kyle62
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Join date: May 2007
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#1
So, here's a thread where we can discuss the stuff we think is exceptionally well recorded and produced.


This isn't a show and tell of 'bands you like', it's all about the production. A lot of the time this might end up being your favourite artists anyway, but try and keep it to the stuff you think is a great example of recording, mixing and mastering.


If you want to go into detail about why you like it, please do; it's much more interesting than just a bunch of youtube clips.


Go mad with the genres and styles, anything goes as long as it sounds great


I'll get the ball rolling with a few picks of my own:


Joe Satriani - Joe Satriani (1995)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORDX1iPCR9c

Really natural and organic sounding, like you're just sitting in a room with a bunch of talented musicians. The drum sound is tighter than a nun's ****, and the guitars are fat and warm without resorting to loads of 'big stereo' phase trickery. You can pick out every single instrument clearly.


Morphine - The Night (2000)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOTZ4vzFrrk

A great example of setting mood and feel through mixing. Gives you a huge sense of acoustic space even though there's no audible reverb. It's like the difference between a photo and a window, there's this sense you're actually looking in at the music rather than a flat, 2d representation.


The Mars Volta - De-loused In The Comatorium (2003)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOx38GLyYRY

Manages to sound absolutely huge without ever losing a sense of dynamics or clarity, even when there's a ton of crazy stuff going on. Incisive and biting while still having a ton of vintage-tinged fatness in the lower-mids. Hard to believe this was mastered by the same guy who made a total mess of Californication.


Wes Montgomery - Smokin' At The Half-Note (1965)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXqSKh6HL7M

Technically a live album, although some of it was re-recorded in a studio afterwards. Again, like many great jazz albums, you feel as though you're just sitting in a club listening to them play around you. Everything has its own space, and there's only the most basic production going on - what you're hearing is the sound of great instruments through great mics, through a great console, wielded by great players.
axemanchris
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Join date: Aug 2006
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#2
My personal benchmark:

Def Leppard's Hysteria album. 1987.

Mutt Lange at his finest. He brings the rock, but the production has so many little details, while he manages to keep everything in its own space. It sounds panoramic more than it sounds huge. A great example of that clinical, perfect style of production, while still managing to have some vitality to it.

Though this was the age of the beginning of digital recording, and everyone believes this was a digital album, it was actually analog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HR0P3sIb80

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UIB9Y4OFPs

A more recent contender would be the original American Hi-Fi album. Holy mother, Bob Rock gets a massive sound - especially in the guitars. Unlike the Mutt production of Def Leppard, this is a completely no-sh!t approach to recording a rock band. Still nice and polished and shiny, but just straight up and in your face, as if they just rocked it live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAmINmjpQxw

My favourite newer production is the Skrillex mix of Korn's Narcissistic Cannibal. Really hi-tech again, but sounds bloody huge. I really think it represents mastery of blending electronica and metal. The electronic aspects add to the aggression rather than watering it down and making it all dancey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUOlc_j4rMA

