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Overproduced
Old 15th May 2006
  #1
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Rednose's Avatar
Overproduced

The other day I sat and watched MTV late night.
I saw modern rock band after modern rock band, and EVERY band sounded so overproduced.
It was as if every note was moved, crossfadded, tuned, etc...
Don't get me wrong, sonically is was marvelous.
It just sounded as if all the life was sucked out of the music.
More like computers playing rock music.
Have the top Rock producers gone a bit too far?
To me, it sounds like what Madonna would want her rock band to sound like.
I think Digital is a great medium (Beats storing 2" tape), but its being tweaked to death.
I've done my fair share of tweakin', but after hearing what I heard, I think I'm gonna go for a different, more intimate sound.
Just my 2 cents.
Old 15th May 2006
  #2
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I guess that wasn't the White Stripes then ...

Music is fashion, and fashion goes around in circles. Wide tie, narrow tie, wide tie, narrow tie ...

If you want to be the next big thing, start making sloppy grungy music.
Old 15th May 2006
  #3
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger

Music is fashion, and fashion goes around in circles. Wide tie, narrow tie, wide tie, narrow tie ...
Nope. Who gets signed to the majors may be a fashion decision, but music is not fashion.
Old 15th May 2006
  #4
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger
I guess that wasn't the White Stripes then ...

Music is fashion, and fashion goes around in circles. Wide tie, narrow tie, wide tie, narrow tie ...

If you want to be the next big thing, start making sloppy grungy music.
Makes sense Kiwiburger! I allways wanted that over the top production on my bands stuff.
When I finally got close to it, I found thats not what I wanted anymore.
Kinda of like finally scoring that hot babe, and seeing her the next morning without her makeup, [email protected]!~
I allways thought I overproduced, but after listening to a bunch of modern music, I wasn't even close.
On our next record, were going to try to track all the Drums, Bass, and Guitars live.
Wish us luck!
I've heard of it being done before, but I've never been in a session with my band or a clients band that could come close to tracking live.
BTW, the bands I saw were:
Hawthorne Heights,
Yellow Card,
Hoobastank.
Old 16th May 2006
  #5
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The same thing seems rife in the UK "indie" or garage rock scene as well. Bands make a name by releasing a raw-sounding edgy record which sells like hot cakes and wins them legions of fans. Then they release their follow-up, and every beat is triggered and nailed to a grid. Every note sung is auto-tuned to death and every chord is polished to a sheen.

I always used to associate the over-quantized, triggered sound to metal, but it's creeping into every other area of live instrument based music.
Old 16th May 2006
  #6
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industry is at an all time low

I thought the 90s was superficial, and now I find myself in disbelief at the seemingly endless barrage of sterile sounding garbage that today's Majors produce and promote. It leaves one with the impression that the first requirement any band has to get a record deal today is that the music must absolutely SUCK, and that the fashion must be "in line" with modern trends.

However, this does not mean that a truly original band can only be good if the level of production is scaled down and puny sounding. The fact that today the standard is immpeccably produced and BIG sounding cliche, soul-less CRAP does not mean that truly great and original artists should not strive even harder to acheive great production and great sound.

The flip side of this "superficial ****sm" of the Majors is that the high-end production tools are increasingly becoming available to the unsigned artists. Like always in the past, the next WAVE of something REAL and NEW is likely right around the corner.



I predict a musical revolution similar to (if not greater than) the 60s. Why ? WW3 looks like it's right around the corner. Chaotic times always produce revolutionary art, and increases the need of average people to experience something more meaningful than the commercialized consumer crap of modern day fashion trends.
Old 16th May 2006
  #7
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CaptainHook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek
Nope. Who gets signed to the majors may be a fashion decision, but music is not fashion.
Yeah, but for a huge portion of listeners, music HAS become a fashion trend.
Just take one look at MySpace.
It's like high-school all over again.

Art always crosses over into fashion.
Old 16th May 2006
  #8
MDM
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MDM's Avatar
Not to bust the balls of all the rock lovers & veterans here,

but isn't Rock totally dead ?

hasnt it all been said in the 60ties and the 70ties and maybe athe 80ties a little bit?

