View Full Version : So what's exactly wrong with Machina's production?


Raskolnikov
02-06-2002, 11:37 PM
Hmm... not sure if this is the right board for this or not, but it'll work.

People 'round here always rip on the production of Machina and attribute it as one of the main reasons why they dislike the album. Now I'm no genius on the matter, but I don't think it's bad by any means.

I listened to it today, and the only thing I could come up with is that perhaps it's too polished. Is that the complaint? If so, the greater majority of Siamese Dream is polished down just as shiny- but then again, I'm no genius on the subject.

Fill me in?

Smack Me In My Mouth
02-06-2002, 11:43 PM
I think a lot of people are turned off by the "washed-out" feel of the tracks. When I listen to it, the only distinct instrument I hear are the drums--the guitar and bass parts kind of fade together into an indistinct blur.

Finsta
02-07-2002, 12:27 AM
Yeah, and the whole GATMOG thing was gay.

Jesse Miller
02-07-2002, 01:49 AM
Machina is also pretty digital; it sounds cold and dead.

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Jesse: Dude, did you fart? It smells like poo...
Mason: Yes, I did fart... *and* I smell like poo.
Jesse: Oh, good. I was hoping it wasn't this couch.

elitist prick
02-07-2002, 01:55 AM
Personally I dig Machina but that's probably because the production on it is nothing like the other cd's I own. Perhaps it's not the greatest, but I think it must be recognized that experimental music is important to a band's growth; although in this case since it was the end of the band, it must be said that it had more of an impact on the individual artists in the band.

if there is a llama
02-07-2002, 01:55 AM
I think that alot of peoples complaints about the production of Machina (and Adore for that matter) were done intentionally by the band. I don't think anyone can really say that a band suddenly puts out poorly produced albums after such great production as Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie.

David

if there is a llama
02-07-2002, 01:56 AM
Oh yeah, wrong board!

David

Fathoms (unadored)
02-07-2002, 02:50 AM
In my opinion Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie were more poorly produced than Machina. But Machina sounds very droned, fuzzy and muddled on my discman which seriously pissed off. It takes a decent sound system to hear the decent sound. It's production lends itself to some great hidden rythms and gorgeous soundscapes. But overall It's too calculated, and muddled at times. It really takes a good sound system and a careful ear to enjoy Machina for what it is. Which says something about the production.

The Maverick
02-07-2002, 03:37 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Fathoms (unadored):
In my opinion Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie were more poorly produced than Machina. But Machina sounds very droned, fuzzy and muddled on my discman which seriously pissed off. It takes a decent sound system to hear the decent sound. It's production lends itself to some great hidden rythms and gorgeous soundscapes. But overall It's too calculated, and muddled at times. It really takes a good sound system and a careful ear to enjoy Machina for what it is. Which says something about the production. </font>

i'm going to with-hold my opinion on MACHINA wich is irrelevant anyway.
but i have a (more than) decent stereo system and it still sounds muddled and fuzzy at times. maybe it was done intentionally, but it just doesn't sound... quite right (for lack of a better word)

j o e


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::stumbles in drunkenly::
Hey everybody, where did Mary go?
Where did Mary go?
And where's my only cigarette? Please think for me, I can't bear to...
I'll just lie here for a while, Wet myself, wet my bed-- I've readied it all for her, you know Clean sheets, incense, and lots of fluffy pillows-- Now soiled....
And where's my cigarette? Did you check the bathroom?... The bathtub?... She sleeps there sometimes.... Water cleanses, you know, washes dirt away, makes new.... Maybe she... maybe she... maybe she... maybe... Maybe she swam away....
::exits drunkenly::

strange_one
02-07-2002, 03:39 AM
<font color=FF00FF> sacred and profane always sounds too fuzzy no matter what system I listen to it on

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Your Time Will Come

nevermind
02-07-2002, 03:59 AM
if only we could have heard machina just the way it was in the studio. ahhhhh...

THRILLHO
02-07-2002, 05:17 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by if there is a llama:
I think that alot of peoples complaints about the production of Machina (and Adore for that matter) were done intentionally by the band. I don't think anyone can really say that a band suddenly puts out poorly produced albums after such great production as Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie.

David</font>

why not? of course that could happen.

another thing i've noticed that seperates machina from the other albums (except maybe adore): most of the songs don't progress sonically. a lot of the pre-machina songs would have at least one quiet part and plenty of shifting dynamics, and quite often some kind of build-up and climax.
whereas i think every song on machina except TEG, SIYL, G+tGC and AOI (gotta love the abbr.'s) start and end on the same groove at the same level, and it's way more repetitive than usual. combine it with the fact that that groove is a noise of synthy scratchy soup, and it's really annoying.

bonsor
02-07-2002, 06:10 AM
Pretty much what Smack Me In My Mouth said. The sound on Machina is so compressed that it's uninteresting to listen to. Laters over layers of sound piled up upon eachother squished onto one CD. There's too much stuff going on at the same time. It's just a mass of unidentifiable sound.

