Producer Rages Against Performance-Enhancing Technology: 'Music Is Being Destroyed Because Human Element Is Edited Out'

The "bass players are useless c-nts" man speaks the truth!

Ultimate Guitar

The man who brought us a vivid explanation on why bass players are "useless c-nts" has spoken again, this time around focusing on the way technology is destroying music, despite its good sides.

The guru's name is Glenn Fricker, and the only way to truly get the message he's trying to convey is to check out the clip below.

Bashing everyone and everything from Guitar Pro to Autotune and Beat Detective, Mr. Fricker took a stance that "technology has taken the place of talent," resulting in "bland, stale, and 'technically perfect'" recordings. The focal point of the clip - "The fans deserve better!"

You can hardly disagree with the latter statement, so if you're up for some quality raging, Asking Alexandria ripping, as well as bashing of "lazy" producers and musicians, the video below is a must-see. Check it out, now!

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144 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Honey Badger
    Rage Against the Performance-Enhancing Technology?
    Velcro Man
    What people (usually guitarists, especially rock/metal guitarist) don't seem to grasp is the fact that there are two very distinct facets of music you can enjoy: the sound and the performance. Most people just listen to music to hear good music, they don't give a **** how it's made, which isn't exactly wrong. The other part is the performance, hearing and seeing people actually PLAYING these pieces in new and different ways (or just nailing classics for the **** of it) and the fans of this are usually musicians. It's kinda like food and how some people enjoy it better when they know it's "home cooked" or something. Music itself isn't any better just because the writer doesn't perform it, I mean, most people that DO perform only perform one ****ing part. I love the performance aspect, but I also realize it's not the only thing that's important or even the most important. I'm a massive fan of video game music, classical music and so on so I can appreciate epic music even if some dude isn't wiggling his fingers extra swiftly.
    I think what you're not getting is that the sound aspect is better if you work hard and actually get it right, instead of just getting it "good enough" and cleaning it up later.
    Velcro Man
    No, it sounds exactly equal if you play it on a guitar or put in into a synth.
    Except, you know, it doesn't...because those are 2 completely different instruments...
    Velcro Man
    Equal as in equally good, because "good" is a subjective term, not the same exact sound for **** sakes. It's EQUAL, one doesn't somehow sound better than the other, the idea is idiotic.
    No man, it doesn't.
    Velcro Man
    Yes "man" it does, someone playing an instrument live does not instantly make it sound better or cleaner, in fact, programming will always be superior because it doesn't have the human element to be slightly off, even if it is absolutely tiny.
    That doesn't mean that programmed sound will actually sound better either. In fact, that's a major concern these days with certain rock and metal; that using certain programmed techniques causes a certain sterility sound-wise.
    Velcro Man
    The term "sterile" has always been one to make me scoff, what does it mean? It's literally only applied to gear that's not made in the same style as 1950s bullshit. If by "sterile" you mean "cleaner" I don't see how that's a bad thing at all. Also, I'm more referring the the superior pitch control of a computer, no matter what, a guitar is going to be somewhat out of tune and vibratos and bends will NEVER be completely perfect. The human element will always result in various error, no matter how small.
    Totally agree with you Velcro Man. And when it's easier to make decent sounding music nowadays, more people can get their music to the world and show their pieces without the need to be the most technical musician in the world. But if bands record was good and you go to see them live and they suck, that's a different thing.
    I've recorded an album with him! Never knew he'd ever make the front page of UG, great guy, congrats Glen! edit: you guys are taking him way too seriously, the man's got an opinion and has made a few videos prior to this one that bashes on other things like bassists and whatever else you're all crying about, and it's all for humor! I was a bassist on an album he recorded, and am not one bit offended, the guy's straight up and damn hilarious; get over it and just have a damn laugh!
    It's true. Without "blue" notes music is plastic and boring
    I agree, but there's a difference between "blue" notes and bad singing or out-of-tune.
    Here's a novel thought: If you're a bad singer who can't record without auto-tune, you should get the f*ck out of the music industry.
    Ben Hobson
    Given what he said about bass players his opinion means nothing to me. It's not about the technology, it's about the artist and producer themselves and what they do using the technology. It's still possible to keep that human element; I always make sure I do. It's down to the person, not the tech.
    I think he's just referencing a joke from one of his other videos to be fair, he doesn't really think that about bass players....
    I thought I recognised this dude from, some of his thoughts are hilarious, I don't really take him seriously.
