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Author Topic: ME's with their own sound  (Read 2655 times)

aivoryuk

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ME's with their own sound
« on: May 14, 2005, 04:57:19 am »

while some producers have their own sound that they are associated with, example william orbit and the neptunes each have a particular sound.

do any of you think that are any ME's that have a individual sound.

One possible I can think of is Bob Ludwig, I've listened to several albums by different artists, different mixers (incubus, bruce springsteen, feeder) that have been mastered by him all the all seem to have this particular sound.

Does anyone reckon any other ME's have a particular sound???
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bblackwood

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2005, 06:50:17 am »

I don't think I have a 'sound' (and would consider it a liability if I did). The best compliment I get from mixers is "it sounds like my mix, but better"...
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jfrigo

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2005, 09:54:50 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 14 May 2005 03:50

I don't think I have a 'sound' (and would consider it a liability if I did). The best compliment I get from mixers is "it sounds like my mix, but better"...


Similarly I've heard, "that's how I meant for it to sound but didn't quite make it." The intent of a mix is usually discernable and you expand upon that, helping the client reach his goal, catching any problems that may have have escaped him during mixing. I think we're here to serve the artist's vision, not our own.  When we listen to music, we can probably  recognize most artists easily, some producers often, certain mixers sometimes, but seldom mastering engineers. About the only one whose work I recognize often is because of his displayed disdain for sound quality and love of plain-as-day clipping distortion as the music is impaled on the spike of excessive level.
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Arf! Mastering

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2005, 10:20:31 am »

jfrigo wrote on Sat, 14 May 2005 14:54

mastering engineers. About the only one whose work I recognize often is because of his displayed disdain for sound quality and love of plain-as-day clipping distortion as the music is impaled on the spike of excessive level.



It's gotten to the point where before buying a CD I'll check AMG to see if it was mastered by a certain individual, and if it has, pass.  I don't think we're talking about the same person though.
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lucey

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2005, 10:37:58 am »

Invisibility is my aim ... yet I have a sound RANGE I suppose.

MEs with a sound are the major label A listers who seem to have evolved into a sound for a variety of reasons.

An easy test is to have a few CDs from the same artist mastered by say Ludwig, Marcussen and Marino ... then compare the sound differences with another artists 3 or 4 works by the same MEs.  

Brendon O'brien mixes are easy to "spot the ME", as he and Nick have a strong sound to their work so the ME is pretty obvious.
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ammitsboel

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 07:28:12 am »

aivoryuk wrote on Sat, 14 May 2005 09:57


Does anyone reckon any other ME's have a particular sound???


I think all ME's has a sound, some can be more "invisible" than others though.
But to say that you don't have a sound or you are unaware of it, is probably because you are inexperienced with listening to your own work. I believe the sound we have is closely related to what kind of people we are.

Best Regards
Henrik
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bblackwood

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2005, 08:50:41 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 06:28

But to say that you don't have a sound or you are unaware of it, is probably because you are inexperienced with listening to your own work.

According to your profile, you're 22 years old - do you really want to turn this into a steak-swinging contest about experience?

When I say I don't think I have a sound, I say this with experience (both time mastering and listening to my own work), thankyouverymuch.
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Brad Blackwood
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2005, 09:26:07 am »

I've never thought of myself as having my own sound but people have often told me that they think the recordings I've made from scratch have an unusual amount of character. Turning it around, when I really love the sound of a movie, it has frequently turned out to be some of my mentor's work.

In the end, we all have different ways of approaching and solving the production problems we encounter. This combined with different priorities no doubt creates somewhat of a signature.

ammitsboel

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2005, 09:26:24 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 13:50

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 06:28

But to say that you don't have a sound or you are unaware of it, is probably because you are inexperienced with listening to your own work.

According to your profile, you're 22 years old - do you really want to turn this into a steak-swinging contest about experience?

When I say I don't think I have a sound, I say this with experience (both time mastering and listening to my own work), thankyouverymuch.



Sorry Brad.
I'm not trying to swing steaks around here, not sure I would like the sound of it either Laughing

But Brad, isn't how you interact with the Sontec and your other gear a great part of your sound?
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ammitsboel

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2005, 09:31:55 am »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 14:26

I've never thought of myself as having my own sound but people have often told me that they think the recordings I've made from scratch have an unusual amount of character. Turning it around, when I really love the sound of a movie, it has frequently turned out to be some of my mentor's work.

In the end, we all have different ways of approaching and solving the production problems we encounter. This combined with different priorities no doubt creates somewhat of a signature.


Yes, having "a sound" is not such a bad thing.
In fact one can't not have a sound.
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bblackwood

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2005, 09:56:38 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 08:26

But Brad, isn't how you interact with the Sontec and your other gear a great part of your sound?

