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View Poll Results: Could you have made a better record than Rob Cavallo?
Yes 17 24.64%
No 52 75.36%
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:18 AM   #1
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Hypothetical Album Production Question...

Let's assume you have the same technical production skills as Rob Cavallo... You've done some albums before so in terms of sheer production skills you're equal. Do you think you could've made a better record than Big Whiskey? Basically do you think you could've pushed the right buttons with the band and utilized them to make a record better than what Cavallo got? When I listen to these albums I always think about things I would try or throw in or change to make it better...

I guess this is somewhat related to the "Does the producer really matter"? question that is on here everyday...
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  • Old 06-09-2009, 12:20 AM   #2
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    I would have taken more of a minimalist approach. I would like it more, but I don't know if it would be better.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:21 AM   #3
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pankfish View Post
    I would have taken more of a minimalist approach. I would like it more, but I don't know if it would be better.
    What exactly do you mean by minimalist?
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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    short answer: Yes.

    Long answer: I would have tweeked somethings here, and some things there. Maybe different song order, different songs in, different songs out.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:23 AM   #5
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    probably the most retarded thread ive ever seen


    if i had the football skills of kurt warner could i throw a football better?


    this is stupid.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:25 AM   #6
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kydmb99 View Post
    What exactly do you mean by minimalist?

    This album is obviously produced from hell and back. I would have tried to capture more of a live sound. Just had them play it until it sounded right and moved on. You wouldn't hear four dave's harmonizing with themselves. Overall it would probably sound more dirty. You would probably even hear boyd.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:35 AM   #7
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    This is what I would've done personally... I'll go song by song and assume I started with the same tracks he was working with...

    Grux - I might have made this a little longer.... Add a good Dave riff and gotten Boyd more involved (although that's almost every song)... But I understand it's more of a LeRoi thing and I like this track so that's more nitpicking than anything...

    Shake Me - I would have changed the bridge in this song drastically... It's so generic. I would've either scrapped it and replaced it with an instrumental jam or made it longer with more instruments and less lyrics.. This is the only part of the song I don't like... I also would have put a nice little jam at the end. It's almost like a SUAD/Rapunzel type song to me in that it just is asking for some kind of jam at the end.

    Funny - This song would've never made it anywhere near the album if I was producing it.

    LITHOG - Definitely would've had a longer intro. Definitely some Boyd/Roi interplay at the beginning with some nice Tim fills. Maybe kind of like a Seek Up live intro only with some Boyd. Also, again I would've had more instrumentation at the end of the song. It's a really beautiful song that I think deserves a really beautiful ending... It starts to at the end but ends abruptly. Kind of dissapoints me.

    Why I Am - I think production wise this song is about as good as it can get I suppose. It's kind of a meh song to begin and I think this song reaches it's potential.

    Dive In - This song is actually produced pretty well I guess unless you want to pretty much re-do it. I don't think a jam or anything would really fit this song.

    Spaceman - DEFINITELY needs horns and violins. This song is just asking for Boyd and Roi/Jeff.

    Squirm - Kind of like LITHOG I think this song needs an intro to really build the mood because the lyrics and mood they create are exceptional. Overall, I like it though.

    Alligator Pie - BOYD BOYD BOYD. This song should've definitely been jammed out more towards the end IMO... Probably would've changed the bridge somewhat too to add more Danny Barnes and of course, Boyd to it. Boyd should've been way more prominent on this song.

    Seven - Fine as is IMO although I might've turned the horns up more and made them more audible in this song.

    Time Bomb - Definitely needs a longer intro.. I also would've jammed the fuck out of the end of this song to get that emotional jolt the lyrics build through the song.

    Baby Blue - Perfect as is.

    You And Me - Probably wouldn't have made the final cut but definitely needs more instrumentation. Also, that chorus would've gone down the shitter in a heartbeat...
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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:36 AM   #8
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Born To Run View Post
    probably the most retarded thread ive ever seen


    if i had the football skills of kurt warner could i throw a football better?


    this is stupid.
    Yes, because the act of throwing a football and constructing art are the same. Great comparison.

    I really wish I could pin down whose alter you are too...

