Fake Shredders

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Spaced Out Ace, Nov 2, 2019.

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  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Honestly, those are the only shows I've been to over the past 10-ish years, and those are the only shows where I've seen this sort of nonsense, other than maybe one festival that I played at where the main act did it as well.

    Shitty local bands have been using backing tracks for at least 5 or 6 years now, to cover up the dact that they can't confidently play their songs live. The saddest part is that some of their prerecorded parts are full of mistakes, too.
    Who said anything about court or brought up legal issues?!
     
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  2. GraemeH

    GraemeH SS.org Regular

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    Musicians shouldn't be allowed to use light shows live unless they can actually produce those effects with their own bodies live using bio-luminescence. Otherwise it's giving a misleading impression.
     
  3. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    While I sounded down on backing tracks in my post earlier, I totally understand that it's much easier to tour with that arrangement. Especially internationally, where less gear and less members can save a lot of expenses. And lugging less heavy gear around is certainly a plus.

    That said, an engaging live performance is an engaging live performance with or without backing tracks. Nine Inch Nails and Tism (don't judge me on the latter :lol:) are my personal gold standards of an amazing live band with backing tracks. Both bands are certainly not automated nor boring. I guess I'm just biased from being raised on large doses of Rush, where 3 guys juggling multiple parts sound like a full live band while enjoying themselves.

    Also for the record, since Dimebag was mentioned in this thread; all his pedal switching sans wah were done by his tech. All the channel switches, the whammy parts on Becoming were outsourced so Dime can concentrate on tearing the stage apart.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I know a lot of this discussion is starting to take a turn for the absurd, but, if you are on stage as "guitar player," I would strongly prefer an audiovisual experience of you actually playing guitar. If your role in the band is as "light tech," then I expect you to have something to do with the lights. If your job it "pedal stomper," then you stomp pedals. If Lucas from RoS officially changed his role in the band to "bullshit reason provider," then I'd gladly go see their shows when they come to town.
     
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  5. GraemeH

    GraemeH SS.org Regular

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    Yeah I'm being absurd. But to me it comes down to reasonable expectations, and not trying to force every band to be the same.

    When I go see The Aristrocrats, I'd be super surprised to hear stuff on backing track.
    When I go to see Periphery I expect to see 16 guitarists on stage, to not be able to discern what most of them are doing, and still have half the sound coming from playback.
    If I were to go see some alien sounding tech-death band that go for that ultra-fake aesthetic like RoS, I don't expect to hear three dudes jamming unchained and natural. I wouldn't go home cursing Lucas Mann's name over it.

    All live performances should be free to be different. 100% raw live music isn't going away. We just have diversity.
     
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  6. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    That's a great idea if you have all the time keys. I'd love to have a keys player that just popped up on stage for the 4-5 sections in a set where they're needed, but the guys who can do it for what a metal band can afford to pay will require someone to teach them the parts because they don't read music, and the ones that do read music, want more money just to rehearse than the average local metal band makes in a month (unless you're playing covers in a "Big four" tribute act).
     
  7. dr_game0ver

    dr_game0ver SS.org Regular

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    As a European, you can't even imagine how wrong that sound. Here, a keyboard is as essential as a drummer. I can't even begin to list you all of the bands where the keyboard player is the composer, manager, producer...
     
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  8. Fred the Shred

    Fred the Shred Shrederick

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    Where I disagree is that when the backing track replaces the dude playing the instrument you end up crossing the line as far as "live" and "concert" go. I have no issues with someone shoving some ridiculous or even humanly impossible part in a backing track. Miming to it is a different thing altogether, though - you are actually attempting (and often succeeding) to convince the audience that you ARE playing the part that way with that impossibly clean execution. I don't think this is as much about purists as it is about integrity, and selling tickets to a live performance of the band that is supposedly super technical only to have the super technical bit replaced by a machine and people miming to it doesn't really scream "integrity" to me, quite the opposite.

    As for differences in live performance, from full-on raw performances to samples and BTs featuring a trillion orchestral parts and supplementary guitars and whatnot, again, nothing against that. If people are actually playing their parts, I'm good.
     
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  9. NoodleFace

    NoodleFace Delicious Noodles

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    Way behind, won't even attempt to stay current anymore. But I have to say, I did not know Lucas Mann could shred so hard. The band Rings of Saturn isn't for me, but I'd listen to that dude play guitar any day.
     
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  10. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Because production values and what an audience expects change over time. It's not a problem, its the natural progression of live performance.

