Re: Mastering EA was French Touch

Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Sat Oct 29 2005 - 11:25:03 EDT

I agree that this is an important issue.

On the one hand EA and computer music have broken new ground in music precisely with new timbres, and on the other hand the standard of acoustical precision, and listenability, in the field are actually quite poor for various reasons, some financial, some historical, some educational.

In instrumental music the perfomer relies on the genius and tradition of the instrument makers from organ builders through Guarnerius to today's electric guitar makers, and on the expertise of producers, recording engineers, and mastering engineers. But in EA the signal on the tape or in the soundfile IS the piece and, usually, just one person is responsible for every bit of that sound.

Yet for that very reason, like you, I would fear a situation where producers or engineers assumed more responsibility for the sound. I think this has definitely had a deadening effect on musical creativity everywhere it has happened. With classical acoustical instruments the engineer transmits or very modestly enhances the sound which was created by an instrument builder and a deeply schooled performer, but in the contemporary studio the producer seems to suggest sounds, or even introduce them, taking over part of the roles of both composer and performer. In and of itself who turns the knobs means nothing for good or bad, but the dilution of personal responsibility is very bad from an artistic point of view.

I think it would definitely help for growing EA composers to (a) regularly listen to good acoustical performances in good rooms, and (b) listen to EA pieces on studio quality or audiophile quality systems -- and not headphones, either. Oh yes, and (c) really REALLY listen to natural sounds in quiet locations, especially at night.


-----Original Message-----
From: Louis Dufort <>
Sent: Oct 29, 2005 1:50 AM
Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch

> Very different from my experience of EA mastering, where a majority of
> the pieces still arrive to me in a very hectic state, and where I have
> to make severe corrections before I can make them at least bearable...
That's exactly why I'm very suspicious concerning mastering EA works...
Mastering should always be about enhancing, not correcting. But in the real
this is not the case. In Pop music mastering is very important due to the
fact that the standard is very well known even by the public. But I really
think that EA composers should have last hands on their works, this is what
makes it poetic for better or for worse.



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