    Last edited by kydmb99; 06-09-2009 at 12:37 AM.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 09:21 AM   #9
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    I don't really understand the question... If I was given equal ability & understanding of both the band and production as Rob Cavallo, could I make an album better than Rob Cavallo? That doesn't really make all that much sense.

    If I was given the talent of Michelangelo, and the mental capabilities & understanding of art that Michelangelo had, could I have made something better than the Sistine Chapel? Maybe... But it would still be debatable anyway, since music & art are just about completely subjective. I mean, what you're saying is 'hypothetically if you were given a set of skills could you make something hypothetically better...' I mean, maybe--But it would be just as hypothetical to create a 'better' album in this way as you could now with no skills at all... Hypothetical is hypothetical--There's not really varying levels of hypothetical-tivity.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 10:27 AM   #10
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bafugama View Post
    I don't really understand the question... If I was given equal ability & understanding of both the band and production as Rob Cavallo, could I make an album better than Rob Cavallo? That doesn't really make all that much sense.

    If I was given the talent of Michelangelo, and the mental capabilities & understanding of art that Michelangelo had, could I have made something better than the Sistine Chapel? Maybe... But it would still be debatable anyway, since music & art are just about completely subjective. I mean, what you're saying is 'hypothetically if you were given a set of skills could you make something hypothetically better...' I mean, maybe--But it would be just as hypothetical to create a 'better' album in this way as you could now with no skills at all... Hypothetical is hypothetical--There's not really varying levels of hypothetical-tivity.
    You said that, not me.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 10:29 AM   #11
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kydmb99 View Post
    You said that, not me.
    ????
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    Old 06-09-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    I would have found more ways to incorporate Boyd and the horns into songs
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    Old 06-09-2009, 10:33 AM   #13
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bafugama View Post
    ????
    The only thing I said was equal was sheer production skill, since that's something most normal people don't have. I never said anything about understanding of the band. In fact, that's basically what I'm asking. From your understanding of the band, could you have made a better record. I couldn't just say could you have produced a better album than Cavallo because all I would've heard is OMG PPL DON'T KNOW HOW TO TEH PRODUCE!@. That's why I said that.

    Last edited by kydmb99; 06-09-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 10:38 AM   #14
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kydmb99 View Post
    The only thing I said was equal was sheer production skill, since that's something most normal people don't have. I never said anything about understanding of the band. In fact, that's basically what I'm asking. From your understanding of the band, could you have made a better record. I couldn't just say could you have produced a better album than Cavallo because all I would've heard is OMG PPL DON'T KNOW HOW TO TEH PRODUCE!@. That's why I said that.
    I could have made it better in my eyes, but I don't know how that would have translated to a total product to the masses.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 10:41 AM   #15
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    i wouldve made baby blue just dave, carter, and boyd doing solos in the background
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    Old 06-09-2009, 11:23 AM   #16
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Less dynamic range compression and no clipping is what I could have done to make this a better CD than Cavallo/Sterling.

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    Old 06-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #17
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dobyblue View Post
    Less dynamic range compression and no clipping is what I could have done to make this a better CD than Cavallo/Sterling.

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    Old 06-09-2009, 01:02 PM   #18
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Born To Run View Post
    probably the most retarded thread ive ever seen


    if i had the football skills of kurt warner could i throw a football better?


    this is stupid.
    I'm not even going to bother but that's my only reaction to that statement coming from you.

    I voted "no" because I stupidly only read the thread title before voting. If I had the same production skills and musical background as him then I would definitely say "yes" if only because I would cater the record to my own personal tastes which would obviously be hard to top from my perspective.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 01:42 PM   #19
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Before I begin I do want to say that I think Cavallo did great work, I'd put it a tie for #2 with Crash behind BTCS as #1. He's a great producer and you can hear the care he gave to each song on the record, which is truly a testament to his ability. But I think he fell into the trap a lot of producers do, over-production. You can certainly hear the production values of his previous work even though the music is different. I think it worked well for how the album turned out, but the album could have had more "DMB" moments. The end of the record feels more like Dave's Some Devil than a DMB record. My record would have been DMB front to back.

