That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

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twilightsong
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by twilightsong »

Steve Fogal wrote:Hmmm... "current" ... really, I can't see how I can be all THAT current at 50 years old anyway :) I've been influenced by so much throughout my life time, much of that has to stick and I'm not going to deny myself my roots and influence.
Exactly. Nobody can escape their influences, however they try. Guys who go to ridiculous lengths to stay "current" (whatever that means) often end up sounding, uh, ridiculous.

A local band here a couple years ago put out a record that is 100% 70's and 80's Classic Rock. They printed 1,000 CD's and they quickly sold out of them. Then, they started getting all kinds of deal offers from various labels -- THAT blew me away, that there are still ANY label that would sign anything so reactionary as classic rock! But apparently these labels thought there is an untapped market for that stuff, and I think they're right.

So many of my peers I talk to about this, both IRL and on the web, like at gearslutz, are totally disaffected by today's music scene. I think that's been the case in almost every generation, frankly. I think this attitude from musicians is also held by consumers of the same rough age bracket -- they miss the old tunes and styles. That's exactly why there's BIG money in reunion tours lately. I think it's crazy how the majors concentrate on the usual 18-34 segment and don't give a damn about anyone older -- since there's money to be made there and actually a bigger pool of potential customers.

I can't think of many artists that, having established a certain style or sound, years later came up with something totally original... maybe you guys can. One that comes to mind is the band Ministry, which began as a synth-pop band and then at some point COMPLETELY changed into a Industrial-Metal outfit. That was really because the founder decided to stop doing what made money and instead do what he REALLY liked.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by twilightsong »

Paul Woodlock wrote:
Michael Bubbly is just the latest panty moistening device. Roles previously played by Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, etc, etc
True. But that doesn't mean they're without talent (which I don't really think you're saying in any case).

I frankly can't imagine a music scene WITHOUT the various teen idols, heartthrobs, and "panty moisteners" -- in a way, they're the true leaders and innovators of our artform, because, let's face it -- many, if not most of us, having seen them in action, got into this biz so that we could, in the words of John Lennon, "get a little" :lol:
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Paul Woodlock »

twilightsong wrote:
Paul Woodlock wrote:
Michael Bubbly is just the latest panty moistening device. Roles previously played by Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, etc, etc
True. But that doesn't mean they're without talent (which I don't really think you're saying in any case).
All of them have a great talent. I love a lot of Rod Stewart's and Tom Jone's tunes and performances.
I frankly can't imagine a music scene WITHOUT the various teen idols, heartthrobs, and "panty moisteners" -- in a way, they're the true leaders and innovators of our artform, because, let's face it -- many, if not most of us, having seen them in action, got into this biz so that we could, in the words of John Lennon, "get a little" :lol:
Well yeah ...... sex drugs and rock n roll. it's all integrated eh? :)

My only drug these days is Red Wine.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Lenny Lee »

twilightsong wrote: I used to (not that long ago actually) be a proponent of the "you must try to sound current" mantra, but I've turned about 180 degrees on that one... I think you should do the music that you like/love; if that's current or cutting edge, great; but if it's retro or old school, equally great.

The Roland rep in my area was in a Hair Metal band back in the day and they actually got signed... while they were in the studio recording their first album, the label unceremoniously dropped them -- because Nirvana's record had just reached number one. My point is, the guy to this day writes and records the same Pop Metal he was doing in the late 80's, and loves it. I can't think of anybody that's emulating Nirvana these days.

I have often tried to sound "current" but invariably my tunes end up sounding very 90's-ish. It even seems that lately some decidedly 80's tunes are coming off my pen. It wasn't intentional -- just came naturally, You know, like the BEST music, of any era. :)
Doug, apparently you(and others who've commented on what I said re: 'dated') completely misunderstood what I said. I said nothing about being 'current' . We're all a product of our times, and I'd never suggest that any writer
tailor his style to fit any trend. We should all play whatever we feel, without regard for what anyone elses preference is.

My comment to Steve, first of all, was a suggestion, and it was regarding a production technique - not about his writing. I simply suggested that he may not need to record 15 tracks to make a 3 part harmony sound 'big', and I put up an example of how it can be done with less.
-Those- are the types of things from the 80's that I usually try to avoid - not the music - but the overkill on the tracking, everything awash in reverb - especially the snares, which tended to be cavernous. It was pretty cool back then, but it's not a sound I go after anymore, and certainly not because I want to get signed. Ha! I don't dream about getting signed anymore, because I'd never want someone else sticking their nose into my creative process.
These days, I dream of retirement - so I can really focus on my music (and family). :)

