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Thread started 11/19/23 8:01pm

26ten

Parade needs a new mix real bad.

Every time I listen to Parade I feel that the mixing is so inconsistent that the album suffers hugely as a result. Some tracks are good - Kiss, Mountains, Boys and Girls, the ballads for the most part. My ability to appreciate this record has been hampered by this si ce I got it.

But the complexity of the album seems to have made it more challenging to to mix and its just begging for an SDE with a mix that really allows for this album to be heard finally.

You ever feel this way too?
[Edited 11/20/23 13:19pm]
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Reply #1 posted 11/19/23 10:29pm

TrivialPursuit

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I am hopeful that with the major upgrade in sound for Diamonds and Pearls, that Parade will stand to benefit from the same engineer. I also hold hope for the inevitable re-release of Purple Rain.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #2 posted 11/19/23 10:42pm

26ten

TrivialPursuit said:

I am hopeful that with the major upgrade in sound for Diamonds and Pearls, that Parade will stand to benefit from the same engineer. I also hold hope for the inevitable re-release of Purple Rain.



Strongly agreed on that. Imo Parade as an album would benefit the most from that.

I admit I'm curious what the other members feel about the current mix... I've felt this since the first time I listened to it but I don't recall ever seeing anyone here bring it up.
[Edited 11/19/23 22:44pm]
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Reply #3 posted 11/20/23 2:13am

Vannormal

We all have different ears i guess.

I even have no idea what you mean with "the mixing"...

Call me dumb stupid and blind.

-

I was just 20 when i bought this album.

When I was that young, I had absolutely no idea what anything should sound like (for the better, best).

I was happy to hear a completely different sound (music) on this record, compared to all the other music at the time.

I have grown and merged with the sound of these recordings over time.

The reason why i'm interested in a remastered version is because,

I just learned recently to hear the difference between a remastered versions and an original release. And sometimes I still don't hear much of a difference.

SoO what is mixing, and what would it improve?

[Edited 11/20/23 2:20am]

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. And wiser people so full of doubts" (Bertrand Russell 1872-1972)
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Reply #4 posted 11/20/23 3:18am

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

it sounds decent to me.

on cd, maybe a bit flat.

but on vinyl, it sounds fine.

prince wasnt that into perfect or even good mix downs anyway.

if it did the job, that was good enough.

people used to say it was cluttered or too dense, (i guess they meant the first song) but it didnt hamper the songs for me. maybe its meant to sound dense. its got a lot in there.

the songs i always thought needed to be remixed or reengineered were those on purple rain, the live recordings, ESPECIALLY the song purple rain. its always sounded weird to me.

but im someone who doesnt really like remasters. i prefer hearing the album as it was released, flaws and all. mainly because often remaster is just an excuse for cleaning up. not everything is meant to be cleaned up and sparkly for optimum spotify streaming. most remasters are just remixing or engineering music for the new medium/platform of the day, nothing else. eg - the new beatles compilations.

[Edited 11/20/23 3:20am]

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Reply #5 posted 11/20/23 3:45am

Krid

I only have this on vinyl, original pressing when it was released. I never thought it sounded bad... but would love to have it via streaming or SDE with better sound - and anyway, there were great b-sides and vault tracks at that time...

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Reply #6 posted 11/20/23 10:43am

26ten

Vannormal said:

We all have different ears i guess.


I even have no idea what you mean with "the mixing"...


Call me dumb stupid and blind.


-


I was just 20 when i bought this album.


When I was that young, I had absolutely no idea what anything should sound like (for the better, best).


I was happy to hear a completely different sound (music) on this record, compared to all the other music at the time.


I have grown and merged with the sound of these recordings over time.


The reason why i'm interested in a remastered version is because,


I just learned recently to hear the difference between a remastered versions and an original release. And sometimes I still don't hear much of a difference.


SoO what is mixing, and what would it improve?

