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Dark Matter sound production or mixing quality

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    KV4053KV4053 Mike's side, crushed up against the stage Posts: 1,494
    edited April 22
    I 100% agree. I think the songs themselves are really good and am super excited to hear them live. But everything sounds muddled. Eddie's vocals are even more unintelligible than usual somehow. Glad to find out that I'm not the only one, I was worried about my hearing there for a bit lol
    Different versions sound different for some reason. I heard the muddy version. Was not impressed. I've listened to the Apple version and the Blu-ray version and they are amazing. Currently listening to the qobuz hd version and it is also amazing.
    Post edited by KV4053 on
    I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine.
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    southernmanfansouthernmanfan Johannesburg, South Africa Posts: 1,016
    So I had to post my thoughts on this thread. As a drummer I find that I’m not hearing Matt’s cymbals as prominent as they could be. That is just my feel. 

    For me the production and mixing and the preference of how that should sound is ultimately the prerogative of producer and band. 

    This is a brilliant album, everything about it, including the production and mixing, in my view. And I  don’t think I am just being euphoric about having new music from my favorite band. 

    Andrew Watt has brought out the Pearl Jam in Pearl Jam in my opinion. 

    Strong contender for falling in my top five Pearl Jam albums without a doubt. 
    rustedsigns
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    motleygunnermotleygunner Arizona Posts: 140
    I am having a hard time hearing Eddie's lyrics on the new album, I don't know if it is the mix or if I am just getting older and can't hear like I used to but I am struggling to make out the words on a lot of the songs. There also seems to be a layer of "noise" on a lot of the songs which sounds like music but certainly doesn't seem to be coming from a guitar or a drum kit.

    That said, the album is incredible and I am really enjoying listening to it... If it was just stripped down a bit with Ed more in the forefront it would be a 10/10 for me instead of a 9/10, but that's just my personal taste.


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    BF25394BF25394 Posts: 3,551
    The weird thing is that the CD on both of my good stereo systems sounds like their worst-produced album since Ten, but listening to the Sirius commentary shows on my laptop's ostensibly mediocre speakers, it sounded much better, with much more separation between each of the musicians, and the vocals much clearer in the mix.

    I haven't listened to the Blu-ray yet, so I'm hopeful that will be as good as advertised.
    I gather speed from you fucking with me.
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    slightofjeffslightofjeff Posts: 7,759
    "I have a hard time understanding Eddie's lyrics on the new album," I said in 1993. That's just part of the deal with this band. I never listen to the first listen without the lyrics right in front of me ... then suddenly they are plain as day.
    everybody wants the most they can possibly get
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    BH76306BH76306 Posts: 77
    This whole thing feels like a "Blue Dress / Gold Dress" situation, haha. We all hear and pick up on different things. Personally, I feel like this album sounds *incredible*

    I can see how some people feel Ed's vocals are secondary here and there - but honestly I'm digging that! Let the shredders shred! But in terms of a muddy mix or certain instruments being lost, etc - I don't get that at all. I feel like I can pick out each and every sound/technique/instrument they were going for and it's glorious. 
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    motleygunnermotleygunner Arizona Posts: 140
    BH76306 said:
    This whole thing feels like a "Blue Dress / Gold Dress" situation, haha. We all hear and pick up on different things. Personally, I feel like this album sounds *incredible*

    I can see how some people feel Ed's vocals are secondary here and there - but honestly I'm digging that! Let the shredders shred! But in terms of a muddy mix or certain instruments being lost, etc - I don't get that at all. I feel like I can pick out each and every sound/technique/instrument they were going for and it's glorious. 
    Like I said in my post, the mix makes it a 9/10 instead of 10/10 for me. I love the album, my personal preference is a bit more of a stripped down sound... Everyone has different tastes in sound.


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    kmcmanuskmcmanus Posts: 658
    Andrew Watt has brought out the Pearl Jam in Pearl Jam in my opinion. 
    It’s really kinda elegant how he did it too. They used the gear he handed them. That he set up ahead of time. So they wrote modern PJ, but the gear put older sounds on it. I’m not musically adept enough to explain it right but I’m so impressed that he pulled it off. 
    A lot of producers can claim “I’m a fan and I wanted to do this for other fans” but man did he deliver.
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    KV4053KV4053 Mike's side, crushed up against the stage Posts: 1,494
    BF25394 said:
    The weird thing is that the CD on both of my good stereo systems sounds like their worst-produced album since Ten, but listening to the Sirius commentary shows on my laptop's ostensibly mediocre speakers, it sounded much better, with much more separation between each of the musicians, and the vocals much clearer in the mix.

