Author Topic: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)  (Read 2046 times)

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2019, 04:46:01 PM »
The Oasis documentary had something on this - 'they just got this box in that made things twice as loud without digital distortion, it was in every pub jukebox in the country!'.

we had tc-electronic dBmax boxes on all the Mtv/VH-1 channels; these were a broadcast version of the 'mastering' loudness maximisers that people use on their mixes when they really shouldn't.

their purpose in broadcast is to make sure that all of the audio is audible all of the time, whether it's a movie, a chat show or a music video. I tweaked the Mtv ones all differently according to the sort of sound one might loosely associate with the channel in question, & so the regular Mtv got a different tweak than VH-1, or base, or Mtv-2 or whatever.

I put one on paramount (as it was then known) because they were too cheap to get all of the old episodes of 'M*A*S*H' & 'frasier' & so on properly remastered, & viewers were always complaining about how loud the commercials were (this was before the ad agencies & broadcasters had a big meeting about being sensible in this regard)

but so anyway, along comes an oasis track into this dBmax box, & it's already flat-lining before the box has done anything. they weren't the only offenders by any means, but since they've been mentioned...
utterly, utterly pointless. the same going in & coming out. the box did nothing to it. nothing to do.

if you want to sit & listen to the album, off a CD or a file, you're stuck with this megablast of noise, which doesn't allow the song to breathe at all. it should be a different experience, sitting purposefully listening to a song or an album or whatever, than merely hearing it on tv/radio or in the pub, but these fat-heads just want (in the words of the late great mr kilmister) everything louder than everything else.
"can we have it on the big speakers & do another line?"
twats.

NoSleep

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #61 on: March 02, 2019, 05:02:42 PM »
I heard from Abbey Road staff that the actual reason Oasis stopped recording there was because they were chucked out. They insisted on monitoring so loudly that you could hear them throughout the building. Feel sorry for their engineers.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #62 on: March 02, 2019, 05:10:24 PM »
I can see the point in broadcast especially if you're aiming at shitty television speakers, or in radio where you've got transit speakers and painter's radios to deal with. Always a shame that it sort of mangled Radio 1's live content back when they did impressive stuff with that.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #63 on: March 02, 2019, 05:59:28 PM »
I can see the point in broadcast especially if you're aiming at shitty television speakers, or in radio where you've got transit speakers and painter's radios to deal with. Always a shame that it sort of mangled Radio 1's live content back when they did impressive stuff with that.

yes, the various BBC master tapes I have dubs of (same mate who's at emley now used to work in the archive) are astonishing.
none of that would've survived even 70s FM, before we had cloth-eared dick-waving loudness wars, because they had other things in the signal path to compensate for shortcomings in the medium. so to speak.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #64 on: March 02, 2019, 06:06:43 PM »
A handful of my colleagues left my work to work on the bbc archive; I think they're developing a search engine that can find people based on voice analysis and face detection. It obviously has greater applications, but the stock example of its usefulness is to purge your Savilles and Dave Lee Travises from the archives.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #65 on: March 02, 2019, 06:17:35 PM »
A handful of my colleagues left my work to work on the bbc archive; I think they're developing a search engine that can find people based on voice analysis and face detection. It obviously has greater applications, but the stock example of its usefulness is to purge your Savilles and Dave Lee Travises from the archives.

the BBC's had a lot of practice at erasing its own past. despite not having worked there for ten years, my mate is still being a mechanism by which e.g. mrs podmore (neƩ schmidt, as in irmin) is tracking down illusive can recordings for the next run of rarities boxed sets. they often pessimistically assume these things lost, when the nice people at bb-city say they can't fine the tapes, but they're all there, they just didn't look hard enough. he can remember where the boxes were, what colour they are, what they were next to on the shelf.... so even if the library's moved a couple of times since, they can be found.
but those episodes of 'dr who'.... gone. sometimes they wanted to re-use the stock (1/4" audio tape was cheaper than 2" video tape, of course, but mainly the audio tape may've had splices in it, making it unsuitable for re-use), sometimes they just wanted the space, & it hadn't occurred to anyone then to move the tapes out of london.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #66 on: March 02, 2019, 06:32:11 PM »
One of the lads was saying the bbc won't be able to digitise all their analogue video stuff, they didn't mention format but there's simply too much tape for the amount of equipment in existence and the people that refurbish tape heads have been bought by Sony and are likely to be shuttered up.

