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PT Ruined The New Queens Of The Stone Age Control Surfaces
Old 30th September 2002
  #121
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and for a big part of me too.
Old 30th September 2002
  #122
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mixer
....and have found one thing true...less is more and the secret to a great mix is a great arrangment played by great players.........but maybe thats just me.......
That would be more relevant to the topic of producing than mixing.

I don't find that oft-said phrase to be of much real-life practical use when mixing someone else's songs and arrangements. Beyond maybe transferring to 2" or muting the occasional part, I deal with what there is.
Old 30th September 2002
  #123
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by drundall
I recently did a project where the client wanted to do analog but after pre production I knew I was going into edit hell, so I convinced them to track straight to HD. It was my ass if it didn't sound warm, big and powerful, with a lot of depth. They loved it.
Btuned metal.
Didn't really like heavy gtrs in PT before but I'm very happy with how they came out in HD.
Happy to hear it sounded good in PT.

I mixed a single a week ago for a band that wanted it to sound like Korn's "Life is Peachy"...an album that very audibly had been done on analog tape. The single was tracked to PT and sounded punchy and okay, but wasn't quite right. I transfered it to 2", and there it was...the missing organic cohesion, depth, whatever, it was there. From that point on, the mix only took an hour and compared favorably to the ref CD in question. Without tape, it would have been an uphill battle.

Since last Tuesday, a major-label pop/rock album is being tracked here for 50 days by an engineer from the UK. The basics are being tracked to 2" on the Studer A820, then xfered to PT. The overdubs (vox, gits, keys) will then be tracked to 2" with the PT basics synced to it.

When folks say tape is dead, they must be living in quite a different context...because from what I see here, it's absolutely not true. (It's the 3348 that is collecting dust....)
Old 30th September 2002
  #124
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by lflier
The argument that a great engineer can get a great mix no matter what the medium, is a red herring. So is the argument that there are lots of ****ty analog recordings and mixes out there. We all know that both of those things are true, but that's not the point. The point is that given the best engineer and the best recordings, the best possible sound will not be achieved by mixing within PT. If you have access to a high end studio, and you listen to well recorded tracks within PT, and then take those same tracks and bring them up on an analog console of any repute, you WILL hear a difference, a very noticable one. I can't imagine anyone NOT hearing it. I think Recorderman summed it up best when he said "... I don't think it's a matter of technique...it's like asking someone to try and beat a formula-one with a nascar." (and I agree with Recorderman too that the problems in PT get way worse the more plugs you add).
Well-put and all very true IMO. Thanks for expressing that!

Jon
Old 30th September 2002
  #125
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by lflier
P.S. Jon, I still think SSL's suck compared to Amek, API and Neve. heh But, you rock anyway!
Thanks, Lee!

Just a reminder...there are quite a few different SSL, Amek, API and Neve consoles. I mention that because folks tend to refer to all the models from the same manufacturer as if they were the same....whereas a Neve V1, V3, VR, 88R, Capricorn or 80XX...an SSL E, G/G+, J/K, Axiom MT/MTP, or Aysis...an Amek Einstein, Big, Mozart or 9098...are quite different animals.
Old 30th September 2002
  #126
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Quote:
Originally posted by jon


That would be more relevant to the topic of producing than mixing.

I don't find that oft-said phrase to be of much real-life practical use when mixing someone else's songs and arrangements. Beyond maybe transferring to 2" or muting the occasional part, I deal with what there is.
how so? seems to me that great arrangements with great players mix themselves... i know when i get that nice combination it makes it extremely easy to mix.
Old 30th September 2002
  #127
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sailing down a river in egypt

gearsluts just love saying how gear is not all that important
why do we spend all our money onnit then ?


ps db8 sound like ssl mix?grggt
i hate those silly little thingsmadd


peace

pps its all important ! (leave nothing not done well filosophee)

