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Author Topic: Seems like it's cheating...  (Read 7456 times)

Dave Martin

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Seems like it's cheating...
« on: December 16, 2005, 04:01:29 pm »

Maybe it's just me, but I like records to sound like they 'could' be performed live by the artists. So the '50 background vocal tracks' or '9 guitars playing stupid noodly parts which are all on the record' thing kinda pisses me off when I hear it. But a relatively new thing that's happening  - even in country music - is that multiple takes of the drum parts, played very differently,  are being comped together, so that the drummer seems to go from brushes to sticks with no time in between. That seems to be cheating.

I've been on many, many sessions where the song seemed to require this sort of thing, but it's always been done live by the drummer; perhaps starting by playing with brushes with sticks under their arms or somwhere so that they could change the timbre of the kit to suit the sections. I've even done sessions where we would stop at the point that the brushes are done and do a gang punch with the drummer playing with sticks. But somehow, simply choosing between diferent playlists seems like cheating.

Or is it just me? Anyone feel like the ability to actually PERFORM the songs should play any part in the production process?
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Fibes

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2005, 04:26:24 pm »

Dave,

I'm not sure this is very new. I remember the cutting of endless verses, chorus' and whatever on 2" and the "best" stuff getting spliced up. Today it's easier than ever and yes in the quest for Hyper-reality the linear process of recording is being thrown away. That said, my best/favorite projects were done live/all at once or with minor overbubs.

People are cheating and that's why i stopped going (blind) to concerts because most of the bands just don't cut it.



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Fibes
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Tidewater

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2005, 04:29:16 pm »

In country music? Damned right! Country should not be allowed to change. It's never much changed for the better. I like country/blues. I like it plunking down, and telling me about the woman that did it wrong, and the drinkin'.

You are talking about that country/rap stuff!

Our Father, who is rarely in Nashville, how'd you let that slip by? Are you only cardioidpotent?

That all said (poorly) there are certain songs, then there are certain productions. I say it depends on the song.

I have been blown away by the live recreations of things I never thought would fly, and I have fallen down laughing over a lame attempt, likely more often.

Then again, most of the tracks I have loved, translate a whole different way from recorded, to performance.

For instance, Zeppelin doing Celebration Day. The studio version has all these things, like a row of first chair familiars, playing a symphonic of undiscovered instruments.. and then live, it just rips your face off.

My, my, my I'm so happy...

I am upset about country music productions. I like Hank Williams.


M
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bilco

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2005, 05:02:02 pm »

I noticed that on a U2 cut recently; it seemed like they started out fairly unplugged with a subtly brushed snare and acoustic guitars, then by the end, there's a full kit and the band is a veritable Wall 'O Guitars.  You don't realize it's amping up because it's pretty gradual.  That is fine if you're U2 and you can come close to pulling it off live..  

They can of course.  And I love that song.... the name excapes me.  "and it's you that I see in the mirror....., sometimes we can't make it on our own"?  I guess that's the title.

What I DON'T like is artists, usually local solo acoustic singer/songwriters (of which I am one) who are comped and tuned so much that you think they can actually sing and play from listening to their CD...... until you hear them live and realize they can't even tune the guitar, much less play it. Our guitar player calls them "no singin'/no playin' sum bitches." It's like false advertizing to me.  

On the other hand, I guess I are one too. I don't have perfect pitch and I hear it on playback, just can't seem to hear it recording the take.

From a recording vs. performing point of view, I am always torn about this.... There are times I want to record all the parts I hear in my head, no matter how overproduced it might end up sounding.  There is a side of me that wants to triple track my lead vocal, comping and Autotuning the life out of it so that there are "no mistakes."  I play in a pretty cool request/copy band in Austin and I have been a bass player for 34 years, so the thought of a song without a locked in rhythm section is foriegn to me. As a singer/songwriter though, I will probably almost only ever be heard solo in coffee shops, opening for house concerts and such.  There is a part of me that wants to do the Gillian Welch & David Rawlings 2 vocals and  2 guitars inspired and passionate, head on till you get it right thing and what you hear on CD is what you're gonna hear live, sparse perfection!  The other side of me with a PTLE rig and Otto Toon wants to fill up all 24 tracks.  I think I need a producer...... Jeckyl and Hyde here....... um, what was the question?

bilco
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Tidewater

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2005, 06:53:44 pm »

Musical cosmetics, and surgery.

Nice tits, U2!


M
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Frob

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2005, 08:16:11 pm »

call me old fastioned, but i like the small natural ones.

Dave Martin

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2005, 09:03:44 pm »

Fibes wrote on Fri, 16 December 2005 15:26

Dave,

I'm not sure this is very new. I remember the cutting of endless verses, chorus' and whatever on 2" and the "best" stuff getting spliced up. Today it's easier than ever and yes in the quest for Hyper-reality the linear process of recording is being thrown away. That said, my best/favorite projects were done live/all at once or with minor overbubs.

