quality of sound
by, 06-01-2010 at 02:24 PM (740 Views)
So last night I drove four hours to surprise my wife (the good kind not the country song kind) and up early to drive four hours back to work this morning. You have a lot of time out here in Montana between lamp posts so I popped in a CD of the Gershwin songbook. The singer in question does not normally perform songs remotely resembling Gershwin so the incongrous nature of the personality helped keep me awake.
Ironically it wasn't the vocal quality that kept my brain housing group spinning but the backup musicians and the recording techniques. The band was pretty tight and had the usual assortment of rhythm and clarinet or trumpet or sax for obligato filler. The reeds came through great on quality and mix. The trumpet sound was nice and gritty but seemed to be too hot for the mic IMO. What really got me though was the bass. I know several folks here are bass players and everyone has their preferences, but for me and my taste, for Gershwin one ought to use an upright double bass instead of a bass guitar. Now, maybe they did on this recording but if so it was so rolled off and compressed that nothing remotely resembled wood and string and endpin. The playing itself was great and I liked the walking style. It was just the quality of the sound that bugged me. If you'd stuck the same bass sound into a Chick Corea tune I might feel completely different about it.
I miss real instruments played by real people without being over engineered. Just because we can modulate/change/etc a sound doesn't make it good!