Dave Grohl on "Wasting Light"

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
I got a copy of the big issue (the magazine that homeless people sell) and it had DG in it talking about how amazing his new album was. He was discussing about the fact that there was no computer processing, to the point that the producer had to physically splice bits of tape using the old razor blade and sticky tape method. Now i don't know about you but i've listened to the album and I just don't think it sounds any good at all. IMO it's waay overcompressed and just sounds extremely rough and distorted. Obviously i know there are people who practically worship analogue undigitised music and all that but as far as i'm concerned i can't really see what the big deal is about this album. Maybe it's just a bad torrent (320 kb/s though) or it's just a problem with the way this album was mixed or processed for effects but I just thought it sounded terrible. I really do think it would have sounded better if they'd just made it like any normal album is made these days.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Maybe it's just a bad torrent
I'm sorry, but if you downloaded this from a Torrent (which I assume means you haven't paid a dime for it), you:

1: Have no idea what the source material is, meaning it can be the source's fault
2: Have no grounds to complain about anything, since you essentially stole it anyway

As for the album, I think it's the best Foo Fighters album to come out this millennium.
 

chaymus

Senior Member
He's describing the painstaking effort to literally cut and paste analog tracks together and you listen to a recorded then digitized then compressed to mp3 that was cut up in a torrent and pieced back together. You've nullified the entire point.
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
He's describing the painstaking effort to literally cut and paste analog tracks together and you listen to a recorded then digitized then compressed to mp3 that was cut up in a torrent and pieced back together. You've nullified the entire point.
To be honest i am tempted to buy the album just to see if it sounds any better but i've got plenty of other 320 kb/s quality mp3 files which sound much better so i disagree with this entirely. If you think it would sound much better if we went back to the old 78s and tried it on a record player than i disagree with that as well since vinyl accounts for such a tiny proportion of the music market these days then what is the point in releasing an album just to sound good on vinyl? (If it indeed does sound good on vinyl).

2: Have no grounds to complain about anything, since you essentially stole it anyway
i'm not complaining, I just think it's ridiculous that he's so uppity about how the album was produced with no computers or digital recording methods whatsoever if it really does sound this shite. The source might be shite, i'm tempted to get the CD now just to see if it really does sound this crap.
 

DSman59

Junior Member
You should have downloaded the album in FLAC format and burnt an Audio CD... Just kidding. It sounds fine to me and I agree that it's the best Foo Fighters album of the decade. And I really dig Taylor Hawkins's drumming. So much energy plus he's singing on eight of the 11 tracks.
 
I think the album sounds amazing and is probably one of my favourite albums of the year (or ever).
Taylors drumming is the best it's been so far in my opinion, and if you downloaded it from a torrent you HAVE stolen it and the source would be terrible as illegal downloads always sound bad which is why I go out and buy my music :)
 

chaymus

Senior Member
My point is you don't know how this torrent was created, if they played the album and recorded it through a microphone or if it was ripped. It could be more or less identical if you're not an audiophile, or it could be like listening to a live album of a concert you were at and saying it sounds completely different because you stood somewhere else. Analog recordings are notorious for a degradation in sound quality overall. I remember reading interviews with Pink Floyd discuss how awesome their synthesizers sound while their recording and how disappointed they were that it was more or less gutted on tape.
If you're looking for crispness in the audio you're idea of "better" audio isn't going to be there, that's one of the reasons digital is used so much now.

Despite this, some people actually prefer vinyl to CD. Zaireeka could be ripped and programmed to play at the same time on the same pieces of hardware but you'd be depriving the album of it's central concept.

My recommendation is to not fight the lack of polish and embrace the rough aspects to understand what they were going for. It's fitting that it's Grohl and the over-produced sound in Nirvana's Nevermind was absolutely hated by the group compared to their other albums with rougher mixing and a 'grungier' feel.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Despite the zealots at the studio wanting it to be all-analogue, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it may very well be the mastering at fault as usual. Probably brick-wall digital mastering. It ruined the last Metallica album (that and Lars) and it'll ruin a lot more albums in the years to come.
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
Despite the zealots at the studio wanting it to be all-analogue, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that it may very well be the mastering at fault as usual. Probably brick-wall digital mastering. It ruined the last Metallica album (that and Lars) and it'll ruin a lot more albums in the years to come.
I think that might very well be it. That is pretty much how it sounds to me. Really overcompressed to the point that you're getting a lot of clipping on the louder parts. I'm not sure it's just that either. There are other points in the album where you can hear the fact that it was recorded in a garage.

My point is you don't know how this torrent was created, if they played the album and recorded it through a microphone or if it was ripped. It could be more or less identical if you're not an audiophile, or it could be like listening to a live album of a concert you were at and saying it sounds completely different because you stood somewhere else. Analog recordings are notorious for a degradation in sound quality overall. I remember reading interviews with Pink Floyd discuss how awesome their synthesizers sound while their recording and how disappointed they were that it was more or less gutted on tape.
If you're looking for crispness in the audio you're idea of "better" audio isn't going to be there, that's one of the reasons digital is used so much now.

Despite this, some people actually prefer vinyl to CD. Zaireeka could be ripped and programmed to play at the same time on the same pieces of hardware but you'd be depriving the album of it's central concept.

My recommendation is to not fight the lack of polish and embrace the rough aspects to understand what they were going for. It's fitting that it's Grohl and the over-produced sound in Nirvana's Nevermind was absolutely hated by the group compared to their other albums with rougher mixing and a 'grungier' feel.
So in other words you think he was intentionally trying to make it sound bad? Well that's fine, but why doesn't he just say that instead of trying to make it out that it's going to be the most awesome sounding thing ever?
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Either that or they've gone too far and driven their tape machines to ridiculous levels. It would take a Hell of a lot to get tapes to do that though. It's most likely a digitisation issue.

