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Neve 1073/1081 Reverb/Delay Processors (HW)
Old 11th September 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

Neve 1073/1081

Ok, I tried this before and no one bit... suggested listening to hear classic Neve and API pres in action ( not just that such and such album was recorded with a neve but specifically with a neve 1081, etc.)? It's wierd but in my internet searches I still haven't been able to match up a single classic album with these modules which were supposedly used on everything. Anyone?
Old 11th September 2006
  #2
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Fletcher's Avatar
Peter Wolf's last album "Sleepless"... all 1081's IIRC.
Old 11th September 2006
  #3
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Chilli Peppers - By the way. neve 1081
Old 11th September 2006
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Ok, I tried this before and no one bit... suggested listening to hear classic Neve and API pres in action ( not just that such and such album was recorded with a neve but specifically with a neve 1081, etc.)? It's wierd but in my internet searches I still haven't been able to match up a single classic album with these modules which were supposedly used on everything. Anyone?
Hi

You might try searching for studios with Neve 8036, 8038 and 8048 consoles, most of which were full of 1081's but, of course, the 1272 mixing, the room, the mic, etc., will have their effect on the sound.

Here's an example of clients at a 1081 equipped studio not a million miles from me...

http://www.oceanstudiosburbank.com/test/quotes.htm#

Old 11th September 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

You might try searching for studios with Neve 8036, 8038 and 8048 consoles, most of which were full of 1081's but, of course, the 1272 mixing, the room, the mic, etc., will have their effect on the sound.

Here's an example of clients at a 1081 equipped studio not a million miles from me...

http://www.oceanstudiosburbank.com/test/quotes.htm#

A lot of the early Seattle grunge stuff was tracked at London Bridge Studio (Neve 8048). Maybe check out some of those releases.
Old 12th September 2006
  #6
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All channels from all recordings Pat Metheny Group have done on Right Track, now Legacy Studios (this may be the last 5 albuns) were recorded on their rack full of 48 channels of 1081 pre/eq exclusivily.

http://www.legacyrecordingstudios.co...dioa_1081s.jpg

Mixed on Neve Capricorn with 960L and TC4000.

They sound absolutely amazing to my ears.

Last edited by Cosmonauta; 12th September 2006 at 12:27 AM.. Reason: mispeled... my english sucks, sorry
Old 12th September 2006
  #7
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Great, thanks everyone. Anything for 1073s and api 312s? Especially older rock n roll recordings, which is the sound I'm going for...
Old 12th September 2006
  #8
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Most of what you hear from Beyonce is either 1073 or 1081.
Old 12th September 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Great, thanks everyone. Anything for 1073s and api 312s? Especially older rock n roll recordings, which is the sound I'm going for...
Hi

This is an area I claim no expertise in but my gut feel is that you are searching for the Holy Grail. Even if you found a classic recording produced either with a 1073 or, more likely, a console full of 'em... I doubt that you'd really be able to exactly reproduce the other >90% of the sound... the room ambiance, the artist, the microphone, the console, the tape machine, the brand of tape, and, most importantly, the skills of the engineer that created the sound.

Just buying or using a 1073... or any other classic module... is not a guarantee of achieving a particular sound.

That's up to you...

Old 12th September 2006
  #10
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Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy View Post
Great, thanks everyone. Anything for 1073s and api 312s? Especially older rock n roll recordings, which is the sound I'm going for...
Ya know, these kinds of questions lead to the false hope that you can accomplish the same kind of work if you use the same kind of tools. It ain't the car, it's the driver. Engineer back in the 70's were far better trained than 90% of the people that call themselves engineers today.

For the most part they all worked their way through the system. They started as assistants learning from other engineers who started as assistants that trained under the guys that built the first "independent" studios or the guys that worked for the well established "record company" studios.

The guys that started in the first "independent" studios learned the craft from guys who built most of their own equipment [if I'm not mistaken, Bruce Swedien is doing a guest shot on this board... ask him about his start at Universal Recording in Chicago under Bill Putnam]... or they were guys like Ed Cherney who was an assistant to Bruce before he started recording Bonnie Rait and Rolling Stones records.

These guys know about things like "microphone selection and placement" [and trust me, they don't know jack **** about Rode or MXL mics], they understand gain staging, they understand how to get the most out of the equipment by a combination of equipment selection and knowing what results they want to hear [as opposed to being surprised at what they're hearing or questioning whether what they're hearing is appropriate for the recording or not].

It takes time to learn to listen, it takes at least a modicum of knowledge as to how the equipment works before they employ the equipment in "combat". Yeah, they can work the "big" consoles but it ain't the machines that make the music. These "big time" records were big time records because the musicianship was excellent [which makes it a hell of a lot easier to record/get excellent results]. You can easily make a Rolling Stones record through a Mackie 32x 8 desk and it will sound just like a Rolling Stones record. A guy like Ed Cherney will be able to do it better and faster than you or me [which is why he gets the big money], and a guy like me with 30 years under my belt can make a record that sounds just like it was made in 1976 without a NEVE® console or API mic-pre's or any of that kind of ****.

