Where to start? Throughout the track there are clear digital artifacts, clicks and grainy clipping on the vocal which is plain to me on even inexpensive nearfields or dare I say it my iphone speaker. Some of the more obvious examples just in the first minute at 0:36 the word 'never' at 0:41 'pain' 0:56 'rug' 0:58 'loved' or 1:01 'going'. The vocal edits are also really jarring and obvious in places such as after the line 'numbed all the pain' in the first minute where the end of the phrase is cut off and you hear a SUBTLE waveform click. I am not going to go through the whole song but listen for yourself. I find the track incredibly fatiguing- the vocal sounds like digital hash for want of a better descriptor.
I was interested to read the SOS article on the track (
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques ... ved?page=2) about how they processed and comped the track-
The vocal tracks in 'Someone You Loved' are quite extensively treated, with up to eight plug-ins straight on the tracks and three sends to auxiliary effect tracks.
and it all sort of makes sense really - to me they clearly over processed it and edited it to within an inch of its life. Now the article isn't intended as a critical analysis of the techniques I get that - I was just surprised that it subtly holds the track out as some kind of example of good production 'secrets' when in fact to me at least it is quite the opposite.
Barnes: "We did a lot of work in terms of refining the timing and even moving breaths around. If there's a dodgy breath or even 'ess', we may take it from somewhere else. This is such an exposed vocal that you need to make it perfect.
Perfect you say? Hmm. Some pretty obvious edits in there.
But then I thought - hang on - it hasn't harmed the success song at all. In fact most people don't notice what I am hearing and don't care. So I do wonder if when I am going through mixes to try and avoid clicks, artifacts and digital hash whether I am the biggest loser here and absolutely wasting my time. Maybe the true 'secret' here is a great track and performance will always override production issues.