8th Album - 『HONEY』 [Page 15 of 17]

Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:29 am

paperplane

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Pretty good numbers for a rock album!

This album surprised me with how it turned out. Based on the singles and when I saw that "Futari" was included, I thought for sure it was gonna be all uptempo rock in their new style with maybe one token ballad type tossed in. Instead, it ended up as diverse as YELLOW except it flows way better. Some of the stuff (in the middle particularly) sounds like it could be from a completely different band, but it's never jarring from one song to the next because of how well the tracks were sequenced. Might even be their best album from start to finish in that regard.

"Midnight City" is definitely my favorite of the new songs even though when I first heard it I was like, "wait, where's the rest of the song?" lol.  Such a cool vibe in the verses and then the contrasting chorus. Love it. And on that note, I do the think the album feels a little too short overall. Well, I guess that's the trade off for not having any real skippable tracks.

3mania wrote:Tomomi's lack of participation on this disc saddens and confuses me. All the girls singing together, their voices intertwining to create magic is something that i made me fall in love with this band. I guess that ship has sailed.

Yeah, I feel you. Big reason why I became a fan too. Those songs with shared vocals do have a different kind of energy. I guess I realized those days were over by the time "Freedom Fighters" came out so that's why I haven't been disappointed with their new direction. As long as Tomomi never becomes as inaudible as the average rock bassist!

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:54 am

spacecadet

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Just got mine and listened to it the first time. First impressions are that it's got some good songs, but I wish it had a few more. I do think it's a little short, especially with the songs we've already heard (some of which a long time ago now). That said, a few of the new songs really are great. I'm not as big a fan of the middle of the album as some people seem to be, but songs like "Platform Syndrome", "OVER", "Oh! No!" and "Electric Girl" sound like the band's really going for it in a way that they haven't on an album in a while. (Maybe since "Standard".) I can feel the energy.

My biggest concern is the way the album's mastered and recorded. There's constant audible clipping *and* severe compression, which makes every song sound distorted. I noticed it immediately and it just never lets up. It honestly makes it harder for me to enjoy the album, and it does the music a disservice. It just doesn't *sound* good.

This is not the way a well-mastered song should look (this is Platform Syndrome):

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen10

You can see the effects of compression at the top, and the bottom is all the areas that are clipped. It's a *lot*. I cannot imagine why someone would master an album this way.

For reference, here's "Sunday Drive" from "Yellow":

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen13

It's still pretty flat, but that's kind of a normal/expected amount of compression these days, and there's no clipping. Their other albums were all similar to that. I just don't even know what to think about "Honey's" mastering.

Has anybody bought the album on some format other than CD who also has Audacity? I've heard of cases with other bands where there are mastering differences between different formats. I just wonder if this is isolated to the CD or if the iTunes or Amazon versions are the same. Can anybody check?

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:08 am

Osakashnaide

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What? A bit lower than Yellow?

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:04 pm

Liokt

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spacecadet wrote:My biggest concern is the way the album's mastered and recorded. There's constant audible clipping *and* severe compression, which makes every song sound distorted. I noticed it immediately and it just never lets up. It honestly makes it harder for me to enjoy the album, and it does the music a disservice. It just doesn't *sound* good.

Man... For me the worst mastering ever is the one they did with STANDARD album. It always pisses me off. Except for tracks 1, 2, 8, 9, 11 and 13, the mastering is really, really bad. What is happening with you while listening to HONEY is exactly what happens with me every time I listen to most of the album-only tracks on STANDARD. So, since STANDARD gives me their worst album experience ever, in comparision HONEY sounds pretty good for me. I really don't know much about it, I'm judging only by listening.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:13 pm

Osakashnaide

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Glad I don't know technicalities when it comes to producing music. I don't know what you'll are talking about. Hahaha. And I enjoy almost every song from any album of Scandal. 

Especially Honey.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:51 pm

joameba

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spacecadet wrote:
Has anybody bought the album on some format other than CD who also has Audacity? I've heard of cases with other bands where there are mastering differences between different formats. I just wonder if this is isolated to the CD or if the iTunes or Amazon versions are the same. Can anybody check?
this is from deezer, not sure if that is useful 🤷8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 F7F

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:57 pm

flyingwill

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I agree with spacecadet that Honey has some major mastering problems, which is a bit puzzling given that Yellow was on the right track, but I also agree with Liokt that Standard is still the worst offender in that regard. The quality of the songs makes the whole thing less annoying in the grand scheme of things for me, but I understand it can be frustrating.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:17 pm

Tuba

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In times like these it's good that my ear is not so well trained

