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Lessig on ASCAP on Creative Commons

A very interesting note on Boing Boing via ccMixterblog; perspectives on Creative Commons Licensing from ASCAP and Lessig:

10 Things Every Music Creator Should Know About Creative Commons Licensing

Commons Misunderstandings: ASCAP on Creative Commons

Probably should be required reading for any performing rights society member who is releasing work under a creative commons license.


Tech Rant About Audio Limiting

Recently, I was mastering a track for mp3 encoding (or pre-mastering as purists would call it). To get the music up to competitive perceived loudness and RMS level, I was squashing the life out of it – taking a mix I had so carefully crafted, and hitting it with a sledge hammer until it sounded all brown.

I thought, how has mastering gone from taking a sweet mix and making it sound amazing, to trying to find the least harmful and distasteful dynamic distortion to apply?! Being rusty at this, I really wanted to find some better way. From scouring, I found this relatively good thread:

Limiter comparisons (with sound)

It's a good read and the tests are useful. But it did not really help with the track I was working on, which, in comparison to the test, had much longer periods of sustained audio energy.

So, I picked some limiters to work on in tests of my own material:

  • Sony Oxford Limiter
  • Waves L3
  • PSP Xenon
  • iZotope Ozone
  • Sony Oxford Inflator (not really a limiter, but wanted to see what it sounded like in front of one)

Again, for my material, all I could really coax out was various shades of brown.

Then I had what felt like a revelation, though this may be obvious to anybody who has been mixing up-to-date: instead of mastering a mix that sounded good, I was going to mix into the dynamic distortion of the mastering chain; tossing transparency, and leveraging the color and distortion of the chain. I’m not really sure I'm into this, but may be doing so when I cannot find a better way.

If you’ve read this far and are an audio geek, you might be interested in the chain I finally settled on for my situation:

Mix Buss -> Nomad Factory Program EQP4 (for gentle contouring) -> PSP VintageWarmer 2 (for light multi-band compression, about 3 dB) -> Waves L3 (cozy and warm, about 3 dB)

This chain worked for the dynamics of the material I was mixing. I’m sure it will be different for the next mix; though the approach may stay the same.

Some geek resources: 


Rain Lament (Pretty Mix) at ccMixter

I’m very excited to have contributed a remix and sample packs to ccmixter; many pretty string instruments surrounding a gorgeous vocal by the astonishing Kaer Trouz:

Rain Lament (Pretty Mix)

I’ve also uploaded several sample packs containing audio samples and phrases used in the remix.

I’m looking forward to working on ccmixter more. It has a unique vibe that I have not felt at other music community sites. I’m not trying to deconstruct it yet, I just know that the people appear exceptional and I very much like the music and audio there.

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