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Mixing tips-No one has ever asked me for the bass sound on Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

September 5th, 2009 | 67 Comments   « Previous  |  Episode 08  |  Next »

A thought about mixing drums and bass, inspired by Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir.

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Mahee Kat and the great guitarist Willie Oteri pointed out that the bass on Kashmir was probably done with keys, but the concept is the same.

To download the M4V to watch on your ipod click here

Who do you think is the Led Zep of today? Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

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67 Comments ~ Speak your mind »
  1. Kyle G

    This is absolutely true and brilliant. Carving out a lot of low end from the bass seemed odd and almost wrong, but it seemed to be working. Thanks for the reassurance! I’ll keep experimenting away!

    It would be really cool if you wanted to check out a few of my blog postings and let me know if you think I’m on point with the advice I’m giving out.

    Love your videos, keep it up, Ronan!

    P.S.: Led Zepplin of today = Radiohead.

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  2. Kyle G

    Link to my blog:

    http://artisanslabel.blogspot.com/search/label/Kyle%20Griffin

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  3. Anthony Rochester

    I think its quite hard to say what music of today will stand the test of time. If you wind back a few years, I think Nirvana will be recognised as being very influential. But these days, it seems to me there is no one like that. Maybe Coldplay?

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  4. Jeff Sanders

    Love your vids, Ronan.

    Led Zep of today…well, I think Soundgarden was well on their way to become the Modern-Day Led Zep.

    Right now, I think the closest we have to a modern Led Zeppelin is The Mars Volta.

    -Jeff

    Mountain Mirrors

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  5. Gary Whitmore

    Thats a tough call. It seems listening public has become a little too easily disturbed or something, ’cause music that carries much of a degree of originality & creativity doesn’t seem to get very far these days (I know Zeppelin didn’t garner much airplay in their day either). Times are so much different today it seems; I don’t see anything of recent that has had the level of impact as some of these 60’s era groups. I think maybe the closest you have is something like U2… maybe.

    I think there are some bands that will do well standing the test of time, just not in the super-famous arena. Bands like The Flaming Lips for example. All in all though, who knows.

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  6. Barrett

    Rage Against The Machine is the closest thing we have to a modern Zep.

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  7. Jeff

    Led Zeppelin had a bass player!!!???? [Ha ha]

    The problem with this question is getting someone to last long enough to gain that stature. The Cars and the Police were easily on track to create that condition [each album getting better AND different as they went] but didn’t stay together.

    U2 has stayed together [God bless 'em] but I don’t think they qualify under every album getting BETTER and different. [At least you get ONE great song per---that's more than a lot of groups can say].

    Those are all from the 80’s. Where’s the 90’s guys [and girls]?—Broken up or dead or just plain unproductive.

    Personally I think we got cheated in in the 90’s by short attention spans [Some of which were drug related] and bad work habits. Just my opinion.

    So, we’ll see. I’d love to see someone step up.

    As for mixing the bass, isn’t it one of those “everybody knows” deals? Except that, when you poke around, every body doesn’t know or, more likely, doesn’t apply.

    Thanks for reminding us—They call it a “mix” because stuff is supposed to MIX as a whole [Except for the guitar solo---You ALWAYS put that up at ground shaking volume].

    PS—How do you get the little starry doodads for the voting thingy? I’d give it a 4.85 [points off for no Zep] if I could figure it out.

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  8. Robert L.

    Hey Ronan,

    I went out for a nice evening with my wife, and this question kept vexing me throughout dinner. Today’s Zeppelin? My inclination was to say U2 or Coldplay, but then, you asked about TODAY’S bands. I don’t think these bands qualify.

    So, I returned to visit the site again and see there are several others who felt the same way, and it confirmed my thoughts from the drive home. There might not be such a band today. There are certainly influential artists today – very talented ones and their music will live on. But, I think it’s a little like comparing “analogue” to “digital,” or “real vs. contrived.” In the final analysis, the difference is self-evident.

    Listening to Zeppelin as a kid was a near religious experience. You listened to the entire album, not just one track. You studied the album cover, every song title and who contributed – each band member was an integral and essential component of the entire sound. So, when you state that the modest bass in Kashmir was responsible for the significance of the song’s production, we credit John Paul Jones for being John Paul Jones. Almost like Charlie Watts is not considered a great drummer, but he is the drummer that made The Rolling Stones THE ROLLING STONES.

    The evidence to me is watching my 8 year old play Guitar Hero. What are the songs on Guitar Hero? Nothing you’ve heard of in decades for the most part. No, my kid is playing air guitar to Slow Ride and Smoke On The Water. And, perhaps this is the same reason that Rock Band has reached back to the 60’s to resurrect the Beatles for their game.

    It’s not necessarily bad or good. We’ve just reached a different era where the subtleties of a song like Kashmier are lost on the present generation. Perhaps things will change, but it is unlikely that any of us who appreciate these great bands will actually recognize who the next “Zeppelin” might be. The band may not yet be in existence, or might be measured by a standard we don’t truly comprehend.

