Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I haven't listened to the new Rick Rubin produced Metallica record but I've been reading some of the articles and criticism on it, needless to say its been hugely successful thus far, (827K in two weeks).

There's been complaints of the album being engineered too loud which is apparently ruining the sonic experience for listeners. I can't comment personally because I'm yet to listen but I'm definitely familiar with mixing and mastering ruining music, my own music more than anything.

WSJ have a pretty interesting article on the whole situation. Theres quotes from Ted Jensen (the mastering engineer) saying "Believe me, I'm not proud to be associated with this one".

With all this Metallica fuckery, I started to think about rap records being engineered badly and the lack of discussion it brings from fans. Is it because the new generation of fan's don't care? or maybe after all the lousy quality mixtapes and internet leaks, people just expect less from rap music?

I remember after Dr Dre's 2001, alot of rap records started becoming increasingly louder. I listened to that album for years trying to work out how everything was so loud yet warm and crisp. I never did work it out, but I did start realising immediately when albums were mixed and mastered poorly. So I'm gonna get in the spirit of disgruntled Metallica fans and reel off some major label rap records/singles that were poorly engineered:

Lil Wayne - Carter III ... I'm still waiting for a mixed version of "Lollipop". Only in Hip-Hop can a single go #1 even if the snare is louder than the chorus vocals.

Jay-Z - Black Album ... The production and mixing on Jay-Z records was a big influence for me coming up as a producer but this record was mastered too loud. The bottom-end distorts slightly on "December 4th" and a few other records.

Shakira/Wyclef - "Hips Don't Lie"... Clearly not rap, I know, but the mix on this song was so bizarre. It almost sounded mono.

Feel free to join in, I know you got some

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