R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Music production, interesting vibes in the air  (Read 3848 times)

Viitalahde

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 99
  • Real Full Name: Jaakko Viitalähde
Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« on: September 12, 2011, 02:04:28 pm »

There's an interesting trend going on, and I've had good discussions about it lately, mostly with my clients.

I think there's a growing number of people who are tired not only in the loud thing, but the overprocessed production thing in general. I'm seeing a lot of projects that have been made with just good mics in the right place, minimal EQ, unpolished but complete and interesting mixes that just feel right. These guys don't want mastering to step on the mixes, but they value what mastering can give to the project and understand its necessity.

I'm sure it's just one of the trends around, but it's heck of a healthy one. I suppose every force has an equal and an opposite in music production, too.

A rather sad thing is that I've also encountered people who have decided to do the tracking and mixing themselves instead of a professional, because they were afraid it'll end up sounding "too professional" - or too processed.

That has to be just a communication thing, and picking the right people for the job kind of a thing.
Logged
Jaakko Viitalähde
Virtalähde Mastering, Kuhmoinen/Finland
http://www.virtalahde.com
http://www.facebook.com/VirtalahdeMastering

bblackwood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 254
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2011, 07:50:19 pm »

Good to hear!

I don't know that I've seen a trend towards 'less production' per se, but I've gotten far less calls in the last year or so for 'more level'. Seems we've hit a plateau wrt loudness.
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Thomas W. Bethel

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 321
  • Real Full Name: Thomas W. Bethel
  • When only the best will do.
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 06:16:55 am »

I have done a couple of projects lately that were GREAT to work on because the artists were more concerned with how good things sound instead of how loud I could make them. I have a GREAT artist coming in this weekend. He is someone I have worked with for a very long time and always does GREAT acoustic music that is very easy on the ears. Seems like the overly processed music is still with us but some artist ARE going back to a more sane mix without all the processing and 32 plugins on every channel. If it continues I am all for it.
Logged
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

lowland

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 110
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 08:16:39 am »

I've been feeling quite encouraged by the state of music in general, judging what I see through the lens of mastering jobs here.

This week, for example, I have two solo classical piano albums (the loudness thing has even crept into classical music), a live worship album and some pop/rock material - all this, knowing the preferences of the people involved, will be mastered at levels to suit the music rather than solely to be competitive.

Mind you, I did have a project yesterday which was made louder than I've ever worked before, but it seemed the exception that proves the rule. On that gig I needed every bit of what I've learned about 'loud and clean' over the last 16 years to deliver what was asked, but early indications are good.
Logged
Nigel Palmer
Lowland Masters
www.lowlandmasters.com

MoreSpaceEcho

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 40
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2011, 02:34:37 pm »

did a really terrific record on tuesday, the mixer and the artist attended the session...at some point we had the conversation about level, the artist said "why is everyone so concerned about having the loudest record? that seems really dumb. i just want it to sound good."

i wanted to hug him.

had another record last week...straight up guitar rock...i made it reasonably loud, not too overbearing or anything. client writes back "it sounds great, but it's sooo loud! it's the loudest thing in my ipod. can you make it sound more like...uuuhh...1992?"

i dunno what on earth he's got on his ipod if something i did is the loudest thing on there, but i was more than happy to send him a 3db quieter version...

Waltz Mastering

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 57
  • Real Full Name: Tom Waltz
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 04:23:23 pm »

I had something similar happen last week when I had a client who was adamant about keeping his rms around -12dB.  The album was self recorded/mixed, maybe a little overproduced rock but sounded as good as anything that would come out of a commercial studio.   

I never really pay attention the actual digital read out of rms numbers, but on this one shot for 12 and sent him back a test/ref track to make sure things were in the ball park for the rest of the album.

He said sounds good but was 3 dB to loud.  So I figure he must be using a AES 17 meter where the full scale sine wave is at 0 dBFs instead of a square wave.  Sure enough, that's what it was.

The next day I worked on an album out of England that was along the lines of The Raconteurs where one of the songs was already mastered and the rest needed to be matched.. just as fun of an album to work on but the levels were up there.  Yin and Yang

Jerry Tubb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 172
  • Real Full Name: Jerry Tubb
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2011, 11:01:40 am »

Yesterday I had a project that came in at -8dB rms.
The mix engineer must also fancy himself as ME refused to let it go out at a sane mix level.
The young producer told him repeatedly that he was bringing it to us for mastering.
But Not being one of our regular peeps, the mixer insisted on doing pseudo mastering himself, claiming that it was sufficient. Think he slammed it with one of those green "mastering" plug-ins.  ::)

After hearing the first song, I almost passed on the gig (which I've never done btw), but came to my senses, and decided to make the best of the situation. After all, folks come to us to ~solve~ problems, not to deepen them. It's the professional thing to do. So I put my ego in check, and after listening for another half hour, formulated a plan, and dug in.

