The Madison Project - Late Night Drive Thru

All things Recorded A Cappella Review Board.

Postby H.F. » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:38 am

(meh)
Last edited by H.F. on Tue Sep 30, 2008 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
H.F.
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:42 am

Postby H.F. » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:56 am

I should add that I *do* think the Achordants are a terrifically talented group. And I love groups LIKE them, as well. All 10% of them. I also love hearing recordings that groups like them put out - relatively naked, full of energy, creative, if (one must admit) a bit dorky at times.

But there's nothing wrong with taking your talent in another creative recorded direction, either. And the arguments for "more purity" have traditionally ALWAYS come from the "new kids on the block", or the ones who didn't have a lot of money. It's just a tired argument, and a transparent one. It's funny to watch, over the years, as these groups get more resources and age a bit, how they generally "come around" to the other way of thinking.
H.F.
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:42 am

Postby rebecca » Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:54 am

WareHauser wrote:
Perspective wrote:So it's a good album for a bunch of college singers, but I think they go overboard. If it sounds too much like the real thing, it loses some of the fun. A cappella straddles a gap; on one side is the out of tune, unprocessed vocal-guitar-solo-from hell, but on the other is a collection of computer bleeps that is equally unrecognizable. ...When it comes down to it, this is still about making cool sounds with your mouth, not a computer, and the best producers let that shine through all the special effects.




Why thank you! This has got to be one of the most flattering things ever posted about my writing.

For the record, I think of myself as production neutral. It's true that, perhaps because I am such an old-timer, I do appreciate a natural sound. That said, it's not the only thing I appreciate, as my brief mention in Pitch Perfect seemed to imply (so funny, to see my name in a book I didn't help write!). I just like things that don't technically suck - the rest is in the art.

as always, thanks for reading RARB.

-rebecca
rebecca
RARB
RARB
 
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 1:40 pm
Location: washington, dc

Postby phenylphenol » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:48 am

WareHauser wrote:You both talk about everything that happens between recording and releasing that "ruins" and "strips" the "purity" but, and call it a hunch, I'd imagine neither of you have ever gone through that process.


I've been through that process every step of the way several times, both on my own with ancient equipment and in the studio with modern equipment. Imagine lining up parts without Medodyne! Clipping and nudging and retuning waves manually is horrible. Maybe that gives me a bit more perspective on how ridiculously unnatural a perfect performance is. I'm also very aware of different compression techniques and how it's applied at different steps along the way, and of course how multiband compressors and overtone reinforcers are all the rage. And again, I don't like that sound.

You mention Ben Folds, who's one of my favorite artists, and the in-your-face piano rock. There's examples of it being done well, such as up to Whatever and Ever Amen. His solo efforts started to go a bit further, and then he produces Songs for Silverman, which sounds horrible. The songs are good enough, but I can't listen to the album, because of how much the drums and cymbals are consistently ducking in and out and sometimes clipping behind the other instruments. Cymbals are loud instruments! They SHOULD be louder than the rest, and their attack should be many orders of magnitude louder than their decays. Instead, they're reduced to strange steady-amplitude special effects. And on top of that, the instrumental tracks themselves have been squeezed down as well -- the piano doesn't sound like a piano, it sounds like an early attempt at a synthesizer. The point is, I have kept this album on my shelf and not in the CD player because of overzealous compression and overly-aggressive production. And that's a shame. My ears just get tired at the constant power level, and I want it to be over.

There's a good argument for reducing the trend we've seen towards hyper-production and over-compression on purely aesthetic grounds, and I make those arguments in respect to the industry as a whole as well. In particular, they're pushing for louder and louder tracks -- and this reinforces (and is designed to play to) music being perceived as background-only stuff. These recordings are not designed to be played on a hifi audio system and enjoyed as though a concert. They're designed to be in somebody's earbuds as they jog, or on the radio, or in the supermarket. I want to bring the art back.

And sure enough, there's been an emerging scene of independent labels that has gained more and more strength (Pitchfork Media anyone?)... and many of these bands deliberately shun these production techniques. There's a market for this type of deliberate return to higher fidelity recording techniques (fidelity meaning closeness to the original sound, of course!). I would rather the a cappella scene as a whole follow along that road.

