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MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2018 - Winners announced (no winners)

recurrence: on occasion (if audio material is available, 2 times a year max)
kevin gobin
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 16:53 CEST
Location: Indian Ocean

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#51

Post by kevin gobin »

Dear fellows,

What mastering can do nowadays is amazing.
Generally speaking, I was impressed by the quality of the problems solving, especially with the bass, cymbals and HiHats.
I was also very interested by your various interpretations of my music stylistic.
What I really enjoyed was to hear my song go beyond what I could imagine, thank you very much for that.

For those interested, here is my own attempt with the same material:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRqIaH ... j9L_lbm4_A


Now, as I promised, I will first deliver a review to everyone involved in this challenge.


3ee

Bass is nicely corrected.
Drums are powerful. Perfect toms. Hihats and cymbals problems are solved. Feels more like a connected drums kit.
Guitar panning is pronounced: palm muted part is on the left, center clean guitar sounds clear, clean guitar responses are well separated on the right.
The synth pads are present but silky, they sit nicely behind, they brings depth and help the guitars and the sax to sound forward.
So the whole picture:
No errors. Forward and clear sounding. Great soundstage and depth. Nothing too far from the original textures, everything is just better. Maybe just a little saturations here and there.
You understood my music.
Moreover, your processing is fascinating and I am glad you wrote the subtle parts of your work.
My only concern would be a little too much of your personal reverberation, but that’s only if I listen to a driest version just before.
Excellent.


Arthur Labus


Thank you very much for your very kind words Arthur.

I think your master suffers from too much of your personal reverberation and, compared to the best versions here, lacks of aperture, the imaging being too small.
I also noticed some saturations on drums breaks. The bass is a little bit too hot.
However you managed to control the hihats and cymbals and made the instruments sit the way I want: I can hear punchy drums and a forward saxophone put in a big space.
I guess you liked the song (thank you for your words) and you perfectly understood my intentions.
Musical wins over technical on this one.


Piranha

Bass problems solved. Attack!
Hihats are nicely corrected but their texture changed.
This is a very nice master with no errors but one: excessive saturation. Ex: 1mn35, see?
I like the very good tonal balance, mid oriented but very forward and punchy, warm but still open.
I miss a bit of clarity and separation, and maybe some more would help the imaging too.
The wet parts seem to have been controlled but it may loose a little bit of depth.
This one has very strong qualities, really.
This master would be great without saturation excess.


Vasdim


Bass begins with a little click, but sounds good.
Hihats are too bright but very nice, cymbals too. Kick and snare are soft but sound delicate.
Your toms work well with that stylistic too.
However HiHats feels a bit too loud in the whole drums kit.
Guitar are warm sounding but still image pretty well.
Synth pads have presence and control and they do not muddy the mix.
Your master is very clear and non fatiguing except with the HiHats, while punchy enough and open.
I really like the softness of your work, well done Vasdim.
Nice sounding with delicacy.


Dave McIsaac

Bass begins with a very little click, not a real problem.
What jumps to my ears is a lack of high frequencies.
I think it works against the imaging which appears to be very good, especially with pads, but would be better.
Bass, HH and cymbals problems are solved.
The drums are punchy and well put in a space.
Maybe the cymbals and toms are still too disconnected from the drums kit, but it does not bother me.
Guitars and synths pads do not fight each other too much so the clarity is there.
Everything is clean and the depth is there. Non fatiguing.
Now all the little defaults I could point come from the same lack of highs, aperture being affected also.
The whole picture: I miss highs (not tons of it) so it feels a little too mid heavy for me, whatever the qualities being there.
This excellent work would sound far greater with some more high frequencies.

MOA22

I can’t wait for the next great song you will provide us! Cool!

Bass, HiHats and cymbals problems are solved.
Your tonal balance is one of my favorites.
The kick has weight and sounds good.Toms are good.
You helped to connect the whole drums kit.
The imaging could be just a little larger but it works very well.
The center clean guitar is in conflict with the synth pads so it lost a little separation.
But that compromise certainly helped with the tonal balance…
I have nothing to really complain about.
Just to go into microdetails, I noticed some very little fade outs with dynamics, a bit like if a gate was used. Maybe your expanding process, but that’s really barely audible.
This master is on the dry side but still convey depth, punch and clarity without being fatiguing.
It sounds very natural and unprocessed. Maybe a little too smooth.
Awesome.