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  9. curt

    Well i thought Stone Temple Pilots could be the next zep! Still could if they just do it! I mean all four members are great and they have alot of great songs so long as they quit trying to please a Label and just do what they do. A Label can ruin a band wanting them to be too radio. cant we have album rock back? rock dominated radio in the early 90’s so there probably wasnt the same kind of pressure from the money people? STP rocks!

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  10. Ian

    I agree with the radiohead comment, every other band mentioned I really disagree with, I feel like a lot of you are just stating bands you like. I dont really like radiohead but I acknowledge their innovation and consistency. I was thinking of modest mouse but they’re probably a bit too indie to count. Maybe wilco or something. idk.

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  11. Mike 3rd

    Great show! As usual …
    I really think no one can be like Zep because mmm probably they had culture and incredible skills. They could do albums so different so well …
    Nowadays, looks like music industry is more into the “Death Business” than discover new great talents.
    Easier to sell “Image” than music … unfortunately …
    Lot to say … better with a good glass of Cartizze wine
    Cheers
    Mike 3rd

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  12. Anton Evans

    Excellent show! Relative size of elements in a mix is so rarely addressed . It’s great to have experienced ears talk about it, not that ears can talk! I guess that’s one of the important skills to develop over time, the ability to recognize what’s primary in a mix and what’s secondary and how to focus properly on those elements.
    This episode really brings that into focus. Thanks for another great show!
    The Zep of today for me is when I pop Houses the Holy into my CD player.It’s today, I’m listening to Zep, no probs!! :-) )
    Anton

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  13. Thomas W

    Sound-wise, the Led Zep of today is Wolfmother. I’m not sure if anyone will be listening to them in 40 years but they do sound like a modern version of the band.
    This is your best video to date Ronan. Technically, mixing below 400 Hz is a very tight space. Sources really do compete in this area and you’re dead right, if you mix things soloed, it won’t work when you put them together. This is something I’ve never really nailed before and I think what you’re saying is key. Don’t try to have super bass and a powerful kick drum, there’s no room under the 400Hz roof. you have to make a choice based on the style of the music and shine light to the instrument(s) that you don’t pick by use of it’s harmonics.

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  14. Julian (slikjmuzik)

    There is noone today. Unfortunately, there really isn’t. Granted, times have changed. People don’t sing like Robert Plant, people don’t play like Jimmy Page and there are certainly very few drummer like Bonham. If I absolutely had to pigeon hole someone, in regards to fame, prowess, stance in the charts and bigness in sound, the only group close enough be be Nickelback to me. After all, they’re the only ones big enough to have ‘Mutt’ Lange produce them after a long time of only producing Shania. That’s saying a lot. There are some other big groups like Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects and Green Day, but none of those have the strength in their playing really. Fall out Boy, to me, is about lyrical prowess where they insinuate things, but you don’t always know what the heck they’re talking about. AAR has good, solid tunes, ‘Gives You Hell’, ‘Move Along’ and their first single, ‘Swing, Swing’ were all great songs, but they’re just catchy pop tunes, which is fine, but it’s not similar to Zep. Green Day is great! The only band that can use 3 or 4 chords in a song and keep me vibin’. Again, to me, it’s lyrical prowess, solid drumming from Trey Cool and great producers that can grab their vibe properly. It’s not fair to bring up U2 and Aerosmith because they were, sort of, around when Zeppelin was. At least Aerosmith was for sure. I know U2 didn’t really hit till the 80’s, but both are out and still selling out arena’s so you can’t really disregard them. I think the biggest point to make is that what made Zep who they are is the space they carved out in the industry for themselves. Robert Plants voice and choice of melodic notes, Page’s style and tone and obviously Bonham’s huge and aggressive sound…they’re all unmistakable and when you couple that with great tunes, well, you’re going to get a supergroup. Bottom line.

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  15. Einar

    Good stuff Ronan!

    Check out the swedish band Spiritual Beggars, or Down from New Orleans… those types of bands are still staying true to the original groove of true rock n roll.

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  16. laperle studio

    Great show!

    I would say Queens of the stone age.

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  17. John J

    Great question. I just don’ believe it can be answered. Ronan you really provoke some thought here. I’ll just say this, to compare anyone to Led Zeppelin now or anytime in the future had had better finished several courses of Anger Management classes. To say you know of this band today could leave this individual with his or her stock of certainties wondering in a black hole. Basically, standing alone. The opposite of this is million agreeing with one of the comments above. I’m not going there. There are somethings I will not answer and I think this is one of those times. Ronan you have a great show. Keep up the great work. I love being educated by the experiences you have to contribute. Very rewarding. Most definitely a fan.

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  18. Sianna

    Ronan! Excellent show. Fed and I watched this am and thoroughly enjoyed.
    LZ today = Radiohead…nobody walks the line between avant garde and mainstream so well.

