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Important lesson on working with sound when it is still alive
Old 14th May 2006
  #31
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
Holy Christ, Really? Two Echo Posts in two days? It's intensifying.

We're going to need more than thai food and horror films, boys. We may have to combine them. Thai food IN horror films.

Or perhaps, it may be time to whip out the big guns.

Is Tom Cruise an Alien?
Old 14th May 2006
  #32
I think this thread is not complete without mentioning:
"The texas chainsaw massacre" (yes of course the first one)

so there. food AND horror.
Old 14th May 2006
  #33
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bunnerabb's Avatar
I usually listen to the sound I'm getting before I press record.

That way, I can, you know.. get that sound on disc.

Then I.... like... sort of mix the different sounds together so that it sounds lke, hopefully, a record.

Seems to work ok. Cause, as my old sig file said, "It helps if you know what you want it to sound like when you're done". I thought that was more 101 than revelatory.
Old 14th May 2006
  #34
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octatonic's Avatar
I put forward the idea that Echounit and Charles Dye inhabit the same body- in that Twin Peaks kinda way.

JR
Old 14th May 2006
  #35
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DeepSpace's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Dye
Musicians? We call em waveform donors.
That's while they're still alive. Post mortem they are called "binary sample donors" - apparently :?.
Old 14th May 2006
  #36
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henryrobinett's Avatar
You guys are so ********. I really like echos point. That does serve as a kind of revelation for me. Thanks echo.
Old 14th May 2006
  #37
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Quote:
Charlie, the revelation is discovering when sound is alive and when it dies.
The assumption here of course is that converting sound into voltages is somehow organic and altruistic. Besides mouth----->air------>ear, it's all an unatural manipulation. Dead? Hardly, if you can hear it - it's aliveheh

The truth is, music is for people to enjoy. If you've added some enjoyment to other's lives - you've left your mark on this earth. But your still a speck in this universe, so get over it - recording analog over digital will not get you into heaven
Old 14th May 2006
  #38
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robot gigante's Avatar
I really love Dark Star as well, though I wouldn't call it a horror flick- although Dan O'Bannon later wrote the screenplay for the first Alien film, which is a horror movie and I also like that one a lot.

I also like the film Creature which is a cheezy Alien knockoff, has anyone seen that one? It even has Klaus Kinski in it although he acts really poorly. It has zombies in it too, kind of- the aliens attach something to dead people's heads which reanimates them as evil zombies.
Old 14th May 2006
  #39
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henryrobinett's Avatar
Of course music is for people to enjoy, maybe. Or for people to ponder, experience and hear. But this is interesting the notion to catch it while it is alive. Musical sounds come from a being, a musician or a person/being knocking on something, plucking something with some sense of rhythmic or pitch and aesthetic sensibility. While this is ocurring and set it to motion the sound is alive because there is causation.

I've often said that recordings are dead. No matter how much we try all we can do is get an approximation of an event through a freezing of the sounds as they happened in real time. And the emotions felt are provided by the listener to approximate the emotions of the performer. But there are no emotions on the disk because the being is long gone. There's no longer life. But the listener can imagine the dynamics and the emotion because the sounds of the guitars seem to get intense, or the singers voice seems to get intense or whatever.
Old 14th May 2006
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Tonight I had a revelation that I hope will enlighten many of you.

Getting the sound the way you want for your mix should be done while recording when using digital recording technology because it allows to you take advantage of all of the important elements of sound while the sound is still alive and existing in real time and space.

This is the right time to make decisions. Not later once the sound is no longer living.

Once a sound has been commited to digital, it no longer exists in any real form, only a dead and virtual one that can be copied as many times as you want.

Anything that can be copied exactly is no longer a living entity. It cannot develop and grow like living things do.

All living things, including sounds - vibrations created by energy living in the earth's atmosphere are all different from one another and not repeatable in any natural way.

