Fuji Velvia 50F = Green
Fuji Velvia 100F = Brown/Red
Fuji Provia 400X/400F = Blue/Green
Fuji Provia 100F = Green
Fuji T64 = Purple/Pink
Fuji Astia 100F = Red/Purple
Fuji Sensia 100 = Red/Purple
Fuji Sensia 200 = Yellow/Green
Fuji Sensia 400 = Yellow/Green
Kodak E100G/E100VS = Blue-ish
Ektachrome 100 EPP Plus = contrast & saturation
Ektachrome EPR 64 = Blue/Green
Ektachrome E200 = Blue/Green
Elitechrome 100EB = Blue/Green
Elitechrome 100EBX = contrast & saturation
Rehearsal photos from the 2012 MusicNOW Festival at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. These photos are cross-processed Fuji Sensia 400 taken with a Pentax ME Super.
Performance photos from the 2012 MusicNOW Festival at Memorial Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio on Friday, March 30th. These photos are Lomography 800 film taken with a Pentax ME Super.
The Deflavorizing Machine by Steve Guttenberg
There’s an old Woody Allen bit about his mother running the family’s food through a “deflavorizing machine” a couple of times, just to make sure dinner was completely tasteless. Well, that’s what a lot of contemporary music sounds like to me. Booker T. Jones’s recent album The Road from Memphis has some great tunes, but the sound of the album pales in comparison with his seriously funky work with Booker T. & the MG’s in the 1960s. It’s not just that the new CD is maximally compressed and processed to a fare-thee-well—it’s a totally lifeless recording. But this isn’t just another analog vs digital diatribe. The problems have little to do with the recording format; it’s the way recordings are now made. Too many are assembled out of bits and pieces of sound to create technically perfect, Auto-Tuned, Pro Tooled music. It’s not that great music can’t be made that way, but it’s sure as hell less likely to get my mojo workin’.
All of that was running through my head as I made my way through the Audio Engineering Society’s annual convention, held last October in New York City. Thousands of engineers and producers attended the show, and when I chatted with some of them one on one, I got the impression that they were committed to making great-sounding recordings. The disconnect between these engineers’ intentions and the reality of today’s soulless recordings baffled me.
At the “Platinum Producers” workshop, with panelists Steve Jordan (Keith Richards, The Verbs), David Kahne (Tony Bennett, Paul McCartney), and Gabe Roth (Daptone Records), I felt that my concerns were shared—especially when Roth said, “You used to have people together in a room playing a song; now they make records that try to sound like people together playing a song.” Jordan chimed in: “I like to hear a performance on a track, and when you have that coupled with analog tape, the music can affect you physically, and you have something. With digital, there are a lot of elements involved, and when you’re spending too much time ‘perfecting’ the music, you’re probably going to lose the feel. Human beings’ heart rates aren’t steady, they go up and down, but that’s exactly what’s being extracted from a lot of today’s music.” The deflavorizing machines have taken over.
Read the rest here… http://www.stereophile.com/content/deflavorizing-machine
Here is a similar article…
The Death of Mistakes Means the Death of Rock Music by DOUGLAS WOLK.
Want to hear a really sloppy record? It’s a good song, but the recording’s a mess. The drums consistently drag the rhythm; the bass player isn’t quite sure how his part is supposed to go. If you listen carefully to the end of the second verse (around the 48-second mark in this video), the whole band gets lost for a moment and ends up adding an extra beat by accident. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdrGS__yg6Q
It is, of course, The Beatles’ “Rain,” as great a rock recording as anyone’s ever made. And it’s full of mistakes, accidents and inconsistencies that would be utterly unacceptable by the pop-music standards of 2009.
Now imagine what would happen if some band of 25-year-olds with radio aspirations wrote and recorded “Rain” today. That take would probably be thrown out, or at least digitally edited to fix the screw-up; even if they played it right, the drum track would get imported into ProTools and snapped back into strict rhythm any time it drifts behind the beat. The lead singer’s wobbly notes, and the not-quite-in-tune bass guitar, would get fixed with AutoTune. The all-over-the-place guitar dynamics would be tightened up with a compressor-limiter. It’d still be a fine song, but the recording would be impossibly boring — as frictionless and dull as the recordings even the best mainstream rock bands often end up making now.
Voices, guitars and drums are really expressive instruments for the same reason that they’re really inexact instruments: Tou can’t coax the same note or beat out of them exactly the same way twice, even if you try. They’re never perfectly in tune, and any number of factors can throw their sound a little bit off. Add that to the fact that, if you’re working with analog tape (as almost all pop musicians did before the mid-’80s), you’re basically stuck with the performance you’ve got, and you end up with recordings that mercilessly document endless errors, small and large.
The large ones sometimes used to make it out into the world; occasionally, they even turned up in hits. James Brown’s “Sex Machine” has a wreck of a keyboard solo; the Mamas and the Papas’ “I Saw Her Again” includes Denny Doherty flubbing the beginning of a chorus. That doesn’t happen anymore, and hasn’t since massively multitrack recording became standard operating procedure for pop: Losing an error doesn’t mean abandoning a group’s entire performance.
Another kind of inconsistency has been methodically crushed over the last two decades, literally and figuratively, in what audio engineers call the “loudness wars”: the competition for new recordings to be as loud as possible. If a piece of music can be compressed to a very narrow dynamic range — a minimal distance between its quietest parts and its loudest parts — then that means the whole thing can be really, really loud. It sounds bold and forceful when you put on a CD or play an MP3 file; it’s clearer and less likely to flicker out when it’s played on the radio. If you listen to a super-compressed, very loud recording next to an uncompressed version of the same thing with a wider dynamic range, the louder one is going to seem much more immediate and consistent. It’s also going to be harder to listen to at length, because the natural dynamics of rock groups — not just the difference between quiet parts and loud parts of a song, but also the accidental fluctuation from one moment to the next — suffocate when they’re squashed. Here’s a video that demonstrates the damage the loudness wars have inflicted:
And now, the smallest errors are vanishing, too. The gift that modern digital technology has given pop music is the ability to fix every nagging inconsistency in a recording, note by note and beat by beat. If you hear a contemporary mainstream rock record, you’re almost certainly hearing something that has been digitally nipped and tucked and buffed until it shines.
The little inconsistencies in musicians’ performances aren’t just glitches, though: They’re exactly what we respond to as listeners — the part that feels like “style,” or even like “rock.” The exciting part of guitar-bass-drum-voice music is the alchemy of specific musicians playing with each other, and the way those musicians’ idiosyncratic senses of timing and articulation and emphasis relate to each other. That’s where the rhythmic force of rock ‘n’ roll comes from; that’s also why a great band can replace one of its members with someone who’s technically a more skillful musician, only to discover that their instrumental chemistry isn’t there anymore.
Fix enough little mistakes and inconsistencies in a rock recording — snap its rhythms and pitches to a grid — and you’ve effectively replaced all of a band’s members with technically more skillful musicians. That can be very useful for some kinds of pop, especially kinds in which a well-executed composition is more important than an idiosyncratic performance. On the other hand, it’s dangerous or even fatal to recordings in traditions like rock — the kinds of music that thrive on friction. The high-tech ideal of popular music means no botched rhythms, no sour notes, no shaky dynamics, but also no “Sex Machine,” no “Louie Louie,” no “Rain.” It’s not always worth the trade-off.