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Steve Hoffman's Voodoo - Page 4

post #46 of 69
Acix is probably right. Fast microdetail gets rendered into crackles and pops with my mp3 player and if that's what Steve was referring to I agree with the statement.
post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Acix is probably right. Fast microdetail gets rendered into crackles and pops with my mp3 player and if that's what Steve was referring to I agree with the statement.
He may have meant that, but that's not what's on the CD. Honestly, it's probably on the master tape... all the "fixed" discs have the same problem...
post #48 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
Acix is probably right. Fast microdetail gets rendered into crackles and pops with my mp3 player and if that's what Steve was referring to I agree with the statement.
Acix tried the disc (or a sample ripped from the disc) and confirmed that the "crackle" was more audible using headphones like the K702 with a studio style sound. While the Ultrasone and Sennheiser (which models?) that have a more audiophile style sound masked the crackle. That matches my understanding of Steve Hoffman's comment. Some sound signatures in otherwise very well regarded audiophile setups are able to mask the particular crackle. While a setup with what I consider a more studio style sound rather than an audiophile sound seems to be able to make the crackle clearly audible. Steve had the misfortune of relying too much on audiophile style sound setups when checking the quality of the master and the crackle defect got missed.

I also believe that the crackle is just a momentary effect and not something that occurs over or during a longer section of music. I don't have the disc or a sound clip to actually try to hear the crackle myself.
post #49 of 69
What I don't get is if Steve says it is audible on bad equipment, why doesn't he edit it out so people with bad equipment don't have to hear it?
post #50 of 69
Steve doesn't do edits. He's very much a "warts and all" style of mastering engineer. It's one of several reasons why he's so highly regarded. I, for one, like him because of his use of master tapes and EQ choices...
post #51 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by TStewart422 View Post
Steve doesn't do edits. He's very much a "warts and all" style of mastering engineer. It's one of several reasons why he's so highly regarded. I, for one, like him because of his use of master tapes and EQ choices...
Based on what Steve Hoffman has said, and based on what Ham Sandwich has said, your opinion is a contradiction. If he was a "warts and all" engineer, why would he talk about high end setups masking sound with midrange? In addition, if he was the type of engineer that you say he is, the use of EQ would be anathema to him.
post #52 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 View Post
Based on what Steve Hoffman has said, and based on what Ham Sandwich has said, your opinion is a contradiction. If he was a "warts and all" engineer, why would he talk about high end setups masking sound with midrange? In addition, if he was the type of engineer that you say he is, the use of EQ would be anathema to him.
My opinion's not the contradiction... Steve Hoffman's the walking contradiction! He talks all about master tapes and not doing edits and the like, but uses a bunch of tubes and is all about the audiophilia garbage that we on this section of the forum abstain from...

... oh yeah, the entire purpose of the mastering engineer is to take what's given to him and make it sound better. Edits are USUALLY not what they do in general. EQ, on the other hand, is the most used tool. Steve has, on occasion, transferred an album flat because it sounds good to him as is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of his blind followers that automatically think everything he's done is right. All I know is that his stuff is pretty darned good-sounding and, most of the time, the definitive version of the album. Not ALWAYS, ("Ride the Lightning," I'm looking at you!) but most of the time.
post #53 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by TStewart422 View Post
My opinion's not the contradiction... Steve Hoffman's the walking contradiction! He talks all about master tapes and not doing edits and the like, but uses a bunch of tubes and is all about the audiophilia garbage that we on this section of the forum abstain from...

... oh yeah, the entire purpose of the mastering engineer is to take what's given to him and make it sound better. Edits are USUALLY not what they do in general. EQ, on the other hand, is the most used tool. Steve has, on occasion, transferred an album flat because it sounds good to him as is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of his blind followers that automatically think everything he's done is right. All I know is that his stuff is pretty darned good-sounding and, most of the time, the definitive version of the album. Not ALWAYS, ("Ride the Lightning," I'm looking at you!) but most of the time.
I hope that I was not perceived as taking as shot at you. I was saying that your characterizing him as a "warts and all" engineer is me thinking that you believe that he transfers flat and only flat. Run the tapes directly into the ADCs, if you will. Interpretation error on my part...

I agree with you, of the albums he had a hand in that I like, I think they sound great.
post #54 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtonowhere08 View Post
Based on what Steve Hoffman has said, and based on what Ham Sandwich has said, your opinion is a contradiction. If he was a "warts and all" engineer, why would he talk about high end setups masking sound with midrange? In addition, if he was the type of engineer that you say he is, the use of EQ would be anathema to him.
Do you understand what a mastering engineers job is?? It is not to watch a tape run as an ADC transfers analog tape to digital. Two basic tools that mastering engineers use are EQ, compression. Used in moderation they are extremely useful to tease out the best from a studio 2 track mixdown (master tape) and over or underuse results in crap.

The noise was not a result of a sound that was on the original master the noise was a defect either in the optical disc that was sent to the reproduction facility or an error that occurred in prep for production at the plant.
post #55 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
Do you understand what a mastering engineers job is?? It is not to watch a tape run as an ADC transfers analog tape to digital. Two basic tools that mastering engineers use are EQ, compression. Used in moderation they are extremely useful to tease out the best from a studio 2 track mixdown (master tape) and over or underuse results in crap.