    I haven't listened to the Blu-ray yet, so I'm hopeful that will be as good as advertised.
    The Blu Ray is phenomenal. 
    I know I was born and I know that I'll die. The in between is mine.
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    StoveStove Posts: 317
    edited April 23
    If literally anyone else had produced this album other than A. Watt it would have been a masterpiece. No Code-Avocado had a beautiful natural sound. Heck even Lightening Bolt and Gigaton have their own character. Would love to have heard these songs with that in mind. Earthlings was just so compressed and so is this..you had to be told Chad Smith was the drummer on that album rather than hearing sonically that it was Chad Smith..and the same thing with drum titan Matt Cam..its so depressing..this literally sounds like any other drummer because they stripped their sounds and crushed it so much... its sounds too modern for me, to of the Spotify generation. Everything is just slammed right in your face. There's no dynamics. I have the albums I love and so much of that is the song writing AND the sound. And the sound ain't here
    Post edited by Stove on
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    JKestleJKestle Posts: 64
    I don't know, you make a good point, but I think I'm with Ed and the band on this one. Without Watt, it doesn't happen at all...and it holds its composure when cranked. I'm enjoying it.
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    StoveStove Posts: 317
    edited April 23
    JKestle said:
    I don't know, you make a good point, but I think I'm with Ed and the band on this one. Without Watt, it doesn't happen at all...and it holds its composure when cranked. I'm enjoying it.
    I'm not denying its a rockin album. Clearly. it is....there's just no nuance to it. And I get Watt wanted the Pearl Jam he grew up with...but if he really wanted that then they should have let Dave A play drums on the album.  =) *Splash Cymbal *Splash Cymbal
    Post edited by Stove on
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    kmcmanuskmcmanus Posts: 658
    Stove said:
    If literally anyone else had produced this album other than A. Watt it would have been a masterpiece. No Code-Avocado had a beautiful natural sound. Heck even Lightening Bolt and Gigaton have their own character. Would love to have heard these songs with that in mind. Earthlings was just so compressed and so is this..you had to be told Chad Smith was the drummer on that album rather than hearing sonically that it was Chad Smith..and the same thing with drum titan Matt Cam..its so depressing..this literally sounds like any other drummer because they stripped their sounds and crushed it so much... its sounds too modern for me, to of the Spotify generation. Everything is just slammed right in your face. There's no dynamics. I have the albums I love and so much of that is the song writing AND the sound. And the sound ain't here
    This wouldn’t exist without Watt. They wrote it with him, on his gear, at his invitation. Sure they would have likely made another album eventually but probably not this soon and certainly without any of these songs. 
    His team won’t be mixing the boots, which will be full of these great songs. So maybe you’ll like it better then.
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    foriginalsinforiginalsin Posts: 700
    This mix does sound terrible. The theater sounded awful.  

    Listened to it on hi res qobuz, and it was miles better but still so many issues. Jeffs bass is there but its still so thin. Its extremely compressed and has no dynamic range. I also agree all the instruments sound like they’re fighting each other for space. 

    The atmos mix at home was better than the theater but again absolutely zero bass. There isnt even a signal being sent to the subwoofer. The spatial qualities and using all 5 speakers are cool, but again very compressed.  

    I have really  good audiophile equipment so that is not a problem. 

    When I heard the live mix on Howard, I couldnt believe how good it sounded. It literally got me excited again. Clean deep bass was there, good instrument separation, it was just great. 

    I hope they remix and release it again. 

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    southernmanfansouthernmanfan Johannesburg, South Africa Posts: 1,016
    JKestle said:
    I don't know, you make a good point, but I think I'm with Ed and the band on this one. Without Watt, it doesn't happen at all...and it holds its composure when cranked. I'm enjoying it.
    I'm with you here...
    rustedsigns
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    BIGDaddyWilBIGDaddyWil Michigan Posts: 3,048
    Dynamic Range......if you're into that kind of thing.   Dark Matter.........ouch!!!  Still waiting for the vinyl.