While he did a nice job on the mix, the feeble attempt at mastering showed his less than stellar monitoring, the mid bass 100-200Hz was way too thick, overshadowing the vocals and guitars.

So I reshaped the EQ, added a touch of sparkle, Bumped the level a half dB, and uploaded the DDP last night. The client seemed very pleased.

A day in the life...
Cheers, JT
Logged
Terra Nova Mastering
Celebrating 25 years of Mastering!

Sonovo

  • R/E/P Forums
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15
  • Real Full Name: Thor Legvold
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 05:36:01 pm »

Been seeing more and more of those myself the last few years, which is refreshing.

The popularity of vinyl also helps, as the clients actually stop to listen why the master is so much lower (and dynamic) than the CD/Digital version (in many cases).

Another unexpected bonus is that these more dynamic productions invariably sound a whole lot better on the radio. Maybe we're getting into a more positive circle than the one we've been in....

Cheers,
Thor
Logged
Sonovo A/S
Stereo + 5.1 Mastering, Editing & Restoration
Stavanger, Norway
www.sonovo.no

MoreSpaceEcho

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 40
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 05:17:30 pm »

email from a client yesterday:

"Loudness wise, I don’t want to brickwall it. Something like a mainstream mid-90s volume level--pre-loudness war, post-weirdly super quiet CD masters--would be nice."

there's hope!

mmarra

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 41
  • Real Full Name: Mike Marra
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2011, 08:24:52 am »

I have also been seeing this lately with my clients who produce house. I have been working this these clients for some time now and over time I have been educating them on how & why mastering a mix at a lower RMS than just smashing it sounds a ton better. I can recall doing a house master which averaged around -10db RMS...where most house music usually is smashed to about -5db or even more.

I also give my house music clients what I call a club master, which you guessed it, is on the same level of loudness as other house tracks. This is because when they are played in the clubs the DJ will not have to adjust the volume back and forth between tracks in their set.

But all in all these clients that I work with always love the higher fidelity master for everyday listening as they realized they can hear all the detail of the track better.
Logged
Mike Marra (P.Eng)
João Carvalho Mastering
http://www.joaocarvalhomastering.com & http://elitemastering.com
Toronto, Canada

Hermetech Mastering

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 181
  • Real Full Name: Gregg Janman
  • Manual Gain Rider
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 12:54:26 pm »

I also give my house music clients what I call a club master, which you guessed it, is on the same level of loudness as other house tracks. This is because when they are played in the clubs the DJ will not have to adjust the volume back and forth between tracks in their set.

I'm also very happy to have clients that understand that smashed is not always better. Let's hope things improve in pop music too.

I have to question why you'd provide a "club master" with an even louder sound than your regular master though. Firstly, shouldn't a large PA system sound much, much better with more, rather than less, dynamic range? And secondly, isn't it the job of the DJ to use that knob marked "gain" or "trim" on the input of their mixer, to balance the level between tracks when they are cueing the next track?

Not ribbing you, as it seems we are both in agreement as to what sounds better, but balancing what the client wants with what sounds good, is, as we all know, a difficult struggle sometimes!

mmarra

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 41
  • Real Full Name: Mike Marra
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2011, 05:13:25 pm »

I'm also very happy to have clients that understand that smashed is not always better. Let's hope things improve in pop music too.

I have to question why you'd provide a "club master" with an even louder sound than your regular master though. Firstly, shouldn't a large PA system sound much, much better with more, rather than less, dynamic range? And secondly, isn't it the job of the DJ to use that knob marked "gain" or "trim" on the input of their mixer, to balance the level between tracks when they are cueing the next track?

Not ribbing you, as it seems we are both in agreement as to what sounds better, but balancing what the client wants with what sounds good, is, as we all know, a difficult struggle sometimes!

I agree but that is what the these few house clients ask for as they are also DJs as well. So it's through their experiences...I gather. But I do concur that it will sound not as good on a clubs PA system but that's where I try to make it sound as good as possible and still meet their request for that version.
Logged
Mike Marra (P.Eng)
João Carvalho Mastering
http://www.joaocarvalhomastering.com & http://elitemastering.com
Toronto, Canada

Hermetech Mastering

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 181
  • Real Full Name: Gregg Janman
  • Manual Gain Rider
Re: Music production, interesting vibes in the air
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2011, 11:43:27 am »

It's a balancing act for sure! ;)
Pages: [1]   Go Up