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Mr. Freeze

A question for metal fans

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Why is that a lot of of metal bands disparage pop bands/singers for being "inauthentic"...

...and then proceed to quantize the entire drum kit, overdub their guitars 3-4 times on each channel, compress the shit out of the bass tracks, and do everything in their power to sound like their influences?

I went two years for Audio Production at The New England Institute of Art, and the hypocrisy astounded me. Is every goddamn band like this? Or did I just hang around/go to class with the wrong guys?

I still like metal and everything...but attitudes like this have separated me from the scene by a large amount. Just wondering, no offense intended.

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You missed the point entirely, but don't feel bad because audio engineers usually like all genres. Most metal, punk, blues and jazz bands won't leave the clubs and small venues. The production of sound has little to do with a persons authenticity. But even besides that, seriously, you'll criticizes every competitor's music because the music industry is boiled down to being who's the best and who's marketable. Rich kids like the Smiths are in these days.

...and then proceed to quantize the entire drum kit, overdub their guitars 3-4 times on each channel, compress the shit out of the bass tracks, and do everything in their power to sound like their influences?

Of course they are trying to sound like their influences. They're not questioning their inspiration's authenticity. Also, bringing tried and true audio production since the sixties as evidence of a bands hypocrisies is odd. I don't see your reasoning behind this argument. And, as you know, there is a difference between a quantized drum track and an apple loop. I hear so many rap and pop songs using almost unmodified apple loops.

EDIT: Grammar Police.

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I know not ALL metal bands/one-manners don't overproduce their works...I do believe the lesser known artists don't overdo things with their music, while some of the more known are a bit polished or even overdone ala In Flames (Bleh! Garbage anyways).

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Pity, I thought this was going to be yet another vitriolic "Is $BAND metal?" trollbait.

Speaking of which, is Metallica metal?

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Maes said:

Speaking of which, is Metallica metal?

Their classic four albums were Thrash metal to the bone. The nineties were hard rock years.

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eargosedown said:

Because auto-tune ≠ talent.

You know auto tune is used on some of the best vocal talent, right? It's been around for decades, used to polish. It's only recently that it has been used as an effect rather then a tool.

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Technician said:

You know auto tune was used on some of the best vocal talent, right? It's been around for decades, used to polish. It's only recently that it has been used as a tool rather then a effect.


Fix'd.

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I don't know, I figured the "inauthenticity" claims usually referred to composition and performance rather than getting a good recording job. Stylistic copycatting will get people's inner artists riled up, but quality production is something that should be universal in any musical presentation. It's all about creating effective sound after all, and while you may want your music to be original, throwing away all the advances of recording technology to achieve such a goal would be misdirected at best, if not outright irrational.

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Some bands lack the budget so they go for a more raw recording. Others can afford it but just want a raw sounding album. Then there are the ones that want a polished album, but can't afford it so they act all elitist by "choosing" a raw recording.

Then you got your blackmetal elitist that believes some mysterious band with an album recorded on an answering machine in somebody's basement is the epitome awesome.



Remember kids, it's very trendy and conformist to hate auto-tune and high production value audio recordings, as much as it is to actually enjoy said music.

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I like my metal how I like my meat. Raw as fukk. The bands you are referring to, Freeze, are mostly on the commercial side of metal.

The over produced bands can suck it.

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I don't know what metal bands you have been talking to.

The metal scene is just like any other music scene out there. There's a lot of crap, a lot of faggots, most of the music is uninspired and everyone thinks they know best.

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DeathevokatioN said:

I like my metal how I like my meat. Raw as fukk. The bands you are referring to, Freeze, are mostly on the commercial side of metal.

The over produced bands can suck it.

I'm going to come out and call you an idiot (I mean that politely). Chances are most of the metal bands you listen to were digitally recorded, quantized, pitch corrected and maybe even had triggers applied. I agree that quality micing with adequate EQing can produce a great album but when you have quality equipment and competent engineers, well, having a "raw" sounding album is ludicrous and downright stupid. Of course most people can't tell the difference between a "raw" album or well produced album. That's the magic.

Of course you may be listening to shit for all I know. Down with conformity mate |m|

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Also, as an ex-radio announcer, let me say one thing:

Everyone is a faggot, and anyone's musical opinion is completely useless. No one cares about what you like or think.

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Sigvatr said:

Everyone is a faggot, and anyone's musical opinion is completely useless. No one cares about what you like or think.

Great, then get the fuck out of here, hypocrite.

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POTGIESSER said:

Remember kids, it's very trendy and conformist to hate auto-tune and high production value audio recordings, as much as it is to actually enjoy said music.


