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Smoothing out vs leaving rough edges Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 7th June 2017
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Smoothing out vs leaving rough edges

Hi Jacquire! I'm really curious about how you handle the challenge of keeping an intriguing sonic landscape while maintaining a fat, huge, radio-friendly sound.

For example, the mix for Modest Mouse's "Good News for People Who Love Bad News" is so much thicker and more lush than their previous records - was achieving a more accessible sound an explicit goal of the band, or were they ever afraid of sounding too clean and had to be coaxed?
Were you dirtying it up & adding treatments, or was it more about finding space for (or discarding!) what they had recorded?

More broadly, I'm wondering what your approach is when either:
-an artist wants to follow a direction or empasize sounds that you think will be too distracting from the song itself
-the opposite problem, where you are trying to push the envelope to find exciting sounds but the artist isn't comfortable and feels like it's too over-the-top

Reconciling those two opposites is always one of the toughest parts of production, so I appreciate any insight you have on this topic!!
Old 13th June 2017
  #2
special guest
 
jacquireking's Avatar
 

I was certainly trying to be aggressive and contrasting in the sounds I created with Modest Mouse but present it in a way that was appealing, I wasn't cleaning it up but trying to find the balance that was pleasing for all... You are always navigating the comfort zones... In the first instance I would try to follow the artist's idea with sounds that reflected their desire but I felt I could pair and manage with other elements and get something that still felt like a real record to me... Secondly it's a matter of finding the right elements to push that add the dimension without effecting the things the artist is most sensitive about, and really you don't ever want to have everything dirty or clean because you never arrive at a balance of colors that has depth... I hope something helps in this reply...
Old 13th June 2017
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacquireking View Post
You are always navigating the comfort zones

...

it's a matter of finding the right elements to push that add the dimension without effecting the things the artist is most sensitive about
yes so true and perfectly stated!! If you don't push the boundaries, you can't break any new ground, but if you try and push the wrong ones you risk losing their trust.

It's actually really helpful in this Q&A to hear that some problems don't go away just because you're surrounded by tasty gear and working with bigger budgets! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!!
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