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How important is "album sound"? Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 3rd September 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

How important is "album sound"?

I'm mixing my new solo CD right now and this is something I've been considering. How important is it that each track on an album sounds roughly the same in terms of EQ, compression, etc?
Cos personally this cd has so many different styles and sounds to it, I'm really worried that it'll sound like a few disjointed songs, rather than a full "album".
On the flip side, I have a friend who when he's done tracking imports all the songs into the same PT session, with all the drums, bass, guitars etc on the same tracks, and just uses the same EQ and compression and such for all of the songs in one go?
Would it bother you to have an album of completely different sounds or conversely would it bother you to listen to a album that's insanely uniform throughout?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Make it sound how you want the audience to hear it. If you want song A to have it's own style from Song B, go for it. There's no rule that says make every track have the same EQ and compression.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #3
I totally agree with Matt.

Make the songs sound diverse if that's the way they're intended. Hire a great mastering engineer to make sure your overall levels and balance are consistent and things shouldn't sound too disjointed.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGBMike View Post
I'm mixing my new solo CD right now and this is something I've been considering. How important is it that each track on an album sounds roughly the same in terms of EQ, compression, etc?
Cos personally this cd has so many different styles and sounds to it, I'm really worried that it'll sound like a few disjointed songs, rather than a full "album".
It's important that each song stands on it's own...even if they are stylistically or instrumentally different. See Beatles - Pink Floyd etc.

Album sequencing is important and the mastering can help with continuity. but generally you wouldn't want to sacrifice the sound of one song for the next just so they will match.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
erikdrink's Avatar
Everything is good!
Old 3rd September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Rusted Vacuum's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post
I totally agree with Matt.

Make the songs sound diverse if that's the way they're intended. Hire a great mastering engineer to make sure your overall levels and balance are consistent and things shouldn't sound too disjointed.
1+ . I think this is the way to go...
Old 3rd September 2011
  #7
Here for the gear
 
Graham Young's Avatar
 

Music first...mastering second.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
Gear Guru
 

You don't want the listener feel like he has to get up and Adjust his stereo when a new song comes on, but other than that, it should be your artistic decision. A good Mastering job can smooth out the gross differences between songs, and that's all you really need.

I did a project not too long ago where every tune had a different "band", instrumentation, and style. Only the lead singer/songwriter was the same, but that's still quite a lot. That is plenty of continuity right there.

Quote:
I have a friend who when he's done tracking imports all the songs into the same PT session, with all the drums, bass, guitars etc on the same tracks, and just uses the same EQ and compression and such for all of the songs in one go?
That would only make sense if all the songs were the same to begin with. If the songs were different and you wanted to smooth out those differences, you would almost certainly need to tailor the EQ and compression uniquely for each song! For example, if you boost the bass on every song, the song that has a lot of bass already will sound stupid.


There is one area where Too Much Variety can hurt you and that is in marketing. If you have multiple styles and genres, it is difficult to find a hook for publicity, difficult to target a demographic, difficult for a store (physical or online) to know which "section" your CD belongs in. People who love Heavy Metal are not going to buy your CD because it has ONE Metal song on it.

Sad, but true.

Not saying this is a stake through the heart of your commercial aspirations, but it certainly increases the degree of difficulty.
Old 4th September 2011
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
MIX for the song
MASTER for the album
Old 4th September 2011
  #10
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
MIX for the song
MASTER for the album
Too true. However, as an artist the Producer (self producer) should be working with you to achieve a continuity across the album. Unless you are only recording the songs for your own pleasure. An artist may shelve a perfectly good song if it foes not gel with the rest of the album. As stated, sequencing the album can resolve this a little, but overall the album should have a clear vision. This certainly dies not mean all the exact same treatment though.


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