R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: Are you scared?  (Read 5699 times)

lucey

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1043
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2005, 12:59:30 pm »

malice wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 12:30


Making progress from this situation is not an achievement and cannot be considerer YET as a turnover ...

malice


Well, short term or long term, the simple change in thought is huge.

The intention has changed, and the will is there.  
Logged
Brian Lucey
Magic Garden Mastering

"the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ecology" - unknown

JGreenslade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 824
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2005, 01:00:58 pm »

The situation in the UK industry is because things couldn't get any worse. I believe the term city-types would use is a "dead cat bounce".

A friend of mine made No.8 in the UK charts a few months ago. Guess how many they sold?

15,000...

The MCPS put their rates up recently, for the 1st time in 30 years. They lost 3 million pounds in the previous period...

(Mechanical Copyright Protection Service)

Back to topic:

As I commented in another loudness thread, an associate (non audio person, a photographer) told me about a dynamics plug-in he uses to subjectively improve MP3s. If dynamics processing / presets start appearing in consumer gear maybe that could take away some of the pressure to pancake?

I also feel that the loudness war has been around for many years (a lecture I attended last Dec illustrated late '30s recordings that were squashed), and a big part of the problem is the fact that it is being perpetuated by unskilled people, with digital hardware, as opposed to skilled AEs with analogue hardware. Now anyone can squash a recording without having to comprehend the underlying theory...

Justin
Logged
Audio is a vocational affliction

"there is no "homeopathic" effect in bits and bytes." - HansP

robk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 15
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2005, 03:41:49 am »

thermionic wrote on Thu, 03 March 2005 18:00

The situation in the UK industry is because things couldn't get any worse. I believe the term city-types would use is a "dead cat bounce".

A friend of mine made No.8 in the UK charts a few months ago. Guess how many they sold?

15,000...


Most people I know in the UK who are buying music do so from CD-WOW or PLAY.com, based in Hong Kong or Channel Islands - through the letter-box in a few days for several UK Pounds less than High St is a no-brainer for many people (including my 2 sons).  These sales will not show up in UK figures.

I would buy music if there was music to buy.  Sales figures do not describe the latent demand for paid-for music, only how many people are happy with what is made available to them.   For me the quality of sound is a large part of this - there are very few recent CDs that I can bear to listen to over and over at the moment.

Rob Kirkwood
www.visibleform.co.uk
Logged

bblackwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7036
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2005, 05:25:56 am »

Good to see the discusion thus far.

After mulling over this for years now, the only solution I can come up with is every single person deciding they are simply sick of it and doing what they can to change things. It will take time, and there's no guarantee of winning this battle, but I will not simply cave in.

The side effect of it is that by developing a reputation for being one who cuts sensibly but is willing and able to push it when the clients asks is that, ime, you really become the mastering engineer people want (in a general sense) - you are cutting records to sound good, but are not above doing something over the top for the client if that is their wish.

And since I have the choice, I'd rather be known as a guy who tries to make things sound good by default than as a guy that tries to make things loud by default...
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

JGreenslade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 824
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2005, 05:35:16 am »

Quote:


I would buy music if there was music to buy. Sales figures do not describe the latent demand for paid-for music, only how many people are happy with what is made available to them. For me the quality of sound is a large part of this - there are very few recent CDs that I can bear to listen to over and over at the moment.



Agreed. On one hand I have noticed music / hi-fi buffs sneering down their noses at "audio engineers" because of the loudness / distortion race (the loudness race has devalued the currency of "audio engineer" in many people's eyes, a predicament I find moderately depressing), but at the same time certain factions who should know better don't seem to give a fig...(next para) Many of my friends spend their time buying old records off specialist dealers, and have become close-minded and won't even entertain the concept that there could be decent new material about - maybe it's post-traumatic-stress-disorder induced from other new recordings...

I wasn't going to name the companies, but I will, what the hell: When I attended the Heathrow A/V Expo last September I was amazed and flabbergasted at the standard of material being used to demo the kit. The 2 firms that stand out in my mind were Naim and DCS... Some of the material I heard in the Naim room (the only firm at the show who'd bothered to set up any acoustic treatment) was beyond description in terms of limited dynamic range, it sounded akin to FM radio - how can a hi-fi OEM demo their kit with flat-lined recordings? Why make all that effort with the power-supplies? I'm amazed...

However, Naim's source material had nothing on DCS... When I was sitting in the DCS suite, no lie, I just wanted to verbally abuse the staff. I heard the most brittle, over-compressed material I think I've ever heard. I would wager a bet that a skilled AE with a Fostex Portastudio could have made a cleaner, more natural recording than what I heard.

