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News about the CD

Discussion in 'Symphony X (Unofficial)' started by Neva Kee, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Chainrider

    Chainrider Member

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    Maybe you were being sarcastic, but it isn't even technically possible to record a Symphony X album (or most albums!) with only 8 tracks. I mean, you certainly could try. But considering that the drum-set alone takes 8 channels at least (EVERY drum gets a mic, plus 2 overheads, and a room mic, and possibly mics for hi-hats and ride cymbal too), it just isn't feasible to assume that they could do a "less is more" approach. 8 track recorders are great for demos or rehearsal recording, but to do a market ready album the way SX does, it's impossible.

    Distorted guitars, in metal, are usually multi-layered too. Which means you take 4 or more different takes of the same performance and stack them on top of each other with each one tweaked or panned slightly. Opeth is probably the easiest band to spot this with - listen to how "fat" the guitars sound. Yeah, that isn't a single track but probably more like 4 or 5 that provide that overwhelming "wall of sound."

    Also, keep in mind that sometimes the tiniest of song features demand a new track. Like a guitar with a certain special effect. Or the vocals getting run through a filter (Rediscovery pt.2) - all that requires it's own track with it's own effects. A band like SX has everything from guitar harmonies, to vocal harmonies, to orchestral arrangements (each MIDI sound gets its own track). Pretty much, they are the "perfect storm" of what makes recording difficult and strenuous.

    PL was not even close to my favorite album, but the production was top notch. On the other side of the spectrum though, I never feel like a lack of quality production gets in the way of their music. The Odyssey doesn't technically sound that great, but I freakin' love the album to death.

    Let's hope that the high-quality production of this new album is just the icing on some already amazing songs.
     
  2. Postulate

    Postulate Have a nice day! :)

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    Nah. I'm just a layman listener and I don't know shit about producing, but I know what I like to hear. And the fact is there are albums recorded with 8 tracks that sound a million times more dynamic than anything being put out today...early prog in Britain either used 8 or 16 tracks I believe, and it all sounded amazing.

    This isn't really a good example to use for me because 1) I don't like Opeth and 2) I don't always want a wall of sound in the rhythm guitar because that castrates the song. Sometimes you do it purposely for effect, but always? It defeats the purpose of sounding heavy to me. Fates Warning's Awaken the Guardian or King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black...now that's heavy, heavier than anything Opeth has done. I don't dig it, don't think it's necessary.

    Like I said, I don't know anything about how they do it, but Gentle Giant juggled more with less and it sounded a hell of a lot better is all I'm saying.

    I don't really agree here. The dynamics were pretty much shot except in a couple points, the guitar tone lost a lot of its uniqueness and bite, loudness war bullshit, etc

    Anymore, metal records have everything so isolated, timed (or triggered, eugh), and set on LOUD soft LOUD that it doesn't even feel like an actual band is playing in front of you anymore. My guess is in 10 years stuff like PL will sound really hokey, part of "the time period" of bloated production. For the absolute worst example of modern metal production, IMO, look no farther than Wintersun's s/t, that album is everything I hate production-wise, to give you an example of what I mean. And that's done with not so many tracks, I think? It's like a mindset thing.
     
  3. Prismatic Sphere

    Prismatic Sphere We Carouse

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    I'd rather have The Damnation Game's production than PL's.
     
  4. Meedleyx10

    Meedleyx10 Member

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    FWIW, most of the things you are criticizing/citing as examples actually have nothing to do with the number of tracks used to record.
     
  5. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    Truth. Lots of misconceptions on the last two pages.

    This has 95% more to do with hard-limiting and over compression crushing tracks than encoded bitrate.

    Agreed.

    I can't believe people BUY mp3s. What's the value? I prefer physical media.
     
  6. Chainrider

    Chainrider Member

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    I get what your saying, but there is simply no way. The amazingness of early prog has nothing to do with recording quality or even how many tracks were used. Even still, saying that 8 track stuff is more dynamic than anything put out today is like saying that the 8 bit Super Mario Bros. 3 is more fun than any games put out today. While maybe true, to put out a commercial video game these days you need more than 8 bits, and for Symphony X to produce a commercial prog metal record, yeah, they need way more than 8 tracks.

