R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: Incurable Defects  (Read 2507 times)

alanfc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Incurable Defects
« on: October 15, 2005, 02:42:00 pm »

hi,
hopefully I can ask this here- I'm a musician and also my band's amateur engineer.

We've decided to send out my mixes for our 2nd CD, to a Pro for mastering.

I was wondering if you could list any common mistakes, defects, you get from amateur home mixers like myself. (can they be listed?)
Thanks if you can help
Smile

/edit/
oops, sorry I just found this,
http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/31248/1618/?SQ= 287808c73386fb7a5590b02ad4f54d14#msg_31248

would you have anything to add?

thanks alot
Logged

Bob Olhsson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3968
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2005, 04:23:59 pm »

I think the #1 incurable defect is plug-ins that are clipping digitally. A huge percentage of people's complaints about digital sound and "mixing in the box" trace right back to this.

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2005, 07:47:10 pm »

alanfc wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 14:42






That would make a great FAQ. I don't find the Pro Sound Webboard interface easy to examine multiple message contents quickly so I did not skim through it.  Hey Brad, want a volunteer to create some FAQs?

Did it include your not using "mastering" processing on your buss and not hugging 0 dBFS?  

Outside of that, another common problem is "small mixes". People working with nearfields thinking their mix is big but it's not. Another common problem is bass frequency errors.... sometimes too much, sometimes too little, especially bass drum.


And so on and so on...

Good luck with your new CD!

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.

jackthebear

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 631
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2005, 08:09:08 pm »

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 09:47

 Another common problem is bass frequency errors.... sometimes too much, sometimes too little, especially bass drum.




My #1 problem there BK. My theory is people using nearfields and generally smaller rooms can't hear the bottom end properly. They know WHAT they want to hear but because they can't....they pump it up so it sounds the way they want, or rather should witout realizing they have over-cooked it.

Sometimes a sub may help but then the opposite problem can happen where they may hear too much bass and then wind it back to the point where it's actually too lean in that area.

Cheers,
Logged
Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and
Audio Janitor
Deluxe Mastering
Melbourne, Australia
deluxemastering.com.au
+61 419234100
Facebook | twitter | MySpace

blueboy

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 538
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2005, 08:18:23 pm »

Are any of you aware of any "pre-mastered" audio that could be used as reference material for producing better mixes?

Either material that is a best case scenario of what an ME likes to receive in terms of dynamics and spectral balance....

or on the flip side....

material that specifically demonstrates the types of problems you are discussing here that should be avoided.

(i.e. Something along the lines of an audio mastering course with audio samples on CD).

Thanks.

JL
Logged
"Only he who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible." ~ Manuel Onamuno

alanfc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2005, 09:12:49 pm »


Wow thanks, I'm glad I wasn't way off....
These notes are really helpful.

What I've been doing is using pro CD's as a reference on my system, in my less-than-optimal space(apartment bedroom). I've learned that I can't really judge my own low end till I get it in my car. I know by the feeling of bass on my workdesk how much is too much but really the car is the ultimate test for me.  But, what I can hear from Pro cd's and try to replicate without relying on the car, are the width and the sparkle. To me its almost all about EQ.
As far as defects go, it seems like the extreme lows and the extreme highs are the danger areas yes?
Thanks again.
Logged

Chris Cavell

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 202
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2005, 09:59:12 pm »

jackthebear wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 19:09

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 09:47

 Another common problem is bass frequency errors.... sometimes too much, sometimes too little, especially bass drum.




My #1 problem there BK. My theory is people using nearfields and generally smaller rooms can't hear the bottom end properly. They know WHAT they want to hear but because they can't....they pump it up so it sounds the way they want, or rather should witout realizing they have over-cooked it.

Sometimes a sub may help but then the opposite problem can happen where they may hear too much bass and then wind it back to the point where it's actually too lean in that area.

Cheers,


I have to agree.  I have yet to walk into a smaller facility in this state with a sub set correctly...most blasting so hard they can spark unexpected indigestion.  The mixes I get from these places are unpredictable...as just as often as they are lean, the guy sitting in the mix position is setup in an awful null and overcompensates.  Everyone local without a sub and smaller speakers sends me mud to work with.
Logged

alanfc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2005, 10:24:48 pm »

Can I add a twist to this-

Lets say You as a Mastering Engineer get a mix which has nice separation of instruments and is wisely EQ'd:

Would it be easier to correct problems in Hi/Low ends with taming or cutting freq's, rather than goosing them when they aren't there?

