The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
What about R&B?
Old 6th August 2005
  #31
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
While not strictly RnB Chistina Aguilera can sing!!
Old 6th August 2005
  #32
Gear Nut
 
gamrecords's Avatar
 

but JUST being able to sing is not soul music. Christine has a pretty good voice, but i would say it's a POP voice. Same with Mariah and Whitney. Now, Whitney could sing soul, but don't try to tell me "I wanna dance with somebody" is a soul song.
Soul singing is character. You buy into the song based on performance and believing in what they're singing about. They could have a raspy voice, like Otis Redding or a smooth voice like Stevie Wonder, but your moved. Even Marvin Gaye didn't do many vocal gymnastics while singing, but he spoke to you, and you felt what he was saying with plenty of character and soul.
Many artists today try to emulate these artists, they may catch the vocal style, but they're missing the soul.

Soul or RnB is a deep thing, polished RnB is not. Then there is Hip Hop "singers", which is a whole nother style, to be appreciated on it's own merits.

michael
Old 6th August 2005
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by digiman
I'd like to hear from some of you who produce R&B and hear about the writing/recording process from an instrumentation perspective. What are some of the key parts that comprise an R&B track that make them commercial? I hear a lot of sweeping chimes and synth lead pads overtop of Triton/Motif-ish synth strings for that lush orchestrated effect. Those are just a few. What are some of the building blocks of a good R&B song?
The synth touches you mention are just icing. Next week, next year, it'll be something else. And don't forget, with everyone bustin' ass to be like everyone else, those who push out a little may actually sound a little fresher (and, you know, every once in a while, some soul actually is daring enough to push a little harder and cut some new ground).


But at the core of R&B (and I'll admit to having produced not that much of it but to having listened to a lot over many decades) are a few fundamentals: the beat, the bass -- and passion (or soul, as we used to call it when it was a description of energy and emotion and not a near-meaningless genre description). It might not be the red hot soul of early Aretha or Otis Redding; it might be languid and cool; but if it doesn't have passion on some level it will be an empty exercise that, that may bet carried along for a short time on the tide of fashion -- or more likely the tide of payola -- but it'll soon be forgotten while songs with real emotion will live through the years.
Old 6th August 2005
  #34
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamrecords
but JUST being able to sing is not soul music. Christine has a pretty good voice, but i would say it's a POP voice. Same with Mariah and Whitney. Now, Whitney could sing soul, but don't try to tell me "I wanna dance with somebody" is a soul song.
Soul singing is character. You buy into the song based on performance and believing in what they're singing about. They could have a raspy voice, like Otis Redding or a smooth voice like Stevie Wonder, but your moved. Even Marvin Gaye didn't do many vocal gymnastics while singing, but he spoke to you, and you felt what he was saying with plenty of character and soul.
Many artists today try to emulate these artists, they may catch the vocal style, but they're missing the soul.

Soul or RnB is a deep thing, polished RnB is not. Then there is Hip Hop "singers", which is a whole nother style, to be appreciated on it's own merits.

michael
Which is why I typed "While not strictly RnB...?
Old 6th August 2005
  #35
Gear Nut
 
gamrecords's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz
Which is why I typed "While not strictly RnB...?
I know brother...... i wasn't refrencing you in particular, somebody else mentioned Whitney and it made me think of these great singers who aren't singing soul music but could.
the blue1 is right on, there has to be that "passion" for it to last.

Producing RnB, rhythm and vocals are what i worry about. Rhythm is an important piece that needs to be clickin and tight. Something that, without the vocals is saying something. Then the vocals, including BGV's are really important, needing to capture the feeling and emotion of the song. Coaxing a great vocal performance out of the singer, and capturing the mood of the song is vital.

my opinion of course,
michael
Old 6th August 2005
  #36
Lives for gear
 
Jamz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamrecords
I know brother...... i wasn't refrencing you in particular, somebody else mentioned Whitney and it made me think of these great singers who aren't singing soul music but could.
the blue1 is right on, there has to be that "passion" for it to last.

