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New Stratovarius album: a list of demands
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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:45 am    Post subject: New Stratovarius album: a list of demands Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

1. No shitty pro-tools production like Elysium and Eternal. Just listen to the chorus of "Few Are Those". Its just a hot mess. I hate this warm muddy sound. The songs are very good, but could be presented so much better.

2. Backing vocals by Mike Portnoy
(preferably about overcoming his alcoholism, even if the song is about dragons).

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:03 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Laughing (You probably aren't serious)

If you were serious, Elysium sounds incredibly clear to me. Eternal, on the other hand, is a tad on the mushy side. I have no comment regarding Mike Portnoy. Smily106

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:29 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Elysium is as clear as my ass. Listen to Infernal Maze. Sounds like you're listening to a cassette. Jesus!

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

By the way, "no new songs from Lauri" has been removed from my list of demands, as it has come to my attention that he was banned from songwriting after penning "fantasy".

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:51 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Also, all the artwork in the album booklet has to be taken with Timo Tolkki's shitty nikon camera. Hope you like lakes, motherfuckers.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:08 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Elysium is as clear as my ass.

Then I guess your ass is made out of glass! Laughing Jump1

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Elysium is as clear as my ass.

Then I guess your ass is made out of glass! Laughing Jump1


I realize that people with glass asses shouldn't throw stones, but something's rotten in the state of Elysium. Maybe it's the way the choruses sound...the multi-layered effect sounds very strange to me.

Plus the album sounds very busy. Layer upon layer, baklava production like somebody got bored in the studio. If you wanted to hear excellent production, listen to Infinite. Everything is crystal clear.

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NeverendingAbyss
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:25 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

What is this, 2008?

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:10 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

NeverendingAbyss wrote:
What is this, 2008?


BYE pablo Rolling Eyes

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:52 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
If you wanted to hear excellent production, listen to Infinite. Everything is crystal clear.

I actually don't enjoy the production very much on that album. Embarassed It sounds too compressed, particularly on the heavier tracks. In fact, that album is noticeably louder that the ones that surround it. In addition, Tolkki's rhythm guitar sounds a bit too bright and shrill to me, which is something that began circa Destiny, but was fixed in the Elements albums.

Regarding their discography, I believe Stratovarius' MVP of production is Episode. I also really enjoy the production of Elements Pt. 1 & 2, Elysium (Lauri is very audible on this album, which is something I really enjoy about its production), and Dreamspace. While Dreamspace does have audible pulsing and breathing as a result of the master bus indubitably being compressed with a fast attack, slow release, and aggressive ratio (you can hear this, most notably, in Shattered, where only the guitar is present, and then the drums and bass come in and attenuate the gain of the guitar track. Yeah, I know. I'm a crazy person who notices such things), I'm willing to overlook that because the snare drum sounds absolutely godly.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:55 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
If you wanted to hear excellent production, listen to Infinite. Everything is crystal clear.

I actually don't enjoy the production very much on that album. Embarassed It sounds too compressed, particularly on the heavier tracks. In fact, that album is noticeably louder that the ones that surround it. In addition, Tolkki's rhythm guitar sounds a bit too bright and shrill to me, which is something that began circa Destiny, but was fixed in the Elements albums.

Regarding their discography, I believe Stratovarius' MVP of production is Episode. I also really enjoy the production of Elements Pt. 1 & 2, Elysium (Lauri is very audible on this album, which is something I really enjoy about its production), and Dreamspace. While Dreamspace does have audible pulsing and breathing as a result of the master bus indubitably being compressed with a fast attack, slow release, and aggressive ratio (you can hear this, most notably, in Shattered, where only the guitar is present, and then the drums and bass come in and attenuate the gain of the guitar track. Yeah, I know. I'm a crazy person who notices such things), I'm willing to overlook that because the snare drum sounds absolutely godly.


Well, maybe I point to Infinite because there are a number of less "busy" tracks there like Mother Gaia. A beautiful song that doesn't overwhelm the listener with layers of sound. By contrast, Elysium sounds like a caffeine overdose. Esp. infernal Maze.

So it's as much a songwriting issue as a production/mix issue.

I agree that episode sounds fantastic in some ways. But I liked the vocals in later albums a bit more. Songs like Father Time and WTSR sound a bit raw. Season of Change and Babylon are great though.

