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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Mike Eskimo, Jun 29, 2019.
Yes, THAT Andy Fraser. It's not a fine line between "Mr. Big" and this.
this is bad 80's production in 1978... Keith Olsen produced...
you guys are picking the POST when stuff got ruined...
Na, today's music has 3 very distinct characteristics...
2: pitch correction (I guess kind of like autotune)
sampling, mashing up... talking over someone elses song... no choruses... melodies that disappear... huge intervals to suggest emotion.
My looks were a bad production back then.
That has the stink of Tom Lord-Alge all over it. All the Lord-Alge brothers are ear-poison.
All valid points.
Let's not leave out, inappropriate and completely disproportionate bass blasts.
agree on all... the subwoofer was a bad idea... as was the 5 string bass...
Yeah, but all that stuff goes back further than the 2010s, and will continue for even longer.
5 string bass
Actually, THIS is the origin of the sound... but it's still Collins and Padgham:
Sounds VERY late-70s slick L.A. to my ears... not 80s.
agree. bad 80's production had a daddy.
Sadly, you are likely right on that...
I'm just holding out for a resurgence of mainstream hard rock that don't suck.
A man can still dream.
Back around 1985, I did some session work for a friend who was recording in a good, brand-new studio that had a very obstinate sound man running the board.
My buddy hated that gated reverb like poison, but the sound man ignored him and would not drop it out. So when the sound man wasn't looking, my friend just pulled the knob off the board and threw it in the trash.
That fixed it. Later on, I learned the studio owner fired the guy. My buddy was right; the session room was quite lively, and it had just enough natural bounce in the room to make everything sound great without any added digital sugar.
No one's gonna mention that hairdressers made a killing with the layering & feathering in this era?
The 80s were the apex of king studio. Once multi-track tape machines came around, the recording studio suddenly became a instrument by itself that a musician could use to create music that was impossible to do live. Even cooler, it also became a new toolbox that could fix something without the need to completely re-record the music.
But there was always a big problem with recording tape. The more it's used in the process, the less good the sound becomes because the surface of the tape wears off. The early digital equipment solved a lot of signal loss, hiss, and volume problems.
But using it brought a batch of new problems to the sound men in the studios. They didn't know anything about the digital stuff, but had long known how to minimize the analog tape problems.
And their job was as much art as science. So some of the sound men who were natural artisans could hear the good things digital brought, and had the touch using them, while others simply didn't.
Back then, the musician/recordist simply didn't exist. Musicians usually knew the basics of setting up their own electronic gear and a P.A. system, but a recording studio was far beyond anything they knew anything about. So it was up to the guys on the board to get the sound good. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't, and the musician never knew which guy he was going to get when he walked in.
Studio time was also hellaciously expensive. So many bands just had to take what they got because they couldn't afford to spend more money. And the real talented board operators were always the most hard to find, the most busy, and the most expensive. As were the best studios.
There were lots of times when a top band booked a top studio that was in so much demand the band would lose its spot on the schedule when another band paid the studio 2 or 3 times more than the standard booking rate, just so that studio and sound man could be used.
When the digital/analog graft worked at its best, the sound that was created could be spectacularly good if the records were well mastered. But when it wasn't at its best, the worst was truly awful.
This caused the sound man to become a kind of insider star, a guy who was expected to make a bad band sound a lot better than it did in real life. Making a bad band sound good depended on the right studio tricks, and the tricks had to be used to excess to cover up the band's flaws. it sometimes became an ego trip for the guys who turned the knobs and slid the sliders.
This all tended to make a certain kind of sound on all a studio's finished product. And since the studios recorded every kind of music, that over-done sound came to permeate the entire recording industry.
This over-produced studio sound was one big reason why the electronics manufacturing companies began making simpler but very flexible home recording gear. When TEAC introduced the first cassette multi=trak recorder, it cost $2,000, but it revolutionized the industry.
For the first time, a musician could record at home and could do what once could only be done in a professional studio. The TEAC was expensive, but it had the capability of making a tape good enough to be mastered and duplicated (though it took some work), and put the control of all that into the musician's hands. The raw tapes straight from the recorder were often good enough to duplicate for short production runs.
When Bruce Springsteen home-recorded his Nebraska album on a TEAC, and the record came out just as it had been recorded in his bedroom, it tipped the entire industry over on its head. It was both super-cheap to do and was hugely successful, and it gave all the big studios nightmares.
At the same time, the studio sound was also becoming stale from over-use, as was all the glitch and glamor of the 80s. The times were ripe for change by 1989, so when the grunge sound of the northwest began being played as an alternative, it soon took over.
A lot of that early sound came from those TEAC recording decks. Dubbing cassettes was so easy the bands would often pass cassettes around to be noticed, and grunge never depended on sonic quality.
When digital recording finally came into widespread use, it put an end to tape and everything that came with it. And started a brand new set of problems for the studios and the musicians, but the manufacturers who made the digital gear had learned, so they began making home digital recorders from the first.
And over time, the amateurs who cut their own CDs and sold them on the street became the next generation of star recording producers and engineers. It all went in a big circle. That circle is making a second lap today, now that vinyl records are making a big comeback.
The worst for me is the same generic cannon fire snare drum sound on most 80s hard rock
Yup. Everything bad of the 80s in one record. Everything is too edgy, crisp, up-front in your face and there's no room to breathe for anything.
But considering the gear that was being used back then to listen to music, all that stuff did make the music sound better than it had a decade before. Hi-Fi wasn't very high back then compared to the cheapest consumer stuff of today.
80's was so bad