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Different Mastering Solutions

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair Modifications DIY' started by Laurend, Oct 17, 2013.


What's your preference ?

Poll closed Dec 31, 2013.
  1. D

    0 vote(s)
  2. C

    1 vote(s)
  3. B

    0 vote(s)
  4. A

    0 vote(s)
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  1. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    Here's a mirror survey from a French forum.
    The goal of this survey is selecting the best mastering solution from:

    • Complete OTB
    • Complete ITB using freeware only
    • Complete ITB with paying plug-ins
    • Unmanned algorithmic solution

    The mix

    Solution D

    Solution C

    Solution B

    Solution A

    The revelations will be done at Christmas.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I saw this same poll on GS and it didn't go over well for you. I love the track however, your process is far from what I find open and accurate. I actually re mastered this track a few ways, which imho sounded superior, and then removed it as I saw it wasn't going to help you or me improve knowledge.

    The gear and process you use is different in comparison to what I am doing. So what does this prove? That your analog, whomever did your OTB mix or automation process and abilities are what? Who is better or what process is better?

    All this means is you are pushing something your are investing in and bad at something you are not. And you create a poll on that. DUH. Its fixed in a very well formulated way.

    How about a few more ME do a version here too and you include this in your poll?

    If not, I wish you the best but you are basically spamming/ trolling for business more than actually being interested in improving as a group.
    Fly at it but this is my opinion of your poll.
  3. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    I'm just trying to get one thousand votes on the same question in order to obtain a statistically significant result.
    Note that that I've mastered only one file. The three other ones have been done by a mastering studio owned by a moderator on the French forum. So at this time I still don't know which is which except for mine. We're almost in a double blind experiment.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    A result that is using a generic term ITB OTB .

    1. Who did all these versions?
    2. What process did you/someone use?
    3. What DAW?
    4. What analog gear?
    5. OTB = What summing system, gear, conversion and did you round trip or use a capture system?

    Many unanswered questions to a poll that is idiotic/ fixed and learning towards marketing your online process.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Lets invite some more engineers and then talk about the process? That's what I see being interesting and helpful. However, I doubt many ME are even daring enough to play. If they would, I'm in and that would be much better than this.

    In fact, If I got enough interest, I may even be able to get a contest prize around this. Never the less, this would be much better for us than your poll.

  6. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    The whole idea is avoiding any bias induced by dropping equipment names. The vote must be based only on the listening impressions. Listing used hardware and software will be done at the disclosure time. Votes aren't public, so nobody can be ridiculed by choosing the freeware solution over the hardware one.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Who cares about name dropping at that point. We're here to learn about sound.
  8. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    So, let's vote.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    it would be more helpful if you included an "unmastered" version of the file so other could hear the program material as it is at the start. then guys like BT could try their own hands at it. posting only "mastered" versions only presents the solution(s) and not the problems (if indeed there are any).

    i thought you went through this song and dance a few months ago ???

    instead of trying to pull a P.T. Barnum move (huckster) on an open (and free) board why don't you just get some ads in the audio press and on forums and offer your service at a very reduced rate until you build a client base. that's the way most successful business models work. or you could simply offer you algorithm as a plug at a price. personally i think this approach is no more than SPAM.
  10. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    Feel free to download "The mix" from the SoundCloud player if you want to do your own master.
    My business is healthy, thanks. This poll isn't a marketing action but a full size survey about listeners' preferences for this particular track.
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    good for you.

    to what end? what is your motivation for posting and running the "survey" in the first place?
  12. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    My motivation is improving the service I propose. The results will help my to fine tune my algorithm according the listener preferences.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What I meant was, I encourage name dropping of all products, people and process. Lets discover.


    Your process is flawed and bias and it is spam.
    What's so unsettling, you are including a process in your poll that I do not believe you are capable of mastering OTB. Yet you put that in there.

    To get us to vote for tracks, methods you are unable to do professionally is very misleading. The poll is ridiculous, targeted at the uninformed un aware of your motives.

    Like I said before, I would love to see a few if not hundreds of people working this great sounding track you have followed by an in depth discussion on what each engineer did. That would be cool.

    Right now all you are doing is paving a marketing road to your business.

    You never answered this:

    What analog gear are you using?
    Who did the OTB version?
    What DAW are you using?
    When you mastered the OTB version, did you do the "round trip" or use a capture system?

    OTB ITB mastering, to what level.? A kid or newbie could use some crap process you are labling OTB. This really bothers me.
    Please explain more about each process before I play along.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    I prefer C.

