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Future of online mastering, will be replaced by AI, plug-ins, homemade lowcost guys?
Old 24th February 2021
  #31
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I have a feeling (ehm...) that intuition is a very important, if not essential, driving force behind most work/decision making done by engineers and other music/audio creatives.

I am personally waiting to be convinced that intuition could be solely attributed to our brains processing our past sensory and deductive experiences using logic with a dash of random "bit flips" thrown in for a good measure.

Do you think that intuition could be described by an algorithm or approximated by statistical constructs?
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #32
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FabienTDR's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vyedmic ➡️
Do you think that intuition could be described by an algorithm or approximated by statistical constructs?
Good question. Isn't intuition the combination of experience with individual responsibility? The latter certainly isn't possible for a machine.
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #33
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I'm no psychology expert and have not read any research about how intuition is understood today. Anecdata warning!

For me, intution is very close to feeling and it feels like a polar opposite of making a rational decision. In fact, there is often conflict between what the intution tells me and what my "reason" tells me. This tension is what shapes my creativity.

It is hard for me to imagine AI ever replicating this tension.
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #34
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR ➡️
This sector is evolving, new tools will probably turn out to be a great support for ME's. Better de-essers, better compressors and limiters, faster quality control, faster handling of low hanging tasks. It's just beginning.

In particular, a "translation evaluator" (i.e. how well the material will work on diverse systems and environments) would be of enormous help. Automated quality control, or automatic "track vs album consistency" helpers (often a challenging task with compilations, smart tools could prepare the operating room before the ME even drinks his first coffee ).
These are indeed exciting ideas and would be welcome workflow enhancements. Other than the genre thing, are you guys developing any of these examples you mention?
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #35
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SmoothTone's Avatar
 
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vyedmic ➡️
I have a feeling (ehm...) that intuition is a very important, if not essential, driving force behind most work/decision making done by engineers and other music/audio creatives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vyedmic ➡️
For me, intution is very close to feeling and it feels like a polar opposite of making a rational decision. In fact, there is often conflict between what the intution tells me and what my "reason" tells me. This tension is what shapes my creativity.
Absolutely! Brilliantly worded.

I'm often struck by the fact that some of the best engineers are really bad at explaining what they do and I think it's because so much is based on intuition. Observing and describing something like intuition is another whole skillset. But thankfully we don't need to be able to do it to reap the benefits of intuitive decisions.
Old 24th February 2021
  #36
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
If people want to use the AI services then let them. They get exactly what they don't pay for. A long time client chose to use Lan#r for his more recent projects. After spending a good amount of time trying to "fix" what Lan#r fuc#d up in the mastering he brought the project to me and was well pleased with what I did. The reason he went to Lan#r was the cost to him but the results COST him a lot more in the long run. People are people and they want the gold but want to pay for scrap steel. It is a
fact of life" -FWIW
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #37
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Trakworx's Avatar
 
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3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototech ➡️
yes sure, but did you talked with new artistst 18-24 years old ?

Here in europe they dont care about anything just to have fame, instagram followers and lambos in videos

they dont care about sound and young listeeners (their fans) too, they want to pay for beat producer 30 eur for song and have lambo in music video rapping/singing about money (simply want to save every penny and use it for narcistic needs only and self presentation)

especially in rap/trap/pop scene which is top mainstream these days
In the context of this thread topic, are you saying that those 18-24 year old new artists somehow affect the careers of professional MEs? They don't. Those are not our customers and they never were. They're just kids playing around. The artists who last are the ones who wise up and take their art seriously, and those become our customers. It's nothing new. It's been this way for decades.
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #38
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misjah's Avatar
 
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🎧 10 years
Can’t wait to see AI handle my lathes and cutting my lacquers so i can sit back and relax...
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #39
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Greg Reierson's Avatar
 
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5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by misjah ➡️
Can’t wait to see AI handle my lathes and cutting my lacquers so i can sit back and relax...
But a robot to change styli and handle shipping would be great!!
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #40
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I think this can be done with AI controlled robotic manipulators combined with lacquer surface scanner based on computer vision. But it will be very expensive.
Old 24th February 2021 | Show parent
  #41
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by misjah ➡️
Can’t wait to see AI handle my lathes and cutting my lacquers so i can sit back and relax...
If AI could make sure you never blow a cutter head again that would be fairly welcome I'd have thought?

