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Over produced, well produced, and under produced Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 31st July 2018
  #61
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Underproduction - Classic example of amazing performance with (arguable) horrible mix & production -Iggy & The Stooges 'Search and Destroy' .... 'mixed' by David Bowie (in his defense Bowie was apparently given tapes to work which comprised only 3 channels: vocal, lead guitar & everything else submixed) :





Example of successful 'underproduction' - Bad Brains 'Bad Brains' ... ultra-classic & highly influential 'hardcore' punk album. Originally a cassette-only release ( I went through a few cassettes of this one!):

Old 31st July 2018
  #62
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An example of hyper 'overproduction' where every molecule sounds pored over & processed. Must have cost a fortune to produce - slathered with incredibly expensive gadgets of the day like Fairlight & Synclavier etc.... sounded amazing when it came out, compared to the rest of the 'hitparade' & still sounds amazing to me this day (!)



Last edited by RE201; 31st July 2018 at 07:26 PM..
Old 31st July 2018
  #63
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monkeyxx's Avatar
Wow that video is so much fun!
Old 31st July 2018
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post

I was told this while taking demos of a band I was in in the 70 around A&R men (you still met with people and played them a tape in those days).

"A recording company signs you for what they think you could be, and what you could sound like, not necessarily for what you are or what you sound like now."
I don't think this is as true today as it was then. Back in the Day, I remember being advised by A&R people to submit a piano and vocal demo, or acoustic guitar and vocal. The idea being that they had people with the imagination to "visualize" what it could sound like with a full production. Imagine that, record people with imagination!

Nowadays, the label wants your demo to sound like a finished, releasable record, even if they intend to make you do it all over again.
Old 1st August 2018
  #65
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Today song writers deal directly with the performing artist/band. Too this end a simple rhythm guitar with a clear vocal, sans a lot of embellishment, is still the best format to entice a band/artist to choose and arrange to taste a given song. The most interesting "happening" in Nashville is the sporadic "guitar pull" that features song writers new ideas. This simple type of demonstration was the protocol when choosing songs for bands under contract was the responsibility of the label's A & R official. (RCA Chet Adkins) A & R personnel have pretty much disappeared from the major label business model: today they buy sound ready for the market and are not into talent development. Well managed bands will hire a producer to guide recording activities to develop a recording that will sell a given lyric.
Hugh
Old 1st August 2018
  #66
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kennybro's Avatar
50's - not produced
60's - underproduced
70's - overproduced
80's - just right produced
90's forward - overproduced, underproduced, not produced, nothing but production... but all by conscious design after analyzing the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's.
Old 1st August 2018
  #67
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
The most interesting "happening" in Nashville is the sporadic "guitar pull" that features song writers new ideas. This simple type of demonstration was the protocol when choosing songs for bands under contract was the responsibility of the label's A & R official. (RCA Chet Adkins)...
A good friend of mine was half of a little-kids brother-sister act on RCA in the 50's. Chet gave them a handful of demo acetates to listen to and said to pick one out for their next single. The one they picked was highly suggestive in a very adult way, and weirdly inappropriate for kids. It was their only top-10 hit.
Old 1st August 2018
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
A good friend of mine was half of a little-kids brother-sister act on RCA in the 50's. Chet gave them a handful of demo acetates to listen to and said to pick one out for their next single. The one they picked was highly suggestive in a very adult way, and weirdly inappropriate for kids. It was their only top-10 hit.
The Collins kids?
Old 1st August 2018
  #69
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
The Collins kids?
No. RCA's knockoff.

Old 2nd August 2018
  #70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
No. RCA's knockoff.

Not to be confused with the Zehringer Brothers, obviously.


I liked the track! She sure looks more than two years older than he does, though. (I guess it could be anywhere from 1-3 years, since all I found were their birth years. McCoys (RCS Artist Discography))
Old 2nd August 2018
  #71
A producer is the person who has the vision for the song. He is like the director of a film except he is the director of a song.

In hip-hop and urban genres, he can typically have the skills of a beatmaker making the instrumental but is also responsible for the end song/end product and works with the artist where the beatmaker makes the instrumental and has no say in the final song and never meets the artist.

Going by this definition, there is no 'over-produced' or 'under-produced' there is only well produced and badly produced. Taking the life and soul out of a track is often called 'over-produced' but this is simply just badly produced as a good producer will keep the life and soul of the song alive and enhance it more with production, not less. Sometimes simple production is better but that is if you are thinking of production as 'beatmaking' and the instrumental, that is not really the definition of production.

The term producer keeps changing over time as their role has become more involved from the days of just telling a band how to play to sometimes playing every single sound in a song, sometimes recording and mixing the song but one thing has stayed the same, the producer has the vision for the song and works with the artists to create that vision to the best of his ability and skills that he has.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #72
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ponzi's Avatar
I always thought born to run was over compressed—i imagine it was optimized for car radio. i think in hollywood, a producer either invested money or skill and gets payment based on various success formulas. music, maybe someone who gets points, and the credit as well.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
She sure looks more than two years older than he does, though.
I think she was. And she wasn't his sister.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I think she was. And she wasn't his sister.


