Re: Mastering EA was French Touch digression

Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch digression
From: Rick (
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 09:43:30 EST

Can we digress a bit further?

The whole issue of designing a studio within budgetary limitations is,
of course, pretty important to a composer getting started. I realize
how important getting a true room and monitoring situation is, but
it's not exactly easy to arrange. Again, a good reason to have it
mastered. But how far can a piece built in an "off" room be "off"
before it's too far to master properly?

For instance:

Taking for granted that the digital equipment will come and go a few
times and the resolution will get better with each upgrade, you're
left to concentrate on the room and the monitors.

Rooms, for some of us, may take a little longer to acquire than
monitors, and really good monitors may have to come a step at a time.
What's the best way to handle this? My initial plan, was to use
everything I had and kind of build a "diffusion monitor" system. I
have pretty good 12" woofers in the form of Klipsch Herresy, a pair of
powered HHBCircle5 and I was going to try and supplement the imaging
with a pair of ATC 10. I thought it would be a good way to use what I
had already. Is this a bad idea/recipe for disaster, impractical? Or,
if mastering is kept in the chain, is it ok? or worse?


On 10/30/05, Dominique Bassal <> wrote:
> Le 05-10-29, à 23:58, Kevin Austin a écrit :
> > 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?
> In the DX-7, as with about every commercial synthesizer, the output are
> always colored in a way or another, to make them sound
> "attrative-in-the-store" : EQ, some form of exciting, companding, etc.
> In the rare cases where you had access to these and could at least
> partially disable them, like in the D-50, the thing would sound
> miserably. Otherwise, you were stuck with it. I made a number of pop
> albums with the Synclavier, in the 80's - early 90's, and as more
> tracks were recorded from it, the accentuation you would get from the
> "embellishing" circuits would start to sound "additive". At some point,
> counter-EQ had to be applied before the summing of the parts would be
> annoyingly resonant. Needless to say, counter-EQ was only partially
> successfull...
> So there is no real flatness to "respect" in these cases. Either the
> composer was conscious of the coloration and tried to do something
> about it (even at the synthesis level), and then we are dependent of
> the possibly wrong indications his monitoring could have give him in
> doing so, either he did nothing, and the sound is overly colored and
> clustered, and mastering has to be applied...
> Even with non-commercial synthesis, like Max, C-sound, etc, we have to
> consider that the synthesis is performed while listening to speakers,
> which again will deeply influence all decisions made. I had a long
> experience with an expert Max programmer and teacher, who had to
> completely re-think his patching strategies because had never
> programmed in a "flat" environment before.
> And even if synthesis is performed in a flat environment, there is
> listening fatigue...
> Best
> - -
> Dominique Bassal

Rick Nance
De Montfort University
Leicester, UK

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