Tuesday, October 16, 2012

List Day: 8 Musical Tropes That Need to Stop

  1. Synthesized Brass Samples: The only circumstances where you're allowed to substitute MIDI for brass instruments is if you're writing music for a cruise line commercial in the late 80s.

  2. Fade Outs: You shouldn't be allowed to release your song until it has a great ending. Wouldn't you be upset if your favourite book just faded out? If you're having trouble writing one great ending, write about twenty mediocre endings and stack them -- it worked for the Lord of the Rings movies.

  3. Autotune: I'll give a pass if you use autotune for it's intended purpose, because I don't want to listen to your awful off-pitch singing. However, is your song really going to be better if you sound like a robot? We should be wary anytime "robot" is the object in a sentence (for example, "Dance The Robot", "Watch a Movie About a Robot", or "Have a Physical Relationship With a Robot").

  4. Techno Farts: Why are all techno bass lines sampled with some variation on a duck fart? And because it's techno, the farts occur on both 1 and 3 AND 2 and 4. There are so many bass farts that I start getting a placebo smell effect -- either that or the people I'm around use the songs as cover for their bowel issues.

  5. Triple and Quadruple Stops: Triple stops are like growing fuzzy back hair on an otherwise sharp attack. If you can't hit all of the notes at the same time, don't fake it. You're playing a violin not a piano.

  6. 8-bit Video Game Samples: It's bad enough that you're an indie singing dude who managed to find mainstream popularity without any sense of pitch -- drop the ugly, retro Mega Man samples and autotune yourself instead.

  7. Hidden Tracks: Gee, thanks for turning your 28 minute CD into a 42 minute CD by adding 12 minutes of silence and a crappy studio outtake.

  8. Unaccompanied Solos for Monophonic Instruments: Hey Mr. Composer, go outside and make friends with some more musicians.

tagged as lists, music | permalink | 3 comments
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