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Author Topic: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)  (Read 10677 times)

Luna Sound

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2012, 04:46:58 pm »

I can only find four in the FTP folder: mine (Gregg Janman), Twerk's, djwaudio's (DW Specialised), and your's (Lunasound).

Which one am I missing?
Ah, you're right... Only four.
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Hermetech Mastering

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2012, 08:02:35 am »

OK, here are my comments on the original track, plus the four participants in Group 2 (including myself).

First, I'd like to say that the standard was set very high, and I certainly feel I still have a lot to learn and accomplish. This is not the sort of music I regularly get in for mastering, but I adore a challenge and so did my best!

Original Track - This was very well recorded and mixed, and I felt the main challenge was in not ruining an already excellent recording. I was trying to go for warmth and intimacy with it. The other things I kept in mind were the instructions from the client & KAyo: "The challenge isnít just loudness, but, to enhance that ballad expansiveness and precision... Letís keep it real, clean and pleasurable to listen too."  The only small problems I found were: 1) Some kind of phaseyness on the chorus, mainly on the hard panned vocals, it could have been intentional, however I thought it sounded a little weird. 2) There were a few (albeit inaudible) digital overs. 3) I felt the strummed acoustic guitar sounded a little "plasticy", probably due to the compressor settings used. However, bear in mind these were subjective opinions, and I didn't feel there was anything I could do about problem numbers 1 and 3. (For how I dealt with 2, please see my techniques post later).

Twerk - Had a very similar loudness to mine (it was slightly louder), more high end which I liked, never overpowering, fuller bass which I liked. Lots of clarity. Excellent. This or DW's were my favourites, this one perhaps having a little more delicacy.

Lunasound - I felt it was a bit too limited/loud, and therefore lost a lot of the transient detail. I think it sounded too "in your face" as far as the client request went. It also sounded a little flat compared to Twerk's and DW's, and I felt the vocal was pushed too far forward in the mix. It sounded great on the breakdown in the middle though.

DW - Hotter level without loosing transient detail. Clean and clear and powerful. Excellent work.

My version (Gregg Janman) - I thought it sounded a bit wimpy in comparison to the others. I could have perhaps pushed it another dB and added a little more top end sparkle?

I want to thank everyone for participating in this, I am hoping to learn a lot on the techniques discussion later, I have lots of questions! :)

Luna Sound

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2012, 09:14:59 am »

Here are my comments on the submissions from group 1. I level matched the masters with the mix when I was making my comparisons.

DW_SpecializedMastering - Feels clear and tight. I like what this does to the less dense sections, verses etc. However I miss some of the warmth and depth of the mix in the choruses. So I like the approach but for me it has maybe gone just a bit too far.

GreggJanman - Pleasant tonal balance with good punch. I like the way it doesnít feel harsh when things get big. The downside of this one for me is that it doesnít seem to maintain the sense of space which makes it less interesting to listen to. Perhaps a little more high end would help.

Twerk - The low end on this one seems a little fuller which I like. I quite like the way the high mids work for the verses but wonder if they are slightly too much for the more dense sections. The ambience of the mix seems well preserved. This one probably has the tidiest fade at the end.

Lunasound - Overall Iím fairly happy with my own master. I would like to have got the low mids a touch tighter.
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Joe_caithness

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2012, 10:55:15 am »


Joe_caithness     -13.0     -0.3   
nice.  feels a touch dark.  i'm missing a little vocal clarity and overall air on the mix.  no fade in or fade out?


Hey Nick thanks for the feedback :)

I'll post a full run down of my though process towards the track in a while when I've finished a bunch of projects.

Yeah I had a bit of trouble with the top end, it was basically:

Do I de-ess even harder and potentially damage the vocal delivery?
Do I add more top end as a shelf? digital sounded crappy as it brought out harshness I didn't like, Sontec shelf was pushed enough the colour to begin to be imposing.

In the end I settled with "no further EQ is better than EQ which I thought might damage the performance and translation of the vocal".
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Joe_caithness

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2012, 12:30:58 pm »

some first impressions on my teams stuff. Find it hard to write this stuff because I don't want to irk anyone, but this is my honest feeling:


LudwigM

Can't seem to find this file, is it named something else?