It's great that the classic records you're trying to emulate used the hippest technology available at the time but it wasn't because they were trying to be "hip", it was because that was what was available at the time.

The "democratization of audio" gave us affordable tools that enabled guys with little more than 18 weeks at a trade school the ability to open their very own "digital studio" even though they really don't have quite the experience to be as much as a "runner" at The Record Plant or Right Track or any of the myriad of still standing "major" facilities.

It's great that you have the long green necessary to potentially purchase 1073's or API's or 1081's... the bigger question than "what records were made with these tools?" is "do you have the skills to fix them when [not "if", WHEN] they break?" Do you understand how to bias the output amplifier on a 1073? Do you understand WHY you need to check the bias on the output amplifier of a 1073? Do you know what "bias" is/does?

Steve Albini has a quote from his essay "The Problem with Music" where he said something to the effect of "tape machines should be big and clunky and difficult to use if for no other reason than to keep the riff-raff out". I honestly say I can not disagree with that statement in the slightest.

One of the main reasons I stopped doing sales stuff at Mercenary was because it was getting to the point where I felt like I was selling nuclear weapons to 3rd world nations. While I find personal satisfaction in helping people to learn the craft and try my level best to share whatever techniques I may have picked up over the years [and have found some damn interesting techniques to try in my own work from boards like this] it always comes down to the skill of the operator over the quality of the tools.

Before you blow a great big wad of cash on 'trendy' tools may I humbly suggest you take the time to read and learn about the nature of amplifiers [all this **** we do is all based around the basic building block of amplifiers]. Learn the difference in amplifiers, learn a bit about transformer theory, learn HOW a tube works and how you can play with a tube based circuit to change the character of that circuit [in other words, learn about "bias"]... when we talk about audio we're basically talking about the transduction of variations in air pressure to the movement of electrons... learn about the many facets of that transduction process... learn how we add and subtract electrons from the equation as we "record sounds"... learn about things like phase shift, frequency response and how it affects phase shift, how transformers affect phase shift, how to manipulate phase shift in order to accomplish the goals of a recording engineer.

It's marvelous that you can pick up a computer and some software and cut and paste and loop and edit but the fundementals of how those variations in air pressure are turned into a storable binary code are the real crux of the biscuit when it comes to the process. A "Jedi Pro-Tools operator" is no more of a recording engineer than a data entry clerk at IBM. Yeah, they can do all kinds of groovy funky **** to the audio once you get it stored... but getting it stored is only about an eighth of the battle... getting the sound to fit with the music is the other is about 5/8ths of the battle with the final quarter of the battle being able to combine those sounds into a cohesive musical presentation that embodies the artist's intention for the music... because at the end of the day ain't no motherfvcker ever walked down the street humming the mic pre.

Sometimes we as recording engineers can get a sound into a set of headphones for a performer that inspires them to perform a little bit better than they're actually capable of performing. Sometimes we as recording engineers can get the sounds to storage in a manner that really captues the essence of the performer's intention... sometimes we can find that our desire to "create audio" totally conflicts with the artist's intention... it is those cases where the product might "sound great" and totally miss the point and actually get in the way of the intention of the presentation. Imagine if "Exile on Main St." had the audio aesthetic of "Royal Scam" or if "Royal Scam" had the audio aesthetic of "Exile". I humbly submit that both recordings would have entirely missed the point of the artist's intention and both albums would have totally sucked ass... and worse, neither would have sold nor improved the reputation of the artist for whom the albums were produced.

Sorry to ramble and lecture... but every now and again it really needs to be pointed out that it ain't the fvcking car, its the fvcking driver that wins the race.

Peace.
Old 12th September 2006
  #11
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

Just buying or using a 1073... or any other classic module... is not a guarantee of achieving a particular sound.

That's up to you...

From my humble experience I can say that this sounds absolutely true
Old 12th September 2006
  #12
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

totally agreed
Old 12th September 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
Yeah, I think one of us needs to post a garbage sounding track that was tracked through 1081s or 1073s to really drive this point home. I think it would be a helluvan eye-opener.

It really *is* the engineer. Great engineer can make magic with the right tools though. Bad engineer can make a 1081 sound like a Panasonic/Ramsa DA7.
Old 12th September 2006
  #14
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confooshus's Avatar
 

No one mentioned it, so I had to give you props... That actually made me laugh out loud...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone View Post
Most of what you hear from Beyonce is either 1073 or 1081.
Old 13th September 2006
  #15
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Steve G's Avatar
Thanks Fletcher. I think your post should be required reading for anyone who attempts to record anything.

Steve
Old 13th September 2006
  #16
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Cosmonauta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by confooshus View Post
No one mentioned it, so I had to give you props... That actually made me laugh out loud...
Pardon me to ask why?
Old 13th September 2006
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Yeah Fletcher,

It's a really scary world we live in

A world of Mbox terrorists

They think they are producers and engineers

You and I know they are Satan's children

I think it may be time to implement plan B


Digiextermination
Old 13th September 2006
  #18
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by confooshus View Post
No one mentioned it, so I had to give you props... That actually made me laugh out loud...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmonauta View Post
Pardon me to ask why?
I don't understand the humor, either?
Old 13th September 2006
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Sorry to ramble and lecture... but every now and again it really needs to be pointed out that it ain't the fvcking car, its the fvcking driver that wins the race.

