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Thread: YouTuber uses quantization to “fix“ Van Halen… and it sounds awful

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    YouTuber uses quantization to “fix“ Van Halen… and it sounds awful

    YouTuber uses quantization to “fix“ Van Halen… and it sounds awful

    By Sam Roche

    Bobby Huff – aka Dr Bob – lays Runnin' with the Devil on the operating table, and hacks it to pieces





    Quantization is a wonderful tool that allows musicians and producers to fix timing errors in their recordings. Using a digital grid, it can transform sloppy takes into damn-near perfect ones, but it's not without its drawbacks.

    In music, we often hear about the intangible concepts of 'feel' and 'emotion'. Well, as YouTuber Bobby Huff – aka Dr Bob – is here to show you, quantization has the ability to utterly erase these from your recordings.

    In a recent installment of his Music Surgery series, the intrepid audiophile lays Van Halen on the operating table, showcasing the havoc quantization wreaks on the band's 1978 single, Runnin' with the Devil. “I know this is going to border on blasphemy,” he explains, “but that's the point.”

    After Dr Bob works out the track's average tempo of 95 beats per minute, it's immediately clear that even the first four bass notes are out of time. He “fixes” this, but as you'll notice, the life of the track is sucked out. As Huff says: “The danger and swagger are gone and the heart and soul of the band [have] been surgically removed.”

    “Almost every new song you've heard in the past 20 to 30 years has been time corrected or programmed, which means every part of the song is in perfect time and locked to the grid or metronome to non-human standards of playing,” the YouTuber explains.

    “The aspect of doing this to rock bands started in the '90s, and came about mostly because of Pro Tools, and because so many bands couldn't play to recording standards.”

    He continues: “For some things, I love this sound. In 90 percent of the work I do, I use this type of approach. But the point I want to make is to make sure the artist and the song call for gridding up everything. If it feels great, don't feel bad about leaving it alone.

    “Imagine Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones perfectly lined up: two of the greatest-feeling drummers to ever play would have never been heard properly.”

    The moral of the story? Huff explains: “Don't kill a groove just because you have the tools to.”


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    “The danger and swagger are gone and the heart and soul of the band [have] been surgically removed.”

    Describes Hagar's arrival, too...
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    This is why 99% of music released since 1996 sucks ass.
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    Auto tune is more than 1% of the issue

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    So...a failed musician with an expensive software program does this to prove what, exactly?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    This is why 99% of music released since 1996 sucks ass.
    Considering you don't listen to anything after 1984 is not making an argument for the state of today's music, slave FORD

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    I listen to a lot of stuff after 1984. Not much after 1997 though. The consolidation of corporate radio & corporate record labels has pretty much killed the idea of any bands with talent getting any sort of promotion. And for the few decent bands who could live on live performances alone... well that all went out the window about a year ago, right?

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    I actually had to explain to a young guitarist what feedback was. A lot of players now don’t have a cab onstage and you lose that whole reaction of the pickup with the speakers. Plus they crank the gain too much. You get more headroom and sustain by backing the gain down and increasing the master volume but you have to be by a speaker. It sounds so much better if the player has the hands than going DI to the console sounding like a buzz box because they got the volume down and the gain cranked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    I listen to a lot of stuff after 1984. Not much after 1997 though. The consolidation of corporate radio & corporate record labels has pretty much killed the idea of any bands with talent getting any sort of promotion. And for the few decent bands who could live on live performances alone... well that all went out the window about a year ago, right?
    Consolidation has killed the whole media. Everything falls under six conglomerates. Also the stock market is so rigged now it’s not a free market and most the politicians are owned by the investment banks they don’t do anything and neither do the judges. Then they use the media to play divide and conquer games with the public. You got everyone arguing over stupid shit like Sharon Osbourne while the people who own our politicians grab more assets and power for themselves. They are buying up all the farmland right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    This is why 99% of music released since 1996 sucks ass.
    There really is no music industry right now. Live music in clubs has been dying a slow death. It’s no longer who the hot band is. It’s who the hot DJ is. People party to a synthesized beat but they have been doing that since the 80’s.

    Real guitar players will be a niche. It will be guys like Joe Bonamossa playing to an audience of people who want to see a guy who can play old school. It will be like people wanting to go see the symphony. Classical music never died but it certainly isn’t the mainstream thing. I don’t know if we even have mainstream anything anymore entertainment wise. Mobile devices killed having some nationally known DJ or VJ telling us what’s cool. Who even cares about Hollywood anymore?

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    Van Halen was magic in the late 70’s and self-destructed in 1984. It became a pop band with Sammy. Van Halen saved us from disco and pop rock. The music scene back then was pretty shitty too.

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