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secret_no_03

Lo-Fi in VK, love it or hate it?

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I'm talking either awful mixing because someone is a shit engineer or the kote kei kind where they deliberately make something sound like it's from the 90's when music production in VK was bare bones like La'veil MizeriA (might not count since Starwave record songs in an empty tunnel or something) or Crucifixion and the Matina label who did such a thing deliberately as it's a part of the aesthetic. I personally have times where I really like it and times when it's unlistenable compared to more well produced bands.

Edited by secret_no_03

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It depends on the circumstances. Some lo-fi recordings hold up because the guitars still have mids, the bass still has low end, etc. Basically, it has what I call the "minimal EQ required" to sound good to the ear. Songs like "Machibouke no Kouen De" by The GazettE, or pretty much anything from Vice Risk.

Spoiler

 

Others hold up because the low fidelity works with the aesthetic. For example, DEViL KiTTY's "Hello Katty" is probably meant to sound like a bad MP3 download. Or how Guruguru Eigakan songs are based on Japanese popular music from the 1900's to 1945, so some of the older songs kinda have the lo-fi feel of older music.

Spoiler

 

However, some low-fidelity recordings do not hold up. A good example is, weirdly, of Devil Kitty again. After Sasaki switched to guitar and Shita joined on bass, Yuuga had the wonderful idea of scooping all the mids and low end from the guitars, making it sound like it has a phaser effect, but "stuck" somehow. This is seriously ear grating and a serious step down from "Ese Ikare Rockstar", which imo had really great production, not just by DK standards but also by early 2000's vkei standards.

Spoiler

 

 

Basically, I would say there are different tiers of Lo-Fi. You got S-tier, which sounds good to the ear, fits with the aesthetic, and holds up.

And then you have F-tier which is the worst of the worst, garbage, would make Black Metal jealous lo-fi. Most Vkei falls somewhere in between

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On 3/31/2020 at 1:19 AM, 少女椿 said:

Absolutely love, because yes, AESTHETIC.

I was trying to explain my love for 90s vkei demo tapes and it ended up with conclusion that the main point of this love is nostalgic vibes. 

This. +1

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Lo-fi could sound cool in some bands, but for the bunch of guys that just released one poor song I don't think they had a better choice, and still there are some good only-songs by bands that surely didn't exist at all. I mean, I take lo-fi as a natural thing in vk. The strange one is hi-fi lol

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4 hours ago, avaritonista said:

This. +1

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Lo-fi could sound cool in some bands, but for the bunch of guys that just released one poor song I don't think they had a better choice, and still there are some good only-songs by bands that surely didn't exist at all. I mean, I take lo-fi as a natural thing in vk. The strange one is hi-fi lol

Related to this, I wonder if there's any bands that actually had good production (i.e., not compressed to death "hi-fi", not poorly recorded). The early-mid 2000s stand out in my opinion for vk production (indies and major)...then the loudness war swept vk LOL

 

 

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To my ear it depends on the music. Some music fits with so-called "bad"/lo-fi productions, some does not. Some bands fit the "good"/hi-fi productions, others does not. It's all about what fits the music and brings forth whatever elements needs to be brought forth (or hides, doesn't matter as long as it helps the music in a positive way), which to me means that both lo-fi and hi-fi productions can be great productions. Which means that I love plenty of VKs lo-fi productions, as well as disliking plenty of them.

Edited by Bear

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I've always preferred my VK bands sounding like their demo tape was recorded in the vocalist's mom's basement, there's a strange charm to them. The mild white noise, the echoing, the weird thump noise in background during the guitar solo.... Now that's the good shit 👌

 

I don't know if I preferred low fidelity to high fidelity before I got into VK or after, because I only started to really pay attention to production elements after being exposed to VK, so it's a real chicken or the egg situation. 

 

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12 hours ago, avaritonista said:

I didn't get that one. What do you mean?

The "Loudness War" is a phenomenon in popular music where producers keep trying to make music louder and louder, at the cost of sound quality. Louder music is more likely to be heard, and therefore more likely to sell

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Unfortunately the loudness wars hit vk before the mid 2000s. A handful of late 90s/early 2000s releases are among the loudest albums in my library. The waveforms on some of them look like Merzbow.

I'm looking at you, Lucifer. That one's legitimately up there with Death Magnetic, Californication, et al.

 

I think a lot of people incorrectly use "lo-fi" as a synonym for "I wish this album had more low-end." Something like Luna Sea's first album (not the re-recording) has better sound quality than Dir en Grey's last album or some other clipped-to-death modern release in terms of being able to hear everything, spaciousness, dynamics, everything being in its proper sonic space, etc. Of course it's really thin sounding, like a lot of old vk, but it's a tradeoff I'll take over brickwalling any day.


Tangentially, the first Deshabillz album feels like you're watching a haunted VHS tape in some shed in a forest, and it would be a million times less creepy and awesome if it had more professional production

Edited by hopefully_benign

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