Author Topic: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread  (Read 6458 times)

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Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #70 on: April 12, 2019, 06:40:34 AM »
Can anyone explain to me why the COTC demos sound the way they do?
Did they actually re-record the songs for them to sound so clean and polished? Because if you listen to the actual FII demos, it's immediately noticeable how rough and "demo-ish" they sound. So I was just wondering what they had to do to make them sound as good as they do on COTC.

The COTC release was remastered by their studio engineer at the time.

It sounds like more than just simple remastering. I mean, these songs sound like they're ready for the album, basically. The original demos sound like they were recorded in a tin can.
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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #71 on: April 12, 2019, 08:38:08 AM »
Can anyone explain to me why the COTC demos sound the way they do?
Did they actually re-record the songs for them to sound so clean and polished? Because if you listen to the actual FII demos, it's immediately noticeable how rough and "demo-ish" they sound. So I was just wondering what they had to do to make them sound as good as they do on COTC.

The COTC release was remastered by their studio engineer at the time.

It sounds like more than just simple remastering. I mean, these songs sound like they're ready for the album, basically. The original demos sound like they were recorded in a tin can.

I could only find this pic of the back cover of the album, and it just basically says they were mastered. I agree, though, that they sound MUCH better than on the FII demos release.

It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #72 on: April 12, 2019, 11:22:46 AM »

I could only find this pic of the back cover of the album, and it just basically says they were mastered. I agree, though, that they sound MUCH better than on the FII demos release.



I can't help but wonder if they properly tracked all those songs during the FII sessions, maybe just recorded all the stuff for MP to keep, until he decided to actually properly put it together for the COTC release?
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Offline Setlist Scotty

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #73 on: April 12, 2019, 01:16:05 PM »
I can't help but wonder if they properly tracked all those songs during the FII sessions, maybe just recorded all the stuff for MP to keep, until he decided to actually properly put it together for the COTC release?
I can guarantee you they did not track the extra songs. MP had given me a printed schedule of what they did each day while they were in the studio working on FII, and none of those songs were included. OTOH, there were some other interesting things that were listed - one of which was changing the key of YNM and another was working on the remaining part of HK once it was decided to remove it from BMS.

I know I transcribed it a long time ago, so I'm sure it's out there somewhere, altho I couldn't tell you where now.
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Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #74 on: April 12, 2019, 03:10:23 PM »
I can guarantee you they did not track the extra songs. MP had given me a printed schedule of what they did each day while they were in the studio working on FII, and none of those songs were included. OTOH, there were some other interesting things that were listed - one of which was changing the key of YNM and another was working on the remaining part of HK once it was decided to remove it from BMS.

I know I transcribed it a long time ago, so I'm sure it's out there somewhere, altho I couldn't tell you where now.

I guess it's a mystery then. But if the tracks on COTC are made from the same masters as the FII demos, then whoever mixed them is a miracle worker.
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Offline Setlist Scotty

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #75 on: April 12, 2019, 05:21:21 PM »
I can guarantee you they did not track the extra songs. MP had given me a printed schedule of what they did each day while they were in the studio working on FII, and none of those songs were included. OTOH, there were some other interesting things that were listed - one of which was changing the key of YNM and another was working on the remaining part of HK once it was decided to remove it from BMS.

I know I transcribed it a long time ago, so I'm sure it's out there somewhere, altho I couldn't tell you where now.
I guess it's a mystery then. But if the tracks on COTC are made from the same masters as the FII demos, then whoever mixed them is a miracle worker.
But that's the thing - I'm pretty sure that they were not remixed, or else there would be credits saying so. Was the sound tweaked to some degree? Sure. But I'm guessing all that was done was some mastering or remastering.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2019, 07:55:00 AM »
I would say the five songs that didn't make FII definitely sound better than your average demo, but they still don't sound album-ready.  A bit more tweaking in the mixing process and whatnot would have been needed.  Speak to Me and Cover My Eyes, in particular, both still sound very raw.  Not that I ever listen to the demo versions anyway, since the live versions are 100X better in both cases. Cover My Eyes is significantly better as an acoustic song, and the version of Speak to Me from 5 Years in a LiveTime is outstanding.

Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2019, 08:48:01 AM »
But that's the thing - I'm pretty sure that they were not remixed, or else there would be credits saying so. Was the sound tweaked to some degree? Sure. But I'm guessing all that was done was some mastering or remastering.

