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The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

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The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:58 am

Found this vid really interesting. Recording Revolution is an excellent YT resource, particularly for beginners, but I often find his finished productions somewhat lacking in vibe and atmosphere. They're perfectly fine, nice and clear etc but somehow missing a certain something to my ears at least. So what happens when a grammy-winning producer takes the same song and does his thing on it? Jaquire King, of Kings of Leon etc fame, in this instance. The result is night and day to me. One sounds like a demo, one sounds like a record. What do you think? And what is it that makes the difference (if you agree that the pro one sounds much better, which you may not!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUBSlcQg-ok
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:05 am

I'm not at home right now, so I can't listen on decent speakers.
But if some of my favourite records were rejected on the basis of not being of professional quallity, some of the best music ever recorded wouldnt exist!
Max's Kansas City The Velvet Underground, and most of The Fall records!

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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:27 am

Fascinating listen/watch Dr Huge! 8-)

Yep, I agree about 'less is more' - learned this the hard way (sometimes muting various channels during a mix lets something rather different emerge, especially when you discover that removing early parts reveals a mix that you never imagined at first).

Occasional more extreme effects works for me as well too. Sometimes even when added in at low levels this adds a certain flavour and 'edge', and often some subtle interactive quirks that you never expected to happen.

Sound design is also something close to my heart - over the years I've created a lot of my own sounds, and I always try to add them as little 'extras' to the mix. At the very least it means that you're likely to end up with a more unique overall sound, while at best it can transform your track from ho hum to humdinger! ;)

Great link - instantly bookmarked for repeat watches for inspiration :ugeek:


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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:01 pm

14,000 posts Martin!! That is true commitment to the art of recording! Glad you enjoyed the vid as much as I did. As you say, quite inspiring.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby blinddrew » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:26 pm

Interesting, I shall give this a listen later.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby CS70 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:34 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:Found this vid really interesting.

Not sure it's about pro or semi pro, rather between "good enough" and "awesome" :)
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:39 pm

OK, I just listened to it on my i Pad, not ideal I know, but in the real world there are going to be people doing that to our music, it has to sound good on all formats, or at least how we want it to sound.
I prefer the original, it suits the song, and lyrics, it's dark and dirty, and a bit nasty.
The "produced" version sounds very clean, and there's lots more detail and things sound more isolated from each other, these are all negatives for me regarding this particular song.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:00 pm

As I said in my OP, and the comments on the YT vid confirm, some of us will prefer the original version. This is why it's interesting. My feeling is the polar opposite to yours, that the JK is more dirty, dark and vibey and multi-layered! One man's meat and all that. :D
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:37 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:As I said in my OP, and the comments on the YT vid confirm, some of us will prefer the original version. This is why it's interesting. My feeling is the polar opposite to yours, that the JK is more dirty, dark and vibey and multi-layered! One man's meat and all that. :D

Yes, you can hear the layers in the produced version, that's for sure, but it's that slightly out of focus blurry dark feel of the original that appeals to me. But that's just my opinion, as you say, one mans meat.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Darren Lynch » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:06 pm

The JK version has more atmosphere and density. More extreme mix decisions to boot. Each to their own.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Arpangel » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:11 pm

Sorry to pop back in again, but I just thought, a production needs to support and hold up a song, IMO, if it does any more than that it's not good, if the production is too obvious it doesn't sit right with me, it gets in the way and obscures the message.
But saying that, there are whole genres of music that rely solely on obvious and advanced production techniques, they wouldn't exist otherwise. I think the skill is in making a track where you can't really notice a production as such, it just sounds how it should sound, and you can't imagine it sounding any other way.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:24 pm

I don't think it's that black and white. So much is down to personal taste and preference. These change through life too. (I remember as a kid hating anything with strings on, almost as a matter of principle.)