And yes, you're very perceptive about Code Red being something of a landmark -- it pushed the envelope very far until it just about burst. When I bought it I was completely disappointed; I had expected to hear a cappella music, with voices instead of instruments. We can disagree on that, and have easy chair arguments while sipping brandy all night if you want. :)

But I think it's also good to separate arguments for this aesthetic from arguments that defend somebody's right to make those arguments. Just don't require reviewers to hold the same opinions as one another. Regarding the Madison Project review; I've read it -- and it seems like this is the first time he really has docked a group for this type of thing, which led him to more specifically outline a philosophy. Just a guess though.
_________________
Yuri Broze
Some Guy Who Used To Do A Cappella
Last edited by phenylphenol on Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
phenylphenol
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:30 pm

Postby phenylphenol » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:59 am

H.F. wrote:And the arguments for "more purity" have traditionally ALWAYS come from the "new kids on the block", or the ones who didn't have a lot of money. It's just a tired argument, and a transparent one. It's funny to watch, over the years, as these groups get more resources and age a bit, how they generally "come around" to the other way of thinking.


I think you're probably right about that. My suspicion is that it's because the thing that initially draws people to a cappella is the coolness (dorkiness?) factor of hearing people make sounds with only their voices and bodies, and perform popular music! It's cool because it is done live with only the human body, and sounds pretty amazingly awesome.

And of course, the groups without a lot of money don't like production -- and that was one of my points. The albums produced reflect the amount of money a group has to throw at a problem, and I don't like that.

Then, as they age and the years go on where they're constantly bombarded with other groups' albums, and those groups' high RARB ratings (this is very important to groups! Everybody want to do well on RARB!), they decide they really want to get that high RARB score, and so they had better do what everybody else is doing. They had better be competitive in the Greater A Cappella Scene! And so they pursue the heavily-produced sound.

I know that many here have defended this practice because they're making these albums for grandma, and not some kind of music expert. I disagree with this argument -- grandma is probably the person who would be MOST confused when she hears an album that sounds nothing like the group that her grandkid was singing with up on stage.

Essentially, yes, young idealistic groups ARE opposed to all this production, and incidentally, they tend to be the ones who don't think all that much of themselves, usually because they're terrible. Meantime, there are the established groups with lots of money and years or decades of history and alumni support and community recognition -- and who tend to think of themselves as rock stars instead of college kids in a club. This is understandable and there's nothing wrong with it; it's just a natural consequence of the history of the group and how large a coffer and audience base they have built up.

I say this at the risk of sounding bitter, and especially because of my personal experience with the Achordants going up against the Clefhangers, Loreleis, and THV. I am not bitter; I am realistic -- and have seen multiple groups at multiple different schools pass through this same process (the one you mentioned initially about the "new kids on the block").

But the process by which a new group loses their idealism and enthusiasm for the dorky art form and buys into the pop-star mentality (and production styles) is one I'd say is unfortunate, and not self-justifying. You can find this trend all over the world, in every business or trade. And people always make fun of the new kids because they're still naive and enthusiastic.
_________________
Yuri Broze
Some Guy Who Used To Do A Cappella
Last edited by phenylphenol on Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
phenylphenol
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:30 pm

Postby H.F. » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:20 am

phenylphenol wrote:And of course, the groups without a lot of money don't like production -- and that was one of my points. The albums produced reflect the amount of money a group has to throw at a problem, and I don't like that.


Actually, I'd argue that the albums produced reflect the amount of *currency* a group *is willing* to throw at a problem. It needn't be money. It could be time. It could be raw ability. It could be a letter grade or two. You're right, the groups that "spend" the most, will "get" the most, and other groups will want to emulate them. But again, what they spend needn't be money that they spend. If you're resentful that another group had a member who was willing to dedicate more time to a project than you did (and yourself put in what, 2 years?), I don't think you've much recourse nor case. To the winner (or hardest worker) go the spoils. If you're instead saying that a group who spends more raw cash will always get more impressive-to-the-brainwashed-masses results than a group who spends an "equal" amount of time, I could see the point you were trying to make, but would promptly direct you to any number of exemplary albums that are are almost wholly DIY.
H.F.
 