Producing RnB, rhythm and vocals are what i worry about. Rhythm is an important piece that needs to be clickin and tight. Something that, without the vocals is saying something. Then the vocals, including BGV's are really important, needing to capture the feeling and emotion of the song. Coaxing a great vocal performance out of the singer, and capturing the mood of the song is vital.

my opinion of course,
michael
Old 6th August 2005
  #37
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz
While not strictly RnB Chistina Aguilera can sing!!

'ol snap....you hit it son. She can sing bro.

and
Quote:
vocal gymnastics
should be the new word boys and girls.
Old 6th August 2005
  #38
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamrecords
I know brother...... i wasn't refrencing you in particular, somebody else mentioned Whitney and it made me think of these great singers who aren't singing soul music but could.
the blue1 is right on, there has to be that "passion" for it to last.

Producing RnB, rhythm and vocals are what i worry about. Rhythm is an important piece that needs to be clickin and tight. Something that, without the vocals is saying something. Then the vocals, including BGV's are really important, needing to capture the feeling and emotion of the song. Coaxing a great vocal performance out of the singer, and capturing the mood of the song is vital.

my opinion of course,
michael
I hear what your saying.

I was kinda saying that Whitney more or less had the vocal ability to push a cheesy pop song into the realm of R&B but that may be stretching it a bit.

It`s definately not the same.

I can`t even listen to Otis Redding around friends because I`ll start crying like a little girl. At least internally. How`d they do that anyways ? A lot of of old Reggae records do the same thing to me. It still amazes me how they could capture so much sorrow and emotion onto tape.

It really is a lost art. No one has that kind of feeling anymore and again if I`m wrong I`ll be very glad.
Old 6th August 2005
  #39
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamrecords
but JUST being able to sing is not soul music. Christine has a pretty good voice, but i would say it's a POP voice. Same with Mariah and Whitney. Now, Whitney could sing soul, but don't try to tell me "I wanna dance with somebody" is a soul song.
Soul singing is character. You buy into the song based on performance and believing in what they're singing about. They could have a raspy voice, like Otis Redding or a smooth voice like Stevie Wonder, but your moved. Even Marvin Gaye didn't do many vocal gymnastics while singing, but he spoke to you, and you felt what he was saying with plenty of character and soul.
Many artists today try to emulate these artists, they may catch the vocal style, but they're missing the soul.

Soul or RnB is a deep thing, polished RnB is not. Then there is Hip Hop "singers", which is a whole nother style, to be appreciated on it's own merits.

michael

Sounds good, can you give us some examples of relatively recent stuff you like?
I'd be interested in checking them out.

Thanks!
Old 6th August 2005
  #40
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamrecords
but JUST being able to sing is not soul music. Christine has a pretty good voice, but i would say it's a POP voice. Same with Mariah and Whitney. Now, Whitney could sing soul, but don't try to tell me "I wanna dance with somebody" is a soul song.
Soul singing is character. You buy into the song based on performance and believing in what they're singing about. They could have a raspy voice, like Otis Redding or a smooth voice like Stevie Wonder, but your moved. Even Marvin Gaye didn't do many vocal gymnastics while singing, but he spoke to you, and you felt what he was saying with plenty of character and soul.
Many artists today try to emulate these artists, they may catch the vocal style, but they're missing the soul.

Soul or RnB is a deep thing, polished RnB is not. Then there is Hip Hop "singers", which is a whole nother style, to be appreciated on it's own merits.

michael

there was a curtis mayfield tribute record from about 1992 that had whitney
singing on it - i wasn't crazy for the production, but she sings one of the songs
from the amazing curtis mayfield/aretha franklin collaboration - "sparkle" she does
the track "if you look into your heart" - while listening to that track you
can almost imagine what her career would have been if she were working
with deeper writers.........

to my ears, there's no marvin gaye or bobby womack right now, in fact, there
might be more soul in one of their b sides than in 5 years of todays r and b........


be well
- jack
Old 6th August 2005
  #41
Lives for gear
 
paultools's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz
That's true. However, every now and then I'll hear a sample from a great RnB song used as a loop. heh

