SH Spotlight I was asked "Why do recordings need compression/limiting during recording, mastering?"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Excellent explanation Steve.......Thanks for interrupting your bubble bath to put your thoughts down for us. I appreciate it
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Those D to D albums had giant limiting on them. Could not have mastered them without it. You can't hear it because the operator was doing his job correctly.
    SandAndGlass, McLover, tmtomh and 2 others like this.
  3. Rhythmdoctor

    Rhythmdoctor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the knowledge, SH.

    By that definition, I'd almost say a few of the newest Pink Floyd reissues are a bit over compressed. Particulary, Atom Heart Mother, I feel like that one is over compressed, that is if I'm interpreting compression correctly.
    telepicker97 likes this.
  4. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    Yeah I don't want to speak to Mr. Marcussen or his abilities, because I'm certain he knows more about mastering audio than I do, I would be more certain that this is a record company thing. Seems like it's been a trend since they signed with UMe.

    Was ABB mastered by Marcussen? Was that their first UMe release? Seems like that's about the time they began crushing their digital audio releases beyond repair...
  5. telepicker97

    telepicker97 Got Any Gum?

    Coincidentally, it's the best sounding Raspberries vinyl I own. Ymmv.
  6. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    On the other front, the mastering of Repertoire 2016 50th Anniversary's Yardbirds Roger The Engineer mono LP, is very well done IMHO.

    The album has been half-speed mastered (for LP only) by Miles Showell at Abbey Road studios, likely from hi-res digital source.

    The right amount of compression has been used, and the LP sounds powerful, dynamic, without distorsions. All the frequencies seem to be reproduced properly, no unbalancing in an area or the other.

    I think it's a good example of well-balanced compression on a new remaster.

    One of the best "holy of holies" ever...
  7. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    S FL
    Quick question:

    Are your board and monitors going to be in the same room as the band? , if yes you will need a good set of closed back headphones so you can hear the individual instruments and the "on the fly" mix.

    If you can isolate the monitors and board, it will be easier, but either way, expect this to be vey challenging.
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Why would ANY Yardbirds album EVER need added compression in mastering? Totally pointless.
  9. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    I apologize Mr. Hoffman, that's my assumption, I don't know if compression has been actually used in mastering. Please let me better understand what you mean.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    I assumed you have another version of the album and compared dynamics.
  11. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    Not in this case, I've only the Repertoire's 2008 2CDs reissue. I've compared the dynamics on different remasters of others albums which I own. Regarding Yardbirds's mono LP, I've been impressed by the remaster, and assumed that a certain amount of compression was used. Why those albums don't need compression in mastering?
  12. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Boston, MA
    Yes, on stage near by. I have a nice pair of Sennheiser's that should do the trick nicely. Thanks. Ron
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Because it's not 1966. The recordings are compressed too much already. To add more in cutting on a modern lathe is unwise.
    keyXVII, EVOLVIST, tmtomh and 2 others like this.
  14. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you're perfectly right! Don't blame me, I'm deeply involved in this thread and I'm thinking like IT IS 1966 and we have to master a 1960's record...So I've left out the obvious. Thank you sincerely for the explanation and for reminding me that WE ARE in 2016 I AM NOT an Abbey Road's cutting engineer... :cry:
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Yeah, using a leveler in the cutting systems in this day and age is just wrong.
  16. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    I'm making this remark just for sake of clarity and 'cause Mr. Hoffman can easily dispel any doubts:'s+Next

    Nonetheless, Steve Hoffman mastering CD release it's even today generally acclaimed (especially in this forum) as the best digital version ever.
  17. PhillR

    PhillR Member

    Don't forget the automotive aspect of modern compression. A lot of people listen to pop music in cars with high noise floors. Maroon 5 is going to sound a lot better in the stock stereo of a 2004 Scion at DR5 than it will at DR12.

    In this digital age, it seems to me like it would be almost effortless for studios to release a higher DR version of a new recording to appease the 5% of consumers like us who actually care about this kind of thing. Price it at a premium and sell it online. If it sounds good we will buy it..
    McLover likes this.
  18. Claus

    Claus Eating is a need, enjoying is an art.

    Steve's mastering for MCA is the best Redbook, but I do prefer the SHM-SACD over the CD.
  19. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux One in the Crowd

    Placerville, CA
    Great OP article on compression, Steve, and lot's of interesting conversation on a subject I hadn't explored much before.

    I'm a bit OCD about some things but thank God (or the Muse or Whomever) that my OCD doesn't interfere too much with my enjoyment of some of my favorite music, even those recordings that I know were not optimally captured. Well-made recordings are always better than worse, of course. Though I won't name any in particular because I now try not to ever disparage any music, I admit there are some records which I love that are just plain difficult to listen to (especially due to hyperacusis and severe tinnitus). Yet in any case, the magic of those performances stand despite the possible short-comings in the recording of them and I'm grateful to be able to experience them at all.
  20. FashionBoy

    FashionBoy Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Outstanding post and explanation.

  21. Funi

    Funi Well-Known Member

    Correct, CD version.
  22. Bigbudukks

    Bigbudukks Older, but no wiser.

    Gaithersburg, MD
    Interestingly I can only think of two albums I have that have not enough (if any) compression and they drive me crazy. I love the music, but having to fiddle with the volume numerous times during the music is annoying. Too much compression never really enters my mind. Maybe I'm just so accustomed to hearing recordings sound like the are being played on a cheap radio that I don't notice.
  23. Krzysztof Maj

    Krzysztof Maj Well-Known Member

    That could be the point, since when I am reading/watching reviews of recents record reissues, most complaints are about it - lack of punch, deep base etc., despite the fact of quality control issues during pressing process. Recutting you mean Steve, represses from the original/copy stampers without remastering or recent remasters done from the scratch ideally from the original master tapes?
  24. patel kismet

    patel kismet Forum Resident

    reunion france
    I've recently compared the Level 42's cd "Running in the family-2012 Polydor Deluxe Ed" (Jon Astley remaster) with the original 1987 Polydor 8310593-2 . And the latter sounds to me far better. The remastered one sounds louder, less natural . How could it be possible ? As anyone had remarked this ? and is it due to compression in remastering ?
  25. JulesRules

    JulesRules Napoleon Blownapart

    Ah, so he's at it again. He's responsible for the CD that made me aware of this phenomenon (Tears for Fears' "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending") and has stated he doesn't understand complaints about the loudness war. :realmad:

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