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What are your favorite "Lo-Fi" recordings? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4th January 2011
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Again its an opinion and its my opinion on what i personally consider Lo-fi. No reverb, not much treatment, little mics, little production, sounds almost like a demo. I can see the record label spitting out their beer and cursing under their breaths when the record got submitted. Doesn't make it any less great or special though.

People are reading too much into it honestly.
i'd LOVE my demos to sound like that. One of the best recorded guitar albums ever.

Compare it to other solo voice and guitar albums. Does it sound more lo-fi than, say, Bob Dylan's early solo guitar albums, or Bert Jansch's albums, or John Martyn's first album? No it doesn't.

Now if you want lo-fi, check out the Nick Drake compilation album Family Tree. His collection of home recordings. Spot the difference.

I'm equally amazed anyone could consider My Bloody Valentine's Loveless album lo-fi. If anything, for me it's a bit too well produced. I preferred Isn't Anything, an album that isn't all that well mixed, is a bit murky and has loads of drum flams on it. But which is a bit more weird, sounds like a band that are onto something new.

Listening to some Fire Dept right now. Lo-fi.
Old 4th January 2011
  #62
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Tell you what though - the album that really surprised me by how murky it sounded was this year's album from Son Of Dave, "Shake A Bone".

What's funny is that it was recorded at Electrical Audio by Steve Albini. If you played it next to all Son of Dave's other albums, you'd probably say it was the most lo-fi sounding.

It's an album that seems to exist almost entirely in the low and low-mid range. I quite like it, though like all S.O.D.'s stuff it gets a bit samey half way through.
Old 5th January 2011
  #63
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monsieur x's Avatar
Loveless is lo-fi? I had not placed it in the schema. . .

Isn't anything that's not true to the source low-fi? Or wait, is lo-fi and low-fidelity different? :P I guess it's more of a genre thing now.

I really don't like this lo-fi thing Pitchfork has been pushing for too long now though, without naming any bands.

How about Psyched Up Janis - Hi-Fi Low Life?

Some really beautiful songs on there, Sune Rose Wagner of The Raveonettes, before The Raveonettes, and it was made when there was still distinction between home four-track, demo, and proper studios.


Who seriously wants to be low-fi on purpose now? Everyone has a bloody apogee doo-hickey-et and some hundred dollar condenser. That knock-off 57 into a tascam portastudio sound is so bad. . . I don't get.

Oh well, I don't know, who knows. . . maybe my second album with the project I am working on now will be Loe-fy. Maybe the lo-fi crowd is on to something I'm too uncool to know about.
Old 5th January 2011
  #64
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monsieur x's Avatar
Oh and forgot to mention Blank Dogs in general. . . but if you need an album name Diana (The Herald)
Old 5th January 2011
  #65
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Electric Sugar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by itcamefromiowa View Post
I'd like to cast my vote for Ween's "The Pod". These guys are my 4-track heroes. They totally embraced their limitations and gave us a stupid and wonderful album.
Hell yes!

GodWeenSatan is another one. Some of the most horrible guitar sounds ever commited to record. And some of the best songs.
Old 5th January 2011
  #66
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I think that to call something "lo-fi" you need to put it in historical context.

Calling old Beatles records, or the Byrds, or anything recorded to an Ampex "lo-fi" because the recordings because they don't meet today's standards is just plain goofy. If an artist is using some of the nicer equipment contemporary to their times, they can hardly be called "lo-fi". I think someone else used the term "bad-fi" which I like a lot... it may have been recorded/mixed on nice gear, but poorly! heh

With that in mind, you'll see the bulk of "lo-fi" recordings created at the nexus point in history when recording equipment was most widely accessible, but of the worst quality, i.e. Tascam and Fostex 4-track cassette recorders, the first ADATs, etc...

GBV is always the easiest to point to. "Bee Thousand" is about the finest example of GBV's lo-fi recordings... I love Sebadoh, but can't stand "III". I'm a much bigger fan of "Bubble and Scrape" or "Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock". "Bakesale" is my personal favorite, but they begin to graduate from "lo-fi" on that one, and it was mixed by the venerable Tim O'Heir. Pavement's first album is oft pointed to, but I can't stand the sound of that one. "Wowee Zowee" has got a great lo-fi vibe to it, and is a much more mature effort from the band.

Anyways, I can go on, but those are three quintessential "lo-fi" bands/recordings to get you started.

EDIT: and oh yeah... WEEN! Pure Guava is pure gold.