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 7:42 am

Postby billhare » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:25 am

phenylphenol wrote:And yes, you're very perceptive about Code Red being something of a landmark -- it pushed the envelope very far until it just about burst. When I bought it I was completely disappointed; I had expected to hear a cappella music, with voices instead of instruments. We can disagree on that, and have easy chair arguments while sipping brandy all night if you want. :)


You sound like one of the Folkies who bought Bob Dylan's first "electric" album in 1965. "Electric guitars?? The horror! Our style and tradition has been totally betrayed!" In actuality, it started a new folk music movement the likes of which had never been seen before.

As far as Code Red is concerned, I'm sorry it disappointed you, but many more people were not disappointed, as the RARB scores showed as well as other popular reaction at that time - yes, there was definitely backlash as well, but it happens all the time on all levels to the best performers in the world. The famous "Stomp Out The Beatles" campaign of 1964 is a good example of that. I for one am glad it didn't work!

I have a perspective on Code Red that most of you don't since I mixed it - I heard it before it was mixed! Let me tell you now that there was no throwing money at it to cover things up! These were amazing vocal performances, and far less effects than you think. The few spots where we actually did do some crazy things are actually the most vocal and unprocessed things on the album - "Mr. Roboto" is FAR less processed electronically than most of the albums I've done since then - it was simply edited to cut the beginning and ends of notes off to create those "synth" sounds, but the sound itself is PURELY vocal. 40 years before, I could have done this with analog tape and a razor blade if I wanted to and gotten the exact same sound. These aren't the "computer bleeps" you think they are, but instead a very deliberate, creative process. This album was one of the most interesting "experiments" I have done in my career, working with very talented and visionary people who worked their asses off on it. That it keeps getting vilified is beyond me.

It may have been fun to vilify the BeeGees for their role in the Disco craze years after the fact as well, but it sure didn't stop them from selling many millions of records (and being unavoidable on the radio no matter how much you turned the dial) any time during 1978. More power to them, I say!

Let's just say we all like "Rock" music. NuMetal, Progressive, Disco, Alternative, New Wave, Punk or whatever sublabel you want to put on these styles all fit under this same umbrella. If you like System of a Down but hate John Mayer, well, then go buy your System albums, but don't tell Mayer fans that his albums shouldn't exist. That's just short-sighted, if not a little rude. "A Cappella" is our umbrella. It is not a style or genre, so many different things can happen, and many different types of fanbases can exist - together or separately. Yes, you CAN like both Elton John and Justin Timberlake, but you can bet on a whole, their concert audiences would look a lot different from each other. But there's room for both, and both can still draw a large audience.
-B
Last edited by billhare on Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

Bill Hare Some dude who records and mixes people who can't play instruments. http://www.dyz.com

billhare
 
Posts: 2002
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Silicon Valley, CA

Postby colton » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:28 am

Random coincidence: I happen to be listening to Code Red at this very moment.
colton
RARB
RARB
 
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:45 pm
Location: Orem, UT

Postby phenylphenol » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:42 am

billhare wrote:but don't tell Mayer fans that his albums shouldn't exist. That's just short-sighted, if not a little rude.


Again, not my intention at all -- like you, I think everybody has room to exist, have differing preferences, and support their views. Nobody should be penalized for any matter of taste.

But of course, we should remember that Dylan, the Beatles, the BeeGees, System, and John Mayer are/were all professional musicians. The people I'm talking about are college students, and my reasons for disliking the general trend of production as listed above are in regards to what I see would provide the best education for students.

My aesthetic preferences happen to align with that, but I would never want to be a cultural totalitarian. Just sayin', let people review albums as they see fit. :)
_________________
Yuri Broze
Some Guy Who Used To Do A Cappella
Last edited by phenylphenol on Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
phenylphenol
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:30 pm

Postby username855 » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:45 am

Plus, these guys are pretty good live. As noted by their ICCA award of Best Arrangement(s) in January '08. It was posted on YouTube. Great Blend!

http://video.google.com/videosearch?cli ... =N&tab=wv#

www.myspace.com/themadisonproject


[/url]
username855
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:47 am

Postby dr00bles » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:54 am

billhare wrote:If you like System of a Down but hate John Mayer, well, then go buy your System albums, but don't tell Mayer fans that his albums shouldn't exist. That's just short-sighted, if not a little rude.


