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Author Topic: Character...  (Read 16423 times)

maxim

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Re: Character...
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2005, 04:07:02 pm »

ww wrote:
"...I frankly find intentional "lo fi" as pretentious and pointless as attempts as "perfection"..."

i understand (and agree to a point) about trying to be the former

why be so cynical about the latter?

of course, perfection is impossible, but to strive for it, why is that bad?

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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Character...
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2005, 04:58:19 pm »

maxim wrote on Sun, 03 April 2005 15:07

...of course, perfection is impossible, but to strive for it, why is that bad?...
Provided one takes a very sophisticated approach, nothing!

An over-simplistic approach is why auto-tune and beat detective have become so popular despite destroying the communicative and participatory qualities of the music.

Perfection in musical experience for the listener is not the same thing as perfect equal-tempered pitch and metronomic time.

thedoc

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Re: Character...
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2005, 05:25:31 pm »

Bob Olhsson wrote;

"Perfection in musical experience for the listener is not the same thing as perfect equal-tempered pitch and metronomic time"

Could someone PLEASE have that carved in granite and hung from the tallest building...?  
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J.J. Blair

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Re: Character...
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2005, 06:03:21 pm »

OK, here's a question: Would you say that Pink Floyd's best albums or Steely Dan's best album sacrifice either character or perfection?  

BTW, the thing that everybody misses about why these albums are great, especially when it comes to Steely Dan, is not because the best players in the world are on them, etc.  It's because the songs are great!   A lot of the guys coming out of music schools don't seem to get that.  It's not about the complex arrangements or the chops, it's that the songs are so goddamn hooky, and that is the type of character I think is most important with any recording.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

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jwhynot

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Re: Character...
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2005, 06:23:14 pm »

Quote:

perfect equal-tempered pitch
which in itself is an oxymoron.

So-called "equal temperament" is a compromise.  To most members of our species it sounds out of tune.

JW
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maxim

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Re: Character...
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2005, 08:24:05 pm »

you won't find any arguments here
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wwittman

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Re: Character...
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2005, 09:31:22 pm »

Because there's simply no advantage to it.
Music is about interaction and about FEELINGS.. feelings aren't perfect, they're sloppy and human and inconvenient and intense.
That's why people love music... because it brings out these feelings.
Because it says things they wish they could say or remember they've said.
Becasue it makes them feel deeply.
Not because it's "perfect".


Especially in these days of computers, it's possible, even easy, to achieve a level of 'perfection' that IS only possible on a machine... it's not human or natural.

It's not striving for your BEST.
It's an artificial, mechanized, digitized perfection.
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William Wittman
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wwittman

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Re: Character...
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2005, 09:34:18 pm »

I would say Pink Floyd is loaded with character.. although once Roger leaves, they start to sway toward that kind of pointless, souless precision as well.
but Steely Dan is the epitome to me of the quest for precision leading to sterility.

Their songs are their saving grace.... but they were pioneers of the pointless moving of things by sub-frames.
I say PLAY it again until it feels great. The leave it.
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William Wittman
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Brian Kehew

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Re: Character...
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2005, 11:52:39 pm »

Wow - huge differences of perspective we should not lose track of:

Floyd and Steely are considered "big money corporate rock" for a reason; They don't ALLOW the human element that so many love on their favorite records. They allow AN human element, but it's not the loose and wild one that many consider essential for emotional music. HOWEVER - to some, Floyd and Steely Dan would be considered "sloppy" compared to what they know and like... Britney and Philip Glass fans alike.

"Perfection" in audio - I don't know what that is. Is it all frequencies balanced at all times? All volumes matched? Is it all sounds as high fidelity as possible all the time? "Perfection" is more nebulous than "LoFi" (I have a solution below, terminologically...)

I see LoFi as a creative world - like saying "I won't use electric instruments". It is a choice and an aesthetic that is neither poseur nor rebellious. I think "systems" impart character (an amp, a room, a recording chain) and LoFi tends to use combinations of systems to "create a sound" (rarely is it keyboard DI'd into desk).

The more systems you employ, the more you tend to verge from sonic purity. (Did I just stumble on an axiom?? Ouch...) Character may, or may not, come from employing more systems, so maybe it is rather irrelevant of the LoFi or Purity debate (shall we use "Purity" instead of Perfection?)
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maxim

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Re: Character...
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2005, 02:26:19 am »

perhaps, "precision" is a better term

for me "perfect" is venus de milo, mona lisa, 'wish you were here', a girl i saw down the street, the kangaroo-carotte stew i made last week, citizen kane, annie hall, marina tsvetaeva's poems etc etc

i try to to have a "perfect" moment at least once a day (once a week is more like it works out)

it brings me back to this conductor's quote, whose name i don't recall, sadly:

"there are an infinite number of versions of the piece, but there is only one definitive performance on the night"

when you get it "right", it's perfect, and everything clicks into place

you couldn't add or subtract anything to this moment, it's "perfect" as it is

imo, precision takes away from perfection by reducing the emotional impact of "seeing" the human inside the work, which is the reason any of us actually enjoy art, other than for esoteric purposes

machines are precise, but, certainly, not perfect, in any sense of the word

perfection is in the eye of the beholder, unlike precision, which can be measured and reproduced
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Character...
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2005, 12:00:00 pm »

Another guy who milked the industry while riding it was Armand van Helden. A friend of mine who was about as active back then, Stonebridge, told me how van Helden armed his sampler to record and took the very first thing off the acapella DAT tape, and that was it. Put that line/word/phrase into his own creation and off you go... How's that for arrogance. Smile

They were a handful of guys who could charge big bucks for one remix. Stonebridge always spent about five working days on each remix, unlike Mr. Terry and van Helden it seems...

The big buck remixers of today are probably spending a whole lot more time just editing/stretching/compressing the vocals and what have you.

Cheers,

Tomas Danko
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Character...
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2005, 12:05:49 pm »

jwhynot wrote on Sun, 03 April 2005 17:23

...So-called "equal temperament" is a compromise.  To most members of our species it sounds out of tune...
Exactly. The same is true of notes played in time as opposed to relative to time.

The main thing is that the quest for any flavor of recording quality or production technique must always take a back seat to obtaining THE definitive performance. To me great engineering is hitting the record button in time and always having plans B through Z available for that heartbeat after you can hear plan A isn't cutting it. It's a dynamic, responsive thing.

J.J. Blair

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Re: Character...
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2005, 02:07:51 am »

Van Helden II rocks.  "Beautiful Girls"!
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham
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