Incidentally, there's a big article about it in the new 'Sound on Sound'. Haven't gotten around to reading it yet, what with flying over the sea and all (that and transferring work to cassette tape) so if I remember, I'll post my findings on here.

EDIT: I'm saying this without having heard it. I apologise if I give a perception otherwise, I am merely suggesting possible causes for Eddie's perception of the album.
 
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diegobxr

Silver Member
Man, I've never gotten MAD at someone's post or opinion on this forum, until now.

I don't know.. I don't wanna be rude, after all it's just your opinion, but seriously, I think either you downloaded a crappy file (I hope you did) or you simply don't have a clue what you're talking about. (It's not my opinion.. I mean.. first FF album to hit number one on USA, and number one on 12 countries at its release).

I own every single one of their 9 cd's and I can easily say that this is by far one of their very best albums. Top 2 at least, with The Colour and The Shape being a close number one.

Cheers.
 

eddiehimself

Platinum Member
Man, I've never gotten MAD at someone's post or opinion on this forum, until now.
Well i'm very proud to be giving you such an experience for the first time then :)

I don't know.. I don't wanna be rude, after all it's just your opinion, but seriously, I think either you downloaded a crappy file (I hope you did) or you simply don't have a clue what you're talking about. (It's not my opinion.. I mean.. first FF album to hit number one on USA, and number one on 12 countries at its release).
I hope i downloaded a crap file as well but after reading what i saw in the paper then i can't be too sure unfortunately. I could post a million answers that contradict the notion that album sales=how good the recording of the actual album itself sounds. The fact is that such a correlation really doesn't exist, at least at the level we're talking about. Don't get me wrong, i love the songs and everything, i think they're fantastic. That's pretty much the reason i still choose to listen to it despite the bad sound. I have done a tonne of recordings on my computer over the last 6 years so yeah i like to think i do know at least a little bit about what a good recording sounds like (at least to my ears) :)
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Alright, great then.

I know sound quality isn't the main factor in sales, of course.. but I mean, I don't think this record sounds bad, distorted, clipping or overcompressed at all ! But ok, I have a huge man crush on Dave Grohl, so I can't be fully objective.

Anyway, after all.. your ears are not mine or anybody's else. eg: some time ago my guitarist showed me a recording all like "wow listen at this!! This is my dream drum sound! look it's so awesome!".. and it was some horrible, dreadful, god-awful radiohead, or some other british depressing band that sounded like it was recorded with an earphone.

(and this guy has perfect pitch hearing and is a sound production student, so go figure. Personal taste is key).

Cheers.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Diegobxr - insulting Radiohead like that is out of line. Especially if you're talking about sound quality. They have consistently released some of the best-sounding and most innovatively produced albums in the last fifteen years, each sounding different from the last.

Sure, you don't have to like the band, but when you insult their production you really do demonstrate that you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Go an listen to OK Computer. You don't have to like the songs, but listen to the way they've been recorded and crafted. The same with any other album except for Pablo Honey - which was rubbish. I don't much like Eminem, but I think he's got some of the most exciting production values around, for instance.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I'm sorry, but if you downloaded this from a Torrent (which I assume means you haven't paid a dime for it), you:

1: Have no idea what the source material is, meaning it can be the source's fault
2: Have no grounds to complain about anything, since you essentially stole it anyway
.
^ This.

The few torrents I've ever heard from anyone had sound quality issues, but upon buying the CD, were no longer issues.

But overall, I've never given much credence to the analog vs digital methods of recording. There are 1001 other factors in making a recording that can sway the sound for better or worse that have nothing to do with the music being on tape vs hard drive.
 

diegobxr

Silver Member
Diegobxr - insulting Radiohead like that is out of line. Especially if you're talking about sound quality. They have consistently released some of the best-sounding and most innovatively produced albums in the last fifteen years, each sounding different from the last.

Sure, you don't have to like the band, but when you insult their production you really do demonstrate that you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Go an listen to OK Computer. You don't have to like the songs, but listen to the way they've been recorded and crafted. The same with any other album except for Pablo Honey - which was rubbish. I don't much like Eminem, but I think he's got some of the most exciting production values around, for instance.
I get your point and I respect your opinion.
However:
1) What's "best-sounding" is 100% subjective. "Most innovatively produced/each one different from the last" does not equal "great/the best/the way things should be". And "most whatever" is an exaggeration. There are many innovative bands.

2) I do have a clue about what I'm talking about.

3) I had OK Computer on my iPod after my guitarist begged me to. I sincerely can't see what's all the fuss about. I'm not a fan of over-compressed and bass heavy music, but I do like to hear the bass drum, unlike Mr. Yorke, who seems to like to bury it in the mix.

4) I don't like their songs, their vibe, their attitude, their lyrics, nothing.

5) I think they're overrated.

But nobody forces me to listen to them, so... it's all cool.

Cheers.
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Right.

Sound quality actually isn't a subjective thing. Mix quality isn't either. That's why you can instantly tell a good mix from a bad mix. There are different levels of appropriateness which can make a mix suitable, but that can also be a bad mix. Take the Dead Kennedy's first album - it sounds horrible, which is exactly what it needs. Therefore, it's a good mix even though technically it's a bad mix. That's not a subjective thing at all. The flip side of that is Nirvana's 'Nevermind' which has a technically fairly flawless mix and production, but doesn't suit the band at all. Therefore, it's a bad mix in that situation. I can assure you that very little is as subjective as you think.

Incidentally, I'm not hearing many innovative bands at the moment either.
 
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