We recently had the pleasure of having Robert Babicz, amazing producer and respected mastering engineer with more than 15 years of experience and countless successful releases, in one of our Twitch sessions.
In our Twitch sessions, you have the chance of listening to professionals of the music industry talking about a current topic of interest and, then, of asking them all the questions you like through the live chat. If you want to join them and learn with us, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on our social media, and never miss one!
The age of music streaming services
A lot of things have changed in the music industry, at all levels, not only in the mastering world. And keeps changing very fast so there is always a lot of competition right now on being “the best” in everything. Technology is totally necessary nowadays and you cannot avoid the digital world anymore. This, however, has its advantages.
For example, streaming services can now fight the well-known loudness war that has damaged the quality of so many records for more than 10 years. Streaming services such as spotify or youtube try to make all tracks have the same volume so you don’t constantly have to turn up and down the volume of your music player.
Loudness war has not ended yet
In spite of the effort of streaming services, however, there’s still an obsession to over compress tracks in the professional mastering world: “when they started with this whole do more dynamic music trend, I said, why not? Let ‘s do it! Let’s make music a little more dynamic! And I mastered it with I think -14 LUFS. However, when it was released I was almost ashamed!” Robert tells us.
We are not used to listening to dynamic music. It is theoretically at the same volume as other over compressed tracks, but our ears still notice them as if there was something wrong. Especially in the genre of current electronic music, it seems that if music has not been compressed a lot, it has not professionally been produced, which is a pity because then we are missing a lot of subtleties and detail that could make music much more enjoyable.
Loudness doesn’t depend only on the mastering process
As Robert Babicz explains in the Twitch session, the feeling of sounding loud is achieved in the mixdown and the arrangement, in how the song makes you feel, and then, of course, in the mastering. But if everything is left to the mastering, your maximiser is not going to make your song sound powerful but just over processed.
Take the example of Vinyls: some people believe they sound better than current digital records. But what some people don’t know is that Vinyls have a loudness limitation and cannot be over processed as digital audio. In fact, the magical warm effect that is found in their sound has to do with having less frequencies, less pace and more dynamics! And of course, they need a different mastering process.
Learn more about mastering:
If you want to learn more about mastering in the age of music streaming services and listen to the answers Robert gave to all our users’ interesting questions, along with lots of tips on mastering techniques and plugins, don’t miss the whole workshop below.
If you’d like to know more about Robert, learn more about his mastering services and his Masterclass with Aulart “Behind the analog mastering”. And remember to subscribe to learn about future content we are preparing with Robert at Aulart!