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Are the 2001 Mixes Really 'Good' Mixes? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 24th August 2007
  #1
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Are the 2001 Mixes Really 'Good' Mixes?

I know this is gonna sound like blasphemy, but hear me out:

I was listening back to Chonic 2001... It seems like the reason that album is so freaking punchy and loud is that, the frequencies they normally cut in industry mixes/masters, they boosted on Dre's album. As a result, you end up with some songs that are very harsh when you turn them up.

Turn the Watcher up and the snare will put a hole in your eardrum. That's why on most cd's you hear engineers cut freqs that annoy you, to make the mixes smoother. Compare say, the tracks on the Big Bang, and overall they sound smoother and much more balanced.

Yet everyone says they ref 2001 for mixes. I thought back to what BBG was saying about fletcher munson, and it's true... So it's like, ok, I could go push 900Hz and 1.5K etc. to extremes and my mix would sound "loud" too... But is that really a good mix? And if it is, why isn't anybody else mixing like that anymore. Even dre.

The sonic philosophy on the Chronic sounds like "hit the ear where it hurts". Instead of "make a smooth mix that is pleasing to listen to".

Alright so, food for thought. Curious to see what everybody thinks.
Old 24th August 2007
  #2
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It's been awhile, but I remember Dre and Segal complaining about having to move from room to room at Larrabee for mixing, and one of the rooms they didn't like so much. Maybe that's why they started using Enterprise...? Xzibit and I sat in with them on the very last mix session for 2001 and I do remember the mids being a little on top in that room. By the same token, what they were doing was extremely bangin too!
Old 27th August 2007
  #3
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khameln View Post
I know this is gonna sound like blasphemy, but hear me out:

I was listening back to Chonic 2001... It seems like the reason that album is so freaking punchy and loud is that, the frequencies they normally cut in industry mixes/masters, they boosted on Dre's album. As a result, you end up with some songs that are very harsh when you turn them up.

Turn the Watcher up and the snare will put a hole in your eardrum. That's why on most cd's you hear engineers cut freqs that annoy you, to make the mixes smoother. Compare say, the tracks on the Big Bang, and overall they sound smoother and much more balanced.

Yet everyone says they ref 2001 for mixes. I thought back to what BBG was saying about fletcher munson, and it's true... So it's like, ok, I could go push 900Hz and 1.5K etc. to extremes and my mix would sound "loud" too... But is that really a good mix? And if it is, why isn't anybody else mixing like that anymore. Even dre.

The sonic philosophy on the Chronic sounds like "hit the ear where it hurts". Instead of "make a smooth mix that is pleasing to listen to".

Alright so, food for thought. Curious to see what everybody thinks.
Check most of the mixes on 2001 - the drumbeats itself are tailored to built an even spectrum envelope - no exaggerated highs, lows, mids.
and mixes are WELL balanced, except maybe the loud snare, which is Dre`s production`s signature.
Old 27th August 2007
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
Check most of the mixes on 2001 - the drumbeats itself are tailored to built an even spectrum envelope - no exaggerated highs, lows, mids.
and mixes are WELL balanced, except maybe the loud snare, which is Dre`s production`s signature.
thumbsup Yes.
Old 27th August 2007
  #5
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I dunno, you can pretty much put on that album, and then any other album, and hear that the spec. sounds pretty drastically different. Play say, The Watcher, and then something from Busta's Album... Busta's album is much more even/balanced and less harsh.

I didn't mean balanced as far as volume, but as far as being a smooth mix. Busta's Album I can turn up without irritating myself. Turn "The Watcher" or "Still Dre" up and you're asking for ear fatigue!
Old 27th August 2007
  #6
DAH
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Dre puts meat and potatos on yo plate, while Busta`s, say, "It ain`t safe no more" provide you with some pancakes + syrup + fat sourcream.
Yep, these two sound concepts are different, and dre`s school seems to me to be more of "ol` good hip-hop" while Busta`s sound is to be more cut to suit clubs and car stereos - the spectral balance is pure pinky-white noise - wahuteva it`s played on - it sounds NOT BAD! You could compare Busta`s mix balance to that of Onyx despite the lows buildup that Onyx got.
Old 27th August 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

I certainly understand what you mean.
I personally think Dre 2001 is very very (very !) well mixed album, but the drums and the overall loudness are pushed to the extreme. Also it seems that the drums base on certain frequencies, that are not too friendly to the ear but still add punch and are well perceived on poorer systems. That's why the snare might feel like an axe to the eardrum at high volume.

