Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

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Gretschkat
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Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:31 am

Hello Obi Wan Recording Guru's.....

I am mastering my mixes for the very first time and I am doing fairly well given I am a work/live home technology studio. I have set up a mastering desk, not deck. My mastering is software driven, (but there is the future for RACK gear!). I have two software based Mastering rigs Ozone 8 and T-Racks. I went to T-Racks first for I am a old school knob twister. I am doing pretty good, I had my levels pretty hot just following what I hear when ref'ing at my desk monitors the Adam Audio recommended by my pal Taylor Schneider. Then I can B switch out to my 1969 Sansui 2000 A reference stereo with the 1974 Yamaha columns with paper wrapped speakers, so I get the warmth there too and the bandwidth I love, sounds great. I have a Mackie Big Knob and I have two different headphones I use the Focal Spirits and the Avantone MP-1's. I get the best results with the Avantone's. I also have AHvie cubes in my sessions system. My experience is that the MP-1's really tighten the master and give the best eq, gain and spacial reference. I have gotten to the place where I am ref'ing different players, my main two the desk and the Sansui say yes. I find the Sansui wanting more Bass and trim the hi's. The Adams like the Bass but are seriously CRISPY. As I got all tracks closely together in mastered muscles I went to the iPod.... More like alien IPOD! I have the old school 5th Gen for serious audio Kats. Too Bassy. If I did not mention my Bass Kat is the great Djordje Stijepovich Stand Up acoustic Slap for Rockabilly. As well too much gain. So I started rolling through Apple's EQ set ups and came up with rock, Jazz and Acoustic for the best EQ platform. The earbuds are killing me cause so many of them are enhanced. However I do have a pair of old school MICE that are flat and give a pretty good untouched ref. I also found the gain was pretty hot so I rolled my db set back too LUFS -11 and my peak is bouncing for -12 up to -13, -14 db. I do this any way, I go hot and then drop it back to a lower db until I hear the satin in the mix. I am digging the MidSide selection on the T-Racks Opto Compressor. Of note: I discovered in the iKmultimedia software that when you export if you do not put in a ISRC code the software will, but who's code is that? umh........ So I got my own codes.

I want to ask other engineers about how much effort do you put into trying to get your masters to play well in all specs of different players? There are so many options out there that when I try to compromise to many or more I end up with a fraction of a audio slice that sounds like the old operator audio on the tele, thin, fuzzy and way way back in the spectrum. Most importantly how do you deal with the enhanced earbuds? I have not done the Car test yet but plan too. But man when my masters are sounding the way I hear them in my mixes and they are cool and rock, with the magical satin gloss over them, that good solid punch and clear/clean as day, I find it hard to compromise to whats out there. I seriously have my own audio signature sound and you know it's different as I have studied many of you and realize the same Grundman is amazing! So I find myself saying just let the consumer set their own EQ in the iPod of what ever else. My cynical nature says "hey they put little phone switched on earbuds which lets a caller interrupt the beauty of listening to a song from beginning to ending" Yikes!

So Obi Wan masters of the audio magic and starlight sound, what are your thoughts and recommendations. If you do not know me personally I have the first Bachelors In Digital Media, a Minor in Recording Arts from SSU, all certs in Audio from Pyramind SF, and I was the kat that wrote the theory of Compression vs. Light, which is the concept that re-conceptualized the bitizing of digital buffing units that processed bit data. I been around awhile, read Bob Katz's book, great book! Look forward to your responses.

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Gretschkat Skywalker

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by kslight » Sat Feb 01, 2020 7:53 pm

In addition to my monitors (duh), i check my headphones, my iPhone speaker, and my bone stock not very impressive car stereo over Bluetooth (because that seems to affect the quality maybe too). If it’s sounding pretty rocking in the car, then it’s generally rocking in everything else. But I’ll check my cheap monoprice Bluetooth gym headphones too and those tend to sound good if the car does.

