Re: Peter Huebner

Subject: Re: Peter Huebner
From: Jan L. (
Date: Wed Apr 20 2005 - 04:18:19 EDT

Hmm, sorry about the stereo wideners :=) I think "that sound" is more
or less a coincidence. Just as Shane describes it is a strange mix but
in such a way that it expose those strings. I.e. the contrast between
the dry rolled off mono sounds in the middle and the wet, wide (to the
point of getting a hole-in-the-middle effect) and glazed/phased string
sound. Then encoded from a n:th generation analog cassettte copy.

Sorry for rambling on about Huebner. Personally I think the guy is just
a businessman of the lesser sort.

/Jan Larsson

2005-04-20 kl. 09.14 skrev Shane Turner:

> I find this kind of topic very interesting. I listened to the whole
> example. So I'm going to take guesses. First impresssions are
> technical:
> The vast majority of mp3's I've encountered have a rolloff point at
> 16Khz. This one does not....
> Second note, I'm not sure where the stereo wideners are, many samples
> are mono (except for that alto flute sample and I assume some string
> samples). Similar-sounding samples seem to be panned stereo to create
> a "widening" effect. String samples are often pitch-shifted upward,
> and are faint behind the other instruments. It is like he's trying to
> constantly create high-frequency information to excite the ears.
> Third note: the mix constantly seems to revolve around contrasting
> reverberated and dry, mono sounds:
> Dry samples in the foreground. Flute samples mainly, and some bells.
> Lots of delayed verb, like at 4'20", a bell with the attack slope
> reduced sounds in the right, and echoes in the left. (and the same
> sample with the original attack sounds just prior to it).
> He will contrast stereo and mono samples. Two examples: Between 20"
> and 28" there are stereo string samples on the left, and suddenly a
> "melody" 3 descending notes played by a completely mono string pad in
> the right. Notice this motif is introduced by some sort of woodwind
> oboe-ish sample in the middle of the mix. #2: Around 48"-55" you can
> hear dry, unreverberated bells in the left, accompanied by bells in
> the right, with that delayed, extremely bright reverb. like for
> example a waves rennaisance verb with the treble eq-d way up.
> Another thing:
> He's compressed at least the background (consisting of samples with
> slow attacks and long decays, heavily reverberated)... quite a lot.
> It never seems to drop below a certain volume level. The overall
> frequency slope remains exactly the same for the entire piece except
> for the sudden twinkle of a bell here and there. Maybe, some
> multiband eq which constantly keeps the high frequencies balanced at a
> certain level? It uses very little actual bass instrumentation, and
> what is there is very quiet (sometimes on the attack of a sample).
> The mix seems to be constant midrange. My first rough guesstimate
> apparently as previously stated is that the mix excites the ears by
> constantly feeding them with extremely bright sounds.
> Honestly, the second time through, the mix made my ears start to feel
> rather funny. Also some of the samples have a tendency to suddenly
> just shut off.... like the bell at about 2'08" with the long tail that
> suddenly just. ends. And some times in my opinion the reverb sounds
> just terrible, like on the attack at 1'13".
> (I also know that at about 5 minutes I seriously get a sudden urge to
> listen to dire straits. [We have pitch shifting, captain].)
> Seriously, though, I'm just scratching the surface taking potshots at
> 2 am here... (out of interest, though). (And while I have nearfields,
> my listening environment.. sucks.)
> --st
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dominique Bassal"
> <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Tuesday, April 19, 2005 11:02 PM
> Subject: Peter Huebner
>> It seems that I did a lousy job in explaining the context of my first
>> question to the list about Huebner. I will try again:
>> I have a calibrated room+speakers situation, which means that I enjoy
>> a rather flat monitoring. In this room, the Huebner mp3 creates a
>> curiously "empty minded", but still very effective fascination,
>> although I personally hate everything about the music, the guy, the
>> sites, the pretentious prose and the whole cultist scene. But if this
>> was a "standard" new age production, I estimate that I would have
>> listened for about 30 seconds and then push the space bar once and
>> for all. Instead I found myself listening - on and off - to maybe a
>> total of 10 minutes. Let's say that this creates, in my case, a
>> "sound-vs-musical-interest" ratio of 20:1.
>> Now, if whatever Huebner does in his studios can only develop its
>> full manipulative power in a "flat" listening situation like mine,
>> it's one thing, but if it "works" about everywhere, I feel that this
>> is something that EA composers have to know about, only for the
>> technical aspect of it. This is part of our job... So my idea is to
>> take advantage of the wide variety of monitoring situations
>> available among composers to find out what is happening here, and to
>> ask everyone who wishes to participate to listen to this example:
>> 0641%20Zen%20Symphonies/06412%20Zen%20Symphony%20Nr%202.htm
>> ...and just post back to the list how many more minutes than
>> normally, if any, you have listened to it for pure "audio" reasons:
>> 2:1, 3:1, 10:1, etc.
>> We can do guessing about his production "tricks" later on, if the
>> results show a good proportion of very high ratios... but we should
>> certainly not summarily dismiss Huebner's very specific audio
>> production competences just because he is an arrogant guru. I happen
>> to own the Miroslav Vitous collection, along with a good selection
>> of stereo wideners, software and hardware, and it is quite evident
>> to me that Huebner's "technique" involves a little more than that.
>> Best
>> - -
>> Dominique Bassal

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