Favorite band based on technological era?

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So today I'm out doing some Christmas shopping, and while I'm getting copies of the new Batman movie on bluray, I notice the Led Zeppelin Celebration day CD/BluRay package, so of course, I throw that in the cart too.

Excited, in the car I open it up and pop in the CD, and my initial impression is that it's great. I hadn't seen any clips on YouTube or heard alot of people talking about it, and I'm a fan, so maybe I'm a little biased that it is great - it's Led Zeppelin afterall ;)

I'm not going to say that I've made my mind up about it and have gone 180-degrees the other way, but the performances sounded great, and the production sounds great, and my, Jason Bonham was the obvious best choice to fill his dads shoes. So I'm not taking anything away from those guys. But I wonder if the new technology takes away something from the band. When Led Zeppelin was riding their hey-day back in the early 70s, subwoofers weren't quite so prevalent, and live recordings weren't as crystal clear as they are today. As I listened more to the CD, I missed a little bit of that dirtiness and "lack of" vibe from that technological era. The drums sounded perfect - you would definitely not hear any squeaking bass drum pedal - in fact, I think Jason's snare sounds almost too clean - you know that sound you get when you mic a snare on both the top and bottom? I don't think they did that to his dad ever. When they roar into Since I've been loving you, man, the low end from the organ I thought was going to blow my speakers! I wonder how many people in the audience wanted to vomit from so much low end? It was very cool, but my recollection of the songs are from the original recordings (before Page even re-mastered them) and their first movie. I won't count their Live at the BBC as a new recording when it came out because it wasn't, that was straight-up, raw Zeppelin.

So I love the fact that I now have documentation of this concert that I couldn't afford to go to, and it's nice to hear that they still got it. I think it would've been neat to have done it on same-era equipment (the same way I wished all the guys who played for the Buddy Rich Memorial Concerts should've all played on Buddy's actual drums). I know, as a sound technician myself, it's sacrilegious to 'not move with the times' as far as technology goes, but I was wondering if anyone feels the same way. Like, would you want to hear Elvis Preseley in an almost sterile recording environment? The whole thing is about vibe, and Zep has it in spades. I just think super hi-tech technology causes some vibe to be lost, especially if you know how you like to hear things. Maybe I'm wrong? Has anyone thought about this?
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
For sure, Bo. I like my hard rock dirty and simple. I like lots of raw music. Guess that's the sound of my youth. My nephew was raised with modern sounds and he thinks of the 60s sound the way 60s kids thought of 20s sound quality. To him, it's simply inadequate. Why listen to something that sounds crap when you can listen to something that sounds great? I think it's very much a generational thing.

Objectively, if Zep now have a clean, modern sound then their performances would be more congruent if they updated and modernised the way they play and arrange. Trouble is, they'd be lynched :)
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
Led Zep didn't obviously have the technology that now exists and they're still BETTER than ANY new band that has come out in years!!!
 
B

Bandit

Guest
Well I am not a big Zep fan, but thought the new recordings sound better than any of there old stuff live. I for one love things tight, clean and crisp. I went and saw Jason at the Bonham experience, and he did a great job. He must of been tickled pink when he got to play with the rest of the band.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
All my composition work at the moment does the processing on the computer in a digital system and then gets sent to cassette tape.

I hate the sterility of it all. I've spent the last three/four years roughening up the sound of digital processes. I am deliberately obtuse about it and there's no doubt that it's much easier to make a high-quality recording now than it has ever been - which I absolutely applaud. In my own work though? Rough it up, baby.

As for Vegas_Island's sentiments, I have to disagree. Led Zeppelin were great but now if I hear modern bands aping their style (Wolfmother, anyone?!) it drives me absolutely around the bend. There are plenty of modern bands that are just as ground-breaking and fresh as Zeppelin were in the 70s but so much of music has been tainted by the sterility that occurs when the guitarist has no imagination.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I know, as a sound technician myself, it's sacrilegious to 'not move with the times' as far as technology goes, but I was wondering if anyone feels the same way. Like, would you want to hear Elvis Preseley in an almost sterile recording environment? The whole thing is about vibe, and Zep has it in spades. I just think super hi-tech technology causes some vibe to be lost, especially if you know how you like to hear things. Maybe I'm wrong? Has anyone thought about this?
I can totally, completely, 100% relate.

I've been dabbling in modern recording technology more lately, just because I'm recording drums now more than ever. I try really hard to keep an open mind to it because I love learning new stuff and taking advantage of technology.

But if we're gonna put all our cards on the table here, I think we have to admit part of what we love about those old tunes was how they sounded. And that means we love the sound of the era during which they were recorded. The jazz records that I love from the 50s and 60s are another example.

I guess my one beef with even the hardly-new technology is it doesn't necessarily get better at reproducing what I hear when I'm standing in front of a band on stage. And that's my ultimate, regardless of what detail might be lost. Close-miking a drum set into a dozen channels and then mixing it seems kind of ridiculous to me, even though I understand it's been standard procedure for decades.

So yeah, I can relate.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I've thought about this, but from the opposite end.

