Does production even matter?

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12023 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:24 pm

I know songs from the 30s or so up to today, and the funny thing is that the sound quality barely matters. A song that has that special something does so regardless of the production quality, and a boring song will never get beyond that no matter how great production is.

For instance I was just listening to an old Duke Ellington tune, Solitude, it is simply touching and beautiful no matter how poor the sound quality is.
Same with modern music, none of my favorite songs would probably get anything above a C if rated for production.

In short, aren't people spending too much time and effort on trying to produce the heck out of music that basically just isn't worth it? 8)

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Aloysius
KVRAF
22069 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from a computer

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:35 pm

Well, lots of classic pop songs have great production but poor playback quality.
I didn't get where I am today ...

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thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
23008 posts since 27 Jul, 2005 from the wilds of wanny

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:36 pm

What exactly do you think is wrong or lacking in the production of Solitude? Sounds good to me ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55kH1rW ... e=youtu.be

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fluffy_little_something
KVRAF
12023 posts since 5 Jun, 2012 from Portugal

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:48 pm

I know several versions of that tune, and they vary quite a bit in terms of production and sound quality. Yet, they all have the same effect on me, regardless of production.

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VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
8130 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:09 pm

Alot of 80s/90s Death Metal would have benefited from better production

I loved Autopsy's Severed Survival album even though the drums sounded like cardboard boxes

However, modern metal to me sounds lifeless and cookiecutter/samey as the production is so clean, thanks to computers, Daws and plugins.

Lack of production values can add character

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Karma_tba
KVRian
782 posts since 12 Aug, 2004 from Boston, Massachusetts

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:25 pm

fluffy_little_something wrote:I know songs from the 30s or so up to today, and the funny thing is that the sound quality barely matters. A song that has that special something does so regardless of the production quality, and a boring song will never get beyond that no matter how great production is.

For instance I was just listening to an old Duke Ellington tune, Solitude, it is simply touching and beautiful no matter how poor the sound quality is.
Same with modern music, none of my favorite songs would probably get anything above a C if rated for production.

In short, aren't people spending too much time and effort on trying to produce the heck out of music that basically just isn't worth it? 8)
I couldn't agree more! Sometimes today's producers are "preaching to the choir". Sly and the Family Stone come to mind. Many of their hits production is sketchy when judged on the audiophile standards we hold yourselves to these days, but the average listener is not an engineer and only cares about a catchy tune that stays with them.

Zexila
KVRAF
3089 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:31 pm

fluffy_little_something wrote: In short, aren't people spending too much time and effort on trying to produce the heck out of music that basically just isn't worth it? 8)
Pretty much, but new analog emulation/turd polisher plugin is out, yay! :hyper:
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

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Russell Grand
KVRian
1316 posts since 22 May, 2017

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:36 pm

Of course it does.

Zexila
KVRAF
3089 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:44 pm

We had this one not long ago actually
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=496181
This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG

Sparky77
KVRian
822 posts since 29 Sep, 2006

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:52 am

fluffy_little_something wrote:I know songs from the 30s or so up to today, and the funny thing is that the sound quality barely matters. A song that has that special something does so regardless of the production quality, and a boring song will never get beyond that no matter how great production is.

For instance I was just listening to an old Duke Ellington tune, Solitude, it is simply touching and beautiful no matter how poor the sound quality is.
Same with modern music, none of my favorite songs would probably get anything above a C if rated for production.

In short, aren't people spending too much time and effort on trying to produce the heck out of music that basically just isn't worth it? 8)
Some very old recordings are really great, listen to the old miles davis recordings, amazing.
--After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.

-Aldous Huxley

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AsPeeXXXVIII
KVRist
321 posts since 17 Aug, 2015 from Finland

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:21 am

From an industry standpoint, yes. With how much technology - and with it, music production - has improved in the past century, the standard for a "well-produced" piece of music is a lot higher now than it was in the '50s, for instance. Simple as that.

Far as I'm concerned, though, a piece of music can be questionably (not necessarily "badly") produced and still sound great if it's compositionally solid. Ultimately, what matters to me most is that I can feel the emotion seeping out of the speakers.
"Creativity is a lot like sex. When it's spontaneous, it's good, but forcing it makes it bad."
My metal music | My electronic music

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Unaspected
KVRist
430 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:12 am

Sound quality is definitely a property of audio production but it's not the only element. You could have a well produced live show recorded by someone in the audience through an overloading mobile phone mic which sounds poor in sound quality but amazing in terms of performance.

I also wouldn't look at recordings from decades ago as having less production quality. The capture and recording devices were different so the results were different. I'm sure that during any stage of development in the recording industry, engineers have strived to get the best results they can from the gear they are using.

thecontrolcentre wrote:What exactly do you think is wrong or lacking in the production of Solitude? Sounds good to me ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55kH1rW ... e=youtu.be
I agree. I really enjoyed that.

Eauson
KVRian
836 posts since 9 Jan, 2013 from morf

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:31 am

The judgement is only for those who make it, a band standing around a microphone, whilst the song is transcribed straight to disc, its the interaction of the players.
Now, one person sitting in front of a computer, hmm, not sure....
Man is least himself when he talks in the first person. Give him a mask, and he'll show you his true face

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GaryG
KVRAF
5689 posts since 13 Jan, 2003 from Kent, UK

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:33 am

I think it matters if you have that 'commercial' mindset. When you want your stuff to go up against other tracks on the radio or a spotify playlist then there's that competition mentality in play. You don't want to be seen as having an inferior product to the next artist along. Having a natural vocal, for instance, instantly puts you a step back from all the others with today's multi-compressed shenanigans etc.
()_()
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funky lime
KVRian
1116 posts since 17 Sep, 2002

Re: Does production even matter?

Post Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:17 pm

Many people listen to music on ear buds or phone speakers. "Production quality" is a moving target. Nowadays, if you can hear everything clearly through a band limited phone speaker, you have good production.

Are you producing for the general public? Or are you producing for other producers?

It's like the whole music-of-academia thing. People are writing music that doesn't sound very good, but it does everything "by the book" according to whatever snobby Berklee professors, so it has to be good, right?

If you need good production to get people to enjoy your music, that means your songwriting is lacking, in my opinion.

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