The Alan Parsons Project - Mammagamma (Extended)

Retro

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I've just rediscovered this 40 year old classic from 1982. Check out this electronic chillout track from The Alan Partridge Parsons Project.

 

Tiffany

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I've heard all of those, but they got lost in my music memory library. Thanks for sharing.:)

Here's my all time favorite. Van Halen's Right Now. This brought me through a lot of challenging times in my life. ....was always a great warm up song on the ice.⛸️⛸️
 

Arantor

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You can see why he was well-placed to do the audio engineering for Dark Side of the Moon, right? (He also worked on Abbey Road and Let It Be for the Beatles at the Abbey Road studios.)
 

Arantor

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Gonna let this be my jam for development this morning - the whole of this album.
 

Tiffany

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Good music!! This is the type of music I like where you can actually hear the lyrics and the instrumental isn't so overpowering that you can't hear what is being said. It's simple yet has a number of variable bridges, which I like too. Reminds me a bit of a similar song written by Paul McCartney and his wife Linda; Live and Let Die.

I thought I'd insert this version, which is instrumental only, from Beth Tweddle's gymnastics performance in London, 2012.

 

Arantor

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That's the thing about Alan Parsons, he was a hell of an audio engineer before going on to do his own thing - as I mentioned, he was an audio engineer on other well-engineered albums in the 1970s like the wonderful Dark Side of the Moon.

Modern sound engineers have a habit of not engineering so well for balance; there seems to simply be about maxing the samples out without clipping. Good audio engineering seems to be a lost art.
 

Tiffany

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That's the thing about Alan Parsons, he was a hell of an audio engineer before going on to do his own thing - as I mentioned, he was an audio engineer on other well-engineered albums in the 1970s like the wonderful Dark Side of the Moon.

Modern sound engineers have a habit of not engineering so well for balance; there seems to simply be about maxing the samples out without clipping. Good audio engineering seems to be a lost art.
Well, that totally makes sense and thank you for sharing that insight on audio engineering. I wish more sound engineers would use Alan Parson's technique. There are very few artists that I can hear what they are saying now a days, (and really from the past too) and that's not because of my age and the tad of hearing loss that comes with it (Band didn't help in HS), it's just poor production on their part. Lady Gaga is one of the few, that I can hear most of what she says, though sometimes I'd rather not hear what she's saying.🤫
 

Arantor

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I think there is also some awareness amongst the engineers of old, less so now, about the devices and locations and manners in which music will be played.

The aforementioned DSotM spawned a couple of singles and not only does that reflect what, musically, might work when separated from the album (singles off concept albums is a complicated business), I think it’s reflected in the mixing.

1970s radio play would have favoured certain bands of frequencies in the mix over others, and I sometimes feel like there was a nod to that in the mixing punching up certain parts of the mix specifically for that reason.

You look at modern music, though, and there’s no need to differentiate - radio is far diminished to what it once was, and very often now people are consuming their music from devices with tinny little speakers (or tiny little earbuds with tinny little speakers) that have limited bass driving and so the engineers have shrugged and optimised for maximum noise. It’s not helped by the compression algorithms that get used (mpe and friends) which strangle out the botton and top ends of the frequencies either, again pushing the engineers to max out the noise envelope to keep that stuff in (to a point)

There’s a reason that in the headphone world I have a big ol’ pair of Sennheisers, and not just because over the ear is more comfortable or blocks out the rest of the world (though these are definitely factors), but because they have the much bigger speakers in them that can actually do something useful in terms of pushing both ends of the audio spectrum.
 

Retro

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Nah, lowder is betta!

Just compress it down to a 1dB range, frequency range 500Hz - 5KHz and play it LOWD!! 🤣 (Maniacal laugh)

Years ago, I bought a CD single of a nice song. It sounded compressed to hell and back on the radio, but I assumed it was the radio station doing it, cuz, ya know, lowder. But no, sounded the same off the CD with no better quality version available. Sounded awful so I could only listen to it a few times and then never again. What a way to ruin a song.

I still have it and would let you know which one it was, but I can't remember the name now. It was quite a mellow track with lots of bass.
 

Arantor

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I mean there are totally songs that pull stunts like that. Look at the dynamic range on, say, LMFAO’s tracks, e.g. Party Rock Anthem. Dynamic range is… questionable, lyrics mixed down in my view but… that’s ok because it’s not a song you’re meant to “listen to”. It’s a song for clubs and getting on the dance floor to, what the 70s called bump ‘n’ grind. In that situation you don’t care about the lyrics outside of the chorus maybe, the drums and bass are far more relevant.
 

Tiffany

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@Arantor Most modern music I can't hear the lyrics. The mix is done poorly and the instrumental is always overpowering, which sometimes makes me wonder what the sound people are compensating for?

@Retro I get it on the louder and also the frustration when a song's sound is poor no matter what you adjust to make it better.

An example of very poor sound mix from Nash Bridges. I can actually hear the words a bit better from this youtube video but watching it on TV, no bueno; can't hear the words hardly:


I think there's also something to be said for artists that articulate their words very poorly. In my opinion clear announciation is a lost art in vocals. Articulation in voice lessons should be one of the foundational practices taught in beginner's lessons and also refreshed often. If you've ever watched Reba McEntire sing, you will notice the extreme changes she makes with her mouth to make certain sounds.

There are songs that I still look up the lyrics too (thank goodness we now can). The most recent was a few years ago. Blinded by the Light performed by the Manfred's Mann's Earth band (lyrics written by Bruce Springsteen) was a song with lyrics that I couldn't hear clearly and my daughter and I had to put to rest exactly what they were saying. The famous line; revved up like a deuce, another runner in the night.

We also like Queen and included in the lyrics lookup wanted to confirm what Freddie Mercury was saying in Bohemian Rhapsody.
 
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