The songs would work much better on a more simple level.

NegaBenji
02-07-2002, 06:50 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by THRILLHO:
why not? of course that could happen.

another thing i've noticed that seperates machina from the other albums (except maybe adore): most of the songs don't progress sonically. a lot of the pre-machina songs would have at least one quiet part and plenty of shifting dynamics, and quite often some kind of build-up and climax.
whereas i think every song on machina except TEG, SIYL, G+tGC and AOI (gotta love the abbr.'s) start and end on the same groove at the same level, and it's way more repetitive than usual. combine it with the fact that that groove is a noise of synthy scratchy soup, and it's really annoying.</font>

I often thought this of the later sp songs - many of them don't really develop, and the overall feel of the song is pretty much established in the first minute or so, leaving nowhere for the song to go. Look at Wound - it just starts, keeps going, and then finishes. That's partly a songwriting issue, although production does involve deciding how to play a song. But yeah, the production on Machina isn't too good in some places - songs like SIYL are offset by muddy tracks like HMM and S+P. I do agree that some of the 'mistakes' were intentional though, like IOTM (which some people hate - I just think it's a cool take on the song). Not enough instrument separation, that's the problem

Finsta
02-07-2002, 07:54 AM
Yeah, and the whole GATMOG thing was gay.

silvergeek
02-07-2002, 10:11 AM
downfall of pumpkins = when billy discovered he could layer tracks on the computer.

he went off into the deep end.

the production in the last two albums sounded cold and dead. it was hard to even listen to the songs, even though some of the songs weren't too bad. it was hard to even breathe while listening to it, because it was so dense.

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"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be"
AIM: silvergeek000

Kumar Littlejeans
02-07-2002, 10:57 AM
In my opinion Machina sounds more organic than any of they're other albums, and Gish sounds the most glazed over to me for some odd reason. According to the interviews there, the machina "noise" is normal guitar signal mixed with such things like running an acoustic through a cheap cassete recorder so it makes an acoustic harmonic combination that's present alot of places on the album. And seeing how all the effects are aquired through analog, pedal or rigging means that equals natural to me. But maybe I just like weird ringing fuzzy guitar noises.

illiterate
02-07-2002, 12:01 PM
It's been a REALLY long time, but I recall Corgan saying in a Guitar Magazine interview that ProTools was used to produce Adore, but NOT Machina.

ravenguy2000
02-07-2002, 12:20 PM
I can't tell you exactly what's wrong with it. I can tell you that it sounds like shit, though.

Death rock boy
02-07-2002, 12:37 PM
I think the problem with Machina is that compressed "dense" sound. Sometimes it can be wonderful (Here is no why, Soma e-bow solo etc) when lots of tracks are bounced to a stereo 2-track. But Billy has compressed a lot of tracks into a fuzzy mess at times. Sometimes it sounds good, but a lot of the time the sound is just too muddy to be admired.


Having said that, off on a tangent a little, the songs just aren't as consistently good as they are on the other albums, and I think that's really where people get annoyed. The production isn't bad, it's very unique and it's a little too much to take in. But the album lacks the memorability of the others. Combine the vague and mostly unmemorable songs with the vague and compressed production, and you really get overall a vague album.

KingKong
02-07-2002, 12:52 PM
The problem is the band didn't make a record that sounds like their other records. Those bastards.

bloop
02-07-2002, 01:51 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by KingKong:
The problem is the band didn't make a record that sounds like their other records. Those bastards. </font>

paranoid
02-07-2002, 02:35 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by THRILLHO:
why not? of course that could happen.

another thing i've noticed that seperates machina from the other albums (except maybe adore): most of the songs don't progress sonically. a lot of the pre-machina songs would have at least one quiet part and plenty of shifting dynamics, and quite often some kind of build-up and climax.
whereas i think every song on machina except TEG, SIYL, G+tGC and AOI (gotta love the abbr.'s) start and end on the same groove at the same level, and it's way more repetitive than usual. combine it with the fact that that groove is a noise of synthy scratchy soup, and it's really annoying.</font>


you missed i of the mourning, bone head. that song builds up better than AOI.. http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/tongue.gif


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I can suck my own ****.

