excuse for using one is another than "otherwise I'm just the copy boy"? Smile


Try doing nothing to the sound of your client's music and see how long you stay in business (unless you're in the copy business, in which case i'm sure you'll be very successful!).........D

lagerfeldt

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Re: Your chain
« Reply #74 on: June 27, 2006, 04:44:00 pm »

Haha
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