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Author Topic: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks  (Read 35047 times)

J.J. Blair

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stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« on: February 27, 2005, 02:28:00 am »

This is what I was complaining about in the L2 thread.  The waveforms on top are direct from the 1/2" masters.  The bottom pair are imported from the CD.  The CD waveforms are brickwalled at 0db, and there are no transients whatsoever.  The cymbals sound distorted and the the guitars sound harsh.  But hey, the CD is loud!  (Ugh.)

Stop the madness!!!!!  You mastering guys need to put your foot down to the A&R idiots and tone deaf musicians who think that louder = better.  The L2 is at best, a piece of prosumer gear, that should be left to any amateur that wants to try to master his own mixes.  As the ad says, "doing your own mastering is like doing self dentistry."  I could throttle my mastering engineer on this album, even though he's a friend.  He really made me look bad.  I thought mastering was supposed to make your mixes sound better?

Now repeat after me:
I pledge allegiance to the analogue compression and rarefaction of the audio signal, and to the dynamics for which they stand, one nation under a groove, unditherable, with fidelity and high end above 22 khz for all.  Amen.

index.php/fa/721/0/
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

thesoundguy

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2005, 02:36:25 am »

there was a time when the word "square" was used as an adjective to describe something that more or less, sucked.  Incidentally that was around the time when rock had perhaps the most dynamic range.

just an observation.

If people had to look at stuff that was mastered this loud on a pinned VU meter, perhaps then they'd understand how wrong this is (since clearly they cant tell by listening to it).

dave
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2005, 08:19:44 am »

J.J. wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 01:28

...You mastering guys need to put your foot down to the A&R idiots and tone deaf musicians who think that louder = better....

It's really not OUR call! Probably the best thing any of us can do is to return smashed CDs to the artist's management company and demand an undistorted copy of the CD. The only thing they know is that too low a level can hurt how a CD goes over in sales and focus group meetings which is their source of paranoia. If they get the message that too high is not acceptable to the fans, they'll do something about it. NOBODY ELSE in the food chain has the power to turn it down.

Barry Hufker

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2005, 09:19:14 am »

Click here for some wonderful examples of the distortion created along the way by hot CDs.

http://www.tcelectronic.com/TechLibrary
Scroll down to Loudness Control and Mastering

Then choose "programmed for distortion."

Barry
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ammitsboel

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2005, 09:36:51 am »

Barry Hufker wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 14:19

Click here for some wonderful examples of the distortion created along the way by hot CDs.

http://www.tcelectronic.com/TechLibrary
Scroll down to Loudness Control and Mastering

Then choose "programmed for distortion."


Isn't the TC article about overshooting and not about loudness(RMS level)?
Seems to me that this thread is about what RMS level does to music, especially if achieved by a Brickwall limiter.

TC has a lot of paper about overshooting and practical information, but i don't think you will find any information about music quality on their site. This thread is about music quality.
In fact TC is behind some of the worst music destroying devices worldwide.


Best Regards
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Barry Hufker

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2005, 12:08:39 pm »

According to TC Electronic's notes:
"The soundfiles included with this download have been prepared to reveal the audible side  effects of extensive use of compression and clipping in mastering. The examples demonstrate  that distortion should be expected to happen downstream of the mastering studio, for instance  at a broadcast station or at the consumer."

So I think it starts with mastering for extreme loudness but becomes more distorted down the chain.

I believe this relates to the topic.

Barry
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PaulyD

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2005, 12:28:45 pm »

Quote:

In fact TC is behind some of the worst music destroying devices worldwide.


Is TC mastering gear inherently bad?? Even if used judiciously?

Just curious,

Paul

JamSync

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2005, 01:52:11 pm »

PaulyD wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 17:28

Quote:

In fact TC is behind some of the worst music destroying devices worldwide.


Is TC mastering gear inherently bad?? Even if used judiciously?

Just curious,

Paul


TC makes some fine products. Any tool can be misused and not all self-styled mastering engineers know how to use the tools to the best advantage.

ammitsboel

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2005, 02:30:43 pm »

Since this thread is about the serious disadvantages of Brickwall limiting, such as "shy dynamics", a "floating" audio image and more "sameness" to the sound witch leads to boredom in the long run.

