How computers ruined rock music

Roadappledrummer

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I was in the studio one time. We were just going to cut a live demo to give to booking people. The guy who owned and ran the studio (it was pretty high end...some famous users) laughed when we said we wanted to cut six tracks in four hours. After one take he wasn't laughing anymore. We were a tight professional band who knew how to play together...we were so different than what he usually saw he didn't realize that still existed. We wound up using some of the tracking time to mix the demo because we didn't need anywhere clost to four hours to do it. Almost nobody cuts live anymore or is tight enough to play without clicks and quantizing. He told me a story about spending hours doing exactly what Beato showed...lining up hits because the drummer was so all over the place that the takes were horrible. I think many producers would love to cut live bands playing together without quantizing...but it's a lost art now. It's easier to "polish turds" with technology than get most players tight enough to sound good without it.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I was in the studio one time. We were just going to cut a live demo to give to booking people. The guy who owned and ran the studio laughed when we said we wanted to cut six tracks in four hours.
That's still commonly done for demos.

Almost nobody cuts live anymore or is tight enough to play without clicks and quantizing.
Huh??
commonly done also.
 

tommykat1

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I agree with some of the points Rick makes in that clip but the video title is essentially click-bait since record producers had been employing tempo modification tricks like click tracks, quantization & the LinnDrum along with the above mentioned tape splicing cut & paste to manipulate beats on hit songs for a couple decades before the advent of Beat Detective and ProTools, so this didn't necessarily begin in the 90s, it simply became more widespread and prevalent by that time and now it's ubiquitous.
As far back as 1973, maybe even earlier. I read that Fagan and Becker had Roger "The Immortal" Nichols use a tape loop on a bar of Jim Hodder's drum track on "Show Biz Kids" from Steely Dan's Countdown to Ecstasy in 1973 because they wanted simplicity and perfection for that specific track. No fills, just the repetitive downbeat/backbeat cycle.
 

Mcjnic

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Back in 2009, Lorrie Morgan did an amazing album "A Moment In Time" ... it was recorded LIVE in the studio ... no overdubs and no "clean up". What you hear is what was played live in the moment.

I'm very familiar with the details of that session as it was my family that filmed the documentary. It gives an amazing look into how records used to be made. At the start of every song, Eddie Bayers does the countoff ... sans any sort of metronome ... and off they went into the song. All of the songs except one (?) I believe were completed in one take. It demonstrates what can be done with talent in the room behind the instruments. Once Gordon Mote was led to the keys, he lit that freekin place up. Harold Bradley did his tic tac bass ... it was an amazing session.
If you've not listened to the CD ... do it. You don't have to love Country music to appreciate the level of talent on display.

There is still music being recorded the "right" way. It's worth the search.
 

Mongrel

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Back in 2009, Lorrie Morgan did an amazing album "A Moment In Time" ... it was recorded LIVE in the studio ... no overdubs and no "clean up". What you hear is what was played live in the moment.

I'm very familiar with the details of that session as it was my family that filmed the documentary. It gives an amazing look into how records used to be made. At the start of every song, Eddie Bayers does the countoff ... sans any sort of metronome ... and off they went into the song. All of the songs except one (?) I believe were completed in one take. It demonstrates what can be done with talent in the room behind the instruments. Once Gordon Mote was led to the keys, he lit that freekin place up. Harold Bradley did his tic tac bass ... it was an amazing session.
If you've not listened to the CD ... do it. You don't have to love Country music to appreciate the level of talent on display.

There is still music being recorded the "right" way. It's worth the search.
I LOVE this type of backstory-and you have my word I will look this album up.

My entire "career" (haha) is live music. I know for a fact that I have participated in many live "takes" that were album worthy. (Yea, I guess I am that arrogant).

I believe with the power of the internet we are and will continue to see a movement back to this type of thing. It is just too cheap to get quality basement recordings to have to rely on established studios and digital manipulators.

It happened before no reason it can't happen again.

Thanks for the heads up...
 

studrum

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Thanks...saved me a lot of typing re: "this was being done 50 years ago..." Etc.

Ignoring the 800lb digital Gorilla in the room.
Actually, Beato mentions it in the video. Splicing together tape of different takes is one thing. "Snuggin' up" a couple of bass drum hits here and there is another. But what he objects to is the TOTAL gridification going on in recording now, which is quite a bit more extreme than a little nippin' and tuckin'. Way different results and effect on music.
 

