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Studer A827 vs. Ampex MM1200 for 'modern' rock sound Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 15th February 2018
  #91
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel c View Post
Siamese Dream was mixed by Alan Moulder
My mistake

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Moss View Post
Hey Drumsound, I did see in an interview for 'Mix With The Masters' where Wallace claimed he didn't use any sample replacement for that album, but he did concede that he 'may have triggered some room ambiance'. He claimed to not remember precisely, saying that that's what he 'would have done'. Of course, he could be lying, being the preeminent rock mixer perhaps of all time, he might want to jealously guard his secrets.. But I look at another great rock producer Eric Valentine who has given away tons of tips and tricks in great detail on GS regarding his techniques and methods apparently unconcerned that it could hurt his career.. I would hope Mr. Wallace as an elder statesment of rock mixing would be similarly noble.

As for not 'listening hard enough' to Siamese Dream, I suppose that is possible on my end.. Though in this case, I expect it is more likely you who has not 'read the credits hard enough' as Andy Wallace did not mix that album. That one was Alan Moulder and Butch Vig!

That being said, I do understand what you mean about a common identifiable sound between all AW mixes. I can absolutely here the similarity, especially in drums between 'Nevermind', and AW's other biggest rock smash, Linkin Park's 'Hybrid Theory' which was made almost a decade later. Rage Against The Machine's debut album also has a very similiar sound, but admittedly was recorded at the same studio and with the same kind of snare drum.

And thank you for explaining about the angle in the cutting block for splicing tape! I never understood why it was angled before. Brilliant.

-MM
My reaction was based on the post I was replying to. I admittedly haven't touched a copy of Siamese Dream in many, MANY years. I love the songs on Nevermind and always though it sounded a little off, I've generally thought this was due to its mix. And I loved Gish, and thought Siamese Dream also sounded very processed, with odd mixes. It must have been Alan Moulder who replaced Jimmy's snare (and probably toms and BD).
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonlivermore View Post
Hey Tony,

Alan Moulder mixed Siamese Dream not Andy Wallace.
So I've been told.
Old 15th February 2018
  #92
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Moss View Post

And thank you for explaining about the angle in the cutting block for splicing tape! I never understood why it was angled before. Brilliant.

-MM
Yeah, I never even thought of that. I didn't know why you didn't get pops with tape, but that makes perfect sense.
Old 10th April 2018
  #93
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StoneyBCN's Avatar
 

Hello to the OP. I stumbled upon this thread while researching some of the big names mentioned in this thread - I suspect we have many common references between us.

The 90's US stuff is, to me, the pinnacle and last great bastion of rock music. O'Brien, Butch Vig, Moulder/Flood, Albini, Wallace, and fantastic engineers like Didia and Billy Bush to name just a few, are the absolute masters of studio craft IMO.

I had always found that each one of them do some very heavy processing, but at the best of times you simply feel the artist's expression more. The names I'm seeing all over records today like Rasculinecz, Rich Costey, et al are not going over well at all with me. I'm hearing/feeling less of the artist on the albums those guys do. Maybe it's the artists, but I'm seeing a pattern....

Anyways. I can also see your passion and attention to details for this project and wish you all the best with the experience. How are things coming along?

It's been especially interesting to learn more about BV's merciless editing to Mayonnaise and SLTS. The guy chopped up two of the greatest drummers of all time and got away with it. It's only when someone mentioned the Nirvana loop on here that I can immediately recognize that repetitive nature just from memory of the song. No wonder they went with Albini next... lol.

I see in your posts that freedom from the grid is important to you. In spirit I fully agree. I drummed on a session this year and got beat-detective'd and drum-replaced all the way out of the track before I'd even packed my cases. I mean, all my parts are intact, but not a single trace of my actual performance remains - all swings locked to grid, all sounds replaced by VSTi, all dynamics plotted and stepped. The artist totally rolled with it. I kept my mouth shut and decided not to feel insulted (I got paid after all). Oddly, they called me again for the next session. I wondered how I still had the gig, since I assumed they were so unhappy with my performance to erase me like that. The artist insists I did a great job, but the producer says "everybody always uses beat detective on everything, ever. Or else your song will be out of time". So it's just like a default thing with this dude, you could be steadier than Levon Helm and he'll still run you through the mangler. So I told the artist "look, I've got SSD4, I already did midi versions of all the parts in pre-production, you don't need me to come to the studio". I sent them the stems out of an SSD4 kit, all totally on-grid, very basic dynamics, basically exactly what they had done to me last time... still got paid and now the stuff is almost finished, the artist is telling me privately that he's really unhappy with the way everything's sounding. I asked him what's up? "It sounds kind of robotic like a crappy keyboard demo. I don't get it, maybe he's using too much compression?"

