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Author Topic: Greatest hope and fear for new album?  (Read 5893 times)

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Samsara

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2013, 07:21:35 AM »

So Onioner is posting thoughts over at other boards, eh?

I don't know, I mean I have the same thing Onioner does (I assume) and I think the production is fine. Sure, there are some effects here and there on TLT's voice, but they were on Geoff's for Empire too.

As for the rest of the production, to be really frank, I'm not a musician. I do hear a bit of what he's saying, but its not like the record is washed out. The guitars sound fine to my ears.

I can appreciate him nitpicking it to accurately report on the mix and production. I guess my ears for that aren't nearly as skilled as other people. I hear a little bit of what he's talking about, but not enough for me to be even remotely concerned about it. But again, I'm not an audio expert.

If he has what I do, he has a compressed download of 191 kpbs MP3s he's listening to. Not sure that makes a difference, but it isn't CD quality.

And Onioner, you should come on here and talk about it...
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Lucretia

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2013, 07:46:38 AM »

Honestly, I'm going to disregard what most people say and just listen and form my own opinions. Only a select few have actually heard the entire album, and in my opinion it's still WAY too early to be nitpicking over something I haven't even heard yet.
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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2013, 07:47:37 AM »

So many of these types of reviews are subjective anyway.  Everyone has their personal tastes.
Some folks want it to be exactly like something it was before, while others want the complete opposite.
You'll never be able to satisfy everyone, but I think the majority of QR fans that have been with them through the whole journey will allow them the freedom to continue to experiment with the little details.

All in all, I think my hope is that this will allow them to regain their most loyal fanbase that dropped off the radar, while gaining new ones, and that the band as a whole will enjoy every minute of it.  I think going with a self titled release combined with Whip's statement of "11 honest songs" says a lot, makes all the statement that is needed, let's the music do the talking and keeps the fans rocking.
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frankbellofan

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2013, 07:49:00 AM »

Greatest hope: that this CD sells at least 100,000+.  I know that it is a drop in the bucket by today's standards, but as dismal as the sales were for DTC, that would be a VAST improvement.  I mean, we all do our part, right?  As long as the hardcores continue to spread the word to the casual fans, maybe they stand a fighting chance, esp. in terms of damage control (what the Tate camp has done to tarnish QR's good name).

Greatest fear:  A lot of people, including me, have a lot of faith in the mixing/mastering abilities of Jimbo Barton.  However, I agree with what some people here have already said... there are little subtleties here and there that make me wonder what mistakes were REALLY made.  I love Redemption lyrically, but it's almost too hot to listen to... I have to mess with the subwoofer on my computer's speakers to get any kind of tone I like.  I hope nothing else like that happens on any other tracks, with Redemption it's bad enough, I'll CRY  :'( if that happens to any other tracks on this CD.  We fans have waited WAY TOO LONG for this album, and I for one don't want to be disappointed with the quality of the mix.
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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2013, 07:52:59 AM »

I don't know what Onioner does for a day job, whether he is a musician, or a producer and/or mixing engineer, but seeing as I am, I can tell you the following :

So far, in both official songs we've been privileged to hear, as well as the song samples, I, being a professional musician, audio engineer and producer who absolutely HATES Autotune with a passion and can spot it being used from a mile away, especially on my studio monitors, can say with extreme confidence that I don't hear it being used in any of the songs I've heard so far. And as far as the production goes, it sounds great. Even allowing for a compressed format (and I'm reasonably certain that the version of WDGTD on CM's Youtube channel is an unmastered final mix version, as the KISW version sounds a lot fuller), you can hear the balance of the instruments in the mix. Yes, compressed 192 kbps mp3 doesn't sound as good as 16 bit, 44.1 kHz CD uncompressed WAV. Much like vinyl did back in the day, it tops off the low and high end.  But it doesn't take away from the balance of the instruments in the mix, and that is just fine here. It hasn't been this good on a QR record since HITNF.

Other people may hear other things, but personally, I have to question Onioner's point of view, because I just don't hear what he apparently hears...
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profusion

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2013, 07:55:15 AM »

Based solely on what's been publicly released so far, I'd say the sound is pretty good. Not stellar, no, but decent. They'll never have the budget to make another album with the sonic quality of Empire--almost no one does, anymore--but it has all I need from QR.

Onioner seems to think they would have gotten better results, sonically and song-wise, by going with one of today's bigger "name" metal producers like Andy Sneap. They would have gotten something different, for sure, but they might also have gotten something that sounds like everything else out there, which is a big problem with Sneap's productions in particular. I like that the record *doesn't* sound like all the power metal out there right now.

It also strikes me that the band actually made the record they wanted to make, and not some calculated effort to attract this or that audience. That almost never works.

