Re: Mastering EA was French Touch


Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch
From: Ian Stewart (stewart@econtact.ca)
Date: Sun Oct 30 2005 - 04:02:45 EST


Kevin Austin writes:
> What if there is a (say) DX-7 piece that used the sounds directly from the
> DX-7 without any spectral processing or reverb...
 

There are cases where mastering may be undesirable, at least from a poietic
point of view- I am thinking particularly of conceptual works, where 'the
sound' is not the point (e.g. a waveform which is an exact to-scale
reduction of the Vancouver coastline, or waveforms which correspond
precisely to mathematical functions, cases where any change to the waveform
would destroy the underlying concept). I'd think such cases are rare in the
wide field of EA. As for a work from a DX-7, I don't see why that should be
different from, say, a straight recording of a string quartet: in most
cases, both would benefit from processing and mastering after the initial
recording is made, even if the alterations might be quite subtle.

> If one writes a book, there will be an editor, but imagine an editor for a
> composer ... "Dear Harry. Your Symphonic Dance Sketches is good, but needs
> some work. The third dance is clearly too long and the contra-bassoon part
> may be better put into the tuba and two soli double-basses."
 

In pop music, the producer would make these suggestions, not the mastering
engineer (who would, in any case, never interfere with the time scale of the
work).

All analogies are problematic for one reason or another, but I'll add
another one to Kevin's list- performance/interpretation. The amateur
violinist will typically give a less rewarding performance than the
experienced virtuoso, even if the composition is the same. It is still not a
perfect analogy for obvious reasons...

all the best,
Ian

 

Kevin Austin writes:

> This is part of a discussion that has taken place in many arts.
>
> If one writes a book, there will be an editor, but imagine an editor for a
> composer ... "Dear Harry. Your Symphonic Dance Sketches is good, but needs
> some work. The third dance is clearly too long and the contra-bassoon part
> may be better put into the tuba and two soli double-basses."
>
> Color correction in printing is a standard technique and I have seen
> articles where colors have been shifted far away from the originals, as
> they look "better" that way.
>
> I think there are also a couple of discussions going on here, and the
> topic under discussion may not apply to works which are digital in
> synthesis, although Dominique may disagree.
>
> What if there is a (say) DX-7 piece that used the sounds directly from the
> DX-7 without any spectral processing or reverb, or an analog piece devoid
> of processing, does the 'mastering' process improve the signals that have
> come straight from the tone generators?
>
> Best
>
> Kevin
>
>
>
> At 01:50 -0400 2005/10/29, Louis Dufort wrote:
>> >
>>> 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.
>>
>> Best
>>
>> louis
>
 



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