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  19. Jhokanson

    Great show, Ronan! I’ve been reading all the texts and watching as much on mixing as I possibly can and not one up until this point has discussed the art of low range mixing and the potential battle between kick drum and bass guitar (or keyboard). Thank you for the enlightenment!

    Led Zeppelin of today….. I’m going to lean towards Radiohead as so many before me have. And I have one thing to add: Led Zeppelin were MASTERS of their game but each one on an individual level has never really amounted to much. As Robert L. stated, it is the combination of people, regardless of skill that created such brilliance. We live in a day and age of individuals and community is taking second place to this. It seems nobody can get together and stay together long enough to get noticed for their brilliance. And this might be because being in a successful band requires so much more work than most other career choices out there. It is so NOT 9 to 5 and so not conducive to successful relationships and family. It might be 10 or 20 years before the cycle reverts back to something that can support such brilliance.

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  20. Paddy Jordan

    If we are talking about bands that sound like Led Zep now i don’t think there are any.
    I do think a band like Foo Fighters have developed strongly over their career and produce brilliant sounding albums that will stand up in 30 years.

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  21. The Phantom

    Pop is not dead, it just smells funny.

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  22. Josh R.

    Good stuff Ronan! I’ve been listening to “Physical Graffiti” a lot whenever I’m doing busywork in my studio. The funny thing is that the older I get the more I appreciate Zeppelin – I keep finding new reasons to love their music every year!

    As for today’s Led Zep, the only reason that it’s a difficult question is that there aren’t a ton of modern timeless bands. But, you asked a question so I’m going to pick a side ;) : I’d agree with the radiohead comments, but if might be so bold as to mention Coheed and Cambria…. inventive concepts, big sound, well-rounded band with great players in all categories, and arrangements that are intricate while still being catchy. Still, they’re not universally recognized as a good band. They have nowhere near the attention and popularity of Radiohead or Tool, or even Green Day for that matter.

    So, in conclusion: the Led Zeppelin of today is still Led Zeppelin.

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  23. Twitted by RonanCMurphy

    [...] This post was Twitted by RonanCMurphy [...]

  24. Andrew

    I think Jack White and his many projects will live on 40 years from now the way that Zeppelin does. Chili Peppers aren’t similar sound wise to Zeppelin, but their orchestration is a carbon copy and of the classic guit, bass, drum, vox lineup.

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  25. Lee Barry

    I think Led Zeppelin were a unique product of the era, and can’t be repeated. They were largely catapulted by the 60s zeitgeist, which gave them the freedom to experiment with a variety of genres (and even philosophies) to make a commercially viable product. In retrospect it seems a bit depressing that the musical values of that time (when musicians actually WANTED to play acoustic instruments) continue to slowly devolve out of the art form, and into the fuzzy boundaries of visual art, games and neuroscience. Who is the Led Zep of today? I think we might have to wait a generation to see what has stood the test of time. I think Radiohead, Coldplay and U2 have joined that league.

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  26. Mike

    Today’s Zeppelin? NONE!!! ……….. Many that are influenced by Led Zep.
    but none come close to what they were. Period end of sentence!!

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  27. Joel

    I love your videos. Very informative. My only complaint… can you do something about the lighting? Everything is way to dark.

    Peace,

    Joel E.

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  28. Ronan

    Hey Joel, Thanks for your kind comment and input on the lighting. I have no background in video production and am learning as I go, so input like this is helpful. Thanks.

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  29. George Wallace

    hey Ronan,
    Really enjoying the viddies, keep ‘em coming.
    I don’t think there could be such an animal as a ‘new’ Zep. It’s a different world today; Those great bands (the Who was another one) were who they were because they were ‘players’ bands, i.e., Bonham was a ‘drummer’s drummer, Jonsey was a bass player’s bass player…and we haven’t even gotten to Jimmy Page yet. I know I’m a bit jaded, but I was there (I was born in ‘52) for the onset of that mad burst of brilliance and creativity which, in my opinion (and thanks to the cancerous, monolithic evolution of a Music Biz which has over the decades taken to consuming its young) will never strike in quite the same way ever again. What’s that old saying? ‘You can never go home again’. Also, with Zep in particular, they produced their records themselves; as brilliant as Page was/is on guitar, I believe his true gift revealed itself through how he got those records to sound. Show me a band out nowadays where EACH PLAYER is legendary on their respective instrument, and then maybe we’ll talk about a ‘new’ Zeppelin.
    And even then, like a previous comment stated, it still has to stand the test O’ time.
    best regards, George A. Wallace

