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UCTION
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3rd November 2011
Old 3rd November 2011
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If it sounds good it is good?

Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
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3rd November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
Well what other criteria do you have besides how it sounds?

If what sounds good to you is radically different from what sounds good to everyone else then you will either steer recording into a new direction or conclude you're in the wrong business.

-R
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3rd November 2011
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Quote:
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
No dude. Yr spot on. I think most people throw that saying around because they think they sound cool saying it or maybe hope that somebody will mistake them for a pro. There is a poster here called "hello people" and thats exactly the type of person he is. He's a total amature trying to be mistaken for a pro. He can be hears throwin that one around.
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The saying is true but that is assuming you have at least an average,realistic talent for and understanding of mixing audio.
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3rd November 2011
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the best music sounds bad
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StringBean View Post
the best music sounds bad
Love those 1960-something live jazz recordings. Most of them do sound like crap, but boy, I'll take that "crap" over any new "recording artist" today any day...

I must admit I have felt the urge to clean them up from time to time...
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4th November 2011
Old 4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
I always took this as a statement of perception trumping measurement, especially in contrast to other media. NOT perception trumping someone else's perception.

Many years ago, I had a video gig. We produced a show that really looked fine, but it turned out to have technical issues involving the sync and the edits. Played off of our master tape it looked good, but Broadcast, the picture would flip or roll or otherwise be unstable.

So we could not say "if it looks good, it is good" because underlying tech problems of video could negate that downstream. These problems may not be visible until after broadcast or duplication but they could potentially fatally affect your product!

But in audio, any problems that matter are audible. "If it sounds good, it is good" means you can trust your ears to hear if there is a problem. I take the saying to mean that generally speaking, invisible technical issues will not 'hide' in your audio and pop out later to bite you in the ass.

Is you kick drum mic set to the "wrong" polarity? Flip and see which one you like the best. If it sounds good, it is good. Did you mistakenly set your sample rate to 32k? What's his name did that, and everyone still liked the record. If it sounds good, it is good.

Subjective judgments of musical taste or the appropriateness of mix decisions are another thing altogether and I don't think the slogan was originally directed at those disputes.
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
Oh my, you're being to literal my friend. The aphorism is used to prevent people from second guessing themselves too much. Not to describe subjective taste....
So the example would be, if you mic the back of an amp with a 57 and it sounds good, there's no reason to go out and buy a 67 and mic the front just cos someone told you that's the proper way to do it..... If it sounds good, it is good!
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4th November 2011
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Originally Posted by joeq View Post
But in audio, any problems that matter are audible. "If it sounds good, it is good" means you can trust your ears to hear if there is a problem.
Well, it's also true that many people are virtually deaf and they don't even know it. Typically from hearing too much dance music at dangerous decibel levels...
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I always took this as a statement of perception trumping measurement, especially in contrast to other media. NOT perception trumping someone else's perception.

Many years ago, I had a video gig. We produced a show that really looked fine, but it turned out to have technical issues involving the sync and the edits. Played off of our master tape it looked good, but Broadcast, the picture would flip or roll or otherwise be unstable.

So we could not say "if it looks good, it is good" because underlying tech problems of video could negate that downstream. These problems may not be visible until after broadcast or duplication but they could potentially fatally affect your product!

But in audio, any problems that matter are audible. "If it sounds good, it is good" means you can trust your ears to hear if there is a problem. I take the saying to mean that generally speaking, invisible technical issues will not 'hide' in your audio and pop out later to bite you in the ass.

Is you kick drum mic set to the "wrong" polarity? Flip and see which one you like the best. If it sounds good, it is good. Did you mistakenly set your sample rate to 32k? What's his name did that, and everyone still liked the record. If it sounds good, it is good.

Subjective judgments of musical taste or the appropriateness of mix decisions are another thing altogether and I don't think the slogan was originally directed at those disputes.
What he said!
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonejunky View Post
No dude. Yr spot on. I think most people throw that saying around because they think they sound cool saying it or maybe hope that somebody will mistake them for a pro. There is a poster here called "hello people" and thats exactly the type of person he is. He's a total amature trying to be mistaken for a pro. He can be hears throwin that one around.
Hey...I'm infamous!



Top notch spelling & grammar by the way Junkster! Don't go overdosing on the tone now will you fella! You leave some tone for the rest of us, ya hear!!
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
If it sounds good it is good?

Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
Because it sounds good?




I don't think anyone initially thought there would be people who take it as some sort of literal law of recording.

It's a pithy axiom that I think most people use to suggest the idea that sometimes you find yourself doing unorthodox things -- including breaking all those rules people talk about when they breezily say, there are no rules -- in order to get a result that sounds the way you want.

It's a saying. There's some truth in it in a certain context, but I don't think most people who say it intend to suggest that it is a natural, universal principle that applies in every situation.