    Castrates the song? I think you are referring more to the mastering process, which can often times over-compress a song (and make it look like a brick). Multi-layering is a production trick used to make your bad-ass sounding guitar sound even more bad-ass. It's done a lot. Even with acoustic guitars. I never listen to a song and think, "man, that riff is way too multi-layered!" Maybe some people do.


    With less? Don't confuse production quality with quality of songs. You don't like Paradise Lost. I'm not a huge fan either. No amount of multi-layering compressing wall of sound blah blah bullshit would change that. Your statement should have read "I like Gentle Giant's stuff a hell of a lot better than Paradise Lost." Agreed.


    In ten years, Paradise Lost production will look incredibly authentic compared to most of what is put out today, metal wise. Seriously dude, listen to a band like Shadows Fall, or Trivium (or Wintersun, like you said). Even the drum sounds alone...totally triggered. I feel opposite about PL production. The drums sound totally real and absolutely not sampled, the guitar sounds like it's coming out of an amp (a loud ass one), the bass is loud and kick ass. Hate to say it, but PL DOES sound like the band is in front of me playing. And at that moment, I kindly stop them and ask them to play V. And to turn the damn keyboards up.

    The "brick songs" that I have heard some people complain about have nothing to do with the number of tracks. It is how it is mastered. I agree that PL is a little over-compressed, but that isn't the bands fault, nor does it truly get in the way of the album. At least for me. If a person doesn't like PL because of the "lack of dynamics", yeah, that is dumb. The songs aren't as great as the ones from previous albums. Period. A cassette tape recording would have proven that.
     
  7. Marwen

    Marwen Five Align

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    Agreed!

    Btw, anybody remember the Off-Topic Thread?
     
  8. Dark Lucidity

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    only louder
     
  9. BARBAROUSSE

    BARBAROUSSE Member

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    definitely :erk:
     
  10. Prismatic Sphere

    Prismatic Sphere We Carouse

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    Exactly.
     
  11. Ryan M.

    Ryan M. Theocratic Fanatic

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    But if you try 128 on a good system... when u turn it up on ur surround sound system or whatever... it is horrible. 192+ is the way to go. I prefer to have them like 320 etc.
     
  12. sweepking

    sweepking Member

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    I am not going to weigh in on the recording stuff as I really don't know. I know I have been pretty pissed at the quality of some Itunes downloads, but it is convenient. I am surprised at the dislike of PL on here. I for one love PL. I do wish the keyboards were a bit louder, but overall I thought the songs were friggin awesome and Romeo's playing was insane, especially some of those rhythm ideas. Since V is always contrasted against it, I thought V was great too, but I thought Romeo restrained himself too much. I also didn't like the overuse of wah pedal in some leads.
     
  13. Ryan M.

    Ryan M. Theocratic Fanatic

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    Well said. :headbang:
     
  14. Prismatic Sphere

    Prismatic Sphere We Carouse

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    I am just really really curious as to what the songwriting contributions on this new record are.
     
  15. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    You guys DO realize that most playback hardware has a knob or slider called "volume". This is how you get louder production. Failure to understand this basic fact has ruined a large portion of modern production quality.
     
  16. Dark Lucidity

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    damnation is just too quiet
     
  17. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    so turn it the hell up. goddamn people, it's as if volume and eq doesn't exist. or do you expect the production house to decide when you should listen to it too? there's a reason players have controls. so use them
     
  18. Prismatic Sphere

    Prismatic Sphere We Carouse

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    What he means is that DG doesn't have the same resonance(as say, PL or The Odyssey), even when turned up loud.
    This is more the mastering side of things and not the mixing/production side.

    So what I said before about preferring DG's production to PL's still stands.

    If you just remastered DG, it would beat PL's production all the way around.
     
  19. ElvenShadow

    ElvenShadow Guilty Gear

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    Man... I love The Damnation Game but I have to agree that its just not loud enough. Granted of course theres a volume knob, but when im listening to my mp3 player on random and a DG song comes on, its just always quieter than everything else and its kind of annoying. Obviously if im just listening to the CD in my car or whatever I dont care as much.
     
  20. CantoX

    CantoX Member

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    I'm studying media law at school and recently learned that even though you buy a physical copy you technically don't own it. You've only bought the rights to listen to the song on that cd. I know it sounds strange, but read the law info in the booklet itself lol.
     

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