The noise was not a result of a sound that was on the original master the noise was a defect either in the optical disc that was sent to the reproduction facility or an error that occurred in prep for production at the plant.
Yes, I do. I know exactly the benefits/drawbacks of EQ and compression. SH is mostly worshiped because of his general lack in EQ and compression, so I do not know where you are going with your first half.



One thing that really kills me: why is this not getting any heat from more people? Seriously, if a new member said this, he/she would be laughed off the forum.

I think it needs repeating:

"There is no mystery to this. The better the system, the less you will hear the crackle. The magic of music is in the midrange. If a system doesn't have any or reproduces it badly you will hear what doesn't belong. My computer speakers are crap and the crackle is easily heard. At the studio the crackle is undetectable, even at full blast volume. When the headphones are plugged in, it is there. But don't take my word for it. Take your disk to your local High-End stereo store. Try it out on the various systems. Hear for yourself. It's amazing..."

Cheap computer speakers --- crackle = crap
Studio monitors (ruler flat frequency response) --- no crackle = good
Headphones (not specified) --- crackle = crap
Audiophile system (colored to taste)--- supposedly no crackle = good

Therefore...

Studio monitors = Audiophile Systems
Cheap computer speakers = Headphones

Can someone please explain the logic to this statement?
post #56 of 69
well you mentioned that you suspected Steve H would be anti eq and he has never stated that at all. If fact he has on several occasions mentioned how difficult it was to get certain sections of songs to sound right (using EQ) and that many master tapes did not sound particularly great and needed eq tweaks.

The second part is apparently largely misunderstood as cheap gear tends to accentuate the highs and has a brittle sound that would in fact bring out the rather minor crackle that appears on Morrison Hotel for about a second in two spots on Roadhouse Blues. In a well balanced system the crackle does not stand is bold relief as it does on cheaper gear. I can hear it on my speakers at home but I have to really listen for it but on my ety 6i IEMs it is more apparent. I do not know where you get the idea that studio monitors are all ruler flat, they are not. All speakers with crossovers will have dips in frequency response.

I have not been to Steve's studio so I can not speak to the speakers in use, I have been to several other studios and they often have multiple monitors and each having different peaks and tonal characteristics would accentuate different frequencies in the mix. Many engineers use multiple monitors to provide a few sonic points of view.

There is also more than frequency response to hearing defects in a mix sensitivity, dampening, how fast a driver responds to change... all have bearing.
post #57 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
well you mentioned that you suspected Steve H would be anti eq and he has never stated that at all. If fact he has on several occasions mentioned how difficult it was to get certain sections of songs to sound right (using EQ) and that many master tapes did not sound particularly great and needed eq tweaks.
Compared to many other engineers, he does use EQ and compression sparingly. That was my point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
The second part is apparently largely misunderstood as cheap gear tends to accentuate the highs and has a brittle sound that would in fact bring out the rather minor crackle that appears on Morrison Hotel for about a second in two spots on Roadhouse Blues. In a well balanced system the crackle does not stand is bold relief as it does on cheaper gear. I can hear it on my speakers at home but I have to really listen for it but on my ety 6i IEMs it is more apparent.
First off, thank you for editing your first sentence. I agree with you that most cheap gear tends to have a U shaped frequency response because they have to meet a price point. Having said this, I think that many high end IEMs and headphones would play the crackle very clearly. I am surprised that on a headphone site, you and others are completely ignoring the sweeping jab at headphones and their supposed inferiority.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
I do not know where you get the idea that studio monitors are all ruler flat, they are not. All speakers with crossovers will have dips in frequency response.
Compared to many audiophile setups, they are. They are used for monitoring, and a flat response is the goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp11801 View Post
There is also more than frequency response to hearing defects in a mix sensitivity, dampening, how fast a driver responds to change... all have bearing.
Understood, but when I hear a sentence like this: "The better the system, the less you will hear the crackle," I am going to call bull crap every time. I am interpreting that sentence as "the more midrange that hides flaws the better."
post #58 of 69
you can call bull crap all you want but for the most part Steve is right on this one. Also c'mon, when you wear a headphone the driver is inches from your head there is a HIGH likelihood that small high pitched sounds will be more evident. This based on how how high frequencies attenuate faster than low frequencies additionally you are isolated from outside noises to a far greater degree that mask anomalies like this glitch.

You are looking to place meaning in Steve's words where there are none. Steve has supported Headfi by appearing at two of our National meets and speaking. He has not come out against headphones on his site that I can see but does seem to prefer speakers. This preference places him in the company of many people here that love headphones but often prefer to listen to speakers. Speakers can present music more naturally given that they can soundstage in a way headphones can not, amongst other things.
post #59 of 69
Just want to be clear, is there really a flaw in the recording? Imo that's the important thing to be clear on before we judge Steve's opinion on midrange performance and crackles.
post #60 of 69
No it is not a flaw in the recording as it does not appear on any other version of Morrison Hotel, general consensus is the glitch occurred somewhere between Steve handing off the the DDP file and the pressing of the CD. IT is not in the master tape
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