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09:34 PM on 04/30/13
#1
Bearchuck
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Aww ... it's so cute when kids pretend that they know what they're talking about.

First of all, it's cool if you like the originals, but I contend there's a good chance you feel that way because you've listened to then 150 times and that's just what you're used to. No doubt, they possess a certain demo-y charm and energy. It's why we fell in love with Dikembe in the first place.

However, if you can put aside your biases, I think you might warm to the newer version. At the very least, you'll recognize that there are differences that many discerning ears would consider an improvement.

First of all, the old version is definitely missing some oomph in the low end. The highs are a bit tinny and sibilant, and the vocals are unquestionably way in front ... which you may dig, but it's certainly not indicative of Dikembe's "true" sound, as anyone who has seen them live can attest to.

On the other hand, the new master is much balanced and dynamic, with the songs getting a big push from the now-present low end. There's more clarity and separation between instruments and in general, the EP is far less fatiguing. And yes, the vocals are not as prominent, but again, that was a choice the band made, opting instead to aim for a sound that was closer to a live performance.

Which leads me to my next point. The vocals being less up-front is not due to "bad mastering." Levels are addressed in the mixing stage, and Dikembe did in fact remix the songs themselves. So if you have an issue with the vocals, you can take that up with the band.

Continuing on that thought, the EP was remastered by Dave @ Lucky Lacquers, who has probably mastered half the records in your punk rock collection. The guy is a consummate pro who goes above and beyond the call of duty for his clients, and to contend that this is a bad master only goes to prove that you thoroughly enjoy talking out of your ass ... especially if you're basing your comments on streaming audio dribbled through computer speakers.

Again, like whatever you like, but know that this is a terrific mastering job that makes the band's remix shine, and it's the opinion of Tiny Engines and Dikembe that Chicago Bowls has been greatly improved. Of course, we still love the old master too, which is why it's still available for free download.
07:51 AM on 05/01/13
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Bearchuck
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i appreciate you shedding light on the technical details and you're obviously very knowledgeable. but when it comes down to it, i don't really care about any of that. i don't think this is a bad master, and nor do i really even care. i just prefer the way the original sounds.

Yup ... that's why I said it's cool if you like what you like. And hey - you go right ahead not caring about stuff or being open to new possibilities. It's all good!

I was simply pointing out some of the difference between the two, as well as noting that referring to the new master as "bad" shows a fairly willful ignorance of what mastering actually is.

I have no way of proving this, but I'm almost 99.99% sure that if the two versions were switched around and people had been listening to the remastered version for the past two years, most would prefer that to the new-old master. There's a natural bias here, and it's tough to shake ... especially if you fell in love with the original version of Chicago Bowls ... which many people did.

All I'm saying is that you owe yourself the pleasure to give the new version of the EP a shot. You might be surprised at where it leads you.
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