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Thread: Metering in digital domain

  1. #21
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    This is the kind of thing that renders online learning tools useless. I have watched Ethan's YouTube video and there are some interesting points that seem to founded on solid science but in my opinion I really feel that extreme analyzation of these things kill creativity. That is not meant as an insult to Ethan at all but at some point someone recording onto tape said wow if I push the gain into this certain piece of equipment it sounds better. I started this thread for insight not debate. As well thought out and presented as it was, Ethan's advice has not helped me much. It kind of made me want to read and read and read when instead i should have been recording.

    Please don't take this as insult because you do have valid points and some fact to back it up. Its just not what everyday recording enthusiasts want to hear. I read your article also and was lost. I just asked a simple question about gain staging and wanted a straight forward answer. Your contribution to music seems to be a very analytical one and i just want to make better sounding music without a microscope. I will give you credit because its obviously a passion to you but i think you and I are seeing things from a Doctor, patient standpoint. You will explain why antibiotics work and how they do, I just want to take the medicine and get better without becoming a Doctor.

    Please, if you have more info to help I would love the contribution but at least keep it to where it makes sense on a creative level and not a scientific one. Again, no disrespect.

    And I will watch and read these again for a better understanding of things, and it will help when I can understand it better.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    I don't know what converters you have so I don't have any idea what the correct settings would be. I take it you're going from an A&H mixer into an interface, perhaps the ADA800 on the gear list in your sig line? Are you using the TRS line inputs? If so then +4 is probably where you want to set the knob (since presumably you're sending it a +4dBu signal). If you're using the mic inputs there may be too much gain even with the knob all the way down.
    I have the Behringer ADA800s. They are not the greatest by a long shot but at home when recording I track and program everything and my chain of equipment is POD XT to the A&H mx 16:2 to whichever channel, then run the direct out of that channel to my converter then to the daw. Im showing a that my RMS is at between -18 to -12 using the sonalksis free g plugin before any other plugins. After that a run that plugin again after my effects chain to see if im still matching that -18 to -12.

    Is there anything that you would say im doing wrong? Other than the obvious fact im not using a miced amp or drums? I use EZDrummer for drum tracks so would ther be anything that i should watch out for with the levels of those kind of vst instruments?
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by offcenter2005 View Post
    Please, if you have more info to help I would love the contribution but at least keep it to where it makes sense on a creative level and not a scientific one.
    I agree totally about making music, which is the real goal. But gainstaging, and input and output levels, are scientific issues that require scientific explanations. Not everyone wants to understand at a deep level, and that's fine! Indeed, my entire point is actually what you want to hear - that it's not necessary to obsess over these things because they don't matter. It's others who are telling you to worry about levels within your plug-ins, and signal levels in and out of sound cards. So there's your antibiotics, and you don't have to worry about why they work.

    --Ethan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    Yes, unless you're happy to remain ignorant about how the tools you use actually work. The same applies to outboard gear too. Push it and see what happens. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't, but at least you'll know which end is up.



    Ah, another hater intent on discrediting Ethan. Nice. Didn't you hear the war is over? Regardless, maybe 1.5 Million views on YouTube and elsewhere doesn't count for much these days, but I'd call that a hit. Most views:



    Newer render with much better quality:



    I was designing audio gear and producing music for national jingles and soundtracks while you were still in diapers:

    Ethan's Audio and Music Bio Page

    And the list of your hit records can be found where? Not that how many "hit records" one has produced affects the validity of their arguments. But you brought it up.



    No kidding. As it happens, I am a programmer. Look, whoever you are, if you don't have anything to offer but insults and accusations, you could avoid embarrassing yourself by just staying out of it. The people I "piss off" are those who hold strong opinions, but lack the knowledge and foundation to understand the science or express themselves intelligently. So all they have left is insults. Sound familiar?

    You would do well to read the article I linked to previously, and try to understand it. For extra credit, read and understand my and read it all the way through.

    --Ethan
    As usual, those who disagree with you are ignorant haters. Like I said, my opinions are somewhere in the middle. I've been following this "war" of yours since it started with Mixerman a couple years ago and I too am tired of it.

    But regardless, you have had A LOT of opposition to your views by many top professionals and I just thought I would point that out.

    Do you disagree with that?

    Cheers

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    Well, I'm not Ethan but I think you might be stretching thing a bit to say there's "A LOT" of opposition to his views.

    I think that, in reality, probably 90% of what he says is incontrovertable. Once you do true blind testing and filter out the placebo effect, an awful lot of perceived differences go away.

    On the last 10%, there is sometimes some room for "yes, but..." questions or "but have you considered..." comments but these don't nullify the vast majority of what Ethan says.

    As an example, here's DAVE RAT'S COMMENTS ON ETHAN'S AES PRESENTATION. As usual, it makes good reading.

    On the original question about analogue vs. digital metering and levels, I think the only true answer is "it depends on the hardware or the plug in design". Beyond that, there's too much variety to make any sweeping generalisations--other than, perhaps, you're usually better not to press everything almost to clipping. Leave your tracks and mixes with some head room/breathing space.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
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    What if I don't believe in blind testing?

    Does that make me wrong? Are blind tests, fft, and null tests the only way to make a decision on what source is superior? Imagine on how long it would take to mix even one song!