Old 30th September 2002
  #128
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
how so? seems to me that great arrangements with great players mix themselves... i know when i get that nice combination it makes it extremely easy to mix.
Yes, but there's not much you can do about it unless you are the producer or artist, too. Hiring/choosing players and arrangers is the producer's or artist's domain.
Old 30th September 2002
  #129
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Re: sailing down a river in egypt

Quote:
Originally posted by vsl666

ps db8 sound like ssl mix?
i hate those silly little things

Well, it works for me, and it didn't cost half a mil.
Old 30th September 2002
  #130
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a contented man is a good thing

Old 30th September 2002
  #131
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Quote:
Originally posted by jon


Yes, but there's not much you can do about it unless you are the producer or artist, too. Hiring/choosing players and arrangers is the producer's or artist's domain.
then there isnt much you can do about it anyway... unless you just cut the crap out of it and hope they like it.

otherwise, **** in, **** out... what console it runs through doesnt matter one bit.
Old 30th September 2002
  #132
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you are absotutely right....even if you are only mixing you have to realize the limitations of the material you are working with...and know when to stop putting on band aids and processing to the point of diminishing return.
Old 30th September 2002
  #133
Riffer
 
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Oh, come on guys. If gear really didn't matter then none of us would be in these forums and AJ you wouldn't have bothered to buy your API preamps or your ADAM monitors or your good mics or anything else.

Look, it's pretty simple: Great musicians playing great arrangements of great songs with a great engineer recording them, are going to make a great record no matter how they do it, but the record is still going to sound better done with the best gear than with ****ty gear, especially the console.

However, great consoles are expensive, and there are not nearly enough great musicians and great songs to maintain a great studio, if said studio only accepts the best clients.

So, a great studio ends up supporting itself by doing a lot of turd polishing. And yeah, **** in = **** out no matter what, but at least it's a shiny piece of ****, and much more importantly, all that turd polishing allows the studio to stay in business another day, in case that great artist comes along who actually deserves to record in that room.

Maybe one day it will be different, and we won't need a million dollars' worth of gear to get the best possible sound. There are already some relatively inexpensive pieces of gear that don't sound noticably worse than their high dollar counterparts under most circumstances. I expect that trend to continue. In ten years there might be a DAW that sounds as good as a Neve console for real. Then guys like Jon may not have to spend their time polishing turds if they don't want to - their overhead will be much less so they don't have to take on some ****ty project just to pay the bills.

That might happen and it might not. But in the meantime I'm NOT going to pretend that it has already happened, just because I personally can't afford a frickin' Amek 9098i. It's a trade off, like everything. If I wanted to work my ass off in a room with a 9098 I would. However I prefer to only do projects I enjoy, with people who are competent. That means I record at home with inexpensive gear. And I'm very grateful that there's gear out there nowadays which can even approach the sound you can get in a great studio. I enjoy my basement studio a TON for what it is. A LOT of love and creativity has happened in that room that probably couldn't happen under the pressure of a major label budget. But I'm not going to pretend that it's the sonic equivalent of a well tuned room with a large frame console and a 2" machine and the best outboard gear. It ain't, and it's not because I'm a lousy engineer either. I'm sure Glyn Johns could make better recordings in my basement than I can, but they STILL won't be as good as what Glyn Johns could do at Abbey Road. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?

At the end of the day some rooms and some gear still sound better than others. I don't have a problem with that - I'll do my best with whatever I have. What I have a problem with is the lowering of the bar by people who believe the hype that one thing sounds as good as another when it doesn't.
Old 30th September 2002
  #134
Riffer
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jon

Just a reminder...there are quite a few different SSL, Amek, API and Neve consoles. I mention that because folks tend to refer to all the models from the same manufacturer as if they were the same....whereas a Neve V1, V3, VR, 88R, Capricorn or 80XX...an SSL E, G/G+, J/K, Axiom MT/MTP, or Aysis...an Amek Einstein, Big, Mozart or 9098...are quite different animals.
Well sure... I'll admit I was generalizing, but it wouldn't have been as funny if I'd been more specific.

