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Just 8 Tracks, 1", tape. Are you brave enough? (DAPTONE)
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#61
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I've been doing this for a few months now, I can't say enough good things about it.

No fx, no comping, no autotune, no digital besides final peak limiting. 1/2" 8-track, 8 channel little desk, mix to Studer.

Behold, 8 tracks of love!

Sneaky Little Devil - Who Says This is Love


Gregory Scott - ubk
Greg, that sounds fantastic! The textures are tangible--audio you just want to rub up against.

However, IMO it still sounds somewhat like a basic track. If it were me I'd find a way to take that great audio as a starting point and jizz it up a bit.

Still, you're making a great case for your methodology. I'm gonna go smell some 456.

-R
#62
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
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Wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
BTW, don't forget about the other argument on this thread.

According to the common Gearslutz, you cannot make a pro record without some U47s, 67s, LA2As, Pacificas, PTHDs, Apogees, API 1608, Bricastis, CLA plugins, Neves/clones, a wall of compressors, ...etc etc etc.

And yet these Daptone guys are putting out records that sound BETTER than anybody else these days, with just a small bunch of "old garbage" equipment collection. Or do you publicly state you're using a shure 55 for drums, a Rode NT1 for vocals or Radioshack condensers, and a 40 year old 8-track recorder?
Wrong. Sorry. tutt

YOU are the one trying to force that argument. There hasn't been a single person in this thread arguing that you can't make a good record with their stuff, or lack of Neumann.

As a matter of fact, this is the second time you've used negative words for their equipment. "Garbage"?? I'd hardly consider those Pultecs, MC77s, and Trident board "garbage".

You're being divisive for no good reason, and a little hypocritical. Weren't you singing the praises of the SSL Matrix you helped install a while back?? I'd say that's modern technology at it's apex.

Tell you what, the next time you have a big production client like that, instead of installing some uber-tech hybrid console, why don't you suggest they get an old 1" 8 track and a fully analog console that needs to be cleaned and recapped. Then, if they actually call you back, post a thread here so we can see how that's going for you.
#63
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Indeed, that's the whole point.

Not everyone needs to be so rigorous about regimenting their workflow, just as not everyone needs to keep sweets out of the house to avoid overindulgence.

On a more practical note, my brain literally works differently when I have to interface with a computer. It impedes my ability to hear. Solution: no computer in the studio. Again, a deeply personal choice, one which isn't for everyone, but which I suspect would be good for more people if only thru even thought to try it.


Gregory Scott - ubk

I used to find exactly what you find. These days I spend most of my time never even glancing at the computer and with eyes closed on knobs. BIG DIFFERENCE and it works for me. : )

Russell
#64
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
  #64
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Originally Posted by soundrick View Post
Wrong. Sorry. tutt

YOU are the one trying to force that argument. There hasn't been a single person in this thread arguing that you can't make a good record with their stuff, or lack of Neumann.

As a matter of fact, this is the second time you've used negative words for their equipment. "Garbage"?? I'd hardly consider those Pultecs, MC77s, and Trident board "garbage".

You're being divisive for no good reason, and a little hypocritical. Weren't you singing the praises of the SSL Matrix you helped install a while back?? I'd say that's modern technology at it's apex.

Tell you what, the next time you have a big production client like that, instead of installing some uber-tech hybrid console, why don't you suggest they get an old 1" 8 track and a fully analog console that needs to be cleaned and recapped. Then, if they actually call you back, post a thread here so we can see how that's going for you.
+1
#65
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post

The only "problem" with this method is that you need people who can write songs and who can actually play, that's all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Minor detail.
Not minor at all. IMO you can PT a production all you want and if the talent isn't there to begin with it will be just as bad - sometimes even worse.

So the question you have to ask yourself is why are you in this business in the first place. Your decisions will be based on that, and there is no opinion that is valid besides your own because only YOU know what you want to get out of your career.
#66
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
  #66
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Originally Posted by drBill View Post
+1
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#67
5th January 2010
Old 5th January 2010
  #67
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I'd say it was less about gear and more about self belief.
They have the confidence to run their own operation and the sound is the product of the astute A&R decisions as much as the studio and the players.... Like Motown and Stax etc.

Most average artists play it safe because they are trying too hard to play the commercial game and be relevant. Hence the same trend driven, one size fits all, hack dross that has been around since the beginning. Only history reveals the truth about true quality and then it's one hell of a shadow to live under.
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#68
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrick View Post
Wrong. Sorry. tutt

YOU are the one trying to force that argument. There hasn't been a single person in this thread arguing that you can't make a good record with their stuff, or lack of Neumann.