The process of mastering is basically just taking the mixed down tracks and applying compression, amplification, and EQ to make all the tracks sound consistent as you listen to them back to back. They already have to be mixed down properly, and basically sounding the way they do on the final release. There's just no way that's all that happened.
If you listen to the FII demos, the 2 disc version released on Ytsejam records, it's very obvious that however they demoed the tracks was very basic. Like they had one or two microphones recording them playing the tracks live, or something like that. They don't sound that much better than the original Majesty demos. Meanwhile, the audio quality on the COTC songs is dramatically better.
Even if some people with better audio equipment wouldn't call them album-ready, every instrument still sounds very clean, and the vocals sound like they were recorded in a proper booth. There's less reverb, and it all sounds much less tinny. Etc.
So there's no way they just took those original demo recordings, slapped some effects on them, and that's that. I'm quite sure you'd have to at least take the stem of each instrument and tweak them all individually, and if you can make them sound the way the songs on COTC sound, then that would be a hell of an impressive job. But if that's the case, then that would still be considered mixing, not just mastering.

Now, my experience with mixing and mastering isn't particularly extensive, so if I am wrong, I would love to hear it from someone with experience in audio-engineering. If there is a way to take a rough sounding demo, and make it sound polished and clean without editing each individual instrument, I really would love to hear about it.
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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #78 on: April 16, 2019, 10:17:07 PM »
Didn’t know where to post this, but do we know if DT’s “Eve” is Eve as in Christmas’ Eve or a name like Adam and Eve? Sorry if this is a dumb question :laugh:
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #79 on: April 16, 2019, 10:24:35 PM »
I can guarantee you they did not track the extra songs. MP had given me a printed schedule of what they did each day while they were in the studio working on FII, and none of those songs were included. OTOH, there were some other interesting things that were listed - one of which was changing the key of YNM and another was working on the remaining part of HK once it was decided to remove it from BMS.

I know I transcribed it a long time ago, so I'm sure it's out there somewhere, altho I couldn't tell you where now.
I guess it's a mystery then. But if the tracks on COTC are made from the same masters as the FII demos, then whoever mixed them is a miracle worker.
But that's the thing - I'm pretty sure that they were not remixed, or else there would be credits saying so. Was the sound tweaked to some degree? Sure. But I'm guessing all that was done was some mastering or remastering.


Something more than tweaking happened. I wouldn't believe the COTC and FII Demos were the same tracks except I can listen and compare them.
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Offline EPIC Outro

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #80 on: April 18, 2019, 06:42:27 AM »

Wow. I love those demo songs and I didn't know there were improved versions of them out there. Is this album the only legit way to get these tracks? Were they ever released elsewhere?

Offline TheGreatPretender

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #81 on: April 18, 2019, 06:50:15 AM »

Wow. I love those demo songs and I didn't know there were improved versions of them out there. Is this album the only legit way to get these tracks? Were they ever released elsewhere?

The Way It Used To Be was also released on the Hollow Years Single. I'm not sure if it's the exact same version, but the one on the single also sounds clean and polished. That single also has a polished version of You Or Me, which wasn't on Cleaning Out The Closet.
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Offline EPIC Outro

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #82 on: April 18, 2019, 06:56:08 AM »

Damn. Looks like I have a couple of DT albums to add to my collection.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #83 on: April 18, 2019, 08:37:51 AM »
This thread prompted me to go back and listen to the FII demos (I do have a copy of COTC, but it is boxed up right now with some other stuff).  Going back and listening to ALL of the songs that were done during the FII sessions, I have to say that the songs that didn't make the final album really are some good stuff.  It isn't accurate at all to say that only the "best" songs made it.  First time I heard this album, the change in style was jarring, and I didn't like it.  I don't think I would have felt any differently if the other songs had made the cut instead of what we got, or if we would have gotten a double album.  This was still the slick, commercial sounding DT that was at first very offputting to me, and took a bit of time to appreciate.  And after going back and listening again, I guess I'm still right where I was before:  The album we got is very good; the stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor is also very good; overall, it's cool that between the album, COTC, the FII demos, and the Old Bridge shows, we have such a complete picture of everything that was going on musically with the band during this period of time. 


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Offline EPIC Outro

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #84 on: April 18, 2019, 08:47:10 AM »

I feel Raise the Knife leaned back heavily on the classic sound of previous albums. I wish that song had made the cut. One of my favorites. I snuck out to buy a shirt from the merch table at the Score show when I heard them start playing this song. I lost my shit and bolted back to my chair. The dude behind me was totally confused as to what song they were playing, and I told him all about it at intermission.

Offline zappafrank2112

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #85 on: April 18, 2019, 09:00:44 PM »
Along the same lines, I bought Live Scenes from New York off Amazon almost a decade ago, and got one of the rare copies with the twin towers on it.

It's really not that rare, I don't think.  It was widely released and available for a while before the decision was made to pull it.

Offline H2

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #86 on: April 19, 2019, 12:01:11 AM »
This isn't exactly the right thread, but I absolutely love the demo version of ACOS from the bootleg "Antiquities."

Offline ReaPsTA

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #87 on: April 19, 2019, 08:23:19 PM »
The Way It Used To Be was also released on the Hollow Years Single. I'm not sure if it's the exact same version, but the one on the single also sounds clean and polished. That single also has a polished version of You Or Me, which wasn't on Cleaning Out The Closet.

