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Author Topic:  What Is All That Noise?
Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2015 9:12 am    
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I rarely listen to the radio any more; however, I've been tuning in to our local country music station lately, on the way to and from work. Now I understand what so many people are complaining about.

The first thing I notice is, there are no empty "holes" in the (so called) song. There are layers upon layers of sounds (noise?) filling up every nano-second of the song. Some of the sounds I am hearing are more percussive; but, they aren't percussion instruments. Some sort of synth sounds pounding out various rhythms throughout the song. Many of the songs have subtle, droning distorted electric guitar going on and on and on in the background....yet another layer of noise.

There is no way I can listen to many of the songs all the way through. I feel physically fatigued, maybe my ears get fatigued.

Most of the male singers sound like all the other male singers. Most of the female singers sound like all the other female singers.

As I said before, there are no "holes", just non-stop noise from beginning to end. I wonder how they perform these songs live.

Are these performers appearing on stage at the GOO?

Now I understand the complaints about today's "Country Music".

By the way, I'm talking about the commercial "country" music being broadcast nationwide.
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Larry Carlson


From:
My Computer
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2015 9:35 am    
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I know what you are referring to and it is rather unpleasant.
Which is why we have our stereo tuned to a classical station 24/7.
Nothing but music. No irritating dj's, no weird music.

Today's music in almost all genres has become a collection of programmed pre-processed formulated artificial sounds.
Singers don't even need to sing anymore with the auto-tuner.
In ten years I doubt if any music will involve anyone actually playing an instrument.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2015 10:09 am    
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After the music is compressed and sent over XM it becomes very much like white noise. Even the HD FM radio which has great bandwidth capability is playing low fidelity source crap. I'm getting decent sound on my 3 month trial of Apple Music which seems to have decent source files and transmission. The highs are still too hashy for my taste but not as sterile or corrupted as what I hear on FM and XM.

As far as the overly busy sound layering, it is very fatiguing on the ears. On a recent 11 hour car trek I started to get really edgy and irritated and finally realized that my ears and brain were fatigued from all the noise they call music. The dynamics are gone and it sounds like a bad local band where it's a free for all and everyone just plays full tilt all the time.
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Richard Sinkler


From:
aka: Rusty Strings -- Oakdale, California
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2015 10:16 am    
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I don't even have any presets programmed into my radio. That should tell you how much I listen.
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2015 11:45 am    
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Well let's replace the sound of trash and hash with the "Sound of A Heartache" from Johnny Bush's 1st album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_D1SA343kI

Awesome piano played by Jerry Smith, Jerry Reed on guitar, Willie Ackerman on drums, Jimmy Day on pedal steel, Junior Husky on stand up bass. Got the inspiration to go back and listen to this by reading Johnny Bush's book!


The ORIGINAL Farewell Party with Day on steel was also done on this session. As explained in this book, it was Jerry Reed's idea to have Day go from F to G using a sequence of F, A minor, F, D7, G. The song has been removed from YouTube.

From the same album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYz-a81j8rA

Listen to Day's steel tone and bar shimmer on this cut. Very much like Lloyd Green's studio sound (hmm maybe this is a later cut with Lloyd???)
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 5 Sep 2015 1:02 pm    
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Today's pop radio songs can be summed in in two words..."too many". Too many tracks, too many instruments, too many people playing at once, and too many engineers thinking compression can never be overdone. Muttering

Greg Cutshaw wrote:
As far as the overly busy sound layering, it is very fatiguing on the ears. On a recent 11 hour car trek I started to get really edgy and irritated and finally realized that my ears and brain were fatigued from all the noise they call music. The dynamics are gone and it sounds like a bad local band where it's a free for all and everyone just plays full tilt all the time.


Yep, that's the problem, right there! Confused
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 6 Sep 2015 9:49 am    
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Maybe it's just my tired old ears; but, I can't even identify what all that noise is.

I've been a music lover since about third grade. I loved going to the symphony and learning about all the various instruments that were on stage. I played in band from 7th grade all the way through college, playing percussion, alto clarinet, and tenor saxophone. I had a great guitar teacher that started teaching me to read music in the 4th grade.

Many times, when watching a movie or a television show, my wife will hear something and ask me, "What instrument is that?" I can usually tell what it is.

I really can't tell what all is being put into these recordings.

Oh Well Oh Well
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John Ed Kelly


From:
Victoria, Australia
Post  Posted 7 Sep 2015 3:26 am    
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''There was one CD that everyone could agree was loud beyond the call of duty. The Red Hot Chili Peppers CALIFORNICATION is so filled with loudness-inducing compression that even casual listeners were noticing it''

Just two sentences from a fascinating book by Greg Milner, ''Perfecting Sound Forever" Granta Publication London, 2009

Perhaps unavailable in the USA, but most likely in the UK and certainly down here in Australia.

