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Fantastic tracks ruined by mastering/mixing.

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ma05683    36

a friend of mine played in a festival after a Aphid's Moon dj set back at 2007(Aphid played ,after the Dragonfly's album, stuff)

he started his set with X dream-STOP (the track from The Independence Trance Revival cd)

i was side by sound engineer console

with the intro of the track(from the very first sound effect of the track ) the enginner and his assistant gone FREAK (they were afraid about the speakers lollllll)

and at the end they minimise a little the output sound

in my opinion back then the sound of X dream's track was more painful(and better ,more heavier) for system than Aphid's modern tracks

i wait for any opinion on that

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Padmapani    385

you do have higher peaks with tracks that aren't mastered as loud, but are played at the same perceived loudness. that's the one reason for the loudness war with electronic music. if a track is compressed to death, you can turn up the volume more without the engineer getting worked up (or the speakers blowing out at smaller parties).

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Multi-Media    9

Good or at least acceptable mastering is not rocket science (or Hexenwerk as we say) anymore I think....so it´s strange that so many still get it wrong... msot famous

exmaple maybe Metallica "Death Magnetic" (well not that it was a great album, but the better tracks also ruined by too much loudness). I could tell countless examples

how about a total fuck up ? Listen too early Mayhem lol (I mean the real early stuff). But that was punky blackmetal so excuseable.

 

I haven´t heard much newer psy stuff so can´t now what´s bad there, but think some of the early stuff of course was quite weak, while probably much newer

stuff is too "strong" (following loudness war). Will listen to some examples in this thread later.

 

I want to say, that MIXING is the science, mastering a good mix is quite easy. Mastering a bad mix will not fix the mix :P

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dhollmusik    13

Valuable topic, which still today has much relevance.  It's enlightening having responses from many people in the know.

I'm just a listener, no expert.  I rate fine electronic dance music as on par with the best music from any other genre (rock, classical etc) so this perspective is more about the longevity of Goa Trance as musical art we enjoy, why good Goa which we can listen to at home will last forever, while good Goa which we can't listen to so much at home has a limited cultural life.

So I have to agree with the naysayers: this so-called brickwalling (loudness-maximisation, PA-optimisation) is tiring to listen to for home enjoyment.  I understand the reasons for it: that the sound is consistent on big soundsystems.  That unfortunately doesn't make home-listening any better.

Back in late-90's/early-00's at clubs & festis - before the loudness wars were won by the brickwall - there would often be volume-discrepancies and frequency issues in DJ sets because mastering back then allowed for more room to breathe, and thus more room for inconsistencies between different artists and labels.  But which albums/comps get the most love for home listening?  It's those from that era, with breathy roomy mastering.  Or as Filteria pointed out, it's not just necessarily the mastering: contemporary producers are mixing their tracks already in that brickwall way.

With that in mind, maybe there's a gap in the market for labels to offer two versions of their releases: one mixed/mastered for the big soundsystem, Tim Schuldt-style, and one with an eye (or rather an ear!) for home listening.  The advantage of the former is obvious: every artist and label wants their tunes played at the big parties.  The advantage of the latter may not be so obvious until we realise the cultural worth of 20-year old musik still being enjoyed in homes & headphones around the world.  As much as I admire what Suntrip and co are doing, it remains to be seen if their releases will still be enjoyed in the home 20 years from now.  There's also musical reasons for this: there's less adventurousness in the compositions these days, and I wager this also is the influence of the festival season: even Juno Reactor have gone to a brickwall sound with monotone composition and get headline bookings at all the biggest parties for it, but I expect their Mutant Theatre album won't be listened to as much 20 years from now as Shango or Bible of Dreams.

If feeling philosophical, one might say what is keeping Goa Trance alive is also killing it.

 

This issue is quite specific to the glorious subgenre we know as Goa Trance (whether old or new school).  If you look at darkpsy, forest or hi-tech this issue isn't as prevalent as that musik sounds damn fine in both environments (soundsystem & home) from the same master, it doesn't have this discrepancy of listening pleasure, dependent on the environment, like Goa. 

The musical appeal of Goa Trance was rarely about the drive, the kick drum, the FX or the bass.  It was about the mysticism that arised out of complex melodies, unexpected key changes, and compositions which would stucturally change quite drastically, keeping the listener on their toes (and enthralled).  The elements making those sounds were often synth lines, and they were dominant.  When those synth lines get flattened to make room for the kick to dominate, we lose some mysticism.   When producers feel they don't want to make too many dramatic chord or structural changes as it may affect their dj-playlist potential, then the home listener has less reason to keep listening.

Does this matter?  Well, good music is timeless and will potentially be enjoyed forever.  Music made just for a moment in time will be enjoyed for that moment, but perhaps when that moment is done then so is that music. 

