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Old 05-07-2006, 01:23 PM   #41
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberon
There's SOME objectivity in EVERYTHING.
You mean that the people who assert that "there are no objective truths" as an objective truth are... gasp... wrong?
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:35 PM   #42
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Opened up nicely on my MDR-500's pushed by a Denon 3801, which was a stark contrast to my E2Cs. It really has nothing to do with headphones per-say but clean RMS power.

IMHO I think this is why it sounds compressed to most people, it works at low volmes but there's so much going on (for instance at the "Timaaaaay" guitar fill in right in two) but I got MUCH more resolution at the higher, clean volume. This doesnt occur with Lat. mostly because, and I'm just hypothesizing here, that the songs are far more subtle in the layering.

My prime example would be the grudge's breakdown at 3:52 or the soaring solo in Lateralus, your attention is directed to somthing they want you to pick by breaking it with stark silence and I think this is why the "math" of that album worked so nicely. 10K is heavier in that there's actually a lot more going on while being less sonicly complex. The ear thinks it sounds better because there's less track layering to have to sift through.

And for this I will blame 10K for ruining my hearing.

Just my observations.
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:52 PM   #43
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locarius
For all those listening on headphones, you are missing the point. The technical problems with this album have nothing to do with clarity or muddyness. The problem with the engineering is that it does not amplify cleanly. Your headphones do not amplify the sound enough to make it stand out.

Take an album with lower compression (The Beatles?), amplify it in your car system and it comes out clean. Take this album and run it through the same system at the same volume (it will sound much louder due to the compression) and you will hear all kinds of leftovers from the recording process. Hisses, clipping, etc.

I use some hi-fi gear and I heard that kind of stuff a little in the mix, as well as previous Tool albums. I also hear it in a lot of cds I have. It's doesn't irritate me though. To me it sounds more naturally recorded and not overly produced, like alot of newer metal music. It's raw, like how you can hear the true ambience of the room when a drum is struck, or how you can hear the sounds the guitar amps are making because the speakers themselves are miced insteand of a line-thru recording,
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:24 PM   #44
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverTooLoud
Not looking for droids...I'm looking for people with valid reasons for loving/hating the way this album sounds...and since you seem to have no validity to your argument, you may be on your marry way to the other thought provoking threads...thanks for your time...oh...and listen to "right in two" and name a more dynamic tool song
I hope you're at least acknowledging the fact that he was making a star wars reference.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:38 PM   #45
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I agree with you but when white noise overlaps in certain spots and not others it becomes a mess.

Raw is when a track is recorded straight through with all band members at once. When you layer the 'raw' sound it becomes a mess like described above.
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Old 05-07-2006, 02:43 PM   #46
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverTooLoud
Wish you were here (remastered gold edition) is the ultimate listening experience and after listening to it literally hundreds of times front to back, I can say that it's nearlly flawless...
I hate to go off-topic but I had to reply to this.

Wish You Were Here is one of my favorite albums ever, but I've noticed that on "Welcome To The Machine" there is a lot of weird "errors" in the production. The last word of the first few lines of the song always get cut off...its like there's no fade or anything, they just stop, like when he says "where you've beeN!" It just stops and its weird.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:22 PM   #47
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by paraflux
Nah, assasin, I disagree, Thirteenth Step largely left his voice way more dry than other records, and it showed the beauty in rawness.
I didn't say anything about 13th step, or even APC at all.

I said that you place the drums and bass in front... the beat is was makes people move... it's the heartbeat, as it were... the bassline is like putting your hand on your chest and FEELING that heartbeat. That's the best analogy I can offer. Without the heart and without the feeling, Tool is shit.

There is a reason that so many people think that Danny and Justin are the more important part of Tool, and thats because they are. Without the bass, Lateralus was some fucking tablas and ambience and the occasional vocal that I could do without...

Without bass, there is no Sober. Without the drums, there is no Tool. Maynard would be singing over shit 4/4 rhythms and shit bass... how do you think that would work out for your ears?

