Posts Tagged “Dynamic Range”

Peter Hodgson of IHeartGuitarBlog.com recently conducted an interview with Sigurd “Satyr” Wongraven of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

IHeartGuitarBlog.com: What do you think would be the perfect place to listen to [SATYRICON‘s new, self-titled] album for the first time?

Satyr: Well… I know it’s not possible for all writers and journalists to do this, because the way these things are being distributed is through computer streams, but it’s analog production with an awful lot of emphasis on getting an authentic, organic sound with a great dynamic range where the performance of the musician comes across in terms of actually breathing life into the song through the lows coming down really low and quiet, and the really explosive epic parts really coming across as powerful and huge. And to me, it just means to play this record repeatedly on a good stereo without coloring the sound with your own EQ. Just leave everything in neutral so you can actually hear what the record sounds like the way that it was made. I also think that due to the fact that it has so many tiny little details here and there — whether it’s the mellotron or the harmonium or the piano or the acoustic guitars or the theremin, all these little instruments that have their small features here and there that are introduced in a subtle way — to me, it’s more that than where you find yourself physically. It’s how you listen to it.

IHeartGuitarBlog.com: Even just listening to the stream over the headphones, there’s so much depth to everything, and the sounds aren’t harsh and aggressive — they’re more rich and inviting and that makes you want to listen closer.

Satyr: Well, to me, that’s a fantastic compliment. What you try to do as a musician is you try to make the listener hear what you’re hearing and what you’re trying to achieve. And that was just one of those things that I decided to do for this record. I was going to get rid of all distortion pedals. For rock music, that’s pretty normal, to just crank the amplifier and go with that sound, and then maybe they use a wah pedal or something like that. But for metal, you typically have some pedal that’s gonna turbo-charge your sound. And for me, I really believe in the amplifiers that I use and I like the microphones we were using for the guitar recording, and I wanted to bring out my style of playing, the sound of my amplifier, the sound of the old tube microphones that we were using, and I didn’t want a modern-day pedal to kill the dynamics of my playing. So a lot of it was like that, and other things we did with the drums that typically, for a metal drummer playing like Frost does, he uses smaller-sized drums for more attack definition and in order for it to be more comfortable to play for the drummer. And I kept saying to him, “I love the drum sound on the things that we’ve done, but nothing sounds like our old drum kit, and the last time we used that was on the ‘Volcano’ record. Why are we not using that anymore?” And he just said, “Because it’s old and broken and fucking hard to play.” And I said, “I’m not looking for any hyper-speed solutions anyway. I’m looking for a big fat tone with great sustain, and if it’s broken, we’ll just get some guy to fix it and get new parts, and it shouldn’t be a problem.” And then we set it up again, and when we were playing the new stuff, straight off the bat, I said, “Are you not hearing what I’m hearing? This sounds so much better, so much more musical to me.” So there were many little things we did here and there, even in the production process, where there would be computer versions of some compressor or something like that, which to me didn’t sound that great, and the engineer would typically claim that it’s the same as the real thing, and I’d say, “I don’t believe you because I know that this computer thing is a $250 item and if you try and buy the physical version of this from the Seventies on eBay, it’s going to cost you two grand.” And he says, “Well, there is a difference, but it’s a small difference,” and I said, “That’s the small difference I’m looking for!” So that meant we did spend a little bit more time than we had planned for, but it was necessary to make this record come across the way we wanted. We felt we had atmospheric songs, we felt that we needed our tone to come across and go into the songwriting and become a part of the musical expression, and we felt that we needed the songs to be able to breathe. And pretty much the opposite of what most records sound like today, as the majority of records are quite digital and processed-sounding, and we were pursuing something completely different. We’ve always had these elements in our music, but never to such an uncompromising degree as on this record. It was necessary and it gave us the outcome we now have in our hands.

Read the entire interview at IHeartGuitarBlog.com.

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Nocturnus

Metal Hammer talks to Nocturnus founder Mike Browning on the making of a death metal classic – part one of two.Floridian sci-fi death metal pioneers Nocturnus have been an influential cult name to reckon with since their first two albums, The Key and Thresholds, were released on Earache Records at the height of the label’s powers, the magical heyday of 1991/92. Such is the demand for the long-out-of-print technical prog-DM classic Thresholds that Earache have announced that the album is their first vinyl re-release to be funded by the Kickstarter system, where the fan can pledge the price of a reissue – and there are a range of deluxe coloured vinyl packages to choose from, mastered from the original DAT tape in Full Dynamic Range – if a pre-order target of £7,000 is reached by July 1. In the first of an in-depth two-part interview, Chris Chantler spoke to the band’s founding member, drummer/singer Mike Browning.