    This illustrates a cyclical problem. I remember in the early 2000s a lot of people in the metal scene were saying stuff like "Who wants to go see five dudes in cargos and Cannibal Corpse t shirts stand around in the dark?" So bands tried to make their show more of a production, and now people are mad that metal artists are aiming for the same level of production of a pop group. I'd rather go see a band that looks like they rehearsed to put on a SHOW versus a band that can't be bothered to worry about their aesthetic, personally. Outside of crust punk and the sloppiest of grind core, a majority of fans want more out of a live show than a group of dudes who show up and play like they're in their own basement. Automating some aspects of the show means you CAN have synced, professionally looking lights and not have to worry about getting back to your side of the stage to turn on a delay or something and you can focus on audience interaction and rocking out. Time is an arrow that only moves in one direction. Things aren't going to back to the way they were because they weren't better, just different.
     
  11. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    double post
     
  12. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    People actually get paid for playing gigs now?

    (Seriously, what happened to just finding a friend to help you out with the four or five parts? Surely you've got a friend that was forced to take piano lessons as a kid and remembers some of it; enlist them, and offer them a share of the drink tickets if you have to. You don't need to hire a pro for everything, this is fucking metal and you're playing shows for drunk people in dive bars.)
     
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  13. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Well that may be true 99% of the time, we try a little harder so maybe occasionaly we'll play real venues for actual music fans, and holy crap, by giving 2% more of a shit about our show and presentation, we can actually ask for a decent guarantee for most shows (not enough to make a living, but enough to not cost us money to perform every time). All my friends with that level of interest in music dropped out of the scene a long time ago, and again, I'm not holding anyone's hand through learning their parts because nobody has time for that shit. I turned down a really, really excellent guitar player for one of the my band's because he refuses to rehearse on his own. I don't care how well you can play, if you can't take some tabs, some tracks with click/scratch guitar (Which I personally go to your house and load into your daw and setup everything for you) and learn the songs outside of "practice" hours, nobody has time for that shit. Same with "keyboard players" that can't take a piece of sheet music and learn the melodies/pads. If I have to spend hours showing you everything, its gonna be easier and way less frustrating for me to just track it and play to a click live.
     
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  14. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    To that I'd counter, with djent bands increasingly choosing to identify as "prog" bands, and with musicianship having always been front and center of the progressive rock and progressive metal genres, there IS a reasonable expectation that a "prog" band should actually be able to play their own parts. Calling it a "production choice" is just a bait and switch.

    And I realize we're talking about slighly different things here, Periphery flying in supporting backing tracks and overdubs, vs bands relying on piped-in audio because they don't have the chops to do the carefully constructed performances they did in a "studio" environment with the help of digital editing, but frankly I find a lot of that stuff kind of distracting live, too. I'll catch Steven Wilson on tour every time he comes through Boston, but I really wish he'd drop the pre-recorded vocal harmonies being piped over the loudspeakers along with the band. And when you get to bands like the HAARP Machine who are playing along to guitar studio performances to cover up some of the slop, then yeah, there's no excuse for that.

    Possibly the minority here, but I've always enjoyed seeing how a band reinterprets a song live, when they can't rely on overdubs and have to play everything at once.
     
  15. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    I do agree that covering up what your playing by tracking it, or miming along to tracks is not fun to watch, I don't think MOST bands are doing that. IME playing lots of shows with lots of degrees of metal bands, most of them are using it for orchestral/backing elements, but I've definitely seen a few that have an "always on" rhythm guitar even when the guitarist onstage is playing the same riff, or the "we're too big for this venue we booked so we're not bring our amps in and just having the drummer play along to album audio" guys, but they're definitely the minority. For me, I often write around something stupid like a synth pad I got while dicking around on the computer, or a melody from some other instrument that I'd rather accompany with guitar than play that part on guitar, so while I could probably orchestrate that stuff to a 3pc band, it wouldn't sound the same, and would be disappointing for me to perform because it would be what I consider an unnecessary compromise because the technology is available to facilitate using all those layers and presenting the "finished" idea to an audience. I'm personally not a fan of "harmony guitars" on tracks (especially when its shreddy stuff) or the 36 layers of vocals some guys like to use, but if I see a band with no keyboard player and I hear keyboards, I don't feel like there's any deception going on, or a band without a bassist and hearing bass. Given whats available now there's no reason to wait around to find the right guy if you wanna play shows, there's no reason to compromise your live sound because someone quit the band.
     
  16. Lord Voldemort

    Lord Voldemort SS.org Regular

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    It just comes down to people's preferences, clearly.

    Some people really want a genuine experience, and they expect the musicians to actually play their parts as organically as possible in an exposed way. Obviously those people are going to hate the idea that artists are manipulating their performances with backing tracks or any sort of crutch because to them it's not really 'live', it's more like 'in person but prerecorded'.

    Other people don't give a fuck about that and just want to see a show. I think what we're seeing now is a lot of people going, 'oh shit we didn't even know that was happening', and a polarizing and vocal split between the two different mindsets as they get educated on the process.

