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Sweetwater Forums [Archived]

After 15 years of great discussions, the Sweetwater Forums are now closed and preserved as a "read-only" resource. For discussions about current gear, check us out on Facebook, YouTube, inSync, and our Knowledge Base.

Hyper-Compression Blues


What is everyone calibrating their systems to? I use an analog board into lucid converters into wavelab for mixdowns. I've calibrated my system to equate 0 VU to about -14dbFS RMS per the K-System from Bob Katz. I'd really prefer -18 and not compress as much on the two buss but 'Homey don't play that' with the clients.
Often they'll bring in reference CDs that they want to match their sounds with and I find these things having an average RMS level of anywhere between -10 to -4 (aaah!!!).
A lot of that is done at the mastering stage, I know, but I prefer to have my finished mix as close to the release version as possible. I don't like leaving compression up to the mastering guys, or I should say- masssive compressing. I think it can change the mix and I don't prefer it. But client is always king...
Anyone else? Are you nuking your mixes to compete with current standards? What are you calibrating too?
August 21, 2001 @05:23pm

Let me correct one thing here...
I'm not blasting mastering. I find it is amazingly beneficial to any recording and not all mastering guys hyper compress and I am guessing that those who do, hate it. But client is king with them as well...
August 21, 2001 @05:26pm

The levels you describe are pretty much the name of the game these days. There's a growing movement among us engineers to get back to reality where we have some dynamics, but I think it's going to take a while for clients to accept it. Put yourself in their shoes - the louder (more compressed) mix sounds better to them, even at low volumes. It's tough to get away from it unless you have clients that really trust you (which I am fortunate to have). 0 VU is -18dBFS in my studio (Pro Tools).
August 21, 2001 @08:10pm