The 6 dB of Headroom for Mastering Myth Explained

First, this GIF is brilliant, it illustrates how a 32-bit floating-point file behaves when you lower the gain, watch those peaks!!! mixproblem fas dither, 2018’s most common mixing issues, Saintpid Mastering

The difference between a fixed point and floating point file isn’t that easy to explain, at least if the client is someone who’s just want to make a banging techno track and don’t really care about technical stuff, “Dude, just make it sound good”. I borrowed the GIF from Justin Perkins’s article “The 6 dB of Headroom for Mastering Myth Explained“, which, if you read it, will make you deliver tracks for mastering like a pro in no time!


The 6 dB of Headroom for Mastering Myth Explained


Noisebud Leaky2

I’m proud to have been a big part of the development behind the Leaky2 plugin. Probably the best and most unique plugin that I been involved with to date. Leaky2 will let you leak part of the spectrum between L, R, Sum or Difference:

mixproblem fas dither, 2018’s most common mixing issues, Saintpid Mastering

YouTube experimenting with EBU R128

YouTube seems to abandoned their former loudness normalization algorithm and started to experiment with EBU R128 (LUFS) instead. Their new target value seems to be -14LUFS which is about 2 dB lower than before. They still leave material lower than their target unchanged which is both good and bad, good because everything ain’t supposed to be played back at the same level. Sad because that will make some aim for -14LUFS even if it doesn’t do the material any good, but hey, it’s better than -12!
This means a lot for us who are working with mastering, for one, they’re now at about the same target as Tidal, Spotify and Pandora which means the need for more than one master is even less relevant than before (we rarely deliver more than one master, but it happens). And, projects where YouTube will be the final destination, will be easier to mix and master as you will now have an additional 2dB of dynamics to work with.

Little Misfortune

Idag släpps världens bästaste spel Little Misfortune!

Jag fick förtroendet att mixa och mastra all musik till spelet vilket jag gjorde med glädje, det är alltid lika kul att jobba åt mina idoler Natalia och Isak som startade och driver Killmonday Games!

De enda 16 mixtips du behöver?

Rob Mayzes (Musician on a mission) har satt ihop 16 mixtips som i stort sett sammanfattar allt jag brukar tjata om när man mixar… Förutom tipset om vilken monitorvolym du ska jobba med, där tycker jag att det finns bättre riktlinjer än ‘mixa på låg volym’. Det jag tycker är dumt med det tipset är att ljudstyrka är subjektivt (om du inte pratar SPL mätvärden) och även om det i videon ges en referens att man ska kunna tala obehindrat över mixen så finns det betydligt bättre sätt att kalibrera sin monitorlyssning som dessutom gör dig till en bättre mixare över tid. Jag syftar på Bob Katzs K-system. Under videon med de 16 tipsen ligger en video som är gjord av min (internet)vän Russel Cottier som är så där duktig att det alltid känns lite pinsamt att överhuvudtaget diskutera ljudteknik om han är i närheten, han kan liksom allt och inget jag säger kommer någonsin vara något han inte har hört någonstans förut. Lite som mina andra vänner brukar beskriva hur det är att prata ljud och ljudteknik med mig, right back at me! Kika på båda videorna och efter det kommer du mixa som ett proffs!

The Only 16 Mixing Tips You'll Ever Need


The K- Meter – Mixing with The K-System (in Mixbus and other DAWs)



Crack Baby Panic Attack

Although a skilled mastering engineer should have the ability to find and enhance what is great and unique with every track he/she works with regardless of one’s personal taste, you can’t deny that working with music you enjoy do make a difference. During 2018 I had a couple of projects that stand out from the crowd and that has found its way to my personal playlist, my 2018 number #1 would be the unreleased album by Marie Sjåvik (which I’m sure will take the world by storm when released) and another favorite was the band Marble Mammoth and especially the song ‘Crack Baby Panic Attack’. It was a true bliss to work with this song, perfectly mixed by Labros at, some small EQ and dynamic adjustments, set the volume against their other tracks and then just close my eyes and enjoy the music. It’s almost as if great music masters itself.
Now there’s a video to accompany the track and the song has gotten even better!

