'real' acappella

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'real' acappella

Postby gsIC » Tue Apr 15, 2003 10:13 pm

YaVon Bleh wrote:Glad I stirred things up again. Here's my refined point. Obviously you people didnt read my whole entry. I don't want to diminish anybody's talent level or whatever. My main point is that BOCA does not sound like a cappella!! It sounds like a bunch of groups trying to sound like Five O'Clock Shadow. Sure, they're good arrangements, soloists, and all these fun things. BUT, they don't sound like what they would live. I'm sure some of them give great performances live. I know some of them have. But they don't sound like that. And that whole idea is secondary to my main point which is that it isn't a cappella. The "vocal band" distinction arose for semi-pro and pro groups to to market themselves differently. Because it is different. If I blow a high C-sharp on an album, then that's cool. But if I blow a high c-sharp and then make it sound almost exactly like a distorted guitar, then it isn't really a cappella anymore, is it? And I disagree with those who say 'there are still no instruments involved' because you achieved the same ends by different means. It's a loophole. But am I saying these groups still shouldn't do what they are doing? NO! They should continue to do what makes them THEM. They sound great and are learning how to be in a vocal band of their own after they graduate. And that's fine. But should they be on BOCA? And I don't want to hear someone reply saying 'what about reverb, delay, compression, chorus etc.' That is an illogical argument because after that processing the voice still sounds like a voice. Yea isn't this fun? Hit me back.

Its 1:30. Im frustrated and writing a paper. Perfect time to get my opinion out there. Evan, you are absolutely right. I share a very similar view on todays world of a cappella, and rest assured you aren't the only guy out there that dislikes BOCA. Its kind of tough to find a starting point for such an argument, but here goes. A cappella music, by definition, lacks instruments. Now I'm no sound engineering genius here, but a vocal sythesizer, ladies and gentlemen, IS AN INSTRUMENT. If I screech a high C and try to make it sound like a guitar, this is a cappella. If I screech it in the studio and some engineers distort the crap out of it, making it sound like an authentic friggin Fender, this is not a cappella. If its not a sound that can be produced by that person/groups voice/s, it is NOT A CAPPELLA. Why not just bring in an actual guitar? Like Evan said, same result, different means. If the basses in my group sing an F and some recording guy steps on some pedal that drops what they're actually singing an octave down, it is NOT A CAPPELLA. If you fuzz your VP'ist to make him/her sound more like a drum, NOT A CAPPELLA. Reverb, you ask? Reverb, a commonly used effect in any album, can be produced live by singing in a more acoustic and/or open area. Since the reverbed sound can be produced by human voices, this, friends, is a cappella. Now if you want to use all the aforementioned fun n costly effects, go right ahead, but your album is no longer entirely a cappella. If you dont want your album to be a cappella, go for it. If you dont want to be an a cappella group, well hey, keep doin' what you're doin'. BOCA does not feature a cappella groups or songs.... at least not commonly. The groups sound great for what they are. More power to them. There is a market for such music and I admit the novelty of hearing voices distorted into actual instruments is quite interesting. The arrangements require immense creativity and the soloists are generally top-notch.

HOWEVER.... your production enhanced album is not a cappella. These groups may sound good live, but it aint the same group. Off The Beat, for example, is not an a cappella group on their albums. If they sing live, their posters should read "U Penn OTB sings a cappella in their next concert," that is if they don't engineer their sound there as well. Best of College A Cappella first of all should get rid of the 'Best of,' and second of all change 'College A Cappella' to something like 'Collegiate Recorded Vocal Music.'

Effects are cool. I saw a FOCS concert once and was thoroughly entertained. Real a cappella, however, is what I really respect and enjoy. Straight No Chaser of Indiana U, ESPECIALLY their original crew, is my favorite group of all time (at least on the collegiate level). Their first CDs were an unparalleled mix of musicality, entertainment, attitude, and creativity. Soloists were anywhere between great and incredible. Background vocals never missed a beat. The only problem I had with the old group was their lack of VP, but somehow they still made some of the most enjoyable a cappella music I've ever heard. Their Alumni Hall live CD from '98 proves it: They were the real deal, studio and stage. The new group, from what I've heard of them, stays true to their roots and still rocks. The guest group at the last ICCA final was an Australian group called Idea of North..... INCREDIBLE. Its amazing how just 4 people could make such good music with their voices. And best of all, NO effects. REAL a cappella. Evan's group, the Crosby's, is a cappella. I've heard songs from them through friends of mine and I've heard about their live shows (PS: Evan I heard the sample of your solo on 'Mama' and it rocked. I hope I can get to perform with you or at least your group before I graduate.)

