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Author Topic: Big difference  (Read 1543 times)

natpub

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Big difference
« on: May 18, 2004, 12:47:20 am »

Some of us had a little mix shootout fun the other night, and put up several CD's from the 50's, 60's, 70's, etc., etc., all the way up to today. We tried to match levels as close as possible.

We then listened to just one song or so on each disc, trying to listen only to the quality of the mix and not the other elements.

While several obvious greats were probably missing from our list, time and time again we had the same two winners: "Dark Side of the Moon," and "Aja." The open, wide, large, present, and fat, clear sound of those two discs was just a shocking comparrison to everything else.

Even when arrangements were of similar density, there was usually no comparrison. What is most baffling to me is that the most modern discs were clearly mastered much hotter, and yet, when matched for level they did not sound as loud or strong.  While I know about transients and such, it was still amazing to me how much better these two discs were than everything else we compared.

The careful balances, placements, and equalization on these albums gave every instrument a very solid place to exist and compliment everything else. I since went back and tried to compare them to other things again, making sure my ears were not fatigued, or some other listener error--but no change. I am definately respecting those great works.

I just wanted to post because those two discs stood out so much from the others that I found it to be a very big difference that I could not altogether explain.

I wonder what other recordings people think stand apart from all others. Not counting the song quality or artists talent & popularity; if we just isolate the recording (tracking & mix) what stands out so far from the usual pile of fair, decent, good, and great recordings to be strikingly superior?

You may not agree with the one's we came up with, but it would interest me to know what other people would choose. I would like to be able to listen to some other outstanding recordings, learn what I may, and enjoy them.

Thanks,

-KT
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Kurt Thompson
Vibrational Arts, Inc.
Blue Skyway Music
Sonic Sorcery Studios
Austin,TX/Columbus,OH

otek

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Re: Big difference
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2004, 11:42:20 am »

Just goes to show what a tremendous significance arrangement has to the end result.
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micguy

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Re: Big difference
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2004, 02:25:59 pm »

Those recordings have a place for everything, partly because everything that doesn't belong has been stripped away. Probably less than half the tracks that were recorded were used; at least I remember hearing that being the way Dark Side of the Moon was done. Aja stikes me as similar, though I'd take DSoM over it, if I had to choose.

I had an otherworldly experience a decade or so back, when I was on a trip, and heard a 50's/60s show on a little radio station, that was too poor to have processing gear. For over two hours, I heard human voices - no aphex, no compression. That just doesn't happen anymore, and it saddens me a bit. DSoM is pre-Aphex - if made a decade later, it probably would've suffered.
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John Ivan

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Re: Big difference
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2004, 03:01:40 pm »

Some of the Earth Wind & Fire recordings are just out standing!!
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natpub

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Re: Big difference
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2004, 10:58:07 pm »

ivan40 wrote on Tue, 18 May 2004 14:01

Some of the Earth Wind & Fire recordings are just out standing!!


I know Massenburg engineered and mixed some of those, but I am not really familiar with the music other than the hits. Which album do you think was best?
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Kurt Thompson
Vibrational Arts, Inc.
Blue Skyway Music
Sonic Sorcery Studios
Austin,TX/Columbus,OH
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