I'm not looking to have the mastering solve larger problems but,, there's just that -something- I don't know the sparkle, presence, width, I don't know. I can't do that myself yet. However, I'm basing this comment of my work on our 1st CD which had (as I see it now) some significant tracking issues. I say I can see it 'now', because as I've played around with guitar tones for the next recordings, they're a million times better all by themselves just with amp settings and mic placement.

I don't know if such a generalization can be made. I just think My mixing can get us most of the way there.....And all we need is a second pair of good ears in a good room that will get it sounding the best it can be. Is this asking for more than what the M.E. is paid to do ? (Really - I don't know)

thanks Cool
Logged

dcollins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2815
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2005, 11:20:33 pm »

alanfc wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 19:24


Would it be easier to correct problems in Hi/Low ends with taming or cutting freq's, rather than goosing them when they aren't there?



Oh yes, absolutely.

DC

turtletone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 601
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2005, 01:03:42 am »

The biggest problem I find is bottom up or top down eq'ing. Basically monitoring on nearfield's and eq'ing from the bottom, say 30 or 40hz, boosting it until you hear a difference. Also the top end, setting the eq at 20k and cranking it until you hear it. I call it treble bass syndrome.
Logged
Michael Fossenkemper
TurtleTone Studio
info@turtletonestudio.com
www.turtletonestudio.com

dcollins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2815
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2005, 01:08:05 am »

TurtleTone wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 22:03

The biggest problem I find is bottom up or top down eq'ing. Basically monitoring on nearfield's and eq'ing from the bottom, say 30 or 40hz, boosting it until you hear a difference. Also the top end, setting the eq at 20k and cranking it until you hear it. I call it treble bass syndrome.


I think we should start a new non-topic on this one.

Or not.

DC

turtletone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 601
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2005, 01:12:07 am »

Let's not.
Logged
Michael Fossenkemper
TurtleTone Studio
info@turtletonestudio.com
www.turtletonestudio.com

dcollins

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2815
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2005, 01:15:55 am »

TurtleTone wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 22:12

Let's not.


What was it called?

DC

Jerry Tubb

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2761
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2005, 01:18:31 am »

Same here guys, main problems in mixes brought to us to master:

1. too much low end, uneven lows end, flabby, muddy, rumbly low end.

2. clipped mix levels, or at least too hot, or compressed.

3. sibilance, hi-hats, tambourines.

4. muddy, murky, cloudy, or dare I say, tubby upper bass/low mids.

5. mixes with digititis

6. uneven L/R balance

7. phase problems

and last but not least...

8. Vocals too low/high

But Hey, I'm not complaining, I enjoy fixin' this stuff, it's what we MEs do!

Logged
Terra Nova Mastering
Celebrating 20 years of Mastering!

TotalSonic

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3728
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2005, 01:21:15 am »

Y'know - in as much as so many people hate those old UREI, JBL and Tannoy's big mains that use to sit (or more likely suspended or soffited) in most studios (and rarely get turned on unless it was end of the night and time to impress the label execs) - I think the fact that so many project studios only have near fields and no full range reference monitor they can double check the bottom on has caused an increase in problems with the average mix.  

Then again - maybe a new line of budget "mains" will be the next trend item (after 192kHz converters and Analog Summing Boxes) for the prosumer audio manufacturers to market to?   Can you imagine how "full range" Behringers would sound? Shocked

Best regards,
Steve Berson  

turtletone

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 601
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2005, 01:27:37 am »

dcollins wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 01:15

TurtleTone wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 22:12

Let's not.


What was it called?

DC



booty boody.

Logged
Michael Fossenkemper
TurtleTone Studio
info@turtletonestudio.com
www.turtletonestudio.com

Ronny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2739
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2005, 04:02:20 am »

dcollins wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 23:20

alanfc wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 19:24


Would it be easier to correct problems in Hi/Low ends with taming or cutting freq's, rather than goosing them when they aren't there?



Oh yes, absolutely.

DC




Not absolute for me, some mixes don't need fixing and it's much easier to slightly enhance a good mix in a few spots, than it is to try and fix a "bass in the next room" sound, because they rolled off everything below 80Hz.
Logged
------Ronny Morris - Digitak Mastering------
---------http://digitakmastering.com---------
----------Powered By Experience-------------
-------------Driven To Perfection---------------

davidc

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 168
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2005, 05:54:14 am »


I know this has been said again and again and again, but one more time ain't gonna do no harm!