I dunno

I never heard anything from the past 20 years that can rival with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Gimme Hendrix or any of those great bands and artists from those days ..
Rock was the music of that time, the VOICE of that time --
Just like right now, the voice of the time seems to be electronic music in all different variations and styles ...

I could be wrong, as I dont live in the US of A, but I think Rock , Country and Blues are all totally 'done that, been there, seen that, thanks' in the rest of the world at least ...
And if someone plays it now, isn't it merely nostalgy ? Trying to get back to 'that vibe'
I have n't heard it .. Not even Nirvana ten years ago -- It's peanuts comparing to Pink Floyd or Cream or the Beeatles or the Stones...
Old 16th May 2006
  #9
It doesn't have anything to do with digital, or DAWs. Those are just tools which have enabled things to happen more quickly on pathetic budgets. This kind of thing is easily capable of being done on analog tape, it's just a little more difficult. Don't blame the car, blame the driver.
Old 16th May 2006
  #10
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huarez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDM
Not to bust the balls of all the rock lovers & veterans here,

but isn't Rock totally dead ?

hasnt it all been said in the 60ties and the 70ties and maybe athe 80ties a little bit?

I dunno

I never heard anything from the past 20 years that can rival with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Gimme Hendrix or any of those great bands and artists from those days ..
Rock was the music of that time, the VOICE of that time --
Just like right now, the voice of the time seems to be electronic music in all different variations and styles ...

I could be wrong, as I dont live in the US of A, but I think Rock , Country and Blues are all totally 'done that, been there, seen that, thanks' in the rest of the world at least ...
And if someone plays it now, isn't it merely nostalgy ? Trying to get back to 'that vibe'
I have n't heard it .. Not even Nirvana ten years ago -- It's peanuts comparing to Pink Floyd or Cream or the Beeatles or the Stones...
RAP IS ALSO NEARLY 30 YEARS OLD,so what? I like newer stuff much more than the old led zep, ore however Rock stuff, except Hendrix .
And electronic music is getting so fu.....ing boring, sorry. E-Guitars have a great sound what has been new in the fifties and sixties, now it´s standart. They still play the Music of Mozart , 200 Jears later...
Old 16th May 2006
  #11
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some cars seem to encourage a style of driving.
Old 16th May 2006
  #12
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
It doesn't have anything to do with digital, or DAWs. Those are just tools which have enabled things to happen more quickly on pathetic budgets. This kind of thing is easily capable of being done on analog tape, it's just a little more difficult. Don't blame the car, blame the driver.

i must respectfully, but completely, disagree. the ease differential is not little, it's enormous; while it was technically possible to grid quantize a drummer to note-perfection, it was utterly impractical. multiply that impracticality by 10 songs per album, divide by one work day, and you have the impact of the daw.

likewise for re-arranging, dozens of comps per track, sample replacement, tuning every vocal to flatline accuracy, and stacking 100 tracks per song.

you can blame the shooter and not the gun, but i can't imagine the US's gun violence would be much of an issue if we were still hotpacking our muskets.

tools matter, and sometimes they matter a great deal.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 16th May 2006
  #13
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GP_Hawk's Avatar
some cars seem to encourage a style of driving.

True. It felt like the craftmans truck series, driving a ford f150 at rush hour drafting the big trucks today.

Music is a fashion, Rock is dead, and lobster just ain't what it use to be.
Old 16th May 2006
  #14
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Styles change... style doesn't.

In other words, trends come and go and with EVERY era 90% of the music is blah and I'd bet if we looked back at those "great" decades of music, for every Zepplin, Stones or Beatles, you'd find hundreds, if not thousands, of horrible bands that came and went.

Just like today.

Perhaps there is one difference and that is distribution and accessibility. Now almost anyone can "make a record" (for what that's worth) and there's a means to get it out there... now that may mean a lot of crap, but frankly I think it's a good thing.

Why? I feel the grip of the few "Omni" stations and labels losing their grasp and people can now get to more music in more places.