This is fair, but again, I don't think everyone is quite grasping that my reviews will never fault a record simply because of its production choices, if I am satisfied with the end result. This is one of the fundamental differences between my line of thinking and that of Yuri (even though I am most appreciative of his advocacy of my reviews and posts). If you read my other reviews, you'll notice that I've given "good" scores to plenty of tracks/albums with heavy production. Consider the Grains of Time's "Hotel California": I gave that song a "5", despite its sampled percussion, heavy bass, and the rest. Why? Because it works. It came together. The track kicks ass, because the production complements the music nicely.

On the Madison Project's CD, it is my opinion that the production is less of an enhancement and more of a distraction. Hence my giving it the apparently "bad" score of "3". I don't think, as an album, the music is exciting, engaging, or ground-breaking, which is "average". (Also see my review on The Dynamics' Love Games - I assert that the production is not appropriate for the material, not that it is offensive on any philosophical level.) This kind of production has become so commonplace that it doesn't stand out from the rest. That was my frustration on the Madison Project review. The challenge is finding ways to overcome this, production or no production. As far as I'm concerned, some groups have been more successful than others.

I invite you to re-read my reviews, which I believe consider all relevant criteria (as mandated by RARB and otherwise) and paint a picture of the album as a whole. I do not hate production, or producers, or the Clef Hangers, or anything else that has been mixed in with my name in this thread. I hear what I hear, and I will review albums as I see it necessary.
Last edited by dr00bles on Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
Andrew DiMartino
Music Director, UNC Achordants 2005-2008
dr00bles
RARB
RARB
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: New York, NY

Postby phenylphenol » Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:55 am

billhare wrote:I have a perspective on Code Red that most of you don't since I mixed it - I heard it before it was mixed! Let me tell you now that there was no throwing money at it to cover things up! These were amazing vocal performances, and far less effects than you think. The few spots where we actually did do some crazy things are actually the most vocal and unprocessed things on the album - "Mr. Roboto" is FAR less processed electronically than most of the albums I've done since then - it was simply edited to cut the beginning and ends of notes off to create those "synth" sounds, but the sound itself is PURELY vocal.


That may well be the case, and I don't doubt that the Bubs sang amazingly then -- I saw them doing it and was blown away! Code Red is NOT an example of money being thrown at a problem. I just wish that the album reflected the performance I experienced.

However, it is an example of production obscuring the singers. After all, you have a perspective that most people don't have -- and you find yourself needing to personally vouch for that vocal ability you observed since the consumer can't hear it themselves. I don't think that production is proof that there wasn't great vocal talent put into an album. I just think that it hides the ensemble performance and puts emphasis on sequencing and electronic production techniques.

Which, of course, were very very well executed. The album sounds great, and was very obviously treated with care as a work of art. And listening to it nowadays, you're definitely right that its production sounds minimalistic by today's standards.
_________________
Yuri Broze
Some Guy Who Used To Do A Cappella
Last edited by phenylphenol on Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
phenylphenol
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:30 pm

Postby matthewnym » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:08 am

So I already posted my thoughts about the review in another thread, and I was going to leave it at that. But reading phenylphenol's comments has frustrated me to the degree that I need to commit more thoughts into writing, in somewhat rant form.

Regarding the issue of compression/production, etc, there are a few facts of life that our friend here either doesn't understand, or chooses not to accept because they would discredit his arguments. Either way, the arguments he makes come across as having little or no basis in reality.

First of all, the recording tendencies of college a cappella are always going to mirror general music recording trends. This happens for the same reason that random obnoxious college posters come on the forums from time to time and start dissecting arguments by revealing all sorts of logical fallacies, because they just learned about these things in Logic 101 the week before. College students are nothing more than monkeys with sponges, absorbing everything they see, read, and hear, and repackaging it in their heads as what they think is original expression. Original ideas are rare. College groups are going to mimic what they hear in popular music. Even groups that "rebel" and strive for a more traditional sound are merely emulating the torch-bearers of that sound, groups like the Yale Wiffenpoofs. Expecting college students to do anything different has no basis in reality.

