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Red Hot Chili Peppers- Brendan's Death Song

Discussion in 'Recording' started by ClarkJaman, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    What do you guys think of acoustic guitar at the beginning of this track?
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Brendan's Death Song [Official Music Video] - YouTube

    I'm shy, so I was gonna wait to see what you guys say before I say anything else. :p But I'm curious to hear the opinion of professionals on this song. It's my favorite track off this great album, but that acoustic guitar drives me nuts. It sounds like it was tracked improperly. Too hot or something. Do you guys think that they did this on purpose? Or is this really a case of declining quality due to anyone with a macbook and a few mics being able to produce an album?

    This should be interesting,
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I love this track and band. Sounds great to me. It is what it is.
  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's The RHCP. If you're looking for that finely polished silk that is apparent on tracks by artists like Sting you're probably not going to find that with this band.

    Conversely, I doubt that they care much about imaging or complex M-S mic arrays that tend to give a more highly refined sound, especially on acoustic instruments.

    They've always been about the "raw" side, putting more stock in bad ass grooves and lyric content then they have a "studio sound".

    Their use of acoustic instruments, as well as with vocals, has always been austere.

    I agree with Chris, it is what it is.

    Enjoy the song, enjoy the ride that this band can take you on. ;)
  4. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Yeah, they are definitely all about the raw side of things, like you said Donny. I'm pretty sure they don't use click tracks on any of their recordings. If I were them I still would have recorded that acoustic guitar differently though. Isn't that why they hire top engineers at professional studios to do their records? :/

    Of course you do! I have yet to meet a musician who doesn't like the RHCP. :p
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The secret to creating popular music is not about making the sound perfect, its about creating a sound that is perfect for the song of the generation. That's why Grunge became so popular in the 90's. Digital Distorted Vocals actually sounded right.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It's not a James Taylor record where the acoustic guitar sound is silky and polished, as fans of Taylor and other similar artists have come to expect.. It's edgy, raw and unencumbered by FX processing or even special multi mic array recording.

    An engineer's job is to give the Producer, or, if the artist is big enough - and the Peppers certainly are of that stature - what they want. The engineer can make suggestions, of course, but in the end it's up to the artist or producer. This guitar sound may very well have been exactly what they were after. In that case, the engineer did precisely what they were hired to do.

  7. Blue Bear Sound

    Blue Bear Sound Active Member


    U2 albums (especially early ones) are not noted for audio fidelity either - but the lo-fi sound is part of the vibe....
  8. ClarkJaman

    ClarkJaman Active Member

    Of course. I think this is the James Taylor sound you mean:
    Tyler Ward - Somewhere With You (Acoustic) - YouTube

    That's the kind of sound that I, and most people for that matter, are going for when they record acoustic guitar MOST OF THE TIME. But there are infinite other sounds that, while might not be as bright and full, sound good for the situation that they are in. For example:
    Ben Howard - Old Pine - YouTube
    Walk Off The Earth - Gang Of Rhythm Lyrics - YouTube

    Those guitars don't sound "good" if you are hoping for the "James Taylor Sound." But they still are great guitar recordings and great songs. To me, the Brendans Death Song acoustic guitar still sounds bad. If I was the producer, engineer, band, whatever, I sure wouldn't have done it like that. Maybe it's just a personal preference.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i'm not sure if rick rubin had his name on this one (produced) but they sure have had some good work done under his perspective. i just googled it he didn't come up as producer. could be one of the 80 songs they made for by the way? staduim arcadiam? it's refreshing to hear a band so 'big' sound normal. i like it better than the last few singles they put out. actually sounds like them playing in a normal living room, and dare i say to tape,no punches? the immediacy is the cool factor. not my fav song, but better than some overproduced version of an average song, that they may or may not re-capture.

    are the vox over dubbed? hmmm. sounds like it could be a 58 either way. my guess is an 8-16 track deck, w/ vocals overdubbed. maybe even a 58 hitting the console tape hard for vox? speculation on my part. refreshing to my ears. i love when artists aren't afraid to release demos. it's cool to hear 'em. like sublimes demo stuff. how they do, or don't, create the greatness.

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