I totally agree that the Elements albums sound incredible by the way. Exactly the kind of sound I'm searching for. Everything is totally spot on.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:25 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Yeah. Mother Gaia does sound nice, I'll give it that.

Something that I noticed about Elysium is that on the faster and heavier songs of the album, the snare seems to sometimes get lost in the mix. My hypothesis is that the snare on Elysium, in contrast to the majority of Stratovarius albums, has a less reverberant sound, which is an integral factor in the intensity and power of a snare drum sound. Thus, it is easier for it to get buried under a wall of sound.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Elysium sounds like a caffeine overdose. Esp. infernal Maze.

Could you please define what this means to you? Is it just simply the fact that there is too much happening at once? Does it have to do with a particular instrument? I actually quite like Infernal Maze, so I'm wondering if maybe I'm missing something that you aren't.

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NeverendingAbyss
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:53 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Elements and Episode have the best production, imo. You can even add Destiny and Polaris.

Strato can do without the intense background choral. It hides TK's voice too much. Maybe just reserve it for a one-time build up. A few slower tempo songs can change the flavor, too.

Funmeter2 Smileysex5

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:15 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:
Yeah. Mother Gaia does sound nice, I'll give it that.

Something that I noticed about Elysium is that on the faster and heavier songs of the album, the snare seems to sometimes get lost in the mix. My hypothesis is that the snare on Elysium, in contrast to the majority of Stratovarius albums, has a less reverberant sound, which is an integral factor in the intensity and power of a snare drum sound. Thus, it is easier for it to get buried under a wall of sound.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Elysium sounds like a caffeine overdose. Esp. infernal Maze.

Could you please define what this means to you? Is it just simply the fact that there is too much happening at once? Does it have to do with a particular instrument? I actually quite like Infernal Maze, so I'm wondering if maybe I'm missing something that you aren't.


I'm listening again with my crappy earbuds in some random gym so take this with a grain of salt...

The low end is too loud. Bass drum distracting and overpowering. Kotipelto strains too much in the chorus and sounds oddly nasal at times. The background choral as NEA pointed out doesn't sound right and could be done without.

You know the chorus right when he sings infernal *MAAAZE*? That's exactly what bothers me. Loud overpowering low end, keyboard doing something that can't quite be discerned and just adding another layer of noise, strained, thin vocals overdubbed for no reason..

Classic stratovarius was in general more understated. Check out the chorus of "no turning back". I can hear everything so clearly even with my crappy earbuds. Clear keyboard, crisp guitar. Fast paced but not a mess.

Did you hear Cain's Offering? That's also what I consider an excellent sound (both records). And the vocals are spot on.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I'm listening again with my crappy earbuds in some random gym so take this with a grain of salt...

I'm listening on expensive studio monitors, so that could very well be the difference. Although, a truly good mix should sound great on any sound system. If it only sounds good on studio monitors, then it is a flawed mix.

NeverendingAbyss wrote:
Elements and Episode have the best production, imo. You can even add Destiny and Polaris.

I do enjoy the production of Polaris, as well. The funny thing for me is, when I listen to Polaris and Elysium back-to-back, Elysium does initially sound very strange. I believe this to be a result of the extreme emphasis on bass and treble frequencies that Elysium has, compared to Polaris, which is more balanced in those departments.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
The low end is too loud. Bass drum distracting and overpowering. Kotipelto strains too much in the chorus and sounds oddly nasal at times. The background choral as NEA pointed out doesn't sound right and could be done without.

Take Elysium's bass drum sound, for instance. The high-end click sounds peculiar compared to just about any other metal album, modern or otherwise. The low-end also is very exaggerated, I have to agree. After a while, I kind of get used to it, though.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
You know the chorus right when he sings infernal *MAAAZE*? That's exactly what bothers me. Loud overpowering low end, keyboard doing something that can't quite be discerned and just adding another layer of noise, strained, thin vocals overdubbed for no reason..

I've just listened to Infernal Maze again, and the lead vocals seem to be much louder than all of the other instruments. During the chorus, the background vocals didn't really get in the way, for me. I feel that Eternal suffers a lot more from this issue than any song on Elysium. Do the Sonata Arctica albums suffer from the same problem you're describing? Their choruses are (were?) filled to the brim with layered background vocals.

