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Author Topic: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.  (Read 8722 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« on: July 25, 2011, 08:55:01 am »

Here is an email I got from the vinyl engineer that is cutting a record of some Cajan music I mastered...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am cutting your new project for vinyl and have a few concerns about the masters.

The biggest issue is the balance between how the music is mixed.  The vocals are mixed significantly louder than the backing music.  If I try to cut the music at a level that is good for commercial releases, the vocals distort badly.  If I drop the volume level to a point where the vocals do not distort, the backing music is very quiet.

I have attached two samples for you to hear. (MP3s ARE NOT ATTACHED TO THIS POSTING)

The first is a sample that is cut at a level that most commercial releases are cut at.  The vocal is distorted badly.

The second is a sample where the entire volume has been dropped.  You will notice the vocals still showing some distortion, but not as bad.  If I continue to drop the level to get rid of the distortion, you will have a record that is very quiet overall.

Thanks for listening.
---------------------------------------------
The music was Cajan/Zydeco and was delivered to the vinyl cutter with peaks at -5 dBFS and RMS at about -12 dBFS. It is acoustic music and was recorded live in concert. The client and the mix engineer liked very much what I did. When a vinyl cutter talks about "commercial levels" what is he really saying? I think most of what this particular vinyl cutting engineer cuts is rock and roll. This is not rock and roll. As to balance so the vocals are not mixed in with the music why is this a problem??? Zydeco relies on two main elements the washboard and vocals. They should both be heard.


Suggestions???? comments????? Thanks in advance...
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Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 09:51:06 am »

Hi there, I am not a vinyl cutter but do a fair amount pre mastering work for vinyl, if I had a choice (and you sometimes do not) I would not have sent a 24bit master file at -10RMS for a vinyl cut. A little hot for comfort.
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Barry Gardner
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Viitalahde

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 10:00:22 am »

Hi there, I am not a vinyl cutter but do a fair amount pre mastering work for vinyl, if I had a choice (and you sometimes do not) I would not have sent a 24bit master file at -10RMS for a vinyl cut. A little hot for comfort.

..Which has nothing to do with Tom's problem.

I would assume that the cutting engineer can't get his head around with level expectations. Does the client want it loud? If it's mixed that way, it should be cut that way.

I had a kind of an opposite situation, a really really great album with a rich mixture of swamp blues, zydeco, rock'n roll, ragtime stuff.. You name it. The client wanted it to distort just right on vocals (that were mixed on top), and we went through three test pressings to get there.

Anyhow, I would just talk with the client and the cutting engineer. It sounds to me that the client would understand the situation and that for the best results, the records shouldn't be cut too hot.

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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 10:19:04 am »

When I was interning in Nashville sometimes we would do a flat cut meaning that the tapes came in already EQ'd and compressed and our job was to just put it on an acetate and send it out. This is basically what I was doing here. Not sure why the vinyl cutting engineer is getting involved in more mastering. The last time I sent some stuff to this same person he said my levels were too low when I sent them at -10 dBFS.

Trying to sort this all out....
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 12:08:24 pm »

I could have sworn -10 RMS was in the post earlier. Oh well must have been edited.

Quote
Not sure why the vinyl cutting engineer is getting involved in more mastering.

Thats because it's a specific format that needs a lot of care and attention to get right and
it seems those who have not had much experience with it get it wrong, like V man and yourself. He is trying to help you out, I would get on the phone and speak it through with him, try and understand what he is saying and make adjustments.
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Barry Gardner
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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 12:15:05 pm »

I don't think the level (in dBfs) you deliver it at has any bearing at all. The disk level is set by the cutter. If the vocals are at all "peaky" it will be a problem to cut. In your first post you said it has a crest factor of 7dB. If the vocal is regularly jumping out 7dB I could see how this could be difficult to cut.

I don't think "commercial level" has much meaning in its self. If the side is short and he is trying to get the level as loud as it "should be" it may not work.
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Paul Gold
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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 04:16:20 pm »

Here is an email I got from the vinyl engineer that is cutting a record of some Cajan music I mastered...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am cutting your new project for vinyl and have a few concerns about the masters.