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  30. George Wallace

    Hi again, more commentary on the Zep thing:
    Who will be listened to 40 years from now? Hmmmm. I think we’ve pretty much seen the end of an era re ‘timeless’ records; nowadays songs/albums/artists are cranked out in the name of quick return on the investment (and may I point out that currently it now takes a million dollars on average to break a new artist on one of the majors). The old ‘15 minutes of fame’ remark is due for an update…it now clocks in at about 15 seconds.
    On a related note, an amusing anecdote: recently the 10-year-old daughter of a friend, an aspiring bass player herself, asked me to show her the signature riff to ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’. Now…WHEN did that song come out? I feel sorry for ‘these kids today’…the music that’s out now is SO unmemorable. A couple weeks ago I heard ‘Love Me Do’ out of some ceiling speakers in a drugstore. It was recorded in 1962 and STILL sounds current.
    Ronan, your comments in the vid recap two core concepts from your great Boot Camp week, worth mentioning again: 1) A bunch of great-sounding tracks (when soloed) are likely to comprise a less-than-great-sounding mix. 2) You have to leave room for the bottom end to ‘do it’s thing’ in the mix…even, apparently, when the bass instrument itself (as in Kashmir) needs to step back to make room for that kick sound.

    And last, a couple remarks from Zep members re Zep records:
    Jimmy Page has said that the real magic to those records was to not get rid of bleed, but ALLOW it…rather contrary to the ‘American’ style of isolating everything. It really DOES add to the ‘organicness’ of the band-really-there-in-the-room sound.
    And…the story goes that some poor engineer (I guess Eddie Kramer wasn’t looking) starts walking towards Bonham’s drum set with some mics he was gonna use up-close on the kit. Bonham reportedly bellowed
    ‘You get those bleedin’ mics away from my set or I’ll break your bleedin’ arm!’
    Anger Management anyone? Bonham certainly was a piece of work, wasn’t he?
    best, George Wallace

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  31. Caleb Hawkins

    I find that so many people are using these awesome “loops” they have bought and seem to rely on these wonderfully recorded sounds to make that sort of sonic mush they tend to put on out myspace…

    I think that the recordings and bands we’ll be listening to for years to come most likely will be from bands who really do play their own instruments… I really like how T Bone Burnett makes records where they whole sound of the record seems to fit and flow together while not being smashed up in the mastering process.

    I think Cold Play will go for a long time and so will The Corrs, Alison Krauss will also go down in history as one of the best female vocalists of all time.

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  32. Chris

    If your talking about longevity of music and musicianship I think the only internationally well known band that fits the bill is muse. I did not care for their latest release but they have a consistent sound that is loved by many and is commercially viable. They will be picked up for movies and commercials for years to come, and I believe that the use of their music in tv shows, movies, and comercials will keep them in the lime light, gain them more fans and allow them to keep making and selling music for years to come.

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  33. Chris

    Hey, very true with the competing low end. It is hard to get any kick drum in a mix if the bass is a focus in the mix. I learned recording from an old timer named Kearney Barton in Seattle (Audio Recording, Inc.) – He taught me something nobody else has ever told me since 20 years ago when I first learned this. Not only can the bass and kick drum compete with the frequency spectrum, but a kick drum that is out of tune with the 440 frequency can actually make the bass guitar sound out of tune every time the kick comes through. Tuning a kick drum to eliminate this effect is easier said then done. I don’t claim to be an expert, as Kearney may well be the only person on the planet that could ever teach this skill of first diagnosing the issue, as well as being able to instruct the drummer how many 1/4 turns to tune his kick drum head. His studio is still a functioning vintage tube studio in Seattle. When he records a rock band, he first gets the drums mic’d then has the bass player and the drummer play together with the drummer just playing the kick beat. Kearney will then be able to tell the drummer to either tune the kick either up or down and you can hear the instant “punch” that is gained on the low end.

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  34. Chris

    oh – as far as longevity in the business – compared to zepplin in the sense that you will still hear their music blaring from at least one vehicle in ANY highschool parking lot is a tough trick to pull off. I think dave grohl, whether it be foo fighters or his catalog as a hole, will be listened to in 20 years by high school students and old-timers like me. I used to see him play with nirvana for 5 bucks in seattle back in the day. who would’ve known that behind the drums was so much more talent just waiting to be unleashed. I just caught their wembley stadium show on cable. Amazing. Not to mention, Dave had page and john paul jones on stage with him, AND he is currently touring with john paul jones with ‘them crooked vultures’. In my book, if any one of these bands will have a shot at surviving the generations like zepplin has, ghrohl’s gonna be the one to do it.

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  35. Bill Cross

    Thanks for the website and videos!

    When I think of Led Zep and bass – I think HEARTBREAKER!!!! What a great bass sound! I play that tune in my studio at full volume and it feels like the earth is shaking under your feet!

    It may be before your time, but one of my fav bass players was Gary Thain (Cliff Bennett/Uriah Heep). I think he used a Fender through an Acoustic amp and a folded horn. Great sounds and real melodic and punchy.

