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Music is subjective but i believe im aware on a novice level the processes involved and how to apply them. And for those who believe in high end gear to death heres what i think F*CK YOU. An idiot with 100k's worth of equipment is still going to make a {censored} product whilst a good engineer with a good home studio is going to make a great product.

 

 

There's not a lot of idiots out there with hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment. Most people have built that open slowly over years and years. That would also mean that they have a great deal of experience and are making enough money to warrant those kinds of expenditures. In short, there's not a whole lot of idiot MEs with that kind of fortune who are clueless.

 

As experienced as I am at tracking and mixing, I still learn things all the time. I prefer not to cop an attitude towards experienced people, but rather to listen to what they have to say and ask why they feel that way.

 

I find that I learn far more when I have a conversation with them and find out why they say what they say than if I dig my heels in to what I think I know now and tell them to {censored} off simply because they "believe in high end to death". There's a reason why they use the tools that they do; if they could do it with Behringer and Samson products, they'd make a lot more money. YMMV.

 

And btw, I say this, and I don't have jillions of dollars of gear. My gear, by most people's standards, would be considered modest.

 

 

 

WeeMan 30/3/2009

"not that i would advise working towards 128kps mp3 format but realistically the only requirement at this moment in time is weather it sounds good in mp3".

 

 

Of course, the best way to get a fantastic sounding MP3 is to start with a fantastic sounding recording.

 

I prefer not to aim for the lowest common denominator, but to try and achieve the best sound that I can...*including* MP3s. And higher-resolution formats. Perhaps your experience has led you down another path, I don't know, but that's been my experience.

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Also, I noticed that in your original post, you wrote:

Im considering writing my disertation on Mastering and its evolution over time,



I'd like to gently offer suggestions, if I may:

-Since some of the MEs have expensive equipment and have been working in the field during its transition from vinyl to CD to downloadable music and beyond, you might get better results if you didn't tell them to {censored} off if they are offering some advice; better to find out why they say what they say than to stick to your guns and insist that you might be able to do it better because you have "more time" than they do. Just a thought.

-I have a Master's Degree, and have written a thesis and various dissertations. I don't know where your level of education is, but given your sentence structure and spelling, you might want to consider brushing up on this before your write your dissertation.

-In your dissertation, consider giving some thought to who has done mastering over the years, and how well respected mastering engineers generally have been historically in our industry, and why they've chosen to use the tools that they've chosen to use instead of what a tracking engineer or novice might use. This may offer some additional perspective that will give you deeper appreciation of the mastering engineer over the years, where the industry is going, and give you a high grade on your paper.

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My post related to the fact consumers only hear a low resolution representation of the work we create. As for my literacy skills im working on them. +1 respect too you ken for keeping a open mind throughout this topic and i trust you'll hold it. In defence to myself "im pretty sick of people saying what can and cannot be done relative too someones equipment alone and not experience" which is why i targeted high end equipment and not person's. Equipment does help achieve higher quality products but my point is that consumers dont care. I also mensioned what i thought to the future of the industry and the way its falling rapidly towards an entirely digital market. If this happens your clients are not going to be asking for CD but just mp3's.

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-Since some of the MEs have expensive equipment and have been working in the field during its transition from vinyl to CD to downloadable music and beyond, you might get better results if you didn't tell them to {censored} off if they are offering some advice; better to find out why they say what they say than to stick to your guns and insist that you might be able to do it better because you have "more time" than they do. Just a thought.

 

Conversely, it's not the best approach to bark from an ivory tower. True professionals accept that there is more than one way to do things. I'll stick to my guns if my method has proven success, but I won't say another method is any less valid. It may be much better, in which case I should take note.

 

I... Don't always meet a lot of people who are willing to improve simply because they already make a living off engineering and that's enough for them; or maybe, they don't make a living off of it and can't be bothered to improve. That's the type of stagnation which is disappointing...

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Keeping back on track and moving away from opinion does anyone else want some free mastering. Pm me for my e-mail or use sendspace and link me the files using pm. This offer is still welcome to everyone ...bear and ken included :)

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Conversely, it's not the best approach to bark from an ivory tower. True professionals accept that there is more than one way to do things. I'll stick to my guns if my method has proven success, but I won't say another method is any less valid. It
may
be much better, in which case I should take note.


