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Loudness/Mastering (Mark Waldrep)
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:
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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post Nov 18 2012, 11:58
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For the specific case at hand, the guy quit the job because he thinks that the record company demanded him to destroy the recordings. Of course there may be a “sure you really succeeded in ruining it, and that you didn't by chance manage to fool them into accepting a master you had done, practically, nothing about?”. But well ... really?

For the general question of differences between releases, there is no reason to rule out placebo in a (non-blind) review of some “new and improved deluxe edition” which may or may not be distinguishable from a previous release.

Now playing Deep Purple: “Maybe I'm a Leo” from the 25th anniversary edition (Glover's 1997 remix on disc 1, not the “remaster” on disc 2)
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post Nov 18 2012, 13:13
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Nov 18 2012, 02:58) *
But well ... really?

If you want to verify that they are different then yes. AFAIC, there are enough charlatans in the business for me to have grown skeptical.

As for this particular discussion, I'm wondering if it amounts to much more than a plug for a new record company, if anything.

Your eyes cannot hear.
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