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  #1  
Old 12-06-2010, 10:32 AM
jeremyroberts jeremyroberts is offline
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Default RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

Gotta vent --

Doing an album for a major label for star talent -- except one song from another producer...

Artist sends me email: "But producer #2's mixes are much louder than yours..."

My answer:
Quote:
Ask #2 if he's putting any mastering plugs on his mix bus? If he is, it limits what the mastering engineer can do.
Some guys do this, and mastering engineers usually hate it.
I have the same tools as everyone else, and I choose to let the ME do something for the $$$.
I also prefer to make mastering a separate creative step in the process. Some guys try to master in the mix. I think this a recent trend that has led to less and less dynamics in the music. Part of this is that labels are not paying for mastering anymore, so for many, many projects, we (#2, me, others like us) HAVE to master in the mix...
HOWEVER for your album, we have a great mastering engineer booked, and in my opinion, we should let him do his job.
IF #2 is putting the master bus though a chain of mastering plugs, I'm gonna respectfully request that he also print mixes without the mastering on the 2MIX, and let our ME do his job.
And #2 claims this chain is for "artistic" purposes. #2 is my friend. Can I slap him?
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2010, 10:34 AM
FajitaTone FajitaTone is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyroberts View Post
...And #2 claims this chain is for "artistic" purposes. #2 is my friend. Can I slap him?
Yes.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2010, 10:43 AM
amorlando amorlando is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

make pre-mastered squash mixes for the client to take home with him. give the ME the pre-pre squash files.

"loud" is the world we live in. its probably the only thing the client asked for specifically. give him loud. then master the pre'[s.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:40 PM
velvettone velvettone is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

Your friend may be wise beyond your knowledge. He may be reserving a non-compressed/limited mix for the mastering facility, and the ghetto-mastered version that he gave the band is punking your mixes... at least through the bands eyes. As 'amorlando' says, give the client what they want/ask for, AND give the mastering facility what they require. If you're not doing this, your just catering to yourself.

I do this all of the time, and have started a local loudness war, which has ended quite tragically for my competition once the client hears the final masters. Then I smile like the cat that just ate the mouse, and my competition is none the wiser.

So, no... don't slap your friend. Out-mix your friend.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:49 PM
jeremyroberts jeremyroberts is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by velvettone View Post
So, no... don't slap your friend. Out-mix your friend.
Ah, but my friend is out-mixing me.
I found out that he runs a parallel print bus - one clean for mastering, and one hyped for the client.

But my question then (to #2): If you're giving the client a hyped ref for approvals, do you wonder why the client is never satisfied with mastering? mastering never had the hyped mix. And your hype may be what the client is expecting. Good or not.

To be continued...
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:00 PM
midnightrambler midnightrambler is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

I'm afraid I'm in the "loud-for-the-dîckheads, normal-for-those-who-know-what-they're-listening-to" camp too. I've had scenarios where I'm mixing tracks against a (*cough*) competitor or three, and in those sorts of situations you have to give out the hyped ones as references. It's a fücked up world, but I suppose it always has been.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:02 PM
JNS JNS is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

What a mess and dilemma! Unfortuntaely, probably all of us are running into this same problem to some extent. We can give them good quality, but like you said, their only concern is how loud it will be. I think it's called the "sonic dumbing down" of the public. It's a double shame because we now have all this great equipment to keep things quiet (tape noise, etc.) and still have all the dynamics, too.

Jeff
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2010, 01:13 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

Can you get Producer #2 to provide a mix without any mastering treatment? It is tough trying to educate some in this business
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:19 PM
Howardk Howardk is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

I think some people are trying to teach the wrong lesson and fight the wrong battle.

I have been doing the double stereo bus mix printing for a long time (one uncompressed, one thru my preferred mastering chain and very compressed ). . . probably 25 years (early days of monitors thru 2buss compression, with tape pre-comp). There is no other way in my opinion for a number of reasons. 1) I believe you can not mix without having a real good idea what is going to happen when the mix engineer does his thing, and 2) most clients are not happy with a mix that is not significantly compressed because they do comparisons to released product for good reason. 3) The double busing means the uncompressed mix is ready-to-go for mastering.

My uncompressed mixes sound terrible, but they stand up thru the subsequent processes, and I would never let a client hear these mixes as is.

Also, when I master other people's mixes, I have to send half back for tweaks because the mix engineer did not make mix decisions thru stereo bus compression, so the mixes sound all wet and messy, with no punch, when mastered with even moderate compression.

Personally, I prefer that mastering be almost a none event from what my clients have signed off(other than some corrective EQ, a little better adjustment of the compression, some additional harmonic color, all toward just fine tuning for the right overall sonic balance across all the songs for the project, but not a major difference).
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:25 PM
velvettone velvettone is offline
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Default Re: RANT - "but his mixes are louder than yours..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyroberts View Post
But my question then (to #2): If you're giving the client a hyped ref for approvals, do you wonder why the client is never satisfied with mastering? mastering never had the hyped mix. And your hype may be what the client is expecting. Good or not.
Giving a mastering engineer a hyped mix is NEVER a good idea, any way that you look at it. Any mastering engineer that knows his/her stuff will have a lot more flexibility with a mix that's hasn't been subjected to a hard limiter, and should (and I said SHOULD) be able to to do anything you can do, but better when it comes to mastering. If they aren't able to achieve that, you're probably using the wrong mastering engineer, or you should be doing the mastering yourself.
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