I completely agree with what you say about how banal music would be if everyone was trying to fit into
some industry defined mold.
twilightsong wrote: If everybody was trying to sound "current" or "relevant," what would happen to the older genres like Jazz and Baroque? Come to think of it, what would happen to the soul of music itself if a majority of musicians were trying to write and play "current" music that they didn't really believe in?
It's odd, but I never hear people call blues, jazz or orchestral composers/players 'dated'. I think they're generally accepted for what they are. It seems that only musicians who play 70's and 80's style rock music who get tagged as 'dated'.
Not sure why that is, but I don't see that as a valid criticism, and it's certainly not what I intended with Steve.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by twilightsong »

Steve Fogal wrote:Yeah, Doug, but really....who say's many of the artists or musicians here and otherwise, who call artists "sell-outs" and/or not already DOING the music that they love?
Sorry, I don't follow you here
I don't know who get's into music just to be "panty moisteners"
They/we don't do it to "moisten the panties" -- that's just a by-product -- they/we do it to, as I said, to "get a little." :lol:

Because you yourself said:
Musicians, singers attract women, and young girls yes...some more than others
Which anybody who has done this for awhile knows is definitely true, and quite amazing, since they're even attracted to homely bass players etc. if they're in a cool or happenin' band
but I never got into music for any such reason
So, are you tellin' me you did it for the MONEY? :lol:
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Lenny Lee »

Doug Hazelrigg wrote: "The human voice is BY FAR the most expressive instrument there is and is the primary vehicle of musical communication. To strain at "perfection" is really to dilute the essential humanity of the performer... as well as the essence of humanity itself." -- Doug Hazelrigg
An interesting thought. 'to strain at perfection' definitely doesn't sound healthy, does it?
If you were to replace 'to strain at perfection' with 'to strive for excellence', would you still agree
with the sentence?
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by twilightsong »

Lenny Lee wrote:
twilightsong wrote: I used to (not that long ago actually) be a proponent of the "you must try to sound current" mantra, but I've turned about 180 degrees on that one... I think you should do the music that you like/love; if that's current or cutting edge, great; but if it's retro or old school, equally great.

The Roland rep in my area was in a Hair Metal band back in the day and they actually got signed... while they were in the studio recording their first album, the label unceremoniously dropped them -- because Nirvana's record had just reached number one. My point is, the guy to this day writes and records the same Pop Metal he was doing in the late 80's, and loves it. I can't think of anybody that's emulating Nirvana these days.

I have often tried to sound "current" but invariably my tunes end up sounding very 90's-ish. It even seems that lately some decidedly 80's tunes are coming off my pen. It wasn't intentional -- just came naturally, You know, like the BEST music, of any era. :)
Doug, apparently you(and others who've commented on what I said re: 'dated') completely misunderstood what I said. I said nothing about being 'current' . We're all a product of our times, and I'd never suggest that any writer
tailor his style to fit any trend. We should all play whatever we feel, without regard for what anyone elses preference is.

My comment to Steve, first of all, was a suggestion, and it was regarding a production technique - not about his writing. I simply suggested that he may not need to record 15 tracks to make a 3 part harmony sound 'big', and I put up an example of how it can be done with less.
-Those- are the types of things from the 80's that I usually try to avoid - not the music - but the overkill on the tracking, everything awash in reverb - especially the snares, which tended to be cavernous. It was pretty cool back then, but it's not a sound I go after anymore, and certainly not because I want to get signed. Ha! I don't dream about getting signed anymore, because I'd never want someone else sticking their nose into my creative process.
Well, you misunderstand if you think I misunderstood what you were saying -- understand?!? :lol:

In any case, if you state that something sounds "dated" doesn't it logically follow that you prefer something more "current?" I ax you, sir. Also, production techniques can be just as much a reflection a particular era as writing styles -- if you're cool with using older or even passe writing styles, why not the same perspective regarding production techniques? AND... although your comments DID provoke my thinking, I didn't intend them in any way to be a "rebuttal" or repudiation of any sorts. To be open about it, I occasionally read you and others telling song posters things like "the bass lacks punch" and I know exactly what you're saying, it's legitimate and I respect it. But I think it most definitely IS a reflection of a modern sensibility, where certain conventions -- "energy, punch, clarity, etc." -- are something of a prerequisite for a tune to be considered in a "finished" or "radio-ready" form. I'm really not trying to make a major issue over this, because in a week or two I'll probably have changed my thinking about it anyway. :D

It's odd, but I never hear people call blues, jazz or orchestral composers/players 'dated'. I think they're generally accepted for what they are. It seems that only musicians who play 70's and 80's style rock music who get tagged as 'dated'.
Not sure why that is, but I don't see that as a valid criticism, and it's certainly not what I intended with Steve.
I have often made that criticism. My thinking was basically this: an artist should strive for his own identity and sound, and should also strive to create something new. Otherwise, what Is the point? Other than SELF-gratification.