Secondly, it is overly simplistic to attribute the movement towards more compression to the so-called "volume wars." This is really only applicable to the small group of artists and producers that are competing for slots in the Billboard top 100. Their interests lie in commercial appeal and nothing else. Criticizing them for making decisions that are not musically artistic is simply not applicable. Their underlying reasons for making music is not artistry, it's money. And before you rail against the recent commercialization of music, and how those greedy record companies are destroying the high art of music, you're wrong. The duality of music for money as opposed to music for art has existed since the 16th century, if not earlier. Some of the first sheet music printed on a printing press were not the great symphonies of piano sonatas of the time. They were inane madrigals, with no artistic value whatsoever. But people liked singing and listening to them, and they were willing to buy them. Music today is no different.

In analyzing the trends of compression, it's also useful to take a broader view. I'm sure Bill has more personal experience in this area than I do, but each musical decade can be identified with a certain production trick, or cool new sound. The 70's is heavily associated with that warbly motown sound. If you think about 80's music, you hear super-reverb on leads and percussion. And the music of our current period, late 90's and 2000's, is very compressed. When you really think about it, it's not so surprising, because the early/mid-90's saw the rise of the rap/hip-hop sound, and later a blend of that sound with older R&B sounds. That became the cool new thing, and something that everyone was excited to try. Most popular music today is heavily influenced by the hip-hop sound. Every song you listen to today uses the same hip-hop percussion kit. And the fact is, this sound was developed and honed in dance clubs. And they are loud. And the music needs to be loud. Hence compression. It's really not so mysterious when you think about it.

But it's also no reason to claim the sky is falling. The current level of compression will wane in a few years. The history of any art form is the history of new trends. Any time something new comes a long, people want to explore it, see everything it can do, and take it to its logical extreme, before coming back to moderation. There's a reason music today isn't super-verby, like in the 80's, and there's a reason it isn't warbly like in the 70's. Those new techniques were explored, taken to the extreme, then moderated. The same will happen to compression in time. If music seems hard to grasp, just look at the history of paintings. Every new technique, whether it's the realism of the Renaissance, Pastoralism of the 19th century, or Impressionism at the turn of the 20th century, was explored and moderated in time. I hate to reduce your sense of self-importance, but music as an art form doesn't need a sentry making sure that it is not destroyed by the evils of over-compression. Music as an art form has survived and developed just fine without you since the early 1200's, and it will continue to do so.

No matter how hard anyone tries, whether it's anonymous posters on the forum, or RARB reviewers promoting an agenda, musical trends are going to do what they are going to do. Just go along for the ride. There is no possibility for an "educated" or "enlightened" group to realize the horrors of the current trend and reveal to the public how deprived they've been. That's not how art works. It's really not that hard of a concept.
Evan Wisser
The Pitchforks of Duke University '05-'09
Music Director '06-'09
Album Producer '07-'09
matthewnym
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby phenylphenol » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:34 am

Wow, there's a lot here that I disagree with.

Matthewnym wrote:First of all, the recording tendencies of college a cappella are always going to mirror general music recording trends.

Secondly, it is overly simplistic to attribute the movement towards more compression to the so-called "volume wars." This is really only applicable to the small group of artists and producers that are competing for slots in the Billboard top 100.


It seems to me that if you first make the assertion that college students are going to follow general industry trends, and then that the Billboard Top 100 is characterized by the "volume wars", then it follows pretty directly that you think college acappella recording tendencies are going to mirror the volume wars of the big boys.

Matthewnym wrote:In analyzing the trends of compression, it's also useful to take a broader view.

But it's also no reason to claim the sky is falling. The current level of compression will wane in a few years.


I agree, a broader view is good. As Bill has confirmed, the practice of compressing studio output has existed for well over half a century, going back to when it was more a practical than a musical solution to the limitations of the technology of the day -- making something sound good over the transistor radios, for example. But what distinguishes this trend of hyper-compression to a certain extent from others you have mentioned is that it has continued over a course of 50-odd years at a constantly increasing rate, whereas your slapback vocal echos of early rock and roll, your reverb-saturated 80s styles, etc., all were trends that lasted perhaps a decade.

I don't see the current trend of compression waning anytime soon, because I don't see a market demand for less compression. Instead, I see a constant marginal utility in making your next single louder than the others. Though I have no doubt that eventually we'll hit some kind of point of diminishing returns, and the trend will wane, I don't expect it will only be a matter of a decade or so.

Matthewnym wrote:The history of any art form is the history of new trends... Music as an art form has survived and developed just fine without you since the early 1200's, and it will continue to do so... Just go along for the ride.


