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Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

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Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

Postby CS70 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:48 pm

Just tried a mix for one my band's new songs on various players.. on the grotbox I had an ipad attached with my "oldies and goldies" list. I often use it to compare "real world" levels - especially the drums and vocals balance - with some stuff I like the sound of.

Picked up, randomly, "Video killed..": I had never noticed how much kick drum and bass is there! My reference for the song we're mixing, if there is any, is Foo Fighter's "The Pretender", which has kinda the kick-ass rock feeling I'm after. Well, bass and kick levels are nothing compared with the old Buggles hit. Is it just my grotbox?

Completely different genres and eras of course, but I'd thought in a rock song you'd have much more power stuff going on, and louder. But the Fighter's song gets completely overpowered in the comparison.

Or maybe I just drank too much wine
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Re: Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

Postby Richard Graham » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:16 pm

CS70 wrote:Just tried a mix for one my band's new songs on various players.. on the grotbox I had an ipad attached with my "oldies and goldies" list. I often use it to compare "real world" levels - especially the drums and vocals balance - with some stuff I like the sound of.

Picked up, randomly, "Video killed..": I had never noticed how much kick drum and bass is there! My reference for the song we're mixing, if there is any, is Foo Fighter's "The Pretender", which has kinda the kick-ass rock feeling I'm after. Well, bass and kick levels are nothing compared with the old Buggles hit. Is it just my grotbox?

Completely different genres and eras of course, but I'd thought in a rock song you'd have much more power stuff going on, and louder. But the Fighter's song gets completely overpowered in the comparison.

Or maybe I just drank too much wine

It's the magic of Trevor Horn at work. Plus, I've noticed the way rock is mixed, often seems to sheer the bottom end away. Makes for a louder, more aggressive sound, I suppose.
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Re: Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

Postby molecular » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:32 pm

That's very odd - that song came on in a cafe I was in this morning, and I remember being suddenly struck by how loud the bass was. So no, you weren't drunk (or you weren't *only* drunk)...
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Re: Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

Postby Billum » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:34 pm

You know how if you get the guitarist to mix the song the guitars always end up just that little bit too loud? Well, Trevor was the bass player!

Also, in this very illuminating article from some esteemed journal, Gary Langan, the mix engineer, says: "We'd do a mix and three or four days later Trevor would go, 'It's not happening. We need to do this and we need to do that.' The sound of the bass drum was one of his main concerns, along with his vocal and the backing vocals. It was all about how dry and how loud they should be in the mix without the whole thing sounding ridiculous. As it turned out, that record still had the loudest bass drum ever for its time."
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Re: Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

Postby Ant Gamble » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:20 pm

It's those 80s mastering guys....the 'loudness wars' hadn't started, therefore the drums and snare really punched through.

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep11/a ... udness.htm
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Re: Video killed the radio stars - kick and bass

Postby Chaconne » Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:34 pm

The bass is lovely as well, both the spare punctuations in the "what did you tell them..." sections as well as just the mid range 8ths in the chorus - cut right through. A very 'British' sound I have always coveted.

That song seamed like the template, and the financial backing for all that was to come.
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