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Vlado Meller

Mastering Engineer Presentation
by

Andrew Elliott

on 29 January 2013

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Transcript of Vlado Meller

Vlado Meller Biographical Sketch Meller the Icon Meller the Douchebag - 40+ years working as an engineer in the audio industry

-1969 - he began career cutt vinyl for CBS

- continued to work for CBS/Sony for 38 years- Sony studios closed in NYC → began working for Universal Mastering until 2011 (closed in 2012)

- currently: senior engineer at Masterdisk Studios Vlado and His Magic Ears: The Godhead of Modern Mastering? Genre Diversity: - rock, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, metal, dance, opera * not unique amongst mastering engineers Consistent Success & Workload: - worked on approx. 587 albums- has received 2 grammy’s for his mastering work “In the course of any given day I might master Horowitz in the morning, Miles Davis in the afternoon, and a heavy metal band in the evening. Or any other genre of music! I really enjoyed that, and I still like that kind of variety. Each type of music demands a different approach in mastering. This keeps it fresh.” (2011, Masterdisk bio) Practice Knowlege: Distilling Knowledge: •Embrace diversity of experiences in music/genres

•Recognize genre-specific traits, trends, and values (musical relativism)

•Familiarity with the technical limitations and characteristics of equipment

•There is no substitute for practice knowledge

•Legally and socially sanctified chemical substances will be your spirit guides (did you notice his thermos of coffee - a fucking thermos - on his desk?) In his own words: Sampling Meller: Vlado the Impaler (hlar hlar): The King of the Loudness Wars? View of waveform of "Something", The Beatles, after various re-masters over approx. two decades. “Modern recordings that use extreme dynamic range compression and other measures to increase loudness therefore sacrifice sound quality to loudness. The competitive escalation of loudness has led music fans and members of the musical press to refer to the affected albums as "victims of the loudness war".” (Wikipedia) “Californication is the Chili Peppers' most commercially successful studio release, with over 16 million copies sold worldwide,[1] and more than 5 million in the United States alone” (Wikipedia) Critical Reception: - "excessive compression and distortion", Tim Anderson, The Guardian (2007)
- a victim of the loudness war, "even non-audiophile consumers complained about it", Stylus Magazine (2007) Dynamic Range Before & After Mastering: “When there is no quiet, there can be no loud.” ~Matt Mayfield Defend Thyself, Vlado! "Most people listen to music in their cars...if it's not loud enough, they'll take it out and put on something else...You go to a rock concert- it's unbearable! It's unbearable for me to sit there and listen to the levels they're playing at. The CD doesn't even come close."(Vlado Meller interviewed about Californication etc. in "Perfecting Sound Forever") Holistically: Answers That Raise Questions: What does Meller reflect and reveal of the commercial music industry? What can we glean from his words, his success, and his position as one of the leading commercial mastering engineers? "The people who criticize loud records are probably the ones who never listen to them. If you like Shostakovich, you don't buy Chilli Peppers Cds. If you like Metallica, you don't listen to Miles Davis." ~ Meller, 2011 “Here's a condescending generalization right back:

People who buy Red Hot Chilli Peppers albums in AAC format from iTunes will not give a flying FUCK about the "optimal quality" of what they're listening to. And people who do care won't be interested because your masters are unfuckinglistenable. Try not contributing to the routine destruction of recorded sound in the name of commercial gain before you attempt to contribute to the future of high-fidelity audio, I'm pretty sure that's common sense.” ~ Stewart, at http://darkandtwistedsounds.edrock.net/2011/11/vlado-meller-is-tool.html (...to some)
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