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Thread: Why studio versions of songs are PERFECT?

  1. #1
    Registered User Milo's Avatar
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    Why studio versions of songs are PERFECT?

    hi, id like to know why guitar riffs for example in metal songs sound so perfect, while in live, they dont? for example, in master of puppets. the riffs sound as if it was made by a computer.
    Do they only play the riff perfectly 4 or 5 times, and then, repeat it over and over again as a loop throughout the whole song?
    Do the sound engineers erase bad noise or wrong notes that guitarist could have played while recording?
    thanks a lot for your replies

  2. #2
    Registered Nutter Ewen's Avatar
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    Probably because for all intents and purposes they very well may have been - sort of.

    Hi,

    hi, id like to know why guitar riffs for example in metal songs sound so perfect, while in live, they dont? for example, in master of puppets. the riffs sound as if it was made by a computer.

    Probably because for all intents and purposes they very well may have been - sort of...

    Do they only play the riff perfectly 4 or 5 times, and then, repeat it over and over again as a loop throughout the whole song?

    In the early 90's I was lucky enough to find myself listening to a friend put down tracks in a major league studio. Typically, there'd be several takes of each guitar part for each song and then it would be time to sit down and choose the best takes and then assemble them together over the drums & bass, which had already had the same treatment. Once this was complete any mistakes would be taken care of with non linear digital editing performed, at the time, on a high end Mac. To me it seemed a bit like cheating but that's the way it was done and the final results were very good. FYI the last thing to go down was the vocals.

    Do the sound engineers erase bad noise or wrong notes that guitarist could have played while recording?

    Yes again, any unwanted noises were removed and wrong notes substituted with the correct ones, again using the Mac.

    Please don't assume that I'm saying everyone does things this way as I simply don't have the experience to state that. It did appear to me to be common practice for recording metal in the 'hair rock' days though, and I can see no reasons why it wouldn't be done this way today.

    These days I'm more into acoustic stuff and of the people I know who have recored acoustic stuff I'd imagine most of them do a few full track takes and pick the best without bothering with digital editing.

    Regards,

    Ewen.

    thanks a lot for your replies

  3. #3
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    There are numerous examples of digital editing, via protools, being used to clean up tracks, especially vocal tracks, and sample others to create loops. However, Master of Puppets is an analog recording and Hetfield played those parts from start to finish. Probably the reason it sounds cleaner than it would live has more to do with the sound available in the studio environment vs. what you would hear on most stages.

  4. #4
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    this thread is extremely interesting and insanely worrying at the same time ...

    check out this link

    its an interview with Steve Lukather kick S guitarist in my humble opinion (played for toto) and extremly sought after studio guy. He talks about his career mainly but at some point he really starts to talk against these pro tools.

    Also if you can't take bad language don't click the link LOL ** explicit language warning **
    Last edited by rmuscat; 01-03-2005 at 01:19 PM.
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  5. #5
    Registered Nutter Ewen's Avatar
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    Hehe,

    When you're as good as Mr Lukather I shouldn't think you'd need many takes 8o)

    And thanks for that Robert, after having a quick skip through the interview I had to go hear Rosanna for the 1st time in a few years - awesome, just awesome.

    Cheers!

    E.

  6. #6
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    back in the puppets days i can't imagine computers beeing used for something else than syncronizing machines. although there is a lot possible with analog stuff, good guys could drop in 16th notes in a run. there are a lot of ways to correct mistakes and noises.
    nowadays, of course you can visualize everything and correct tiny bites of any instrument that is recorded. you can change and copy everything, pitches, tempos, riffs licks, cut, paste, double ... all that stuff.
    but besides the digital stuff, when things are played in the studio, there is (should be) a lot of concentration going on. there is only one goal: to bring the guitar as solid as possible to the track.
    life is a totally different game. there is jumping and entertaining and all that included which of course, doesn't make the playing better.

  7. #7
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    Phantom, I admit that you're right - it's completely possible to edit an analog track. I still doubt that Hetfield would need to resort to that sort of thing to play his rhythm parts.

  8. #8
    iBreatheMusic Modthor phantom's Avatar
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    oh yeah debaser,
    i think as well that he might have played it all the way through!
    just wanted to say that there were also analog editing possibilities - didn't want to start arguing .
    if he played it through or not might only he and the engineer know.
    it is not a big deal to drop somewhere in if you slipped into bad timing for instance - for me it is not a "honour"-thing to do only full takes or first takes, if there is a need for editing, then do it.
    so i think he might have played it through but wouldn't mind drop ins either.
    with bob rock he might have had more editing than he ever dreamed of.

    btw. debaser,

    do you remember the discussion we had about bending notes? and i said the only way is to bend with the wrist?
    now i have to admitt that you are right as well, i found that i do certain bendings just with the fingers and no wrist motion at all. - but don't tell anyone.
    [completely off-topic /off]

  9. #9
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    The protools generation is learning how to get good sounds through looping instead of the old fashioned way of getting good sounds by playing and practicing.
    -Bizarro
    Google is your friend

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizarro
    The protools generation is learning how to get good sounds through looping instead of the old fashioned way of getting good sounds by playing and practicing.

    That is very sad, but very true.

    Phantom - good call on the Bob Rock factor. I'm sure he has edited the Metallica albums he has produced to no end. Also, I agree with you that it isn't an honor thing to record a full-take - whatever works. Sometimes the studio environment just isn't conducive to giving your best performance. Having said that, I think it can set a precedent for using something like pro-tools to bad ends. It's worth saying that pro-tools by itself is a great thing to have in your arsenal - provided it isn't abused.

    About the string bending thing - I think it's just a matter of strengthening different stabilizers in order to produce the same effect. Also, like you say, different bends require different techniques.

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