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Audio-Technica Demo: 'Loud And Clear'
29-10-2014, 02:48 PM (This post was last modified: 30-10-2014 08:46 AM by The_Metallurgist.)
Post: #41
RE: Audio-Technica Demo: 'Loud And Clear'
(29-10-2014 11:54 AM)Voelund Wrote:  If mixing for radio preserving dynamics and no limiting/clipping is a very good strategy. Read this if you doubt it Big Grin

while it's an old article and refers to the antiquated operating practices of of radio stations of yesteryear, it still contains the essential ingredients which are just as applicable today regarding music-ready songs for air play.

with the advent of EBU R128 and BS 1770 et al, it takes the opportunities away from radio stations to be competitive and gives EVERYONE a level playing field, so cheats don't benefit......or in Pauli's example they pay a penalty in the short-term during the transition period, with continued breach of the Regulations no doubt resulting in loss of their broadcasting license in due course.

any musician who's serious about their work needs to take this stuff into account and choose their mix/mastering engineer wisely! their own future will, i have no doubt, depend on it. as musicians increasingly get to understand the issues, they will themselves be demanding dynamic's already happening despite resistance from the record companies! the album Chinese Democracy by Gun's and Roses that graces my CD rack, is one such which springs readily to mind. i have no doubt there would be countless bands and musicians doing likewise if it wasn't for the fear in the Record Company's of losing their investment and profit by not making a "competitive" CD. like all things, Change is a slow process, but the more intelligent members of the community are often the first to see the benefits and are willing to embrace them.

Niel, i have always had a lot of respect for the fact that your own mixes are easy-on-the-ear and your care and concerns in maintaining dynamics and resisting the loudness thing is a great example to everyone. it can be difficult auditioning mixes in the forum and making objective assessments because many, far too many mixes for that matter, are hotter than hell and anything that's cranked up on the loudness scale (less dynamic range) might seem impressive on first hearing. on closer scrutiny however, they rarely stack up.

there's always something new to learn....

is a mix that's -7.2 LUFS "over-processed"? ultimately it depends on one's criteria. if the specification (the Contract, in other words) requests a hot mix and stipulates the LUFS range in it's criteria and this value falls within it, then it's meeting this particular "specification" by definition. however, life doesn't revolve around the Record Company (or the Contracting party), but involves ALL the stakeholders, including radio listeners and eventual consumers of product. while they don't have Contracts per se, they have expectations AND needs. my personal expectation/need is to be able to buy non-distorted, non-fatiguing product. i've had some interesting arguments, more than once, when i've taken a CD back to the shop and asked for the Manager! i'm not interested in consuming distorted product nor am i willing to pay to do so.

Beware...........Cognitive Dissonance!
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29-10-2014, 03:12 PM
Post: #42
RE: Audio-Technica Demo: 'Loud And Clear'
That's a great article, Niells.

One of the very few interviews Andy Wallace ever gave makes a great point that's stuck with me since I read it a few months ago. He mentions that during the mastering process or during radio broadcast, his dynamic mixes were being compressed, and he felt as though it was compromising his vision and indeed the sonics as a whole. His approach, therefore, was to mix into a compressor, so he could have more control over the way his mixes responded to the additional processing once it was out of his hands. I've discovered, especially during the last couple months, that compressing my mix before mastering keeps the peak limiter nice and relaxed, only responding a few times over the course of the mix... and when I perform the mix with the compressor active, I'm not really "sacrificing" any dynamics at all... simply managing them as I go rather than trying to figure out how I'm going to do it in the endgame. And on top of it, I don't need half the compressor inserts on individual channels, or at the very least, I'm not pushing them nearly as hard... so my gain staging remains easier to loudness match as I go.

Gotta give credit to Dave for giving me a push in that direction.

As for limiting, I set my limiter to start responding at -0.5 dB, and the main reason it's there is so I can apply polish to the already compressed mix, like a smile curve EQ or some automated EQ boosts here and there for enhancement, without worrying that my dog will jump up on the keyboard and inadvertently blow my ears out.... lol seriously. Most of my loudness comes from the mix compression and gain staging like Alan said, and I don't often find I need more in mastering these days because I really don't care if it's as loud as what I hear on the radio... only if the loudness makes sense for the genre... a hard rock mix needs to be a bit tighter than a jazz mix, probably. The limiter usually only winds up kick in when whatever polishing I'm using during mastering is emphasizing a spiky transient... a lot of guys will deliberately clip spiky transients like that outside of a limiter, specially in urban genres it seems, but I've never much liked that sound.

Alan... please don't delete this thread! This is seriously the best conversation I've seen so far on the discussion zone. I think a lot of people could benefit from all the different perspectives represented here... I've learned a few things! In fact, when I saw your comment that much of your loudness came from gain staging, it inspired me to revisit my gain staging strategies because I've been a little slack on that recently. Hence my ill-defined mix of this song Smile

I'm grateful for comments and suggestions. Thank you for listening!
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29-03-2015, 08:32 AM
Post: #43
RE: Audio-Technica Demo: 'Loud And Clear'
New mix

.mp3   loud and clear.mp3 --  (Download: 10.49 MB)
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