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Phil O'Keefe

Is the fade-out fading away?

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I saw this article on the decline of the fade-out in modern recordings, and I thought it was worth sharing and discussing. 

https://slate.com/culture/2014/09/the-fade-out-in-pop-music-why-dont-modern-pop-songs-end-by-slowly-reducing-in-volume.html

It's certainly true that fade-out endings are far less popular, and far less common today than they were twenty or thirty years ago. Is that a good thing?

A friend of mine often says "fade-outs are a cop-out" - he thinks they were often used on recordings because the band or producer couldn't (or didn't want to put the effort into) come up with a cold ending. I suspect that's true in some cases, but I'm not sure that's always the case. In fact, it's hard to imagine some songs without their fade-out endings. Can you imagine Hey Jude with a cold ending? IMO, it just wouldn't be the same... 

How about you? Do you still use fade-outs on any of your more recent recordings? Is the fade out something to be avoided, or is it a lost art that will come back in vogue again someday? 

 

 

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I don't like short fade-outs  - but long ones such as on "Hey Jude" really are a valid artistic choice. As a player in cover bands I often craft endings out of other parts of the songs, usually a break from elsewhere. OTOH I suspect fade-outs were favored by the DJs as it gave them space to talk between songs?

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