It looks like I will be taking over the project and will be expected to mix some humanity into this mess. I have other ideas.

My question to you pertains to the lack of grid on your drums, and the comments you made about missing the grid feeling to a degree. Considering we likely have a degree or two of similarities in taste, I wonder how much of that lacking feeling you describe is truly due to the lack of quantization? I mean, are the tracks fully mixed? Have you tried some gated room verb on the kick/snare etc? Does adding bass guitar help or hinder the groove? A real nice trick I picked out with my ears in some rock drum styles is a parallel snare channel, gated hard or automated to only let the 2's and 4's through, smashed with 1176 or similar. Add a sub or outer mic to the kick and do similar things there. Have you found any ways to bring the grooves where you want them, without actually quantizing the drummer?

I'm real curious about this topic since that session happened. I suspect that the trick is to fool us purists the way Butch Vig and Brendan O'Brien did. Did O'Brien really use triggers on STP? That was a hard one to swallow, but now I think about it... that huge snare... damn.

Really interested in your project. Keep us updated and all the best to you.

Old 27th January 2019
  #94
Lives for gear
I wonder if the project dropped. I always tell people if just buying a tape machine or renting is all you need you will be dissapointed. A lot of hard work went into those productions and it took a lot of time,labor,genius,money to deliver. Too many people think its all in one or two pieces of equipment and you Are good to go. That is not the case.
Old 26th February 2019
  #95
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burns46824's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
that said I have 2 m79's gathering dust.
Gathering dust? Man...those are fabulous sounding tape machines from the recordings I've heard done on them!
Old 26th February 2019
  #96
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
Gathering dust? Man...those are fabulous sounding tape machines from the recordings I've heard done on them!
And the m56
Great records.
But thoroughly unpractical for my world now.
Don’t miss maintenance
At all.
Old 26th February 2019
  #97
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burns46824's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
And the m56
Great records.
But thoroughly unpractical for my world now.
Don’t miss maintenance
At all.
Yeah I've heard they are a big effort to maintain. You just running an A800 nowadays?
Old 26th February 2019
  #98
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
And the m56
Great records.
But thoroughly unpractical for my world now.
Don’t miss maintenance
At all.
I know a couple folks who thing the M56 is the best sounding multitrack ever.
Old 26th February 2019
  #99
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
Yeah I've heard they are a big effort to maintain. You just running an A800 nowadays?
No tape
Not practical.
For me
Old 26th February 2019
  #100
Gear Guru
 
RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I know a couple folks who thing the M56 is the best sounding multitrack ever.
Definitely one of my all time fav’s.
Your still running an M79?
Old 26th February 2019
  #101
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge View Post
Definitely one of my all time fav’s.
Your still running an M79?
I have it, but it needs a PSU rebuild. I've got a guy interested in it, and I hope he comes through. It deserves to make records. I bought an MCI and ran that for years, but lately its mostly PT. Budgets here in Central IL are not what they once were. We can spend a lot more time being creative by eliminating the tape costs. My A80R 2-track do still see a lot of action.
Old 27th February 2019
  #102
Gear Nut
 
fazeka's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I know a couple folks who thing the M56 is the best sounding multitrack ever.
Been there, done that. My ex is now in Sweden!
Old 4th March 2019
  #103
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 

Hey OP,

I came up in the era you are going for (90's).

Right now your production is in the 70's -tracking to 24 track with minimal processing.

If you want to get to the 90's sound you have 2 choices:

Option 1: add about $250k to your budget. Hire a known producer from that era and recreate it. A lot of that sound will happen in a very elaborate mix process where things will be retriggered. Probably he will just do what I describe in option 2.

Option 2: dump everything to DAW and start recreating what you hear in those records to the best of your ability. Hire a good mix engineer and tell him that you want the 90's sound.