Last edited by audiogeek; 5th January 2011 at 04:55 PM.. Reason: almost forgot...
Old 8th January 2011
  #67
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u b k's Avatar
 

I'd be willing to bet that anyone who calls anything by the Beatles 'lo-fi' hasn't heard the remasters on a stupidly expensive stereo. Massive, tight low end, smooth highs, amazing mid clarity, gorgeous distortions. Sounds very expensive and very carefully engineered on every level.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 8th January 2011
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I'd be willing to bet that anyone who calls anything by the Beatles 'lo-fi' hasn't heard the remasters on a stupidly expensive stereo. Massive, tight low end, smooth highs, amazing mid clarity, gorgeous distortions. Sounds very expensive and very carefully engineered on every level.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Exactly, my heart sinks when gearslutz call Beatles Lo-Fi...

and my heart.. is sinking... all the time....
Old 8th January 2011
  #69
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Lee Knight's Avatar
 

Some of the earliest Toscanini / Beethoven recordings are not great. Or rather, they are but... they were not prepared for a Toscanini ffff! Those climaxes get pretty crunchy. And yet, when I pull up to work as Beethoven's 3rd finishes up the 4th movement, distortion or no, I'M AWAKE!

Great "lo-fi" recordings.

Of course the later NBC stuff is brilliant.
Old 8th January 2011
  #70
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I'd be willing to bet that anyone who calls anything by the Beatles 'lo-fi' hasn't heard the remasters on a stupidly expensive stereo. Massive, tight low end, smooth highs, amazing mid clarity, gorgeous distortions. Sounds very expensive and very carefully engineered on every level.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Anybody here have the Beatles mono recordings boxed set? Listening to these tunes in their original mono -- they way they were meant to be heard -- is a revelation. One track that especially stands out is "Ticket to Ride" -- in mono the sound is HUGE -- it's like a massive wave coming over you. The stereo version sounds positively naked in comparison.

Another band that always recorded in mono but has been "bastardized" with stereo remixes is the Velvets. AFAIK the only place you can purchase some of their classics in the original mono is iTunes. I've DL'd a number of them and mono tends to obviate the "lo-fi" aspect of the recordings and lend them a "solidity" (for lack of a better word) that the stereo mixes lack.

I realize many today would shy away from spending $150 to get a bunch of monaural recordings, even of the Beatles. After reading a bit about this, as well as some of the Beatles comments about the remixes for stereo that they had no involvement in, I took the plunge and I'm glad I did.
Old 8th January 2011
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
Anybody here have the Beatles mono recordings boxed set? Listening to these tunes in their original mono -- they way they were meant to be heard -- is a revelation. One track that especially stands out is "Ticket to Ride" -- in mono the sound is HUGE -- it's like a massive wave coming over you. The stereo version sounds positively naked in comparison.

Another band that always recorded in mono but has been "bastardized" with stereo remixes is the Velvets. AFAIK the only place you can purchase some of their classics in the original mono is iTunes. I've DL'd a number of them and mono tends to obviate the "lo-fi" aspect of the recordings and lend them a "solidity" (for lack of a better word) that the stereo mixes lack.

I realize many today would shy away from spending $150 to get a bunch of monaural recordings, even of the Beatles. After reading a bit about this, as well as some of the Beatles comments about the remixes for stereo that they had no involvement in, I took the plunge and I'm glad I did.
Furthermore, the Bob Dylan Mono Masters...

Okay, so I do recall an entire thread devoted to this, which devolved into an argument over the inferiority of Mono over Stereo (which is untrue IMHO), but those original Monos are so powerful and lush, I just had Highway 61 mono reissue on wax the other day while I was cooking up a rather substantial meal, and I'm floored. Now this thread is about lo-fi, and those recordings are far from it... BUT on the other hand, for the sake of this thread, Blonde on Blonde is a stunning album as well fidelity wise (which I also have the Mono reissue, which is a stunning replica BTW), but I'm sure everyone on GS has noticed those godawful crashes that finish of "Memphis Blues", they are just about the crustiest, most harsh sounding things I've ever heard on a major release... I never knew they had cell phone mics then heh

BY THE WAY, for anyone who cares, word on the street is (I heard at a Pop Culture Fair from a Vinyl hound) that the Beatles Mono box set is going to be reissued in it's completion ON VINYL... this is news to me, is this already know?

Either way, I'm excited, although iv'e been buying paralaphone reissues of beatles stuff for years, combined with originals with a large variation in playablility Same goes for my Dylan collection, mixed and matched between the Reissue down to my f**ked up copy of "Another Side" I inherited from my careless old man.
Old 8th January 2011
  #72
I'm a punk rocker so I enjoy lo-fi recordings a lot. From the past I think Black Flag records had ugly sound...but I can't imagine they sound different (f.e. like Green Day).