For now, it's a bit chaotic, but I have this feeling that something good will come out of all this current confusion... while most of the music may suck right now, the era is almost PUNK! The DIY mentality is back...and I know that is a blow to many of us here but I think talent finds its way in times like these.

Just a thought... someone with real style will prevail.

So, while styles change, style doesn't.

-andrews

DIRTY HALO www.dirtyhalo.com
Old 16th May 2006
  #15
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
It doesn't have anything to do with digital, or DAWs. Those are just tools which have enabled things to happen more quickly on pathetic budgets. This kind of thing is easily capable of being done on analog tape, it's just a little more difficult. Don't blame the car, blame the driver.
I think your right.
I remeber allways loving the tune "McVicker" by Roger Daultry.
I got the mp3 on iTunes about 2 years ago and was blown away by the overproduction.
About 7 mandolin tracks, cello, yadda yadda.
I remember thing how overproduced it was.
Sounded great to my as a kid though!
Old 16th May 2006
  #16
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDM
Not to bust the balls of all the rock lovers & veterans here,

but isn't Rock totally dead ?

hasnt it all been said in the 60ties and the 70ties and maybe athe 80ties a little bit?

I dunno

I never heard anything from the past 20 years that can rival with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Gimme Hendrix or any of those great bands and artists from those days ..
Rock was the music of that time, the VOICE of that time --
Just like right now, the voice of the time seems to be electronic music in all different variations and styles ...

I could be wrong, as I dont live in the US of A, but I think Rock , Country and Blues are all totally 'done that, been there, seen that, thanks' in the rest of the world at least ...
And if someone plays it now, isn't it merely nostalgy ? Trying to get back to 'that vibe'
I have n't heard it .. Not even Nirvana ten years ago -- It's peanuts comparing to Pink Floyd or Cream or the Beeatles or the Stones...
Rock is not dead...
just outsold by Hip Hop and R&B by 8-1 in 2005. ha!
Old 16th May 2006
  #17
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Too many old people!

Seriously, in the '60s we were all in our teens and '20s. People over 30 were old!

Unfortunately today 20 year olds can't make any money as DJs, promoters or playing out.
Old 16th May 2006
  #18
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
The other day I sat and watched MTV late night.
Man, I haven't watched that for years.
Old 16th May 2006
  #19
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GYang's Avatar
Discipline is necessary. That's what I require from myself.
24-30 (single or mono) tracks max, heavy limitations on use of plug ins, autotune and all this BS.
Spending time on performance, not polishing.
Spending even more time on performance.
Modern good digital is absolutely better than middle of the road analogue, so it's definitely no digital vs analogue issue.
But analogue married with digital make things efficient and sounding great.
Make music and pay less attention on technology issues.
I will restrict myself on reading and writing on various forums, too. Road to nowhere.
Next please.heh
Old 16th May 2006
  #20
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier
Man, I haven't watched that for years.
Yeah, no kidding.
Not alot of MTV going around here either.
I'm a bit long in the tooth for it.
Funny, didn't care too much for it when I was a lad.
They have a couple of kewt shows that catch my eye when flipping through the channels.
Old 16th May 2006
  #21
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
Discipline is necessary. That's what I require from myself.
24-30 (single or mono) tracks max, heavy limitations on use of plug ins, autotune and all this BS.
Spending time on performance, not polishing.
Spending even more time on performance.
Modern good digital is absolutely better than middle of the road analogue, so it's definitely no digital vs analogue issue.
But analogue married with digital make things efficient and sounding great.
Make music and pay less attention on technology issues.
I will restrict myself on reading and writing on various forums, too. Road to nowhere.
Next please.heh
Very well said GYang!
I'm all about the performance.
I will spend a week rehersing a solo and not recording it till I'm ready to lay down the magic.
Can't do that with clients.
They run out of coin and it gives me a bad name.
My new philosphy for the bands I record is just try to do the best I can within thier budget.
Old 16th May 2006
  #22
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
You guys sound like burn outs.