This is one of the laws of natural physics. It's pretty basic and when something is commited to digital encoding, it is then locked into a world of death where it can be repeated as many times as you like and can be the same everytime. The sound is therefore not alive. It is dead. This is not the time to try to make a sound grow and be something else other than what it already is. It's too late.

Any further attempts at manipulation of sounds once recorded to digital and locked into the world of artificial intelligence will only degrade and hinder the sound because the sounds are dead and they can not improve, grow or develop. They are frozen into the dead and still world of digital codes.

Changing your audio once in the digital realm is about as natural as cloning humans.

If you want your music to sound at it's best and to vibrate in a way that is most pleasing to you then it would be of great benefit to develop and create your sounds as you wish them to be in thier totality while they are alive during recording. Waiting for later to mull over the options is really just procrastination and now that you know from what I have said here that your sound is dead anyway, hopefully this will deter you from waiting unitl it is too late. Give your music the the most full and complete life it deserves before it has to pass on to it's death in the digital realm.

Good luck!
Thanks for your very interesting analyze echo unit! You have got some surprisingly bad replies on your post, not fair at all... You target a quite advanced thing, which I think is really interesting to read about! You make some very good points here. It's true that different kinds of digital errors kill the natural vibe through a more unnatural velocity pitch, bad decay, distorted instrument definition, wrong instrument shape etc. It's also true that the life within a song is coming from the sound source itself, so capturing that sound source most efficiently is very important. BUT, I wouldn't really agree that a mixing engineer can't breath life into a mix. When he touches the mix he hopefully works towards the same goal as the musicians. He removes lifelessness and emphasizes elements containing a lot of life.

But I have to strongly agree that music is best consumed live in real-time. No CD in the world can match the vibe of a good live band.
Old 14th May 2006
  #41
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Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil
If you don't mind...heh
__________________
"Musicians? We call em waveform donors." Charles Dye
Okay, but we'll keep that just between us engineers.... right?
Old 14th May 2006
  #42
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Henry, I'm going to have to disagree because this is all semantics. If we want to get deep, then go deep. Music is made from a bunch of contraptions to give us a desired sound. An electric guitar is just that, a contraption that converts the sound of vibrating strings into an electrical voltage - then to a speaker that pushes air.

Digital does the same thing - it a contraption that in the end, pushes air. In a live concert - your listening to speakers - not the strings of the actual instrument or whatever. It's always processed - whether it's the vibrating wood and strings of a violin, a megaphone, a PA sytstem through transformers, valves, and caps - or a computer.

If you want to capture the live sound of a band, crank your home stereo to ear bleed levels and lay off the dynamics. But to worship one kind of contraption over another as "alive" or "dead" is self indulgent.
Old 14th May 2006
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Dye
Okay, but we'll keep that just between us engineers.... right?
promise!
Old 14th May 2006
  #44
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henryrobinett's Avatar
kats - OK, we totally disagree. The guitar is moot. It's what's on the other side of the guitar that's important. Strings and electronic pick ups are besides the point. They don't make the music. And no, this is not semantics.
Old 14th May 2006
  #45
I don't get it. Of course humans have a life force, and musicians playing together are on rare occasions a magical thing to experience. Of course there is a difference with playing a cd for people. Because there is, or should also be an interaction with the audience. This may or may not influence the performance, but is a valid point. you made it as well mr. Robinett.

However...

Music is more. Music is a LANGUAGE of emotions. We are trying to capture that language and if we are lucky or skilled or both some of that emotion expressed in a performance.
You could say a book is dead, compared to an oration. But it's not. It comes alive when read. Why? Because humans posess a quality called imagination. And therefore a performance or recording exists in the mind of the listener. How can you say that is dead? pvoc3000 nailed it. As soon as a performance is played, it is alive in the mind of the audience. That is the magic of recorded music. Why the hell do you do it for, otherwise. We might then go back to live performances only.

Furthermore, binary is an approximation, but how is it different from tape? Because tape is analogue? And therefore resembles a stream more? Tape is also particles. Microscopic and not like binary, but there is a TRANSLATION to another medium.