Then again, if the alternative is the Goa Trance scene dying out (again) as the bookings dry up due to PA-unfriendly mastering and experimental compositions, then that's not ideal either.  Some nerd enjoying your album 20 years from now won't help you pay the bills this month.

No easy answers.  Maybe there's a workable compromise somewhere in the middle, and we're all working our way towards it  :)

 

Just my two pence.  My respect to the labels and artists for keeping the scene alive & kicking! 

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dhollmusik    13
21 minutes ago, dhollmusik said:

With that in mind, maybe there's a gap in the market for labels to offer two versions of their releases: one mixed/mastered for the big soundsystem, Tim Schuldt-style, and one with an eye (or rather an ear!) for home listening.

ha well i'm not normally one for quoting myself, but seeing as this forum's not so busy anymore...so for posterity...check this wikipedia entry out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ftanng!#History

"In September 2013, FTANNG! returned with the free online release of their third single Meaning in various formats via their website as well as multiple online platforms.  Produced at 4CN-Studios by Tim Schuldt it was released in two different versions: a regular version, mastered to achieve maximum loudness on earphone-based mobile devices such as smart phones; plus an audiophile version, mastered for playback on home or car hi-fi systems, which attempts to capture the full dynamic range of the song as experienced in the studio."

 

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Alienated Fluff factory comes to mind when tolking about horrific mixing/mastering. Without joke, you cant use this tracks...SUCH A CHAME.

hear like from 1:08:00 and on 1:08:24 i faded into the Fluff Factory track...i own FFon original Album and used lossles date for mixing. 

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Manuser    269

About Alienated - Fluff Factory, if I remember correctly two people did the mastering on different tracks, so you have some tracks that sound good and the rest sound poor, I agree. 

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Manuser    269
On 6/30/2014 at 12:58 AM, reger said:

Alpha Circuit - Module Z was promising album ruined completely by lack of mastering, kicks are distorted beyond level of hardcore or jumpstyle music tolerances.

 

Can't remember where exactly I managed to find this album to listen to, but it was easily the worst mastering ever. You were not kidding reger the sound quality was really awful :D 

Here is the review page 

 

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1 hour ago, Manuser said:

About Alienated - Fluff Factory, if I remember correctly two people did the mastering on different tracks, so you have some tracks that sound good and the rest sound poor, I agree. 

its so sad for me because i think it is one of the most unique and precious Late Goa/Psychedelic works. Its a coherrent crazy-dark ride into the mind of a Scandinavian or nordic human.

Even if it sounds very metalic and surreal it fits very good for the forest. I was jogging some times with this album through the forest and it was awesome(beside the Quality :(((((()

Who was this one Guy who did this genozide to this album ?? xD

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Manuser    269
19 minutes ago, Psychedelic Superbeast said:

its so sad for me because i think it is one of the most unique and precious Late Goa/Psychedelic works. Its a coherrent crazy-dark ride into the mind of a Scandinavian or nordic human.

Even if it sounds very metalic and surreal it fits very good for the forest. I was jogging some times with this album through the forest and it was awesome(beside the Quality :(((((()

Who was this one Guy who did this genozide to this album ?? xD

It's a unique album, now checking Discogs and indeed two different people doing the mastering: Mastered By – Alienated (tracks: 2, 3, 6, 7), Henrik Munch (tracks: 2, 3, 6, 7), Jens Bundgaard (tracks: 1, 4, 5, 8)
Producer, Written-By – Jeffrey D. Jensen*, Thomas Larsen

A shame, you would at least expect the mastering to be harmonious and similar throughout the whole album! I haven't listened to the album for a while now but remember for instance the hi-hats sounded very quiet in some tracks and louder in others. 

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Manuser    269

Listening to this now:

Track 2 is fantastic. But indeed the mastering ruins it all. 

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dhollmusik    13
9 hours ago, Manuser said:

Listening to this now:

Track 2 is fantastic. But indeed the mastering ruins it all. 

i've just ordered this on CD as i really rate Astrancer's work.  Hopefully there'll be a bit of room to EQ, maybe even stick the signal through an expander.

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11 hours ago, Manuser said:

Listening to this now:

Track 2 is fantastic. But indeed the mastering ruins it all. 

this is one comp CD i have never seen or found...i like the first track. I think i will buy it too.

But yeah Astrancer sounds llitle bit foggy but it is by far not so pervert like Alienated...this Compilation is solid in my opinion.

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Astrancer is a real small Gem Boy...criminal underrated talented Trance Producer...i have not found his best tracks on youtube in good quality so i can only offer my awesome mixes to show his tracks in good quality :P

His tracks are too quiet and too foggy...maybe besides Ashram. But made with Heart!

