January 26, 2007

Pigs Fly, Hell Freezes. Film at eleven.

by Chris Randall

Sweet baby Jesus, has it come to this? The Grey Lady isn't usually in the habit of reprinting press releases and calling them news, so I have to labor on the assumption that this is actual fact. Read then discuss. I'm going to try an A/B comparison with an album I know really well, like, say, "Lust For Life," and try to get to the bottom of this shit.


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Jan.26.2007 @ 9:12 PM
you guys should get going on a "sound enhancer" plugin. it'll sell bucketloads...or better yet---a toyota mixing station.

Jan.26.2007 @ 10:15 PM
I don't know about the Apple iTunes "Sound Enhancer", but I notice that I get a lot less ear fatigue listening to MP3s than I do an uncompressed recording... not that it sounds better.

Jan.26.2007 @ 10:20 PM
cross-channel phase insertion in the highs (like a boombox from 1983: "stereo wide") plus bass and treble boost (like a home stereo-amp: "loudness")

not too subtle when turned up full.


Jan.26.2007 @ 10:50 PM
Hmmm. I listened to one of my own tracks, and it seemed a little "glassey" to me. Sort of like the BBE Sonic Maximizer sound. However, the track that I tested had already been mastered, so maybe that was why. But, I find it hard to believe that Ry heard his shit through Pultecs and Universal Audio gear before settling on the iTunes enhancer. Maybe it was just different enough to catch his ear and get him excited about the recording again. Maybe he was drunk too.

Jan.26.2007 @ 10:50 PM
Chris Randall
Yup. I just a/b'd Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" (for its high-end content and dynamics) and Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" (simply because I've been listening to that album since I was 9, and I know it so well.) I agree that it's rather mild trickery, just a smiley face EQ curve and some simple phase tricks. Not enough to even warrant a plugin, let alone an article in the New York Times.

As for the ear fatigue being less a problem on MP3s, that can probably be attributed to the lack of any meaningful information over, say, 12K.



Jan.26.2007 @ 11:28 PM
My fucking god!

I'd say Ry Cooder is on really shitty crack! Just A/B'ed with "The Wall disk 2". I don't even know why I did it in the first place but if it helps, I still think that one has to be completely outa his mind to leave the "sound enhancer" option checked, never mind mastering with it!

But hey, what would you expect from Ry Cooder when people like Nathaniel Kunkel make statements like this: link [gearslutz.com/bad.ph...]">link [gearslutz.com]


Jan.27.2007 @ 5:36 AM
Bjorn Vayner
Funny, this reminds me about a rant that Robert Henke made on the Ableton forum.
He finally discovered what messed up some of his burned tracks.
The enhancer is turned on by default.
So unless you turn it off, you've been living with the effect for a long while.

Jan.27.2007 @ 9:47 AM
That NYT article sounds like an Apple PR item. In the last year, I've been involved with two small items planted in the Times designed to look like editorial when they were actually advertising. Its certainly not uncommon. BTW ? Fuck iTunes, I want to see Logic 8 in the Times.

Jan.27.2007 @ 11:03 AM
penzoil washington
hah, maybe Neil Young should try the same trick?

Ry Cooder lost me when he featured himself in BVSC, playing inappropriately over the Cubans.


Jan.27.2007 @ 11:35 AM
Despite the sick, sinking feeling in my gut, I still can't help but hold out a whole lotta hope for Mr. Cooder.
This man has produced many of (in my op.) the best sounding records of the last fifty years. While I'm sure that he has not always used the most standard methods for recording his shit, I'm quite sure that he deserves a say about this article, on both its validity, and its content. The man Deserves to explain. If you've ever read an interview with him, discussing the production of his music, you'd be willing to give him the bene of the doubt as well.
He has, in recent years, embraced technological advancements more than i thought he ever would. so it's possible. I admire his ability to take a part recorded through a 50s steel amp, run it though a protools chop and harm, and then delay it with an tel ray oil can.
Above all, i've always noticed his respect for music. Unfortunately, he doesn't personally exist on the internet. no site, no email, no nothin as far as i know. this may just have to pass unverified.

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