    D was loudest to me and distorting in spots.

    I cannot resist so I am starting this with my OTB attempt. I hope others play along, master a version too, what can it hurt?
    I had to increase my version 4db more to compete with your level on C so I have included two versions, one with less volume and one with more and one for the road, which is louder than all your versions and IMHO, better than them at that level. Analog gets that done better imho.

    This is an OTB process.

    The track in general is really nice but even though I just love the acoustic guitar, I find it dominating the vocals. I therefore tried to tame this using eqing and a comp in an analog MS processing.

    ITB on the capture DAW I used a Pro L limiter set for acoustic and vocals.

    I also used one Bricasti (Ice House) overall to give the sides a bit more space and sparkle.

    I'll share my eq setting at the end of this should anyone be interested.

    This one has 1db more added than the above (I could go even 1db more) for those interested in volume increase discussion:

  15. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    Thanks audiokid for your participation.
    I hate mp3 when talking about mastering. SoundCloud allows downloads for a codec free listening.

    It's funny to imagine a lab mice (no offence) proposing a new molecule for tests... IMHO that's really not the best way to obtain decipherable results despite it's real democracy in action ;-)
    I've added this C vote to the poll for you. No democracy without vote.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Other than the obvious, (for your sampling process) - what you do beyond listening to an online version(s) such as mine? What's the process, tools etc? Thanks in advance.


    I personally don't find Soundcloud "clouding" my judgement. Do you?

    These versions sound good enough to hear the beauty of this band and the difference, fav between all these versions.

    ITB vs OTB, I'm not exclusive to one or the other. Not that this is useable information to your algorithm, the beauty of hybrid is being able to use hardware or software based on what is needed for that song or track. Are you coming up with some sort of blending process?

    Ironically, for mixing and mastering we use what we have and will produce a favourite or not so favourite mix from one song to the next based on individual tastes of every listener. Each person has their love for tones and sonic shape of a mix. Finding that happy balance where majority like something always amazes me. I could never be a full time mastering engineer, this would drive me crazier than I already am.. I'm sure it has its moments of glory but it seems like a thankless job. I don't know how you all do it day after day. Kudo's

    I wish my mix(s) were always at full bandwidth but online music still sounds pretty damn good today. Don't you think so? I've heard some great online mixes lately. I think soundcloud quality has reached a level where we can differentiate between good, better , best. A good mix online sounds really good to me.

    If I suck, it isn't because of SoundCloud.
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    You would use an inferior track to help tune your algorithms? Isn't that like scanning/measuring a poor sounding room and modelling the bad space for a client? Why not pursue the highest quality but I'm guessing you feel your versions are that? These do sound better than the last examples months back.

    I guess, who cares what it sounds like then and I'm beginning to understand what this is all about. You get ME to help your sampling process with a poll like this.
    Your end result gives your clients multiple choice?

    Why would you use a file with distortion? Interesting approach though.

    I'm beginning to see what plug-ins are all about. I cannot imagine the amount of sampling it would take to try and create the process I just did. Pretty interesting in a disturbing way. Is this what you are doing, sampling the freq that are being changed. Yes... That is what you are doing?

    So, If I play, you download it and learn what I changed. Then theoretically could apply what I did to your code ? I feel violated.

    Thanks for finally sharing this with us.

    I take it you aren't really a ME as much as you are a coder?

    Do you Casey and you have a bit in common? However, he used ultrasound to measure rooms and the Bricasti M7 is astonishing. Whatever your agenda, I wish you the best but I don't think I'm going to continue the game.

  18. Laurend

    Laurend Active Member

    I have no other agenda than collecting a large amount of feedbacks from listeners.
    Seriously, requesting free demo from professional competitors is a much more easier way to spy them than what you're suspecting.

    Yet, it isn't time for revelations.
    When the vote will be over, all info will be disclosed including my personal comments about alternative mastering solutions which don't feature in this poll.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Laurend, after spending time with you on this, your approach to music seems very clinical and unmusical. Impossible to learn anything artistically helpful from you.
    Are you an actual mastering engineer or musician at some level? You seem to be all about data and business. Not much help around here.
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member


    this guy has some one fits all algorithm solution. you send him a file and he runs it through the box and that's it. he doesn't listen to the file, he has no treated listening environment or high end mastering gear. it's a cheapo cheapo solution for the masses that assumes all musical content will benefit from the same treatment. essentially it's a glorified normalizer. in fact that may be exactly what it is ... a normalizer.
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