Here's something interesting to note about Eternal. Almost every chorus on the album involves 8th note crash cymbal hits, which in turn increases the amount of noise during them. Add to that a very loud background choir, and you get the problem that you guys are describing. Also something to note about Eternal: The cymbals seem to have very little brightness to them, which makes them sound dark, dull, and gritty. In the past, the cymbals were more accentuated in that region, which led to Stratovarius' signature clean and clear production. I'm honestly not a fan of the drum production on Eternal. It sounds muddy to me, especially the snare (I'm not a fan of low snare tunings, so maybe that's why). Drums are a very difficult instrument to get "right" in a mix, and have a significant impact on the enjoyability of an album's production, for me.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Did you hear Cain's Offering? That's also what I consider an excellent sound (both records). And the vocals are spot on.

Yeah, I've listened to, and enjoyed, both albums. Comparing the production of those two albums is like comparing apples to oranges. Gather the Faithful is very clear and pristine in its production. The cymbals shine very brilliantly here, and I personally prefer it that way. You can definitely discern every instrument here. Is it just me, or does it seem like the low mids are not very present in this album? It feels like something is amiss. Stormcrow's production sounds similar to Eternal, to me. This is a personal complaint, but I feel that the drums are too low in the mix, and sound like a pathetic muddy blip, compared to the other instruments. I'm very picky about drum production (and basically everything); perhaps too picky. It is also incredibly dark sounding, EQ-wise. I actually think that Stormcrow has an even muddier production than Eternal. It might be due to over emphasizing the mids. I really don't like that, but I do enjoy the songs themselves.

Honestly, if you guys want to hear some truly horrible production, you should try listening to Sons of Thunder by Labyrinth. The songs are really cool, but the production is god awful. The EQ isn't really too bad; it's just compressed to hell. Ignore the last five tracks, as they are from a different album: https://www.youtube.com/playlist? list=OLAK5uy_mZkwnoqR5ItUhggbHWTR6Oyz1FQ NCd1Wo

Where would you guys place Visions on the production scale? Honestly, I'm up for discussing the production of every Statovarius album. I just wish this place was more lively. Laughing

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Empathica1928
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:18 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I think Visions sounds amazing honestly. I think Episode sounds better, but I chalk that slight discrepancy to (imo) the better songwriting on Episode, where there's a lot more room for things to breathe like on Season of Change or Babylon. But both sound better than Destiny which has this very tinny sound to the vocals, there isn't much reverb so Timo's vocals lack that really epic 'horns of war' effect power metal screams need. You can hear it on Rebel and parts of Destiny a LOT.

In recent years they've had a tendency to get buried in an avalanche of layers which isn't always a bad thing but it makes the tracks louder than fuck - when the band comes in after the piano in Castles In The Air it almost knocks me on my ass how loud everything is, it's this abrupt wall of noise that comes out of nowhere. There's a little bit of muddiness on Elysium and Nemesis and even parts of Eternal, but I think Eternal balanced things out better than both of those records.

Basically I think they're doing fine, I just miss that mid-late 90s sound Timo got out of the band.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:06 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

The songwriting and production on Episode is top-notch, which is why it holds a special place in my heart. Smile The songs are more varied than on Visions, but I still enjoy Visions a lot as well. Regarding Vision's production, I'm still not sure how I feel about Tolkki's lead guitar sound. There seems to be some sort of chorus effect applied to it, which I think sounds awesome in some circumstances, and strange in others. I believe that the strangest lead guitar tone Tolkki ever had was on Fourth Dimension, where the combination of the lack of treble and minor (phaser? chorus? flanger?) effect in his tone sometimes made it sound almost keyboard-like in timbre. While slight, the cymbals and vocals have more clarity on Episode, compared to visions.

I know exactly what you're talking about with the tinny vocal sound on Destiny. That's one of the points that takes that album down a notch, production-wise.

I can't really dicern any muddiness on Elysium, and I'm starting to think I'm the one with a problem, because others are saying the same thing about it. Embarassed

I can hear the muddiness on Nemesis, though I'd describe it as minor compared to Eternal or, especially, Stormcrow.