Ah... yeah, the fake sibling acts.

My buddy's mom and her sister couldn't pretend to be sisters (since they were) so they pretended to be twins in vaudeville. At one point I think they added a third, girl with no family connection to them and became a triplet act.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #75
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Over-produced is when the producer can't be bothered with letting a singer try to beat the comp! It's tuning vocals to the point that the rhythm and phrasing have been obliterated but by God, it's in tune! Too often we are building crutches for a performance that would have been much better if the producer had a little more patience or the willingness to go to the expense of hiring a real ensemble of great session musicians.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #76
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
It's tuning vocals to the point that the rhythm and phrasing have been obliterated but by God, it's in tune!
You keep saying that.

I'm a singer and a rhythm-section player and I tune vocals all the time, including bits and pieces of my own. If my tuning process was knocking vocals out of time, I think I would know. It doesn't seem to be.

But I could be mistaken, or not as sensitive to it as you might be. To that end, I'd be willing to repeat any experiments you've done in this regard, if I can pull together the same ingredients without spending any money.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #77
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My definition is simple: if you listen* to the song and find yourself wishing the producer had done less, it's overproduced. If you listen to the song and find yourself wishing the producer had done more, it's underproduced. If you listen to the song and don't even notice the production, only the music, it's produced well.

Or to put it a slightly different way: if you listen to the song and can imagine it being improved if different production choices were made then (at least in your opinion) the song was not produced ideally. If you listen to the song and can't imagine it sounding any different than it does - almost as if the song was meant to sound that way, had always sounded that way - then it's produced perfectly.

* - by "listen" I mean listen naturally, not with a critical producer/engineer ear. Obviously if you're intentionally listening for and analyzing the production choices you're going to notice things that you either like or dislike, but if you can listen without that mindset and simply enjoy the music (or even better, if you start listening with that mindset and find yourself simply enjoying the music) then the production is doing a good job of serving the song and IMO that is the most important objective of the production.
Old 2nd August 2018
  #78
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

The test of a vocal is that it feels like to sing along with it, a right-brain and not a left brain test.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #79
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ponzi's Avatar
One thing I notice a lot in production I don't like is that one has a nice sounding singer and a nice song, and the violins, guitars, drums, or whatever, obliterate the singer on the chorus. Who is the star of this freakin show anyway? Having said that, I am incapable of listening to modern vocals with the cher-style auto-tune, so I guess I can't speak to that entire era of music... Too much Crash cymbals, worst offender to my ears. Saw Robin Trower Live once and the drummer hit the cymbals more than the snare, it seemed like--hey I paid to see Robin and mellow out. This was after his original trio broke up.

I feel like in country music, on the average there was more of an awareness that the band is to showcase the singer--but maybe that has changed as country has become more 'mainstream' or adopted other modern conceits like over-singing--when the singer acts like each verse is an emotional climax, and its not, its worse than not over-singing at all--IMHO.

Bob, I agree that the urge to sing along identifies a transcendent or magical quality that truly great songs have, but I think thats a function of the lyric and melody. People love to hear themselves sing these songs in the shower and for most people the 'production' and vocal quality for shower singing has to be as low as it gets.

In grade school, we sang beatles songs and oldies like 'Erie Canal'. It was a lot of fun and nothing was recorded or played back--just mimeographed lyrics and the teacher teaching us the tune. Oops, I better be careful, don't want to stray into that 'what cavemen/egyptians found musical' discussion that I was poking fun at elsewhere.

Interesting to think about right versus left brain. For acting, for example, I have come to conclude that its likely impossible to intellectually identify good acting, or at least not great acting, but if our emotional empathy or mirror neurons aren't feeling whats on screen, something has gone wrong.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #80
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Wow that video is so much fun!

Sure is. Pretty far out there. Edgy too!

I guess that’s par for the course when we’re talking about Grace Jones though.

What I want to know is how in the WORLD did they get the kick so deep?