    Eh **** all that, autotune and samples are terrible. Many mainstream artists use autotune and when they sing live or without it they sound worse than intermediate singers, making them and the 20 or whatever songwriters just a product of business with no regards for talent or artistic expression, the only requirement is that they look good and promote a buy-able image.
    woW, thank u for your opinion and now **** yourself right off... he's right and thats it
    what was the video clip at the end of the dudes rocking out and puking in the cabin? i saw that video before but i can't remember for the life of me
    Though it doesn't seem he has heard Ryan Martinie play the bass (for Mudvayne). Obviously there are many other examples, but I'm a fan of Mudvayne and Ryan's playing stands out the most out of all the other bands I listen to. Ryan shows that the bass guitar isn't just playing the root of the chords with some exceptions, which may be why he refers to bass players as being useless.
    In a way, he's right. So many of these newer tech-death bands are making records that are so overproduced and over-polished that they're almost listenable. I feel like I'm listening to "computer music" with some distortion on the guitars, completely triggered drums and some guy screaming randomly. There's NOTHING heavy about it... it's just sterile and weak and boring. These days, if I want to listen to "heavy" music I'd much rather listen to 80's or 90's thrash, death and hardcore. Sure, there are mistakes occasionally, the recordings are NOT perfect but the music actually has balls and emotion and it sounds like REAL MUSIC. Technology, if used tastefully, can enhance a recording but what's happening lately is sucking the life out of music.
    I'm not a fan of these Rings of Saturn-type computery wankery bands, but if it's what they're going for then it's completely up to them. I do think it sucks that a lot of artists hop on the bandwagon in hopes to get a record deal and release derivative garbage, but it would be that way regardless of the "in" thing. Besides there's plenty of amazing bands that play with a less processed sound; stay away from the likes of Century Media and check out Dark Descent Records or the Flenser.
    Well, I sure haven't ever heard a metal enthusiast rant against pop music and auto-tune before.
    Same youtube channel :
    Not sure if total hypocrite or just hypocrite.
    whether or not the guy played a part in producing their music, the fact that he promotes absolute shite like that makes his argument abit ironic. Not that I disagree with what he's saying in general though.
    He'd like my stuff. Full of mistakes. Btw theres a great documentary on bbc iplayer just now about sound city for those who can get it. Made by dave grohl. A far more intelligent perspective on this issue.
    jealousy, Then its rage against the producers, producers take bad uncreative artists, and put musical chords behind them, and make sure their mix is pro (whatever that is). Auto tune doesn't work its a trival BS. Auto tune is a high pass filter effect for fun, you still have to sing. drum triggers still need to be played well+and you wont get ear damage from a trigger kit in a rehearsal.EQ a drum kit correct and it sounds like a trigger that's what a trigger is, a gated drum sample. at best use a trigger kick pedal and acoustic everything else. Music isn't an exclusionary overly expensive low retention high attrition contact sport club. get the sound you want and go with it!! and have fun. there is a lack of creativity and passion in music. That is not the equipment that is bad tuition, bad culture, and producers cashing in on terrible pop songs even in the underground. Fast money, poser rock stars, technological dark age.
    I'm glad someone here realizes that autotune isn't some magical tool that you can put a melody into and have it come off sounding anywhere close to natural. There's probably about a 1/4 note pitch change you can make before artificials start popping in. Then those artificials are covered up using other plug-ins until BOOM generic sounding vocals. I think the problem with the music industry is it's financially failing, so they have to keep rapidly pumping out cheap repetitive hits with little to no care towards arrangement, just so that they can hopefully rack up enough cumulative sales to make a profit.
    "Auto tune is a high pass filter" And right there you completely lost any credibility that you could have had. But no, Autotune and similar pitch correction (Melodyne, etc) is not that much of a savior. It makes good performances perfect, and bad performances sound very digital.
    "fans deserve better"? Fans deserve what they are looking for, if they like that, let them be!
    Provocative statements meant to stir attention and win the hearts of purists. I'll just say it - the fans DON'T "deserve" better than "technically perfect." What IS that, even? There IS nothing BETTER than "technical perfection" - that's why people keep using technology to achieve it. The fans wouldn't appreciate anything SHORT of perfection, now that they've tasted it.
    Rebel Scum
    Regarding your last statement, hmm not true. There's many songs that have errors in them (bum/wrong notes, tape spliced wrongly for 1/2 second) but those errors made them sound better sometimes.
