Author Topic: Mastering from The Masters?  (Read 22105 times)

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2010, 02:39:44 PM »
Another mastering snafu=the annoying "clicks" running throughout track 2 of Oophoi/Vnuk "Distance to Zero" which ruin it. Am I alone on this? I'm pretty sure they weren't intentional "glitch" sounds, and if they were then, well, I guess I just don't understand that one at all. 

Well sorry to disappoint you mate, but all of the distortion, clicks and avante guard sounds are intentional "glitch" sounds. This was not meant on my part to be a traditional drone-relaxation CD.
The music has a huge amount of unrest, intensity and heaviness to it.

Mastering wise if you look at the waves in a waveform editor you will see that they are not brickwalled or anything like that, which is traditionally the culprit of "ruined/distorted" mastering.

I am sorry its not your cup of tea Drone On, I pulled the cd out and listened to it this morning and was quiet pleased at the out come. Its the first time I have re-listened to it in a few years so thanks.  ;D
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

doombient

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2010, 02:48:16 PM »
I would name the earlier work of Robert Rich. There are quite impressive dynamics in his recordings. His more recent output tends to be a tad too loud for my liking, I would rather turn up the volume on my hi-fi amp than getting something which is so loud already that I can only minimally turn up my amp in order to keep voume under control.

Stephen
"Honour thy error as a hidden intention." (Brian Eno)

triksterb

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2010, 04:27:03 PM »
I would name the earlier work of Robert Rich. There are quite impressive dynamics in his recordings. His more recent output tends to be a tad too loud for my liking, I would rather turn up the volume on my hi-fi amp than getting something which is so loud already that I can only minimally turn up my amp in order to keep voume under control.

Stephen
I agree with this.  One of my favorite releases is "Inner Landscapes" which is very dynamic; towards the end of the first part and beginning of the second part, it gets so quiet that often I have to strain to really hear anything, but there is something there, and is probably the quietest thing I've ever heard on a record.  Conversely, on "Humidity" (another live recording) there are really no dynamics to it (well, not as extreme as Inner Landscapes) and sometimes I'll listen to all 3 concerts in a row, and by the end, my ears are just fatigued from it.

Regarding mastering, as someone who's just starting out, if I get to the point where I'd like to release something, I'd like to learn a little bit about the process from a mastering engineer; it would teach me some things and help me out for future releases.  Plus, it wouldn't hurt to have another pair of ears to tell me what's wrong with my mix.

False Mirror

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2010, 04:59:12 PM »
Unfortunately 'Inner Landscapes' is one of the few RR albums I don't have, but I agree with you when it comes to Humidity. However still like this album a lot...

I just found another example of an ambient album with an unusual large dynamic range: Robert Henke's (once again) Piercing Music. Have a look (screenshot taken with Adobe Audition):

« Last Edit: February 14, 2010, 05:02:48 PM by False Mirror »

Altus

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2010, 11:12:04 AM »
Currently listening to Sibelius' 1st Symphony and I really love those huge dynamics in the music. Almost inaudible Flutes and then *bang* the entire orchestra. Wouldn't Ambient benefit from such dynamics? Do you know any ambient album with huge dynamics?
Heh, your description sounds exactly like the beginning of one of my releases:
http://www.last.fm/music/Altus/_/The+Grand+Expanse?autostart

Another release where I very deliberately mixed in a "classical" style was Winter Embrace III.  Most of the longplay is fairly quiet, meant to be wallpaper ambient, but there's two times where it comes to the forefront and demands your attention.
I received one e-mail from someone asking why it was so quiet.  Clearly, not everyone gets it.  ;)
Mike Carss -- Altus : aural journeys for the mind's eye
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drone on

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2010, 02:53:58 PM »
There's no need for mastering anymore. If anybody questions your glitch you can just say it was intentional!  ;-)

Sunbreak Music

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2010, 03:56:24 PM »
There's no need for mastering anymore. If anybody questions your glitch you can just say it was intentional!  ;-)

That actually is a funny point!  I've got a project in front of me right now and I can't tell if a clicky sound one was intentional or not.  I'll probably recommend that it gets taken out just because it "sounds like a glitch".   ;)
Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
www.sunbreakmusic.com

Blackinfinity

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2010, 09:38:48 AM »
To be an ambient composer I think is very similar to be a painter. And if you have your own painting I do not think you want some one else paint with it too much...it would feel just wrong...
But I really think feedback and suggestions is really good, it might make you realize what can be done better. But to give the guy who master the music too much freedom is dangerous,  then in the end the painting will be an totally different painting...and that is not what mastering is about...is about to Improve the mix while still maintaining the artistic expression/sonic qualities

The best would be if the artist was present during the mastering sessions, so he or she could decide the most important decisions about the mix...for me at least that is the only way...I do not trust other people, even though they call them self "professional" it does not matter, as an artist you should respect your own musical taste the most and believe in yourself...and not let a so called professional decide what is right or wrong...the only thing that really matters is your own taste and satisfaction...