Wow, that was refreshing as it was lengthy. I felt it needed to be said. I respect all of your opinions. This is but my own. Please dont take this as a disrespect to groups like House Jacks or Upenn.
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Postby jsdiamant » Wed Apr 16, 2003 4:46 am

OK, this verges on idiotic.

To say that using distortion makes a vocal no longer vocal is like saying that distorted guitar music is no longer guitar music. 'cause guess what? A distorted guitar sounds no more like an un-effected guitar than a distorted vocal sounds like some dude singing in a chapel. Similarly, drums and bass on any album (except jazz) will usually be EQed and compressed beyond recognition to turn them into a cohesive and powerful rhythm section. The drum kit you hear on your favorite album? Chances are it sounds nothing like a drum kit sounds live.

A long time ago, engineers discovered that the use of certain effects on instruments made albums sound better. All they're doing now is using those same effects on the vocals that mimic those instruments. It is NOT making the voice sound like a guitar (any more than it initially does), because the sound of distorted anything sounds nothing like a guitar. It is merely distorting the voice.

As for Straight No Chaser, I've only heard the two tracks that made BOCA from their new album, but "The Way It Is" uses a very unnatural-sounding (though very cool) reverb-type effect, and the VP is VERY heavily EQed. Whoops! Guess your favorite a cappella group really isn't a cappella after all, and CERTAINLY is not staying true to its "roots!"

And what the hell is a "vocal synthesizer?" You don't talk about a "guitar synthesizer" when you hear a distorted guitar. You don't talk about a "drum synthesizer" when you hear drums that have been heavily processed. The only studio technique to which the term "vocal synthesizer" could possibly apply is sampling, which does not appear to be what you were discussing.

If you don't like certain effects on your a cappella, fine. But for God's sake, go educate yourself before you go bashing studio techniques you know nothing about.

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Postby ariel » Wed Apr 16, 2003 7:29 am

Straight No Chaser's track sounds just as processed as every track on BOCA. Don't get me wrong, I love Bruce Hornsby and that is one of my fave tracks on the disc. If there is someone in the group on this board, maybe they can tell me if I am wrong, but it sounds like they have been autotuned and and that their percussion was heavily sequenced, and it almost sounds like they used a bass octavizer. If any of those things aren't true, someone correct me, but that's just like every track on BOCA and a good percentage on many albums. And this isn't bad at all! Notice how the BOCA songs all sound *good.* Even groups known for being traditional style a cappella, like the Mendicants from Stanford, some of whom I know, use things like autotune and electronic effects to make their albums sound different or just plain better.

It sounds like you wish a cappella to remain in the days of no effects, no tuning, no nothing. Most of the groups who use a lot of studio effects use them out of a desire to be innovative and to make a better product. That's what an album is - a product. Most groups don't make yearbook albums that just display exactly how they sounded throughout the year. Most college groups make CDs to make money, and also to have a copy of their versions of songs. But CD sales are very important to keeping a lot of groups afloat. A lot of what is new and interesting in a cappella (and what keeps people buying CDs) comes from cool or new studio techniques or other innovation. No one wants to hear the same old doo-wop anymore. It's not what sells. I don't mean to be the capitalist, and I certainly consider the upcoming album I am on as art and not only a product to be sold. But what I and many groups like and what the mainstream college audience wants(which is who you perform for, them and your parents, be honest) is to hear great contemporary tracks that remind them of the song while adding a new dimension to it. You can't really do that by having 16 of you stand around one mike and singing 100 measures in a take, old-school a cappella style. Studio effects and such are a huge part of making it appealing and innovative.

