Monday, September 29, 2008

Blender Interviews Lars On Death Magnetic Sound Quality

Blender was able to speak to Lars Ulrich and directly ask about Death Magnetic's sound quality, but sadly, he just isn't seeing it. The H-Man's take:

Of course it sounds good on a car stereo. The music was mixed to be the background in your life. Cars inherently are noisy, so it's much more difficult to pick up the distortion that's going on underneath the music. It sounds fine on my car stereo too. No matter what extra crap is happening around you, the music is just pumping along at loud volumes and it's hard to notice unless you know what to look for. If I was in the car with Lars, however, I'd be able to point out to him which parts suck, thus, he'd have a harder time ducking the issue.

It's too bad Lars probably hasn't listened to the Guitar Hero mix. If he had it, and cranked it up, even he'd hear how much more dynamic it is. The GH mix has punch, detail, plus very little haze and fuzzy distortion artifacts, compared to the CD and vinyl versions.

And of course Lars had to throw ...And Justice For All into the argument, which proves he doesn't understand our grievance. The Justice issue is a case of production. The guitars and drums are thin, and the bass is too low in the mix. But that was a production choice by Flemming Rasmussen that ended up not working out. In terms of sound quality, that album sounds great. You can crank the volume on a stereo, radio, whatever, and it comes alive. No extraneous artifacts or noise that makes the album grating. If Metallica had kept the volume level of Death Magnetic the same as it is on Justice, no one would be complaining.

So people out in 'Net land: don't let Lars try to convince you that the people complaining about Justice is comparable. It's not. Different type of problem. Production choices (Justice) vs. mixing problems (Magnetic). Apples and oranges.

I contend the mixing problems are problems, not choices. They could've made the mix loud and "in your face" without causing distortion if someone took more care to watch that the levels weren't bleeding into the red.


Blogger ianshepherd said...

Damn straight ! Great post, I will be linking to it.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous JC said...

I figure that Lars will do his usual thing of "this is the best album we've ever made" for a year then start agreeing with fans about the sound quality.

I find it strange that someone famous for obsessing over details that this seems to have slipped past his radar. Either that or he/they were aware and it was just too late in the day to recall the product.

Hey ho GH3 rips keep me warm at night!!

Awesome blog BTW!!

9:47 AM  

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