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Is your sound so distinctive you could have your own plug-in? (It's not a good thing!)

Some bands and artists have a sound so distinctive that you could almost have a plug-in for it. But is this a sign of artistic limitation?


I was talking about a recent Nine Inch Nails concert with a couple of associates. The general feeling was that they were cutting edge and relevant a while ago, but they are (well, he is) now simply repeating achievements of the past.

So much so in fact that you could almost have a Nine Inch Nails plug-in, so characteristic and tightly defined is their sound. (Of course 'tightly defined' can easily mean 'limited').

There are other acts like this...

How about the Fatboy Slim plug-in, or the Moby plug-in? I might even go so far as to say the Eminem plug-in. Doubtless the list could continue.

Oh yes, have to add Faithless!

Some acts defy this logic. Their work defines a larger stylistic universe. You can easily recognize one of their tracks, even a new one that you haven't heard before, but they have so much range and scope that they hardly ever repeat themselves.

No chance of making a plug-in for these true artists.

Some plug-ins cross boundaries between acts. How about the young rock band 'singalong anthem' plug-in, as used at every summer festival from Glastonbury to Live8?

I'd love to hear your ideas on which acts and artists have a sound so distinctive (or limited) that they deserve their own plug-in.

By David Mellor Monday March 27, 2006

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