"That sounds huge"

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by UnattendedGolfcart, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. UnattendedGolfcart

    UnattendedGolfcart SSO's Fat Mac

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    Sorry if this is a silly question, but what do people exactly mean when they say something "sounds huge"? It sounds like a compliment, but I don't know what it means specifically, if it's a slang term for some recording or panning technique, etc. Can anyone inform me of what this means exactly?
     
  2. Vhyle

    Vhyle Jackson Shill

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    I think that somewhat depends on the person's interpretation. With that said...

    To me, a "huge" sound is exactly that. A wall of sound that pans across the entire audio spectrum. Layers, textures and effects that create a vast, open soundscape. Of course, this type of sound can be achieved through a variety of options.

    For example - "The Drapery Falls" by Opeth. When the first heavy riffs kick in... the layers they use, the riffs they're playing, the drum performance... everything comes together in such a way where it sounds like a very large, open atmosphere.

    To me, that's what "huge" sounds like.
     
  3. isispelican

    isispelican SS.org Regular

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    For me it's usually when a mix has a lot of bass, clarity and punch but without sounding muddy and brickwalling is a no-no. Also when the drums are recorded in a great sounding room and have a nice natural feel.
     
  4. ZeroSignal

    ZeroSignal Appreciates Kwolity Contributor

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    Hey, dude. It's super late here so apologies if I ramble a bit.
    It just means that something sounds massive, spacious, broad, heavy... HUGE. Just takes up a lot of space in the audible spectrum. Often used in reference to a guitar tone that is bass heavy - While this may be true, a lot of people confuse the blend of a guitar and bass with just "guitar", while the bass often contributes a lot to the perceived tone of a guitar in my experience.
    Here are some examples off the top of my head for what I'd consider to be a "huge" sound (EDIT: In guitar terms, at least):
    Morbid Angel - Domination
    Meshuggah - Obzen
    Korn - Here To Stay
    Huge (or dense) production is a different but related beast. It is basically the exact opposite of Tool's stripped back production aesthetic. It's about filling space and making the mix sound HUGE through the use of reverb, delays and lots of layers. Devin Townsend is probably my favourite "huge production" artist. Contrast that with Tool's Schism which, while heavy, is very sparse sounding mix with lots of space and breathing room between the instruments. Guitar, bass, drums, vocals and maybe a very subtle layer. Devin Townsend's production by contrast is a HUGE WALL OF SOUND.
    Of course other people might mean slightly different things by the term, but these are the definitions I use. I hope that helps a little anyway.
     
  5. gunch

    gunch Riff Chugman

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    vilk likes this.
  6. UnattendedGolfcart

    UnattendedGolfcart SSO's Fat Mac

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    Okay thanks guys. This may not be the best example, but I've thought that Miss May I have done a particularly good job of sounding "huge", especially on Monument:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HJBkeiu3Kbo

    When I hear huge, I usually think of it as being big, punchy, bass heavy, and kind of layered. Almost like you can feel the dimensions between the guitars and the drums. Anyway, I wanted to know because I think that's a good thing and I usually like things like that, it's how I would want my own music to sound to have a good impact, almost like making it feel "live" within the context of a studio recording.
     
  7. b7string

    b7string SS.org Regular

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    I think you hit the nail on the head :agreed:

    Also for the record, this drum sound is huge :cool:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTVBEoHzFqo
     
  8. UnattendedGolfcart

    UnattendedGolfcart SSO's Fat Mac

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    I like how huge that sounds immediately ;)

    "Huge" is definitely how I would want my future music to sound. It's the only thing keeping me from being totally djent; I find a lot of djentier recordings to be so hyper tight that they end up losing potential punch.

    Another example that I find to be worthwhile

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plrO8-DBKS8
     
  9. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal

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    "Expansive" is the term that comes to mind. Here are some songs that make me think "sounds huge."



    Whole song sounds big, but the sections at 3:27 and 6:09 sound huge.




    3:14 and 5:04 specifically:
     
  10. mgh

    mgh Betwixt and Between

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    The first time I heard Heartwork by Carcass. .. that layered guitar tone and big drums. But Neurosis has the same feel, also Anathema, and Saor. .. All in different genres with different instruments. I guess essentially it's good production
     
  11. BuckarooBanzai

    BuckarooBanzai SS.org Regular

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    Whenever I'm with your mom she makes this awful whale-like groaning noise (quite fitting considering her relative size). When music sounds like that... it's really heavy. Namsayin?

    But on the forreal the comment about 'live in the studio' hits it on the head. Sometimes it takes some compression/EQ trickery to make this happen so it's a bit paradoxical but if the overall aesthetic reminds you of a live performance then I think it's good to go.
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    In my mind a sound is "huge" when something is particularly loud or upfront (or mixed to convince you that it is)- such that I might imagine the actual sound source is physically large. Like if you go to a stadium concert and the kick drum has that sort of "punch you in the gut" effect to it, the thump feeling and the vibrating of the seats give you sense of scale.

    But you could also get the same effect as that with an aggressive performance and well place reverb/delay. I'm listening to Gojira as I type this, and the vocals aren't particularly loud in the mix, but they have a sense of "grandness" or "hugeness" because the reverb makes you imagine that the singer is so loud you could hear him over a great distance.
     
  13. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I've always associated it more with live performance than studio sound. I guess something from the studio could potentially sound huge... but the way I and the people I know use it is usually a reference to being able to get a really (physically) loud sound live without sounding shrill or breaking up or maxing out or anything like that.
     
  14. piggins411

    piggins411 SS.org Regular

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    To me it always meant a wave of sound of that makes sense. The Ocean is one band I always associate the sound with. When that first chorus drops on Firmament, that's some hugeness IMO
     
  15. Vpod111z

    Vpod111z SS.org Regular

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    Their are quite many ways to describe sound. I am trying to get a handle on the many terms myself as I have been trying to find the words to describe my guitar tone to people when I seek help. I have found this Describing Sound - A Glossary It is a glossary that explains the more common terms used to describe sound. This will help you understand when people say something sounds "muddy" or "tinny" for example. Though I personally wish that their was something like this with audio samples of the sound. I think it would help people understand better :scratch:
     
  16. fps

    fps Kit

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    Funny someone mentioned Tool as stripped down, I find the production on Lateralus colossal, especially Parabola!
     
  17. Kwirk

    Kwirk The Wrong Advices

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    Listen with the volume on 11.
     
  18. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    How can you even tell if something is brickwalled from listening to it? People whine about it all the time but I can't say I've ever noticed while listening to something. I can tell by looking at a waveform, of course, but as far as what practical difference it makes to the sound, I'm not sure! It's not creating noticeable "clipping," as far as I've ever heard. All I know is that it lessens the dynamics between different parts of the song (ex, if a symphony was "brickwalled" it would be horrible), but when you're listening to metal which has basically no dynamics anyway, what is the actual difference?
     
  19. fps

    fps Kit

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    Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I can hear clipping. I can hear it on Mastodon records when a third harmony guitar comes in and there's that SOUND, that digital fuzz in the background suddenly. I can hear when the dynamic range of a record is very low too, when instruments don't fade out or attack naturally. I understand it's on a sliding scale, but it's highly noticeable on a lot of albums IMO.
     
  20. BuckarooBanzai

    BuckarooBanzai SS.org Regular

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    When percussion ducks the mix it's always pretty obvious IMHO. There's also digital clipping on a bunch of records heavy and otherwise nowadays... I'm still a little disappointed with Danza IIII for having what could be an insanely-heavy (if pretty compressed) mix that's ruined by a brickwall limiter with an attack of .0000000001s.
     

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