Ed Littman

Really like this one, managed to re attach that quite disconnected top end, sibilance is dealt with, the bottom end sustains with the composition but the lower mids don't lose dynamic. Impressed. Whatever EQ was used to tie that top end together I'd like to know, sounds smoother than mine!

DOMC

Just too bright for me, you can hear that scratchy acoustic guitar's strum well but not so much the body, seems unbalanced. Dynamically seems to have moved away from the natural swing of the drums, too slow attack/release? Just my two pence.

BiigNiick

Dynamic is perfect, stuff in the background brought up with no real artefacts, again a bit too bright for me, can hear too much of the breathyness of the voice and not so much the grounding in the mids so I'm losing a little bit of the pronunciation.

Herbeck
Nice and loud, with little I can hear processing wise. Top end is bang on, re attached that wonky ness, sibilance dealt with, but still not harsh, right about of air for me. Very impressed.

KAyo
This appears to have no bottom end at all really compared to the others... sounds very different to the rest. Do the others seem bass heavy to you Kayo?

Me
Can hear I pushed the low end too much, or maybe the shelf encroaches too much of the mids, I think this kills off the balance a bit, and with this fixed, the airyness someone commented on being lacked may also be back into the mix with a bit of this ying and yang approach. I may well have been better off bringing the HPF up a little in retrospect also. Quite proud of the compression sound on this mind, think it holds up against most of the other tracks.
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Twerk

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2012, 03:15:22 pm »

My group did a great job. All worthy masters IMO for different reasons. I'd hire all of you!

Gregg Janman - I liked that the drums still have snap and life to them! I was glad you didn't compress just for the sake of compressing. Ours are actually fairly similar in many regards, though yours feels a tad darker to me. All in all, a pleasant master. The end fade could be a bit tidier. I didn't think you needed another dB. I'd rather turn up my monitors instead. Good job.

DW - I like the extra level you were able to get without sacrificing too much transient detail and punch. Nice clarity overall. Esses felt a little hot to me. Excellent fades. I think this is a good master!

Lunasound - Jeez, another good master. I like the warmth. Sounds great when cranked up! Feels slightly over-compressed for my taste. I'm missing a little of the original punch and microdynamics. The sibilance seems well controlled. Solid fades.


Technique:

In general, I liked the mix. It felt a little too closed in for my taste but taste is a funny thing. So I went ahead and opened it up a little.


I sent the song out via HEDD192 into my Massive Passive with a gentle lift of about a half a dB at 1k2 and then into an API5500 for a .5dB boost at 12.5k. This helped add some clarity I was looking for.

I passed it through a Manley Vari-Mu with a tiny bit of compression, fast release, slow attack, needles barely moving with the side-chain engaged. It took a while to get the compression right on this one as I really liked the liveliness of the drums and it was too easy to lose their vibe with compression. Even the slightest bit too much compression made the drums feel too flat to me. I even came close to no compression but I started to like the color the Mu was adding and after a bit, it felt naked without it.

Then captured back into the HEDD with the pentode process at 2 for a slight increase in perceived volume.

Then I noticed a bit of buzz at the end of the file but I liked the longer fade out. Finding that a bit distracting, I automated some notch EQ's to isolate the buzz and gently attenuate it when it starts to become obvious, allowing for a nice long fade.

0.5dB of input gain on the Voxengo limiter in El UNI mode, Knee: 5.0, Release: Auto, Trans: Classic, Trans Shape: 1.0, El Dyn: Off, Channel Linking: 100%, Dithering: 16bit, Output Gain: -0.3
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KAyo

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2012, 11:00:09 am »

Hello everybody,
Listening notes on the Team 2.

DOMC
Got the high’s and mid in a nice place! Sturdy and fast, which is desirable . A little bass heavy. I would like the bass certainly more controlled, otherwise,  “Well done mate”.

Ed Littman
Smooth listening as a first impression. The voice has a nice caress to it. Once again, I did find the bass constraining the flight the master could have taken. All and all, it’s an Ed master!

BiigNiick
This one I liked! Was not overly bloated in the lows, has a soft enough mid and the highs are smooth. It started well and ended well. Great!

Joe_caithness
The good parts first .. though brown and dense, it has a pleasurable warmness and the mid highs do it justice too. A little more focus on the low and I’d be smiling wider!

Herbeck
Hmm .. This one had that upfront feeling, which was different from most others, in a nice way. It feels like great Q’s and broad strokes. My suggestion, let’s talk that low mid through and seal it. Good go..

I hope you guys enjoyed the song! I thought it was cool piece!
To answer Joe, ‘Yes’, I did find some Bass heavy, but, maybe this is a chance to address the crossover of the BMW’s to the sub again..


Technique:
Mix > TCMD3 > NEVE Masterpiece > Capture.
In many ways capturing after the NEVE Masterpiece may have contributed towards the harshness. I have a master, with that swapped and it was so much better, but, once uploaded, that’s it! Period..

MD3
Input -2db
DC-ON
Auto Gain ON
RMS ON
Threshold -2.5db
Gain 0db
Ratio 2:00 : 1
Attack 20ms
Release 500ms
Soft Clip -3db
Trim -2db

NEVE Masterpiece:

1517 Shelf EQ
12khz
Sheen ON
+3db

35hz
Glow OFF
+2db


1515 Parametric EQ
22khz
3Q
+2db

2.9khz
5Q
+1db

58hz
1.8Q
+2.5

Classic Module
High ON
Mid ON
Low OFF

1710 Tape Texture
High OFF
Mid OFF
Low ON
Saturation +2.5

1900 Compressor
Threshold -15db
Attack -40
Release 500ms
Ratio 1.5:1
Soft Knee OFF
+4db Gain

Air Mons Input Module 
+2db

Output Module 
+3db

Capture via RME Fireface to 44/16

*********************
Really enjoyed the jam-up. Thank you everybody.

Heads up for the next WUMP.. Our very first BOLLYWOOD track in the pipeline already.
A really massive commercial selling artist! This one is going to be something else guys. Be sure to be there ..


Regards,
KAyo
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Herbeck

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2012, 12:58:40 pm »

Find it hard to write this stuff because sound is a very subjective thing and English is a weird language. So excuse me for my short comments and "what's wrong" approach.


Ed Littman 
I like the way you handled the kick/bass(maybe a bit to much emphasis on the bass guitar), but it gives the song a very nice groove. The vocal loses some energy in the refrain. 
 
 
DOMC 
The compressor is ballad-huge on the softer parts on the song but it kills the refrain, and as Joe pointed out the groove gets messed up. It would be interesting to hear your version with less compression. 
 

BiigNiick 
A bit to bright, maybe adding some focus on the vocal (mids) and the bass guitar? 


KAyo 
The lacking bottom end makes it hard to judge the overall approach of the master. 


Joe_caithness 
There are some similarities with Ed's master, but Ed's bottom is a bit tighter and the top a bit smoother. It's probably a gear thing so you'll have to ask Ed about that.  I like both but wanting the vocal to pop out just a little bit more.

Me
Trying to figure out how to make it groove a little better.


Technique:

-6 dB SRC to 88,2
 
Min-phase Eq   (This Eq is "in my opinion" a bit smoother than other min-phase Eq's) 
Low shelf :  -3.5dB @ 30Hz 0.8 oct
Bell :  1.8dB @ 200Hz 2.0 oct,   2.3dB @ 1750Hz 2.3 oct
High Shelf :   3dB @ 17.8kHz 2.0 oct
 
Color ( a plugin that adds saturation and/or impulse response coloration)
Added some saturation at the low end (Kick/bass)
 
Clipper  (a soft clipper with adjustable linear/minimum phase)
Soft clipper:  30% lin-phase, 70% min-phase
 * To clairrify, at 88,2 I only used the threshold on the clipper and I raised the gain after SRC to 44.1. 

SRC to 44,1 
Raised the gain and added a safety limiter to take care of some overs from the SRC.
Dithering: POW-R 2


The WUMP really makes this forum special to me. Since I work mostly with my own tools and "in the box" I'm a bit of an outsider. But the practical and hands on approach of the WUMP makes it very valuable to me and I always learn a lot. So, thank you guys and especially KAyo for making it happen.

