Monday, August 25, 2008

Music Fads

Yesterday, I had a three-hour session of private instruction at the music studio. (I love saying “I was in the studio”)

My instructor was teaching me a lot of details with regard to music production and I had to laugh when he began mentioning some of the “fads” that have taken place in the past.

Here are some of them:

Are any of you are old enough to remember the music of the late ‘60s? If so, you may recall that there was suddenly a big influx of pop songs that used choruses along with the lead vocals; sometimes only choruses were used. Some examples are:

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In by The 5th Dimension

Cherish by The Association

Lazy Day by Spanky and Our Gang

That fad certainly produced that “Late 60’s Sound” that came and went.

Another fad was the “Phil Collins Snare Drum Rim-Shot of the Late 80s.”

You’d be listening to a Phil Collins tune and then BAM!, there’d be this incredibly loud snare drum rim-shot with lots of echo effect added to it. Then suddenly, it became “the thing” to do. Music producers everywhere began super-amplifying these random rim-shots in pop tunes from that era.

Let’s not forget about “Cher’s 'Do You Believe' Voice Distortion of the Late 90s.” Remember that song? There would be a couple of words in the lyrics where the vocal line would be given this distorted electronic-ey sound. (This was done by maxing out some of the EQ effects for a split second). Once Cher did it, that stunt became de rigueur for a while.

What’s the gimmick nowadays? I’ll tell you.

Today, you’ll be hard pressed to find a rap or hip-hop recording that doesn’t have the vocal line doubled and lots of bass resonance added to it. I guess it adds to the hyper-masculinity that that type of genre tries to invoke. Years from now, we’ll be saying, “Remember that awful sound from the first decade?”

I love working in “the studio.” It’s amazing what one can do with music and technology these days.

The down-side to this advanced technology is that pop musicians these days are relying more and more on the studio technicians to produce their hits rather than on their own talent (or lack thereof). Thus, you have the huge increase that's so prevalent in live performances these days: That abomination called lip-synching.

Then again, they're the ones on stage. I am not.

Whatever the case, I really enjoy the geeky side of music production and learning all about it. I think I finally may have found what I want to do when I grow up.

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At 9:55 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I HATE the "Cher’s 'Do You Believe' Voice Distortion of the Late 90s.”

Yucky yuck yuck!

At 6:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad to say I can hear all 3 of those songs from the 60's, playing in my head when I read the titles.

When can we expect to hear a production from you? :-)

At 1:48 PM , Blogger Br. Jonathan said...

Seachange: I'm working on it. I'll post one on here soon.

At 1:48 PM , Blogger Br. Jonathan said...

Oh, but you'll have to buy it from iTunes for 99 cents!


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