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Production Values Today...Compared to Yesterday

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Clowd, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    I'm sure I'm going to get flamed for this, but..

    what do people like so much about the Abbey Road kick sound? or the entire recording for that matter.

    Maybe it's because I'm young (19) but I just don't get it. I listen to it and to me it just sounds so.... weak. It sounds distant, or something.

    Again, maybe I'm just too young to understand it, but when I hear the words "great recording" I think of highly produced metal bands.

    These are some of my favorite recordings, production-wise. These are what immediately come to mind when someone is talking about a great quality recording:




    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hLRfa5_nV0 (this song kind of sucks in my opinion, but the production is top notch.)

    Someone please enlighten me, I'm not trying to be disrespectful.. obviously the Beatles have had a huge influence on where music has gone, and I'm not trying to take that or anything away from them... but like I said, I just don't get it.
  2. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    No, it sounds REAL.

    Eventually you'll get it.
  3. rockstardave

    rockstardave Active Member

    yuck, i hate my d6. anyone want to buy it?

    the d6 doesnt let you do anything with it. it's ok live because you dont have to do anything for a rock sound. but unusable in the studio.

    beta52 is totally sculptable. if you know how they work it's easy to dial-in a good sound real fast ... live or studio
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member


    To elaborate on Ben's comments comment: The drum sounds on Abbey Road are more like an unamplified kit. You are used to drums that are individually miced, gated, compressed and then mixed. A very popular sound, but not my favorite. Not all drums have to sound like that. What's more they shouldn't. Note that the vocal performances in all of the songs you put up were very similar. They have to be in order to cut through the dense, uniform sound texture of the instruments. Yes, the instruments are "strong" but they don't leave any room for harmony vocals or any kind of delicacy. The Beatles had two of the best vocalists in rock and a strong third. All could sing harmony and they blended extremely well. The style of drums you hear on Abbey Road suits complex, natural vocals extremely well. While it has gone out of style in Pop music, it (or something like it) is still used by artists Diana Krall, Nora Jones, Allison Krause. It works in that situation.
  5. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bob.

    It's one thing to go for a new or different sound.
    It's totally another to mix yet again more Hollywood Records drum sounds.

    Bore ring!

    What separates Lars from the pack?

    How about Bonham?

    Or Collins?

    Check out the first album by The Cure, and "Marquee Moon" by Television.

    Do those drum sounds suck?

    If so............. I bite my tongue.......
  6. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Yes you are to young.
    I am 21, and was rather recently like you. I also did not get it (in full). Not to say I did not like bands from that era, I just did not quite get what was so awful about the new music I was listening to.
    Part of it was maturity, part of it was having knowledgeable people explain it to me, and part of it was getting into professional audio, and for the first time actually hearing what really sets them apart. Not just listening to every thing on shitty headphones, or a $200 sony shelf system.

    Right now is a particularly bad time to be a new artist. If you get on a major label, chances are your album is going to be produced to sound as close to the best selling product out there. And right now the best selling product is over produced and compressed to all hell.

    Unless your album sounds like it was done by Andy Sneap, very few labels will release it (coming from the hard rock/metal area of music). There are plenty of times where albums have been sent back to mix, with a library of what the label wants the drums to sound lie. And all the replacements are done.
    Back in the 60's if something was not right, It was re recorded. But it was always a real recording.
  7. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    I see what you are saying, and I'm not trying to be ignorant, but I _LIKE_ overproduced and compressed to hell... and apparently a lot of other people do too or else it wouldn't have become the standard to the point where I have grown up with it so much that it has become what I compare myself and other bands to, right?

    I don't know. I know I'm just showing my immaturity but I felt the need to get to the bottom of it.

    I like when the snare and bass drum sound consistent throughout the song. I understand that it's not as expressive.. but to me, the drums aren't really an emotion-conveying instrument. They are there to keep the groove. I like consistency in general, in fact. Again, perhaps it's not as "expressive", but it has never prevented me from successfully interpreting the emotional impact of a song?

    Is that so wrong?

    It's not my fault - it's just what I have grown up with and become accustomed to!
  8. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Most engineers would much rather listen to a real kit then one that fabricated.
    You can still make an acoustic kit sound huge. Just look at the black album. Plus that album sounds incredible large with out it being compressed to $*^t. In fact that extra bit of power is because its not compressed to $*^t. It allows the track to have varying degrees of volume. Now the tracks are compressed so that the loudness of the softer parts is just as loud as the harder parts. Which takes away from the true power of the harder parts since there is zero contrast.

    The reason why every thing is so compressed is that all the labels want their song to be the loudest heard on the radio. They are under the impression that the louder the song, the more people will like it. Bat ^#$%ing crazy? I would say so. the same thin is being done to commercials. You may find your self turning down the volume during them lately.
    It has nothing to do with the true preference of listening public, but rather the ignorance of the people trying to sell music.
    You are just so god damn used to it since your ears did not have the time to get used to how it used to be.
    I would be in the same boat, but a profound love for artist like David Bowie and Deep Purple, I got to the see the other side of it.

