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Who recorded MGMT album??? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 7th May 2009
  #61
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A couple points.

This thread is absurd. I read this website regularly and am consistently frustrated by people viciously panning bands and questioning their talent. I'm not really a big MGMT fan but I understand that recorded music is an art form unto itself and when you make a record like they have, chances are pulling it off live is impossible. It seems you want the limitations of live concert performance to dictate what every modern album sounds like. I like live sounding records (veckatimest) but I also like insane sounding records that utilize state of the art processing (any Mouse On Mars).

It seems like not everyone here agrees with this premise so maybe I'm wasting my breath. But it seems to me people dislike a band for one reason or another and then try to rationalize the reason they dislike them. You've got an opinion. Great! I just think those kinds of music crit comments are better suited for blogs like stereogum etc.

Another point tho: anyone who has dabbled in electronic music knows that MGMT's record was not a Reason ITB only affair. The amount of analogue grit and side-chaining is remarkable and the band and DF deserve credit for making an insane sounding pop record with lots of character and movement. Of course its squashed! I think that was part of the vision they had. I heard the original version of the song kids and sonically it is lightyears behind the album. Same arrangements but it sounded like I know a PT bounce of reason sounds. But they made great use of the tools they had. I won't make allegations about who did what on this record or any record without reason to do so. I just feel it would be innaccurate to say this a plug-in heavy ITB album because to me it sounds anything but.
Old 7th May 2009
  #62
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@Hays Holladay
Thanks very much for stating out so clearly what i've been thinking for a while...
I couldn't agree more.
Dave Fridmann and ITB... Yeah right
Old 7th May 2009
  #63
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hays Holladay View Post
A couple points.

This thread is absurd. I read this website regularly and am consistently frustrated by people viciously panning bands and questioning their talent. I'm not really a big MGMT fan but I understand that recorded music is an art form unto itself and when you make a record like they have, chances are pulling it off live is impossible. It seems you want the limitations of live concert performance to dictate what every modern album sounds like. I like live sounding records (veckatimest) but I also like insane sounding records that utilize state of the art processing (any Mouse On Mars).

It seems like not everyone here agrees with this premise so maybe I'm wasting my breath. But it seems to me people dislike a band for one reason or another and then try to rationalize the reason they dislike them. You've got an opinion. Great! I just think those kinds of music crit comments are better suited for blogs like stereogum etc.

Another point tho: anyone who has dabbled in electronic music knows that MGMT's record was not a Reason ITB only affair. The amount of analogue grit and side-chaining is remarkable and the band and DF deserve credit for making an insane sounding pop record with lots of character and movement. Of course its squashed! I think that was part of the vision they had. I heard the original version of the song kids and sonically it is lightyears behind the album. Same arrangements but it sounded like I know a PT bounce of reason sounds. But they made great use of the tools they had. I won't make allegations about who did what on this record or any record without reason to do so. I just feel it would be innaccurate to say this a plug-in heavy ITB album because to me it sounds anything but.
First off, most people said they love the band, and even the record, but don't like the sound. Only a couple people said they weren't good live.

What does "analogue grit and side-chaining" mean? Do you know what side chaining is?

Besides, the sound that those of us are dislking is certainly digital in nature. It's digital distortion, actually. If you can't hear the difference between analog distortion and digital clipping / digital distortion, then I don't know what to tell you.

I have no problem with DF's production. I think it's great. I think he could learn a thing or two about headroom, though. It would have made this record sound a LOT better.
Old 7th May 2009
  #64
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Thanks for asking and thanks for the condescending tone JJ. I do know what side-chaining and use it all the time. With grit and side-chaining I was referring to common techniques in electronic music that are used to add texture with analogue equipment (grit) and create a surreal listening experience (side-chaining/ducking etc) not heard in most acoustic music.

I was responding to this thread but also plenty of others on Gearslutz that devolve into mudslinging fests (see the TV on the Radio one). Its always with bands who are (in my estimation) on the right track that get grief for one reason or another. Everyone deserves an opinion but it seems to me that some people's opinions about an album are negatively colored by everything but the music (ie live show, image, etc.). Of course, I'm not making a blanket statement about everyone on this forum.