Here on Doomworld, maybe. Elsewhere, not at all. Have you ever heard a single black|death|grind|thrash metal song in your favorite supermarket?
Anyway: who cares about autotune when you growl|squeak|shriek? ^_^

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Technician said:

I'm going to come out and call you an idiot (I mean that politely). Chances are most of the metal bands you listen to were digitally recorded, quantized, pitch corrected and maybe even had triggers applied. I agree that quality micing with adequate EQing can produce a great album but when you have quality equipment and competent engineers, well, having a "raw" sounding album is ludicrous and downright stupid. Of course most people can't tell the difference between a "raw" album or well produced album. That's the magic.

Of course you may be listening to shit for all I know. Down with conformity mate |m|


Uuuuhhhh... Not to try prove that I'm not an idiot, but your talking to someone who mostly collects obscure early 90's classic death metal cassette demos and 80's heavy metal that was recorded with analog equipment, and gets pissed off when an album gets remastered because a lot of the time the feeling gets taken out of the music and the recording sounds a lot more sterile with this added slick production. One thing that I love about those ancient recordings is that the productions make the music sound more natural, and you can feel the energy and soul behind the conviction as if they were playing right in front of you. Fuck, and most of the time I can even decipher the riffs a lot easier with analog recordings as opposed to digital. To put in short, it's easier to capture the essence of the classic death metal sound with a nice dirty analog recording. A newer band called RepugnanT who is one of the reasons for the resurgence of the Swedish death metal sound traveled across Sweden looking for an old analog studio and the album they recorded was a lot more energetic as a result.

So it depends on what sound your going for. I guess if your listening to bands whose music is proffessional, sterile and lifeless in the first place a slick and fancy production could benefit.

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Aren't distortion pedals for guitars a form of creating an "inauthentic" sound?

EDIT: All music is about having 'soul'. Not what equipment is used in the production of it.

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DeathevokatioN said:

Fuck, and most of the time I can even decipher the riffs a lot easier with analog recordings as opposed to digital.


You had me until there.

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DoomUK said:

Aren't distortion pedals for guitars a form of creating an "inauthentic" sound?


Distorted and downtuned crunchy guitars is part of what made metal METAL in the first place. So "inauthentic" sound as compared to what standards? But yeah, studio magic bands like Dragon Force, Dimmu Borgir who get IN"competent" perfectionist engineers have an inauthentic sound, because they polish the music up to make it sound as clean as possible and edit the vocals to make it hit all the "right" pitches and eventually at the end of the day it sounds like it was recorded by a bunch of robots because you have a lifeless and wishy washy recording.

On that same note, I'm not a fan of lo-fi black metal whose goal is to make their recordings as unlistenable by fucking with frequencies and making as much as possible either.

POTGIESSER said:

Remember kids, it's very trendy and conformist to hate auto-tune and high production value audio recordings, as much as it is to actually enjoy said music.


And it's trendy to care about what is trendy. ;)

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Csonicgo said:

You had me until there.


It's because I listen to low budget recordings so much that I got used to the production.

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DeathevokatioN said:

It's because I listen to low budget recordings so much that I got used to the production.


See, I couldn't appreciate the "sounds dildos" kind of recording. Even if it's a bunch of teen-age kids with no music direction playing their hearts out.. at the end of the day, it's still shit.

I know this isn't metal related, but my friend got ahold to some old Ween bootlegs from 87 or something.. and they are awful. it was like they got around a talkboy and played, and barely could keep a pitch, much less in time.. "BUT THE SOUL MAN, THE SOUL!" he told me. Yeah, that's nice. It still is a sucky "demotape". I bet the kids were so poor then they had to rec it on "SLOW" just to get 2x the time.

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Yeah ofcourse, I agree that you need good songwriting as well. Lady Gaga with a death metal analog production is still Lady Gaga. :D I just find that the analog sound goes down very well with the music that I love.

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DeathevokatioN said:

Yeah ofcourse, you need good songwriting as well. Lady Gaga with a death metal analog production is still Lady Gaga. :D I just find that the analog sound goes down well with the music that I love.


Digital is fine for the output when done right. The 2009 Beatles Remasters were a great example of this. But, they weren't metal. Well.. there was that one song that was "proto-metal"...

BUT that was recorded on Analog equipment, with analog saturation, and all that stuff. And people like that sound, actually. back in the late 80s they tried to remove it, and you can tell how hollow it all was. It's hard to emulate digitally, and sometimes better in the long run to use the old shit, because that's what the legends used.

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Music production might be the only thing that should be measured on whether the artists are being "true to themselves." So their music is authentic if they did what they wanted with it. It is less so when they let commercial and publisher considerations change it (eg. compressing the dynamic range to make it sound louder on a re-release).

All music is not about having soul; some music is just about ambience or manipulating people (elevator music, some game music, etc.).

When bands make things like death metal that have almost no discernible distinction between different parts of the noise do they still spend a pile of time getting things like the sound of their guitars just right? Seems like it would be a waste.

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DeathevokatioN said:

Yeah ofcourse, I agree that you need good songwriting as well. Lady Gaga with a death metal analog production is still Lady Gaga. :D I just find that the analog sound goes down very well with the music that I love.


this made me think of something haha

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