I reckon cutting is one area it can probably assist quite extensively without making cutters redundant tbh.
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #42
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DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
problem is not in AI growing nor in the number of releases.
The problem is in low returns for most musicians and labels.
Another serious factor is the little gap left between bedroom ME charging 10/20$ and Grammy winners charging 100/130 bucks to unsigned artists (no bueno). Who has no budget or culture (hi%) goes to bedroom or AI, who has one or both goes for a Grammy name to shove it in the press release. The "humble" studio in between is in the most delicate situation since can't compete with cheapo services on $ nor about branding with top guys.
If a plugin eq is 10$, a Klontz 250 eq will cost you 2/3 of a genuine Sontec, if you could buy all three with a click what will you choose?
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #43
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I don't even know what kind of "mastering" you can expect for 10/20$... Fiverr mastering maybe with Ozone 9 AI assistant preset hahaha)))
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #44
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misjah's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6ARP ➡️
If AI could make sure you never blow a cutter head again that would be fairly welcome I'd have thought?

I reckon cutting is one area it can probably assist quite extensively without making cutters redundant tbh.
A smart de-esser will do...my post was obviously being sarcastic
Old 25th February 2021
  #45
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Many years ago, i bought a Roland Guitar Synth for fun, lots of various sounds, flutes, organs, trumpet, buzz saws, etc...

and it had this pretty nice classical guitar patch.

so a friend of mine, a classical guitarist, picked it up and started playing Bach’s Bouree... which sounded pretty good, with an occasional mistrack...

we both looked at each other, the ~irony~ made us laugh, and we agreed that it would be a lot easier just to play the tune on a real classical guitar, and record it with a real microphone.

So all of this “A.I.” processing is just That, a poor substitute for the Real Thing, many decades later...

JT
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Work with quite a few ML platforms.

Short answer? No.

If radiologists (far more medically and legally critical profession) start closing their practices, then maybe it would be time to worry. Helps to look for parallels in other industries with larger yearly budgets.

Until then.
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #47
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FabienTDR's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vyedmic ➡️
It is hard for me to imagine AI ever replicating this tension.
...at least without an experienced person constantly monitoring and tuning the process.

Mastering not just has to satisfy the machines and technical environments the music has to pass through, it also must satisfy the human soul in very specific niches, despite them overlapping and contradicting each other. e.g. hiphop asking for almost zero dynamic range, jazz insisting on the exact opposite - even if both possibly overlap thematically. A self-confident human will somewhere be necessary to find a decision and carry the artistic responsibility.
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #48
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FabienTDR's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by UH417 ➡️
If radiologists (far more medically and legally critical profession) start closing their practices, then maybe it would be time to worry. Helps to look for parallels in other industries with larger yearly budgets.
https://www.quantib.com/the-ultimate...i-in-radiology


Looks like a yes and no to me.

The progress is intense, a radiologist relying purely on his own senses today, has already fallen behind dramatically. 25 years before they purely relied on feelings, or had to open your crane and touch the brain physically. A lot has changed.

It's not replacement, though. From distance, it's just good old banal progress, and fantastic opportunities for those willing to take the extra effort and risks pioneering the cutting edge. AI or not, refusing to progress guaranteed disemployment/bankruptcy throughout times - whether the press and political groups dramatized it or not.

Just Don't repeat yourself! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_repeat_yourself)
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #49
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Re: Link.

Exactly! But this does not mean practices are closing, just greater efficiency by using some models to guide practice.
Old 25th February 2021
  #50
Gear Head
 
Verified Member
Many of you who are telling that mastering business is doing well (in corona age not going down) are mastering classical (old) genres like rock, acoustic music etc. but is growing also electronic music, techno, trance, trap, drum and bass etc.? Because Im affraid these "new" styles are mastered mostly by producers who made music in their computers, by home kids, by cheap AI etc. What do you think and which genres are you mastering mostly?

I made voting pool here too:Which music genres are you mastering mostly these days/years? (receiving records online) (+POOL)
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #51
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misjah's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototech ➡️
Many of you who are telling that mastering business is doing well (in corona age not going down) are mastering classical (old) genres like rock, acoustic music etc. but is growing also electronic music, techno, trance, trap, drum and bass etc.? Because Im affraid these "new" styles are mastered mostly by producers who made music in their computers, by home kids, by cheap AI etc. What do you think and which genres are you mastering mostly?

I made voting pool here too:Which music genres are you mastering mostly these days/years? (receiving records online) (+POOL)
Besides cutting loads of rock, jazz, classical, pop masters, I master loads of house, techno, dub, electro etc...only increasing over the years. Corona, AI, kids with a laptop or not. If you add value people will come back and stay.

https://24mastering.com/discography
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #52
Gear Head
 
Verified Member
Thanks for info, I see that more and more electronic producers are mastering ourselves, they sayit is okay, including more and more professional producers (I mean biggest stars in drum and bass, psytrance)
are mastering only using plug-ins in small home/mixing studios.