As for the whole compression thing, the reality is that if you release an album on Century Media these days, it's going to be compressed. That's what they want. I don't like it, but that's the way it is.
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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #66 on: May 24, 2013, 08:02:57 AM »

I don't know what Onioner does for a day job, whether he is a musician, or a producer and/or mixing engineer, but seeing as I am, I can tell you the following :

So far, in both official songs we've been privileged to hear, as well as the song samples, I, being a professional musician, audio engineer and producer who absolutely HATES Autotune with a passion and can spot it being used from a mile away, especially on my studio monitors, can say with extreme confidence that I don't hear it being used in any of the songs I've heard so far. And as far as the production goes, it sounds great. Even allowing for a compressed format (and I'm reasonably certain that the version of WDGTD on CM's Youtube channel is an unmastered final mix version, as the KISW version sounds a lot fuller), you can hear the balance of the instruments in the mix. Yes, compressed 192 kbps mp3 doesn't sound as good as 16 bit, 44.1 kHz CD uncompressed WAV. Much like vinyl did back in the day, it tops off the low and high end.  But it doesn't take away from the balance of the instruments in the mix, and that is just fine here. It hasn't been this good on a QR record since HITNF.

Other people may hear other things, but personally, I have to question Onioner's point of view, because I just don't hear what he apparently hears...

Awesome!

My biggest concern is not about the music itself.  The songs I have heard, audio samples, and comments from the select few who have heard the album have completely alleviated that.

My biggest concern is that Queensryche (not just Tate but all of them) have done so much damage to the brand over the last decade or so that regardless of how great this album is, people won't care.  It will sell about the same as the other version, and it will be difficult to get another top quality album from these guys in the next year or two.
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Samsara

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #67 on: May 24, 2013, 08:15:32 AM »

I don't know what Onioner does for a day job, whether he is a musician, or a producer and/or mixing engineer, but seeing as I am, I can tell you the following :

So far, in both official songs we've been privileged to hear, as well as the song samples, I, being a professional musician, audio engineer and producer who absolutely HATES Autotune with a passion and can spot it being used from a mile away, especially on my studio monitors, can say with extreme confidence that I don't hear it being used in any of the songs I've heard so far. And as far as the production goes, it sounds great. Even allowing for a compressed format (and I'm reasonably certain that the version of WDGTD on CM's Youtube channel is an unmastered final mix version, as the KISW version sounds a lot fuller), you can hear the balance of the instruments in the mix. Yes, compressed 192 kbps mp3 doesn't sound as good as 16 bit, 44.1 kHz CD uncompressed WAV. Much like vinyl did back in the day, it tops off the low and high end.  But it doesn't take away from the balance of the instruments in the mix, and that is just fine here. It hasn't been this good on a QR record since HITNF.

Other people may hear other things, but personally, I have to question Onioner's point of view, because I just don't hear what he apparently hears...

Good to hear that. I don't know what Onioner does for a living, but I assume he's a writer/blogger. Since I know you're a musician and audio expert Raf, I'm glad you chimed in.
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Prognathous

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2013, 08:41:41 AM »

From what I've heard it sounds great, if inevitably squashed (presumably) in the mastering.

But still, it seems to sound pretty much as I hoped it would. The aunch is back in the guitars - that guitar tone that straddles being a classic rock tone, yet can still get away with something of the heaviness of Walk In The Shadows.

And there's space in the mix - Queensryche records shouldn't have the guitars dominating everything; the bass and drums should have room to breathe without you needing a degree in sound engineering to work out which EQ dials to tweak to get them to poke through.

Plus, it has a nice bright tonality to it all, something sadly missing from a lot of modern records.

I think Jimbo was a great choice of producer.
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Jonny Con Carne

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #69 on: May 24, 2013, 08:49:46 AM »

I think I will adjust my expectations accordingly, as I agree with some of that poster's points, especially "the jarring change between the chugging riffing and the hella poppy chorus" in Redemption. Interesting.

Personally, I think that one thing that they have been missing since DeGarmo left is melody.  In the CDG era, there were some really catchy songs...Breaking the Silence, I Don't Believe in Love, Eyes of a Stranger, Another Rainy Night, You, etc.  To be clear, I don't want every song to have that "catchy" chorus, but I thought that it was cool to hear that on Redemption.  After a couple of listens, I couldn't get that song out of my head.  That's a good thing.  I can't remember any song off of the last few QR CDs that had that same effect. 
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ahrayeph

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #70 on: May 24, 2013, 09:03:24 AM »

Another thing I would like to point out from an audio engineer's POV here : mastering doesn't necessarily squash audio. In fact, mastering at its best, should be giving the songs their uniform sound through careful EQ'ing on top level gear, be it hardware or software. With the advent of digital audio, compression has been used to emulate the tape compression of yore. Unfortunately, compression and brickwall limiting have been abused to run hotter levels, squashing the dynamics. Here endeth the history lesson; there's a Wikipedia entry called 'Loudness Wars' for those who want to inform themselves more.

