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Distortion in Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I was listening to the recent Sony remastered CD of Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell earlier today and noticed odd-sounding distortion on "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". At about the three-minute mark, I heard distortion in the vocals. For example, I heard the distortion in the lyric "Ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed. We were barely 17 and we were barely dressed." I was listening to this disc on the stereo system in my home theater (Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 CD player, NAD C 370 integrated amp, Totem Arro speakers). Thinking I had a bad disc, I played the Sony MasterSound gold CD of Bat Out of Hell in the same system and heard the same distortion at the same point of "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". At this point, I was concerned that there was something wrong with my speakers (bought just a month ago). To determine this, I played the original CD version (owned for about ten years) in my home theater system (Sony DVP-C670D DVD changer, Sony STR-V444ES A/V receiver, Energy e:XL 16 speakers). Sure enough, I heard the same distortion. Has anyone heard this distortion before? Is it simply a botched recording or was it intended for some odd reason? I am wondering if this distortion is evident on the SACD.
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    [Edited last by KeithH on September 09, 2001 at 11:02 PM]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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  3. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

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    Have no fear, it's in my copy as well. It is pretty subtle, I had never heard it before, but it is there. I imagine that Meatloaf just got a little loud and whatever couldn't handle it or something like that.
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    Joe Dahlen
    "Take hold of the flame, you've got nothing to lose, but everything to gain."
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Thanks, Joe. I figure it is either distortion in the equipment used (mics, amps, etc.) or the master tape was damaged.
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  5. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got the LP....I'll pull it out and see if it's there as well....that should take care of it. Gimme a little while...I'll be right back.
     
  6. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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  7. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, it took a little longer, but after listening to the track three times, I could not detect distortion where you specified on the vinyl, or anywhere else. I have an original copy that's been played often...which still sounds really good.
    There may be something in the refrain right before Meatloaf goes into his.."We're gonna go all the way tonight we're gonna go all the way tonight tonight" but it's more like they added more voices...it didn't sound hot at all.
    I'll go back to it in a little bit at "ludicrous volume" and report back...but it seems like it may be something introduced into the CD master only...I don;t have a CD to compare...but it may be fun to go out and get one and compare side to side!
    I'm going to try and track down a more pristine copy because mine may be "played out" or worn down to where it isn't noticed.....could happen.
    But as of right now...I don't hear it anywhere at least not before the Phil Rizzuto monolog. I didn't listen as carefully after Phil.
     
  8. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Ludicrous Volume completed...
    While an extended listening was conducted, I noticed that I really don't like the mix on this album...I never noticed that before..go figure.
    The drums are way in the back and seem compressed. The entire recording seems to have a lot of compression involved as there is quite a lack of dynamics. I have a Ton Jones mono recording that sounds deeper than this album!
    As to the distortion...still not there, although I notice a "shouty" quality to Meat's voice in the first couple of minutes...not hot audio, but more like something caused by the type of mic used to record.
    Then again..this could all be because my LP is old and has been played countless times...hundreds literally.
    All this has made me want to buy up a sealed or new re-issue if it exists.
    I am also heading out to the stores and picking up the CD.
    Love that Broadway Rock!
     
  9. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    oh and by the way:
    Using Music Hall MMF-5 TT
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  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Manny, thanks for the info. Based on Joe's observations along with mine, it seems as though something happened with the CD. It's interesting that you don't hear the distortion on your LP, but I hear it on three different versions on CD. Interesting.
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  11. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I will be looking for a sealed copy of this LP on Ebay, and while I'm at it, I will get a copy of the re-mastered CD as well.
    That should take care of the mystery once and for all. Am I the only one who notices the drums sometimes seem unnaturally low or compressed? It's killing me!
    Love that Loaf, though...you just can't beat the Meat for great Broadway story rock! (and he's the best for double entendre)
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Manny, I did not notice the drums sounding low or compressed. I'll have to check it out sometime. With all that happened in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania on Tuesday, I haven't been the mood to listen to music. I haven't listened to anything since Monday night. Maybe I'll fire up a system this weekend, and if so, I'll listen to Meat Loaf again.
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  13. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Take it from me, who grew up with the towers outside his window, don't ever let them take your music away from you.
     
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Thanks, Manny. I guess I just haven't been in the mood to listen to music. However, my girlfriend is coming down to my house tonight for the weekend (she lives an hour away currently), and her company will raise my spirits. I'm sure we will listen to some music.
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  15. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

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    I listened to this again, and the drums are back in the mix and are compressed quite a bit.
    Now I'm going to notice that distortion every time I listen to the CD. Ignorance is bliss I guess.
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    "Take hold of the flame, you've got nothing to lose, but everything to gain."
     
  16. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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  17. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Found an original STILL SEALED copy of Bat out of Hell to give spin to on EBay. (only 6 bucks!...this is why I love vinyl...opened at a flea market...50 cents!)
    Did you guys say the CD you are listening to is a remix?
    Post the cat# so I can make sure I get the right one and I can do a side by side and see what changed!
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Manny, I do not have my Sony remastered Bat Out of Hell CD in front of me to give you the catalog number, but it is very easy to find and is easy to distinguish from the original CD. The remastered CD has a yellow sticker on the shrinkwrap denoting it as the remastered version, and it mentions the inclusion of bonus tracks. Look at the back of the jewel case for a listing of bonus tracks. Also, the part of the jewel case that the CD rests on is clear on the remastered instead of the standard black plastic that the old version comes with. Also, note in my first post that I heard the distortion in "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" in three different versions on CD, including the original version.
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    [Edited last by KeithH on September 18, 2001 at 06:27 PM]
     
  19. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    I see you did indeed say it was on all three copies!
    Well, I've sent the payment for the new LP, but after someone else noted the same "bad" mix I did, I'm thinking it could just be that the producer didn't like the drummer or something...who knows.
    Perhaps the CD mix is a little different. I'm interested if you notice a difference in the sound on the different versions you have... I've often wondered just what exactly they mean by "remastered".
    Is the mix on the remaster significantly different than your old one? Inquiring minds want to know....and now that I'm going to own three copies of this (2 LPs and the remastered CD...what the hell I love listening in my car) I 'll have to take your word...cause I ain't getting any more copies....besides, I need the money for a picture disc I saw on E-Bay...I remember the BOOH pic disc was the coolest in the store [​IMG]
     
  20. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    I meant to check this out sooner and post my response, but I only got a chance to listen to "Paradise..." on my revealing system (Platinum Audio speakers, Outlaw 1050 receiver, Sony DVP-S9000ES player) tonight. I heard the distortion too, it sounds a little like a buzz, in that phrase mentioned by KeithH (particularly in the word "blessed").
    I also noticed some distortion in the woman's voice when she sang "Stop right now! Before you go any further..." right after the Phil Rizzuto monologue.
    I bet a pre-amp or the tape was overdriven when the recording was made or mastered. I have the remastered CD.
    I thought the recording sounded laid back, lacking in treble on my system, almost to the point of being dull sounding. Perhaps the master tapes aren't in the best condition or they cut the highs to reduce hiss, but I wasn't overly impressed with the mix. Or maybe I've gotten used to overly bright recordings. Of course, on a less revealing system, this disc sounds great. I wonder what the SACD sounds like.
    KJP
     

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