The mix in the late 90's Stratovarius albums had more dynamic range compared to the modern releases. I understand that dynamic range isn't everything, however. Higher levels of the bass frequencies in the mix have a significant positive correlation to the reduction of dynamic range. Honestly, I feel that the modern Stratovarius albums could use more clarity in the EQ department. If the cymbals and vocals were brighter, it would help things sit better in the mix. When everything occupies the same frequency range, it will quickly cloud up the mix. I also favor the reverberant and powerful snare drum sound of the older albums to the modern muddy equivalent.

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Empathica1928
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:23 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I think muddy might be the wrong word to apply to Elysium. I was going to say 'murky' maybe. There's plenty of brightness, but it still sounds a little dark, the guitar tone is smooth and sexy but it doesn't cut sharply through everything like, say, Tolkki's did. I think that was a deliberate choice, and it works stunningly on a song like Elysium, but on others, like Fairness Justified or Lifetime In A Moment, I think it takes away from what little guitar action there is and amplifies that sludgy bass tone of Lauri's.

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robocop
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:13 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Fright Night on cassette has the best production that it even made me shit my pants. Maybe it was the natty ice.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:43 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

How would you describe the differences between muddy and murky? Where does it sound dark? Does it have to do with a particular instrument? The bass guitar on Elysium is thunderous and in your face, and I love it. Laughing I'm also a fan of Matias' lead guitar tone in every album he's been on. It is, indeed, smoother than Tolkki's lead guitar tone. Matias' tone also sounds more articulate, but that could be chalked up to differences in playing style. (Were you talking about rhythm guitar or lead guitar?)

I think the slower songs on Elysium sound particularly great. The snare is not overwhelmed when there is less going on, and it even becomes a prominent part of the song.

robocop wrote:
Fright Night on cassette has the best production that it even made me shit my pants. Maybe it was the natty ice.

Laughing Fright Night sounds like an album with very minimal effort put into the mix. If I recall correctly, the mix was worked on for about three days before it was considered "finished". The balance between the instruments is off. The rhythm guitar is muddy and low in the mix, while the bass guitar is very high in the mix. The snare gets seriously lost at points in the album, usually under the lead guitar and especially buried under a harmonized lead guitar. Overall, I'm not a fan of that album's unpolished production.

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HinatAArcticA
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:50 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

I'm listening again with my crappy earbuds in some random gym so take this with a grain of salt...


Brb, I'm gonna judge Visions by listening to it on my phone's speaker. That's definitely gonna be representative of the album's production quality.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

Kotipelto strains too much in the chorus and sounds oddly nasal at times.


"At times"?? Where have you been the last ten years? You're expecting 41 year old Kotipelto to sound like 31 year old Kotipelto? The nasal quality has been present in Kotipelto's vocals for the last decade whenever he goes to the higher notes. He sounds fine, just a bit older.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

The background choral as NEA pointed out doesn't sound right and could be done without.


Most of the chorus is solo Kotipelto. The only time there's backing vocals is during the "Infernal Maze" line and the backing vocals are anything but overpowering, and doesn't sound too different from Cain's Offering's Stormcrow which actually happens to have backing vocals during the entire chorus. Also, the nasal quality is also present in the entire Stormcrow album. Kotipelto sounds fine regardless.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

You know the chorus right when he sings infernal *MAAAZE*? That's exactly what bothers me. Loud overpowering...


RISIIIIIING FROM THE AAAASHEEEEES A DARK MESSENGER OF SORROOOOOW I'M THE STORMCROOOOOOW

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

Classic stratovarius was in general more understated. Check out the chorus of "no turning back". I can hear everything so clearly even with my crappy earbuds.


Every Stratovarius record sounds good with proper headphones/speakers.

Next you're gonna tell me a YouTube video sounds the same to a FLAC file cause your earbuds are proof of it.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

Did you hear Cain's Offering? That's also what I consider an excellent sound (both records). And the vocals are spot on.


RISIIIIIING FROM THE AAAA--

I like Stormcrow a lot. The backing vocals are no different than how they are on My Eternal Dream or Infernal Maze. Gather the Faithful (and Polaris for that matter) have a younger PRE-2010 BACTERIA Kotipelto, and I still don't understand why you pretend Timo's voice is supposed to stay the same after 20 years.