And some of the so called mastering works like for instance those by Steve Roach, I don't think can be called mastering, too me it is more of an remix... more then an subtle improvement of the mix.
I think this is often the case with ambient mastering.


« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 09:40:21 AM by Blackinfinity »

LNerell

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2010, 12:26:10 PM »
To be an ambient composer I think is very similar to be a painter. And if you have your own painting I do not think you want some one else paint with it too much...it would feel just wrong...

To use your analogy, I would say mastering is similar to matting and framing a painting rather then repainting.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Blackinfinity

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2010, 12:49:38 PM »
To be an ambient composer I think is very similar to be a painter. And if you have your own painting I do not think you want some one else paint with it too much...it would feel just wrong...

To use your analogy, I would say mastering is similar to matting and framing a painting rather then repainting.

Yeah, I can agree with that... but where should we cross the line to call it repainting ?
When is it remastring and when is it remixing ?

To add additional reverb is definitely not remastring if you ask me.
I think in general ambient is way more sensitive of how much you can change the original mix...
It is a lot of less things you can do with an ambient music mix unless you receive and multi track recording...
Then you can focus on individual tracks...

This music is about pure sound and colors, so I think it is especially hard to remaster ambient music without repainting the music too much.... Sure it is probably easy to make it sound better,
but do you want it to sound totally different ?

The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

 




Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2010, 12:50:07 PM »
Very nice Mr. Nerell!

The best description and analogy I have heard on the subject.
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

False Mirror

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2010, 01:59:28 PM »
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

All reverbs (leaving out spring- and plate-reverbs here) are software-based. It makes no difference to the sound/reverb quality whether the algorithm is implemented on a DSP chip or as IA32/64 instructions running on a common computer.

Sunbreak Music

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2010, 02:17:39 PM »
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

All reverbs (leaving out spring- and plate-reverbs here) are software-based. It makes no difference to the sound/reverb quality whether the algorithm is implemented on a DSP chip or as IA32/64 instructions running on a common computer.

It does matter how good the algorithm is, and that can be dependent on what's powering it.
Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
www.sunbreakmusic.com

Blackinfinity

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #33 on: February 16, 2010, 02:24:24 PM »
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

All reverbs (leaving out spring- and plate-reverbs here) are software-based. It makes no difference to the sound/reverb quality whether the algorithm is implemented on a DSP chip or as IA32/64 instructions running on a common computer.

Yes I am aware that most reverbs we are using is i digital.
I was not saying that hardware is better then software etc.
If you would ask me a year ago I would perhaps had said so.
But now Lexicon have released their high end algorithms as software.
Solid state Logic have released "X-verb". these are both high end reverbs that
sound like "hardware"

My point is there is still a difference between cheap and and expensive reverbs.
I have tried almost all budget reverbs out there, where Masterverb 5 and Aether is the best choice, when I compare it with the Lexicon PCM Native for instance...
The other budget software reverbs I have tried makes me laugh, they sound terribly bad in comparison, I am not saying that are useless, but...but maybe you need to hear it with own ears to realize it and come to insight.

petekelly

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2010, 02:43:21 PM »
Quote
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

I get hacked off when people on forums attempt to pass opinions off as facts - its misleading and unhelpful. Your opinions on percieved reverb
quality are irrelevant to this topic and take the focus away from the more salient points brought to this discussion.

I think that for a newer artist, it would be instructive to listen to the opinions of the likes of Paul Vnuk, Loren Inerell and APK (amongst others)
who have been part of the ambient scene (certainly on this forum) for some time, rather than voice your own opinions incessantly. Opinions are like noses and (on the internet) everyone has them. Its what you do - the music you make, that's the important thing.   