What do you think about this trend as electronic music is becoming mainstream.
Old 25th February 2021
  #53
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Trakworx's Avatar
 
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3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
If you focus on just EDM, etc, then yes, I think a significant portion of those producers, especially the uber-loud ones, are self mastering because they probably have to in order to get those levels without destroying their mixes. Producing for loudness from the start can mean skipping the ME. But that's been so for decades. No new trend there. It's not more and more, it's same and same, same as it ever was. And EDM is far from the be all and end all in the music world. The consensus in this thread is that there is no new downtrend in demand for mastering. Seems hard for you to accept it, but you've got your question answered...
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #54
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototech ➡️
Many of you who are telling that mastering business is doing well (in corona age not going down) are mastering classical (old) genres like rock, acoustic music etc. but is growing also electronic music, techno, trance, trap, drum and bass etc.? Because Im affraid these "new" styles are mastered mostly by producers who made music in their computers, by home kids, by cheap AI etc. What do you think and which genres are you mastering mostly?

I made voting pool here too:Which music genres are you mastering mostly these days/years? (receiving records online) (+POOL)
99% of my clients are from the electronic/hiphop/grime world and come to me precisely because they're working on their laptops in poorly treated rooms.
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #55
Gear Nut
 
AudiotalesDesign's Avatar
 
Verified Member
Exactly. I personnaly know some of the Noisia drum n bass folks (from Groningen), and they are indeed doing everything themselves for many years already. It is during the production/mixing phase that you get everything "right" in order to get such loudness while still keeping punch and clarity. They almost always have a stellar result so why I mentionned them. But that didn't stopped them to go to a professionnal mastering studio for their Album "Split the Atom" at the time.
It all depends what is the material to be mastered. If it's a single song for streaming platforms, or a full album which will involves many different things to do as it can be released in many different formats like digital, Vinyl, CD's (they're still here !). And then you also have all the other very important aspect of a full mastering session like the audio montage, the different check for noise, loudness, LUFS etc. And most importantly, a nice smilling engineer which will also give you his advice on what he is hearing, his thoughts on the project etc. Who more qualified to give you such important bits of information than someone doing this on a daily basis, hearing so many different music and projects every year


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
If you focus on just EDM, etc, then yes, I think a significant portion of those producers, especially the uber-loud ones, are self mastering because they probably have to in order to get those levels without destroying their mixes. Producing for loudness from the start can mean skipping the ME. But that's been so for decades. No new trend there. It's not more and more, it's same and same, same as it ever was. And EDM is far from the be all and end all in the music world. The consensus in this thread is that there is no new downtrend in demand for mastering. Seems hard for you to accept it, but you've got your question answered...
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #56
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surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prototech ➡️
Yes because goverments printed billions of new money
where is this happening and how to get some of the $ please
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #57
Gear Head
 
Verified Member
Yes Noisia is exact example what I mean that most EDM producers are going to master themselves while many of them like Noisia are asking for 30 - 50 000 for one live act as I heard so can afford any studio.

Split the atom was released 11 years ago, from then they didnt used any mastering studio and doing everything DIY right?
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #58
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6ARP ➡️
99% of my clients are from the electronic/hiphop/grime world and come to me precisely because they're working on their laptops in poorly treated rooms.
I think this is the future of mastering. To elevate others music a bit more then we usually do with mastering, with new software technology.
Old 25th February 2021 | Show parent
  #59
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
About Noisia example... They invested very big money in studio designed by Northward Acoustics equipped with mastering grade ATC speakers and only then they started to do it by themselves. There is a BIG difference versus usual cheap home production studio.
Old 26th February 2021 | Show parent
  #60
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DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
sorry to repeat: my point is not related to a specific case nor to my personal case. Pandemic or not, edm or not, the problem is low returns for musicians and producers. A bunch of people is doing fine, so a bunch of studios but we can't deny that financial problems in the industry touches both super hi-end professionals. The growing trend of tunes released each day has the same growing trend of "new service providers" around the globe. Say a known facebook mastering oriented group has something like 13.000 subscribers that seems are all wealthy and overbooked.
The truth to me is that there's not enough financial resource in the business to sustain 13.000 operators doing the same thing (i'm sure they are far more than that). The exact contrary was, back in the day, when a 45rpm released on saturday sold 250.000 pieces in 8 hours and in north America you had say 3 mastering studios.
So my long run view is that the top trending brands, i dunno... 10?, until the bigs will be operative, will have a nice turnaround in a niche of productions from both major artists and wannabe with lots of money. A new generation of "bigs" is growing but they still will be 10 or so. 2000 respectable midlanders will be in trouble because the remaining market will be more fragmented between the remaining 11.000 itb, bedroom, headphones, AI services in the 5 to 20$ range.
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