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BEST sounding recording EVER! What is it?

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1 hour ago, Red Ant said:

I LOVE ZZ Top's First Album. In fact I love all their output all the way to Deguello. But I fail to see what those records are doing in this thread. I mean they by no means sound bad, and Billy's guitar tones are ALWAYS stellar, but they're hardly a recording milestone. 

Well, I thought we were talking about recording quality, not to be confused with production quality.  Keeping with ZZ Top as the example, the production quality of all 50+ years is stellar.  Esp. when Bill Hamm was the 4th member of the band.  But 'First Album' -in all it's spartan, stripped-down, naked glory stands out.

I feel like I need to mention Billie Holiday here as well.  We don't REALLY, really, REALLY, really REALLY know what she sounded like.  The equipment used, as well as the environment itself all converge into the end result, each adding its own color along the way.  The beauty of the recording art is in NOT having to 'put it in post' (ie: fix it later).

I read about Hendrix going from being a barely containable animal in the studio, mere moments from being given a plane ticket home to being fascinated with what Kramer was doing and staying up all night with him, helping and learning.  Certainly one can admit that the stereo mixing for that album was stellar, even by today's standards.  Stereo being a burgeoning thing still in 1967 makes it all the more a standout.

But that was all 'post'.  In computer vernacular they say GIGO, and it applies.  One simply cannot polish a turd (even with 'autotune' -- Yven eth nioj!)

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5 minutes ago, Grumpy_Polecat said:

Well, I thought we were talking about recording quality, not to be confused with production quality.  Keeping with ZZ Top as the example, the production quality of all 50+ years is stellar.  Esp. when Bill Hamm was the 4th member of the band.  But 'First Album' -in all it's spartan, stripped-down, naked glory stands out.

I feel like I need to mention Billie Holiday here as well.  We don't REALLY, really, REALLY, really REALLY know what she sounded like.  The equipment used, as well as the environment itself all converge into the end result, each adding its own color along the way.  The beauty of the recording art is in NOT having to 'put it in post' (ie: fix it later).

I read about Hendrix going from being a barely containable animal in the studio, mere moments from being given a plane ticket home to being fascinated with what Kramer was doing and staying up all night with him, helping and learning.  Certainly one can admit that the stereo mixing for that album was stellar, even by today's standards.  Stereo being a burgeoning thing still in 1967 makes it all the more a standout.

But that was all 'post'.  In computer vernacular they say GIGO, and it applies.  One simply cannot polish a turd (even with 'autotune' -- Yven eth nioj!)

There are really two schools at play here - the school that says "capture the room as faithfully as possible and be done" and the one that says "the studio is a musical instrument - use it to express emotion and imagination". I like both, but when it comes to the art of mixing specifically, albums like ZZ Top 1 aren't in the running because there really was no mixing - put up the faders and let 'er rip to 1/2'' master. Again, nothing at all wrong with the approach, I just chose different examples thereof (Kind of Blue and Blues and Abstract Truth).

 

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1 hour ago, Red Ant said:

There is one album that brings all those twisted and related skeins together in one sublime album - Robert Fripp's "Exposure".

 

Yep. Disengage would have fit in on Scary Monsters. The vocal on it actually sounds eerily like Bowie's vocals on some of the tracks on that record (It's No Game pt 1 etc). 

Edited by Zig al-din
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Just now, Zig al-din said:

 

Yep. Disengage would have fit in on Scary Monsters. The vocal on it actually sounds eerily like Bowie's vocals on some of the tracks on that record (It's No Game pt 2 etc). 

Well, the dirty secret here is it was meant for Bowie to sing, but didn't work out business-wise, somehow. Peter Hamill does a stellar job though - and another HUGE influence on Mr. Patton. 

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6 minutes ago, Red Ant said:

There are really two schools at play here - the school that says "capture the room as faithfully as possible and be done" and the one that says "the studio is a musical instrument - use it to express emotion and imagination". I like both, but when it comes to the art of mixing specifically, albums like ZZ Top 1 aren't in the running because there really was no mixing - put up the faders and let 'er rip to 1/2'' master. Again, nothing at all wrong with the approach, I just chose different examples thereof (Kind of Blue and Blues and Abstract Truth).

 

Well, yeah.  Someone (you, perchance?) said this topic was a big kettle of subjectivity, and no truer words have been spoken.  For me though it really comes down to the content.  When I first heard Brittney Spears' 'Hit Me', I knew it was solid gold.  I think that number would have worked even if it hadn't been over-produced. Though over-production certainly didn't hurt it, the production was transparent, as it should be.  Now, while I really didn't care much for the content itself in this instance, it still shined through.  So well in fact that the Zappa Brothers absolutely KILLED with it. (and furthered the over-production in the process...)

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1 minute ago, Grumpy_Polecat said:

Well, yeah.  Someone (you, perchance?) said this topic was a big kettle of subjectivity, and no truer words have been spoken.  For me though it really comes down to the content.  When I first heard Brittney Spears' 'Hit Me', I knew it was solid gold.  I think that number would have worked even if it hadn't been over-produced. Though over-production certainly didn't hurt it, the production was transparent, as it should be.  Now, while I really didn't care much for the content itself in this instance, it still shined through.  So well in fact that the Zappa Brothers absolutely KILLED with it. (and furthered the over-production in the process...)

What do Dweezil and Ahmet have to do with Brittney? 

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4 minutes ago, Grumpy_Polecat said:

This:

 

I guess this is back when they didn't need attorneys to talk to each other. 

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No one seems to be looking at classical, but the Telarc release of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's "The Firebird Suite / Prince Igor" was one of the most innovative recordings of its era - one of the first (if not THE first) digital recordings of any type of music.  We used it to show off JBL, ADC, Klipsch, Macintosh, B&O, Marantz, Technics, Empire, Onkyo, and other top shelf equipment back in the day.  The finale of Firebird on side one gave everyone goose bumps.  Shaw exhibited sheer genius and the ASO was at its peak.

Best if you can find a copy on Vinyl.

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I’m kind of partial to this track I recorded with Eric Burdon, “Take It Easy” off the Crawling Kingsnake album.  It was recorded in a single take, vocals and all, to an MCI 24-track, on a Trident board. No overdubs at all, and mix down consisted of putting all track’s faders at their signal to noise point and then pulling the final fade. No EQ was added during tracking or mix down, microphones were selected to complement each recorded track, and the bass, was taken direct.  https://www.google.com/search?q=take+it+easy+eric+burdon&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

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