I agree! This has been going on for some time. And music had been developing just fine before anybody who has had an opinion or a musical inclination decided to butt their big heads into it. But it seems to me that ANY kind of cultural advancement/development is necessarily due to the people involved, and any kind of dialectical progression requires some opposing ideologies.

Surely you don't mean that everybody should just shut up and follow the herd? I don't think it does anybody any good to assume they're the next Phil Specter, but a mass consensus is built out of individual opinions, and I don't think it's good to have a population of people content to let the status quo tell them what to think and what to fight for.

See also: The US Presidential Election of 2004.

But aside from all this silly art school banter, I think you hit the situation with Andrew squarely on the head in the "To Andrew DiMartino" thread just a bit down from this one. Really great, well-reasoned reply that makes me think you and I actually are in complete agreement on this.

Matthewnym wrote:So, 3 reviewers listen to each album and basically say whether or not they like it. That's all Andrew DiMartino has done, despite the fact that his personal preferences run counter to many of the posters here. I'd go further and say that his opinions are not only welcome, but necessary. Each reviewer has personal preferences that over time will come through through his/her reviews. There are reviewers that would rather hear an in-tune and rhythmically precise album, even if it's a little electronic sounding. There are reviewers that would rather hear emotional investment, more than musical precision and cute arrangements. And there are reviewers, most prominently Mr. DiMartino, who would rather hear the flaws and blemishes in natural vocal sounds.


And you also have a very eloquent analysis of RARB and what it stands for there that's obviously far more informed than any opinion I could have of the organization. You make a very good point that the conflict comes from assigning numerical values to qualitative reviews. I guess maybe the best option is to add categories to RARB that include "naturalness", and then refuse to compute an average review score? Who knows. Maybe find a way to downplay RARB's numerical scores such that college groups don't value them as highly. But yeah, you're absolutely right about where the problem lies.

Cheers,
Yuri
_________________
Yuri Broze
Some Guy Who Used To Do A Cappella[/i]
phenylphenol
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:30 pm

Postby matthewnym » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:04 am

It seems to me that if you first make the assertion that college students are going to follow general industry trends, and then that the Billboard Top 100 is characterized by the "volume wars", then it follows pretty directly that you think college acappella recording tendencies are going to mirror the volume wars of the big boys.


Incorrect. That assumes that college students only listen to the Billboard top 100. If anything, the a cappella community has musical tastes far more eclectic than the general public, so your attempt at syllogism of my arguments fails.


I don't see the current trend of compression waning anytime soon, because I don't see a market demand for less compression. Instead, I see a constant marginal utility in making your next single louder than the others. Though I have no doubt that eventually we'll hit some kind of point of diminishing returns, and the trend will wane, I don't expect it will only be a matter of a decade or so.


And here's where your perspective is skewed. First of all, if music only ever responded to market demand, there would be no significant developments of musical styles ever. Yes, a majority of bands and labels don't have the creativity to break the mold, and tend to follow what they know, and what they know people will buy. But music progresses because of the smaller percentage of real musicians who do what they want, and eventually one of them catches the public interest at the right time, and a new trend is started. Which leads me to my next point.

Surely you don't mean that everybody should just shut up and follow the herd? I don't think it does anybody any good to assume they're the next Phil Specter, but a mass consensus is built out of individual opinions, and I don't think it's good to have a population of people content to let the status quo tell them what to think and what to fight for.


Absolutely not. But when it comes to art, talking is far less effective than doing. Compression is a trend, and eventually a new sound will come out with less compression, and people will realize what they've been missing. But telling people to make that sound won't work. People are going to create music how they want to, for better or worse, based on their own tastes. And someone is going to come along in the next few years, and say, I want to do something different, let's reduce the compression levels across the board. And then people will follow. If you want to lead the charge, great. But do it by creating music, not by telling other people to do it. Because you're just wasting your breath. You telling people to do something is not going to all of a sudden change their personal cost/benefits analysis of how to create music, and whether to follow current trends or create new ones.
Evan Wisser
The Pitchforks of Duke University '05-'09
Music Director '06-'09
Album Producer '07-'09
matthewnym
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 8:05 pm

PreviousNext

Return to RARB

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron