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Author Topic: 2 versions of each CD?  (Read 3536 times)

eligit

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2 versions of each CD?
« on: February 21, 2005, 10:08:04 pm »

considering the whole conflicting interests of the folks w/ the cash and the folks with the ears would it ever be plausible to simply make 2 masters of any given mix?

1)the crappy loud A+R guy version

2)the quieter, dynamic, hi-fi version

would this ever be applicable?

at least then there would be something nice in somebody's vault at the very least.  considering the cost and time of a big budget record as a whole as compared to a day or two of extra mastering.....

then neither CD would be a compromise and each could achieve it's own particular set of goals.

i realize this is probably not practical in any case.  but it sure would be cool.  
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Level

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2005, 10:13:35 pm »

CD for the crushers, SACD/DVD-A for those who want quality.

As you can see, the trends favor CD.

Multi-formats are expensive. Single formats with duplication adds to the confusion.

Either way, with separate licenses, the artists could benefit.

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bblackwood

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2005, 05:09:38 am »

Considering the A&R guy (label) is the guy that generally signs off on the record and insures you get paid, what he signs off on better be what hits the shelves.

Considering most artists aren't requesting smashed to death records (regardless of the lip service the mastering mafia guys give) the real question isn't "why can't we cut two records", but "why are these guys so bent on destroying the music?"...

Most artists/labels/etc trust the mastering guy. The mafia guys want you to believe that they are simply monkeys killing themselves tirelessly trying to appease their masters, which is not my experience at all. Artists/labels/etc will occasionally ask for a little more level (if you cut reasonably loud, I'm not cutting records as if they were 'Brothers in Arms'), but in general, if the EQ is right, they're fine with it.
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Brad Blackwood
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Samc

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2005, 05:33:23 am »

So Brad, my question to your statement is, why are people sighning off on these "smashed to death" projects if that is not what they want?  Out of pure trust of the mastering engineer?
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Sam Clayton

bblackwood

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2005, 06:26:52 am »

Samc wrote on Tue, 22 February 2005 04:33

So Brad, my question to your statement is, why are people sighning off on these "smashed to death" projects if that is not what they want?  Out of pure trust of the mastering engineer?

IMO, yes, compounded by the fact that it has become 'acceptable'...
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Brad Blackwood
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eligit

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2005, 07:15:34 am »

Level wrote on Tue, 22 February 2005 03:13

CD for the crushers, SACD/DVD-A for those who want quality.

As you can see, the trends favor CD.

Multi-formats are expensive. Single formats with duplication adds to the confusion.

Either way, with separate licenses, the artists could benefit.




mmmm DVD-A without crush...sonic joy

i think i will save all 96k/24bit mixes of my little experiments with this in mind....
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JohnMcD

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2005, 01:50:56 pm »

Well, personally, I thought making things loud was fine and dandy. But then reality hit...very hard. I started getting complaints. Very bad for business. Short end of a long rant, I had to adjust.

People aren't cattle asking for more loudness. Especially A&R. If they get it and like it, great. But it isn't that simple.

From my experience, most DIY, local, indie stuff likes to be pounded. Most commercial stuff is way quieter. But after real world excercises, I learned that this dileneation is not sufficient.

Case 1: Loud cut CD playing over loud PA speakers in a club. Then followed by less processed/quieter CD playing over loud PA speakers in a club. This version of course gets the volume dial treatment to make it as loud as the first. Not surprisingly, this quieter version is not only fuller, more impact, and damn well sounds easier on the ears when loud than the loud cut CD. The loud cut CD sounds like a wash of sonic garbage at these insane PA volume levels!(What goes around comes around!)

Case 2: Consumers buying a loud cut CD are having trouble with it in some of their older but favorite CD players. Particularly discmans.

Case 3: Loud cut CD getting broadcasted. You can imagine the rest.

I have been whipped very hard for it. It is not to say ME's can get away with this without consequences. I was just lucky this didn't escalate for me. I am now confidently saying I'm more conservative. But IF and WHEN a client asks for the insane levels, I'll oblige.

I think I've embarressed myself enough.

Thanks,

-John
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Level

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2005, 03:54:24 pm »

Quote:

But IF and WHEN a client asks for the insane levels, I'll oblige.



Not Me. I will pass it on to another mastering engineer. I will not put my name on something I did to destroy the hard work of the recording engineer or the artist.

I am as hard core about this as Steve Albani is about not taking artist points.

It is a religion to make the final sound its best.

Death metal does sound "better" running at -13.5 to -9 on rms values, whole and part track respectively.

This is not crushing. It was crushed to begin with. You are making it competative. This I will do...because I am not trashing the sound. It was already trashed.

One out of 100 projects are death metal here. 65% of what I do are acoustic performances.

I will trade one on one any death metal project to a compentant engineer for an acoustic one they simply have not the feelings to deal with. I love organic, acoustic recordings.
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Andy Simpson

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2005, 04:41:52 pm »

As I just said in another nearby thread Wink just crush the single and let the album breathe.

You ME's with integrity and consceince could do the extra version for free to get the concept off the ground.....so the artist has no reason to refuse.....