I guess the headroom thing comes down to taste. I havent heard a more dynamic version of that record so I can't speak to that. My feeling is that part of what shapes the MGMT and TVOTR's latest is the pop mastering job.

Didn't mean to come off defensive JJ but come on, give somebody the benefit of the doubt. I'm not gonna throw around fancy words like side-chaining just to impress you. This isn't 3rd grade.
Old 8th May 2009
  #65
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jjblair's Avatar
Hays, I'm just asking, "what do you mean by sidechaining," because I wasn't sure if you were using the term improperly. The statement just didn't make sense to me. By that question, I'm not being condescending. Sorry if it came off that way. I honestly didn't know what you are talking about, and I'm trying to figure out if you're using a term improperly, as many of us, including myself have done.

If you had said "ducking," then I would have gotten it, but I'm still not sure where I'm audibly hearing that as being any different from anything else that we would do in recorded music. Ducking and sidechaining compressors has been around forever. But it's rarely something that one hears when listening to a record as an identifiable effect. I want to understand what you mean as the thing I should be able to hear and identify on this record, and why is it so special that it stands out from other records?

When I say "headroom," it has nothing to do with dynamics, btw. It has to with with DF either printing his levels too hot, or running plug-ins too hot, which I've been told is something he likes to do. Whatever it is, digital is so much less forgiving in the headroom department. You don't get saturation like on tape. And the type of distortion is not the cool added harmonic content and changing of waveshapes. It's adding an extremely unpleasant noise, that sounds like iron filings and glass chards. That's the sound slightly layered over that whole record that makes my ears tired, and it's a shame, because the record is so brilliant.
Old 8th May 2009
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by NowWhat View Post
Dave is infinitely talented, yes it was him.
This band is a POS without his production...
Watch a live youtube and see...
While I agree that the youtube live is horrendous, I was really surprised to hear the similarities between the demo for Time to Pretend and the version in the actual album. The main difference in the demo being the weak, burried drums. But the demo was quite impressive and they had an idea of what they were going for in that song. As songwriters they succeded.
Old 8th May 2009
  #67
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Stepwise Sound's Avatar
 

This thread has gotten resurrected so I may as well clarify:

Quote:
Andrew and Ben actually write songs and write a ton of the actual parts, much in Reason. .
This not to say the live drums are programmed in Reason. Vocals also are obviously not Reason. Post-production, mixing, etc... whatever process the stuff was run thru, is not Reason.

"Kids," an older MGMT song, consists of tons of Reason synths + electronic drums. Other drums were layered on top in the Fridmann-produced version.

Apart from “Kids” and “Time to Pretend,” I am not sure how much is MGMT versus Fridmann. The material on “Oracular Spectacular" that is live instrument-driven is obviously not done in Reason; who knows about pre-production. Ben and Andrew are talented multi-instrumentalists and composers and certainly played and wrote much of the material.

As we all know, making a record, working with artists (and working with producers) is a series of compromises.

Who knows what Fridmann was given to work with, what he could and couldn't re-track, and what MGMT and Fridmann developed together in the studio.

Working with MGMT on their material at my studio I have to say I rarely touched the knobs (er, um, computer) -- Andrew and Ben know what sounds they want, they are not afraid about getting in there and tweaking parameters themselves in minute detail.

Who knows what actually went on in the Fridmann/MGMT sessions: I'll certainly try to find out next time I talk to the guys.

Personally, I really enjoy "Oracular Spectacular" -- cool sound, excellent songs, fine arrangement + production choices. From a technical standpoint, I generally prefer a cleaner sound but hey, different strokes for different folks.

The record also moves me emotionally -- obviously a very personal thing but this is perhaps the hardest nut to crack.

Quote:
the band and DF deserve credit for making an insane sounding pop record with lots of character and movement
Indeed kudos to MGMT and Fridmann for making a relevant and exciting album.
Old 8th May 2009
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stepwise Sound View Post
This thread has gotten resurrected so I may as well clarify:



This not to say the live drums are programmed in Reason. Vocals also are obviously not Reason. Post-production, mixing, etc... whatever process the stuff was run thru, is not Reason.

"Kids," an older MGMT song, consists of tons of Reason synths + electronic drums. Other drums were layered on top in the Fridmann-produced version.