    I believe a lot of the problem is that we can't quantify subjectivity and psychoacoustic effects. I appreciate the scientific method but in this case I tend to lean more towards the opinions of people who work with this stuff on a daily basis year round and have set their own benchmarks than scientific analysis. In "benchmarks", I mean hit records and records that I believe sound great.

    Cheers

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    When deciding on technology, yes, blind tests ARE the only way to evaluate things. As the other guy (not Ethan) describes on that AES video, it's not just easy to delude yourself when you know what the sources are supposed to be--it's inevitable. I'm sure everybody here has fooled themselves (or others) with preconceptions and the placebo effect.

    The trouble with that is that not everybody has the same preconceptions--and this is dangerous when producing music for others to listen to.

    Does this mean that human ears have no place in the chain? Of course not. I do a lot of live work and know that the best way to make a PA system sound like rubbish is to make it completely flat on SMAART or similar. Accurate and good aren't necessarily synonyms when dealing with music. The trick is separating the reality from the preconceptions--and the audiophool bullshit from what really does sound good.

    I have to say though that most audio professionals I know may have strong feelings about what they think sounds good--but have equally strong feelings about the many pseudo scientific rip offs out there trying to persuade people to spend money on expensive mains cables, wooden knobs and jars of rocks.
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mo Facta View Post
    As usual, those who disagree with you are ignorant haters.
    You are a hater not because you disagree - how could anyone disagree with provable science such as distortion versus signal level? - but because of off-topic insults like this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mo Facta View Post
    Just so everyone knows, Ethan prides himself on being an audio myth debunker. To my knowledge he's never made a hit record and the things he says pisses off a lot of the the people that do, because they vehemently disagree with him on much of his "debunking". I can list at least 5 or 6 of them off the top of my head, and these are people ranging from having 50 years in the business, to top 10 hit maker engineer/producers. There are epic threads all over the internet forums where Ethan and his adversaries battle out these points of contention.
    The only reason there are "epic threads" is when people who are too immature to have an adult discussion can't back up their beliefs with fact, so all that's left is personal attacks. Please look in the mirror. Then read this thread from the start and see where it went off track.

    you have had A LOT of opposition to your views by many top professionals and I just thought I would point that out.
    In fact, the people who disagree with me because they don't understand the science are a loud minority. My book, which explores all of this stuff, was accepted by Focal Press, one of the premier publishers of audio science. These are the same folks who publish Bob Katz's Mastering Audio, Philip Newell's Recording Studio Design, and many other highly scientific references. The publisher hired leading audio experts such as Floyd Toole to review my book proposal. Then, based on those expert opinions they agreed to publish my book. Of course, facts like this don't matter to you because your agenda is to discredit me no matter what. You and Glenn Beck have a lot in common.

    Just so everyone understands where Mister Facta is coming from, he's one of Mixerman's pals, part of the brigade of ignorance behind the forum "wars" you are seeing here. My Mixerman Exposed page explains the history.

    This thread was doing fine before you started in with insults. Regardless, science and truth are not decided by how many people agree. If you don't understand that, then you are truly hopeless.

    BTW, I'm still waiting to see your list of hit records, so we can know how valuable your opinions are.

    --Ethan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbsy View Post
    When deciding on technology, yes, blind tests ARE the only way to evaluate things. As the other guy (not Ethan) describes on that AES video, it's not just easy to delude yourself when you know what the sources are supposed to be--it's inevitable. I'm sure everybody here has fooled themselves (or others) with preconceptions and the placebo effect.
    Exactly. Further, many people confuse subjective preference and physical science. You can't "measure" why people like hearing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, but you can absolutely measure the quality of the audio system used to play a recording of that symphony. I see a similar confusion in Dave Rat's otherwise thoughtful article you linked above:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Rat
    The pure skeptic can no more prove a certain type of music is beautiful than a pure believer can construct a cell phone that actually functions.
    In this example, the logical error is thinking that skeptics even try to prove that a piece of music is beautiful. No skeptic I know tries to prove beauty. I certainly don't. Another logical error is thinking that people who believe in magic are unable to design a cell phone. I'm imagine some of them can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Rat
    The credibility of science comes into question when we are told that something can't be heard yet we do hear something.
    I'm sure you can see the error here, since you obviously understand the importance of blind testing. This is a perfect example of the failings of Mixerman and those who think like him. They don't even understand how their own hearing works well enough to realize they are not immune from bias and the placebo effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Rat
    has anyone ever heard a recording played back where you tried to search around the room to find where the live band was hiding? How come we can know there is a garage band rehearsing a block away and when you sit dead center in front of the best sound systems money can buy and close your eyes, the best we can get is a descriptive range of similarities to live?
    This is another logical error I see often from those who don't fully understand audio and acoustics. The reason a loudspeaker playback of music recorded with microphones doesn't sound live has little to do with the fidelity of the playback system!

    --Ethan

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    No argument from me. If you can genuinely hear something, you can also measure it. However, don't confuse things you "hear" when you have a preconception with reality.

    I'm a great fan of Dave Rat and most of his posting, but I took issue with some of the one I linked to. I disagreed with him confusing a subjective concept like beauty with an objective one like the technology of recording. By all means like "analogue warmth" or "tape saturation effects" or anything else--lots of good recordings use such things. But don't try to make the jump to pseudo science to justify it--just say "I like that sound".
    That's what I do. I drink and I know things.
    -Tyrion Lannister (and Bobbsy)

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