February 1, 2023 at 8:11 pm #4560Allan KlinbailParticipant
Allan Klinbail here from Melbourne… (actually Dandenong Ranges – Wurundjeri Land of the Kulin Nation).
My background was as an electronic live act and recording artist (some call it producer .. but.. I think that’s a bigger title that should involve other artists).. Started out in the mid 90’s playing anything from small pubs to big festivals..
I also have done a bit of live mixing as the dedicated mixer for a couple of heavy bands.. (one metal and one grindcore) .. and volunteered my services at some community events.
I started mastering for people a couple of years ago.. pretty much as a favour (free or peanuts)- I was trying to get a mixing business off the ground, but working full time and mixing wasn’t working.. I’d built a room to produce and mix in outside the house to keep my wife happy and found I was much better able to nail a mix for my own music, so thought it would be good to offer to others.
I offered demo quality mastering as a side service but was trying to refer to someone else as the premium service…
But people who’d used me, were coming back to me and offering more money.
I had serious impostor syndrome as I knew some basics and also knew my room was not up to scratch.. So I’ve spent the time to learn better techniques and also how to make panels and take measurements etc bought better monitors … I’ve got some regular clients, enough to have some work every week…So now I don’t sleep .. as it’s not enough to quit my day job yet. While I’ve only had one unhappy customer (that I know of), it was sometime mid last year where I felt I really have some handle on this and am more consistently happy with my own work. I have got to the stage where I really enjoy doing this. (as opposed to the dread and fear when I first attempted to master)
Even though I’m 48, I feel like very much at the start of my journey in this field… I’d really like to get to the point where I am full time. I know I have a lot to learn..
This forum excites me, as while I’ve picked up some good bits and pieces from facebook groups. This feels like it could be more of a good resource and a better place to strike up relationships with other engineers online.
Hopefully even meet locals to go for a coffee or beer and chat about this, because I know my wife hates hearing about the trials and tribulations and gear talk (although she’s happy that any gear I’ve bought has not come out of the family budget for a while)
February 3, 2023 at 7:53 am #4586Bob KatzKeymaster
OMG, Allan! Your musical experiences and training will for sure help you along the way in engineering. Ethnomusicology! That’s exciting. I studied Anthropology for one year in school. Wesleyan University, where I went for a while, has an incredible Ethnomusicology department, with a resident Gamelan ensemble since 1960! So that’s where I was first exposed to the Gamelan, until Mary and I went to Bali (so near you!) a few years ago. And I have more than a little exposure to and working with the Didgeridoo! Having mixed and mastered two albums so far by the incredible Singaporean percussionist Mohammed Noor, who is finishing up recording his third album that he also wants me to mix and master!
February 3, 2023 at 8:02 am #4587Bob KatzKeymaster
By the way, I ALWAYS try to separate mixing and mastering. Though it has become more of a continuum in recent decades, I make it a point to mix in the mix room and master in the mastering room. And to keep the two perspectives as separate as possible. Although after decades of working in this field I feel that being part of the continuum is ok. Initially I felt that “mastering your own mix is like giving yourself your own haircut”. But I’ve come around to realizing that it is a continuum. I highly recommend that mixing engineers who attempt their own mastering better be very certain and comfortable with the accuracy of their monitoring systems, and if possible, seek outside feedback on their projects to be — until they are 100% comfortable that their monitoring is translating well to the outside world.
I also have a very strong philosophy that to obtain impact, punch, depth, warmth, dynamic movement in our productions, we need to master using a monitoring system with extreme headroom. Headroom that will tell us if we are overcompressing — give us that much needed slap on the wrist that says, “Don’t do that”. How can you tell if you are overcompressing if your monitor system itself is compressing! This idea may sound controversial to some, but I’ve seen too much evidence that musical interest and consumer excitement goes downhill when a production has been overcompressed.
A heavy metal scream can be extremely exciting! But a song that consists of continuous screams can get very boring (at least to my ears). One of my favorite new musicians is Willow Smith. I love her performances. The are loud, but they are also dynamic!
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