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Essentials for Testing

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Chris Firth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Chris Firth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2019 at 4:48pm
Originally posted by patientot patientot wrote:

I love this album and own it both LP and CD. I hadn't thought of it when OP started this thread but it could be a test album. As for the LP reissue you're talking about, I don't have that one. Mine is a mid-70s repress that uses that same metalwork as the first pressing. It does have a few crackles here are there, and I would agree with what someone else said that finding a very clean copy is difficult, especially in the U.S. where I've lived. In all my searching I've only come across one. John Martyn records just aren't that common in the used bins here, except maybe some of the later ones every now and then. 

As for mastering mistakes on that vinyl reissue, I don't think Miles Showell would intentionally screw something up. His philosophy is to transfer everything to digital first before cutting laquers at half speed. Whatever you think of that is up to you. It's possible the tape he was given by the record label was compromised or had age related issues - that would certainly not be unheard of. On another forum, folks have pointed out some channel balance issues with some of the reissues he's work on by using software to record the output of the record. My guess is this happened by accident or is some sort of problem with the equipment at AR or possibly a compromised tape. 

The records I have cut by MS are mostly albums that were done while he was at Metropolis, and none of those, to my knowledge, have major channel balance issues. 


There is an interview with Miles Showell about the processes involved in producing Solid Air.
The project started with a 1/4" mastertape ....



Edited by Chris Firth - 01 Oct 2019 at 4:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2019 at 6:50pm
Originally posted by Graham Slee Graham Slee wrote:

Slightly off-topic but this (simplified explanation) might help in the understanding the music production side, and is based on my own near-layman experiences:

(Analogue) Mixer gain when recording a multi-miked or over-dubbed performance can influence the sound in at least a couple of ways.

Mixers are summing devices so if we call each input level "1", then one input gives us a sum of 1, two inputs a sum of 2 and n inputs a sum of n.

We can adjust levels in the mix to favour one input over another, but the mixer has two "level controls": the first being all the input channels; the second being the output.

If we leave all inputs at their optimum, then when all inputs are playing the output increases and is adjusted down to the required level by the output control.

If however, most inputs favour high frequencies, then as they play together we will experience high frequency boost as the output is lowered to meet the level required (because the fewer bass instruments are relatively attenuated by the process).

Looking at a modern motorized desk we can see the inputs being controlled to fit the required level thus removing mixer gain to a greater degree, and this takes a computer to memorize the sequences.

On simple productions a sound engineer might be able to balance the inputs, but on something more complex and fast moving, a manual desk will prove difficult to control, with the engineer either needing to work the output level too; or perhaps getting a compressor (or in broadcast, an Optimod) to take on the effort.

The above is a simplification but I'm sure it will be realised there is a lot of skill involved in getting a satisfying sound, and I'm sure many unavoidable mistakes must happen. I only ever mixed 8 channels front of house for a folk group (with no rehearsal as I was filling-in for their usual chap who was ill) after which I said never again!



Thanks Graham. I can see why you mentioned this, usually quieter means further away and with some HF absorption from the air and the surfaces/objects in the way. That isn't generally the effect of turning down the level on most mixers. BTW I used to really enjoy mxing live bands but it was always about evening out the drums and instruments through the backline, and blending in vocals.


Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Fatmangolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2019 at 7:02pm
I must admit to remixing and remastering my old recordings, demos and multi-miked rehearsals. No links on offer you'll be pleased to read!There are ones where I know I was really into a miking technique or had a new processor that was different sounding and so it got over-used. I now go 'oh dear' was that on the tape or a mixdown insert, and can I EQ that out! So I take the point above about mastering and think it is a creative and therefore subjective process, and can dominate the sound of an album. Done well it brings an album to life, but subtle enhancement is best.

Jon

Open mind and ears, whilst owning GSP Genera, Accession, Elevator EXP, Solo ULDE, Proprius amps, Cusat50 cables, Lautus digital cable, Spatia cables and links, and a Majestic DAC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2019 at 8:51pm




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4HbL_7ASlk




Edited by Ash - 07 Nov 2019 at 8:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2019 at 8:59pm
Originally posted by Ash Ash wrote:



I will have to listen to that one later. That was a great film and I really enjoy Oriental music and soundtracks. I still use songs from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as some of my go to test tracks. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ash Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Nov 2019 at 9:10pm
I've just bought the OST CD for the third film but tragically, 1 and 2 are out of print. Looking at a seller for 2 but it costs a small fortune... Ouch
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote miT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2019 at 7:39pm
It really is frustrating that most soundtracks go out of print so quickly but I guess they are a niche field.

I am sporadically trying to track down the 2-disc special edition of The Dark Knight to listen to the extra tracks but that is generally going for over £100. Sadly one of my main testing songs is on there but it is so hard to reproduce clearly, I am starting to wonder if it is simply full of distortion... I have had a few sessions of headphone demos over the last few weeks and it still amazes me how few [modern] "high end" products can produce a clean sound with controlled bass. There is a section in that track where the LF are so powerful anything that doesn't produce impeccably tight and fast bass makes the entire claustrophobic sound fall apart, hence it remains my primary test track after 11 years.
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