I can imagine on a PA system calibrated to a quieter and smoother song from the beginning of the 90-s or so and then playing a song off of the 2001 might to some serious damage.

Although I think this style kind of fits to the album very well, I don't think I would like to mix like that myself. I tried, but found myself sacrificing quality for loudness and didn't like the harshness.

To me, 2001 is exactly on the loudness border-line of "over-producing". It feels like the drums have been laid out on the spectrum almost as with clinical accuracy (heh... hence the Doc?). I have to say it's tempting and pounding like hell, but as you said ear fatigue is quick to come.
Old 27th August 2007
  #8
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With that album I can't believe how good the lyrics cut through the mix. For instance, the Storch sampled piano-ish hits in "Still Dre", they are huge and sound like they would hit a lot of freqs but they don't even meddle with the lyrics.

Same thing on the last track with "The Message". The harp sound doesn't even come near the lyrics. If I was using a harp sound like that I would have a hell of a time getting that much distance from lyrics.

How the **** is that done?
Old 27th August 2007
  #9
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this puzzles me too.
some drastic EQ?
Old 27th August 2007
  #10
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
With that album I can't believe how good the lyrics cut through the mix. For instance, the Storch sampled piano-ish hits in "Still Dre", they are huge and sound like they would hit a lot of freqs but they don't even meddle with the lyrics.

Same thing on the last track with "The Message". The harp sound doesn't even come near the lyrics. If I was using a harp sound like that I would have a hell of a time getting that much distance from lyrics.

How the **** is that done?
Well, what you need to understand first is that mixing is not easy. Then you need to understand that Dre is really, really good at it. Then you should know that the "Storch sampled piano-ish hits" are not sampled.
Old 27th August 2007
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH View Post
Check most of the mixes on 2001 - the drumbeats itself are tailored to built an even spectrum envelope - no exaggerated highs, lows, mids.
and mixes are WELL balanced, except maybe the loud snare, which is Dre`s production`s signature.
i personally hate the mixing on chronic 2001.
i think it sucks.
i wouldnt play that album loud unless i was trying to ruin some speakers.
Old 27th August 2007
  #12
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2586391652 View Post
i personally hate the mixing on chronic 2001.
i think it sucks.
i wouldnt play that album loud unless i was trying to ruin some speakers.
dfegad tutt
Old 27th August 2007
  #13
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jbuehler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle View Post
Storch sampled piano-ish hits" are not sampled.
I have seen a vid of him playing the sounds on a Motif.

He may have recorded them himself from a piano with mics but he played it with a sampler.

To be sampling does it HAVE to come from someone else?

I sample myself all the time......

It is just semantics.

Also, your answer doesn't really explain anything. It just makes you sound like a snob.

No disrespect, you post good stuff all the time and I am sure you know your **** but that answer is something I could have guessed.

I KNOW Dre is T-A-L-E-N-T-E-D!

This is the slutz, we want gear, techniquess, names....!
Old 27th August 2007
  #14
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IMHO...The mixing is on 2001 is almost perfect.

It's the gold standard for mixing live instruments with samples just like midnight murauders is the gold standard for a completely sample-based album.

Listen to how the drums pop and the bass guitar sits just right.

I tuned my subwoofer to the 2001 instrumentals.

Also, I think the quality of Dre's mixes actually fell off after that.

A lot of 50 cent stuff had way too much limiter and a slight digital distortion to me.

2001 on the other hand is nothing but analog goodness
Old 27th August 2007
  #15
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scarface "the untouchabe"

how ya'll like those mixes. i know dave pensado still references from that and the old chronic. alot of peeps ref off scarface stuff.

chronic 2001 is great. a lil harsh. but thats what sounds good on the radio. and thats ALL THAT MATTERS! mike dean
Old 27th August 2007
  #16
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike dean View Post
how ya'll like those mixes.
I'm personally not familiar with Untouchable, but that last Devin joint you did is out of control!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
Also, your answer doesn't really explain anything. It just makes you sound like a snob.
Sorry, bro. I just think folks should know that there's no magic formula...It's all about skills.
Old 27th August 2007
  #17
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolout View Post
Also, I think the quality of Dre's mixes actually fell off after that.