The biggest issue is the balance between how the music is mixed.  The vocals are mixed significantly louder than the backing music.  If I try to cut the music at a level that is good for commercial releases, the vocals distort badly.  If I drop the volume level to a point where the vocals do not distort, the backing music is very quiet.

I have attached two samples for you to hear. (MP3s ARE NOT ATTACHED TO THIS POSTING)

The first is a sample that is cut at a level that most commercial releases are cut at.  The vocal is distorted badly.

The second is a sample where the entire volume has been dropped.  You will notice the vocals still showing some distortion, but not as bad.  If I continue to drop the level to get rid of the distortion, you will have a record that is very quiet overall.

Thanks for listening.
---------------------------------------------
The music was Cajan/Zydeco and was delivered to the vinyl cutter with peaks at -5 dBFS and RMS at about -12 dBFS. It is acoustic music and was recorded live in concert. The client and the mix engineer liked very much what I did. When a vinyl cutter talks about "commercial levels" what is he really saying? I think most of what this particular vinyl cutting engineer cuts is rock and roll. This is not rock and roll. As to balance so the vocals are not mixed in with the music why is this a problem??? Zydeco relies on two main elements the washboard and vocals. They should both be heard.


Suggestions???? comments????? Thanks in advance...

It seems to me that what the Vinyl Mastering Engineer is saying is that if he cuts the audio at his normal level it distorts and if he reduces the RDL to a level where the distortion has disapeared the backing music is near or effected by the natural noise floor of vinyl.The genre of music or the genre of music that he normally cuts has no relevance,It's a problem because he is in a no win situation.Why not call him and discuss?
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dietrich

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 04:58:19 pm »

Sounds like issue for artist to decide to do new mixdown or cut quiet.
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Laarsų

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2011, 06:34:44 pm »

I agree with Dietrich, Completely.   8)   Tom, your premastering work should have cast in stone the crest factor of the premaster that the mastering clerk will be transferring to disc for you.  A premaster has _already been_ premastered.  It, therefore, needs carefully, and advisedly, to be transferred flat - even without diameter EQ, iuam.  Furthermore, according to Digital Domain's old web site's FAQs, the crest factor of classic vinyl is on the order of 14 dB - twice that of your leapy Zydeco live (ugh) vocals, as mixed.   What's the problem?  It shoudn't be competing with >+4 dB/ref 5.5 cm/sec stereo singles, anyway...  His lathe is either too noisy (stylus heat?  Transcos?), or he doesn't have good monitors, or doesn't understand the engaging dynamism of audiophile styles (which I consider Zydeco to be), and/or he doesn't know how to attenuate the signals he is transferring very effectively..

How many years has the clerk been cutting lacquers who wrote you this?  If fewer than 2, I'd say he is still learning and should not be working on something which you - a seasoned premastering and mastering clerk - have touched unless there's a master masterer, there, to guide him.   Could be the cutter is still an apprentice. 
If he's so sure he is right, then he could always apply a parametric limiter (analog de-esser) and control the issue he's talking about, as if by magic.  But, he seems to realize that he's over his head-room, and has called the premastering clerk (you) for advice.  ):   Your client should cut and run!  (l;

Laarsų
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
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Patrik_T

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 06:57:52 pm »

..
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JTransition

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 07:38:21 pm »

I agree with Dietrich, Completely.   8)   Tom, your premastering work should have cast in stone the crest factor of the premaster that the mastering clerk will be transferring to disc for you.  A premaster has _already been_ premastered.  It, therefore, needs carefully, and advisedly, to be transferred flat - even without diameter EQ, iuam.  Furthermore, according to Digital Domain's old web site's FAQs, the crest factor of classic vinyl is on the order of 14 dB - twice that of your leapy Zydeco live (ugh) vocals, as mixed.   What's the problem?  It shoudn't be competing with >+4 dB/ref 5.5 cm/sec stereo singles, anyway...  His lathe is either too noisy (stylus heat?  Transcos?), or he doesn't have good monitors, or doesn't understand the engaging dynamism of audiophile styles (which I consider Zydeco to be), and/or he doesn't know how to attenuate the signals he is transferring very effectively..