It starts with the history of recording when an Edison representative would hire a hall to conduct a ''tone test'' to sell the realism of the Edison ''Diamond Disc Phonograph'', by having an opera singer perform and then asking the audience to pick the difference.

From that then, to a description of modern recording techniques, it's the one publication you should read if you have an interest in the history of the recording industry.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 7 Sep 2015 8:30 am    
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I've read record reviews of newer bands, who may as well be a lot younger than me (61) or the average age here. They recorded at Muscle Shoals, Sun Studios and wherever. They must be serious about music, or they wouldn't do this. They want the sound of their idols.
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Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 8 Sep 2015 11:21 am    
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Greg Cutshaw wrote:
Well let's replace the sound of trash and hash with the "Sound of A Heartache" from Johnny Bush's 1st album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_D1SA343kI

Awesome piano played by Jerry Smith, Jerry Reed on guitar, Willie Ackerman on drums, Jimmy Day on pedal steel, Junior Husky on stand up bass....


Hi, Greg. The Big E played the steel on the title song, "Sound of A Heartache" and maybe one other song from that album (I'm not sure about the second song as I don't have the album close at hand). Nonetheless, the whole album is a masterpiece with maestros Bush, Day and Emmons holding' court. Sound of A Heartache would be one of my desert island choices, for sure! Cool

Keep on pickin'!
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 9 Sep 2015 9:21 am    
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I like the comment Merle Haggard made recently:

"I don’t find anything you can whistle, and nobody even attempts to write a melody."
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 10 Jan 2018 12:02 pm    
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To The Top
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Don R Brown


From:
Rochester, New York, USA
Post  Posted 10 Jan 2018 2:55 pm    
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I guess bringing back a 2+ year old thread is no worse than starting a new one. I think b0b should just make a sticky "Today's country music sucks!", it stays at the top, and we use it for the never-ending lament. It will in no time at all exceed the post of the "nothing" thread! Mr. Green

(Nothing in this attempt at humor should be construed as disagreement with the basic premise set forth in the thread!)
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 10 Jan 2018 3:03 pm    
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I felt this way before it was cool.
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Chris Walke


From:
St Charles, IL
Post  Posted 11 Jan 2018 10:17 am    
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Larry Carlson wrote:
In ten years I doubt if any music will involve anyone actually playing an instrument.


Sorry to tell you, we're already there. EDM (Electronic Dance Music) concerts - just a DJ, or DJs, and a great big crowd. And I do believe they actually call them "concerts." Sad





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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 11 Jan 2018 11:11 am    
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Quote:
Sorry to tell you, we're already there. EDM (Electronic Dance Music) concerts - just a DJ, or DJs, and a great big crowd. And I do believe they actually call them "concerts."


Yep. Several years ago I assisted a guy with some estate planning issues. He was in his late 20's and was a well known DJ. He was already quite wealthy.
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 11 Jan 2018 3:07 pm    
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It's a brave new world.. Rolling Eyes
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
3rd Rock
Post  Posted 8 Mar 2018 11:08 pm    
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Lee Baucum wrote:
I really can't tell what all is being put into these recordings.


Sounds to me a take off of the Phil Spector Wall of Sound or as he called it the Wagnerian approach.

Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, you've heard his work. The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers, The Beatles (Long and Winding Road) using the Wrecking Crew which also included Glen Campbell as his stable of musos.

Spector would take basic tracks and then gather a bunch of odd instruments in a room putting ghost rhythms that sonically added a thickness to what was mostly a radio mix. It worked to create a fuller sound even if you could not tell what was being played and why, giving the listener a different listening experience.

With the advent of the DAW, plugins are now being invented that create new ways to record and mix songs. And because of these plugin abilities, nuances that are serendipitous offshoots of having used plugins and track assignments, appear as a consequence of fractal geometry, a non-regular geometric shape that has the same degree of non-regularity on all scales.


Fractals


There is also a tendency to peacock the mix by creating pockets and clusters of mini counterpoint that often times are merely accidents to stand out in a crowd so to speak, something to add an interesting ear catcher in this case even if for a few seconds, a mix with dynamism, a mix with risk. Today the mixing engineer must provide balance but also offer a journey for the listener.

Some engineers like to introduce a new timbre or element every thirty seconds playing their outboard mixer as an instrument.

Things such as parallel compression or parallel processing are becoming a basic fad that has become a treasure to mix engineers. An example would be taking drum tracks and bussing them to an AUX track so that you have the individual drum tracks but also the summed stereo AUX track to where you can put more plugins to effect the drums in that way to sit in the mix along with the individual drum tracks.

This parallel processing is used for vocals as well and other instruments.

So from this, mixing has now taken on a new system. What started with Spector, and in the 80's with Sting singing his vocal tracks 50 times and then burying those in the mix has mutated into the more is better system.

Let's face it country music producers listen to rock and pop and glean ideas from the producers of those genres.

