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Author Topic: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?  (Read 62391 times)

Patrik T

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #135 on: November 04, 2009, 03:11:40 pm »

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Wed, 04 November 2009 14:14

Doug Sax is a genius when it comes to mastering but most of the material he was getting in was already well done (well recorded and mixed) so he was literally putting the icing on the cake and did not need a lot of fancy tools to make the material sound GREAT. Now days, IMHO, when people bring in a mess you have to have more tools to make it sound good.



For me there is no big difference between something "great" or something that is not "great". This because the judgement regarding this might trip over into subjectivity much too easily.

A great mix might benefit from one band of eq and turn worse by touching another band. So then I don't use the 2:nd band. I seem to observe that the exact same goes for a "bad" mix. Why should I then use more processing for something that turns worse in the same way as good things turns worse?

I used to think I would need more than 3 bands of eq to become better. Nowadays I almost never activate the additional bands. I could need something wider though, and this I am aware of.

A lot of tools to make something sound great might be a way of making everything sound very uniform and this will result in less and less integrity between artists. I don't consider translation as something that should lead to everyone sounding like everybody else. I find problems regarding real translation to be pretty easily fixed with very little processing. Even on the baddest mix around.

A lot of "fixing" would to me indicate that the wrong is not in the music - the wrong is my approach to the music. If I activate too much processing I usually reset everything and start over because I just know it can't be good for the material.


Best Regards
Patrik
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cerberus

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #136 on: November 04, 2009, 04:38:26 pm »

i never think to boost or cut anything with a static filter,  unless somebody tells me to.

imo, a lot of g.a.s. is  about promoting use of eq on everything from a rolloff
filter on a mic, to the preamp, to consoles and outboard, to guitar pedals, to
the stereo in your car or boombox. everybody seems to be qualified to eq !

i hear too many cooks already in this kitchen. and i often notice  a lot of g.a.s.  

seems that an eq which is considered to be "musical" by consensus here is likely
to sport an amp, or some very unique filter shape? well, we never pin it down.
some call it "magic"! what is that, btw ?

---

imo, another source of g.a.s, is from using cheap digital methods, thinking it
is as good as analog. such as: the widespread use of never adequate
sample rates (so as to achieve the highest track and plug-in counts).

jeff dinces

dcollins

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #137 on: November 04, 2009, 05:29:36 pm »

cerberus wrote on Wed, 04 November 2009 13:38

i never think to boost or cut anything with a static filter,  unless somebody tells me to.



What does that mean?

Quote:


seems that an eq which is considered to be "musical" by consensus here is likely
to sport an amp, or some very unique filter shape? well, we never pin it down.



http://www.audiosignal.co.uk/Resources/Why_do_equalisers_sou nd_different_A4.pdf


Quote:


imo, another source of g.a.s, is from using cheap digital methods, thinking it is as good as analog.



Agreed.

Quote:


such as: the widespread use of never adequate
sample rates (so as to achieve the highest track and plug-in counts).



Is that to say that 48k is inadequate?


DC

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #138 on: November 04, 2009, 05:32:50 pm »

Patrik T wrote on Wed, 04 November 2009 15:11

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Wed, 04 November 2009 14:14

Doug Sax is a genius when it comes to mastering but most of the material he was getting in was already well done (well recorded and mixed) so he was literally putting the icing on the cake and did not need a lot of fancy tools to make the material sound GREAT. Now days, IMHO, when people bring in a mess you have to have more tools to make it sound good.



For me there is no big difference between something "great" or something that is not "great". This because the judgement regarding this might trip over into subjectivity much too easily.

A great mix might benefit from one band of eq and turn worse by touching another band. So then I don't use the 2:nd band. I seem to observe that the exact same goes for a "bad" mix. Why should I then use more processing for something that turns worse in the same way as good things turns worse?

I used to think I would need more than 3 bands of eq to become better. Nowadays I almost never activate the additional bands. I could need something wider though, and this I am aware of.

A lot of tools to make something sound great might be a way of making everything sound very uniform and this will result in less and less integrity between artists. I don't consider translation as something that should lead to everyone sounding like everybody else. I find problems regarding real translation to be pretty easily fixed with very little processing. Even on the baddest mix around.

A lot of "fixing" would to me indicate that the wrong is not in the music - the wrong is my approach to the music. If I activate too much processing I usually reset everything and start over because I just know it can't be good for the material.


