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Author Topic: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread  (Read 9019 times)

Ged Leitch

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The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« on: August 12, 2006, 04:01:47 pm »

,
The Myths about Mastering


We have all heard them or read about them.

But there is no real list anywhere, these myths just float about, usually via the web and/or mis information.

I think it would be great if we could all chip in here and add our favourite mastering myths (or not so favourite!)


Heres a few i've read>>>


"... Multiband compression is usually the norm in most Professioal Mastering houses..."



".... The Great thing is you no longer need $8000 Monitors, just get yourself a great FFT Program, and look out for peaks and dips!..."




"...Put your Hipass @ 60Hz, anything lower actually makes the low end sound worse..."





"...mastering is the Art of taking your mixes and making them louder..."





Im not gonna say where I read these cause i dont want to get into trouble!!! they are all genuine quotes guys!
Nevertheless, they are all nonsense.


So let's De-mystify folks!

Add your own Myths!
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ericjenson

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2006, 05:15:05 pm »

-it can all be fixed in the mastering

-a good mastering engineer can take ANY mix, no matter how bad, and make it sound PRO


those are the ones that i run into alot of times with new clients, many of which have never had their music mastered before.  although, i have to say, it has opened their eyes(or ears) to the fact that if they, or their producer, are doing their job better, i can do mine better.

this is why i prefer attended sessions with new customers, if at all possible, especially ones that have never had it done before.  that way they know i have done everything within reason to make their recording sound as good as possible, without destroying the original vision of the project.
and they can also see , that there isn't a whole lot of hocus pocus going on, but instead some very critical listening and precise adjustments with basic tools, no magic wand or box or fairy dust involved.  
oftentimes i get repeats like this, but the difference is , they'll come back to me with a better mix to work on.



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Eric Jenson
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TotalSonic

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2006, 05:47:11 pm »

a couple more myths:
burning CD-R masters at 1x will give the best results
used to be true - but with improvements in burner and media since the mid 90's is no longer an absolute - and sometimes since recent burners and media tend to be optimizied for their middle burn speeds the opposite is sometimes even true - i.e. with all of my tests I've actually found that my Plextor Premium writers using TY & Mitsui media test out for the most part best at 16x, and error rates would actually increase at slower speeds - and it should be noted that the slowest speed on these burners is 4x anyway.

180 gram (and heavier) records will automatically sound better than lighter records
once a record is at a weight that allows for a flat pressing to be easily made and one that will hold it's shape as stably as possible - which in my experience for most presses is around 140 grams - there are no benefits to having it heavier - all you are doing is adding extra weight to the center of the record - not "allowing for the grooves to be deeper" - which is impossible - the groove depth is set when the master is cut by the lathe and allowable depths are the same regardless of pressing weight.

The factors that contribute to a pressing sounding great are TONS more effected by the mastering, the plating, the purity and homogenous-ness of the vinyl, the condition & settings of the press, and the care taken to maintain quality control by the pressman and sleever at the plant, than they are ever effected by weight.

HOWEVER - it is important to note that many plants will take extra care in the pressing of all their heavier weights since the expectation by the client is that the heavier pressing will be "audiophile" caliber.

Best regards,
Steve Berson  

bigaudioblowhard

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2006, 06:06:00 pm »


Analog is better than digital is better than analog.

bab

Ged Leitch

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2006, 06:50:04 pm »

Some of these are priceless,


"...Boosting the highs will make a dull track come to life..."



"...Always use a limiter..."


"...always use a stereo widener to give you that big sound..."



"...Mastering engineers always roll everything off below 75HZ..."




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TotalSonic

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2006, 08:27:30 pm »

Hey - here's a mastering myth I see a lot of ME's actually perpetuate! -
"the only way to get an 'error free' in spec Red Book CD-R master is to have it made by an ME"

Sure - there's a ton of laymen that will in fact botch making a clean burn - but dunno about the rest of you but I deal with a ton of recording and mix engineers that are more than capable of burning a disc in spec.  So - yeah - an experienced ME helps to insure that the CD-R master won't get rejected at the plant - but there's lots of experienced audio engineers who aren't ME's who can do the same.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Ged Leitch

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2006, 08:43:11 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 13 August 2006 01:27

Hey - here's a mastering myth I see a lot of ME's actually perpetuate! -
"the only way to get an 'error free' in spec Red Book CD-R master is to have it made by an ME"

Sure - there's a ton of laymen that will in fact botch making a clean burn - but dunno about the rest of you but I deal with a ton of recording and mix engineers that are more than capable of burning a disc in spec.  So - yeah - an experienced ME helps to insure that the CD-R master won't get rejected at the plant - but there's lots of experienced audio engineers who aren't ME's who can do the same.