In any case, the desk doesn't even have to be THAT great to beat out the sound of PT's internal mixer. I worked in a studio that had an old Trident Series 80 for example, and mixing out through that still beat the pants off mixing in PT.
Old 30th September 2002
  #135
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i don't think anyone is saying that engineering doesn't matter...after all this is what we have chosen to do...and love. just because a great guitar doesn't make a great guitar player it doesn't mean that all guitarists wouldn't benifit from a 58 les paul.but its not going to play the notes for him....in my mind its a recording mixing engineers job to make what he is given sound as good as he can and great equipment can help him do that..and the trick is to know the limitations of the music.after all we are all slaves to the song . arn't we?
Old 30th September 2002
  #136
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trident ? you are very lucky////,
Old 30th September 2002
  #137
Riffer
 
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Yes indeed, Tridents sound wonderful. But my point was this was by no means a half million dollar desk, or even the top of the line for Trident, and it still beat PT.

And yes of course, we're all slaves to the song. And I certainly admire professionalism in the sense that a good engineer will do their best with whatever they're given, and the best engineers will still get good results. That's still no reason to pretend that any piece of gear is as good as any other piece of gear.

It'd be nice if I could find a $200 guitar that was even close to as good as my '52 Les Paul, too. But there ain't any such thing. Sure I still sound like "me" playing a $200 DanElectro, which is a VERY good guitar for the money. And if that's all I had I would still make some good music with it... but it would be silly to say they were equal.
Old 30th September 2002
  #138
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absolutely right....
Old 30th September 2002
  #139
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
To me, the single most important thing in recording is that particular moment when the music goes down on tape/disk/whatever. The gear to record THAT moment better be in place at the time. And if, at that point, anything is wrong with the recording, sonically or emotionally, nothing will really bring it back later. It might be fixed to the point where it is acceptable, but only the people who were there when it was recorded know how "good" it could have been if it would have been done right.

Gear IS important, but unless we are recording an orchestra, where we have very firm ideas of how it should sound, who can really tell if the "bad" recording wasn't intended?
Old 30th September 2002
  #140
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Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
Gear IS important,
here here, absolutely.

Quote:
Originally posted by mwagener
who can really tell if the "bad" recording wasn't intended?
SOOOO true....and how many "trends" can we look back at , tens of years later, and say "what were we thinking?" (and not just fashion either...rollz )
Old 30th September 2002
  #141
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i dont agree lee... of course i have played extremely nice guitars, i prefer to play MY guitars [even if they arent $5k prs']... im happy on them, im confortable on them, and i make them sound good.

i PREFER to use what i use especially for mixing. all the high end analog boards i have used dont give me what i want and allow me to creatively do what i want to do on them like my DAW does. i feel so much more inspired with my DAW mixing than on a large frame console.... which is a total bitch to set up a lot of what i like to do.

so in a sense, i would rather give a great performance of the mix than a [possibly] sonically "better" [subjective] one on a large frame [which i find incredibly boring to work on... and i would need a LOT of faders to acheive the same ideas, and a lot more time to do it]

its been a while since i have used PT so i cant comment on their mix algorithym but i really like DP's.

and there are "crud-ins" that kick the total **** out of hardware.... altiverb being one of them. its just depressing to use anything else [including the 960/480/sys6k]... i guess a nice chanber would be okay but you are quite limited to that one sound and the same goes with plates [and wendy carlos' plate on altiverb is quite nice]
Old 30th September 2002
  #142
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Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk

so in a sense, i would rather give a great performance of the mix than a [possibly] sonically "better" [subjective] one on a large frame [which i find incredibly boring to work on... and i would need a LOT of faders to acheive the same ideas, and a lot more time to do it]
What do you mean...from your decriptions of the kind of music you usually work on it sounds like you could do it all on a normall size analog board and one 2" machine.


Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk

... i guess a nice chanber would be okay but you are quite limited to that one sound and the same goes with plates [and wendy carlos' plate on altiverb is quite nice]
What limit....a great chamber or a great plate are just that. You don't need to change a bunch of parameters to get there...that's the beauty of such things.


as far as speed...that's just a matter of proficiency. If you're used to a DAW and are rusty at working a traditional big room & assistant, then the comfort zone would be in ones lair. That has no bearing on the fact that if one keeps their "big room running" chops up, there are things that are better achieved in them. I like "big rooms" (I'm talking only about ones that have sonically superior tracking spaces and mix rooms...otherwise I'm with AJ and would stay on/in my rig at my place) for cutting keeper, live instrument album quality tracks, & mixing...if there's the budget...otherwise I just roll up my sleaves and do it the ol'new way (on the cheap...in a box)
Old 30th September 2002
  #143
Riffer
 
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Yeah, what Recorderman said. And AJ I don't know what you mean about a plate or chamber being limited to one sound, most of them are quite adjustable (moving the speakers and mics, facing them toward different walls, using different wall treatments) and you can also adjust the response shaping EQ. I like plugin reverbs for certain sounds but none of them sounds as open and big as a real chamber or plate, not even the really high dollar hardware reverbs.

I agree though that DP's internal mixing sounds better than PT's.
Old 30th September 2002
  #144
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by lflier
Oh, come on guys. If gear really didn't matter then none of us would be in these forums and AJ you wouldn't have bothered to buy your API preamps or your ADAM monitors or your good mics or anything else.

Look, it's pretty simple: Great musicians playing great arrangements of great songs with a great engineer recording them, are going to make a great record no matter how they do it, but the record is still going to sound better done with the best gear than with ****ty gear, especially the console.

However, great consoles are expensive, and there are not nearly enough great musicians and great songs to maintain a great studio, if said studio only accepts the best clients.

So, a great studio ends up supporting itself by doing a lot of turd polishing. And yeah, **** in = **** out no matter what, but at least it's a shiny piece of ****, and much more importantly, all that turd polishing allows the studio to stay in business another day, in case that great artist comes along who actually deserves to record in that room.

Maybe one day it will be different, and we won't need a million dollars' worth of gear to get the best possible sound. There are already some relatively inexpensive pieces of gear that don't sound noticably worse than their high dollar counterparts under most circumstances. I expect that trend to continue. In ten years there might be a DAW that sounds as good as a Neve console for real. Then guys like Jon may not have to spend their time polishing turds if they don't want to - their overhead will be much less so they don't have to take on some ****ty project just to pay the bills.

That might happen and it might not. But in the meantime I'm NOT going to pretend that it has already happened, just because I personally can't afford a frickin' Amek 9098i. It's a trade off, like everything. If I wanted to work my ass off in a room with a 9098 I would. However I prefer to only do projects I enjoy, with people who are competent. That means I record at home with inexpensive gear. And I'm very grateful that there's gear out there nowadays which can even approach the sound you can get in a great studio. I enjoy my basement studio a TON for what it is. A LOT of love and creativity has happened in that room that probably couldn't happen under the pressure of a major label budget. But I'm not going to pretend that it's the sonic equivalent of a well tuned room with a large frame console and a 2" machine and the best outboard gear. It ain't, and it's not because I'm a lousy engineer either. I'm sure Glyn Johns could make better recordings in my basement than I can, but they STILL won't be as good as what Glyn Johns could do at Abbey Road. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?

At the end of the day some rooms and some gear still sound better than others. I don't have a problem with that - I'll do my best with whatever I have. What I have a problem with is the lowering of the bar by people who believe the hype that one thing sounds as good as another when it doesn't.
Lee, your missive gets my vote for post of the year!

One thing I'd mention...if I mix a *turd* track or album instead of delegating it to one of the guys here...it's usually because I like it artistically or I like the artist...the *turd* aspect being the lousy home-made DAW-tracked sound of it with crummy pres, converters, mics, acoustics, no real engineer, etc (sigh...).