    The drum reverbs and such worked on some songs, but the drums sounded overcompressed throughout the record - it works with a lot of bands, I just don't feel it was appropriate for this band. At times it felt like the drums were disconnected, as if the kit had been sample replaced and not reconnected [sample replacing in a nutshell (for those that don't know) keeps the exact performance, but changes the sound heard - it's not what Batson did to Carter]. The bass, though present, rarely has any true character. The guitars and guitar-esque instruments, Cavallo nailed. The vocals, I feel like he nailed as well. The horns should've been arranged around LeRoi, instead of improvised as they seem to be.

    I would have made it the combination record that the band needs right now: radio friendly and jam heavy. The band needs a radio friendly record to keep drawing in new crowds and to maintain a presence on store shelves/iTunes. They also need some songs with longer jams to validate the long time fans and give a glimmer of the stage show to the uninitiated. I think this record hits the radio-friendly crowd well, but it strays towards the generic Pop/Rock more than it should in the production values.

    First, Boyd is somewhat invisible on this album as it was released. He was way more present on the "april sessions." He is usually buried beneath a string orchestra sound that feels more midi than live. If it was live, then they messed with it too much because it sounds like midi. There wasn't enough Boyd being Boyd.

    And LeRoi isn't as all over the record as I had hoped. His influence is, that can be argued, but his horn could be more present, more obvious. Granted, we don't know what they had to work with and for those of you that have said why not pull some LeRoi sax from the unused Stand Up cuts - each producer and album has its own contract with the band/label/etc. They may not be able to use that stuff without giving credit to Batson. As a producer myself, I know you want as little reminder of another producer and his sessions as possible - not out of vanity, but you want to keep your session distinct in the mind of the artist. If the other sessions were laborious and troublesome, you don't want its poison infecting your sessions.

    My biggest complaint with this record is that there's not a solely DMB song on here - just the 5 of them. There's some kind of piano synth, or Tim, or Rashawn + Jeff, or Danny ... I felt that a better tribute to Roi would have included the classic set-up: Acoustic gtr + Vox, Bass, Drums, Vln, Sax. That said, I would also have had a song or two be just Dave, Boyd, Stefan, and Carter. That's the remainder of the band as it has always been, and it should have been represented.

    I also thought there was too much Banjo on this record. Danny is a great player, and I really like him on the songs he's on - but it's a lot. Banjo just isn't a sound you associate with the band, even though it fits well. Bela has been a friend of the band's stage show for over a decade and it's always a pleasure, the same with Danny - always a pleasure to hear. I'll get into specifics later.

    Horns - I feel the additional horns could've been worked on more. Rashawn and Jeff should've been able to live with the songs for some time before they laid it down. They have great instincts, and are both amazing. But in several places it doesn't feel like there's a continuity to the horns within the song.

    I feel the same about Tim. It might have been a direction thing, sometimes as a producer when you have an artist that is just amazing you don't feel that you have the right, for lack of a better word off the top of my mind, to give them direction. You can easily psyche yourself out when you're one on one with an amazing talent. It's even easier to psyche yourself out when they are soft spoken and have a humble aire about them. Here's a perfect example - Prince worked with Miles Davis before he got really sick. Prince didn't feel he should give Miles any direction, and thusly never used any of the recordings because they weren't what he was trying to achieve. What he didn't know was that Miles loved trying to work himself into other people's visions, and then once there surpassing them. Not that Miles was soft-spoken. I think maybe the same thing happened with Rob and Tim without it being realized. I don't feel Tim adds to this record over-all the way he did UTTAD, Crash, and BTCS.

    Somebody else went track by track, I'll do the same but with more of a producer mind set. I'll use only the 18 tracks that have been released. Of course all notes regarding Roi would be contingent upon what he actually got laid down. Everything here is just based more on my preferences and tendencies as a producer, and as having been a diehard fan of the band since before UTTAD.
    I won't do the "this song would never have been in my session" or "this song wouldn't have made my cut" thing, it sort of cheapens it.

    Grux - The horn has a definite "Heartbeat" feel to it, I would've maybe pushed it more in that direction. I think the length was fine, but maybe a reprise of it at the end would have been enjoyable to work toward. This one would be completely contingent on what Leroi noodlings were around.

    SMLAM - Here's one where Tim could've added a hell of a lot to - the verse riff specifically. A second guitar part on top of the low end riff would improve it drastically. The bridge would definitely have been different under my eye, maybe more of a breakdown than a bridge. The horns would have been arranged a little more to create a true chord structure along the lines of the horns in Too Much. I don't think they achieved as much of that EWF sound as they wanted to. This would have been one to truly feature the horns, with breaks for all 3 horns to solo - but keep the sectioned parts based extremely on Roi.

