Overproduction with taste

Overproduction is one of those terms that gets thrown around quite often when it comes to music. Especially pop music. Mind you, it’s rarely meant to be a compliment. It usually refers to the kind of music that’s aimed at a certain segment of the population. A segment that welcomes smoke and mirrors with open arms (and ears). One that digests overproduction easily when being subjected to it. And if we look at the more derogatory interpretation of overproduction, it is supposed to be exactly that: smoke and mirrors. So what’s my point with the title? Am I nuts to say that overproduction can actually be a good thing? We’ll see.

Overproduction with taste

Let’s take an inherently good song. Dress it up with a reasonably simple, “meat and potatoes” arrangement. Kind of a live sound, if you will. Few elements, no hassle, no surprises. Oops, did I just say no surprises? Yep. That’s what happens when you are (overly) confident in your music and you’re sure that the song will “sell itself” for what it is, in its bare form. Trust me, it’s rarely the case. The audience will not get slapped in the face by the simple beauty of your music on its own. Does that mean you should throw an endless stream of sounds and instruments at it? Should you really render a bland, tasteless cacophony out of your simple, good sounding tune?

Overproduction with taste

overproduction

Of course not. Overproduction with taste means something else. It means you should go for the jugular, and surprise the living, breathing, throbbing shit out of the listener. With style, of course, cause we’re gentlemen. When you use overproduction as a weapon like that, it will not screw up much of the original concept of the music. You just have to make sure that you place surprise elements at certain points throughout the song. Go by your instinct. When you feel that the person who first encounters your creation would just start losing attention, plant an oddity right over there. It can be a weird sound, a yell, an odd drum hit, or an unexpected sudden gap in the music.

Overproduction with taste

Another overproduction trick is to use several layers to create detail. Detail that’s musical, rhythmical, but not easily comprehensible. Certainly not for the first couple of listens. Place little rhythmical, chordal and/or melodic elements over the song. Make sure they don’t take up much room in the mix. They are just there to give your music that professional sheen. One that masks most of the imperfections. All that without having to correct them and end up with something too machine-like. Overproduction with taste is an art in itself. Be a pro artist.

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