As I said, I've changed my thinking on this, however, because, quit frankly, nobody is going to say, "Hey, you're right!" and subsequently follow my musical ideology... and also I've come to accept that if a work is "from the heart" it's stylistic form is of secondary importance.

But that's not to say I now think that viewpoint is in any way illegitimate. No doubt, there are millions of painters, musicians, and writers that are working in techniques and styles of the past. The problem is, those aren't the artists that are getting shown/signed/published etc. I'm not saying that their work is therefore in vain, or irrelevant, or without merit -- truly, ALL artistic work has merit in some sense because it is ALL an expression of the artist, who has merit because he's a human being. But I am saying that they will probably never get any recognition, beyond their friends and maybe a few die-hard adherents of genres whose heyday has passed.

In any case, I think you make a fair point here, but I need to think it over. When I play Jazz once a week in the martini bar, the crowd is pretty mixed, age-wise. When I go to hear Jazz every Saturday afternoon, it's largely older people. On the rare occasion I hear an orchestra (other than my local college orchestra) it's again a pretty even mix. I don't hear Blues often, but just this last Saturday I went to a bar to hear some Blues -- again, even mix of ages. And you're right, when we say "dated" we're almost always talking about 60's 70's and 80's rock and pop.

My theory about this is: both blues and jazz to some extent are timeless styles -- their basic elements have changed little over the years. Rock and pop on the other hand have seen dramatic and marked changes over the years, so a particular style can easily be connected to a particular era. The same is true of orchestral music but most people know precious little about orchestral music -- to them, Beethoven and Bartok sound roughly the same -- some orchestration and all
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by twilightsong »

Lenny Lee wrote:
Doug Hazelrigg wrote: "The human voice is BY FAR the most expressive instrument there is and is the primary vehicle of musical communication. To strain at "perfection" is really to dilute the essential humanity of the performer... as well as the essence of humanity itself." -- Doug Hazelrigg
An interesting thought. 'to strain at perfection' definitely doesn't sound healthy, does it?
If you were to replace 'to strain at perfection' with 'to strive for excellence', would you still agree
with the sentence?
Depends I suppose on what we mean by "excellence?"

Take for example the old Folkways Records artists from the 1940's. None of them sang in tune, or had any training or "technique." Few of them were adept at their instruments. None of the recordings consist of anything approaching what we now call "high fidelity." And yet, they are most definitely wonderful recordings (for me, anyway).

IMHO we modern musico's -- especially the crusaders on gearslutz -- are far too wrapped up in "fidelity" and "virtuosity" and other such things. It's like how some people, including on this board, feel that Chuck Berry sucks compared to Paul Gilbert. I LOVE both of them. Gilbert IS far more skilled. I don't look at that as being "better", however.
"There is no avant-garde; only some people a bit behind." -- Edgar Varese
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Paul Woodlock »

twilightsong wrote:
Lenny Lee wrote:
Doug Hazelrigg wrote: "The human voice is BY FAR the most expressive instrument there is and is the primary vehicle of musical communication. To strain at "perfection" is really to dilute the essential humanity of the performer... as well as the essence of humanity itself." -- Doug Hazelrigg
An interesting thought. 'to strain at perfection' definitely doesn't sound healthy, does it?
If you were to replace 'to strain at perfection' with 'to strive for excellence', would you still agree
with the sentence?
Depends I suppose on what we mean by "excellence?"

Take for example the old Folkways Records artists from the 1940's. None of them sang in tune, or had any training or "technique." Few of them were adept at their instruments. None of the recordings consist of anything approaching what we now call "high fidelity." And yet, they are most definitely wonderful recordings (for me, anyway).

IMHO we modern musico's -- especially the crusaders on gearslutz -- are far too wrapped up in "fidelity" and "virtuosity" and other such things. It's like how some people, including on this board, feel that Chuck Berry sucks compared to Paul Gilbert. I LOVE both of them. Gilbert IS far more skilled. I don't look at that as being "better", however.
Is Gilbert more skilled? Sometimes less is more.