How many years has the clerk been cutting lacquers who wrote you this?  If fewer than 2, I'd say he is still learning and should not be working on something which you - a seasoned premastering and mastering clerk - have touched unless there's a master masterer, there, to guide him.   Could be the cutter is still an apprentice. 
If he's so sure he is right, then he could always apply a parametric limiter (analog de-esser) and control the issue he's talking about, as if by magic.  But, he seems to realize that he's over his head-room, and has called the premastering clerk (you) for advice.  ):   Your client should cut and run!  (l;

Laarsų
That is actually quite funny

But on a serious note I would advise that the client attends the cut and listens to the test cuts, What some people seem to be forgetting here is that the person who cuts the lacquer is doing the mastering everyone else is guessing (including me).I get jobs all the time that someone else could not cut but i get more jobs that were allegedly mastered for vinyl that will not transfer flat , some people will think they know better until you invite them over to have a listen to a test cut.
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Laarsų

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 03:04:53 pm »

Quote from: JTransition
That is actually quite funny
Uh... "Acually?"    For the record, it was duly imbued with both mirth and earnestness.  (;
Quote from: JTransition
But on a serious note I would advise that the client attends the cut and listens to the test cuts.

Forcibly.  The client may well like the master better than the premaster.  But it would be wisest of all for the client to play an acetate of the premaster before having a master of it finished and pressed.  How else can the plating and pressing, later, be proofed?

As it happened, the Zydeco client - who may or may not have attended the cutting session - is not in this dialog of peers (between premasterer and masterer).   The masterer has e-mailed the premasterer for advice: whence his enquiry, here.

Quote from: JTransition
What some people seem to be forgetting here is that the person who cuts the lacquer is doing the mastering everyone else is guessing (including me).


I'm sorry you feel that way.  I happen to believe the opposite is so.  We are, in my opinion, all _quite aware_ that the cutter is the mastering clerk (the one who cuts the defacto "master"),  and that the OP is the premastering clerk (the one who recaptured the premaster(s)).   Mastering is only the transfer of a premaster to lacquer (full stop).   Often a mastering clerk will need to premaster the master (as in mix) tapes, him/herself  - involving splicing of masters to a common reel, setting of transfer eq, etc...   But when s/he does this, s/he is premastering prior to the cut.  So, mastering clerks do _both_, routinely, but the mastering clerk in Thomas's e-mail box sounds as if he's flummoxed for no good reason.

Quote from: JTransition
I get jobs all the time that someone else could not cut

What audio band signal can't be cut by a lathe (built after, say, 1956)?  If it's audible on tape or CD, some part of it must be able to drive the coils and thereby make modulated grooves that can be reproduced by J. Q. Pickup.   The parts that are too quiet to be heard on an acetate due to extreme micro-, and macro-, dynamics are not going to be heard, but the premaster which has only a 7 dB crest factor has every chance in Christendom of being cut at a decent level...  (+0 dB / ref 5.5 cm^2, stereo, is a mighty fine place at which to start.)   Quiet components of music are the most delightful, imo.  Toothpaste will make you sick if you try to eat it.  I hate peppermint, due to toothpaste, btw...

Which brings us to the principle fault of the cutter's dilemma:  He thinks the master should have an arbitrary RMS that is "competitive" ( ::)) with other, contemporary vinyl.   Whereas, all he was apparently asked to do is transfer the premaster, essentially, as-is.   The mastering clerk is, in truth, _not_ the decision-maker of such parameters.  When he is also hired to wear his premastering hat, he can worry about compression and expansion, all day.  However, when merely mastering (without also premastering), he should only be debating what is the ideal idiosyncratic level for the premaster, as well as matters such as the appropriate base pitch, tracing compatibility eq, and whether his head requires protective filtering (static and/or dynamic) for the extreme low (as for Ortofon pivoting cantilevers' susceptibility to being maimed by very big 808-like excursions) and artificial amounts of treble (addressed by acceleration limiting).   If the level at which the macrodynamics are just below distorting causes the RMS to be faintly low, it is the fault of the premaster.   However, it is implausible that a well-tuned lathe, with quiet lacquers, good stylus, with blank-tuned heat, can't deliver cleanly (enough) what both the cutter and our own Thomas, here, describes, unless the mastering clerk is trying to wear his premastering hat while being paid to do a flat transfer (and (paid to) wear only his mastering hat).
 

