what I learned from Marshall Altman
Marshall Altman is a producer in California, and he produced Marc Broussard’s Carencro (as well as Kate Voegel, among others).
Go watch this video (they won’t let me embed it- Thanks Universal!) (it’s for Marc Broussard’s “Home”) Or try this link to Last.fm
1 – roots music can be produced with computers (10 musicians, and two programmers (I’d guess the triangle, and footstomps got some love from the techies, but I could be wrong)
2- rhythm can be created without drums (drums enter at 4:02… FOUR minutes of rootsy funkiness with no drum kit!)
3- Flams create feel. (see: flam) The downbeats are broad (b-b-b-boom | clap); the claps are clean (all happen at once) This gives the backbeat more punch. The broad stomps are a weaker rhythm. (being punched by three guys at almost the same time vs. the Exact same time)
4- “syncopation only exists in opposition to the beat” Marshall proves the point with those subtle high-hats & tambourines in the introduction and throughout.
5- what I can only call back-swing (this needs a new name) – Okay, on the bridge “stray from the water” listen carefully to the hand claps & such. (it starts with the drum chorus at 3:01, but is more easily heard at 3:19. ) Those are Reversed handclap: stomp <whoosh> a- clap; stomp <whoosh> a clap. It really gives the impression of water sloshing back and forth. Super nerdy? keep reading- Marc’s in an implied twelve : one- A -TWO, three -A FOUR. Dig? great. Those whooshes? straight eights. (one) AND (two, three) A-FOUR. Listen to that again and try to count it. It took me a few tries. Well done sir.
NEXT SONG: Let Me Leave (last.fm)
1- fantastic string writing! well done. Reminds me of a Ray Charles Ballad.
2- strings should enter early, but stay out of the way. Enough of this “orchestra out of the sky” that shows up at the second chorus and then disappears..
3- yay long tones and walk ups!
4- Soul has to do with when notes STOP more often than when they start. Listen to the strings in the turnaround (1:10)
5- once again, no drums until late in the track (1:35), Marshall used the strings for time in the first verse (pizz triplets).
6- only gliss when you mean it… (the bridge has the only string glisses; a technique overused by ignorant producers)
The best part? Marshall Altman produced the digital awesomeness of Home, AND wrote the string arrangement on Let Me Leave. This guy’s for real.