randi wrote:I know it's a far stretch since the production side takes much more time/financial resources, but how come groups can use "outside" engineers for the production of their albums? I am sure there are students at many universities who do post-production. If we penalize outside arrangers, we should penalize outsiders for anything (artwork, production, who paid for the album).
Randi's quote makes me think maybe I see it this way:
From the reviewer's perspective, any album is a collaboration between the singers, the engineer / producer, the arranger(s) if not in the group, etc. - anyone involved in the process. That's fine. It's no different in the "real" music business.
There's a long list of famous producers in the pop music world, who are recognized for their creative contributions to pop music even though they were never the ones behind the mic performing. Same thing with songwriters. More in the early to mid 20th century before writing your own songs became associated with artistic integrity in the singer-songwriter era, but in recent pop too - I think of Max Martin taking much of the credit for the success of the late 90s teen pop acts whose hits he wrote. That's good. He deserves much of the credit. The guy's brilliant.
Now, from the perspective of an a cappella GROUP, rather than the reviewer, this should be an impetus to try to learn to do things in-house and take as much creative control of the project as possible, for your own pride if nothing else. I remember having the "how much production?" debate with my group when we started our last album. Our director said he was fine with studio tricks, distortion etc, but "If we get any awards for this album, I want it to be us getting the award, not Bill Hare."
In other words, I'm a little put off by an album only when I get the sense that the group did nothing remarkable and the only reason I'm enjoying what I'm hearing is the outside talent they brought in to help. But mostly, I'm put off by that only because I'm embarrassed for the group, wondering if they're feeling the same way about their own product.