[LAU] Music made with linux: Abundance - Ambient-Psy-Trance

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Sun Nov 7 22:52:57 UTC 2010

On Sun, November 7, 2010 4:11 am, Sampo Savolainen wrote:
> On Sun, 2010-11-07 at 03:37 -0800, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
>> It think it is a bit more subtle. I have listened to the mix on several
>> systems now and have found that the overall levels are not exactly what
>> I
>> am hearing when I listen with ardour. That could be partly related to
>> the
>> exporter, my sound card which I am mixing on being a high quality audio
>> device and the general levels being just not quite right. I am working
>> on
>> toning down the tracks that have become distorted in the export process.
> The subtlety of the differences is < -120dB. This is what the test just
> proved beyond any doubt (if in doubt, read DSP basics). The difference
> is inaudible and is created only by the imperfections of floating point
> calculations (you always loose some precision when operating on floating
> point numbers).
> The difference you hear is caused by your playback system (maybe the
> soundcard?) distorting at higher playback levels. Or, if you are
> monitoring the two mixes at different overall volumes, the difference
> can be attributed at least in part to how the human hearing is
> non-linear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contours
> You might even be imagining the differences. Don't be offended, it's
> really easy to hear differences between two things when you're looking
> for (expecting to hear) a difference. This is has been researched and
> documented countless times. We all suffer from that, nobody is exempt.
> In your shoes, I'd measure the playback system and try to pinpoint the
> part which is causing the distortion. If you tweak your mix to sound
> good with the distortion your current system exhibits, the mix will not
> sound like that anywhere else. So to make your mix sound good
> everywhere, you have to have a clean setup as a reference.
> (Note the word measure: this is the only way to get any sort of
> objective results. )

Ideally I would have some very good speakers to do this step but that is
not currently possible for me.

My approach atm is to just bring the levels of the distorted tracks down
until they stop distorting after export. Then when I have found the sweet
spot I will be able to adjust the rest of the tracks to match.

However finding the sweet spot on a 65 minute mixdown is a fairly
laborious process. Hence I am becoming very familiar with the content of
the material and getting a lot of meditation done at the same time. It's
not such a bad deal ;-)

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd.

"This is the basis of the Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics, which
requires that all particles in the universe be able to instantaneously
exchange information with all others."

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