Walk The Sky Production Quality.

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littledreamer
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Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:37 pm

Hello, new to AB Nation, thanks for having me. Huge fan.
I do care greatly about sound/production quality, and am not impressed with WTS at all. To me, it's a BRILLIANT painting on a cardboard canvas. Very frustrating.
Now, if you are happy with the sound, great. I would immediately hypothesize that you are listening through a below average medium, such as a phone speaker/Spotify etc. stream/basic speaker system/average or less headphones.
In no way am I attempting to disparage the band, I am a huge fan. However, they are exceptionally musical and able, and the production does not lend to enjoying all 4 members playing together. The main issue I have is the muddy low end- right around Flip's kick drum- around 100-250hz from what I can tell. Muddy bass sounds such as this recording kill the sonic experience- you can't hear the band properly.
I've spent the entire weekend remixing WTS myself using Audacity. I know that's not a "professional fix," but I don't really have any choice. I've attahed a screenshot link via Google Drive of my EQ settings, and although I'm not going to share my work(legal reasons), I do encourage you to download Audacity and give it a shot. (Couldn't seem to easily add a .jpg to this thread?)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-GXCrS ... sp=sharing

Import tracks, do One Life alone, EQ to this, export. (It's quieter, and if you eq all 14 tracks, it will affect each one negatively).

Then EQ the other 13 tracks, and export multiple. Tag and enjoy.
If you're truly particular, lower the lowest bass about 1-2db on Godspeed, Native Son, Indoctrination, Forever Falling, and Walking On The Sky. I suspect those were the first 5 or last 5 recorded, at a separate time. The bass kick is noticeably more on these amazing tracks.


You'll be amazed at the change, the openness, the balanced impact of audio. It removes the kick drum from being so excessive, allows the music to breathe with some much needed clarity. Unfortunately, Elvis has blocked me on Twitter already for asking about this...too bad, as I feel strongly he is stifling the band by not showcasing their greatness...and clearly has a closed mindset about learning. If anyone went throught Metallica's Death Magnetic nightmare, Greg Fidelman has learned- and produced some excellent modern recordings lately. It's never too late to improve!

Thanks, and I'd love to know your thoughts! If you disagree, that's fine, but please do consider your listening source and personal ability to discern quality music from poorly produced modern recordings. I am simply presenting the elephant in the AB room.

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Blackbird
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby Blackbird » Tue Oct 22, 2019 5:56 pm

I'll definitely try that out, thanks! If not for WTS, then definitely to learn something about improving the quality of my own band's sound.

By the way, the production quality of The Last Hero is even worse. Which amazes me because, at the same time, Mark is putting out solo records that have a really clear sound.

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scarecrow
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby scarecrow » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:15 pm

littledreamer wrote:Unfortunately, Elvis has blocked me on Twitter already for asking about this


lmao, what a baby

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scarecrow
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby scarecrow » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:30 pm

I just did this and I'm unsure if what I'm hearing is a placebo effect but my first impression is positive.

littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:48 pm

Blackbird wrote:I'll definitely try that out, thanks! If not for WTS, then definitely to learn something about improving the quality of my own band's sound.

By the way, the production quality of The Last Hero is even worse. Which amazes me because, at the same time, Mark is putting out solo records that have a really clear sound.


A Dying Machine suffered similarly with the excessive bass kick, but the recording itself wasn't bad. I just reduced the bass -3 on Audacity, and it was fine for me. Now, my expectations therefore time spent to correct is different for WTS, as I care more.

littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:50 pm

scarecrow wrote:
littledreamer wrote:Unfortunately, Elvis has blocked me on Twitter already for asking about this


lmao, what a baby


I was also blocked by the immortal David Coverdale for questioning the production of Whitesnake's 2015 revisit "The Purple Album." If you've ever listened on decent equipment, you know why I said something.

littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:52 pm

scarecrow wrote:I just did this and I'm unsure if what I'm hearing is a placebo effect but my first impression is positive.


A/B the new mix vs. original, on good equipment. Sometimes you need a few days, then revisit the original. Ears can trick us easily.

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Crumbso
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby Crumbso » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:01 pm

Good work but that's not re-mixing. It's just a decent EQ job. The main thing that kills the last few albums is compression and limiting. I also have personal distaste for the way thay Elvis mixes a kick drum but I can live with it.

The CD is very listenable though, in comparison to the streaming versions. We've all been bitching about production on this board since the days of Blackbird. I've just learned to accept it.
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Blackbirddd
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby Blackbirddd » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:37 pm

The change it's real and I love it, really, I just tried One Life and I'm going for the rest now, you're awesome

prslover
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby prslover » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:44 pm

Well Done Little Dreamer, It's a shame because the songs are there. It's not like they forgot how to write good songs and riffs its just buried under Elvis shit.
The excessive kick drum drives me nuts. You don't need all these huge bass drops especially coming out of a quieter part.
Don't listen to One Day Remains before or after anything after Blackbird, it'll just make you more mad.
I just listened to Burn it Down, very enjoyable to the ears. I just scratch my head at what they do with production/mixing now.
Why can't he just listen to any record from the late 90's and try to make it sound like that. Fuel, Smashing Pumpkins, Candlebox, Collective Soul, 3 Doors Down etc... Even Chevelle with Petes massive gain just sounds so much better. WTF
Last edited by prslover on Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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scarecrow
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby scarecrow » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:53 pm

What's funny is I distinctly remember many fans being vocally upset with the sound of ODR because the bass isn't very prominent on that record. So I wonder if that reaction wasn't at least partially responsible for the band moving to Baskette.

prslover
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby prslover » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:55 pm

scarecrow wrote:What's funny is I distinctly remember many fans being vocally upset with the sound of ODR because the bass isn't very prominent on that record. So I wonder if that reaction wasn't at least partially responsible for the band moving to Baskette.


