On Listening to Music–My Own and Others

Today at work I listened to the mixes I currently have here for The Six-Day Exile on my iPod. I realized the following:

  • Recording solo bass and making it audible on the headphones I use is going to be very difficult without it overpowering more substantial systems, such as a car radio.
  • My cousin was right–I do sound much better vocally on “The Secret” than on everything else. Part, though not all, of it is definitely being up in more traditional rock singer range. For the rest, I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s the fact that I had to almost shout that song, which would probably make me sound more confident anyway. Random aside: I love being a natural baritone, because I can link to this video as a legitimate example of approximately what I sound like.
  • There is such a thing as “too rough” mixwise. Whoops. Oh well, this is a learning experience for me, really.

Speaking of “too rough”, I also listened to Metallica’s St. Anger at work today–yes, I’m aware admitting to this fact pretty much automatically invalidates my opinion on what makes quality music, but I have a soft spot in my heart for it nonetheless…besides, it’s not even the worst Metallica album (I’d give that “honor” to Load), much less the worst album in history like a lot of people wanted you to believe for a year or so after its release–and couldn’t help but note that it was trying really hard to be something it’s not. That is to say, for all the talk about how “raw” it was supposed to be…listening to it with headphones, it becomes clear that it’s an album on which a lot of money was spent to try and get that raw sound–there’s a lot of panning and separation of stuff through each of the songs, for one. Essentially, they tried way too hard to force it, which is exemplified by the fact that no one told Lars Ulrich to put away the trash cans and set up his drum kit to record the album (Incidentally, general consensus from what I’ve found is that the album isn’t bad musically–quite a few people have ripped the audio from the accompanying DVD [In which Lars is playing an actual drum kit as opposed to whatever the heck he used on the album] and just listened to that as the album).


    • James on February 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I would assume Tom might be able to give you some tips on recording, I only know what I’ve done (though I have gotten a good bass/guiat balance, even mucking around like the current song on my myspace homepage).

    As for St. Anger– well, it’s obvious Metallica has some very skilled musicians so a bad Metallica album is still better than a lot of what is out there. And if they were still a speed metal band, they might be left behind like so many 80’s acts–so I understand frmo a business perspective why they want to alter their sound (and make money doing it).

    Anyhow–good luck recording!

    • emptyeye on February 28, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Interesting. I shall ask him then.

    And I think I’ve said this before, but I listened to a lot of St. Anger when I was sick, which caused me to kind of understand where they were coming from with it as a catharsis of everything they had been through from 2000-2003 or so. Whether it was a good idea to actually release this catharsis is open to debate, but I like it despite its flaws.

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