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
oneblackened
Better Than You At Mixing
Join date: Oct 2007
3,300 IQ
#3
Opeth's "Heritage". This album, to me, is really great sounding. They didn't overdo it with the maximizing on this, which is wonderful. Despite that, it still sounds contemporary and not dated.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t8fl96HPQI
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Cavalcade
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Join date: Jul 2011
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#4
Soilwork's had amazing production for a long time. My pick goes to Natural Born Chaos. Huge guitar tone, plenty of bass presence (which really shows in the bridge of the title track), clear vocals (even when the cleans are doubled with harshes), and every drum hit cuts right through the mix.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_UrZA97I3w
I keep plugging Moonsorrow, so why stop now? Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa is how to mix epic folk metal. The guitars don't stick out, but form part of a giant, engulfing, bassy mass of sound. There are keyboards, but they're mostly used for atmosphere, even the melodic parts. It's basically a black metal film score.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3DDwVQn_V4
(I would have picked "Huuto" instead, but the only uploads were one in a quality that doen't do the intro justice, and one with some douchelord called "Wontolla" playing over it.)
DisarmGoliath
Disarms Goliaths
Join date: Dec 2008
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#5
For me, the album/production I've been using as a reference for most metal has been Unearth's 'The March' for at least a year and a half now. For a modern metal mix, I think it's nearly perfect - guitars sound great, lead guitar sounds epic, the drums are all clear and sound full, the bass is heavy and combines perfectly with the guitars and kick... and the vocals cut through like a knife. Literally the only complaint I have, is that whoever let the snare clip at the start of Crowkiller and We Are Not Anonymous, which sounds like a compressor not kicking in quick enough at the start of those two songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSekAQHaEvI
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Bostonrocks
UG God
Join date: Nov 2007
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#6
Mutt Lange. One of my personal favorite producers of all time. Great tones, GREAT production (the birth of the commercial hooky rock song) and great mix all throughout this album, if you don't know Mutt Lange check him out. He's kind of a big deal (Back in Black, 3 Def Leppard Albums, Shania Twain, Maroon 5, you name it he's done it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HR0P3sIb80

Disciple. I forget who produced this album, but the drum tones and guitar tones are some of my favorite ever in this genre. It is the definition of HUGE in my opinion
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9yIZnypqBk

EDIT Axemancrhis thanks for pointing everything out already on Mutt!

also, one of my recent favorites:

Aaron Sprinkle: His attention to detail MAKES songs, its the little things he loves tambourine for some reason, but whatever. He has credit on a lot of albums, but my personal favorite is I Am Empire's "Kings" a great example of his attention to detail for a band and just making good hard rock. He balances the 80s flamboyance with modern production so well. The guitar tones are IMPRESSIVE and the Drums are great also!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ4yhhUvvfw

DoubleEDIT: Axemanchris: nice call on "women" not many people catch that song, but it is beautifully produced!
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Last edited by Bostonrocks at Jan 21, 2013,
Toasted_Waffelz
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
147 IQ
#7
I actually really enjoyed the production on Whitechapel's new album, the songwriting is alright, nothing too special (as in most deathcore sort of music, they seem to eat, drink and breathe cliches) but it's just so heavy and atmospheric.
EDIT: Can't believe no-one's posted any Devin Townsend yet, the man is a production god. So many layers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW8zb_iFRW0
Last edited by Toasted_Waffelz at Jan 21, 2013,
Cavalcade
razor sharp
Join date: Jul 2011
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#8
Quote by Toasted_Waffelz

EDIT: Can't believe no-one's posted any Devin Townsend yet, the man is a production god. So many layers.

Totally. If you try to go for Devin Townsend's sound, but you're not Devin Townsend, this is what happens:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg6yS1WHpvk
As much as I loved Time I, it doesn't sound like Jari spent eight years on mixing.
oneblackened
Better Than You At Mixing
Join date: Oct 2007
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#9
I feel like Time I has a very different feel from Devin's stuff. It's SUPPOSED to be very primarily orchestral - like the guitars are part of an orchestra as opposed to there being symphonic elements behind the guitars/bass/drums.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
jhalterman
Master Baiter
Join date: Mar 2009
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#10
I don't know if lack of production necessarily fits in here and I don't mean bring this thread down and be all generic and whatnot, but I can't decide, from a "production" point of view, which Metallica album I think is best.

"Master Of Puppets" was very tight sounding, much more so than the first two albums, but I had an issue with the bass on that album not being as pronounced as I had hoped. Honestly, if it weren't for that issue, I might just say "Master Of Puppets" and be done with it. Nevertheless, still very robust, full, and "big" sounding given they're just a regular band (drummer, bassist, couple of guitarists, and vocals).