Yes the Bass was a little low in the mix but it wasn't that bad because everything else was cohesive. Where is Ben Grosse? Pay that man

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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby MetalDude » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:59 pm

Not to be a dick, but this kinda reminds me of when Death Magnetic came out. This album would be awesome if I could listen to the whole thing without getting a splitting headache :). EQing the whole album, is kinda like hunting down the guitar hero version of Death Magnetic. Is it really worth the hassle? I dont have to eq Fair Warning by Van Halen just to listen to it. It is better song wise and production wise than Last Hero, so I am being somewhat overly dramatic. I don't know these bands don't dial it back a little.

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scarecrow
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby scarecrow » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:59 pm

prslover wrote:
scarecrow wrote:What's funny is I distinctly remember many fans being vocally upset with the sound of ODR because the bass isn't very prominent on that record. So I wonder if that reaction wasn't at least partially responsible for the band moving to Baskette.


Yes the Bass was a little low in the mix but it wasn't that bad because everything else was cohesive. Where is Ben Grosse? Pay that man


But people were really upset! And I *think* I remember the band addressing it and saying they'd fix that for the next record.

I so wish they'd consider trying someone else but I don't see it happening. They're too comfortable.

littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:33 pm

In no way am I saying that I'm an expert, but I do love good sounding productions. The above post about late- 90's records is spot on, just amazing- must be related to digital media in terms of production. Death Magnetic is the most egregious of all, compressed and distorted- Metallica denied all wrongdoing until a mysterious iTunes update in a Metallica collection offered in 2016- 8 years later.

Also in reference to the above post about this being a EQ not a re-mix, 100% correct. If I had the stems I could really do some damage.

At least, for me, I am actually enjoying Walk The Sky. Brilliant band who deserves proper production. No excuses!

littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:39 pm

Yes, Fair Warning is up there with the best sounding recordings I have. Just wow, and it was 1981! We should be at least as good now, not regressing.

As for One Day Remains, very clear production to me, adding some bass with EQ would be super easy, I just have never had the need. I think it has enough bottom end to rep the AB crunch- that's a big part of their sound.

Also, I wouldn't call my EQ of WTS perfect, it's a polished turd. It's meagerly acceptable to me now. Great music, crap production. Also too bad that Baskette is so thin-skinned to not reflect and improve, unless this isn't in his control, like Napalm saying he has to and such.

nagpo
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby nagpo » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:45 pm

I gotta say some of the mixing is kind of a miss. The very first track sounds good on my headphones but in the car it's very hard to hear myles. He blends in with the music.

-not talking about your mix. talking about the record

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Andy92
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby Andy92 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:49 pm

If you have Spotify premium, there’s a built in 6-band EQ that’s fairly useful if you want the bass tamed some.

It’s all a personal preference imo. I wouldn’t necessarily tweet Elvis about it lol, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using an EQ to your liking.
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby TenaciousBe » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:54 pm

I appreciate the attempts at improvement, but personally I feel the music is what it is. The band put it out that way, and that's the way they want it done so I'm happy to live with it as they see fit. I don't know, on one hand I can see how, once a band releases something, they're putting it out into the world for people to do with as they like, but on the other, it feels a bit like someone walking up to a stranger on the street who's pushing a baby in a stroller and going "your baby is cute and all, but you know what would be better? This hat" and putting a hat on the baby. Maybe it does make the baby cuter, but that's not your baby to do that to.

No offense intended, but I don't blame Elvis for blocking people on Twitter over stuff like that. How would you feel if you had been doing a job for over 20 years and some person came up off the street telling you how to do it better?
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littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Postby littledreamer » Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:10 am

TenaciousBe wrote:I appreciate the attempts at improvement, but personally I feel the music is what it is. The band put it out that way, and that's the way they want it done so I'm happy to live with it as they see fit. I don't know, on one hand I can see how, once a band releases something, they're putting it out into the world for people to do with as they like, but on the other, it feels a bit like someone walking up to a stranger on the street who's pushing a baby in a stroller and going "your baby is cute and all, but you know what would be better? This hat" and putting a hat on the baby. Maybe it does make the baby cuter, but that's not your baby to do that to.

No offense intended, but I don't blame Elvis for blocking people on Twitter over stuff like that. How would you feel if you had been doing a job for over 20 years and some person came up off the street telling you how to do it better?


Fair point, and I'd thought of that prior to Tweeting him or creating this thread. I think your analogy is missing the point, though- I've earned the right to be critical if I purchase a product with hard earned money that is flawed. Do I think every release is "perfect?" Absolutely not. All AB releases with Elvis could use improvement IMO, but none are near as close to the mud filled kick drum of WTS. Can't enjoy said purchase.

Also, my point is- if a rank amateur such as myself can spend 1 day fiddling with a free Audio Editing program and improve the mix using only EQ, why can't Elvis get it better? The band is shown on the YouTube clips debating about nuances in the music which will never be heard with the original mix. How is this acceptable? A big part of my frustration with this release is the lack of clarity to most guitars- completely buried in the mix. Isn't AB a guitar band first and foremost?

I feel bands should make X mixes of 1 song, and have 30(for an accurate sample size) people sign a contract to decide which of the X mixes are best. The 30 people should be tested first somehow to decide if they can or cannot hear good production. It'd be a win/win, as the customer would get a better product, and a few of us would feel we're making a difference to the masses. If there were 30 good ears, almost a guarantee we would all choose the best mix, and this would be wholly avoided.


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