IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF AUDIO-TECHNOLOGY AND DELIVERY FORMATs [to be updated with more topics and tricks of the trade from time to time]

1. MIXDOWN (BOUNCE) - 16 BIT vs. 24 BIT - THE DOs & DON'Ts




1. MIXDOWN (BOUNCE) - 16 BIT vs. 24 BIT - THE DOs & DON'Ts

Some freshmen still export and archive their unmastered mixdowns in the 16 Bit-Format.


You should know that every -6dB step equals 1 (One!) Bit of resolution. Because of that a mixdown with a peak-level of -12dB will probably have most of its musical content being described by only 13 to 15 Bit or less. This is one of the important reasons (but not the only one!) why the worldwide accepted actual format-standard to avoid digital artefacts has 24 or more Bits.

Also: Your Sequencer is processing at 32 Bit floating-point-accuracy, so you are giving away digital resolution if you export your mix at 16 Bit. Or put in other words: If you export your mix with a peak level of -12dB in a 24 Bit-Format, then the average levels of your precious music is still effectively "described" with more then 20 Bits, which is a good thing.

The 16-Bit Export is mainly needed as a final step before CD-manufacturing as specidifed in the RED BOOK Standard. It is NOT used for archiving digital mixdowns (anymore).

Sounds complicated? It isn't really. Just take a deep and long look at the scale on the left... 
















In contrary to popular studio-mythology it is not very difficult to master a loud record. But it is difficult to master a loud record that still sounds healthy and alive. All our masters are carefully tweaked and pushed to a certain loudness-level that will still allow your music to sound punchy, transparent and exciting while being as loud as physically possible. This is not a compromise, it is a carefully managed process where we have to optimise the relation of "loudness" agains "sound-integrity" and the limits of physics itself. This can only be performed by an experienced mastering-engineer and not by a plug-in preset alone.

There is a lof of confusion on this topic and psychological manipulations of some rare greedy studio managers, disinformed A&Rs or exagerated protective behaviour about the "production secrets" of your favourite studio don’t do much to help the case. Let’s make some clear statements here: Wherever you go to bring your masters... You will ALWAYS find someone mad enough to do even "louder" masterings to "prove" you that he / she is "cooler" and more "street" with modern sound then that other Studio X. There is always someone silly enough to smash down those sexy peaks and the punch and transient-impact  in your music in order to give you the apparent illusion of a louder record or to imitate a certain aggressive club-sound.

Mastering too loud has not much to do with creating an aggressive clubsound, its just desperate sound-engineering. Most people realize this only when they perform a blind test of two differently mastered tracks (played back at the same volume). If you play a mastered track and your RMS-meter shows you an average level of around -7dB RMS, over the whole length of the track, you have not been served, you have simply been robbed of precious time and money... 

In reality (like on the PA in the club) those "overloud" masters will always sound wimpy, squeezed and will have extremely reduced sonic impact if you compare them with properly high-class mastered material. Why is this? Due to a psycho-acoustic dilemma (playing something loud to a human, triggers his attention proportionally!) a direct ("blind-test" highly recommended!) comparison on the same "perceived volume" of a "too loud" vs. a "loud"record, will reveal missing bass impact and usually a lot of uncool distortion and clipping on the "too loud"record. Listen to this insanely loud record that you think is an industry-standard: Does it really have lows and punch below 50Hz? 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any type of technical or philosophical question. We will definetly share our secrets with you and not mumble in arrogance. Simply because we love what we do.

If you want to dwell deeper into the topic of LOUDNESS WARS, please follow the BLOG and literature by the fantastic people at DYNAMIC RANGE (pleasurize our music). Lots of info in many languages, sounds and videos to comprehend the dilema. I do not agree with all the topics they issue, but mostly they do get the important things right.





... when you send it to us for mastering purposes. You can clearly see how most peaks of the recording have been clipped by the fact that 0 dB is the highest possible level on a digital recording. Such a delivered track doesn’t leave enough dynamic headroom for us to carefully push the sound to sonic class, style and loudness. 



... when you send it to us for mastering purposes. 24 Bit / 44.1 KHz of PURE JOY for a mastering-engineer... And enough dynamic (and digital) heaadroom to bring punch, definition, warmth, air and resolution to your precious recording.



"... save our transienbts ..."

[bob humid] 



"... no, really do! ..."

[bob humid]  

our mastering services include high-end equalizing, dynamic 
shaping, limiting, stereo-widening, restoration, elimination of 
“out of phase”-problems and all necessary adjustments for
vinyl-cutting and CD-premastering for any kind of music. we
are highly specialised in all modern styles and deliver 
industry-transparency, underground club-impact, “american