Then brands such as Waves L2 and TC really counts in as the "bad guys", because as soon as they start to react with the signal you will get the typical digital Brickwall limiter character, witch I believe is the theme that's up to discussion in this thread.

Best Regards

 
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ammitsboel

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2005, 02:36:39 pm »

JamSync wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 18:52


TC makes some fine products. Any tool can be misused and not all self-styled mastering engineers know how to use the tools to the best advantage.


But, how would you win a formula 1 race driving a go kart?
Even if you are the worlds best go kart driver you will never turn it into a formula 1.
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WhyKooper

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2005, 03:27:36 pm »

............"Stop the madness!!!!! You mastering guys need to put your foot down to the A&R idiots and tone deaf musicians who think that louder = better"............

Yeah, and you McDonald's guys at the drive-thru gotta put your foot down to the idiot customers who think ketchup instead of mustard = better.
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ammitsboel

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2005, 03:59:36 pm »

WhyKooper wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 20:27

............"Stop the madness!!!!! You mastering guys need to put your foot down to the A&R idiots and tone deaf musicians who think that louder = better"............

Yeah, and you McDonald's guys at the drive-thru gotta put your foot down to the idiot customers who think ketchup instead of mustard = better.


Is it just me that have a hard time trying to understand where the link is here?
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J.J. Blair

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2005, 04:14:48 pm »

If I didn't know that he is losing his sight and probably doesn;t hang out on his computer reading forums, it's responses like that which sometimes make my wonder if WhyKooper is really Al Kooper.  
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Paul Frindle

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2005, 05:32:31 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 13:19

J.J. wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 01:28

...You mastering guys need to put your foot down to the A&R idiots and tone deaf musicians who think that louder = better....

It's really not OUR call! Probably the best thing any of us can do is to return smashed CDs to the artist's management company and demand an undistorted copy of the CD. The only thing they know is that too low a level can hurt how a CD goes over in sales and focus group meetings which is their source of paranoia. If they get the message that too high is not acceptable to the fans, they'll do something about it. NOBODY ELSE in the food chain has the power to turn it down.


I agree totally. The whole chain is driven completely by money and profit - and only when THESE factors are percieved to be threatened will things change. The main problem now is that the user has no real choice - if they want to hear music they have to put up with what is manufactured - both artistically and technically. Sure CDs are starting to be returned to the stores (or not purchased in the first place), but what replaces them if nothing else is available? And with every passing day our ability to hear what we want, or even manufacture what we would like to hear ourselves and distribute to others, is being steadily eroded.

As ever the madness is being generated by control - as does all such madness at all socialogical scales - when the desire to make profit transcends the product itself and the desire to retain control transcends what is good for the people within society that are supposed to be supported by the regime, they are encouraged to believe they themselves have chosen. And IMHO control is always accomplished the same way - i.e. by taking what is natural and required in the human condition that was always there before and 'graciously' offering it back again in 'sanitised' form - with strings attached, in the form of forced compliance with granted permissions(!) paradoxically made palatable and legitimised within the mass opinion by installed (and often virtual) notions of fiscal prosperity, unpredented choice, security and apparent freedom! Sad

The very economic ethos that fuels the advances that lead to such unprecedented technical facilty and artistic potential, by dint of it's own very selfish motivations, ends up devaluing the end results to the point where it all starts to become essentially worthless. And we wake up to the fact that we had more freedom, more art and a better human condition - before such advances were ever thought possible - before the ethos itself became more important than the human condition it was apparently there to foster and support. The sad irony therefore is that by the time you can carry around an entire music collection in a box in your shirt pocket, there's nothing worth down loading onto it. It's so very sad - and I don't know the answer to it - it's the natural result of an ethos that encourages and rewards human being's desire to scramble to the 'top of the pile' Sad

Of course the answer the regime is applying (which IMVHO we are suffering now in our art) is obviously and predictably to simply restrict your choices in order to maintain the economic ethos at all costs - whilst hiding this agenda by providing an ever increasing 'choice' that spans an ever decreasing diversity - the limits of which are decided soley on potential fiscal gain.
I.e. you have all the choice in the world, but it's all the same - so you actually have no choice at all!!
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J.J. Blair

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2005, 11:35:20 pm »

How about we just remind A&R people that the "A" and the "R" don't stand for "production", "mastering" or "telling me how to mix my fucking album".  LOL.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham
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