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Arctic Monkeys: 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'

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Arctic Monkeys: 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:52 pm

Someone involved with this production seems to really like 2.5kHz, because both this track and first single ‘Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ feature it pretty strongly. On the plus side, this mid-pushed voicing does lend proceedings a kind of ‘everyone coming through the singer’s SM58’ indie appeal, and it’s important not to underestimate the commercial value of a band creating an ear-catching signature sound like this. However, the downside for me is that the choruses make my ears hurt well before the volume’s loud enough to party to. I’d personally trade in 3dB of the 2.5kHz for more 10kHz detail, and I also wonder if the kick and snare in particular might have benefited from a little less attack spike in this region too.
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Re: Arctic Monkeys: 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'

Postby Mike Senior » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:54 pm

I reviewed this track from the Arctic Monkeys' album 'Suck It And See', which gives the following credits:

Produced by James Ford
Engineered by James Brown
Mixed by Craig Silvey
Mastered by George Marino

The other thing that bugs me about this mix is that the kick seems to be getting lost during the louder sections of the track in particular. It's got enough sub-60Hz oomph going on, as well as some needle-sharp 4-6kHz click, but there doesn't appear to be enough going on between, so when the guitars come along it suffers serious casualties in terms of masking.

Maybe someone who's more of a fan of this mix can come up with some more positive things to say! Still, I love the lyric to 'Don't Sit Down Cause I Moved Your Chair' -- genius that is!

For more critiques of commercial productions, browse The Mix Review Index.
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Re: Arctic Monkeys: 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'

Postby oggyb » Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:47 pm

Just wanted to say, I had no trouble hearing the kick drum all the way through. I think there's enough in the high-mids to keep it present.

That 2.5K thing is a bit much after a while, I agree with you, though it's a very interesting character that the band has cornered.
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Re: Arctic Monkeys: 'The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala'

Postby chew_rocket » Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:28 am

I'm personally a big fan of recordings like this where it feels very raw and honest. I think the record suits having its little imperfections, including the 'band through the singers mic' sound (they actually recorded many of the vocals live and in the same room!) and the almost drowned kick drum. Its almost as though your in the room with them. What a great vibe the band give off too, very tight as a unit and a great example of modern indie music played WELL! I'd rather listen to this than a perfectly produced pop record any day.

... Each to their own of course!
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