Examples of bad mixes?

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by took-the-red-pill, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Hi all,

    We often discuss our favourite mixes, how they jump out of the speakers and make us pee our pants with delight, if not send us running to our studios in the vain hope we might match what we've heard.

    But we know that failure can be a much better teacher. So what are the worst professional mixes you've heard out there? Ones where you put on the record/tape/CD, and just went, "YUK!"

    Please try to resist the urge to talk of content or songwriting. We have our most and least favourites there, but I'm talking about mixes

    I know everyone complains about these last few years since The Loudness Wars took over, and Loudness won, but what about the other decades?

  2. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    Anything by Metallica or Red Hot Chilli Peppers post 2000....
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'm a big fan of RUSH. One album that disapointed me was Vapor trails in 2002.
    I guess I was the only one because the band made it remixed in 2013

    Can't say if it came from the mix or the mastering or a combinaison. But it sounded overcompressed and nearly lowfi to me.
    The only new version I found on youtube have digital artifacts like if it passed the 0db or had a problem with youtube convertion but here is it anyway to give an idea of the difference..

  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Pretty much every cheezy live concert recording that consists of a cursory mix slathered in reverb as if the listener wants to know what it sounded like in the nosebleed section.
    Sean G likes this.
  5. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I wonder what happened to those particular bands after 2000? I'd hazard a guess but i'd be wrong.
  6. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    I too have a Rush album, Test For Echo, and it seems like something is off there too. It's always sounded funny to me, though I haven't necessarily been able to identify exactly what. Again, I don't want to guess.
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    For a reason unknown, they tried to keep their original sound, from the time they recorded at Le Studio in Quebec.. This studio closed down long ago, so sad...
    Audio evolves, they should have just go with current successfull producers and studios.
    Don't get me wrong, I love Rush! They are great writer and performers ;)
  8. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Active Member

    I thought the issue here was that they DIDN'T try to keep their original sound/production --- that they themselves got caught up in the loudness wars and were chasing a trend for the sake of being new. Moving Pictures was recorded in Le Studio too and it sounds awesome - later releases were too dense and saturated with textures and layers - then compressed and bumped into insufferable messes.
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I don't know Dog, they didn't do a press conference on it ;)...
    You may be right about the loudness. But the saturation and kind of lack of definition of vapor trails seems like someone who wants to emulate tape and classic boards too much...
    Anyway.. It was a big deception for me
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Well, how much of this is attributed to the mixing, and how much is related to post ( mastering) is questionable.

    Some of these mixes might have sounded really great when they left the studios where they were mixed at, and then were over limited in mastering, while others may have been mixed that way before they even got to mastering.

    In the case of Metallica's Death Magnetic, Andrew Scheps, who engineered the album, was pushed by Rick Rubin ( producer) to over-limit during the mix; and by the time it got to Ted Jensen at Sterling for mastering, it was already ridiculously squashed, at which point he was ordered to "smash" it even further.
  11. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member


    Other examples?
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    George Michael's One More Try always had a serious cringe factor for me, because of the excessive ssssSibilance, which was made even worse by the cold, harsh, nasty reverb they have his voice saturated with...

    There's other things I hate about the mix, too... but the vocal track is what bothers me the most.

    I apologize in advance to those courageous enough to listen...

  13. took-the-red-pill

    took-the-red-pill Active Member

    Just recently pulled out my vinyl copy of Don't Say No-Billy Squier, the one that gave us The Stroke, and was his only album of note.

    On the one hand, I think they were going for a signature sound, and they did achieve that. But on the other hand, things are loaded up with more effects than a bad Star Wars sequel, and there is no bottom end whatsoever. Even on my nice big house speakers there is nothing to speak of below about 100 Hz.

    Oh well. I still sang along at the top of my lungs.

Share This Page