    When you get your self some high end sound systems you will hear the difference. One sounds great at high volumes, and the other sounds like noise.
  9. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    If you can't hear the grove in a song like I Want You (She's So Heavy), then there might be some problems.
    Sure the sound may not be in your face, but that leaves room for every thing to sound its best. Crank the tune up and listen to the real power of it. Notice how the vocals sit so well on top of the mix and a great deal of dynamic and tonal contrasting is being used. Every instrument can effortlessly be listened to since they are not fighting for their space. They are given the proper amount of room to sit perfectly in the track.
  10. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    Interesting. I will have to check all that stuff out.

    Here's a thought though. What do you think these metal bands would sound like if they were produced in an oldschool way? Don't you think it is actually appropriate for the genre to be produced the way it is?
  11. TheFraz

    TheFraz Active Member

    Perhaps a 4 track recording of a drum set may not suit metal all that great, but this does not mean every thing needs to be sampled and compressed to $*^t. Once again, listen to the black album. HUGE sounding kit. none of it which was not actually recorded.
    You don't have to fallow the status quo to make things sound appropriately heavy. There are plenty of ways to achieve huge sounds. The real shame is that now, no one is given the chance to create something new. Every thing now is just far to cookie cutter. And most people begin to resent that. Well at least the people that value the music they listen to.
  12. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    Hm. I would call the black album drums pretty average. They may be huge but they still sound "distant"

    I guess I just really like dry sounds?
  13. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Geez, I dunno...

    Let's see.

    Iron Maiden
    Judas Priest
    Black Sabbath
    Quiet Riot
    Twisted Sister
    King Diamond
    Mercyful Fate

    Who knows what the newbies might sound like....?
  14. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    BTW Clowd, I think you're confusing 'Huge' (i.e. Bonham, Moon, Mason) with 'Brickwall Limited' (i.e. Band Du Jour).

    A common misconception.

    Just a thought...
  15. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    I think you are right, but, it's to the point where I wouldn't call any of those sounds huge. They sound outdated to me.
  16. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    What would you call huge?
  17. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    Here's another one of my favorites for production all across the board. I would call this huge.-


    and oh my god, this has to be one of my favorite kick drum sounds ever. That one at the very beginning of the song. Pure hugeness. -


    also, here's a metal-ish band that has a little different production than the norm, I really like this actually (Although again, it's not something I would use for my own band)


    this, too, is a little bit less clean/overproduced/whatever-

    http://www.myspace.com/calicosystem (Gasoline or Rising Tide - "They Live" is another example of clean heavy hugeness, IMO.)
  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Clowd....You're only referring to a small amount of the musical industry and pretty much simply stating your case along preferential likes.

    Its great that you embrace a certain kind of music. We all have preferences. But youre comparing apples to oranges.

    While we could all continue to discuss our own preferences for style and type of music, its a dead-end street to say one is better or newer, or more this or more that than another.

    Until you have spent the time listening to every aspect of every style of music, you cannot be any sort of expert on it. Its good that you are passionate about what you like, but its not all there is.

    I like some metal. I've heard a LOT of it...(my son is a very good and fast drummer) but I gotta tell ya....theres such a small amount of difference between one band and another in this particular genre that it gets old fast.

    The only really new and exciting stuff is the bands that play with a huge sweep of dynamics. Playing all out at 165 beats per minute as loud as you can while screamoing unintelligible lyrics can only be interesting for so long and then it gets repetitive.

    At least with most of the old and dated music, One song was distinguishable from another within a few seconds of the beginning.

    Its amazing to me to see the fear that comes with perhaps learning about something new. Most think its going to destroy what they already know and love instead of seeing it as a filling up of themselves with more experiences. You never lose what you already have, you just have more to think about and enjoy.
  19. Clowd

    Clowd Guest

    I like that last bit, totally true.

    Anyway, you're right, it is comparing apples to oranges, but I see it here all the time the other way around, people are always $*^t talking modern production and stuff like its so terrible, and the entire time I have been trying to figure out why, you know? I feel like I'm missing out on something everybody else hears but I don't, haha.
  20. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    As I was trying to indicate above, my objection is that this type of production is so confining. Once you are in this fast, heavily compressed mode, there are only a limited number of things that work. The vocals have to be screamed. The bass has to be eighth notes. The guitar has to be single notes or double stops. You have to drive - you can't swing. Let's face it, this wasn't ever a very musically complex genre. But bands and producers have converged on a single formula and basically locked themselves into it. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to have narrowed - maybe distilled is a better word - in the 35 years that I have been listening to it. (In recent years not so closely.) I've heard funk distilled to disco, and James Brown distilled to hip hop. And it's easy to track the track the progression of big band jazz to Lawrence Welk big band pop. (Does anyone under 25 know who that is?) Simplification is not always a good thing.

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