Saturday, April 11, 2015

hello again.

Tap tap - is this thing on?

Yes.  Sort of.

I apologize to my (few) readers for neglecting this space for over a year - that said, I have been moonlighting as a legit mastering engineer on a half-dozen or so records since the last post.  So I’ve been around.  I do owe the nice TAR gents a post or two of some TAR-iffic material that didn’t work in the context of the double-LP comp, so watch this space for that.

The other day I was cleaning off the cobwebs from an old hard drive when I came across the purported multitracks of Joy Division’s "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - 8 individual tracks of what presumably are Rock Band or some similar game “stems”, which themselves are slightly mixed down from the original 16 or 24 track masters.  I said “why the hell not” and threw them up on a mixer.
  1. Peter Hook recorded at least two runs of “that bassline”.  Clangers, duff notes, missed strings and all.  Yet it’s perhaps one of his best-known, and certainly among the most melodic, basslines out of a career built on excellent ones.
  2. Steve Morris is a drumming phenom.  No news there.  There are some drum patterns on the multis not used in the final mix.
  3. Bernard Sumner recorded several distinct guitar parts - electric, and acoustic - some of which were unused in the classic 1980 mix.  Don Gehman’s 1995 “radio mix” featured some of these acoustic guitars in the mix, but not all.
  4. Ian’s vocals are effects-laden.  Hard to tell if they’re “vari-speeded” though.
  5. The original intent was to have a nearly 4-minute song, not the 3:28 final version.
  6. As long as I have all these multis loaded up in the mixer… Love Will Tear Us Apart 2015! (dropbox(soundcloud)
I quite like this 2015 mix.  There’s a strong sense of warmth and depth, and dare I say it but jaunty, feel to the song now.  The chunky electric guitar part that’s completely absent from the classic 1980 mix is quite nice.  The acoustic guitar, which barely surfaces in the 1980 mix towards the end but here plays throughout the track, nicely carries the melody through the entire song.

Take 14 - yes, the 14th mixdown - is soundclouded here.  I spent all weekend with the "original" remix, and found quite a few things I wanted to do better.  So I did - drums up, better EQ, better balance overall.  No sounding like 128kpbs on $10 earbuds for this one  (well, except for Soundcloud processing)!  Hah.  If you only listen to one of these, go with this one.

Please excuse me while I go back to ground...