As a matter of fact, this is the second time you've used negative words for their equipment. "Garbage"?? I'd hardly consider those Pultecs, MC77s, and Trident board "garbage".

You're being divisive for no good reason, and a little hypocritical. Weren't you singing the praises of the SSL Matrix you helped install a while back?? I'd say that's modern technology at it's apex.

Tell you what, the next time you have a big production client like that, instead of installing some uber-tech hybrid console, why don't you suggest they get an old 1" 8 track and a fully analog console that needs to be cleaned and recapped. Then, if they actually call you back, post a thread here so we can see how that's going for you.
mmm... I was being sarcastic. Look at what the High-End forum has become in the last few years. Instead of small talk about most preferred methods and stuff, plus whatever goes on at facilities, it's just this monothematical praise -in a rather religious manner- of the very same items and certain 3 letter MEs, over and over.

I like a 64ch SSL as much as just a Nagra V plus two Schoeps, which is sometimes all you need (look at my avatar). Gear doesn't matter, it IS the people. But if the choice is there, my advice is to go for the best, which these days it is NOT buying gear, or hiring the Slutz that got himself some Telefunken and PTHD and whatnot, but rather booking those $1M facilities for just 400/day instead. That last part annoys quite a few here. Sorry folks, but this is how it is nowadays.

I brought the DAPTONE stuff with this thread because they're so anti-GearSlutz in a sense, and bring a new perspective on what it is to make MUSIC. Minimal track count, wide dynamic range, no DAW videogames and trickery, no overproduction, no wall of compressors, no "all_you_need_is_PT", no "it's_all_in_the_mix", no CLA sound, no gear obsession, no plugin mayhem, no mixbus comp, no need for "glue-units", no preamp collections.... etc, etc, -esentially the opposite of everything that is discussed here lately- and yet, they're producing records that sound better than mostly anybody these days.
On the other hand, I have enormous disdain for DAWs because TO ME they are killing music and give too much protagonism to PT engineers (stolen for the band), and I agree 100% on Daptone's concept and approach on how to make great records.
I don't see all that being incompatible with liking SSLs (specially when they're so cheap to buy or book as nowadays).




Back to the topic. I'd like to stress the fact that although some Daptone stuff might be tracked all live, they ARE using the 8-tracks for overdubbs anyway, so it's not like they're using the Ampex as a live-to-2-track. Also, if you are brave enough to reduce drums to a single mono track, and you track everything else in mono as well, 8 tracks are not as few as it might seem.
If you listen to many of those Daptone records it never sounds like they were limited in the amount of stuff and instruments they could fit into those 8 tracks, and sometimes you just wonder how the hell they did it, because often there is so much going on -left, center and right-, and the soundstage gets so huge filled with all sorts of sounds, and yet there's a clarity you don't hear in records these days.
#69
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #69
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awesome thread jindrich!!!!!

and some fabulous links guys, thanks!!!!!!
#70
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G View Post
I'd say it was less about gear and more about self belief.
They have the confidence to run their own operation and the sound is the product of the astute A&R decisions as much as the studio and the players.... Like Motown and Stax etc.

Most average artists play it safe because they are trying too hard to play the commercial game and be relevant. Hence the same trend driven, one size fits all, hack dross that has been around since the beginning. Only history reveals the truth about true quality and then it's one hell of a shadow to live under.
Beauty right there: self belief!! That, as opposed to the more common fear is what makes a decisive sounding record. With whatever gear. Although I also like the textures the Daptone dudes pull out. But it's the conviction which makes something stand proud for time in the end. Sadly not too common now it seems.........
#71
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Having started with two, and moving through 4/8/16/24 I still say 16 is my favorite if doing overdubs. I love stereo and the choices become quite limiting with 8 tracks. Plus 2" 16 track is the highest quality, same as your 8 tracks at 1". Many of the great tunes of all time were done 16/2". You also don't need automation with that set up as (first generation) sub-mixes sound great and you can do your own human automation as you go, you just do it in sections.
I'm with you..16 Track is my favourite medium.. I like what others do with 8 track or 80 tracks (Ulrich Shnauss) both systems are capable of beautiful sounds..

But for me 16 tracks is perfection.
#72
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
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You guys are all wimps.

