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Vocal reverb keeps me from liking 21st CBD


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#1
TrantaLocked

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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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#2
Todd

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



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#3
Matt.

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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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#4
TrantaLocked

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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, 11 December 2012 - 10:16 PM.


#5
Matt.

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Is this some kind of game? Like firstling?


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#6
House Of Wolves

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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, 11 December 2012 - 10:32 PM.


#7
TrantaLocked

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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?



#8
Clockwise

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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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#9
Cob

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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.  



#10
nah

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Nah, the vocals on 21st Century Breakdown are fantastic. 


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#11
TrantaLocked

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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.


Edited by TrantaLocked, 11 December 2012 - 11:11 PM.


#12
Tre's Busted Drumkit

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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.



#13
bloodsexbooze31

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totally agree with OP, feel the exact same way



#14
Cob

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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. 



#15
TrantaLocked

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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, 11 December 2012 - 11:38 PM.


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#16
ChelseaDagger

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I love 21CB, vocals and all. I know this is a pointless post but I feel the need to share my love of 21CB.

That is all.


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#17
Louiejub

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



#18
TrantaLocked

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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, 11 December 2012 - 11:43 PM.


#19
Freezing Melons

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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.



#20
greendepent

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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.



#21
michael1989

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I love 21CB, vocals and all. I know this is a pointless post but I feel the need to share my love of 21CB.

That is all.

Agreed. I  thought it was a great follow-up to AI.


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#22
Rob716

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

#23
Green Day In Seattle

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



#24
tvrman

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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.



#25
House Of Wolves

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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, 12 December 2012 - 04:01 AM.


#26
WhiteTim

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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.


Vig is a great producer but his style doesn't always match up with some artists Butch is a very techy producer who records differently than say Rob does Butch wasnt exactly a good match for GD

#27
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I never get why people say they don't like 21CB because it's overproduced or the vocals sound weird or whatever. Yes, I get it's an opinion, but personally I never had a problem with the sound until I read on GDC what others thought of the record. I like reading different opinions though. Let me end this by saying I love 21st Century Breakdown. Great music, great vocals. :D

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#28
Todd

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What have I told you about being a dick?
 
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.

What's the big deal on inb4s? I added my input on the topic. I like the vocals a lot. But that's all you can really do in this thread. I like the vocals or I don't like the vocals and why. Once everyone has made their input, the thread will fall back and eventually be archived :) . Inb4 is just a meme thingy. At least I don't post rick rolls in the video downloads! :P

#29
Dookiefied

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In my opinion BJA could sing through a modified hairdryer with bleeding pigs screaming in the background and it would still sound awesome. The man has got a throat that is out of this world. I do however have some minor problems with the falsetto thing he started doing lately, but I can live with that. :)



#30
Rusty Blue

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I really love the sound of 21st CB. I can't see the problem with the vocals, I think the vocal work in this album us really great :)




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