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What about the mastering of the new RHCP album, I'm With You?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys,

Just brought Red hot Chili Pepper's I'm With You. First thing i did was ripped it to 320kbps and put in on my dap. The music is good, but the Mastering, is still crap, and i guess its the mastering ony, for the question,  I'm using a Sansa Fuze>Mini^3>RE0 combo and the detail kills the fun coz its clipping. why should it clip? am i using the wrong IEMs? or is the mastering on RHCP albums like it has always been?

post #2 of 49

Californication was absolutely horrid also.

 

Even "I'm with you" is horrid. I listen in and it's just not even up to any quality.

 

WHY?

post #3 of 49


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

Californication was absolutely horrid also.

 

Even "I'm with you" is horrid. I listen in and it's just not even up to any quality.

 

WHY?

 

Californication sounds wonderful. Why they had to kill it with compression and bad EQ is beyond me. The same goes for "I'm With You", although the EQ is a bit better on this album.

 

Why? People and artists demand this loud crap. To them, it plays better on computer speakers and in the car. You have to understand that we audiophiles are a very small niche in the music buying community and that most people don't really care about the quality of audio. If people really cared, nobody would be using MP3 or any other lossy formats.
 

What really pisses me off is that it's all because of the mastering! The loudness, the bad distortion, the clipping, the un-real sound....all due to poor mastering.

 

The retail and download versions of "I'm With You" are absolutely horrid when it comes to the mastering which is a shame because the music is great.

 

Here is what the retail version of "Factory of Faith" looks like:

 

RHCP-FacOfFaith-Retail.jpg

 

Here is what it should look like:

 

RHCP-FacOfFaith-FullDynamics.jpg

 

This is what the retail version looks like at the same volume level as the correct mastering above:

 

RHCP-FacOfFaith-SameVolumeAsFullDynamics.jpg

 

The difference in dynamics is obvious and clear.

 

Here they are superimposed so you can see the major difference:

 

Difference.jpg


Edited by LFF - 8/28/11 at 3:32am
post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 

is there any way the end user can make it better? the way u showed it in the pic, what should one do to not get the clipping, and make it better then the horrid it actually is?

post #5 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgarcha92 View Post

is there any way the end user can make it better? the way u showed it in the pic, what should one do to not get the clipping, and make it better then the horrid it actually is?


Once it has been screwed up in mastering, there is no going back. It's a one way street unfortunately.

 

post #6 of 49

Don't listen to LFF or even listen to his remasters. You'll curse the day you did!

 

I now have a really hard time listening to currently recorded material, especially if it's popular music. You will notice the (non) distinctive levels of dynamic range: loud, loud, and loud. It's horrid and I didn't even realize how I got "used" to it over time since the stuff in the 80s wasn't so much like that.


Edited by purrin - 8/27/11 at 3:38pm
post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Don't listen to LFF or even listen to his remasters. You'll curse the day you did!

 

I now have a really hard time listening to currently recorded material, especially if it's popular music. You will notice the (non) distinctive levels of dynamic range: loud, loud, and loud. It's horrid and I didn't even realize how I got "used" to it over time since the stuff in the 80s wasn't so much like that.

biggrin.gif

 

Thanks for the kind words. beerchug.gif
 

 

post #8 of 49
Thread Starter 

Yes, the albums from Dire Straits are so so so much better, and other bands that are not so famous i guess are also good, but when its the mainstream music, almost all the songs, all, no matter what genre are not mastered well enough at all.....why is this still going on?

post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgarcha92 View Post

Yes, the albums from Dire Straits are so so so much better, and other bands that are not so famous i guess are also good, but when its the mainstream music, almost all the songs, all, no matter what genre are not mastered well enough at all.....why is this still going on?