Good god I forgot about The Way It Used to Be. Captures nostalgia so perfectly.
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Offline ReaperKK

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #88 on: April 20, 2019, 01:22:57 PM »
The Way It Used To Be is one of the best DT tracks IMO

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #89 on: April 25, 2019, 10:43:07 AM »
Whether it was approached as "which songs are the strongest and should be included?" or "which songs are the weakest and should be excluded?" it was the band -- and no one else -- who decided that RTK, WAYN, TWIUTB, CME and STM were not strong enough (or were too weak) to be included.

But the mere fact that they were selected as the songs that got excluded isn't what makes them not good songs.  They're simply not good songs, and the fact that they were excluded from FII (which I regard as one of DT's worst albums) bears that out.  Of course, one could disagree (and I would say that one or two might be better than "New Millennium," but that's not saying much since I think that's the worst song on FII).

In other words, I'm not saying that these songs aren't good solely because they were excluded from FII.  Rather, I'm pointing to their exclusion as an indicator of just how not good they are and, because of that, Cleaning out the Closet isn't something that I have any significant regard for.  That the songs were written "with a purpose" doesn't resonate with me at all.

But I'm not sure what you're saying.  What's "good"?  What the band likes? Okay, it's their music, and they are the only ones that can really say what's "good" or "bad", but both John and Mike have both said that they, in hindsight, like FII, so THEY don't think it's "their worst record".    So nothing is "beared out" as far as I can see (well, except that you don't like them.  But that's not the same as "not good", and is irrelevant in a general sense.)   

I like FII a lot (except for "Lines In The Sand"; Doug Pinnick ruins that song for me) and "Cover My Eyes" is probably my favorite DT song ever, or at least top five.  I can see that song not being picked, not because it sucks, but because it doesn't fit with the rest of the record.  That, also, is different than "not good".   

Offline pg1067

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #90 on: April 28, 2019, 09:09:37 PM »
Whether it was approached as "which songs are the strongest and should be included?" or "which songs are the weakest and should be excluded?" it was the band -- and no one else -- who decided that RTK, WAYN, TWIUTB, CME and STM were not strong enough (or were too weak) to be included.

But the mere fact that they were selected as the songs that got excluded isn't what makes them not good songs.  They're simply not good songs, and the fact that they were excluded from FII (which I regard as one of DT's worst albums) bears that out.  Of course, one could disagree (and I would say that one or two might be better than "New Millennium," but that's not saying much since I think that's the worst song on FII).

In other words, I'm not saying that these songs aren't good solely because they were excluded from FII.  Rather, I'm pointing to their exclusion as an indicator of just how not good they are and, because of that, Cleaning out the Closet isn't something that I have any significant regard for.  That the songs were written "with a purpose" doesn't resonate with me at all.

But I'm not sure what you're saying.  What's "good"?  What the band likes? Okay, it's their music, and they are the only ones that can really say what's "good" or "bad", but both John and Mike have both said that they, in hindsight, like FII, so THEY don't think it's "their worst record".    So nothing is "beared out" as far as I can see (well, except that you don't like them.  But that's not the same as "not good", and is irrelevant in a general sense.)   

I like FII a lot (except for "Lines In The Sand"; Doug Pinnick ruins that song for me) and "Cover My Eyes" is probably my favorite DT song ever, or at least top five.  I can see that song not being picked, not because it sucks, but because it doesn't fit with the rest of the record.  That, also, is different than "not good".

I feel like I explained this sometime subsequent to this three-plus week old post that you quoted.

My ultimate point is that, IMO, the songs in question aren't very good and that, with the possible exception of New Millennium, the inclusion and exclusion decisions were well made.  My opinion that the rejected songs are not very good is not at all influenced by the fact that the songs were not included on any album.  However, I think their exclusion from any album is consistent with their lack of quality.  And, I would hope it obvious that, when I say a song isn't good, it means nothing more than that I don't like it.

I disagree that the band members "are the only ones that can really say what's 'good' or 'bad.'"  We all do that all the time.  In any event, the opinion of any or all of the band members about any given song is completely irrelevant to me.  Maybe John Myung doesn't think much of Learning to Live and thinks The Great Debate is the best song DT ever did.  I couldn't give a rat's ass; I still regard LTL as one of DT's best and TGD as one of its worst.
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Offline pg1067

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Re: Cleaning Out the Closet appreciation thread
« Reply #91 on: April 29, 2019, 05:24:33 PM »
P.S.  The songs from COTC are a combined 9-47 in the current DT "league," and TLF and Eve have twice as many wins as the other six songs combined.

EDIT:  Just noticed that one of the wins (by "Speak to Me") was in a match-up against another COTC song ("The Way It Used to Be"), so that doesn't really count.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 05:05:08 PM by pg1067 »
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