Actually, you can sometimes really bring up the level of a technically-challenged recording...and the J works much better (and faster) for me when doing that than PT or my old DDA. No surprise there, I guess. Though it can be surprising how well a turd can be polished, it's just a PITA to deal with and it's a shame not to have a better final result.

To reach the 'great' level....can't disagree with Michael...it's so much easier if it is there at the take, both artistically and technically. That is why I enjoy doing albums from start to finish...to avoid those weak links in the chain. The first time I work with someone nowadays, it's usually just for the mix, or maybe vocals and then the mix...the second time, it's often for tracking from the start all the way to mix, and it's so much better.

When producing and engineering a recording....preparing for, waiting for, and capturing those great moments really well is everything to me.
Old 30th September 2002
  #145
High End Moderator
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by jon
...unless I'm producing, in which case getting those moments down really well is everything.
That is another very important statement, which we have to factor into the big picture here: some of us are engineers, some producers and some do both. The decissions one can make and the influence one has on the outcome of a project, are different for each particular person/job. So it might be important to know which of the above jobs somebody refers to.
Old 30th September 2002
  #146
High End Moderator
 
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oops, sorry Jon, I quoted your post befoe it was changed heh

same statement applies, though
Old 30th September 2002
  #147
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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Old 30th September 2002
  #148
Here for the gear
 
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PT or no PT, it ain't there yet

i got in a little late but...

on the topic of QOTSA, i'm surprised that i haven't seen anyone mention the second album and how weird it sounds. personally, i thought the sound of "R" sabotaged the music more than the new album did. the new album, well, it certainly isn't revolutionary sounding, the guitars sound like all the other heavy guitars being recorded today and the whole album is overly slick in this annoying way, but the songs don't cry out for more in the same way that "R" does. that record is great in places, but it's not anywhere NEAR as thick, heavy or vibey as it needs to be.

the new album, enh, it's got a couple of good songs, that seems to be their ratio, a few good sogngs a record. but the guitars are pretty thick where they need to be. which is not to say it couldn't be better, but it's at least a *little* bit of a step up. it's got nowhere near the vibe it needs though. i've got to get some kyuss, maybe they got it right back then.

on the subject of jeff buckley, grace is somewhat of a travesty in my eyes. it's the only full studio album we got from him and the sound of it is pure 90's crap-ola. if the performances weren't so magical, it wouldn't make it at all. way too slick, not at all produced in the way that it should have been. look at who jeff chose to cover, nina simone, edith piaf, hank williams, big star, all classy, classic sounding artists. grace is one album that would have majorly benefitted from a classic sounding production and instead, it got the wallace "thrill of the minute" treatment.

PT or no PT, they both are dissapointing.

ch.

p.s. - wallace will always get bonus points from me for "reign in blood."
Old 30th September 2002
  #149
There is only one
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by lflier
AJ I don't know what you mean about a plate or chamber being limited to one sound, most of them are quite adjustable (moving the speakers and mics, facing them toward different walls, using different wall treatments) and you can also adjust the response shaping EQ.
its more limited than say having 100 rooms at your fingertips.... and altiverb sounds GREAT. its almost scary to think its a plugin thinking about how far they have come now.... and how far they are going to go in just a few more short years.

sure you can vary mic placment, damping, eq, etc... but its not what im commenting on. if i only had one chamber and one plate... using it through out an album would be boring... kinda like using the same guitar and amp combo throughout.
Old 1st October 2002
  #150
Riffer
 
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Well I don't need 100 rooms not to feel limited... between a plate and a chamber I can easily get the equivalent of 25 rooms or so. Add compression and/or delay and the picture can get even more skewed. Lots of great records have been made with just a plate and room acoustics and/or chamber, and are decidedly not boring.

Like I said, I like reverb plugins or hardware for certain sounds. But for the overall verb, it usually wouldn't be my first choice. But that's just me.
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