    Cheers,

    Bill

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  36. Gary

    Hey, great vid appreciate the discussion. As far as bands we could equate to a modern day Led Zeppelin I would say Red Hot Chili Peppers in terms of longevity and all being “players players” as stated earlier.
    Another more recent band I would consider (most definitely) is The Mars Volta. Although all of TMVs material is brilliant, look no further than their first release Deloused in the Comatorium.

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  37. FedePeter

    Cool show.

    Luv´Led zep.

    Great timeless bands of today and bands that i listen to as much as Led Zep:

    Queens of the stone age
    Pantera
    Ratm
    Fantomas
    tomahawk
    Dr dre
    tom waits

    also listen to my amazing danish rock band Mavourneen. One of my personal favorits. Coming out with the greatest S… album this winter. myspace/mavourneenband.com

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  38. zed

    I say Tool is the led zep of today, or maybe pink floyd of today, or maybe may King crimson of today, maybe…
    ok, IMHO I think Tool maybe the LZ of today,
    not talking about sonics in particular but more about the content and the influencing power

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  39. Jack C.

    thanks for doing these tutorial videos. Thinking about the Zep question reminded me of conversations I’ve had in the past with people about Zep and the Beatles. It seemed that even though they would stay in there genre they explored and experimented more than what I believe some of the more popular artist of today do (at least it seems that way to me). Although I will say I have some catching up to do on todays artist (listening to full albums). In terms of the Beatles think about the difference between Octopus Garden, Lady Madonna, Let it Be, and Blackbird. Anyways the Red Hot Chilli Peppers come to mind for me. Even though it is now “pop” rock, they have there own sound and do different things with their music but it always is a hit. Zep took chances, experimented, and explored all while making great music. Many times (not all) these days it seems more about record sales than music (but maybe it has always been this way).

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  40. Ronan

    Jack, Totally agree with you about the experimenting. I wish artist today were as adventurous.

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  41. jal

    hey man. im so glad theres a show out there for us recording enthusiasts, thanks sooo much!
    ….as far as the way zep sounded or the vibe it gave off id say the flaming lips. but as for popularity id have to say radiohead even though im not a fan.
    u know there r tons of things i tell my interns that i forget myself and conflicting lo end instruments in the mix is one of them thanks for the reminder!

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  42. Juan Carlos Vasquez

    First off – I’d like to thank you for the knowledge! I stumbled upon this site via YouTube. I’m a recent SAE Institute, L.A., graduate, looking for my “Big Break” into the industry.

    I believe one of today’s influential bands that will stand the test of time will be none other than TOOL. Those guys have been rocking out for the past 20 years; and at the evolving rate they’re going at I don’t think they’ll be stopping any time soon! Because of their innovative and DYNAMIC music, “high school” kids of the future will have the privilege of listening to these guys.

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  43. Dave B

    There is no real equivalent of Zep today. The landscape of the industry today does not lend itself to a band that does a hard rock blues album, then a country album, then a folkly album have a regae tune and a hard rock tune on the same reccord. One thing Robert Plant said was if they started on a new tune and it was similar to something they had done before, they would scrap it. The whole point was to evolve and change. Nowadays every song on most albums often sound the same and the next album is chasing the hits of the previous. If I submitted an album to a label today that had such diversity they would give out the pseudo wisdom that I need to find a sound. Nothing wrong with that, Angus Young would unappologetically state that AC/DC has been playing the same song for 30 years, oh but they play it to perfection. But what set Zep apart was the beadth of infulences, from metal, raga, country, blues, psychadelic, classical, whatever they came across for inspiration, and the next album would not at all be chasing the previous one but be some bold new direction. Their sound was definined not by a certain style or arrangement But when those 4 guys played together it was always the magik of Zep. The way their musical personalities blended. Regardless of what “sound” they had in that session. Most bands have a sound, Greenday, GNR, Tool have one main albeit signature and very cool sound at least for the majority of their catalog, but Zep has a different “sound” on almost every song, or no more than a single album. As a writer who has done Latin, country, jazz, metal, pop, dance, hip hop, and feels its all just music, it frustrates me when labels tell ya ya need a signature sound, how but this sound, just good freakin music. They say the album should be cohesive, Zeps catalog is anything but cohesive. Hmm maybe That is what sets them above pretty much Everyone today, even some great creative artists like STP, Tool, etc. Just my humble opinion. I’ll shut up now and go play some Stairway. hehe.

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  44. Robby Lapp

    My humble list of bands whose music I think will last: (Disclaimer)–There’s only 1 Led Zeppelin

    Sublime
    Phish
    Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Pearl Jam
    Metallica
    Tool
    Nirvana
    U2
    Dave Matthews
    311
    Incubus
    Jack Johnson

    Bands are as experimental as ever. You just aren’t looking in the right places. Check out STS9, The Mars Volta, Umphrey’s McGee, Lotus, The Burnin’ Smyrnans…

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  45. Not Abe Simpson

    Thanks for the show Ronan. Always time well spent.

