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Author Topic: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?  (Read 13477 times)

Offline jdsowa

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #75 on: February 19, 2005, 02:50:56 pm »
I think recorded audio today sounds _different_, that's all.  And that's great.  I used to think that the sounds of recordings from the late 60s/early 70s were ideal and that anything that sounded different was somehow fundamentally flawed.  Now, I can imagine how boring music would've been if things had never moved on from that ideal (great, though, it may've been).  

I agree that the editing capabilities of modern equipment have discouraged people from learning/practicing instruments.  Not only are bands able to 'fix it in the mix', but there are entire genres being made by people who couldn't tell you what a major triad is.  Whether this is bad or good is a matter of perspective.

As far as whether or not some Beatles-equivalent band or artist will come along and 'save' music, I don't think it will happen.  

Musicians were so much more important to the youth in the past because they were pretty much the harbingers of 'cool'.  Everything else going on in society (television, etc.) at that time was tame in comparison to what musicians represented (extravagent dress, long hair, sex, drugs).  

While musicians may still create the fashions of the day--the social barriers that existed in regards to the above topics have all been broken down.  There's nothing a musician can do these days that can't be done by you or me.  It's not uncommon to see a kid at the local mall with a 6" pink mohawk.  The topic of sex is bandied about pretty regularly on cable TV.  Elvis' style of dance created a revolution because that's all there was at the time.  Now, you can see the most graphic pictures on the internet from sex to beheadings.  Musicians are no longer on the vanguard of edginess.  

When the next Beatles fly into town you won't see girls lined up on the guardrails fainting and in tears--they'll be met with a big collective yawn.

Your average person never has, and never will, care about the 'quality' of the song or the recording.  It has never mattered.  Everything will be taken to its logical conclusion.  In music's case, this means one thing: repetition/recognition.  Producers realized that nobody really needed the strings in a disco song, just the 4-on-the-floor beat.  Then they realized that harmony and even the singing itself wasn't necessary; only some kind of repetitive sound.  

There is a portion of society that is appreciate of 'quality music'.  It is a fairly small group.  When 'quality music/recordings' sold to the masses (as they had in the 60s and 70s) it was only because the industry had not yet figured out that they could get away with selling THIS kind of music.

Offline RMoore

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #76 on: February 27, 2005, 05:01:26 am »
lucey wrote on Sun, 13 February 2005 04:36

 As far as the 24 year old cut off, I disagree.  Sarah Mclaughlin was older and is now established for life,  



Note - Sarah Mclaughlin was 'discovered' by an A&R man from Nettwerk Records when she was still in high school (pretty sure)   playing in the opening band for his own band MOEV, I think it was..

She then came straight to Vancouver after grad where she was put together with various producers, engineers, songcrafters etc etc and 'groomed' for years and years..
PLUS - she then TOURED endlessly playing tons of crap gigs, small bars across Canada for ages before breaking through...
So she was already working hard for years and years..

FWIW - I witnessed that all close by because I was involved with Nettwerk Records and knew people on the scene who were working with her.
I even played on demos for the Solace album and even 2 album tracks (but got replaced later by the Neville Bros bass player ! Smile )..
I think I ended up on the thank you's tho..

Even though the label clearly saw a lot of potential in her & were channeling lots of resources to the Sarah project, I don't think ANYONE could have predicted her eventual huge success in the USA back then...

FWIW 2 - the manager Terry McBride was 'born to be a manager' IMO
...I've seen him do incredible things like stand at the gates of a troubled festival and collect cash at the door, $5 here $10 there, until ALL his artists were paid (!)..meanwhile the rest got  rubber cheques from the promoter..

Also I saw at a shmooze a thon / free booze party for Nettwerk records he went onstage and announced over the mic 'all you press people, I see you standing  standing at the back, you'd better come up to the front and pay attention to this band or I'm CLOSING THE BAR - I MEAN IT!'...Smile
Incredible! And they obeyed of course cuz he wasn't bluffing..

I recall that moment crystal clear cuz I was playing in said band!





People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
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Offline Bob Olhsson

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #77 on: February 27, 2005, 08:08:14 am »
Ryan Moore wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 04:01

...
Note - Sarah Mclaughlin was 'discovered' by an A&R man from Nettwerk Records when she was still in high school (pretty sure)   playing in the opening band for his own band MOEV, I think it was..

This is a very common story. Another is that most people generally have their first hit record on their SECOND major deal.

Offline RMoore

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #78 on: February 27, 2005, 01:30:31 pm »
I think SM scored big on or after her 3rd album after being signed up to Arista in the USA via the Canadian label..

An interesting thing about Nettwerk Records / Productions, similar to what you once said about Motown, is that (in retrospect) it seemed more like a management company with a label - at least at the time I was involved (late 80's early 90's) eg: a band would sign but they would get a whole master plan of action for their career and activities being laid out following the managerial acumen of the label CEO ...
Indeed it seems since then that the NWerk CEO Terry McBride moved completely into artist management..
At that time it seemed their plan of action was to groom artists north of the border and then try and set up big deals with US majors - in the case of SM that seemed to work out rather well with Clive Davis & Arista I think it was..

Another interesting thing, for a smaller indie label operation (that they were at that time), was they had full time promo staff who were working the phones every day, all day to radio, djs, distributors, press, stores and who knows who else, just building up relationships, getting the names & a buzz out there..

People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

Offline Bob Olhsson

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #79 on: February 27, 2005, 02:40:55 pm »
Ryan Moore wrote on Sun, 27 February 2005 12:30

...they had full time promo staff who were working the phones every day, all day to radio, djs, distributors, press, stores and who knows who else, just building up relationships, getting the names & a buzz out there..

