Thread: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

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  1. #1
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Real purdy mouth
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    Default Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    I have an interesting situation...I'm doing a mix for a client in France (I'm in Canada) and all the mixes I have sent to him in mp3 or wav format via FaceBook or wetransfer are coming up either distorted or overloaded at his end.

    I have sent the same files to 5 other people and they are all saying the mixes are clear as a bell.

    He's using a Mac laptop and sending his audio via an internal thunderbolt interface to a presonus mixer and then to his powered speakers.


    Any ideas where the snafu could be happening?
    wtf do I know...I hit mixes with sticks
  2. #2
    Highway to Hell is for Children Area 51 gardener
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Send him mixes in archieve, it ensures nothing funny happens during transfer. But most probably something with gain staging on his side.
    When in doubt, mumble!

    EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE SHIT IF YA LISTEN LONG AND HARD ENOUGH.
  3. #3
    Little River Band on The Run Internet Meme
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Yep - ZIP.
  4. #4
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    yea, it might be something on his playback system. very frustrating as you can't actually hear the problem as he's hearing it, or have a look at what he's listening thru. zip for sure.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  5. #5
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    I'm guessing that he doesn't know how to set up his gain staging in the Presonus correctly.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  6. #6
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    How is he playing it?

    It could be software sound enhancing voodoo if he;s using iTunes or some similar media player. Get him to try playing it in Quicktime, or by using the finder preview player.

    I'm struggling to see how gain staging can go wrong if he's just playing an mp3.
  7. #7
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Real purdy mouth
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Problem is definitely at his end and the ball is now in his court
    wtf do I know...I hit mixes with sticks
  8. #8
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    How is he playing it?

    It could be software sound enhancing voodoo if he;s using iTunes or some similar media player. Get him to try playing it in Quicktime, or by using the finder preview player.

    I'm struggling to see how gain staging can go wrong if he's just playing an mp3.
    Are you kidding? I play bar trivia one or two nights a week and quite often the trivia hosts manage to screw up the gain staging on the little one mic, one stereo music feed mixer going to the jukebox aux in, often so badly it sounds like a cheap fuzz . NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the degree to which a clueless person can screw up gain staging on even the simplest systems, even when you've told them half a dozen or more times how to set things up.

    Most likely the input gain is too high or the mixer lacks headroom and he's maxing out either the channel faders or the master.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  9. #9
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Are you kidding? I play bar trivia one or two nights a week and quite often the trivia hosts manage to screw up the gain staging on the little one mic, one stereo music feed mixer going to the jukebox aux in, often so badly it sounds like a cheap fuzz . NEVER UNDERESTIMATE the degree to which a clueless person can screw up gain staging on even the simplest systems, even when you've told them half a dozen or more times how to set things up.

    Most likely the input gain is too high or the mixer lacks headroom and he's maxing out either the channel faders or the master.
    He's just playing an mp3. From what I can gather, there shouldn't be any mixer or input gain involved.
  10. #10
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Make the Frenchy send his file to someone he knows, at let them have a listen on their own system. If they tell him it's fine, he must realize, it has something to do with his own gear...

    www.lydsalonen.dk
  11. #11
    Has Many Personal Intergritys Expensive Boat Anchor
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    And of course you send mixes that peak arond -12 at most and have no limiting
    right?
  12. #12
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    And of course you send mixes that peak arond -12 at most and have no limiting
    right?
    Hahaha.
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  13. #13
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    He's just playing an mp3. From what I can gather, there shouldn't be any mixer or input gain involved.
    Erm,

    I have an interesting situation...I'm doing a mix for a client in France (I'm in Canada) and all the mixes I have sent to him in mp3 or wav format via FaceBook or wetransfer are coming up either distorted or overloaded at his end.

    I have sent the same files to 5 other people and they are all saying the mixes are clear as a bell.

    He's using a Mac laptop and sending his audio via an internal thunderbolt interface to a presonus mixer and then to his powered speakers.


    Any ideas where the snafu could be happening?
    I would appear from the original post here that there is indeed a mixer in the chain, and since it's a PreSonus I would assume something on the order of their "Studiolive" line of digital mixers, which are not exactly the best digital mixers on the market (they're worse than Behringers and somewhat glitchy in operation) but have enough bells and whistles to permit some pretty hideous gain staging blunders.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  14. #14
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Sqweels like a pig!
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    Default Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    FWIW there is a software that can distort, and badly.
    It's the famous VLC player.
    With VLC you can increase the volume of a file 400%, simply turning up the volume slider.
    That could be the issue: ask him what he's using as a player.

    My Mixes on Soundcloud


    With great monitors its easy to hear and fix problems but hard to enhance things that already sound good.

    With hyped monitors, everything sounds good so you don't hear the problems.

    With bad monitors, it seems easy to make absolutely anything sound better because you are really fixing the sound of the monitors rather than the sound of the recording.
  15. #15
    Plays in Winger cover band Enjoys scratching self too much
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    i recently sent my drummer some mixes of stuff we worked on and he complained it was distorting. He later re-checked on another computer with a different sound card and it was fine. Maybe it was his sound card?
  16. #16
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    FWIW there is a software that can distort, and badly.
    It's the famous VLC player.
    I actually found out that Spotify can distort with some sound cards, if the volume fader is set all the way up.

    I too am guessing that the OP's client has some sort of gain staging problem. It of course begs the question why it is not showing up with other sound files (I assume these are not the only mp3s he's playing back).


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  17. #17
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Real purdy mouth
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    a resolution? not quite

    The client sent me a video that demonstrated unequivocally that there was distortion happening so there really was an issue at his end

    After several sidebar discussions with other AEs it was determined by all that although the mix was hot there was no distortion happening.

    Armed with that info (which was no news to me) I told the client that the issue of distorted playback was at his end. Unfortunately he refuses to even entertain that as a possibility so I politely suggested that maybe I wasn't the guy for him.
    wtf do I know...I hit mixes with sticks
  18. #18
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Bummer
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  19. #19
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Unfortunately he refuses to even entertain that as a possibility so I politely suggested that maybe I wasn't the guy for him.
    got to love that crap
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  20. #20
    Voice like Marcel Marceau Waiting for his millions from Nigeria
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    I've had a similar problem with French waiters. You do your best to be a good customer but somehow you end up feeling like it just wasn't meant to be.

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