New Year - Q & A

 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

By the way Matt, now I'm live. Hello YouTube. Am I? How are we looking on there? Look.

Happy new year, everybody who's watching. If there is anybody watching so far, but you might be watching later. Yeah, new year, new beard, new Q and A. So I thought I'd do one. I'm just trying to get the live on my screen now so that I can answer any questions that come in. I think it turns on.

Okay. 14 people watching. Let me know any questions that you've got.

Comment:
“I am very interested in your career.”

Answer:
Oh, dear. What would you like to know about my career Marcel? I've started off in ‘96 at Factory Studios Mastering. Loads of stuff like 'Return of the Mac', ‘Groove Armada’, things like that. And then I went to Sound Masters where I did loads of vinyl cutting for a lot of German-based DJs, stuff like that. Then I ended up in Metropolis where I worked with loads of other people. So they're the kind of three-plate main place. And now I do my own thing. But I'm sure you know that.

Question:
Can you use Fresh Air instead of Oxford exciter while I'm mastering?

Answer:
If it sounds good, you can use it. Of course, that's the main thing is to listen to things and if they sound good, go for it.

Hi, Dave.

Question:
Who was your worst and most annoying customer?

Answer:
Oh my God. Most of them. I can't really say that. (Nice beard. Thanks Olivia.) Who is my most annoying customer? I haven't had any annoying customers. They're all exactly the same. They're all fine. You just have different people different days. It's usually I find that it's me. That's got the problem, not the customer. I'm just usually moody. And have been doing it too long to then someone will annoy me for no reason whatsoever. But that's usually my issue, not theirs.

Question:
Best way to achieve clarity and brightness without pushing it up in the EQ?

Answer:
To separate the instruments off, don't push things into compressors too much. Because the more you start pushing things in, the more the tops coming down and everything comes together more. And then you end up with less clarity. Brightness, you really wanna low end out. Then the top will look after itself. So start cutting into the bottom. Start maybe multi-bank compressing the low end to hold that in place. And you will then, sometimes hopefully you don't have to add any tops, because a lot of the time when you start adding top, it's a cheap route out with mastering.

Comment:
When are the Merry Wives getting back together?

Answer:
I'm ready.

Comment:
That 160Hz trick you showed me was a banger.

Answer:
No problem. Yeah, it's always good. So anyone that's watching 160Hz trick, do a little cut, 160Hz, maybe keep it narrow. So that basically what it does, it just clears out any mud that's in there. Don't do it for everything. But if you've got muddy track, it's really handy little tip to do.

Question:
Do you prefer receive dry guitar for mixing or guitar with effects?

Answer:
It depends on the mix and how well the mix is. I'd rather everything was already wet and then you've already got the sound that the person who’s producing the track wanted. Otherwise, you are in a whole realm of stuff if you wanna start adding your own effects on and doing that thing. I think a lot of people get confused with production and mixing because mixing is really taking the demo and then making that into something that is a mix. And the demo really should have a lot of the effects and a lot of the processing already on there because that's the sound of the track. The balance might not be right. It might need some cleaning up here and there. That's mixing. And then mastering is taking the whole thing and listening to it as a whole thing. A lot of people try and produce a mix stage rather than getting it right before they get to mix stage.

Question:
How’s the Atmos mixing going?

Answer:
Alright, I'm done only this year yet, but it's early days. But yeah, lots of speakers, lots of stuff.

Question:
Many engineers believe that cables do not affect the result of your work. Do you think so?

Answer:
I think cables make a massive difference. Cables make a huge difference when you're going in and out of hardware. For other things, it doesn't make a difference. Speaker cables aren't as important because that's obviously personal choice of your listening environment. But you need to be able to hear what you're doing to make decisions. But when it comes to the equipment, then I find that there's you get different sounds from different cables. So you have to test a few, keep the cable short but test a few so you can hear what sounds you like and do the test because then you'll hear for yourself if it makes a difference. There's no right and wrong with any of this. You just need to test things, listen to it if you like it, great. If you don't, then go back to what you have.

Producer3rdSun: Hello Streaky.

Question:
Why do you master songs of the 80s more depth versus those of today? Why do you master songs of the 80s?

Answer:
Well, I think what you'll find is songs that were in the 80s were going to vinyl more than they were going to CD or streaming services. So that's why we didn't really get into smashing things with limiters as you did post the 80s.  So the 80s, you could be more dynamic. When you're going to vinyl, you're limited to how loud you can get it onto vinyl. And so things were left more and they didn't need to be super loud and crushed. People always wanted the vinyl louder obviously, because people always want their track louder than someone else's. But with vinyl it was, you could do certain things with a mix to try and get it sound louder. Do some cuts in the low end to make it a bit louder. But you can only get a certain amount of level unto discs so you were restricted in a way. So a lot of people just left it and made it sound just really nice. And you'll find that most 80s stuff, if you take things off of vinyl, they're probably about 6dB quieter than stuff that's even just slightly limited today. So that's the difference. But also, people just got into the sound of what limiters do, which is combat compressed sound so people like that.