They weren’t using diy subkicks back then were they? Hmmm...(scratches head).
Old 3rd August 2018
  #81
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I disagree that it's mostly lyrics and melody. To me, that thought pattern is probably the underlying problem with most contemporary production. I'm not talking about the listener's urge. I'm talking about feeling real chills on your face and arms as you sing or hum along every single time you hear the recording.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #82
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Sharp11's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I disagree that it's mostly lyrics and melody. To me, that thought pattern is probably the underlying problem with most contemporary production. I'm not talking about the listener's urge. I'm talking about feeling real chills on your face and arms as you sing or hum along every single time you hear the recording.
The "listener's urge" is subjective - one person's "chills" is another's "roll of the eyes" ...
Old 3rd August 2018
  #83
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
... It was a lot of fun and nothing was recorded or played back--just mimeographed lyrics and the teacher teaching us the tune. Oops, I better be careful, don't want to stray into that 'what cavemen/egyptians found musical' discussion that I was poking fun at elsewhere. ...
I think you went there with "mimeographed." Now let me get back to my breakfast of hardtack and Postum -- I've a tetch of the ague and I'm late for my bloodletting.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #84
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
The "listener's urge" is subjective - one person's "chills" is another's "roll of the eyes" ...
Actually the most amazing thing about music is how universal the emotion communicated can be. If ANYBODY rolls their eyes, it's just bad production that drew them into their left brain. Musicians often make those kinds of judgments but not ordinary people in my experience. Motown had absolutely everything screened by non-musicians and one result was the highest percentage of releases being hits in history.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Over-produced is when the producer can't be bothered with letting a singer try to beat the comp! It's tuning vocals to the point that the rhythm and phrasing have been obliterated but by God, it's in tune! Too often we are building crutches for a performance that would have been much better if the producer had a little more patience or the willingness to go to the expense of hiring a real ensemble of great session musicians.
I find myself in near-absolute agreement with this.

Not every tuned vocal is unlistenable but many folks who seem to think they're flying under the radar may not be as 'invisible' as they think. Tuning tools are getting better and less obvious in the wrenchmarks they leave on the audio, practitioners are getting better, but there is still a lot of stuff out there that shows what to at least some of us are clear signs of tuning. While that might not be a deal-breaker in contemporary pop, when it's applied to traditional forms where we expect to hear humans singing, it can definitely be off putting. It's one reason I don't listen to much Nashville pop... even when the style is traditional, the song is strong, and the playing solid, when I hear the familiar tells of tuning, I can feel a relay snapping in my brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Actually the most amazing thing about music is how universal the emotion communicated can be. If ANYBODY rolls their eyes, it's just bad production that drew them into their left brain. Musicians often make those kinds of judgments but not ordinary people in my experience. Motown had absolutely everything screened by non-musicians and one result was the highest percentage of releases being hits in history.
But... this one... not so much. I'm a big eye-roller, apparently. I'm one of those people who likes stuff from a broad variety of genres -- but doesn't like much in any one genre... one of those 90% of everything is 'crap' guys, I'm afraid. I have strong visceral reactions to many songs the first time I hear them. Some stuff that absolutely delights the masses sends my eyes skittering across the top of their sockets.

Those reactions are not set in stone, though, by any means. The first time I heard the 'duets' work by Coltrane and Johnny Hartman in 1971, I didn't know what to make of it. This was not "Olé" or "Love Supreme" by a million miles. Hartman's big, pillowy, mellifluous-and-three-quarters vocal sent me reeling back to my early childhood, when I hated basso and baritone crooners... it struck me as... [sorry] cornball.

Now, nearly a half century later, I do get Hartman, I see what 'Trane saw in their work together. And I like it. A lot. But it certainly was far, far from instantaneous. My antipathy to the music was closer to 'innate' (though might well have stemmed from unknown childhood traumas, who the heck knows?) So, I guess eye-rolling may derive from a number of predispositions...
Old 3rd August 2018
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I disagree that it's mostly lyrics and melody. To me, that thought pattern is probably the underlying problem with most contemporary production. I'm not talking about the listener's urge. I'm talking about feeling real chills on your face and arms as you sing or hum along every single time you hear the recording.
It's refreshing to hear from someone who gets it.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
...Now, nearly a half century later, I do get Hartman, I see what 'Trane saw in their work together. And I like it. A lot. But it certainly was far, far from instantaneous. My antipathy to the music was closer to 'innate' (though might well have stemmed from unknown childhood traumas, who the heck knows?) So, I guess eye-rolling may derive from a number of predispositions...
A lot of music also can't be judged by recordings. Hearing the Basie Band live with no amplification blew my mind. Recordings of bands like that are a mere souvenir that reminds people of what it was like.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #88
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
A lot of music also can't be judged by recordings. Hearing the Basie Band live with no amplification blew my mind. Recordings of bands like that are a mere souvenir that reminds people of what it was like.
Yep. Records can't give you the live experience of a big band or a symphony or an opera anymore than TV can give you the live experience of hockey.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #89
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Motown had absolutely everything screened by non-musicians and one result was the highest percentage of releases being hits in history.
This is a truth that musicians should pay some attention to. The profession is littered with musicians what have declared, in a moment of frustration, that they are done with trying to produce sophisticated work for little or no financial reward, and are going tor record simplistic formulaic crap for the masses and make a fortune.

They seldom succeed in this aim. Understanding what many excite a music critic or another musician is not the same thing as understanding what may excite a non-analytical consumer who's standard is that a recording should make them feel good when they listen to it.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #90
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Understanding what many excite a music critic or another musician is not the same thing as understanding what may excite a non-analytical consumer...
I'm guessing that Picasso and Van Gogh and Pollack weren't interested in critics or other painters. But I'm also guessing that they were even less interested in the non-analytical consumer.

Those guys were out to please themselves first. That's the lesson.
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