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Mumford and Sons - Recording and music business reactions...

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by BobRogers, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I've become very interested in Mumford and Sons lately, and I'd appreciate the reaction of the board. The recording/mixing style is interesting. They tend to be marketed as a sort of "purist" group, but if so "purism" includes a lot of effects on vocals and instruments that Bill Monroe never envisioned. (For that matter look at the pedal boards in front of every player in Punch Brothers. It's not your Daddy's bluegrass band.)

    From a personal perspective, I'm interested since there are so many acoustic - oriented groups in our area and the success of Mumford signals a much more aggressive trend in mixing/ processing these groups. (But I think its in a different way then the early Sam Bush / Newgrass groups got mixed.)

    Anyway - I have a long way to go before I figure all this out. Appreciate any comments.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    All the young guys want to play with all these toys today. I mean with all this marketing mass forced upon them, what can you expect? Certainly you understand the mathematical expressions as to why this is occurring? At least I would hope so? What the original folks envisioned? They already expressed what they envisioned. This is the younger generations interpretation of that formula. Isn't this also a little like algebra where you can come up with the same answer from differently expressed equations?I mean I wouldn't know because I've failed so badly in math?

    I've gone from zero to infinity where infinity is a little like zero.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Remy - If a mathematician tells you he has an equation to predict human behavior, grab your wallet and hold on tight. Though you might ask if his name is Hari Seldon.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    To give a more direct response to Remy, I think that you are right that there is an element of boys playing with toys in all of this. But these boys could be playing with synthesizers and electric guitars, but they are drawn to acoustic instruments. In a sense this incorporation of modern studio and electronic tone modification techniques with traditional acoustic instruments is old hat. Folk musicians were recorded with "wall of sound" style production in the 60s and 70's. Lots of the Newgrass crowd used effects in live shows. So maybe this is just a matter of a some good groups doing it better than it has been done before. But there are competing trends. Several acoustic groups are going for the old one-mic approach. (OK, maybe a pickup on the bass.) Then you see Jerry Douglass with more pedals than Hendrix played at one gig.

    So I guess the question that I'm throwing out is, "Is there some new trend going on here or am I just noticing something old (maybe done particularly well.)"
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    OK, I know that this is completely off topic, but in 2003 I started posting/reading at tdpri.com - the Telecaster Discussion Page Re-Issue. (I was getting into guitar at the time. Went back to playing bass primarily later.) Those were fairly early days there, but the "old timers" talked about this kid Noam, who had been webmaster in the late 90's. He had quit in a huff, and there were some hurt feelings, but most remembered him fondly. History is described here. So it turns out that instead of running a web site, Noam decided to become one of the best banjo players in the world - Noam Pikelny - currently the banjo player in Punch Brothers. (And now I know where he got the idea of putting a b-bender in a banjo.)
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    he he.....cool

    I like a Lesley cabinet on pedal steel guitars.

    Another no gig Saturday night? Saturnight?
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You got it! Shirl's on the road. Me and George holding down the fort.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    You Go Daddio! Or....stay home and clean the livingroom.

  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Shirl cleaned the living room before she left. I did the kitchen and den today. I'm procrastinating because I have a big pile of papers to grade..
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    These guys are right on Bob.
    This is actually an east coast sound of Canada and a style of music deep in my heart. Love this stuff. I was playing and producing an album 2 decades ago that was like this. My wife and I broke up and it all ended very sadly. We were so close to being signed.
    I love the combination of rich acoustic music and electronics done tastefully. Its my most loved music. Good to see your interest in this.

    Great Big Sea is another wonderful band similar in sound to M&S .

    Here's some links to some songs you might like.

    Barenaked Ladies - Lovers in a Dangerous Time

    Zach emailed me a few days ago and mentioned their band direction is also a Mumford and Sons sound with a taste of electronics.
  11. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the links to Great Big Sea. I had not heard of them. We covered Barenaked Ladies in church last week. (What a great sentence.)

    I guess the point is that Mumford, et. al. is really just a slight variation of something that has been going on for a long time. Maybe it's hit me harder since there are a lot more one mic purists in our local bluegrass scene than there are full pedal board groups. I do think there is a trend toward more traditional instruments. I saw Mark Knopfler a couple of weeks ago. He had two bouzoukis and a penny whistle going in a couple of songs. (I like his new Privateers album.) (Tip from Steve Earl - when going through airport security, always refer to your bouzouki as a "baritone mandolin.")
  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    mumford is cool, but they kinda like re-write the same song over and over. cool it's got them sucess, but, they're first album is kinda like boring at some point cuz it's like okay different riffs same format. even they're new single, it's a different version of the first's hit single. ok. i know about signature sounds, and bands getting way to far from what they actually did well. but, these guys, and maybe i blame the producer to a degree. it's like a pitcher that has a fastball and a curve, but never tries to throw a slider, sinker, or changeup. i guess predictable, is the word. the avett bros just did there latest stuff w/ rick rubin. i'd be interested if they write their first record again or not.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I recently helped a bluegrass band do some remixing on a project.
    Here's what I found out:

    First of all, I'm here to tell you it's not just young guys moving in this direction.

    All these guys were 25 year plus veterans of the club scene.... they all had rock roots, ... the bass player, who is a lifelong dear friend of mine, was one of the best funk-groove bass players I ever had the privilege to work with.

    What I found out was that these guys had really gotten frustrated chasing their tails in the dying rock club scene looking for decent paying gigs, and were simply looking for something new to do musically.

    Apparently, they make good money, do shows at decent venues, and draw very well.

    Now... are they any good? Well, by Cleveland, Ohio standards (not traditionally known as a hot bed of bluegrass music) yeah, they have some chops and some interesting songs.

    By Appalachian standards? Well, I think that the guy who pumps gas at the local station in Skunk Hollow, Tennessee and plays from time to time with his buddies for fun could probably mop the floor with these guys.

    These guys I was working with were implementing all kinds of modern technology into their sound. Yes, they had the traditional foundations of acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle and upright bass, and their vocals were, well, they were alright. I don't think that Allison Krause and Union Station have anything to worry about.

    But what surprised me was that they were continually asking me to add things like delay, chorus, verb, etc., things that I had never really associated with that organic sound.

    I did what they wanted and they were happy, although I backed out of the mastering phase for several reasons...the first was that I'm really NOT an M.E. and the second was that in the end, all those beautiful dynamics I had maintained throughout their mixes were thrown out the window for the sake of LOUD. LOUDER! NOT LOUD ENOUGH!!!!!!

    So I politely backed out, gave them the names of some ME's I knew, and that's the last I've heard.

  14. Keary

    Keary Active Member

    From what i have seen of the Mumford and Sons, they have worked extremely hard at building a fan base in the early days. I live in a very small tourist town on the west of Scotland and is usually devoid of any entertainment of any form, other than performers within a 50 mile radius. Not only did the Sons travel through here (Oban, Argyll), but they sailed to the islands around and performed in the pubs there too.

    It's been quite good watching their progression from pub gigs on the Island of Mull to headlining Scotland's main music festival this year, T in the Park. It's also very hope-inspiring to watch hard work pay off thumb

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