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My Bloody Valentine: 'Loveless' sound quality? - Page 2

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXhalberstramXX
i have trouble seeing the album as much less than perfect, and if you don't agree, perhaps you just shouldn't be listening to it
I think this is misguided. Just because someone thinks that something could be mastered to sound better does not mean that they are violating the artist's intention. Even if they are, what is wrong with that? Classical, jazz, folk, blues, and almost every musical genre before the 1960s thrived on reinterpretation based on the preferences of the performer. This perogative should extend to the listener as well. I love to listen to scratchy recordings of Robert Johnson, Pablo Casals and Rachmaninov from the 20s-40s, but that does not mean that I don't wish they were recorded better...this has no relation to your appreciation of the music.
post #17 of 47
i think you'd be right about just about any album but this. with loveless, i'm relatively convinced that it would be virtually impossible to separate sound quality (whatever that means) from specific production decisions (such as, "I want fifty superdistorted guitars on this track"). my point is simply that i never wonder whether i would enjoy the album more were it "recorded better". and if you do, maybe you have a problem (hi-fitis?)
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXhalberstramXX
i think you'd be right about just about any album but this. with loveless, i'm relatively convinced that it would be virtually impossible to separate sound quality (whatever that means) from specific production decisions (such as, "I want fifty superdistorted guitars on this track"). my point is simply that i never wonder whether i would enjoy the album more were it "recorded better". and if you do, maybe you have a problem (hi-fitis?)
I don't think people were really meaning to say "recorded better". It was recorded and mixed in analog I think, which means that there is always a very good possibility that one could master the CD with better sounding equipment. Or master it to a higher resolution digital medium. I have the UK vinyl from the mid 90s and it does sound better than the CD, although I sometimes find the wavering pitch in the music a bit disconcerting when listening to the LP. Always makes me think it's the turntable speed fluctuating

But it doesn't sound a lot better on vinyl. So I would think that a better mastering job might make a slight improvement. I do agree that if the sound quality gets in your way of enjoying it, then you probably don't really "get" what all the fuss is about. The way it just envelopes your mind and washes almost everything else away for a short while is very intoxicating and doesn't happen all that often, at least to me.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXhalberstramXX
i think you'd be right about just about any album but this. with loveless, i'm relatively convinced that it would be virtually impossible to separate sound quality (whatever that means) from specific production decisions (such as, "I want fifty superdistorted guitars on this track"). my point is simply that i never wonder whether i would enjoy the album more were it "recorded better". and if you do, maybe you have a problem (hi-fitis?)
I'm pretty much in agreement with you on this one. Having it sound different would alter the experience of this album. There might be some very subtle things, but I think the effect of the music upon the ears is exactly what Kevin had in mind. If it hadn't sounded exactly how Kevin had wanted it to sound, I'm sure he would have burned the master tapes.

However, I would eventually like to hear the vinyl version of the album. I have the GLIDER ep on vinyl, and yea, there's some more depth there.

The other aspect of this album that I would like to hear differently, and not meaning to change it now, but as far as a "what if".. the drums. I wonder often about how the personality of this album would have been altered by a live drummer instead of the programmed drums that are on LOVELESS..

-jar
post #20 of 47
I do know that this album was the most expensive album ever made for the label it was on I think it was a million pounds, it drove the label out of business, too. Yes, it took a while to record (I think they spent a year in the studio), but it's possible that they were in a pretty decent studio with pretty decent equipment with that kind of budget. It is a matter of faith, no one here has actually heard the master tape, but I'd be willing to bet it could sound a lot better if remastered.

Hopefully, we'll one day have the answer to this debate!
post #21 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
It is a matter of faith, no one here has actually heard the master tape, but I'd be willing to bet it could sound a lot better if remastered.
I don't see how it could fail to be a more accurate transcription of what is on the mastertape. Even if by degrees.

Anyway, this may be as close as anyone can get?
"remastered from the original master tapes, packaged in a gatefold sleeve with the original artwork, and pressed on 180-gram vinyl." $15.50 Or is this the "abysmal" LP stuartr refered to?

http://www.tonevendor.com/item/9615
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
I wonder often about how the personality of this album would have been altered by a live drummer instead of the programmed drums that are on LOVELESS..
Huh? There's lots of live drumming on Loveless. Sure, I think O'Closoig complained a lot that Shields didn't let him do more, and the drums are heavily treated at times, and some tracks do seem to be all programmed drums (notably the closer, Soon), but there's still a real drummer on much of it. Isn't there? Sounds like it to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl
I do know that this album was the most expensive album ever made for the label it was on I think it was a million pounds, it drove the label out of business, too. Yes, it took a while to record (I think they spent a year in the studio), but it's possible that they were in a pretty decent studio with pretty decent equipment with that kind of budget.
Actually, it took almost three years to record and the cost I've seen quoted was something like $500,000, but I understand what you're getting at. However, one of the reasons that it took so long according to what I've read from Shields in interviews is that Creation wouldn't buy or rent them any decent equipment - or at least not enough to satisfy him. Who knows. Like you say, you can't tell what the tapes sound like from the CD and I don't know if my LP was really mastered from the analog tapes or not. No guarantee that a remaster would sound any better - you have a lot more faith in the industry than me. Most likely just louder and with a bunch of added EQ unless it was handed over to one of the good guys
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey
Huh? There's lots of live drumming on Loveless. Sure, I think O'Closoig complained a lot that Shields didn't let him do more, and the drums are heavily treated at times, and some tracks do seem to be all programmed drums (notably the closer, Soon), but there's still a real drummer on much of it. Isn't there? Sounds like it to me
well, the story that I heard was that the drummer was injured so that he couldn't play, so he basically sampled his kit and they programmed the drums to immitate how he would have played. Maybe this does only effect parts of the album, but it's pretty obvious to me on some of the tracks, esp. the opening track. I've never done the research to verify this, so maybe my source was completely wrong.. Maybe I'll have to look it up. You may be right, I may be crazy..