Your ideas please?
Old 14th May 2006
  #46
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett
kats - OK, we totally disagree. The guitar is moot. It's what's on the other side of the guitar that's important. Strings and electronic pick ups are besides the point. They don't make the music. And no, this is not semantics.
Henry, and with the greatest respect, you are wrong on the molecular level.
You are a quasar of wrong.
You are a burning white heart of the sun of wrong.
You are a quark of wrong.

Wrong to the power wrong, if you wil.

Yes, Jeff Beck can play a $10 ebay guitar and still sound like Jeff Beck.
The player matters more than the gear- for sure- but why would guitarists spend so much time crafting their sound if the gear was so unimportant?
It all matters, to varying degrees.

Just my opinion though.

JR
Old 14th May 2006
  #47
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Charlie, the revelation is discovering when sound is alive and when it dies.

Knowing that creates an entirely new respect for the living sound world and changes how we must approach our documentation of living sounds. This documentation is where the life of a sound comes to an end.

We must spend the majority of our working time nurturing sounds while they are alive and let them rest in peace during thier death.

Many people are spending most of thier time working in the world of the dead. This is not a good place to focus your energy as most of it will be wasted trying to bring things back to life which are already dead.
This may be a revelation for you, or a new way of articulating it, but lots of people have known this and thought this way and done so long before any of us have started recording.

Now if you're saying that most people behave as if your "revelation" is not true, Id' agree.

The "revelation" is not new, but it is a valuable thing to understand.
Old 14th May 2006
  #48
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Charles Dye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Murray
We may have to combine them. Thai food IN horror films.
Or a slight deviation that should hopefully get us back on topic...


Thai Horror Films


My fave is Dtailáew Sàtón

Translated to English it's Dead Echo





Killer horror flick.

Ya gotta watch the sub-titled version tho. The dubbed versions sucks big time.

Seriosuly. The english screaming is near cartoonish. The Thai screams are blood curdling!

That movie will scare the **** out of you.
Old 14th May 2006
  #49
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henryrobinett's Avatar
richondjames wrote:
Quote:
Henry, and with the greatest respect, you are wrong on the molecular level.
You are a quasar of wrong.
You are a burning white heart of the sun of wrong.
You are a quark of wrong.

Wrong to the power wrong, if you wil.

Yes, Jeff Beck can play a $10 ebay guitar and still sound like Jeff Beck.
The player matters more than the gear- for sure- but why would guitarists spend so much time crafting their sound if the gear was so unimportant?
It all matters, to varying degrees.

Just my opinion though.

JR
Biggest respect back at you! Yeah! That's very funny. I'm a guitarist by profession and, if I do say so myself, a very good one. I do admit I have never spent very much time with pickups, and finding the just the right guitar and mulling over strings gauges and amplifier settings because, for me, all those are of severe secondary and tertiary considerations. It's all in the hands. And when the hands are well trained it's all in the mind or the being of the player. I do know a lot of guitarists who do think it's all in the POD or the Mesa-Boogie, Dumble, Elixir strings, Seymour-Duncans, and I think they're wasting a lot of time that'd be better spent actually practicing!

Molecular? Quark?? I'm not talking physics. Anything but physics. Physics is the study of the physical world.

Music does seem to be a magical thing. But it's not. It's created by a being or a collection of beings. It is alive so long as it is being created. Otherwise it's a recording or a memory that "lives" within other beings who give it their own life force or mock-up a life force for it to give it reality.
Old 14th May 2006
  #50
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil
I don't get it. Of course humans have a life force, and musicians playing together are on rare occasions a magical thing to experience. Of course there is a difference with playing a cd for people. Because there is, or should also be an interaction with the audience. This may or may not influence the performance, but is a valid point. you made it as well mr. Robinett.

However...

