Chris Camden's End Rant

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Post by JGriffin » Wed May 21, 2008 7:39 pm

No plug-ins or even hardware boxes for me...I only use real cathedrals...actually I only have a couple of small churches and a community center, but a buddy of mine has a YMCA gym that he lets me borrow sometimes. Got most of 'em on eBay and Craigslist.
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Post by RefD » Wed May 21, 2008 7:54 pm

dwlb wrote:No plug-ins or even hardware boxes for me...I only use real cathedrals...actually I only have a couple of small churches and a community center, but a buddy of mine has a YMCA gym that he lets me borrow sometimes. Got most of 'em on eBay and Craigslist.
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Post by chris harris » Wed May 21, 2008 8:13 pm

what do you propose, Smitty? how can we save music?
outlaw AutoTune? world-wide guilt campaign against any engineer who uses it? black-balled from AES?

it's all fine and good to observe and analyze these things. but, to get all up in arms about it is silly. is this the first time in your life that you don't really "get" a musical fad or trend? welcome to adulthood. I don't think that the "Autotune" effect sounds very cool either. But, guess what? Lots of people do. Just who the hell are you or I to tell them that they're wrong?

Times are changing. It's really not a big deal if you can't keep up. Fads and trends come in and out all the time. And, every time something new pops up, there's somebody who's convinced that it's a sign that the end is near.

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Post by chris harris » Wed May 21, 2008 8:25 pm

To the people who hate pop music so much because of things like quantizing, editing, and Autotune, why the hell do you bother listening to that music then? Are you people seriously having trouble finding current releases that you like? If so, then you must be lazy or something. There's so much good music out there these days in every conceivable genre. It just takes a tiny bit of motivation to find it. Probably not any more effort that what some of you expend bemoaning the fall of music.

The majority of people in the world have horrible taste and no concept for real talent. It's a fact. You want to do something about it? Vote for people who make education a priority. But, you can't change things like this overnight. And, you can't force people to only listen to bluegrass.

But, really you should just turn the page. Get on with your thing. Make your little slice of "music" better and stop worrying about what teenaged girls are listening to.

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talentless singers

Post by tdbajus » Wed May 21, 2008 8:47 pm

Well, first let me say I am a lousy singer, by any standard that one could have- pitch, timbre, articulation.

Live, though, people have refrained from throwing vegetables. That's why we keep the vocal mix low, and the reverb high.

when I cut a few takes of the vocal, i comp the best parts together, tweak them a bit, double it with a Rhodes, and then sing them again.

Not saying they still don't suck, but they become slightly more palatable.

If you are a songwriter (and after almost 20 years of being a sideman, I'm starting to record a fairly large backlog of songs), I don't think it is unreasonable to feel squeamish about having other people sing them, especially if they are deeply personal. Sort of like someone taking your wife out on a date.

While I would prefer to be able to sing spot on, is it wrong to think that my songs are worth recording? Isn't it the idea that is most important?

This seems to be relevant only to my own music, since I seem to be the only one who cheats and uses auto tune on songs they wrote. As far as pop music goes, I could care less.
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Post by Smitty » Wed May 21, 2008 10:47 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:what do you propose, Smitty? how can we save music?
outlaw AutoTune? world-wide guilt campaign against any engineer who uses it? black-balled from AES?

it's all fine and good to observe and analyze these things. but, to get all up in arms about it is silly. is this the first time in your life that you don't really "get" a musical fad or trend? welcome to adulthood. I don't think that the "Autotune" effect sounds very cool either. But, guess what? Lots of people do. Just who the hell are you or I to tell them that they're wrong?

