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Q&A: Why is most heavy metal so poorly recorded?


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WOAH. Hahah, "cheating"! Is there such a thing in recording audio? Hold ya horse pardna. Every step is a slippery slope.

And here I THOUGHT that we just had a bunch of tools that we could use however we want, to create an emotional impact!

I can no longer like ELO because the drums and vocals are triple tracked! What a dissapointment! ;)

That is a synth on "I Can See Clearly Now?" Darn! Can't like that anymore!!!!

I do think that the further one gets away from the feeling of capturing a moment in time, the harder it is to make impact. When you listen to the Isley's "Make You Want to Shout" it sounds like a bunch of people wailing away in a room, and like they ARE excited. When you listen to some modern rock production... it may sound more like a giant edit fest, and seem like pablum because every edge has been smoothed. The process will unfortunately impact the end emotional result. If cold/mechanical/precise is desired, then MIDI drums can be the correct tool. It's only when things sound "out of place" that we really go "ugh". At least that's how I am about it.

So the down side to going kitchen sink/mega edit style is that it the music becomes more and more like wallpaper, and less engaging, unless you have musicians that are great "actors", and producers that understand about mediating that effect.

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How was Death Magnet poorly mastered? It was a 2x4 before it arrived for mastering, the ME had little to work with. That was poorly mixed, not poorly mastered.

 

This is the standard explanation, except that it's pretty well established that the versions for Guitar Hero / Rock Band sound significantly different than the album versions (there's actually some torrents out there that have extracted the tracks for folks who want them instead of the album cuts). And we're not talking "encoded so they have cymbal wash all over the place" different, but less mushy, crisper audio all-around.

 

As it stands, there's a bit of dispute as to whether the mastering engineer was to blame, or if the original mix sucked when it comes to the album tracks. Last I heard (which was a while back), there was still finger pointing going on. :)

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cheating"! Is there such a thing in recording audio?

 

To my way of thinking, no, not really. Some people consider recording itself - even if it's one mic, done "live" - as cheating. Overdubbing, punching in / out, comping, autotune, sample replacement / augmentation, elastic audio - heck, even EQ and compression can all be considered "cheating" if you want to be purist about it, but then again, multitrack recording has always been about illusions - creating the illusion of a real time perfomance that never actually happened that way.

 

We're all magicians and illusionists if you think about it. :)

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cheating"! Is there such a thing in recording audio?


To my way of thinking, no, not really. Some people consider recording itself - even if it's one mic, done "live" - as cheating. Overdubbing, punching in / out, comping, autotune, sample replacement / augmentation, elastic audio - heck, even EQ and compression can all be considered "cheating" if you want to be purist about it, but then again, multitrack recording has always been about illusions - creating the illusion of a real time perfomance that never actually happened that way.


We're all magicians and illusionists if you think about it.
:)



Yes. As I keep saying, this idea of "cheating" is a moving target. Someone's opinion about what is considered "cheating" says far more about them than anything else. Multi-tracking already creates an illusion. So does close-micing (unless you listen to music with your ears inside a kick drum or right on the grill of a Fender Princeton). Even altering a guitar sound so it's not brittle sounding is creating illusion. It's simply a matter of where you personally decide to draw the line.

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MANOWAR.


Manowar has been one of the few Metal bands that has been on the cutting edge of technology for a long time. For over 20 years, most of their equipment has been custom made in order to surpass the gear that has been commercially available. Their bass player uses a bass that was roughly $20K due to the fact that it was custom made from a single piece of graphite. The built a fairly large recording studio in their home town of Auburn, New York and they own their own record label (including their 20+ year back catalog from Atlantic and Geffen) in order to have complete control over everything.

They use award winning Motion Picture Soundtrack engineers because their music tends to be a mixture of Metal and Orchestral elements with foley sound effects (such as wind, swords clashing) these days.


[YOUTUBE][/YOUTUBE]

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MANOWAR.



Manowar has been one of the few Metal bands that has been on the cutting edge of technology for a long time. For over 20 years, most of their equipment has been custom made in order to surpass the gear that has been commercially available. Their bass player uses a bass that was roughly $20K due to the fact that it was custom made from a single piece of graphite. The built a fairly large recording studio in their home town of Auburn, New York and they own their own record label (including their 20+ year back catalog from Atlantic and Geffen) in order to have complete control over everything.


