Pro Audio Files

  • Shorty_dammit

    Bah. Target everything for standard ReplayGain 89.0 dB. That’s what I’ll change it to when adding it to my library anyway. Quit compressing the shit out of everything. It sounds HORRIBLE. (Yes, even yours.)

  • Gabriel Mendoza

    I rarely post… if ever

    However this is a good time and place – plz help (anyone)

    I have a client with tracks for mastering; normally this is business as usual. This time, however, it’s not….

    My clients’ music can be described as “electronic based” (120 bpm, 4/4, samples + groove, etc)

    His problem (and why he came to me) is because his tracks are TOO QUIET. Client is using Maschine 2 for production…

    Upon discovery, it appears that his bass regions is what is choking out the ability for his tracks to turn up as loud as competitive tracks within his genre.
    Upon further discovery, he is taking a sub bass (808 type of sound) and pitching it down 8 cents (almost growl-like) – – – this is where I believe the issue to be – – – –

    So, my theory is that perception of bass (a sub tuned down further) requires so much energy – and bandwidth – to be perceived that, by the time it is audible in the mix, you’ve already used up all your headroom (which means that you can’t do anything)

    when I checked the samples that were being used, they were normalized and set right up to -0dbfs (a problem)

    —–

    My question(s):

    1. has anyone encountered this
    2. if yes, howd you fix?

    —–

    My theory is that the gain staging is whacked and made worse by the downpitching of bass
    Is there an alternative to achieve the same effect?

    Artist is set on bass sounding that way (sound familiar?)

    —–

    also, my thought would be to keep that low down-tuned sub and place another one an octave above (he didn’t really like that, but im sure he doesn’t like having a quiet track)

    —–

    I had ideas about 24-bit vs. 16-bit word and dynamic range, but encountered the same problem when i did that in 24 bit I had the same results

    —–

    Is resampling a possibility (playing through a console and sampling at 24/48hz into ptools)?
    this only comes to mind because when his music plays out of a club system, it ‘sounds fine’ and is loud… (however, im sure it is cranked beyond what a standard track would be like)

    ——

    I hate telling people “no” and really don’t like to leave a puzzle unsolved. Would appreciate the help

    trust me that I know what I’m doing and finally had to start reaching out here.
    Thanks!

    • Jay Sanders

      Given your experience, would you rather be mastering analog or digital sources? Especially drums, as they have such an impact. I ask because I’ve looking at the new jambe (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1906200206/jambe-the-ultimate-electronic-instrument) and its analog output only. Should I stick to digital output only?

      Thanks!

    • Gabriel Mendoza

      Hi Jay, thanks for reading

      clipping is clipping though, no? I don’t care for any source, really as it would mean saying no.

      as for your question…. going through what im going through makes me feel like im back at square one 🙁

    • Justin Perkins

      Hi Gabriel,

      Low frequencies can eat up headroom very quickly in a mastering situation, and if you’re listening on a playback system that can’t reproduce the low frequencies, the material may seem even less loud and powerful.

      Low frequency content and loudness is often a trade off, not only in the digital world but for vinyl too.

      There are too many variables involved to really offer you any more advice but it sounds like you have a good handle on what the issue(s) may be and how to solve them.

      Maybe you can try a master with a high pass filter at a certain frequency and a more sharp cut where there seems to be too much low end build up. Doing this early in the mastering chain may help you get some more overall level out of the track before things get weird.

      I’ve found that the low end on a mix might sound fine when it’s unmastered and at a quieter level, but as you get into the -12 RMS range and louder, low frequencies can appear exponentially louder and problematic and must be addressed.

    • Thomas Yardley

      Hi Gabriel , I have been playing with exactly this kind of thing in my own music and trying to get it right for years . He needs to fix it in the mix …. and he needs to do that by using very careful amounts of various saturation on the sub to bring up the percieved volume of that part without destroying its tone too much, or eating up headroom … I find there is no exact formula , because every different note / sound / will need different amounts and different characters of saturation get to the right ‘sound’ …. In essence using the appropriate saturation to create harmonics is the same idea as duplicating the part an octave above …. BUT tonally the final result feels very different . I would be curios to hear the track … and If you have the bass stem seperate from the rest of it , I might be able to sort it out for you

    • I encounter the same type of problem as well, I think it stems mainly from two things: 1.) They mixed it on an improper mixing environment such as on a laptop, headphones, or uncalibrated setup and, 2.) They don’t know to mix. That being said you can only do so much at the mastering phase, you can polish a turd but it’s still a turd. To maintain the business relationship I would suggest you be honest with the client and suggest that you also handle the mixing phase for them as well. Hope that helps.

  • I thought the loudness wars were over.

  • Stan Halaby II

    There’s a difference between ‘loudness’ and ‘intensity’ (perhaps what you call ‘perceived loudness’) .. the ‘intensity’ I believe is the trick vs. pegging out the levels . 🙂 that way you can keep the dyamics as intended, but still have the power they want 🙂