Older folks mastering music - are they hearing everything?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lord Rocker, Apr 26, 2015.

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  1. Lord Rocker

    Lord Rocker Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm 46 and I know my hearing isn't what it used to be - certain frequencies are gone forever sadly. So I was wondering how is it that older mastering engineers are able to do their job after a certain age? Do they get in younger folks to check the higher frequencies for example? Serious question.
     
  2. colinu

    colinu I'm not lazy, I'm energy saving!

    I have wondered the same thing.
     
    Lord Rocker likes this.
  3. Billy Infinity

    Billy Infinity Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    :scouring the Internet for the popcorn gif to end all popcorn gifs:
     
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  4. Gaslight

    Gaslight ⎧⚍⎫⚑

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Been wondering the same as there's some things time will simply take away, no real choice on our part.
    Of course there could be the solution the OP mentioned, if an engineer is mastering with the younger generation in mind.
    Likely not however - probably due to time and resources, also demographics. But would be interesting to hear if there's a process for some....
     
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  5. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Listener

    Location:
    New Mexico USA
    Soylent green is people!!!!!!
     
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  6. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Which would explain why some older mastering engineers work seems a tad bright maybe.
     
  7. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    The poor ear drums slowly over the ravages of time start to shrivel like old prunes and the poor old engineer needs to use twizzers to hold open an old flap of skin which used to be an ear. Ah, yudth is wasted on the young!

    Why am I picturing the vintage doll restorer from "Toy Story 2"?

    In all seriousness, I suppose it matters with the results of the work. If hearing issues based on age or any other reason was impacting the results of the final projects I'm sure the engineer would perhaps need to reconsider their work. Same is true of athletes and the cast of Glee. :)
     
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  8. segue

    segue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawai'i
    well I guess that explains all the brickwalled cd's

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
  9. Endymion

    Endymion Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    Just listen to some masterings that were done by guys who have been professional rock musicians all their lives and you just KNOW that they can't listen very well anymore (I'm thinking of Eddie Jobson and Peter Hammill for example).
    Peter Mew is another older engineer who often made me question if he could really still hear what he was doing. But then again his masterings were already weird when he was younger.

    OTOH our host is no spring chicken anymore but his work still sounds great.
     
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  10. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    Hence, why we don't see George Martin produce McCartney or anyone, else for that matter.
     
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  11. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Are younger mastering engineers not mastering bright? I thought it was pretty much the trend all around.
     
  12. motownboy

    motownboy Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington State
    Hearing loss due to age is different for different people. If one has had a habit of listening at loud volumes, I would guess that hearing loss would be greater than for one who doesn't. Also, I am guessing that genetics may influence this as well. The judgment of a mastering engineer's ears could be checked via data measurements to see if there is some kind of out-of-the-ordinary emphasis (or de-emphasis) in a frequency or frequency range. Plus, at least for audiophile releases, the comparison of the original source to the finished product seems quite important over radical revamping of the sound.

    I wonder if mastering engineers and audio engineers in general ever test their hearing for frequency loss and would they own up to the highest frequency they could hear. I could just see it now... Joe Schmoe, Mastering Engineer, certified up to 15K!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2015
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  13. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    This might be one of the readons why Paul doesn't produce his own music any longer.
     
  14. motownboy

    motownboy Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington State
    Lots of producers work well into their 70s and beyond like Quincy Jones. Producing is not just about hearing high frequencies. Good producers are used (hopefully) for their ability to bring out the best musical and artistic qualities of the artist. An engineer can handle "the high frequencies."
     
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  15. bleachershane

    bleachershane Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    This is something I've been questioning for a long while... Should aged musicians be remastering their own work (or anyone elses?) Their hearing abilities have most probably been compromised by years of touring abuse and it certainly explains why so many instances of 'remastered by the artist' jobs are mostly awful (Peter Hammill, I'm looking at you...)
     
    Dynamic Ranger likes this.
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    The masterings should get better with age because of experience. Hearing loss is mainly above 10-12 Khz and there is simply no fundamental energy in recordings at those frequencies. Below that most people hear fine relatively speaking.

    The frequencies most people find "bright" are actually in the lower treble region- 3Khz or so. If anything older folks may be more sensitive and aware of those frequencies and tone them down a bit.
    No need to fret- just enjoy the music.
     
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  17. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    Wha......????
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Dr. Pepper

    Dr. Pepper What, me worry?

    I know you are correct that they do produce late in life, but the question is should they produce or master at advanced ages. I do agree that hearing the whole musical spectrum is more impactful to mastering than producing, but it seems fairly important to both jobs.
     
  19. shokhead

    shokhead Head shok and you still don't what it is. HA!

    Location:
    USA
    Something else to blame on BB.:rolleyes:
     
  20. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad Forum Resident

    From the way modern music is mastered generally....

    I don't think the young engineer's are utilizing their hearing advantage.

    I'm just glad there are still plenty of older masterings to acquire. More than a lifetime's worth, I might add.
     
    Dynamic Ranger likes this.
  21. Todd Fredericks

    Todd Fredericks Senior Member

    Location:
    A New Yorker
    LOL! "When I was young we really cut them rekkids! By hand and wid a chisel! All went down hill when those kids like Glenn Miller made them tunes! Drug music!"
     
  22. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    How old is Kevin Gray? 60 or something like that and he's still doing great work.
     
  23. badsneakers

    badsneakers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I expect Rudy Van Gelder will be mentioned soon.
     
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  24. Iceblossom

    Iceblossom Member

    On a different tangent, I've often wondered what the future music choices will be of the youngsters with the high volume excessive bass car systems will like. Don't know how long it takes to shoot your hearing, but I personally don't think too long... I think by 30 they will be regretting it. Will they be listening to music at all? Will their heads be full of tinnitus? Will all they really have left is feeling that heavy bass?

    I was a classically trained oboist in my younger years. Since I preferred small group chamber music/French court music types of things (intricate little pieces where you throw melody lines back and forth -- hooray hautbois!!) volume level wasn't too big a deal, but still all my teachers would mention protecting my hearing. I've been bringing ear plugs to concerts since at least the mid-80s. I don't always need them but yeah, sometimes I am very thankful I had them in my pocket.
     
  25. Gaslight

    Gaslight ⎧⚍⎫⚑

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Nothing different from the teens of the last 30+ years, I would imagine. Loud rock concerts and car stereos / boomboxes / headphones even back then.
     
    ARK likes this.
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