A lot of 50 cent stuff had way too much limiter and a slight digital distortion to me.
I tend to agree w/ this.
Old 27th August 2007
  #18
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t.dizzle's Avatar
 

That's cuz Segal was gone after 2001.
Old 27th August 2007
  #19
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jbuehler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by t.dizzle View Post
Sorry, bro. I just think folks should know that there's no magic formula...It's all about skills.
I agree 100% and know what you mean. I have been doing this for 9 years in ALL my free time and all signs point to skills.
Old 28th August 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolout View Post
It's the gold standard for mixing live instruments with samples just like midnight murauders is the gold standard for a completely sample-based album.
I guess that was part of my question... If it's the gold standard, then why don't other people push those harsh "loudness" freqs the same way on mixes on other albums?
Old 28th August 2007
  #21
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babyface_finsta's Avatar
 

Sour Cream... on Pancakes...
Old 28th August 2007
  #22
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'The Message' was produced/composed/arranged by Lord Finesse off an SP-1200/S950. The S950 lo pass is perfect for putting melodically complex instruments in the background a little or a lot depending on the amount (0-99).
Old 28th August 2007
  #23
DAH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babyface_finsta View Post
Sour Cream... on Pancakes...
yeah, that`s how we do it here in Russia!
PS the sourcream gotta be real PHATT, like dat tube **** !!!
Old 28th August 2007
  #24
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justyntime's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike dean View Post
how ya'll like those mixes. i know dave pensado still references from that and the old chronic. alot of peeps ref off scarface stuff.

chronic 2001 is great. a lil harsh. but thats what sounds good on the radio. and thats ALL THAT MATTERS! mike dean

The Untouchable is the best sounding album I've ever heard in my life. Its a shame its not recognized as the classic it should be. I sent you a myspace message telling you how great that album sounds a while back and how I wish that 7 Aurelius dude is making a mockery by trying to redo some of those beats.

Now my only problem with the untouchable is its not loud enough for todays listening. Due to how loud things have gotten you can play your MP3 player on random have the have the volume at a good level and then "ya money or ya life" or something will come on and you gotta turn it up to hear it. After that, the next song will come on and blow your ear drums out of your head.

I ripped that album to wav's and ran it through some plugs to raise the volume as much as I could without altering the overall sound and its not too bad.
Old 28th August 2007
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2586391652 View Post
i personally hate the mixing on chronic 2001.
i think it sucks.
i wouldnt play that album loud unless i was trying to ruin some speakers.
Not thats straight bs.
Check "Crank that" ,then you know how a bad mix sounds.
Old 28th October 2007
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mix-it-well View Post
Not thats straight bs.
Check "Crank that" ,then you know how a bad mix sounds.
yeah i know.
chronic 2001 just really stiff, cold and loud.
i can see the allure it has to some people...
just the opposite of what i enjoy as a listener.
Old 28th October 2007
  #27
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riecespieces's Avatar
 

U got working engineers who engineer platinum albums from the top selling artists in here saying that its a quality mixed album, Ima have to go with what they say not cuz Im a "d"rider but cuz I dont have any plaques n were talking about mixing which is as it turns out what they do everyday of their life apart from their wives drugs n alcohol...

But Im bias cuz I already agreed, sonically the way everything sounded loud and had presense yet nothing clashed for an entire album to me is just amazing, i work as hard as I do so one day I can get my music to sound like that (and what I mean by that is that I work that hard so I can AFFORD to pay someone else to make the music I write (or beats as u call it) sound like that)..

Oh well back to work, these beats dont make themselves and rent IS due on Thurs....
Old 28th October 2007
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2586391652 View Post
i personally hate the mixing on chronic 2001.
i think it sucks.
i wouldnt play that album loud unless i was trying to ruin some speakers.
I just can't fathom how someone would feel this way about 2001.
But to each his own though right?
Old 28th October 2007
  #29
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_abbot View Post
I just can't fathom how someone would feel this way about 2001.
But to each his own though right?
Quote:
chronic 2001 just really stiff, cold and loud.
i can see the allure it has to some people...
just the opposite of what i enjoy as a listener.
^^^
Old 12th July 2008
  #30
The nice thing is that 2001 is like the NS-10s of mixes.

Everyone knows it. Everyone's listened to it.

It's a good mix, maybe not THE best, but certainly everyone's heard it.

And, if you don't like it, you're just saying that because you think it'll give some sort of cred. You can't make a ho a housewife!

Though seriously, it's an excellent reference record because you talk about how a mix is, in relation to 2001.
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