• All very true. I tend to be skeptical about all sound ‘engineers’ in clubs, and especially freelance events. Too much deep bass, not enough clarity in the mid-bass, no presence in the mids, etc. etc. etc. It’s great for heavy metal and rap, but I just cringe every time I play (or hear) a jazz, conjunto or genre-bending date without taking my own engineer.

    You’re not imagining it: the prevalence of highs in percussion recordings these days is real. And the damage it does to music is real.

    Let’s take it on a track-by-track basis, and not disparage the highs as a class action. It is actually nice to hear intricacies in cymbal and snare work in contemporary pop and rock that just haven’t been heard in the ringy, roomy 60′ and 70’s sides or in the shotgun snares and booming toms of 80’s cuts. Current rock drummers such as Chad Sexton or Carter Beauford or Adam Topol just wouldn’t have the identities they have now if it weren’t for shimmery multi-cymbal timekeeping, crisp ghost notes from the snare, and subtle layers of hand toys widening the groove (which is not to say that a majority of modern pop music producers display subtlety – they don’t). Even Ringo Starr has earned respect since the Beatles remasters came out last summer, revealing inner beats and dynamics that nobody had ever heard before. How funky would the old Motown records be like if we could hear the drums the way Uriel Jones and Pistol Allen heard them?