Apart from “Kids” and “Time to Pretend,” I am not sure how much is MGMT versus Fridmann. The material on “Oracular Spectacular" that is live instrument-driven is obviously not done in Reason; who knows about pre-production. Ben and Andrew are talented multi-instrumentalists and composers and certainly played and wrote much of the material.

As we all know, making a record, working with artists (and working with producers) is a series of compromises.

Who knows what Fridmann was given to work with, what he could and couldn't re-track, and what MGMT and Fridmann developed together in the studio.

Working with MGMT on their material at my studio I have to say I rarely touched the knobs (er, um, computer) -- Andrew and Ben know what sounds they want, they are not afraid about getting in there and tweaking parameters themselves in minute detail.

Who knows what actually went on in the Fridmann/MGMT sessions: I'll certainly try to find out next time I talk to the guys.

Personally, I really enjoy "Oracular Spectacular" -- cool sound, excellent songs, fine arrangement + production choices. From a technical standpoint, I generally prefer a cleaner sound but hey, different strokes for different folks.

The record also moves me emotionally -- obviously a very personal thing but this is perhaps the hardest nut to crack.



Indeed kudos to MGMT and Fridmann for making a relevant and exciting album.

This is an AWESOME post!!!! I made this thread, hoping to get someone who recorded them or actually DF to comment on it. I loved the album...was my favorite until I heard the Radiohead- In Rainbows album from last year I believe....and I wanted to know more about the production and how DF did things....definitely was ITB and gear mix....but how exactly did he get the crunch, nice drums on the Moons, birds song....and just how they went from ideas to final album. Thanks for your post....keep us updated.

-Daniel
Old 8th May 2009
  #69
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jjblair's Avatar
If you listen in "In Rainbows" and "Oracular Spectacular" side by side, you can really hear what some of us are talking about. Now "In Rainbows" has some beautifully overdriven and distorted sounds, that don't have that patina of shattered glass.
Old 8th May 2009
  #70
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JJ.

Cool. I appreciated your response. A lot of great points.

In terms of In Rainbows, I wouldn't really put them in the same stratosphere. Not necessarily because one is inherently better than the other (tho I prefer In Rainbows) but because they are going for very different things. I think the MGMT record is the sonic extreme of what DF has been pursuing with the Flaming Lips. Soft Bulletin is the most tasteful but I think this record really shows him flexing his Top 40 chops which sound like japanese candy to me. Thats a good thing.

In Rainbows, I hear a much different sound (too long to go into) Very open. Deep and wide. Like an IMAX movie at 70 mm.


And Stepwise, by referencing the original recordings of the album I didn't mean to belittle the talent of the group and their arrangements. Instead I just wanted to highlight what I hear (IMHO) to be some pleasing analogue glue and saturation as well as sonic excitement that happens on the album. JJ may be correct about there being digital distortion artifacts on top of that but it has bothered me personally. I'll have to give it another listen.

Ha. Thanks for listening to me rant.

peace

hh
Old 8th May 2009
  #71
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echoclerk's Avatar
 

too much overdrive

In parts i just find that MGMT album a bit too overdriven. I actually just want to understand the kind of choices you would make in the studio that would lead to that kind of sound.

and by the way: Radiohead - In Rainbows ? huh? that album sounds nothing like MGMT aesthetics. I think the aim of those two, aesthetically, could not be more different. the Radiohead one verges on lounge music in parts.
Old 8th May 2009
  #72
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Kris's Avatar
My point is that if you're anything like me and certain albums, when turned up, literally give you a headache (typically due to extreme over-limiting and/or digital headroom issues), then save your $15 and don't buy this one... even though it is a really cool/creative production by some obviously talented musicians/engineers/producers.

If you like headaches, and/or are not affected by this type of thing, it is a great collection of music IMO. I would definately go see these guys live.
Old 8th May 2009
  #73
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BradM's Avatar
Perhaps we are entering into a new age where digital distortion is actually appreciated and desired by some listeners?

Can someone explain to me the logic behind the thinking that running plugins hot would actually sound better?

Brad
Old 8th May 2009
  #74
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I'm sure the original analogue equipment wasn't designed to be driven as hard as it was by the dawn of rock and roll.

Its the same difference.

