Re: Mastering EA was French Touch


Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch
From: Ian Stewart (stewart@econtact.ca)
Date: Sat Oct 29 2005 - 13:41:33 EDT


Dominique Bassal writes:
> Obviously I can't give names, but if you ask around, you will quickly learn who they are.
 

I'll volunteer my name. Dominique mastered one of my works (Escape Artist) a
year or so ago. On hearing my original mix, he did not report problems quite
as serious as those mentioned in his email; the quality of monitoring and
acoustic treatment in the City University studios in London probably
prevented truly catastrophic problems. Still, the quality of monitoring does
not approach that of a commercial studio, even if it is the best university
listening environment that I have worked in.

When I received the mastered version from Dominique, I played the original
and the mastered files on the full concert diffusion system at City for an
audience of composers. The verdict was unanimous- the mastered version
provided a more detailed and compelling listening experience. Everyone
commented specifically on the spatial detail in the mastered version (likely
a result of clarification in the ultra-high frequencies). Personally, I
observed a greater clarity in the ultra-highs, greater focus in the low
bass, and a better balanced midrange (some of the frequencies in the
original pushed too strongly on the concert system, a problem I hadn't
noticed when mixing because of monitoring deficiencies in the studio). In
any event, no one thought that mastering had changed the 'composition', just
improved the sound.

Having also listened to several A/B examples of unmastered/mastered works, I
would have to strongly agree with PA and Dominique that mastering, done
well, can serve an invaluable role in EA production (and would thank
Dominique again for his work on my piece!). I will certainly have future
works mastered as well.

all the best,

Ian



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