Times are changing. It's really not a big deal if you can't keep up. Fads and trends come in and out all the time. And, every time something new pops up, there's somebody who's convinced that it's a sign that the end is near.
i'm not up in arms about anything, and you don't need to put on your big man hat just quite yet, thank you. while i'm likely younger than you, i know adulthood reasonably well enough to have this particular discussion. to clarify:

i'm in no position to "save music"... nor does it need saving, in the general sense. i am merely pointing out what i consider to be an interesting mile marker in the mainstream American musical cultural evolution... a process that i happen to believe is headed in a generally negative direction. my two cents. if/when our culture drops that particular torch, i'm sure there will be somebody there to pick it up. no biggie.

i don't fault professional engineers for using autotune... it's their job to make clients happy. if anything, they deserve more credit than they're getting for being the ones to creatively use it instead of the talent.

i understand full well that people can and will listen to whatever they want. as i clearly stated above, i don't think they're wrong to do so. i might think they're missing out on some other opportunities, though...

a healthy objective overview doesn't preclude the ability to critique specifics. i think we're pretty much on the same page, and i understand your points... but your tone is condescending, and it need not be.
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Post by trodden » Wed May 21, 2008 10:58 pm

i have to say though... reading the end rant and with the way my attitude and outlook on a lot of things has been lately, I can not only agree with the author, but see similarities in many things, not just in recorded music and the tools used to make it... Maybe i'm just jaded at the young age of 33, or perhaps on looking too close and not stepping back, seeing the big picture... but yeah... I kinda see it everywhere now.. the way people treat each other, the planet, the way we've come to expect and desire a throw away culture... but i've been doubtful and paranoid for decades now...

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Post by trodden » Wed May 21, 2008 11:06 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:To the people who hate pop music so much because of things like quantizing, editing, and Autotune, why the hell do you bother listening to that music then? Are you people seriously having trouble finding current releases that you like? If so, then you must be lazy or something. There's so much good music out there these days in every conceivable genre. It just takes a tiny bit of motivation to find it. Probably not any more effort that what some of you expend bemoaning the fall of music.

The majority of people in the world have horrible taste and no concept for real talent. It's a fact. You want to do something about it? Vote for people who make education a priority. But, you can't change things like this overnight. And, you can't force people to only listen to bluegrass.

But, really you should just turn the page. Get on with your thing. Make your little slice of "music" better and stop worrying about what teenaged girls are listening to.
good point, but is it specifically this we're talking about? people being scared of auto tune and shitty music? well fuck, there is so much shitty music out there in the world... i've not read the whole thread... sorry.. i'm still stuck in "the world is doomed" mode ... sorry..

Its just that i've gotten on with my own life on my own page for a long time now.. and as I get older, i find more and more people sticking their shit in my own thing...

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Post by smokincan » Mon May 26, 2008 2:28 am

Hey, there's nothing wrong with making a new personal commitment to higher standards, is there?
I and a few of my studio owner pals have discussed a move towards the more old-school methods and disciplines. In my general niche, I'm working with a lot of first timers. There is always going to be a lot of learning curve for these kids and there's nothing wrong with a gentle push in the right direction. Instead of just turd polishing it for them, show them the way to get the take right. If it needs polishing, get them to practice the part...introduce them to a metronome...do some pre-prod...do some TEACHING.
That is so much better for the client we should be working for, and for the artform we love...and for the record we should be making the best it can be.
The reason, some of those older recordings have the legs they do is because you can hear the excitement that a real "great take" has...
Warts and all, it has a crackle of life that you don't get from a musician who isn't invested in the performance. If you're just spraying out a bunch of versions for the engineer to sift through to construct the final, you don't get to that "Okay, this is going to be the one!" feel that people use to have almost because of technological limitations.
The pressure and spotlight of having only one go left, or having the whole group depending on you to hold up your end....so you better be ON and in tune and AWESOME makes for better musical moments and the more you participate in better musical moments is what makes better musicians.

Even with the engineering...I mean....remember before we had automation in our lives? When everybody would have a hand on the console and their cues memorized etc...the adrenalin that shit would generate in the room HAD to translate to the feel of the recording.

Some of that CAN be acheived or simulated in spite of the limitless editing capabilities with a DAW, you just have to agknowledge and strive for it.
This one goes to eleven...

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Post by Rob Christensen » Mon May 26, 2008 5:41 am

Rolsen wrote:
The part that I don't get is why the folks in the 'biz' make their lives more difficult by choosing 'talent' that is so rough around the edges and takes so much polishing to get to sound/look 'right.' Aren't there thousands of both musically-talented AND good-looking people around?
Years ago I read an interview with some big record company honcho in Gig magazine. The thing he said that really stuck out was something like, "The first thing I ask potential new talent is, 'What will you do to be successful?' If they don't answer 'Anything' I refuse to work with them."