Music is more. Music is a LANGUAGE of emotions. We are trying to capture that language and if we are lucky or skilled or both some of that emotion expressed in a performance.
You could say a book is dead, compared to an oration. But it's not. It comes alive when read. Why? Because humans posess a quality called imagination. And therefore a performance or recording exists in the mind of the listener. How can you say that is dead? pvoc3000 nailed it. As soon as a performance is played, it is alive in the mind of the audience. That is the magic of recorded music. Why the hell do you do it for, otherwise. We might then go back to live performances only.

Furthermore, binary is an approximation, but how is it different from tape? Because tape is analogue? And therefore resembles a stream more? Tape is also particles. Microscopic and not like binary, but there is a TRANSLATION to another medium.

Your ideas please?
This idea of digital=dead vs analog=live is, in my opinion, complete and utter garbage.
There is good digital, there is bad digital.
There is good analog, there is bad analog.

Once the audio is recorded it is static- recorded analog recordings is just as inert as recorded digital.
Echo's quasi-mysticism is an old game and poorly executed.

An anecdote.
Robert Fripp talked all the time about how recordings were a close approximation to what King Crimson was.
In his opinion KC recordings were a necessary evil.
Once, when asked what King Crimson was by an interviewer he said "A way of doing".
"Doing what?" was the reply.
"Being" RF responded.
"Well why didn't you say King Crimson is a way of being" came the retort.
Rf responded something to the effect of "It is that as well- it isn't my job to define what King Crimson is, I'd rather make you do the thinking."

Hogwash.

This is the same old game that Echo is playing- a loosely defined philosophy predicated on a non-technical background.
We are engineers, not philosphers.
Engineering is techincal with an artistic side to it, not art with a technical side to it.
For the most part, engineers and producers should be snapshot takers- making a representation of the artist work.
If we are artist/musicians/producers then we need to learn to shift gears- you cannot make a record without it.
People refer to their producer hat vs their musician hat all the time.

This quasi-philosophy of music has little place in the professional engineering/production arena.

Again, just my opinion.
Old 14th May 2006
  #51
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett
Yeah! That's very funny. I'm a guitarist by profession and, if I do say so myself, a very good one. I do admit I have never spent very much time with pickups, and finding the just the right guitar and mulling over strings gauges and amplifier settings because, for me, all those are of severe secondary and tertiary considerations. It's all in the hands. And when the hands are well trained it's all in the mind or the being of the player. I do know a lot of guitarists who do think it's all in the POD or the Mesa-Boogie, Dumble, Elixir strings, Seymour-Duncans, and I think they're wasting a lot of time that'd be better spent actually practicing!

Molecular? Quark?? I'm not talking physics. Anything but physics. Physics is the study of the physical world.

Music does seem to be a magical thing. But it's not. It's created by a being or a collection of beings. It is alive so long as it is being created. Otherwise it's a recording or a memory that "lives" within other beings who give it their own life force or mock-up a life force for it to give it reality.
:-)
I've just spent the day with our brand new English Bulldog puppy that we picked up today- so perhaps I am in a perculiar mood.
The endorphins are flowing tonight- best natural high of my life.

Man, I'm a player for sure- I'm not a 'shredder' but I play multiple hours a day and I totally agree with you, to a point.
Yes people should play more, much more.
But picksup do matter- I react totally different as a player to a humbucker in the neck of a tele compared to a single coil.
It all matters, to varying degrees,
The wisdom I think is working out what matters most and attributing your time accordingly.

JR
Old 14th May 2006
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
Echo's quasi-mysticism is an old game and poorly executed.
there are holes in it, to say the least. IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
If we are artist/musicians/producers then we need to learn to shift gears- you cannot make a record without it.
very very true. I do also have two functions here, and it is difficult to switch from the artist/producer to the engineer function. (the other way around is no problem) I'm learning every day how to do this better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richmondjames
We are engineers, not philosphers.
I do not agree with that. but when enginering, choices have to be made. work to be done. No time for endless pondering. So in that way I can relate to what you're saying. that is the practical side.
To have ideas and a philosophy is for me unavoidable. I'd have to switch off my mind to get rid of it. Other peoples' brains work differently, I'm very sure.
Old 14th May 2006
  #53
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echo unit's Avatar
 

Wonderful to see that many of you understand that sound is alive before it enters the digital realm.

