R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down

Author Topic: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)  (Read 9846 times)

Colin Frangos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« on: January 03, 2006, 10:56:04 pm »

This if from the compression thread over in Albini's forum:
j.hall wrote on Sun, 01 January 2006 15:40

electrical wrote on Sun, 01 January 2006 16:39



Have you ever listened to a record and thought, gee, this sounds too natural? Too much like the real thing?

I haven't. I have thought the opposite though, more often than not.



see, i actually have.


I asked if you'd expand on this over there, but you don't seem to have been back.

So now I'm over here.

I'm genuinely curious about this. What records and why?
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 01:19:17 pm »

i have plenty of records on my shelf that sound so bad to my i can hardly listen to them.....or i can't listen to them at all.

i'll have to look and make a list but here is what i can think of just off the top of my head.

Refused - fanning the flames of discontent
The Get Up Kids - Four Minute Mile
Hot Snakes - Automatic Midnight
Fugazi - End Hits

there are many more, i'll have to look
Logged

pg666

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 332
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 02:05:26 pm »

Quote:

Hot Snakes - Automatic Midnight
Fugazi - End Hits



???

the refused album does sound a little cheesy and the get up kids suck ass, but geez.. if those 2 other records are unlistenable to you (2 self-produced recordings made by studio-savvy veterans in pro studios) then i don't really know what to say. i mean, everyone has little things they'd like to change on any given record but to me those 2 recordings are exactly what the bands set out to acheive (fugazi's most experimental stage and john reis' wipers obsession). i also happen to love some of the snare sounds on end hits and the guitar sounds on 'automatic midnight' are huge, but that's not even that important.

i'll say more later i'm sure (and i'm sure many others will too)

Logged

Colin Frangos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2006, 02:53:25 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 10:19

i have plenty of records on my shelf that sound so bad to my i can hardly listen to them.....or i can't listen to them at all.

i'll have to look and make a list but here is what i can think of just off the top of my head.

Refused - fanning the flames of discontent
The Get Up Kids - Four Minute Mile
Hot Snakes - Automatic Midnight
Fugazi - End Hits

there are many more, i'll have to look


I'm more interested in why the natural sound doesn't work for you, and what about these albums you think compression would fix - not about them being unlistenable per se, but them being unlistenable because they're "too natural" and "too much like the real thing".

I don't know the first two well, but I know the second two. And like both a lot, not just for the music but the sound as well. I wouldn't call End Hits "natural sounding", though, so it's probably not a good test case. Let's stick to Automatic Midnight, unless you want to try to establish End Hits as being "natural sounding". Other examples are fine if there's some glaring example out there that you think makes your case, but for now let's start with Auto Midnight.

Could elaborate on what you think more compression would fix? Or what "natural" elements of the recording ruin it for you and how? I realize that might be a bit vague, but I'd appreciate your thoughts on the subject.

Thanks.
Logged

pg666

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 332
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2006, 03:13:32 pm »

fwiw.. 'end hits' does indeed have a lot of effects, but their sound guy pulls a lot of it off live, even though it's not exactly like the record..
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2006, 04:04:28 pm »

if it weren't for fugazi, jawbox, and drive like jehu i would probably have continued my love for metal (even though i still have that love, indie rock over came me.....)

so here it is.

end hits, yes i love the record as well, and have it in my "hard to listen to" category for these reasons.  as the songs are awesome, the band is in a great place they have never been in creatively and emotionally....the "end mix" makes it difficult to fully hear the ideas as the entire band plays them live.  it sounds like a record mixed by a guitar player and alas....the liner notes reflect that.

the drums are difficult to hear on some songs to the point of "why did they even try to mix them in".  to me, the brilliance of fugazi on record has been it's clarity and "DIY" type approach.  well they got one of those two better then the other on end hits.

so yes, i love it as well, but no i don't think it's a great sounding record that i can sit around a passively listen to.  i have to actively try to pick pieces out.

so by using some compression and a some less biased blending, you can level out the dense rock mix to have some clarity like their other records.

copy and paste all the above for my same exact opinion on Automatic Midnight with the following.

yes the guitars sound awesome when they aren't clipping.  the drums are hardly there at all.  and what the hell is that mush of a bass tone.  it's just awful.

i'm not sure i'd call john's practice space studio "awesome".  they didn't cut that record at big fish.....

ben moore is actually a friend of mine and i've heard all about the making of the hot snakes records and the rocket stuff that ben has worked on.

what is interesting is you agree about the get up kids record, and that was cut by bob weston and was meant to be "natural" sounding....but does little else but sound like a rock band not rocking.  and the get up kids (not a band i like) haven't been known for a rocking problem.

another record:
Shiner - Splay
Logged

Fibes

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4306
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2006, 04:11:19 pm »

This whole thing is getting a bit funny to me. it has made all of us look at our philosophical approach to this but really it boils down to what works for you and your clients.

Some E/Ps are looked to to create gold from crap and others are looked to to capture a well conceived concept.

In the end we all have to throw our own bunny.
Logged
Fibes
-------------------------------------------------
"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2006, 04:18:36 pm »

SSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

some people haven't gotten that yet.
Logged

Colin Frangos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2006, 04:27:07 pm »

pg666 wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 12:13

fwiw.. 'end hits' does indeed have a lot of effects, but their sound guy pulls a lot of it off live, even though it's not exactly like the record..

There are effects on there, as there are live, but I don't think that was done in an effort to make the record sound like they do live, I think it's the other way. "Pink Frosty" and "F/D" as they are on the album (fer instance) cannot exist in a live context. They sound highly processed, and that's part of what makes them interesting. Live those songs sound nothing like that.