From modern recordings I love Lightning Bolt. Their records sound like recorded with dictaphone.
Old 8th January 2011
  #73
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Sigma's Avatar
question mark and the mysterians ...96 tears

garage rock originally recorded in 1966 in Bay City, Michigan as a single for local Pa-Go-Go Records then bought by Cameo Parkway records and sold over a million copies
Old 8th January 2011
  #74
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firby's Avatar
 

This reminds me of the huey lewis scene in American Psycho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Four words: Blue Cheer's Vincebus Eruptum.


They weren't a great band -- I saw them, though it was a poor way to judge, since the sound at the outdoor show was unbelievably bad, bad, bad, bad. But it was plenty clear from the studio album that they had a lot more fire in their bellies than they had chops.

A lot of the album teeters out on the edge of out of control, both musically and engineering-wise, but at its best its an enthralling, intoxicating double slug of something dangerous.

The highlight, of course, is their proto-grunge-metal version of "Summertime Blues."


Another quite lo fi delight -- and overall a more satisfying band -- from about the same era was the best swamp rock band of the Bronx produced, the Blues Magoos. Their '66 album Psychedelic Lollipop captured that musically pivotal moment as folk and blues rock bands tipped precipitously into the swirling depths of psychedlia.* The Blues Magoo's iconic mid-song freak-outs were perfect soundtracks for 60s film montages of chaos, hippies, war, and wrenching cultural upheaval. But where they really shone were the surprisingly sophisticated musical hooks married to raw, bluesy vocals and rough but very pop-conscious ensemble back up vocals.


* Not a quote -- I just think in rock writer cliches. Even though I stopped reading rock crit in the 80s. Too late. :D
Old 8th January 2011
  #75
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doug hazelrigg's Avatar
I read it somewhere on the web, so it MUST be true... but I read where the mono mixing sessions for Sgt Pepper's was done with a 4-channel mixer and a single speaker mounted on top of it. Glorious! The Beatles were all in attendance at those sessions and had input on the process. In contrast, the stereo sessions were held some time later and it was just George Martin and Geoff Emerick... and when the Beatles heard them, they hated them. IIRC it wasn't until Abey Road and Let it Be that only stereo mixes were done, with, LOL, two monitors. I may be full of ****, but I think I can honestly say that as I listened to the stereo versions over the years, I always thought the panning was silly -- drums only to the left, everything else to the right, vocal center -- but also looking back you can almost hear in your mind's eye how the tunes would work better in mono. I'm glad I now have the tunes the way they were meant to be heard.
Old 8th January 2011
  #76
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I'd be willing to bet that anyone who calls anything by the Beatles 'lo-fi' hasn't heard the remasters on a stupidly expensive stereo.
Or even on a resonably good mono.

Truth be told, I haven't really listened to all the albums in the Beatles Mono set yet but when I put on 'Beatles for sale' a while ago I was almost shocked by the greatness of the sound. Incredibly powerful and exciting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rene-lemieux View Post
Furthermore, the Bob Dylan Mono Masters...
Yeah, actually I think the Dylan stuff benefits even more from the original mono versions. As great as hearing say 'Revolver' in mono is, I can't really say that it is better than stereo. Partly because most of us only heard the stereo versions for the most part but also because the Beatles were really covering a wide dynamic and sonic spectrum. There are grungy guitars besides pristine orchestras and all kinds of arrangement bliss.

Dylan on the other hand never was into 'production' I think, it was all about the songs and the performances. Hearing 'Bringing it all back home' in mono was a revelation to me because there is this powerhouse sound (for once the advertisement was correct) that blends it all together. Vocals are still upfront and very strong but the band doesn't 'thin out' like it does on the stereo versions. And while the 'Beatles stereo' with isolated vocals,etc can be very entertaining and might even help with focusing on the details, I guess that nobody really benefits from hearing Dylan's guitar and vocal being hard-panned on the early solo recordings.