    Also, my last statement was about the fans not "deserving" better than perfect. Making statements like "so-and-so DESERVES BETTER" is crowd pandering, so since that is indeed what he's doing here (& he even made sure it's in the video thumbnail), it is true that the fans don't "deserve" anything they don't get. They aren't even aware of what they're hearing 99% of the time until someone like this guy points it out for them and acts like it's a big deal how everyone's being "lied to." I guess my bigger point is that this whole post is just BS.
    I don't care if you've practised 20 years to be able to record a song or if it's done by computer or if you played it with your feet, if what you hear in the end is good then what's the problem? it's not that people are getting lazy, the ones who work really hard or have the talent just can't accept other ways of doing it. I think the problem is not the technology, it's the creativity. yeah the music is getting more shit hahaha i agree but that's not because of the technology, it's just not being used well or the ideas are just not there... "the fans deserve better"? hey the artists will do what they want, if you're not happy you move on and look for another band to listen to, no need start saying what they should be doing or explaining what real music is supposed to be.
    the problem is its not good.
    are you claiming all electronically produced music ever is bad? you must be ridiculously close minded if you can't appreciate hip-hop, all the electronic genres (of which theres hundreds), experiemntal music, noise, etc... none of them "played" with live instruments but all still can have amazing music/albums
    spoken like the lazy untalented younger generation who are single handedly ruining music.....
    Yeah, I remember a producer saying that he offered a band to try using Amplitube to record the guitars. The band didn't want it by any means, but after experimenting with the tones from Amplitube and real amps they ended up preferring Amplitube's tone. For auto-tune, though, I found it ruins the sound of the vocals when used for correcting the pitch. It can be used to achieve nice vocal effects though.
    All the classic guitar and keyboard drum tones are from the 60,s 70,s and 80's. There are no great tones from the last ten years. Just plug into the software and get mediocre sound that will neve be remembered. What if Van halen just plugged into software? Jimmy page? John bonham's drums. The sounds that will be remember are not to be found in software. Hasn't happened and won't happen. It takes a musician working with his gear to make the magic happen, not hitting a preset on a box. Can u get crappy sounds with real gear? Sure. Is it easier to get a passable sound with software and axe effects. Probably. Will it ever be remembered like Townshends crushing power chords thru a max out Fender. No way.
    Okay, I may get flack for this, but the whole point of Auto-Tune being created in the first place was to help singers reach notes or to stay in tune should they be sick, or not at 100% and was never meant to be a form of singing, the creator is ashamed about what's being done with it. So to blame auto-tune for whatever fall in singing talent is like blaming grunge for the fall of heavy metal in the 90's, which would be completely missing the point of grunge.
    If a singer has to reach notes with autotune, maybe that particular song shouldn't sung by that singer.
    Velcro Man
    Sure, it seems like a strange choice by the producers, it would be easier to get someone else, but perhaps they really like the voice of one person, but they just happen to be incapable of naturally hitting the notes the producer wants them to hit at the time. More often than not, it really is being used for the original intention or people that just go apeshit and use it to make crazy sounds, but even that isn't somehow objectively bad, it's just different and pretty much exactly the same as using a guitar effect to get a certain sound.
    If it is used as an effect, then it's 100% fine. If it's used to reach notes that a particular singer can't reach without autotune, we have an issue.
    Velcro Man
    Why though? Would it really be better for the music not to exist at all? If someone's voice is right for a song (or they write their OWN songs) why should we say "NOPE, CAN'T HIT THAT ONE NOTE, GTFO"?
    OMG who cares? Most of listeners don't give a damn about the process of creating music, they want the result.
    Thing is that the result comes from the process.
    Velcro Man
    Your point? If two different processes yield equal results, what's the problem?
    What if they don't equal the same result though?
    Velcro Man
    that's not part of the hypothetical, it's if they result in an equal product, why should the process matter? Neither can be better or worse, it comes down to whether or not people prefer a synth sound or a guitar sound, and really, it won't be too long til there's a program that makes realistic guitar sounds.
    im sure someone said shit like that when the electric guitar became widespread
    there's a difference between an electric guitar and auto-tune buddy.
    Perhaps, but is it any less "cheating" to do multiple takes in the studio until you nail it well enough to keep, like they've been doing since the dawn of recorded music?
    yes, i think it is less cheating.
    I agree, it is less cheating because you actually have to be able to get it right. Autotune means you don't even have to come close, it'll just fix it for you.
    Well to be perfectly fair, people do significantly exaggerate the power of pitch correction software. Pitch is only a component of a skilled singer, if you can't sing at the very least quite well, no amount of pitch correction will make you sound like a pop star. That said, it's still balls
    What is more "cheating" in video games? Trying to beat a level repeatedly and losing lives until you finally beat it, or entering an invulnerability cheat (note: cheat) to beat it in one take?