Live to mono wax cylinder. Anything else is pure garbage. If you can't get it right doing that, you're not an engineer.
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#73
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #73
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Originally Posted by Space Station View Post
...for me 16 tracks is perfection.
Me too. "Back in the day" none of us used just one eight track. We went 8 to 8 or else with later machines ping-ponged tracks a lot. 16 track cleaned things up immensely while still requiring the disciplined approach of earlier productions.
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#74
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #74
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we started our studio 8 years ago with a 1" 16 track, would LOVE a 1" 8 track!
Tape is awesome for the vibe, the tapedeck becomes another member of the band.

My engineer grew up on 4 tracks and did a couple of 16 track projects before coming here. Now its all digital on the backend, but we are all about building our outboard, would LOVE to have their rack of pultecs and purples, did somebody call that stuff garbage?

its all about the music.

its all about the musician, their voice, their instrument, the room, the vibe...not about the mic, the pre, the type of cable or connectors, a to d converters, compressors.... its just got to be rolling when that magic take happens!

you do not need a neve or ssl, PTHD3, 10 thousand dollar converters, or a dozen compressors, or a bunch of 10 thousand dollar microphones, no Neumanns, no akg c 12's .... there is no right or wrong as long as it sounds good and serves the song!

it always cracks me up here at GS when people want to know what the BEST of something is... mic..pre...comp...A>D....etc.
the best is what you got that works.

it's all about the music! we are here to serve the music, the more options you got, the harder it is to commit to one!
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Last edited by dabigfrog; 6th January 2010 at 01:16 AM.. Reason: added thought
#75
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #75
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don't get me wrong... its NICE to have options.

There 's nothing wrong with all that nice gear... you don't need it though!



....


if your brave enough to commit to 8 or 16, just send your extra old gear to me!

ee
#76
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #76
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Appreciate the studio and appreciate the musicians.
Good stuff!
Don't miss 8 track at all.
#77
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
On the other hand, I have enormous disdain for DAWs because TO ME they are killing music.
Dude, DAW's aren't killing anything. They are inanimate objects, waiting for someone to turn them on and push buttons, keys, faders, whatever.

If you want to BLAME someone for killing music, try producers-engineers-artists-musicians that have no experience, no talent (to speak of) and NO BUSINESS being in a studio. THAT's what's killing music. It's got nothing to do with tools. Tools can do nothing without the tacet approval of their masters. That would be YOU and ME.

The reason I don't think DAW's are evil is because I have a longterm experience in old school ways that guides my production esthetic. I am absolutely THRILLED with the state of technology these days. The tools you abhor allow me to take music to greater heights that I could possibly imagine attaining were I still working on my MCI.

But unfortunately, (at least in your eyes it seems), many here don't have that experience, and it leads most of them down the path of sinners into that nasty hellish region that we call "musicians project studios" where anyone with $500 is allowed entrance into the land of "professional audio". (That's what my GC salesman told me and I BELIEVE!!!! Hallelujah!!!!) A land which is infested and proliferated by your evil DAW's. (There's a great "audio engineer dies and goes to Hell" joke in there somewhere....)

The reality is that DAW's can be made cheap and put into the hands of neophytes with no experience. It's not a big investment - either financially or logistically (think laptop, mbox and a mic) It has nothing to do with the computer though. What you should be lambasting, if in fact you should be on a rant at all, is that we are now an equal opportunity employer. Anyone can be a rock star, singer, artist, engineer, producer, studio owner, etc...

It's a double edged sword that cuts both directions you see. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

I'd be thrilled to go back to the 1982 studios lifestyle. I made a good living, played with phenomenal musicians (the best int he world), hung out at the best studios in the world where HISTORY was made (ocean way, capitol, gold star, etc.) and didn't have to worry about gear-itis. Unfortunately, that will never happen.

Get over it and learn how to best use the tools you have. Let them master you, and you'll be whining this same sad song the rest of your life. Master them, and turn out music that would have been impossible to attain without lots of time and money just a few short years ago.

it's your choice. I suspect your next post will give us a glimpse into which path you will choose.
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#78
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
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To paraphrase Bill Hicks- DAWs don't kill music, people kill music. Though DAWs help.
#79
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #79
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Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
But if the choice is there, my advice is to go for the best, which these days it is NOT buying gear, or hiring the Slutz that got himself some Telefunken and PTHD and whatnot, but rather booking those $1M facilities for just 400/day instead. That last part annoys quite a few here.
i like the dap kings stuff, very motown AND original. you are arguing aesthetic and discipline over myriad function right? if so, i completely agree. i just want to know if the $500 day rate is a sweet spot for any studio regardless of gear? if that rate is a true market force, then million dollar facilities will not be around for much longer.
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#80
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
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Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
To paraphrase Bill Hicks- DAWs don't kill music, people kill music. Though DAWs help.

