Compression: Don’t Quit, Bob!

Bob Katz Leave a Comment

With encouragement like the above letter and the following, I stopped threatening to grow asparagus and went back into my education campaign…

From: John W Deacon

Subject: Depression and stuff

Hey bob, just read your note, (via dave martin), that was posted to I guess what you’ve gotta decide these days is whether you just blindly master the things for record labels, or master something with your own personal preferences. I have many arguments with the idiots here in austin, who always advertise things like, (“we can make your cd 3db hotter than anyone else). This seems completely absurd, i have taken mastered tracks from local studios, and in 90 percent of the cases i am finding after listening that i will not accept the job. I have been in the music industry for about 25 years now, and you’re right, the musical side of things seem to have disappeared. Its now loud loud loud and louder, no dynamic range, i look at the files of these things and they look like a straight line across the screen, go figure.

I guess thats one of the reasons i only do mastering now for things i am producing/playing on, and bands who appreciate the musicality of their recording. I just finished a song for polydor, that has a very minimal compression on the master, (not quite even 2:1 on the low bands, with 4 band comp), and it sounds so much more punchy and alive than any other recordings from here. The band were completely happy, another band echo juliet, who i have just finished tracking their 2nd album, will maybe not even have that. I think the art of listening to music may have disappeared. We were taught music appreciation when i was learning, (arrangements etc etc), and how to listen to music, this is not done now, it seems one big technical exercise, based on computers, in fact many “engineers” i talk to here only work in studios so thay can play with the software. This is CRAP……. I dont have a dmaned computer in the studio until i have to write to the cd, and the whole quality is so much better its frightening,

We all feel like you Bob, (well us guys who are a little more seasoned, So keep up the good work, we hear what you do, and appreciate your work

All the best

John Deacon

Granite Records

Austin Tx

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