I sit near a library team here (IT, library and Software Engineers shoved into a basement, imagine!) and it seems like an alright gig.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #67 on: March 02, 2019, 06:44:16 PM »
If you want to recreate the experience  yourself, the stems are out there due to them allowing the song to be used for Rock Band.
VCS-3-treated Lowrey organ
Guitar
Drums
Bass

Holy Mother of Keith Moon!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvwt0o1jb8jphbe/All%20Who%20Masters.rar?dl=0


daf

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2019, 09:18:14 PM »
but those episodes of 'dr who'.... gone.

The whole of 60's Dr Who and a good whack of early 70's Pertwees now only exist due to the fortunate practice of recording the shows on to 16mm film for overseas sales.

The idiotic thing is that all but one of the episodes actually existed up until 1972 in the form of 16mm film - but they got rid of them because the people in charge of skipping them just assumed there were other copies around.  some info here

The earliest 2-inch Mastertape to exist is for episode 1 of Ambassadors of Death from Pertwees first season in 1970 (The last Mastertape to be wiped was Fury from the Deep in 1974)

By the time anybody bothered to check (prompted by a 1976 documentary asking for film clips, and finding the cupboard mostly bare), there were a whacking 152 episodes missing from the BBC archives (later finds has cut this down to 97) *

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
* the one episode never recorded  on to film was the 'panto' christmas episode 'The Feast of Steven' (where they took a break from dodging The Daleks and the Meddling Monk to have some knockabout fun in silent film era Hollywood) - this was made to be easily removed without affecting the serial & as the episode wouldn't be shown on Christmas day abroad, they left it out of the overseas sales package
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 09:36:17 PM by daf »

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2019, 10:24:14 PM »
Weren't there missing episodes as late as 1978, such as the one for which they recently had to recreate some scenes using animation -  the original had location scenes filmed in Oxford or Cambrige?

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2019, 10:25:20 PM »
Shada? That was because they never finished it because of strikes.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #71 on: March 03, 2019, 12:07:09 AM »
I was more wondering if the same stereo master was used for all the formats, so any compromises made for the vinyl version would be reflected in the CD and tape releases. Did Smith actually go back to the two 24-track multitrack reels and recreate the mix for the 2010 remaster, or did he just do the usual thing of digitising a first-generation stereo master from 1989 and process it? Having compared a couple of the old and new versions of the tracks I agree they don't sound that different.


I'm guessing he didn't. As you say, it doesn't sound any different, so it was a pointless remaster. Which is disappointing because Disintegration is their magnum opus and it really could be polished.

It's a big shame because so many other cure recordings are crystal.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:32:16 AM by Sebastian Cobb »

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #72 on: March 03, 2019, 08:33:54 AM »
As I suspected, someone has already done a good job of the idea I just posted about and used alternate takes to recreate 'It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper', the album that eventually morphed into Strictly Personal.

https://albumsthatneverwere.blogspot.com/2014/08/captain-beefheart-it-comes-to-you-in.html


I love that blog, and although "Strictly Personal" is probably my favourite Beefheart album, this is still the best approximation of the "Plain Brown Wrapper" sessions - far better than Sundazed's effort. This line-up of The Magic Band is probably the best for me, as intricate as a spider's web and a real heavy thud to their sound to boot.  Also, they repeat my favourite part of 'Kandy Korn' twice on this recording.

The folk(s) behind this site put together some great stuff, especially the lost 'fourth' Velvets album and the fully uncensored "We're Only In It For The Money".

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #73 on: March 03, 2019, 08:47:01 AM »
I'd also add Husker Du's albums to the pot.  I know that it's the standard thing to do and blame Spot (the SST in-house producer) for this, but Spot's work on the Saint Vitus and Meat Puppets albums sound nice and balanced, as well as "Paganicons" by Saccharine Trust.  The problem with Husker Du's albums is the same as Black Flag's work: they all sound wrong but it's safer to assume that this is how Bob Mould and Greg Ginn wanted their work to sound (even Ginn's post-Flag output sounds wonky and 'off').

RE: "Warehouse" - I think I may have read this on the Electrical Audio board, or it could've been somewhere else, that Mould recorded all his guitar parts through a tiny speaker and tried to beef it up during the mix.  It could've had something to do with his tinnitus but who knows...