I loaded the KISW version of WDGTD - uncompressed WAV quality - into my audio workstation, and had a look at the waveform. I can tell it's been mastered with some compression (probably a 2:1 ratio with a mastering grade compressor, or even Slate's VTC software), but it's not been squashed. I can post an image of it later if need be to prove it. In any case, the waveform confirms what my ears heard : that while the mix has some compression, Barton did not brickwall it. I wouldn't have expected anything less from him anyway...
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KingsRite

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #71 on: May 24, 2013, 09:06:17 AM »

On both the YouTube and SoundCloud versions of both Redemption and WDGTD....I hear tonal differences in between the verse and the chorus. It sounds like the mix is different and the song is put together in segments. On WDGTD the chorus sounds fine at the end but the two previous transitions have a higher and than to a deeper sound in the mix. Todd's vox are even deeper and fuller on the chorus than the verses. I'm sure it is standard fair to piece songs together but it seems pretty obvious in both these songs to me. I'm hoping and praying it is corrected before the final pressing.
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EvilCheeseWedge

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #72 on: May 24, 2013, 10:49:02 AM »

I don't know what Onioner does for a day job, whether he is a musician, or a producer and/or mixing engineer, but seeing as I am, I can tell you the following :

So far, in both official songs we've been privileged to hear, as well as the song samples, I, being a professional musician, audio engineer and producer who absolutely HATES Autotune with a passion and can spot it being used from a mile away, especially on my studio monitors, can say with extreme confidence that I don't hear it being used in any of the songs I've heard so far. And as far as the production goes, it sounds great. Even allowing for a compressed format (and I'm reasonably certain that the version of WDGTD on CM's Youtube channel is an unmastered final mix version, as the KISW version sounds a lot fuller), you can hear the balance of the instruments in the mix. Yes, compressed 192 kbps mp3 doesn't sound as good as 16 bit, 44.1 kHz CD uncompressed WAV. Much like vinyl did back in the day, it tops off the low and high end.  But it doesn't take away from the balance of the instruments in the mix, and that is just fine here. It hasn't been this good on a QR record since HITNF.

Other people may hear other things, but personally, I have to question Onioner's point of view, because I just don't hear what he apparently hears...

I'm not a professional musician, but I get to work with them often enough, and I do a lot of work in that area just because I enjoy it, and I have to strongly disagree with you. The Autotune is obvious on "Redemption," for example. I mean, it's not even subtle. (And no, I don't think Todd needs it, which makes it all the stranger.) Also, it's patently obvious the YouTube studio versions are mastered. YouTube is by definition file compression, of course, which makes it fair to question the accuracy of its output, but you don't get brick wall audio from YouTube. The only way you get brick wall audio out of YouTube is by putting brick wall audio into YouTube. And you don't get brick wall audio without first mastering that audio, unless your mixing engineer is just, I don't know, really fond of compression?

Anyways, here you go:



That is not caused by YouTube. So who would compress it to hell before uploading it? And more importantly, why? This waveform looks just "Redemption." (And don't mind the Reaper screenshot, I don't have my iLok with me right now to start Pro Tools, which is my usual DAW.)

Also, I wouldn't be so quick to question Onioner. The guy has been pumped for TLT fronted QR the entire time he's been posting here or on MetalSetlists. He's seen them live, he's loved them live, and he's said over there (and maybe over here?) that he's confident the band can pull out a great metal album ("I actually think that Queensryche is extremely capable of cranking out a seriously badass metal album without Chris DeGarmo.") and, I'm paraphrasing here, that in his view, this one just isn't it. I'm hesitant to even say this, because I don't want to put words into anyone's mouths.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 10:54:37 AM by EvilCheeseWedge »
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Samsara

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #73 on: May 24, 2013, 10:56:24 AM »

Also, I wouldn't be so quick to question Onioner. The guy has been pumped for TLT fronted QR the entire time he's been posting here or on MetalSetlists. He's seen them live, he's loved them live, and he's said over there (and maybe over here?) that he's confident the band can pull out a great metal album, and, I'm paraphrasing here, that in his view, this one just isn't it. I'm hesitant to even say this, because I don't want to put words into anyone's mouths.

I think we all can question Onioner, Cheese. Like him, I also have the record, and I don't share the same mix/production concerns as he does. I hear some of what he's talking about, but I think he's overstated it a bit.

