Forums > Queen - General Discussion > Digital Recording

forum rss feed
Author

liam user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 596 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 03:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I often hear the reason Innuendo sounds so 'empty' is because they had issues with the digital recording. Was innuendo the only Queen album not recorded to tape? What issues would they have had with digital recording to make Innuendo sound the way it does?


Go, Go, Go, little queenie!!
brENsKi user not visiting Queenzone.com
How shall we f**k off, Oh Lord
brENsKi
Deity: 8088 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 03:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

forgive me for any level of ignorance here, i hope someone more technically minded can either back up what i say, or explain why i got it wrong but my understanding of the digital vs analogue argument was always one about the end product and the medium used at sale, rather than the recording method:

1. analogue vinyl has always had a greater feel of warmth about it, it seems to capture the "harmonics and atompsphere present" when the recording took place, where as early cds/dvds and (later) dolby tapes often felt cold clinical and life-sucking on playback...almost like the soul of the music had been removed
2. as regards the actual recording process....digital has to be better. there's more purity and reliability. whereas analogue was prone to wear and tear....it didn't take much overdubbing and bouncing for analogue to "lose" quality. whereas every digital copy is as good as the first, and much easier to fix errors, and tweak sound levels.
3. however, that last sentence may well be where the problem lay. digital recording was still a newish thing in 1990, and human error at production stage may well have crept in due to unfamiliarity with the software and tools being used.



go deo na hÉireann
liam user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 596 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 03:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the reply.
I was referring to the actual recording and not cd vs vinyl (please not another debate on here!).

However, many bands are going back to analogue recording to achieve that warmth that it gives.



Go, Go, Go, little queenie!!
mooghead user not visiting Queenzone.com
mooghead
Deity: 3667 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 04:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Digital recording can mean recording to DAT (Digital Audio Tape) and not just necessarily a hard drive.

brENsKi user not visiting Queenzone.com
How shall we f**k off, Oh Lord
brENsKi
Deity: 8088 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 04:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

liam wrote:
Thanks for the reply.
I was referring to the actual recording and not cd vs vinyl (please not another debate on here!).
However, many bands are going back to analogue recording to achieve that warmth that it gives.

i did answer your question. - i started by referring to the cd/vinyl point in order to eliminate that form the debate. my point 2&3 are close as i can get to answering you.

as for Moog's reply, yes i knew that. but in 1990 would they have bene using some form of computer software in production with DATs....?


go deo na hÉireann
liam user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 596 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 05:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I didnt say you didnt...


Go, Go, Go, little queenie!!
Batman04 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 166 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 14:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

New Greatest Hits Japaneas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Canadian May Fan user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 106 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 14:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

brENsKi wrote:
forgive me for any level of ignorance here, i hope someone more technically minded can either back up what i say, or explain why i got it wrong but my understanding of the digital vs analogue argument was always one about the end product and the medium used at sale, rather than the recording method:
1. analogue vinyl has always had a greater feel of warmth about it, it seems to capture the "harmonics and atompsphere present" when the recording took place, where as early cds/dvds and (later) dolby tapes often felt cold clinical and life-sucking on playback...almost like the soul of the music had been removed
2. as regards the actual recording process....digital has to be better. there's more purity and reliability. whereas analogue was prone to wear and tear....it didn't take much overdubbing and bouncing for analogue to "lose" quality. whereas every digital copy is as good as the first, and much easier to fix errors, and tweak sound levels.
3. however, that last sentence may well be where the problem lay. digital recording was still a newish thing in 1990, and human error at production stage may well have crept in due to unfamiliarity with the software and tools being used.


Not necessarily. Until the last few years, digital recording simply hasn't had the bandwidth to record a lot of data at a practically storable size, so it's had to compress the hell of it just to make it manageable.


"I'll top the bill, I'll overkill, I've got to find the will to carry on... The show must go on."
Stelios user not visiting Queenzone.com
Stelios
Bohemian: 987 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 14:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Its a shame that The show must go on and Innuendo dont get the chance to have that extra warmth of analogue recording.I think this is more apparent to the second.I also think The Hitman lacks some depth/warmth and most obviously I Can't Live with You wich i think sounds really weak.


`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
the dude 1366 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Bohemian: 208 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 16:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I just bought the vinyl of Innuendo. They screwed it up big time! They sell it by saying it had the original edits of some songs. Well the original edits suck! The order is changed and they shortened 4 songs on side 2. Bijou was very short and only had the Freddie part before The Show Must Go on abruptly starts.
The best sounding version of Innuendo that I have heard is the first Dutch CD pressing. It sounds less "empty". It's also pre "loudness war". The Dutch CD really does have a more alive feel to it.Sometimes peple confuse empty and quiet as inferior. Get the Dutch pressing and turn it up.

C_Matt user not visiting Queenzone.com
C_Matt
Bohemian: 357 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 17:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Could it be that Freddie's voice has a horrible equalization? To me, they wanted to give it the body that it lost, or something, but every time he says a "s" it sounds like a artificial echo and sounds "shhshshsh" like an annoying hiss, or sound like a whistle.

I think the main problem beside the voice is the drums. In I Can't Live with You, the drums sounds like carton, and don't have body. The drums lost the necessary lows to make the song explode all that energy which wants to transmit.

The main problem with this album might be the fact that it doesn't sounds natural. It has too many fixes and manipulations over it (Freddie's voice and the drums are the main cases).