If I used it (or the same chain) on every project and used the same settings every time, then I'd agree. Fortunately, neither of those factors exist...

BTW, how does one 'interact' with a piece of gear. If you and I both add .5dB @ 10kHz on the same piece of gear, does it sound different?
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Brad Blackwood
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jfrigo

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2005, 10:17:19 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 06:56

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 08:26

But Brad, isn't how you interact with the Sontec and your other gear a great part of your sound?

If I used it (or the same chain) on every project and used the same settings every time, then I'd agree. Fortunately, neither of those factors exist...

BTW, how does one 'interact' with a piece of gear. If you and I both add .5dB @ 10kHz on the same piece of gear, does it sound different?


In the most general sense, our experience, taste, and even equipment will shape our resulting sound somewhat, but not enough to make it an identifiable signature every time. The music, chosen equipment chain, conditions, and client's goals are ever-changing from session to session, enough that one probably isn't going to be able to pick  out the mastering engineer unless he is regularly radically outside the bell curve; say a guy who is consistently a couple dB hotter and more distorted, or a guy who always makes it "rip-your-head-off" bright. Yes, this happens, but I think it does not happen with the better engineers.
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ammitsboel

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2005, 11:06:33 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 14:56


BTW, how does one 'interact' with a piece of gear. If you and I both add .5dB @ 10kHz on the same piece of gear, does it sound different?

Are you slightly touching the subject that you wouldn't be different from any another guy with the same gear as you?

How does one interact with a piece of gear:
The sound engineer adjust one knob, the gear response with a difference in sound. The sound engineer touches another knob, and the gear response with another difference in sound.
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Trillium Sound

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2005, 11:11:48 am »

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 11:06

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 14:56


BTW, how does one 'interact' with a piece of gear. If you and I both add .5dB @ 10kHz on the same piece of gear, does it sound different?

Are you slightly touching the subject that you wouldn't be different from any another guy with the same gear as you?

How does one interact with a piece of gear:
The sound engineer adjust one knob, the gear response with a difference in sound. The sound engineer touches another knob, and the gear response with another difference in sound.



Woh, I think Brad meant and said "If you and I both add .5dB @ 10kHz on the same piece of gear". To me it will sound the same unless that there is something esoteric that is going on Rolling Eyes .
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chrisj

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2005, 11:18:05 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 09:56

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 08:26

But Brad, isn't how you interact with the Sontec and your other gear a great part of your sound?

If I used it (or the same chain) on every project and used the same settings every time, then I'd agree. Fortunately, neither of those factors exist...


No, no, Brad- I think I know what he means (what he ought to mean!) but it's not coming across. Consider this. If, no matter what you're given to work with, the output is:

-suitably deep but never, never muddy
-clear as a bell but never, never grating
-spacious and 3D but never, never murky
-loud and punchy but never, never smashed
-etc

That IS a sound. It's not coming from one setting on one piece of gear, that would be ridiculous. Avoidance of negative characteristics is a sound too... getting into 'the zone' where everything sounds awesome thanks to your expertise is great, but how can you not think that 'zone' is a personal sound? It's your ear, man, not some meter.

Sometimes I've literally tried to imitate what I percieve as your sound. I can get very technical specifying it, perhaps more than Henrik because of the way I analyze things. But no matter what I do, I don't successfully imitate it because I have a 'desired sound' of my own that's got some common factors but is more likely to be grating, I think, if I'm not damn careful. And so it goes...

Do you want to see a fairly detailed analysis of what comes across as 'your sound'? I'd be interested to know if you've got a lot of counterexamples giving the lie to it, as I've not heard that many examples of your work compared to how much you do regularly...

TotalSonic

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2005, 11:44:49 am »

I think placed into the same room with the same monitors and gear every ME will make somewhat different decisions as to what to do to a track.   But whether these particular decisions can be formulated into a repeatable consistent personal "sound" is pretty debatable - especially since transparency of the process is often a goal in mastering.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

pg666

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2005, 12:41:54 pm »

the only time i've ever been able to spot a specific 'sound' from mastering comes from a lot of the 'after hours' type places or second rate mastering rooms nowadays. i'm guessing a lot of people (younger clients and less experienced MEs) think mastering is the step of the process where you cut the low mids, boost some 8k or so, and compress by default. i've heard quite a few of friends/aquaintances records done this way and they always sound bigger and 'punchier' (sometimes cartoonishly so, and these aren't all hard rock records either!), but they all end up sounding kinda the same.
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lucey

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2005, 01:33:49 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 07:50

ammitsboel wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 06:28

But to say that you don't have a sound or you are unaware of it, is probably because you are inexperienced with listening to your own work.

According to your profile, you're 22 years old - do you really want to turn this into a steak-swinging contest about experience?