Marble Mammoth – "Crack Baby Panic Attack" (Official Video)

Little Misfortune

Efter 2 intensiva veckor så är nu 40 spår mixade och mastrade åt Killmonday Games spel Little Misfortune. Precis som deras tidigare spel Fran Bow så är Little Misfortunes värld en blandning av något glatt och barnsligt till det mörkaste mörka, och då menar jag verkligen det mörkaste av det mörkaste. Ingenting verkar vara tabu, mord, alkoholism, alla droger du kan tänka dig och en pappa med en meth-fabrik i källaren flyter förbi ackompanjerade av Misfortunes barnsligt söta kommentarer och glada stämma. Tyvärr har en bug i preview-versionen jag har hindrat mig från att ta mig till the Eternal Happiness så nu längtar jag efter den beta som ska finnas inom 2 veckor.

Här hittar ni Little Misfortune på Steam, lägg till det på er wishlist asap!


Dynamiskt är kul

Under senaste månaderna har det jobbats med en hel del dataspelsmusik här på Saintpid. Just nu manglar vi igenom 40 spår som ska mixas och mastras för kommande Little Misfortune från Killmonday Games.

En sak som varit gemensamt för alla dataspelsprojekt är att beställarna velat ha det dynamiskt. Det är ju kul eftersom det är så musik gör sig bäst!
Ni kommer få höra mer om Little Misfortune framöver men det får bli när spelet är släppt, så länge får ni njuta av en liten smygtitt på inspelningen av soundtracket till spelet Airport CEO som är skrivet och producerat av Sinephony och mastrat här på Saintpid.

The making of the Airport CEO soundtrack

Why all these bits?

Our clients often ask for ‘high resolution’ files, this can mean both a higher samplerate than 44.1KHz and/or a greater wordlength (bits) than 16. In our experience people are quite confident around samplerates but misconceptions about wordlength/bits seems more common. Even though 24bit (or higher) may be preferable in some situations we still recommend using 16 bits (and a 44.1KHz samplerate) as format for distribution online. We will continue to do that until there’s a new global standard for online distribution, if there ever going to be one. The reason being that when the files leave the mastering house, all control of the material will be gone. Who knows what dodgy dithers and SRC the different distribution services uses, some may be good, others will sound like crap. By delivering the format that most online platforms use and the format that 90% of the consumers will end up with, you (hopefully) avoid unnecessary conversions between both wordlength/bits and samplerates.
Ian Shepherd recently released the video below that easily shows what a lower number of bits actually means, it’s probably not what you expected:

The truth about bit-depth and digital audio resolution

And, if you want to dive deeper into bit depth and digital audio, plow through this video where Monty Montgomery describes the phenomenon of dither, bits and sampling frequency:

D/A and A/D | Digital Show and Tell (Monty Montgomery @

2018’s most common mixing issues

Here’s a list of the 3 most common mix mistakes we saw during 2018, and some tips on how to avoid them!

  1. Phase problems. About half the albums we mastered in 2018 had phase issues, sometimes so severe that instruments completely disappeared while listening in mono, and other times the mix sounded completely different in mono due to volume differences… Tip: Occasionally switch between stereo and mono while mixing. Mix in mono for about 30 minutes, mix in stereo for maybe 30 minutes and change again … Always start your mix in mono!
  2. Truncation errors. Truncation distortion will appear when reducing bit depth without the use of dither. For some reason, I have had several projects where individual instruments in mixes have suffered from quantization distortion. Mostly it has been acoustically sampled instruments so it could be a sample player that lacks dither or maybe a popular sample collection that hasn’t been dithered correctly… Tip: Listen carefully to your sampled instruments, especially when they fade out (truncation distortion will be most obvious in the tail). If it sounds weird, try putting a dither plugin last in the chain on the affected channel and see if it sounds better. Airwindows has a free plugin called Ditherbox.
  3. Cut off fades. This is not a new phenomena, it’s been on the list for many years. When you render your mix, add about half a second of silence before the music starts and listen properly at the end and add as much time as needed to let all the cymbals and reverbs fade out to silence, add about another second or two just to be sure.

Happy mixing everyone!

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