Since I listen to rock and pop, I can tell when a country song grafted an effect from a previous pop-rock hit, which in turn came from an earlier rock hit like Van Halen using an on/off switch to create "morse code" with his guitar chords, was repeated in an Avril Lavigne hit decades later only to find its way onto a country song some years after her hit, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

I know what some of you mean, you get a headache listening to new music. But we have to step back and realize we are not the new generation anymore and the younger listener hears things differently.

I do find genius in modern music. Much of it to me are accidental sonics mixed in with a basic planned arrangement. But I am amazed at how music can be created, combined, art that you can't see with your eyes, only with your ears.

Milliseconds of gush and fount.

Grammy winning producers like Howard Benson (Kelly Clarkson, Bang Tango, Hoobastank, Daughtry,
The All-American Rejects, Seether, My Chemical Romance) would do basic tracks in a studio and then take the stems home and add parts.

Without over-complicating things, what was once a bunch of musicians with a producer behind the glass has now morphed into more steps in the creating process, that also includes (actually it always did) the mix engineer and the producer adding things just because they now have the tools to do so, that were not around when we were coming up.

If listening to modern music upsets your sense of gravity, I suggest try freeing yourself of your previous constraints and going with it. Try and let go of your preconceived notions even for the duration of the song. You may find that you as a musician will discover that the nature of music is more dynamic, diverse and that sound and its combination of notes, rhythm and effects is more than one system of worlds, but universes.

Would like to comment on the mentioned DJ phenomenon. These "concerts" are not just audio but visual-heavy as well with giant video walls of pre-programmed video sequences with LED stage light systems that strobe and imprint the images further.

Moth to a flame.

What is placed in the video sequences is what we need to consider as it is very much subliminal. A popular DJ experience travelling the planet is the Ultra series. At the risk of getting trolled (Rolling Eyes) for being "conspiratorial" I mention this as you may want to research these new DJ phenomena. There are write-ups with the key word being ultra.




The ancient Roman term bread and circuses has taken on a new form due in large part to technology. But is is still the same thing.



Back in the '60's it was an overhead projector with food dye and LSD.

All this said, we can still pull out our fave classic country songs.
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Graham


From:
Marmora, Ontario, Canada
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2018 7:10 am    
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Greg Cutshaw wrote:


Quote:
The ORIGINAL Farewell Party with Day on steel was also done on this session


The Original Farewell Party was recorded on Feb. 2, 1961 by Little Jimmy Dickens with Johnny Siebert on steel. It was recorded at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville. Released on Columbia 45 #4-42013 in May, 1961 as the "B" side to "Talking To The Wall". Wasn't released on an lp or cd until Bear Family release in 1998 set.

Break on this version was split between fiddle and then steel. Steel not as predominant as on either the Bush or Watson versions.
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 9 Mar 2018 8:42 am    
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Quote:
All this said, we can still pull out our fave classic country songs.

And I will. It's my antidote.. Cool
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Lee Baucum


From:
McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) The Final Frontier
Post  Posted 9 Mar 2018 3:37 pm    
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Quote:
As I said before, there are no "holes", just non-stop noise from beginning to end. I wonder how they perform these songs live.


After reading Godfrey's excellent post, I don't see how it would be possible to perform these songs live.
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Lee, from South Texas - Down On The Rio Grande

There are only two options as I see it.
Either I'm right, or there is a sinister conspiracy to conceal the fact that I'm right.


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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 10 Mar 2018 8:54 am    
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"Sparse" sounds so good compared to today's music. Here's three of my favorites, and this is the way is used to sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hZiUChGi1U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDqZ7FQ-Els

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nh-NsqBsGE
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 4 Feb 2019 4:34 am    
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I'm with Godfrey here - the first thing that came to mind as I read through this thread was Phil Spector's "wall of sound". The difference between this and today's stuff to me, and not trying to be too ugly about it, is that most of Spector's stuff was good to begin with.

I was always a less is better kind of guy. I always loved Billy Sherill's productions, as I thought he struck a perfect balance between production while serving the artist and the music itself to the best possible outcome, while still fulfilling his need to be a viably commercial product. A lot of folks thought music went into the crapper with the Nashville sound. Personally, I love the Nashville sound as long as it's not overdone - the mid-seventies is when things started going downhill for me - that's another topic perhaps.

This track has been near and dear to my heart since childhood and to me, exemplifies just why sparse production works so well. It brings all of the best qualities music, and the artist have to offer and again, to me, is almost a perfect cut - not just Pete Drake's steel, but everything about it. I use this in my steel practice, to try and learn how to be musical without overplaying.

https://youtu.be/zsaQoSBJ7PQ?list=PLDIG6OVJm7ZBTM1ljseRPcRY72EPflsAz
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 4 Feb 2019 2:09 pm    
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I heard a lot of noise in the Super Bowl half-time show last night.
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Bobby Nelson


From:
North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 5 Feb 2019 4:51 am    
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Boy did you ever get that right Charlie!
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