I find it acutely concerning that 2 major players in the hi-fi market (and pro market in DCS's case) would choose such heinously mangled material to demo their hardware - I still can't figure it out today. I came that close to standing up in the DCS demo and shouting to the staff "how the f*ck can anyone evaluate this hardware if you choose source material with 5% odd-order distortion on the whole mix?". I feel like I chickened-out really, maybe I should have caused a scene...

Excuse the rant.

Justin
Logged
Audio is a vocational affliction

"there is no "homeopathic" effect in bits and bytes." - HansP

malice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 799
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2005, 11:38:24 am »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 04 March 2005 11:25

Good to see the discusion thus far.

After mulling over this for years now, the only solution I can come up with is every single person deciding they are simply sick of it and doing what they can to change things. It will take time, and there's no guarantee of winning this battle, but I will not simply cave in.

The side effect of it is that by developing a reputation for being one who cuts sensibly but is willing and able to push it when the clients asks is that, ime, you really become the mastering engineer people want (in a general sense) - you are cutting records to sound good, but are not above doing something over the top for the client if that is their wish.

And since I have the choice, I'd rather be known as a guy who tries t make things sound good by default than as a guy that tries to make things loud by default...


I think the good attitude is to refuse to pass a certain level. I mean, you have to tell your client :"now we are crossing the Rubicon, things will start to sound worse than what we have. Do you want a good sounding record or a stupidly loud sounding record: cause if you want louder than that, I would prefer you don't mention my name as the guy who mastered it..."

Do you think you would loose clients with this kind of attitude ?

malice

chrisj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 959
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2005, 12:17:25 pm »

I think the only real refuge is being able to produce output that sounds SO BIG, so intensely awesome and right, that it changes the context of the question. You cannot have both at once- sound doesn't care if you need the output to be louder for A&R, you'll be losing something.

I'm working on dither software for the attention of Bruno Putzeys- he's got some hardware-manufacturing thing going on (Grimm Audio) and was checking in with how my code sounded and it turned out to be kind of synergistic. He's got me using more normal requirements like real dither instead of science project, and I've got him saying in certain ways I've beat MegaBitMax 'significantly' (less tonal change than it). My point being...

I was working on a way to skip the dither and do it all with noise shaping, and ironically I pretty much nailed it... I've got a test file produced from the 24/96.net dither shootout sources, that fades, INCLUDING ADDED NOISE, smoothly below the LSB boundary. It sputters a bit. It sounds rather weird. But it fades UNDER the truncation boundary, goes smoothly right through that boundary without any particular 'break', and without any apparent background noise much less dither noise. Sounds like some sort of insane FM synth or something. The volume output really closely tracks the high-res version. If you null it, the NULL fades to silence too. I would have said that was impossible.

Sound doesn't care how clever this is. I tested it on actual music content, and the sound SUCKED. Convinced me to just go with the variations that have dither linearizing the system, and a kind of invariant background noise, which sounded great.

Sound doesn't care if you need to have hotter output, either. If the sound sucks, the sound sucks. It is possible to hear if the sound sucks. It's not possible to demonstrate this and also have the hotter output at the same time. I think the trick will be contriving to have the sound really big, deep, rich, since the smashed stuff does sound really small, shallow, cheap.

Plush

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 264
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2005, 01:20:37 pm »

No, certainly not scared at all.
Logged
Hudson Fair
Atelier HudSonic, Chicago

http://www.myspace.com/hudsonek

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Tha Mastering Engineer's Hippocratic Oath, was Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2005, 06:46:28 am »

I GIVE PERMISSION FOR THIS POST TO BE FREELY COPIED THROUGHOUT THE INTERNET AND/OR WRITTEN PUBLICATIONS, AS LONG AS THE NOTICE: "COPYRIGHT 2005 BY ROBERT A. KATZ" IS ATTACHED TO THE TEXT.


Medical schools require that their graduating physicians take a hippocratic oath. You can read the original medical oath here .

I'd like to propose (and sign as the first signer) the following MASTERING ENGINEER'S HIPPOCRATIC OATH. I propose that this oath be delivered and taken at all the audio schools and retroactively by all working mastering engineers:

I swear that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To be a loyal and respectful professional colleague with all who have taught me my art and to help teach them this art - if they desire to learn it; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my professional colleagues and students who have signed the covenant and have taken the oath, and furthermore, to help my colleagues who have not yet taken or abided by this oath.

I will apply corrective audio measures for the benefit of the sound and performance of the music and other sound which have been given to me to process, according to my ability and best judgment; I pledge not to do the sound harm or injustice, either through commission or omission of any act.

I will not give a bad-sounding product to any client or anybody who (knowingly or unknowingly) asked for one, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. I will make every effort to instruct anybody who asks for a bad-sounding product the reasons why this product is or will be bad-sounding, and to show them how the product can be bettered by using more effective or different processing techniques. If the client continues to prefer a different result which I know to be bad-sounding, I will reluctantly deliver the product to them in as good a condition as I can make it within their proposed limitations. I will make it known to them, as tactfully as possible, that their choice has not been good in my professional opinion.