You ever notice how if a movie is over 2 hours long the critics will always say it's too long and talk about all the parts that should have been cut out? Well, I think they say that because it's their job to watch movies. They can't wait for the whistle to blow so they can get home a drink a beer. I on the other hand love a good long movie... and why not? It was $18 for me and a date. I want a long engrossing adventure.

I'm personnaly a musician first, producer second. And to me there's no such thing as over production. Just good and bad production. Is "I am the walrus" overproduced? How about "Dark side of the moon?"

We have a lot of creative power at our hands. It's our responsibility as producers and engineers to use these tools to forge the new dream world of music. When you mix, listen with your child ears. Before you knew it was a digital delay, it was actually a voice bouncing off chasm walls. Use that Altiverb plug-in to put your singer inside a volcano. Pitch shift, distort, change the formant, harmonize, use crappy mics, Melodyne to make someone MORE out of tune, record the noise from your space echo and normalize the track, then sidechain the snare mic to a gate on the noise track, bounce it and erase the snare... do whatever it takes to keep the magic of music alive. You're the magician, of course you're bored of the tricks, but there are paying customers out there who want to see the damned rabbit come out of your hat.
Old 16th May 2006
  #23
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i think mainstream rock is death due to the lack of creativity and the overproducing of most mainstream bands. But in the real indie scene there still something happening.

But hiphop and other so called urban music still got new forms popping up, even more than in the electronic music and way more than in rock/poprock in my opinion. But to find them you don't have to watch mtv or bet. It's all in the underground now for me.

for rock, it's mainly local bands and old classics i listen to.
Old 16th May 2006
  #24
MDM
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MDM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waxx
i think mainstream rock is death due to the lack of creativity and the overproducing of most mainstream bands. But in the real indie scene there still something happening.

But hiphop and other so called urban music still got new forms popping up, even more than in the electronic music and way more than in rock/poprock in my opinion. But to find them you don't have to watch mtv or bet. It's all in the underground now for me.

for rock, it's mainly local bands and old classics i listen to.
There ya go - THIS is what I meant to say :

In the 'era of Rock', which were the 60ties and the 70ties, ROCK was manistream .. Also, there WAS ONLY MAINSTREAM !!! Even Jerry Garcia was mainstream ! Lou Reed was mainstream !
Have you ever seen somebody like Bob Marley EVER again ?
I didnt think so.
What I mean : Really good Rock was good because of it's CHARGE ... the CHARGE of that time, that message of. well, what was perceived as freedom in that time ..
Bob Marley defined Reagge basically -- But, that was just PART of something MUCH BIGGER that he laid out : He was the voice of freedom.. He wanted to legalize things .. He wanted freedom for the people .. He was like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi.
The Beatles too were genius in that perspective ..
All these guys , they defined something new .. their own style, with their own lyrics and way of performing and everything ...
Now, these days, please tell me : Where are the Bob Dylans, Van Morrissons, James Taylors ? Where are the Sly Stones, Aretha Franklins, James Browns ?
Where are the REAL musicians and singers with a message ?
Oh.. Coldplay ? uh Britney Speaers ? uh whats the name of that white rapper boy oh yes Eminem ?
My ass
That music is NOTHING comparing to what happened in the 60ties and the 70ties and no-one has been doing it eversince - Hardly. Everynow and then something REAL pops up.
Mostly, it's trying to sound like this guy, or trying to be 'Beatlesque' - Or wanting that guitarsound from deep purple or ...
THAT is why rock is being mikxed bowing, because it is PLAYED boring and the lyrics dont have any charge.
Now, if you feel I dont know what I am talking about, then please, give me some URL's to some decent, up to date Rock music that I can check out and I will be very very happy to change my opinion about the strong statement I made here.

Thanks MDM
Old 16th May 2006
  #25
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heyman's Avatar
The industry is also to blame.. remember when artist were nurtured.. The record companies gave them the time to develope.. How many bands nowadays can put out 3 albums before they find there niche... how about "zero"

What happened to 10 album deals? Today, you get 1 album on a major before you either get shelved or dropped if your stuff doesnt hit..

How about also flooding the market with clones and copies..
example- Fall out Boy? Sorry, they are watered down to begin with, lets bring in 20 other emo crap bands to suck the market dry..

