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Trying to opt out of loudness-war
02-08-2019, 03:42 PM (This post was last modified: 03-08-2019 02:59 PM by JEL.)
Post: #1
Trying to opt out of loudness-war
UPDATE:
I screwed up on the first attempt (I blame the horse for throwing me off and will get back up on it, as the saying goes) so I went back to my old and more traditional method. Less experimental.

This one is louder but still relatively bright (I like bright, but I have tinnitus so maybe my bright is off relative to how others hear it)
I actually aim for a 3 dB curve (thank you Hollywood Records), and not the 4.5 or 6 that some recommend. I guess it's a matter of personal taste, or perhaps just a result of having listened to too much too loud music over the years.

Anyway, I was so inspired by Roy's sound (hear his version, it's super-cool) that I deliberately wanted it to sound like a big open-air stage concert.
So I put some monitor-bleed into her vox-track... which is likely a big no-no, but I did it anyway Smile It does dirty the sound up a bit, but I think it has some of that flavor that you get at such concerts (loud sounds and the resulting feedback-loops that happens)

So the listener is supposed to be somewhere in the middle of the crowd, between the stage and the audio-engineer's booth. Not drunk, but not totally sober either. And the sky is dark-blue and it's lovely warm and people around you are in a good mood Smile

I do hope I won't find tomorrow that I screwed up again, but let's see Smile
(So this is for version 11)



////////////old post below (for version 07):
So I am trying a new method of mastering with this one.

During spring of this year I studied the effect of high-frequency content compression on sound-quality and found that if I leave more head-room than found in normal modern music; the sparkle of the sound improved significantly (it's subjective of course, but that was how it sounded to me)

I found that lower frequencies can be compressed much more than high frequencies before beginning to sound 'dull'.

With that knowledge I designed an auto-equalizer for such a sound, which I am using in this mix.
The side-effect is that the master-mix can not be heavily compressed (since the headroom is needed by the higher frequencies)
So the mix I ended up with, of this song, may sound lower compared to other people's versions.

I obviously think it sounds better that way, but at the end of the day it's the audience (those who buy the artist's music) who end up being boss of all this.
Do they skip lower songs sitting between 2 loud ones when listening to radio, or will the extra sparkle (that I believe is present with this method) lead them to buy this artist's CD (or download, or whatever people buy these days). That's obviously going to be the decider in whether my mix will stand out or drown in the sea of heavy compression Smile

Anyway, I thought this song sounded pretty good. I like her creamy voice, which triggered me into wanting to give this one a try Smile

I opted for a LIVE-sound, since that appears to be how it was recorded/performed, so it is not super-tight and 'sound-designed/sculpted' like a studio-album version might be.

So that's my take on this one Smile
Thanks
JEL


.mp3   Kat Wright - Contact - (JELmaster version07).mp3 --  (Download: 12.38 MB)


.mp3   Kat Wright - Contact - (JELmaster version11).mp3 --  (Download: 12.4 MB)



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03-08-2019, 12:32 AM
Post: #2
RE: Trying to opt out of loudness-war
Hi

Something weird happened at the intro. The whole song started out very muddy and eventually it ended up being so bright.
This automation happens throughout all of the song which is no good for the mix. Everything gets destroyed one way or another. I wouldn't recommend that auto eq.

Bass is very subby and at points it's very midrangyy.
The thing that I find disconected in the mix is the drums. Kick and overheads come out to be in your face and then they get burried back to come out front again.

Not sure why you would take that automatted Eq to those lengths but in my humble opinion the mix is not good having changes like that through the whole song.
Would like to hear the mix without that automated Eq. Smile

"Mixing for me is the opportunity you get to explore a song to detail and deliver the feeling intended. Mixing is more than faders and knobs, Mixing defines the soul of a song."
Saludos!
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03-08-2019, 07:24 AM
Post: #3
RE: Trying to opt out of loudness-war
I just re-listened to it and yes you are correct Sad
I don't know why I couldn't hear that yesterday, but now it's glaringly obvious.

I think perhaps I spent too much time on it and lost sight of the woods for all the trees (like getting snow-blind). You know when, after a while, effects like these just sounds natural because you have replayed the song (while working on it) so many times you basically forget how it's supposed to sound. When all the little changes you do to the mix slowly builds up iteratively, play-through by play-through, into a nonsense-mix, but you don't notice it because it happens in such small steps.

I seem to end in that pitfall too easy when doing these mix-tests.
It always sounds cool when I upload it, and then the next day... what the heck did I upload there lol!? Smile

Thanks a lot for the comment.
I will start over and try doing this mix from scratch again.

I guess I need some good tips on how NOT to get 'snow-blind' during the work-process. Some way to keep the neutral ears you have during the first few plays.

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03-08-2019, 10:29 AM
Post: #4
RE: Trying to opt out of loudness-war
I don't have a chance to listen to the mix at the moment but as far as not becoming "snow-blind", I'd say this:
1). Take frequent breaks. Just stop an do nothing or listen to something else.
2). Listen unfocused. Sometimes, often, I'll listen to a mix while doing something else. Like surfing the web or doing the dishes. If anything jump out at me then it's probably worth adjusting.
3). Print a mix and listen to that. I think when we have the full multitrack at our fingertips we don't view it as one entity. We may hear issues but pass it off as something that can be fixed later on. I think it helps to get perspective by printing/bouncing a mix and listen to a version of the mix that can't be tweaked.

I only have earbuds to listen and mix with at the moment. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
-
A mix doesn't have to be good, it just has to sound good.
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03-08-2019, 03:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Trying to opt out of loudness-war
(03-08-2019 10:29 AM)RoyMatthews Wrote:  1). Take frequent breaks. Just stop an do nothing or listen to something else.
2). Listen unfocused. Sometimes, often, I'll listen to a mix while doing something else. Like surfing the web or doing the dishes. If anything jump out at me then it's probably worth adjusting.
3). Print a mix and listen to that. I think when we have the full multitrack at our fingertips we don't view it as one entity. We may hear issues but pass it off as something that can be fixed later on. I think it helps to get perspective by printing/bouncing a mix and listen to a version of the mix that can't be tweaked.

I did 2 and 3 for this one.

I found 2 surprisingly effective. Apparently distracting your mind opens it up more to wrong sound. It's like you don't notice the music so much, while it's sounding 'correct', but as soon as something is 'off' it just grabs you attention (making it more easy to know where the errors are). Very clever trick Smile
Thank you for that Smile

Number 1 takes more discipline though, because once you're working you don't really want to stop. Kind of like kids can't wait for Christmas-presents, I can't wait for the final mix to be done lol.
I will have to work on that and be more patient.

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