Eric.
Question:
Do you ever use more than one limiter?

Answer:
Yeah, I do occasionally. I try not to. I try not to limit or limit anything at all, really. Especially these days because I like things to be more naturally loud than smashed. But if one limiter, if you need to get the level loud, one limit is not enough. It's better to carry the load on two or maybe three limiters rather than one. They also limiters give a different flavor. So some limiters will sound different and they also sound different with the different algorithms that you use within the limiter. So it's really, again, it's trial and error. See what sounds best. Some will allow more through depending on the track, depending on the mix. So you can get away with some, just doing a little bit and then the other one taking a bit more weight, but that's really suck it and see. And some limiters just react differently to others. So that's definitely a trial and error thing.

Question:
​What output settings do you use in FabFilter L2?


Answer:
Depends on the track. Depends on what sound I'm trying to get. Output settings, I usually go to like -0.1 for the output. But it really depends on the track.

Question:
Do you use a clipper?

Answer:
Yes I do sometimes. Again, clipper, I see clipping the same as limiting. I used to use clippers more when I was doing CD mastering. So in the 90s, you'd use a clipper just to keep the sound. But just take the tops off, just round the tops off so that it wouldn't then fail the CD test because it had to go to a pressing plant, the CD pressing plant and the pressing plant would, if it had any overs would reject it. So you'd end up doing the job again. So to do that, you'd just put a clipper across the top. That's where it came from. But now you push into a clipper and it's just taking the top off. It's got sound. It's nice. It depends what sounds you're going for again. So yeah, I do use them.

Frank: “I paid for your mastering course.”
It's on discount now. If you are on that, I'll leave a link after I finish this in about half an hour and you can still get that on a cheapy if you want. Seeing you're here.

Question:
Which do you think is better, active or passive monitors?

Answer:
I personally like both. I think the active are really good for home studio environments and stuff where you haven't got loads of space for amps, cables, blah, blah, blah. You've sort of all in one. The amp is matched to the speakers, so that's all good. So that's the big benefits of that. But I really like passive speakers. I like the fact that you can change things around like the amps and the cables and stuff. But yeah, I think ease of use, I'll probably go for active over passive. But sometimes, some passive speakers sound amazing because they've just got a real sound to them.  I'd say musicality, but it's annoying. But if you know what I mean, it just sounds a little bit more hi-fi. But a lot of times you don't want that for pro audio. So probably go for active, I think.

Question:
Can you show me your mixing desk?

Answer:
Yeah, there. It's not really a desk, is it? It's all in the box but controllers.

Question:
I mix on LCD headphones and have an apollo twin. Is it worth it to switch from Apollo Twin to RME ADI-2 Pro just for monitoring?

 

Answer:
The twins, alright. If it's the new Apollo twin, that sounds all right. The older one didn't sound as good, but if you are using it for headphones, I would be more inclined to get a really good headphone. Feel used to the LCDs for mixing and I would get headphone out. A really nice headphone out. SPL ones really good. I can't remember what it's called phone thermometer or something like that. It's got the way that you can like move the phase of the speakers around. I would look at that. I think that, if you're monitoring through speakers, you've probably, I'd be more inclined to get better speakers than better, you're gonna get more bang for your buck from getting the speakers changed and doing your room acoustics than you are from changing your interface. That interface is more of a fine detail thing.

Comment:
You inspired me to start a mastering business in the Netherlands two years ago. I've been in production 15 years. I'm going with mastering.

Answer:
Okay. Good luck. There's a lot of people who are.

Olivier.

Question:
How do you deal without limiters these days?

Answer:
I still use limiters, but I don't use them as heavy handedly. I'm more likely to push into it with other equipment and then use it as the final cutoff rather than using that for the level. That's just a suck it and see thing again, like everything. Does it sound right? Does it work? Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. You've just gotta listen really everything.  

William.              

Question:
Is the Tegeler Crème a good first piece of hardware?

Answer:
Yeah. It's brilliant. The Tegeler Crème are definitely out for a first bit of hardware because you've got a passive EQ in it, like a Pultech and you've got like an SL type compressor in there. And those two things to start off with a really great just to move in and they just they're really good sounding as well. It's really good quality gear for not a massive amount of money. So yeah, definitely good idea. All the Tegeler stuff's pretty good. You can see I've kept the stuff that I've got, because I use them all the time. I love it. So they do a really good varying view as well, which is good money. Uh, what Marcell, thank you. What is your recommendation to not get rejected from studios and trying to get a foot in the door as a beginner?

Marcel.

Question:
Thanks you! What is your recommendation to not get rejected from studios and trying to get the foot in the door as a beginner?