Gather the Faithful's mix is fine, but I don't like ti very much. It's far too soft with very mild uses of the sonic ambiance of the instruments and wishes it was on par with SA's Reckoning Night. I tend to dislike this over-clean hyper bright sound for metal music.

Stormcrow's is way superior to CO's first album. Harmonics are far more clear for both high and low instruments, which allows the sound to have a much deeper texture to it. Nemesis, Eternal and Stormcrow were all produced by Matias. He creates this very crunchy sound that puts a high emphasis on the mid tones of the guitar and a deep bass line that drives the rhythm of the songs. You can also hear this in Stormcrow.

Funny that you mention old school Strato, as not even that was even. Episode and Visions have a much warmer sound that looks to build a wall-of-sound of sorts, with these lovely mid-tone qualities from the guitar and Kotipelto's voice. Elements on the other hand has a very different approach. The durms are dry, and there's a very high emphasis on the lower frequencies from the bass. Each instrument sounds somewhat separated. It's good, but also results in some very soft sounding tracks like Eagleheart. Learning to Fly's backing vocals aren't any different from Elysium or Eternal. The main difference is Kotipelto's voice is much younger and far less nasal. There's 12 years between Elements and Eternal.

Words like Muddy and Murky don't mean anything. Matias' mix highlights mid tones and he uses the sonic ambiance of the instruments in a way that they envelop the listener. He complements the sounds of each instrument with others that have similar harmonics, and this is what creates this enveloping feel. They are meant to complement each other, but you can listen to everything very clearly. If you can't, your speakers/headphones are probably just trash.

You can hear how he gives Jani's guitar a very different sound than what Mikko Karmila used to give him back in the Sonata days. Back in Sonata, Jani's guitar is brighter and thiner. It sounds good, it's just a different approach. In Stormcrow the guitar has a deep wider quality to it, and creates this wonderful crunchy background that makes the songs sound heavier.

Wanna listen to some actual trash mixing?? Try Ecliptica 2014 or RR's Trinity. Both sound dry, disjointed, unpolished, amateurish, with very poor use of harmonics. The albums muffle down instruments, have horrendous use of compressors and the mix ends up highlight very horrible mid-to-high qualities in the instruments that make the songs sound whinny, like an angry kid screaming. I particularly hate Ecliptica 2014. It should have been illegal to sell that.

I also happen to have a cassette of some old SA stuff. Let's see if that insane claim that Elysium sounds like a cassette holds any water at all.

https://youtu.be/APKfZPVR7FA

It doesn't Smile
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On the other hand, if you were trolling then I've been had really hard and I'll just see myself out.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:34 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

HinatAArcticA wrote:
On the other hand, if you were trolling then I've been had really hard and I'll just see myself out.

...Yeah, I think he was trolling. Laughing The degree to which he was trolling is debatable, however.

About Matias' mixes: I generally think he does a good job, but I'm a bit critical of the way he mixes the drums. Occasionally, I find that he overemphasizes the bass and mids, and neglects the treble. That's not inherently a bad thing; it's just not my cup of tea.

It's for that reason that I tend to prefer Gather the Faithful's mix to Stormcrow's mix, even though it does have flaws of its own. I agree that the guitar on Gather the Faithful does sound a bit frail, and the guitar on Stormcrow does, indeed, sound more powerful. It's the way that Stormcrow's drums are mixed that really sinks it for me, production-wise. Stormcrow's lead guitar sounds very muffled to me; I prefer a brighter sound. Didn't Jani use Tolkki's Visions guitar when he recorded Stormcrow? I remember seeing pictures of it on his blog, back in the day.

HinatAArcticA wrote:
I particularly hate Ecliptica 2014. It should have been illegal to sell that.

Yeah, pretty much. Laughing I believe the only reason Ecliptica 2014 exists is because their Japanese record label wanted it, though I could be wrong.

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HinatAArcticA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:06 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:

HinatAArcticA wrote:
I particularly hate Ecliptica 2014. It should have been illegal to sell that.

Yeah, pretty much. Laughing I believe the only reason Ecliptica 2014 exists is because their Japanese record label wanted it, though I could be wrong.


Yeah, but even if their Japanese label basically commissioned it, I still fail to understand how NOBODY in the process was like. "Uh... this sounds like shit. Maybe we should go back to the mixing desk."

Nobody in the band, nobody at Nuclear Blast, and nobody at Marquee (Japan label).

