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litenin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Mar 2016
1676 posts

Underrated Zeppelin quality?
Zeppelin was before my time but easily one of my top 3 bands. The first things that come to mind are four dynamic musicians with divine chemistry and one of the best live acts during their peak (jam band for some improvised songs).

Siriusxm has been playing all Zeppelin on ch 27 in May, including various interviews. One comment was that the quality of sound has been degraded over the years, basically that the original vinyls were 'as good as it was going to get'.

It reminded me that my discovery of Zeppelin was listening to my parent's vinyls on a really good sound system (mostly the 1st five albums). Whether it was their heavier songs or the softer stuff, the quality of the sound/production is something I don't think I've ever heard before or since. Is this quality a simple byproduct of the band's ability or did they have a production team that was mostly responsible?


Saint Alfonzo
Syracuse Fan
Member since Jan 2019
5565 posts
 Online 

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
quote:

Is this quality a simple byproduct of the band's ability or did they have a production team that was mostly responsible?


Both. Jimmy Page is largely responsible for the quality of their recordings.


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fontell
Auburn Fan
Montgomery
Member since Sep 2006
4149 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
From a story on When the Levee Breaks sound...An iconic drum sound to say the least, this drum sound came from just 2 microphones set up in a stairwell.
“Bonham set up his kit at the bottom of Headley Grange’s three-story stairwell. Engineer Andy Johns recalls placing two Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon microphones at the top of the stairwell in a stereo configuration. According to Johns, those were the only mics placed on the kit. The drums mics were amplified and compressed through a Helios console and run through a Binson Echorec echo unit, which is also known to impart its own compression to the signal.”


MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The foot of Mt. Belzoni
Member since Dec 2008
13440 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?


auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
14441 posts
 Online 

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
quote:

The Truth Behind When the Levee Breaks


That guy's videos are great, and very informative.


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auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
14441 posts
 Online 

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
I aint tech savvy enough to know if it's true, but I've always heard that digitizing music, can degrade it, due to compression. Like if there's a chord with 2 E notes, it will remove the higher pitch E note.
It seems probable to me, because the vinyl always sounded better.



MountainTiger
LSU Fan
The foot of Mt. Belzoni
Member since Dec 2008
13440 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
Not all digital music is compressed and not all compressed music is lossy.
WAV (CD) - not compressed, lossless
FLAC - compressed, lossless
MP3 - compressed, lossy
Ogg Vorbis - compressed, lossy (but not as lossy as mp3)
...then there are different bitrates that can minimize the artifacts that are created by lossy compression.


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Jester
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2006
31928 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
quote:

Like if there's a chord with 2 E notes, it will remove the higher pitch E note.


That's definitely not how it works.


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Mr. Misanthrope
LSU Fan
Bayou Legume
Member since Nov 2012
3052 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
quote:

From a story on When the Levee Breaks sound...An iconic drum sound to say the least, this drum sound came from just 2 microphones set up in a stairwell.

To amplify, I believe also the lobby/stairwell in question was heavily tiled which gave a staccato echo to the riff. It's one of the reasons even good drummers have to work hard and get creative to do Bonham justice if they're trying to play it live in a venue.


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auggie
Auburn Fan
Opelika, Alabama
Member since Aug 2013
14441 posts
 Online 

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
quote:

Not all digital music is compressed and not all compressed music is lossy. WAV (CD) - not compressed, lossless FLAC - compressed, lossless MP3 - compressed, lossy Ogg Vorbis - compressed, lossy (but not as lossy as mp3) ...then there are different bitrates that can minimize the artifacts that are created by lossy compression.


Appreciate the info. I rarely listen to anything anymore anyway, unless it's coming out of my guitar.


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litenin
LSU Fan
Houston
Member since Mar 2016
1676 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
I haven't read this anywhere but I'm guessing John Paul Jones had a big role in the studio (maybe arrangement of songs also?).

Two songs that had a great song and powerful bass that I remember from the vinyl days were Whole Lotta Love and What Is and Should Never Be.

No Quarter and The Crunge are two of my other favorites regarding production and sound quality.


Dandy Lion
Georgia Fan
Lake Oconee
Member since Feb 2010
47654 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
BIG band, but their legend dwarfs reality.

I and especially II, blew the minds of critics, public, and musicians.

After that, they were a band for an ever growing fan base. Kind of Grateful Dead, but exponentially more grandiose.


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Celery
LSU Fan
Cornball
Member since Nov 2010
8862 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
I can’t speak to the audio quality, but I know that Jimmy Page often acted as de facto producer or at least Co producer. Before he put together Zeppelin, he spent years as a session man and producer. He knew a thing or two about audio equipment.
This post was edited on 5/22 at 10:25 pm


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10
BeepNode
The City of Central
Member since Feb 2014
2198 posts

re: Underrated Zeppelin quality?
The drums especially always sounded amazing. It was like each drum was tuned perfectly and he hit them just right. Bonham was smooth AF. His in-between beats are sometimes a little off and somehow this makes it sound better. The whole band was rhythmically interesting, really. There's better "quality" recordings today but they really had great sensibilities when it came to recording and mixing.

They were ahead of the curve with a lot of techniques involving re-routing tracks through busses and mixing pre-reverb and backwards reverbs into them and doing a lot of stuff with stereo panning but there's raw mixes available that still sound great.

A lot of American rock bands bought Marshall amps because of them, for sure.

This post was edited on 5/22 at 11:47 pm


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