    I personally don’t like later 70’s Zep productions, The first few records had warm fat low end, but later the sound got really thin and trebbly. Yeah, the kick stands out easier, but the bass tone on the later records sucks! I think it had a lot to do with John Paul Jones switching from fingers to a pick towards the end of there career. The bass (and low end in general) on Led Zep I & II is much much better to my ears.

    The late 60’s & early 70’s are one of my personal favorite eras for rock music, but instead of Grandpa Simpson’s view of “all these young whipper snappers” today are inferior to the creative and sonic greatness of yesteryear, I challenge you with this:

    WHAT IF Led Zep had today’s technology available to them back then? They would sound nothing like that sound that you know and love. With there experimental nature, they would probably incorporate samplers, loops, stuttering digital edits, and other things that would make grandpa simpson cringe…I mean they WERE using tape loops over 30 years ago!

    So to me the “torch” that should be carried on through the generations is not “the sound”, but the “innovative experimental spirit” that was and still is the hallmark of quality rock music. And by that standard I would say Radiohead gracefully carries that torch today by constantly redefining what rock is TODAY all while being influential to their contemporaries and a younger generation.

    And while I’m making friends here, ponder this:

    Music from that era was not necessarily entirely superior to everything today, as so many people believe. The cost and technology limitations of the day created a filter so to speak, so that only the “better” financially backed bands ever got a chance to record ANYTHING at all. BUT if cheap home recording equipment and myspace existed back then there would probably be just as much “bad” music from that era too. It just never got recorded or had a way to reach most people’s ears!!

    Now anyone with a laptop and an internet connection can add to the giant ocean of recorded music out there. This just makes the actual good stuff harder to find, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore. If you are still waiting on FM radio to reveal these modern gems to the you and the world, then you’ve already missed the boat I’m afraid.

    Mi dos pesos.

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  46. scott

    I’m curious to find out who you, Ronan, think are the classics to be and also who you think are pushing music forward? I know I’m guilty of getting stuck in my box of bands I like. It would be cool to get a west coast thought on the matter.

    I donno how influential they are on music as a whole but for me personally I would say MuteMath, Muse and Coldplay will be life long standards.

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  47. Dana

    Tool, Radiohead, and Soundgarden are the only examples anyone mentioned above that I think could be a more recent Led Zeppelin.

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  48. Don

    Just catching up with some of the episodes.
    I`m just mixing a local band`s album that I`ve been helping to record for the last 6 months – one night a week – strip down – other stuff in – re-set when they come back.. etc…
    Really only just startiung to understand the basics of recording and mixing in particular and can completely relate to your comments about bottom end. This project is going to be going off to be mastered – which is new to me too – I`m just trying to keep everything clean enough to leave the mastering engineer enough room to do what he and the band want done…
    As fore Zep of today – I would hope that the Black Crowes continue to get the recognition they deserve – Cabin Fever and the latest album deserve heaps of credit in my opinion.
    Keep up the fantastic work on the pod/vid casts please!!
    Cheers,
    Don.

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  49. erobi2

    There really aren’t that many “epic” bands like Zep around these days. There’s a lot of really good Indie bands out there (if you don’t mind some searching around and sifting through the 1,000’s of bands online), but nothing I think is really as enduring as the stuff back then.

    Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, STP, Metallica, U2 are a few of the more “modern” (I wouldn’t call any of them “new)rock bands that come to mind whose music will be listened to by the masses for years and years.

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  50. erobi2

    ….and, let me add…..EXCELLENT SITE, Ronan!!!!!
    Thanks for all that you do to give us the invaluable information that you do!!!!
    It is so appreciated!!!

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  51. breck 9

    To answer your question of “who is the Led Zepplin of today”…

    I’d like to submit my own stuff…lol!

    I’ve got a song, Indian Summer (available for itunes download, shortly).

    http://www.myspace.com/novaconsultationsllc

    * HERE IS MY ARGUMENT…and it has nothing to do with sounding like or NOT sounding like Zepplin!

    ********* LYRICAL SUBJECT MATTER ************

    I believe that Zep fulfilled a big vacuum for “nerds, deep thinkers, and musical artsy aficinados, who liked to rock out…of their time.

    But since it was the seventies and the information generation of today’s artsy acceptable eeo crowd was not en vogue…BEING THAT IT WAS, STILL, THE INDUSTRIAL CENTURY…

    WITH SPORTS AND PROLETARIAT THEMES BEING THE DEFACTO DEFINITION OF COOL…

    all of aforementioned fringes needed a ‘COOL’ act to call their own…

    ENTER THE LED…with their complex and profound lyrical subject matter.

    SIMILARLY…SO IS MY STUFF…

    SO CHECK IT OUT…OUT THERE, AND LET ME KNOW WHAT Y’ALL THINK…MAKE SURE TO LISTEN WHILE READING MY LYRICS..

