The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

Rants By Topic

Production Notes

This is meant as a central filing cabinets for more thoughts I have on the whole production business, including DIY vs. ‘pro studio’, ‘live vs. loops’ and various ‘how do you do that’ techniques that people ask about from time to time. I want to come back here and flesh these out as time permits.

If you’re looking for a link to the post on playing techniques. It’s here

But First A Sub-Rant On ‘Loops Vs. Real’
I almost never use ‘loops’ or MIDI ‘patterns’. I’m either thrilled or annoyed when people tell me my stuff sounds ‘mechanical’, but a lot of the time I want it to do that so I guess I’m doing OK. The only exception is for moments of intentional ‘sound design’. For example, I’ve become quite a devotee of ‘scratching’ so that sort of thing shows up here and there (eg. ‘Power’ on Beautiful Sounds.) But I never quantise, auto-tune, comp, loop, step-record otherwise ‘patch together’ sounds. If I can’t physically play it, I […]

The Steroid Scandal Of The Nineties (Part II: The Other Problem)

In Part I, I ranted on about the evils of compression. How it has been used to make records louder and louder to the point that they are not only far less musical but also almost painful to listen to.

The flip side to this has been that music is itself changing in response to the technology. As I pointed out, this started out as a subtle enhancement to the pulse of music… aka ‘disco’, but now the effects are far more dramatic.

In fact, I’d suggest that things went so far afield that the music that so thrived during the heyday of CDs… culminating in rap, with the thundering 808 kick drum, has now been superseded by music that can have no bottom or top because, frankly, we’re all listening on ear buds while doing other things.

In other words, the music itself is changing to reflect the fact that music is a background activity; listened to (if one can call it that) even in a crowded place. So, what kinds of […]

Mastering 101

The new record, Beautiful Sounds has now been passed off to that master of mastering, Ed. ( Who has passed it back to me. We’re doing a lot of passing.

For me, mastering is an excruciating process. Even at the best of times it is completely draining. What you do is sit in a very dark and quiet room on a very nice couch, behind a guy sitting at a desk listening to your stuff very intently. For eight or ten hours. Over and over and over and over. Every once in a great while he may say ‘hmmmm’ or perhaps. ‘Ahhhh’. It’s like your nightmare of a visit to that inscrutable therapist who’s only words are ever, ‘And how does that make you feel?’ or perhaps, ‘I see our time is up. See you Thursday.’

Maybe it doesn’t read as all that bad, but you’ve been working on this thing for a year and now the guy is noticing every zit you missed or […]

Tag: 'recording'
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