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Author Topic: 2 versions of each CD?  (Read 3614 times)

Ronny

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2005, 07:28:02 am »

bblackwood wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 03:57

The final version of the Orban/Foti article Ronny referenced has been posted on my site (with permission) and can be read here...



There you go Tony, thanks Brad.

This is a valuable read and gives some ammo in text, from the broadcast gear designers to back you up when advising a client to not smash too hard. I've let lots of my clients read it and it has changed a couple of their minds, but the hard core ones still want it loud to compete with what's become a market standard "smash it to smithereens level". From my experience it's mostly the heavy metal type artists and producers that are hardest to convince. This is where it's going to happen, because an agreement across the board, by ME's to drop RMS levels, isn't likely. The person that signs off wants their projects to compete number one and how it sounds dynamically it seems, takes a back seat to that.

I think two reasons why some of the ME's are resorting to stun without being requested, is that they weren't getting sign offs and getting requests to make it hot as X and Y cd's, so they started resorting to it without request from the producer or A&R suits. Second reason, when working at smash levels, after awhile the ear becomes accustomed to the sound and I believe that this takes away from an ME's ability to differentiate dynamic content over time. What compounds this, is that perceived levels are different to different people, one man's noise is another man's music. After all no matter where the perceived level lies, we all still hear the music differently and perceived levels are entirely opinion based and although there are loudness meters, we all have different sound acuity, so there is no real way to have a standarized perception level at this time. The best that we can hope for is educationing the people that pay for the mastering fees, when they've decided that they've had enough, only than will stun gun ME's go back to sane levels.
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bblackwood

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2005, 07:52:49 am »

andy_simpson wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 03:42

Anyway, it makes little difference - it ain't gonna get on the radio unless it impressed somebody beforehand, which means it has to compete on the terms of the other commercial single releases. So it (the single) has to be smashed.

Sorry, Andy, but this is simply incorrect. This attitude is what got us into this mess in the first place. I cut singles for radio just like the album version occasionally with less limiting, never more, and they get played just fine (and sound great).

Your point may seem logical, but experience proves it incorrect.
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Brad Blackwood
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Andy Simpson

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2005, 10:20:41 am »

I sure would love to see a breakdown of the recent few years no.1 singles and their RMS's (or some other measure of smash).

Andy

Smash the single, listen to the album.
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bblackwood

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2005, 10:38:50 am »

andy_simpson wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 09:20

I sure would love to see a breakdown of the recent few years no.1 singles and their RMS's (or some other measure of smash).

Whether a track reaches number one or not isn't part of the the discussion, but I'm sure one can measure that easily enough (assuming one has the time).

Or one can rely on empirical evidence.

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Brad Blackwood
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2005, 10:56:18 am »

andy_simpson wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 03:42

I'd be willing to bet that not one radio industry person complained to the record comany or band that Californication sounded shit on radio......and it didn't suffer (commercially!) one jot from sounding smashed to hell and back (before it hit the radio).
Nobody really knows if it did as well as it might have. It sure isn't selling up there with the Eagles' Greatest hits!

Ronny

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2005, 02:49:12 pm »

andy_simpson wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 10:20

I sure would love to see a breakdown of the recent few years no.1 singles and their RMS's (or some other measure of smash).

Andy

Smash the single, listen to the album.



Although it's one of the better ways, RMS is not a 100% precise way of determining perceived gain. It's highly material dependent. For RMS analysis to be more accurate in determining perceived level, a ratio between amplitude and time must be calculated. What this means is that many RMS points would need to be calculated, not just one RMS reading on each song from top to tail.
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JohnMcD

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2005, 02:51:22 pm »

Well, Andy, you and I seem to like loud music. But I must point out the idea with smashing the single and then not smashing the album. To me, it is like cooking a great dinner, but not cleaning it up at all before and after. Or for those
that need a vile one, using the bathroom. You wipe but don't flush. All is well.

That is how I view smashing and not smashing....Does that make any sense?

I figure if they pay me for "soft" (not labeling it as quiet!), meticulous mastering, then that is what I'll do for them. I won't be taking a song and smashing it to hell.
They paid for soft right?

My logic is this: You get what you pay for.

Sure, there are pros and cons to both loud and soft material. But what I think most people on this board are concerned about is not "loud". It is the integrity of the audio
when trying to get "loud". (If I went beyond my place for seeming to speak for any of you, I wasn't. Just second guessing you) Embarassed

With that in mind, I'm sure the simple solution of just turning the volume up works wonders. Take a "good" mastered song. It breathes, dynamic, good tone, no low threshold limiting etc. Turn the volume dial up a bit. Now take that snapshot. Would you guys still be complaining about loudness wars etc?