Perhaps the more accurate assessment is "People with DAWs kill music."


Gregory Scott - ubk
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#81
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
The reason I don't think DAW's are evil is because I have a longterm experience in old school ways that guides my production esthetic.

I think there's a critical element to what you're saying here. The thing is, I believe you'd agree that your experience in the old school ways was fundamental in allowing you to approach the daw in a more veteran, disciplined manner.

But imagine if you'd never had that longterm experience, imagine if you'd never had anything close to it. Imagine if you came of age in an era where the sky was the limit, you had no physical boundaries on something as crucial as a track, and you cut your teeth on productions involving 60 or 100 tracks, doing thousands of edits on dozens of vocal comps, time aligning drums, pitch correcting anything that beats for a millisecond.

This is how it is now, and while it seems to be simple for you to separate out the strong choices from the weak ones, to know instinctively what kinds of practices serve the song and the process and what kinds do not... it is not simple for people who never had to deal with limited track counts, detectable punches, premixes, hiss, and the ever-present 'do you want to keep that take or erase it and try again?'

In other words, you've got your game together, but is it possible you've lost sight of the value of the very thing that forced you to get it together in the first place?


Quote:
... many here don't have that experience, and it leads most of them down the path of sinners into that nasty hellish region that we call "musicians project studios" where anyone with $500 is allowed entrance into the land of "professional audio".

If the lack of experience with tangible, significant limitations were only limited to musicians and their project studios, we'd have a less significant discussion on our hands.

But damn near *the entire music industry* has been swallowed by the paradigms which you, to your credit, are able to deftly manage. The analogy to guns is not terribly amiss imo, because while it is true that guns are inanimate objects that do nothing absent human intervention, the unavoidable truth is that the apearance of the gun changed the game for us all, irrevocably. A gun alone does not kill or injure anyone, but the technology sure makes it a hell of a lot easier for anyone to do so, at a safe distance, impulsively, much more so than any weapon before or since. And given the potentiality, we see how it plays out in reality, we see what humans do.

Does the DAW not have a similarly awesome effect on people, on how and why they choose as they do? It makes it so much easier and faster to do so many things without fear of consequences, because everything can be undone. You can layer, fix, slash, reassemble, and tweeze on a scale never imagined, and while in theory it does not mean anyone has to... almost everyone does.

That's the rub: almost everyone does.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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#82
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #82
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Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I think there's a critical element to what you're saying here. The thing is, I believe you'd agree that your experience in the old school ways was fundamental in allowing you to approach the daw in a more veteran, disciplined manner.
Agreed. No doubt about it. But I'd like to think there's a little more going on than experience. Way back when, when I didn't have the experience that years bring, I realized that school, study, dicipline, etc. were all good, but they were no substitute for "the gift". I'd like to think I have it, but I'll let time and others be the judge of that. The short of it is, that there is a pretty limited supply of "the gift" as I see it. You can't buy it, and experience only gets you part way there. When EVERYONE who wants to call themselves a producer-engineer-musician has the ABILITY to do the same, then you end up with what we now have. A cacophony of lousy music. It's similar to when a woman has babies, all of a sudden she's a children's book author. ( Seen it every time....) In the past, the record companies and their (some would say) draconian rule over the industry weeded most of the riff raff out back in the day.

I don't disagree with your accessment. I think everyone should start out on a 4 track. Screw 8 tracks. . But it's just not going to happen. Those physical machines are aged at best. The really GOOD ones are almost hand made, and have parts that are difficult at best to get. Every week we loose another machine, and they are finite in number and getting older as I type. It's not a practical path to follow for the majority.

And the majority is......unfortunately......the majority.

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Originally Posted by u b k View Post
But imagine if you'd never had that longterm experience, imagine if you'd never had anything close to it. Imagine if you came of age in an era where the sky was the limit,
I don't HAVE to imagine. I can hear it every time I turn on the TV or radio. I'm blasted by infintile "music" that took no skill, no study, no dicipline, no significant time to create. But that is not solely the fault of DAW's. The internet, illegal downloads destroying the ability to sustaini a profession, a post modern society and many other factors come into play. It's a much bigger picture than 8 vs. 16 or analog vs. digital.

