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Author Topic: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks  (Read 35095 times)

Paul Frindle

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #165 on: March 21, 2005, 09:47:01 am »

Eric Bridenbaker wrote on Mon, 21 March 2005 13:09

Paul Frindle wrote on Sun, 20 March 2005 18:16

The very worst kind of programme that shows this up IMO is that which contains very complex but still recognisable spectra such as cymbals - large orchestral with prominent strings etc.. In fact it is very disconcerting to hear the background string parts changing in timbre depending on foreground parts like vocals etc..


Nicely stated. Almost as though the foreground parts are "stealing" the spectra away from those in the backround.

This must be due to how the codec makes use of the psychoacoustical masking effect to determine which portions of the audio are removed.

Cheers,
Eric




Yes - clearly we are more sensitive than the original proponents of the masking effect figured. There definitely IS a masking effect, but it's not as powerful as some of the original researchers advocated. IMVHO this is yet another effect that has been over stated for reasons of market expediency.
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #166 on: March 21, 2005, 10:58:03 am »

Where masking gets tricky is the fact that it's very different for different individuals, especially any having some form of hearing damage. A moving target.

This I suspect is the problem people have with trying to mix listening to cheap digital converters. Masking hides digital artifacts creating another moving target compared to simply striking a balance listening to an analog console. As you reduce the measurable artifacts, I've found the translation locks in better although it doesn't necessarily sound "better" in the analog sense.

working4life

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #167 on: March 29, 2005, 06:42:08 am »

We have VU meters. We offset them by
8dB so we can read them.

Joe
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Lennbob

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #168 on: October 01, 2006, 12:17:54 pm »

blairl wrote on Mon, 14 March 2005 12:26

Whatever happened to the day when a mastering engineer was looked at as an expert collaborator on a project?  Someone who you trusted because of the years of experience and hundreds or even thousands of albums he had under his belt?  Someone who you could go to for advice on making your project sound the best it possibly could?  Are these days gone?  

...

Has it really gotten so bad that the mastering engineer is no longer looked at an expert collaborator on a project?  It seems that many ME's are advising clients that such high amounts of limiting are detrimental to the sound quality of a project, yet they are ignored.


Exactly! I'm new to this site, but pretty much the standard advice regarding mastering engineers seems to be that the job of a mastering engineer is to put the final polish on your recording, to give it the best sound possible. You shouldn't try to do this at home, kids, 'cause you'll probably just screw it up.

Unfortunately, what we're too often seeing is the topic at hand: excessive use of compression and limiting that ultimately lives up to its name: compressing the commercial lifespan of a given record into shorter and shorter periods, while simultaneously limiting its artistic/cultural impact. After all, you're not likely to give a disc much playing time if you start to suffer from listening fatigue after the second or third song...

Judging from an article posted on the austin360.com site (  http://www.austin360.com/arts/content/music/stories/xl/2006/ 09/28cover.html), I'd say that people outside the recording industry are finally starting to take note...

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compasspnt

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #169 on: October 01, 2006, 06:00:54 pm »


Well stated Lenn.

And Welcome!
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RSettee

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #170 on: November 26, 2006, 12:13:37 pm »

I hear alot of mixes being slammed, and it definetely bugs me. But this is a trend, often propagated by the labels or artists themselves, to make the mixes sound louder at any expense in order to compete with other songs on the radio. I've heard alot of digital clipping on records, and the waveform looks like a continuous block, not the "heart monitor waveform" that regular records are like. I've seen masters that the vu lights literally do not move from the 0 dB mark. I think that there's always those that realize that they'd rather go for something lower in volume that "breathes", rather than end up with something that is mastered louder, but not as dynamically pleasing.

A friend had recorded a band on their label, and I said that I could master it for them. They gave me the master mix on cd, and it was already maxed out to 0 db.  I tried a couple of songs, and it was already clipping and maxed out, and it was frustrating. There was nothing I could do with it, and I told them this, that i'd be wasting my time, so I didn't do it.  If anything, i'd have to reduce the levels, to add a bit of overall EQ that was missing from the mixes. I also told them that they'd be wasting their money if they got it mastered, seeing as the compression/ limiting/ 0 dB maximization was already done in the mixes, so what do they do? Send it out to Toronto to get a guy to master it for a grand! I mean, people don't listen when you tell them the truth. All he did was add a bit of 15-20 kHz sparkle, and that was it.

Ugghh.
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compasspnt

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #171 on: November 26, 2006, 02:11:32 pm »

alan_cohaul wrote on Sun, 26 November 2006 12:13


... But this is a trend, often propagated by the labels or artists themselves, to make the mixes sound louder at any expense in order to compete with other songs on the radio...



The irony of this expectation is that slammed out mixes/masters actually sound QUIETER on the radio that those with some room left for the station's processors to "breathe" a bit.
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RSettee

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #172 on: November 26, 2006, 03:04:02 pm »

Yeah, good point. Also, what alot of people don't realize, is that there's faders in the control room at the radio stations, so that they can even everything out with a master fader. My misconception when I was making a cd, was that I thought it had to be as loud as the other cds, otherwise it wouldn't sound as good on the radio, but I had a good perspective of things after I started working at a local campus station.

When I DJ'd, I always found that the slammed songs were initially louder, but they always wore on the ears, whereas the lesser compressed ones had more fullness, and could be bumped up to the same levels anyways, but with a sympathetic motion to the dynamic of the music.

But alot of radio stations have higher compression, so sometimes it doesn't matter anyways. I think alot of the top 40 and country stations do.
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swill777

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #173 on: January 18, 2007, 04:06:41 pm »

Check out Californication by the Chili Peppers, wow, this is horrible:

http://swill.ma.cx/temp/rhcp.jpg
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duckhunter

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #174 on: January 24, 2007, 02:15:05 am »

Hi all!  New to this forum.  Have been looking for site like this to further educate myself about mastering in our new commercial studio. First let me say that I am struggling with satifying some clients demanding Green Day levels, so these posts have been very helpful.  I'll share what I have learned. I'm very persistent and was not going to give up until I didn't have to turn up my volume knob on my cheap car stereo when switching between Green Day cd and my project master.

The first cut on Alien Nation was first mixed very hot and then without any limiting applied, cranked up beyond 0 db to clip the crap out of it....really....which preserves all of the dynamics.  Then the wave produced thereby was carefully edited to smooth out each clip using the pencil editing tool.  Then the wave form produced  was then cranked with a Limiter....L2 or whatever so that the average rms using the K12 was at about +8, so that the levels bounce nicely at that level.  I did it to my mix and I have a Green-day-level mix...hot as hell and the clipping is addressed.

That's what I know.  The product is good with killer drums, etc.  Clients were blown over by the result.  I may be on to something so ya'll try it too.
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compasspnt

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #175 on: January 24, 2007, 10:10:49 am »

Welcome to PSW Dean!

But the title of the thread refers to STOPPING the madness, not finding new ways to further it...
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J.J. Blair

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #176 on: January 25, 2007, 07:53:44 pm »

Terry, you kill me.

BTW, maybe somebody smarter than I am can explain to our friend why you don't want to print at +8.
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compasspnt

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #177 on: January 26, 2007, 12:50:14 am »

Paging Paul Frindle...
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djui5

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #178 on: January 26, 2007, 08:22:12 pm »

What's wrong with printing at +8? Those red lights are for excitement right! It means your getting a hot mix......




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Ali Moniack

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Re: stop the madness!: proof that brickwall limiting sucks
« Reply #179 on: January 26, 2007, 10:41:52 pm »

"Excitement" and "heat" can surely be achieved at any level?

I guess if all else fails...*sigh*
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