With option 2 you have everything that the 90's producers had and more. You just have to know when to STOP -don't over edit. With this option you also stand the chance of creating your own version of the 90's sound -something new that sounds 90's. If you don't add something new that reflects the 20 years of time that has passed since then you will just end up with a museum piece -a perfect recreation of a time that has already passed minus the Soundgardens, Nirvanas, Butch Vigs who created it.

Figure out what makes YOU unique, go for the 90's sound if that turns you on, and add something to it to make it yours.

The Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin were trying to recreate a previous era of American blues. They failed brilliantly!

Best of luck!
Old 11th March 2019
  #104
If it hasn't already been mentioned the studio might be used to using track 24 (or 16) for SMPTE timecode for a mix automation system. Or midi sync. Ask them about that. It may freak out an in-house engineer to have to work unatomated. They may rely on it to reduce tape hiss etc.

Watch out for punch in / out times @ 15 ips (Discuss this point in advance with the engineer) Ask them how often they work at 15 ips too. (As an in house engineer I used to HATE it, I would get lost rewinding and forwarding as I was so use to 30 ips and I resented the extra difficult punching in / out) make sure they share your project's "tone quest" with 15ips and don't think it's all a big PITA just about trying to save on tape costs and you are just being "cheap". Remember - you get more tape hiss @ 15ips
Old 12th March 2019
  #105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zep Dude View Post
Hey OP,

I came up in the era you are going for (90's).

Right now your production is in the 70's -tracking to 24 track with minimal processing.

If you want to get to the 90's sound you have 2 choices:

Option 1: add about $250k to your budget. Hire a known producer from that era and recreate it. A lot of that sound will happen in a very elaborate mix process where things will be retriggered. Probably he will just do what I describe in option 2.

Option 2: dump everything to DAW and start recreating what you hear in those records to the best of your ability. Hire a good mix engineer and tell him that you want the 90's sound.

With option 2 you have everything that the 90's producers had and more. You just have to know when to STOP -don't over edit. With this option you also stand the chance of creating your own version of the 90's sound -something new that sounds 90's. If you don't add something new that reflects the 20 years of time that has passed since then you will just end up with a museum piece -a perfect recreation of a time that has already passed minus the Soundgardens, Nirvanas, Butch Vigs who created it.

Figure out what makes YOU unique, go for the 90's sound if that turns you on, and add something to it to make it yours.

The Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin were trying to recreate a previous era of American blues. They failed brilliantly!

Best of luck!
That's pretty great advice!

I recently (as I've mentioned before) had to remix a Silverchair track, to generate the instrumental since we didn't have one on file.

It's early grunge - quite a budget recording really - and I'm not claiming I recreated the mix perfectly, but I did try to keep it relatively "authentic" - although I was mixing 100% digitally I kept to the same channel strip for each track, only used a few more "boutique" compressors, just a few reverb processors..I used to assist Chris Sheldon (mixed colour and the shape for the foos) and I know how he used set up to mix with minimal outboard, and I kind of aped that a little.

The "sound" of that era is in the productions really. Not a massive amount of layering, it's not as complex as you remember if you listen back! you have to be brave enough to keep things simpler.
Old 18th March 2019
  #106
Here for the gear
 

Studer 827 vs Ampex tape machine

This is my first time commenting on this site but as a former studio and Studer 827 owner, as well as owner of two track Ampex machines, I do have some insights.

First question, is the Ampex 16 track a two inch? If so it will sound fatter that the 827 which squeezes 24 tracks into the same two inch space.

Furthermore, the 827 used 5532 ICs throughout. There are a stereo ICs and one step down from the Studio 820 which used 5534s.

The Apex most likely uses no ICs. A no IC machine will usually sound better than an IC based machine.

But there are so many other factors to consider.

If both machines are in good shape, then either should suffice. What about the tape? What brand and where are you getting it from? Not all modern tape does justice to the machines.

What I might suggest is to ask to hear something from each studio in the genre you wish to do. A thirty second clip should tell you which you prefer and to me, that would probably be the right studio.

Beyond that, there is no possible way to know in advance which studio will better suit your needs. A 16 track two inch machine in good shape is a wonder. A 24 track two inch machine in good shape is the current standard.

Sometimes you just have to roll the dice and choose. Both would seem to be good choices. Good luck.
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