Not sure I dig the uber brick wall effect but it seems clear they were going for that sound. What I have a problem with is when it is added by default.
Old 8th May 2009
  #75
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Nice points all. I guess I don't have anymore to say about this record.

Where was it confirmed that he runs his plug-ins hot? I find that hard to believe considering I can usually get louder mixes when I leave headroom in the plug-ins and then brickwall it at the end.
Old 9th May 2009
  #76
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Odey's Avatar
 

MGMT = Old David Bowie Records with some reason samples thrown in for good measure
Old 9th May 2009
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hays Holladay View Post
JJ.

Cool. I appreciated your response. A lot of great points.

In terms of In Rainbows, I wouldn't really put them in the same stratosphere. Not necessarily because one is inherently better than the other (tho I prefer In Rainbows) but because they are going for very different things. I think the MGMT record is the sonic extreme of what DF has been pursuing with the Flaming Lips. Soft Bulletin is the most tasteful but I think this record really shows him flexing his Top 40 chops which sound like japanese candy to me. Thats a good thing.

In Rainbows, I hear a much different sound (too long to go into) Very open. Deep and wide. Like an IMAX movie at 70 mm.


And Stepwise, by referencing the original recordings of the album I didn't mean to belittle the talent of the group and their arrangements. Instead I just wanted to highlight what I hear (IMHO) to be some pleasing analogue glue and saturation as well as sonic excitement that happens on the album. JJ may be correct about there being digital distortion artifacts on top of that but it has bothered me personally. I'll have to give it another listen.

Ha. Thanks for listening to me rant.

peace

hh
No no....everyone....I meant to say that MGMT album was my favorite album of the year until I found the "In Rainbows" album...they are 100% different albums....and theres NO comparison for the style, I just meant for my personal taste of music this year....I was listening to MGMT then found the Radiohead album and swapped over to listen to it like.....100+ times so far.....all the way through....and interchange that with Miles Davis, Coltrane, Herbie, etc.....I didnt mean they should be compared by any means....hope this helps. Lastly, does anyone know Fridmann personally? I would love to get him on here to say how it REALLY went.....inside the MGMT studio recording sessions.

-Daniel
Old 9th May 2009
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Ducking and sidechaining compressors has been around forever. But it's rarely something that one hears when listening to a record as an identifiable effect.
Its a very common effect in a lot of dance/electronic songs. RE: Daft Punk "One More Time"

Hays Holladay, totally agree with your post at the top of this page.

this record is overdriven on purpose, if you don't like that sound then great, but that doesn't mean it's "wrong".

I'm not a huge fan of the album on a whole personally, mainly cause of the writing though, not the production, but I do like 1 or 2 songs off it quite a bit.
Old 9th May 2009
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
Its a very common effect in a lot of dance/electronic songs. RE: Daft Punk "One More Time"

Hays Holladay, totally agree with your post at the top of this page.

this record is overdriven on purpose, if you don't like that sound then great, but that doesn't mean it's "wrong".

I'm not a huge fan of the album on a whole personally, mainly cause of the writing though, not the production, but I do like 1 or 2 songs off it quite a bit.
Exactly. That or Justice or Mouse on Mars etc. Thats what I was referring to. Thanks for clarifying.
Old 9th May 2009
  #80
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Hays is one of my favorite people and is a true artist.

Seriously.

Kid speaks the truth.

- c
Old 9th May 2009
  #81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Love this record. I love the songs and the production. I can't stand the sound of the record though. There is so much digital distortion. My ears get fatigued after a long listening period with this record. It sounds like somebody doesn't understand the headroom limitations in their DAW, or something. Really a shame, because everything else about this record is so amazing. Much more difficult for me to listen to than a lo-fi analog record, like Elliot Smith or something.

I have heard that this may be a result of Dave Fridman's philosophy that plug-ins sound better when you run them really hot. If this is true, I hope the next MGMT record is made using a better engineer. The creativity these guys have deserves much better fidelity.

Yeah! I also love the Record, great songs and great Arrangements !