They use award winning Motion Picture Soundtrack engineers because their music tends to be a mixture of Metal and Orchestral elements with foley sound effects (such as wind, swords clashing) these days.

 

 

I like Manowar, but everything before Kings of Metal sounds like it was recorded in a large bathroom with a Radio Shack mic pointed at it from 14ft down the hall.

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I like Manowar, but everything before Kings of Metal sounds like it was recorded in a large bathroom with a Radio Shack mic pointed at it from 14ft down the hall.

 

 

It's funny- my favorite one is still Into Glory Ride because it is really dark and bottom heavy.

 

Kings of Metal was the first one where they actually had a real budget. I heard that Atlantic got pissed because Joey DeMaio spent a huge chunk of the Budget to pay for the Men's Choir they used on the Background vocals on it.

 

[YOUTUBE] [/YOUTUBE]

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They built a fairly large recording studio in their home town of Auburn, New York and they own their own record label (including their 20+ year back catalog from Atlantic and Geffen) in order to have complete control over everything.

 

I live just up the road from said studio, funny though never bothered to try to get a tour. I run into Karl Logan at Wegmans quite a bit.

 

That said, they don't seem to get that many clients in the studio because (and this is rumor) they are a pain in the ass to work with.

 

I had no idea they were running a label at the moment. Nobody in this {censored} hole town know them by face. :lol:

 

Actually this band is better known around here:

 

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I live just up the road from said studio, funny though never bothered to try to get a tour. I run into Karl Logan at Wegmans quite a bit.


That said, they don't seem to get that many clients in the studio because (and this is rumor) they are a pain in the ass to work with.


I had no idea they were running a label at the moment. Nobody in this {censored} hole town know them by face.
:lol:

Actually this band is better known around here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZaWWLSXJtk



Hey - it's my song! LOL (Since I'm currently Unemployed. LOL)

Oh, I know somebody who worked for them for a while and JD is allegedly a complete control freak - which I can totally see. I wasn't even sure if their studio was opened to the public.

Some of my friends live in Bloomfield (just south of Rochester), and they have run into the manowar guys a few times. I told them,"Take your amps to Dawk and have them hot-rodded by him!" I've talked to him a few times, and the guy needs to write a book on Tube electronics, he has forgotten more than most people know when it comes to Tube gear.

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cheating"! Is there such a thing in recording audio?


To my way of thinking, no, not really. Some people consider recording itself - even if it's one mic, done "live" - as cheating. Overdubbing, punching in / out, comping, autotune, sample replacement / augmentation, elastic audio - heck, even EQ and compression can all be considered "cheating" if you want to be purist about it, but then again, multitrack recording has always been about illusions - creating the illusion of a real time perfomance that never actually happened that way.


We're all magicians and illusionists if you think about it.
:)



I'll tell you what can be a cool experiment.

Set up a room with a pair of stereo mic's.

Have a band record a rough guide track.

Then go back and track each instrument by itself in said room just using these stereo mic's.

Then mix the pairs together.

You can actually come up with some fairly cool mixes doing this - especially if you use different amps, and for each pair of tracks - move the amps to different locations in the room.


One of my friends turned me onto this - he was trying to create his own "wall of sound" kind of thing doing this. I wish I still had my home studio, because I was just starting to experiment with this type of recording when I had to shut it down.

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I wasn't even sure if their studio was opened to the public.

 

 

You know, I actually don't know if it is or not. The studio is located just down the road (I live on the same road) in a {censored}ty looking brick building. But who knows it's probably really nice inside.

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they own their own record label (including their 20+ year back catalog from Atlantic and Geffen) in order to have complete control over everything.

 

 

And they're in complete control of and in a legal battle with Rhapsody of Fire, keeping their album and touring on hold for the last two or three years now. I think it started pretty soon after the two bands toured together.

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And they're in complete control of and in a legal battle with Rhapsody of Fire, keeping their album and touring on hold for the last two or three years now. I think it started pretty soon after the two bands toured together.



From the rumors I have heard about Karl Logan, this surprises me very little. :facepalm:

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