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

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  1. #21
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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.
    This describes every instance I've set foot in a Guitar Center.
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  2. #22
    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

    wow...theres someone who genuinely wants to solve the problem. "its not MY setup, must be yours".

    consider it a blessing. just imagine the kind of recalls you'd get from that guy.
  3. #23
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    I would rather look at it like this: "I am the professional. If I can help him solve the problem, and he's happy, he will help maintain my good reputation". Plenty of perfectly reasonable and sympathetic people out there are clueless about technology.

    One thing that I found helpful in situations like these is to not be overly confrontational or defensive. "Ok, so it distorts on your end. I'm sorry to hear that. I don't know exactly what the problem is, but here's what we could do…."


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  4. #24
    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 told the client that the issue of distorted playback was at his end. Unfortunately he refuses to even entertain that as a possibility
    what do you do when someone is just being outright stubborn? sounds like he tried the diplomatic approach already. when that ship has sailed and the other end 'refuses' to accept its a possible issue on their end, instead of being open to solve it, at what point do you abandon diplomacy?

    Its the cook trying to tell the carpenter how to use a saw. Maybe I'm just being a grouch, but I've seen this way too often, recording or otherwise, and it kinda pisses me off. you'd think that if he really wanted to solve the issue, he'd at least 'entertain the possibility'.

    ok, deep breath...

    dnafe, did the guy happen to tell you what he was using to playback your mixes?
  5. #25
    Has Many Personal Intergritys Expensive Boat Anchor
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Well but...

    let us say the carpenter 'likes making' 9 foot bookcases.
    It arrived at the client's house, where he has an 8 ft ceiling.

    So sure "it works fine HERE. IT's YOUR problem" is both correct and asinine.

    You're presumably not mastering
    "The mix is hot..." to me the red flag.

    There is no REASON for the mix to be 'hot'.

    Part of of the problem with the mastering level wars (even on the pro mastering end) is that some consumer CD players simply distort playback of those levels even if the track 'plays fine' on a pro system.

    if a track plays clean for you and dirty
    for him, a lower SENSIBLE level is the FIRST thing i would try.

    Another thing I'd do is copy one of his favourite tracks from your iTunes library (the Beatles, tom petty, Pantera,... Whatever) and (AFTER comparing its level to your mix and deciding they are roughly comparable) send that along as well. By the same route. Does THAT distort on his end?

    if Pretty Vacant is also distorting his playback it's hard to blame you.
    Otoh if it isn't it's hard to blame him.
  6. #26
    Has Many Personal Intergritys Expensive Boat Anchor
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Also. You have a semi helpful �� Community here.
    Maybe someone has time for you to shoot the track to him/her the same method for a quick look and listen.
  7. #27
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    what do you do when someone is just being outright stubborn? sounds like he tried the diplomatic approach already.
    Well… I'm not privy to the whole interchange between the OP and the client, but playing the devil's advocate for a moment, checking the mix with some buddies and then returning to the client "armed with that info" is not necessarily construed as "diplomatic" so much as "defensive". I agree that the client apparently is taking a defensive posture himself, but instead of quibbling, I still would have taken the high road by simply sending him a mix that was printed 1-2 dB softer, and a "try listening to this. It is a softer mix, but at least you can see if the problem persists".

    Weedy makes the good suggestion of sending him a regular iTunes track at comparable levels, and see if the distortion appears there as well.

    FWIW, for client mixes, I usually leave about -.3 dB of headroom on my limiting. It doesn't take much to distort playback on some sound cards. As I said earlier, Spotify distorts certain sound cards at full tilt.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  8. #28
    Middle Handicapper...short game needs work Real purdy mouth
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    For the record we've been working together since August of 2015 and prior to this had no issues with any songs that we worked on so to have this issue pop up out of nowhere was very perplexing....especially considering that no significant changes were made to my mix template for his songs.

    That said, all your suggestions, as well as those made by people commenting on my post on Mixie's facebook page were tried, with the same results which was even more perplexing.

    Bottom line here is the mixes were not distorted anywhere but on his system so now we're looking at what, if any, changes were made at his end prior to us working on this latest song.
    wtf do I know...I hit mixes with sticks
  9. #29
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Also. You have a semi helpful �� Community here.
    Maybe someone has time for you to shoot the track to him/her the same method for a quick look and listen.
    Maybe the most helpful reply would have been: send me the mix and I'll have a look?
  10. #30
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Maybe the most helpful reply would have been: send me the mix and I'll have a look?

    okay...it's nice of you to offer
  11. #31
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    okay...it's nice of you to offer
    Being on a semi helpful forum - I can almost promise that.
  12. #32
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    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
    That's what I was going to say.

    Have him try it directly out of the computer speakers or headphones... if it distorts, bad, if it sounds fine, then it's his stages of gain somewhere. He's got to admit that non?
  13. #33
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    He's got to admit that non?
    Well, according to the OP he has been less than helpful in that regard, so it is unlikely that he will humor him by performing any such trouble shooting.


    otek
    "Tube color is not the 'thing'. Why would the most linear amplifying device have a color?" - Jonte Knif
  14. #34
    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

    dnafe, any chance you could post a clip? i wouldn't mind having a listen. I've heard commercial material that you can hear subtle clipping, but its still musical enough not to be distracting to the ear. I wonder if the other guy is just nit-picking about a similar type of distortion.
  15. #35
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    Default Re: Clean mix showing up distorted at client's end

    Old but I am behind.
    I have had mix's in here to check out that where IMHO far to hot, I tell the engineer turn it down. One guy was sending me stuff to work and the mix's where pegging 0, that does not work for me.
    So to the point why not just turn down the mix a bit and send hime a new version not so hot?
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