Quote from: JTransition
...but i get more jobs that were allegedly mastered for vinyl that will not transfer flat , some people will think they know better until you invite them over to have a listen to a test cut.
 

If it had been mastered for vinyl, there would be nothing left to cut.  ;)  If it has been premastered for lacquer cutting, there still needs to be determined a reasonable amount of console attenuation for the drive amps, and possibly the other brute force measures, cited above, for compatibility.  No one has asked the cutter to make aesthetic decisions beyond that which is germane to not destroying his head or not getting an ugly sound out of a beautiful premaster (which I'm certain Thomas has delivered). 

Thanks,
Laarsų
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
Space Camp CD Premastering
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2011, 07:37:05 pm »

After talking it over with the producer we decided to go with one of the members of this board - Paul Gold. I know his work and I know how good he is.

End of story...

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Thomas W. Bethel
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Patrik_T

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 06:12:59 am »

...
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2011, 09:04:45 am »

Why not take the opportunity to make this the beginning of a story?

Maybe Paul could briefly share with the board the difficulties or troubles he finds with this stuff, not only from a crest-point-of-view. I guess everyone could learn something from it.

GREAT idea if Paul is willing to do it...thanks!
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Thomas W. Bethel
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JimK

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2011, 02:19:45 pm »

If possible, I'd also like to hear about what was necessary to achieve the best result.

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Jim Kissling

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2011, 03:04:35 pm »

I think I'll have a chance to look at it on Saturday. I know all the parties involved so I have to be careful...I'm happy to do it if I think it's appropriate.
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Paul Gold
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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2011, 03:43:50 pm »

My name is Clint Holley and I am the cutting engineer that Tom is referencing in his post.

Tom fails to mention many key elements of the exchange that he is portraying here.

1)The email that he has posted was sent to the end client (not Tom) and was never intended for general consumption. 

The client is not very experienced with the vinyl medium and actually had a job last year that had a few issues. I was offering this opinion as a courtesy to let him know any potential obstacles this job might encounter.

The email was written for the client and I tried to explain in laguage that he would understand what I was hearing while cutting test samples that he requested.

I was attempting to open a dialog with him to allow him to make decisions that were best for him and his product.

Nowhere in the email do I make any other suggestion other than dropping the level.  I am letting him know that this record may very well be more quiet than the one he had done last year or other vinyl he might own in his collection, hence any references I made to "commercial volume".

2)Tom fails to tell anybody here about the five minute phone conversation we had where he called the test samples "awful" (I fully realized they had issues...that is why I sent them!) and gave me a short lecture about digital metering vs analog metering.  Never during the conversation did he ask or propose any solution to the issue at hand even though I told him I saw the vocals peaking 5 or more db above the average level.

3)I am familiar with the style of music.  I have made,collected,DJ'd,recorded and cut every style of American roots music starting over 25 years ago. In our phone conversation Tom called it "folk" music...which it is, but it is not "Cajun" music as Tom calls it in his post, it is Zydeco which is very different from cajun music.  Cajun music is based in the Freach speaking community of people who migrated to the delta from Acadia and focuses around the fiddle while Zydeco is based  on Creole culture and focuses on the accordian as the main instrument. Zydeco is one of the backbone music influences for rock and roll.

4)Tom makes a blind assumption that I only cut "Rock and Roll" when in fact my work has been contracted and approved for such clients as Tom Waits, Nick Lowe, Iggy and the Stooges, Dave Alvin, Greg Brown and more.  I have cut folk,noise,rock,electronic,spoken word,emo,screamo,metal,hardcore,grindcore,straight edge,bluegrass,newgrass,hillbilly and jazz to name a few.

5)My first and really only goal is to make sure my client is happy.  I like to roll my sleeves up, jump in and work.  I feel that great music is a collabaration of minds to come up with the best ideas that serve the music.

