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Unread Jun 7th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Airwave's post about Mastering

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Sooo, where are we going to my friends? Without sounding too much like a nerd, the audio quality went downhill the last 3 years, clubs adopting a very cold sound system and digital mixers too. Everyone pushing his audio to the limit when mastering, going through all those digital stages, in the end, I hear a lot of decibels, but no more music. Because in music there's silence, too. What's your views on this?
What's your opinion on this issue?
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Unread Jun 7th, 2012, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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theres a whole debate across the entire music industry on analogue vs digital. in my mind good music can still be recorded with daws and digital based consoles. but to some ppl the analogue gives a "warmer sound". but if u havent been listening to strictly analogue all ur life ur prob not gonna notice it. what needs to stop is artists in the mainstream area of music using daws and vsts/plugins to record every aspect of their songs. its so refreshing when i listen to an artist who has real bass guitars, drums and lead guitars in their compositions. it not only sounds better but also shows the talent took the timeto make the song sound as best they could.
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Unread Jun 8th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree that most modern trance tracks really lack the dynamic range that older tracks had. Most of them sound way too loud and compressed.
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Unread Jun 11th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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theres a whole debate across the entire music industry on analogue vs digital. in my mind good music can still be recorded with daws and digital based consoles. but to some ppl the analogue gives a "warmer sound". but if u havent been listening to strictly analogue all ur life ur prob not gonna notice it. what needs to stop is artists in the mainstream area of music using daws and vsts/plugins to record every aspect of their songs. its so refreshing when i listen to an artist who has real bass guitars, drums and lead guitars in their compositions. it not only sounds better but also shows the talent took the timeto make the song sound as best they could.

I think Armin uses hardware and yet he still can't seem to get a clean sound in his productions most of the stuff he's produced in the past 5 years I can't hear it its way too painful for the ears.
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Unread Jun 11th, 2012, 06:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think Armin uses hardware and yet he still can't seem to get a clean sound in his productions most of the stuff he's produced in the past 5 years I can't hear it its way too painful for the ears.
i heard that somewhere around the time "imagine" came out that he started producing with a partner. before that everything was all done by him. so all of his new stuff since 08 has been seriously lacking. imagine was his last good album. and i dont really consider it much of a trance album but the songs are really good so idontcare. 10 years was an awesome album by him.
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Unread Jun 11th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I agree with him, but all that matters now is the boom boom boom.
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Unread Jun 13th, 2012, 12:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What happened is all the young artists are doing everything themselves in something like FL Studio. They try to make it sound like what they hear in someone else's released track. When they get signed by some mid-league or smaller label the track is sent out for a $50 or less mastering. So an already pumped up mess is pumped up some more then compressed into a MP3. The DJs are on a tight budget so they choose to buy the MP3 over a WAV. So your club experience is now a $2 MP3 of a double pumped track by a semi talented kid who learned how to produce music from a few youtube videos.
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Unread Jun 13th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RB Tech View Post
What happened is all the young artists are doing everything themselves in something like FL Studio. They try to make it sound like what they hear in someone else's released track. When they get signed by some mid-league or smaller label the track is sent out for a $50 or less mastering. So an already pumped up mess is pumped up some more then compressed into a MP3. The DJs are on a tight budget so they choose to buy the MP3 over a WAV. So your club experience is now a $2 MP3 of a double pumped track by a semi talented kid who learned how to produce music from a few youtube videos.
That pretty much sums it up.

Back when artists produced music with mostly hardware, it was a huge investment to buy all the production gear and most of the good producers had some serious audio engineering skills.

Now that anyone can produce music with software for practically nothing, it's much more casual and someone who knows nothing about proper mixing can still crank out a tune, compress the heck out of it, and get it signed.

The huge investment that used to be necessary to get into the production game acted as quality control since only people who were pretty serious about the trade were willing to take the risk. That is all gone now, which kind of sucks.
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Unread Jun 19th, 2012, 10:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I love Armin van Buuren's music. His most recent album Mirage is great, but have you ever seen what it looks like in an audio editing program? The waveforms are out of the ballpark!!! You can easily hear how clipped it is. There's also an ever so slight bit of distortion in the bass on some of the tracks.

Here's an example, it's Mirage, the second track on the album
It's a freaking brick wall!!!

The following waveform is an example of proper "headroom" and dynamic range. The track is 2 Unlimited - Twilight Zone from 1992. Not a single clipped waveform anywhere during the entire track.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mirage waveform.jpg (29.8 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg Twilight zone.jpg (47.3 KB, 18 views)
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Unread Jun 20th, 2012, 12:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Trance88 View Post
I love Armin van Buuren's music. His most recent album Mirage is great, but have you ever seen what it looks like in an audio editing program? The waveforms are out of the ballpark!!! You can easily hear how clipped it is. There's also an ever so slight bit of distortion in the bass on some of the tracks.

Here's an example, it's Mirage, the second track on the album
It's a freaking brick wall!!!

