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Meaning of sound that is too "bright"?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by henryjg, Jun 26, 2012.

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  1. henryjg

    henryjg Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm new to the forum and after reading a lot of threads, I've learned a lot about compression, dynamic range, loudness, clipping, NR, EQ and a lot of other things. But one thing still escapes me. What does it mean when someone says a recording is too "bright"? Can you point me to some examples? (I tried searching for a thread on this but didn't find one.)
     
  2. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    too much treble usually...when it's painful to listen to it's "too bright"...of course it's all subjective to the listen as some like their sound muffled or the highs rolled off...I like them balanced as a SH remaster...
     
  3. Grant

    Grant Just chillin'!

    Location:
    United States
    I use the term "bright" to mean a treble boost, usually somewhere in the 8,000 kHz - 10,000 kHz range.

    I notice most other people on this forum use "bright" to mean compressed, which can have similar effects in that same frequency range.
     
  4. fluffskul

    fluffskul Would rather be at a concert

    Location:
    albany, ny
    Not sure if my opinion is the forum consensus: But when I say/think of a recording being bright. I think of something that when I play it my instinct is to turn it down rather than up! An "in your face" sound and not in a good way. Poor separation between instruments, so the sound bleeds together and creates a "nails on a chalkboard" sound vs. "feels like the band is in my living room sound." Bright seems to me to be the opposite of "crankable." Whereas crankable is a piece you can turn very loud and still have a really warm, nice sound with good separation of instruments. A bright piece begs to be turned down, and even on low levels sounds shrieky and bad. If you need an example of bright I think most here would agree the widespread release of "Death Magnetic" by Metallica is a terrific example.

    Sometimes I'll think a piece just sounds "a little bright", which to me means a little loud and "poppy". Not "poppy" like pop music, but poppy like the sound pops out instead of really extends out. Think of a guitar played out of an amplifier right in the room with you and how you can hear it slowly fill the room. In a bright recording the sounds all just jump out at you at once.

    Just my two cents, I'm curious as well to hear others try to verbalize the "bright sound."
     
    Purple likes this.
  5. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    Treble boost.

    Don't worry, it took me a long time to figure that term out, as well. Now I use the term like it was candy (I have an AT440Mla cart and it's definitely "bright").
     
  6. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    From a few online glossaries (the first definition was posted in this site's own Forum Glossary:

     
  7. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I think not.
     
    Jay Monk likes this.
  8. I've always understood the term to apply to upper frequency or treble boost although I have seen some people use it to describe loudness/compression. I don't think the latter use is correct.
     
  9. helter

    helter Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Brightness is subjective
    Some people need sunglasses some don't..
     
  10. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Gary Moore - Run For Cover remaster. Enough said. :D
     
  11. fluffskul

    fluffskul Would rather be at a concert

    Location:
    albany, ny
    I think my lengthy definition described compression more so than treble boost... but is it not true thought that these things often go hand and hand? Any examples of a compressed masterings that sounds "too bassy"?
     
  12. goodiesguy

    goodiesguy Confidential

    Location:
    New Zealand
    something sounding to bright, is when something sounds far too saturated. Think of a tv that shows the colors to bright and up on the "Highest" color setting.

    That's the only way I can explain it.

    I like bright sound, but not soo bright. I at least like to have the high frequencies sound crisp, but still as realistic as possible.
     
  13. Matthew B.

    Matthew B. Scream Quietly

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    The opposite of "bright" isn't "bassy," it's "dull," i.e., lacking in high frequencies. And there's no necessary connection between compression and EQ. Many compressed masterings do tend to be both bright and bassy, but that's because compression and bright-and-bassy EQ both happen to be fashionable. There are plenty of dull and compressed masterings out there too.
     
  14. matty j

    matty j Forum Resident

    The beatles revolver and rubber soul cd's from 87 are some high profile examples of 'bright' or treble boosted masterings.
     
  15. goodiesguy

    goodiesguy Confidential

    Location:
    New Zealand
  16. DannyC

    DannyC Forum Resident

    Rush Presto.. Removes wax from eardrums without even trying
     
    Purple likes this.
  17. Col Kepper

    Col Kepper Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Texas, Where else?
    If the recording makes me squint...... it's too bright.
     
  18. HotelYorba101

    HotelYorba101 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    That album would sounds sooo much better with some low end to it. Same with Roll The Bones
     
  19. Pavol Stromcek

    Pavol Stromcek Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    David Bowie's Ryko reissues are good examples of rather "bright" sounding mastering.
     


  20. Too much treble; a good example is the DVD-Audio of Metallica.
     
  21. Leif

    Leif Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    Too much upper midrange and/or treble. A good example would be: Heart - S/T. I have four versions, all with different mastering (three on CD and one on vinyl) and all of them are bass shy, and overcooked in the upper frequencies.
     
    Purple likes this.
  22. Leif

    Leif Member

    Location:
    Sweden
    Rush - "Clockwork Angels" (unfortunately).
     
  23. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    Too much treble if listened to direct.
     
  24. hifidelitybill

    hifidelitybill Forum Resident

    Sharp & tinny sounding to the ears.....
     
  25. onionmaster

    onionmaster Tropical new waver from the future

    Compare the original LP of the Peter Tosh album Equal Rights to the 2001 remaster. The remaster has been made bright to sound as digitally clear as possible and as a result loses the bass definition and the general warmth that the original LP has (and reggae is supposed to have).
     
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