"Ride The Lightning," on the other hand, was in between "Kill 'Em All" and "Master Of Puppets" in terms of both release date and production value. More refined than "Kill 'Em All," but not overly so. "Kill 'Em All" was very punk, out there, in-your-face, and (obviously) lacked high-end production value. "Ride The Lightning," though, felt like what Metallica was 'supposed' to sound like. Very hard to explain, but I believed that to be their staple sound. Others would argue that "Master Of Puppets" was the 'ideal' Metallica sound, but I digress. Overall, the production seemed to almost flawlessly match the type of music being produced. It was raw, but not as raw as the previous album. It was also tighter, but not to the extend that "Master Of Puppets" seemed to be.

I was originally going to mention E.L.O.'s "Out Of The Blue," but I could barely find the words for Metallica let alone a musical giant like the Electric Light Orchestra
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Cavalcade
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Join date: Jul 2011
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#11
Quote by oneblackened
I feel like Time I has a very different feel from Devin's stuff. It's SUPPOSED to be very primarily orchestral - like the guitars are part of an orchestra as opposed to there being symphonic elements behind the guitars/bass/drums.

I guess we disagree. To me, it feels more like it was arranged for the band, instead of the orchestra, and the orchestra hits drown out the percussion (all across the spectrum, too) and undermine the beat.
ChemicalFire
King of Bacon Pancakes
Join date: Oct 2007
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#12
I still can't get over this guitar tone. The entire album has pretty much the PERFECT Metal guitar tone in my eyes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X5w-Cbw_xI

I've never heard anyone get close to this tone on a modern metal album.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
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xFilth
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Join date: Apr 2006
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#13
Quote by oneblackened
Opeth's "Heritage". This album, to me, is really great sounding. They didn't overdo it with the maximizing on this, which is wonderful. Despite that, it still sounds contemporary and not dated.


imo, it doesn't sound contemporary at all - and that's one of the things that makes it so brilliant

A few favorites of the top of my head:
Katatonia - Night is the New Day
Gojira - L'enfant Sauvage
The Dear Hunter - The Color Spectrum
Devin - Ki
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Tool - Lateralus
Last edited by xFilth at Jan 22, 2013,
FireHawk
All Hail Ze Llama!
Join date: Jan 2006
728 IQ
#14
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

It's a flawed sounding album, but probably my favorite of all time in terms of production. It just captures everything well.

There is a band I think called "Theory Of A Dead Man" or something like that...I thought production, mixing, mastering sounded excellent, but not my favorite type of music.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
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#15
Quote by jhalterman
"Ride The Lightning," though, felt like what Metallica was 'supposed' to sound like.


Amen, brother.

No votes for Bob Rock's masterpiece "St. Anger?"

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Last edited by axemanchris at Jan 23, 2013,
axemanchris
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#16
Quote by FireHawk

There is a band I think called "Theory Of A Dead Man" or something like that...I thought production, mixing, mastering sounded excellent, but not my favorite type of music.


See, that's the thing with those pop bands - whether it be Theory of a Dead Man, Nickelback, Katy Perry, One Direction, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga or whoever (Mutt Lange produced huge hits by three of those artists right there!), is that they sound f**ing brilliant. The genre demands it. It's just a shame that the music is often pretty pallid.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Keskimaki
Grating & Dividing
Join date: Sep 2008
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#17
Quote by axemanchris
No votes for Bob Rock's masterpiece "St. Anger?"



I commend him from achieving to sound so inconsistently bad. I mean, if I intentionally tried to reproduce the level of godless hilarity that production conveys I would still have some unconscious safeguards granting my failure.


Now that I think of it, it is the clown car of productions. Bob Rock is a comedy genius.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
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#18
^ You win. Comedy genius. That's it.

I heard an interview and he was saying something to the effect of "everything is just so overproduced these days... we wanted to avoid being too perfect." Well, yeah. You certainly made sure of that.