I'll also add the first Caravan LP to the big list too.  It's the only one of theirs I like, and I'm sure it was your typical ping-ponged-from-different-4-tracks affair for the time, but the stereo mix in particular sounds like a horrid muddy mess.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2019, 09:48:21 PM »
FNM's Angel Dust always sounds rotten to me, particularly if compared to the crisp production of The Real Thing.  The opener, Land of Sunshine, just sounds muddy and lifeless to me, and none of the remasters seemed to sort that out either.

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #75 on: March 05, 2019, 12:48:38 PM »
Call me old-fashioned, but to my ear Cunts in an Echo Chamber sounds like utter Bros.

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #76 on: March 05, 2019, 06:44:53 PM »
FNM's Angel Dust always sounds rotten to me, particularly if compared to the crisp production of The Real Thing.  The opener, Land of Sunshine, just sounds muddy and lifeless to me, and none of the remasters seemed to sort that out either.

I kind of see what you mean here. Oddly enough it doesn't really hinder my enjoyment of it too much, though. I've never listened to it and thought anything much beneath "this is a fucking corker, I strongly enjoy every song on here".

I'm not sure how much of a "classic" you could consider it (though it is nearly 20 years old and they are an internationally-massive stadium-filling band so fuck off grandads) but "Origin of Symmetry" by Muse is something even a hardened cynic and long-time Muse-dismisser like myself can acknowledge as a totally banging album... but my god, it sounds utterly fucking dreadful.

Citizen Erased is easily my favourite Muse song but as soon as the drums kick in I constantly find myself wondering if I've accidentally started listening to a 128kb/s rip off Kazaa. I think I only really still enjoy "Origin of Symmetry" is because I've loved it since it was first released, back when I was a mere lad of 14, with nary a shred of appreciation for the finer sound.

McFlymo

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #77 on: March 06, 2019, 09:11:14 PM »
FNM's Angel Dust always sounds rotten to me, particularly if compared to the crisp production of The Real Thing.  The opener, Land of Sunshine, just sounds muddy and lifeless to me, and none of the remasters seemed to sort that out either.

Recently went on a FNM re-listen trip, after reading the excellent Small Victories book and it was odd to realise this too! As though the production was rushed, or Matt Wallace was too bogged down with all the layers the band were adding. It's still possibly my favourite album of all time though!

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #78 on: March 06, 2019, 09:20:09 PM »
Recently went on a FNM re-listen trip, after reading the excellent Small Victories book and it was odd to realise this too! As though the production was rushed, or Matt Wallace was too bogged down with all the layers the band were adding. It's still possibly my favourite album of all time though!

this is illuminating, if a little on the lengthy side...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhdPYQgukr8&t=2074s

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2019, 10:17:03 AM »
Recently went on a FNM re-listen trip, after reading the excellent Small Victories book and it was odd to realise this too! As though the production was rushed, or Matt Wallace was too bogged down with all the layers the band were adding. It's still possibly my favourite album of all time though!

It's definitely my favourite album of theirs (although I have a certain fondness for the Chuck Mosley stuff too), but the muddiness of the sound irks me at the start - by the time Caffeine comes on I've already adjusted to the aural quality.

Normally I listen to music with a flat EQ (plus a slight bass enhancement), but I find Angel Dust sounds better like this!



Sounds like the album was mixed with all the channels turned up to 11 and no EQ.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #80 on: March 07, 2019, 10:17:45 AM »
this is illuminating, if a little on the lengthy side...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhdPYQgukr8&t=2074s

What is that?  One of their mates with a camcorder?  Will have to check that out when I've got 3 hours to spare...

McFlymo

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #81 on: March 08, 2019, 08:36:03 PM »
What is that?  One of their mates with a camcorder?  Will have to check that out when I've got 3 hours to spare...

I've sat through all near 4 hours of that and loved every second. I believe this was going to be an MTV feature, but only 2 or 3 minute trailer ever got televised.

Essential only for the nerdiest of fans, but it gives some insight into how out of place Jim was during that period. Patton showing Jim the riff for Malpractice on bass, Jim noticably scratching his chin. The interviews were everyone is very upset with the success of Nirvana. Patton being his usual trolly-self. Roddy's early version of RV. A short clip of a song that never saw the light, over the titles.