Group: Super Admins
Joined: Dec. 1999
||Posted: Sep. 29 2005, 07:50
The case of the piano is a little bizarre. Some of the parts are played on Mike's Steinway acoustic piano, while others are most definitely synthetic. I would agree that they're likely from the Yamaha Motif.
In some cases, I can understand it - for the more dance orientated tracks, I think a more synthetic sound works well (the classic was always the Korg M1 piano, which sounded horrid if thought of in terms of an emulation of an acoustic grand piano, but which worked very well in the context of dance tracks). But with Blackbird...why? He'd already got the piano miked up for the melody line, so why not spend an extra half hour or so recording the accompaniment? I would have thought that a lighter piano sound, if that was what was required to make it fit in the mix, could easily have been obtained by a different mic position, or a little EQ bracketing. I can't really think of many reasons why he'd want to use a synth piano sound instead.
On virtual voices, I think that the voice on Surfing is better than a human singer. It may not be an effect which everyone likes, but it's an effect which is I think unique to synthetic vocals. I don't think the song would be nearly so intriguing, were it sung by, say, Maggie Reilly. It could be made to work, of course, and some may prefer the end result, but it wouldn't be the same in any way. That's what puzzles me about the pianos, really - they don't seem to be used in a way that takes advantage of their unique feel and sound, but rather places them in a position where they're playing second best to 'the real thing'.
I personally think that the aim with every arrangement (and I'm talking in general terms here, rather than directing this at Mike or anyone in particular - this is more my own personal philosophy) should be to make use of instruments' unique qualities, and put them in places where they're irreplaceable (or close to it). Not doing that is invariably going to lead to it sounding compromised, I feel.
Negativity is definitely around, and in certain forms can be as healthy as positivity. However, I do get the feeling that there are people active at the moment (not necessarily in this discussion) who are just out to wind everyone else up. We have our eyes on them, but please, if anyone recognises the signs of a troll (outrageous claims that make you want to yell "You are soooo wrong!", extreme views expressed with over the top and sometimes offensive language, topics posted to by many new or infrequent members who all seem to have the same opinion and possibly writing style), don't fall into their trap. Flaming them back isn't going to help, and even trying to join them in discussion can sometimes just incite more drivel from them. Best to leave them alone and enjoy the album (or not enjoy it, as the case may be...doesn't matter, there are plenty other albums out there to enjoy).