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Ok, honestly I didn't know how to name this and I'm also not sure how to address the subject either..
I was browsing around and found the video below.

I wanted to give it it's chance but the more the song played the more I couldn't stand it because there is so many things wrong.
I know we are in a LowFi's better time but I can't dig it. Do you ?
Now I don't want to point the band about this, I've listen to some of the channel production with very great bands but I was also disapointed. (Lake street dive have many other recording miles a way from this)
Don't want to put anyone down here, just needed to talk about this subject that hurts me a lot ! ;)

Comments

DonnyThompson Sun, 10/15/2017 - 15:34

Well, pal, I don't think we are dealing as much with bad production as we are 100% God-awful performances. I listened to about 10 seconds of "Eclipse" and that's all it took me to stop watching. Full disclosure, I despise this song with the heat of a super nova anyway -LOL- but I consider myself to be able to listen through that to hear potential talent .. and it was non existent, and horrendous from the first few notes. Vocally, well, it's as bad as bad can get.
I guess my point is that, in this case, it wouldn't matter if the production was stellar. The performances are terrible. You could roll this in gold dust and spray it with $1000 per oz French perfume, and it would still be polishing a turd.
Every great recording starts with a great song and great performances. There is no million dollar Neve desk in the cosmos, not a mic or pre that exists, that will ever make this band sound good.
I understand you wanting to vent Mon Ami', and being your pal, I'm certainly here to help talk you down off the ledge...unless of course I decide to jump off before you do. ;)

pcrecord Sun, 10/15/2017 - 16:10

DonnyThompson, post: 453487, member: 46114 wrote: Well, pal, I don't think we are dealing as much with bad production as we are 100% God-awful performances. I listened to about 10 seconds of "Eclipse" and that's all it took me to stop watching. Full disclosure, I despise this song with the heat of a super nova anyway -LOL- but I consider myself to be able to listen through that to hear potential talent .. and it was non existent, and horrendous from the first few notes. Vocally, well, it's as bad as bad can get.
I guess my point is that, in this case, it wouldn't matter if the production was stellar. The performances are terrible. You could roll this in gold dust and spray it with $1000 per oz French perfume, and it would still be polishing a turd.
Every great recording starts with a great song and great performances. There is no million dollar Neve desk in the cosmos, not a mic or pre that exists, that will ever make this band sound good.
I understand you wanting to vent Mon Ami', and being your pal, I'm certainly here to help talk you down off the ledge...unless of course I decide to jump off before you do. ;)

I was able to pass the performance a bit.. Well I was searching a reason not to bash them in my head.. he he he..
But frankly, if I produced this recording, mixing and video, I'd certainly not put the back vocal clearer than the lead and loose them in too much reverbs..
Sounds too dark muddy and undefined.. maybe it was to hide the poor musicianship but hey don't you not like the short red pants !! ;)

All in all the second video is one of a band I was surprised of the quality they can offer and here it's bad..
Listen to that voice :

DonnyThompson Sun, 10/15/2017 - 16:50

Hmmm.. personally I think it's a solid vocal performance. Sonically it might be the not the best mic choice for this particular singer, but at least she can sing. It's only my opinion of course, but for me, the performances are first and foremost. If the performances are weak - or as in the first vids you posted, just downright bad - the sonic qualities become secondary. I guess what I'm getting at is that a bad singer through a U47 and a Neve pre is still just a bad singer. At that point the sonic quality doesn't really matter to me.
IMHO of course. ;)

dvdhawk Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:11

As I like to say, "Ill conceived AND poorly executed."

There's lo-fi, and there's amateur-hour talent show... the first two videos in the thread are what happens when both of those worlds collide. It's surprisingly bad from the one otherwise credible band (LSD).

I've seen them a couple times on the late-night talk shows, and was pretty impressed with the soulful lead vocal and how tight the background vocals were in a live setting. With the exception of the guitar solo in the following example (maybe just a matter of taste), the musicianship of the upright, drums, and rhythm guitar behind her was pretty high all around. If you would have told me they let something out as blowful as that A-ha song rendition, I wouldn't have believed it. The third video is much more the caliber of performance I would have expected from them - based on seeing this in the past.

pcrecord Sun, 10/15/2017 - 18:25

Yeah that Lake street dive singer has one very special voice ! :)

DonnyThompson, post: 453491, member: 46114 wrote: bad singer through a U47 and a Neve pre is still just a bad singer. At that point the sonic quality doesn't really matter to me.

Of course, no doubt but at least it would be the singer's fault !

DogsoverLava Mon, 10/16/2017 - 07:39

If you guys have been following this performance series it's supposed to be this loose ---- it started out almost like a jam - very quick in & out covers of songs artist's wouldn't normally cover.... Now they've decided to make it look (and sound) like your favorite band playing in your basement.... These were all supposed to be hastily conceived covers. It became a hipster navel gazing trip into ennui, but I remember some of the stuff from ions ago that was pretty fun. See (hear) Reggie Watts' take on Van Halen's "Panama" for the fun.

