[LAU] Chris McCormick

Rob lau at kudla.org
Fri Aug 24 08:03:48 EDT 2007

On Wednesday 22 August 2007, Ken Restivo wrote:
> I continue to be amazed by the lengths that we-all electronic
> musicians go thorugh, in terms of painstaking sequencing and
> editing, or long hours of programming and algorithm tweaking, in
> order to approximate the things that a well-rehearsed band does
> when performing in real time.

Eh, no matter how well-rehearsed, a live band's sound can never 
sparkle as much as a recording agonized over by a practiced 
electronic musician, producer or engineer.  The best they can do is 
try to approximate it and play a little faster to make up for the 
shortcomings of live sound.  Conversely, I would question whether 
electronic musicians are really trying to approximate that live 
sound; I know that when I've used a sampled break, for example, it 
was because I wanted it to sound like a sampled break.

Live bands might have more "energy" or whatever it is that caused 
people to follow bands like the Dead and Phish around slavishly, but 
even in those cases I've always found their live performances lacking 
compared to their comparatively primitive studio releases with their 
well-defined stereo images, carefully chosen effects and precisely 
mixed vocals.  Compare a studio recording of "Terrapin Station" 
or "Reba" to the live equivalent, and I really think anyone with an 
ear would be hard pressed to say the live one sounds as good.

I think it's just a matter of taste, but live recordings are a weak 
sister to "the real thing" as far as I'm concerned.  But as someone 
who'd even rather hear a Mellotron string section than an actual 
string section, I guess I'm probably in the minority.


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