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A thought on the future...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Gnome, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. Gnome


    Jul 27, 2006
    Mexico City, MX
    I've been thinking about this lately, so I thought I'd post it here for opinions.

    You know, I've heard before that one of the reasons that the Beatles spawned such a revolution in rock, is that they were one of the first bands to play their own instruments. Before, the "artists" were just the singers, and the backing band was just that, logistics. But the Beatles changed that, as the musicians playing instruments became part of the band forever.

    Nowadays, people in the "logistics" category include sound engineers, lights people, visuals, etc.

    Except, this too is changing. New technology such as Max/MSP is allowing people to control sound, lights and visuals from their computer, while mixing their music live. Many electronic artists are already doing this. However, it must be said that this hasn't spread too widely into the mainstream.

    But this is slowly happening. We now have, for example, Radiohead. They're one of the biggest rock acts out there, and now they have a computer running Max on stage all the time, controlled by Jonny Greenwood.

    Also worthy of mention is Grizzly Bear. They're a fairly new band, but they've been quite successful with their mix of folk, psychedelic rock and electronica. One of their members is credited on the album as "Bass/Producer". He plays a computer on stage. He also produces the band in the studio. Again, studio sessions are changing a lot in that new software allows a single producer/engineer to record, edit, mix and master an album with a fairly tight budget. Thus, more and more musicians are becoming their own engineers and producers, and producing better sounding records on project studios.

    What I'm getting at, is more and more producers are becoming part of the band. You now hear many more names of producers becoming famous. Pharrell Williams and Timbaland just being the more mainstream hip-hop ones, but also Danger Mouse is becoming quite a star.

    I think that in the near future, producers will be a staple of the rock band format (or any band, really), rather than a part of logistics. I think producers will be an even more important part of the creative process in the studio, and an increasingly large role onstage, playing computers but also controlling lights and sound to some extent.

    I'm going abroad to study Music Technology/Production next year, so I'm not just thinking about this for no reason. I thought I'd share, thanks for reading that.
  2. I don't disagree with your basic point (i.e., for some bands, producers will become more frequent and regular members of the band), but I think this is happening due to the evolution of technology.

    Producers have always played a significant role in the music of great bands. Look at George Martin (the "fifth Beatle") and Phil Spector. Brian Wilson's contributions to the Beach Boys were undoubtedly greater as a producer than they were as a bass player. The technology didn't exist, however, in the 60s to enable them to work very much of their magic outside the studio.

    Just my $.02.

    Bluesy Soul :cool:
  3. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    There were bands before the Beatles that played their own instruments. The Beatles were fairly unique in that they composed most of their music... all of it soon after they started recording. BTW was it Paul or Ringo that played trumpet on "Penny Lane"? :D

    When you talk about the impact that Producers have had on a band, George Martin does come to mind.
  4. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Duke Ellington just rolled over in his grave.

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