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What album, in your opinion, is divinely/perfectly mixed?
Old 11th November 2018
  #1
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What album, in your opinion, is divinely/perfectly mixed?

I'm an art/electronic/rock kind of guy but am knocked over by Norah Jones' Feels Like Home.

A wonderfully minimalist record with huge, warm vocals and perfectly carved-out pockets for every instrument.

I'm constantly challenged by its beauty.
Old 11th November 2018
  #2
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octatonic's Avatar
Spilt Milk, by Jellyfish.
Old 11th November 2018
  #3
Some Cities by Doves comes to mind...
Old 11th November 2018
  #4
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jiffybox's Avatar
For grit, Latin Playboys’ debut album. Can’t go wrong with Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake, I still marvel at the sonic playground they achieve with that mix. For sheer beauty, Hats by the Blue Nile. Like Norah, everything has it’s place and pocket, although it creates a dense and distant sense of time and place while also being intimate and lush. Flawless.
Old 11th November 2018
  #5
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jiffybox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Mangum View Post
Some Cities by Doves comes to mind...
Was a huge influence on a record I made in 2005. I didn’t come close at all.
Old 11th November 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
 

The three albums Sonic Youth did with Jim O'Rourke! (the nyc-triology) So well balanced - everything gets an equal place in the mix, it's not just squeaky midrange guitars all over the place. The drums and bass are really placed as equal important instruments too and I love that. They have some kind of "closeness" quality to them also, everything sounds like you are "in" the music and that's just perfect.
I come from an electronic music background (ambient, techno, house, lowercase) so maybe that's why I like the "unfocus" on just the lead instruments and that the whole over all s o u n d is important too.
So even though I don't do any rock myself these albums are some kind of reference to me for mix and production.
Old 11th November 2018
  #7
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 

Rift
Old 11th November 2018
  #8
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Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Old 11th November 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Spilt Milk, by Jellyfish.
Those drums.
Old 11th November 2018
  #10
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco is one of my favourites in terms of mixing/engineering. Very balanced.

Atlas by Real Estate is also a great example, recorded in The Loft where Wilco records.

On the heavier side, White Hot Moon by Pity Sex. That huge drum sound blending with the shoegaze guitars is amazing. Will Yip is a great producer for that kind of stuff.
Old 11th November 2018
  #11
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andychamp's Avatar
Always the one I'm working on...until the artists start asking for changes.
Old 11th November 2018
  #12
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clump's Avatar
 

'Ingenue' by KD Lang
Old 11th November 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Steely Dan - Aja
Steven Wilson - The Raven that Refused to Sing
Big Big Train - English Electric Part I
Old 11th November 2018
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Always the one I'm working on...until the artists start asking for changes.
Laughed out loud.
Old 11th November 2018
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Rumor and Sigh by Richard Thompson. Its one I bring with me if I'm going to work somewhere else.

Its another Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake affair.
Old 11th November 2018
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreiPiatra View Post
Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Amen to that!

Also anything done by Dirty Loops produced by Simon Petren
Old 11th November 2018
  #17
Ok Computer and Hail to the Thief sound very balanced.
Old 11th November 2018
  #18
I’ve always loved the production(mix presentation included) on the first two Duncan Sheik albums. Black Keys Brothers and Jet Get Born are a couple others that come to mind right now.
Old 12th November 2018
  #19
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

It's tough to answer this. It really depends on Era. Something like Pet Sounds was pretty immaculate for the era. However they didn't have great tracking resources and mixing equipment back then. Certainly the gear sounded as good as it gets, but they had limited tracks and didn't have automation and advanced editing. Therefore it's not a fair comparison to say modern a modern record or even a 70s record.

In addition I feel like these type of questions are loaded in the sense of musical taste. In other words, many people will automatically think a record sounds great or is produced well because they like that band or their songs appeal to them.

Lastly, I rarely see/hear people with the ability to separate songs, arranging, production and engineering. Separating the art form from technical aspects is key in evaluating the sound of a record.

I'm going with Pet Sounds, Kiss Destroyer, 90125, Moving Pictures/ Perm Waves, Temple of the Dog and Roots by Sepultura. Honorable mention to Spilt Milk since it is sort derivative
Old 12th November 2018
  #20
Achtung Baby
Old 12th November 2018
  #21
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robert82's Avatar
Weather Report - "Heavy Weather".
Old 12th November 2018
  #22
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StoneyBCN's Avatar
 

Talk Talk - Laughing Stock, Spirit of Eden.

As others mentioned, Jim O'Rourke with SY and Wilco.

Dolby/Shipley's work with Prefab Sprout on Steve McQueen.

Sometimes I prefer "perfectly unmixed" though...
Old 12th November 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 

“Is a Woman” by Lambchop. There’s so much going on but it’s so sparse and the sense of space is amazing.

“Time The Revelator “ by Gillian Welsh. Simple but perfect.