    FTWII - I would have kept Roi ghostly in the background the way Rob did, I liked that, I just would have put it more noticeably throughout. I'm not a fan of that staccato straight eighths riff, I might have had the band work something else out on that. This would have been the Boyd being Boyd song, LIOG style. Roi would be the only horn here.

    LITHOG - I'm not sure that I would have done anything differently here. I might not have had dave do the over-pronounced vocal take [i.e. the quick "right here" on the 2nd chorus]. I might have tried to get Fonzi to do a bit more of flowing melodic bassline.
    That'd be it that I'd do different. Maybe I would have ended it with a Roi solo or held-out note. Rob did great with this one.

    Why I Am - Another one that I would have Tim be directed to add a bit more to, his solo is only okay not transcendent the way we've all heard him be. I might have tried to get a more JTR style breakdown thrown in there somewhere. I would've let everybody shine on this one, for at least a bar or two. The outro would have been a jam. This would have been one of the longer jam songs.

    Dive In - I would've kept this as just the four remaining guys, one of the few I would have kept Roi off of. Tim doesn't add to it, he's just kind of there. Anything he does here Dave could easily do as well. The strings would more feature Boyd then being a whole orchestra. I'd put Stefan on the Upright, bowed since slapped wouldn't fit this song. Piano, Upright, Violin, and Drums might have worked well for this one.

    Spaceman - More horns. I might have gotten Boyd to find a plucked part or see if he would be willing to try a mandolin on this one. The violin would definitely be more present on the choruses. If Roi didn't get much on this one, I might have Jeff and Bela together since they know each others playing so well. If Roi did a lot on this one, I'd keep Jeff off of it and have Danny there. I really like his work on this one. Have Rashawn solely as a support for sections beneath Roi or Jeff.

    Squirm - I feel like they were trying to hard to get a Beatles vibe to the orchestration, I don't know what I'd have done different. There are so many minor things I might have done differently, but they'd all be just to see how it would sound. Nothing sticks out in my head. We know this one was after Roi per a Dave interview. I'm not sure

    Alligator Pie - Definitely could have had Boyd being Boyd here. Robert Randolph would've been a cool guest here too. This would've been THE ensemble jam song. Give everybody a shining moment. As usual, pending Roi's work, the horns would've been all over this. I might've geared more towards a New Orleans Jazz / zydeco influence versus the hoedown feel it has. Where the time cuts at the end for the lead out is where I would have had the increasingly speeding up section, and only there.

    Seven - The piano would be out, and boyd strums would be in its wake. Horns would've been more present in the mix and have a more prevelant part in the ending. I can hear where horns should've been all over this. And the horns should've done the breakdown riff with the gtr at least once or twice to help build more intensity. I would have brought it back in for one more run through the riff to end, like the way they do The Stone live.

    Time Bomb - I would've fleshed out the "explosion" more. It's in the chord structure - there's no urgency to the explosion. I would've let there be an uncomfortable space between the AM radio vocal run through the chorus lyrics and the return of the next verse. Add to the intensity. The end jam chord progression needs to be darker. A minor 3rd run on the gtr and bass w/ boyd playing a major 3rd over it would have given chills. Outside of Dave's voice, no other instrument is angry. It's like the instruments are just playfully walking through it.

    Baby Blue - I'd have this be performed Christmas Song live style. Cymbals sparingly. Put Fonzi on an upright and have him sparingly as well. Boyd playing a light counterpoint to the melody. Just the four. No jam.

    You And Me - I would've mixed it to fit the album more. It's a good song, but it sticks out like a sore thumb on the album. The string section sounds extremely fake as is. I'm not sure what to do with this one. I would've recorded horns to fill out the violin as a section rather than have that fake sounding string section.

    #27 - I think this was nailed on the head. Horns might have been more throughout, but not only in a support capacity. The song itself needs something. It's sort of a plateau, it doesn't take the listener anywhere. It reminds me a lot of the Lillywhite sessions.

