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Biggest Production Pet Peves
Old 23rd June 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
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Biggest Production Pet Peves

I would like/interested to know how many people get incredibly angry at certain production techniques used on independent/commercial releases of past or present. Hopefully the thread has enough gusto to get airborn.

Basically anything and everything flies, even if its considered the norm.

Aaaaaannnddd GO!
Old 23rd June 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by personpitch View Post
I would like/interested to know how many people get incredibly angry at certain production techniques used on independent/commercial releases of past or present. Hopefully the thread has enough gusto to get airborn.

Basically anything and everything flies, even if its considered the norm.

Aaaaaannnddd GO!
This ain't the first time and it won't be the last but for me it's the excessive autotune.
I know, not a creative or surprising response, but it is a huge pet peeve for me.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #3
Gear Head
 

Any production techniques? Like telling the singer that the previous take was great, but we should record another for good measure? Haha...

In terms of mixing, I cannot listen to drums that have been constricted with extreme compression. This really does negate the purpose of artful mixing, and just makes them sound fabricated and, now, 'average'. The snare becomes a bag of wet crap in an airplane hangar and the kick becomes a tennis ball hitting an oil drum.

A properly mixed snare always stands out as unique, while a balanced kick drives the rhythm and resonates the way the physical drum was designed.

This thread might not take off, because this kind of thing is covered almost daily.

Oh, and to preempt mention of the inevitable robotic ****tiness that has permeated the radio waves, I'll just go ahead: Auto-Tune sucks.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommyd123 View Post
This ain't the first time and it won't be the last but for me it's the excessive autotune.
I know, not a creative or surprising response, but it is a huge pet peeve for me.
Yay! yeah I somewhat feel ill everytime I hear top 40 music where autotune is cranked as an effect. Lets hope it`s a fad.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #5
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+ 1 For auto tune.... Everybody wants to be a singer nowadays...and it has really destroyed quality music. They think hey I rap but lets just slap auto tune on me... I want to sound like lil wayne.


Unfortunately Auto Tune has created a new music genre within itself.

I'm not saying Auto tune is bad....It's all in how the plug is used....
Old 23rd June 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
I'm gonna guess we'll see a lot of answers with:

Excessive Autotune
Excessive Limiting

...which I agree with. I got a few of my own that some might disagree with:

Lead vocal way too up front: I hate loud lead vocals. It's ok to have a strong vocal in the mix, but when it seems like it's sitting on top of the mix and not IN it, that's when it starts sounding like karaoke to me.

The Wrong reverb: I realized I'm not bothered by a little too much reverb (WAY to much is, of course, awful), I'm bothered more by the wrong verb. Nasty sounding halls or really sibilant plates.... which brings me to...

Overuse of vocal delay: I love delay on vocals in addition to or in place of reverb... but when it's used on every part of the song, it loses effect and just sounds too lazy... as if the mixer couldn't think of anything more creative. Which brings me to....

Short/Slapback Vocal delays: Hate em. On any style. I'm not talking about a room verb with a nice predelay, I mean the obvious, single repeat, just past the point of phasing kind of delay. That's one of the most objectionable sounds ever to me.

Not even trying to make sample-replaced drums sound real: I use samples. I use Drumagog. But I try really hard to make things sound organic when I need to use samples... other people don't even care. All you hear in the mix is samples, with a tiny touch of overhead. If you know what I'm talking about, you'll agree it's horrible.

Synth Sounds that sound like Synth Sounds: Self explanatory

Probably will think of more later.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
+1 for AutoTune
Also, the overcompressed, overgated, overreverbed '80s drum sound (whether on an '80s record or not)
Old 23rd June 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
Here's more:

Rap songs with spoken word/bragging intros with delay all over them: F*cking boring. Come up with something new.

Obviously DI-ed bass sounds: At least fake an amp somehow.

Constantly doubled vocals: You know you hate it too.

Gated Reverb on anything

The way all* female R&B singers use the same flourishes and vocal style

Panning overhead drum mics to represent the audience's stereo perspective: I confess... I play air drums. I like the L/R perspective of the drummer.

Clicky kick drums in metal: Toms that sound deeper than the kick drum makes for a lame sounding kit. Usually due to obvious sample replacement.

*Most.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #9
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

The drummer not mattering anymore (beat detective + sound replacer).