I don't think biz folk think they are making their lives more difficult. I think it's much easier for the biz folks to work with and polish up 'talent' who are really rough around the edges but who will do "anything" than it is for them to work with better artists who have integrity and who won't bend to 'biz' trends and whims. The biz folks think they've figured it out - bring in 'talent' they can cookie-cut and easily market, then make lots of money selling fluff.

Of course, declining major-label music sales is a whole other discussion.

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Post by Corey Y » Fri May 30, 2008 12:50 pm

Something I've started to notice, and it concerns me more so than the artists who want to rely on digital editing/correcting, is the trend of more and more upstart engineers/studios WANTING to use it even when it's not needed.

I'm not a professional engineer, I just record as a hobby for my own fun and enjoyment. So I still use professional studios and I've had one run-in with this type. It was absolute the worst recording experience I've had and unfortunately my band mates didn't have the presence of mind to back me up when I spoke out about it to the engineer. Some of these guys who are just starting out and have ONLY worked in ProTools and never interned at another studio or even so much as done home recording with a 4 track and some cheap pres not only don't mind using shortcuts and fixing mistakes, they prefer it to taking the time to get things right. That really bothers me, just as a musician. I would never waste an engineer and/or producer's time by going into a studio unprepared and under rehearsed, I certainly don't want them assuming I am and not allowing me to utilize that preparation and skill naturally.

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Post by i am monster face » Sat May 31, 2008 1:18 am

Is it hard to envision a time in which any person could enter a small self-contained machine, mumble/scream/wail/shout into a mic, and walk away minutes later with a fully realized and polished studio recording shaped in part by their "performance?"
Image
A crutch is a crutch. I don't suddenly get better at math when I pick up a calculator. I can't suddenly fly when I get in an airplane. But if I step into a studio and get processed-to-hell, then suddenly I'm an amazing performer?
Image

It's pop music, nobody cares if they're a good performer.

And finally, something I wanted to say the first time this was referenced but didn't really have the heart, since I'm not really down with picking on gradeschool girls...
gradeschool choirgirl who had taught herself to sing naturally as though she was being processed through Autotune
Anybody who tries that is probably a little slow. Nobody believes that since you overdub harmonies to your own songs that you can sing three parts at the same time.
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Post by percussion boy » Sat May 31, 2008 3:27 am

smokincan wrote:The reason, some of those older recordings have the legs they do is because you can hear the excitement that a real "great take" has...Warts and all, it has a crackle of life that you don't get from a musician who isn't invested in the performance.
Nice post -- welcome to the board.

Bottom line: The goal of recording is making something that deeply affects people emotionally. This takes technique and vision on the musician's part, not perfection.

If you comp the verse from Take 1 onto the chorus from Take 3 and get a great take, it's a great take. Miles, Mingus, and Horowitz all used tape editing sometimes.

What's dubious is micro-editing, where the engineer "builds" a performance phrase by phrase because the musician didn't have the goods. Engineer provides vision because musician lacks technique: Not good.

Stars of tomorrow: For every $100 you set aside for breast implants, spend $50 on a voice lesson. Your engineer will thank you.
"The world don't need no more songs." - Bob Dylan

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Post by mcsquishytooshy » Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:16 am

Guys, T-Pain sings with AND without extreme pitch correction on all of his albums.

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Post by Seamonster » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:09 am

Rob Christensen wrote:Years ago I read an interview with some big record company honcho in Gig magazine. The thing he said that really stuck out was something like, "The first thing I ask potential new talent is, 'What will you do to be successful?' If they don't answer 'Anything' I refuse to work with them."
Funny, if I asked potential talent what they'd do to be successful and they answered "anything," I'd likely refuse to work with them. I'd want to hear at least something like, "What do you mean by success -- commercial, artistic, or what?" If their yardstick of success is implicitly commercial without further elaboration or qualification, then it's hard to imagine I'd want to spend much time with them. But that's just me -- drawn to work with artists who live by some version of the maxim "money follows vision." Hmm, now I know why I'm not some big record company honcho.

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