Not willing to stick their neck out

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by audiowkstation, Nov 8, 2002.

  1. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Either it could get fondled or axed.....

    Why do mastering enginners that are in total control of major works (I am talking about remasters) are not willing to go ahead and do it where it should be?


    I am so disgusted by the lack of impact and high freqency info that is on the DSD (sacd) of Roger Waters, "in the flesh" that the SACD lacks. Through my reference system, compared to what I hear daily on redbook, normal everyday mixdowns and archiving live performances. Time and time again on my system it sounds right when it sounds *right*.

    I am listening from a very high end SACD player of the disc to discover, the mastering engineer decided to not do their job properly and it cost a $*^t load of money to remaster, to SACD.

    It was approved by whom??

    It does not sound nearly as good as what it should and what I already have of the same works.

    Case in Point.

    I took the SACD analog out to Tape analog
    I took it on another take to VHS-HI FI.

    I did another to the DAT.

    Another to CDR direct.
    And another to HD turning the 32bit/384K (on PCM HI-REZ/HI-BIT) the resulting file for one song is larger than what a CD can handle for storage)

    I re-mastered it.

    I re-mastered it from all realums and everyone of them ate the playback of the sacd player.

    I had to re eq it, restore dynamics...fix channel balance and my system is accrurate. So is the playback machine. tested over and over again. Ref. to Ref. Within a 0.01dB all over the situations.
    It is a ripoff if mastering engineers that are not competant or passionant about what we do are employed in these major works of art.

    Why..please tell me why?

    Did you know this DSD master had intentional rolloff? (why)

    Mid boosting at 2.2K? 5.5dB (Why?)

    Dynamic instability (artifacts from their long wires and sorry systems..bad speakers, room acoustics..etc..)

    Why can I say this?

    I listen every day to production standards. Reference standards. Things that sound right many times. How is this standard being butchered this way with all the dollars behind it..
    Why I ask?

    I would love to send a redbook corrected copy to the sacd mastering house for their opinion. I think they would wet their pants.

    Sorry..but their is no excuse in the ones doing it to be so timid and not enlighten theirselves to what this stuff really sounds like on many systems that are high end.

    Does one have to build a separate system around each recording? Geeeeeze...

    I really do not mean for my posts to sound vicious in nature but what are they getting paid for..and why are the shot-calers letting this happen?

    Do they not have a clue?

    Why is this , the way it is?

    It is not condusive to advancing the arts.

    It simply cannot be only me that realises this.

    Check it out and report your findings.

    If nothing else, RO mastering enginners will at least know the truth and advance these arts.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    I picked up the roger waters live sacd, maybe it's the one you talked about, I forget the title cause it sucked so bad. I spent 1/2 hour trying to figure out if something happened to my system. Something went wrong somewhere in the chain. It sounded like they rolled all the low end off the main channels instead of leaving them full range. Then they forgot to dump the LF into the sub channel, but left some of the sub effects. So the whole cd sounds like an AM radio and then every once in awhile a sub keyboard or something hits the sub. To me, it seems like an authoring mistake because a reputable mastering engineer mastered it and I can't believe this was intentional. The eagle's hotel california DVD-A sounds awesome and so does fleetwood mac's rumors DVD-A.

    MANTIK Guest

    I'm not trying to be a smart ass but I keep seeing this word used more and more by different mastering houses. The word is "precision". What "precisely" makes a studio confident enough to claim that they are so precise in their mastering? Is one studio's claim to precision exactly the the same effect as another studio's claim to precision? In other words if your both claiming to be so "precise" then logically if you both master the same song, you should both come out with exactly the same result, right? What authority established or defined what "precise" mastering actually is?
  4. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Good question, here is my answer.
    I believe that if Michael and me mastered the same set of tracks the way we do it and you could sit down and would find so little difference in the way the vibe hits you sans some minor low frequency differences and volume differences. Since the title of this thread is sticking my neck out..I will go one further. I do not believe anyone...possibly me or Micheal would be able to name who mastered a list of 6 songs done by me and him..which is 12 tracks. I feel his techniques are so close to the way I do them and vise versa that it would be very close. That is simply because we do it with the end goal in sight. Best possible broadstreme reproduction.

