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Author Topic: How far do *you* go?  (Read 8830 times)

OTR-jkl

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2004, 03:52:26 pm »

Quote:

For years I had dogmatic beliefs that certain precesses were somehow 'wrong' and didn't belong in mastering

What kinds of things, Brad...?
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
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bblackwood

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2004, 06:09:46 pm »

OTR-jkl wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 14:52

Quote:

For years I had dogmatic beliefs that certain processes were somehow 'wrong' and didn't belong in mastering

What kinds of things, Brad...?

Multiband compression, heavy M/S processing, clipping, etc.

I typically avoided processes that changed the mixes very much (even if needed) or were fundamentally 'wrong' in digital theory.

Sometimes breaking the 'rules' makes the track better, and that's really all that matters. I think the biggest break-throughs made as a mastering engineer grows are from experience...
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Brad Blackwood
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OTR-jkl

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2004, 08:37:18 pm »

Quote:

I typically avoided processes that changed the mixes very much (even if needed)

OK - when you say "change the mix", what exactly do you mean? Are you talking things like: an EQ adjustment that makes the LdV pop out more, or comp that drops the snare, or what...?

When I make radical EQ adjustments (aggressive mastering - as someone put it), its because its way out of balance and there's no way it'll translate the way it is. I suppose those things do actually change the mix somewhat. Typically what happens is that things start to be heard that were otherwise covered up.

Unfortunately for me, I rarely get a mix that's pretty much "there" already. So, it usually takes drastic measures to rope 'em in....
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
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bblackwood

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2004, 09:54:09 pm »

OTR-jkl wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 19:37

Quote:

I typically avoided processes that changed the mixes very much (even if needed)

OK - when you say "change the mix", what exactly do you mean?

Take buss compression for example - some mastering engineers tell people to leave it off the mix even if it makes the mix better as they don't think the mix engineer is as 'capable' as they are to make it work. I want the engineer to send me a mix that sounds good, regardless of what they have to do, as long as they do nothing for the sake of level. If the mix engineer were to leave buss compression to me and the mix really shined with 3 dB of gain reduction, that would be great, except I just remixed the track - the balances of the instrumentation are completely different now.

Same with multiband compression - it's fine to fix a train-wreck but far too intrusive to use normally, imo. But my point is that five years ago I wouldn't have used it all...
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Brad Blackwood
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dcollins

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2004, 11:27:04 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 18:54

[quote


Take buss compression for example - some mastering engineers tell people to leave it off the mix even if it makes the mix better as they don't think the mix engineer is as 'capable' as they are to make it work. I want the engineer to send me a mix that sounds good, regardless of what they have to do, as long as they do nothing for the sake of level. If the mix engineer were to leave buss compression to me and the mix really shined with 3 dB of gain reduction, that would be great, except I just remixed the track - the balances of the instrumentation are completely different now.




This is becoming more common in rock mixes I've received.  "I left all the 2 buss compression off, cause that's how I heard mastering engineers want it."  Personally, I blame the internet.
That and the mistaken term "hypercompression" when it's really limiting that is doing the damage......


Like B-rad says, just be sure the compression is _really_ making an improvement, and if it is, by all means use it.

DC

lucey

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2004, 02:03:41 am »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 22:27

  "I left all the 2 buss compression off, cause that's how I heard mastering engineers want it."  Personally, I blame the internet.


the Internet is just a lot of information, not some form of evil ... people are making this mis-read on their own.

Quote:


That and the mistaken term "hypercompression" when it's really limiting that is doing the damage......


Like B-rad says, just be sure the compression is _really_ making an improvement, and if it is, by all means use it.



they can also send over both the compressed mix and an uncompressed mix, so if their compressor trashed a loud song or 2, but 8 softer ones were helped, the mastering can accommodate the whole thing.
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Brian Lucey
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MASSIVE Mastering

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2004, 09:46:53 pm »

I for one am very careful to specify that a bit of compression is fine if the mix needs it - Just not to do it for sheer volume.  

Although, I certainly agree that there are a lot of ME's out there that insist of having nothing across the master buss at all.
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John Scrip
Massive Mastering - Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.), IL - USA

Ronny

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2004, 11:28:34 pm »

MASSIVE Mastering wrote on Sun, 25 April 2004 21:46

I for one am very careful to specify that a bit of compression is fine if the mix needs it - Just not to do it for sheer volume.  

Although, I certainly agree that there are a lot of ME's out there that insist of having nothing across the master buss at all.