We know that anything that we can make exact copies of is dead.

See, there is no living thing that can be copied exactly. We must base our recording strategy on knowing this fundamental fact.

Music is not technical engineering. Music is art just like plumbing or carpentry. It involves creative expression and reflection of the human spirit. If you decide to bring technical questions to your recording process, you are not an engineer but a curious artist with a desire to make the life of that sound as grand as you believe it to be before you have to commit it to death.
Old 14th May 2006
  #54
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echo unit's Avatar
 

Any attempt to bring a sound back to life from the dead will only result in something completely un-natural and freakish.

It's what Dr. Frankenstien attempted and it failed for him. It killed him.

I believe that much of the modern digitally manipulated and mixed music which most of the population have been listening to coming out of thier car stereos from the popular radio stations has been slowly killing them - deteriorating the bodies' cells. This deterioration is very apparent in the population of America which has become very dumb. They voted for a leader who has destroyed their counties' infrstructure. Our bodies can only absorb so many un-natural vibrations until it has to start rejecting them. The wear and tear on the brain cells from these un-natural vibrations has effectively made much of the human race that consumes these un-natural vibrations stupid.

Our immune systems are not prepared to handle all of these bad vibrations but we are slowly adapting to them because we are creatures of an evolved species even if that evolution is a digression.

Why do you think so many of us who have really good musical instincts have felt an ill and sligtly sick to the stomach feeling in recent times when reflecting on modern popular music recordings?

This music is being conjoured from the other side. From the dead.
Old 14th May 2006
  #55
i always thought recording musicians was a way of immortalizing them, not killing them. but i'm stupid, so...

anyway, back on topic : Silence of the Lambs, people!!! fava beans and chiantithumbsup
Old 14th May 2006
  #56
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Music is not technical engineering. Music is art just like plumbing or carpentry. It involves creative expression and reflection of the human spirit. If you decide to bring technical questions to your recording process, you are not an engineer but a curious artist with a desire to make the life of that sound as grand as you believe it to be before you have to commit it to death.
Music is not, but audio engineering is.
I guess it depends what your perspective is.
Mine is Stanislavsky-esque naturalism- (although I am far from Marxist.)
I don't see the studio as a creative tool, when I am being 'producer/engineer'.
I am there to accurately represent the artist I work for.
I'm a photographer in service.
I'm with Steve Albini on this one, I am afraid.

When I am being a musician, then it is all fodder, all grist for the mill.
It is a creative act and I am not thinking about technical details.
Pure narrative.

When I do both then it is all a question of shifting gear and wearing hats.
Do you know the movement called Cinéma Vérité?
Kinda like that - but Audio Vérité- I think Eno coined the term, maybe Fripp.
A blend of naturalism and narrative.

I've never considered the idea that both could be possible simultaneously- as in a way they cancel and invalidate each other. I need to switch hats- maybe you are clever than I.

James
Old 14th May 2006
  #57
echo unit
yes life energy, life force from living entities.
completely true.
so?
how does that change your recording strategy?
it doesn't stop you from recording?
bring the band to the livingroom, car, ipod? impossible
music is a language of emotion. it can be written down in a recording.
of course the recording is not completely the same.
that doesn't mean the music within it is dead.
just my opinion, I think it's very much ok to have your own
it's the absoluteness of it that I don't really understand.


btw nobody here knows the song Kimbu Kimra-"Raise the Dead" Atjazz Records??
(no joke, thát is a killer track)
mmmeeet my voodoo machine heh
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Old 14th May 2006
  #58
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Labs's Avatar
 

Look at this TINY monkey...!!!!!
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Old 14th May 2006
  #59
Old 14th May 2006
  #60
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VelvetGoatmine's Avatar
 

Monkey, not just for breakfast anymore!

Although perfectly understandable as such.
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