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Drew

The Mixing and Mastering Thread

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What are your preferences for the mixing, mastering, and remastering of recordings? This has been a hot topic recently with people getting offended over claims that some RCP scores sound sampled. I prefer mixing to be organic, with some reverb. I tend to prefer hearing the ensemble rather than instruments (which has to do with microphone placement), but not so much that it sounds sampled. I don't like center-heavy mixes or excessively dry mixes (Dan Wallin).

 

I'm generally not a fan of some of the remastering reconstructions that have been done on various expanded releases. The LLL Jurassic Park and Batman releases sound way inferior to the OSTs in my opinion. Everything sounds too separated and too dry when put back together in full, and not very organic.

 

What are your thoughts?

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I agree with karelm.  The brass especially suffers when heard in close proximity or with little liveness in the room.  A tuba up close sounds like a fart in a bathtub.  Stick it in Todd-AO (RIP) and it's a beast.  Speaking of Todd-AO, it was the best sounding room in Los Angeles.  Slim pickings with it gone. 

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Some might find it useful, but this is my recording and performance of Mussorgsky's Pictures recorded with only three mics (roughly a decca tree).  We used a vintage NEVE 1073 preamp which adds subtle colors. 

http://picosong.com/wnby9

 

This is my orchestration of Pictures with yours truly playing the bass trombone.  I did rent hi fi mics and a hi fi pre-amp (the NEVE 1073) which is extremely expensive https://www.ebay.com/i/163072498878?chn=ps but they can be rented for a modest price.  There are many apparent issues here in this recording and performance.  Lots of stage noise, lots of audience noises (coughs), low representation of middle channel (I needed another mic) but in general, this does get 90% of the music through. I used software reverb which you can hear the tail of it at the very end of the clip.  The difference to get to 95% might cost thousands more.   The high fidelity equipment very much might add a noticeable color but that is part of why we love them.  For example the vintage 1073 is what Abbey Road used in the 1960's and 1970's but these days they are digital and don't have the same color.  Pretty much only sound engineers and audiophiles will catch the color they add.  Plus the engineer can adjust how much or how little noise to add. 

 

This is the hardware reverb everyone raves about: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/M7--bricasti-design-model-7

 

So you can see the cost is very high.  If you do a studio recording, you'll be mixing multiple pre-amps and muptle high fidelity microphones some of which are vintage so the costs quickly get astronomical!  My point here is if you ignore stage noises, coughs, etc., you can hear that you don't need that many mics to get a pretty symphonic sound.

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