People like Tool, not because of what is OBVIOUS, but because they are mentally challenged by something other than 4x4 beats. There are enough people who can't deal with the complex patterns and signatures... it's a left brain/right brain thing.
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Old 05-07-2006, 03:33 PM   #48
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by delysid
I hate to go off-topic but I had to reply to this.

Wish You Were Here is one of my favorite albums ever, but I've noticed that on "Welcome To The Machine" there is a lot of weird "errors" in the production. The last word of the first few lines of the song always get cut off...its like there's no fade or anything, they just stop, like when he says "where you've beeN!" It just stops and its weird.
I know the album so well that w/ out even listening to where you're talking about, I know to what you're refering....I've put a lot of thought into those types of things, and I really don't think it was a bad punch or a bad edit....it's a very staccato line, but if you listen to the whole instead of the part at that moment, I do believe, the synth takes over immidiately after the word stops....kinda mechanical like....following the theme of the song...
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Old 05-07-2006, 05:10 PM   #49
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

What do the producers amongst us think of the clipping?

I was a bit surprised to hear it this widespread on a Tool record. Overall I like the mix and I think it's probably the best tom sounds Tool have gotten. It does sound best when cranked at a good volume though as at a low volume it doesn't seem to resolve individual instruments/tracks very well and sounds a bit muddled.
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Old 05-07-2006, 05:16 PM   #50
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

The noise sounds terrible. It overpowers everything in my headphones.
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:10 PM   #51
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

aural assasin hit the nail on the fucking head... amen brother!
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:18 PM   #52
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

It makes me sad to see somebody claiming to be an engineering professional claiming that squashing the shit out of music with compressors at the mastering stage doesn't affect musical dynamics in an adverse manner.
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:31 PM   #53
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

dude Wish You Were Here kicks ass.
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:43 PM   #54
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuzi
It makes me sad to see somebody claiming to be an engineering professional claiming that squashing the shit out of music with compressors at the mastering stage doesn't affect musical dynamics in an adverse manner.
I guess you could consider me a wanna-be professional. I work in the music industry doing mixing/remixing and have for 5 years now.

I want to throw out my theory on why this record sounds the way it does. Imagine hearing an huge explosion from a mile away. Your going to catch the boom, the crash, and then hear the sound fade out at the very tips of the sound spectrum, until it is gone. Its like seeing a flash of light in the dark and watching it disappear until your eyes completely re-adjust. Follow me?

Ok, well imagine experiencing the same explosion 50 ft away. Your going to hear the boom, the crash is nearly going to be inaudible because your ears will adjust, and the final fade out of the explosion is going to be much different than when you were a mile away. However you are experiencing this effect up close. And besides just hearing it, you are feeling it.

I find myself immersed in the 10K days soundscapes much more than previous albums. I feel like I am sitting right in the center of the 4 of these guys playing. It seems as though you can feel the raw pluck of Justins strings. All of the energy easily becomes one, and if you can get deep enough, Maynards vocals do end up on top, and everything else becomes a psychotic rhythm behind him.

Now doing this type of mixing, i would consider it a very, very difficult job. Your bound to have extreme frequency clashes between different instruments and I believe that is where the popping comes in. You all seem to be focused on compressions, well pay attention to what your ears are doing when Tool starts jamming on 10k days. You crave to turn it up.

So look at it like a flaw, or simply their intention of getting your attention. With the complex rhythms they use would it seems a bit weird to have a flawless mixdown? I guess if the mixer spent weeks combing thru Pro-Tools to remove small imperfections it would possibly degrade the raw sound they want to present?

Just my take.
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:49 PM   #55
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by merkabalus
What do the producers amongst us think of the clipping?

I was a bit surprised to hear it this widespread on a Tool record. Overall I like the mix and I think it's probably the best tom sounds Tool have gotten. It does sound best when cranked at a good volume though as at a low volume it doesn't seem to resolve individual instruments/tracks very well and sounds a bit muddled.
It's not clipping. It probably was running (relatively) hot on the tape and has a good deal of tape saturation, but any engineer who lets anything pass with clipping would be immediately fired.