-jar
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
well, the story that I heard was that the drummer was injured so that he couldn't play, so he basically sampled his kit and they programmed the drums to immitate how he would have played. Maybe this does only effect parts of the album, but it's pretty obvious to me on some of the tracks, esp. the opening track. I've never done the research to verify this, so maybe my source was completely wrong.. Maybe I'll have to look it up. You may be right, I may be crazy..

-jar
from a faq I found at: http://www.mybloodyvalentine.net/faq/

21: Is Colm really playing drums on "Loveless"?

Yes and no. Most of the drum sounds on 'Loveless' are triggered and sequenced; Colm played either electronic drums or natural drums on tape triggered to electronic sounds into a computer sequencer. The drum pattern was then quantized (each trigger was put to the nearest beat) and replayed. Colm's drum playing is characteristic but usually off-time. The drums on 'Loveless' have Colm's characteristic playing, but they are all exactly on the beat, re-done by a computer. From an interview with Kevin Shields:
"Actually we started the album with live drums, but Colm got very ill so we sampled his drums and his rolls. So even when a track is programmed, it has elements of his feel."



there you have it folks.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masonjar
from a faq I found at: http://www.mybloodyvalentine.net/faq/

[b]21: Is Colm really playing drums on "Loveless"?

Yes and no.....
See, I was right! Hehehe, that's kind of what I said, isn't it? Well, to be honest, I said that I thought there was a live drummer on much of it, but we both recognized that drum machines were being used on a lot of it. I just thought more of it was live but it's kind of hard to tell under all the murk. I mean, how should I know what a live drummer sounds like underwater? . And sick or not, it would've been tough to keep a drummer around the whole three years! Didn't they spend almost a year on the bass lines alone??!! I don't really think the sequenced loops detract all that much, but like you say, it would be fun to hear it with more of that epic drum sound like on the Appleseed Cast albums you and I were just talking about.
post #26 of 47
apple seed cast's Low level owl is soo good!

god they suck live tho!
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepkyng
apple seed cast's Low level owl is soo good!
Yeah, I only have the first volume and love it crazy. The drums are so live sounding and epic on that record. Been meaning to pick up the second half for what seems like forever. Jar and I were just talking about them today over at Rave Recs so it was spinning in my head. Voyager One is a band that belongs in a Loveless thread. Have you heard their last album, Monster Zero? Outstanding. And yes, Emergency & I is one of my favorites too. The City is the greatest
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey
See, I was right! Hehehe, that's kind of what I said, isn't it? Well, to be honest, I said that I thought there was a live drummer on much of it, but we both recognized that drum machines were being used on a lot of it. I just thought more of it was live but it's kind of hard to tell under all the murk. I mean, how should I know what a live drummer sounds like underwater? . And sick or not, it would've been tough to keep a drummer around the whole three years! Didn't they spend almost a year on the bass lines alone??!! I don't really think the sequenced loops detract all that much, but like you say, it would be fun to hear it with more of that epic drum sound like on the Appleseed Cast albums you and I were just talking about.
I guess I should have said "there you have it, you're right" hehe..

Another one of my favorite drum albums is Hum's DOWNWARD IS HEAVENWARD.. the LOVELESS of the late 90's I can get lost in that album just listening to the drums. That big drum sound has become kind of cliche' with a lot of the Emo bands these days, see Jimmy Eat World's CLARITY for an example.. I think a lot of engineers have been shooting for the Albini drum sound ever since IN UTERO came out. But I appreciate other visions.. Brad Wood has done some awesome recordings.. He did the first SDRE album, Seam's ARE YOU DRIVING ME CRAZY.. and that self-titled Menthol album I love so much. Great drums on those, but definately less abrasive than the Albini sound.

-jar
post #29 of 47
Thread Starter 
OK 10 months later I finally listen to it (I misplaced it! ) and it's not so bad. Not so great either but clear enough. Not much bass but it does do the soundstaging thing. All that was meant to be heard is heard clearly without any effort.

It is different than expected. More delicate and soft than I expected. It's quite feminine. It's also not too apparent why it's held as highly in regard as it is considering it was made in 1991. Something of a genre-straddler?
But still an enjoyable CD and a worthy addition.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeteeth
It's quite feminine.
Hmmm, I don't hear that myself. Maybe the Cocteau Twins or bands with a more ornate and ethereal sound could be described that way, but even though it's very sexual, I think Loveless comes off without any clearly defined gender sound. Beautiful album. One of the reasons it is so highly regarded today is that even though hundreds of bands have tried to duplicate the sound, none of them have made an album that sounds this special.
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