Gas 0095 Quotes: Bob Katz

bob_katzTodays Gas 0095 quote comes from Bob Katz, one of the best known and highly regarded mastering engineers, he’s also an inventor and author, and owns and runs the highly successful Digital Domain mastering company.

Mat Jarvis’ restoration of Gas 0095; it sounds to me like it was originally mixed to analog tape, congratulations on doing a good, conservative job with the noise reduction.
I must say that I’m quite impressed by the sound and the music. It is a very interesting electronic album with extraordinarily impressive and natural dynamics (don’t turn up your volume at the beginning or you’ll be fooled!). Good stereo imaging and variety and wonderful musicality. This is enjoyable and interesting experimental music that I highly recommend. Nice job!

Bob Katz is a highly respected mastering engineer who invented the K-system, was award a US patent for his circuit design, “Process for Enhancing the Existing Ambience, Imaging, Depth, Clarity and Spaciousness of Sound Recordings.” (K-Stereo and K-Surround), and runs his own mastering company Digital Domain. Many thanks Bob.

Free Bob Katz mastering tutorial: The secrets of the Mastering Engineer

Gas 0095 Quotes: Bob Katz

bob_katzFor the Future Music Magazine feature on Gas 0095,  Bob Katz, world famous mastering engineer was kind enough to give us a quote about the album…

Mat Jarvis’ restoration of Gas 0095; it sounds to me like it was originally mixed to analog tape, congratulations on doing a good, conservative job with the noise reduction.
I must say that I’m quite impressed by the sound and the music. It is a very interesting electronic album with extraordinarily impressive and natural dynamics (don’t turn up your volume at the beginning or you’ll be fooled!). Good stereo imaging and variety and wonderful musicality. This is enjoyable and interesting experimental music that I highly recommend. Nice job!

 Bob Katz is a highly respected mastering engineer who invented the K-system, was award a US patent for his circuit design, “Process for Enhancing the Existing Ambience, Imaging, Depth, Clarity and Spaciousness of Sound Recordings.” (K-Stereo and K-Surround), and runs his own mastering company Digital Domain. Many thanks Bob.

Free Bob Katz mastering tutorial: The secrets of the Mastering Engineer

Loudness Wars, the First Strike

There has been a silent/ not-so-silence war being raged over the past ten years, the loudness wars, and Metallica are the first casualties.

Dynamic (audio) compression is good, it makes things sound warmer, larger, and evens out lumpy recordings. But if you over compress, you make everything sound the same volume, the subtle details are lost and it gets very tiring to listen to, like a photograph with everything the same colour.

We like louder, louder sounds better than quiet, but not if you sacrifice clarity. Some artists use over-compression as an extra colour and that’s great if it works, but not if you use it on everything or the whole track distorts.

Radio stations already necessarily compress everything heavily that’s why everything sounds the same volume, even the quiet intros. So if you compress your music to death and then play it on the radio it won’t sound any louder than anyone else’s, it will just sound worse.

If you’re playing a CD at home or an mp3 on your iPod, you turn the volume knob to the level you want, so even if the music is recorded very quietly you just turn it up.

Enter Metallica. Fans say they would rather play tracks from the new album directly from the Guitar Hero game than listen to the horrible over-compressed and distorted version on the CD. There are online petitions (14k signatures) to get the album remastered, and comparisons on YouTube. The mastering engineer is blaming the record company for sending the album already pre-mastered, but it’s his job to make sure he gets the best quality master in the first place.

We mastered Gas 0095 with no care for loudness, only the music. Badly mastered tracks have a small dynamic range (the different in volume between the loudest and quietest sounds on the track), around 6dB, the difference between shouting and shouting even louder. Gas 0095 has a dynamic range of 32dB, the difference in volume between whispering and shouting really loudly.

“a very interesting electronic album with extraordinarily impressive and natural dynamics” – Bob Katz on Gas 0095