I would go further, but I won't. I'll let anyone answer from here on.

Again, I don't care either way. I'm young, I want to put food on my table and have a prosperous future. If I get
paid one way or another, I'll do it. Sorry if that seems callous to the whole awareness and reaching out for better audio.

So what is exactly bad about doing what a client says to do in the first place as a service? Whether the client is A&R, Artist, Mixer etc.

-John
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bblackwood

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2005, 02:56:35 pm »

JohnMcD wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 13:51

Well,
So what is exactly bad about doing what a client says to do in the first place as a service? Whether the client is A&R, Artist, Mixer etc.

No offense, but perhaps you should re-read the thread. No one is saying "don't please the client", but rather, "don't default to smashing unless requested"...
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Brad Blackwood
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JohnMcD

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2005, 04:13:25 pm »

Sorry Brad. I was reading the two threads on here and well, conglomerated both in my head as I was typing my post.

I'll make sure to dilineate better with what I respond to.

Again, sorry, I didn't mean to extend this thread in a different direction.

-John
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Andy Simpson

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2005, 04:44:07 am »

I just want the industry educated.

I want them to know that it would be sensible to treat the mastering of a single _differently_ to that of an album.

Personally, I like no buss limiting/compression on my album unless I put it there in the mix. Which means that my single will be way too quiet for club DJ's, promo or (pre)release. So I gotta smash it seperately.

If there's smashing to be done, let them smash the single not the album.

Andy

Smash the single, listen to the album.
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jackthebear

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2005, 06:51:16 am »

andy_simpson wrote on Tue, 01 March 2005 20:44

I just want the industry educated.

I want them to know that it would be sensible to treat the mastering of a single _differently_ to that of an album.




I'm sorry Andy, but I disagree that singles need "different" mastering. A well mastered track will translate well across a whole lot of playback systems.....period.

Trying to "educate" people the way you suggest is merely perpetuating the "radio ready" or "single ready" (or whatever you want to call it) myth.

Good sound is good sound no matter how you slice it.


Cheers,
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Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
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jackthebear

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2005, 06:56:18 am »

Further to that....... records go to #1 because of other factors including marketing and payola. I worked in radio for many years as I built my business and NEVER did a music or program director add a new song to their playlist because it reached a certain level on the VU.

It was all about their demographic and who would send them to an island paradise to attend their "seminars".


Cheers,
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Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
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eligit

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2005, 08:08:54 am »

it seems like the idea to smash the single so as to provide something to make the a+r $$ folks not freak out and say "i can't sell that, it's too QUIET"

in fact when people listen to the single next to the album with a little blurb on the cd case about dynamic range and compression they could start becoming educated about this problem.

few years later nobody would even want the squashed version.

or maybe people have no ears anymore and music is screwed.



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Ronny

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2005, 03:27:00 pm »

andy_simpson wrote on Tue, 01 March 2005 04:44

I just want the industry educated.

I want them to know that it would be sensible to treat the mastering of a single _differently_ to that of an album.

Personally, I like no buss limiting/compression on my album unless I put it there in the mix. Which means that my single will be way too quiet for club DJ's, promo or (pre)release. So I gotta smash it seperately.

If there's smashing to be done, let them smash the single not the album.

Andy

Smash the single, listen to the album.



I have yet to run into a club dj that didn't have a volume control. Let them turn your tunes up, they'll sound much better than the smashed tunes when perceived levels are matched by the volume knob, instead of some stun gun ME that takes the choice of volume relative to dynamic content out of the hands of the listener.
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dcollins

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Re: 2 versions of each CD?
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2005, 05:06:48 pm »

Ronny wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 11:49


Although it's one of the better ways, RMS is not a 100% precise way of determining perceived gain. It's highly material dependent. For RMS analysis to be more accurate in determining perceived level, a ratio between amplitude and time must be calculated. What this means is that many RMS points would need to be calculated, not just one RMS reading on each song from top to tail.



First of all, you have to take into account the ears sensitivity to midrange and the equal-loudness contours.  The straight RMS energy doesn't tell you how loud it sounds..... And why would it?

As always, I advise people to actively avoid looking at numbers when listening is all you need!

Now who will be the first to debunk the "RMS power" value?

DC


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