It's completely unfathomable that a guy who could probably wear a spaceman helmet and still mix a better record than I ever could would release something to the public that is of a quality that I could improve on with a soundblaster card, an SM57 and a Phonic mixer.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Bostonrocks
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Join date: Nov 2007
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#19
Quote by axemanchris
See, that's the thing with those pop bands - whether it be Theory of a Dead Man, Nickelback, Katy Perry, One Direction, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga or whoever (Mutt Lange produced huge hits by three of those artists right there!), is that they sound f**ing brilliant. The genre demands it. It's just a shame that the music is often pretty pallid.

CT



Agreed on all points, I love Mutt. SO friggin good, I also think Mike Shipley is a great engineer/producer that isn't credited often enough, he helped with a TON of Mutt's 80s stuff
Quote by gregs1020
Brett has been saving for a splawn for 4 years
countries have been toppled in the time it's taking, revolutions won got a black pres

yawn


Quote by bubb_tubbs
When he finally gets one it'll probably be televised like the Berlin Wall coming down.
The end of an era
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
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#20
^Yes!

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
Quintex
Still Learning
Join date: Feb 2009
140 IQ
#21
Tom Dowd - Producer
Derek and the Dominos - Layla

I know it is not a full album, but with Tom Dowd you can't pick a single example of an album, he did everything from Clapton to Coltrane.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.
If I miss two days, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.

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Last edited by Quintex at Jan 23, 2013,
jhalterman
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Join date: Mar 2009
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#23
^ Love how Blink 182 gets Terry Crews to be in their video. He's hilarious and does the weirdest sh*t sometimes
Heisenberg might have been here

I wouldn't be caught dead with a necrophiliac

I don't clean my room because I'm saving entropy the effort


Drugs may lead to nowhere, but at least it's the scenic route
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
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#24
Lockwolf - yeah, good call.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
JazzDeath
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Join date: Aug 2008
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#25
Porcupine Tree - Fear of a blank planet is a really amazing recording for me, especially the clarity of the dynamics and how nautral everything sounds.

Another album is Leprous' Bilateral, produced by Ishahn from Emperor, it sounds really really good and everything has such a unique tone, with good headphones I can hear every detail clearly and the bass just sounds ****ing fantastic, and the vocals are in the foreground without drowning out the other instruments, it sounds absolutely fantastic.

I'll agree with Filth about Gojira but I'd go with The Way of All Flesh above L'enfant sauvage, I just prefered the sound of that one much better. They always sound full and crushing though, even live!

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son for my favorite old school metal production... makes me realize how ridiculously loud everything is in metal these days, also.

And finally a bit of a guilty pleasure I guess, Day into Night from Quo Vadis, old school, not super over produced death/thrash metal, with the absolute BEST bass drum tone I have ever heard on any album, it's crushing and gets you right in the chest.
z4twenny
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#26
Nine inch nails - the fragile.

I always thought the mixing/mastering was fantastic, not a lot of people I know of really "got" the album musically but to me it comes in right behind "the wall"
dmbb1239
Registered User
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#27
I consider Steely Dan- Aja to be the best mixed album ive ever heard
Pink Floyd- The Wall is up there too!
francesco18
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Join date: Apr 2011
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#28
Quote by z4twenny
Nine inch nails - the fragile.

I always thought the mixing/mastering was fantastic, not a lot of people I know of really "got" the album musically but to me it comes in right behind "the wall"


I agree, and it's also the best NIN record ever imo. I think they spent 2 years in the studio with ''The Fragile'' and it really shows.
Cavalcade
razor sharp
Join date: Jul 2011
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#30
For black metal: "Location: Cold" by Catamenia.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et0EAOm_ifA
Grimkvlt blavkk metvl recorded on a major-label budget. Every drum hit cuts through the mix, even with 200+ BPM gravity blasts, the bass is clearly audible even when it's just following the guitars, the guitars have all the drive they need, the vocals are right where they should be, and the keyboards just make the mix sound even bigger (except during the solos; then they have full focus).
The production was so stellar that they intentionally made their next album sound more kvlt. This is at the same studio with the same producer, two years later:
Last edited by Cavalcade at Jan 29, 2013,