For the Love of Hardware
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Performance Over Programming
Vrenna tried to keep the record as live-recordednot programmed sounding as possible due to his feelings about the over-perfecting of music these days. Everythings been sounding and is so chopped and perfected and auto-tuned lately, and I have a hard time believing that every drummer thats been released in the last two years actually plays that rigid.
So Vrenna and Walsh purposefully went for the performance when producing the new Tweaker album.
No Time For Tweaking
However, he admits that while working on TV, film and game projects, you dont always have time to do too much sound and effect tweaking. I can understand that in movies and commercials and game scores, because of the three game scores Im working on right now, and this TV theme for this WB kids cartoon I did, he says.
When youre that swamped, you dont have time to sit there for four hours going, What if we turn the distortion on the filter? What if we throw on a pedal? Well...which pedal? says Vrenna. But even if youre doing things that wayjust using the stock effectsthere are ways to mix things and balance things.
Leaning Toward Hardware
There are lots of patches in these keyboards where if Im looking for something thats got a vibe, then Ill test out the different settings and go Oooo wow...thats nice. and I can then go move the filter up and down, but then Ill think, But, god...its perfect! I mean, if its under 17 layers of other stuff, then I dont feel too bad about it, he says.
But thats one reason why Vrenna still gravitates toward hardware. With people stealing software and VST plug-ins and the way that you can just buy .rex files and things for fifty bucks, it results in everything sounding the same, he says. Not everybody will go and kick down three grand for the Andromeda or $2000 for a V-Synth. So, I tend to think that if I spend all my money on hardware, at least it wont sound like everybody else.
Gear Is No Substitute For Skill
However, Vrenna asserts that just having more plug-ins, hardware and a bigger system is no substitute for talent and experience. Ive got this friend who was going, Ive got a 100 tracks going with 19 reverbs. And I was like, So what? If you need all that to doctor up your crappy song, then youve got a lot more problems than simply making fun of how I only have 64 tracks to work with, he says. If the core sucks, then all the extra software synths and plug-ins isnt gonna make it any better, says Vrenna.
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