Soundwise I think could be a bit more controlled o maybe to take the distortion in a different direction!...yes I would not like this record very clean..actually I really like it on the dirty side!...but yes sounds like a lot of Digital distortion...that is not necessary wrong...but maybe too much of that?
Also there is IMO an excess of Freqs combined with Distortion like in the Bass Lines on "Time to Pretend"

In the other hand I give my respects to MGMT and D.F to have the balls to do it in this way...I rather prefer a record like this that a neat and slick typical Pop Album.

Really great songs and arragement, but soundwise with a better type of distortion and a bit less squashed and less mud could bring even more musicallity to the record!

But Musically and Artistically a awesome album!!thumbsup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris View Post
I agree with JJ... Just another cool record that I can't enjoy. I've got enough headaches as it is!!! I like to turn my music up, not down!!!!!!! (Though I'd guess the issue was related to Mastering)

I thought they sounded pretty great live though, based on the previously linked radio broadcast.
Yeah! hard to listen to this record loud...really hurt my ears!
Old 9th May 2009
  #82
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
this record is overdriven on purpose, if you don't like that sound then great, but that doesn't mean it's "wrong".
You missed the point. Nobody has complained about the overdrive. Overdrive is awesome. We're complaining about what sounds like digital distortion and clipping. It's a brittle sound that I don't associate with analog overdrive.
Old 9th May 2009
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echoclerk View Post
In parts i just find that MGMT album a bit too overdriven.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Nobody has complained about the overdrive. .

???...


overdriven or digital distortion, my point still holds. let me rephrase:

if you don't like digital distortion, thats great, but it doesn't mean its wrong.

some people like it, why else would there be a wealth of bit crusher and other digital distortion plugins on the market for example.
Old 9th May 2009
  #84
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
???...


overdriven or digital distortion, my point still holds. let me rephrase:

if you don't like digital distortion, thats great, but it doesn't mean its wrong.

some people like it, why else would there be a wealth of bit crusher and other digital distortion plugins on the market for example.
You're still not getting it.

We're not talking about digital plug-ins that emulate distortion, or bit crushing. We're talking about clipping. We're talking about exceeding headroom. The artifacts that make the digital medium unforgiving, that might actually sound pleasant if you do them in the analog realm. That's the sound that makes this record hard on the ears.
Old 9th May 2009
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
Hays is one of my favorite people and is a true artist.

Seriously.

Kid speaks the truth.

- c
Ha. Thanks Chad! Feeling is mutual.
Old 9th May 2009
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
You're still not getting it.

We're not talking about digital plug-ins that emulate distortion, or bit crushing. We're talking about clipping. We're talking about exceeding headroom. The artifacts that make the digital medium unforgiving, that might actually sound pleasant if you do them in the analog realm. That's the sound that makes this record hard on the ears.
perhaps your not getting it,

SOME PEOPLE LIKE THE SOUND OF DIGITAL CLIPPING!!!

I used the plugins as an example because they emulate digital clipping, sometimes very severe digital clipping!
Old 10th May 2009
  #87
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jjblair's Avatar
Nathan, I'm calling Stephen Croes and asking how he let you graduate form Berklee four years ago, without learning this stuff. heh (Relax, I'm teasing you.)

I don't think you're understanding the difference between downsampling, bit reduction and the type of clipping that occurs when you exceed DAW headroom, or else you never would have mentioned Bit Crusher in the first place. Bit Crusher does not do what I am talking about. That is reducing the sample rate or changing the bit depth, which achieves one type of distortion. What that does is changes the shapes of the waveform, essentially. It's distorting the wave.

That is not the same effect as the clipping that occurs when you exceed the headroom in the digital realm. Bit Crusher gives you a uniform effect across the waveform. Exceeding a DAW's headroom adds artifacts in a nonuniform manner, as well as adding noise, which is one of the reasons that it's so unpleasant to listen to. It's not that aggressive crunchiness that you get from an effect like Bit Crusher, that is a techno staple. It's also not like exceeding the headroom of an analog circuit, or tape.

People over and over on this thread have complained about how it makes this record hard to listen to. It fatigues the ear. If you really understood what I'm talking about, I'd have to venture you would choose to not put it on your recordings.

Now, if you really want to understand what I'm talking about, make a bounce of a track, pushing something beyond the headroom in your DAW, and then make another bounce when not doing it. Adjust the gain on the first track, and then go do a sum and difference mix, and listen to what's left over. It sounds like loose nails and broken glass being rattled around in a tin cup. Very unmusical, and really not something anybody enjoys listening to, or having sprinkle over the music they are trying to enjoy.

