Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

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Gretschkat
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:30 pm

nicholasdover wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:40 am
There's a pretty neat little plugin by Airwindows called "Monitoring" that replicates a few different types of speaker response and is super-handy for on the fly checking. I realise this might not be as good as going to the real thing but flicking to the PHONE setting for a couple of bars may be all the effort that format actually deserves!!

https://www.airwindows.com/monitoring/

Got to check that out........! I believe BlueCat has a similar software.

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Gretschkat
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Sun May 24, 2020 8:39 am

Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds? AND NOW...... Gain and to Dither or Not To Dither that is the Dithering Question!

Well I looked over all the response posts previously and went courageously forward to Master with artistic fever, yet I lost the the mix-session tweaking each mixed tune to trim it in for the mastering and then the Mastering-session blew shut-down and threw a tantrum for even which my Bachelors in Digital Media could not un-ravel. Technology Love-Hate.....Hate-Love? Shotgun practice....

About pro-t00ls I discovered with the archived sessions is never rename your current reference archive in the sessions back up file, you will lose your time-stamp. Wow! Working with PTLS since Beta and somehow this escaped my bits and samples mind. Always open your selected back-up sessions in protools and rename it then and you will be able to find it for intersession files.

All was not lost, I rebuilt the mix, took 12 days but then the mix came out better. Got rid of some stuff that felt like over-production and corrected a few problems. Then I took each song one song at a time to the mastering session this time as a HiRez file 24/192hz. Wow! Talk about resolution. I am now establishing bandwidth and gain, tweaking the EQ. The gain is the issue for me. There is the recent Loudness Wars discussion/Topic. Some opinions say you have stay to -11 db LUFS. Yet while I am establishing my watermark for gain I am referencing my reference playlist in iTunes (for which the volume is calibrated) other HiRez audio files have me pushing my levels up to -11 to -10 with a taste of -9 as I ride the range in the RMS. My peak is set to -0.3 db. I did have the levels 2 db higher than that but I brought them down as I was hearing distortion. Now in some spots a smidgeon of distortion, yet mostly that fine nicely delivered sustain at the edge of the sound. I am 85% sure. However I am blowing the LUFS Meter reference standard of -11 out the door..
Some say rely on your EAR go with what you experience that you like.

Back to Bob Katz MASTERING AUDIO THE ART AND THE SCIENCE... He recommends dithering for it encodes low level signals increasing the resolution. What do you think? Dithering Chapter 4 Word lengths and Dither...

The Kat

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Nick Sevilla
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon May 25, 2020 4:53 am

Gretschkat wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:39 am
Back to Bob Katz MASTERING AUDIO THE ART AND THE SCIENCE... He recommends dithering for it encodes low level signals increasing the resolution. What do you think? Dithering Chapter 4 Word lengths and Dither...

The Kat
That's just it though, dithering is good FOR LOW LEVEL SIGNALS.

Since you mention your mixes are hitting -11 up to -9, they ARE NOT SOFT MIXES.

Is there any point in any of your mixes where the level goes down below -50 dB anywhere, and does that part sound weird? THEN, and only then, is dithering a possible option for that particular song.

Otherwise, do not do dithering, leave that to the Mastering Engineer. They will know if it is needed far faster and better than you.

Dithering is from the days of "not loud masters" going from an analog transfer to a digital one (think 1980s to 2000s), and with shit sounding converters, at least as compared to what we enjoy today. And even back then it was only used when necessary, not all the time.

Cheers
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Gretschkat
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Tue May 26, 2020 12:55 pm

Thank you Nick for the very good insight. I am actually mastering my tunes and others. Very good point about db levels and the advancement of digital audio. I can remember when Pro Tools out of the Tool Box and ADATS would cause the binge-gringe at 16bit... Oooooh! Pain...

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Gretschkat
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Tue May 26, 2020 12:55 pm

Thank you Nick for the very good insight. I am actually mastering my tunes and others. Very good point about db levels and the advancement of digital audio. I can remember when Pro Tools out of the Tool Box and ADATS would cause the binge-gringe at 16bit... Oooooh! Pain...