6)I would love to assume that every master that crosses my desk is vinyl ready, but I have learned never to trust any master without giving it a once over first.

All this being said, I am not trying to put down anybody's work.  I have had dialog with mastering engineers in New York, Nashville and LA and they usually seem open to having an intelligent conversation regarding music and what is best for their client.  Frankly I was bummed to find this posting using correspondence that was meant for my co-workers and client while no reasonable response was ever given to me. 

I am proud of my work, my work ethic and my ability to provide great customer service to my clients. Although I may be one of the younger guys around doing this, I am happy to say that I can call many others in the cutting community my mentors and friends and the help and information they have provided has been an invaluable resource along the way.

I just felt the need to tell my side of the story. I feel this thread is more about customer service than the music, because nobody else here has heard the music in question! 

I am happy to hear from other business owners how I might have handled the situation differently with the end client...beyond that, I will be in my office cutting more records or listening to some Clifton Chenier albums!

Thanks for listening.
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2011, 06:25:34 am »

I left the cutting engineer's name off the posting for a reason. I did not want to upset anyone. I only wanted some advice.

I do not want to get into a pissing contest.

The MP3 samples were "awful" and the producer and the mix engineer were upset to the point that they no longer wanted to continue the project with the cutting engineer. If the MP3s had not been sent to the producer to show him the "problems"  I don't think we would be having this discussion. The MP3s in and by themselves made it look like I had messed up the mastering which  I had not.  I still do not understand why the cutting engineer would send distorted MP3s to the producer when the project had no distortion in it and was designed to be a "flat transfer".

I posted these problems here because I wanted to get some good advice - which I got. This web board has the best of the best when it comes to mastering engineers with a lots of experience.

The phrase "commercial loudness" was used but never explained.

I was the mastering engineer on the project but was not contacted about any problems by the cutting engineer. A simple phone call to me would have been nice before the producer was sent an email, which I quoted in my original post,  and some distorted MP3s.  I had to learn about the the problems from the producer via email and later a phone call.

Not a great way to cement a good close working relationship and we are only 25 miles and a phone call apart.

There were similar problems with a project that was cut last year with this same cutting engineer. At that time I asked what I could do to make things easier for the cutting engineer and followed his suggestions. This is only my second vinyl mastering project and I am the first one to admit that I have not done any cutting since my intern days in Nashville years ago. I did all the research on the WWW including a great article from Steve Berson http://totalsonicmastering.com/vinyl.htm which I found to be very helpful and followed all of his suggestions.

We have simply decided to go with someone else. I know we will be pleased with the results.

Thanks!
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
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JohnBaldwin

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2011, 03:10:02 pm »

Hello!

Long time listener, first time caller, or something like that.

I feel like it's important that I weigh in here to say that I've been working with Clint for some time now and he has never been anything other than helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, and a professional.

Every project I've sent Clint's way has come back flawlessly.  His cuts are as close to a "flat transfer" as I've heard after working with many lacquering engineers, and the mp3s he sends are very helpful in pointing out the issues in the masters I send him.

Sorry to hear about your trouble, Thomas, and maybe your experiences are different than mine.   I send out projects to vinyl weekly, and the best sounding and flattest cuts I've had have come from Clint.
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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #20 on: July 29, 2011, 05:08:04 pm »

I have a few questions that once answered will give me a better understanding of this situation.
@ Concretecowboy
How long were the sides?
How loud (dbvu) was the test cut that freaked everyone out?
Was the mp3 a copy of the test cut?
What diameter was it cut at(approximate)?
what system are you using? just the head and amps please
Did you process the audio apart from the acceleration limiter?

Thanks
Jason
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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2011, 08:15:09 pm »

I had a chance to look at this. I've spoken to everyone and I think it's okay to post.

It's a live recording and the vocal level is uneven because the singer is moving around on the microphone. The vocal also sits on top of the mix most of the time.

Most of the time the vocal sits 3-4dB above the average level of the the music. On five or six occasions the vocal peaks 7-8dB above the music. It's a four sided record with the longest side being about 19:00.