The NO 1 problem is level. I often get mixes that look like bricks before I even start. I just did a project where they asked me what to avoid, and I told them no limiting, and not too loud. So what do I get - totally clipped, 8db over fs. This was not a home mix, but from a pro studio. When I rang the guy up, he said "oh was it loud".

I think the biggest cause, is the references people are using. Modern masters, are not good references to use when you are mixing, I would use CD's that were released in the 80's or early 90's.

Dave
Logged

jackthebear

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 631
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2005, 06:36:34 am »

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 19:54


I would use CD's that were released in the 80's or early 90's.



If you were doing an 80's or 90's cd then maybe.....but the problem isn't so much that modern cds are being used... it's that they are mixing to the same level as the modern day refences.

Cheers,

Logged
Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and
Audio Janitor
Deluxe Mastering
Melbourne, Australia
deluxemastering.com.au
+61 419234100
Facebook | twitter | MySpace

davidc

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 168
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2005, 06:58:53 am »

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 11:36

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 19:54


I would use CD's that were released in the 80's or early 90's.



If you were doing an 80's or 90's cd then maybe.....but the problem isn't so much that modern cds are being used... it's that they are mixing to the same level as the modern day refences.

Cheers,




I am not talking about the style, just the sound and level. Most modern CD's are not just loud, but they have an edge from all the limiting and/or clipping etc.

Dave
Logged

jackthebear

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 631
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2005, 07:21:39 am »

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 20:58

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 11:36

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 19:54


I would use CD's that were released in the 80's or early 90's.



If you were doing an 80's or 90's cd then maybe.....but the problem isn't so much that modern cds are being used... it's that they are mixing to the same level as the modern day refences.

Cheers,




I am not talking about the style, just the sound and level. Most modern CD's are not just loud, but they have an edge from all the limiting and/or clipping etc.

Dave


But most people are trying to compete with what's out there now. The fact that they are loud and / or clipped only compounds the problem.

Most won't use older cds because chances are they are going for a different sound anyway.

Cheers,
Logged
Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and
Audio Janitor
Deluxe Mastering
Melbourne, Australia
deluxemastering.com.au
+61 419234100
Facebook | twitter | MySpace

davidc

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 168
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2005, 07:49:23 am »

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 12:21

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 20:58

jackthebear wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 11:36

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 19:54


I would use CD's that were released in the 80's or early 90's.



If you were doing an 80's or 90's cd then maybe.....but the problem isn't so much that modern cds are being used... it's that they are mixing to the same level as the modern day refences.

Cheers,




I am not talking about the style, just the sound and level. Most modern CD's are not just loud, but they have an edge from all the limiting and/or clipping etc.

Dave


But most people are trying to compete with what's out there now. The fact that they are loud and / or clipped only compounds the problem.

Most won't use older cds because chances are they are going for a different sound anyway.

Cheers,



I think we are in agreement  Smile. What I am trying to say, is that a great mix should not sound like a modern finished CD.

Regards

Dave
Logged

jackthebear

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 631
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2005, 08:09:25 am »

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 21:49


I think we are in agreement  Smile. What I am trying to say, is that a great mix should not sound like a modern finished CD.



Phwew!!!! I'm glad we got there! Smile

Cheers,
Logged
Tony "Jack the Bear" Mantz
Glorified Tape Copy Boy and
Audio Janitor
Deluxe Mastering
Melbourne, Australia
deluxemastering.com.au
+61 419234100
Facebook | twitter | MySpace

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2005, 09:03:54 am »

blueboy wrote on Sat, 15 October 2005 20:18

Are any of you aware of any "pre-mastered" audio that could be used as reference material for producing better mixes?

Either material that is a best case scenario of what an ME likes to receive in terms of dynamics and spectral balance....

or on the flip side....

material that specifically demonstrates the types of problems you are discussing here that should be avoided.

(i.e. Something along the lines of an audio mastering course with audio samples on CD).

Thanks.

JL


Write me privately. I have a CD of before/after examples. Also, the honor roll at digido.com has some example of "low level" masters that may sound to you like "the ideal mix that the mix engineer would have liked". After all, and this is my motto: If the master you get does not sound as good as or better than your mix, why did you go to mastering in the first place?

Tony M. would reply, "if that is your motto, how can you break your word?  Why don't you just give up the job if they want you to shred it?"  And I reply, "I'm doing my best. To be totally honest, I have done a lot to help the situation  around the world. Many engineers around the world have read my book and totally rethinked their practices; many have written me letters of thanks. This includes the ear training and all.

So I think I deserve a little slack if I preach but sometimes still sin just to be able to afford to make a living. I practice what I preach... (most times).
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.

