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Intentionally Bad Recordings

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jeffh1357, Dec 18, 2001.

  1. jeffh1357

    jeffh1357 Guest

    A group of us were discussing why so many cds are being recorded with intentionally bad, distorted or extremely lo-fi sound. What are the reasons that someone would go out of their way to distort and annoy the listener. Generally, it seems we are talking about more cutting edge alternative rock, dance, electronica, hip-hop music styles. This is a philosophical question. Can anyone shed some light on this subject? Thanks
     
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Originally posted by jeffh1357:
    A group of us were discussing why so many cds are being recorded with intentionally bad, distorted or extremely lo-fi sound. What are the reasons that someone would go out of their way to distort and annoy the listener. Generally, it seems we are talking about more cutting edge alternative rock, dance, electronica, hip-hop music styles. This is a philosophical question. Can anyone shed some light on this subject? Thanks

    One might also ask: why use 12 bit samples, TR-series beat boxes, "telephone" eq, etc. when there are much more hi-fi alternatives? Seems to me it's just a matter of stylistic convention - part of the creation of the vibe or an edge.

    It's kind of like asking why use vulgar obsceneties when there are much more elegant lyrical alternatives available? Or why use only basic triads or a simple repeating pedal point or an "annoying" ostinato when there are all those nice rich harmonies with extensions/tensions available?

    And what the hell is wrong with all those blues players - why are they trying to annoy us by only using three chords? ;)
     
  3. lwilliam

    lwilliam Active Member

    Yep, IMHO, it's like why in the world would you want to distort such a beautiful-sounding instrument like a guitar...my (very old school) dad always asks me why I want to use distortion on my guitar when clean sounds so much better. :D

    It's just a sound...
     
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I find this a very interesting topic.

    Distorted music examples

    Dancing in the streets - Martha reeves and the Vandellas - a distorted track if there ever was one.
    La Bamba - (???) The vocal is overloaded
    + a lot of Indian film / pop music seems to have a PERMANENTLY distorted vocal sound even though they can well afford 'clean' signal paths...

    Buddy Holly's gtr, Chuck Berry on Johnny B Goode.

    A few years back an artist called Shaggy had a mad calypso / reggae hit - "OH Carolina" - The backing vocals were all out of tune and it sounded like most of the track had been recorded in an empty oil tanker! But it had a home grown 'rootzy' VIBE!

    Distortion 'cuts through' seems if you have something to say, distort it!

    One practical example is the use of the Tech21 SansAmp distortion box. Built for Gtr, most folks seem to use it on ANYTHING BUT gtr! Set up at mixdown on an effects send, drums & vocals get dialled into it to varying degrees, to, wait for it ADD CLARITY! Or make a sound 'sit in the mix' better...

    I admit to being more on the clean sound side, but it seems trendy these days to have an array of stomp boxes (gtr pedals) to 'mash stuff up through'.

    I think folks without knowing it are trying to get back in time to the precise moment when, in Buddy Holly's home studio, his sleeve might have got caught on a valve pre amp gain by accident and triggered a sound that inspired 3 decades of contemporary pop music.

    RAVE ON!

    :w:
     

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