    Precision mastering means you calibrate your system regularly. It means you listen to it at least 6 hrs per day everyday..if not 10 to 12 and even more. I am sure Michael will tell you he listens to his main system at least 50hrs a is what happens, the remaining time we are doing the biz, and calibrating, and checking the forum, and reading to enhance our place in these arts.

    I am listening while I type this. Anytime I am on the web..I am in the sweet spot, music on, evaulating.

    It is about precision in the execution of what we do. It is about happy clients. It is about big tone and fun work. It is about duplicating the goosebumps time and time again. It is about learning from others and making mistakes and not letting the sounds of any mistakes get past you or to your clients.

    It is about being dedicated to the art. It also is about bitching when the artform receives disservice from others in our field because they were not precision. Like the Roger Waters SACD. We both can eat that work alive. I already have remastered it..for me. Could not stand the foolishness any now sounds correct, and precision to the way the art was to be represented in the first place. As the balance of the master tape suggest. Then my Art. It fits finally, on all 6 channels. If you would not agree it is 4 fold better than the purchased product..them it is time to re-evaluate why you are even in this business. Tall order? I stand by it!

    It is about many other things that it hard to put into scientific terms. It is about Love of this as well.

    Try me sometime, I will do a track at no charge.

    Try Michael. I simply have no hesitation sending work if I ever get overloaded.

    He has a broader client base than I do, now that I am independent AND do credits, I makes me puke to hear great art butchered the way I have been hearing it time and time again. Enough of the 2000 feet of wire and the lack of proper calibration.

    Precision is the correct word.

    I find that only 9 mastering houses including mine at present are into it they way it should be. I reserve the right not to name them.

    Mantik, do not get me wrong but why do I feel you question all of my posts? could it be that I am not clear in my translation of meaning :eek: If so, I will work on it. Fill me in. I Know what I am taking about, can send tracks to prove it and want to help whenever possible.. but if it is misunderstood, help me find a way to make the messages more clear for you. I would appreciate it.
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2002
    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    I don't think I ever said precise, but most mastering houses I know and have been in are at least in the same ball park. I have mastered several albums, that at the same time were mastered by other mastering houses here in NYC. After one of these, I was invited to sterling sound to talk with Greg Calbi about how we both approached it. Neither version was wrong or out. They had a different color on them but if you played them back to back, you would never have to touch your system to compensate. Volume differences were minimal, freq balance was similiar. The only difference was color. To me that is precision. They ended up picking my master over his but it was not because he was wrong or un-precise, They just prefered my color to his. When you know your system inside and out and have listened to thousands of songs every year and constantly listen to others work, you know when something is wrong or could be better.

    If you don't have the SACD that we are referring to, pick it up and listen to it. Something went wrong and no one caught it before it went to production. That is one of the problems with SACD and DVD titles, the mastering engineer does not have the last word. A graphics designer authoring the title has the last word. There are several variables involved in the authoring process that will affect the end result. Unless the authoring is done in the same house, the mastering engineer will not hear the end result until it's in the stores.

    I'm not talking about a subjective color, I'm talking I had to go see if my sub was even on. These formats are new and mistakes are going to be made. If mistakes weren't made then we wouldn't learn. I just try to not make my mistakes in public.

    MANTIK Guest


    You've been in this forum way longer than I have.
    There is no way that I've questioned all your posts. I am very aware that you know what you're talking about. You've mentioned in other posts a lot of things that you've been involved in and your achievements. Very impressive.

    After I posted, I realized that I put a curve ball into your post and that was not my intent.
    I was really directing my question to the industry as a whole and not to you specifically. I should have posted this question as a separate topic.

    I just spent a lot of money to get a new sound card, speakers and other components. Now I have to start from scratch getting to know my system again.

