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NancyJohnson

Lizard Sweets...#1

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Posted (edited)

Afternoon chaps
I'm a bit conflicted here, but the first of three releases by my band Lizard Sweets went up on Spotify yesterday.  I've posted a link below.

To be honest, I'm really disappointed with the end result.  There, I've said it.  I tracked the bass (remotely) over a three month period (we recorded 40+ songs) and thankfully had considerable input insofar as the arrangements go (originally too much repetition/dead wood; why make a song four minutes when it says everything it needs to in under two?), but beyond that, zero.  The original mixes were pretty strong; loud and aggressive with wonderful dynamics; while there was some clipping in places, rather than fix within the original multitracks, the guitarist/producer decided to just reduce everything by 6db, then an additional 3db, so the end results were very quiet before they toodled off for mastering (which has just resulted, rather depressingly, in a rather woolly, saturated, scooped-mids set of songs).  The guy who mastered is a friend of a friend of the singer.  The Spotify process has lifted things a bit but not much...I feel a bit meh about it, to me it's just sounds mushy and dull.

As a body of work it's consistent; I'm sure after the initial shock as to how awful these sound fades I'll just accept them as they are, but for now, I feel really p*ssed off.  A couple of mates have listened and said it sounds fine, my opinion is that it could been put sounding so much better.  For the record, I used my Mike Lull basses on this (most of the time the five string) and supplied clean and dUg-effected recordings, any chorus etc. was added without my opinion being considered, thankfully it's minimal.

If you're interested, go here.  I'd be interested in knowing what you reckon.

http://open.spotify.com/album/5fTPhuq92RTdiOsVeRZInJ?si=Wv1wXfNjREi07oy3uEi4wA

 

 

 

Edited by NancyJohnson

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It's hard to say, not knowing what's in your head, but after a couple of listens I don't think there's much wrong with that 

The only slight incongruence is that the songs are kinda raw, while the presentation isn't, it's pretty clean and 'organised'. It's the kind of material I'd prefer to see live, with feedback, dirt and random extraneous noise, and it's hard to capture that feeling well in a studio together, let alone recording separately.

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3 hours ago, NickD said:

It's hard to say, not knowing what's in your head, but after a couple of listens I don't think there's much wrong with that 

The only slight incongruence is that the songs are kinda raw, while the presentation isn't, it's pretty clean and 'organised'. It's the kind of material I'd prefer to see live, with feedback, dirt and random extraneous noise, and it's hard to capture that feeling well in a studio together, let alone recording separately.

I'm happy enough with the arrangements (understandably!), but the end result is just a bit tepid and radio friendly, it's like all the life has been sucked out of them.

 

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Oddly enough I'm listening now, while I'm sorting our new projects FB page in advance of publishing it... Followed LS while I'm at it.

I think (again, not having heard it live or in earlier versions) that tepid is doing it an injustice. True that for me, a touch dirtier would be better, but I think of bands I love and the recorded versions are always a little more sanitized than I would like... But, I'm also very conscious that I'm probably in a minority, and that while it might get on your tits a bit, giving those tunes a more poppy production probably won't do you any harm in terms of reaching an audience, exactly the opposite.

Incidentally, kudos to the mastering guy... I'm holed away in the bedroom doing this while the Mrs practices drums downstairs, and to avoid competing for volume I'm just listening on my phone... And it sounds as good as on proper kit yesterday... That takes some doing.

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I've attached a copy of the 3rd track...it's short.  Just do the comparison of this compared to the Spotify version from the perspective of dynamics, just how exciting it sounds. 

soul.mp3

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LoL. Just A/Bd section by section... The volume difference is big!

It is rougher, more open, and breathes better. Definitely more to my taste, and more appropriate to the song style to me.

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1 minute ago, NickD said:

LoL. Just A/Bd section by section... The volume difference is big!

It is rougher, more open, and breathes better. Definitely more to my taste, and more appropriate to the song style to me.

Yeah, it's definitely louder.  It just shizzles.

Luckily, I have all the stuff from before they got dicked about with and will likely just listen to those as and when.  

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Just took a listen to a few tracks - about 50% of the album.

It fit's roughly in the 6music type of stuff I like, so I feel qualified to comment on that basis. But I'm not qualified music production expert, just a home music hobbyist who considers production a bit of a weak point.

I thought it was pretty good, enjoyed it, and wouldn't raise an eyebrow if this cropped up on 6music. It certainly would seem to have good enough sound quality.

 

So it may not be what you had in your head..... but I think the general listers will be OK with it.

 

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The second one is up.  I'm not making this up, to garner plays (or sympathy) but this sounds even worse.  I can just hear the levels going up an down during the songs. 

You put in so much effort and, well, umm, it just sounds sh*t.

https://open.spotify.com/album/6V6syE387dIu2ELc2XUYy8?si=qnUkgglBQAiGZIJLEvE5ew&utm_source=copy-link

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I haven't had a chance to listen to the tracks yet...

Q: Are you a bit of a perfectionist by nature? If you made the changes you want to the tracks would other band members be happy with those changes? 

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26 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

I haven't had a chance to listen to the tracks yet...

Q: Are you a bit of a perfectionist by nature? If you made the changes you want to the tracks would other band members be happy with those changes? 

Without hesitation I'd say my forte is in arranging, I've never been big on repetition for the sake of it and I do like material to carry interesting/unexpected key/time-signature changes within the confines of the songs to keep it interesting.  Yes, I have been called a pain in the donkey because of this and I don't doubt this to be the case, but I'd counter by saying the material has always benefitted from excising chunks and mixing it up a bit.

This though, is something different.  This is all about (to my ears at least) having some tweak mixes down and then having someone master (never met him, don't know him), who clearly needs his ears syringed.

Despite my age, my ears are still working pretty well.  While subjective, and within the bounds of our musical genre, I'd like to think I know what sounds like it has some shizzle and what sounds like it's been mastered by someone who clearly doesn't have a clue.

It's all a bit soul destroying to be honest.

 

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My first thought was the the mastering was a bit heavy - I think the rawness and breathing might have suffered a bit at that stage? Very heavily mastered tunes also become quite fatiguing - might be worth pointing the mastering engineer at this: https://artists.spotify.com/help/article/loudness-normalization - people are moving away from the loudness wars becasue 1. It hurts your ears & 2. Spotify are normalizing to -14dB LUFS anyway unless you turn that off (which I can't imagine many people do!)

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