“Mambo Sinuendo” by Ry Cooter and Manuel Galban. Cuban, surf guitar psych. Another one with a fantastic sense of space. It sounds like you’re in the room with them but everything is hyper real and weird and huge.

I also have a real soft spot for all the Mitchell Froom, Chad Blake & Los Lobos stuff. Colossal Head, This Time and all the Latin Playboys stuff. It’s the full package. Great writing, playing, and a totally unique and slightly off kilter take on production and mixing.

As others have said, all of these have great mixes but also great arrangements, performances and production. It’s hard to separate all the elements. Mixing is a weird gig. It’s like being a film editor. How does the general public know if you did a good or bad job if they never see what you had to work with? Your mix may be bold and inventive and technically great but if the performance and production aren’t there it’ll still suck. Other times the material is so good that it’s almost bulletproof. The mix could be terrible and the greatness will still shine through.
Old 12th November 2018
  #24
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vernier's Avatar
Too many to list, all from 40's thru 60's, of course.
Old 12th November 2018
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
It's tough to answer this. It really depends on Era. Something like Pet Sounds was pretty immaculate for the era. However they didn't have great tracking resources and mixing equipment back then. Certainly the gear sounded as good as it gets, but they had limited tracks and didn't have automation and advanced editing. Therefore it's not a fair comparison to say modern a modern record or even a 70s record.

In addition I feel like these type of questions are loaded in the sense of musical taste. In other words, many people will automatically think a record sounds great or is produced well because they like that band or their songs appeal to them.

Lastly, I rarely see/hear people with the ability to separate songs, arranging, production and engineering. Separating the art form from technical aspects is key in evaluating the sound of a record.

I'm going with Pet Sounds, Kiss Destroyer, 90125, Moving Pictures/ Perm Waves, Temple of the Dog and Roots by Sepultura. Honorable mention to Spilt Milk since it is sort derivative
Yup

Quote:
Originally Posted by junkshop View Post
“Is a Woman” by Lambchop. There’s so much going on but it’s so sparse and the sense of space is amazing.

“Time The Revelator “ by Gillian Welsh. Simple but perfect.

“Mambo Sinuendo” by Ry Cooter and Manuel Galban. Cuban, surf guitar psych. Another one with a fantastic sense of space. It sounds like you’re in the room with them but everything is hyper real and weird and huge.

I also have a real soft spot for all the Mitchell Froom, Chad Blake & Los Lobos stuff. Colossal Head, This Time and all the Latin Playboys stuff. It’s the full package. Great writing, playing, and a totally unique and slightly off kilter take on production and mixing.

As others have said, all of these have great mixes but also great arrangements, performances and production. It’s hard to separate all the elements. Mixing is a weird gig. It’s like being a film editor. How does the general public know if you did a good or bad job if they never see what you had to work with? Your mix may be bold and inventive and technically great but if the performance and production aren’t there it’ll still suck. Other times the material is so good that it’s almost bulletproof. The mix could be terrible and the greatness will still shine through.
Yup

Personal taste is definitely a factor.

I think it’s kind of a funny question. I literally never listen to something and think ‘the mix is good.’ But on the flip side a bad mix could be the end of a recording that would otherwise be great.

Another thing that comes to mind is Los Lonely Boys. Not “my thing” but I borrowed my moms car recently and the record with “Heaven” was in the CD player. I definitely enjoyed listening to that record. Again don’t remember thinking “mix is good” but definitely the production is really good. I LOVE the guitar tones on it.
Old 12th November 2018
  #26
Gear Head
 

Massive Attack - Mezzanine (Mark 'Spike' Stent).

Before Stent went ITB and lost his sonic mojo...
Old 12th November 2018
  #27
Gear Head
 

I think the real question is what defines a good sound.
Old 12th November 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

My favourite drum sound ever is on God Shuffled His Feet by Crash Test Dummies. I'm aware that the album is desperately uncool (I love it BTW), but I know I'm not alone in loving the drum sound. I once found a website devoted to it.

I think it was mixed by Tom Lord-Alge, so it makes sense. There is something incredible about the reverb and snap on the snare. Check out Afternoons and Coffeespoons and you'll hear what I mean.
Old 12th November 2018
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyBCN View Post
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock, Spirit of Eden.

As others mentioned, Jim O'Rourke with SY and Wilco.

Dolby/Shipley's work with Prefab Sprout on Steve McQueen.

Sometimes I prefer "perfectly unmixed" though...
Love all of these records, and they're pretty much some of the stuff I'd mention if getting asked the same question. So, um, kudos!
Old 12th November 2018
  #30
White Chalk by PJ Harvey, mixed by Flood together with PJ Harvey and John Parish. Whenever I think of a perfect mix I think of a mix that plays along with how the music feels. This one is full of noise and kind of lo-fi, I guess, but those sounds just contribute so much to the general sense of fragility and sadness that this record is steeped in.

Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout was mentioned earlier, and I feel the same way about this record. The mix just gels perfetly with Paddy McAloon's mix of headiness and big dreams and yet something very intimate and downright local. Just perfect.
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