Keeping up with the Joneses
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  1. #1
    Glen McArdle

    Default Keeping up with the Joneses

    A lot of labels have this 'in-house' mastering guy. If do a remix or a production for this label, can I talk to this guy so the endproduct comes out the way I envisioned it when I was writing and producing that mix? And if this guy thinks otherwise and just pushes it hard cause that's what the label is after, then that is all my effort fucked then isn't it?

    I for one would perfer if both producer and mastering engineer have a platform on wich they can exchange idea's about what the end product is going to be like. You may have formed a certain style, sound or soundquality as a producer and you can mantain this all you want. But if there is going to be a different mastering engineer at the helm every track or so.. there can be great variations in sonic character, dynamics, etc etc.

    I am not saying that the mastering determens all. The composition, the used techniques, the instruments that are used etc. ofcourse can not be changed. In that aspect the producers vision remains intact. BUT the mastering proces IS an important part of the sum that leads to the greater whole. At the mastering stage a track can be made or broken, no matter how well a track is produced prior to mastering.

    I can allready hear labels thinking: 'It costs too much time and money' and mastering engineers are not very keen to have a sit down with every producer for every track that a label puts out.. especially if a producer has no idea what goes on on in the mastering proces and comes with crazy requests that will only detriment the overall sonic quality of a track. However if one goes through the vast quantity af new releases in EMD on an avarage day, one can also conclude that there are a lot of mastering guys as well as out there that add to the decrement of sonic integrity and quality that has been going on ever since the low-cost-entry-level, digital revolution in producing music.

    That verdict may sound a bit harsh (God knows that if I pose here as an advocate of quality, I will have to start with myself and always remain my own biggest critic) because it may not all be on the mastering engineer or producer as an individual but maybe also the company that he or she is part of, as a whole. I bet most of us have values like quality over quantity or start out that way at least. But there is this atmosphere of keeping up with the Joneses (or so it seems). And in the case of the music industry at current day, the Joneses represent the compuslive need to keep putting out more and more music. More and faster. Is that what it takes to get noticed? Is that what will determine success? Quantity before quality almost seems to be trending in the label companies as well as producers.
    And who am I to judge right? I am just a guy that loves good music, just like any other person out there.

    It just frustrates me somtimes... Or it can worrie me sometimes that, when I try my best in the studio to mantain some kind of sonic integrity, it can all be squashed by the mastering engineer and label in charge of the realease of that track.

    And I am confronted with all the aforementioned issues every day when I plow through a ridiculous amounts of releases for one day, looking for a quality tune...
    Last edited by Glen McArdle; 05-20-2011 at 07:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010


    bump so i remember to read it later.
    tl;dr for now.
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    If the pack of lions are in sync then they're not real lions so it doesn't count.

  3. #3
    DJTT Administrator del Ritmo padi_04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    A proper mixed track doesn't need mastering.

    Assuming you have a decent monitoring system and you are doing things right, he shouldn't touch it.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Sherlock Ohms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Bristol, UK


    Quote Originally Posted by padi_04 View Post
    A proper mixed track doesn't need mastering.

    Assuming you have a decent monitoring system and you are doing things right, he shouldn't touch it.
    Just cos he 'shouldn't' doesn't mean he won't ...
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