The effective and sparing use of studio effects make tracks sound better, and they keep a cappella from stagnating in some far-off, unsellable land of boring and blah.
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Postby Mahka » Wed Apr 16, 2003 11:42 pm

my knowledge of studio effects is highly limited, considering that i have yet to record a cd (although when we do, it'll be with the talented gabe rutman), but listening to one particular recording compelled me to post. The Xtension Chords's recording of Inside Out...is that a cappella still? I remember the first time i heard it, I swore someone had made a mistake and mislabled it. The distortion on the backing vocals is so strong that even upon careful listening, it's difficult to distinguish it from an actual distorted guitar. While I think various studio techniques are important in creating a great and marketable CD, it is still the responsibility of the group/producer/director/engineer to maintain some semblance of the human voice. I know that one thing that draws me to a cappella is the sheer wonderment of what the human voice is capable of doing, from an imitation of a guitar (syllables of "jow" or something similar) to vocal trombones and trumpets. As long as I can still tell that it's a human voice, and it's unaccompanied by anyhting other than other human vocally-made sounds, I'll call it a cappella. Case in point - the Harmonics's recording of Snow on the Sahara...their engineer distorted the opening voice at the beginning, but then faded it back into the mix and removed the distortion so that it was once again a voice. I thought it was a great effect. But if I can't tell that it's a human voice anymore (like with Inside Out), i think that's where the line into non-a cappella is crossed.

just my view on something i readily admit I'm not familiar with, but i know what i like and what i don't (so i don't get blasted by mr. diamant...)

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Postby YaVon Bleh » Thu Apr 17, 2003 12:20 am

I am quite happy that someone actually agreed with what I said. When I posted it (purely to get under people's skin), I didn't know quite how upset heads would be. It turned out that a slew of people were opposing me. I thought about it. It's like this radical musical change everyone is going through where synthesized music is getting more and more popular. Acoustic instruments are slowly being fazed out of mainstream music in favor of perfect synthesized overly produced MIDI magic. Just look at Radiohead. They have progressed from a great pop-rock group to this amazing synthesized / instrumental musical onslaught that people (who know anything about music) hail as the freshest, most unique and evocative stuff of our generation. And they take full advantage of the technology around them. But the strength of their tech usage lies in how tastefully they make use of it. They didn't totally destroy the instrumental appeal. You hear everything from trombones, trumpets, guitars, clarinets, tubas, you name it on any of their last three albums (including the new one "Hail to the Theif" which is outstanding and will be out June 10th). The problem is that things like the warmth of sound and the live feel of voices go to the wayside because it can be perfected. I can now honestly see both sides. The truth of the matter is that there is a happy medium (tasteful usage) of the technology afforded us. I mean, it still is a cappella, so I don't take it tooooo seriously. Or I could just be covering my ass cus the Crosbys are taking our recordings to a new direction and I don't want to feel like a big fat hypocrite. Either way, there is no reason for people to get up in arms about it. There is no need for a rarb reviewer to get all upset at someone for a viewpoint. He is simply sharing an idea. When we take this stuff too seriously we lose sight of the reason we did it in the first place: to sing for people. Wow I'm drunk. Happy Passover, ladies.
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more on production

Postby gaurag » Thu Apr 17, 2003 12:39 am

I'm not entirely sure where I stand on the issue. When we started recording our album this year, I wanted a more natural sound that would highlight our arrangements. For us Harmonics, arrangements are a big deal. We often feel like our live performances don't do our arrangements justice and album recordings are an awesome way of milking an arrangement for all it's worth. As we went through the year though, I think my opinion changed to "if it's good music, who cares?" I think the key is having enough variety that people know what you're capable of. Most of the best groups have that kind of range on their albums.

If a group can achieve a sound that's very close to their recorded sound, that's awesome. For instance, I'm reminded of the Amalgamates, who we hosted last month. Their live sound is very close to their recorded sound, in part because their tracks take advantage of their tight/warm sound and aren't that produced and in part because they're very good at what they do. I say props to those groups who can match their recorded sound, but I don't think it's poor form if a group, for whatever reason, really only shines on an album.

I'm also curious where people draw the line between an "impossible track" and a traditional/natural one. The last couple of posts have focused on effects/distortion, but what about messing with the arrangement in such a way that the end product is not anything that could ever be reproduced live? As we've recorded stuff this year, we've noticed things (random guitar lines, riffs, weird notes) that were missing from the arrangements and we've tossed those in. As a result of this practice (which is something lots of groups do), some of our stuff may not necessarily *sound* produced in the sense of distortion/octavizing/etc. but we couldn't really reproduce them live. Although isn't that the point of an album? To create something you can't otherwise produce live?
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Postby gsIC » Thu Apr 17, 2003 2:25 am

Ouch.... Well, just to clear a couple things up....

