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Sterling masters go to 0dBFS?!
Old 11th February 2013
  #151
Gear Addict
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Personally, I prefer it when ME's use a ceiling of -0.1dB or lower. For one thing, it will sound better if it is converted to mp3 at some point (which is inevitable).
I remember 20 years ago, hearing some ME's talking about never going above -0.3dB due to possible distortion on some CD players/DACs playback. And of course that was in the days before the massive amounts of compression and digital peak limiting (mis)used today.
I frequently see masters with 6+ consecutive samples at 0dB
Old 11th February 2013
  #152
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Laurend's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
IMHO, poor D/A converter designs shouldn't be included in the mastering equation. Should we also limit the audio bandwidth depending of the specs of the worst monitoring system? NO.

But allowing down conversions is under the ME responsibility.-0.3 dBFS is a safe ceiling value to allow high bit rate mp3 encoding.
EBU R-128 specifies a true peak ceiling at -1 dBFS not to mention the average level specs. Which ME is ready to deliberately lose the loudness war, thus most of his clients, by strictly complying to this recommendation? Not me.
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Old 11th February 2013 | Show parent
  #153
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend ➡️
Which ME is ready to deliberately lose the loudness war, thus most of his clients, by strictly complying to this recommendation? Not me.
It's a long time we've all (not only ME) lost the loudness war
A.
Old 11th February 2013 | Show parent
  #154
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_bt ➡️
It's a long time we've all (not only ME) lost the loudness war
A.
I've heard all the fears of "not maximizing bit word-length", especially in the 16bit domain, and have come to the conclusion that there never really was a loudness war.

The ironic part of it is that vinyl LP and cassette have much much much higher noise floors than any flavor of digital.

The record labels just heard the way "maximum word length" sounded and said, "we like it - keep it up!".
Old 11th February 2013 | Show parent
  #155
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emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Interesting thought from Dave Collins about the headroom bottleneck being in the converter itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend ➡️
IMHO, poor D/A converter designs shouldn't be included in the mastering equation.
Playback reality on the ground should be ignored? Some of the players with the worst distortion were the most expensive, and best sounding I had access to, so long as they weren't being pegged. Likewise, some of the lower quality players with worse sound lacked distortion.
Old 11th February 2013 | Show parent
  #156
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend ➡️
IMHO, poor D/A converter designs shouldn't be included in the mastering equation...
When you consider an artist's future could be riding on the impression made on somebody having a poor D to A, this isn't a very good idea at all! I'm not for dumbing down sound because that person could also be listening on a high-end system but the idea of mastering is to make a recording sound its best under any and all listening conditions.
Old 11th February 2013 | Show parent
  #157
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Laurend's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson ➡️
When you consider an artist's future could be riding on the impression made on somebody having a poor D to A, this isn't a very good idea at all! I'm not for dumbing down sound because that person could also be listening on a high-end system but the idea of mastering is to make a recording sound its best under any and all listening conditions.
Seriously, a 3 dB headroom in an analog design just belongs to good practices. It's not high-end design. Note also that most digital audio devices now include a level control done in the digital domain which overrides this possible issue even for cheap electronics.
Old 11th February 2013
  #158
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emrr's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Nice high quality CD players don't have digital level control. Have you heard a good CD player recently, as compared to the average consumer digital audio output? Compare one to the sound an Ipod delivers with 44.1/16 WAV? A decent CD player tends to make the Ipod sound broken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurend ➡️
Seriously, a 3 dB headroom in an analog design just belongs to good practices.
And that place might be.....at the level delivered by the audio file. The expectation with converter design, until recently, was that converters didn't need much, if any, headroom because content delivery would keep headroom in mind. Where in their wildest imagination would they think that it would become acceptable to peg the ceiling constantly?
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Old 12th February 2013
  #159
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 15 years
There have unfortunately been a lot of very ignorant digital audio designs. Our job is to make the most of what is as opposed to complaining about what could be but isn't.
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Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #160
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
what is and what should never be?
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Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #161
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers ➡️
what is and what should never be?
:D
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #162
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Full Clip Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man ➡️
And not one soul on here has rationalized the need for a master to peak within -1dBfs! Until then, I just pretend I'm still in the analog era, with RMS values below -20dBfs and DR values of at least 14, thank you very much.
Thats totally fine. You can pretend whatever you like and mix however you want but for those of us working in the professional realm, we don't have the luxury of "pretending" we are in a time warp. We have to work within reality. I don't mean that as an insult but a truly honest statement.

That aside, the idea that everything should be incredibly dynamic is as silly as the idea that everything should sound like Skrillex. Like it or not, overall RMS and the RMS of different frequency ranges helps define genres and is in itself a creative/artistic decision and Skrillex would not sound like Skrillex if it was mixed like a folk album from 40 years ago, house music would not work if it was not pumping and ducking the way it is etc. It is part of the "sound".