I say the same thing, judicious 2 buss compression is ok, nothing wrong with it. I do think that multi-track compression is the way to go though and when you need to make it punchy on  the two buss it can almost always be more effective on the multi-tracks. The ME can make the tune punchy, regardless. I don't think that a lot of ME's are saying not to compress the 2 bus, just not to try to set perceived levels. It's no doubt better to set perceived levels, after any eq'ing or multi-band compression is added and most engineers won't know if the ME is going to use these processes or not. It's safer not squashing the two buss on the mix grind and allows the ME to do his job better.

Hypercompression is a correct term, IMHO, as limiting "is" compressing, just with ratio set to 10:1 and above. Limiter's like the squashalizer's which do not allow user ratio changing are indeed limiter's "but" still uses compression to achieve their results. Most variable ratio compressors these days can limit and most have infinity ratio settings (brick wall limiting). Do we really need to call them compressor/limiters? Compression covers both gear terms. We can talk semantics all day long about what to call the problem. We can change the term to hyperlimiting, but it's not going to change the fact that more and more mix engineers are trying to get hotter levels on the two buss. The reason why the ME's are complaining is not because someone uses some judicious compression on the two buss, it's because some are taking too much of the dynamics out to be effectively mastered. I mastered a cd the other day, some tunes had -5dB RMS. This is not cool by any means. Instrumental definition was highly lacking. It's a lot easier running golden gate type eq curves and multi-band to help seat instruments when there is enough dynamic range to work with, plain and simple.
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jfrigo

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2004, 05:14:47 am »

I suppose it's a question of perspective.

I start with nothing and add things as necessary.
I don't start with everything and remove as necessary.

The old dogma examples Brad refers to are things to be cautious of and perhaps to use sparingly, but not to avoid like the plague. Multiband, M/S, and clipping are strong medicine that you grab when you need to - not to default to any more than you sould default to "nuke" on your L2. Don't automatically reach for the sledgehammer to put in the tack, but when laying railroad tracks, knock those spikes in with the biggest sledgehammer you've got!

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OTR-jkl

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2004, 10:53:09 am »

Quote:

The ME can make the tune punchy, regardless.

Hmmmmm.... I have found that rather difficult in some cases. Isn't that pretty mix dependent? Ex: if there is no bottom to begin with, how are you gonna make it kick. Or, if its already smashed, how are you gonna get those transients back...?
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
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chrisrnps

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #25 on: April 26, 2004, 01:43:18 pm »



Or, if its already smashed, how are you gonna get those transients back...?


What, are you saying you don't want to spend three days trying to manually 'draw' dynamics back in with the 'volume envelope' tool on a DAW?   Razz




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OTR-jkl

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2004, 01:51:03 pm »

Quote:

spend three days trying to manually 'draw' dynamics back in with the 'volume envelope' tool on a DAW?

Naw, I'd much rather spend my time using the pencil tool to re-draw all the peaks...   Rolling Eyes
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
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Ed Littman

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2004, 10:16:14 pm »

Ronny wrote on Sun, 25 April 2004 23:28



I say the same thing, judicious 2 buss compression is ok, nothing wrong with it.



I agree with you on that Ronny.
I'ts not so much the buss comp. thats the problem as much as some of these guys trying half master & get things loud.

to the original question. I think one should do anything they can to satisfy the client. The thing I really learned from Brad via womp2 is to sonically enhance the mix as apose to do to much to change the mix (even if it sounds good too)
i know this sounds pretty obvious I'm a slow learner.
Ed
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Kooch

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #28 on: April 28, 2004, 03:57:22 pm »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 24 April 2004 22:27

This is becoming more common in rock mixes I've received.  "I left all the 2 buss compression off, cause that's how I heard mastering engineers want it."  Like B-rad says, just be sure the compression is _really_ making an improvement, and if it is, by all means use it.

DC





I'm sorry Dave--but I woulda used 2 buss compression if I didn't SUCK.  Razz
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jazzius

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Re: How far do *you* go?
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2004, 06:22:53 am »

I think this "how far would you go" is a pretty interesting question.

I'd like to also ask it in another way.....would you consider that the best ME's have a "sound" or "style"?.....of course, anyone can do transparent.....buy the Weiss stuff and an L2, get some good monitoring and tread carefully and voila....transparent mastering.

But is this always enough, or appropriate for all styles of music?

It's easy to say "i can't make a) sound like b) because of the production/mix etc", but how do you know that for sure until you've tried every technique every which way.

2 examples i can think of are Tom Coyne's rap mastering and the Big Bass Brian sound.....i'm convinced these guys are doing some tricks, and without experimenting with some weird techniques, i may never find out what they are.

I'm interested to know if other people here think there are some secret mastering tricks that are not common knowledge?
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