 

What are your main memories of writing, recording and touring Thresholds?

“Thresholds was a big turning point in the band, after we recorded The Key, which was mainly about half old songs from the beginning when Gino Marino, Richard Bateman and Vincent Crowley were in the band and the other half all written by Mike Davis and myself. There were many new changes, I had stopped singing and we got a frontman and we didn’t even have a bass player, so when we began writing new songs, everyone wanted to have parts that they wrote and came up with. It was the first time that the whole band contributed to the writing of songs and because the sci-fi thing was doing well, the other members wanted to push the lyrics away from just occult themes to branch out and write different types of lyrics and ideas. And the recording was different as well, we had a session bass player, Chris Anderson, who was a friend of Davis and [keyboardist Louis] Panzer and we had a new vocalist, Dan Izzo. I still had a really crappy drum set at the time, so we also rented a really nice drum set for me to record on, which made the drums sound a whole lot better overall and Morrisound had just got a new SSL mixing board and Thresholds was the first album ever recorded on it. I remember they were still trying to figure out how to use all the new features on the board and constantly had the manual out and rewiring things! On The Key Mike Davis ended up playing all the bass, so it was very buried in the mix, but on Thresholds we had Chris, who is a great bass player and he gave us that full bass guitar sound that The Key had been missing. About the touring, we only did one European tour with Confessor and Chris was not interested in touring, so we had hired Emo Mowery to play bass on the tour and that is when I really was able to see that things just weren’t the same anymore, the band had really lost something in this transition period.”

Nocturnus - Thresholds

Was it important to make the album more progressive and multifaceted than The Key?

“It was for everyone in the band and the label as well, it was supposed to be a big turning point that was supposed to branch us out to a much wider audience and we also did a video for Alter Reality that was played on Headbanger’s Ball. The songs were much more diverse and the production was much cleaner as well.”

 

What do you feel about the album with the benefit of 21 years’ hindsight? 

“It is still a great album and didn’t receive the attention that we hoped it would back then, it may have been a little ahead of it’s time for the audience that The Key had, being considered still a death metal band, the album itself was more of a thrash metal sound. But it is great to see that new people are still discovering both Nocturnus records and that they both have stood the test of time.”

 http://www.reverbnation.com/nocturnus

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“Realm Of Chaos”, the classic 1989 album from British death metal legends BOLT THROWER, has been remastered with Full Dynamic Range audio and is available now on CD/DVD and limited-edition vinyl LP.

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Dutch death metal mongers Centurian have debuted a new track from their forthcoming third album, “Contra Rationem.” The song, entitled “Judas Among Twelve,” is streaming below. This is Centurian’s first offering of new material in eleven years. “Contra Rationem” is slated for a 2013 release via Listenable Records. Main songwriter Rob Oorthuis commented on his vision about the authenticity, core and strength of the new album:

“Contra Rationem is an adversive record in the broadest sense of the word. It lacks all the ethics of contemporary productions. Leaving only the dynamic range of decay and rats exploring your skeleton. Through the rattle of bones…One might even hear flesh on instruments. We keep our death metal under-produced. All songs were nailed with conviction, without hesitation, in one take. Guided only by tongues of fire descending upon our heads. Uncorrected. As real as we are not.”

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Earache Records has issued the following announcement about repressing a newly remastered version of “Realm of Chaos” by Bolt Thrower:

“Due to the extremely high demand, we are repressing the vinyl of the classic Bolt Thrower album, ‘Realm Of Chaos.’ This release has been remastered in Full Dynamic Range from the original master tapes, ensuring the highest quality sound that the album has ever had!

“The original pressing completely sold out in less than a week, so if you missed out last time, make sure you order this one quickly!”

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Dutch death metal mongers Centurian are finishing their new album entitled “Contra Rationem,” which is set for a Winter release on Listenable Records. Centurian’s Rob Oorthuis comments:

“‘Contra Rationem’ is an adversive record in the broadest sense of the word. It lacks all the ethics of contemporary productions. Leaving only the dynamic range of decay and rats exploring your skeleton. Through the rattle of bones…One might even hear flesh on instruments.

“We keep our death metal underproduced. All songs were nailed with conviction, without hesitation. In one take. Guided only by tongues of fire descending upon our heads. Uncorrected. As real as we are not.”

For more info on Centurian, head over to the band’s official Facebook profile here.

