New Dream Theater Album Stream/Drum Sound

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
Haven't seen any post about it yet. What do you guys think of Mangini's playing/contributions as this was his first time involved in the writing process? I think there's a lot of old DT sound mixed in with new flavors. I heard lots of cool effects put on drums (even though I don't care for the drum production) and I think Mangini did a great job. You can actually hear Myung (bass) haha. I also hear lots of Rush influence, especially on Surrender To Reason. As a Rush fan I couldn't help but notice. Thoughts on playing/production/songwriting? I found this refreshing as Dream Theater fan. I think this sounds much better than the last several albums.

Here's the link:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/dream-theater-channel-prog-metal-in-dream-theater-premiere-20130916
 

BradGunnerSGT

Silver Member
Re: New Dream Theater Album Stream

I know Mike P wasn't the only reason for their descent into the doom and gloom darker metal territory of the 2000's, but the last album to some extent and what I've heard of this one so far (I'm on the Bigger Picture right now) have been a return to the more "proggy" elements that made most of us love them back in the 90's. I love the drum sound on this one (much more Awake-ish than the 2000's era) way more than the last album where the drums were buried in the mix and the snare sounded like popcorn. Mangini sounds good and I like his contributions on this one way better than how he merely repeated JP's programmed drums on Dramatic Turn of Events.
 

MPortnoy

Senior Member
Re: New Dream Theater Album Stream

I know Mike P wasn't the only reason for their descent into the doom and gloom darker metal territory of the 2000's, but the last album to some extent and what I've heard of this one so far (I'm on the Bigger Picture right now) have been a return to the more "proggy" elements that made most of us love them back in the 90's. I love the drum sound on this one (much more Awake-ish than the 2000's era) way more than the last album where the drums were buried in the mix and the snare sounded like popcorn. Mangini sounds good and I like his contributions on this one way better than how he merely repeated JP's programmed drums on Dramatic Turn of Events.
I'm exactly on the other spectrum of DT fans (heavier and darker).
I wasn't introduced to Dream Theater until the very late 90's right before they released Scenes from a Memory and it soon became my favorite album and I've always been more attracted to their heavier stuff (until Octaviarium) so this album didn't do it for me except for "The enemy inside".
And even though I carry MP's nickname, it has nothing to do with that, Mangini is an awesome drummer and he did a great job but the album itself was just too "proggy" for my taste.
 

dtrushr30dw

Senior Member
Re: New Dream Theater Album Stream

I know Mike P wasn't the only reason for their descent into the doom and gloom darker metal territory of the 2000's, but the last album to some extent and what I've heard of this one so far (I'm on the Bigger Picture right now) have been a return to the more "proggy" elements that made most of us love them back in the 90's. I love the drum sound on this one (much more Awake-ish than the 2000's era) way more than the last album where the drums were buried in the mix and the snare sounded like popcorn. Mangini sounds good and I like his contributions on this one way better than how he merely repeated JP's programmed drums on Dramatic Turn of Events.
I think part of that transition to a heavier sound was, in part, to attract more fans and broaden their musical spectrum. I do like the more progressive approach to this album. Mangini is capable of doing things Portnoy couldn't and I think that shows in the construction of the drum parts. The overall musicianship of the band is probably at its highest level right now. On to drum tone.. I don't think they sound very "awake-ish" to me. They sound incredibly dead and they snare to too deep for my liking. This is just my opinion, which at the end of the day doesn't mean much :p. I sound ridiculous saying this, but the drum tone ruins the sonic/production element of the album for me. Overall, I'm loving the music I'm hearing and that's what matters most.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Re: New Dream Theater Album Stream

Haven't listened to the whole thing yet (will update when I do) but I really utterly despised Mangini's snare tone in The Enemy Inside single. No bite, super low tuned, I just couldn't stand it. Anyways, I quite liked the drums on A Dramatic Turn of Events. They were well-constructed, though a bit lacking in feel at moments (which surprisingly remained lacking in feel live).
 

Beam Me Up Scotty

Silver Member
Re: New Dream Theater Album Stream

Haven't listened to the whole thing yet (will update when I do) but I really utterly despised Mangini's snare tone in The Enemy Inside single. No bite, super low tuned, I just couldn't stand it. Anyways, I quite liked the drums on A Dramatic Turn of Events. They were well-constructed, though a bit lacking in feel at moments (which surprisingly remained lacking in feel live).
I may be wrong, so feel free to correct me, but I believe that they went with a detuned snare on purpose, because they (not sure who) thought it sounded good for the music? I also despise that sound.