Even aside from artistic and creative reasons, there are real practical reasons for relatively high RMS mixes. Most music these days is listened to in the car or on the go in noisy environments and if you have ever tried listening to old, dynamic recordings in a car or truck going down the freeway at 75mph then you understand the problem. The same goes for earbuds. Overly dynamic mixes are as annoying to listen to as an LMFAO record because when you turn it up enough to hear the softer passages comfortably, the loud impacts and sections rip into your ears and have you scrambling for the volume control. A stable and relatively high RMS makes sense here as well.

One cool thing I have been seeing lately is that clients are starting to ask for things to sound great again rather than simply loud. While some projects (dubstep/trap etc) still need to be insanely, absurdly and unreasonably loud, others clients are opting for a little more dynamics and mies that have huge low end and less upper mid range hype. I think this is a fantastic and encouraging thing!
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Old 12th February 2013
  #163
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🎧 5 years
Full Clip:

"Even aside from artistic and creative reasons, there are real practical reasons for relatively high RMS mixes. Most music these days is listened to in the car or on the go in noisy environments and if you have ever tried listening to old, dynamic recordings in a car or truck going down the freeway at 75mph then you understand the problem. The same goes for earbuds"

That pathetic excuse has been echoed so many times from every control room, mountain top, and street corner that it is pitiful.

Stop.

Please.

You're dealing with the K-Man here, not some nanny-engineer who caters to the lowest common denominator: A bunch of tone-deaf zombies too lazy to turn their volume up a little higher.

Time for for me to catch another episode of House....
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #164
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Full Clip Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man ➡️
Full Clip:

"Even aside from artistic and creative reasons, there are real practical reasons for relatively high RMS mixes. Most music these days is listened to in the car or on the go in noisy environments and if you have ever tried listening to old, dynamic recordings in a car or truck going down the freeway at 75mph then you understand the problem. The same goes for earbuds"

That pathetic excuse has been echoed so many times from every control room, mountain top, and street corner that it is pitiful.
Excuse? It is simple, sound logic based on reality. Maybe you boycott cars as well and I'm sure that there is no need for high RMS recordings in a horse drawn buggy but here in 2013 it makes a lot of sense.

Quote:
You're dealing with the K-Man here, not some nanny-engineer who caters to the lowest common denominator.
I have no idea what that even means. The "K-man"? Who are you? Who do you cater to exactly?
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #165
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio ➡️
Excuse? It is simple, sound logic based on reality. Maybe you boycott cars as well and I'm sure that there is no need for high RMS recordings in a horse drawn buggy but here in 2013 it makes a lot of sense.

I have no idea what that even means. The "K-man"? Who do you cater to exactly?
I have no time for your sarcasm. I drive a car just like the majority of this forum.

And don't give me "It'TH two-thouTHand thirteen". Woe is me!! Boo hoo! We cranked up our vinyl-to-cassettes of "Houses Of The Holy" and Run DMC 30 years ago and we heard and felt every single note! We didn't need it all compressed and spoon fed to us at +30dBu, thank you very much.

And our cars back then were not NEARLY as insulated and sound deadened as today's are, so your argument(along with all the other young sprouts) has nothing to stand on but thin air.

I cater to folks who care about quality, even if only 22 out of 24bits are being utilized.
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #166
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man ➡️
I have no time for your sarcasm. I drive a car just like the majority of this forum.

And don't give me "It'TH two-thouTHand thirteen". Woe is me!! Boo hoo! We cranked up our vinyl-to-cassettes of "Houses Of The Holy" and Run DMC 30 years ago and we heard and felt every single note! We didn't need it all compressed and spoon fed to us at +30dBu.

And our cars back then were not NEARLY as insulated and sound deadened as today's are, so your argument has nothing to stand on but thin air.
You actually bring up a great point. You had to "crank it up". you cannot drive down the highway in a noisy car listening to very dynamic music at a reasonable volume. The ONLY way you can hear it is to CRANK it until your ears want to bleed. Having a reasonably high RMS allows you to listen to things at reasonable levels and still hear most or all of the content.

You sound like a grumpy old-timer who cranked it up a bit too loud in his day, shaking his fist in the air screaming how he is gonna be "damned if these darn kids don't do the same thing!" "We cranked it until our ears bled and we liked it!" "You little whippersnappers and your spoon fed music are too pansy to crank it up as loud as we did! You need more wattaaaaaaaaaage!"

I think most of us are in favor of reasonable dynamics and backing things off from where they are now but your are so extreme that you are not even arguing within reality or reason.
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #167
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio ➡️
You actually bring up a great point. You had to "crank it up". you cannot drive down the highway in a noisy car listening to very dynamic music at a reasonable volume. The ONLY way you can hear it is to CRANK it until your ears want to bleed. Having a reasonably high RMS allows you to listen to things at reasonable levels and still hear most or all of the content.