Best Regards
Patrik


A lot of our clients do recording and mixing in their basements and bedrooms. Some of it sounds good - some not so good. They bring it in and want it to all sound "professional and commercial". I try and help them by doing what I can to help their music. Sometimes I can get by with a little EQ and some limiting or compression, but many times I have to do some MAJOR "sonic surgery" to get it to sound good.

Many clients are out of time and money by the time they get to us. They really don't understand what mastering is all about but a "friend" told them that mastering could make their stuff sound better. They cannot really go back and rerecord it or remix it due to lots of factors that are out of their control so if I cannot pull off the "miracle" they are expecting they are basically out of options.

I might be alone in getting the type of materials I get from clients and wanting to help them achieve their dreams but I don't think so. I cannot in good conscious take someone's money for making a sh!t recording job into a polished sh!t mastering job. I guess many other mastering engineers (no one on this list) do not have that hangup.

I sometimes hear what the client got when he or she went to another "mastering" engineer before coming to us. Many times they come away with less money but a really sh!tty product and then they come here wanting me to "fix it" so they can send it in for replication or to put up on the WWW.

If they would have come here to begin with I probably could have helped them but now they don't have the money or the time to get it all redone so they are basically screwed. I really feel for them but... C'est la vie.

There are a lot of fast buck artist plying their trade on the internet and locally. They promise a lot but deliver very little and they charge big time rates but do bedroom mastering with a couple of cracked plug ins on a pirated DAW. I guess in the end the client get exactly what they didn't want but paid the price for finding that out.

End of Rant!
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Room With a View Productions
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Loving what you do is happiness.

cerberus

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #139 on: November 04, 2009, 07:05:29 pm »

dcollins wrote on Wed, 04 November 2009 17:29

cerberus wrote on Wed, 04 November 2009 13:38

i never think to boost or cut anything with a static filter,  unless somebody tells me to.

What does that mean?

i notice that music is dynamic, so static filters, which are insensitive to dynamics  
do not immediately seem as useful to me as they do to most everyone else.

Quote:

Quote:


seems that an eq which is considered to be "musical" by consensus here is likely
to sport an amp, or some very unique filter shape? well, we never pin it down.



               http://www.audiosignal.co.uk/Resources/Why_do_equalisers_sou nd_different_A4.pdf



imo, this is a great article;  full of interesting conjectures. how many of us are measuring
phase response or examining  the i.r. of filters? how many understand  that the uncertainty
priniciple attached to this math means a tradeoff or compromise inevitably comes with the tool?

one of my favorite statements here : "All filters smear..."

and the article concludes:  

"there are limitations to how far an equaliser can
actually ‘equalise’ an already-coloured signal. "

+1 on that.  what i meant by: "too many cooks...".  

Quote:


such as: the widespread use of never adequate
sample rates (so as to achieve the highest track and plug-in counts).
Quote:

 Is that to say that 48k is inadequate?


imo, that is arguable... for example: a nyquist filter at 24k may be inaudible
to some with some program material. but the aliasing that might otherwise
occur may still be audible, or may impart audible effects to processes.

jeff dinces

Adam Dempsey

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #140 on: November 04, 2009, 11:56:11 pm »

Most enjoyable project I've had in weeks was a rock project needing no more than a couple of bands of the Sontec 462 and a couple of the Massive Passive. Then 2dB less gain on the console output for the vinyl versions. No comp or limiting. Done.

Client email: "I've never come out of a mastering studio and put the CD on in my car and instantly liked the changes made to my mixes. It's really easy to listen to."
Always feels good.  Smile

Having said that, I do remind myself that being a minimalist still means doing whatever's required, just no more than that. I like having limitations (I worked for years with no more than a broad 7 band graphic EQ), yet having the options of, say, "ok, which unit for +1dB at 100Hz is right for this track?" always pays off.
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Adam Dempsey
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Silvertone

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #141 on: November 05, 2009, 06:50:21 am »

I'm a minimalist at heart... if I have an EQ, a compressor and a limiter in when mastering that is a lot... I'll usually ask for a remix if I can't get it to happen with just a couple of processors.

Here's a good analogy to that and shows where I come from anyway...

