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Topic: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

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  1. #1

    OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Useful to have a list of these as reference CD's for mixes

    The reason I was prompted to post, was that I've just heard the soundtrack to 'Road to Perdition' by Thomas Newman. Aside from the wonderful music, my jaw just dropped at the mix of orchestra (mainly strings), piano, ethnic instruments and percussion, and electronic sound design elements.

    Anyone else have any other recommendations of CD's to have to hand for mixing in different genres?

    Steve

  2. #2

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    I agree - The Road To Perdition has some great mixing. Also, I thought the mix for The American President was v. good.

  3. #3

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Steve,

    Look for anything mixed by Dennis Sands.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0762304/

    And, Bobby Fernandez

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0273044/

  4. #4

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Quote Originally Posted by josejherring
    Steve,

    Look for anything mixed by Dennis Sands.
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0762304/

    And, Bobby Fernandez

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0273044/
    Thanks Jose. Between the two of them they have one or two scores for me to listen to! Actually it looks like between them they pretty much have the scores of Danny Elfman and Alan Silvestri covered.

    I have a fair few of those on CD already, so I'll go and have a listen to them with new ears so to speak

    Steve

  5. #5

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rees
    The reason I was prompted to post, was that I've just heard the soundtrack to 'Road to Perdition' by Thomas Newman. Aside from the wonderful music, my jaw just dropped at the mix of orchestra (mainly strings), piano, ethnic instruments and percussion, and electronic sound design elements.
    Most of Thomas Newman's scores I know are recorded and mixed very well, though many of them are not exactly your average orchestra score and thus might be difficult to be used as reference CDs. That being said, "Finding Nemo" has a very well-balanced sound and is a bit more on the conservative side in terms of instrumentation than many of his other scores.

    If you want an example of a well-engineered over-the-top hollywood sound with a very brilliant edge, I recommend some of James Newton Howard's scores for Disney films, such as Atlantis or Dinosaur. "Sinbad" by Harry Gregson-Williams also fits into this.

    HTH + Cheers,
    jan

  6. #6

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Morgenstern
    "Sinbad" by Harry Gregson-Williams also fits into this.
    Hi there Jan,

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I have 'Sinbad' as it happens, and whilst I like the score, I'm not too keen on the mix (on CD anyway). I need to listen to it again, but I seem to remember it was mixed very loud, which choked the dynamic range. Still, I guess that's what you mean by the 'over the top sound'.

    It's a bit of a generalisation, but many of the 'Media Ventures' composers scores are like that on CD. The most obvious example I've come across so far being 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. I actually think the score worked really well in the film, but the mix on CD has two dynamics, namely 'LOUD' and 'silence'.

    Other examples are 'Matrix - Reloaded' and 'Matrix - Revolutions'. They are mixed (or maybe it's more in the 'mastering') more like modern pop/rock CDs (even the orchestral sections) and I think it chokes the life out the music. Those kind of mixes make me feel less like I'm listening to the music, it's more like I'm being assaulted by it.

    That's why when albums like 'The Road to Perdition' come along, it's like a breath of fresh air, and something I'd really want to learn from.

    Steve

  7. #7

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    The best mixed album in my CD collection is "Amused to Death" by Roger Waters. Amazing dynamic range and crystal clear reproduction of all the instruments while still sounding vintage enough to be exciting.

    The sound of the Queen DVD-a of A night at the Opera made my jaw drop, but that's a different category of course.

  8. #8

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Not only is Waters' "Amused to Death" a very well mixed album (in QSound - great technology) but its also a very well written album. Simply incredible.

    Also, for mixing, check out:

    "Absolution" by MUSE
    "OK Computer" by Radiohead
    "The Village" by James Newton Howard
    "the downward spiral" by Nine Inch Nails
    and
    "Little Earthquakes" by Tori Amos

    ...are all personal favorties of mine when it comes to mixing, not to mention incredible records on top of that.
    Alan Lastufka | www.BelaDMedia.com
    Producer/Artistic Design | Content Producer

    20 Things

  9. #9

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Hi Steve,

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rees
    I have 'Sinbad' as it happens, and whilst I like the score, I'm not too keen on the mix (on CD anyway). I need to listen to it again, but I seem to remember it was mixed very loud, which choked the dynamic range. Still, I guess that's what you mean by the 'over the top sound'.
    You're right, I think Sinbad is at the edge of over-compression in terms of mastering. That being said, I think it's still tolerable compared to the other MV scores you mentioned ('The Rock' being my personal pet peeve, but then again, I haven't heard 'Pirates of the Carribean' yet)

    As others mentioned pop albums, I can only second the opinion about "Amused to Death", that album is a killer and one of my all-time references. For alt/rock stuff, I also recommend "Burn to Shine" by Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, mixed by Eric Sarafin - I'm constantly awestruck by the wonderful dynamics and impact of this album. Great songs, too.

    It's sad that there have been only a handful of (non-indie) rock and pop productions from the last years I can stand listening to (let alone take as references)... the now usual practice of slamming everything to -8dB RMS average in mastering just plainly destroys any kind of magic created in the mix.

    Anyway, if you didn't know it yet, take a look at Bob Katz' CD Honor Roll. This is more about mastering than engineering, and most of the albums are pre-1995 (go figure...), but it's still a wonderful list of great sounding stuff.

    Cheers,
    jan

  10. #10

    Re: OT : The best mixed soundtracks or albums on CD

    Billygoat, Alan, Jan and Brewick,

    Thanks for all those suggestions! I've got out my credit card and put in an order for most of those. Should be an interesting listen. None of these are artists I know much about, so it's going to be educational before I even start thinking about the mixing itself

    Steve

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