    BEST,

    breck 9

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  52. Vic Ciampini

    Hi Ronan, just discovered your website and the home recording show, and can I say, you are providing simply the best online resource for aspiring home recordists I have come across ever, and I have done much scouring! Thank you so much. I have spent the last 25 years playing in bands, and recording both at home and in OPS (other peoples studios, lol!). Started back in high school bouncing 2 cassette decks thru a 4 channel radio shack mixer, on thru the tascam 144 4 track, and now with the digital realm. I found this episode very helpful in helping me look at the low in end in a different way. As for today’s Led Zeppelin, I think you’d have to look at U2, but as a Canadian I’d be remiss if I did not put in a plug for Rush. Thx again.

    Vic

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  53. Ronan

    Vic Thanks so much for think kind words. Only reason I have to disagree with Rush is that they are the kind of band that we could ask ‘Who is the new Rush of today” Moving Pictures…mmmmmmmm.

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  54. Wes

    great vid.

    i would have to say without a doubt the Led Zeppelin of today is Wolfmother and Mars Volta.

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  55. Anthony

    Recipe for todays led zeppelin
    1. Find another John Bonham(Nope!)
    2. Add 3 other HONEST, cultured human musicians, that respect they’re craft deeply, understand what swinging is, as well as phrasing(what ever happened to these fundamentals)
    3. Add 3 heaping cups of INTELLIGENCE.
    4. Add a boatload of talent.
    5. Add a truckload of chemistry.
    6. Add no regard for corporate formulation/expectation artistically.
    7. have ups, fed ex and postal service deliver vibe every morning at 10
    8. Cancel american kerioke Idol:/
    9. And then……forgetiboudit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’ll never happen again:(

    Ps. none of the aforementioned bands even come close:)

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  56. feliz

    amazing what is behind a great song like kasmir.

    I am sure ther will never be a band comparable with with Zep. They were to unique

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  57. Mitch

    It’s sad to say but I really don’t there’s been a band that has started in the 21st century that can be put into a category such as this one.

    The mainstream destroys this potential by making “lame music” acceptable. There may be many greater, more unique, and creative bands than Led Zepplin in the underground… but I haven’t heard them.

    I think mabey a few bands in the last 20 years have done it (Tool, NIN, and my personal favourite that would be the greatest rock band, world wide known if they were heard properly… Down). Even more years before that (Black Sabbath, Lynard Skynard)

    I think if any band should be put into the running for being crownd a modern day led zeplin it’s Down. No gimicks, musically focused and driven, very unique and just a great pure rock band.

    If you don’t know the band check it out!

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  58. albert

    the music and marsvolta all the way !

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  59. Denis

    When I was a teen Pear Jam came out, and around the same time we were lucky enough to discover Kyuss. Of course we knew of Led Zep, but of the bands I grew up with those 2 had the most impact. I have gone on to discover all kinds of music, of which the best is often under-recognized by the market forces, still no one can claim that we don’t have the best access to all kinds of music ever!!! These 2 bands are still the most iconic to me, and I must say Pear Jam really impressed me recently in Vancouver, what a true music experience, I think they have matured well as a band and sit comfortably with their style :) The main difference is Kyuss was a genius studio project, while Pear Jam are live music demons who have endured all the ups and downs of the business till today… so I know that in 20-30 years I will smile listening to them.

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  60. Alex

    I love Led Zep, bought their albums at age 12 – 16 when they were being released, “imprinted” on them like a baby duck imprints on his mother.

    I know we hear “Dazed & Confused” blasting out of car stereos every summer, and there’s a certain comfort in that, but you know I think the execs who own the rights and control the hype happen to be my age, and it makes deep intuitive sense to push these old recordings on successive generations. Kids that age listen to what they are exposed to.

    I love Led Zep, but if I need deep musicianship now, as an adult, they don’t satisfy. Your ears open up a little when you get into jazz, and the Page guitar solo that blew your mind when you were 14 seems silly now. Maybe if I want to hear a good guitarist I’ll listen to Bill Frisell or among drummers maybe I’m impressed by Dave Weckl, but I can’t think of Led Zeppelin as a “super group”, rather they are/were stylistically innovative, and, for what it’s worth, they were very cool! But it was not really about “mad skillz” ( a phrase borrowed from my 12 year old daughter).

    But you’ll get so many fellows of my generation (and younger, strangely) making claims that there’s never been a better songwriter than Bob Dylan, there’s never been a better guitarist than Jimmy Hendrix, there’s never been a better pop band than The Beatles, there’s never been a better blah blah blah, and what you’re doing is you’re giving these guys too much cultural authority. Everybody thinks the 60’s were super cool, okay, wow.