When I say I don't think I have a sound, I say this with experience (both time mastering and listening to my own work), thankyouverymuch.




We all have a range of sound ... the gear chain (especially converters) for one thing ... and personal taste DOES play into it no matter how hard we try.

Ludwig's stuff sounds like the Pacific HDCD, for example.
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Brian Lucey
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bblackwood

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2005, 01:40:28 pm »

lucey wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 12:33

We all have a range of sound ... the gear chain (especially converters) for one thing ... and personal taste DOES play into it no matter how hard we try.

Ludwig's stuff sounds like the Pacific HDCD, for example.

Fine, I agree our gear can color the sound in a certain way, but if Henrik is right, you should be able to listen to a record and know who mastered it without looking at the credits...
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Brad Blackwood
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lucey

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2005, 02:25:56 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 12:40

lucey wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 12:33

We all have a range of sound ... the gear chain (especially converters) for one thing ... and personal taste DOES play into it no matter how hard we try.

Ludwig's stuff sounds like the Pacific HDCD, for example.

Fine, I agree our gear can color the sound in a certain way, but if Henrik is right, you should be able to listen to a record and know who mastered it without looking at the credits...



Well that would be a bit exteme.  What I suggested was listening to a number of major records by the bigger named mixers.  Eventually there are patterns to see.
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jackthebear

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2005, 05:47:41 pm »

lucey wrote on Mon, 16 May 2005 03:33



Ludwig's stuff sounds like the Pacific HDCD, for example.


It doesn't take a genius to work out that the Ludwig mastered cds had the HDCD logo emblazzened on them.

And besides( to the best of my knowledge ) he hasn't been using the Pacific Microsonics for ages.

I know Adam Ayan has had one for years that he inherited along with his own room.
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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2005, 07:05:47 pm »

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 16:47

...And besides( to the best of my knowledge ) he hasn't been using the Pacific Microsonics for ages.

"Ages" would be only the 8 months since we saw each other at AES!

TotalSonic

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2005, 10:10:31 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 16 May 2005 00:05

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 16:47

...And besides( to the best of my knowledge ) he hasn't been using the Pacific Microsonics for ages.

"Ages" would be only the 8 months since we saw each other at AES!



Not that it necessarily means anything - but Gateway's website lists both PCM and DSD converters by DCS and also SIX HDCD Model 2's for Bob's room.  So I have a feeling Bob O is right here.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2005, 10:26:32 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Mon, 16 May 2005 12:10

Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 16 May 2005 00:05

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 16:47

...And besides( to the best of my knowledge ) he hasn't been using the Pacific Microsonics for ages.

"Ages" would be only the 8 months since we saw each other at AES!



Not that it necessarily means anything - but Gateway's website lists both PCM and DSD converters by DCS and also SIX HDCD Model 2's for Bob's room.  So I have a feeling Bob O is right here.

Best regards,
Steve Berson


3 cheers for Bob!!!!!! and booey to me!!
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maxim

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2005, 02:21:23 am »

"transparency" is a "sound"
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Ronny

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2005, 02:14:11 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 13:40

lucey wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 12:33

We all have a range of sound ... the gear chain (especially converters) for one thing ... and personal taste DOES play into it no matter how hard we try.

Ludwig's stuff sounds like the Pacific HDCD, for example.

Fine, I agree our gear can color the sound in a certain way, but if Henrik is right, you should be able to listen to a record and know who mastered it without looking at the credits...




It's really an impossible question to answer. If you and Henrik applied the same 3dB tweak at x freq or whatever it was, through the same gear and were in different rooms, it could sound different, but the whole deal is, neither of you are going to listen to the same tune and think that it needs the exact same tweak. In this regard an ME is applying his sound to a tune, but the music varies so much in tracking procedures, mixing procedures, band performance, genre, intruments used, mixing techniques and what processes that engineer applied, that identifying an ME on every tune that he masters isn't going to happen with any consistency.

I think we all have a certain ballpark that we are trying to get the music to fit, what sounds good to each of us tonally and impact wise, but it varies from project to project so much that there is no ME sound that can be identifiable everytime, even with the A listers, IMHO.
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lucey

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Re: ME's with their own sound
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2005, 02:18:16 pm »

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 15 May 2005 16:47

lucey wrote on Mon, 16 May 2005 03:33



Ludwig's stuff sounds like the Pacific HDCD, for example.


It doesn't take a genius to work out that the Ludwig mastered cds had the HDCD logo emblazzened on them.

And besides( to the best of my knowledge ) he hasn't been using the Pacific Microsonics for ages.



I hear it on "A Crow Left of the Murder" from last year ... no logo that I saw at least, just listening.  If that's wrong, someone let me know.

Brads tune from last WOMP sounds like the HEDD192 ... converters have a sound, that's all i'm saying.
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