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Author Topic: style....  (Read 2366 times)

j.hall

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style....
« on: May 14, 2004, 10:34:05 am »

as i've been thinking about the direction of this forum and various topics that come up here, i sort of stumbled onto a thought that we have never really jumped into, but seems to be brewing just under the surface of many topics we discuss here

with out question the giant blanket of indie rock encompasses many styles of music, sub genres, "life-styles", and ideals.

but something "closer to home" for us AE's and producers and whatever we are, is the sonic style of the records we make and listen to.

the questions i keep coming back to in my head are these.

is indie rock frozen into a certain sonic mold?

do the AE's making these records feel they "have to" deliver a certain sound?

is it merely budget driven?

or is this a non issue that i'm just over thinking?

i sort of feel like there are unspoken rules to making indie rock records.  almost like i have to convince the bands i mix to let me "step outside" of the rule book and take the mixes to uncharted waters.  sometimes they couldn't be more happy to do it, other times they look very frightened of this like i'm trying to kill them, or worse yet, have their "membership" cards revoked.

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testtone

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Re: style....
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2004, 11:39:41 am »

you know, i totally agree with you - i do believe that there is a certain notion of what it is to "be" indie or make an indie record. There are certain bars here in town that are the designated indie bars - where if you're that kinda person, you'd better be hanging out there because the scene revolves around it - i got sick of that shit along time ago, and tend to stay away from it. I still love indie music as a genre, and alot of bands that are a part of that loose scene, however some of the notions of what you must look/act/sound like in order to be deemed "cool enough" or "indie enough" is just silly.

I am starting a new project with a band in town here this weekend, they wanted to do some demos, super cheap, and quick - and after weeks of flip flopping finally decided that it was probably in their best interest to use Pro Tools rather than tape for the sake of time & $$$...but in order to keep their "cred" they aren't going to tell anyone that they are using Pro Tools, because that would be deemed "uncool and not indie enough". I think it's silly, but frankly don't care - i like both formats for different reasons, and for this project and what they want to accomplish, i think that Pro Tools is the best bet...it's just the idea that if you use something on your project like Pro Tools, or a producer, or want to make a really clean/big sounding record, you're no longer indie.
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lord

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Re: style....
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2004, 10:54:14 am »

1. You only get to use the air you moved yourself. So digital reverbs, samples, etc. --  all those "imported sounds" are not ok.

2. Radical dynamics and time-domain processing on the air you did move is usually ok.

3. Wacky effects are ok -- as long as they come out of the guitar player's stompbox/amp. Then they are a part of the bands "sound" and their instrumental genius. The same box patched into the board is the engineer "dabbling."

4. In extreme circumstances, a spring reverb may be used, but only for the "surfy part"

5. Tape is more indie than pro tools

6. It's good to have a lot of rules, because it really impresses the rock critics

7. Catering: grilled cheese w/ tomato and PBR
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spankenstein

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Re: style....
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2004, 09:18:11 pm »

lord wrote on Sat, 15 May 2004 09:54


7. Catering: grilled cheese w/ tomato and PBR


You're making me hungry!


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smalltime

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Re: style....
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2004, 04:38:07 pm »

i think at first, the indie production style was created due to budget concerns.  i know that the 1st nirvana record was recorded for $600.  i think that basically it is the whole DIY mentality that started the indie sound.  initially that was probably the best these bands could do.  spending a lot of money has never been the calling card of indie rockers.  

i think then you had the popularity of bands like pavement with their quirkiness and lo-fi-ness...  this made bands want to sound like them, which unfortunately, an AE really can't do.  that's the songwriting.  i mean, an AE could go and dial in the same tones and get a similar sounding mix, but the songwriter has to write it to fit that style of production, IMO.  i just don't think that an indie rock production to a celine dion song would make the song any better.  

so now, we have young bands that think the only way to be indie is to sound like pavement or sound like GBV.  those bands weren't ripping anybody off, they created their own sound based on their songwriting and DIY work ethic, which is why they are held in such high regard.

smalltime
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blackcat

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Re: style....
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2004, 05:45:14 pm »

In my opinion the “indie rock sound” is much more open for interpretation than lets say, the “modern rock sound.”

   These are the two genres that I deal with the most and I think that I feel more open to experiment if I have an indie band than a modern rock group.  I think this is mostly due to the bands expectations.  In most cases the modern rockers want to have a polished radio sound, something very palatable and sterile.  The indie guys are more likely to go along with something different even if it is just different for different’s sake.

   I doubt that the ascetic of indie rock is based now on budget.  In the past the “lo-fi” sound was born out of the need to do things on the cheap, now I think that some of the best sounding records are made in people’s houses and basements.  I also think that I hear a tremendous difference between inde records as opposed to other genres.  Turn on an Alt. Rock station, it sounds like one long song
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polyt

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Re: style....
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2004, 04:48:04 pm »

lord wrote on Sat, 15 May 2004 08:54

1. You only get to use the air you moved yourself. So digital reverbs, samples, etc. --  all those "imported sounds" are not ok.

2. Radical dynamics and time-domain processing on the air you did move is usually ok.

3. Wacky effects are ok -- as long as they come out of the guitar player's stompbox/amp. Then they are a part of the bands "sound" and their instrumental genius. The same box patched into the board is the engineer "dabbling."

4. In extreme circumstances, a spring reverb may be used, but only for the "surfy part"

5. Tape is more indie than pro tools

6. It's good to have a lot of rules, because it really impresses the rock critics

7. Catering: grilled cheese w/ tomato and PBR


Alright.  But only if you throw some ham on that sammy.

Fibes

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Re: style....
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2004, 05:01:20 pm »

I wish there were a lot more bands who knew what their sound actually was. I'm getting tired of bands bringing in the latest flavor of the month and asking me to shoehorn their (polar opposite) band into the flavor of the month's mold.
Thank Mithra I haven't been asked to make a band sound like Refused lately.

Indy is all about pioneering spirit to me. Hmmm...  
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Fibes
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Re: style....
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2004, 11:54:13 am »

Fibes wrote on Tue, 18 May 2004 14:01


Indy is all about pioneering spirit to me. Hmmm...  


I just left a post in the "whatever works" forum that sort of related to this.  I think your right about pioneering but I might add nonconformist and visionary.  Music is personal and should not be homoginized into the same package. I get these emails from Taxi (I don't know why?) and its reads like a list of who is popular and send us more of it kinda thing.  Looking for new talent?  I again appeal to the move "Matrix" for an anology. Neo=Independant, Agent Smith=A&R and the Architect=Clear Channel.

I posted a song in the Marsh that I did and took in everyones comments and have been thinking heavily about whether I should redux it to the shorter popul-ized radio ready format or let it stand as a personal creation that needs no validation from others.  In the movie Amadeus, Mozart responds to criticism of a songs length with a intersting attitude "I use as many notes as I require -- neither more nor less."

Has music lost its attitude?


Peace,
Dennis
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j.hall

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Re: style....
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2004, 12:20:22 pm »

Dennis wrote on Fri, 21 May 2004 10:54


Has music lost its attitude?




yes it has....cause every one just wants market acceptance and the rockstar life with out any of the effort or heart.

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Fibes

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Re: style....
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2004, 12:26:54 pm »

Yes it has!

Now i have to write an album that's main sentiment is anger with folk artists for not being insightful and pissed enough.
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Fibes
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"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

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