    I currently can't afford to create that accoustically perfect room that most of you guys have. So it's going to be quite a long time before I start to get a feeling of what the "ball park" is.

    I think listening to music is a very subjective thing and that it's not easy for two people to agree on how every element in the music should be.
    I'm not arguing with anything in this post of yours. I'm sorry if I left you with that impression.
  7. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Really, no problem.

    Please overlook typos..I am tired and do not want to deal with editing tonight..maybe later..

    You can start by submitting works to the Critique forum..

    (Dead Link Removed)

    And letting us work through your system and skills to get you very happy with it all. It is a short cut because we have been there.

    We can sit down and listen to what you have going on and if we hear warts we will tell them to you and suggest through extrapolation how these problems can be solved. Who Knows? You may drop a bomb on our head (it has happened) where we say not change anything, if you can duplicate that..keep on keeping on and we bow our heads to you. You simply have the tools here at RO to actually coordinate a discussion with real mixes. I would advise the MP3 files to be 224K to get close to what the wav. is. You can submit a WAV file for 30 seconds (long enough to hear) in there since you have 15 megs to work with or for the hearty, contact the NWR and get more is dirt cheap. Of if you have your own space, give a link is cool believe me.

    I have been under the weather and fighting (nothing like Stephen Paul is going through) and I do not have the time I usually have (need rest, chicken soup and aspirin) but get it happening.

    I cordually (typo I am sure) invite all to d load tracks there and give the opinion of their choice.

    You know what..I bet we can get you closer...quicker for sure and you may be very close now..

    Give it a shot and I did not mean to sound vindictive..just sometimes you got to make sure we all are on the level and working hard to advance these arts to beyond what they would have been without us.

    Oh BTW...Michael got the Roger waters SACD and heard what I heard of a major ^#$%ed up it rendering or not.

    What I would give (not be paid) to have actually sone that one (in Rogers words.. for ^#$%s sake) to make it great.

    I simply have a major problem with folks involved in the "big time today" pushing product that is subpar at best. Makes me sick (probably why I am sick now) because I love to make it right. Ck the link about stick my neck out and read. So unfortunant. Lets make this artform advance. It is not about is about vibe, frequency balance and dynamics..them how to use the gear. Acoustics is high on the totem pole.

    Shooooooooo I am worn out got to lay down for a spell..

    Do it Sir!
  8. From BR:

    Bill, I feel your laments to no end, my friend and am digging this thread. :) Does it seem like even the basic tenets of life, and all of the "arts" nowadays lack "meaning? It seems like fewer and fewer folks give a $*^t about their art, or whatever service they offer to the general public. Irresponsible, always in denial, uncaring BS, etc ad nauseum. Really makes one wonder where we are going as a society. The crap out there on the airwaves (you know what I mean) has served notice on society of the writing on the wall. I need to have some dude with an angry face yelling poor-ass poetry at me and calling chiks ho's and bitches, and condoning drugs, murder and rape?....and the kids eat this $*^t up! Sorry, had to vent. OY!

    MANTIK Guest

    I'm using a PC as a DAW. For speakers, right now I'm using the Blue Sky Prodesk 2.1 system. I'm in a medium sized room 19'long x 10'wide x 9'high with no sound treatment.

    What are the tools that I need to calibrate this situation?
  10. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    Jun 29, 2001
    Lee T, Right on. True. Not to many other words I can say. You nailed it.

    I have so many kick ass Indie bands Worldwide that have a commom thread.."We do this because we are tired of hearimg BS on the radio"

    I simply cannot get over the talent that comes my way..just that they do not have the huge system... I enjoy daily. That is why I offer my mastering so cheap because I actually can meke some of this thin sound, super quality..if not, let me mix it for you. It is more about the arts at this point of life.

    I agree so much with you and enjoy a rant session together in vibes..but really let's solve this problem if we can..we have the resourses..time to go forward.

    Mantik, I will look into the variables I can see in that and converse with you to see more. Makes no difference until I hear your work posted so I can really see, not imagine.

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