Different places different sounds...

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Ammitsboel, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Hi all you guys!

    I hate saying something that could be judged as bad things about mastering places, but i also feel that this forum is about talking/writing about these things so we can all be wiser :D

    I find it is very important to disqus what peoble like in mastering and how the final master sounds.
    I think that there is no right or wrong... there is only right or wrong when it comes to personal taste, and if enough peoble like one thing then i guess that thing becomes a standart way of doing it.

    I'm hearing different signature sounds from different mastering houses*:

    Bernie Grundman: overall nice balance, but I often hear a compressor with a too hard knee witch make my ears almost pop out when listening at 83db or higher.

    Stearling Sound: i think they have developed a signature tone especially in the higher octaves, i hear some funny things going one in the air region. It can be charming and nice to hear, but also very unnatural and it sometimes makes my ears tired.

    Bob Ludwig: the air region almost sound muted when comparing to Stearling Sound, this is not nessesarely a bad thing I actually think that the overall balance is very good and not as compressed as others... witch makes the albums come out more natural and less distorted.

    *With these notes I'm not saying that anything is good or bad/right or wrong, I'm only writing about what i hear and what i like. You also have to bear in mind that mastering is very depended on what is delivered to the mastering house.
    These notes are made only from listening to pop albums.

    Please coment my notes and come with your own.
    Do you guys hear the same as me? or do you have another way of looking at it?

    Best Regards,
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    If you give 100 mastering engineers the same mix and tell them to "master it" in their own facilities you will probably get 100 slightly different mastering jobs. Some has to do with the monitors they are using to listen on, some with the gear and much has to do with the skill of the mastering engineer. I have mastered songs for people that other mastering engineers have also done and my interpretation is different from theirs. Sometimes I like my stuff better sometimes the other person has different ideas which I would not have done but work for this particular music in a nice way. We all hear slightly differently and what sound shrill to some may sound bright to others. What sounds tubby to some may sound full to others. The trick is to know what is best for the music and how to make it better.Also knowing what will sound the best in the "real world" by listening to it on your particular monitors is something that every good mastering engineer needs to learn (some learn this earlier than others). Different mastering engineers have different ways of working and some do have a "signature" sound that they are trying to produce. That in itself is not bad. What is bad is when EVERYTHING sounds the same whether it is rock, soul or jazz where the mastering engineer is trying to mould the music to fit his or her mastering style. Then it becomes really BAD for the music.
  3. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I don't think that it has to do with a facility, just the individual. At sterling for instance, they have many fine mastering engineers and I think they all approach a mix differently. When I was a mixer, I've had just about all the big guys work on something that I've done. Some I like, some I don't. Some are still working the same way that they always have, some have changed. I know that in the last 5 or so years, most have changed the way they approach a mix because of level. I think it's not accurate to label a facility by one person or even one album. Sometimes the ME will do something and the label asks them to do something else, which usually is worse. It all depends.
  4. mixandmaster

    mixandmaster Active Member

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
  5. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Thanks for your postings.
    The notes i posted was after hearing albums from 2 engineers at each place.
    I also think that each engineer has a different aproach... I just came to the conclution that every facility must have some kind of "something" that is the same whether it's MR. X or MR. Y that is mastering.
    I know that some of the places have almost the same equipment in each facility... and others "just" the same analog transfer console.

    I think that no matter how different ME's may be there is still something that is the same in every facility.... they can't run away from it :lol:
    After all they must have some enfluence on each other in the facilitys.

    Best Regards,
  6. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    When I was being considered to fill a slot at sterling, I got a tour of the facility from Greg Calbi, from an ME's point of view. each room was completely different except for the console. Some had this and some had that. The rooms were designed by the same person but each had a different vibe and sound. They don't really interact about technique as much as one would think. It was really more like a bunch of different companies under the same roof. Calbi commented on how Tom Coyne got his records so loud and didn't know how he did it. I listened to something in each room and they are not the same. very different monitor setups and styles of working. I've had something mastered by each one of the guys there over the years and they are different. Some knew their gear inside and out, and others didn't know some of the basic features of gear like the MS option in the weiss eq. This is all in the same facility. Some "specialize" in certain types of music while other have a feel for everything.
    I think the same goes for Bernie's place. Brian and Bernie work very differently and produce very different results.
  7. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I've always thought this to be part of the "charm" of selecting a mastering engineer...

    I mean, if everyone got the same result, they'd just make a box that got that same result and put us all out of business.
  8. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Thanks Michael.
    That was what i was hoping for, some information about the places.
    Didn't you want to work at Sterling Sound?

    By the way it is Ted and George I've listened to.
    But after what you said I will try to listen to the others at the facility and see if they sound different.

    Best Regards
  9. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    I thought I might want to work there but after I spoke with all my clients, I decided against it. None of them wanted me to go there. So I decided to stay on this coarse and see where it took me.
  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Great clients!! I think it was a good decision.
    And you're free as a bird :D

    By the way I like your new homepage, I hope that I can get some time to consider what i want on my hompage...

    Best Regards,
  11. Ed Littman

    Ed Littman Guest

    When you wrote your observation on sterling above about high end I KNEW you were talking about ted jenson. He's got this secret technique to get that sound....it's called CLIPPING THE $*^t OUT OF THE CONVERTORS!! :shock:

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