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:36 pm

Liokt

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...but, hey, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I hate STANDARD. It's just very frustrating for me that amazing tracks which I love (such as Uchiage Hanabi and Hachigatsu) will never have a proper mastering. The quality is so poor that it hurts, which definitely doesn't happen with HONEY imo, despite these little "incidents". Actually, I kinda feel that the distortions fit the "raw" atmosphere of some tracks on HONEY, as if it was made on purpose, unlike what happens with STANDARD, where seems clear that it was a big mistake.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:50 pm

TheMoonlightSakura

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For me, I think that it is a pretty well-made album. Even if I don't understand a lot of music terms and that those of you who do know are, in a way, not satisfied with HONEY, some of you can admit that it is one of their best works. It's an album which is 100% SCANDAL because, correct me if I'm wrong, in the early years, most of SCANDAL's songs were made by composers. And now, this 2018, they gave us their 8th album which puts a lot more personality of what the girls have, especially that MAMI mostly composed the music and did the arrangement and RINA mostly wrote the lyrics. They only had help with arrangements in a number of songs (two or three, I think).

While I knew SCANDAL for being more in the 'alternative rock' genre, hearing them add more pop rock songs means that they are gradually evolving and trying out more new stuff. Take "Mado wo Aketara", for example: it's mostly pop in my ears but I still enjoyed it.  8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 2764 And the concept of the album is beautiful; its built on the theme of "love". No wonder they released it in Feb. 14! The meanings behind the songs are, more or less, about falling in love, being in love, and falling out of love.

I hope to hear more songs which is truly 100% SCANDAL-made. And I hope that, if there are really problems with the mastering, it is resolved in their next single. For now, let's support them for their HONEY tour! #SCANDALinPH is real!  8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 1f60d  8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 1f60d  8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 1f60d



I'll never see you again
But the day I'll be able to forget you will never come
I want you to pass on
The dream I couldn't understand to your next partner ~


- SCANDAL | OVER -
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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:58 pm

mbowie4321

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flyingwill wrote:I agree with spacecadet that Honey has some major mastering problems, which is a bit puzzling given that Yellow was on the right track, but I also agree with Liokt that Standard is still the worst offender in that regard. The quality of the songs makes the whole thing less annoying in the grand scheme of things for me, but I understand it can be frustrating.

Hmm, I thought Honey sounded okay, but yes it could be clipping, and of course I love the songs and playing. Here's a good although old article pointing out the trend over the last ten years to make albums louder than they used to be overall. They use Rush as an example, but don't be put off by that. http://web.archive.org/web/20080321115338/http://www.prorec.com/Articles/tabid/109/EntryID/247/Default.aspx

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:36 pm

paperplane

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It's intentionally done that way with this style of loud rock. You'll notice that the songs in the middle of this album are not brickwalled like the others. "Mado wo Aketara" obviously being the most different. "Short Short" is a much fairer comparison to "Sunday Drive" and they look almost identical.

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 XylBLcj

It wasn't nearly as severe due to the style of the music, but there's clipping on YELLOW too. spacecadet, from the picture it seems your volume is reduced by half which is why it's not showing up for you. But check out the harder rocking SCANDAL songs dating back to "Awanai" and you'll see that things really haven't changed all that much here.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:51 am

spacecadet

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paperplane wrote:It's intentionally done that way with this style of loud rock.

There's no reason for that, or advantage to it. No rock album should ever be mastered this way (and I don't know of any others that have been, at least not intentionally). I mean you can check that yourself - load up any hard rock, punk or even metal album yourself into Audacity. It's not going to look like "Platform Syndrome". (It's going to look more like "Sunday Drive.")

I almost feel like this was a mistake that nobody caught. It's like somebody slammed the master gain to the max and just left it there. No other album they've done is like this. (Not even "Standard" - load it up and check yourself.)

btw, even the quieter songs in the middle are heavily clipped.

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen14

There's no reason at all for that. But if you compare it to "Platform Syndrome", it doesn't look quite as compressed... which suggests to me that the main problem is too much gain throughout the album. The louder songs are just slammed beyond the limit throughout. It's like they were mastering for a medium with more dynamic range than CD actually has.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:06 pm

paperplane

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spacecadet wrote:
No rock album should ever be mastered this way (and I don't know of any others that have been, at least not intentionally). I mean you can check that yourself - load up any hard rock, punk or even metal album yourself into Audacity. It's not going to look like "Platform Syndrome". (It's going to look more like "Sunday Drive.")

Nah. I'm guessing you probably don't follow too many newer releases if you're saying this. I'd say the majority of the stuff coming out these days is done along the same lines as Honey. These are my three most recent rock purchases compared:

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 FgEjBZZ

Top is Platform Syndrome. Middle is the opening track from the new BAND-MAID album. Bottom is the opening track from BLUE ENCOUNT's upcoming album. All very similar, no? And I'm sure there are more extreme examples on those albums, just as Platform Syndrome is a bit worse than the other songs on Honey.