Maybe they sampled the album with earbuds Smile

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:58 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

HinatAArcticA wrote:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

I'm listening again with my crappy earbuds in some random gym so take this with a grain of salt...


Brb, I'm gonna judge Visions by listening to it on my phone's speaker. That's definitely gonna be representative of the album's production quality.



I re-listened to the song before writing that post just to remind myself. I've been listening to these Stratovarius records for half my life on $400 open-can studio headphones. I don't have the carefully tuned ear of ZenithMC and others, but I can say with total certainty that the classic Stratovarius sound was a lot cleaner and more precise than what i've heard in the last few records. The theory that has been posed earlier about the drum sound clouding up everything very well may be the case and perhaps I am attributing my discontent to the wrong thing. Like I said earlier, it could also be in part due to the more complex layered songwriting of recent releases compared to the earlier minimalist style.


Quote:

"At times"?? Where have you been the last ten years? You're expecting 41 year old Kotipelto to sound like 31 year old Kotipelto? The nasal quality has been present in Kotipelto's vocals for the last decade whenever he goes to the higher notes. He sounds fine, just a bit older.


He sounds fine, but he doesn't sound great. Kotipelto really has an excellent voice but he needs to accentuate his lower register. Songs like Winter Skies for example, are tremendous! But on Infernal Maze he strains harder than a fatty on the toilet.


AAAAAAAAAA wrote:


Stormcrow's is way superior to CO's first album. Harmonics are far more clear for both high and low instruments, which allows the sound to have a much deeper texture to it. Nemesis, Eternal and Stormcrow were all produced by Matias. He creates this very crunchy sound that puts a high emphasis on the mid tones of the guitar and a deep bass line that drives the rhythm of the songs. You can also hear this in Stormcrow.



I kind of agree (upon further observation) that the first Cain's Offering album was somewhat better for my tastes. But they both sound better than Eternal and Elysium. Jani also writes a bit simpler and more straightforward songs and it just works better.

Quote:

Wanna listen to some actual trash mixing?? Try Ecliptica 2014 or RR's Trinity. Both sound dry, disjointed, unpolished, amateurish, with very poor use of harmonics. The albums muffle down instruments, have horrendous use of compressors and the mix ends up highlight very horrible mid-to-high qualities in the instruments that make the songs sound whinny, like an angry kid screaming. I particularly hate Ecliptica 2014. It should have been illegal to sell that.


I didn't mind Trinity too much but I agree it sounds unusual. I really do enjoy the sound of all the classic Sonata Arctica albums. The last one I really paid attention to, by the way, was Days of Grays. A really special and underrated album. The last few SA releases have been bland and unlistenable.

Quote:

I also happen to have a cassette of some old SA stuff. Let's see if that insane claim that Elysium sounds like a cassette holds any water at all.

https://youtu.be/APKfZPVR7FA

It doesn't Smile
________________

On the other hand, if you were trolling then I've been had really hard and I'll just see myself out.


I'm not exactly trolling but the art of hyperbole seems to be lost on you.

Isn't it crazy that the old Tricky Beans song Blackout actually sounds somehow better than Flag in the Ground?

FITG is good, don't misunderstand me, but there was a certain magic in old Sonata Arctica that has kind of dried up, and its a shame because this band had a really sensational track record of solid albums. A very impressive run.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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Joined: 22 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:09 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

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Honestly, if you guys want to hear some truly horrible production, you should try listening to Sons of Thunder by Labyrinth. The songs are really cool, but the production is god awful. The EQ isn't really too bad; it's just compressed to hell. Ignore the last five tracks, as they are from a different album: https://www.youtube.com/playlist? list=OLAK5uy_mZkwnoqR5ItUhggbHWTR6Oyz1FQ NCd1Wo


Yeah, I'm familiar with that one! What do you think of Return to Heaven Denied? Its a very thin sounding album but the songs are so timeless.

Most Vision Divine albums also sound very lame to me. Their album, Stream of Consciousness, is their magnum opus but its mix really misses the mark. I'll let you analyze why!

I'm trying to jog my mind for the worst produced albums i've heard...

Supared (the Michael Kiske) album, for example, was an unmitigated disaster. Andre Matos "Mentalize" was a real disappointment in that department as well, especially compared to the debut. Any modern Danzig album....