[Edited 11/20/23 2:20am]



The mixing refers to the balance of volume for all the different components - in this case IMO the strings are buried underneath the loudness of the drums, which are so loud on some tracks that even the vocals are hard to hear.
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Reply #7 posted 11/20/23 10:45am

26ten

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:

it sounds decent to me.


on cd, maybe a bit flat.


but on vinyl, it sounds fine.


prince wasnt that into perfect or even good mix downs anyway.


if it did the job, that was good enough.


people used to say it was cluttered or too dense, (i guess they meant the first song) but it didnt hamper the songs for me. maybe its meant to sound dense. its got a lot in there.


the songs i always thought needed to be remixed or reengineered were those on purple rain, the live recordings, ESPECIALLY the song purple rain. its always sounded weird to me.


but im someone who doesnt really like remasters. i prefer hearing the album as it was released, flaws and all. mainly because often remaster is just an excuse for cleaning up. not everything is meant to be cleaned up and sparkly for optimum spotify streaming. most remasters are just remixing or engineering music for the new medium/platform of the day, nothing else. eg - the new beatles compilations.

[Edited 11/20/23 3:20am]



Interesting... see I only have it on CD so maybe I need to track it down on LP. If the mixing is stronger on that format then I want to find one locally for sure as I keep feeling consistently like I still haven't heard the album despite playing it over a dozen times. I'm glad you mentioned that as I hadn't even co sidereal that as a possibility.
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Reply #8 posted 11/20/23 10:53am

GustavoRibas

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Unfortunately, when it comes to sounds, Prince wasnt that perfectionist.

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Reply #9 posted 11/20/23 10:55am

TrivialPursuit

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And some of those components need to be EQ'd a bit, for those that don't get remastering. Hiss, airy, or whatever noises in the original recording can be minimized, cleared up, sharpened without changing the overall mix/levels-on/of the album. Parade has an organic nature to it, but with that comes a muddy nature to some of the songs. There's a constant... sizzle?... in some of the songs. Almost like a brush on a snare drum. It's just hissy noise or something that distracts from what it should probably sound like. Those things can be cleaned up digitally yet keep the almost-grassroots feel of it.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #10 posted 11/20/23 11:00am

WhisperingDand
elions

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The 80s albums were intentionally asap slapped together recording-wise and any remixing undermines their intentional contruction.

You people want an immaculately-recorded Prince record go replay For You.

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Reply #11 posted 11/20/23 11:32am

26ten

TrivialPursuit said:

And some of those components need to be EQ'd a bit, for those that don't get remastering. Hiss, airy, or whatever noises in the original recording can be minimized, cleared up, sharpened without changing the overall mix/levels-on/of the album. Parade has an organic nature to it, but with that comes a muddy nature to some of the songs. There's a constant... sizzle?... in some of the songs. Almost like a brush on a snare drum. It's just hissy noise or something that distracts from what it should probably sound like. Those things can be cleaned up digitally yet keep the almost-grassroots feel of it.



For real! I might want a remix to balance the volume of the various components but I'd rather stay without forever as opposed to a glossy and perfect mix that saps tye personality out of the recording.

I think for me that is what my struggle is - its one of the most idiosyncratic sounding album he ever made and I just want that to be strengthened. If D+Ps got an SDE then I would think Parade of all albums would too based off of the commercial success of Kiss alone.
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Reply #12 posted 11/20/23 11:37am

26ten

WhisperingDandelions said:

The 80s albums were intentionally asap slapped together recording-wise and any remixing undermines their intentional contruction.

You people want an immaculately-recorded Prince record go replay For You.



Oh I disagree - a remix isn't some sort of expensive and sterile new version it's just a matter of balancing the volume of all the different pieces instead of say, in this case, burying the vocals and Clare Fischers work behind the drums.

However I do agree that For You is immaculately produced. You know for years like 60% of his discography was branded sub par compared to his peak 80s albums and I always wondered what the critics had jammed in their g***amn ears because the man was consistent in quality imo.

Of course once he passed THEN we start seeing "Re-examining Prince's STARTLING DEBUT" or "Prince's COME: his darkest masterpiece".

As a fan it's infuriating!
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Reply #13 posted 11/20/23 11:47am

JoeyCococo

I think people are confusing remixing for remastering. A new mix is artistic - Prince would not be ok with that and we don't want things to sound too different. I'm all for more great remaster jobs tho although, Parade of all the 80s albums, sounded good to me. What I really want is the Mountains Extended version to get the treatment...