Anyway, it IS a great album, with a lot of seriousness and well done. But sounds distant. I suppose that with The Miracle they used this technollogy, or at least part of it, but it sounds full of energy and power (just listen to Was It All Worth It), the same with Made in Heaven (despite the homonym song which sounds very sharp, too much treble).

There are songs on Innuendo which don't have this problem, like All Gods People, Lost Opportunitty, the Ride the Wild Wind or Headlong demos, Bijou, I'm Going Slightly Mad, for example.

And what "the dude 1366" says is sadly true. I had preferred they eliminated a few songs like Delilah, but not to cut four.

Wiley user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1704 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 13 May 12, 20:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting. I think the Bijou edit works great.

For years I always thought Bijou was only one minute long because the Innuendo CD I had for almost 10 years was the "EMI Capitol de Mexico" edition and it had the vinyl edits. I didn't hear the full version of the Innuendo tracks until around 2002.

I remember listening to it for the first time.
I had a similar case when listening to the "Let me live" original version in my second MIH CD. Goosebumps and all.

Lord Fickle user not visiting Queenzone.com

Royalty: 1421 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 05:46 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Show Must Go On can be made to sound 'beefier' by remixing from the stems. I uploaded a version in the fan mixes board, but people said the drums were too loud! You can actually mix it with 'real' drums, omitting the digital snare, and it sounds much more natural and warm. I just wish we had the stems for Innuendo.


Remember to deliver with the speed of light

A little bit of love and joy
bobo the chimp user not visiting Queenzone.com
bobo the chimp
Deity: 12703 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 08:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Not sure what impact this might've had on the treatment of Freddie's voice in production, but since he was doing a lot of control room vocals (using an SM85 - not to be mistaken with the 58) they probably had to treat it a little differently than usual.

His voice underwent a change in timbre regardless. I'm not really a fan of the change in sound on Innuendo, but I don't think that takes away from the performances at all. Freddie really gave it a good kicking.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
Stelios user not visiting Queenzone.com
Stelios
Bohemian: 987 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 08:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote:
Not sure what impact this might've had on the treatment of Freddie's voice in production, but since he was doing a lot of control room vocals (using an SM85 - not to be mistaken with the 58) they probably had to treat it a little differently than usual.
His voice underwent a change in timbre regardless. I'm not really a fan of the change in sound on Innuendo, but I don't think that takes away from the performances at all. Freddie really gave it a good kicking.
control room vocals

Does control room vocals mean that he didn't sung in the isolation of the studio booth.That happened due to his weakness at the time?


`````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
thomasquinn 32989 user not visiting Queenzone.com
thomasquinn 32989
Deity: 6257 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 09:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Canadian May Fan wrote:
brENsKi wrote:
forgive me for any level of ignorance here, i hope someone more technically minded can either back up what i say, or explain why i got it wrong but my understanding of the digital vs analogue argument was always one about the end product and the medium used at sale, rather than the recording method:
1. analogue vinyl has always had a greater feel of warmth about it, it seems to capture the "harmonics and atompsphere present" when the recording took place, where as early cds/dvds and (later) dolby tapes often felt cold clinical and life-sucking on playback...almost like the soul of the music had been removed
2. as regards the actual recording process....digital has to be better. there's more purity and reliability. whereas analogue was prone to wear and tear....it didn't take much overdubbing and bouncing for analogue to "lose" quality. whereas every digital copy is as good as the first, and much easier to fix errors, and tweak sound levels.
3. however, that last sentence may well be where the problem lay. digital recording was still a newish thing in 1990, and human error at production stage may well have crept in due to unfamiliarity with the software and tools being used.

Not necessarily. Until the last few years, digital recording simply hasn't had the bandwidth to record a lot of data at a practically storable size, so it's had to compress the hell of it just to make it manageable.


Not true. DAT tapes were used, the problem you mention only applies to HD storage.



Not Plutus but Apollo rules Parnassus

thomasquinn 32989 user not visiting Queenzone.com
thomasquinn 32989
Deity: 6257 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 09:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Also, let's not forget the aesthetic choices that were made. A lot of music from the late '80s and early '90s sounds awful to our ears, but that plastic-like, synthetic sound was all the rage at the time, even though we regard it as "inferior recordings" rather than "aesthetic choice".


Not Plutus but Apollo rules Parnassus

bobo the chimp user not visiting Queenzone.com
bobo the chimp
Deity: 12703 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 12:20 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Does control room vocals mean that he didn't sung in the isolation of the studio booth.That happened due to his weakness at the time?"

Basically, yep. He wound up doing a lot of them in the control room as time went on. Control rooms in your average high-end studio are pretty effing comfy places to be. Ideally, that is.


"Your not funny, your not a good musician, theres a difference between being funny and being an idiot, you obviously being the latter" - Dave R Fuller
vince73 user not visiting Queenzone.com

Champion: 88 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 13:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think they used some multitrack implemented using synced DAT´s (like in Back to the Light) and surely some of the old Brian´s Mac from motorola 68K era.
In the expanded edition of Innuendo notes says Brian told that the drum patterns in ICLWY never worked well until 1997 when software was better.
So i think the limitations of new tools are surely present.


inu-liger user not visiting Queenzone.com
inu-liger
Deity: 13057 posts
add to buddy list send PM

Posted: 14 May 12, 16:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Queen used DASH tapes, not DAT, for recording Miracle/Innuendo and I believe MIH as well (or parts of it?)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Audio_Stationary_Head