How to Ruin a Van Halen Song

YouTube, @Bobby Huff.

It should be against the law to do this to a Van Halen song. Truly. But, it does make an interesting point about digital music production. YouTuber Bobby Huff (Dr. Bob) can be seen below experimenting with quantization, a tool that allows producers to fix timing errors. Some songs aren’t “perfect” when it comes to time signatures, but then again, that depends on your definition of perfect. Some bands play from the gut. Others play for music theory perfection. Some musicians like the rawness of having a mistake or two in their recording. Others want it to be flawless.

Van Halen came around at a time when digitally perfecting recordings wasn’t necessarily hip. They rocked out however the song guided them, and it worked well for them. Dr. Bob decided to quantize “Runnin’ With The Devil,” and the result is not enjoyable. It’s a bit painful to listen to. It strips the classic song of its mojo. “The danger and swagger are gone and the heart and soul of the band [have] been surgically removed,” Dr. Bob says. But it’s fairly interesting.

Read the full story here and check out the video above.




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