Herbeck
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KAyo

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2012, 02:35:39 am »

Thank you Guy's!
I do try to make it a worthy event.

As said before, it's one of the original events on the Mastering circuit, and one of it's kind on the web today, also a PSW tradition, thus, it must be appropriately maintained.



Regards to all,
KAyo

PS: Next round is our very first BOLLYWOOD round. This one's going to be a blast! Be sure to enroll, I envisage a massive group of engineers. Wow! 8)
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mmarra

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2012, 07:52:22 pm »

PS: Next round is our very first BOLLYWOOD round. This one's going to be a blast! Be sure to enroll, I envisage a massive group of engineers. Wow! 8)

Can't wait to take part in this one  :D
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Mike Marra (P.Eng)
Jo„o Carvalho Mastering
http://www.joaocarvalhomastering.com & http://elitemastering.com
Toronto, Canada

Twerk

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2012, 08:49:07 pm »

Never heard back from Dana (SpecializedMastering). Dana?
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djwaudio

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2012, 12:24:25 am »

Thanks for checking in on me, Shawn! ;-)

I'm on the road for a couple more days and will be back in the saddle with reviews and notes. 
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Respectfully submitted,

Dana J White
Specialized Mastering
www.specializedmastering.com

BiigNiick

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2012, 05:30:15 pm »

hi all,
this has been a lot of fun (as always).  i was on a bit of a time crunch leaving town for a wedding when i posted my original comments, so i hope the rather short and subjective commentary didn't put anyone out.  now that i'm back, i'll post my notes and techniques.



My original thoughts on the mix were that the mix was very good.  The only real issues I had were some of the sibilance and kick drum phasieness.  I used the RX2 spectral repair to address a few of the more stinging s's and fixed one guitar squeak in the intro.  The phase issue with the kick i used the ePureII in MS mode and put a HiPass filter at 50hz.  I tried to leave a lot of the dynamic of the song intact and keep away from it feeling to 'brick-wall-y' with getting a few more dB of gain and overall loudness.  Also, i tried to reign in the low end without loosing any of that fullness and richness down there and make it sparkle a little on the top without getting harsh (especially on the s's).  That's my approach basically.


 - nick




My Chain:
FTP - ProTools (Flux ePure II Plugin EQ) - Lynx AES - Lavry M-DA 824 - GML 8200 - Avalon AD2055 - Manley Vari-Mu - RND PII Master Buss Processor - Lavry M-AD 824 - ProTools (PSP Xenon) - WaveBurner - Sonoris DDP Creator - .wav to FTP




ePureII
stereo mode
-2dB@120 Q45
-1@800 Q20
-1@1.5k Q15
[size=78%]MS mode[/size]
[size=78%]M-none[/size]
[size=78%]S[/size]
HP@50


Avalon 2055
-1dB@72 bell
-2@180 Q9 o'clock
-1@400 Q12 o'clock
+1@25k shelf


VariMu
in  [size=78%]~1.5 (about 3dB)[/size]
out ~0.75 (0dB)
recovery 3 (about 2sec)
thresh ~4.0 (
attack ~0.5 slow
separate
compress


MBP
gain ~3dB
attack ~60ms
release ~2sec
thresh ~+2dB
ratio ~2:1
feedback
100% blend
rms
texture ~11 o'clock
blue silk
limiter ~+20dBu
all other settings bypassed


Lavry AD
A saturation on


Xenon
in +1dB
out -0.1dB



Hermetech Mastering

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2012, 08:57:29 am »

Looking forward to the Bollywood track, as I'm sure, like many others, I have never worked on this style before, but love it dearly after spending four months in India back in 1995. Big fan of A.R. Rahman's work!

Sorry not to write my settings sooner, here they are:

Digital

Converted track to 32bit Float and used a look ahead limiter with very subtle settings to deal with the digital overs. I'd be very interested to hear how others dealt with this. My main concern was clipping the Crookwood Transfer DAC.