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Earache Records has issued the following announcement about re-releasing the “Scum” album from Napalm Death on CD and vinyl:

“It’s an extreme noise pleasure! SCUM, the classic 1987 debut album from grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH, is due to be re-released on limited edition redux CD and coloured vinyl LP on March 5th.

“To celebrate 25 years since the release of the most influential grindcore album ever made, SCUM has been remastered especially for this release from the original tapes with Full Dynamic Range (FDR), allowing the music’s nuances to shine through and giving the whole album a more ferocious and dynamic sound than ever before, and enabling the listener to immerse in the full audio chaos like never before.”

Original NAPALM DEATH guitarist and founding member MICK HARRIS states: “It sounds wicked – that record still holds up today and I’m proud I was part of it.”

Earache added, “This full dynamic range release is a reaction to the loudness war which has affected the music scene since the ’90s, with artists and labels striving to producer ever-louder CDs. Earache firmly believes the playback volume should be in the hands of the listener, not the producer – that’s what the volume control is for! See a comparison of the ‘Scum’ full dynamic range audio against the previous version at this location.

“The limited edition SCUM CD comes housed in a digipak sleeve and includes the previously unreleased rough mix of the entire album as a bonus, complete with original ad libs and intros from the studio and an alternate version of the title track.”

The collector’s LP version is available in the following quantities and colors:

100 – Lime Green
200 – Lilac
300 – Magenta
800 – Black & White

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Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd expects the markedly different sound of new album to greatly expand the dynamic range of its concerts this summer.

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The following letter, written by the band, announces the retirement of ISIS. I have never been a big fan of this band, but I have to say it’s quite poetic of these guys to go out when they are on probably riding the biggest success of their careers with ISIS. I can only wish the best of luck to all the band members’ feature endeavors.

ISIS has reached an end. It’s hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn’t something that occurred over night and it hasn’t been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close. We’ve seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We’ve had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible. We never set any specific goals when the band was founded other than to make the music we wanted to hear and to play (and to stay true to that ideal), so everything else that has come along the long and winding path has been an absolute gift. As with any momentous life-changing decision (which this certainly is for the 5 of us), we feel a very dynamic range of emotions about this and cannot express all of it within the space of a few sentences, and perhaps it’s best to do what we’ve always done and let our music speak for us. It is and has been the truest expression of who we are as a collective and in some ways who we are as individuals for the 13 years in which we’ve been together. The last and perhaps most important thing we might say in relation to all this is how grateful we are for the people that have supported us over the years. It is a lengthy list that would include those who put out our records, those that played on them and put them to tape, the many bands with whom we shared the stage, all of our family, friends and companions who supported us in our individual lives and thus made it possible for us to continue on in the band, and most importantly those who truly listened to our music whether in recorded form or by coming to out to our shows (or both). It is quite true that we would never have done what we have without those people, that is many of you who are reading this. Our words can never fully express what we feel, but we hope that our music and the efforts made to bring it into being can serve as a more proper expression of gratitude for this life and for everyone in it. Thank you.

In more immediate and practical terms the tour we are about to embark upon is indeed our last. We are hoping that these final live rituals can help us bring a close to the life of this band in a celebratory and reverent way, and also provide us with a chance to say goodbye to many of those that have supported us over the years. While there is a measure of sadness that comes with the passing of this band, we hope that the final days can be joyous ones during which any and all that wish to come and join us will do so. It seems fitting that the last show of the tour and of our active existence will take place in Montreal, the site of the very first ISIS show in 1997 (though that was an unintentional move when booking the show initially). After the tour we also plan to follow through with other projects set in motion some time ago – pursuing the completion of a final EP, compiling live audio and visual material for future releases, and generally doing whatever we can to make our music available for as long as there are people who wish to hear it.

Thanks again to any and all,

ISIS, May 18 2010

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Photo (c) 2008-10 Ray Van Horn, Jr. / The Metal Minute

The Metal Minute received this heavy correspondence from the Isis camp. As a major supporter of this band, I’d like to thank the five gentlemen in Isis for all the interviews you gave me and for bravely changing the face of metal in expressionistic fashion. In the Absence of Truth especially got me through a tough spot in life and those vibes will forever be imprinted upon my DNA. You will be missed.

Catch ’em while you can with The Melvins this summer.

