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Topics - Dichotomy

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Mixing/Mastering / Psychoacoustic Modeling
« on: January 15, 2016, 09:11:58 pm »
The "fidelity of reality" is high (infinitely so?). For the human brain to interpret experiences out of synthetic creations, it must be presented with significant detail. This topic is a discussion of these details in the context of mixing.

Psychoacoustics - Wikipedia

Mixing/Mastering / Don't trust your ears!
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:30:12 am »
As I've gained more knowledge of production technique, I've been reflecting on some advice I received earlier in my endeavors. "Trust your ears." It comes in many flavors: as long as it sounds good, do what the track needs, do it kinda like this and then really listen to your ears, etc...

Lately, it's starting to feel like a cop-out. If I make myself receptive instruction (not everyone is all the time) and am told "trust your ears"... what have I been taught? I'm the student because my ears haven't been trained, developed, or tuned and I'm asking YOU, teacher! If I knew what "correct" sounded like, I'd just go to my perfectly calibrated "A" studio basement, close my eyes, and play with knobs until I got it right. The idea of "proper technique" would then be ludicrous! Eventually, I'd remember what did what, develop a method, and I'd make my own 'lil mental cookbook... no need to write it down, if my hearing changes I'll make it all up again! Surely, the an entire industry isn't winging it!

... okay ... that's enough of reduction ad absurdum.

It's obvious there has to be some kind of "standard procedure." It's obvious to some that common situations must give rise to common patterns in how mixing / mastering tasks are approached. If I pay to attend an accredited institution and learn music production, I honestly believe they'd have more reliable lessons than "trust your ears." Is it unreasonable to expect an accredited institution to provide a better foundation than suggesting students "trust their ears"? Music teachers don't tell their students to play some keys and "trust their ears" until a scale happens. There's a proper way to use a histogram in digital photography, a correct way to prepare video for broadcast television. Common techniques must exist to match the tools for mixing and mastering tasks! So, what are they? If no vocabulary exists to describe these techniques and enable a discussion of mixing aesthetics, can we create it?

Assume I will never audition music in an "A" or "B" studio, my setup cannot be calibrated or made reference quality, but I have every audio analysis tool available to me (spectrograph, x-y plot, fft analysis, oscilloscope, etc.). What concepts & techniques can I consider to consistently elevate my production value towards the realm of industry respected quality?

This is not a request for personal assistance. The "I" above is hypothetical. This is an attempt to create a taxonomy of mixing theory and technique (not tips) here at TPF.

The above statements have been edited to reflect the current state of the topic. If you require the original text of this post, request a copy via DM.

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