Last weekend I had the privilege to listen to a rock band in concert. This band consists of three guitarists, one drummer, and a lady lead. Their sounds range from the 60's to the present day and it was music you could enjoy by either dancing or listening to it. They lean toward classic rock. Their four-hour gig consisted of four sets and their breaks were not so long that you wondered if they left or not.
As I was listening to one of their pieces, I started to realize the skill these musicians had - all of them. To watch the lead guitarist's fingers run up and down the neck of the electric guitar along with adding the enhancement sounds while picking was pretty amazing. One of my favorite pieces they played was "Black Magic Woman" featuring the lead guitarist. I have to say the skill of the drummer came out along with the lead guitarist, at least, I though so. What impressive skill the drummer has, too.
After spending the night in concert, I started thinking about the differences between the three types of bands I have seen and heard - live, karaoke, and mix bands.
Karaoke Bands. IMO, if a karaoke band has an excellent lead singer, the band sounds good. They don’t have the power that a live band has, but when they perform, it is usually the version of the songs we have heard on the radio. Any additional instruments they use, add to the already popular music.
Mix Bands. Being that mix bands rely heavily on computers and other equipment, their mixes need to be pretty awesome before they get on stage to perform. I think it is a little more difficult for a mix band to get into their music while they are playing as there are so many intricate parts to it. We're talking about a finished product that has layers and layers and layers and layers...to make it complete. If I take my sons, for example, most of the music they create is awesome, but IMO, their forte' is more in the production mix-remix area. I feel if a mix-remix band breaks apart the layers of a finished song and play some of these layers with instruments on top of their finished product in performance, they would have more of a live band sound instead of a mix band sound. Of course, they need to have live-band equipment, also.
Speaking about my sons, I heard some exciting news the other day. My sons have earned a contract with a video game company to produce a remix for a boss battle in a new video game. They had to audition for it first by creating a remix in a timely fashion of a tract this company gave them and had several Skype interviews along with email contact before the decision was made to contract "Maniac Agenda™". I had to laugh - my son told me they sent five one-page letters to the video game company telling them how awesome they are. :) (I guess I don't have to worry about their self esteem.) They also have a segment from one of their original mixes being used in a movie with another company. All I can say is thanks to those who see my sons' skills worthwhile. It has been long overdue. Their networking & DJ skills along with their production skills, I believe, were a big part of the reason for this. To have over 26,000+ Facebook fans and to have over 5000+ comments on a Sound Cloud tract is nothing to sneeze at.
Anyway, I think mix bands need to have excellent equipment to bring out the best of their music on stage and have mixers, computers, other equipment, vocalists and actors while performing [and have about ten hands to go along with it. :)] You can never hear what a mixer-remixer has done unless you really listen to the background music while they are performing. Anything done on stage is just adding to their already completed work.
Live Bands. When it comes to sound performance in concert, IMO, nothing beats a live rock band. The drums and rhythm reverb through your body adding more sensual moves to your dance. If you find a good band, they have an excellent amp-speaker system, know how to utilize mixers along with their live instruments, and know how to bring out the best of each instrument and vocalist. AND - when a band sounds good outside and most listeners are still around 'til the end, you know you have found a good one.
IMO, each type of band has their place. If you have the funds and space, a live band will draw the crowd and you will more than likely have dancers. A live band might be limited, though, in what music they will play depending on the type of band they are, i.e. rock, country, hiphop, etc. There are some bands that can cross genres, but most of the time they usually play in one area.
Karaoke bands are good if you have limited space. Sometimes, a live band may be too much sound for an area especially if you are inside a smaller club or bar. You have more of an advantage of crossing genres if your lead singer knows the popular songs. They don't have to use additional instruments to pull off a song.
Mix bands have a better capability to cross all genres. Some mix-remix producers can create background music - harmony vocals using the bands own vocalists - drums layers - instrument layers - alternative sound layers - scratching layers for many different genres and can be used as fill-in background for all band types including live bands for entire songs or parts of songs. They can also fine-tune their sounds to fit in with a band's likes. Basically, a mix band needs to do this for themselves if their stage performance is going to shine as they really are nerds of the music world. IMO, mix band music by itself is more for listening than dancing. Mix-remix bands or producers bring their music together through computer programs even when using live instruments, sounds, and vocals so their music can be used in different areas and not just on stage.
Whatever type of band you like, it's there for your listening and-or dancing pleasure and enjoyment. As always, this is just my opinion.
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