I've been getting into Phil Spector in a big way lately, reading about him and analysing his productions and he's not someone you could ever accuse of hiding his techniques away. But his work on Let it Be for the Beatles shows how production choices can be very divisive. Personally I love his work on Let it Be, it may be my favourite Beatles album, but many people really hate it. I didn't think the McCartney produced 'Naked' version was in the same league as Spector's mixes.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:29 pm

Watching and listening to the vid again, I wonder whether one of the reasons I distinctly prefer the JK version is that it has more of a sonic 'signature'? You can imagine a whole album having this kind of feel to the songs whereas the original is a bit vanilla in its choice of sounds?
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:39 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:I don't think it's that black and white. So much is down to personal taste and preference. These change through life too. (I remember as a kid hating anything with strings on, almost as a matter of principle.)

I'd agree with that - in this particular case I preferred the Pro production partly because it helped the vocals come across more clearly (and their message is the raison d'être of most songs that include vocals).

The Pro production also appealed to me because it had more front to back information (from up front and in your face to distant), which is something I'm working on improving in my own mixes at the moment. I also liked the Pro contrast between dirty and clean sounds - again, this instantly sucks me into the mix and keeps my attention for more.

The semi-pro version was certainly well mixed, but to my ears sounded more like a band live performance spaced across a stage. Great if that's what was intended, but the Pro version adds so much more movement, both from front to back and moment to moment, which for me brings the song to life.

As everyone here agrees though, it's not an either/or decision - both mixes work in their own way, and each is as valid as the other. However, it's such a fascinating contrast that I'm hoping a few more of these contrasting mixes will appear in due course.

Please add links if anyone finds any! :thumbup:


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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:59 pm

Your wish is my command...

Let it Be original of The Long and Winding Road: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR4HjTH_fTM


McCartney's Naked remix:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfVAJNqWw84

Personally I've hated pretty much all of the Beatles remixes they've been churning out. Too clean, too clinical, a lot less mojo.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby MOF » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:13 pm

I didn't like the over fuzzed guitar, I liked the extra production though .
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby MOF » Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:20 pm

Personally I've hated pretty much all of the Beatles remixes they've been churning out. Too clean, too clinical, a lot less mojo

I think you're in a minority here, Ringo and Paul both say the new mixes reveal what powerful performances they were and some people have said there's too much compression which leads to more grunge not less (i.e. clinical). Also mixes then were dictated to by the constraints of the medium, vinyl, which couldn't have too much bass or treble.
Personally I love the remixes and I'm really looking forward to Abbey Road's stereo remix.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby BJG145 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:09 pm

I far prefer the reworked version; there's so much more interest. The things that jump out at me are the clarity, space, grit, tonal contrasts and additional instrumentation.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby James Perrett » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:26 pm

I only skipped through this as I find these YouTube videos really annoying - he seems to spend most of the time massaging his ego rather than concentrating on the subject in hand. It is also obvious that he doesn't have the faintest idea about how to record sound for video - I find that much reverb on the voice annoying when it can be so much better but at least there weren't any uncontrolled pops (the preceding advert suffered from both problems).

Anyway - enough of the gripes. The big difference between the two versions is in the performance. The vocals have so much more attitude in the second version and there is so much more light and shade. I can understand people saying that the choice of sounds isn't as good - the guitar sounded too thin and harsh to me but that's a simple fix. This isn't about using better gear or even a better studio - it is about knowing how to bring out the best in a performer and then making sure that the performance is captured.
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Re: The difference between Pro and Semi Pro productions...

Postby hobbyist » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:31 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:I don't think it's that black and white. So much is down to personal taste and preference. These change through life too. (I remember as a kid hating anything with strings on, almost as a matter of principle.)

I'd agree with that - in this particular case I preferred the Pro production partly because it helped the vocals come across more clearly (and their message is the raison d'être of most songs that include vocals).

Martin


Then why do so many people hide the lyrics and voice under the music so you can barely hear that they are there.

My nephew did that a decade or so ago and thought it was bad for his sales potential. After that I saw and heard so many similar cases especially on the telly and movies.
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