The exploding boy
02-07-2002, 03:18 PM
Well you identified the problem yourself. TOO polished. That being said i think it's a good record (not awesome but good) but i don't like the production. I noticed something was wrong with it when i started to try to play along with it.

neopryn
02-07-2002, 03:47 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by paranoid:

you missed i of the mourning, bone head. that song builds up better than AOI.. http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/tongue.gif


</font>
And BSBT. You know you like the progressively distorted "blue skies bring tears"

mjnova
02-07-2002, 09:15 PM
I've already said that I like the over production, but I'd just like say I think the last 5 cuts are some of the best things Billy has done. It's amazing that he can make songs like BSBT and the Crying Tree that are deliberately slow and plodding yet still enjoyable to listen to. Plus the other three are just great songs. If you don't love With Every Light there may be something wrong with you.

Plus the Machine 2 version of HMM is grrrreat!

Max

Raskolnikov
02-07-2002, 10:41 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by mjnova:
I'd just like say I think the last 5 cuts are some of the best things Billy has done. It's amazing that he can make songs like BSBT and the Crying Tree that are deliberately slow and plodding yet still enjoyable to listen to.

Plus the Machine 2 version of HMM is grrrreat!

Max</font>

I don't think I could disagree with you more on any of those points. HMM from Machina 2 is easily my least favorite SP song. I really like CTOM, but the BSBT that's on Machina just stinks. I like the "electrique" version 100x more.

But, hey... to each their own. All of those are some of the Pumpkins more "metal"-y tracks, so maybe that's what floats your boat.

As for WIL, you're right there. That's one of my top 3 all-time SP songs.

neopryn
02-08-2002, 05:52 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by mjnova:
I've already said that I like the over production, but I'd just like say I think the last 5 cuts are some of the best things Billy has done. It's amazing that he can make songs like BSBT and the Crying Tree that are deliberately slow and plodding yet still enjoyable to listen to. Plus the other three are just great songs. If you don't love With Every Light there may be something wrong with you.

Plus the Machine 2 version of HMM is grrrreat!

Max</font>
Wow that's bold. I agree with the above poster that BSBT version electrique is way better, but I still love the Machina version, I don't even have words for it. You're right on WEL. And I used to like TCTOM, but listening to everybody bitch about it kinda ruined it, don't ask why. And sorry, but the M2 HMM sucks. http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/tongue.gif

mjnova
02-08-2002, 02:13 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by neopryn:
Originally posted by mjnova:

</font>
Wow that's bold. I agree with the above poster that BSBT version electrique is way better, but I still love the Machina version, I don't even have words for it. You're right on WEL. And I used to like TCTOM, but listening to everybody bitch about it kinda ruined it, don't ask why. And sorry, but the M2 HMM sucks. http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/tongue.gif


I was just trying to wind people up with the last point, but I do honestly rather like it.

Also I do like the "real" non-album BSBT better, but I think the album version works surprisingly well. it's not their best album but who cares, they're allowed to have a few weak tracks every once in a blue moon (S&P for one).

Max

ava adore 13
02-08-2002, 02:27 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by KingKong:
The problem is the band didn't make a record that sounds like their other records. Those bastards. </font>

ava adore 13
02-08-2002, 02:32 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Smack Me In My Mouth:
I think a lot of people are turned off by the "washed-out" feel of the tracks. When I listen to it, the only distinct instrument I hear are the drums--the guitar and bass parts kind of fade together into an indistinct blur.</font>

well, that's what i love about machina. i find that sound a lot more interesting than the standard rock sound.

sarmatianus
02-09-2002, 03:04 AM
I really honestly feel that years down the road Machina will be properly appreciated. Whether that is because people will have had time to digest it, or it will become influential, or whathaveyou...I don't know. But I just have this gut feeling that the real Machina mystery is the album revealing itself over time.

sarmatianus

Flebath
02-09-2002, 02:10 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sarmatianus:
I really honestly feel that years down the road Machina will be properly appreciated. Whether that is because people will have had time to digest it, or it will become influential, or whathaveyou...I don't know. But I just have this gut feeling that the real Machina mystery is the album revealing itself over time.

sarmatianus</font>

I agree.

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AIM: flebath

THRILLHO
02-09-2002, 02:36 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sarmatianus:
I really honestly feel that years down the road Machina will be properly appreciated. Whether that is because people will have had time to digest it, or it will become influential, or whathaveyou...I don't know. But I just have this gut feeling that the real Machina mystery is the album revealing itself over time.

sarmatianus</font>

B.C. says this shit all the time, and I personally find it hilarious. He said it with Adore multiple times. It's been 4 years - look at the influence on modern rock it's had! Better give it another 10-15.

I just think that's a really silly thing to believe in, that an album will somehow magically reveal itself over time. I really doubt Bolly was capable of writing a intricately patched-together story with so many subtle layers of symbolism and metaphor that it only becomes dechiperable after years of dwelling and interpreting. The Chards of Glass/GATMOC chapters totally prove that. I'd be willing to bet that in 10 or 20 years or whenever mainstream rock music will not have 'evolved' to the point that mythical and symbolic lyrics about crying trees and ages of innocence have replaced 'put yo hands in the air like you just don't care!!!'