Even songs today only have one verse before we are pounded over the head with a chorus.. Some songs start out with the chorus and just pound you over the head.. Every record company wants that slick Money shot..

When was the last time you heard a song on a major station that lasted over 5 mins ?
Old 16th May 2006
  #26
MDM
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MDM's Avatar
xactly heyman

I think, part of the lack of 'quality of real music' in the hitparade has to do with the labels, with the majors, with how the industry is being run.
In the 60-ties and 70--ties this was all being defined, it wasn't there as big as such -- but,
it's no excuse
Since now, there's actually many more ways for talent to shine through .. with the Internet, My Space, also, whole productions can be done on a computer with a decent converter etc etc
Old 16th May 2006
  #27
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the mainstream big money rock music of today is indeed anodyne nonsense.

all the emo / heavy / metal / nu whatever bands who wear eyeshadow, have spiky haircuts and all the rest of it can suck my balls. it's drivel. pure and simple product for consumers. cash cow. nothing to do with what music is meant to be.

however, to all of you who proclaim that rock and roll is dead i say bollocks.

it's alive and kicking for people like me.

in fairness, i am 23, so with all due respect, just because you've tired of it now that you're in your 40's doesn't mean that it doesn't still mean the world to someone else.

it is probable that '71 was just about the pinnacle of rock and roll's golden age, but this still remains to be proven unequivocally, which will take many more years than you and perhaps even i will see.

you don't think bands like the kings of leon, the zutons, the white stripes, the muggs, razorlight, the strokes, dfa 1979, etc. have any real rock and roll in them? you don't think it pumps through their veins just as hot as it did yours all those years ago?

well give us pups a break, it's a very different world we're growing up in and trying to give it all up in or haven't you noticed? there's been a lot of ****e in the past 25 years that we're trying to scrub away from our impressionable music-making instincts... and how much of that ****e might some of you fine old gents have had a hand in producing?

i live in dublin, ireland and there is a healthy rock and roll scene here these days. check out bands like humanzi, the things, the immediate, the mighty stef, the urges and my own current pride and joy the heathens (we're all on myspace btw)

if you think we're all full of ****e then ****e is what you see and ****e is what you hear which is your problem and for shame, you have my deepest sympathies.

rock and ****ing roll,

regards,

richie.

(apologies for such a rant, but rock and roll means a lot to me, more than the rest of what i could do with my life, so that being pissed on by guys in their 40s who've just plain had enough got my balls in a right knot. YMMV eh?)
Old 16th May 2006
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Shabo's Avatar
 

i agree with most of you about rock killing its self...but there are a few bands that still write music because its fun! In the indie scene of course! like the Rock n Roll Soldiers..i heard them..wow...FUN REAL ROCK!!!!
Old 16th May 2006
  #29
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Empty Planet's Avatar
 

I was a complete and total cynic about the current music scene, canned or live. Ahh, I'm in my 40s, nowadays it's just not the same, etc., etc....

These days I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood called Williamsburg, just across the river from the East Village in Manhattan, and there is definitely something going on here. It's not just a scene, I'm starting to get the feeling that something different and interesting is really happening. It's mostly rock-based, some of it more free-form structurally -- without being self-important or tedious, weirdly -- and other variations from some clearly talented people who seem encouraged by the community to try things in different ways. Tremendous variety, and a lot of cross-fertilization going on. It's pretty exclusively in the live scene at the moment; I have yet to hear a band translate it well into their recordings, but it's probably only a matter of time. It's not every band, naturally, but in my world-weary estimation there are far more exceptions to the boring-same-old-same-old band rule than seems probable. I don't know, it's weird, but there's something really vital going on.

These days, much to my surprise, I really think something cool is about to happen.

Btw, you go, Dubrichie!


Old 16th May 2006
  #30
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Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
Spending time on performance, not polishing.
Spending even more time on performance.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Seriously, would products like AutoTune and Beat Detective even exist if the level of musicianship of every band that set foot in the studio these days was as high as that of, oh, I dunno, the session guys that were playing on dogfood jingles 35 years ago?
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