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Loudness/Mastering (Mark Waldrep)
DVDdoug
post Nov 16 2012, 10:39
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Recording Magazine, December 2012, FadeOut column, To Master, Or Not To Master, That Is The Question

Ex-Mastering Engineer writes a editorial... Here are some excerpts:
QUOTE
Back in 1989 I started my own mastering business...

...working on the CD & DVD of Bad Company's Merchant's of Cool... We crafted a great sounding record and then sent it to the record company for approval. It was rejected 5 times because they claimed it wasn't loud enough. After repeated applications of increasingly harsh dynamics compression, they were happy. That's when I stopped being a mastering engineer.

...In 2000 I started AIX records... Our Tracks are recorded during a single session in a live reverberant hall... and left unprocessed... no overdubs, no EQ, no compressed dynamics and no artificial reverb.

... Recently... When I listened to... CD tracks as mastered by a "Grammy-nominated" mastering engineer, I was shocked... lifeless, flat, and completely sterile... I called the manager and offered to remix the stereo tracks... I would only send an invoice if the client chose to replace the original tracks with mine... When the artist and manager heard the tracks I had remixed and didn't master, their jaws dropped. "How could we have spent so much money on a 'Grammy-nominated' engineer and gotten such harsh sound."


Mark Waldrep's company is aixrecords.com and iTrax.com. (AFAIK, the article is only NOT available free online.)



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Engelsstaub
post Nov 17 2012, 23:45
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So what would one have to do to properly ABX a modern brickwall remaster to, say, an '80s original pressing? Make sure the two are level-matched?

OTOH I think subtle differences in production aren't going to be noticed by most either. I have the Mobile Fidelity remaster of Faith No More's "Angel Dust" CD as well as an original pressing. I don't perceive a difference in sound quality or dynamics at all. The latter is just a little bit louder than the former.

I just hope this forum isn't going to start requiring an (assumedly genuine) ABX-log for anyone to say they liked an original release of a recording, issued decades ago, better than the obviously and usually nasty-sounding crap that's being reissued and remastered for today.


--------------------
The Loudness War is over. Now it's a hopeless occupation.
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