This is what record labels are all about. It's amazing how few people, even those who've been signed to the majors, seem to understand this.

Offline vernier

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #80 on: February 27, 2005, 11:50:45 pm »
Examining old records is making me question newer ones ..I don't think a tube-pre in front of a bunch of digital weirdness is cutting it.

Offline RMoore

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #81 on: February 28, 2005, 05:28:30 am »
fadeout wrote on Thu, 17 February 2005 23:19

 But "better than the Beatles" at what point? 1962? 1966? 1970? Before or after they worked with Sir George? They grew. And they grew because they were allowed to grow. They had help, they had resources, they worked, they kept getting better. And, don't forget luck and/or fate, depending your point of view.  

I would not doubt that there are people out there right now who are as gifted as the members of the fab four, in whatever genre.



And even the Beatles got turned down by nearly every label back then..

Another thing people forget about the Beatles is by the time they got signed, they had really learned the history of their craft eg: learned millions of classic rock n roll, skiffle, old time show tunes etc...not to mention paying major dues playing covers on the club circuit, Hamburg etc...

I find it hard to imagine young musicians of today really learning the classics and history of musical genres..

It sure is amazing how the Beatles' music changed in the space of a single decade..

Nowadays it seems like all you have to do to score on the hit parade is know how to dance the bump n grind  or look sullen / vaguely threatening - get some tattoos and maybe 50 grand worth of plastic surgery (for females)...and then your A&R will hook you up with so and so producer w a PT rig and some loops. Next stop a tour of 500 US malls and MTV fame, with maybe a Superbowl gig..
People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

Offline maxdimario

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #82 on: February 28, 2005, 08:09:14 am »
Ryan Moore wrote on Mon, 28 February 2005 11:28

fadeout wrote on Thu, 17 February 2005 23:19

 But "better than the Beatles" at what point? 1962? 1966? 1970? Before or after they worked with Sir George? They grew. And they grew because they were allowed to grow. They had help, they had resources, they worked, they kept getting better. And, don't forget luck and/or fate, depending your point of view.  

I would not doubt that there are people out there right now who are as gifted as the members of the fab four, in whatever genre.



And even the Beatles got turned down by nearly every label back then..

Another thing people forget about the Beatles is by the time they got signed, they had really learned the history of their craft eg: learned millions of classic rock n roll, skiffle, old time show tunes etc...not to mention paying major dues playing covers on the club circuit, Hamburg etc...

I find it hard to imagine young musicians of today really learning the classics and history of musical genres..

It sure is amazing how the Beatles' music changed in the space of a single decade..

Nowadays it seems like all you have to do to score on the hit parade is know how to dance suggestively  or look sullen / vaguely threatening - get some tattoos and maybe 50 grand worth of plastic surgery (for females)...and then your A&R will hook you up with so and so producer w a PT rig and some loops. Next stop a tour of 500 US malls and MTV fame, with maybe a Superbowl gig..

The Beatles were continually growing musically and as performers as a result of an active music scene.

Played live every day and learned to be heard above the crowds.

now bands in Europe have to pay to play at the big clubs, don't know in USA, which makes the whole concept of performing live different.

If you want to have great records tomorrow you have to support your local music scene.

It doesn't have to be rock'n'roll either.


Offline mr. moon

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #83 on: February 28, 2005, 12:27:25 pm »
Joe Crawford wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 13:20

As Harvey wrote - “I also believe that when we had less tracks to work with, the music had less chance to become "stale", both to the musicians and to the engineers and producers. All the comping, editing, and delaying of mix decisions has taken us to perfect, but often boring, levels of performance.”

‘Art’ is that which conveys emotion from the artist to the audience.   Read that as ‘soul’!  And, music used to be ‘art’.  Now, with all the technical enhancements to recording (i.e., DAW’s, digital effects, unlimited tracks, unlimited edits, etc.) we have the capability to make recordings ‘technically perfect’.   But, in doing so, we have removed all the ‘art’.   Today’s music may still be entertaining.  So is elevator music.   But, where is the feeling?  I guess it got lost in the production process.  How can we, as the artist, feel a song when stuck in an isolation boot with a set of cans over our ears and half a dozen people staring at us (and the clock)?  How can we, as the audience, feel a song when every drum hit has been timed within a millisecond, and every vocal note tuned within a couple of cents?

It’s not just ‘stale’.  We’ve removed all the soul, and the ‘live’ feel, of the music.  Maybe we’re just in too much of a hurry to play it right, record it right, or just make money.  I don’t know the answer.  But I do know we’re slowly trashing what’s left of the ‘art’ in music.

Joe Crawford
Stony Mountain Studio
Shanks, WV 26716




IMHO, you hit the nail on the head! We refuse to use Auto Tune for anything. We also leave mistakes in our tunes (which we call "Lenny's" - after Lenny Kravitz who does the same) just so folks know it is "real" music created by "real" people. Some folks dig the technically perfect thing, but personally, music is more about chaos than perfection anyways...

-mr moon

Offline vernier

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #84 on: February 28, 2005, 07:22:44 pm »
quote "We refuse to use Auto Tune for anything."

I can't listen to records processed with autotune.

Offline magicchord

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #85 on: March 03, 2005, 10:44:38 am »
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/magicchord/music2.jpg
Patrick Bryant - Magicchord Music BMI

Offline RMoore

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Re: IS RECORDED AUDIO BETTER OR WORSE TODAY...?
« Reply #86 on: March 03, 2005, 10:52:46 am »
LOL

Nice graph!
People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky