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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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Porcus
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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