Anyway, not really saying I'm a big fan of this trend or trying to justify why it's this way. Only pointing out that there isn't anything unique about the way Honey was mastered. It's definitely too bad it detracts from your enjoyment of the songs though. To me, it just sounds the way I would expect a noisy rock album to sound in 2018.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:53 pm

flyingwill

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Loudness war has been a problem especially in Japan for quite a few years now anyway, see the latest Shiina Ringo or Passepied albums for example.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:34 pm

wildthing

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Yeah I agree with the mastering issue, I use some FitEar CIEM and its just missing something, hence I think that's why there are no Hi-Res releases for the Single/Album, it was just not mastered for it.

Also when I heard Platform Syndrome first time on radio after hearing it live, it sounded very different to me. Of course at the live there isn't all that panning on the intro etc. Also probably I was all hyped up being there Happy

Saying that, for other artists I have compared CD releases with Hi-res releases and it seemed to be mastered differently, so saying that, they may still have masters to do a Hi-res release, but chances are slim.....



Last edited by wildthing on Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:21 am

spacecadet

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paperplane wrote:Nah. I'm guessing you probably don't follow too many newer releases if you're saying this. I'd say the majority of the stuff coming out these days is done along the same lines as Honey. These are my three most recent rock purchases compared

There's no clipping analysis in that screenshot.

Clipping should never happen. What it seems like you're showing me is compression. Compression and clipping are two different things. Compression is bad enough but I understand that it's done these days.

Clipping, though, is just a mastering mistake. Clipping is what really gives a song that distorted sound. It's not *that* uncommon to see a few frames of clipping in a song with a lot of dynamics that's being mastered to match other songs on an album, although it's better to just compress a little more when that happens. (Or hey, just lower the gain.) But to see this much clipping; I've just never seen it, ever. For example, here's Saint Cecilia by the Foo Fighters, which is pretty loud and pretty recent:

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen15

No clipping.

Here's Scandal's own Standard, which others have complained about as not sounding great (I think it sounds fine):

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen16

Again, no clipping.

Contrast again with Platform Syndrome:

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen17

And Platform Syndrome isn't really any worse than other songs on the album - here's Electric Girl:

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 Screen18

It's a mess. These are all shown using the same Audacity settings, btw.

I actually heard this on the YouTube videos and commercials but I had figured they were just doing some crappy EQing for promo purposes and the album itself would be different. I heard it on the Koisuru Universe single too, which has overly boomy and distorted drums, but also hoped it would just be that song. But unfortunately it isn't.

It's a shame because I do really like the music on the album; I like it better than "Yellow", which I wasn't the biggest fan of. I'd put "Honey" up in the top 3 or 4 Scandal albums, musically. But it's just very tiring to listen to and sounds like somebody playing it through a boombox that's turned up too high, no matter what setup I play it on; car, crappy speakers, good speakers, headphones, etc.

Oh well.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:06 am

joameba

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spacecadet wrote:


Oh well.
Hey! I realised the picture I uploaded was not the .flac, was a .m4a I had in other folder.
Here are comparisons between flac and m4a 
8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 92C

8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 1F4

EDIT: Maybe I'm using audacity wrong, if you want the flac file to analyze it send me a PM

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:26 am


temp23

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spacecadet wrote:My biggest concern is the way the album's mastered and recorded. There's constant audible clipping *and* severe compression, which makes every song sound distorted. I noticed it immediately and it just never lets up. It honestly makes it harder for me to enjoy the album, and it does the music a disservice. It just doesn't *sound* good.
(...) I cannot imagine why someone would master an album this way.

Thanks for bringing this up. I was actually going to post here about that because I got really disappointed and shocked with this too. I got a bit suspicious about the audio when I first listened to the album so I went to check it and I see that. It's, without a doubt, the worst case of loudness war I've ever seen.

Liokt wrote:
Man... For me the worst mastering ever is the one they did with STANDARD album.
flyingwill wrote:but I also agree with Liokt that Standard is still the worst offender in that regard.

Please, you guys can't be serious. I recognize STANDARD also has mastering issues but it's in no way as bad as HONEY. The audio just sounds completely crushed and like the individual sounds can't breath. It's also full of clipping for most of the songs' length. It just sounds so loud it gets to the point of giving me headaches. It's like spacecadet said, it sounds like someone just pushed the gain button to the absolute maximum to blow everything up. That doesn't happen with STANDARD at all. That one sounds fine for most of it (Overdrive and Huchiage Hanabi suffered a lot from compression but that's mainly it) and it's actually my favorite album.