I don’t give AF about earbuds. I’ve never used the iTunes EQs.

For my “consumer reference” small monitors I’ve been using IK iLouds lately, which sound a bit like a version of the speakers people play their phones through....so pretty useful in terms of a modern reference, without relying on earbuds or whatever...

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:24 pm

Thank you for the offering of knowledge. I had a set of those ikMulltimedia small fry things and I blew them up. That was interesting. I have a Tascam CD400 Multimedia Player which will allow me to bluetooth from my iPhone. And can do the same to the computer. Sadly enough I got terminal cancer in 2012 survived it but I had to sell my car to pay for medical care until medicare kicked in. So I have to go do the car test in other peoples cars. I was thinking I could UBER around town in a uberer's slick ride.... I can say "hey wanna hear some great ROCKABILLY?" I forgot to mention I am summing out Hi-Res audio files...

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:24 am

Gretschkat wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:31 am
I want to ask other engineers about how much effort do you put into trying to get your masters to play well in all specs of different players?
None. I have monitors I know really, really well (had them 15 years now) in a room that's as acoustically perfect as I could make it. I make things sound good to me there and trust that they will translate everywhere else.

You can never account for all the possible variables...there's always going to be someone who listens to everything with the "metal" eq preset on, people who have their speakers jammed into corners so the bass is 9db louder than it really is, people who leave the loudness button on, people who only ever listen through their phone speaker, anything Bose....

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by digitaldrummer » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:12 am

I usually listen on a couple pairs of studio monitors, headphones, in the car, on the home stereo. sometimes (but rarely) with earbuds into the phone... sometimes straight out of the phone speaker because I know more than one person is likely going to do it (and at top volume - I hate that sound btw...). I always try to listen on those devices either flat, or wherever I have it tweaked for other (commercial) music I listen to. Everyone's going to adjust the EQ or settings how they like it, so let them. also, don't forget to listen at different volumes. soft, medium, loud, louder...
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by vvv » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:25 pm

I listen onna cuppla different sets of monitors, and a cuppla different stereos and with a cuppla different headphones.

My approach is to get it as good as I can on my main monitors (Tannoy PBM 6.5II's that I've had since about '92 or '93, and Auratones, and Optimus 4"), and then check that nothing sounds offensive or too weak on the other rigs.
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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by losthighway » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:30 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:24 am
people who leave the loudness button on,
Man the loudness button makes my phonograph sound like garbage. What is it even, a compressor? A bass boost?

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:14 am

The real test for me is listening on my little mono tivoli radio in the kitchen. I set the volume low and do my usual kitchen stuff. I’m doing it right now actually. Washing the dishes, reading recording forums, eating breakfast and only half paying attention to the music. If something sticks out it’s probably an issue. If it sounds like any other music I’d be listening to while doing chores it’s probably fine.
The trick is to try to not pay too much attention,

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Feb 04, 2020 8:43 am

losthighway wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:30 am
Man the loudness button makes my phonograph sound like garbage. What is it even, a compressor? A bass boost?
Pretty sure it's just low and high freq shelves. The idea being you'd press that when you were listening at really low volumes and it'd make everything sound better, because Fletcher Munson. Always hated them myself. Loudness buttons that is, not Fletcher and Munson, they seemed like alright guys.

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by nicholasdover » 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/

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:41 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:24 am
Gretschkat wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:31 am
I want to ask other engineers about how much effort do you put into trying to get your masters to play well in all specs of different players?
None. I have monitors I know really, really well (had them 15 years now) in a room that's as acoustically perfect as I could make it. I make things sound good to me there and trust that they will translate everywhere else.

MoreSpaceEcho:
This is what I suspected and was thinking, for I steeped into the madness of wanting all my masters to be as thin as water and make good audio on all players. I dig what you offered here and thank you for the guidance. I will stick with what I have and work to sum the best..