Ashram: 39:09

First Track Cristo Sol:

btw: cristo sol and two other tracks from 2019 you can get on Bandcamp. pls Support this sweet Acrobat :)

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On 11/12/2019 at 11:10 AM, Manuser said:

Listening to this now:

Track 2 is fantastic. But indeed the mastering ruins it all. 

haha is that really the way it was released? completely destroyed :D but such an incredible track holy wow :o

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Manuser    269

Just found a gem. Track 3 of this compilation, starting at 20:50.
I think this takes the cake and I apologize to those who will listen.

 

 

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acid-brain    105

Wow, it sounds like listening to a really great track underwater.

Also, the label's response to pd_'s review of that album on Discogs is hilarious.

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Manuser    269

Let's quote it here

It is replay for following review of pd:

I think there are those options under the your messages: First one is you are not sincere and friendly. Second one is maybe you didn't listen enough that album. And i am sure if you listen few more time, that album possible to become your favorite!!! Or one other options, you already love that compilation but you didn't know to show your love....

I think you should to listen that compilation few more time and come here for to show your thanksgiving.

 

I remember reading some of the posts from Goalogique on this forum and they have zero self awareness, to the point that I almost thought the whole thing was a troll job :) 

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dhollmusik    13
On 5/3/2015 at 11:59 PM, ma05683 said:

a friend of mine played in a festival after a Aphid's Moon dj set back at 2007(Aphid played ,after the Dragonfly's album, stuff)

he started his set with X dream-STOP (the track from The Independence Trance Revival cd)

i was side by sound engineer console

with the intro of the track(from the very first sound effect of the track ) the enginner and his assistant gone FREAK (they were afraid about the speakers lollllll)

and at the end they minimise a little the output sound

in my opinion back then the sound of X dream's track was more painful(and better ,more heavier) for system than Aphid's modern tracks

i wait for any opinion on that

 

On 5/4/2015 at 1:10 AM, Padmapani said:

you do have higher peaks with tracks that aren't mastered as loud, but are played at the same perceived loudness. that's the one reason for the loudness war with electronic music. if a track is compressed to death, you can turn up the volume more without the engineer getting worked up (or the speakers blowing out at smaller parties).

Oh I missed these comments earlier.  Yes, I think this explains why 'brickwall' mastering has become so ubiquitous in the digital-era.  It can truly be stressful for those on mixer/engineer duties at parties if he's constantly battling different loudness and wild peaks.  Even the impact of the kick can be very different.  Back in the day this didn't bother us on the dancefloor so much, we even welcomed different kick-impacts, it changed the vibe (and change was good).  I guess ravers nowadays want a more consistent experience, or at least the crews do :lol:

It would be nice to have two CD/LP/digital-releases, like how Tim Schuldt did with FTANNG: one for big PA's (brickwall) and one for audio-philes for home listening (maximum DR).  But that likely means extra costs, the mastering studio may treat this as two jobs for example.  And if there were two versions: would it really significantly increase sales?

...looks like we're stuck with the brickwall.

 

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Manuser    269
On 5/3/2015 at 11:59 PM, ma05683 said:

a friend of mine played in a festival after a Aphid's Moon dj set back at 2007(Aphid played ,after the Dragonfly's album, stuff)

he started his set with X dream-STOP (the track from The Independence Trance Revival cd)

i was side by sound engineer console

with the intro of the track(from the very first sound effect of the track ) the enginner and his assistant gone FREAK (they were afraid about the speakers lollllll)

and at the end they minimise a little the output sound

in my opinion back then the sound of X dream's track was more painful(and better ,more heavier) for system than Aphid's modern tracks

i wait for any opinion on that

X-dream - STOP is a great track, true it sounds loud but it fits the style, very powerful track, would have fitted perfect in the Radio album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjLmwa4WlOA

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Penzoline    337
On 11/12/2019 at 12:10 PM, Manuser said:

Listening to this now:

Track 2 is fantastic. But indeed the mastering ruins it all. 

Whole comp is almost legendary quality. It's a travesty the tracks are butchered like that. I'd pay for it again for remaster. Anyone got the source files? :D

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dhollmusik    13
1 hour ago, Penzoline said:

Whole comp is almost legendary quality. It's a travesty the tracks are butchered like that. I'd pay for it again for remaster. Anyone got the source files? :D

the cd will arrive soon, if i can improve the sound with my studio racks i'll re-upload it on soundcloud as downloadable wav...assuming it's ok to do that from a rights-perspective.  Ezel-Ebed is no more so i'm not sure who the rights-owners are.  The youtube-bots don't flag anything either (the full comp is on youtube, doesn't seem to have any auto-track-id's).

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