Chuck Berry Rocks!! Even My Ding a Ling :)
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

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Actually, I believe most, and probably close to all, musicians generally do the music they love. There are times however when every musician has done music that doesn't "move" him in order to make a living. Even John Lennon said that after the Beatles got signed, they "sold out" and did music that would sell (I don't know if I totally accept that, but apparently the loud, rough, rowdy RAWK of the Cavern Club days gave way to a more refined, palatable sound). Also, ever seen "The Fabulous Baker Boys?" I think situations like that are pretty common.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

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The best spin off benefit for me for getting into the music was the travel. Getting laid was a nice bonus.

but primarily the biggest benefit was the rush of the music itself.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

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I guess the question for me is, "why do so many musicians (and actors) desperately seek to be famous?" Is it because they want everyone to experience their wonderful artistic gifts... or is it just because they think they'll score more often (and "above their pay grade" to boot) :lol:
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by JohnOnKeyz »

twilightsong wrote:IMHO we modern musico's -- especially the crusaders on gearslutz -- are far too wrapped up in "fidelity" and "virtuosity" and other such things. It's like how some people, including on this board, feel that Chuck Berry sucks compared to Paul Gilbert. I LOVE both of them. Gilbert IS far more skilled. I don't look at that as being "better", however.
Totally agree with that. It's amazing how we use a combination of what skills we have and the technology available to us to make us sound better than we are. But IMHO, since it is available, I see no reason not to embrace that technology.

There are people out there, (I'm not talking about those who can make "beats" or create loops, etc... I mean really use it to a level which can introduce a new way of thinking about music in this modern world.

But back to musicians... I've always found that in a band situation, teamwork is essential, not only in attitude, but in musical cohesiveness. If you have both, you have a great thing.
John
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

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JohnOnKeyz wrote: It's amazing how we use a combination of what skills we have and the technology available to us to make us sound better than we are. But IMHO, since it is available, I see no reason not to embrace that technology.
I totally agree. My objection to the guys at gearslutz is they are constantly debating which $3000 mic sounds "better" and other such silliness, and totally ignore the fact that if your song sucks, no microphone, of whatever quality, is going to save it
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by alexis »

Hey Steve - Just wondering how that ELO background harmony thing is working out? ... I love the Beatles, (so?) also like ELO lots, so I can see myself using that technique now and then...

Like always!! I have to consciously make myself record less harmonies. It'd be OK if I had voices like Lennon and McCartney (though they had enough class to not over do it, even though they could!), but since I don't, it's more like the sound of 3 frogs croaking as opposed to one!
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by foolomon »

I wonder if a side-chained white noise effect might be nice too, to give the harmonies that airy sound.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Lenny Lee »

foolomon wrote:I wonder if a side-chained white noise effect might be nice too, to give the harmonies that airy sound.
The airy sound is sometimes gotten by adding a whisper track - that is - to whisper the words that
you're singing and blend it in to give it an airy effect.
I've used it to give airyness to a single lead voice and to good effect.
Haven't yet tried it on background harmonies, but I've read that some producers use this technique.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by HornForHire »

So... when can we hear the result? :P

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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Lenny Lee »

HornForHire wrote:So... when can we hear the result? :P
Steve's song is in the same category as Nigel Tufnel's Strat. It must never be played,
and shouldn't even be pointed at. (but we can talk about it for years). :)
Last edited by Lenny Lee on Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: That ELO (?) background harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Lenny Lee »

Steve Fogal wrote:
Lenny Lee wrote: The airy sound is sometimes gotten by adding a whisper track - that is - to whisper the words that
you're singing and blend it in to give it an airy effect.
I've used it to give airyness to a single lead voice and to good effect.
Haven't yet tried it on background harmonies, but I've read that some producers use this technique.
"Airy sound" ? ... Hmmm... wouldn't this, or at least the whisper method also add more exaggerated sibilance? And doesn't using reverb alone give this "airyness"?
The trick is to use it in a subtle way - then it can be effective.(or an obvious way, depending on the situation and
your preference). It obviously will give you a different result than reverb, and you could, of course, use both.
I never suggested you use it in your song, I was just throwing it out there as something anyone might use, and in response to Larry's 'white noise' idea.
Steve Fogal wrote: I think they did that on the lead vocal for "Riders on the storm" by The Doors?
Yep, they used it on that song and in a noticeable way. I wonder if that was the first time?
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Re: That ELO (?) background harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by Lenny Lee »

Steve Fogal wrote: Right, never suggested it
That's right, I never suggested it -to you-.
Reread my post. I was responding to Larry, and sharing a technique that I, and others, have used on vocals.
Lenny Lee wrote:
foolomon wrote:I wonder if a side-chained white noise effect might be nice too, to give the harmonies that airy sound.
The airy sound is sometimes gotten by adding a whisper track - that is - to whisper the words that
you're singing and blend it in to give it an airy effect.
I've used it to give airyness to a single lead voice and to good effect.
Haven't yet tried it on background harmonies, but I've read that some producers use this technique.
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Re: That ELO (?) backround harmony vocal stacked sound (?)

Post by HornForHire »

Steve Fogal wrote: Well, for now, anyone who wants to hear a snippet ...at least of my results of the harmony part of the song, feel free to PM me...
PM sent... ;)

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