Re: Mastering EA was French Touch digression

Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch digression
From: Michael Gogins (
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 11:43:36 EST

I think there are affordable near-field monitors that can give good results in ordinary rooms, as long as you sit in the right spot and there isn't a lot of noise from outside. I don't think it's necessary to obsess over brands and such as long as you stick with models that recording studios actually use. It is important to "tune" your listening situation by either measuring the speaker response, or listening to a variety of demanding material while moving the speakers around, adjusting EQ, putting up absorbant materials, etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick <>
Sent: Oct 31, 2005 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: Mastering EA was French Touch digression

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, � 23:58, Kevin Austin a �crit :
> > 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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