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AW: Mastering music

> Amen!  I am on a mailing list with a lot of mastering 
> engineers (Sonic Solutions), and they've been upset for years 
> at the amount of squashing they have to do to please the 
> record companies.  

I read this interview with Bob Orban (of Orban, who do processors for radio
stations) that US radio stations had been discussing putting out a maximum
rating for a peak-to-RMS value for music which is allowed to be played on
the radio. As a matter of fact, such "overlimited" material poses a serious
problem to these broadcast processors as well.

> If you look at most commercial CDs as 
> waveforms in the Sonic edit window, they resemble solid 
> blocks of audio rather than the nice peaky dynamic streams 
> you' expect from real music.

One tricky thing here (which I've also seen on a Frisell album a few years
back) is to use compression not at the top, but in the middle of the 
range. That way, you preserve these important peaks and have compression
working on that part of the material that most needs compression, meaning
the medium-loudness parts. And also because the compressor has more time to
react, which is sufficient even with mastering-style attack settings, you
need nearly no limiting as a last step.