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ZenithMC
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Joined: 21 Sep 2018
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:42 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Return to Heaven Denied ... very thin sounding

Here's my response to reading that: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ULy2FuQtJ20 Laughing
I don't even want to know how you came to that conclusion about Return to Heaven Denied. You have to be messing with me. My only complaint about that album is that the cymbals are too low in the mix. They are nearly inaudible. Everything else sounds amazing and powerful.

Yeah, I totally agree about Vision Divine's production sounding sub-par. I'm also just not that into their music either. I think the production issues were fixed later on. Did you know that Tolkki mixed a few of their albums? There was actually a QC issue on one of their earlier albums. All of a sudden, the track would sound like it skipped forward slightly.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:51 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Return to Heaven Denied ... very thin sounding

Here's my response to reading that: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ULy2FuQtJ20 Laughing
I don't even want to know how you came to that conclusion about Return to Heaven Denied. You have to be messing with me. My only complaint about that album is that the cymbals are too low in the mix. They are nearly inaudible. Everything else sounds amazing and powerful.


Not messing! Almost all the guitar solos sound so wimpy and thin to my ears. I guess the rest is ok but I don't hear the same polish of bands like Helloween, Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Angra, etc.

I'm curious, what are your all time favorite albums (production quality aside?)

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Not messing! Almost all the guitar solos sound so wimpy and thin to my ears.

You know, you have a point. I wasn't even thinking about that. The lead guitar tone on that album is very smooth, and it's also somewhat low in the mix. When soloing in the lower octanes, it tends to get buried under other elements in the song. Good catch! I thinking of everything but the lead guitar, go figure! Embarassed As for why it sounds like that, I don't really know. Maybe is had to do with their gain settings.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I'm curious, what are your all time favorite albums (production quality aside?)

Wow! That's surprisingly difficult for me to answer. I don't really listen to too many bands. I think that the earlier Sonata Arctica albums sound very good, and Return to Heaven Denied probably has the best production of Labyrinth's albums. Well, maybe their self-titled release is also a contender, but I don't really remember anymore. It would honestly be easier for me to make a list of albums that sound bad to me, but I digress. Laughing I guess what I'll do instead is list all of Stratovarius' albums in order from best (top) to worst (bottom) production.

Elements Pt. 1 & 2
Episode
Visions
Dreamspace
Polaris
Elysium
Destiny
Infinite
Twilight Time
Fourth Dimension
Nemesis
Eternal
Stratovarius
Fright Night

I omitted Intermission 1 & 2 because I don't own them and I don't remember what they sound like. Nemesis and Eternal were difficult for me to place. Nemesis sounds really good (especially the guitar tracks), except for the drums. I really don't like the sound of them on that album. Eternal's drums sound a little bit better, but the overall mix isn't as good. Fourth dimension is all over the place with its production. Some songs sound great (Nightfall, Stratovarius, 030366), others sound like less good (Distant Skies). Guess what. It has to do with the drums again! The bass drum on Fourth Dimension sounds like it was tuned too low, and it produces a lower frequency click sound as a result (it also could've been a deliberate EQ decision). Sometimes, the snare is prominent and bad ass. Other times, it is reclusive and wimpy. Twilight Time sounds really cool to me, because it has this vintage style metal mix, like it was produced for a hair metal band in the 80's. It's also a 1,000,000% improvement over Fright Night. Et cetera... et cetera...

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

That's not remotely what I asked, but thanks Laughing

I'm curious about your music you composed. Why not share a link with us?

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ZenithMC
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Joined: 21 Sep 2018
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:05 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
That's not remotely what I asked, but thanks Laughing

Yeah, I came to the conclusion that your question was too hard for me to answer, so I provided an alternative one.

God damn it! I just realized that you said "production quality aside" and not "production quality wise". Now I feel like an idiot! Laughing

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I'm curious about your music you composed. Why not share a link with us?

Well... I'm actually in the middle of recording and producing a power metal album of my own. My compositions are MIDI sequences, so they don't sound the best (I use a custom soundfont, but still). I don't currently share any of my compositions, publicly or otherwise. In the future, I plan to change that. Stay tuned!

It's not that I don't want to share with you all, it's just that the time isn't right and I have a shy temperament. Embarassed

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