People are cheating and that's why i stopped going (blind) to concerts because most of the bands just don't cut it.




And you know, I don't mind (and regularly use) the 'punch your way to success' method of recording; it's just hearing a drum track that I KNOW can't be done live that pissed me off.

But then, it seems that a lot of my all time favorite records were live recordings - Humble Pie's "Rockin' the Fillmore", The Meters "Live on the Queen Mary", Deep Purple's "Live In Japan", Ella Fitzgerald in Berlin... I LIKE great live performances.  
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Dave Martin

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2005, 09:09:37 pm »

DivideByZero wrote on Fri, 16 December 2005 15:29

That all said (poorly) there are certain songs, then there are certain productions. I say it depends on the song.

I am upset about country music productions. I like Hank Williams.
M


Yep - and even though I thought about(and complained about) it, that's not to say that I won't do it on the next project that I produce.  Very Happy

But still...

And I like hank's songs, too - but I prefer the sound of Red Foley's records from the same time.  
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Dave Martin

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2005, 09:12:11 pm »

bilco wrote on Fri, 16 December 2005 16:02

I noticed that on a U2 cut recently; it seemed like they started out fairly unplugged with a subtly brushed snare and acoustic guitars, then by the end, there's a full kit and the band is a veritable Wall 'O Guitars.  You don't realize it's amping up because it's pretty gradual.  That is fine if you're U2 and you can come close to pulling it off live..  



I know what you mean - but it sounds like it's subtle enough that it sounded 'natural'. It's when it's not that it bugs me...
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rnicklaus

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2005, 09:29:39 pm »

Dave Martin wrote on Fri, 16 December 2005 18:03



But then, it seems that a lot of my all time favorite records were live recordings - Humble Pie's "Rockin' the Fillmore", The Meters "Live on the Queen Mary", Deep Purple's "Live In Japan", Ella Fitzgerald in Berlin... I LIKE great live performances.  



Speaking of Humble Pie, one of my faves when I was a kid, I had the first 2 albums (imports on Immediate) Safe as Yesterday Is (right?) and Town and Country, if I have both titles correct and they were much more acoustic blues (like stones country honk) than they were live.

I saw every show of theirs I could when I was in high school.

A few years back I was meeting with Framton about a possible project and I think I floored him with what I knew about all their history.

To see Steve Marriot with his goose neck mic stand and all his energy, HE was my hero.  Add Frampton's style - he wasn't just another blues riff minor boring player - and wow.  Greg Ridley on bass and vocal (he was from spooky tooth) as well (much trading verses) and damn if I can't remember the drummer's name right now.

The idea that their shows were so much rockier than their records, was awesome to me.  It was like the record on steroids.

Marriot and Framton each had 2 half stacks, one using the 6 10 cabs the other the 4 12.  Bass was a mashall and an acoustic 360, if I remember that far back.

Too bad they didn't have video or film of those shows.

They would start the set with 4 Day Creep.  I still have never seen a rock band more powerful or better. Simple, tight, LOUD, energy like never before - they killed.

Others had pop hits and therefor got bigger - Hey Zepplin had Good Times Bad Times on POP radio, but nobody had a better live show than Humble Pie.

Rant off.
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compasspnt

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2005, 10:57:18 pm »

HP drummer was Jerry Shirley.  Nice guy; worked with him once.

PS:  Marriot was awesome!
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Tidewater

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2005, 11:31:18 pm »

This thread is not about food.

I have 30 days in my playlist.


M
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Dave Martin

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2005, 12:27:42 am »

I loved "30 days" back in the day. And I once started a band just so we could do 4 day creep (and Highway Star). That, to me, is what 'rock music' was all about. But that might mean that we're old...
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maxim

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2005, 12:42:42 am »

i reckon, anything goes

recording is not live, like film isn't theatre

one of the best things i discovered (by accident), while making the last record, was that you can comp not only different takes and different instrument setups, but entire recording sessions

i had the basic tracks tracks for a song, which changed between the tango and the waltz during the chorus, and the drummer, although great with the waltz, just couldn't get the tango right

by the time i had accepted that it wasn't good enough, i was in another country, so rerecording the session was out of the question

so, i found a great spanish gypsy guitar player and we cut the verses together

then it was just a simple case of adding the two, and now it's the track most people seem to like listening to

for the next record, i plan to do more of it, but this time, with preparation

imo, tape flattens performane, so any tricks that prick up the interest are fair go

as long as they don't simultaneously prick the ballon of suspension of disbelief

which, is what, i guess you (dave) are talking about

another question, is would it be the same if you didn't have engineers ears?


ps i just reread the post, and realised how naive i am, of course, people must have cut between sessions before, it's just that i never had thought it before

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rnicklaus

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Re: Seems like it's cheating...
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2005, 01:30:15 am »

compasspnt wrote on Fri, 16 December 2005 19:57

HP drummer was Jerry Shirley.  Nice guy; worked with him once.

PS:  Marriot was awesome!


Thanks!
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