The original discussion was about whether someone would ever listen to a record and find it too natural sounding or too much like the band actually playing in a room.

I'm not implying it's "bad" to have effects on a record or anything silly like that. It's whether a record sounds worse because it's too "natural" and in the context of that thread, that would be a problem fixed with more compression.

And lest anyone think otherwise, I'm not here to prove j wrong or argue with him. I'm curious about his opinion. Personally, I can't think of a single record that was ruined by not being compressed enough, so his stand intrigues me. But it ain't about my opinion on the matter. I just wanna get that out there lest this start to turn into some sort of pissing contest, which seems to be happening a lot around here.
Logged

pg666

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 332
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2006, 04:33:14 pm »

well (J.), i was just more put-off by the word 'unlistenable' than anything else. your criticisms are perfectly valid and i too do that with records i love all the time. to use a counter example that'll probably piss you off (in a good natured way  Razz) i don't like the way "pony express record" sounds at all, but i would never call it unlistenable. it's the type of mix the mastering engineer probably creamed his pants over. it's just an aesthetic i don't relate to (every note played perfectly and of the exact same timbre) and possibly don't understand. i dunno, maybe they were after a slayer bass drum sound from day 1...

fugazi's drums have always sounded a bit 'thin'. i think that's just part of the sound and i just kind of accept it as inseparable. it's part of what makes them 'them'. {edit to expand on thought} i also know fugazi is heavily influenced by a lot of james brown and RnB where the drums are a lot thinner than your audioslaves or whatever. the point is to differentiate valid artistic choices from amateurish production. i like my preconceptions challenged.

'automatic midnight' would make a lot more sense to you sonically if you'd listen to the Wipers' 'over the edge'. it's a loving homage.

(i listen to these 2 records on vinyl if that makes any difference..)

i basically agree with you about 'splay', although no amount of production would have made Al sing on key.. or was antares around back then? i'd still rather listen to that record than 'the egg' though.. {another edit: Allan is a great singer now, just not back then..}
Logged

Colin Frangos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2006, 04:49:36 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 13:04


end hits, yes i love the record as well, and have it in my "hard to listen to" category for these reasons.  as the songs are awesome, the band is in a great place they have never been in creatively and emotionally....the "end mix" makes it difficult to fully hear the ideas as the entire band plays them live.  it sounds like a record mixed by a guitar player and alas....the liner notes reflect that.


To me, that seems like the real issue - the mix, not so much the compression. If the mix is bad, no amount of compression is going to save it.

Quote:

the drums are difficult to hear on some songs to the point of "why did they even try to mix them in".  to me, the brilliance of fugazi on record has been it's clarity and "DIY" type approach.  well they got one of those two better then the other on end hits.


Quote:

so by using some compression and a some less biased blending, you can level out the dense rock mix to have some clarity like their other records.


I think we agree that this isn't a great example: your problems with it are the mix, not the naturalness of the sound.

Quote:

copy and paste all the above for my same exact opinion on Automatic Midnight with the following.

yes the guitars sound awesome when they aren't clipping.  the drums are hardly there at all.  and what the hell is that mush of a bass tone.  it's just awful.


Again, this seems like a mix issue to me.

Quote:

what is interesting is you agree about the get up kids record, and that was cut by bob weston and was meant to be "natural" sounding....but does little else but sound like a rock band not rocking.  and the get up kids (not a band i like) haven't been known for a rocking problem.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you about that record, I just don't know it and haven't listened to it more than once. If you think it's a good example of an album which could've been saved by compression, I might even bother to pick it up and listen to it. But eeewww. Matter of fact, I'll go out and buy a copy if you think it illustrates perfectly an album that is ruined by it's natural-sounding recording, and could be saved by judicious compression.

Quote:

another record:
Shiner - Splay

Another record I haven't heard in forever and don't own. But if you think that's a better example I'd much rather track that down than Get Up Kids.
Logged

pg666

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 332
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2006, 04:52:45 pm »

Quote:

To me, that seems like the real issue - the mix, not so much the compression. If the mix is bad, no amount of compression is going to save it.


this is a good point. i also think there's a big difference between "bad tones, poor recording decisions, etc." and "lack of production"..
Logged

Colin Frangos

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2006, 04:54:12 pm »

Fibes wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 13:11

This whole thing is getting a bit funny to me. it has made all of us look at our philosophical approach to this but really it boils down to what works for you and your clients.

Some E/Ps are looked to to create gold from crap and others are looked to to capture a well conceived concept.

In the end we all have to throw our own bunny.

Yeah, that's a really uninteresting debate, and I don't really care about it personally.

I'm not here because I have a position to argue or even much of anything to share, I'm here because I'm trying to learn some things.
Logged

starscream2010

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 220
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2006, 05:21:29 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 04 January 2006 15:04


another record:
Shiner - Splay



I love the songs on that record, but, every time I pull it out for a listen,I remember why I don't listen to it more often  Sad

It's mainly the drum and bass sounds but, I guess that, I've always just chalked up the production to it being recorded quickly or something along those lines... I mean I hoped that's what it was.
Logged
"Three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax... "

Nick Evans

www.nickolusevans.com

pg666

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 332
Re: Compression (in reference to a thread over in Albini's forum)
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2006, 05:55:38 pm »

i think the drum sound on that record (splay) is its saving grace. it's everything else that sounds pretty bad, hehe.

..and just 'cuz they (and the get up kids too) were trying for 'natural' doesn't mean they actually acheived it...
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up