Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Funny thing, the difference between fairly tight and really spot on. I think it does reach a point (beyond my level, I should add) where the law of diminishing returns cuts in to the point where it doesn't matter. As Bermuda said "Perhaps he doesn't need to be perfectly locked to a grid, but only so much straying and flamming is permissable.".
For me enjoyment, "permissable" is where the looseness interferes with the vibe. Others will draw the line in a different spot. For high pressure producers, I'm guessing it would be where it becomes inconvenient and costly for the reasons you mentioned and there'd be professional pride at stake.
Good analysis. When I used to gig, I always felt that timing was an issue only when you would see band members looking around at each other in bewilderment during a song, you know - that "deer in the headlights look" when someone is panicking because they aren't sure if they're on it or not. But today, I have to wonder if it is not driven by these music producers like FZ was talking about. Perhaps they put much greater importance on perfectly timed drummers than really needs to be there. I remember seeing Danny Seraphine of Chicago talk about when he broke from manual to programmed drum tracks on Chicago 18. He stated he did it only to please David Foster, his producer, who was adament about perfection of timing. This is of course, the era in the 1980s that FZ was referring to in the link below. I think Chicago is just a perfect example of what Frank was talking about. They came on in the 1960s with a style of music that was really a fusion of big band jazz and r&b (probably something the old time producers said, "ah what the hell, why not try it?"back in 1968). However, during the 1970s, they fell prey to the pop music machine and ultimately dropped off the radar like all the one hit wonders of the 1980s, after bending their style totally to producers demands. They prostituted themselves beyond their original artistic endeavor, and it stifled them.