(A) I said WHAT IVE HEARD of SNC's new stuff sounded like theyve been staying true to their roots. I guess that would mean, get this, I haven't _heard_ any of their engineered stuff, but I'll take your word for it. Mild disappointment for me, but its their destiny to decide and best of luck to them. I heard "You Belong To Me" and it sounded pretty much unaffected by studio magic. I dont know, maybe it was.

(B) Distorted vocal is, indeed, no longer vocal. If you cant make that noise with your voice, it aint voice. You cannot modify the sound coming out of your mouth to match it. If you can distort your guitar on the actual instrument to make it sound a certain way, then its a guitar. If you distort the crap out of it to make it sound like a photon ray in star trek, then no, it is not a guitar. You cannot play a guitar in such a way to make that sound without the help of some machine. It, in turn, is no longer simply a guitar. You clearly missed my entire point. My term 'vocal synthesizer' (which I have gladly coined) refers to any machine or recording studio gadget that modifies someones voice to make it sound different. You use this, you are not singing a cappella. If you dont want to, thats ok. If you want to use studio effects on your guitar, go ahead, but its no longer, in essence, a guitar. And Josh, I do not need to know a damn thing about studio engineering to have an opinion on the current trend of collegiate a cappella. I am not the biggest fan of studio effects and thats that. Call them what you will, use them as you like. There are others who share my opinion. Find someone who could make some of those noises in real life, get him/her in your group, and I'll call it a cappella.

Finally, in retrospect my post was a lot more abrasive and aggressive than I intended it to be (please note frustrated paper-writing at 1:30). Josh, you had every right to respond the way you did. And as for Ariel, maybe I'm the only one here, but I find so much more joy in listening to a cappella music free from engineering than listening to your common BOCA track. I would listen to an old Straight No Chaser CD 100 times over before I'd pop in OTB. If OTB made an album a cappella (I've heard they tear it up in concert) you'd bet your bottom dollar I'd listen to it. I guess I'm just a sucker for the live, unadultered stuff. To me, making an 'enhanced a cappella' cd like one of OTB's would be like playing basketball on some low gravity court... yeah it would be cool to be able to do three flips and dunk the ball backwards and do stuff that I, as a human, am not capable of, but it just wouldnt fulfill me as much as playing a real game on a real court in the real world. On the low gravity court, the awesome three-flip dunk is more an accomplishment of the lack of gravity than my own ability. Thats just how I look at it. Again, this means no offense. They (OTB) make creative, appealing, and excellent music.
Maybe I'll change my mind one day. Maybe my group will use the stuff. Who knows. Well anyway, keep on postin everyone!
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Postby gsIC » Thu Apr 17, 2003 5:05 am

Oh yes.
One more thing before I forget.
"Verge" is not a verb.

When insulting someone for posting their opinions, one may want to first consult a dictionary. May I suggest "This post is on the verge of idiocy" or maybe "This is borderline idiotic"
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Postby Chris -- Shir Appeal » Thu Apr 17, 2003 7:25 am

intr.v. verged, verg·ing, verg·es
1. To approach the nature or condition of something specified; come close. Used with on: a brilliance verging on genius.
2. To be on the edge or border: Her land verges on the neighboring township.

[Middle English, from Old French, rod, ring, from Latin virga, rod, strip.]

Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.


Be careful when attempting to be a grammar smart-ass...
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Postby elocomotive » Thu Apr 17, 2003 8:06 am

I said I wasn't going to respond to any more of these posts like gsic's that are about exclusion and judgement in the a cappella community. You can read my post under "BOCA '03" if you want. Its the same response to essentially the same post. But I did come up with this funny rap in my head as I was thinking about this today....


Real a cappella uses only one "p."
And always is sung so nice and sweet

Real a cappella sounds best in the church
And makes no use of technological research

Real a cappella keeps free of distortion
And only uses reverb in tiny proportion

Real a cappella is only sung live
Free of the studio and auto-tune jive

Real a cappella sounds fine as barbershop
And plants no seeds to sow contemporary crop

I like old school singing, with just five fellas
But I also like effects so I'm not real a cappella
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Postby Jessica Gordon » Thu Apr 17, 2003 10:42 am

gsIC wrote: " making an 'enhanced a cappella' CD like one of OTB's would be like playing basketball on some low gravity court... yeah it would be cool to be able to do three flips and dunk the ball backwards and do stuff that I, as a human, am not capable of, but it just wouldn't fulfill me as much as playing a real game on a real court in the real world. On the low gravity court, the awesome three-flip dunk is more an accomplishment of the lack of gravity than my own ability. That's just how I look at it. Again, this means no offense. They (OTB) make creative, appealing, and excellent music. " " Off The Beat, for example, is not an a cappella group on their albums. "

