I am fascinated by this toothpaste discussion.  I've never heard that term before!  I tried googling "toothpaste and sound mastering" to get some further info, but only found a few very minor discussions (and a lot of information about toothpaste in general).

Would someone please explain this to the group - or, send a link that does?  Thanks!  

This is purely for my own interest...


Allison A. Smith
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-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 05:57 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resoluti on FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech New s and Analysis

The worst example of toothpasting ever was the last Metallica album (which still won a Grammy for album art and was nominated for heavy metal categories -- nice message about quality from the Grammy folks). The RMS average level on that CD is -3dBfs and it's totally clipped. It's so over-loud that it clips the analog stage of most playback systems, clipping an already clipped waveform. And when it's crunched to a lossy format, it clips further because of all the digital overs created by the crunching math and psycho-acoustic EQ stuff. Even sometimes hearing damaged metal fans hate the sound of that album. Music-wise, while it's not up to Metallica's prime standards, it was their best album in years and could have stood as a very powerful last stand against age and changing music/culture trends. But it sounds so bad, I don't think it will be remembered as something as good as the music.

The mastering guys tell me that the biggest problem with the toothpasted stuff is that it's often delivered to them like that. Once a digital file has been committed to toothpasting, especially if it's done track by track, it can't be undone. Even if the toothpaste commitment came in the mixing, it's still an expensive and time-consuming endeavor to go back and remix it with civilized dynamics. 
The same is true with analog recordings, of course, and toothpasting was not invented in the DAW world (nor in rock music -- see Buddy Rich's 1970s Groove Merchant albums as an example of super-compressed jazz production).

As I've said before, the thing that amazes me about toothpasting is that the drummers -- usually the tough guys in the band -- let the guitarists win and come out louder. Toothpasting hurts electric guitars the least and drums the most.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Shai Drori" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:35 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resoluti on FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech New s and Analysis

>I actually had a client not pay me about a year ago for a mastering job 
>because it wasn't touthpasted. They went and redid it with another 
>engineer who did. And they had the audacity
>(Spelling?) to use my mixes without paying for them.
> Shai
> בתאריך 11/03/14 12:18 PM, ציטוט Tom Fine:
>> Yes. I lump them with record company hacks.
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert Cham" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:19 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resoluti on 
>> FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech New s and Analysis
>>> Let's not forget the producers in this. Back when I was very active 
>>> in recording, they were the main proponents of louder is better.
>>> Bob Cham
>>>> Apple, because it's Apple, hates FLAC and refuses to allow it in 
>>>> iTunes. Meanwhile, Sony is belatedly putting on a big push for 
>>>> native DSD, including a hardware/marketing push. So it's likely to 
>>>> be muddled, SACD vs DVD-A all over again. That said, anything to 
>>>> promote higher-quality downloads is a Good Thing in my book. I 
>>>> include in that Mastered for iTunes, but note that the vast 
>>>> majority of material sold on iTunes was not well mastered or well converted to the lossy format. Newer stuff, if it carries the Mastered for iTunes certification is better.
>>>> On another front, I'm seeing slight signs of progress against 
>>>> terrible-sounding toothpaste MAKE IT LOUDER mastering. Just the 
>>>> fact that the high-rez downloads places are demanding reasonable 
>>>> dynamics is trickling down to the CD mastering. I've now heard 
>>>> enough tales of woe from mastering engineers -- "The Artist Made Me 
>>>> Do It" or "The Record Company Suit Made Me Do It" -- that I tend to believe them, that Make It Louder is completely the fault of tin-eared artists and record company hacks. But that doesn't make the results sound any better!
>>>> --Tom Fine
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Tim Stamps" 
>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 6:20 PM
>>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Neil Young wants to take h igh-resolution 
>>>> FLAC audio recordings mainstrea m with Pono - Tech News and 
>>>> Analysis
>>>>> I hope all the players update their software so FLAC will play on 
>>>>> everything, but unfortunately it's not possible since many players 
>>>>> (both software and hardware) sold and/or distributed in the past cannot be updated.
>>>>> Tim
>>>>> On Mar 10, 2014, at 4:42 PM, Steve Greene wrote:
>>>>>> tion-flac-audio-recordings-mainstream-with-pono/
>>>>>> Stay tuned...
>>>>>> Curious as to what kind of mass-market penetration you can make 
>>>>>> at that price-point. Is the audiophile market alone enough?
>>>>>> Steve
>>>> !DSPAM:639,531e5abb44331637612606!
> --
> Cheers
> Shai Drori
> Timeless Recordings
> [log in to unmask]
> בברכה,
> שי דרורי
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