    Also, just a random anecdote, my wife and I recently saw Tesseract and were just amazed at how incredible they sounded. It was literally like the albums but live. In retrospect...well, Dan had backing layers and harmonies out of thin air, the drums had layers of obvious compression and reverb, the whole thing was clearly altered quite a bit and we hadn't even noticed until this all came up. My wife was annoyed because she thought they were perhaps the best live band ever, but...they weren't. The lack of genuinity really bothered her, and I get that.

    Great fucking show though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  17. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

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    This is just an obnoxious take, and I'd love to see what acts you've taken the effort of seeing live at this point to validate that crowds in general are sleeping through concerts in the last 2 - 3 decades. Because that is completely and utterly false :lol:

    Legal action is the next move on that ladder, if you're asking someone to make sure they carefully word the product they're selling you're pretty much setting the premise that they'll get sued. Maybe not by you, but you're implying that some disgruntled asshole is going to leave a performance and attempt to suck whatever money a musician has in their possession because of backing tracks.

    It's my perspective, but in the US everyone is pretty trigger finger ready to sue anyone over anything.

    Dude everyone keeps talking about this shit, but anyone want to actually show some examples of a real performer fully miming to their music with zero output from the instrument they're holding? I know that RoS Lucas Mann video is long as shit, but he shows Front of House audio of him and his 2nd guitarist playing and that 3rd audio track performing an additional harmony. You guys keep talking like he was unplugged and that this is a regular occurrence, but Lucas proved that his guitar was plugged in and audio was coming out. You can call foul play, and discuss the potential for a discrepancy all you want, but this wide spread "live miming" ala Lip Syncing for pop artists just isn't happening.

    Like Veil of Maya for example, Mark Okubo mastered the looper pedal and performed his live shows playing essentially two guitar parts himself whenever there was overlap and he could backtrack a melody or rhythm section. This was still imperfect and prone to errors, but most were forgiving because of how difficult it is to do that. It's not stepping on a chorus pedal instead of a flanger because you feel like it, he was recording two guitar parts LIVE and nailed the timing almost every time.

    I'm not even an RoS fan here, people are using his potential miming before he explained himself to scapegoat the fact that modern metal has moved towards people standing on stage with a million backtracks and their volumes turned to 0. Completely false, and if it does happen and you find any example of it I will argue tooth and nail that it's in the minority.
     
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  18. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    Sorry, not trying to call YOU out in particular but this is basically the same argument everyone has that I have seen, for those who say backing tracks are OK.

    Is it safe to say these past few pages came along about the RoS fiasco? In their case it is weak and in my opinion sad that they use them and I completely disagree with them doing so.

    Hey don't get me wrong, they can do what they want. They are the pros and not me. Obviously Lucas Mann can shred his ass off and is an amazing player BUT I look at all the facts here.

    They do not have horns, orchestra, missing band members and to my knowledge they don't use keys on their recording. This entire thing (and this is directly from Lucas) is because they do extra harmonies in the studio right? Well I am not buying it, sorry.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I would imaging that these extra harmonies are every so often right? Not throughout 100% of their songs. I would probably be shocked if it was even 20%. With that said are they using these backing tracks ONLY during those parts? High doubt it. So what does that mean? That they are using pre recorded to perfection guitar tracks on the rhythm too. The parts that do not have harmonies. I am sorry but that is crap.

    Also in the video I recall a part where Lucas said, look all you can hear is the pre recorded track. Well why is that? Does that mean their sound engineer purposely mixes the pre recorded to perfection guitar tracks louder then the others? Why would that be?

    Ever heard a perfect CD and then solo a guitar track to hear how it sounds perfect in the mix but not so great on its own performance wise? Adding layers will certainly cover up sloppiness, especially if those layers are louder in the mix.

    Finally, let's look at what the ex band members said previously? They basically confirmed the dude is lazy, doesn't learn the parts, etc. etc.

    I am sorry I am not buying the RoS Schpeel. To each their own but to me they are just using tight tracks to make themselves sound better and tighter than they would on their own. Hey I get it, it is pretty complex music and high difficulty but for me, if I can't play a riff I write, I practice over and over until I get it (Just like lucas did in the video) but if I fuck up live I won't care. It happens. I guess that is the stress you have to deal with when it is your career? Everything has to be perfect at all costs? IDK to each their own but not my style.
     
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  19. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    You're literally making a scenario up in your head to have something to argue against.
    I have yet to meet a single band that uses backing tracks so they can chill out on stage and not to add something to their live performance that cannot otherwise be added in an economically feasable matter - and I have watched/played with loads of bands.
     
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  20. Jacksonluvr636

    Jacksonluvr636 SS.org Regular

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    To each their own. A lot of my post was direct quotes from Lucas Mann. I have no idea why they do it but im not buying his reasoning. Entire set with pre recorded guitars for the occasional third harmony? Not to mention said tracks higher in the mix than real guitars? Surrrrre Dave.

    Did I miss the part in the video where they attested to only using the tracks for the harmonies? Pretty sure they do it over entire songs even parts without harmony but maybe im wrong.
     
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