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Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by ahjteam, Mar 29, 2010.
Yes it bloody well would. Couldn't agree more.
To be honest It would be useful if jukebox type devices where you have a shuffle thing have some kind of output protection/volume compensation built in. Maybe even with the option to switch it out as well. I dont know if that would be difficult to pull off cheaply but from what I can see windows media player manages just fine.
I tried this out and I could get it to -11.7dB RMS so that the pumping isn't distracting, with 5dB headroom reduction.
The stock CD player in my 2001 car has this option. It's not like it's hard to implement.
I'm probably in the minority here, but I personally like tracks mastered in a certain 'sweet spot'. For metal and rock this gives the material added excitement and saturation. I almost always find I mix subconsciously with the drums up, to compensate for later slamming, and whenever I put the faux limiter chain on to approximate the end sound, it almost immediately makes the mix sound better.
I think ~-10dBRMS or so would be cool. Just back things off so you don't have to deal with audible clipping, but still loud enough for that saturation and excitement effect. Around there you still have enough headroom for the drums to punch, and if you don't, chances are the mix is out of whack.
One thing I really really love about absolutely annihilating a mix during the mixing process is that it teaches you to mix in a spectrally and dynamically balanced way. If your mix is out of whack you will get clipping, smashing, all kinds of crap. But if you've actually controlled the mix it will cruise along fine. This ultimately makes the ME's job easier, and provides you with a better mix to boot. I used to feel bad about my habit of doing this, being told consistently by certain people that it was 'incorrect' but now I realize it's truly one of my strongest assets, and unless I find a better method of getting the same effect, I won't drop it.
I wouldn't suggest this for genres like Jazz, Blues, Classical etc. of course. But for pop/rock/metal music, where the compression and saturation is a requirement of the production to convey the energy of the music, why not? It's like getting a preview glimpse of the record as it's done, which ultimately means you leave less tweaking to mastering and have more control over your product (unless the ME is over-zealous, which unfortunately is the case a lot of the time).
Anyway the way this relates back is that I think dynamics are over-rated, for popular music genres anyway. I listen to a ton of soundtracks and classical, and I fucking HATE having to ride a volume knob the whole time. What if I'm on the couch, or don't want to bother the neighbours? So the quietest parts I turn up to hear well, and then the dynamics shoot up and start annihilating my walls. When I'm sitting there watching the orchestra perform in a hall? Hell yes, dynamic away until I can hear the next dude's stomach gurgling louder than the strings, but at home or in the car? There is a fairly high noise floor almost wherever we are. At home there are usually noises to contend with. In the car, especially. A good mix, to me, should be creating those dynamic movements more with wide swings of density rather than SPL. If you can approximate changes in loudness with layers, or lack thereof, rather than actually swinging all over the place, you have something that can be appreciated in more environments in a less obtrusive manner.
Most musicians that champion the fall of the loudness wars, I don't think they even know what they are hoping to gain. Do we really want rock and metal CDs that sound like the early 90s? I don't. Modern productions sound better. Part of the reason they do is because they have to be technically sculpted so well to deal with these intense mastering chains. I'm not saying 'master everything at -7dB, yeah fuck all dynamics!'. I'm just saying, keep it in perspective. Try to get the best of both worlds. Don't swing too far in one direction or the other, as there is almost always a happy medium.
Isn't it because of the psychoacoustic effect? For example we've got a standard consumer who listens to mix A which is mastered at a lower volume. After that he listens to mix B witch is mastered at a very high volume and he thinks: "Hell yeah this mix kicks more ass than the other."
So he as normal consumer (not a sound engineer ) thinks mix B sounds better just because it's louder and come on we all know that everyone likes to listen to loud music (even though the song is mixed at a high volume or you just turn the volume on)...
If everything would sound like Black album, Reign in Blood, Nevermind and King for a day Fool for a lifetime, I would be so happy personally.
Dude, Replay Gain.
Nirvana - Nevermind
Metallica - black album
great rock/metal cd´s wihtout insane mastering
You can not compare orchestral stuff to "commercial" stuff like metal, when it comes to dynamics and loudness. When it comes to loudness, dynamics don't mean to me that there have to be very silent and calm parts and heavy loud parts, because the music itself, metal, is mostly without any dynamics (doesn't have to be a bad thing). But dynamics are very important for me when it comes to a well done master. If you have no real peaks and just squashed sound even if the stuff doesn't clip like hell, you get really bored.
In my opinion, metal should be (mastered) loud, but if you do it too loud, things get lost / worse. A good ME can find the balance between loudness and all the other stuff.
I "master" my own stuff till it sounds great. That is mostly between -9 and -13db.
Some of us do, actually, the low-budget/cheap studio sound of underground metal from the time period notwithstanding.
Yes. Or even (gasp) the late 80's.
That's the best sound though, it adds atmosphere.
Some music is made loud to be played loud... I'm a fan of "loud" when it's done right.
It's very easy for the sound to go south when done wrong.
Having it loud and sounding good is one thing... having it loud and sounding like ass is another.
Having it loud while not being fatiguing to listen to as well as being able to stand the test of time is the key.
Trying to be the loudest has been around for for along time and is nothing new. It's been around at least since Motown and top 40 commercial radio airplay existed in the 60's.
As a bassist, I enjoy hearing the bass guitar sometimes.
I have to say though over the years I've come to appreciate a lot of rawer or grittier sounding productions for what they are and really have no interest in hearing those records any other way. I think there's a fair bit of stuff that would sound better with a clearer mix- especially things that to my ears are trying for something they can't reach because of budget constraints- and some that's fine as-is.
I dont think going back to the 80s or 90s has got anything to do with mastering levels. Its simply the fact that you dont have to spend £10,000 making a great sounding album anymore. The problem is that people look at 90's death metal bands which have low budget productions anyway when they're making comparisons. I dont think you can say that Trivium/Arch Enemy/etc. spent the same amount of time/money on their records as Obituary and Deicide did. Look at something like Fear Factory's Demanufacture album. Thats a 1995 mix and it still sounds sick to me.
Im a guitarist and I hate hearing rhythm guitars without bass guitar. Its like a dimension of my own guitar sound is missing.
It'd just be nice if good sound was more important than loud sound. Really it's just a matter of mindset
+1 great points made. Demanufacture was and still is an excellent production. Match it and any recent release for volume levels and it is guaranteed to hold it's own.
I think what Ermz was saying is that,
- compression is usefull and is not "only" a marketing tool. When I drive in my car, I tend to dislike albums with too much dynamics. It's more pleasant to listen to a quite compressed album in that case. When I listen to a webradio about general metal, the change in volume is sometimes unpleasant, even through a song. the goal, at first, is to make it pleasant or decent to play everywhere, from your car to your room to a gigantic PA in a show.
- if not too extreme, it's part of the sound too. I do like how guitar/bass sound when at least a bit of limiting is added. For example, I like old version of "Apocalypse" of Hypocrisy, but the re-recorded + remastered version in the 10 years compilation sound better, and I don't think it's only cultural but also because it objectively is more powerful. And the "spot" ermz is talking about is because if you go beyond, everything is desroyed.
It's just some go too far.