Wizzo

The bass is nicely corrected but the enveloppe changed the texture a little. It still sounds good but different.
Hihats sound good but have too much volume so become a little piercing. Cymbals sometime saturate.
Snare sound excellent. Toms are very good.
The guitars are excellent, I love their clarity and dynamics.
The pad synths work very well with the air you gave them.
The sax sound is very precise.
I cannot describe what you did but you did it. Is this a special reverb/flanger sauce?
The song feels more synthetic but I like it.
Overall the imaging is wide, I have depth, I like the tonal balance except on the hihats parts.
I would also say that your master is on the bright side.
I had a surprise factor as well as enjoyment, well done.
Large sounding, contains special ingredients. But also major HiHats problem.


Dobebon

Bass starts with a little click.
Bass fights with the lows of the synth pads, so things get muddy there, but sound OK.
I still feel the right weight on drums, and the wide space around them.
I like the snare.
Toms connect very well with the drums kit.
Cymbals and hihats problems are solved.
Imaging is very good, with palm muted guitar on the left and Hihat a little on the right.
Once again the synth pad masks the center clean guitar and the right sided clean guitar responses.
It also makes the saxophone less defined.
I really think that your tonal balance is forward and quite clear. The depth is there too.
However the synth pads lows masks a lot the other instruments, while I really like their highs (they even surprised me).
I think you got my intentions right because you made something really musical.
Overall, what I miss on your work is just some more aperture and highs.


Jeffssoloband

Thank you for letting me know you appreciated the update about rules.

Jeffrey, I am open to special effects (intro and 2mn10s), the idea is good, but overall I feel that you went too far with spectral processing because the textures of the sounds are altered, a bit like in a low rate compression file.
However the problems were solved, the tonal balance was good (a bit medium heavy), the instruments had the correct weight and were well separated.
I am sure you got my artistic vision right, I really can feel it.
But with so much erosion to the initial sounds, I can’t feel the depth or aperture, the dimension I had in my music despite the big mixing problems.
You know I cannot say anything but the truth, or my truth. I have to, and we are all here to learn.
You missed this one just because of too much spectral processing.


MFTWC

About the detective series: a friend of mine told me the same. Unexpected but thank! :)

Everything sound logical and balanced. One the best sonically opened masterings.
However the HiHats are still too heavy.
Toms are more connected to the drums. Drums sound good and I can hear my reverbs.
You got them as punchy as intended.
The centered clean guitar is a bit unclear.
The right sided clean guitar responses are unclear.
The saxophone works well.
Imaging could be improved be works well.
The synths pads seem to work as a subtle pad behind, more than a clear message.
Overall, I really can hear my song, with no errors, and in a natural and open presentation.
The whole music is delivered, and maybe I miss some informations just because I know there are some.
I mean the lack of clear guitars and pads doesn’t work against the song, so you made a very musical compromise, with an awesome tonal balance and forward presentation.


Olli H

Thank you for the nice word about my song.
I also studied your system proposition, thank you for the idea.

The HitHats does not work for me. Too processed and changed from their original timbre.
The cymbals are better but I can hear the same kind of artifacts on them. However you managed to get them very low and connected to the drums kit.
The kick works, but the snare is also affected by the treble processings, so it sounds altered.
Toms work well, they connect too.
The imaging could be a bit larger but it works.
Guitars are clear. I can hear everything from any instrument.
However synths pads are too glued behind the music, maybe they could be more separated to add dimension.
I also think that a global dimension on the mastering was removed because you cleaned the reverberations too much.
I can feel you got my musical intentions right, but all the little defaults I could point come from the same problem affecting the natural timbres and the aperture.
Overall, you managed to give the song the perfect balance with volumes, but some of the sonics suffer from the processing involved.


Vintage

Thank you Patrick for the kind words about my song.