ISIS has reached an end. It’s hard to try to say it in any delicate way, and it is a truth that is best spoken plainly. This end isn’t something that occurred over night and it hasn’t been brought about by a single cataclysmic fracture in the band. Simply put, ISIS has done everything we wanted to do, said everything we wanted to say. In the interest of preserving the love we have of this band, for each other, for the music made and for all the people who have continually supported us, it is time to bring it to a close. We’ve seen too many bands push past the point of a dignified death and we all promised one another early on in the life of the band that we would do our best to ensure ISIS would never fall victim to that syndrome. We’ve had a much longer run than we ever expected we would and accomplished a great deal more than we ever imagined possible. We never set any specific goals when the band was founded other than to make the music we wanted to hear and to play (and to stay true to that ideal), so everything else that has come along the long and winding path has been an absolute gift. As with any momentous life-changing decision (which this certainly is for the 5 of us), we feel a very dynamic range of emotions about this and cannot express all of it within the space of a few sentences, and perhaps it’s best to do what we’ve always done and let our music speak for us. It is and has been the truest expression of who we are as a collective and in some ways who we are as individuals for the 13 years in which we’ve been together. The last and perhaps most important thing we might say in relation to all this is how grateful we are for the people that have supported us over the years. It is a lengthy list that would include those who put out our records, those that played on them and put them to tape, the many bands with whom we shared the stage, all of our family, friends and companions who supported us in our individual lives and thus made it possible for us to continue on in the band, and most importantly those who truly listened to our music whether in recorded form or by coming to out to our shows (or both). It is quite true that we would never have done what we have without those people, that is many of you who are reading this. Our words can never fully express what we feel, but we hope that our music and the efforts made to bring it into being can serve as a more proper expression of gratitude for this life and for everyone in it. Thank you.

In more immediate and practical terms the tour we are about to embark upon is indeed our last. We are hoping that these final live rituals can help us bring a close to the life of this band in a celebratory and reverent way, and also provide us with a chance to say goodbye to many of those that have supported us over the years. While there is a measure of sadness that comes with the passing of this band, we hope that the final days can be joyous ones during which any and all that wish to come and join us will do so. It seems fitting that the last show of the tour and of our active existence will take place in Montreal, the site of the very first ISIS show in 1997 (though that was an unintentional move when booking the show initially). After the tour we also plan to follow through with other projects set in motion some time ago – pursuing the completion of a final EP, compiling live audio and visual material for future releases, and generally doing whatever we can to make our music available for as long as there are people who wish to hear it.

Thanks again to any and all,
ISIS, May 18 2010

From Mike Patton & Greg Werckman (Ipecac founders):

“It has been a complete honor to be a part of the ISIS team. ISIS is a major part of our label’s foundation. Those 5 talented guys are our friends and we look forward to see and hear what they each do in the future.”

Tour Dates:

May 26 2010 6:00P The Casbah w/ Jakob & Tombs San Diego, California, US

May 29 2010 6:00P Wow Hall w/ Jakob & Tombs Eugene, Oregon , US

May 30 2010 7:30P Capitol Theatre w/ Jakob & Tombs Olympia, WA

May 31 2010 6:00P Rickshaw Theatre w/ Jakob & Tombs Vancouver, British Co, CA

Jun 1 2010 6:00P Neumo’s w/ Jakob & Tombs Seattle, Washington, US

Jun 2 2010 6:00P Doug Fir Lounge w/ Jakob & Tombs Portland, Oregon , US

Jun 4 2010 6:00P Great American Music Hall w/ Jakob & Tombs San Francisco, California, US

Jun 5 2010 6:00P The Troubadour w/ Jakob & Tombs Los Angeles, California, US

Jun 12 2010 6:00P Bonnaroo Festival W/ Clutch, Melvins, Flaming Lips, etc. Manchester, Tennessee , US

Jun 14 2010 6:00P 40 Watt Club w/ Melvins Athens, Georgia , US

Jun 16 2010 6:00P 9:30 Club w/Melvins Washington, Washington, US

Jun 17 2010 6:00P Theater Of Living Arts (TLA) w/ Melvins Philadelphia, Pennsylvan, US

Jun 18 2010 6:00P Webster Hall w/ Melvins New York, New York , US

Jun 19 2010 6:00P Music Hall Of Williamsburg w/ Melvins Brooklyn, New York , US

Jun 20 2010 6:00P Paradise Rock Club w/ Melvins Boston, Massachuse, US

Jun 21 2010 6:00P Paradise Rock Club w/ Melvins Boston, Massachuse, US

Jun 22 2010 6:00P Port City Music Hall w/ Cave In Portland, Maine , US

Jun 23 2010 6:00P Club Soda w/ Cave In Montreal, Quebec , CA

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