My original guess about a crest factor problem didn't pan out. The crest factor was not a problem. I did however think the dynamic range was too large to get a good cut. If I set the level with the music averaging -5-7VU the vocal peaks would distort.  This of course is not a problem on a CD as distortion is the same at all reasonable levels. If the client wants to reserve the top 4dB for a few vocal peaks then that is an aesthetic decision. Setting the average disk level much lower than this would run into noise floor problems. It would be like cutting a 25 minute side.

I suggested that I address the few places where the vocal peaks far above the music. This way I could cut a good average level without having the peaks distort. I'll cut lacquers tomorrow. I tuned the Maselec MLA3 to catch just the vocal peaks. I don't think anyone will notice.

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Paul Gold
Salt Mastering

JTransition

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2011, 11:36:21 am »

Thanks Paul
But I hope you used good lacquers ;)

Jason
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Laarsų

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2011, 12:37:14 pm »

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
I left the cutting engineer's name off the posting for a reason.

Is the cutter actually an engineer?

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
...The MP3s in and by themselves made it look like I had messed up the mastering which  I had not.

They know that you did only the premastering.   Did they approve it before proceeding to mastering?

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
The phrase "commercial loudness" was used but never explained.

You described there being a peak at -5 dBFSD and an RMS of -12 dBFSD.    This would imply a 7 db crest factor.  It turns out that that would be _TV_ commercial loudness.   However, your information wants correction, since what turned out to be the case was an occasional 7 db forte  from the vocals.   The crest factor would be much larger.   Microdynamics, not macrodynamics or fortes.   Bad complaint, Tom.  Made us run to your defense when your premastering was, evidently, indefensible.   ???


Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
I was the mastering engineer...

Nope.  You were the premastering clerk.   If you don't have the parchment to back it up, you're not an engineer.  If you don't use a lathe, you're not mastering.  (And that's ok.   Own who you are.  Stop lying(, everyone).)

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
Not a great way to cement a good close working relationship and we are only 25 miles and a phone call apart.
Pot's black, too!


Laarsų
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
Space Camp CD Premastering
Pivot dub lab vinyl products and consulting

concretecowboy71

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2011, 02:33:10 pm »

@JTransition

All sides under 20 minutes.
Mp3 samples were recorded directly from a test lacquer.
The samples were cut twice.  First, music at around -4db on my VU meters with vocal peaks over +3db. Second sample was lowered about 2db overall.
Test were cut in about the first 1/3 diameter of a new lacquer.
System is a VMS70/SX74/VG74B amp rack.
No additional processing. Acceleration limiter engaged but set to 0.

I work with a pressing facility and our general policy is to not add additional processing unless some kind of conversation has been had with the client.  It was this communication that started this whole thread and was intended only for the client.  His contact info was the only info provided to me with the masters and job order.  That is why he was notified first.  After all, he is helping to pay my rent.

 



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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2011, 04:42:42 pm »

Is the cutter actually an engineer?

They know that you did only the premastering.   Did they approve it before proceeding to mastering?

You described there being a peak at -5 dBFSD and an RMS of -12 dBFSD.    This would imply a 7 db crest factor.  It turns out that that would be _TV_ commercial loudness.   However, your information wants correction, since what turned out to be the case was an occasional 7 db forte  from the vocals.   The crest factor would be much larger.   Microdynamics, not macrodynamics or fortes.   Bad complaint, Tom.  Made us run to your defense when your premastering was, evidently, indefensible.   ???


Nope.  You were the premastering clerk.   If you don't have the parchment to back it up, you're not an engineer.  If you don't use a lathe, you're not mastering.  (And that's ok.   Own who you are.  Stop lying(, everyone).)
 Pot's black, too!


Laarsų

Whatever you say....

Just as an aside

Laarsų

I do have a 4 year college degree in broadcasting.

I am a life time member of the AES and can officially use the letter M.A.E.S. after my signature

I can use the title "mastering engineer" as well as can anyone else on this board. You don't have to have a parchment degree to do so. If you want to belabor that point then everyone here who uses the term "mastering engineer" is basically lying unless they have a four year degree in some field of engineering. They should all call themselves "pre-mastering specialist" to be completly honest about what they do.