    Yes you dummy...its called being able to perform. What is it with you younger people....?????
    both are just using technology to express oneself buddy. if you don't like autotune and find it annoying, fine, so be it, but when used creatively it can add a great effect to a song. radiohead uses some subtle autotune in a couple of songs in order to get a slightly more robotic feel to the vocals.
    In the most basic sense music is technology. He's just talking about stuff that you can use to write songs even if you don't have any talent. So instead of an electric guitar, imagine a guitar that plays the right song no matter what note you play.
    So, if they can't play the music perfect they suck, if they use technology to make it perfect they suck. So, what is our example of perfect musicians who don't use technology? Unless I'm missing the point it just sounds like he's saying technology covers up mistakes that while in britney spears means she's a talent-less ***** but in metallica means they're really playing!? Talk about a double standard...
    Yabba Who
    An old dude complaining about new technology - that's a new one.
    he is not complaining about the technology, he is complaining how it is used.
    Velcro Man
    How would it be used in a way that such purists would like it? The entire existence of computer programs that can alter recordings is what disturbs them because it's a change from what used to be the norm. Musicians big in the 30s and 40s felt the same way about electric instruments.
    I really would like to know, what he thinks about In Flames. Especially about Soundtrack To Your Escape.
    Yeah, where old enough to remember good music with people that could play and sing.
    Don't blame technology,blame the artists,I love my line 6 products,I love garageband!
    One of my bands had the pleasure of recording at Glenn's studio. If you ever get the chance to, I recommend it.
    The test should be: do you like the song? >>>> yes >>>> >>>> no >>>> Studios go out of business and get less and less business these days because of DIY folks..... Back in the day your only option was to hire an angry Canadian (seen above) and just burn studio time doing it over and over again, as piles of 2-inch tape hit the floor. A recording studio, where music is not enjoyed by the end listener in real-time, is still a fake, sterile environment where anything is possible. IMO, it is disingenuous to say that using autotune to hold pitch is wrong, but doing it properly in your 24th live attempt is righteous. You were ill-prepared either way. As long as you can hold pitch live or play that drum beat live, it really doesn't matter what you did in the studio.
    The way I see it is that albums are a lot like movies. Sometimes it's just a few people recording an idea that and assembling a movie by themselves, and the story they create leaves an impact on the audience. Sometimes a team of thousands comes together to produce a summer blockbuster that entertains the audience for a couple hours Robert Downey Jr. didn't actually carry a nuke into space, and no, the singer didn't nail every last note, but I still loved Avengers, and that song is still #1 in the charts. There's nothing wrong with liking an album that wasn't entirely raw talent, the songs can still be catchy, and really it makes us appreciate the true masterpieces even more. Some albums are made to last, some are just an escape for an hour or so.
    this article could very well have been called, "These Kids Need To Take Their Ball And Get Off my Lawn!!"
    on the latest trivium record matt heafy has zero autotune. david draimen produced the album and believes whatever you do in the studio you should be able to do live. heafy learned a ton of new techniques from him and increased his vocal range. much respect
    This guy is a ****ing grade A certified meathead. He speaks some truth but hes too god damn ignorant.
    This guy is a ****ing grade A certified meathead. He speaks some truth but hes too god damn ignorant.
    I agree with him too on every point except one: the listeners DON'T deserve better. If this is the shit they buy, let them have it.
    what are the bands? britney,...,...,machine head,...,...,queen, kiss, iron maiden, red fang?????
    Well, I guess this means that movie and TV actors suck and we should only go to the theater to see actual plays. You see, all those movie actors can't act. They do take after take and then editors go in a make them all look good. Then we have special fx's and blue screens. I mean the hypocrisy is rampant and We Deserve Better! Maybe rock bands should have 4 guitarists, so when they play live we can all hear all those dubbed guitars that are present on the records. Maybe all rock bands should have a keyboard player, too. So they can play live all those atmospheric sounds they put on their records. This has nothing to do with technology. Back in the day certain bands had ghost players play on their records. It is easier/cheaper to get Johnny to play his own part just OK and edited it, than bring in someone else to do the job and then keep his name off the record's credits. All these things are just tools. Tools that are now available to everybody to learn and use. Nobody is obligated to use them. A record is a different product than a live show. Eventually the public figures out who are the ones who can play their instruments and those who can't. We tend to regard those who can with more respect and admiration.On the other hand, with less people buying records nowadays, maybe it is a good thing for musicians to spend less money and time on a recording studio and more time and money touring. If they can utilize technology to achieve those goals, then they might be better off. Who wants to owe a record company thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars in recording expenses before the album even hits the streets? They gotta pay that back eventually.
