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K-12 mastering standard

Limiting = less dynamic range = less dimension = lower quality

Hi, Vince here, I just want to add a little note about the mastering made for this release (Electrypnose introduces Vatem) and very certainly for all upcoming releases I'm going to make. __________ This release is mastered by xaBBu on a k-12 based system, it will sound lower to you at the first place, but just turn up your amplifier and enjoy the extra dimension and quality it brings to you. K-12 means there are 12db of dynamic range between the perceived loudness (rms) and the peaks. __________ For some of you that are a bit technical, you probably know what is the "loudness war" that is affecting all music records for many years now. It basically means that people master/limit their music in such a crazy way that the breath or dynamic range of the track is really lowered. I wasn't paying too much attention to it in the past, and wanted to have all my records sounding as loud as the standard I could find out there. So the level of my tracks would match what you would listen with any other release. I had lately an experience while listening music where I really felt how much squashing the dynamic of the track would actually kill a big part of it's sonic effect. I was listening to my mixes in cubase with HQ amp and headphones, and then put a mastered version of a track I wanted to listen to. The effect was instant, it sounded really disturbing. I then loaded the project of the same track, unmastered, and it sounded all sweet again. Why that ? When we master music to achieve high RMS levels we basically reduce (to not say kill) it's dynamic range. The difference of the lower levels and higher levels is reduced by limiting. It sounds louder, yes.. but that reduces all the breath of the music. What's quiet isn't quiet any more, it's all LOUD... It doesn't breath nicely any more, the sonic dimension is truly affected in a bad way. I had to experience it to understand, but now it's all clear and it feels like I never want to get back to something else. This little explanation to say that from now on, all my mastering is going to be k-12 based. It's a standard used a lot, but people don't respect it to just sound louder. But louder is useless when it kills a good music production, especially when louder is just about putting your amplifier knob a little more up. The k-12 based mastering is insuring you a great dynamic range, breath, sonic dimension of the music. Well, it's actually simply better quality! So, it sounds lower compared to another release, yes ! I don't give a f+*k. If you would put the two tracks at the same perceived loudness, the k-12 mastering is simply amazing while the highly limited one seems all locked in a box. Okay, that's it... I'm just keen to let you guys know for those who are interested about it. I believe in the future I'll have to explain many times to people why my records sound lower now, this note included in the release might help it a bit. All this is in the idea of getting back to where it is actually right to be and achieve higher sound quality results. It can be seen like the people who prefer to play records on vinyl rather than bad mp3, there is a reason for that. I'm totally an audiophile that loves high sonic quality, I'm going to lead my work that way as much as possible. Thanks for reading, cheers ! Vince ____________ As few of you requested, here are 2 files to download to compare. Both have the same loudness level, 1 is left with the whole dynamic range, 1 is compressed to have a RMS/Peak level difference of 5dB (8dB with some meters)... have fun with hear training :) File 1 - k12
File 2 - 5dB crest

9 Comments Add comment 
Caponi Olivier - 2014-05-30 - c'est plus naturelle comme c'est dit c'est sa sonne plus naturel
Shikimol - 2014-05-16 - Wow, that is a big difference. You can really pick out the k12. Listening to the crest master, I feel like i am more confined in a small space with it. Then changing to the k12 and listening, you can really feel the more space provided. You can really hear the dynamics breathing much more. I have never been one to like the whole loudness war. Great post Vince.
Electrypnose - 2014-05-08 - Ok guys, I uploaded 2 example files for you to compare.. I believe quite a few of you might take some time to get the difference. (took me 10+ years to understand)
HARDKORNATE - 2014-05-08 - Yeah, I would love to hear both versions.
Ashvin Mani Sharma - 2014-05-08 - The right way :)
Foz - 2014-05-07 - Nice one Vince :) much respect for joining the movement towards higher quality music than squashed dance floor loud mayhem. Not always an easy decision to make in face of competition.
Leo FT - 2014-05-07 - Agreed, id love to hear 2 losses files to compare, im interesting in hearing the difference.
Tasp - 2014-04-07 - Is there any way that you could put up a snippet of the same track that is k-12 mastered and also 'regular' RMS mastered for loudness above all? Would be really interesting to hear....thanks :)
Flooting Groove - 2014-04-07 - i agree, well explained vinc and yeah, the super scrunching mastering really does kill a good dynamic mix, most people don't understand what dynamic range actually is, but somebody has to educate them, so thanks!
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