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Author Topic: 2 question for you professonal mastering engineers  (Read 1469 times)

Glenn Bucci

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2 question for you professonal mastering engineers
« on: August 14, 2008, 09:16:28 am »

Ah I got your attention. Good.  Smile

First question has to do with what converters you use at a mastering house. Do you think at the mastering stage a certain type of converter is better that at the recording stage? We all know that each converter brand sounds different than others. Some are more "analog" sounding, others have hyped high's, more forward sounding ones etc. My question is, is there a general sense that a certain converter character is better for mastering or does it really come down to personal preferrence as with recording engineers? I know some use Cranesong, Lavery, and others, but was wondering about this. So are some converters better suited for recording and a type of converter better suited for the mastering stage?

Second question is, to help gel the music and just add a little bit of character (earthy, or an analog sound) and to reduce sterile or harsh high's, what compressor is your go to for this. Though I know some EQ's are able to add a nice character as well.    
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Dave Davis

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Re: 2 question for you professonal mastering engineers
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2008, 01:40:53 pm »

I think there can be a difference, but doesn't have to be.  Put another way: An inherently accurate converter can have color via processing, but a colored converter cannot be "de-colorized" with DSP.  So, if you have excellent (defined as high fidelity to source) conversion and DSP, you can mimic a euphonically colorful converter, but not vice versa.

In practice, the best example I can think of is Apogee.  I really like the sound and design of many of their models for tracking - features like their softclip and even UV22 (a dither I'd never use in mastering) can be pleasant or even critical in some applications.  Good stuff.  But the pleasant, warm sound of the Apogees at my old place made for miserable mastering - things that needed work, often sounded great on them.  I moved to Mytek back then, and those problems vanished.

-d-
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masterhse

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Re: 2 question for you professonal mastering engineers
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2008, 02:51:11 pm »

I believe that it also has to do with the function of the converter, are we talking about the D/A being used for monitoring or the converter that you are using in your analog chain?

I sold my Apogee converter a while ago after going with Lavry. Occasionally I miss the old boy, I kinda liked how it sounded when pushed on some material in the analog chain. But as Dave said, it's usually better to start as clean as possible and have options for coloring it, or not coloring it, later.
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
CD Mastering and Media Production Services

Bob Olhsson

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Re: 2 question for you professonal mastering engineers
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 12:55:26 pm »

I think using the very best, most neutral sounding converter I can get my hands on at every single stage is the optimal way to go.
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