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed May 27, 2020 1:06 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 4:53 am
Dithering is from the days of "not loud masters" going from an analog transfer to a digital one (think 1980s to 2000s), and with shit sounding converters, at least as compared to what we enjoy today. And even back then it was only used when necessary, not all the time.
I'm sorry, but no. To avoid truncation distortion, dithering is required any time you reduce the bit depth, e.g. from 24 to 16 bits. It has nothing to do with how loud a mix or master is, unless the mix was peaking at like -60, which never happens.

If you're exporting a mix at 24 bit, or just rendering a file as 24 bit, technically you should dither this, as your DAW is working at 64 or 32 bit floating point internally. However at the 24 bit level, the truncation distortion would be at -144 dbfs (properly dithered, the noise floor would be -132dbfs), which is impossibly quiet and way below the noise floor of anyone's converters, so it's arguable whether it makes any real-world difference at 24 bits. Still, correct is correct, and it's not like it's difficult to do.

You can avoid having to think about this at all by simply rendering stuff as 32 bit float, it's what I've been doing forever.

Otherwise, when mastering, dithering to 16-bit should be the last thing done, after SRC and limiting. Regular old TPDF works just fine, there is absolutely no reason not to do this, dither is a good thing.

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed May 27, 2020 1:22 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:06 pm
I'm sorry, but no. To avoid truncation distortion, dithering is required any time you reduce the bit depth, e.g. from 24 to 16 bits. It has nothing to do with how loud a mix or master is, unless the mix was peaking at like -60, which never happens.

If you're exporting a mix at 24 bit, or just rendering a file as 24 bit, technically you should dither this, as your DAW is working at 64 or 32 bit floating point internally. However at the 24 bit level, the truncation distortion would be at -144 dbfs (properly dithered, the noise floor would be -132dbfs), which is impossibly quiet and way below the noise floor of anyone's converters, so it's arguable whether it makes any real-world difference at 24 bits. Still, correct is correct, and it's not like it's difficult to do.

You can avoid having to think about this at all by simply rendering stuff as 32 bit float, it's what I've been doing forever.

Otherwise, when mastering, dithering to 16-bit should be the last thing done, after SRC and limiting. Regular old TPDF works just fine, there is absolutely no reason not to do this, dither is a good thing.
Thanks. I have gotten different ideas from different MEs over the years... thus my positions.

I also was used to the old Pro Tools 24 bit non floating point DAW engine, which is not the case more and more, as I am mostly in the laptop now, using floating point 32 bit as well.

One ME chastized me harshly for dithering the final mixes once. LOL. Oh well. I think I'll stick to what you recommend from now on, and dither when I am exporting from my laptop mixer environment from 32 bit to anything.

Cheers!
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

MoreSpaceEcho
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed May 27, 2020 3:41 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:22 pm
One ME chastized me harshly for dithering the final mixes once.
That is just plain goofy. What was their problem with the dithered mixes? Were they at 24 or 16 bit? If they were 24 then the ME was just being crazy. If they were 16 and you'd used noise-shaped dither, maaaaaaybe that might present some issue, but...chastising a client over it? I'm not too into ME's chastising clients over anything honestly, we should mostly just shut up and make it sound better.

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri May 29, 2020 7:08 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:41 pm
Nick Sevilla wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 1:22 pm
One ME chastized me harshly for dithering the final mixes once.
That is just plain goofy. What was their problem with the dithered mixes? Were they at 24 or 16 bit? If they were 24 then the ME was just being crazy. If they were 16 and you'd used noise-shaped dither, maaaaaaybe that might present some issue, but...chastising a client over it? I'm not too into ME's chastising clients over anything honestly, we should mostly just shut up and make it sound better.
Well the client ended up not using that particular MEs work. He managed to make my mixes worse. I won't share his name though...
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by vernier » Sat May 30, 2020 1:35 pm

I like different outcomes no matter what its played on. Sometimes lo-fi trashier stuff has more energy and excitement.

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