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Reply #14 posted 11/20/23 12:17pm

TrivialPursuit

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JoeyCococo said:

I think people are confusing remixing for remastering. A new mix is artistic - Prince would not be ok with that and we don't want things to sound too different. I'm all for more great remaster jobs tho although, Parade of all the 80s albums, sounded good to me. What I really want is the Mountains Extended version to get the treatment...


yeah, totally agree. The album doesn't need a remix, it's a remaster that we're really talking about here. Clean it up.

I was honestly surprised how much D&P had an improvement. It was a great job. So again, I'm hopeful that Parade will get those benefits.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #15 posted 11/20/23 12:56pm

26ten

The problem is that 'remix' is a word that has many different meanings in the audio world so it's important when using it to explain that you do not mean sending the tracks to someone and having them alter them to change the songs into something notably different from the original recordings.

What I'm talking about the process of creating a new mix of the record to balance out the various components - which is distinct from remastering which is altering the frequency range of a record - HOWEVER when an album is re-released it's typical that both a new mix and a new remaster job happen.

I suppose this isn't a forum full of audio engineers so it's not surprising but I want to be clear that I *do not* want Parade to be sent to someone else or even the estate to make it into something different - as you noted Trivial Pursuit I want the same album cleaned up (and more balanced).

I wouldn't normally pursue the semantics here but the idea of anyone thinking I'd want this classic album seriously altered for release makes me feel sick haha so I had to clarify again.
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Reply #16 posted 11/20/23 1:10pm

26ten

Jesus that'd be sacrilege haha

Given that's what it seems people thought I meant I'm surprised no one (understandably) got out the pitchforks haha

(Edited the title of the OP as well for clarity)
[Edited 11/20/23 13:19pm]
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Reply #17 posted 11/20/23 1:41pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

You people want an immaculately-recorded Prince record go replay For You.

better yet, emancipation

thinking about the strings on parade, im not sure they are meant to be at the front of the mix or bang in your face. theyre meant to be colouring. sonic clarity was not princes strongpoint really. when he was working with a minimalist setup, you got that anyway, even when the actual sonic quality wasnt great (eg sott songs), but when he had it all in there, strings, horns, etc, it all got a bit dense. but i quite like that about christopher tracys parade. its still got a real energy about it regardless of everything going on. and some of parade gets it perfect. is anyone gonna say life can be so nice needs to be remastered or mixed or better EQd or whatever? (btw, once you start saying all that, youre basically asking for stuff beyond what prince himself did).

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Reply #18 posted 11/20/23 2:48pm

26ten

funkbabyandthebabysitters said:


You people want an immaculately-recorded Prince record go replay For You.




better yet, emancipation



thinking about the strings on parade, im not sure they are meant to be at the front of the mix or bang in your face. theyre meant to be colouring. sonic clarity was not princes strongpoint really. when he was working with a minimalist setup, you got that anyway, even when the actual sonic quality wasnt great (eg sott songs), but when he had it all in there, strings, horns, etc, it all got a bit dense. but i quite like that about christopher tracys parade. its still got a real energy about it regardless of everything going on. and some of parade gets it perfect. is anyone gonna say life can be so nice needs to be remastered or mixed or better EQd or whatever? (btw, once you start saying all that, youre basically asking for stuff beyond what prince himself did).



I was listening to Emancipation and you're definitely right that it is immaculately produced - but it's also true that there is little variety in the actual dynamic range of the tracks which is what really ramps up the density of the music. Some days that is what I want but it definitely isn't for everyone, and at 3 hours of music it really can push a lot of listeners away.

Also on your point about what Pri ce wanted I suppose that is potentially true but that could be argued for any new mixes or remasters for anything. Imo the only thing that was can hope for is an engineer who is hoping to bring new life to the recordings without making the changes so large that they inadvertently add too much of themselves to the music, which many may find inappropriate.