    It’s possible that the arena rock thing is basically played out, so I can’t speak to “who’s the new Led Zep”, but I will say one thing I’ve noticed in indie pop is that the lyrics have improved over the years. Kurt Cobain was an improvement on Neil Young, Trent Reznor was an improvement on Jim Morrison, and Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel was a huge improvement on Blonde-on-Blonde era Dylan. I’m just trying to indicate a noticeable trend, I’m not trying to prove that I’m up to date on the current bands, because I’m not, I grew up and started listening more to jazz and classical, but what is obvious even from a distance is that there are young poet-lyricists writing very feverishly and intensely, doing things that astonish even an older jaded fellow like myself.

    Listen to your contemporaries and don’t compare yourselves to the better acts from years past. The “classic era” in rock/pop doesn’t really hold up anyway, and is re-introduced to kids every summer partly for reasons of cultural demographics and market forces, or because of the way cultural demographics effect market forces, actually. If you really have a yen for great musicianship, look towards other genre’s of music, and maybe at some prog and post prog (I hear Porcupine Tree is supposed to be good). If you are looking for great songwriting, listen to what speaks to you, personally, to your particular generation, and support those acts and believe in them. Devote yourselves. I think it is the quality of the audience that has diminished more in the last few decades, rather than the quality of the art. And the problem here is merely lack of confidence.

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  61. Denis

    So true Alex, and yes, Porcupine Tree is mindblowing, modern sound, varied tricks and styles, most amazing drummer, flawless song writing. In concert they don’t disappoint as it is even more impressive to me the quality of sound and musicianship in that live setting. They have a much more “prog” feel than other “rock” bands, and I think masses of people are starting to like it, so they are contributing a lot to our musical culture, enjoy, cause their music will endure the erosion of time!

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  62. Shane M

    It’s a long time after your initial post , but when you mentioned the Led Zeppelin of today comment the one thought that jumped into my mind was oddly Allison Krauss and Union Station. Not because of any musical similarity (although she did recently do an album w/ Robert Plant), but just because the Allison Krauss albums sound so incredibly good. I probably was thinking about that also because you mentioned “space” in the mix w/ the Zeppelin stuff, and w/ the Allison Krauss albums there’s this odd quiet but buttery thickness – it’s like you can almost hear the air molecules. I don’t know if you get requests for the Allison Krauss sound, but I can see it being a reference sound for long/long time.

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  63. Charlie C

    As far as what’s in the spotlight now, ahhh I’d have to say that light will burn out. We may very well be remembering 2000’s artist who won’t blossom until the right amount of time has past. Look to the independent artist who makes music for that glory alone. There are van gogh’s out there. Wish I knew them all. I’d like to note one unknown band the Strawberry Jam from the UK. http://www.myspace.com/thestrawberryjamexperience

    Any other unknown bands people would like to share?? CHARLIE

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  64. Peter T

    Sometimes The Mars Volta reminds me of Led Zeppelin in some way.
    But I’m too young to be able to say who’s worthy to be called a modern Led Zeppelin :)

    I love your video’s Chris !
    Keep ‘em up :)
    Cheers

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  65. Arvid B

    Awesome video! Thanks for all your videos, it’s extremely helpful =).

    Today’s Zeppelin are White Denim. Hands down.

    Cheers!

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  66. A.R.

    Digging up an old one here, but I couldn’t resist it…

    To me the closest thing to Zeppelin today has to be Queens of the Stone Age. I’ve always thought so. Why? Well…

    1) Their music has some blues inspiration, but reshapes it to create something incredibly modern.
    2) They’re the heaviest band I’ve heard that kept a sense of pop aesthetics for their songs. Meaning they’ve got real pop songs that are usually crafted as such, but with an edge that is mean and dark.
    3) They also explore different horizons in song structures, sonic identities, atmospheres, techniques, etc… They keep pushing the boundaries from album to album.
    4) The arrangements are insane. (Mosquito Song anyone?)
    5) Josh Homme, like Page, is a different kind of guitar player. He crafted a unique and instantly recognizable style that is anything but predictable. He’s also a studio wizard. Someone who operates in the dark, someone with a vision and unwavering integrity, but with the most open mind and an innovator.
    6) Bonzo on any Zep album and Dave Grohl on Songs for the Deaf: Biggest drum sounds to ever hit my eardrums.
    7) Not a real reason, just funny… QOTSA have a song called “You Can’t Quit Me, Baby” (// Led Zeppelin’s “I can’t Quit You Baby”).
    8) The list could go on an on, but mostly on an even more personal perception. I know that there are some dissimilarities (changing lineup vs. 4 permanent members, Plant’s heroic singing vs. less virtuosity and more variety [as it should be, they have several singers] vocally for QOTSA, etc…) but to me the first 5 reasons are unique enough.

    Long Live the Zeppelin, Long Live QOTSA!!!

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  67. Douglas Ross

    Jimmy Page is an engineering genius. In my ears, the room seems to be the most influential element in the big drum sound. Of course, only one Led Zeppelin exists, but to answer your question, Foo Fighters……without a doubt. Thanks again Ronan …… again and again and again.

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