    Beach Ball - plucked violin on the pre-chorus. The violin kind of lulls around, uninspired. I would have had an instrumental run through of the chorus to end on. I like the horns on the chorus. Perfect as just the original 5. I like the Rashawn bit at the end, but it has no coninuity with the rest of the song. To keep that I would have had Rashawn more present earlier in the song. Maybe doubling Dave's voice. I could easily take it either way.

    Little Red Bird - Violin come in lightly on verse 2. Bass instead of piano for the walking riff. Muted click would be replaced with Carter somehow. I like the feel it has now, but it feels more Some Devil than DMB as it is now.

    Write A Song - Just the 5 of them works beautifully. Tim doesn't add anything to the studio version that Dave can't do. Add more Roi on the Soprano Sax if there was more recorded.

    Corn Bread - At least a verse would be just Dave's voice and Carter's drums. Danny's good, but he's to all over this one doing just sort of generic banjo stuff. He can do so much more. From Danny's solo to the end I don't know how much I would actually change. It's just one of those songs that there aren't too many different ways that actually work for the mix. I'd just have Roi and Rashawn as the horns, though.


    I say this all purely from being a producer myself. Most people don't truly understand what a producer does/is supposed to do. A producer is supposed to draw out the performance from the artist and maybe help them fix what doesn't work. A producer has to often play psychologist, mediator, and music director. Just like a movie needs a director, an album needs a producer. To varying degrees with different acts, but needed nonetheless. But too often a producer exerts too much of themselves into a project, ie Glenn Ballard and Mark Batson. They are both great producers in their own right, but not for the DMB. I think Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel, or producers like George Massenburg (Little Feat, Lyle Lovett, Toto), Nile Rodgers (Chic, David Bowie, INXS), Keith Olsen (Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac), or Ed Cherney (G'NR '88-'93, Sammy Hagar) would be good DMB producers if Rob doesn't return for the next. But I hope he does. I was skeptical of Cavallo at first, but he did a damn good job.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 01:48 PM   #20
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Yes.

    There would have been waaay more Boyd on the record and more horns.

    Squirm would have been at least 7 or 8 minutes with an intense dark jam in it.

    Alligator Pie would have had a sick jam.

    "It need that pace" would have been on there. No question. And it would have kicked ass.

    Timmy would have been mostly on acoustic and much less dominant on the record.

    #35 would have been the best possible thing from Roi.

    No effect on Dave's vocals
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    Old 06-09-2009, 02:07 PM   #21
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dodo36 View Post
    Before I begin I do want to say that I think Cavallo did great work, I'd put it a tie for #2 with Crash behind BTCS as #1.
    First of all, great post and thanks for sharing so much.

    Being a producer yourself, don't you think that Crash is also completely bloated and over-produced as far as levels go? It's well beyond CD's 96dB limit and as such is flooded with clipping. Even Let You Down has some clippiing on it.

    Too Much - http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/5...omuchwaver.jpg

    By contrast you can turn up Seek Up from RTT to reference level and rarely experience listener fatigue due to a healthy dynamic range, no dynamic compression and zero clipping.

    Seek Up - http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/6862/2seekupwave.jpg

    I don't know why some people praise Ted Jensen for his "loudnessizing" (http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-...nessizing.html) because I think he's ruined more music than he hasn't...and Bob Ludwig did a thousand times better job with Guns N' Roses new album than Jensen did with Crash.

    I don't know, I think Crash sounds almost as bad as Everyday on a good stereo. Stand Up was better mastered, even if the quality of the material was rubbish. Wouldn't Lillywhite have compared the clipped hot mastered versions to the unclipped, uncompressed 24-bit or analog masters he was working on and said "try again"?

    I would love to see Peter Gabriel master DMB. Maybe they could record at Real World straight to DSD and give us a DMB SACD?

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    Old 06-09-2009, 02:22 PM   #22
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    ^ I don't think BW is a great centrepiece for the whole 'loudness war'. It's not really that bad and the dynamics are there, but the drums are compressed a little too much in mixing.

    I used to care about brickwall limiting and clipping when I cared about CDs. But since I can get a Steve Hoffman-mastered LP of Stadium Arcadium and a DVD-A of several other different groups that had terrible CD mastering (Staind), I've kind of stopped caring.