War
Old 23rd June 2009
  #10
Songs that start with a lofi (AM radio type) effect on the full mix until the first chorus, then kick in full blast. Can't stand that. Also, anything trick that removes the soul from a good performance in order to fit it into the grid. Arrrrh!

philip
Old 23rd June 2009
  #11
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I was going to start this same thread...

Not to pile on but...

ATTENTION ALL HIP HOP/RNB/RAP PRODUCER AND PERFORMERS
the auto-tune vocal thing is now more than a DECADE old (Cher's "Believe" 1998) I cannot believe that this effect is still a mainstay it sounds soooooooooo dated and lame. Badly tuning a poor singer to the point of hearing autotune is one thing... thinking it is "cool" to do that is a whole 'nother thang.

Oh yeah also the AM radio effected echo is way played out too...

Last edited by superwack; 23rd June 2009 at 06:25 PM.. Reason: ECHO echo ECHO
Old 23rd June 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrisTech View Post
the kick becomes a tennis ball hitting an oil drum.
that could be cool in the right place... how would one achieve such a sound (besides heading outside to the park to chuck tennis balls at an oil drum )

i do like the basketball in an empty gym sound sometimes...
Old 23rd June 2009
  #13
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depressing lyrics
or use of words you wouldn't use in a normal healthy conversation
Old 23rd June 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoorGlory View Post
Synth Sounds that sound like Synth Sounds: Self explanatory
For me: synth sounds trying to sound like something other than synth sounds.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #15
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****ty radio/telephone effects.

When a dramatic pause happens the audio is chopped given a dead air kind of eefect...bleh!

Vocal harmonies/effects everywhere

Banjo in a rock song (nah i quite like that actually)

A rapper on one of the verses or a rock/pop/rnb song....boring.

The current trend of indie bands using orchestral/wacky instruments is getting old.

**** songs with HUGE productions. What a waste of money.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #16
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Bandwagonism ---- A religion in music for many decades.

By this I mean when a cool sounding band/artist makes a good album, then within months, there are 15 clones sucking the life out of the original band/sound. ie. nu-metal bands, folkrock chicks, pretty much all current pop-punk, the same country song I hear on the radio played 200 times by 20 different artists (do they onlly have 4 chords and 3 licks to work with in country?)etc......
maybe a band is truly good if and only if they can't be successfully cloned?? The Police, RHCP, Johnny Cash, etc.... not that many haven't tried -- but successfuly?
Old 23rd June 2009
  #17
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It's all just a bit negative isn't it? Its only music. person A likes this but doesn't like that and person B vice verca. Live and let live I say. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you prefer something else, buy that and show your support for what you believe in.

I guess what I mean is why not try saying what you DO like rather than what you "hate", and maybe the world will be a slightly more positive place?

oh well. We can live in hope.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #18
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A big pet peeve I have with myself is trying to make a good song too complex with production. Sometimes it just makes sense to have a guitar/vocal with maybe a tiny bit of percussion. I inevitably build these huge productions, waste lots of hours, only to realize that the song wants to be simple.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejoe View Post
It's all just a bit negative isn't it? Its only music. person A likes this but doesn't like that and person B vice verca. Live and let live I say. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you prefer something else, buy that and show your support for what you believe in.
I will say that the only thing that actually makes me angry is audio cutting out, clicks and pops, skipping - but that's not a 'production technique', it's a 'playback, broadcast, or streaming gone wrong' snafu. Drives me crazy when it happens, in a 'fix it now or get up and leave the room' kinda way.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #20
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This isnt production tech..but rappers saying there ****in names in songs or any artist for that matter...lameaton
Autotune of course
How every emo band records sounds the same..must confess i hate emo
if a kick is too clicky,,dont dig that..tho it does work sometimes
I hate snares that have to much high mid on them
Old 23rd June 2009
  #21
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My biggest pet peeve is people who take the time to establish pet peeves!

I get that most of the stuff posted on here is just light-hearted ball-busting, but to anyone who's mood is effected by anything they would consider 'pet' you would be well served by some attitudinal self-discovery.

On that note

I hate to hear singers who don't sing with their natural voice. This encompasses the auto-tune thing as well. MY favorite example is

Scott Weiland (STP) v Scott Stapp (CREED)

Both have a similar sound to me, that kind of ‘turned over, mumbly kind of thing’. However tt sounds to me that Scott Weiland is just singing how nature intended him, he has obviously done work to develop his voice, but the timbre and tone of his voice are uniquely his. Whereas, Stapp –to me- sounds as though he is “trying” to see like that. He has it in his head that he should sound “that” way, and to me that is the reason why he sounds “Fake.”

