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Over Compression!
Macker
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:09:01 (047)  Reply with quote
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Suprise suprise, Macker is complaining about over compression, again. But this really pisses me off. The thing is, I can quite easily let amateur producers get away with it and just tell them where they are going wrong... Professional mastering engineers however, I can not forgive quite so easily.

For those of you that aren't in the know; compression is applied to tracks to control the loudest peaks of the tracks; by keeping those peaks down, you can turn the whole track up; but in doing so you reduce dynamic range. Compression is not a bad thing, when used properly - in fact it's a very good thing. My complaint is with compression that squeezes all the dynamic range out of a track and makes it unlistenable.

The issue here is that sometimes the record label will ask the mastering engineer to make tracks louder - which is a catch 22 situation for him/her. You either do what the record label says and over compress the music, get paid, pay the bills or you refuse to do it as they tell you to, and clearly state your reasons why, and lose your client.

The reason for me bringing this up is because I recently bought Dave Pearces "Delerium" volume 2 CD. A good CD by all accounts, so well done to dave. The whole thing though is let down in a spectacular fashion by shoddy mastering; i've never heard anything like it in my life.

Here's a screenshot of "Casa Grande" by Estiva vs Marninx;



Seriously now, that is REALLY bad. I can't even listen to the track all the way through because it just sounds so bad. Look, the "break" has been so compressed that it's actually as loud as the rest of the track!!! This is the email I sent to ministry of sound (should've known better than to expect something half decent from them).

Quote:
Regarding Dave Pearce's "Delirium" Vol 2 CD;

It's the first CD i've bought from ministry of sound in a long time, after being pleasantly suprised by the unusually "underground" tracklisting. Something that Ministry of Sound fails miserably at these days, in their money grabbing attempts to dominate the pop charts.

What a mistake. It's so badly mastered and over compressed that it pains me to listen to for over 5 minutes. I'm sick of the loudness wars modern record labels are waging with eachother. I have a volume control, I'm capable of deciding how loud I want to listen to my music, so stop ruining it for me and thousands of others.

Now, i'm well aware that you (person reading this) probably aren't the mastering engineer; so my question to you is; Who is the mastering engineer, and was it his decision to push the limiter this hard, or the record labels?

I look forward to your reply.


I shall let you all know what they say in the reply. I wonder whether they blame the mastering engineer or own up to wanting it to be that loud. If they blame the mastering engineer, i'll get in contact with him/her.

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Macker Goodbye trance.nu. You shall be missed
Jezper
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:17:28 (053)  Reply with quote
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Yeah that is seriously bad mastering. To be honest, mastering for dance recordings are most often terrible. I don't know if many know this but a lot of labels master themselves. And those who do it have no education or knowledge in mastering what so ever. For most of them, the louder the master is, the better masterer you are.

It's terrible that basically all labels screw records up like this. Aka ASOT compression.
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arsenijcz2
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:20:56 (056)  Reply with quote
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lol

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Macker
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:22:16 (057)  Reply with quote
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Jezper wrote:
To be honest, mastering for dance recordings are most often terrible. I don't know if many know this but a lot of labels master themselves.


I know, that's part of the problem certainly. Small independant record labels trying to compete with the big labels, but without the funding to hire professional mastering engineers, or even a serious amateur like myself.

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Macker Goodbye trance.nu. You shall be missed
DanSunshineDahl
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:29:36 (062)  Reply with quote
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It's good that you make threads like this. I find myself falling for the 'loudness'-craze too, so that's why it's good to get a slap in the back of the head.

You need to start a movement.

I'll try to better myself too. happy
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AlexPea
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:30:15 (062)  Reply with quote
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I always use auto gain compensate when compressing something. That will avoid limiting the peaks too drastically, and instead boost the sounds which are lower in dB.

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Macker
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:44:02 (072)  Reply with quote
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AlexPea wrote:
I always use auto gain compensate when compressing something. That will avoid limiting the peaks too drastically, and instead boost the sounds which are lower in dB.