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Originally Posted by u b k View Post
This is how it is now, and while it seems to be simple for you to separate out the strong choices from the weak ones, to know instinctively what kinds of practices serve the song and the process and what kinds do not...
Not always. I don't want to make it sound like I've arrived and have all the answers. I struggle with creative choices as we all do. But time, effort, determination and ultimately "the gift"" lead those who seek in the right direction.


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Originally Posted by u b k View Post
In other words, you've got your game together,
LOL No comment there.


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Originally Posted by u b k View Post
but is it possible you've lost sight of the value of the very thing that forced you to get it together in the first place?
Sure, anything is possible, but I think you'll agree from my earlier comments that I have a pretty firm grasp on what's going on here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
But damn near *the entire music industry* has been swallowed by the paradigms which you, to your credit, are able to deftly manage.
Swallowed? Again, I think you oversimplify. I agree, but the root of the problem of "crappy music" is much deeper than either you or I realize. It cannot be pinned too any ability to "put off decisions" or have the ability to fix lousy performances. There are far deeper creative tides at work in this equation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
The analogy to guns is not terribly amiss imo, because while it is true that guns are inanimate objects that do nothing absent human intervention, the unavoidable truth is that the apearance of the gun changed the game for us all, irrevocably.
I'll tell you what, let's bypass that tired cliche and move on, OK?



Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Does the DAW not have a similarly awesome effect on people,
I think you missed the real point. The DAW is the great equalizer. It has no bias or predjudice. It sees no black/white, no right/wrong, no east/west. It will record anything for anyone with $500. And THAT is the problem. We were not all meant to be rock stars, songwriters, engineers, producers, et al. But it's such a sucky drag to study accounting when mom and dad send you to college. Much easier to become a recording engineer or be in a band, no?? I still stand by my statement that greatness will rise to the top - analog, digital, 8 track or 128 track. I think time backs me up on this.

Cheers,

Fun to discuss this with you. We see more alike than otherwise.

bp
#83
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
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Originally Posted by u b k View Post

That's the rub: almost everyone does.


Gregory Scott - ubk
+1. It's been my experience that every engineer I've done projects with on DAW's have taken the 'fix it in the mix' approach. Just did a session where the engineer was actually angry because the musicians were trying to work on getting a part right instead of letting him comp and time-align previous out of tune takes. Everyone has their method of working, which is why when I setup my personal studio I went the all analog route. When I'm tracking a project in a DAW-based studio I give myself guidelines and stick to them (number of tracks, my willingness to allow unnecessary fixes, keeping full takes, etc.) I really don't get any excitement of recording on DAW...the same way others don't get excited about doing everything analog. No big deal!
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#84
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikecorwin View Post
+1. It's been my experience that every engineer I've done projects with on DAW's have taken the 'fix it in the mix' approach. Just did a session where the engineer was actually angry because the musicians were trying to work on getting a part right instead of letting him comp and time-align previous out of tune takes. Everyone has their method of working, which is why when I setup my personal studio I went the all analog route.
Not to mention that analog just sounds better. I mean come on guys, this isn't rocket science. If it sounds good, it is good. End of story, move on.
#85
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #85
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Love those Dap Kings. That Amy Winehouse record was 99% that studio and those players and 1% Mark Ronson's production. Obviously she also falls into the category of good songwriter/performer too. I think the ME added some kick/snare samples on the single/s though and his track count was much higher!
#86
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
I think there's a critical element to what you're saying here. The thing is, I believe you'd agree that your experience in the old school ways was fundamental in allowing you to approach the daw in a more veteran, disciplined manner.
Just to shed some more light on things. I had the privelege of hanging out at drBill's place in early December for a day. We talked about mics, analog vs. digital, patchbays, consoles, etc. We listened to some things Bill had recorded (sounded great btw) and then I even got to sit in a session he had scheduled for a few hours.