As for the rest of the album, I'm only on my second spin, but so far I am liking it. I love DT's heavy stuff, I love their light stuff, and I love their epic stuff. This album has all of it, while still remaining true to the Dream Theater sound. There are definitely some callbacks to early DT, and when James finally lets go during The Illumination Theory, I got chills. Hey, speaking of the vocals...

I like James' voice a lot, but on this album, he seems to be a lot more restrained. He's older, can't sing like he used to, etc, and I get that. I think he suits the music perfectly, but my only gripe is how they are mixed in. To me, it seems like they mixed the instrumentals and then just threw the vocals in as a sort of afterthought. They get lost in the mix quite often, to the point where I'm struggling to make out the lyrics themselves.

As for other little things, I love being able to hear Myung's bass! I also adore The Illumination Theory... That epic is way up there as far as DT songs go. Definitely a new favourite.

Now to see how it ages...

Cheers!
 

porter

Platinum Member
Re: New Dream Theater Album Stream

I may be wrong, so feel free to correct me, but I believe that they went with a detuned snare on purpose, because they (not sure who) thought it sounded good for the music? I also despise that sound.
I agree. Only got around to False Awakening and the first minute of Looking Glass but it seems pretty good so far. Honestly, I like pretty much all dream theater- the prog, the metal, just not the ballads. So I am pretty fine with whatever direction they go as far as songwriting. But I'm glad to see that they seem to be using more straight up prog on this album.
 

Embalmer

Senior Member
The new Dream Theater drum sound

For those who have already heard the new DT album, care to comment on the sound of Mike Mangini's drums in the mix?

I, for one, am very disappointed. The kicks are WAY too clicky and they lack body. The snare is compressed almost to the point where it sounds triggered and his toms lack definition. Even the cymbals lack the clarity they had on the last album.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

I'm not a DT fan. I checked a couple of Youtube audio releases as a reference, & I agree. Snare is compressed to death, bass drums very scooped EQ, but loads of bottom end (in the sub frequencies), not much lower mid tone to flesh them out, toms get a similar treatment. Ok, I realise just how limiting Youtube audio is, but I'm getting some idea through my reference gear.

I can only assume it's a sound they were shooting for. Doesn't sound like it's a mistake. They're all old & wise enough not to get drawn into listening back solely on the big monitors. Personally, I like Mike's attitude. I think he's cool :)
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

I agree with both posts.
Seems often times bands are going for some specific sound which I would not really dig. The sound/mix can't be the result of coincidence so it seems that's what they were going for. I'd much prefer the clarity of their older albums.

Playing-wise, to me, the drums didn't stick out any more/different than they did under Portnoy. Which is a good thing overall as they integrate well into the rest of the music. I just didn't experience any 'wow this is so awesome' moments given that they have Mangini drumming. (Listened through the full album/youtube and feel like I don't need that album... nothing new.)
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

There's this whiny noise throughout the whole album... Anyone know what that is?
 

porter

Platinum Member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

The snare is crazy. It's super detuned, and they figured they could fix the lack of bite by tightening the snares an insane amount, which just makes it so that every instance of repetitive snare hits (especially those at low volumes) sounds muddy because the under-snare mic is behind the top-side by a large margin. At least, that's my theory. I honestly don't mind the tom/kick sounds though I've only heard the album twice. His cymbals sound pretty natural to me- they definitely give me a texture that most Zildjians I've heard have in real life.

As for his playing, it's pretty good! There's not really any crazy stuff (and his big fill in Enigma Machine is really unimpressive) but he seems as alright as ever.

Does anybody else hear some serious mistakes in the opening of Behind the Veil after the big opening (at 1:48)? There are some really obvious (to me) mistakes, like the bass drum lick at 1:50 and the fill at 1:59. The rest of the record seems pretty solid as far as timing goes so I was really thrown by those little spots.
 

Swiss Matthias

Platinum Member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

Don't like the new sound either. Actually I think the whole album is too much compressed.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

Aside from that.....how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln?

Steve B
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
Re: The new Dream Theater drum sound

I will assume these are all sampled sounds. I doubt a band like dream theater is going to leave anything to chance. For some reason these are the sounds they used. I have never been a DT fan, but man are they all amazing musicians.
 
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