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    StoveStove Posts: 317
    kmcmanus said:
    Stove said:
    If literally anyone else had produced this album other than A. Watt it would have been a masterpiece. No Code-Avocado had a beautiful natural sound. Heck even Lightening Bolt and Gigaton have their own character. Would love to have heard these songs with that in mind. Earthlings was just so compressed and so is this..you had to be told Chad Smith was the drummer on that album rather than hearing sonically that it was Chad Smith..and the same thing with drum titan Matt Cam..its so depressing..this literally sounds like any other drummer because they stripped their sounds and crushed it so much... its sounds too modern for me, to of the Spotify generation. Everything is just slammed right in your face. There's no dynamics. I have the albums I love and so much of that is the song writing AND the sound. And the sound ain't here
    This wouldn’t exist without Watt. They wrote it with him, on his gear, at his invitation. Sure they would have likely made another album eventually but probably not this soon and certainly without any of these songs. 
    His team won’t be mixing the boots, which will be full of these great songs. So maybe you’ll like it better then.
    Credit is due for the quickness but it's seems this is Watt's spiel, record it quick and dirty. It's similar to Rubin's "what would it sound like if you were first playing together" And they are good songs are here, absolutely....they just don't sound good. 
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    StoveStove Posts: 317
    This mix does sound terrible. The theater sounded awful.  

    Listened to it on hi res qobuz, and it was miles better but still so many issues. Jeffs bass is there but its still so thin. Its extremely compressed and has no dynamic range. I also agree all the instruments sound like they’re fighting each other for space. 

    The atmos mix at home was better than the theater but again absolutely zero bass. There isnt even a signal being sent to the subwoofer. The spatial qualities and using all 5 speakers are cool, but again very compressed.  

    I have really  good audiophile equipment so that is not a problem. 

    When I heard the live mix on Howard, I couldnt believe how good it sounded. It literally got me excited again. Clean deep bass was there, good instrument separation, it was just great. 

    I hope they remix and release it again. 

    Many of us would love that but it's doubtful...if Metallica never did anything with St. Anger...no way will they...they'll stand by it. Which is more unfortunate if this is anyone's introductory album. 
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    dobybluedobyblue Posts: 63
    This mix does sound terrible. The theater sounded awful.  

    Listened to it on hi res qobuz, and it was miles better but still so many issues. Jeffs bass is there but its still so thin. Its extremely compressed and has no dynamic range. I also agree all the instruments sound like they’re fighting each other for space. 

    The atmos mix at home was better than the theater but again absolutely zero bass. There isnt even a signal being sent to the subwoofer. The spatial qualities and using all 5 speakers are cool, but again very compressed.  

    I have really  good audiophile equipment so that is not a problem. 

    When I heard the live mix on Howard, I couldnt believe how good it sounded. It literally got me excited again. Clean deep bass was there, good instrument separation, it was just great. 

    I hope they remix and release it again. 


    There must be a set-up issue, I just listened to the title track in Atmos as my Blu-ray arrived today and one of the first things that I noted was how nice and deep and tight the low end is. Reading your comment made me wonder if it's just my fronts providing that bass but with two Paradigm Servo 15v2 subs it's hard to imitate what they can do. So I ripped the audio to 24/48 FLAC 7.1 and the LFE channel is providing what you'd hope to see...the very deep end of the bass and kick drum etc.


    That's the title track, subwoofer channel 4th one down.




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    If vinyl, a good pair of stereo headphones really make the album shine. 
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    dobybluedobyblue Posts: 63
    edited April 23
    Keep in mind the vinyl is the same mastering as the lossless downloads, copious amounts of dynamic range compression.
    Post edited by dobyblue on
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    Go BeaversGo Beavers Posts: 8,706
    Stove said:
    If literally anyone else had produced this album other than A. Watt it would have been a masterpiece. No Code-Avocado had a beautiful natural sound. Heck even Lightening Bolt and Gigaton have their own character. Would love to have heard these songs with that in mind. Earthlings was just so compressed and so is this..you had to be told Chad Smith was the drummer on that album rather than hearing sonically that it was Chad Smith..and the same thing with drum titan Matt Cam..its so depressing..this literally sounds like any other drummer because they stripped their sounds and crushed it so much... its sounds too modern for me, to of the Spotify generation. Everything is just slammed right in your face. There's no dynamics. I have the albums I love and so much of that is the song writing AND the sound. And the sound ain't here
    Avocado is really ramped up and there’s little space in there. 
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    StoveStove Posts: 317
    Stove said:
    If literally anyone else had produced this album other than A. Watt it would have been a masterpiece. No Code-Avocado had a beautiful natural sound. Heck even Lightening Bolt and Gigaton have their own character. Would love to have heard these songs with that in mind. Earthlings was just so compressed and so is this..you had to be told Chad Smith was the drummer on that album rather than hearing sonically that it was Chad Smith..and the same thing with drum titan Matt Cam..its so depressing..this literally sounds like any other drummer because they stripped their sounds and crushed it so much... its sounds too modern for me, to of the Spotify generation. Everything is just slammed right in your face. There's no dynamics. I have the albums I love and so much of that is the song writing AND the sound. And the sound ain't here
    Avocado is really ramped up and there’s little space in there. 
    Yeahhh but it's a great album!
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    foriginalsinforiginalsin Posts: 700
    dobyblue said:
    This mix does sound terrible. The theater sounded awful.  

