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Vocal reverb keeps me from liking 21st CBD

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Billie Joe Armstrong started mixing his vocals with some weird reverb screen that makes his voice sound much cheaper in 21st Century Breakdown. I know it sounds stupid, but literally the ONE THING that makes me not enjoy the album is this reverb thing.

Without the effect in American Idiot, his voice sounded nuanced and clean. If only he hadn't mixed his vocals with reverb, I'd probably rate the album 4/5 rather than 3/5. It is THAT annoying.

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inb4 mod closes.

I don't think the reverb is too strong on 21cb, not as bad as some uno or dos songs



For some reason, Green Day Chat has much different rules than normal Chat. Welcome to GDC

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I wish people knew the difference between reverb and delay.

If it's delay you speak of, there is LOADS of it in the trilogy.

It's my favorite vocal effect.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Didn't bother me one bit in Uno or Dos if it was present. I think it was actually toned down in the trilogy. Whatever 21st CBD has that the trilogy doesn't in terms of vocals, I just despise. it is a weird bloated effect.

Also, you can hear the lisp on the k's and s's in 21st CBD too clearly. I think that is a result of the effect I am complaining about. Listen to "Last of the American Girls" in the first 30 seconds to hear it.

Edited by TrantaLocked

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Posted · Report post

inb4 mod closes.

Is this some kind of game? Like firstling?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Dubbed vocals is the probably term you mean to use. The difference is the dubbing.

21CB has multitracked vocals; the new ones actually have plenty of reverb, but with a single track of billie vox.

I like it way more on the new records man, I agree.

Edited by House Of Wolves

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Posted · Report post

When you say multitrack, do you mean that Billie overlapped multiple vocal tracks and combined them into one main track, or do I not understand?

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I don't love Billie's vocal production on 21CB, but it definitely doesn't stop me from enjoying the music.

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Butch Vig has a tendency to do vocal layering. He did it on Nevermind, Wasting Light, and pretty much any record he's done. But make no mistake, American Idiot has it's fair share of double tracking. My real issue with 21st's vocal production is that Billie started doing a lot of his own harmonies and layering his harmonies with Mike's. No. me. gusta.



When you say multitrack, do you mean that Billie overlapped multiple vocal tracks and combined them into one main track, or do I not understand?

When you multitrack vocals, you sing the song multiple times, and then layer the recordings over each other so that it sounds like more than one voice. It's been a common practice in rock for years, bands like The Beatles, Queen, and Green Day have embraced it as a way to make their vocal sound bigger, and sometimes it's needed when the guitars, and bass are layered into a track.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I can hear that too, Cob. And American Idiot may have some, but not the same type and/or not as much.

And guys, the multitracking is not the only thing. I can indeed hear Billie's multitracking, but even with just one vocal track playing, there is an apparent bloat of smog that was added in post-production, covering his voice. It isn't "sharp." I don't think it is the multitracking, but the actual production put on the voice, as if Billie were singing through a strange microphone.

And by the way, Billie's voice is powerful enough to not need multitracking. Listen to Dookie (which I believe was left raw) and you will understand.

Edited by TrantaLocked

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inb4 mod closes.

I don't think the reverb is too strong on 21cb, not as bad as some uno or dos songs

For some reason, Green Day Chat has much different rules than normal Chat. Welcome to GDC

What have I told you about being a dick?

I wish people knew the difference between reverb and delay.

If it's delay you speak of, there is LOADS of it in the trilogy.

It's my favorite vocal effect.

While Matty Ice is accurate in his description of the effect as delay, not reverb, I've gotta say that I'm not a fan of it. In limited doses, sure, but too much of it makes a record feel artificial and over-produced. 21CB definitely suffered from that, and it's part of (though not all of) the reason that I've come to detest the record.

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Posted · Report post

totally agree with OP, feel the exact same way

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I can hear that too, Cob. And American Idiot may have some, but not the same type and/or not as much.

And guys, the multitracking is not the only thing. I can indeed hear Billie's multitracking, but even with just one vocal track playing, there is an apparent bloat of smog that was added in post-production, covering his voice. It isn't "sharp." I don't think it is the multitracking, but the actual production put on the voice, as if Billie were singing through a strange microphone.

And by the way, Billie's voice is powerful enough to not need multitracking. Listen to Dookie (which I believe was left raw) and you will understand.

I think that lack of clarity comes from muddy production. To my knowledge, it seems that Butch Vig pushed the band to layer a thousand instruments and it when it came to be mixed it just didn't work all that well. That's likely the reason that the Trilogy sound is soo much different from 21st Century Breakdown, the exact opposite.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You know what, that does make sense. Going back to Uno, the vocals do sound similar to the vocals on 21st CBD. It is just the "overall" production that made the vocals especially annoying in 21st CBD.

In the trilogy, it seems like Billie's voice "breaks through" the post production, like it doesn't GAF about the delay. In 21st CBD, his voice seems like it is being taken over by the effect, like it is trapped. I think in the trilogy, his "clean" track is mixed louder, with the effect being quieter in relation to the clean track. Or, maybe the effect just fits better with the style in the trilogy. Even still, I would prefer his vocals to be mixed like they were back in American Idiot, which seemed a bit cleaner, direct, and less muddy.

Edited by TrantaLocked

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Posted · Report post

I don't have a problem with it at all. Oh well.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

And I truly wish I didn't either. It just stands out to me. Listening to Brutal Love, I can definitely tell that the effect was refined to give Billie back some of his punch.

Edited by TrantaLocked

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Posted · Report post

Cool story...didn't bother me none. In comparison ya, some might say its a little OVERproduced...but overproduced for a punk record is different than a 2009 green day record.

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I never liked how Breakdown come out. But I love the songs since I have the chance of hear them live. And then, I found the best Green Day album ever.

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Posted · Report post

I completely agree, whatever the effect is on Billie's voice, it's not as good as his actual voice

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Posted · Report post

I don't have any problems with the sound of 21st Century Breakdown.

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Posted · Report post

I think that lack of clarity comes from muddy production. To my knowledge, it seems that Butch Vig pushed the band to layer a thousand instruments and it when it came to be mixed it just didn't work all that well. That's likely the reason that the Trilogy sound is soo much different from 21st Century Breakdown, the exact opposite.

That is what I think as well (and I have no idea if that is right), ie I think it is Butch Vig's production. Any rock band or producer that wants to layer lot of instruments and multitrack vocals should give Brian Wilson a ring and ask him to be a consultant. He not only took Phil Spector's techniques to a whole new level but he was aware of the pitfalls.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

When you say multitrack, do you mean that Billie overlapped multiple vocal tracks and combined them into one main track, or do I not understand?

Billie records multiple takes of a phrase, and the producer stacks the best takes on top of each other to make a vocal part. Most of the time their are really minor differences between takes.

Edited by House Of Wolves

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