I also think that while your (Cheese) reply is fine, moving forward, lets not turn this into another mix/production thread. We did that once already. No one has a pristine copy of the record. Most of you don't. Onioner does apparently and so do I. But judging based on WDGTD and clips isn't going to fly. In fact, Onioner and I judging on mix/production on 192kbps MP3s is probably not wise either.

Lets get the CD, then do your waveforms and see. :)

But lets move on to general talk about hopes and fears, which is the topic thread.
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Onioner

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #74 on: May 24, 2013, 12:50:39 PM »

Whoa there dudes! First thing, I am a writer/blogger for fun. I started just to get free tickets to shows, but it kind of snowballed into album reviews and interviews. I'm very sure many of you have read an article or two I've written on QR by now (hint: blabbermouth quoted one of those articles every single time they put up a piece on QR until somewhat recently). I'm an electrical engineering undergrad, and I intern at recording/mixing/mastering studio when I have the time. I've assisted on a couple of metal records by bands that are respected but are certainly not well known, and some other even smaller acts. I'm not a professional audio engineer (yet :) ) and my ears aren't perfect, but what has been posted is indeed my opinion of the mix/mastering/overall production and I stand by it. Yes I was given 192k mp3s as well, but again, I don't think that 192k mp3s should be enough to significantly be a detriment to a well mixed track, especially to a casual listener.

As for the topic itself, my greatest hope is that the album makes Queensryche fans happy. I really want this record to do well, even if I've got a presently lukewarm at best opinion of it. I'm not counting on big sales, but if this album at least makes Queensryche a vital force in the metal world once again, then it'll be a victory.

My greatest fear is that Century Media fails to market the album properly. QR is the oldest act on their roster IIRC, and they know how to market to a younger crowd, but I think they also need to find a way to reel in the many fans that are older and were incensed by Geoff's shenanigans.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 01:02:14 PM by Onioner »
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MetalChris

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #75 on: May 24, 2013, 01:19:25 PM »

My greatest fear is that Century Media fails to market the album properly. QR is the oldest act on their roster IIRC, and they know how to market to a younger crowd, but I think they also need to find a way to reel in the many fans that are older and were incensed by Geoff's shenanigans.

I think they're leaving that up to us fans who stuck it out through the hellish years...I know I've been trying to get as many people I know to check it out as much as possible...even going as far as organizing a local listening party where I'm at for everyone that wants to show up and listen, as well as having another listening party at a metalfest I'm attending that same week...Other than watching those bands at Warriors of Metal, the only cd I will be listening to that whole week will be the new QR, trying to play it for as many people as possible so they go out and buy it...Viral marketing...
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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #76 on: May 24, 2013, 01:32:43 PM »

I still think that they gasve bad quality mp3s to prevent against leaks even further.

I hope this alb leads to many more good ones
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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #77 on: May 24, 2013, 01:33:28 PM »

I'm not counting on big sales, but if this album at least makes Queensryche a vital force in the metal world once again, then it'll be a victory.

This.  Whenever I've brought up Queensryche to others (casual or past fans), I usually get a response of disinterest and/or something along the lines of "they aren't relevant anymore".  And that just irks me to no end.  A lot of us here and elsewhere still have great respect for the band, even through their dark times, and have hung on with hopes that the change we are now experiencing would come to fruition.  But there are others who haven't that need to be reached - they need to see and hear for themselves that the band they once loved is back, and will thus jump back on the QR ship.  Century Media is doing their part (as much as possible, I hope) and it's up to all of us to do ours, spread the word and make them heard once again! :metal:
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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #78 on: May 24, 2013, 03:46:12 PM »

@Walkin Theshire... I agree 100%.   :metal:  Now granted, I don't have as many friends who are still into any kind of metal as I used to have, but so long as there are media outlets, I think we should use those as much as possible.  And no matter what the source, once the CD has shipped/downloads completed, I say each and every one us, as a show of solidarity, should review the CD on as many outlets as we can: twitter, FB, Amazon, iTunes, wherever we got the music from, we should review and repost  as much as possible.  Us diehards are the ones responsible for QR's survival, and whether they are still deemed relevant in today's markets.   :metal:
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NOaverageJOE

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Re: Greatest hope and fear for new album?
« Reply #79 on: May 24, 2013, 09:39:24 PM »

On both the YouTube and SoundCloud versions of both Redemption and WDGTD....I hear tonal differences in between the verse and the chorus. It sounds like the mix is different and the song is put together in segments. On WDGTD the chorus sounds fine at the end but the two previous transitions have a higher and than to a deeper sound in the mix. Todd's vox are even deeper and fuller on the chorus than the verses. I'm sure it is standard fair to piece songs together but it seems pretty obvious in both these songs to me. I'm hoping and praying it is corrected before the final pressing.

I almost wonder if this was a stylistic approach, because it seems jarring to me as well.  I don't think they'd do this mistakenly.
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