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2005, 09:31:57 am »

TurtleTone wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 01:03

The biggest problem I find is bottom up or top down eq'ing. Basically monitoring on nearfield's and eq'ing from the bottom, say 30 or 40hz, boosting it until you hear a difference. Also the top end, setting the eq at 20k and cranking it until you hear it. I call it treble bass syndrome.





Good one. I'm glad a lot of my "Genelec fan" mixers are converting from their 1031s to 8040s or if necessary 8050s. I'm getting less of that issue nowadays and mixes that translate here with less and less (little or no) mastering EQ!

To alter the topic (change the subject heading if you respond)

Another question: Have you noticed that bright loudspeakers don't always make you mix "dull". 25 years ago I had to work with a pair of 4311's for a mixdown and the first thing I did was play a recording I made and knew well.... and they were screeching at me so I put in an equalizer to try to tame that. I ended up with a very strident mixdown!

Sometimes it pays just to leave loudspeakers speaking as they are because the designer probably voiced them to be the best they could be, and any changes you try to make to them will be worse. To this day I don't know if it was phase response of the eq I added, or that I overcompensated, but that was a lesson that I retain to this day: "Be very careful when you try to equalize a loudspeaker!"

Same working with the Big Reds (the Audiotechniques ones based on the 604s). Those speakers also had a very strong presence peak and were also quite honky. Yet, despite that I mixed, for example, alto saxaphones with too much presence. I still can't understand why, as in theory you would mix to the inverse response of a loudspeaker. I theorize that the lower resolution and cabinet resonances/diffraction of the loudspeaker were leading me to pre-equalize the saxaphone to give it more presence that it did not need when reproduced on better loudspeakers.
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.

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2005, 09:44:04 am »

davidc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 05:54


I know this has been said again and again and again, but one more time ain't gonna do no harm!

The NO 1 problem is level.

Dave


Increasingly, I agree with you, Dave. The best thing we can preach (oh, there again, I thought we weren't supposed to dictate "quality")....  is for mix engineers to produce mixes that sound like mixes and (to quote Brad Blackwood's site) were mixed for sound quality, not for loudness per se.

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.

alanfc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2005, 01:27:43 pm »


WOW again  Shocked
thank you all

I've been told that the 24-bit stereo files I give to an ME should have peaks maxxing at -6.0db and thats the way they like it yes?
Logged

Bob Olhsson

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3968
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2005, 02:31:19 pm »

I think too much low-end is probably easier to deal with than too little.

Ronny

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2739
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2005, 02:31:39 pm »

alanfc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 13:27


WOW again  Shocked
thank you all

I've been told that the 24-bit stereo files I give to an ME should have peaks maxxing at -6.0db and thats the way they like it yes?



No, each ME is different and there is no accepted standard for headroom left by the mix engineer for the ME to have when mastering. I've said this before but will mention it again. I don't care what peak level I receive as long as it's not over -0dBFs, because I'm going to attenuate any processors input by the amount of dB's that I'm going to have boosted at the output of that processor. IOW, there is no problem regarding leaving or not leaving x amount of headroom.

Tony, I agree with David. He's stating an obvious problem and that is that mix engs are using post mastered commercial cd's to set their RMS levels on the two buss, so by the time that it goes to mastering they have already decreased the dynamics so much that the ME has little to work with. Relative to this alanfc is not just peak levels below x amount of dB's, but the loss of crest factor which ties the ME's hands behind their back. If RMS is only -6dB and peak is -3dB or whatever, it doesn't help the mastering grind a bit. It's the RMS, not the peak that David is talking about and that "is" the major problem.
Logged
------Ronny Morris - Digitak Mastering------
---------http://digitakmastering.com---------
----------Powered By Experience-------------
-------------Driven To Perfection---------------

bobkatz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2926
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2005, 04:37:33 pm »

alanfc wrote on Sun, 16 October 2005 13:27


WOW again  Shocked
thank you all

I've been told that the 24-bit stereo files I give to an ME should have peaks maxxing at -6.0db and thats the way they like it yes?


If measuring the peak level could magically tell us how good your disc sounds that would be magical! But seriously, -3 is also ok, even -1 dBFS if you have confidence in your meters. I wouldn't be concerned even if your highest peak "only" hits -10 dBFS in a 24 bit system to be totally honest. It's a good question when there would be "audible degradation" but certainly -10 dBFS is VERY safe from both high and low points of view.


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.

alanfc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31
Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2005, 08:43:24 pm »


OK thanks Smile
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up