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Difference Master for CD and Video

Hello Sirs and Ladys

i have a question.

Is there a difference between an Audiomaster for CD and an Audiomaster for a Videoproduction ?

We`ve made a master for CD-duplication. it`s alternative rock music relativ hot mastered
The Style is between Nickelback and Greenday(American Idiot).
Now a Video should be made and i`m afraid that the "hot" master will sound bad on TV.

Often the Hi-hat and the Crash and Ride will be very problematic by sending on air.
The optomods will make the sound very pumpy.

How should the mix and the master should be to sound good on TV and Radio ?
- high transients
- low level hihat, crash
- 3 or more db dynamic range

i am very appreciative for informations

best regards

I hope it is clear what i mean, my english is not the best sorry


anonymous Wed, 03/08/2006 - 02:09
Often the Hi-Hat and the Crash and Ride will be very problematic by sending on air.
The optimods will make the sound very pumpy.

How should the mix and the master should be to sound good on TV and Radio ?
- high transients
- low level hi hat, crash
- 3 or more db dynamic range

Sounds to me that you are asking a radio ready type question.

I have read various responses to this matter and the consensus is to not worry about the processing that the broadcast companies will apply to your tune.

Just master the tunes with respect to the song and disregard loudness wars and you will be fine.
So basically supply them with the best master you can and dont alter it in anticipation of their processing.

anonymous Wed, 03/08/2006 - 07:04
If the master that is intended to be aired then each station will have a different chain of effects applied to the signal will they not.

Im no broadcast expert but you can be sure they are going to boost the signal as much as they can.

Best to leave a bit of headroom in your master.

id aim for moderate rms levels, i cant give a number unless i heard the track/s

RemyRAD Wed, 03/08/2006 - 22:52
Dude! You come from the land of Mozart and you have to ask a question like this?? It's not a tumor!

Generally if it's loud and without over modulated peaks, you're OK.

There are numerous different kinds of Optimods. Some are broadband. Some are discriminate spectral processors that split the audio into numerous different frequency bands. The one thing that is common to all television and FM broadcast processors are high-frequency preemphasis limiters. All FM and television broadcasts utilize a fixed preemphasis high-frequency boost in transmission and so the final dynamics processor for the transmitter have to limit the high-frequency response so as to prevent broadcast over modulation, particularly in the higher frequency spectrum. This will affect your sound. There should not be excessive "pumping" on a television level but with the loudness wars in contemporary FM radio, that's entirely possible. I don't know any recording engineers that ever liked broadcast oriented dynamics processing. It's generally awful especially when dealing with contemporary music.

I'll be Bach. What was Arnold thinking? That's German!

Think like Mozart and make it beautiful sounding.
Ms. Remy Ann David

JoeH Thu, 03/09/2006 - 17:36
I'm on the side of the crowd that says: "Make the best mix you can make, and hope for the best." Pray, even.

It's a wild, weird world out there. I hear just about everything at one time or another with my Comcast cable feed, depending on a myriad of things. (I listen on my home 5.1 system as well as my studio 5.1 system, often checking mixes on both.) I've got about a dozen HD channels, and they often carry Dobly 5.1 surround mixes with many tv shows. Many of these are fantastic. (FOX's "Bernie Mac" it's absolutely fantastic in's an instant party in yer living room!).

On the other hand local TV news is still pretty bad, ditto for locally produced shows. Bad or no stereo, clipped peaks, and lopsided levels. Every once in a while, I'll even hear a commerical or show that someone left the NR switch "ON", when it should be off. It happens, unfortunately, and there's never any number you can call to the station and say: "Hey, turn the noise reduction OFF, willya?!?!?!"

Then there's SD (standard definition) broadcasting. Some channels actually have Dolby Prologic on these, too, it's always worth checking the indicator lights.

As for good old stereo on SD broadcast and cable feeds, it's still anyone's guess. On HD TV, most of the live sound (Letterman, Leno, Conan, etc., all seem pretty good on the East Coast here. I'm in Philadelphia, and we probably get the feed before it's been bounced around the stratosphere a few times). On the other hand, Craig Ferguson (from CBS in LA) is just awful. I suspect they send the video and audio through a LOT of feeds, from satellite bounces to god knows what else before it hits my TV, even on the HD channel.

Just last night, I happend to catch (totally by accident) Bon Jovi on Jay Leno. The sound of the band (at least here on the East Coast) was AWFUL. Compression and overshooting peaks beyond belief. To my ears, it sounded like a typical inexperienced mixer trying to max-out the level (all that testosterone, I'm sure) to make it super-hot and macho. The result was incredible clipping, and sometimes even dropouts - the kind you get on a TV feed when the limiters just can't take it anymore. The sound actually stops for a brief moment, and then stutters back on.

On the other hand, it might have simply been a level mismatch between the handoff between NBC and my cable affiliate. It's possible that the sound was perfectly fine as it left NBC in Burbank. Who's to say? But by the time it hit my studio monitors (where I had the TV feed routed), it was laughingly bad, probably the complete opposite of what Jon Bon J wanted....noisey, clipped and distorted sound, which got worse every time he sang a line. The squashed harmonies sounded wimpy and lame as well.

So as for mixing for CD, DVD or just never know. I'd keep it as good as you can make it, and hope for the best. Your best bet is to provide tones (which hardly anyone ever does anymore) at the top of the video clip, but even so...there's no guarantee that anyone will bother to look at the tones and make sure it's OK.


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