Walk The Sky Production Quality.

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Crumbso
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by Crumbso »

Just thinking about it. If I were to rank AB albums in terms of production (regardless of song writing quality) the order would be:

1. ODR (open and massive sound with Myles sounding better than he has before or since)
2. Fortress (relatively clean and sharp with perhaps a slightly missing mid-range)
3. ABIII/Walk the Sky (tied because they both sound generally good but with issues)
4. Blackbird (sounds a bit boxy and small to me)
5. TLH (argh)
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Skywalker
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by Skywalker »

Crumbso wrote:Just thinking about it. If I were to rank AB albums in terms of production (regardless of song writing quality) the order would be:

1. ODR (open and massive sound with Myles sounding better than he has before or since)
2. Fortress (relatively clean and sharp with perhaps a slightly missing mid-range)
3. ABIII/Walk the Sky (tied because they both sound generally good but with issues)
4. Blackbird (sounds a bit boxy and small to me)
5. TLH (argh)
Bumping this as I've not been around until the last week. Agreed on this list completely, on the basis of production.

The band, and Elvis are not deaf to the cries fans have made regarding this all. I think that's why Walk the Sky sounds significantly better than TLH. But whoever said it earlier in this thread -- this is the way AB chose to release the record. The sound is what they wanted. I may not dig it, but I've come to accept it.

I admire Elvis' work ethic, and it appears he really gets along well with a lot of different artists. But like many, I really would rather AB's songs be mixed by someone else. I mean I think Ben Gross did the engineering/mixing/production of ODR and as Crumbso said, its the best, production-wise. But i'd be very much in favor of someone like Jens Bogren getting the chance to mix AB. He's done some outstanding work (to my ears) for Fates Warning.

But I'll continue to support AB of course, regardless. They have a connection with Elvis, and there's something to be said for that as well.
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One Drew Remains
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by One Drew Remains »

I think WTS sounds fine. Not as overall loud as TLH
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Skywalker
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by Skywalker »

One Drew Remains wrote:I think WTS sounds fine. Not as overall loud as TLH
WTS is better than TLH for sure. I don't mind the sound. I do miss, however, the warmer sound that was on ODR. I always have. There's a depth to that recording that envelopes you a bit. Maybe the material lent itself better to that kind of mix, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't want most AB recordings to have that warmth to them. :lol
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One Drew Remains
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by One Drew Remains »

Yes. I've always liked the sound of Ben Grosses records. Fuel's Something Like Human is one of my favorites ever.
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chtimixeur
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by chtimixeur »

Skywalker wrote:But i'd be very much in favor of someone like Jens Bogren getting the chance to mix AB.
Good call.
I would like him to produce their next record, not just mix it.
I watched the documentary about Sepultura's latest album, and the guy seems to really push everyone in the band in a good way. He gets amazing performances from each musician, and they all have to bring their A game when they perform in front of him.

But that's never gonna happen. The guy has his studio in rural Sweden, and he only works with metal bands. It's a shame, because the band would end up sounding tighter than ever with him!

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Dolo
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by Dolo »

Skywalker wrote:But i'd be very much in favor of someone like Jens Bogren getting the chance to mix AB.
That would be awesome, he produced many of my favourite prog metal bands, but yeah... never gonna happen...

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Skywalker
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by Skywalker »

I'm a huge Fates Warning fan, and man, did Theories of Flight just sounds massive.
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by olof79 »

He should have been let go after AB3.. but Mark is probably as much to blame nowadays though. its MARGINALLY better than the last couple of records though.
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by LosingPatience »

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.

Dont agree even slightly

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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by LosingPatience »

One Drew Remains wrote:I think WTS sounds fine. Not as overall loud as TLH

Way more compressed , squashed sounding though, that to my ears is far worse. Cant listen to more than 3 songs in a row

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austinjhnsn
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by austinjhnsn »

WTS is a lot better than TLH to my ears. It at least doesnt sound as mushed together. I think liking the music more helps though...

Fortress is my favorite in terms of productivity by them, not perfect but fits their current sound, and is much cleaner than the last couple albums. I do wish they could get someone like Nolly to mix their albums, while keeping Elvis in as producer, he gets a massive sound without it being convoluted. Look at how Devin Townsends albums benefitted from having Nolly work his magic, still a lot going on but its all clear and fairly separated.
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littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by littledreamer »

Update, I've made a better version for my ears, erased the muddy bass kick and made it more impactful and tight. Opened up the upper range a bit. Can hear the music much better. I know the album is now 6-7 months old, and maybe no one cares, but this mix kills my original mix, and embarrasses the original studio mix- IMO!

1. Reduce volume in Audacity -5db.

2. Here's a screenshot of my eq:

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

3. Here's a screenshot of my compression(surprisingly helped, to my ears)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E87gZn ... sp=sharing

That's it, simple. You should try it! Apologies for the poorly made links, this thread is not great at hyperlinks!
Cheers.