People simply don't care and most artists don't care either. Even not so famous bands want that compressed sound and it's even starting to creep into classical music and jazz too! eek.gif

 

I can't tell you how many artists I have done masters for that eventually come back demanding I make it louder. When they don't demand it, they feel I have done a bad job because it doesn't sound as loud as Californication or the new Jay-Z album or whatever their favorite rock/pop album sounds like. I even go as far as to explain why compression is bad and why having a large dynamic range is good and all they want in the end is the same compressed crap that's out there....they want it to sound good in the car and on their laptop speakers. Since I stick to my standards and belief in high quality mastering and refuse to compress the $hit out of music, there are two results in the end for these types of clients: 1) lose the job or 2) I demand to go uncredited on the final master. Usually it's the first option.

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 

So we basically cant blame the Mastering guy for this right? its bad. should i be changing my IEMs or what? i seriously want to enjoy the music, but want to ignore all that is bothering me now.

post #11 of 49


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psgarcha92 View Post

So we basically cant blame the Mastering guy for this right? its bad. should i be changing my IEMs or what? i seriously want to enjoy the music, but want to ignore all that is bothering me now.



I believe we should.

 

I would rather lose a job than contribute to the genocide of musical art. If all mastering engineers took a stand then we might be getting better sounding music. I blame the mastering engineers first and foremost because they should know better! Then I blame the suits involved because they don't know their products. If you want to sell something, you should first know your product before you even entertain selling it to a small audience.

 

And here is what sucks the most:

 

Changing IEM's will not help. Lowering the volume will not help. Nothing can fix this sort of compressed crap.


Edited by LFF - 8/28/11 at 4:29am
post #12 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post

People simply don't care and most artists don't care either. Even not so famous bands want that compressed sound and it's even starting to creep into classical music and jazz too! eek.gif


****! I don't even want to imagine how that would sound mad.gif

post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post


 



I believe we should.

 

I would rather lose a job than contribute to the genocide of musical art. If all mastering engineers took a stand then we might be getting better sounding music. I blame the mastering engineers first and foremost because they should know better! Then I blame the suits involved because they don't know their products. If you want to sell something, you should first know your product before you even entertain selling it to a small audience.

 

And here is what sucks the most:

 

Changing IEM's will not help. Lowering the volume will not help. Nothing can fix this sort of compressed crap.

 

That coming from a Mastering Engineer himself....i mean i thought its undue pressure on their income sources.

 

Its not good if changing IEMs doesnt help it....i seriously wish it sounded sweet. its to the limit that almost all of the songs on my player are like that. the music is nice and the sound is just bearable. Its good that with Indian music its still not that way, too bad my library has more of Foreign artists than from India.
 

 

post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post

I believe we should.

 

I would rather lose a job than contribute to the genocide of musical art. If all mastering engineers took a stand then we might be getting better sounding music. I blame the mastering engineers first and foremost because they should know better! Then I blame the suits involved because they don't know their products. If you want to sell something, you should first know your product before you even entertain selling it to a small audience.

 

And here is what sucks the most:

 

Changing IEM's will not help. Lowering the volume will not help. Nothing can fix this sort of compressed crap.


OK, I don't know who LFF is, I don't know any of his work or how good or knowledgeable of a mastering engineer he is. I've been an audio professional (recording engineer, producer, audio post) for nearly 20 years and I can tell you that in my experience virtually everything LFF has stated in this thread is absolutely accurate! Over compression, often referred to as the "loudness wars", is a serious problem in our industry and has been since I first got into this business. As LFF stated, once it's been done, there's nothing you can do about it.

The only point on which I would slightly disagree with LFF is the blaming of mastering engineers (in general) for not standing up for their principles. 20 years ago most of the industry was controlled by a small number of record labels (it is still today but to a much lesser extent), as a mastering engineer doing work for the major labels it would have been professional suicide to refuse their demands. There have been lot's of attempts over the years, the AES (Audio Engineering Society) making public statements on behalf of audio professionals to the majors. Even threats of en-masse boycotting have not worked. If a mastering engineer refuses to slam the compressors, most clients will go elsewhere and find someone who will. And there is always someone who needs the money badly enough. I had a friend a few years ago who got refused by two different mastering engineers and ended up getting a student to slam the life out of their mix, we had a big falling out over it, hence my use of the past tense! Most musicians and labels see music as art but primarily they see it as a product and the product has to be as loud or louder than other products, regardless of quality. Loudness sells better than audio fidelity, maybe not to audiophiles but unfortunately the mass market are not audiophiles.

