Mastering Advice Requested

I was thinking the same. Your work is partly proof of that too, Foo?

Mastering is a world on its own. One I don’t understand and just partly care about. I make music, once I
made it, I try to make it sound like I want it to. When it does, my work is done. It results in overcompressed,
strangely equalized, unbalanced, phased music, but ooooh well… Who will notice or care when it sounds
exactly like I want it to?

Also, I’m sure you get better results with better equipment, yet it’s not what you use but how you use it.

If you like to write and compose at this point in your musical journey and would prefer to continue down that road, how would you approach your craft ?

Personally, after I learned theory, it was finding The Instrument to work with that was driving me nuts, plus acoustics, mixing, synthesis, using computers, and managing files doesn’t equate to a mind state of a writer/composer. Well, at least in the old days. Although I enjoy all of that, part of my writing/composition skills we’re getting ignored, left unexplored.

So, how do you exceed your writing/composition skills without getting buried by other information ? Inject nanotechnology and press the magic red button. Poof ! your problems solved.

Since we’re talking about prepared music, why not seek vendors or people that better prepare the sounds for your sequences ?

For my own sake, I’ve categorized my instruments in 5 main sections.
1 Percussion
2 Melodic/Harmonic
3 Voice
4 Noise/Atonal
5 Processing

Its balanced enough for me to know what other engineers are talking about while keeping the focus on composition.

Edit: I try to keep my instruments from the same vendor, depending on the category, to lessen the amount of mixing required to make several instruments work together.
Edit: At least at that stage, its manageable for me and whomever I pass it over to for further processing.

You just hit the nail on its head by giving those two examples, no you can’t compare analog to digital, but saying none of them is bettr than the other doesn’t count anylonger as soon as you convert analog into digital.
Unless you do your recordings directly on analog tape, converting from analog to digital and afterwards back to analog is something being done on a daily basis.
Your CD / DVD player converts to analog, most radio-stations broadcast converted analog signals.
Even digital televisions don’t show interesting converted analog pictures…
Although we are getting more and more complete digital devices day by day, there is still a lot of ADA conversions being done that not only justifies comparison but actually even force you to do so…

Analog will always be better, the only thing we can hope for is that digital will become that good that the differences between analog and digital are hardly noticable anylonger.

I’m still working a few things out, o loud one.

I don’t want to take sides as both have character and comparing analogue to digital is really kinda moot but these sentiments that analogue is better and always will be annoy me. Why?

A lot of people don’t seem to realise that analogue also works in discrete steps, it’s just kinda hidden more than in a digital systems and no numbers are banded about for it.

In photography grain size has already been mentioned. A digital image can use a almost continuous representation for each of red, green and blue whereas an analogue film has to group them in clusters, which further reduces resolution. Sure digital film suffers from the use of CCDs and the various ways they operate (especially technologies used to prevent streaking) but these are things that can be, and are being advanced more than film technology, which has hardly changed in a long time.

Talk of analogue transmissions was just a joke to even be using in an analogue versus digital conversation. Analogue modulations, especially FM, suffers from exactly the same artefacts as digital recording with sidebands and aliasing, bandwidth limiting.

But to the most relevant realm, that of audio. So tape is purely analogue, no limits or restrictions is it? I suppose the head gap doesn’t affect the range of frequencies that can be recorded? Again it’s your half-cycles so a tape machine can not record anything that has a wavelength of twice its head gap by the amount of tape that has travelled past it. Anybody see something here that looks very similar to Nyquist’s sample theory? Dynamic range and tape width? Why do you think we have large format tapes? They’re not only used for multitrack and to prevent bleeding between tracks.

Anyway you get the point on how analogue has the same restrictions as digital. Now think about the fact that the analogue restrictions are due to physical limitations of materials and manufacturing techniques whereas digital limitations are due to speed of data transfer and storage. Which is improving at a rate that far surpasses the other?

BUT nobody can ever deny that a lot of analogue has a certain sound, its warmth. Many people will admit this is in fact due to its imperfections. It is a product of it being inferior and thus introducing something random that can not be predicted or accurately reproduced. Especially when it comes to complex circuits of those involving a lot of heat (high voltage valves for example.) As processors get faster and people try and incorporate temperature drift into their pseudo-random noise/differ/etc algorithms maybe less people will be able to tell the difference between them.

At the end of the day use whatever you are happy with but never forget imperfections are often beautiful.

/rant over. Sorry.

Wonderfully put, it is important to realise that many of us may prefer analogue sound as we all grew up listening to it(or most of us at least) and it does have a distinct warmth that we all enjoy. It is also important to realise that it just as limited as digital, albeit in different ways…so don’t get discouraged if you don’t have analogue gear, instead learn how to use your digital gear in the the best manner understanding its limitations. And most of all be aware that the best vintage gear will not improve souless crap music…the heart in your music will be its warmth.