Generalization: I feel today's RnB is more producer driven and I use the term producer loosely. Music is generally provided by choosing tracks "off the rack" from various and multiple sources with little regard of an intended artist. If it's the wrong key? pick another track.
Old school RnB was based more around an artist or group. RnB was driven by great voices and songs. A producer helped choose the songs best suited for a particular artist and sculpted the music around and for that particular artist. Custom tailoring rather than off the racks.
Turn on the radio and you can't mistake Teddy Pendergrass, The O'jays, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Phylis Hyman, Otis Redding and many more. Today a song comes on and I'll hear someone say "That's a Neptunes track...That's a Swiss beats track...That's a Jermaine Dupree track". It almost doesn't matter who's on the track. That's another thing...they're even called tracks...not songs.
I don't know... I think now that producers are more in the spotlight, but there was a "branding" of certain producers and their associated "sound" even back in the day.
With Teddy and the O'Jays, of course it's Gamble & Huff, Marvin=Motown, Aretha= Arif/Purdie/Richard T, Al Green, Otis, Carla Thomas = Memphis.
Along came Kashif who produced Howard Johnson, George Benson, and turned Evelyn King into a superstar; an ABSOLUTE MASTER named Leon Sylvers III who wrote for and produced Shalamar, The Whispers and the Deele from whence came Babyface... Jam and Lewis; there was a guy named Nick Martinelli who was pretty good as well heh who had a certain identifiable sound.
I think R&B music has always been producer-driven, but the missing element now is the SONG.
The sad truth is that there are now two generations of an audience that was raised on music that had little to do with the music we so fondly remember. Decision-makers at labels are of this generation, and have little if any appreciation for a well-crafted R&B production. It is now the music that your parents and in some cases Grandparents listened to... it's not cool or relavent anymore to the audience that the music industry thrives on.
Old 6th August 2005
  #42
Gear Nut
 
gamrecords's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
I don't know... I think now that producers are more in the spotlight, but there was a "branding" of certain producers and their associated "sound" even back in the day.
With Teddy and the O'Jays, of course it's Gamble & Huff, Marvin=Motown, Aretha= Arif/Purdie/Richard T, Al Green, Otis, Carla Thomas = Memphis.
Along came Kashif who produced Howard Johnson, George Benson, and turned Evelyn King into a superstar; an ABSOLUTE MASTER named Leon Sylvers III who wrote for and produced Shalamar, The Whispers and the Deele from whence came Babyface... Jam and Lewis; there was a guy named Nick Martinelli who was pretty good as well heh who had a certain identifiable sound.
I think R&B music has always been producer-driven, but the missing element now is the SONG.
The sad truth is that there are now two generations of an audience that was raised on music that had little to do with the music we so fondly remember. Decision-makers at labels are of this generation, and have little if any appreciation for a well-crafted R&B production. It is now the music that your parents and in some cases Grandparents listened to... it's not cool or relavent anymore to the audience that the music industry thrives on.
preach on brotha.....
Old 6th August 2005
  #43
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
The sad truth is that there are now two generations of an audience that was raised on music that had little to do with the music we so fondly remember. Decision-makers at labels are of this generation, and have little if any appreciation for a well-crafted R&B production. It is now the music that your parents and in some cases Grandparents listened to... it's not cool or relavent anymore to the audience that the music industry thrives on.

That about sums it up.

It`s also the reason less and less urban kids are into playing instruments anymore unless they`re into Jazz. It just hasn`t fit into the equation for 15 years or so. It aint as cool to play the drums or guitar anymore unless your into rock or country.
Old 6th August 2005
  #44
Lives for gear
 
paultools's Avatar
 

Yep.. Jazz and GOSPEL...
I'm telling you... all things you miss in terms of singers and musicianship are readily available every Sunday... just a slight twist lyrically.
Check out the Rebirth of Kirk Franklin CD or better yet the DVD...
Tight-ass band, string and horn arrangements played by humans... funk bass lines... all that you miss!
Old 6th August 2005
  #45
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
I think she sings flat.
Funny thing about that. I was just talking to a friend of mine about a singer we both know and I found her flat or pitchy but not him. We both have pretty discerning ears for pitch. But the difference is sometimes I find flat acceptable in some singers. I don't exactly know why but it may be the song or just the way they express the song. So when I "like" a singer I never notice or care about the pitch. Its a visceral reaction. When I don't like one and the pitch is off, it becomes worse in my mind.