I... Don't always meet a lot of people who are willing to improve simply because they already make a living off engineering and that's enough for them; or maybe, they don't make a living off of it and can't be bothered to improve. That's the type of stagnation which is disappointing...

 

 

For the first paragraph, I would completely agree.

 

As far as the second paragraph is concerned, perhaps I've been lucky, but a lot of the professionals that I've learned from and know are constantly seeking to improve. Of course, I don't know if the people I know tend to be representative of the trade in general, but I would think that this is the general trend!!!

 

I think the more shrill voices that you hear are more the exception. It takes a really insecure person to constantly bang the same drum again and again without acknowledging other methods and philosophical approaches!

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My post related to the fact consumers only hear a low resolution representation of the work we create.

 

 

Well, again, I'd suggest that you keep open to other formats. For example, music released on DVD (both movies and otherwise), CD-Rs, vinyl, and other formats still have considerably higher resolution than MP3s, so you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot and ignore those, that's all I'm saying. But by all means, make it sound good for MP3s. I'm not arguing that. In fact, I keep saying that the best way to make a great sounding MP3 is by making a great sounding recording.

 


As for my literacy skills im working on them. +1 respect too you ken for keeping a open mind throughout this topic and i trust you'll hold it. In defence to myself "im pretty sick of people saying what can and cannot be done relative too someones equipment alone and not experience" which is why i targeted high end equipment and not person's.

 

 

It doesn't feel too good to hear that, does it?

 

And that's why I keep calling for people to not be overly dogmatic about approaches. People have to respect others who are doing fantastic work on modest equipment.

 

And why do I feel that way?

 

Unless the equipment is complete {censored}, there's a lot of prosumer equipment that is good enough that you can do good work on it. If you ever hear someone who is doing fantastic work in their living rooms on Mackie boards or M-Audio, stuff that's cheap but decent stuff, but it sounds utterly fantastic, you have to give it up to them. You want to talk to that person because they're squeezing *everything* that they can out of that equipment. And that's impressive. They have to work a lot harder than someone with a Harrison console and a tuned room and a fistful of Brauners.

 

It's waaaay easier, and waaaay less work to get fantastic results on great equipment (although it still obviously requires a great deal of talent).

 

 

 

Equipment does help achieve higher quality products but my point is that consumers dont care.

 

 

They might care if something sounds awful.

 

Besides, we as recording engineers and other audio professionals...WE are the ones who are supposed to care. If we don't, who will?

 

 

I also mensioned what i thought to the future of the industry and the way its falling rapidly towards an entirely digital market. If this happens your clients are not going to be asking for CD but just mp3's.

 

 

But again, do you always want to aim that low? I want my MP3s to sound great. But I want my high-res recordings to sound great too. So why not have both? Why aim towards the {censored}tiest sounding medium?

 

All of the BEST sounding MP3s I've ever heard...ALL of them, without exception - were recorded on fantastic equipment.

 

BTW, I should mention again that my studio is generally quite modest, but still, I aim high, as high as I possibly can. And in case it matters, all of my clients, without exception, are still asking that their final mixes be 24-bit WAV or AIFF files, not MP3s.

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Keeping back on track and moving away from opinion does anyone else want some free mastering. Pm me for my e-mail or use sendspace and link me the files using pm. This offer is still welcome to everyone ...bear and ken included
:)



Why don't you post some of your before/after work? I think a lot of people would like to hear that you are doing good mastering on modest equipment. Why not let them hear it?

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"I... Don't always meet a lot of people who are willing to improve simply because they already make a living off engineering and that's enough for them; or maybe, they don't make a living off of it and can't be bothered to improve. That's the type of stagnation which is disappointing..."

I don't meet a whole lot of people who make a living who are not or haven't been willing to work on improving things.

Granted, there is no shortage of folks who rather invest money in better gear than investing time and thought in better concepts.

But geeze... my recordings really -did- start sounding a lot better when I started using really good gear. I don't know if I could have heard or understood the difference when I just started out. If someone cannot hear the meaningful difference between the preamps in my alesis 12r and my API clones, then I don't think they are going have much valuable input on my material.

I prefer to judge people on skills, but c'mon-- saying that you can do reasonably professional work on a noisy, poorly designed equipment kind of shoots you in the foot from the get go. If you can't hear those kinds of differences, then why are you claiming to be an audio professional? This isn't about gear; it is about the fact that people who have experience and skills -most important- skill set is their ability to hear the difference between what sounds like crap and what sounds good, and have applied that skill to a variety of equipment setups.

