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 The Wall Of Sound

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TriptychAlessandro

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Posts : 17
Join date : 2012-12-14
Location : Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostSubject: The Wall Of Sound   Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:00 pm

So why is popular music all about the Wall of Sound now? Everything seems to made to drown out the lyrics, the voice and the music into one big mix of overbearing sound now. One of my favorite albums to come out recently is Patrick Wolf's "Sundark and Riverlight" because it's mainly just him, his voice/lyrics and the orchestration behind the song, not some big "wub wub wub." (I have my guilty pleasures too, even some old Backstreet Boys)

For example the video below:


The original song is a pop song, filled out with complete instrumentation. I love that version as well as this one, a much simpler one....

Thoughts anyone?
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Blergh

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Join date : 2012-12-21
Age : 33

PostSubject: Re: The Wall Of Sound   Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:43 pm

Much of this can be attributed to the "Loudness Wars" which gradually began with the advent of the CD in the '80s for the purpose of mastering an album louder on a newer format, but really took off in the '90s - especially in the latter half of the decade. As with most aspects of the music industry, they live and die by technology and trends, and the expanding capabilities of digital recording allowed engineers to push levels to and beyond what is considered the "saturation point," where dynamics are lost and what is known as "clipping" begins to occur. That digital static-like sound you hear when what you're listening to starts to distort when played at a specific volume? That's clipping.

That's not to say that it's become a 100% standard practice across the board of all genres and styles of music, but with the availability of analog equipment in times of yore becoming more rare to find in studios and the proper producers and engineers qualified to use that equipment exceptionally being even moreso, one could make the presumption that it's more financially reasonable to produce an album that fits the model of the day. Granted, there will always be niche artists that actively seek out to abandon contemporary methods of recording and producing, but those tend to have less resources by comparison as well. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. A demo recorded on a Tascam 4-track mastered to a cassette can still do the job if the songwriting's up to snuff. Very Happy
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TriptychAlessandro

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Posts : 17
Join date : 2012-12-14
Location : Vancouver, BC, Canada

PostSubject: Re: The Wall Of Sound   Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:35 am

that's why I enjoy Patrick Wolf's stuff so much. He's willing to release a whole acoustic album that is ACTUALLY acoustic, and has more than one instrument ( usually guitar) to say it's "acoustic."

On your point Jason, I agree. Everything now is so over produced and saturated that we don't notice things such as clipping. Case in point is Adele, who has a beautiful voice, but her records are so over produced that they come off as overly sappy and overdone.
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