In Alicia's case I think its the "strain" when hitting the note (or not) that makes my ears forgive that because it has the "soul". Alicia is OK but the songs she does for me most don't do it. I liked her first CD better. But I think she needs the right songs and the right producer. She's not "there" yet.

Hey I love Bob Dylan and hate Celine Dion so go figure!

Jim
Old 6th August 2005
  #46
Lives for gear
 

You know it amazes me how wise you people all are in this forum, and yet if you turn on the radio or the TV you get the new R&B only (except for accasional PBS special).
Why is that there are so many of us that seem to have some talent "discrimination" and yet so many others just swallow whatever they are served?

I think the new artists have or had the potential to be as great as any of the older artists. But I think "video" got in the way and they had to concentrate on showing their butt cheeks, crotches or mamaries.

The emphasis is on "becoming a STAR" rather than becoming a great artist that becomes a star. I think Whitney was the first casualty of that. So there are the "made" or "fabricated" artists and there are the true artists that have good intentions. Of course even those intentions may change when you are presented with the choices of working as a waitress while you struggle to be an artist or sign a million dollar contract but show your ass.

I'm not sure what I'd choose! 8-)

Jim
Old 6th August 2005
  #47
Lives for gear
 
paultools's Avatar
 

I stole.......Errrrr borrowed an expression from a famous producer. I won't name names cause Quincy Jones told me it's not cool to name-drop


He said there's a such thing as "the right amount of wrongness".
When I listen to the chorus of the AK song that was in 12/8 "I ain't got nuthin...", I keep wanting her to get on top of the pitch.. because I believe she has the ability and the talent to do so. I just think she needs a tiny bit of direction from someone.
I'm free next week. My rates are reasonable.
Old 6th August 2005
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
I don't know... I think now that producers are more in the spotlight, but there was a "branding" of certain producers and their associated "sound" even back in the day.
With Teddy and the O'Jays, of course it's Gamble & Huff, Marvin=Motown, Aretha= Arif/Purdie/Richard T, Al Green, Otis, Carla Thomas = Memphis.
Along came Kashif who produced Howard Johnson, George Benson, and turned Evelyn King into a superstar; an ABSOLUTE MASTER named Leon Sylvers III who wrote for and produced Shalamar, The Whispers and the Deele from whence came Babyface... Jam and Lewis; there was a guy named Nick Martinelli who was pretty good as well heh who had a certain identifiable sound.
I think R&B music has always been producer-driven, but the missing element now is the SONG.
The sad truth is that there are now two generations of an audience that was raised on music that had little to do with the music we so fondly remember. Decision-makers at labels are of this generation, and have little if any appreciation for a well-crafted R&B production. It is now the music that your parents and in some cases Grandparents listened to... it's not cool or relavent anymore to the audience that the music industry thrives on.
theres people who dig that stuff still, youths too. not many know how to actually play it or arrange it though.. the tradition of playing instruments, composing great harmonies and changes and arranging **** hot songs has been broken and young people dont learn those things

when you get that combination right its magic. i can only think of a few names right now who are big and have that gift, mainly neptunes
Old 6th August 2005
  #49
Lives for gear
 
paultools's Avatar
 

THE NEPTUNES???????????!!!!!!?????

Man, most people point to them as an example of what's WRONG!

I love 'em though!
Old 6th August 2005
  #50
Lives for gear
 
kevinc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
I'm free next week. My rates are reasonable.

LOL !

Wouldn`t you love to get ahold of some of the raw talent out there and turn it into something.

Brainwash them with hour upon hour of Motown and Stax and rerelease them as true soul superheros.

The chops are there for the most part it`s just the other stuff that needs a big push.

