My point is that when master A sounds better than master B when encoded to AAC, A will sound better than B when left lossless too, unless you encounter AAC artifacts, and you are able to defeat them with your new master. You could then also try to diminish that problem by choosing a higher encoding bitrate. I doubt the mastering engineers consistently find AAC artifacts at common bitrates.
let us just assume that they are low enough for this to really be an issue
iTunes AAC files are encoded at 256 kbps. How many issues are there at that bitrate?
It's possible that calling famous mastering engineers 'monkeys' in the subject might be considered aggressive.
I also would be in favour of changing that particular wording. Maybe change it to "Mastering engineers don't understand lossy formats" or similar, to be less ad hominem and more about what exactly bothered me.
Just found this article via twitter, circled among mastering "engineers" (in fact Heba Kadry reposted it, the girl who mastered the latest Mars Volta album, which reaches -12.79 dB on my RG scans, and is generally mastered in a horrible fashion).This further backs my impression that most of them don't have a single clue of what they are doing. The section about the mastering practices of Rubin and Meller are especially eye-opening to me. Masterdisk "engineers" also apparently are now out to rape the Rush back catalogue. Further down they cite phase-reverse tests to prove AAC files are different from the original (wow, REALLY?).The good thing is, I can use this article to decide which releases to avoid in the future. But I'm really at a loss what we can do beside that. I'm really fed up with mastering "engineers" destroying music releases.
Quote from: absinthe33 on 02 April, 2012, 10:22:32 AMbrrr... I don't understand what you're brrring about.
... Because it seems that in the end it's the mastering engineer that gets to decide how a record sounds, not the artist, not the mixer, not the producer.
Heba Kadry again: "While Im all for setting a dynamic standards for records, people fail to realize that these days mixes are already brickwalled to an extreme"
Honest question: why do we automatically blame the mastering engineers?
... Ted Jensen, who mastered Death Magnetic, claimed the same thing. Then the Guitar Hero 3 version surfaced. As far as I know that version isn't mastered as "hot", and doesn't sport the bad engineering trademark of digital clipping like the CD version (it comically digitally clips below digital fullscale). ...
...which leads back to Justin's latest article...http://trustmeimascientist.com/2012/04/02/...e-loudness-war/...which I think is great.
Somewhere along the way, “loud” has morphed to become more than a level — It’s now an aesthetic choice of its own, and has even transcended perceived volume.
In fact, I had trouble finding many pop albums that should be worth listening to according to the Dynamic Range Database. Any rating in their system under 9DR is marked “bad”, and even Dark Side of the Moon with its album average of 10DR is labeled “transitional”.
I’ll admit that Aja is good for what it is, but if you find an engineer who wants to make your record sound just like it, he probably arrives at the studio wearing a gray, thinning pony-tail and a polyester polo-shirt proudly embroidered with the words “Out-of-Touch”.
Why don't people in the industry listen to listeners anyway? It's the end user who ultimately has to put up with whatever they're putting out after all. AFAIK, artists commonly are sick and tired of hearing their own stuff at the point it's mastered, so they usually aren't of much help.
^Agreed. A "decent stereo", btw, includes a DAP and some good headphones these days and probably is more affordable than ever.
They do listen to the listeners -- for example, convening listening panels to compare potential singles. The problem is that they don't level match, so whatever is louder tends to get rated better. THAT is why we have the loudness wars in the first place.
Not level matching essentially boils down to neglecting that people have something called a volume control. One would think that they'd noticed that at some point? Or did nobody ever take the time to think about things like these (which would be sad, but not unlikely)? Then again, even if they had, who likes to admit that they've been wrong...
Who knows? Even if the AACs sound identical in 95% of cases ...