IMO if you do whatever it is that you genuinely do, with no regard for what you “should” do, it will be inherently good. No matter what, people will like it. Look at Willy Nelson or Bob Dylan, can you imagine if someone TRIED to sing like that, it would sound like a joke, but they are Icons because of their genuine and unique voices.

Old 23rd June 2009
  #22
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The fake clap or whatever that god awful sound is in SO many top 40 songs these days. Come on, there MUST be something better...
Old 23rd June 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejoe View Post
It's all just a bit negative isn't it? Its only music. person A likes this but doesn't like that and person B vice verca. Live and let live I say. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you prefer something else, buy that and show your support for what you believe in.

I guess what I mean is why not try saying what you DO like rather than what you "hate", and maybe the world will be a slightly more positive place?

oh well. We can live in hope.
I think of a "Pet Peeve" as something that is simply irksome and may occasionally drive one nuts.... I personally don't get angry over music... but there are a few things that have kept me from listening to the radio much over the last several years. I just buy the CDs and downloads I like anymore-- (and yes I do BUY them -- the only exception for the Anger thing on a general basis for me is those who STEAL music --- but that's another thread, or actually many other I believe.) I can definitely see a passion for music leadin gdown such a road though - its just human.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #24
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My biggest pet peeve, musically, would be the non-stop, four-on-the-floor kick drum. It's not music. My washing machine can do that. But music has variation and feeling.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #25
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The obvious one.

My #1 has to be the ill-prepared/uninterested/uninspired musicians themselves.

Did a tracking session for a band recently... the bass player forgot his bass! Next day we did some keyboard overdubs. the keyboard player was late cuz HE forgot to pickup his synth... then his MIDI out didn't work , Keyboard player didn't know how to use his own synth plus it had a HUGE ground loop problem. Due to time constraints we had to go with it and i had to de-buzz the track in order to use it. Another project the drummer got new heads for his drums but didn't bother to even put them on until he showed up to the session without a drumkey - he bought diplomats for his rack tom and pinstripes for the floor... BOOOOOOOMMMMM BOOOOOOOOOM BAP!

You do a take.. "waddya think?" response: "ahhh, it's good enough" and "can't you just fix it" why do they bother? Here we are for the love of music and recording, trying hard to get the best gear, best sound, make the best record, etc. and they don't even care what they play.

Obviously not all musicians - but they are out there.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclejoe View Post
It's all just a bit negative isn't it? Its only music. person A likes this but doesn't like that and person B vice verca. Live and let live I say. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you prefer something else, buy that and show your support for what you believe in.

I guess what I mean is why not try saying what you DO like rather than what you "hate", and maybe the world will be a slightly more positive place?

oh well. We can live in hope.
You lost me at "It's only music".
Old 23rd June 2009
  #27
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The click track! I love having a free feel groove. Ban the click.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #28
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Joe Gilder's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiostout View Post
The click track! I love having a free feel groove. Ban the click.
I'm a big fan of using a click track, but I probably couldn't give you a single music-related reason as to why I use one. It's all about efficiency and streamlining the workflow/editing later...you make an intriguing point...
Old 23rd June 2009
  #29
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I totally get using a click track for cutting and pasting. But all that cutting and pasting is starting to sound really stale now. It's easy for bands to just play a few chords, loop a song, and then sing over it. So easy that the need to play the instrument well is out the door.
Old 23rd June 2009
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallforward View Post
IMO if you do whatever it is that you genuinely do, with no regard for what you “should” do, it will be inherently good. No matter what, people will like it.
Not sure about that...I think no matter what you do, (some) people will hate it!!

Quote:
Look at Willy Nelson or Bob Dylan, can you imagine if someone TRIED to sing like that, it would sound like a joke, but they are Icons because of their genuine and unique voices.
I agree generally with the idea that you shouldn't be a complete phony...but I think very few pop singers sing in their completely natural voice...

I don't think Bob Dylan would sing the way he did if he didn't copy and "fake" it a bit (or a lot), a least at first...

many or most pop singers are "putting it on" to a certain degree, or a great degree, copying or imitating who they like or liked growing up...
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