    Crash has some weirdness going on in the mastering I think. It has like a fisheye lens on the sound. Kind of like UTTAD had some issues; listen to Lover Lay Down and you will hear an annoying high pitched whine throughout the whole song that needs to go away. Even BTCS has very very little bottom end, but that could just be Steve's style.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kydmb99 View Post
    What exactly do you mean by minimalist?
    That would be Mark Batson's Stand Up. That's about as minimalist as it gets, and it sucks.

    I put on Crush after listening to a bit of BW last night and was reminded of how intense that song is to listen to. The intro -- Boyd's layering of violin with the sax is put together in such a beautiful, subtle way that you don't even realize what's going on. It made me realize that the production value of BW isn't *bad*, it's just pretty generic and flat. We were all spoiled with Steve...

    Last edited by Millstone; 06-09-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #23
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sniper15 View Post
    I would have found more ways to incorporate Boyd and the horns into songs
    I agree with that, along with giving Dave a few more opportunities to solo, the one in FTWII isn't that bad.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #24
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Millstone View Post
    ^ I don't think BW is a great centrepiece for the whole 'loudness war'. It's not really that bad and the dynamics are there, but the drums are compressed a little too much in mixing.
    It's definitely not bad, but it's still got too much clipping and the dynamics aren't anything to brag about - the LP is far superior however, which means thankfully it didn't come from a crappy CD master.

    This is FTWII mp3 vs the CD, you can see there's still a fair bit of clipping:

    http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/4805/ftwii.jpg

    The CD is obviously on the bottom, the .mp3 on the top.

    Quote:
    I used to care about brickwall limiting and clipping when I cared about CDs. But since I can get a Steve Hoffman-mastered LP of Stadium Arcadium and a DVD-A of several other different groups that had terrible CD mastering (Staind), I've kind of stopped caring.
    When RCA re-issues the rest of the DMB catalogue I'll stop caring as well. In addition in 2~3 years when the big four start reissuing albums on Blu-ray I'll be ecstatic, 24/192 direct analog transfers? Yes please. Neil Young, there's a guy that knows what it's all about. "Apple has turned music into wallpaper".

    I had high hopes for SACD when SCE included it in the PS3, but they never did start another push of releases in the pop realm. DVD-A? Well there's even less offerings there.

    No wonder vinyl is making a comeback in NA, those of us with good systems aren't given much choice.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 02:55 PM   #25
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dobyblue View Post
    First of all, great post and thanks for sharing so much.

    Being a producer yourself, don't you think that Crash is also completely bloated and over-produced as far as levels go? It's well beyond CD's 96dB limit and as such is flooded with clipping. Even Let You Down has some clippiing on it.

    Too Much - http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/5...omuchwaver.jpg
    But that's a problem in the mastering, not the mix. Not enough mastering engineers take the Bob Katz approach, he's admitted to sometimes needing to do absolutely nothing to the songs once he gets them. Jensen however, while good in his own right and very suited for the '90s aesthetics, played with the EQ too much and downward compressed [at least to my ear]. But that was also the accepted '90s aesthetic of sound on releases. Remember in the '80s and '90s the labels wanted things geared more towards FM transmission. With every record that comes out, compare it with a record of similar genre from 5 - 10 - or even 15 years ago and you'll the subtle changes in aesthetics [at least all of you audiophiles will]. I love Crash for the production, not the mastering. There's a huge difference.

    Quote:
    By contrast you can turn up Seek Up from RTT to reference level and rarely experience listener fatigue due to a healthy dynamic range, no dynamic compression and zero clipping.

    Seek Up - http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/6862/2seekupwave.jpg
    To me R2T is a great record, but it feels unfinished. I've never really been able to place what it is about the record that feels undone to me, but then again I haven't pulled it out in years. The mix sort of feels like they found a level for each instrument and left it at that for the entirety of the songs. Maybe one day when I get some free time, I'll play around with R2T for my own personal fun.

    Quote:
    I don't know why some people praise Ted Jensen for his "loudnessizing" (http://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-...nessizing.html) because I think he's ruined more music than he hasn't...and Bob Ludwig did a thousand times better job with Guns N' Roses new album than Jensen did with Crash.