Here's some things I learned/observed/witnessed:

- Bill makes his living working in the music industry. He composes and records music and sells it to the enterntainment industry. Bill works with top notch talent to realize his works.
- Bill loves ProTools because it allows him to work quickly, write more, record more, and therefore sell more music at the end of the day.
- The session I saw was with a really amazing guitar player. We're talking the kind of amazing that most of us will only dream of working with. The guy played parts perfectly in one or two takes without having ever seen or heard the music before.
- The songs Bill and the guitarist were working on did not have 100's of tracks. They had reasonable track counts (<30?) and there weren't a bunch of hidden takes for him to sort through later (at least that I could tell). That tells me that Bill knows how to make decisions in the moment and not lose sight of the finished product.
- The guitarist didn't even play through an amp. He played direct through a Mesa Boogie rackmount preamp with a built in speaker emulator engaged. In my studio that would never fly (I'm an amp snob). You know what? The guy had amazing tone and the lack of an amp didn't matter. It sounded awesome. Setup took all of about 5 minutes if that.
- The guitarist and Bill both listened to the way the track worked in the context of the mix and switched pickups, adjusted tone controls and/or gain as they saw fit for the part. In other words they made decisions about the sound they wanted for the mix up front.
- Bill deleted takes that he didn't like. He didn't keep random stuff to sort through later. Not once did I hear "we'll come back to this."
- I didn't see Bill edit anything the guy played.

So based on everything I saw I'd have to say that Bill records with old-school influenced approaches. PTHD allows him to get from A to B really very efficiently, which means musicians he has to pay are in and out of the studio quicker, and thus he has more money to keep a roof over his family's head at the end of the day.

Bill--thanks again for the opportunity to hang out!

Brad
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#87
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #87
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Correct me if im wrong, but i recall that someone came in Daptone and stole most of the equipment, excluding the console which is very heavy...
#88
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Just to shed some more light on things. I had the privelege of hanging out at drBill's place in early December for a day. We talked about mics, analog vs. digital, patchbays, consoles, etc. We listened to some things Bill had recorded (sounded great btw) and then I even got to sit in a session he had scheduled for a few hours.

Here's some things I learned/observed/witnessed:

- Bill makes his living working in the music industry. He composes and records music and sells it to the enterntainment industry. Bill works with top notch talent to realize his works.
- Bill loves ProTools because it allows him to work quickly, write more, record more, and therefore sell more music at the end of the day.
- The session I saw was with a really amazing guitar player. We're talking the kind of amazing that most of us will only dream of working with. The guy played parts perfectly in one or two takes without having ever seen or heard the music before.
- The songs Bill and the guitarist were working on did not have 100's of tracks. They had reasonable track counts (<30?) and there weren't a bunch of hidden takes for him to sort through later (at least that I could tell). That tells me that Bill knows how to make decisions in the moment and not lose sight of the finished product.
- The guitarist didn't even play through an amp. He played direct through a Mesa Boogie rackmount preamp with a built in speaker emulator engaged. In my studio that would never fly (I'm an amp snob). You know what? The guy had amazing tone and the lack of an amp didn't matter. It sounded awesome. Setup took all of about 5 minutes if that.
- The guitarist and Bill both listened to the way the track worked in the context of the mix and switched pickups, adjusted tone controls and/or gain as they saw fit for the part. In other words they made decisions about the sound they wanted for the mix up front.
- Bill deleted takes that he didn't like. He didn't keep random stuff to sort through later. Not once did I hear "we'll come back to this."
- I didn't see Bill edit anything the guy played.

So based on everything I saw I'd have to say that Bill records with old-school influenced approaches. PTHD allows him to get from A to B really very efficiently, which means musicians he has to pay are in and out of the studio quicker, and thus he has more money to keep a roof over his family's head at the end of the day.

Bill--thanks again for the opportunity to hang out!

Brad
Hey Brad!

Thanks for the kind words. I had a blast hanging out with you as well. It's always great for me to get some perspective from how other people are working.

My only regret was that we got caught short on our analog vs. digital talks. Maybe that's a good thing, eh??

I had no idea you were paying such close attention. I'd say if were a student you'd get an A+. You pretty much nailed all that you learned/observed/witnessed.

I have too say though that "selling" music is almost foreign these days, and in such a market where the intrinsic value of music is so degraded, the ability to do it quickly is the only way to stay alive for a professional. I don't live extravagantly (except maybe for gear), but I still could not - as you astutely pointed out - make it on tape. Time is of the essence for me. It's not unusual for me to write/record/mix/master/deliver 8+ albums worth of my own material in a year. Not to mention the films, sessions and albums I'm always working on concurently.

For the record, that "amazing guitar player's" name is James Lum - or Jimmy James as I call him. Truly one of the greats in LA right now. I've had the blessing of working with him for close to 15 years now, and he just keeps getting better and better and better. It makes recording so much fun when you've got guys like that to play on your stuff.

