Which mastered version sounds better?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by METAL123, Oct 11, 2018.

Which version?

  1. Quieter

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Louder

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  1. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

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  2. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I know it may be unpopular to admit that louder tends to sound "better", it's kind of the truth on some level. I don't know if that's the only difference between the two, but the loud one also strikes me as "wider", and a bit brighter, which for whatever reason my ears interpret as clarity. People also don't like to admit it, but being too quiet puts you at risk of people skipping the track when mixed into a playlist of louder tracks. I don't know why people do that, turning the volume up isn't that hard, but maybe it's a cognitive friction thing - if you have to justify playing with the volume, and risk the next track being overwhelmingly loud, the lowest friction solution is the skip button.
     
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  3. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    Louder. Or else people will complain its too quiet (average listener). I know we have volume knobs but if your mix is in a playlist and considerably quieter than there's a good chance it won't stay in the playlist for long.
     
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  4. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    I actually preferred the 'quieter' one. The 'louder' one seems to have a lot more high frequency information... almost to the point of being grating.

    I honestly didn't hear much overall volume difference, but I think SoundCloud volume matches uploaded audio files on playback.
     
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  5. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

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    Decided to go with the louder one. When comparing it back to back to other commercial releases, it made more sense to me. Like others have mentioned, if it's in a playlist or if someone is playing it back to back from another track, the volume difference isn't ideal.
     
  6. METAL123

    METAL123 SS.org Regular

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    Second guessing myself now. I uploaded the samples to SoundCloud, this time as 24 bit audio WAV file instead of 16 bit MP3. Please take a listen and let me know which one you prefer overall. The one that sounds the best and is the best sounding when played back to back from a commercial release in this style or similar.

    Mastering 1 / Quieter:
    https://soundcloud.com/user-879159785/mastering-1/s-4TnKs

    Mastering 2 / Louder:
    https://soundcloud.com/user-879159785/mastering-2/s-IEAPF

    All your feedback is much appreciated.
     
  7. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied :: 2077 ::

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    Louder. The quieter one is going to sound darker on top of not being as loud with other commercial mixes, imo. I've tried to do conservative mastering and the comments are always the same. Try to get as close to commercial loudness as you can without introducing weird clipping.
     
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  8. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    I like the louder one slightly better in this batch.

    I went back to listen to the first batch to understand why my opinion had changed, but looks like they've been removed from SoundCloud.
     

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