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 Post subject: Frank Zappa - Buffalo
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:34 pm 
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I just got this today, and have been digesting it as well as I can.

All in all, it's pretty good. A bit pricey (I've become a bit spoiled by the current, $16.99-for-two-discs Stage pricing), and the packaging is the usual, flimsy Barfko assembly, but otherwise it's damn good. I'm astounded by how much I like the 1980s band, given my general apathy towards that other document of this tour (Tinsel-town). We got some really formative performances along with some really fun performances, in addition to rarely-heard arrangements of prominent tracks ("Honey").

Cons? The mastering is a bit questionable. WAYY too loud, with that "crispy" compression applied that I abhor (for lack of a better explanation, waveforms subjected to this have the usual brickwall look, but also have "frizzy" peaks above, which usually means that high-frequency impulses--cymbols, for example--are pumping along). Bah. Not everything can be Doug Sax quality, I guess. Pity, as the level of compression obscures some tasty Vinnie drumwork.

All in all, a decent purchase. I like. More please.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 1:52 am 
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I agree that the mastering isn't too hot, but the mix is fantastic. If I had a chance to mix this release myself it would have been pretty close to this. I was able to detect a change in ambience in one or two spots as if they spliced to another source. It was done flawlessly though. I think one spot was in the middle of a guitar solo - Pick Me I'm Clean maybe. Why did they need to use backup sources if they were running two 24 tracks in the truck? I don't get that.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:08 pm 
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I'm unsure. Maybe those multitracks are damaged?

What do you think about the sound of "Keep It Greasy?" It's distortion-city...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:55 am 
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Xenu wrote:
I'm unsure. Maybe those multitracks are damaged?

What do you think about the sound of "Keep It Greasy?" It's distortion-city...


I didn't think it sounded too bad with the volume turned down a few notches. Has anyone complained to Gail or Travers about it?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:58 pm 
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I didn't complain, but I did inquire. I got the implication that "mastering" had little to do with it, and that most of it was fixed in stone during the mixing process.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:01 am 
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I don't know about that. The CD is pretty damn loud. The mix itself is really good regardless of what processing was applied to it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:44 am 
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Right. The implication I got (and, come to think of it, I don't know how for-public-dissemination this is) is that little of what you see was done in mastering. Take that for what it's worth.

I like the mix placement-wise, but I'm really not thrilled about how the drums sound (especially the cymbols) post-compression. Everything else is pretty spiffy, save for the aforementioned nasty distortion on "Keep It Greasy."

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:54 pm 
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But the drums were recorded like shit to begin with. I've always thought the drums on the fall 1980 stuff sounded really boxy and flat and dead. I actually think the drums sound a bit *better* on Buffalo...could still be better though.


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