You're right about the track count. It's when I get into the rock band meets electronica meets orchestra that stuff gets wild and crazy. At that point, I can see pushing over 60, maybe sometimes close to 80 tracks. But never that many for a normal "pop or rock" type production.

Jim was playing thru the Mesa "Studio Preamp" which does have tubes BTW, but obviously we weren't micing a cab that day. Sometimes we do, but he can make that Boogie scream, so we often end up there anyway. After you left, we did a heavier song, and we ended up usiing Guitar Rig for all the tracks, and that was probably my favorite track that day. Honestly, when you have the player, almost anything can and will sound good.

That has truly been my experience. Great players with great instruments on decent music, and it's hard to screw it up whether you've got 8 or 80 tracks, are on analog or digital, using Neumann's or MXL's. (I know that's not exactly kosher for the high end forum though.....)

I most decidedly have an "old school" approach though, you are right about that. BUT, I use PT and it's "options" to make BETTER music that wouldn't happen without "unlimited" tracks. Like many studio guys, Jim has a tendency to play safe on leads sometimes - get the job done with no "embarassment" or time delays. That's when I'll go for multiple playlists and start pushing him out of his comfort zone. I'll often end up with stunningly brilliant passes, when if I was on tape, I would have settled for very good or great. That's a huge reason 8 isn't enough for me. Or really any present tape based system.

Every once in a while I'll edit Jim's parts, but it's rare. As you witnessed, the guy can play. There was one lead line that day that ended up phenomenal due to a misguided edit. Ended up with something very unique that would not normally have just been "played". It's playable, but....well, unique.

Anyway, great to hang with you as well. Anytime you're in town..... thumbsup And if I'm up in the Bay area, I'll look you up and see how to REALLY do it old school on 8 tracks. (Gotta see those lovely blue LED's in person....)

PS - I wanna see the new THING!!!!
#89
6th January 2010
Old 6th January 2010
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
musically ain't no Berry Gordy/Hitsville/Smokey/Stevie Wonder/Gaye/Starr situation though
There's the rub....
#90
7th January 2010
Old 7th January 2010
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Just to shed some more light on things. I had the privelege of hanging out at drBill's place in early December for a day. We talked about mics, analog vs. digital, patchbays, consoles, etc. We listened to some things Bill had recorded (sounded great btw) and then I even got to sit in a session he had scheduled for a few hours.

Here's some things I learned/observed/witnessed:

- Bill makes his living working in the music industry. He composes and records music and sells it to the enterntainment industry. Bill works with top notch talent to realize his works.
- Bill loves ProTools because it allows him to work quickly, write more, record more, and therefore sell more music at the end of the day.
- The session I saw was with a really amazing guitar player. We're talking the kind of amazing that most of us will only dream of working with. The guy played parts perfectly in one or two takes without having ever seen or heard the music before.
- The songs Bill and the guitarist were working on did not have 100's of tracks. They had reasonable track counts (<30?) and there weren't a bunch of hidden takes for him to sort through later (at least that I could tell). That tells me that Bill knows how to make decisions in the moment and not lose sight of the finished product.
- The guitarist didn't even play through an amp. He played direct through a Mesa Boogie rackmount preamp with a built in speaker emulator engaged. In my studio that would never fly (I'm an amp snob). You know what? The guy had amazing tone and the lack of an amp didn't matter. It sounded awesome. Setup took all of about 5 minutes if that.
- The guitarist and Bill both listened to the way the track worked in the context of the mix and switched pickups, adjusted tone controls and/or gain as they saw fit for the part. In other words they made decisions about the sound they wanted for the mix up front.
- Bill deleted takes that he didn't like. He didn't keep random stuff to sort through later. Not once did I hear "we'll come back to this."
- I didn't see Bill edit anything the guy played.

So based on everything I saw I'd have to say that Bill records with old-school influenced approaches. PTHD allows him to get from A to B really very efficiently, which means musicians he has to pay are in and out of the studio quicker, and thus he has more money to keep a roof over his family's head at the end of the day.

Bill--thanks again for the opportunity to hang out!

Brad
That's really cool.

And there you have it.
Daptone makes records efficiently and WELL, and gives their client and audience a fine product using 8 tracks.
drBill does the same thing with Pro Tools.

End= Same.
Means= Different.

case closed, I'd say.

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