In Defense of Low Budget Productions–

[Originally blogged 1/10/08 ]

As a major user of Fruity Loops and other inexpensive software for several years, I get kinda sick and tired of hearing other artists (or, better yet, non-artists who have never used ANY software) disparage it like it’s the worst thing on earth and beneath a “real” artist. It suits my personal needs just fine, and considering the mediocre to mildly interesting, but in no way groundbreaking work that some of these people put out I’m glad I don’t use Logic or Cubase because in SOME cases it gives people an overloaded sense of worth in their music that seems to come JUST because they have high-end equipment and programs.

Good/interesting music is good/interesting music. A stick hitting a paint can may be exactly what an artist wants their sound to be like and that’s perfectly valid. Everyone’s dream isn’t to be an orchestra or sound like a perfectly polished band, and why the hell should everyone want that? Wouldn’t that be as boring…as all the bands that often do sound like that but are devoid of any decent ideas, concepts, or hooks?

I’ve been forced by my budget and system limitations over time to keep my shit simple. If I had all the control that other programs provide Caustic wouldn’t sound like Caustic. It wouldn’t hold the same creativity or insights, whatever they may be (and that’s debatable:)). Hell, even basic MULTI-TRACKING would have completely changed the sound I use now, as it would have cut the frequency distortion I enjoy tinkering with so much.

Mind you, I’m definitely not putting my music on a pedestal over other music simply BECAUSE I use the software I do, as it is what it is, but there’s a validity in both artistic statements that should not go ignored if the music is truly worth its salt.

In other words, I’m saying that in any artist’s case the final work is what should be evaluated, not the means of production.

Less is more to me.  It’s unfortunate that so many others can’t grasp that simple concept and have to slag on people for not investing tens of thousands of dollars into a high-tech studio.

No. Just having Logic or Cubase doesn’t make your shit sound good. YOU make it sound good. Limitations breed inventiveness, necessity is the mother of invention, and lack of budget offers more inspiration sometimes than being given carte blanche in terms of control. Billy Corgan’s distinct guitar feedback was created by the fact that he originally used a shitty cheap guitar, and that became a celebrated part of Smashing Pumpkins sound (and whether you like that or not is irrelevant).

By the same token if *I* grabbed the best guitar on earth I couldn’t make it sound nearly as good as an established guitarist using a horrid piece of shit.

What’s funny is that there are SO many good artists out there that use Floops on a regular basis and all I hear is that it’s shit. The amount of times I’ve heard people who asked what I use say to me “YOU DO ALL THAT IN FRUITY LOOPS?!” is pretty funny.

Yep, I do. I assume it’ll only get better with whatever new tricks I learn. And it’ll always, hopefully, sound distinct and valid to me, whether any of the elitist sound wangs out there agree or not.

Having no budget or using what’s available is never a reason to apologize for your art.


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