All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Why does RCA continue to make Elvis sound so easy listening?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:23 pm

I have wondered this ever since I started hearing his music. Why do they continue to mix the drums low or in some cases almost out?

For instance, the disc, Live In Texas. The drums are basically burried in the mix to where you can barely hear them at times, as if it was a Barry Manilow concert or something. The mix of music is great, but the mixing of the baseline and drums is horrible.

Another example, the mix on Bridge Over Troubled Water. When Elvis originally recorded this in the studio he had the drums up front and the base mixed in with them. Listen to the fantastic studio version on the cd Hundred Year's From Now. Why can't they digitally remix the orginal version to sound like that and more lively? This is almost 2006, and they still put the soft easy listening version on RCA releases where the drums sound like they are in another studio down the road. I hate that. It takes away from the true power of the recording.

The best mix I have heard so far on any Elvis track is the Suspicious Minds remix on E-1. The drums and baseline are mixed together and are punchier and more up front in the recording and not hidden as on the original. That's how ALL the tracks should sound!! Especially the '69 Memphis tracks. Where's Ronnie Tutt's powerful drumming? Where's Burton's funkie guitar pickin. And where's the soulful voices of The Sweets? Always mixed low or out. :cry:

It's as if RCA is either sayin "Elvis wasn't Hard Rock enough and was only for soft easy listening" or that they are doin this as a joke to downplay his stage power as a true rocker. They need to quit mixing the concerts and studio tracks to sound "dated" and start giving them some much needed LIFE.

And I'm not the only one who has complained about this either. I know this subject has been brought up before, and I have heard the same complaints from non fans who say his music is "too soft". But that's due to RCA's doing, not Elvis. :cry:

Re: Why does RCA continue to make Elvis sound so easy listen

Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:29 pm

Lakeisha wrote:The best mix I have heard so far on any Elvis track is the Suspicious Minds remix on E-1. The drums and baseline are mixed together and are punchier and more up front in the recording and not hidden as on the original. That's how ALL the tracks should sound!! Especially the '69 Memphis tracks. Where's Ronnie Tutt's powerful drumming? Where's Burton's funkie guitar pickin. And where's the soulful voices of The Sweets? Always mixed low or out.


Lakeisha -
I may be mis-interpreting your post, but Ronnie and James did not play on the '69 Memphis sessions.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:39 pm

Sorry, I meant them in general on the live shows.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:12 pm

but the one on E-1 wasn't live, in general or otherwise.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:24 pm

She doesen´t know what the hell she´s talking about...or so it seems... :lol: :lol: :lol:


Sincerely MB280E

Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:27 pm

Lakeisha wrote:When Elvis originally recorded this in the studio he had the drums up front and the base mixed in with them.


Elvis wouldn't have known where the drums or bass would be when it was mixed at the time he was recording it.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:55 pm

When I listen to any type of music, I don't want to notice anything "up front", I want to be able to notice everything. I want a well balanced mix. Nothing should stand out and yet everything should be heard.

If the bass or drums were suddenly brought up front it would ruin the recordings for me. Back in the day before multi-track recordings, the sound engineers really had to know about mic placement to get the right balance. I think they succeeded in most cases. Just listen to the his 1950's hits or March april 1960 sessions to get the idea.

Of course some of the soundboards have no balance because they were recorded with only the thought of a reference recording.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:18 pm

So you are tellin me that you like the mixes that RCA continues to put out and rip off the public with? This isn't 1960 anymore. This is about to be 2006.

Try asking a young adult if they think his music sounds soft or weak and they'll tell you YES. They tell me all the time and I have to then explain to them that that's how RCA mixes the sound, but then I play them the better mixes like BOTW undubbed and then they seem to like it.

It's all in the mix!

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:19 pm

MB280E wrote:She doesen´t know what the hell she´s talking about...or so it seems... :lol: :lol: :lol:


Sincerely MB280E


I know a hellava lot more than you do...so it seems. :roll:

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:26 pm

Well if it is down to the mix, which is solely RCA's responsibility, why are you asking us and not them ?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:36 pm

When Elvis originally recorded this in the studio he had the drums up front and the base mixed in with them. Listen to the fantastic studio version on the cd Hundred Year's From Now.


Sorry, but looking to the Hundred Years From Now disc to be an indication of Elvis' wishes is misguided.

An earlier poster was correct in that the decisions for that disc don't have anything to do with what Elvis heard or wanted to hear in the studio.

It's just a remix plain and simple. The decisions made for that disc might match your biases, but it certainly doesn't represent any sort of "original intent."

The people who worked on that disc certainly weren't in a position to know what Elvis was hearing (or wanted to hear) while he was in the studio.