Recently, I just mixed a track for Tony Levins new Stick Men album. Everybody in the band wanted to know how I made an all digital album sound so "analog".  Tony had this song mixed (in the box) already but gave me a shot at it for fun.

I used my 1968 Electrodyne console,  no compressors, EQ in on two tracks and only l, C, R for panning (the edyne has no pan knobs) oh yeah and one old Lexicon PCM60... that's it.

The mix smokes the one done in the box with all the compressors and EQ's on every channel and FX on half the tracks, etc...

Anyway they ended up using my version on the album.

When it came time to master it was a matter of setting the level... that's it.

Get this: LESS IS MORE PEOPLE... LET THE MUSIC SHINE

So many people want to impart "their skill" onto a project that they miss the point of the music... sometimes even the guys who create the music in the first place.  Engineering is a skill, period and end of story. Knowing when it's "done" is the hardest thing to master.
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Larry DeVivo
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To see some of our work please click on any of the visual trailer montages located at... http://robertetoll.com/  (all music and sound effects were mastered by Silvertone Mastering).

compasspnt

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #142 on: November 05, 2009, 09:32:49 am »

Silvertone wrote on Thu, 05 November 2009 06:50

Get this: LESS IS MORE PEOPLE... LET THE MUSIC SHINE

So many people want to impart "their skill" onto a project that they miss the point of the music...


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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #143 on: November 05, 2009, 09:57:07 am »

Silvertone wrote on Thu, 05 November 2009 06:50

Get this: LESS IS MORE PEOPLE... LET THE MUSIC SHINE


A couple weeks ago had a song in that only required a third dB added at 21kHz and 1dB of limiting. All other processors set to flat... a good feeling.

JT
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cass anawaty

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #144 on: November 05, 2009, 02:15:04 pm »

Jerry Tubb wrote on Thu, 05 November 2009 14:57

Silvertone wrote on Thu, 05 November 2009 06:50

Get this: LESS IS MORE PEOPLE... LET THE MUSIC SHINE


A couple weeks ago had a song in that only required a third dB added at 21kHz and 1dB of limiting. All other processors set to flat... a good feeling.

JT


Don't be so heavy-handed.   Razz
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mcsnare

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #145 on: November 05, 2009, 03:31:29 pm »

I don't think I can hear +.3 at 21K!

Dave

mcsnare

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #146 on: November 05, 2009, 03:34:02 pm »

That must be the equivalent to the amount of Vermouth in a very very very dry Martini.


Dave

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #147 on: November 05, 2009, 03:54:37 pm »

mcsnare wrote on Thu, 05 November 2009 15:31

I don't think I can hear +.3 at 21K!

Dave




There's no doubt in my mind that I can't hear even +10dB at 21kHz.  My hearing stops at 19kHz on even the best of days.  I figure it must be a super broad & gentle slope shelf eq in which case a push up at 21kHz would still effect things more in the audible band in a subtle way.  

Maybe something left over from my vinyl days where I'd spend more effort at getting rid of these freq's than ever adding them in  - but in the definite majority of cases I find that "air" band boosts tend to be annoying more than they are ever helpful.  OMMV!

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Gold

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #148 on: November 05, 2009, 05:08:33 pm »

I was going to to say 'so you were too chicken to cut it flat' but I thought it was mean. Ooops, I said it.
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prolearts

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #149 on: November 05, 2009, 06:14:05 pm »

Larrchild wrote on Thu, 19 October 2006 02:31

Once a powerful force becomes available to you and your competitors, the inclination is toward mass-buildup and stockpiles of said force as a deterrent. This MAE, or Mutally Assured Equipment, causes all participants to earmark greater and greater percentages of their GNP to keep pace.

Sensible parties will meet and agree to scale down the stockpiles and allow confirmation via inspections, in the interest of protecting our children's future.

The alternative is unthinkable.



I don't have time to read this whole incredibly long thread (don't some of y'all have work you should be doing!?), so forgive me if someone else has posted this in the subsequent 10 pages, but:

Larry, the above response coupled with your avatar is nothing short of evil genius!

I will say that I have gotten into a happy rut with what knobs I have to turn and am mostly worrying about the music these days. Also, with my mixer hat on, I long ago gave up on buying newer and newer crap and make what records I do make now with a PT 888/24 mix system and a Neotek Elan with the same pile of funky outboard gear I've had for about the last half decade or so. People seem to love it!

J. Ward
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