Production - JT/AB sound vs. ATYCLB clean sound - Page 2 - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-10-2008, 01:25 PM   #16
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The reason why JT sounds different from HTDAAB is in the mixing and mastering. Bomb is much more dense with lots of layers, but they're all crowded together. JT is more open and spacious with plenty of room for the instruments to breath. Also, Bomb is mastered so that the volume is louder overall (a trend in all rock the last 8 years or so) and squashes any sublety.

Listen to WOWY and MD back to back for comparison since they're the same chord progression.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:04 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by gujuju View Post
Thinking about the last three Eno/Lanois albums - for the new album would you guys prefer the analog-ish sound of AB/JT or do you prefer the crisp, clean production of ATYCLB?

While clear sound quality is nice, something about the hiss adds makes AB sound more real. JT also feels real, although the production of Streets seems to repress the song a bit (doesn't sound as alive as in concert)

Thoughts?
It's not entirely feasible to compare the sound on U2's older records to the sound on U2's newer records. Audio engineering has changed a lot over the past thirty years or so. For one thing, digital recording technology is used almost exclusively. The days of analogue recording are long gone. Digital recording gives a brighter, clearer sound, but it also takes away a lot of the character. I shudder to think what an album like Dark Side Of The Moon would have sounded like if it was recorded in a modern studio.

Another thing you've got to take into consideration is the "loudness" war. I don't want to spend too much time discussing it, so I'll just direct you to a Wikipedia link: Loudness war - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. One of the major reasons why AB sounds "real" in comparison to, say, anything on HTDAAB, is that the dynamic range of the recording hasn't been choked. If you have access to any recording software - Audacity is a good one that you can download for free - simply compare the waveforms on older U2 songs to the waveforms on newer U2 songs. Vertigo is a solid block of ugly sound. In God's Country, in comparison, has a great deal of dynamic breathing room.

Vertigo:


In God's Country:


In order to hear an album engineered ala JT or AB, we would have to invent a time machine. Digital! Louder! It's the way of the future.


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Originally Posted by Rob33 View Post
but seriously, Eno and Lanois have to know that AB/JT sound is the way to go, right? JT and AB are so much easier on the ears than ATYCLB, how could they make this mistake again. :Pray:
The state of modern audio engineering is not the fault of Eno or Lanois. It's just the way it is. Blame the music industry.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:08 PM   #18
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Nicely put.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:11 PM   #19
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interesting, GG, thanks for that

so, then...it's pretty safe to say we're going to get another HTDAAB sound on the new record

shit.....that was really something I was hoping would change with a better studio team this time around....I guess not

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The state of modern audio engineering is not the fault of Eno or Lanois. It's just the way it is. Blame the music industry.
right....ok..haha, I get it...thanks
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:19 PM   #20
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How do Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby sound the same at all? Achtung Baby has the worst production of any U2 album, while Joshua Tree has one of the better productions. Maybe they're not as loud, but Achtung Baby is muddled and blurs out the best part of the album: Edge's guitar, whereas Joshua Tree puts it at the forefront.

These are three totally different sounds, these albums. Achtung Baby is the worst produced album U2 has ever made.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:23 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Rob33 View Post
so, then...it's pretty safe to say we're going to get another HTDAAB sound on the new record
Absolutely.

I didn't bother to buy the remastered JT, as I'm of the opinion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the original master. U2's early albums might benefit a remaster (October in particular), but not if this simply entails an increase in volume. Clear up the sound, yes, but don't max it to the point of making our ears bleed!
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:27 PM   #22
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I didn't bother to buy the remastered JT, as I'm of the opinion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the original master. U2's early albums might benefit a remaster (October in particular), but not if this simply entails an increase in volume. Clear up the sound, yes, but don't max it to the point of making our ears bleed!
so you haven't heard the JT remastered tracks? It's far from just a volume adjustment imo, they really filled in the sound and brought out a lot of what was in the background before, Exit and Mothers Of The Disappeared especially are a revelation now that you can hear them properly.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:34 PM   #23
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so you haven't heard the JT remastered tracks? It's far from just a volume adjustment imo, they really filled in the sound and brought out a lot of what was in the background before, Exit and Mothers Of The Disappeared especially are a revelation now that you can hear them properly.
No. I might buy it one day, but I honestly could not be bothered to waste the money on something I've already heard before. I like it that Exit is so quiet on the original master. It's the kind of song you have to crank up on your personal CD player and listen to in the dark. The dynamics really contribute to the feel of it, as far as I'm concerned, and I would hate to hear that changed.
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:27 PM   #24
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to be quite honest I have never been able to understand where producing, mixing and mastering start and end

I guess Joshua Tree goes for a spacious sound, Achtung Baby for a muddled sound and All that you can't .... for clarity
albums ask for a certain sound
I can't imagine any of these albums sounding like the other

in general I prefer clarity
but hey, whatever suits
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Old 07-10-2008, 03:30 PM   #25
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didn't they re-record wave of sorrow? I think that song proves they can still master a spacious sound like ones heard from JT and AB.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:15 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by U2opra View Post
didn't they re-record wave of sorrow? I think that song proves they can still master a spacious sound like ones heard from JT and AB.
It was remastered and Bono added the vocal but the music was not re-recorded.

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Old 07-10-2008, 08:16 PM   #27
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I'm not very sure how to judge production. I've always felt U2 albums had excellent production in the sense that there are no noise drops or evidence something went wrong in the recording process.
I'd beg to differ in at least two cases.

1. The beginning of Crumbs From Your Table is full of all sorts of stupid noises that just don't sound right. I'm no expert, but to me this sounds like some of error somewhere, either in the production / mixing / mastering.

2. The whole of AB has a really muddy sound that hides in particular Edge's guitar. This may have been on purpose but when you know the guitar riffs in those songs after having heard them live going back and listening to AB makes you wonder where on earth Edge is in the mix.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:19 PM   #28
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Achtung Baby sounds horrible. Even Edge admitted that the mixing was botched. It's not some genius step forward; they fucked things up and the songs managed to shine through and touch people anyway. PLEASE don't let the next record have a similar hurdle.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:26 PM   #29
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Of course, if you're referring to decibels, the obvious answer is that quieter is better, because it allows for greater dynamics.

But please mix the damn thing correctly. That's more important to me, honestly. You can crank a song up louder, but it won't do you any good if you're cranking it up to hear the guitar better and it's buried in the mix.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:35 PM   #30
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Achtung Baby is arguably the worst produced album I've ever heard. I mean, you cannot hear Edge's guitar in numerous cases, and in other ones, it's way too low in the mix.

See:
Zoo Station - Chorus
EBTTRT - Riff (you can only hear half of it)
UTEOTW - Outro (the entire thing is blotted out by random noises, mostly vocal shouting)
The Fly - The end part of the solo is blurred, and the outro has about four guitar parts at once, to the point where it's just a mess.
Mysterious Ways - The guitar is too low in the mix during the chorus.
TTTYAATW - I can't hear any guitar anywhere in the song.
LIB - Edge's outro solo is barely audible behind Bono just yelling "doo doo do-doo."

It's fucking painful how good it could have been and wasn't.
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