Do you see what I'm talking about now? Having that crap on a record is just bad engineering, not a trend to please the kids. I was doing electronica records years ago, and we were trying to get the aggressive sounds you are talking about. Yet, none of that stuff we recorded had this harsh patina of noise that's all over this record. I know this sound. I first suspected it to be the mastering engineer overdoing the L2, until I found out that the ME confided in somebody that the record came in with this distortion and noise all over it, and he tried as hard as he could to fix it.
Old 10th May 2009
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Nathan, I'm calling Stephen Croes and asking how he let you graduate form Berklee four years ago, without learning this stuff. heh (Relax, I'm teasing you.)

I don't think you're understanding the difference between downsampling, bit reduction and the type of clipping that occurs when you exceed DAW headroom, or else you never would have mentioned Bit Crusher in the first place. Bit Crusher does not do what I am talking about. That is reducing the sample rate or changing the bit depth, which achieves one type of distortion. What that does is changes the shapes of the waveform, essentially. It's distorting the wave.

That is not the same effect as the clipping that occurs when you exceed the headroom in the digital realm. Bit Crusher gives you a uniform effect across the waveform. Exceeding a DAW's headroom adds artifacts in a nonuniform manner, as well as adding noise, which is one of the reasons that it's so unpleasant to listen to. It's not that aggressive crunchiness that you get from an effect like Bit Crusher, that is a techno staple. It's also not like exceeding the headroom of an analog circuit, or tape.

People over and over on this thread have complained about how it makes this record hard to listen to. It fatigues the ear. If you really understood what I'm talking about, I'd have to venture you would choose to not put it on your recordings.

Now, if you really want to understand what I'm talking about, make a bounce of a track, pushing something beyond the headroom in your DAW, and then make another bounce when not doing it. Adjust the gain on the first track, and then go do a sum and difference mix, and listen to what's left over. It sounds like loose nails and broken glass being rattled around in a tin cup. Very unmusical, and really not something anybody enjoys listening to, or having sprinkle over the music they are trying to enjoy.

Do you see what I'm talking about now? Having that crap on a record is just bad engineering, not a trend to please the kids. I was doing electronica records years ago, and we were trying to get the aggressive sounds you are talking about. Yet, none of that stuff we recorded had this harsh patina of noise that's all over this record. I know this sound. I first suspected it to be the mastering engineer overdoing the L2, until I found out that the ME confided in somebody that the record came in with this distortion and noise all over it, and he tried as hard as he could to fix it.
I wasn't in music tech...

anyway, i'm just trying to get the point across that people do like this record. It does have the harsh of or similar to digital clipping yet that either doesn't seem to matter or people enjoy that sound. If someone likes this sound there is nothing wrong with that! If its one thing I did learn its that music and recording is still an art, if you want to distort something digital to get the sound your looking for go ahead! not all music is should be "pretty", if you want a "harsh patina of noise" then so be it.

I'm no painter but i'll be damned if someone told me that I shouldn't like a painting cause their technique was wrong or done poorly. It didn't stop van gogh or picasso or countless others.
Old 10th May 2009
  #89
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jjblair's Avatar
Music is art. Recording is art AND science. Before DAWs came along and anybody with a computer could make music, you HAD to know many aspects of the science. You had to know how to calibrate a tape machine, for instance. There is empirically good sound and bad sound. I believe you could have the exact same record that people enjoy WITHOUT the aspect that is bumming out a lot of people, if an engineer followed a few simple rules that are part of the science of recording.

Sorry, I don't buy this sound as an artistic choice. It's just bad engineering.
Old 11th May 2009
  #90
Well for my 2 cents, these guys are one of my favourite acts since Ween, and I think that most of the songs are phenomonal - that being said, while the individual songs sound great, the distortion is almost unbearable after about 20 min on any kind of decent stereo - sounds great in the car, but man, I want to be able to TURN IT UP. I have earlier versions / mixes of a lot of the songs (Kids in particular) and they are much different sounding - I think the production does work, but it is too much for me over the length of an album - Now Ween albums are over the top AND sonically sweet

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