Andy

Smash the single (ADVERT), listen to the album (PRODUCT).
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eligit

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2005, 07:41:44 pm »

that's what i'm talkin about
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Andy Simpson

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2005, 12:56:08 pm »

Yeah man. But unfortunately everyone's in the other thread arguing about who should make the stand to reclaim 1.3dB less smashing....
Wink

Surely we can have a no-compromise album version AND a massively smashed, attention-grabbing single.....since the radio/tv sounds like shit anyway.

I personally would like my albums not only unsmashed, but reduced in level by about 5-10dB just to get some headroom in my amp and some usable fine control with the volume knob.....

Andy

Smash the single, listen to the album.
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Ronny

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2005, 05:12:35 pm »

andy_simpson wrote on Fri, 25 February 2005 12:56

Yeah man. But unfortunately everyone's in the other thread arguing about who should make the stand to reclaim 1.3dB less smashing....
Wink

Surely we can have a no-compromise album version AND a massively smashed, attention-grabbing single.....since the radio/tv sounds like shit anyway.

I personally would like my albums not only unsmashed, but reduced in level by about 5-10dB just to get some headroom in my amp and some usable fine control with the volume knob.....

Andy

Smash the single, listen to the album.



If you play a cd that was reduced in level by -10dB, you'd have to turn your amp up by +10dB to match gain on a normal cd, or to the peak level that you are used to listening at. When you do that, you are bringing the noise floor of your analog side up by +10dB. You aren't really getting any useable headroom that way and actually shortening the dynamic range of the recording by +10dB. Best place to achieve gain, IMHO, is in the digital realm where you can take advantage of the lower noise floor and back it off on the analog side if needed, where you lower noise floor of the analog side not raise it. That's where more headroom on the analog side will come into play.  
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bobkatz

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2005, 04:46:37 pm »

Ronny wrote on Fri, 25 February 2005 17:12



If you play a cd that was reduced in level by -10dB, you'd have to turn your amp up by +10dB to match gain on a normal cd, or to the peak level that you are used to listening at.




This is true, HOWEVER, Ronny, please don't give the impression from that that 16 bit is bad noisewise. There is very adequate signal to noise ratio and headroom in 16 bit to allow totally quiet listening at a K-20 monitor gain. This means that a 0 VU of -20 dBFS and working to that 0 VU while disregarding whether or not the peaks reach full scale is a perfectly adequate way of working in 16 bit. Remember, it is the RMS level that determines the perceived signal to noise ratio, not the peak level.

BK
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Ronny

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2005, 08:18:02 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Sat, 26 February 2005 16:46

Ronny wrote on Fri, 25 February 2005 17:12



If you play a cd that was reduced in level by -10dB, you'd have to turn your amp up by +10dB to match gain on a normal cd, or to the peak level that you are used to listening at.




This is true, HOWEVER, Ronny, please don't give the impression from that that 16 bit is bad noisewise. There is very adequate signal to noise ratio and headroom in 16 bit to allow totally quiet listening at a K-20 monitor gain. This means that a 0 VU of -20 dBFS and working to that 0 VU while disregarding whether or not the peaks reach full scale is a perfectly adequate way of working in 16 bit. Remember, it is the RMS level that determines the perceived signal to noise ratio, not the peak level.

BK



I agree the dynamic range of 16 bit is just fine, but I never mentioned bit depth Bob and I don't know why you got the impression that I was dissing 16 bit. It doesn't matter what bit depth the source is, if he inputs any digital signal that is outputting at -10dB, he's going to have to make up gain for it in the analog domain, thus he'll be raising the noise floor of the analog system that will likely be higher than the digital source, even at 16 bit. Therefore it is my recommendation to set gain while in the digital realm where he has greater dynamic range. In his case this means, not lowering overall level, so that peak level is -10dB (this has nothing to do with perceived gain, nor RMS, we are talking what you can get in peak gain before clipping distortion). If he peaks at say -.3dB in the digital domain when he burns to a media, the noise floor on his annie side will be -9.7dB lower than if he creates a cd or DVD at -10dBFS and brings volume up on it to his normal listening level. Understand what I'm saying now?   Smile
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bobkatz

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2005, 08:07:10 am »

Ronny wrote on Sat, 26 February 2005 20:18



I agree the dynamic range of 16 bit is just fine, but I never mentioned bit depth Bob and I don't know why you got the impression that I was dissing 16 bit.




Sorry about that...

Quote:



It doesn't matter what bit depth the source is, if he inputs any digital signal that is outputting at -10dB, he's going to have to make up gain for it in the analog domain, thus he'll be raising




Oh, but it does matter what bit depth the source is. The lower the wordlength, the higher the grunge, dither, or noise floor of the digital system that you are amplifying in the analog domain when you raise the gain. My point was simply that the extra 10 dB gain that you are talking about if you run the digital signal to -10 dBFS peak is a red herring. You won't hear the system noise in a well-designed DAC/analog chain in any system with 16 bits or greater as long as you use K-20 monitor gain or less. I guess what I'm saying is that the classical symphony orchestra with -20 dBFS average level on forte passages, reproduced at 83 dBC average SPL level with 103 dB SPL peak level will be reproduced with no system noise apparent when you pause the CD! YET, most of the time, you will not be seeing peaks even close to full scale. That's my point, that people underestimate the signal to noise ratio of a 16 bit system and over state the apparent importance of peaking to full scale on the final master.

BK
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