I couldn't agree more with jrhailey. We listen to our respective groups' recordings, and they're nice and all, even enjoyable to listen to. It's just that we're a tad embarassed if it doesn't "represent" our group. Sure - it represents what we did in the studio, our arrangements, choices we made in the recording process - absolutely. But when people listen to it, they don't really think it sounds like "us." Although I thoroughly respect the heavy effects world of a cappella recording, I don't think we're really doing a lot for our artform, at least when we're performing other people's songs.
What would you think if a cover band did a great recording of someone else's song, without making it sound any different? Wouldn't you just buy the original? I think the point of covering something is to perform a song that people like, but with your own twist, your own interpretation. Make it different! Especially in the a cappella world - it should sound like voices. At least a little.
If you're performing original songs, or taking covers in a whole new, cool direction, then lay on the effects. But otherwise, the whole gimmick of it is that you're using your voice to imitate instruments, not a computer.
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