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Thread: Mastering. Worrying about nothing?

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    Mastering. Worrying about nothing?

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    Hey all.

    We've been getting a bit of airplay with the new album lately.....The bit I really fear.

    I thought I'd post back with a comparison of one track; Airplay VS CD.
    I've set the levels so they're roughly the same.


    Every time I get something on the air I do a because it always sounds so squashed and unprofessional.
    I used to let it slide on the basis that you're competing with massive budgets and long time served professionals, but even against other local small budget artists, I'm not sure my mixes are standing up.

    We had the last record professionally mastered and it also pumped a fair bit in the choruses, so I'm starting to think this is a fundamental mix issue.
    The thing is, no one else seems to be bothered; Even the artist!

    Is it just me? Is there a problem?
    We're probably at a stage where this could potentially hold us back. I duno; Maybe I'm being optimistic there.

    Here's the clip. You'll hear the intro chorus on air, then it's repeated from the CD.
    Wav...Might take a minute to load.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Steenamaroo; 07-13-2013 at 16:14.
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    I only hear the typical compression that is added by radio. I don't find it any more annoying than radio itself. I like your original sound of the CD better, but that is the case with any professional CD when compared to a radio broadcast. Just pick a song played on the radio and record it. Buy the actual CD and compare. You going to get the same result you found here.

    Great to hear you are getting airplay!
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    Radio broadcasting HAMMERS compression on the signal due to technical issues unique to radio and the physics involved with broadcasting. There is NO getting around it -- for they must in order to keep tight their broadcast signal.

    That being said ... there is a clear difference in the breathing dynamics of the original versus the sheen of the radio imposed compression. There is not one listener in the world that is going to catch that. Outside. Of course. You.
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    That's a reassuring start..Thanks very much guys!

    I actually noticed a willy nelson track last week that was pumping like crazy on FM. That made me feel a little better but, at the same time, that recording was probably older than me.
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    And the iTunes preview sounds better than either the radio play or the clip you appended to the radio play. I would imagine the iTunes clip will affect people's perception of the sound more than radio play. No?

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    I work a bit in radio. I've mostly done programming but I've done a bit of recording as well.

    Every time I'm in the studio, I see the chain the audio goes through and just let out a little giggle. The compression the audio goes through is pretty hefty, man.
    "Nahhhhhhhhhhhh mannnnnnnnnnn. I ain't touching that mic. That thing's expensive."

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    Yep, sounds like radio. I taped a lot of FM stuff in the 70's - it all sounds pretty woeful but we were impressed at the time.

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    Yup. You're just hearing the typical treatment everything gets on radio, particularly in the USA.

    Even at best, chances are your music will be going through two layers of compression, first a "normal" one in the studio and then a spawn of Satan type device called an Orban Optimod which does a specialist form of compression to make the RF signal from the transmitter as loud as possible.

    Everything you hear on radio gets similar treatment--you just know how your own stuff SHOULD sound.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dobro View Post
    And the iTunes preview sounds better than either the radio play or the clip you appended to the radio play. I would imagine the iTunes clip will affect people's perception of the sound more than radio play. No?
    Hmm. The clip I appended is straight from the CD...but thanks.
    You're right with regard to sales. I'm worried about getting airplay further up the ladder though.

    Cheers everyone. Definitely feel a lot better about the thing.

    So out of interest...how do the big boys avoid that pumping?
    You know, not that I give a shit what Robbie Williams sounds like, but he never sounds like that.
    Last edited by Steenamaroo; 07-14-2013 at 05:52.
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    Truthful answer is that Robbie (and virtually all commercial music) already has all the dynamics removed (look at the waveform sometime if you like green rectangles) which obviously minimises any pumping effect on the radio. If your dynamic range is only half a dB, there's not much room for pumping!
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