I will not use severely damaging processes on any audio product. I recognize that the definition of "damage" is in the ear of the listener, but that long experience and ear training help us to distinguish that which is harm from good. To that end I will make every effort to improve my abilities and knowledge, to truthfully say, "Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better."

Whatever houses I may visit to do my work, I will come for the benefit of the music and sound, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief.

If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.

Signed,


Robert A. Katz, Mastering engineer


All those who wish to sign and uphold this oath as I have chosen to do, please register your signature by sending it to Bob Katz through the guestbook at www.digido.com and I will publish your names and signatures at digido.com as signatories to this new Hippocratic oath.
Logged
There are two kinds of fools,
One says-this is old and therefore good.
The other says-this is new and therefore better."

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However a large number of
electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Bob Olhsson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3968
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2005, 09:36:03 am »

Sometimes I wish we had no technology other than microphones and recorders. Most music seems to be drowning in technology today!

Imagine if people were treating sex this way...

dcollins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2815
Re: Tha Mastering Engineer's Hippocratic Oath, was Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2005, 11:44:28 pm »

Bob, let me be the first to complement you on this treatise.  

I never thought you had such a developed sense of humor, but this may prove me wrong!

Granted, I've heard some bad mastering in my life, but nobody died from it.  

Cox-2 is not L2, for you art majors out there....

DC

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Tha Mastering Engineer's Hippocratic Oath, was Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2005, 10:09:45 am »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 05 March 2005 23:44

Bob, let me be the first to complement you on this treatise.  

I never thought you had such a developed sense of humor, but this may prove me wrong!

Granted, I've heard some bad mastering in my life, but nobody died from it.






Nobody died laughing, either, but there are some pretty serious comedians who care about their work. I don't expect any clowns to sign this oath, but a number of serious comedians are welcome to join in and sign. The oath was intended to separate those who care about audio and are concerned about the products they make from those who don't shive a git. It us no coincidence that this oath has been placed in the same subject area where Brad is disgusting (discussing) the "Mastering Mafia".

Actually, this oath was intended to be taken quite seriously. There's nothing in it that any dedicated engineer would have an objection to. If the schools and universities imparted this kind of an attitude on their students...  Likewise, if people take this oath on its face value, I dream that it's a step closer to the concept of a "Mastering Enginer's Guild" that people have been dreaming about in one way or another. Hippocrates talked about his fellow physicians sharing their knowledge... There are lifelong goals expressed in that oath which are more than just "good words to live by".

By all means, have a beer on me, and then sober up, read my intent and think about it again.

How many of you reading this oath believed it was a joke?

BK
Logged
There are two kinds of fools,
One says-this is old and therefore good.
The other says-this is new and therefore better."

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However a large number of
electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Level

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2005, 12:32:35 pm »

If I have learned anything, I have learned that Bob Katz don't Bluff. Neither do I.
Logged
http://balancedmastering.com

"Listen and Learn"
---Since 1975---

Samc

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1393
Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2005, 02:33:30 pm »

Why do so many of these post regarding this subject have PANIC written all over them?  While this is certainly an important topic of discussion, I cannot for the life of me understand the need to sign petitions, oaths and pledges.  I sometimes have the feeling that I'm reading about some new threat to humanity that's breathing down our necks.  I don't know when, but I'm willing to wager that THIS FAD WILL GO AWAY eventually, just like the too much reverb fad did!

Music will not die, it will not go away, it will no disappear, and it does not need the aid of super heroes (certainly not because of this trend)...........There is no need to panic.

By the way, the art and science of producing music is always evolving, the imagination of artist, audio engineers, and equipment designers are always pushing the boundaries.  The economics of the music business and fashion trends are also two important factors in popular music, and while this particular trend is certainly prevalent in the various forms of popular music, there is a whole other world of music outside the confines of Clear Channel, Billboard and MTV that does not necessarily subscribe to the latest fashion.

As long as some clients, (whom ever they are) demand, and/or sign off on smashed records, there will be an engineer to smash those records for them.  However, when clients do not demand, and/or will not sign off on smashed records........... guess what happens?  Just keep working in the way you think is best for you, your clients and the music, the really good stuff always outlast the rest.
Logged
Sam Clayton

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Tha Mastering Engineer's Hippocratic Oath, was Re: Are you scared?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2005, 03:21:20 pm »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 05 March 2005 23:44



Granted, I've heard some bad mastering in my life, but nobody died from it.  






Nobody died, but a lot of people are getting SICK of it!  Smile

BK
Logged
There are two kinds of fools,
One says-this is old and therefore good.
The other says-this is new and therefore better."

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However a large number of
electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4   Go Up