• How people listen today?
  • Started by Bill from November Sound
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How people listen today?
on: November 30, 2019, 04:37:25
Okay so you all probably listen on nice speakers, nice headphones, etc. … right?

Well most people who a little are less musically inclined, a bit younger, a bit less gear happy, etc. listen on their phone speaker. Yeah, that's right, you spend hours getting your bass just right and they listen to it on a microscopic 5mm woofer!  :bonk: Work hard to get that stereo field sounding beautiful so they can hold the bottom of the phone up near one ear!   :doublebonk:

I'm reminded of this when @LePlongeur was recently writing about mixing for listening on the ipad ….. anyone else do that?

Do you mix music for iphones?
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.

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Re: How people listen today?
Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 08:19:17
I hope, @Bill from November Sound , you don’t mind if I give a little explanation of the why’s and whatfores.

Bruce Botnick, the engineer of what was to be my (in terms of recording) all time favorite LP -The Doors/The Doors -, had the studio uninterrupted to himself and the Doors for a week. And at home the LP was of nothing I ever heard before.
And every song had the same sound balance and all the instruments sounded exactly the same throughout the album.

The LP was on my record player every day.
The first time I heard the radio edit of ‘Light my fire’ on my AM transistor radio, I was flabbergasted. Flat, lackluster sounds that screamed at me and lacked all the brilliance and balanced sounds I loved.

I ordered the single to ensure myself that there was no sabotage. And I was easily convinced. Bruce did a very good job to edit it. Unlike the monkey who murdered ‘House of the rising sun’ by the Animals at MGM’s.

This is how it occurred to me that AM and the tin sounding 4cm speaker of a radio needed another kind of magic.
For me it’s a step or two too far to make special mixes for Dr. Beat headphones, but it’s no rocket science to imagine that some measures are needed to compensate for the boom boom characteristics of that too popular gear.

If it’s the mix or the song that made Shalala mixture go down quicker than the Titanic will remain a mystery probably. Not the result, but the idea of gearing towards a special part of your public is an idea that appeals to me.

Today, it’s exactly a month ago I posted it and I promised myself to go and have a look at how it’s fairing.
I like it very much that you noticed the difference.
Kind regards, Gus

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Re: How people listen today?
Reply #2 on: December 07, 2019, 22:35:52
Great topic @Bill from November Sound

There's so much choice these days re: how we listen to music.

As an older listener - I got lazy and just used streaming - either google music or BBC radio shows.

But after 25 years of having all my old records in storage, I setup my record player and realised what I've been missing. I also realised that my LP collection (like a lot of people) stopped in the last 80s when CDs came out.

I've been adding new records from new music that I like - it's not cheap here in Australia - approx 40 dollars for an album. A lot of my old records still have original price stickers on there, and I got some great LPs for 1 to 2 pounds 40 odd years ago!

But to me it's worth it - I listen to whole albums now instead of picking and choosing tracks and the sound is so much fuller and richer.

I digress though...

I don't think it's possible to mix a song for all devices.

When the band I was in did a "proper" CD and had it mastered professionally, we actually got two sets of masters back. One for the CD manufacturer and one for online streaming.

If we wanted to vinyl we would have needed a third set of masters as that's different again.

Apparently Spotify and iTunes even have different requirements for their masters.

So I think the mastering depends on where you think your listens will come from.

Was it Neil Young who tried to come up with his own digital format and player as he was fed up with all that work and thought that he and other artists spend to get the sound they want, only for it to be lost by streaming?

If we think that listeners will listen on phones or cheap headphones, then do we need to mix/master on those devices to check them?

For me, as an amateur who'll never get a lot of listeners it's not really relevant and my focus these days is on the live sound. But it's a really interesting topic.


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