It seems the D+P SDE engineer has won over a lot of diehard fans so they'd be the natural choice it seems.
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Reply #19 posted 11/20/23 7:25pm

WhisperingDand
elions

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Again, his "questionable" mixes/levels were absolutely intentional.

Watch Miles Davis talk about the Prince 80s style (specifically the emphasis/decreased emphasis on treble&bass) and how Prince would own up to his intentional mixing deciisons in-person:

https://youtu.be/FETPaGyPNKI?t=163

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Reply #20 posted 11/20/23 9:42pm

Vannormal

26ten said:

Vannormal said:

We all have different ears i guess.

I even have no idea what you mean with "the mixing"...

Call me dumb stupid and blind.

-

So what is mixing, and what would it improve?


The mixing refers to the balance of volume for all the different components - in this case IMO the strings are buried underneath the loudness of the drums, which are so loud on some tracks that even the vocals are hard to hear.

Thank you.

But why should they make a different mix for a CD and an LP?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves. And wiser people so full of doubts" (Bertrand Russell 1872-1972)
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Reply #21 posted 11/20/23 10:02pm

andrewm7new

Parade sounds fine to me on vinyl, interestingly when the CD came out I heard detail that I didnt percieve before like the "a beat" edited beat on girls and boys and I thought someone was messing with my head lol

[Edited 11/20/23 22:05pm]

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Reply #22 posted 11/20/23 11:15pm

funkbabyandthe
babysitters

"It's also true that there is little variety in the actual dynamic range of the tracks which is what really ramps up the density of the music."

It was brickwalled right? A shame. And odd as its not a heavy or extreme album!

What most ppl want from 80s albums is for them to be beefed up, from comments ive read.
Im sure prince at one point said he wasnt satisfied with parade but idk what his reasons were exactly.
I think cos he liked working with inexperienced engineers who would let him get away with stuff older guys wouldnt, he could turn in odd or not so great mixes. Theres def songs i think could benefit from better separation though, regardless of anything else. Thats my main complaint.
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Reply #23 posted 11/21/23 10:19am

JoeyCococo

TrivialPursuit said:

JoeyCococo said:

I think people are confusing remixing for remastering. A new mix is artistic - Prince would not be ok with that and we don't want things to sound too different. I'm all for more great remaster jobs tho although, Parade of all the 80s albums, sounded good to me. What I really want is the Mountains Extended version to get the treatment...


yeah, totally agree. The album doesn't need a remix, it's a remaster that we're really talking about here. Clean it up.

I was honestly surprised how much D&P had an improvement. It was a great job. So again, I'm hopeful that Parade will get those benefits.

Can you describe the improvement you hear? I know it has much better low end. I also know they cleaned up the top end. There was more 'smearing' of the highs and now they feel more muted. Any specific examples?

I hear the high hat on the title cut much more muted than before, as one example.

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Reply #24 posted 11/21/23 11:00am

TrivialPursuit

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JoeyCococo said:

TrivialPursuit said:


yeah, totally agree. The album doesn't need a remix, it's a remaster that we're really talking about here. Clean it up.

I was honestly surprised how much D&P had an improvement. It was a great job. So again, I'm hopeful that Parade will get those benefits.

Can you describe the improvement you hear? I know it has much better low end. I also know they cleaned up the top end. There was more 'smearing' of the highs and now they feel more muted. Any specific examples?

I hear the high hat on the title cut much more muted than before, as one example.


It just sounds more exacting. I'm not struggling to hear an instrument or whatever. Everything is balanced where it should be, and is clear.

"eye don’t really care so much what people say about me because it is a reflection of who they r."
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Reply #25 posted 11/22/23 2:38pm

dualboot

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Vannormal said:



26ten said:


Vannormal said:

We all have different ears i guess.


I even have no idea what you mean with "the mixing"...


Call me dumb stupid and blind.


-


So what is mixing, and what would it improve?






The mixing refers to the balance of volume for all the different components - in this case IMO the strings are buried underneath the loudness of the drums, which are so loud on some tracks that even the vocals are hard to hear.

Thank you.


But why should they make a different mix for a CD and an LP?




the sound of the vinyl as medium is kinda part of the overall sound.
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