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What track has the worst mastering you've ever heard?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So, what track has the worst mastering you've ever heard?

At the moment, there's one track, Simon Patterson - Different Feeling (McAree & Clancy Remix), that is so butchered by dynamic range compression that I find it hard to believe. I don't have any other track that comes close.

Butchered from the beginning all the way to end....


Audacity with show clipping:
post #2 of 9
JRiver Media Center 19 has the ability to scan your library for dynamic range and peak level using the R128 method, which is more sophisticated than the previous methods. I scanned my 1TB+ library in and, for fun, had a look at the worst track there.

"To The Dregs" by Wavves (off the album Wavvves) requires 20 dB of volume compensation, and had an adjusted dynamic range of less than 1. It is more clip than signal. Loudest song I've ever heard. Not a bad song, but from an objective point of view it is miserably recorded.
post #3 of 9

I almost don't count brickwalled tracks because there are so many of them.

 

Anyway, let me show you the lovely piece of work I'm currently trying to iron out. It's an obscure album of obscure performances of mostly obscure Baroque chamber music. And it has some of the most wonky balance I've ever heard, usually with ridiculously loud upper midrange. I've been trying to do a global EQ on each work (usually they span three tracks or so) in order to make the album listenable. Here's the curve I've come up with to fix one of the works (which spans four tracks):

 

 

Yeah, just take that in for a second. You don't want to hear what the tracks sound like raw. They're shrieky, shouty, piercing, boomy, and tizzy all at once. It gives me a headache in about 0.4 seconds.

 

Here's the spectrum analysis before and after the curve has been applied:

 

<--before<--after

 

Nothing healthy has an upper midrange bump that prominent. Compensated it's like a completely different recording. The production still isn't fantastic, but at least the timbre of instruments actually sounds mostly correct, and I can enjoy listening to it. I'm still tweaking the curve, but the fundamental bits are all in place.

post #4 of 9

Radioactive

post #5 of 9

I think Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers isn't mastered all that great. It may not be the worst I've heard, but it's the only one I can think of right now. It's a shame too, it's a great song, in my opinion.

post #6 of 9

Gnarles Barkley St Elsewhere is so badly mastered I can not listed to it on my system.

 

Try listening to Crazy if you dont believe me!

 

Argh, the engineer should be shot!

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjay View Post
 

Gnarles Barkley St Elsewhere is so badly mastered I can not listed to it on my system.

 

Try listening to Crazy if you dont believe me!

 

Argh, the engineer should be shot!

 

I never thought that one was that bad. I've definitely heard worse.

 

The 2007-2008 Genesis remasters are godawful, incidentally. The 1994 ones had their flaws, but they're still worlds better than the newest set. Brickwalled, pumping compression, tizzy cymbals, and what might even be Autotune used on the vocals. Yech!

 

The remastered ELO albums are pretty terrible, too. It sounds like they tried to push the vocals and guitars forward using EQ instead of manipulating the gain on the individual tracks. Around 2-2.5 kHz sounds bumped up by at least 3-4 dB, and the treble sounds shelved down. The previous mixes are a bit splashy and tizzy, but that's a huge improvement over the soupy, shouty, and barky sound of the new ones. Again, yech!

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Argyris View Post
 

 

I never thought that one was that bad. I've definitely heard worse.

 

try listening to it on a set of PMC speakers and you will see what i mean

post #9 of 9

Pendulum - Propane nightmares (In Silico)

 

Rest of the album sounds better, this particular song is like zhhhsshtszfssshsshhshh in the highs.

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