Answer:
Why would you not get reject? I think you've just gotta be keen. You've gotta show willing. You've got to help them, do things that they can't do themselves. And just don't be a strap, as simple as that. Be a good bloke, be a nice, be helpful. And, and then, they'll like you.

Dan Brooke.

Question:
Hey Streaky, what did you think about the big Amphion full range system with bass extension? Have you heard it?

Answer:
Oh yes I have. And the problem was when I heard the Amphion system, I was in a room that I didn't like, wasn't used to the one at metropolis. I wasn't a big fan of. They didn't sound good in there. I think there was an issue with the subs at the time, because it was like one of the first subunit. So I really don't wanna judge them on that.  

I did do a video on them at the time, which is a bit annoying. Why did I switch to the Kii? Just because the way that they work with the room is insane. They sound good in all rooms. They just, the way they do the cardioid effect just works really well. They've got really strong tight bass. They look brilliant. They're just a great all-around speaker. I find going back to what I was saying about the passive speakers, I've had other speakers in this room, for example, I've got other speakers in this room at the back. And they get more involved in the room. As soon as put those on, the bass is a lot, there's a lot to handle. So in this room, it's all right, because it's a big room. It can move the bass.

And I've got like different trim, things like that. So I can handle that and I can adjust the room, But you don't have to do as much adjustment with the Kii. And that's why I had them from mastering. And I really like the sound of them. I really like the sound of those as well. They're the best second speaker that I've liked the Neumann’s, they're amazing. They sound so good. I actually don't like the look of them. I don't think they look that great, but I think they sound insane. They're really boring when to start with, but they grow on you for sure.

Question:
​How important is mid side EQ?

Answer:
I think mid side EQ can be overrated a lot of the time. I think you can look into it too much. Because it's something that you can do. People just use it for the hell of it. I would say it depends on what's stage of the journey you're on with engineering. I would steer clear from it for a good while until I really knew how to EQ in a stereo way or even in a mono way. I think that, you have to really understand EQ before you get to that point where you can start throwing in loads, it’s quite dangerous to use, because it's can do quite dramatic things to the sound. So unless you really know your room, you really know what's going on. I think you've gotta be careful.

Question:
Thinking about buying the 1990 Pro by beyerdynamic to pair with my monitors. What do you think about it?

Answer:
I thought they’re alright. I'm more of a Sennheiser fan myself. I'm totally honest. So I'll probably go for Sennheiser over those, if you can get some in the same price range. Apart from that, the Ollo ones in a smaller price range. I don’t know if I've got here. No, because they're downstairs where my office is because I use them for referencing. So all those are pretty good for the similar money to those to check them out.

Question:
Do you often change the studio monitors? Does it help with your work?

Answer:
I don't change much. You shouldn't change the studio monitors. You should get used to it. I have tried out loads and loads and loads of pairs obviously. And I'm quite quick at picking up. How something sounds and how room sounds just because of my experience.  

So I know instantly what speakers sound like and I can work on speakers fairly quickly. But that's really down to just knowledge of my reference material. So I really know that if I turn a set of speakers on, I know exactly how they should sound. So that comes from that. And so, I don't change my speakers a lot. I've had these Kii now for a good few years before that I had the PMCs at Metropolis and I've had B&W 802s I had for a long time, which I really liked. I had PMCS before that. These I really like. These are really good. These are really quick to get used to actually. I like those straightaway. So yeah, I think with what you've got. As I say, I think you're better off tuning your room and tuning your sound of the room rather than keep changing your speakers all the time.

Question:
When do we open a rehab clinic for engineers?

Answer:
Yeah. Now

Question:
What sample rate do you submit masters to streaming and your thoughts on sample rate conversion?

Answer:
Any sample rate conversion I would use Isotope RX if I was you. Because that's the cleanest one that you're gonna have in your studio. Unless you're paying silly money for a pyramid or something like that. They're nicer, but you probably wouldn't hear the difference that much. It's very minor. I always try and do everything at 48, 24. My room operates well at that. I don't get massive overloads in anything. Everything seems to work nicely. It sounds great. And I deliver it that for everyone. If they request a different delivery format, that's CD baby, probably the only one now that's like 44 16. I don’t know. Maybe they're holding onto their name or something.

Dan Brooke.

Question:
Why did you switch to Atmos for film mixing?

Answer:
Nothing's do with film mixing. Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos is now used by all the major record labels. So it's feels right to me. It's very similar to mastering what you're are doing with that moss. You're moving things around. You're not getting deep into the mix. You're just getting it so it's a finished sound and that's really what I'm doing with mastering. It's a little bit different. I'm dealing with stems and I'm moving those around and I've got, and it's a little bit more creative, which is interesting for me. And it's changed from just doing stereo work, but it still is the final thing before it goes to streaming services. So for me that feels like mastering. So that's why I got into it.

 

 

 

 

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