Compressing something, by definition limits/reduces the peaks so I don't know what you think it is you're doing that is anything other than that?

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Macker Goodbye trance.nu. You shall be missed
Lydhus
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:52:03 (077)  Reply with quote
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holy crap!

my ears hurt by only watching the pic

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andYMkIII
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:55:10 (079)  Reply with quote
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Finally someone who's bothered by that shit that's going on as well cheers

But the one you posted is by far not the worst thing I've seen, look at this crap:


Doesn't become any better if I zoom in, it's in fact one huge "block". And it sounds like crap angry smilie

btw, the track is Santiago Nino - Clairvoyant, was released on Dub Tech Recordings - DO NOT BUY THIS! Of course I complained about that, but I didn't get any reply. Not gonna buy a single track from that label again...


And as we're talking about mastering issues, may I bring up another thing that bothers me - the audio engineers working at Anjunabeats obviously haven't heard of a thing called a limiter, as all of their latest releases I bought have shitloads of clipped samples - and they are very easy to hear.

I buy all my music, and only WAV files, so I expect high quality. But what Anjuna delivers is substandard, it makes me so damn angry angry smilie Of course I wrote them as well (I was very polite and friendly), but they successfully ignored me. I want to support the artists and the labels, but they make it very hard sometimes sad smilie

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andYMkIII R.I.P. trance.nu, thanks for everything, I had a great time here :,(
Macker
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 00:58:28 (082)  Reply with quote
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omg, i've brought up clipping with anjunabeats too! Several months back...

here's the topic:

http://www.anjunabeats.com/forum2/index.php?showtopic=20554

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Macker Goodbye trance.nu. You shall be missed
Korhonen
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 01:01:28 (084)  Reply with quote
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Blame Anjunabeats... for me they started this trend because years ago every Above & Beyond wannabe tried to make their tracks sound as loud and punchy as professional mastered tracks. happy

No but seriously this is a real issue and I've heard quite a few compilations that have been ruined using over compression. Trance should be all about dynamics and creating soundscapes and it's a shame that people just seem to love those "banging" (I so hate that word angry smilie) tracks.

As an artist you can't really affect to final mastering and if track is not mixed properly it is likely to sound much worse after final mastering although 9/10 people will think it sounds better. It's all about trend that everything should be loud and when over compressed tracks will be mixed/mastered to compilations/sets they will sound like crap but that's what people want nowadays.

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andYMkIII
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 01:03:30 (085)  Reply with quote
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Macker wrote:
omg, i've brought up clipping with anjunabeats too! Several months back...

here's the topic:

http://www.anjunabeats.com/forum2/index.php?showtopic=20554


Thanks a lot for posting that link, will read all the comments (2 pages, english, technical stuff... will be back in 4 days grin )

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Jezper
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 01:08:27 (089)  Reply with quote
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AlexPea wrote:
I always use auto gain compensate when compressing something. That will avoid limiting the peaks too drastically, and instead boost the sounds which are lower in dB.


well that basically the problem too.
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Jezper & Tommie just launched a swedish tech podcast. Check it out: http://www.slashat.se
Macker
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 01:08:27 (089)  Reply with quote
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Korhonen wrote:
Blame Anjunabeats... for me they started this trend because years ago every Above & Beyond wannabe tried to make their tracks sound as loud and punchy as professional mastered tracks. happy


The "big 3" (sony/universal/warner) labels were doing it long before anjunabeats.

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Macker Goodbye trance.nu. You shall be missed
DrGonzo
PostPosted: 17 May 2008 - 01:11:04 (091)  Reply with quote
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I seriously would have to read this in Finnish rather than in English
maybe I then would understand a bit more lol

all I can notice in Oceanic is that the sound "crackles".....but everyother mp3 I've bought from beatport or audiojelly sounds fine...maybe I'm just def lol

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