DonnyThompson Mon, 10/16/2017 - 08:28

I don't mind the "hastily" put together vibe, or even a spit of the moment thing. I even dig the "loose" vibe... but there's a big difference between being loose and just being terrible. They're not the same things to me. In order for the spur of the moment or loose thing to work, the musicians still need to be good in order for it to work for me. I'm such a stickler when it comes to vocals - pitch and phrasing. It's like I can't help wincing when I hear a vocal performance such as the one in the first video that Marco posted.
Honestly... I barely got through the first 2o seconds of "Total Eclipse" before I was diving for the stop button.
To be fair... I despise that song to begin with, but I would probably been able to hang in for the duration if the vocals hadn't been as God-awful as they were.
;)

pcrecord Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:38

DogsoverLava, post: 453500, member: 48175 wrote: it's supposed to be this loose ---- it started out almost like a jam

I get it.. thanks to say so, it helps putting some perspective on the channel.

When I created this thread, I had no intention of putting down the work of the bands.
Of course some are not professionals and I can get that they have much to learn and can accept that some of us can't stand that level of performances for very long.. ;)

My first intention was to address the poor audio production. The use of reverbs and poorly done EQ on vocals were the first things that hits me.

bouldersound Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:59

Are these live to 2-track or do they have post-produced audio mixes? If the former, challenged audio quality is not all that surprising. The mix environment is probably not great and they're stuck with what they get. The performances aren't spectacular, but I wouldn't call them awful. More like "meh" quality, standard local band live performances.

The audio is better than the local live music show we've got on our PBS station. Well, there are two, and the one that's been around longer seems to have lower production values. I'm pretty sure it's mixed live to 2-track. They have a bunch of EV N/D vocal mics that sound thin and cheap. As much as I like seeing locals on TV, sometimes even people I know, I can hardly stand listening to it. The other local live performance show, associated with a local radio station, is better. They use IEMs instead of EON wedges, and I think it's mixed down properly after the performance.

DonnyThompson Mon, 10/16/2017 - 14:10

pcrecord, post: 453508, member: 46460 wrote: I get it.. thanks to say so, it helps putting some perspective on the channel.

When I created this thread, I had no intention of putting down the work of the bands.
Of course some are not professionals and I can get that they have much to learn and can accept that some of us can't stand that level of performances for very long.. ;)

My first intention was to address the poor audio production. The use of reverbs and poorly done EQ on vocals were the first things that hits me.

I understand that wasn't your intention. And I do understand what you're saying about production. I just have a tough time getting to that part of the critique because of the performance part.
Didn't mean to hijack your thread. I'll shut up now. ;)
:)

kmetal Mon, 10/16/2017 - 16:08

That’s a bad mix of a bad performance. Who knows what the engineers experience level and gear selection was, but one things for sure, questionable vocals should be tucked into the mix.

I mean I’ve heard and done worse. Listening back to my old home demos reminded me how awful a singer I am.

The instruments were somewhat reasonably clear it wasn’t terrible. I think from an engineering perspective it wasn’t technically terrible, rather exhibited poor taste.

KurtFoster Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:10

the two A.V Undercover clips exhibit a lot of room reflections. i noticed there really aren't any treatments on the "walls" of the set. it looks like they are wood paneling. lol.

i've been liking these guys for a while now. they use a lot of space in their arraignments. she sounds kinda like Amy Winehouse. there's a video of them doing Bohemian Rhapsody that's a real hoot.

paulears Sat, 10/21/2017 - 06:40

I was expecting terrible, but realistically, it's the kind of sound I used to find on my college students live recordings. Pop the mics on the drums, then the other instruments do a line check, set some gains and then press record. The 'mix' for which they used to get graded on is allowed two or three days, yet most submitted the work after about an hour - because that was the only time they got without booking the studio in the evenings. The idea of the mix was to get a decent balance, and then get that dumped to the medium the final mix was going to. As long as nothing stood out as bad, like the bass was too quiet, or the drums were very loud - then pretty much a fader in a line mix. Maybe a bit of eq on whatever instrument they like the best.

That's the trouble with all this stuff, and I include the broadcast mix too, because if it's live, there won't be time for any proper balancing and eq. Maybe a bit of reverb but probably mixed live. The BBC did it to me - a live radio broadcast, and the programme wasn't geared up to multi-channel stuff. They do piano, vocals and guitar type stuff with 3 mics or 2 mics and a DI, but faced with a full drum kit, keys, bass , guitar and all four people singing, they actually went to stores and brought back a small, still brand new and boxed analogue mixer. We sounded pretty much like that recording!

kmetal Sat, 10/21/2017 - 13:26

These are the types of tracks where I’ll hammer the vocals into submission with pitch correction. DP has great built in pitch correction that’s fairly transparent. In cases like this, I’d highlight the whole track, hit the snap to grid shortcut, and flatten the ‘expression’ which keeps the note steady while sustaining, and listen for artifacts. It’s not always perfect but it’s fast, and brings the pitch to where it was supposed to be.

The mackie D8b had a dsp card based auto tune, so you could use it in real-time for a live scenario, and print both the corrected and raw versions for later.

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