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TOPIC: Help decoding the trick.

Help decoding the trick. 2 years 10 months ago #21912

  • seizar
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This is an exert from an interview with infected mushroom regarding how they go about doing the mix down/mastering on there tracks.

"AF: What compressor or limiter do you use on the final mixes? Because your tracks don’t sound so compressed compared to other electronic music songs.

Eisen: We don’t use compression at all in the final mix.

AF: Ok. Interesting.

Eisen: I mean, this is our- let’s say- our secret. Big secret. We do the mastering ourselves as well. We basically learned that if we push the gain really high and get everything distorted in a way that you don’t hear distortion, you just see the red really really - say 6db+ you don’t hear distortion yet and we record that analog to another convertor then we get much better sound. We tried even the Waves Ultramaximizer- I don’t find them sounding better than what we do. I find the Waves, for example, taking away the highs a little bit. And not only Waves, a lot of other companies that do the same things. The highs always go away, and something in the details goes away. This way, we record it analog, in our case we record it to the Prism Sound, and we get the Prism Sound distorted . We get really high gain and with a sound that doesn’t sound compressed."

I get what they are saying about not using a compressor so that they can keep the mix down really clean but the whole "i boost it way up so its heavy and clipping the daw but not clipping the speakers, record and repeat" to get the track 'heavy' just seems like a really weird practise.

Can someone please explain to me like I'm 5 whats going on haha.
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Help decoding the trick. 2 years 10 months ago #21931

  • Mr Fork
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Sorry man. All I can do is guess here. There is a distortion that happens when you drive a sound's input/output too hard. You can do it with amplifiers, tape machines, etc. In fact you can even do the same kinda deal with live's devices like the saturator. If you just load up a saturator with it's default settings you'll notice a little change but there's not really a ton of change and not really any noticeable distortion. As you bring up the level of the input though you'll notice that the sound eventually starts to distort and become less predictable as well as it getting louder (that's why they have an "output" knob as well so that you don't blow out your speakers). When you're using the saturator though there is a range where you don't get noticeable distortion (fuzzy distortion) even though it is slightly distorting the sound and making it "louder". You probably already knew that about the saturator but just in case you didn't I thought I'd explain. To me it seems like they're doing the same thing but instead of using a distortion device like the saturator or a compressor which can cause distortion they are just increasing the track volume to the point right before it starts to actually distort whether that's on the master or on all tracks they didn't say. You can push a fader to a point where you're seeing red but still won't hear noticeable distortion. I imagine it would work in a similar way as driving up a tube amp. Anyway so that basically pushes the sound up as high as it will go without hearing actual fuzzy distortion so the sound doesn't degrade. Then they pass it through a piece of analog gear. I can't say I know what the analog gear they are using does but it likely colors the sound in some way and allows them to record a stereo track to it instead of "exporting" the track in your daw. So basically you just make everything as loud as you can without it causing audible distortion then export it to an analog recording device to give it the characteristics of that analog gear + possibly even boost the loudness further.

The one thing they didn't mention is how they're summing their mix. Do they only have 2 tracks of audio going to that analog device (left and right) or are they sending their tracks to the analog device to have the analog device do the summing. That makes a world of difference. Anyway. I'm not sure if that helps but really to me it just seems like they're just using the track to add saturation instead of using an actual distortion unit and staying away from compression. The db boost on the channel is probably going to reduce the dynamic range similar to distortion or compression so you don't need to worry about it. I'll have to try it out and see what happens.
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Help decoding the trick. 2 years 10 months ago #21960

  • RiverGoblin
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I wish more people would not use compressors so much! When all you can hear are the compressors doing their thing, its very distracting, and ruins what could otherwise be a great track.

Dynamics are so important. Sadly the popular thing is to compress the crap out of everything, punters seem to love it.

I understand the method that Infected mushroom are using, but who knows what gear they are using to employ the method.
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Help decoding the trick. 2 years 10 months ago #21961

  • Mr Fork
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RiverGoblin wrote:
I understand the method that Infected mushroom are using, but who knows what gear they are using to employ the method.

Well actually that was mentioned in the post. They push the levels in their daw as far as they can before audible distortion occurs and then play the track into a piece of analog audio gear called the Prism Sound. At least that's what the post is saying. I don't know what the prism sound does to the sound from there. If you understand their process though man and it's different than what I was saying please say so. All I'm doing is guessing at a possibility and you mentioned you knew what they were doing but not what gear they're using. If you know then I'd love to know if I was right about it.
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Help decoding the trick. 2 years 10 months ago #21972

  • RiverGoblin
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Ah gotchya, sorry didnt read it properly the first time. I dont know the Prism sound device.
Your post is correct as far as I can tell
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