Turned "Mid" gain down 0.5dB to compensate for the stereo width reduction of later processes, using Voxengo MSED VST.

Out of Crookwood DAC.

Analogue

Chandler Germ Comps - Clean Comp, Input 8, Side-chain 90Hz, Ratio 1, Comp Curve Germ Soft, Mix 100% Wet, Attack 6.75, Release - 3.5, Unlinked, Germanium Drive 2, Feedback 10 (Subtle settings set to groove with the track and add pleasant warm colouration).

Thermionic Culture Pullet EQ - Mid Lift 4 at 2kHz with Low Q, Mid Cut 4 at 500Hz, High shelf set flat.

Chandler TG2 - 40dB of make up gain for the Pullet.

In to Crookwood ADC.

Digital

Sknote Roundtone VST set very subtly for tape "rounding off" and nice EQ curve (more solid bass, less treble).

Voxengo Elephant Limiter set for a maximum of 3.2dB of limiting on the highest peak, just catching occasional peaks most of the time.

Sonoris Dither to get from 32bit Float back to 16 bit file (TPDF with no noise shaping).

djwaudio

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Re: WUMP 25 - (Listening, Discussion and Techniques)
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2012, 04:04:22 pm »

Hi all, at last with my listening session.  For my group, I found a lot to like about all the entries in this group.  They all sound like professional work to me, and I would expect the client to approve any of them. 

I was listening (and mastered) on B&W 802Ds/Bryston 4BSST/Orpheus DAC

Babalumba: I like the broadness in the tone, especially in the intro and verses.  The EQ shape is nice, good stuff.  My suggestion would be, in sections where there is a lot of harmonic content, to find a way to keep it coherent and focussed.  At times my ear wandered around the mix looking for the focal point.

Luna Sound: Nice impact in the intro, and I really like how the guitar solo section on the end really rocks. I almost get the feeling that is where you did most of your listening on this song.  In a way it really lifts-off and brings this song home.  On the vocal sections, the penalty is feeling a bit "opened up" in the mid-range, leaving me wanting more refinement. 

Twerk: The intro feels natural and balanced, nice dynamics.  It tracks well through the verse and choruses, and is engaging.  This has a cool earthy tone, yet fits the spacey vibe of the song.  The guitar solo is the only section that didn't hold together as well for me.  Overall nice balance, well done.

djwaudio (me):  I like the depth and detail on this.  The vocal is still on the edge of sibilance, but I generally don't like de-essers so I opted to leave it. I might like a bit of the sub-low end back, in retrospect, but cutting it at the time cleaned up the mid-range in a way that I like. After a couple listens, it seems to hold up and is engaging.  I set a time limit of 20 Minutes to work on this, and let it go at that point.

My chain here:
Weiss DAC I MkII - > SPL Passeq -> Prism MLA-2 -> Dramastic Obsidian -> Manley Mastering Slam -> Orpheus A/D -> TC 6000 BW-2 limiter -> POW-r dither in SADiE

Settings:

SPL Passeq
mid 1k2/+1/2dB (this bell with is a fairly tight Q)
mid 7k5/-1/2dB  (this bell with is a fairly tight Q also)
low shelf 900Hz/-1/2dB

MLA-2
shelf/22/-1dB 
Q9/29/-2dB
Q14/5k4/+1/2dB
Q14/19kHz/+1/2dB

Dramastic
thresh 4:00 (approx +12dB)/8:1/attack .3mS/auto release/+3dB gain/side chain filter in (150 Hz iirc).

Slam
2:1 opto/+22dB threshold/100Hz side-chain filter
FET very fast attack/ threshold +22dB/100mS release
input gain +1dB/ouput unity

Orpheus A/D
Running cold, plenty of headroom

TC limiter
+12 input gain (bit pattern transparent ;-)/-.2dB output/Upsample & Adaptive Mode, Linked/"Loud" setting/dither set to 24bit

POW-r dither shape 2 for 16 bit render.  I used Cedar Retouch to clean the guitar noise in the fadeout.

Thanks for the WUMP!
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Respectfully submitted,

Dana J White
Specialized Mastering
www.specializedmastering.com
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