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4th November 2011
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Yes, though it will probably sound bad after a few years of experience. It sounds good until you hear something better.
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?



and many people suffer from apophonia
so they dont knwo that at a given time
they are not hearing what they think they are

who is to say what is good
it is all subjective -- very subjective

if you are happy then it is good

if the cd sells well then it is good

if your ears hurt it is bad

best we can do is either please ourself
or please as many people as possible
and ignore the so called experts and golden eared stereophiles who try to set themselves up as the official arbiters of goodness
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
The saying is true but that is assuming you have at least an average,realistic talent for and understanding of mixing audio.
so i guess all those hiphop/crap singers have no talent
all those mixers who smash the level so it distorts and clips have no talent

there is a lot of BAD stuff these days that the lemmings all say is good cause they are afraid to say the emperor is naked
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4th November 2011
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Quote:
Yes, though it will probably sound bad after a few years of experience. It sounds good until you hear something better.
Second that, sometimes you think it sounds good and then A/B it with something else that might sound better.
#17
19th December 2011
Old 19th December 2011
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I believe the quote is attributed to Duke Ellington:
“If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!”
For me, sound equates to feel and that word has been dropped from most of the usage. No one else can experience our feeling in exactly the same way, so --- subjectivity in audio rules.
For added value, here are a few more quotes from Sir Duke which I believe are relevant to this thread:
“The most important thing I look for in a musician is whether he knows how to listen.”
“There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.”
]
#18
19th December 2011
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Good is relative to your experience and the equipment you have access to.

If people would read that before bashing gear, we'd have a lot less fights here.

That also doesn't mean there isn't crap gear too.
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19th December 2011
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I think the saying is merely trying to communicate that the static nature of a recorded piece of audio should not be second guessed because of the activities/methodologies used to capture said audio. As in, you may mic up a snare and believe the sound, in your own opinion, is better than 90% of the top 100 lists snare sounds (assuming they have snares). I truly believe and have come to the sad realisation that this gear obsession no matter how 'justified' means nothing in the grand scheme. Because, if it sounds good, then it is good! Regardless of if you had that track running through a behringer comp or a neve! I think the visual side of audio production/engineering tricks our mind into 'hearing' better recorded tracks/songs etc. Whereas in reality if we did more blind fold tests, like so many have proved on GS, when we use the basic approach to consuming audio (by using our auditory senses only) we see that sometimes we forget that its purely about the sound and sometimes how we got the sound sways our judgement.

Nevertheless, i will continue to be a gear maniac and suffer from GAS for all my life :D.

Because, thats just what we do as humans, We sometimes are irrational!

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19th December 2011
Old 19th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
Because you will never please all the people all the time.

What sounds great to one man sounds shite to the next.

Thats The law......

Good enough to you is good enough , you will never achieve anything greater than that.

We can never please everyone therefore why try and please anyone ? if it sounds good at any moment in time to You then it is for ever ' good '#

It may sound bad to others but that does not mean it is , just that their perception thinks it isnt.

Then factor in Their perception? A big issue !!!!!!!!!!!

Who judges a thing ' bad ' ?

Are they

1. / an insecure dj who wants to be an artist but cant?
2. / a discontent artist who cant achieve success ?
3 . /were they beaten as a child ?
4. / are they suffering in life or a depressive ?
5 . /do they have a bad listening device or system ?
6. / are they a label owner with a coke problem ?
7. / are the an engineer who is use to working on a totally different form of music ?
8. / are they a failed artist ?
9/ / a dj on a downer ?
10 / a self loathing narcissist
11./ a content human
12. / a content artist
13 . / insane

you get my point ? different states of mind = different perceptions and many Judgements of art come from humans with ' issues ' of an emotional or mental kind as we all do .

We as artists and producers listen as humans who are either insecure or secure , discontent or content and from various mentalities which effects how we view and hear , and judge , love and like.

Insecurity and judgementalism are rife and the result of humans with ' emotional and mental childhood issues '

If we are in anyway insecure about ourselves we

a. / slag off others work rather than looking at the positives often
b / as artists tell other artists how we would have done it differently
c. / worry about what others think of our work always and dont trust ourselves.
d. / over produce our work to death.

The middle way is make what you like , for yourself , enjoy it and its flaws ( the flaws in a diamond are its beauty ) and remember........


The average listener listens with THEIR HEART

not their ears.

Never try and please fellow artists or dj's / producers etc , close freinds , you never will truely as many are insecure about their own lives

close freinds on some level can exhibit the same traits .

Insecurity is key to whats ' good ' or seen as ' good and bad ......

When someone says ' thats bad ' about another humans work what they really mean is ' i am unworthy ' or insecure as all work holds equal merit , is equally as good and valid in this world.