Sitting in my studio, have my DW kit, all tuned up, mics, Ok, sounds great, OK, mix it in with the rest of the music, and one thing I notice is how I can hear the room. Typical of a recording of prior eras, but not "today". So add compressors, Eq, verb, what ever, and experiment. And then put on some assorted CD's to compare.

And then, wow, it hit you. When did everything become so "perfect" ?

You take recordings from the early 80's and prior, and you can here the drums are in a room. The splash is small, the china is large, the small tom isn't just higher pitched, it's a small drum compared to the floor tom.

Then take a modern recording, and it's all in your face. No sense of size or distance, or space. To the point that even the best acoustic drums might as well be samples, because they're processed so hard in the mix.
 

Anduin

Pioneer Member
My nephew was raised with modern sounds and he thinks of the 60s sound the way 60s kids thought of 20s sound quality. To him, it's simply inadequate. Why listen to something that sounds crap when you can listen to something that sounds great?
Ah yes. But I’m guessing that most of what he listens to is on mp3 or some other horrid lossy compression format played back through cheapo digital-to-analogue converters. That's his "great."

So, ironically, he’s probably preferring the modern digitally-produced distortion over the warm-sounding yet noisy old-school gear.
 
B

Bandit

Guest
My nephew thinks of the 60s sound the way 60s kids thought of 20s sound quality. To him, it's simply inadequate. Why listen to something that sounds crap when you can listen to something that sounds great? I think it's very much a generational
I tend to agree with him! I have a 1200 hundred dollar turntable that I never use any more because I like the new polished sound!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I agree with what you're on about. Neil Young writes at length about it in his recent autobio.

Some old records and bands just sound better "old". I mostly listen to music in my truck, but last 2 months have been retreating to the basement to listen to all my vinyl in the evenings. Its spectacular, all late 1960's old records and you hear the 'studio' in them, the micing, not just the sound of the board or digital wizardry and re-mastering. So much character in those recordings. I don't like re-masters of old stuff either.

I'm fine with current technology, but I like some live dirt, some studio ambience and "live sound and feel" in the music. I think its great Dave Grohl tried a record in his garage (though it does not sound like it to me on that album either). I'm thrilled you can hear Bonzo's Speed King squeak in some old Zep records.
 

Vegas Island

Senior Member
The recording technology of today is certainly better, but the current state of music itself sucks! Why buy garbage like Nickelback and Limp Bizkit when I can go with Zeppelin and Van Halen?!
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Current technology will keep rolling on. It has too.
The question will become, how to keep music recordings sounding like real people and bands making them. How to retain that element?
It may come full circle and somebody will return to real live recordings - ala Robert Johnson in a hotel room.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Give me analog any day of the week.I also enjoy photography,and I don't own a digital camera,because I love the warmth of 35mm film and using an old Canon or Nikon SLR like the A-1 or F-3...on manual thank you.

I also like my music with a bit of a raw edge to it,which is why I love live music so much.Give me an old Teac reel to reel recorder and a couple of Shure SM 57's with some ambient micing any day of the week.Add to that,a mid 60's vintage Ludwig 3 ply and a supra.and some 60's Zildjians...that's all I need.

There's nothing wrong with digital.I just prefer the raw, natural and organic feel of older gear.Take a listen to the Steely Dans AJA album on vinyl.That about as clean as I would ever want to get.:)

Steve B
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
The recording technology of today is certainly better, but the current state of music itself sucks! Why buy garbage like Nickelback and Limp Bizkit when I can go with Zeppelin and Van Halen?!
Because Nickelback and Limp Bizkit are hardly 'new' bands and because there's a Hell of a lot more interesting, relevant and innovative music out there.

For the record, I think Van Halen are terrible.
 

Lunar Satellite Brian

Senior Member
Led Zep didn't obviously have the technology that now exists and they're still BETTER than ANY new band that has come out in years!!!
no.


OT: coming from this generation as a fan of old recording from the 70's, 80's and such, I do like the classic sound of the recordings, but I've definitely been spoiled by modern recording, I would definitely prefer the live recording to be in higher quality just so that option is available to me, and if I wanted the old record sound I could go back to the original studio recording.

actually I think this could be compared to original recordings vs. remastered, for instance, the original In The Court of the Crimson King mix still has it's charm to it, but the 30th anniversary edition sounds so much better that I hardly justify listening to the original unless I were to listen to the original vinyl.

TLDR, I think it would be silly not to record in the best quality available for live concerts, the charm of the old recording methods can still be found in the old records, where they belong, one benefit of performing old music live is to bring it back in better quality. In my Opinion
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I think that there's a lot to be said for bleed and multiple sounds in the same air. When I have time to fire up the audiophile system in my living room, I tend to listed to classical or older jazz where they played at the same time into no more than a handful of mics. It sounds more like living, breathing musicians in front of me. When they started separating everything out and assembling music, I think they lost more than they gained. Putting a mic right up on something is completely unnatural from how it sounds to a person. You hear the entire drum resonating and the sympathetic vibrations from the rest of the kit, not a gated snippet of the attack in isolation with digitally recreated "space" added after the fact. Same with guitars, the entire amp/cabinet resonates and sends sound in every direction. Not the sound of one square inch of speaker cone. And something happens when the sound mixes in the air. There's a lot of talk nowadays in recording circles about the loses in digital summing of tracks and many folks are running all the separate tracks out though D/A converters into some simple passive summing box and back into the computer though another A/D. They claim this sounds better even with the extra conversions than letting the computer sum the tracks together. I think the same thing holds for acoustic summing of sounds before they get to the microphone.

