Bad sounding recordings

You wonder how crappy sounding recordings get made. Presumably there are sound engineers who know what they’re doing. Yet some recordings are released with a lack of bass, or shrillness or some other defect. How does it happen? Are they aiming for the lo fi market or what? 

 I have a Loki equalizer which I took out of my system because there were getting to be too many wires.  Maybe I shouldn’t have 

Before I became an audioholic I could listen to music and fill in the gaps of sound that were missing from a bad sounding recording. My remembering of the real thing was there to supplant the missing fidelity. It is still possible for me to do that but at times it’s very difficult.


Well there is aiming for a market that requires differnt production- such as FM radio.  I would say the majortiy of the older records that dont sound good (Led Zepplin comes to mind) are usually about the gear used and the limits of mastering and storage at the time.  Gear used: I love Genesis, but most of the records have no bass- which usually means the studio monitors/mastering studio had too much bass.   Some records have poor dynamics,  could be because the tape machine in use had no dynamics due to the way it was made, the head quality or the tape.  Some even older records have no high end- generwally because the gear used in the recording didn't have any or maybe the monitors in mastering had too much top end. 

In general the breakthroughs in quality started happening around the 80s.  Earth Wind and Fire, a real breakthough as almost all R+B was motown sound prior to that point.   George Massenburg recorded that with his own handmade GML gear, and knew how to get more bass on a record.  Very skilled.  Sheffield Labs recordings (Doug Sax, Bill Schnee)  were a breakthough and tose recordings wqere amazing.  Fleetwood Mac (Ken Calais and RIchard Daschutt), wow, still sounds good.  But listen to some other records of the same time frame and they are messy things with many flaws.  FInd the best engineers to find the best sounding records, do not follow the artists- they are on the other side of the glass.