There is no good or bad.
#21
19th December 2011
Old 19th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
You're right, preference is subjective.

When one is talking about technology and science, those are dominated by objective measurement -- we have good tools for analyzing sound in a wide variety of ways.

That's great for helping to make decisions about gear and technical processes.

But it doesn't tell us anything about the aesthetics of recording and mixing.

Recording and mixing are complex, demanding activities that require a lot of procedural knowledge. People starting out are, understandably, looking for guideposts -- tips, techniques and best practices which can help them achieve some of the sounds they 'hear in their imagination.'

The problem is, while many of these 'rules of thumb' can be helpful, they are often passed around not so much as starting places but as hard, fast rules. Someone will say something like, I always high pass filter bass at 50 Hz (to just pull something out of the air, not a reference to anyone specific). But While that might work for him (or mostly work for him) because he has a certain sound, typically plays in a certain key, or his bass amp has certain characteristics, that 'rule' could easily be misapplied by someone else whose circumstances are different.

Ditto for 'rules' about compression ratios, attack times, releases, etc. And for how to mic this or that. How and what kind of reverb to apply. Etc, etc.

So, because everyone's situation is a little -- or more likely, a lot -- different, and every project is a different and every song is different, these rules of thumb should be considered, at best, starting places.

There's an old saying, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. And the 'proof' of a mix is in how it sounds to the people responsible for making the music.

That's the heart of that oversimplified little axiom. Of course, there are provisos, qualifications and potential gotchyas. If you have a crappy monitoring situation, you really don't have any certainty that it will sound good in a good listening situation or have an 'even' chance on the wide range of systems out there. (We tend to want 'neutral, accurate' monitoring so that we have the best chance of sounding good across a variety of systems and circumstances.)

If it sounds good, it is good... within those qualifications and limits. But, ultimately, it is sounding good that is the aesthetic goal.
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19th December 2011
Old 19th December 2011
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Sounds good is not the same thing as is good.
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19th December 2011
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It was my understanding that this phrase came from Joe meek. He was known for using different production techniques than the norm in his day (like close miking kick). I think it applies to unconventional approaches to production that still succeed in creating a good-sounding recording.
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19th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
The saying is true but that is assuming you have at least an average,realistic talent for and understanding of mixing audio.
Spot ON!
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19th December 2011
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I don't know how much I believe in the whole if it sounds good it's good. It may just sound good on your monitors, but suck on a IPOD ect. If something sounds good and I wanted to keep it that way I'd probably stop doing boosts and screwing with stuff and check all my eq cuts to make sure it will translate. A lot of things that need to be small narrow cuts to moderate cuts where you wouldn't notice the difference on your system, makes a big difference elsewhere. I still think there is a science behind it when it comes to cutting freq to translate without having to change the sound you love. Lastly if it sounds good at a low level, like elevator music level then I'm pleased. I hear to many mixes that lose a lot of edge when they are at small to moderate levels. But I guess one can argue let the ME take care of these things and just get your sound the best you can.

I ask myself when I'm affect something and it sounds good...what is it doing to everything else individually and how does that fit in for the better or worse? When I'm eqing bass I'm listening to the guitars and vice versa. It's like my brains backwards sometimes, but it grew on me. I listen and mix as a creative person first, but I still keep in mind there are some basic rules and a science behind how things work. Learning eq very well is probably the best thing that helped my mixes. So much emphasise is put on compression,fx and limiting these days a lot don't bother with much else or do it half way. To me it's best to get on a level where all these things become second nature so you can focus on the creative part.
#26
20th December 2011
Old 20th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattg082 View Post
I don't know how much I believe in the whole if it sounds good it's good. It may just sound good on your monitors, but suck on a IPOD ect.
well that means it doesn't "sound good"

people are taking the expression too far when they add all these extra maybes to it.

The expression was born from a rejection of unnecessary paranoia. If your monitors are untrustworthy then your paranoia is not 'unnecessary', by definition.

Get better monitors, treat your room, check on the earbuds, whatever.


When you have confidence in what you are hearing, you need have no paranoia, that's what the expression means. It means don't worry about stuff like: "is the kick drum mic out of phase because it's inside the drum instead of in front of the batter head?" Just try it both ways and pick the one that sounds right.


If it "sounds good", then it sounds good, and then it "is good".
#27
20th December 2011
Old 20th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UCTION View Post
Why does everyone throw this saying around? We all know good is subjective. If it sounds good to me, it might sound like shit to you, am I wrong?
If good was subjective hit makers would not exist...but anyway. the quote is half true but in another perspective!
IMHO
... if it sounds good and you listen to it in a studio and a monitoring system that does not color sound (contrary to popular belief places like this are not that many around the world) then... the chances are, it is good!
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