On 10/19/2011 04:42 PM, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
This whole "mastering plugin" thing is something I really fail to grasp
from a logical, technical, and artistic viewpoint. In years past, the
recording engineer, under direction of a producer (who may or may not
have been the artist), mixed the track to sound how they wanted it. The
record company then sent the half-track master to a "mastering engineer"
who made sure it was technically acceptable to be cut on a lacquer and
would play on a typical turntable. He also made SLIGHT EQ adjustments,
based on his trained ears, highly-specialized equipment, and experience.
As it turns out, a lot of "pop" music was mastered by two or three very
popular mastering engineers.
Alas, along came computers. Along came someone with the bright idea of
totally automating what it was that the mastering engineer did. People
discovered what equipment was in the mastering chain when so-and-so
mastered a hit song by artist x. So, they strung all that together in
their "mastering plugin." Then they examined the frequency response and
dynamic response, and adjusted the chain of the "mastering plugin" so
that, NO MATTER WHAT YOU FED INTO IT, the result would have that
frequency response and roughly the same dynamic range. So, if you want
your metal song to have the same frequency response and dynamic feel as
a Donna Summers disco song that was mastered by whoever did her stuff,
all you have to do is hit a preset.
Nobody takes into consideration that a mastering engineer doesn't just
leave his gear all set exactly the same no matter what song he is
working on. He spends hours tweaking for each individual album/cd/whatever.
This all makes as much sense to me as someone making a "mixdown plugin"
that can adjust relative levels of your instruments in a mix, so that
they match some hit song recorded by a pop artist. Besides completely
removing all creativity and art from the whole process, it is the
ultimate in a cookie-cutter approach that produces totally inappropriate
and bizarre results 99% of the time, and barely listenable results the
If someone has mixed it to sound how they want it to, why the desire to
take what they want, and strain it through something which will totally
change it to something that resembles what some plugin author THINKS
that Bob Ludwig's gear would do to your song if he left it set for a
Steely Dan hit?
My website is down. I had a motherboard failure on that computer!! (ugh)
My blog, with commentary on a variety of things, including audio,
mixing, equipment, etc, is at:
Staat heißt das kälteste aller kalten Ungeheuer. Kalt lügt es auch;
und diese Lüge kriecht aus seinem Munde: 'Ich, der Staat, bin das Volk.'
- [Friedrich Nietzsche]
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