Sunday, September 14, 2008

D-Mag Guitar Hero Mix - The End of the Line

More examples are showing up on YouTube of the Guitar Hero mix of Metallica's Death Magnetic. For this video, the player was kind enough to turn off the game's sound effects, so we can hear only the music.

Once again, we're hearing a version that is vastly superior to the commercial release CD and LP. You can hear clear dynamic range, which is essential for songs like this that veer from loud to soft. There is no distortion and no compression that I can detect, which is a great relief. I can't even listen to the vinyl LP anymore, lest my ears begin throbbing within minutes. I will almost certainly be selling my copy tomorrow.

D-Mag is an excellent collection of songs, as the Guitar Hero mix proves. The final mixdown by Rick Rubin's men (he was the album's "producer," after all) are absolutely atrocious and unacceptable. I've learned that this heavy distortion and brickwalling is a major problem with all of his projects of recent years. Very strange.

I'm also noticing that James Hetfield's vocals on this song were slightly worked on for the final mix. Pay attention to the verse (on album there are backing shouts for each line), and the acoustic section (clear here, warbly distortion on final album). Everything is much clearer and honest here, more of a live feel. The sound is not unlike a dryer version of Bob Rock.

Here, take a listen and pass along to your friends.

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