Or, if you prefer the same concept as a question: if things like signal integrity don't matter, why are you trying to present yourself as a person who can do better than other folks? Can't any motivated kid with a Dell and a pair of computer speakers do what you do?

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soon, soon, soon! theirs some premature masters on my sites with knowledge i didnt have now so u could check them out for references. The alternative is to wait till i get permission to post peoples work here or send me one of ur pre's? humour me.

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"I... Don't always meet a lot of people who are willing to improve simply because they already make a living off engineering and that's enough for them; or maybe, they don't make a living off of it and can't be bothered to improve. That's the type of stagnation which is disappointing..."


I don't meet a whole lot of people who make a living who are not or haven't been willing to work on improving things.

...And? That didn't invalidate my statement at all. Obviously we've met different people. :lol:

 

Don't worry about that "{censored} gear" statement. I kept a school project from the MobilePre days and yep, holy damn it sounds bad. But then I stepped up a few hundred dollars to the Saffire, tried to improve my recording space, and things were night and day. That's a far cry from a 9000G and M50s and I definitely hear it, but it's like, "Is this unlistenable? Is it particularly bad in one area?" That's simply being realistic. There are limits to gear and I know I probably can't get what I want from some of the lower-tier stuff, but at least I'm not light years from what I hear on a really good album. If I am, then something else is wrong.

 

EDIT: I guess all my wind-baggery was about gear that doesn't cut the mustard whatsoever. The MobilePre sounded like crap and there was absolutely no possible way I could ever make it sound good regardless of skill.

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I'm sort of in between both camps: I can recognize the quality gear that a guy like Bob Ludwig or Greg Calbi or any top level guy has.....all the monitoring systems, monitors, room treatments. I love that those guys all spend that much on their tools to make their masters sound great.

 

But i'm also of the camp that some great work can be done with modest gear, and that the inherent power is in the ears and what the ears can do for the equipment. I only have some red KRK Rockit RP5's and some Steinberg Wavelab 6 stuff--and a "questionable" room--but here's my belief: take some recordings/ masters that you like, and compare their sound files in comparison to what you're mastering. Compare the overall brightness and low end and levels. For example, AC/DC's "Back In Black" album always has bass guitar that's a tad low on any speakers, and the drums are always quite high in the mix. Any stereo, any room.

 

To me, it's then a matter of comparing what it is about the great masters that makes one strive to get a better master on whatever they're working on....the frequency range will be the same in whatever room you're working in, you just have to compare the coloration of the masters in whichever room you're working with. Even with treated rooms and "flat" sounding speakers, I don't believe that a perfect environment or setup ever exists.....because you're dealing with the monitors being a transducer, and then you're dealing with the ears being a transducer, and as we all know, the psychoacoustics of how people hear things isn't just based on objectivity, it's also based on personal taste, too.

 

You could take some of the best mastering engineers and have them work on someone else's setup or in someone else's room, and it may be slightly off, because they're not used to that particular slight color of that room and those monitors. If there were any such thing as a flat/ perfect room or a flat/ perfect monitor, we'd all be using the exact same room and the exact same monitors. Which would be pretty boring. So again, we're back at needing to adjust to things, because every room and every style/ brand of monitor is going to have it's own slight taste/ sound qualities.

 

If one perceives the need to pay the big guys, that is cool. That is why they are there, and often, those guys back up their work and will redo things at little or no charge if you're not happy with it. If the smaller guy with a modest setup and a modest fee can do a job you are happy with and provides some sort of work guarantee, that is cool too. There's no reason why there shouldn't be room for both camps.

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I'm sort of in between both camps: I can recognize the quality gear that a guy like Bob Ludwig or Greg Calbi or any top level guy has.....all the monitoring systems, monitors, room treatments. I love that those guys all spend that much on their tools to make their masters sound great.


But i'm also of the camp that some great work can be done with modest gear, and that the inherent power is in the ears and what the ears can do for the equipment.

 

 

Well, that's exactly it. In fact, someone who had budget gear who does fantastic work will typically have to work harder at it then someone with really great gear, as I mentioned above, especially if they want that to translate "universally" to as many other speakers (low-end and high-end) as possible.

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