Mongrel

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Actually, Beato mentions it in the video. Splicing together tape of different takes is one thing. "Snuggin' up" a couple of bass drum hits here and there is another. But what he objects to is the TOTAL gridification going on in recording now, which is quite a bit more extreme than a little nippin' and tuckin'. Way different results and effect on music.
Ahhh...yea...pretty much what you just typeded is EXACTLY what I am talking about...

Lol

In other words, yep, I agree.
 

studrum

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Back in 2009, Lorrie Morgan did an amazing album "A Moment In Time" ... it was recorded LIVE in the studio ... no overdubs and no "clean up". What you hear is what was played live in the moment.

I'm very familiar with the details of that session as it was my family that filmed the documentary. It gives an amazing look into how records used to be made. At the start of every song, Eddie Bayers does the countoff ... sans any sort of metronome ... and off they went into the song. All of the songs except one (?) I believe were completed in one take. It demonstrates what can be done with talent in the room behind the instruments. Once Gordon Mote was led to the keys, he lit that freekin place up. Harold Bradley did his tic tac bass ... it was an amazing session.
If you've not listened to the CD ... do it. You don't have to love Country music to appreciate the level of talent on display.

There is still music being recorded the "right" way. It's worth the search.
Harold Bradley!!! Dang!!! Were you in the room at the time? That would be something!
 

Mcjnic

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Harold Bradley!!! Dang!!! Were you in the room at the time? That would be something!
Look up the list of artists ...
It was one of the special sessions ...
I’ve got a copy of the documentary footage. It is a stunning piece of work.
These artists would shoot the breeze, make some verbal comments about the tune, set, Eddie would count off, and they played ... one take ... phenomenal talent.
 

studrum

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Look up the list of artists ...
It was one of the special sessions ...
I’ve got a copy of the documentary. It is a stunning piece of work.
These artists would shoot the breeze, make some verbal comments about the tune, set, Eddie would count off, and they played ... one take ... phenomenal talent.
Awesome! Calling blueshadow...
 

moodman

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My band had a song on an album raising money for the local food bank in Bloomington IN, me and the bassman laid down a track for an original at IU's huge music building, student engineers. Snare, kick, cymbals and 9 mics on the drums. We cut the track and as we were leaving one of the students says "don't worry, we've got the latest protools!!". We weren't 'worried' about anything, we thought we had a great cut. The bass man and I were both experienced in the studio. (My band cut a song in one take, no click,RCA Studio B , NY, that was released as an A side. I've cut tracks, drums only, no click, that only moved one bpm and, in the old days, as the drummer, I've been asked to punch out parts that the player and the engineer couldn't get) There was nothing wrong with the cut at IU, when we heard the protools'ed track, it had no feel , they'd ruined it, I've never listened to it again.
 

DanRH

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Yup. Throw on a Stones song from the 70’s and watch you liveBPM. YIKES!

It makes you appreciate Ringo even more for his time keeping skills.
 

bernard

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Isn't the computer yet another tool in the toolbox (and a fantastic tool it is)? Then, what you use it for is all up to you?

I have no problems at all with playing to a click and adapting to the grid, but if the music calls for some variations in tempo, let's do it. Never had any computer ruin a song.
 

swarfrat

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People with new hammers tend to run around looking for nails.
There is in fact nothing which prevents you from using your DAW to record a big band live in one take with a single microphone. Well... nothing except money, which is usually what pushes people into computers and editing
 

SKSMITH

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As far back as 1973, maybe even earlier. I read that Fagan and Becker had Roger "The Immortal" Nichols use a tape loop on a bar of Jim Hodder's drum track on "Show Biz Kids" from Steely Dan's Countdown to Ecstasy in 1973 because they wanted simplicity and perfection for that specific track. No fills, just the repetitive downbeat/backbeat cycle.
Here's the scoop from the independent:

While recording "Show Biz Kids" for the follow-up Countdown To Ecstasy in 1973, Nichols devised an ingenious way of keeping all the instruments in sync before adding overdubs. "We made a 24-track, eight-bar tape loop, which at 30 inches per second was a considerable length of tape, trailed it out through the door into the studio, around a little idler which was set up on a camera tripod, back into the studio, and then copied that to a second 24-track machine," he told the Steely Dan biographer Brian Sweet. "Everything was on tape except the lead vocal and the lead guitar. It worked like a dream."

 


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