What distinguishes tracks that "aged well" from those that didn't?

dmgtz96

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I've always thought that some tracks from the early 2000s aged really well, but pretty much everything from the '90s shows its age. If you showed a young person a track that didn't age well, they would immediately know that's old. In fact, I had that happen with a friend when I showed him Freefall - Skydive.

What do you think are characteristics that are dead giveaways for tracks that didn't age well? In my opinion, the two-step trance rhythm common in old trance is one of them, best shown here. The spacey atmosphere and the original TB-303 sound would also be strong candidates, since music hasn't really sounded like that for a long time.

As a bonus, what happened at the turn of the millennium that made trance from before sound different? Was it the transition from analog to digital?

I hope we can get some good discussion going on with this!
 

Matrixmorpheus

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I think good tracks has aged better then tracks that are bad. Now end this thread please.
 

Sleeping

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For tracks that didnt aged well, i would say the baseline often is a giveaway. Alot of tracks from 97-00 had the lonely offbeat bas, that sticks out due to it being quite dull. Also, the percussion is another one. There was often the case that tracks lacked percussion-elements. Only your Opel/closed hihats and claps.
It made some tracks quite dull and lifeless imo.
Another characteristic is the lack of elements. You had your lead, bas and pad, but that was it. Perhaps it was due to the technology back then. Nowadays there Are alot more different sounds within the song,that really fills the whole spectrum
 
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dmgtz96

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I think good tracks has aged better then tracks that are bad. Now end this thread please.
Yeah, that's gonna be a no from me, dawg

For tracks that didnt aged well, i would say the baseline often is a giveaway. Alot of tracks from 97-00 had the lonely offbeat bas, that sticks out due to it being quite dull. Also, the percussion is another one. There was often the case that tracks lacked percussion-elements. Only your Opel/closed hihats and claps.
It made some tracks quite dull and lifeless imo.
Another characteristic is the lack of elements. You had your lead, bas and pad, but that was it. Perhaps it was due to the technology back then. Nowadays there Are alot more different sounds within the song,that really fills the whole spectrum
Bold to say that here but I agree. I think one of the better examples about that is the second track from Magik 1, Lock - Into the Sun. It's a good classic but it has all the issues you mentioned.
 

Magdelayna

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I never really look back at a 99 track and think it hasnt aged well - they were just 'of their time' and thats the instruments they used and were available. The problem with the older tracks is the volume/master is too low and sometimes bad quality when trying to mix with newer stuff.
 

Gagi

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Some early 90s tracks aged better than the late 90s ones. For me, tracks showing their age isn't a bad thing. But there have been better and worse productions during that period, and that's what shows.

Post-2001, I'd say, tracks don't show their age that much.
 
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Hensmon

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Yeah there is a difference between not ageing well and a track showing its age. I actively seek out Trance that sounds like its from a particular time as the old sounds are appealing to me.

I'd say tracks that sound dated (in a bad way) are ones that have been made exclusively from early software programs, which are obviously not at the level they are today. Hardware of old sounds amazing... software of old sounds awful and you can hear it straight away in my opinion.
 
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Hensmon

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Nah you can replicate anything nowadays - youd never tell the difference. Producers just dont do it.
Yeah i'm just talking about tracks made with predominately software from 90's and early 00's, when it didn't have the same kind of capabilities it does now
 
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