I'm not a fan of the sloppy playing on some old rock records, but the sound is noticeably more natural.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Give me analog any day of the week.I also enjoy photography,and I don't own a digital camera,because I love the warmth of 35mm film and using an old Canon or Nikon SLR like the A-1 or F-3...on manual thank you.

I also like my music with a bit of a raw edge to it,which is why I love live music so much.Give me an old Teac reel to reel recorder and a couple of Shure SM 57's with some ambient micing any day of the week.Add to that,a mid 60's vintage Ludwig 3 ply and a supra.and some 60's Zildjians...that's all I need.

There's nothing wrong with digital.I just prefer the raw, natural and organic feel of older gear.Take a listen to the Steely Dans AJA album on vinyl.That about as clean as I would ever want to get.:)

Steve B
After I cut my teeth on an old Nikon FM, I treated myself to a Nikon F2A. There's something about operating a camera that feels like buttah ;) Imagine if I had gotten into Leicas...
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Current technology will keep rolling on. It has too.
The question will become, how to keep music recordings sounding like real people and bands making them. How to retain that element?
It may come full circle and somebody will return to real live recordings - ala Robert Johnson in a hotel room.
It might have already come full circle, and this was a few years ago already. Tony Levin's first solo album, I think it was called "One World", was recorded entirely live in hotel rooms while he was on tour with Peter Gabriel. He literally carried around an Alesis ADAT, and then invited musicians over and they would play straight into the ADAT without a mixing console, later to be assembled into proper tracks at home. The album does have this 'on the fly' feeling to it.

I could do the same thing today with my much smaller Zoom R16. One day I will ;)
 

?uesto

Silver Member
Jason Bonham is NOT the best choice to fill his dad's shoes. Maybe for the sake of putting on a show and letting people say "OMG, that's his son," but there are a thousand drummers that can play all of that stuff better and who SHOULD have that gig, if it were about playing.

A few names that came up at work when we were talking about this were Dave Grohl, Brad Wilk, and Jon Theodore. Big drums, fat groove, great chops. Both are great students of Bonham's playing.

In terms of the OP, I'm usually a fan of older, more vintage sounding gear and recordings. But I'm also 20 years old and live in amongst generation of people who love the past generations, (clothes, music, etc.)

There is a great deal of excitement when I listen to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club and Zeppelin and Bitches Brew. I can't use the word "nostalgic," but it totally helps me feel closer to the music and the creators of it. I started collecting vinyl, I guess for the same reason. The sound, the feel, the character and history to it. I just bought Innervisions for $1 at a thrift store the other day, and hearing the needle on wax before Too High just made it 1,000 times better.

BUT at the same tolken, there are modern and recent albums that wouldn't and couldn't be what they are without the technology used to record them. Hearing Keith Carlock's drums as true in tone and his cymbals as crisp and warm as they are wouldn't be possible without the microphones and other technology being utilized, and a lot of the hip-hop I like wouldn't have been able to be made with a live band (don't confuse this with favoring any kind of electronic or programmed music).

And with that said, it was probably the same thing when those classic albums were recorded 30, 40, 50 years ago. People who were listening to the recording techniques on Bitches Brew may have been so against the heavy production on it, and referred back to the recording age of Birth of the Cool or Kind of Blue. I guess it's all relative.

Not sure if any of that was helpful..
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Jason Bonham is NOT the best choice to fill his dad's shoes. Maybe for the sake of putting on a show and letting people say "OMG, that's his son," but there are a thousand drummers that can play all of that stuff better and who SHOULD have that gig, if it were about playing.

A few names that came up at work when we were talking about this were Dave Grohl, Brad Wilk, and Jon Theodore. Big drums, fat groove, great chops. Both are great students of Bonham's playing.
OK, we got it;)

Maybe it's me, but when you get into your 30s (or a little later) you tend to just deal with things the way they are. Obviously, no gig is just about the playing. If it were, then of course any other player might be a good fit for that. But it's never been that way, and it won't start being that way, so it is what it is. In this case, what sounds better or looks better on a label? Would a name other than Bonham look like it belonged there? There's a whole family thing going on here that I'm pretty sure any other better player will not be able to break through. That just seems common sense to me.

No, I'm not being argumentative, I'm just stating it. Imagine if it were you filling the shoes of your dad in one of the biggest rock acts in the world. It would be something else entirely if somebody else did it. Recall when Page and Plant did their project with another drummer and bass player? No one called that the second coming of Led Zeppelin. But this one, they did.

But I do understand where you're coming from. It just wasn't my point.
 
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