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Author Topic: Incurable Defects  (Read 2613 times)

alanfc

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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
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Bob Olhsson

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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

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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
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jackthebear

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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,
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blueboy

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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
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alanfc

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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.
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Chris Cavell

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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.
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alanfc

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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
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dcollins

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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

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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.
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dcollins

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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

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Re: Incurable Defects
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2005, 01:12:07 am »

Let's not.
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dcollins

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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

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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!

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TotalSonic

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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  
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