    I don't know, I think Crash sounds almost as bad as Everyday on a good stereo. Stand Up was better mastered, even if the quality of the material was rubbish. Wouldn't Lillywhite have compared the clipped hot mastered versions to the unclipped, uncompressed 24-bit or analog masters he was working on and said "try again"?

    I would love to see Peter Gabriel master DMB. Maybe they could record at Real World straight to DSD and give us a DMB SACD?

    A lot of people thinking of clipping as an automatic bad thing. Because of the connotation, a lot of mixing engineers will make sure things are well below the red light when the mix is done. But when it goes to the mastering engineer, part of their job is volume. So then they often have to go a tad overboard to bring it up to a decent level with the compression. It's a weird cycle. Open just about any song straight from a cd in protools and play it. It will be clipping in the meters, but you likely aren't going to hear it clip. It's a long arguement that I really straddle the fence on. Because I see both sides.

    The loudness war ... I'm not sure where I stand on it. Remember, the less than .01% of the population that understand the differences that dynamics bring aren't enough to make anybody a success. The loudness thing has been going on as an industry norm since Phil Spector in the '60s [around the Dancing In The Streets single]. It's a proven element. There are ways of compensating, but it takes a certain skill. I unfortunately don't have that skill (yet). Katz certainly does have it.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 03:34 PM   #26
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    You should have a listen to Ludwig's mastering job on Chinese Democracy. Not only are the songs actually very good (unless Axl's voice is insurmountable to you) but the dynamics are 100% intact and there's no clipping.

    Ludwig has a great article on it right on his site. Not only did he do it right, but the band actually picked the version with no dynamic compression of the three masters he sent to them…so they had good ears too. http://www.gatewaymastering.com/gate...udnessWars.asp

    I believe that a small amount of clipping is preferable to compression and this is what happened with UTTAD...but with nearly all tracks on Crash there is too much clipping.

    I disagree that part of the mastering engineer's job has to be volume and I appreciate what Katz said about not having to fiddle with the levels, because my brother-in-law is in the studio right now and I compared the unmastered version of the 1st single with the mastered one and I implored him to have it remastered as the original track was just fine. The volume is the consumer's job and in most cases that volume control is huge! I'm being facetious of course, but you know what I mean. I am sure I will love the production on Crash when I finally get to hear it without Jensen's touch...because Crash is TOO loud and the dynamics do suffer so the production and the mastering are completely related to each other. The mastering can affect the production. Granted Crash isn’t as bad as anything from Oasis, but it's not a pretty CD and the more vinyl you listen to the more you realize what you're missing when you pop in a CD like Crash. RTT might not be well produced, but it’s ever so much more pleasant to listen to on the ears.

    I don't think the blame lies solely with the person responsible for the mastering either. I have chatted with several owners of mastering studios in Toronto and they all have the same story - if they won't make it loud like "x" (insert another band's CD here) then they'll not get the job.

    For every song you can open up and show clipping, there’s another without it. The Stone Roses CD is absolutely spot on the money, production and mastering. No clipping, 15dB+ of dynamic range.

    Of course I totally understand that the average consumer doesn't care about any of this...and that includes the majority of artists too. SO, the producers and mastering engineers that do get it should be just keeping the life of the music intact so that those of us who do care are satisfied...as those that don't are satisfied regardless!

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    Old 06-09-2009, 03:37 PM   #27
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    wow. interesting read here, but i have no place discussing this.
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    Old 06-09-2009, 03:57 PM   #28
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Here's an example of what Katz was talking about, this is my brother-in-law's track. The unmastered version is on top, the mastered on the bottom. I've removed the name just so that no-one gets any crap for it (like me),

    http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/5967/waveform.jpg

    Now granted the mastered version isn't a disaster or anything and most people won't notice much of a difference, but the first one sounds more open and more like a performance to me on my system...and I'm sure I'll notice it even more once my main listening room gets treated acoustically.
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    Old 06-10-2009, 05:49 AM   #29
    Jan-Willem
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Born To Run View Post
    probably the most retarded thread ive ever seen


    if i had the football skills of kurt warner could i throw a football better?


    this is stupid.
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    Old 06-10-2009, 06:19 AM   #30
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    Re: Hypothetical Album Production Question...

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kydmb99 View Post
    What exactly do you mean by minimalist?
    Less organ, more Boyd.
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