Like I was saying in another thread somewhere around here I know this little fat white guy from Worcester MA that can probably sing this type of music better than anybody who`s on the radio right now. True classic soul singing with all the punch and emotion you can imagine and no ones ever gonna hear the poor ****er.
Old 6th August 2005
  #51
see if you can find "wifey" somewhere..it was gonna go on ushers last album. heavy, heavy neptunes soul track
Old 6th August 2005
  #52
no ssl yet
Guest
the song

What's missing today is the SONG mainly. FEW records today have the impact of Sexual Healing, What's Going ON etc... IF today's audience was given good songs, it would catch on. I think Lauryn Hill's Album, and the first D'Angelo album both went over big because they had good song writing on them.
\
Alicia could be great if only she had a album full of SONGS. Man we need another Ashford and Simpson. We need great songs
Old 6th August 2005
  #53
Lives for gear
 
themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by no ssl yet
Man we need another Ashford and Simpson. We need great songs
They were amazing........if only for "reach out and touch", let alone all the marvin and tammi.................
What's amazing to me is how quick the not so good stuff falls away..........
"what's goin on" will still sound fresh years from now.......
i bought the first mary j blige record last year - i didn't like it at the time, but
it sounds great to me now........

i can't hear any real gift in alicia keys - just a hardworking publicist........

be well

- jack
Old 7th August 2005
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools
I think R&B music has always been producer-driven, but the missing element now is the SONG.
The sad truth is that there are now two generations of an audience that was raised on music that had little to do with the music we so fondly remember. Decision-makers at labels are of this generation, and have little if any appreciation for a well-crafted R&B production. It is now the music that your parents and in some cases Grandparents listened to... it's not cool or relavent anymore to the audience that the music industry thrives on.

Tools,

What's your opinion on Maxwell?

I know his last album wasn't the greatest but his first 2 especially "Embrya" are good.


I haven't heard anything coming down the pipe from him, but hopefully he will have something cool in the works.
Old 7th August 2005
  #55
Lives for gear
 
paultools's Avatar
 

I never bought his albums, but based upon the singles, I like what he does. He knows his history and understands the lineage. His tribute to the Isleys (Lifetime) is a good example. That classic sweet guitar phase shifter...
He did a cameo on Sweetback's first album, and for those of you that like grooves, check that album out! It's Sade's band sans Sade. A little experimental, yet very enjoyable.

You got me thinking about Terrence Trent D'Arby, who I thought was a tremendous talent. I think "Sign Your Name" is a classic. I heard a story that he somehow offended the powers that be at his label (Sony?) and they basically destroyed him.

Another belief of mine is that many of the true classic songs of R&B were written on the guitar, and when keyboardists kinda started to take over, things shifted a bit. Take the Al Green classics, the Isleys, Rufus... well Stevie Wonder certainly wrote his share of classics, so there goes my theory, but any of you feel what I'm sayin?
Old 7th August 2005
  #56
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
You got me thinking about Terrence Trent D'Arby, who I thought was a tremendous talent. I think "Sign Your Name" is a classic.

Dam P, heh I played that in my High school band when it came out. it was hot man. ya'll have to stop with the old tunes......Making me feel old.



Old 7th August 2005
  #57
Gear Maniac
 

Lauryn Hill's "Miseducation..." album was the best modern R&B record in the last 20-30 years. You can feel every word and lyric in that record is filled with emotion. It's timeless. Amerie and Ciara are fun but unfortunately making disposable records. What happened to Lauryn??? Alicia is a great artist but I'm not really into her songs. Christina Aguillara is too technical not enough soul. She sounds like a robot, Mariah is very gifted but too technical as well. Listening to singers doing scales all over the place reminds me of listening to 3-4 minutes of guitar solos, I can appreciate it but I'm just not going to listen to it by choice. I like the wholistic aproach to songwriting. Feature the voice but create something beautiful without trying to sound like a showoff or god forbid a copycat. Real soul is what is lacking from current Soul and R&B. James Brown had true soul and technicaly was never that great of a singer. That's what I'm talking about. Lauryn made real soul music but doesn't make records anymore, go figure.
Old 7th August 2005
  #58
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gb-jazz
Lauryn Hill's "Miseducation..." album was the best modern R&B record in the last 20-30 years. You can feel every word and lyric in that record is filled with emotion. It's timeless.
case closed
Old 7th August 2005
  #59
Lives for gear
 

John P. Kee

Check out John P. Kee, Donnie McClurkin, they are Gospel and Awesome! Tight Band, Tight Arrangements, Awesome Vocals and it's for REAL!
Old 7th August 2005
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by gb-jazz
That's what I'm talking about. Lauryn made real soul music but doesn't make records anymore, go figure.
last i heard she was working on a new album produced by osunlade.. cant wait to hear it
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump