The Guests - mixing/mastering error?

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
bluntknife
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Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:00 pm

The Guests - mixing/mastering error?

Postby bluntknife » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:38 pm

Hello,

First post etc but I've been a fan of LC for a while and have a question I need to get off my chest.

I absolutely love The Guests - one of the greatest lesser-known Cohen songs on what many consider his greatest album (I reserve judgement - I have not listened extensively enough).

Firstly, if you love this song and don't want your listening spoiled (at least potentially) please do not read on.

Secondly, apologies up front if this has been addressed previously. I have searched the internet generally and this website specifically for information and have found nothing, so...

My issue is that when I listen to The Guests in a quiet room on a reasonable system my ears seem to detect a mixing (or possibly mastering) error between 4.15 and 4.35. There's a strange sound I can't quite identify - something like a "bub...bub...bub". It's almost but not quite in time with the music. It could be a bass string being plucked or a note from an electronic organ. I could be wrong but it sure sounds to me like it shouldn't be there. Now that I'm listening carefully it seems to reappear around the 4.46 mark until about 4.52 but lower in the mix.

So my question is: is this sound deliberate or is it a mistake in the mix? I only have access to recent CD issues of these songs (and the versions on YouTube seem sourced from CD) so have no idea if earlier masters had the same sound. Perhaps the original vinyl hid the sound somewhat.

That's it. Not a profound question or observation. Just askin'.
bluntknife
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:00 pm

Re: The Guests - mixing/mastering error?

Postby bluntknife » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:43 pm

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tomsakic
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Re: The Guests - mixing/mastering error?

Postby tomsakic » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:16 pm

From 4.15 to 4.35and then 4.46 to 4.52 I only hear the instrument as it should be, like bass string being pulled. It was always there, and I believe that intrument plays thru whole song and never was obtrusive to my ears. Here, between these seconds, it is more prominent in the arrangements (and/or also mixing). It is or bass (played by Abraham Laboriel, according to the liner notes), or - as it really sounds somehow electronic - played on the organ (credited to Randy Waldman).

I checked on the CD pressed in the 1990s (not later remastering).

In The Complete Studio Albums Remastered Collection the sound is overall more deep, less metalic, more silky, and that sound is also there. It is actually the arrangements, song gest quiet at 4.15 and then tha insruments accompanies Leonard's voice deliberately.
bluntknife
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:00 pm

Re: The Guests - mixing/mastering error?

Postby bluntknife » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:40 pm

tomsakic wrote:From 4.15 to 4.35and then 4.46 to 4.52 I only hear the instrument as it should be, like bass string being pulled. It was always there, and I believe that intrument plays thru whole song and never was obtrusive to my ears. Here, between these seconds, it is more prominent in the arrangements (and/or also mixing). It is or bass (played by Abraham Laboriel, according to the liner notes), or - as it really sounds somehow electronic - played on the organ (credited to Randy Waldman).

I checked on the CD pressed in the 1990s (not later remastering).

In The Complete Studio Albums Remastered Collection the sound is overall more deep, less metalic, more silky, and that sound is also there. It is actually the arrangements, song gest quiet at 4.15 and then tha insruments accompanies Leonard's voice deliberately.
Thanks for replying tomsakic. I guess whether or not the note (or whatever it is) sounds right may come down to personal taste. I can hear the bass playing at points throughout the entire song as you highlight, but this "bub" sound seems different to my ears: an intrusion rather than an accompaniment. The earlier verse from 1.00 - 1.19 ("And those who dance, begin to dance... And 'Welcome, welcome' cries a voice...) which has a similar place in the overall structure does not have this "bub" sound.

I would welcome other opinions. But I'm not going to obsess too long over the issue. I now have the Complete Studio Albums Collection and have just bought the final three albums so have much to listen to - and admire. May the Man rest in peace.

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