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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 2:47 pm

digitaldrummer wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:12 am
I usually listen on a couple pairs of studio monitors, headphones, in the car, on the home stereo. sometimes (but rarely) with earbuds into the phone... sometimes straight out of the phone speaker because I know more than one person is likely going to do it (and at top volume - I hate that sound btw...). I always try to listen on those devices either flat, or wherever I have it tweaked for other (commercial) music I listen to. Everyone's going to adjust the EQ or settings how they like it, so let them. also, don't forget to listen at different volumes. soft, medium, loud, louder...
I am really starting to understand and have encouragement. I can stop bugging my engineer friends. I have started to believe that there were SECRETS hidden from me. I caught a clue when I was listening to my 70's playlist and some old Deep Purple came up and it was so different from everything else. And seriously with Boston you got to adjust your EQ to hear Tom's work in purity. Mahalo Nui there in Austin.

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:02 pm

vvv wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:25 pm
I listen onna cuppla different sets of monitors, and a cuppla different stereos and with a cuppla different headphones.

My approach is to get it as good as I can on my main monitors (Tannoy PBM 6.5II's that I've had since about '92 or '93, and Auratones, and Optimus 4"), and then check that nothing sounds offensive or too weak on the other rigs.
Your talking' heaven here I had a pair of those &*^% Event 20/20's years back and was getting "nowhere". Then I got TANNOY's Real 6's. It was love at first sound. They ad lib a little on the Bass side but are basically dam good! The earthquake here took out one woofer but I got lucky and scored the last replacement woofer for my series from a Kat in New York. Thank you God! I tried a pair of borrowed Auratones, could not get anything out of them, I scored a pair of Avantones and now I have two pair passive and powered. Plus the MP-1 headphones I dig their gear and have been happy with the Avantone stuff. That's where I find myself right now checking for the weak spots, the interruptions in the smooth performance, or things that grab me. I am wresting with a MCDSP Revolver verb setting right now on the LVOX of one of my tunes, sounds good in the Sessions system but not so hot in the Mastering Desk. Of course I am a Master Of Revolver, but thats 38 auto bands in the Aux track. I have gotten to where I like simple... Cudo's on you thoughts!

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Re: Mastering To Or For Different Players Yikes Earbuds?

Post by Gretschkat » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:13 pm

losthighway wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:30 am
MoreSpaceEcho wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 8:24 am
people who leave the loudness button on,
Man the loudness button makes my phonograph sound like garbage. What is it even, a compressor? A bass boost?
I asked about that cause I wanted to see what others thought. One of the things I got in Audio at SSU was use of the Loudness button. What I do because I am ref'ing in my Sansui is I put the loudness button on and then manipulate the bass and treble to what I like or my reference material. Then I check the collapse to hear what it sounds like. If I am just about a medium collapse in presence and gain, thats pretty good. The loudness button is a EQ curve giving to us humans the "warm and fuzzy" sound our already born with, abnormal ear. Try Black Keys and punch in your Loudness button, now thats a experience..... A engineer I worked with a old guy referred to it as the sex button, he would say, "now lets get sexy"....

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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 3:28 pm

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:14 am
The real test for me is listening on my little mono tivoli radio in the kitchen. I set the volume low and do my usual kitchen stuff. I’m doing it right now actually. Washing the dishes, reading recording forums, eating breakfast and only half paying attention to the music. If something sticks out it’s probably an issue. If it sounds like any other music I’d be listening to while doing chores it’s probably fine.
The trick is to try to not pay too much attention,
Very interesting... Makes me sad I sold my 58 Telefunken Radio. But I have a 1964 Wollensak in mint condition. Maybe I can figure that in the ref'ing pool? I bet you can really catch those mid frequency flare ups in ref'ing with that unit. I dig it when I hear engineers going back to the "old school" bandwidth gear. With the introduction of Hi-Rez files the industry is shifting to the old bandwidths from the 60's, why try to make a a better hump on a camel's back, right! Thanks for the feedback, I feel stronger and I am a proud monkey that I am on the right path..

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