The following waveform is an example of proper "headroom" and dynamic range. The track is 2 Unlimited - Twilight Zone from 1992. Not a single clipped waveform anywhere during the entire track.
Yikes! That's a great example of how bad things have really gotten.
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Unread Sep 4th, 2012, 03:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I wonder how this affects RadioPlay as they compress the track even further when playing it on the radio ...
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Unread Jun 20th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The similarities between the loudness war and the coldwar are uncanny. It's an endless feedback loop of needing to be louder than the next guy.
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Unread Jun 21st, 2013, 10:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It isn't just the loudness and compression.... it's also the lack of quality composition and trying to compensate with effects... There was a time when movies had plots and actual acting... now it's just special effects.... faster, louder... The reality is that EDM isn't just something anyone can make... it actually takes some real music understanding.... We need some of the older producers to stand up and get back to the roots of trance and then hopefully the garbage gets pushed out into yet another sub-genre.... crap trance....
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Unread Jun 22nd, 2013, 09:28 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It isn't just the loudness and compression.... it's also the lack of quality composition and trying to compensate with effects... There was a time when movies had plots and actual acting... now it's just special effects.... faster, louder... The reality is that EDM isn't just something anyone can make... it actually takes some real music understanding.... We need some of the older producers to stand up and get back to the roots of trance and then hopefully the garbage gets pushed out into yet another sub-genre.... crap trance....
So...do less with more? check
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Unread Jun 22nd, 2013, 12:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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There are thoughts and then there are words needed to express thoughts... here's my best shot for today. I think of musical composition has a song that takes the listener on a journey.. Trance and vocal trance (from earlier times) did that for me almost better than any other musical genre. I think of songs I like and there is a structure and the composition is a musical flow that progresses through the song... highs, lows, even silence, fast, slow, different instruments (sounds) separate combined... but there is "thought" that one hears as flowing sound that progresses from a beginning to an end. If I call that music.... then what I hear today is people creating songs from "sounds" and sound "effects" and more and more songs have an underlying structural rhythm with sound and sound effects dumped on top... A lot is made of the transitions and build-up and tension in trance and using "music" that is often the beauty of the song.... In using sound and volume and effects it is just noise. Maybe the current generation is "carnival" trance.... sounds used to create excitement, energy, intensity as opposed to composing and constructing music to create a journey.
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Unread Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:05 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PWB View Post
It isn't just the loudness and compression.... it's also the lack of quality composition and trying to compensate with effects... There was a time when movies had plots and actual acting... now it's just special effects.... faster, louder... The reality is that EDM isn't just something anyone can make... it actually takes some real music understanding.... We need some of the older producers to stand up and get back to the roots of trance and then hopefully the garbage gets pushed out into yet another sub-genre.... crap trance....
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Originally Posted by PWB View Post
There are thoughts and then there are words needed to express thoughts... here's my best shot for today. I think of musical composition has a song that takes the listener on a journey.. Trance and vocal trance (from earlier times) did that for me almost better than any other musical genre. I think of songs I like and there is a structure and the composition is a musical flow that progresses through the song... highs, lows, even silence, fast, slow, different instruments (sounds) separate combined... but there is "thought" that one hears as flowing sound that progresses from a beginning to an end. If I call that music.... then what I hear today is people creating songs from "sounds" and sound "effects" and more and more songs have an underlying structural rhythm with sound and sound effects dumped on top... A lot is made of the transitions and build-up and tension in trance and using "music" that is often the beauty of the song.... In using sound and volume and effects it is just noise. Maybe the current generation is "carnival" trance.... sounds used to create excitement, energy, intensity as opposed to composing and constructing music to create a journey.
I agree completely. It seems like most new producers aren't really educated in music, just engineering.
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Unread Jun 23rd, 2013, 10:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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And here is my thought for today..... I think of composing or arranging as the art of taking all of the different sounds and pieces a musician has at his/her disposal and putting them together into a coherent form that becomes the song, the journey. There is an understanding of the underlying structure (time and bpm, flow and breakdowns of a song) and then the putting together of rhythm, beat, bass, melody and then so much more how the volume flows and where the sound goes and what area of the song or track or element dominates and the effects applied to "enhance" the song... all that weaving creates a flow that in some cases captures the listeners attention and pulls them or floats them along..... when it's all just sound jammed together.... just can't be the same thing.... Like any art form.... it takes practice, skill, talent, and some sort of spirtual connection..... That is beautiful trance for me.
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Unread Jun 23rd, 2013, 05:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I agree with him, because people just overcompress the limiter and hit the ceiling the whole time.

a lot of you are right, most people these days lack a lot of audio engineering skills.

if you look at the beatport remix compition winners, the wave form is just hitting the ceiling the whole time. I get so annoyed at the lack of true talent for audio respect. I believe a majority of the music is actual music and not quality but seriously just read up on some audio engineering skills, its not that difficult. People that say you can only learn it from going to school is really one minded. Yes, it's faster and its more hands on but you can get the same education for zero dollars except the expense of DAWs, Plug-Ins and hardware. a lot of artists these days have all learned on their own. (i.e. Morgan Page, Armin, Deadmau5, etc...)

I just wish people would strive alittle bit more towards better quality rather then what preset to use. Less Sound Design, more Audio Engineering.
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Unread Jul 11th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What happened is all the young artists are doing everything themselves in something like FL Studio. They try to make it sound like what they hear in someone else's released track. When they get signed by some mid-league or smaller label the track is sent out for a $50 or less mastering. So an already pumped up mess is pumped up some more then compressed into a MP3. The DJs are on a tight budget so they choose to buy the MP3 over a WAV. So your club experience is now a $2 MP3 of a double pumped track by a semi talented kid who learned how to produce music from a few youtube videos.
wow...the absolute downfall of the music industry right here
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