In the end , it doesn't matter whether one prefers the mono or stereo. Hearing this great music differently - getting a new perspective so to say- is vers enjoyable. Hearing the White Album in mono gave me many a 'wow!' moment and it makes me listen to the stereo version differently too.
Old 8th January 2011
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by doug hazelrigg View Post
I read it somewhere on the web, so it MUST be true... but I read where the mono mixing sessions for Sgt Pepper's was done with a 4-channel mixer and a single speaker mounted on top of it. Glorious! The Beatles were all in attendance at those sessions and had input on the process. In contrast, the stereo sessions were held some time later and it was just George Martin and Geoff Emerick... and when the Beatles heard them, they hated them. IIRC it wasn't until Abey Road and Let it Be that only stereo mixes were done, with, LOL, two monitors. I may be full of ****, but I think I can honestly say that as I listened to the stereo versions over the years, I always thought the panning was silly -- drums only to the left, everything else to the right, vocal center -- but also looking back you can almost hear in your mind's eye how the tunes would work better in mono. I'm glad I now have the tunes the way they were meant to be heard.
On the other hand, though, there are the pools of thought that agree that the stereo versions of the "meant to be" mono mixes are better. They do offer a very interesting, if not satisfying product for Audio engineers and producers alike... In extreme cases offering almost completely isolated vocals, or other things, allowing anyone with the interest in the matter a perfect sample of what the bare tracks sound like on their own... furthermore, in the more typical stereo mixes of the beatles, the FOCUS that the simple panning offers to the listener, can paint a very nice picture. I was never upset in the non-stereo drums on beatles recordings, the mixes seem less cohesive, but more interesting to the ears... Luckily, in our day and age we have books like "recording the beatles" that offers a nice walk through of that which has already been noted in the mental realm at the very least by audiophiles, engineers, and produces for decades...

Do you like your eggs scrambled or over easy?
Old 9th January 2011
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I'd be willing to bet that anyone who calls anything by the Beatles 'lo-fi' hasn't heard the remasters on a stupidly expensive stereo. Massive, tight low end, smooth highs, amazing mid clarity, gorgeous distortions. Sounds very expensive and very carefully engineered on every level.
I don't hear the Beatles as lo-fi either.

the definition of lo-fi, (like the definition of "producer" heh) has escaped us and has traveled far from its original meaning - too far and maybe too quickly for us to get it back.

I can remember when lo-fi actually meant Low Fidelity. An 'untrue' sound. When cheaper equipment was band limited, the association was usually that lo-fi was dulller.

Now, by extension of that same association, anything that does not have a hugely hyped top end is being called "lo-fi". To me lo-fi will always be associated with the (limited) capabilities of inferior gear, not simply a taste for darker sounds.


But like I said, maybe it is too late for us linguistic puritans.
Old 9th January 2011
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
question mark and the mysterians ...96 tears

garage rock originally recorded in 1966 in Bay City, Michigan as a single for local Pa-Go-Go Records then bought by Cameo Parkway records and sold over a million copies

and lets not forget suicide covers of that song! and suicide is pretty well always grimy!



I'm just going to stop even trying embedding youtube videos.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc69zr_5uH4
Old 31st October 2011
  #80
Deleted 651cf92
Guest
Can't believe only one person mentioned link wray, he basically invented lo-fi when he set up a three track studio in a chicken shed!!

How about zen guerrilla, f'ing savage, especially the albums "saucership to ragtime" and "invisible"

Or the gun club, that sh*t is just offensive to anybody who has even seen a mixing desk, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Old 31st October 2011
  #81
All the proper 90's emo stuff like Bob Tilton, Braid, Mineral etc. Although I love the sound of these sort of albums, the 'production' somehow enhances the songs!
Old 1st November 2011
  #82
Hot Water Music

Hot Water Music's first few albums have a great lofi sound. They got some success and into a "better" studio for the latter albums and they sound like someone ripped the soul out of them.
Old 1st November 2011
  #83
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jtaylor27's Avatar
 

Don't know how lo-fi it stands in comparison to some other "lo-fi" recordings, but I'm really digging Curtis Mayfield's "Curtis/Live" as of late from '71 recorded by the great Eddie Kramer. Parts of the audio are quite distorted, but there is absolutely no audible compression in the mix, which gives it a "you are there" presence, regardless of the distortion. It just oozes vibe and you get the total club atmosphere circa '71.
Old 1st November 2011
  #84
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loopy's Avatar
 

Mama's and Papa's. To my ears they never had the shimmer and shine of the 5th Dimension.
Love them anyway!
Old 1st November 2011
  #85
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vernier's Avatar
All analog is high fidelity, I cant think of one that isn't.
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Old 1st November 2011
  #86
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Originally Posted by vernier View Post
All analog is high fidelity, I cant think of one that isn't.
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so if I record my next release live on a boom box cassette deck is that high fidelity too?
Old 1st November 2011
  #87
Gear Maniac
 

The master of lo-fi home recording is always going to be Lou Barlow, c'mon guys!
Old 1st November 2011
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johntron512 View Post
Hot Water Music's first few albums have a great lofi sound.
This as well. Forever And Counting and No Division sound incredible on vinyl!
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