Overall it's a pretty standard rock mix, except the vocals are mixed a bit lower then normal. Good deal of compression overall, which is normal for it's style of music. Probably a bit overcompressed for my taste, there are some spots where I can hear a bit of pumping and breathing from the compressor.
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:15 PM   #56
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

No, I'm not just talking saturation, for myself of course I know you didn't quote me. There is a clipping like/static noise popping up all over the place on my disc.

It's driving my nuts.
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Old 05-07-2006, 07:41 PM   #57
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

If the vocals were any louder it would be completely muddy... as it is, we're already pushing it... an engineer can only polish a turd so much.
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:15 PM   #58
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I have a question for the sound professionals out there. Is it just me, or does the background noise suddenly jump up a level when changing from Intension to Right In Two? It's as if you can hear another sample being layered on top, and a lot of extra fuzzy noise suddenly. It has to be turned up kind of loud to hear it.
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Old 05-07-2006, 08:47 PM   #59
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by solidstate
It's not clipping. It probably was running (relatively) hot on the tape and has a good deal of tape saturation, but any engineer who lets anything pass with clipping would be immediately fired.
At the mix stage yes, but there have been some shocking examples of clipping showing up at the mastering stage in recent years. I can only again suggest reading Rip Rowan's write up on the subject with respect to Rush:

http://www.prorec.com/prorec/articles.nsf/articles/8A133F52D0FD71AB86256C2E005DAF1C
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:03 PM   #60
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by liffey
I have a question for the sound professionals out there. Is it just me, or does the background noise suddenly jump up a level when changing from Intension to Right In Two? It's as if you can hear another sample being layered on top, and a lot of extra fuzzy noise suddenly. It has to be turned up kind of loud to hear it.
I hear it as well.
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:44 AM   #61
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJM
No, I'm not just talking saturation, for myself of course I know you didn't quote me. There is a clipping like/static noise popping up all over the place on my disc.
It's driving my nuts.

Examples please...I'd like to try and pick it up.
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:48 AM   #62
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

This might sound silly, but I think a lot of you that are complaining about clipping might just be having an issue with your cd players. I noticed a lot of clips and pops when I made an exact copy of the cd and also when I imported the tracks into iTunes, which drove me kinda crazy. When I ripped the raw wave files using a different drive and a different program all those artifacts were gone. I'm just trying to point out that Tool and Joe Barresi are both extremely detail oriented. With the amount of time and effort they put into this album I just don't believe there's any way they'd make pretty basic mistakes like poor edits and track clipping.

Tool are one of the few bands that understand that the best dynamics are not achieved by printing the master tracks as hot as possible. I always have to turn Tool albums up a notch or two higher than other albums to get the same volume level relative to other cd's. And I know from reading interviews with Bob Ludwig that he stresses this approach to mastering. So I don't really agree with everyone that says this album doesn't amplify or scale well. I think it does.

I think this is the best that the bass has sounded on any Tool record. The bass is the biggest standout for me. It's so punchy and gritty. Tons of texture, very warm and defined.

Though the drums sound a little pulled back in the mix, I'm impressed with how tight and deep they sound. Particularly the toms. Rosetta Stoned stands out for me drum-wise. There are some absolutely huge downbeats towards the end of that track. There's some other great toms fills like on The Pot where the toms encircle you, and a nice rich floor tom on Intension.

Overall I think the production on this album is fantastic. It's a very intimate and immediate production, and based on what they've been saying about this album being their most emotional, I think that's what they were trying to achieve with the production. Joe Barresi excels at transparent production - giving instruments clarity, presence, and punch without them sounding processed. It's the first Tool album that sounds like you're actually inside the album. Kinda like the stereoscopic lenses let you almost step into the album artwork, the production lets you step into the songs. By contrast, Lateralus was a very distant and cold record. This one's warm and inviting.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:58 AM   #63
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

[QUOTE=P-Toes]This might sound silly, but I think a lot of you that are complaining about clipping might just be having an issue with your cd players. I noticed a lot of clips and pops when I made an exact copy of the cd and also when I imported the tracks into iTunes, which drove me kinda crazy. When I ripped the raw wave files using a different drive and a different program all those artifacts were gone.

I agree iTunes (as much as I love Apple) does create some buzzing and pops and the like. Its kind of annoying really.


Tool are one of the few bands that understand that the best dynamics are not achieved by printing the master tracks as hot as possible. I always have to turn Tool albums up a notch or two higher than other albums to get the same volume level relative to other cd's. And I know from reading interviews with Bob Ludwig that he stresses this approach to mastering.

This is very true....any audio mastering individual worth his salt will tell you that when it comes to master tracks (stereo) you need to use compression VERY sparingly....if you throw too much on there it's going to muddy something that already has a fair amount on the tracks (especially the guitar).


I think this is the best that the bass has sounded on any Tool record. The bass is the biggest standout for me. It's so punchy and gritty. Tons of texture, very warm and defined.

Absolutely....very warm indeed. Justin ownes on this record.

I thought the production on Lateralus was to fat and compressed....and so far I think 10k days is waaaay better. Also it sounds to me like the S/N ratio is much nicer on this record as well...
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:47 AM   #64
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I was getting definite pops from clipping... I'm running through a NAD cd player so it should be OK. I'll listen through later and give some time codes of when I hear it worst.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:51 AM   #65
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

you thought lateralus was TOO compresed?
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:27 AM   #66
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJM
you thought lateralus was TOO compresed?
Absolutely. Fatter sounding than both 10K days and Aenima. I just thought there was too much MASTER comp. You know....the guitar is fine on it's own....drums okay on their own...but the stereo mixdown was too tight sounding....I think the new album is waaaay better in that dept.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:52 AM   #67
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Too tight? what? I definitely disagree.
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Old 05-08-2006, 08:56 AM   #68
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I dont' know how many dB's they squeezed out of it but it has to be a lot. Listen to something like the drums at the start of Aenima (the track) and hear how much space there is?? I don't know if maybe like was said at the start they were sidechaining everything to the kick w/ a comp and maybe limiter, but stuff like Tick and Leetches and Triad sound too thumpy and not "wide-open" enough...there's no spatial image to me.
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:06 AM   #69
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by peabrain
any of you pro types know or want to speculate on recording method...? ie analog or digital...i know the last Queens record, worked by baressi was two inch tape.
It was recorded analog, same as the last Queens record. Baressi also did a lot of work for those louder guitars, based on one of the recent interviews.
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Old 05-08-2006, 11:41 AM   #70
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonch
It was recorded analog, same as the last Queens record. Baressi also did a lot of work for those louder guitars, based on one of the recent interviews.
Yeah's there's no way to get that nice drum and guitar sound w/o using analogue tape...
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:30 PM   #71
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I'm not a professional myself, but one of my best friends does sound design/mixing for a living, so I know quite a bit about techniques and what is good/not and such.

This CD sounds amazing on most respects, except it seems that the entire thing is just mixed too loud and with a little too much compression. That's where the popping/clipping is occurring especially during some really intense drum fills and some of the parts where all instruments/vocal are all firing off at full strength, i.e. the end of Vicarious, the more climactic parts of Right in Two and Rosetta Stoned.
The separation, though is excellent, and sitting in a room listening to this really loud you really feel the direction of each instrument in the mix.

As a whole, I think the entire album is not as cleanly produced as Lateralus (that record sounds absolutely pristine! Almost too much so. But not.). However, I do think it's better than the monochomactic, muddy mix that is AEnima, although I am pretty sure that it was done that way on purpose and it actually helps the overall presentation of the album's themes. But Hooker With A Penis and Jimmy... YUCK. That's some murky mess. And Danny is almost completely lost in the mix whenever the rest of band comes in on Eulogy.

Undertow and Opiate are decent mixes, but they are way too treble heavy. They do have an edge on 10K Days' overall clarity though.

It just seems that 10K Days is very well mixed but all the levels were set a bit too high.
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Old 05-08-2006, 10:50 PM   #72
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

For those who believe there is no peak clipping/distortion...trust me, there is...unfortunately...as was posted earlier, it is quite surprising that something like that would be overlooked by such a bunch of detail freaks...but i've listened to it on many systems....one being a $2500 denon cd player patched tt straight to my poweramp pushing some westlake bbsm10s....in a controled studio environment...and it's noticiable on a few tracks...usually durring a bitching tom oriented beat driven by a sick midrangy guitar riff....put too much of the same frequency in the bowl at the same time and it'll happen...just like the last 3 s.o.a.d. albums....it's quite noticable....but still, I can completely enjoy the full listening experience of 10k days...GREAT ALBUM
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:34 AM   #73
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverTooLoud
....one being a $2500 denon cd player patched tt straight to my poweramp pushing some westlake bbsm10s....in a controled studio environment

Nice setup dude.....
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Old 05-09-2006, 08:45 AM   #74
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

Now I've listened to 10,000 Days many times...and im starting to wonder why they decided to choose for so much 'attack' in sound on this album, i mean listen to every instrument, there's a lot of IN YOUR FACE goin on. They must have done that for a reason.
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:14 AM   #75
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

here are just some random thoughts about the production

after listenin to 10,000 days a number of times. i believe it is probably my favorite 'mix' of all the tool records. the variant mix on the lateralus vinyl also putting a smile on my face as well. the dynamic range on 10k is astounding. there is a loudness difference from intension to right in two. i dont think it was as intended as it turns out. i think barresi may have put adam too much to the front. danny has such a great sound being a drum tuning freak doesnt have enough room to shine on this album. i like how its not overly compressed, but still compressed enough to hear the very minimal of detail. i think the presence on this album sings. its so crisp and clean. i think barresi engineered a masterpiece in all honesty. i wonder if they used protools to do alot of the automation with levels. the idea of having maynard subdued (whoevers idea it was) was genius. its inspired me to try taking the vocals down in my mixes now. and i think its outstanding.

id like to know what gear maynards voice was going through on rosetta stoned. is it more than just a distortion to anyone? maybe distorted and through an outboard EQ?

BTW cheers on making this thread.
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Last edited by noisetherapy; 05-09-2006 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 05-09-2006, 09:32 AM   #76
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

hmm yeah I was also suprised about the recording of the drums. the drums on all previous Tool records were so extremely fine-tuned. it seems like they wanted this record to really sound like all 4 of them, without hearing anything specific. this really challenges the listener to 'look' for all the dephts that are hidden into the songs.
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:08 AM   #77
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I'm not a producer either, but I spend a lot of time in the studio with my producer, so I've learned a few things over the years.

One thing I noticed is how hot Maynard's vocals are in a lot of places. It seems he can only get the sound he wants by singing very softly so his mic level is just PEAKED a lot. I don't know what that means since I am not Maynard or Baressi, but I thought it was interesting.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:20 AM   #78
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I'm not a professional, but have done a lot of amateur recording on pro-tools/other rigs with my band.
I will agree, that the album does have some things going for it...the imaging and fullness on some songs really blew me away the first couple times thorugh.

But I have to agree with others that this album is WAY over-compressed...all you have to do to see it is rip a WAV of Vicarious, then rip one of The Grudge. Look at the amplitude differences, and then look at the plateau that is Vicarious or any other song on the album.

Secondly, run an analysis/statistics in Cool Edit on any song on the album. There is clipping ALL OVER THE PLACE. The compression itself would not bother me at all if it werent' for all the crackling. Seems like every time danny hits his floor toms, or adam's guitar picks up, we get all kinds of digital crackling...I really did not expect this from such a great band. Some say they can't hear it...I personally don't know how you could miss it a moderate/high volume. I can hear it on my Klipsch RF-3 II speaks, Grado headphones, Focal car speaks, Promedia computer speaks..it's there on the disc, and it was there on the leak.

Anyway, although I do like the overall sound of the album, I think the over-compression/clipping knocks it down quite a bit. Hopefully this is resoved some day with a high-res release.
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:50 PM   #79
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Re: PROFESSIONAL AUDIO ENGINEERS/PRODUCERS THREAD

I'm glad most of you agree this album sounds great, reguardless of the peak clipping....I think this is the most solid of all albums...perhaps not as produced as lateralus, nor as easy to grasp as aenima...but I feel that this accuratly capsulated the band as a whole and what they were trying to convey...
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