You sound like a grumpy old-timer who cranked it up a bit too loud in his day, shaking his fist in the air screaming how he is gonna be "damned if these darn kids don't do the same thing!" "We cranked it until our ears bled and we liked it!" "You little whippersnappers and your spoon fed music are too pansy to crank it up as loud as we did! You need more wattaaaaaaaaaage!"

I think most of us are in favor of reasonable dynamics and backing things off from where they are now but your are so extreme that you are not even arguing within reality or reason.
Go salvage yourself an old - ORIGINAL - CD of "Brothers In Arms" or "Van Halen II", stick it in your dashboard, and then tell me how "extreme" I am. Actually what I'm after already exists, and is quite attainable in the current digital realm.

Hearing those CDs remastered to DR10 or less just does nothing for me - at 70 on the freeway, or at home in my living room behind insulated walls & thermopane windows. I might as well just throw on some pink noise and listen to that for 45 minutes at a clip!

And don't get me going about Bruno Mars - I really dig the guy but man, his stuff would sound so much better uncompressed to DR12 instead of presently DR6-7. smh...
Old 12th February 2013
  #168
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
How does the peak level or RMS level have anything to do with its DR number? You can still squash audio and have it sit at -20 dBFS RMS.
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #169
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by goosehalo ➡️
How does the peak level or RMS level have anything to do with its DR number? You can still squash audio and have it sit at -20 dBFS RMS.
Because the higher the RMS level is to 0dBfs the less potential dynamic range it can be allowed to have, and thus, the lower it's DR value will be.

How is DR value calculated? Or how doe Foobar DR measure it? Beats the crap out of me! All I know is I see a correlation between higher DR values and lower RMS values.

Another oldie but goodie for y'alls: "Can't fit 6 lbs of sh__ in a 5 lb bag!"

Cant fit DR12 in a -5RMS bag either.
Old 12th February 2013
  #170
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
That's true. That was a little clumsy of me. My point is that more sensible levels that don't overload D/A converters don't prevent an engineer from creating mixes with a smaller DR.

It just seems like musical genre and/or a car listening environment are irrelevant.
Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #171
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio ➡️
Excuse? It is simple, sound logic based on reality. Maybe you boycott cars as well and I'm sure that there is no need for high RMS recordings in a horse drawn buggy but here in 2013 it makes a lot of sense.

I have no idea what that even means. The "K-man"? Who are you? Who do you cater to exactly?
No it's not logical at all. It's complete nonsense, at least the car and noisy environment analogy. Don't you think people listened to radio in their cars back in the 60's, 70's and 80's? Do you think the higher dynamic range bothered them? Hell no.

The loudness war has NOTHING good with it at all. Anybody who tries to defend it, except for those that genuinely actually LIKE the squashed sound (there are those people), is being very ignorant.

Just because you have a high dynamic range doesn't mean that you have the massive peaks and valleys of classical music which can be annoying to listen to in a car. Most pop/rock/country/blues/whatever tracks from the 60's - late 80's can be very well listened to in a car of today. Actually they sound even better than before because the cars are so much more quiet than they were before and we have better stereo systems built into the average car.

Even our horrible earbuds are a massive improvement over what you used to get with an average walkman in the 80's.. so that's even more of an excuse to use.

- bManic
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Old 12th February 2013 | Show parent
  #172
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
No it's not logical at all. It's complete nonsense, at least the car and noisy environment analogy. Don't you think people listened to radio in their cars back in the 60's, 70's and 80's? Do you think the higher dynamic range bothered them? Hell no.

The loudness war has NOTHING good with it at all. Anybody who tries to defend it, except for those that genuinely actually LIKE the squashed sound (there are those people), is being very ignorant.

Just because you have a high dynamic range doesn't mean that you have the massive peaks and valleys of classical music which can be annoying to listen to in a car. Most pop/rock/country/blues/whatever tracks from the 60's - late 80's can be very well listened to in a car of today. Actually they sound even better than before because the cars are so much more quiet than they were before and we have better stereo systems built into the average car.

Even our horrible earbuds are a massive improvement over what you used to get with an average walkman in the 80's.. so that's even more of an excuse to use.

- bManic

And I don't really think it's as much of a "loudness race" as it is a gross misunderstanding of digital:

Engineers(and artists) think that everything on a song has to be as loud as possible in order to fully utilize whatever word-length(16/24) they are operating in.

The labels caught on to this, and they liked the way it sounded(ALL LOUD AND IN YOUR FACE!!), and said to the studios: Keep up the good work. And the so-called Loudness War was on.
Old 12th February 2013
  #173
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
This thread has gone sooooo far off topic with re-hashed subjects.
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