Another quick studio update

Another quick update from Adam Jones via Instagram in the studio with Tool.  It seems that Danny is well underway recording the drums, and that they’re recording to tape (bitch):

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lumps
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lumps

There’s another update from Adam: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bgp5ka3nhBa/?taken-by=adamjones_tv

I can’t wait to see what comes from this.
C’mon Danny, lay down those wicked beats!

Z-Werewolf
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Z-Werewolf

Those SSL consoles are awesome. I worked on one in audio engineering school. Pretty amazing beasts especially when set up with a tape machine. This will be a warm sounding album no doubt. I love tape!

ChrisC
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ChrisC

…at least if they keep their fingers away from the compressor. 😉

Maynerd
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Maynerd

Joe didn’t hand Ludwig a crankd mix to deal with. It was Ludwig who made the decision to brickwall it.

Bagochodes
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Bagochodes

This !

dslet
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dslet

Nailed it. It’s a shame 10K Days sounds so bad and that I’ve been called an asshole for pointing it out. Put it in any audio program and see for yourselves, I tell them. It’s brickwalled and way too hot of a master, I tell them. Glad to see someone else has ears.

Bagochodes
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Bagochodes

10 000 Days ain’t that bad honestly ; it’s compressed but it’s just under that critical point where there is a total absence of dynamics.

I’d argue that it works pretty nicely with the music, since the louder songs are very dense and claustrophobic.

The production on Undertow is my absolute favorite one, but I’m not sure it would’ve worked for all the songs on 10 000 days.

Just because something looks compressed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.

dslet
Member
dslet

ie Undertow sound — the guitars are very hot and it works great for the album. Paul D’Amour seems to be fighting for the same sonic space because he had a mid range, punchy Rickenbacker tone, but so did Rush and it worked. I really love the way Sylvia Massey found a way to balance it out. There’s an awful lot of phasing on the album, like the button for it got stuck on for the vocals and drums many times, but it’s really warm and organic sounding.

Joelsy
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Joelsy

As a drummer and casual audiophile the tape factor is just so exciting! Danny usually lays down one-take performances but if you’re going to tape there’s zero option for punch-ins and note-fixing. Which means he must be incredibly confident and well-rehearsed considering the nature and intricacy of Tool music. Also the the drums will sound BIG. I thought on 10k Days the drums sounded good but not fantastic, clearly the brickwalling was an issue. The toms sounded fantastic – punchy and full of tone. But in parts the snare was a bit dead in the mid to high range and… Read more »

Bagochodes
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Bagochodes

All their albums are recorded on tape though.

Maynerd
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Maynerd

Correct.

lukas
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lukas

not sure…i guess they are just recording to tape for the sound effect…pretty certain they are importing all the recorded tracks into protools and add some digital FXs on top of it

Maynerd
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Maynerd

Everything recorded on 10k days was tracked to tape, then dumped into pro tools for mixing.
https://www.mixonline.com/recording/making-tools-10000-days-365657

dslet
Member
dslet

I would’ve pushed the drums up a bit on Lateralus actually but I feel like it was a stylistic choice, like the walls of guitars in Parabola obscuring some pretty fantastic drum work and the cymbals melting in a big wash out. There was just too much going on to compete for limited space. 10K Days I was aghast at its production. Brickwalling has died out a *bit* as a trend among rock bands not on the radio so hopefully they just brickwall the single and leave the rest OK lol.

dslet
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dslet

Edit: on *parts* of Lateralus. Overall the drums sound fantastic on various tracks.

ChrisC
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ChrisC

When you’re recording on tape it’s not only about the analogue characteristics (which COULD be emulated digitally to a certain amount).
You set yourself in a complete different position, trying to record one-takes under high pressure.
I can only compare it to using photographic film: You do a lot of preparations, setup everything to perfection and then pray that nothing’s going wrong when hitting the “rec”-button.
It’s hard work, it’s fun and you have a whole other appreciation of the stuff you’ve produced. Definitly a positive aspect: You produce a lot less material.

Maynerd
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Maynerd

That is completely inaccurate. Physical multitrack tape editing/splicing with a razor blade has been around since the inception of tape.
For example… The drums on Metallica’s ‘black album’, ‘justice for all’ were achieved by manually splicing takes together.
As simple as a ruler and a razor blade.

ChrisC
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ChrisC

I know, I know, but at least I think that’s part of the goal for using it.

Joelsy
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Joelsy

Right, I had no idea they’d always tracked to tape! I thought since Aenima they just went straight into Tools.
Do they take a layer of the guitar and bass performance from the drum track they choose as well? I know Danny doesn’t use a click and he lets it breathe in places which makes it pretty interesting to get a solid performance of the other instruments on top

Maynerd
Member
Maynerd

No.
The multiple guitar/bass amplifiers are miked in isolated rooms.
Adam and Justin would play along with Danny but the drums would be the only thing that is being recorded.
Each member has a small mixer next to them and they can adjust the levels of the miked amps in their headphones.

Z-Werewolf
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Z-Werewolf

You usually don’t set the amps up in isolation rooms when laying down scratch tracks. Guitars and bass will normally just run direct into a board and wear headphones to track them while the drummer lays their tracks down. They are scratch tracks to keep the drummer on point and nothing more. This eliminates the possibility of microphones picking up any other sounds. A lot of really sensitive microphones will pick up low end noise even on the exterior of a studio like a big truck driving by or the air conditioner running on top of a building. Iso rooms… Read more »

Jethro Tool
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Jethro Tool

As a big fan of the early 90s US lo-fi movement (Pavement, Sebadoh, GBV etc) I can honestly say all the Tool albums sound perfect to me!

Z-Werewolf
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Z-Werewolf

Agreed.

children
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children

Yeah the only album that doesn’t have that lo-fi sound is Lateralus, and that is precisely why that is a lot people’s favorite. Over-produced and polished works for that record. It’s the only one that calls for it. It would not have been quite right for 10,000 Days or Aenima.

Maynerd
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Maynerd

As per usual you are wrong, but hey… I guess they taught you different/incorrect at the Scooby-Doo school of sound engineering.

children
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children

What exactly am I wrong about? Are you saying that 10,000 Days does not have a lo-fi sound? Or are you saying that Lateralus is not very clean and pristine?

Stinkfist
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Stinkfist

Save yourself some time and just ignore the children, Children.

@ out…
Stinkfist

Z-Werewolf
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Z-Werewolf

Oh ok cool thanks @Maynerd. Wow I hadn’t realized they were teaching me wrong all that time at the Scooby Doo school… Where did you go to school?