For reference, show me a song from STANDARD where this happens:
8th Album - 『HONEY』 - Page 15 WG8n9eB

Liokt wrote:It's just very frustrating for me that amazing tracks which I love

Well, that's exactly how I feel about HONEY. I love the songs but after noticing the audio and confirming it by seeing the waveforms, now whenever I listen to the songs I just can't enjoy them without always thinking about it. It's a torture. The album just lost value to me because of this.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:59 pm

Liokt

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I'm actually shocked that you guys are saying that "STANDARD sounds fine". I think we're not talking about the same album, ha. And I'm not even talking about these stuff you're showing us. STANDARD songs may not show these graphics, but the quality of the sound is definitely trash. Please, just listen carefully to "Brand new wave" or "STANDARD" to feel how good is the mastering and then listen to "Uchiage Hanabi" or "Namida yo Hikare" to see the huge difference between these songs. The sounds are all muffled, as if the record was made with a mp3 player. My concern is about how the album is made with zero cohesion in terms of mastering. Although I do agree with you about what happens with HONEY, it definitely does not make the album experience a torture for me (and it definitely happens with STANDARD; it is a torture). I said it before: with all these "incidents" (which I recognize they're real), HONEY sounds cohesive in terms of mastering. I may not be as expert in terms of evaluating the quality of the songs like you are showing to be, so maybe it's just a matter of different perceptions. I'm talking only about how I perceive the sounds, not how I can compare graphics (maybe that's why I shouldn't be in this discussion).

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:08 pm

Star~world96®

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Lol, guys. As long as I can hear the drums, bass, guitars, and kick drum, the sound sounds fine to me. And if not, I just use an equalizer to make them sound better or different (if u have songs digitally or mp3 format).

Standard had terrible mastering, but it was,until Honey, my favorite album, cuz of the songs were just that good. IMO Metronome and Hachigatsu had it bad. 

As for Honey,  yeah there is compression going on, but it sounded better than Standard,  but I'm not gonna let that determine how good a song is lol.. I guess it's understandable if your music tech savvy. Nerd



Last edited by Star~world96® on Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:13 pm

flyingwill

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That's what I was about to say. Standard is very uneven in terms of mastering, so the badly mastered songs stick out like sore thumbs, while Honey is uniformely loud and distorted.

I feel the need to add that Standard is still my favorite Scandal album and that overall those issues are not bad enough to prevent me from enjoying their albums. It just makes me wonder why nobody in their team is able to spot such obvious problems which could easily be avoided.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:13 pm

paperplane

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spacecadet wrote:There's no clipping analysis in that screenshot.

I didn't bother to analyze them because you can just look at the waveforms even zoomed out like that and see there's obviously clipping. The BAND-MAID example is actually much, much worse than Honey. Using the clip detect or looking at the red lines really doesn't tell you anything useful. And literally every Scandal song released to date will show some amount of clipping present.

I mentioned this before when you showed a picture of "Sunday Drive", but now I can see that you've apparently applied some kind of gain reduction or normalization (-6dB probably) to your entire music collection. Of course Audacity won't be able to detect clipping anymore. Load up "Platform Syndrome" again and then click Effect -> Normalize from the menu. Now all the clipping is magically gone and the song is fixed! Except it's really not, lol.

flyingwill wrote:Standard is very uneven in terms of mastering, so the badly mastered songs stick out like sore thumbs, while Honey is uniformely loud and distorted

Exactly. And this is why I believe it's 100% intentional because of the sound they were going for on this album. They had a single vision this time for Honey and everything was mixed and mastered to suit. It's very much in line with recent albums from their peers. Might not fit everyone's tastes, but it is what it is.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:56 am

peachclub

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Seems like it's good that I don't have a ear that catches all the small details nor do I know any of the thing related to the issue with this album, it sounded great to me.

But it's quite disappointing to see it has the lowest weekly sales among all the albums released till now, since it's my favorite album along with their first album Best Scandal.

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Re: 8th Album - 『HONEY』
Posted on Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:54 am

Liokt

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peachclub wrote:But it's quite disappointing to see it has the lowest weekly sales among all the albums released till now, since it's my favorite album along with their first album Best Scandal.

Well, prior to the release of HONEY, they released just one physical single ("Take Me Out"), and that was almost one year and a half ago. Also, there is just one tie-in song on HONEY ("Koisuru Universe", for that candy company). So, considering that these two facts never happened before in their discography (please someone correct me if I'm wrong), along with the fact that HONEY is their shortest album ever, I do think the first week sales were pretty consistent (pretty close to YELLOW's, 29k, which had two physical single releases, three tie-in songs, 13 tracks). I mean, they got #3 after all (YELLOW ranked #2). And, if there is something like compensation, you should also consider that they're getting more attention abroad; just see the records for HONEY digital sales on iTunes all over the world. I think it's their first album to achieve those records internationally, right?

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