On Sat, Jul 09, 2011 at 09:43:07PM +0000, Fons Adriaensen wrote:
Well, I thought that too at first, but it does actually.
The usable dynamic range of iPod earbuds on a noisy city street is pretty damn narrow, for instance. Likewise, the dynamic and frequency range of shitty laptop speakers is pretty narrow too.
I had the experience last year of trying to mix a record so that it would at least be intelligible on those distribution media. I resisted the pressure to compress the hell out of the mix, because I hate that sound, it gives me a headache. But if I were really serious about making those mixes work on those media, I'd have to have squashed them a lot more than I did.
It was kind of sad for me to walk around with those mixes on shuffle while walking down the street or riding on BART trains, and realize that the songs we worked so hard to record were largely below the noise floor in that environment. Commercially-mastered recordings were noticeably louder and listenable, in the same environment.
If what I've read and seen about comb-filtering is true, I'd guess that the mastering engineer's ROOM, dampening, and speakers are really what you're paying for as much as his or her ears or engineering knowledge or "vintage" gear.
> 3. To equalise levels and atmosphere and create dramatic effect
And, I suspect, some of what mastering engineers get paid to do nowadays is use various tricks to to fix broken home-studio mixes from people who didn't know what they were doing.
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