Alright. Here's the thing. You have now mentioned Off the beat specifically now twice in this discussion. And while I appreciate (as a recent former member of that group) your compliment I am left wondering if you in fact ever have listened to an OTB album. It sound like you have only heard the last 2 BOCA tracks... am I right? The fact of the matter is that OTB specifically stayed away from distortion until Tribulation, which was released in the fall of 2000. There are certainly a lot of very creative, extremely well executed effects on that album. However you must not have heard Wild Horses, That I Would Be Good, Colorblind, Invisible City and Beautiful People from that album (Wild Horses was on BOCA 2001 but I guess you don't have that one or consider it not a part of this recent trend). Anyway, I completely disagree that Off the beat no longer sounds vocal whatsoever even on Tribulation. "Take One," the group's most recent release have a lot of tracks that are distorted and effected to the point where someone like you who prefers not to have any of that wouldn't enjoy it anymore. However it sounds as though you haven't taken a listen to Fallin, Superman, Overcome, or Mama from that disc...

And of Course there is the album "Off the Beat" which has some effects on some of the songs and a lot of effects on a few of the songs, but in general stayed away from heavy distortion. Take a listen to Machinehead, or Let Down, both which have rare moments of distortion but for the most part, you can ABSOLUTELY hear the many voices and beautifully arranged parts. It happens that from Off the Beat, and Take One the two tracks selected for BOCA were heavily effected but that is up to the BOCA people.

I completely disagree that these tracks are not a cappella or even not voices... I mean, I am sorry but that's just not true. The discussion between you and jdiamant has touched on the issue of guitars and whether or not the sound you hear is still a guitar when it has been put through a machine. IT IS. Done. Even if you can't make the guitar sound that way without a machine. By using a simple amplifier you are making the guitar sound louder, when that guitar could never be that loud without the amp. Same thing with Microphones at a show, A singer might not be heard at the back of a 1,000 seat venue without the mic projecting the sound back there. As for your point about not be able to sound "that WAY" (as opposed to that LOUD or whatever, your assertion being that volume is a different type of attribute than tone or texture) without a machine, the voice still exists and is still producing the product without the machine, while the machine would have no sound to distort and put out without the work of the ARTIST. I really liked YaVon Bleh's reference to Radiohead:

" They have progressed from a great pop-rock group to this amazing synthesized / instrumental musical onslaught that people (who know anything about music) hail as the freshest, most unique and evocative stuff of our generation. And they take full advantage of the technology around them. But the strength of their tech usage lies in how tastefully they make use of it. They didn't totally destroy the instrumental appeal. You hear everything from trombones, trumpets, guitars, clarinets, tubas, you name it on any of their last three albums "

Those instruments are still on those albums and their art does not disappear because they use an ADDITIONAL tool. Is a painting no longer a painting when the artist uses a sponge to distribute the paint in addition to his trusty brush? Or even if he sprinkles some glitter on there, does the paint disappear or does the glitter merely make the paint look a little different.

Off the Beat produces their albums themselves. They have a fantastic engineer that has been working with the group since their first CD was recorded, but there is no "producer" that is brought in. They lay down sounds that are entirely made with the human voice/mouth, they don't clap, clink or click. After they are done, they make those sounds benefit the song they are performing. And since the group now deals primarily in alternative rock and even melodic metal, adding a little distortion can really enhance their vocals to capture the feeling of the song. I think you would be VERY surprised if you heard the group live. They sound frighteningly similar to their albums considering the amount of effects being used these days. I too wish the group would scale back some of the distortion because what they are doing in their shows is really awesome without it. But at least when they do it they do it well and with skill (some groups who are attempting this stuff on their own without Gabe type producers are having some, well, interesting results in my opinion).

A lot of people don't like the distortion and for that matter, the SONGS. Do you like System of a Down? Disturbed? Queens of the Stone Age? Evanessence? Audioslave? These are some bands OTB has been covering recently. If you don't like those types of songs then you probably wont like the album... or maybe you might. But you should buy it and listen to the whole this before you comment on it.

I really appreciated Rebecca Christie's review of Take One where she was able to acknowledge that it was clearly an excellent product, talent and production wise, but that it was simply not her cup of tea. It's not my parent's either. They never listen to OTB albums. They don't like them.