The main problems are solved, good job with that.
However I hear something strange and wrong with the imaging , like a phase issue.
Maybe too much Mid / Side enjoyment, which I admit is cool with the synths pads.
I also miss high frequencies on the saxophone, Toms, snare.
It works against the imaging and the aperture.
I feel like the song is in a fog.
I can hear little saturation on the cymbals.
Well, I can feel some qualities in your work, but the big problems hide them too much.
I think you missed this one because of a wrong and too heavy Mid Side processing.


Tapwater

Drums problems are solved nicely. I like their corrected sound.
Sometimes however the cymbals have a little saturation.
Bass is solved too, and became less « lead ».
Imaging and depth are winners here, reverberations are enhanced.
The original sonics are well preserved, I can hear my song.
EQ wise everything sounds clear and well separated, and nothing is too agressive.
A little masking on the low mids with the strong synths pads.
I really like your vision of my work.
You chose a very musical compromise, on the wet side.
Maybe too wet because the aperture and forwardness is affected, but I enjoyed.
I could also point the lack of highs but it seems to be your choice.
This mastering is warm, dark and delicate.


Mange

The bass lacks body at first, then becomes a powerful duo with the kick. Very deep. Excellent.
Too much 40Hz but I like it.
So deep that the snare sometimes lacks a little bit of punch.
HiHats and cymbals problems solved. Nice soft cymbals.
Drums are more homogeneous, toms work, good job.
The sax is very good and it fells like the leader.
I can feel the depth, the spaces.
The imaging is excellent.
Excellent guitar responses on the right.
Clear non invading guitars in the center.
Strong movements with guitar fx accents on the left.
The presentation is forward and contains all the dimension I need.
The tonal balance is excellent and the bass elements convey the right pulse.
I think you perfectly understood my intentions and you managed to realize them technically, flawless.
You got it man, awesome.


SotosBakas

Thank you for the kind words about my song.

I feel a lot of reverberation for bass in the intro, but I can wait because the guitars are singing around very nicely.
Drums start and the dimension becomes exceptionnal.
I would say that technically there is a lot too much reverberation, especially in the bass department.
However, on the musical perspective, this one is the biggest version of my song.
Of course I can hear some very little saturations, or maskings, and maybe too much energy.
Of course I suffer from the wetness, but it is worth it because everything is tonally balanced, forward, deep, large, and you managed to go further than my imagination with the dimension and power aspects of the song.
I wanted something big, you made it bigger.
You got my intentions and enhanced my vision.
You touched the truth of the song, and I think you chose to compromise the technical aspects to just reach the emotion.
This is bold and impressive, and I like it a lot man.
Spectacular!!!


Leslingle

Thank you very much for your kind words.
Just writing « Jeff Beck » gave you extra points.
Interesting correlation you have made with his late 70’s, unexpected but appreciated because I can’t deny that I listened to this music.

Little click on the bass start.
Hihats are still too bright, as well as the cymbals, but they connect together and convey a nice groove.
I am surprised with the kick and the snare being so soft, your vision interests me. Toms are very softened too.
Center clean guitar is clear and non invasive. Response clean guitar is cool.
Maybe that’s because you’ve said the word, but I feel like you’ve constructed a 70’s balance and tonal stylistic of the song.
It has a narrow but precise imaging, drums role is to accompany, nothing is agressive.
Guitars and saxophone are the stars, but they sound relaxed.
Synths pads are there but subtle.
Maybe I miss depth, but the compromise you chose favorise articulation and movement.
There are no errors in your work, and you seemed to have a clear vision of your aesthetic.
Very delicate and refreshing.




Now, with no consideration for the validity of the submissions, my podium would be:

1 - 3ee

2 - MFTWC

3 - SotosBakas






Finally, you know I am devastated, I have to proceed to disqualifications.


Are eliminated:

3ee, Piranha, MOA22. They delivered a 24bit instead of 16bit Wav file.

Piranha, Vasdim, MOA22, Dobebon, MFTWC, Vintage, Tapwater. No proper mp3 tagging.

SotosBakas, Leslingle: No mp3 submission.

Dobebon, Leslingle, MFTWC, SotosBakas, Tapwater and Vasdim. Their submissions are above the -1dB true peak limit.



I let you do the maths:
There is unfortunately no winner with so much disqualifications.

I will not describe how I feel with the results, you can guess.



Thanks again for you participation anyway, I 'll be there if you have any questions.

See you soon,
Kevin.

3ee
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 22:35 CEST

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#52

Post by 3ee »

kevin gobin wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 18:09 CEST

Are eliminated:

3ee, Piranha, MOA22. They delivered a 24bit instead of 16bit Wav file.

Piranha, Vasdim, MOA22, Dobebon, MFTWC, Vintage, Tapwater. No proper mp3 tagging.

SotosBakas, Leslingle: No mp3 submission.

Dobebon, Leslingle, MFTWC, SotosBakas, Tapwater and Vasdim. Their submissions are above the -1dB true peak limit.
:face: 24bit wave instead of 16bit :face:

Elimination is disappointing but... fair! I guess this is what happens when one's tired and doesn't pay close attention to tech specs... was used from the mixing contest to provide 24bit files... oh well, bring on the next one! :tu:

Cool song, many thanks for the feedback too! :)

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vintage
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 20:57 CEST
Location: Brussels
Contact:

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#53

Post by vintage »

Hello,
Thank you for your listening attentive, indeed there is a problem of phase following two plugins in mode M / S which gave this result, the worst is not to hear it ... I did not check with the headphones and I did too much. .. There are days like that.

Once again, thank you for your thoughtful comments!

Patrick
vintage

MOA22
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#54

Post by MOA22 »

Thank you for the gentle/clear/precise feedback ! And congrats to the Losers ;) !!
Was a nice challenge, a challenging challenge !

Nice song that deserved some tweaks !

Regards
MOA22

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jeffssoloband
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 17:36 CEST
Location: Nashville, TN USA
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#55

Post by jeffssoloband »

kevin gobin wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 18:09 CEST
You missed this one just because of too much spectral processing.
Well, I guess someone had to be the worst. :grin:
Thanks anyway for the opportunity.

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Mange
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 07:21 CET
Location: Sweden

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#56

Post by Mange »

Great song, had a blast working / experimenting with it. Thanks for the interesting reads of all the reviews.

Waleed Morris
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2017 15:42 CEST

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#57

Post by Waleed Morris »

Hello Kevin , everyone
Thank you for feedback really helpful and congratulation to the mastering tec winner !! :smile:

davemcisaac
Posts: 83
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Location: Pocatello, Idaho USA
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Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - in evaluation

#58

Post by davemcisaac »

kevin gobin wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 18:09 CEST

Dave McIsaac

Bass begins with a very little click, not a real problem.
What jumps to my ears is a lack of high frequencies.
I think it works against the imaging which appears to be very good, especially with pads, but would be better.
Bass, HH and cymbals problems are solved.
The drums are punchy and well put in a space.
Maybe the cymbals and toms are still too disconnected from the drums kit, but it does not bother me.
Guitars and synths pads do not fight each other too much so the clarity is there.
Everything is clean and the depth is there. Non fatiguing.
Now all the little defaults I could point come from the same lack of highs, aperture being affected also.
The whole picture: I miss highs (not tons of it) so it feels a little too mid heavy for me, whatever the qualities being there.
This excellent work would sound far greater with some more high frequencies.
Thank you, Kevin, for your prompt review and judging of the entries in this challenge. Your review is spot on. The little click at the intro is something I shouldn't have missed. I might be getting a little too old for this because that is something I never would have missed in the past. :face:

Once again, it's the little things that make me believe a 2nd round would be in order in these mastering challenges, allowing us to submit a revised version. Whenever there is a "fix" involved in the mastering process, it almost always takes a revision to get the client a master they will be happy with.

A pleasure to work with you!

dobebon
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 03:48 CEST

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - Winners announced (no winners)

#59

Post by dobebon »

Thanks Kevin for the detailed feedback, much appreciated. I enjoyed working on a song that is not a style I normally get a chance to work with. Great song! Congrats to all the winners??

3ee
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 22:35 CEST

Re: MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014 - Winners announced (no winners)

#60

Post by 3ee »

"MASTERING CHALLENGE - MastC004 October 2014" :hihi: ... feels it's 2014 all over again

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