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As a member of an often called counterculture acapella group, it often annoys me to listen to a lot of cd's released by collegiate groups. I love their song selection and arrangements, however I want to hear the arrangements without the tons of effects that are plastered onto these CD's. I understand that CD's are supposed to be a different listening experience than seeing a group live, but is it supposed to be the same as listening to the original artist perform it? Absolutely not, because it is doing a diservice to the arrangers of these songs who have taken it and done something pretty spectacular to the original and made it their own, but you cannot hear it and it just hurts my heart...

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Haven't we been here before....

i think we have had this discussion more times than people care to remember.... and i know what group you sing in and your view is absolutely shared by many.  i defer back to the same response i always have: That's what live shows are for! Not trying to restart the argument, but everybody has their own taste and commercially viable albums tend to sell much better at the end of the day, enabling groups to do more touring, etc.

Eric Talley
Alumnus ASU Lost In Sound

Those kinds of a-cappella

Those kinds of a-cappella recordings-- the ones that sound absolutely dead-on note-for-note and effect-for-effect like the popular original recordings-- often aren't doing any kind of disservice to the arranger, because the "arrangers" of such songs are really just adapting it for voices, which takes transcription skills ("hmm, what note is the squiggly synth playing there?"), but really doesn't require arranging skills per se.

Luddite weighing in

I have recently come to grips over this listening to Mouth Off.  I always hated the overproduced sound that made a group of singers sound like a room of synthesizers.  I prefer a live show, but it isn't always possible to see all these groups live.  However, after listening to Dave and Christopher talk about how these effects are produced using the actual voices, I have budged a little.  I am still partial to a cleaned-up recording that sounds live.

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