    He's right on the money. Everybody sounds the same with their Axe effects modelers, drum programs, etc. Glad Zeppelin did't have that crap to use. Get a couple of stacks, dime the damn things and get your balls shaking, thats Rock, nor playing guitar thru your iPad.
    Velcro Man
    1. Not many average musicians own axe effects modelers. 2. Even if they did, the Axe FX system models MANY different amps and effects so accurate it would be absolutely impossible to tell the difference without looking. There's not just one sound they make that you can instantly say "yup, that's what they're using". 3. I'm sure if Led Zeppelin existed today, they would be using modern gear, not those super old, out-dated amps and shit. Someone like Hendrix would have an amazingly extensive pedal board.
    This guy looks like a high-pitched metalhead John Goodman.
    This guy is tripping his balls off! Looks stoned as ****! I have to agree with what he says though...
    you sound like you don't know what either stored or tripping are.
    and you'd be right, never done drugs in my life and proud of that
    and yet you comment as if you know what you are talking about… go away with your bullshit.
    hang on, I have to have tried drugs to pass a comment on how someone might look when they've taken drugs... what ****ing horsehit is that!? i may have never taken drugs but ive sure as **** seen enough people on them to know what it looks like! **** you ****!
    And it's pretty clear that the guy in the vid isn't stoned as **** nor is he tripping… so yea. Your opinion is bullshit here.
    Still doesn't change the fact that the guy in the video doesn't seemed stoned at all. Someone who's stoned would have lost their train of thought and wouldn't have yelled so much.
    If you've really "sure as **** seen enough people on them (drugs) to know what it looks like!", then maybe the people you were with smoked oregano, because the guy in the video is obviously not on anything.
    There is so many great bands out there like Gojira, Behemoth, Volbeat, Mastodon and a lot more who are great musicians and great performers. Those bands he shows to proove his point are the worst you can ear in Heavy metal music...
    Truly that bassist comment was innapropriate and out of place,I've always had problems with bassist in one way or another but I consider them as a crucial part of a band a good bassist can make a huge difference. But his other commentary was brought through sarcasm,irony and it's entertaining and sometimes pretty true of course there are certain discussable things which he conveyed from a subjective point of view but overall it was funny to see his reactions.
    so damn right, all these new metal and hardcore bands sound so clean, its absolutely disgusting.but he could've just told us that and not made one of these shitty youtube videos, where people show how pissed they the way youtube is as shit as shit.
    If he was any good as a producer he would be able to recognise that the Britany song is autotuned to sound bad
    A very interesting video & a lot of valid points were made. The fans do deserve better but if people go out & buy crap then they get what they deserve. If finding current music is difficult go & check out quality music from the past till something unique come along.
    This guy never bashed Guitar Pro, and most of what he says is with a satirical tone, all though not that funny. Still, i have to agree on a lot of what he says.
    People have most definitely gotten too carried away with technology and automation. As long as people buy it, it won't go away. Nowadays it is all about what makes money. The only effects I intend to use is noise cancellation and the settings on my amplifier. He does seem like kind of a prick though. I have no problem with bass players.
    I enjoyed this to a degree. I'm really sick and tired of guys this age not using ANY modern bands or modern sounding anything as examples. Even a 15 year time frame. It's 2014, it doesn't make music from the 1980's or 90's matter less or more but damnit dude.... I hate these typical heavy metal guys who either listen to their generations music, Modern bands who do the same damn thing as their generations, or acoustic, clean technical nothing. Why not reference a band like The Menzingers or Iron and Wine or Brand New or the Foo Fighters recording of Wasting Light, or how about even something not with a classic rock or metal root. So many great production stories like Nirvana or The Pixies and Steve Albini....I could go on and on but who cares it wont change ignorance. And yes I understand that a certain percentage of this is satire but its clear everything Ive described is everything it is.....
    Tesseracts altered state is recorded using axe FX and programmed drums, and you know what? They could have told me they were using live drums and actual amps and I'd ****ing believe them. Talent will always be talent regardless of what technology is used
    I first read it as "Producer Rages Against The Machine". Which is kinda apt, considering what he's talking about.
    There's just too many people getting into music these days. If we all lived 20 years ago, let's face it, about 75% of us guitarists/bedroom producers would not play any instruments or be trying to make music (myself included). With the way things are going, being in a band that tours is going to be the same as having a trade, like being a plumber or electrician.