    Listened to it on hi res qobuz, and it was miles better but still so many issues. Jeffs bass is there but its still so thin. Its extremely compressed and has no dynamic range. I also agree all the instruments sound like they’re fighting each other for space. 

    The atmos mix at home was better than the theater but again absolutely zero bass. There isnt even a signal being sent to the subwoofer. The spatial qualities and using all 5 speakers are cool, but again very compressed.  

    I have really  good audiophile equipment so that is not a problem. 

    When I heard the live mix on Howard, I couldnt believe how good it sounded. It literally got me excited again. Clean deep bass was there, good instrument separation, it was just great. 

    I hope they remix and release it again. 


    There must be a set-up issue, I just listened to the title track in Atmos as my Blu-ray arrived today and one of the first things that I noted was how nice and deep and tight the low end is. Reading your comment made me wonder if it's just my fronts providing that bass but with two Paradigm Servo 15v2 subs it's hard to imitate what they can do. So I ripped the audio to 24/48 FLAC 7.1 and the LFE channel is providing what you'd hope to see...the very deep end of the bass and kick drum etc.


    That's the title track, subwoofer channel 4th one down.




    Thank you for posting this. Ive been trying to figure this out since I hear the bass on the sub with the stereo mix. 
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    LastExitBJPLastExitBJP Posts: 79
    edited April 24
    I've noticed the sound oddness since the Dark Matter single was released. Everywhere I've listened to tracks all sound different (I heard Dark Matter on a Maine radio station and straight up sounded like a tin can). Makes me wonder how many different formats there are. I mostly listen to PJ records in my truck and I have to say the quality on the standard CD is the worst sounding PJ record so far. I was fucking BLOWN AWAY by how amazing React/Respond is on headphones. I tried to crank up my truck stereo for this track but it all washed together in sizzles and treble. I know that typically headphones will sound better than other speakers, but ... I don't know I honestly think there was a mistake or something during the mastering/uploading/delivering of the format to the CD pressers (yea I'm not pretending to know sound engineering lingo lol). I know this record was made quick, but that should have nothing at all to do with the final quality. It's so noticeable to... like listening to a song in 56 kb per second vs 320 kb per sec. I shouldn't have to doll out more $ to hear PJ better. I'm a baker. To me, this record is like some famous baker spending three days to make one damn fine loaf of rye bread... and then purposely over baking it by 10 minutes. Like I can see what you were going for . . . but why did ya . . .? I don't get it... Is their music behind a pay wall now?
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    josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 28,346
    I’m so glad my ears are not so acutely in tune as others here to nitpick music! I’ve been listening to DM on my way to and from work and it sounds awesome in my simple car stereo speakers! 
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
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    beano.79beano.79 Posts: 697
    Sounds decent in my car, decent through ear buds when I'm running, sounds rubbish on vinyl
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    tbergstbergs Posts: 9,291
    The wall of sound is very present at times and others less so. Definitely shines better on good headphones where you can hear the instruments behind Ed's vocals better. I'm still just streaming the album and haven't gotten the CD, but hearing some of the complaints about the CD not sounding as good has me hesitant. No interest in the vinyl. I'm out of that game now thankfully. Still have tons of records I accumulated the last 10 years and that's enough. 
    It's a hopeless situation...
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    ddeschlerddeschler Posts: 634
    I thought the sound was bad, then I downloaded the Atmos version, and it was much, much better.
    I've seen quite a few Pearl Jam shows.
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    tylerjtylerj Indiana Posts: 289
    Someone has already begun remixing and remastering the album. https://youtu.be/DKu40o2HSxY?si=O3ZP4yNQTtRI5APS
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