I understand the difference between pre mastering and mastering and I have cut records as an intern in Nashville years ago so I know something about the whole process. I have cut from 1/4" - 1/2" tape and from a PCM 1630 system with and without Dolby 360s encoding.

If you are going to attack me please get your facts correct before doing so. Thanks

Speaking of facts....I was interested in your background and training  as well but could not find your site on the WWW. Do you have a webpage? Just wondering???

I noticed from some earlier postings you called your company by a different name http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/29362/0/ why the change from mastering to pre mastering?
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

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Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 25 years in business in 2020

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2011, 05:13:27 pm »

I originally posted here because I knew I could get good answers from the mastering engineers who post here.

I did not use the cutting engineers name in any postings here. He got involved when he posted.

I really like Clint and the last project he cut was very well done AFTER I redid some problem areas that he suggested I fix. He was a big help on that project.

I want to learn about vinyl mastering and the best way to do it.

There is no one around this area that I can learn from. If I was in New York or Nashville there would be plenty of people to turn to. I have to do most of my "research" off the WWW or by asking questions on forums.

For what ever reason this project this year was different.  The producer was in a hurry, The MP3s sounded really bad. I called Clint and he kept talking about "commercial loudness" which he never explained. There was a definite lack of communication that was there, in a nice big way, on the first project.
,
I am sure we will use Clint in the future for other projects.

Somehow this one did not go as planned. I do not want to ruffle any feathers all I want is what is best for the producer and to get this project finished.

Thanks for all the suggestions and helpful comments. I have learned a lot.


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Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 25 years in business in 2020

JTransition

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2011, 05:53:26 pm »

@JTransition

All sides under 20 minutes.
Mp3 samples were recorded directly from a test lacquer.
The samples were cut twice.  First, music at around -4db on my VU meters with vocal peaks over +3db. Second sample was lowered about 2db overall.
Test were cut in about the first 1/3 diameter of a new lacquer.
System is a VMS70/SX74/VG74B amp rack.
No additional processing. Acceleration limiter engaged but set to 0.

I work with a pressing facility and our general policy is to not add additional processing unless some kind of conversation has been had with the client.  It was this communication that started this whole thread and was intended only for the client.  His contact info was the only info provided to me with the masters and job order.  That is why he was notified first.  After all, he is helping to pay my rent.
Thanks for clearing that up
Regards
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bblackwood

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2011, 06:22:21 pm »

Laarso, we're not going to have that debate over here, so drop it.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Laarsų

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2011, 06:35:57 pm »

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
LARSO

Actually, you can type as loud as you like, it won't put the second letter, A, in my praenomen.
 
Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
I do have a 4 year college degree in broadcasting.

Too bad it wasn't in Chemistry, since you like to call yourself an engineer.  Can I call myself a fireman?  That would be kewl.

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
I am a life time member of the AES and can officially use the letter M.A.E.S. after my signature...

But this doesn't impact on the folly of calling yourself an engineer.  I realize you're not the only one.  But it's time for this self-bloating to stop.

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
I can use the title "mastering engineer" as well as can anyone else on this board. You don't have to have a parchment degree to do so. If you want to belabor that point then everyone here who uses the term "mastering engineer" is basically lying unless they have a four year degree in some field of engineering. They should all call themselves "pre-mastering specialist" to be completly honest about what they do.

I agree with your last two sentences.

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
I understand the difference between pre mastering and mastering and I have cut records as an intern in Nashville years ago so I know something about the whole process. I have cut from 1/4" - 1/2" tape and from a PCM 1630 system with and without Dolby 360s encoding.


You think I didn't read the thread?  I know from your posts that you, of all people, here, know better about the forensic significance of industry jargon. 

Quote from: Thomas W. Bethel
If you are going to attack me please get your facts correct before doing so. Thanks!

I did!


Laarsų
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
Space Camp CD Premastering
Pivot dub lab vinyl products and consulting

bblackwood

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Re: I need some help from the vinyl cutters.
« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2011, 07:00:50 pm »

We're not discussing it because it's petty and you're fighting against what everyone already knows.

So yah, drop it. You can fight that fight @ GS.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters
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