They didn't see a need to stick to the original mixes because they were working on outtakes. In fact, as frequently happens, they may have deliberately emphasized things that the artist originally chose to downplay. They do this to give the listener a perspective on other aspects of the music.

The original mixes are far more likely to represent Elvis' preferences, if that's what you care about.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:49 pm

Lakeisha -

Elvis' record label has a tendency to treat him as a 'Middle-of-the-Road' 'Easy-Listening' style of artist these days.

That might account for the 'soft' way he is mixed.

Having said that, there isn't a perfect way for them to mix the recordings, because what is absolute heaven to one listener's ears is pure hell to another's !

See umpteen previous posts on this subject !

Why does

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:30 pm

... To please you, Lakeisha, lets hope RCA, in the future will call in some members from a Rap Band to lay down some fat drums and bass overdubs on these "dated" Elvis Recordings...KATCHAKKA BOOM, KATCHAKKA BOOM...

Re: Why does

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:47 pm

Tallhair AKA Ger Rijff wrote:... To please you, Lakeisha, lets hope RCA, in the future will call in some members from a Rap Band to lay down some fat drums and bass overdubs on these "dated" Elvis Recordings...KATCHAKKA BOOM, KATCHAKKA BOOM...




Gee Gerrr ----

is that sarcasm...racist in intent, or interpretation?



----

when bass and drums are buried in the mix, it is hard to measure up to contemporary listening expectations.
Hence, Elvis sounding "lite"

Why does

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:54 pm

... Just some plain good ol Dutch sarcasm. KADUNKADUNKADUNK...

Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:59 pm

Lakeisha.......lets face it, Elvis did record an awful lot of "easy listening" and middle of the road" type stuff.

Re: Why does

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:07 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:
Tallhair AKA Ger Rijff wrote:... To please you, Lakeisha, lets hope RCA, in the future will call in some members from a Rap Band to lay down some fat drums and bass overdubs on these "dated" Elvis Recordings...KATCHAKKA BOOM, KATCHAKKA BOOM...




Gee Gerrr ----

is that sarcasm...racist in intent, or interpretation?



----

when bass and drums are buried in the mix, it is hard to measure up to contemporary listening expectations.
Hence, Elvis sounding "lite"


gotta be a bit of both ain't it ? when it comes to rap eminem is as black as my humour, or is it me thats paler than white ?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:10 pm

"gotta be a bit of both ain't it ? when it comes to rap eminem is as black as my humour, or is it me thats paler than white ? "


Thats cleared that up then..... :D

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:11 pm

I agree that the mixing isn't perfect. I want a rougher sound like Elvis In Person. In rock music the drums, bass and guitar should be up front together with the voice. Just listen to the recordings from the fifties when Elvis had full control of the sound. They couldn't mess with sound so much when it was recorded in mono. Now some albums sound better than other and on some the drums or guitar can hardly be heard. In some cases there might be instruments on the drums/guitar track that the person mixing wants to be in the background. But in general you would think that it should be possible to produce a decent mix.

It may appear that someone is trying to make a Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra out of Elvis by eliminating the rocking sound. It would be very interesting to hear why the mixes end up like they do. The soundboards sometimes miss a lot of the sound which I am pretty certain could be heard by the audience at the time. But with multitrack recordings there must be a lot of possible mixing choices. Why not give a well known rock producer the chance to mix an Elvis concert?

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:16 pm

ElvisAhlgren -

You wrote:
The soundboards sometimes miss a lot of the sound which I am pretty certain could be heard by the audience at the time.


I thought that the soundboard 'mix' was exactly what the audience heard, just missing the acoustics of the hall/arena/venue.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:23 pm

Soundboards rarely if ever capture whats really heard in an arena.

Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:35 pm

I find Elvis very easy to listen to. I can listen to 'Good Rockin' Tonight' any time - day or night.

Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:00 am

elvissessions.com wrote:
The original mixes are far more likely to represent Elvis' preferences, if that's what you care about.


Did Elvis really want "It's Easy For You" and "And I Love You so" to sound like that?
They are truly awful mixes and I can not fathom how anybody would intentionally mix something to sound like that.

Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:13 am

I hate music with the bass and drums mixed to far upfront and so damn loud that you can hear someone's vehicle coming 10 blks away. You're supposed to notice the music. Not the fact that it blew your speakers out.

Yes. I prefer the "old" mixes as you call them.

BTW: The Suspicious Minds mix on E1 stinks!!

Am I out of touch? I suppose. But I prefer it that way.

Fri Dec 23, 2005 2:16 am

You and me both, daddio!