The only thing you as consumers can do about this situation is vote with your wallets. Look at the albums you like and make note of the mastering engineer, buy more stuff by that mastering engineer! Here's a few to start you off: Bob Katz, Bob Ludwig, Bob Ohlsson, George Massenburg. You might try writing to the record label and/or artists complaining about the crap quality and over compression. They might start taking note if they get a pile of complaints from customers.

My 2 cents, G
Edited by gregorio - 8/28/11 at 1:37pm
post #15 of 49


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post



OK, I don't know who LFF is, I don't know any of his work or how good or knowledgeable of a mastering engineer he is. I've been an audio professional (recording engineer, producer, audio post) for nearly 20 years and I can tell you that in my experience virtually everything LFF has stated in this thread is absolutely accurate! Over compression, often referred to as the "loudness wars", is a serious problem in our industry and has been since I first got into this business. As LFF stated, once it's been done, there's nothing you can do about it.

 


Thanks! Nice to meet you Gregorio. I'd certainly love to see a whole lot more of posts by you.  beerchug.gif

 

I've been mastering since 1999. Started doing it professionally, on my own, since 2008.

 

My main gigs are audio restoration and (re)mastering.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post

The only point on which I would slightly disagree with LFF is the blaming of mastering engineers (in general) for not standing up for their principles. 20 years ago most of the industry was controlled by a small number of record labels (it is still today but to a much lesser extent), as a mastering engineer doing work for the major labels it would have been professional suicide to refuse their demands. There have been lot's of attempts over the years, the AES (Audio Engineering Society) making public statements on behalf of audio professionals to the majors. Even threats of en-masse boycotting have not worked. If a mastering engineer refuses to slam the compressors, most clients will go elsewhere and find someone who will. And there is always someone who needs the money badly enough. I had a friend a few years ago who got refused by two different mastering engineers and ended up getting a student to slam the life out of their mix, we had a big falling out over it, hence my use of the past tense! Most musicians and labels see music as art but primarily they see it as a product and the product has to be as loud or louder than other products, regardless of quality. Loudness sells better than audio fidelity, maybe not to audiophiles but unfortunately the mass market are not audiophiles.

 

Yes...I know...it is professional suicide...especially if you are running a big studio with lots of gear and employees. I understand my point of view is a bit harsh when you factor in the business side but mastering engineers should educate their clients some more. I know one big name engineer who provide 2 masters...one properly mastered and one which is brickwalled and lets the client decide! WTF!!! The client, no surprise here, always prefers the brickwalled version. Why he even gives them a choice...I don't know. It's a long, difficult conversation but the main blame should be on the mastering engineers followed by the producer. Having dealt with some suits in the past, I know they have absolutely no ear and you have to educate them too. It all comes back to education and principle for me.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post

The only thing you as consumers can do about this situation is vote with your wallets. Look at the albums you like and make note of the mastering engineer, buy more stuff by that mastering engineer! Here's a few to start you off: Bob Katz, Bob Ludwig, Bob Ohlsson, George Massenburg. You might try writing to the record label and/or artists complaining about the crap quality and over compression. They might start taking note if they get a pile of complaints from customers.

 

I have been saying this for years! Buy (re)masters done by engineers who know what they are doing and who give a **** about the actual music. Once again, here is a list of people I recommend going from best to worst (relatively speaking as they are all great):

 

Steve Hoffman

Alan Yoshida

Roy DuNann

Barry Diament

Kevin Gray

Joe Tarrantino

George Horn

Paul Stubblebine

George Massenburg

Keith O. Johnson

Bob Ludwig

Bob Katz

Larry Walsh

Doug Sax

 

If their name is associated with what you are buying, chances are it will be a cut above the rest of the compressed crap out there.

 

The only mastering engineer I avoid like the plague is Bob Norberg UNLESS is was produced by Ron Furmanek. That's proof right there, that the producer can have a major impact as well. I would also consider the purchase if Bill Inglot was involved.


Edited by LFF - 8/28/11 at 3:09pm
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