Don't get me wrong, I have a more 'maverick' take on things and don't always agree with conventional wisdom, but I do respect people who have paid their dues/know their onions and have released their own material. I agree with the point about trusting your own artistic vision, but that comes with experience and craftsmanship - a skill which takes years to develop.


mgriffin

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2010, 02:59:43 PM »
I get hacked off when people on forums attempt to pass opinions off as facts - its misleading and unhelpful. 



In that case, Pete, you must get hacked off quite often.

;)
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Blackinfinity

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2010, 03:27:41 PM »
Quote
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

I get hacked off when people on forums attempt to pass opinions off as facts - its misleading and unhelpful. Your opinions on percieved reverb
quality are irrelevant to this topic and take the focus away from the more salient points brought to this discussion.

I think that for a newer artist, it would be instructive to listen to the opinions of the likes of Paul Vnuk, Loren Inerell and APK (amongst others)
who have been part of the ambient scene (certainly on this forum) for some time, rather than voice your own opinions incessantly. Opinions are like noses and (on the internet) everyone has them. Its what you do - the music you make, that's the important thing.  

Don't get me wrong, I have a more 'maverick' take on things and don't always agree with conventional wisdom, but I do respect people who have paid their dues/know their onions and have released their own material. I agree with the point about trusting your own artistic vision, but that comes with experience and craftsmanship - a skill which takes years to develop.



It is a subjective debate though...

In the realm of music there is nothing really objective everything is subjective, no absolute truths... the only rules to follow is your own...and follow your own instinct...nothing is impossible as long as you can imagine that...

SO what I say should really not matter to you...it is my perception... what is fact for you is not fact for me and vice versa.

Obviously I did push your buttons...well that is just normal when our opinions are colliding... regarding cheap/expensive reverbs... It all depends on what kind of sound you want...there is some things you can't do with the a cheap reverb that you can do expensive reverb etc.
a cheap reverb can fill it's purpose ... especially for more lofi or mininmalstic...IDM ambient..yes..it is all about taste really...but for creating big wast spaces of sound...with long reverb times...an expensive reverb is most likely what you seek...

A lot of artists also use a cheap reverb cause they can't afford an more expensive reverb or does underestimate it's value in ambient music...while others choose an cheaper reverb cause it sound better according to their own ears...

Yes  I have respect for the artists on this forum...it does not mean that we all should sacrifice our own individuality and opinions and just follow them as blind sheep. I find it very important to follow your own path and believe in your own artistic vision...

False Mirror

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2010, 03:28:28 PM »
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

All reverbs (leaving out spring- and plate-reverbs here) are software-based. It makes no difference to the sound/reverb quality whether the algorithm is implemented on a DSP chip or as IA32/64 instructions running on a common computer.
It does matter how good the algorithm is, and that can be dependent on what's powering it.

Of course (and you will read that from my statement) I assumed implementing the same algorithm with the same FDN characteristics.
Specialized DSP chips have their advantages in tasks like parallel processing (e.g. for the delay lines of the reverbration) but with today's cheap multicore CPUs they are getting more and more obsolete.
But this is getting way too offtopic now...

Sunbreak Music

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2010, 03:37:18 PM »
The first thing you want to though when you receive an ambient mix is to change the reverb, that is the main difference between ambient artists I think, the professional use good reverbs, the younger generation use cheaper software reverbs.

All reverbs (leaving out spring- and plate-reverbs here) are software-based. It makes no difference to the sound/reverb quality whether the algorithm is implemented on a DSP chip or as IA32/64 instructions running on a common computer.
It does matter how good the algorithm is, and that can be dependent on what's powering it.

Of course (and you will read that from my statement) I assumed implementing the same algorithm with the same FDN characteristics.
Specialized DSP chips have their advantages in tasks like parallel processing (e.g. for the delay lines of the reverbration) but with today's cheap multicore CPUs they are getting more and more obsolete.
But this is getting way too offtopic now...

I was just trying to sharpen your point.   ;D

No "mastering topic" ever makes it in the long run.  Mastering means different things to different people, no matter how many times it gets defined....

Cass Anawaty, Mastering Engineer
www.sunbreakmusic.com

ffcal

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Re: Mastering from The Masters?
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2010, 08:43:55 PM »
What really hacks me off is the oft-stated opinion that standards themselves are relative.  I think at worst this exposes lazy thinking, which seems to be a particular hazard of our genre.

Forrest