The more I listen to the Pumpkins albums nowadays, the more I realize how great they are and how much I love/loved them. Except Machina, which is kind of the opposite.

THRILLHO
02-09-2002, 02:38 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sarmatianus:
I really honestly feel that years down the road Machina will be properly appreciated. Whether that is because people will have had time to digest it, or it will become influential, or whathaveyou...I don't know. But I just have this gut feeling that the real Machina mystery is the album revealing itself over time.

sarmatianus</font>

B.C. says this shit all the time, and I personally find it hilarious. He said it with Adore multiple times. It's been 4 years - look at the influence on modern rock it's had! Better give it another 10-15.

I just think that's a really silly thing to believe in, that an album will somehow magically reveal itself over time. I really doubt Bolly was capable of writing a intricately patched-together story with so many subtle layers of symbolism and metaphor that it only becomes dechiperable after years of dwelling and interpreting. The Chards of Glass/GATMOC chapters totally prove that. I'd be willing to bet that in 10 or 20 years or whenever mainstream rock music will not have 'evolved' to the point that mythical and symbolic lyrics about crying trees and ages of innocence have replaced 'put yo hands in the air like you just don't care!!!'

The more I listen to the Pumpkins albums nowadays, the more I realize how great they are and how much I love/loved them. Except Machina, which is kind of the opposite.

sarmatianus
02-09-2002, 02:54 PM
You're misinterpreting. I am not saying that the story and symbolism will suddenly become clear years down the road - I only said that the album would be more clearly accepted and understood as an accomplishment years down the road.

And as for Adore, I don't know if Billy ever said that it (or Machina) would get better with age, but I can say this - whenever I play Adore for my friends who aren't already Pumpkins fans, they always ask me to burn them a copy. Hard evidence? Certainly not, but it is interesting to note.

sarmatianus

Spaced
02-09-2002, 07:47 PM
Am I the only one who thinks that Machina is some of the pumpkins greatest stuff. And i really like how it sounds like all the instruments are one, it is so layered that if you want to hear the bass you have to listen specifically for that. It's really amazing.

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A:Quack

www.BlueSkiesBringTears.com (http://www.geocities.com/bsbt26)

Raskolnikov
02-09-2002, 07:57 PM
Yea, with the exception of a few turds, I really like Machina. I didn't start this thread to be a Machina bashing/praising thread, but it's actually cool that it's turned into that.

Cool to see that admist all of the Machina haters on this board, there are a few that enjoy it.

I mean, it's by no means my favorite of the SP catalogue- but it's good stuff nonetheless.

THRILLHO
02-09-2002, 07:59 PM
well, i'm not selling it or anything!

like they say, medicore [your favorite band here] is better than the best of [new trendy band that sucks].

Irrelevant
02-10-2002, 09:08 AM
let's see. it strives to sound polished, and i think that a lot of the time it just ends up sounding cheesy to me. like they're trying too hard.

the songs that were produced well? i don't have much to complain about when it comes to The Everlasting Gaze, Try to Try, and The Crying Tree of Mercury. i have few complaints about Blue Skies Bring Tears (that electronic voice at the very very end is horrible), Age of Innocence (i wish the second verse would have sounded dirtier, like it did live), or This Time (it feels long and doesn't change much, thus becomes a bit droney). and then there's SIYL, which i don't care for much at all, but that's the song's fault and not the production.

the rest of the songs i feel have significant flaws in the way the studio version was layed down. so you can tack that up to "they don't like it cuz its different!!!" if you wish. whatever. it's the only SP album i have a qualm with, including Adore and Machina II. and my qualm isn't with the songwriting; sure i'd vote SIYL off the island, but there are songs on other albums which people love that i don't care for. like By Starlight, Take Me Down, Farewell and Goodnight, Daydream... oh well. it's just that overall there's something about the sound of Machina that grates on my nerves.

The exploding boy
02-10-2002, 02:31 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Irrelevant:
and then there's SIYL, which i don't care for much at all, but that's the song's fault and not the production.

sure i'd vote SIYL off the island, but there are songs on other albums which people love that i don't care for. </font>

bes SP song ever (With tonight tonight).

Irrelevant
02-10-2002, 05:05 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by The exploding boy:
bes SP song ever (With tonight tonight).</font>

*shakes his head in disappointment*

i expected better, even from you.

Flebath
02-10-2002, 05:08 PM
Machina is definitely not my fav., but I still have always liked it. I love having TEG as an opener and finishing w/ Age of Innocence. I think Age of Innocence is one of my favorite songs on the album.

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The exploding boy
02-10-2002, 06:48 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Irrelevant:
*shakes his head in disappointment*

i expected better, even from you.</font>

You must be the kind of person who think soma or thru the eyes or blank page are great.