Anyway. My main point was that it doesn't seem like gsIC has listened to OTB's albums, but rather only their last 2 BOCA tracks. And that machines do not erase voices or make them something they are not. They make them sound different. Louder, echoed, or distorted, it makes no difference. They are still voices. and nothing else. Sorry for the length. I was bored at work today :)

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Postby gsIC » Fri Apr 18, 2003 3:29 am

You're right, I haven't listened to an entire OTB album. Im sorry, I do single you guys out. Its merely because you are the most recognizable name in college a cappella and you do happen to use effects, so its easy to use you as an example. As far as the distorted voice still being a voice, I guess its just a matter of your own definition. Personally, when I listen to a cappella, I prefer hearing voice over voice+machine. When I say a group isn't real a cappella, Im just putting them in a different category. Yes, its still arranged, still sung beautifully, still music. Still, I cant call a distorted voice just a voice. You cant do those things with a voice. I think subtle effects are cool on a cappella albums, at least when relatively small in frequency, but when I hear an entire track with production smattered all over it, I find myself wanting to hear the original song over it. And Chris, I tried using "verged" in a scrabble game once and it was, sadly, not in the scrabble dictionary. Im writing my letter to them as we speak...
Well this has opened my eyes to a lot of things. Your opinions are appreciated. Jessica, I'll check out those tracks. Y'all keep postin now
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What's the point

Postby LGjohn » Fri Apr 18, 2003 4:03 am

I think some of us here are just trying to argue for argument’s sake...Let's think about this shall we?
Is it entirely possible that there are two different sides to acappella today...on one hand you've got the sweet sugary side that has been made to sound like instruments by things such as distortion, octave pedals etc... on the other hand you've got the wheat side that is plain but still can be just as good...Different people have different tastes...
The fact of the matter is that there are two different types of acappella people...you've got the purists and non-purists...WE'RE BOTH RIGHT HERE....noboby is wrong and BOCA doesn't suck...for those who like mainstream music and a little distortion here and there, BOCA RULES! For those of us who don't like the effects then DONT BUY IT and certainly don't come on here complaining about it...they're not going to stop making BOCA's (i hope) and they're certainly not going to go back to just putting on recordings of groups who stand around a single mic, add a little verb, and in turn just sound alright...the fact of the matter is..if a group could do this and sound great, they'd probably still make it onto BOCA....If you don't like BOCA because of what it stands for then make your own compilation album....I guarantee you that you won't do it...do you know why...#1 it's hard as hell to do...#2 you don't want people criticizing you for the music that you like...

There's my two pennies worth...why can't we all just get along?
I hope you liked my frosted mini-wheats comparison...boy am i hungry.

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Postby jsdiamant » Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:25 am


My post came off way harsher than I had intended, and I apologize.

The point I was trying to make is:

Saying you don't like a cappella with a lot of effects is one thing. (I, for the record, hated the Xtension Chords' "Inside Out.") Saying it ISN'T a cappella is quite another, and it's an argument that holds no water.

If the sound sources are all vocal, it's a cappella. End of story.

Think of it this way: it is impossible to hear a human voice exactly the way it sounds coming out of the pharynx. You're hearing the interaction of the voice and its surroundings. The same voice singing the same music will sound very different in a padded cell than it will in Notre Dame Cathedral. Microphones affect the sound of the voice; even the simple act of running signal through a wire changes the sound. The extent to which you alter the sound coming from the sound source, and the way in which you do it, is a matter of taste. But to say that a distorted voice is no longer a voice is just wrong, because it differs only in extent from singing in a reflective space; you're still altering the sound between its source and your ears.

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Postby duke00 » Fri Apr 18, 2003 12:27 pm

well, at least this topic got things jumping around here again.

I don't know where i stand on this. I jump around all the time, but I do think that we tend to polarize the argument. Just because you don't agree with things like octave pedal doesn't mean that you only see a cappella as barber shop. sometimes, i do feel as if our concentration on special effects can take the focus away from creative arranging, and fully realizing the potential of great voices at work.

It can also make a cappella much more into a money game that benefits groups that have connections with cash flows.

I also think that it is much more complex than saying different people like different kinds of a cappella, because the awards that have begun to show up in the world of a cappella judge us on one standard, and increasingly that standard is more technological in nature. Because you don't like effects can seriously hinder your ability to gain recognition.

Just my two cents. Off to do some work.

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Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 6:04 pm


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