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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by MuffinMcFluffin »

littledreamer wrote:Update, I've made a better version for my ears, erased the muddy bass kick and made it more impactful and tight. Opened up the upper range a bit. Can hear the music much better. I know the album is now 6-7 months old, and maybe no one cares, but this mix kills my original mix, and embarrasses the original studio mix- IMO!

1. Reduce volume in Audacity -5db.

2. Here's a screenshot of my eq:

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

3. Here's a screenshot of my compression(surprisingly helped, to my ears)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E87gZn ... sp=sharing

That's it, simple. You should try it! Apologies for the poorly made links, this thread is not great at hyperlinks!
Cheers.
I love it, thanks! I'll give it a shot. Didn't you EQ all songs differently the first time through, though? Also, when you say you reduced volume, do you mean at the channel level (the slider on the left), or using the Amplify effect?

And I bought the FLAC files for this song. Did you use those as well, or did you use M4A/compressed MP3 files?

Lastly... EQ first, then compression afterward? I always did it the other way so compression didn't get in the way of what I was EQ'ing lol. I'll take your word for it for your sound and settings, but I wasn't sure how you thought about this philosophically in general.

(by the way, I care haha)

EDIT: Are you on an older version of Audacity, by the way? Sometimes I can't get some of the same numbers you can (attack/release time on compression, and length of filter on EQ). Just strange is all because mine is up to date haha.

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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by MuffinMcFluffin »

Hey, so my early impressions are that this is strong. Definitely gives separation between voice and instrument, removes the muddy midtones and lowers that kick-drum quite a bit (especially in the verses of Forever Falling, which some people in the loudness war struggle will claim this has made it lose impact, but I both disagree and digress), and it ain't no placebo either. I did some A|B tests through Audacity just by swapping the sound using the solo feature, and it's pretty night-and-day.

I only heard them through my Audio-Technica ATH-R70x's so far, but later I'll give it a listen in my car and my home theater as well (and also drive my headphones through my amp, but in these latter instances I won't be able to have any A|B material unless I create it for myself, which is fine). Definitely makes me want to hear the songs all over again, though!

Thanks so much for sharing, and if you seem to make any other "improvements," keep bumping the thread! :rockon

littledreamer
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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by littledreamer »

I'm glad you like it, remember I'm just an amateur enthusiast who wants to hear the music fully. I don't want to change the ART.

I'm using Audacity 2.1, current is 2.3.3, maybe I should update???? Wouldn't make a functional difference here, though.

I used the "Amplify" feature, -5db to reduce volume to create room to do this without clipping.

EQ next, then Compress as listed above. I used FLAC ripped from CD. I used the same EQ/Process for all songs this time- I feel the compression process helps balance the energies of the recording. It also made this process faster, really only takes like 15 minutes on a decent PC to do this.

The bass kick is now ENJOYABLE, where before to me it was a bloated mess covering the music. I can hear WAY more of Mark's guitar nuances, and Myles is clear in the mix. I've also noticed some harmonies where Mark is in the background which I'd never heard before. Kind of cool that an amateur can do this, but I repeat, should've been done right in the first place.

Here's my EQ file, you might be able to load it in Audacity to replicate, it's the XML file in the folder:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing

I'm loving this mix, actually REALLY enjoying the music for the first time(a bit weird to say that). Sounds GREAT to me, YMMV.

Have fun!
Last edited by littledreamer on Fri May 01, 2020 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Inconquerable
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Re: All this technical talk going way over my head.

Post by Inconquerable »

A note about Audacity for those using a Mac on the latest Mac software, all of the Audacity files that I had transferred from my old computer that were made in older versions of the app no longer have any audio on them. All of the tracks are still there, but they don't play anything. I don't know if it's a Mac thing or what but just a warning!
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Re: All this technical talk going way over my head.

Post by MuffinMcFluffin »

Inconquerable wrote:A note about Audacity for those using a Mac on the latest Mac software, all of the Audacity files that I had transferred from my old computer that were made in older versions of the app no longer have any audio on them. All of the tracks are still there, but they don't play anything. I don't know if it's a Mac thing or what but just a warning!
Is it playing at a different sample rate/frequency than what you have set in Audacity?

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Re: Ah 2014, so much Axl/Slash mashing up.

Post by Inconquerable »

It's interesting, nothing plays at all. The tracks just show the blue line in the middle without any waves or anything. Here's a screenshot. It's a mashup of a bunch of different things thrown together.

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Re: Walk The Sky Production Quality.

Post by MuffinMcFluffin »

Oh, so these are project files and not audio files?

It might be because the .aup file is just for the project itself, but there is a bunch of data that goes into folders for every project as well which saves the audio bits. Your new computer probably can't locate those files, or they might not be on your hard drive.

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