Artist – Blink 182
Song – I Miss You
Written by – Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker
Key – B major
Genre – Alternative Rock
Release Date – 9th February 2004
BPM – 110
“I Miss You” was track three on Blink 182’s fifth album release and the second single to be released on the 9th of February 2004. The song peaked at number 1 on the US Modern Rock charts. The song was heavily inspired by The Cure’s song “The Lovecats”, which is evident in the songs alternative rock style, the noticeably different timbre of the instruments, as well as the use of a variation of different instruments from their previous material. The overall vibe of the song is very melancholic, this feeling is triggered by the descending chord progression in the verses, the swelling strings section, and the repetition of the phrase “I Miss You, I Miss You”, in the choruses.
Lyrical Content: The song has a very alternative vibe, yet still maintains the band’s original trend in terms of lyrical content. Tom DeLonge, guitarist, vocalist and co-writer of the song expanded on the lyrical meaning saying, “The song’s more about the vulnerability and kind of heart-wrenching pain you feel when you’re in love and when you’re a guy and you’re trying to tell a girl, ‘Don’t waste your time coming and talking to me because, in my head at least, you probably already gave me up a long time ago.”
Dynamics: The kit has a very narrow and flat sound, the beat is very continual and has a little to no dynamic range. This would indicate the use of drum pads and samples that have been recorded originally using brushes. This is evident in the washy fuzzy hits on the snare and Hi Hat, a drumstick would have a far more defined and direct transient, however the snare hits on beats 2 and 4 of each bar are snare samples recorded using sticks. It is likely that the individual drums were performed part by part to ensure that the loop is as accurate as possible. due to the layout of the hits and the inclusion of different samples, this exact beat wouldn’t be able to be physically performed.
Spectral: The kick has a has a strong presence in the low end with little snappiness or attack found in the 4 or 5K region. This gives it a more ‘wobby’ sound, it has a little less definition in the higher register. The snare has a great deal of punch and a lot of presence in the 300 Hz to 1K region, this contains the lower resonance and main body of the snare and the more nasally mids towards the 1 to 2K.
Spatial: The samples alone would contain whatever the room sound was present they were recorded. They’re quite dry, the main indicator of the rooms size would be the snares decay time. It is roughly a 1 second decay time and there is little to be said for any reflective noises, other than the rim hits which also give a good insight into the nature of the room. The drums are sitting comfortably behind all of the the other elements in the mix, it’s lacking any major cymbal sound, which usually would sit panned hard left and right as a stereo pair. This gives the mix less of a wide-spread and bigger sound.
Dynamics: The bass consists of two different instruments in the song. A regular electric bass guitar, and a double bass. The bass has a very weak tone and sticks mainly to the low end, however fits the style of the song well. The double bass comes in during the chorus’s, it’s played with a bow, as opposed to being plucked, this is gives the notes a very long and smooth character, it sounds quite fuzzy and heavily compressed and seems to rule a lot of the low end of the mix, clouding it up. The electric bass is being played with a pick, it creates a sharp and very abrupt transient, the type of bass is an American Fender Precision, Mark Hoppus is known for using them religiously. They have a traditional fat and punchy tone.
Spectral: The electric bass has very little high frequencies, nothing very noticeable above 2K, this gives it a far less aggressive tone and a “wobbiness” similar to that of the kick drum tone. The double bass brings a lot of deep lows below 150 Hz and an intense droneyness, a common character of the low mid range of roughly 200 to 500Hz.
Spatial: The bass is very dry, there is no real room sound on the electric bass, it is even possible is was recorded direct only. It’s sitting not too far behind the vocals, in the centre between the guitars. The double bass sounds quite muddy and seems to clutters up the centre of the mix, making the guitars and electric bass slightly less intelligible.
Dynamics: The guitars are all acoustic and have a very rough sound, the tracks sound a bit battered and twangy. The guitars have a very continual flow in performance dynamics, there seems to be a fair amount of compression, particularly noticed on the higher frequencies. There are two separate tracks playing roughly similar parts.
Spectral: The guitars little have warmth or body usually found around 200 Hz, they have more potency in the presence region of around 4 to 5K, which is adding a lot of chime and twang to the sound.
Spatial: The acoustic guitars consist of a couple of tracks, one that has been panned hard right and and the other has been spread out. The one that has been spread out has more prominence, particularly in the verses as it has a chord change, the one panned to the right does not, it is playing on the tonic note (B), this adding depth and extra thickness to the guitars. They’re sitting a tiny bit farther toward the front of the mix than the bass, having a wider spread will increase prominence in the overall space.
Dynamics: Vocals were recorded with an AKG C12 VR, this is a tube condenser microphone often used for vocals and has a stronger frequency response in the high end. The vocals have a chorus type of effect giving them a doubled sort of sound. Both Tom and Mark feature vocally in this song, Tom’s vocal is far louder and more prominent in the top end whilst Mark has a deeper and smoother approach to the track. The vocals sound heavily compressed, in terms of loudness, they are very linear and don’t have much noticeable dynamic range.
Spectral: There is a fair amount of top end to the vocals, there is noticeable amount of sibilance of around 8 to 10K and presence cutting through at 5K. Mark in particular has a much greater amount of low mids in his voice, making much warmer and a bit more droney than Tom’s.
Spatial: The vocals are sitting in the front and centre of the mix. According to the studio film post on youtube, they tracked the vocals in the control room of the studio. In that room there isn’t very much acoustic treatment, and it is a medium to large sized room. This could add a bit to the reverb on the vocals, however there is definitely a fake reverb on these vocals, there is a decay time of nearly 2 seconds which sounds as if the vocals are in a much larger space like a concert hall.
Overall the track sounds very heavily compressed and distorted, I am unsure as to whether or not it was intended to sound this way. Almost as if everything was heavily limited in the recording phase. There is a definite lack in clarity of all of the elements of the song.
Blink-182’s ‘I Miss You’ Might Be Missing From Their Shows – Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV. (2003). Web.archive.org. Retrieved 6 October 2016, from https://web.archive.org/web/20121104201701/http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1481149/blink-182s-next-single-unplayable-live.jhtml
C12 VR – Reference multi-pattern tube condenser microphone | AKG Acoustics. (2016). Akg.com. Retrieved 6 October 2016, from http://www.akg.com/pro/p/c12vr
Blink-182 2003 Recording Sessions. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 6 October 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JzzmWk7y6g
blink-182 – I Miss You. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 6 October 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1tAYmMjLdY