Best regards,
Steve Berson



This is true Steve, the mix engineer who i did training with over here regularly used waveburner to burn Redbook discs for clients when they wanted their listening copy.

More myths please...
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2006, 09:03:37 pm »

OK here's a few Digital Audio Myths I've dredged up:

48k audio sounds better than 44.1k audio.

192k audio sounds better than 96kHz audio.

One brand of CD-R sounds better than another brand.

Transferring digital audio from one hard drive to another will degrade the sound.

Sample Rate Conversion is perfect.

32 bit float sounds better than 48 bit fixed.

Interleaved Stereo files sound better than Dual Mono.

One current DAW software sounds better than another.

POW-r dither 3 sounds better than POW-r dither 2.

The more expensive the Cable, the better it sounds.

DeGaussing (or waving a chicken foot over)  your CDs will improve the sound.

and the grand daddy of them all:

Green magic marker around the edge of your CD will improve the sound.

~ JT ~

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bblackwood

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2006, 11:10:26 pm »

Mastering is about loudness.

Mastering is easy - you do a whole album in one day.

Mastering monitoring chains must be pristine, utilizing both rooms which we won't discuss cost in proper conversations and cables rolled on the thighs of virgins atop mountains in exotic locale.

Mastering engineers use X (insert any hardware or software name here).

Compression helps make it louder.

Limiting is always better than clipping.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Jerry Tubb

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2006, 11:57:13 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 12 August 2006 22:10

<snip> - you do a whole album in one day.


Interesting comment Brad.

Do you mean that you typically take more than 1 day to master a record?

If so, that's a nice relaxed pace, how do you keep up with the demand?

Charge more per project, and do fewer projects?

Anyone else?

JT
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jfrigo

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2006, 12:38:55 am »

digital audio is output with stairsteps

96k sounds better because the stairtsteps are smaller

24 bit gives you more headroom than 16 bit

dither masks truncation distortion

different EQs have different phase shift for the exact same curve

tubes always sound warm

low frequency waves can't exist in rooms shorter than their wavelength

clipping always sounds better

limiting always sounds better

compression always sounds better

if a wafeform is asymmetric, it has DC offset

the world is flat

santa claus and the easter bunny are having an affair

Britney Spears is a musical genius

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Bob Boyd

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2006, 01:53:15 am »

jfrigo wrote on Sat, 12 August 2006 23:38

Britney Spears is a musical genius


Jay,

you should have known better than to trust Kevin Federline.
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Bob Boyd
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NoWo

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2006, 05:20:15 am »

Software coders know exactly what they are doing.

Software coders know the hardware they are trying to simulate cause they could develop hardware as well.

Software coders were pros in the mix and mastering world before they started to code.

Software coders develop all the softs from scratch and do not copy one another cause there so much different math algos to do the job.

Software coders write in Assembler instead of C++ so to give their customers the best cpu consumption for the price they are asking for.

Software coders have tested their software on various machines.

Software coders have at least entrance to full blown mix and mastering studios which will use their plugs for a longer test period.

Software coders have heard their plugs with their own ears on a lot of high end monitors.

Software coders have good DACs and monitors on their own.

Software coders will always tell you the truth.

Norbert

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zetterstroem

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2006, 06:20:44 am »

hardware engineers know exactly what they are doing.

hardware engineers have heard their devices with their own ears on a lot of high end monitors.

measurement can tell you all about a device
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bblackwood

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Re: The Definitive Mastering Myths thread
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2006, 07:06:58 am »

Jerry Tubb wrote on Sat, 12 August 2006 22:57

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 12 August 2006 22:10

<snip> - you do a whole album in one day.


Interesting comment Brad.

Do you mean that you typically take more than 1 day to master a record?

No, I meant the perception that mastering is easy because you do the whole album in one day, rather than tracking or mixing where it often takes weeks/months...
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Brad Blackwood
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