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Author Topic: Sound quality of MK albums  (Read 2355 times)

Offlineneco

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Sound quality of MK albums
« on: October 05, 2019, 05:58:58 pm »
Over the years, different recording techniques did come up since the first dire straits album and Mk moved into his own studio. Besides that, albums were produced by different people, today mostly by Guy. Therefore, we would expect each new album to sound  better than the previous one. I‘m wondering, what is your favourite MK (or Dire straits) album in terms of sound quality?

For myself, it is NOT the last album (DTRW) nor Tracker. I really like the sound of shangri-la. It has a very natural, pleasant sound. On second place I would put either KTGC or GL.

Offlinenaif

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 06:25:23 pm »
From DS Communique, Solo MK absolutely Shangri La.
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Offlinequizzaciously

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2019, 07:00:40 pm »
From Kill To Get Crimson times I thought that having his own studio never helped Mark artistically and latest two albums was almost notoriously overproduced by Guy. They spend so much time “moving microphones” and “not using compressors” that sometimes it seems to be the main goal. Meanwhile, the song like Money For Nothing was recorded with a random microphone placement — complete opposite.

Shangri-La comes to mind, because the album is so consistent. It feels like it was recorded in one take, although it certainly wasn’t. All the professional recording studios tend to be nearly equal in possibilities (vintage mics, vintage consoles, all the good stuff), so the history means a lot. Mark’s studio is extremely young and new, so maybe the musicians tend to care about good sound more.

Shangri-La studio, in the other hand, is filled with history, beautiful lava lamps, windows with ocean views and puts musicians in a more relaxed state. Same story with Communiqué by the way. So yeah, Tracker and Down The Road Wherever are extremely good albums in terms of sonic quality, but I would take Shangri-La on a deserted island with me.

OfflineLove Expresso

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 07:52:38 pm »
I absolutely agree about BG not being good for MK, it all went down since he had more and more time to fiddle around with mics and stuff.

A couple of weeks in a foreign studio disciplines in a way, Ragpicker's Dream would be a good example.

But I don't agree that Tracker sounds overproduced. It sounds indeed phenomenally good.

LE
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OfflineTheTimeWasWrong

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2019, 08:51:42 pm »
The biggest problem I have with BG is the inconsistency of one particular record, I think this is mainly due to the choice of master medium between the songs and it got worse from Privateering on. SL and ATRR were mixed at BG and sound absolutely brilliant, but every record recorded there has songs of both outstanding sound quality and songs that are absolutely crap. Redbud and CBC sound very dull but the Seattle sound is superb, Pale Imitation has the best Strat sound ever (listen to the FLAC on high quality speakers, it is truly amazing, it has so much depth) but Don't Suck Me In is missing a lot of punch. Pre-BG the records were very consistent in sound, MM has a particular sound, BIA too (like it or not), STP has it's own sound, etc...

From the DS record I like BIA and OES the least, LOG has far too much reverb but I can life with that. The first and second record defined the DS sound and are therefore classics. Jimmy Iovine did a wonderful job on MM, the drums are just fantastic, what a powerful record!

STP really defines the ultimate MK sound for me, great Strat and Les Paul sounds, rocky drums, just the right amount of reverb and I am sucker for Guy's sounds on that record. RPD and SL too empty for my taste (and the music waaaay too slow on SL, great lyrics though), ATRR very close to STP. From the BG-area my favorite sounding record is Get Lucky.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 08:55:45 pm by TheTimeWasWrong »

OfflineRobson

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 09:50:27 pm »
I will answer differently. The sound of all MK albums is ok. Love Over Gold and Brothers In Arms sound too quiet to me.
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Offlinequizzaciously

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 12:26:23 am »
I will answer differently. The sound of all MK albums is ok. Love Over Gold and Brothers In Arms sound too quiet to me.

I guess by quiet you mean wide dynamic range? It's like in classical music, sometimes the piece is loud, sometimes it's quiet and to record it all it has to be quiet most of the time. I like that and it's actually a mark of a great recording, because of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

Of course every MK album sounds great, because he's a professional and he works with professionals all the time.

I like that TheTimeWasWrong said about inconsistence, I thought about "Gator Blood" being recorded by two ambient mics or something. Yeah, that's exactly why you want to build a 20 million recording studio in the heart of London — to record a song like a garage band :lol

OfflineRobson

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2019, 01:36:46 am »
I think Brothers In Arms and Love Over Gold have little power. I'd like to hear the thunderstorms louder at Brothers In Arms or crickets at Ride Across The River. I would like to hear louder footsteps and broken glass in Private Investigations.
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Offlinevr46mk

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2019, 12:41:31 pm »
I think Brothers In Arms and Love Over Gold have little power. I'd like to hear the thunderstorms louder at Brothers In Arms or crickets at Ride Across The River. I would like to hear louder footsteps and broken glass in Private Investigations.


Something like this?  :lol


OfflineRobson

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2019, 12:55:34 pm »
I think about the original recording :)
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Offlineds1984

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2019, 04:29:03 pm »
OES for me.
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Offlinestraitsway75

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2019, 06:44:05 pm »
For me
Dire Straits & Communique
Tracker /Taormina - Long cool girl - Silver Eagle /
sounds great  :thumbsup

Offlinemschaap

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2019, 08:36:54 pm »
Interesting topic!
I think all DS and MK albums have very good sound quality.
However, my favourites in terms of sound quality are KTGC and Tracker, followed by GL, SL and DS. Those albums have a distinct organic and analogue sound, they have a good/wide soundstage, sound both full and spacious at the same time, instrumens have good placement and separation, sound dynamic (enough) and they are flawless in terms of absence of artifacts, digital edges, distortion, too hot tracking, kakafonic parts, crowded mixes, overuse of compression etc. I can listen to those albums non stop and they are never fatiguing to the my ears, which is always is a good sign for top sound quality (but of course the quality of the songs/performances also contribute to that).

Offlineneco

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2019, 08:46:40 pm »
What i found is that the last two or three albums (and especially DTRW) are a little bit muddy/dull/unclear in the lower mid and bass frequencies. Does anybody have a clean/audiophile listening setup that can confirm this?

Offlinejbaent

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Re: Sound quality of MK albums
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2019, 08:51:27 am »
I find a difference between records produced by Chuck Ainlay and the ones by Guy Fletcher, the last two ones... Actually I like more the ones produced by Guy, but "Shangri-La" sound is wonderful and that one was Chuck's baby.
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