Peace.

Welllllll..... I agree with the main points made by Fletcher, especially the points about knowing your gear, what it takes to make a good recording engineer and that most folks who say they are a "Producer" or an "Engineer" today really don't have a f*cking clue.....

BUT

While the "fvcking" driver has allot to say about the outcome of the race Mario Andretti WOULD NOT have won the the Formula One World Championship in a Pinto sorry would not have happened.

The tools DO matter and not all tools are created equal.
Old 13th September 2006
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
...
Before you blow a great big wad of cash on 'trendy' tools may I humbly suggest you take the time to read and learn about the nature of amplifiers [all this **** we do is all based around the basic building block of amplifiers]. ...
I hear ya that it's the driver not the car - and I agree. Maybe Ziggy can start learning about amplifiers by just buying one, fiddling with the knobs and experimenting. Reference material recorded with the same piece of kit can't hurt.

Should Ziggy really hold off on a preamp purchase until he's read a bunch of books on amplifiers? Do you really need to understand bias to work a preamp and get a good sound? Aren't there people who have no idea what's going on inside the box but know how to work the box quiet well?

Sometimes experimentation is a good way to start learning. It's certainly more interesting than diving into amplifier schematics for a piece of equipment you've never used.

-Tommy
Old 13th September 2006
  #21
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vernier's Avatar
70's albums recorded and mixed at Davlen studios are Neve, and sound Nevish ..Toto comes to mind, and that gal with the radio hit "Right Time Of The Night".
Old 13th September 2006
  #22
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
I hear ya that it's the driver not the car - and I agree. Maybe Ziggy can start learning about amplifiers by just buying one, fiddling with the knobs and experimenting. Reference material recorded with the same piece of kit can't hurt.

Should Ziggy really hold off on a preamp purchase until he's read a bunch of books on amplifiers? Do you really need to understand bias to work a preamp and get a good sound? Aren't there people who have no idea what's going on inside the box but know how to work the box quiet well?

Sometimes experimentation is a good way to start learning. It's certainly more interesting than diving into amplifier schematics for a piece of equipment you've never used.

-Tommy
I don't think any engineer really NEEDS to know what's going on INSIDE any of these boxes... All they need to know is how to twist the knobs to get the best sound. Knowing why a 1073's output amplifier needs to be re-biased when you change to another transformer, etc. isn't applicable unless you want to also know the inner workings. I don't think a lot of the guys winning grammys really care about any of that... we might, but that's why we are talking on the internet about this stuff, and not winning grammy's right now. heh
Old 13th September 2006
  #23
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Steve G's Avatar
Don't be fooled, the guys that win grammys know a hell of a lot more than most of them let on. Just because they don't take the time to discuss tech stuff, and don't really care to work on broken gear, dosn't mean they don't know. They have people that do that stuff for them. A lot of the "big time" engineers cut there teeth in the tech shops of big studios before they became engineers. Those guys know how their tools work.

Steve
Old 13th September 2006
  #24
Dor
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Dor's Avatar
 

Just because I own a Mercedes Benz doesnt' mean I have to know how to fix it if it breaks down. I leave the repair work to the techs. Same deal with owning nice gear. Sure it would be cool to be able to do everything but there comes a time when you need to let others earn their bread.

D
Old 13th September 2006
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I don't think any engineer really NEEDS to know what's going on INSIDE any of these boxes... All they need to know is how to twist the knobs to get the best sound. Knowing why a 1073's output amplifier needs to be biased when you change to another transformer, etc. isn't applicable unless you want to also know the inner workings. I don't think a lot of the guys winning grammys really care about any of that... we might, but that's why we are talking on the internet about this stuff, and not winning grammy's right now. heh
And for this reason the title Recording "engineer" is a misnomer.

I think the title should be changed to Recording "machine operator" or for the hobbyists Recording "machine enthusiast".
Old 13th September 2006
  #26
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
While the "fvcking" driver has allot to say about the outcome of the race Mario Andretti WOULD NOT have won the the Formula One World Championship in a Pinto sorry would not have happened.
I love these car analogies...

I reckon he could win in the Pinto if the other people racing didn't know how to drive.

I think that's the point.

Just having the car doesn't mean you'll win.

R.
Old 13th September 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
I don't think any engineer really NEEDS to know what's going on INSIDE any of these boxes... All they need to know is how to twist the knobs to get the best sound. Knowing why a 1073's output amplifier needs to be re-biased when you change to another transformer, etc. isn't applicable unless you want to also know the inner workings. I don't think a lot of the guys winning grammys really care about any of that... we might, but that's why we are talking on the internet about this stuff, and not winning grammy's right now. heh
Hi

Well, Devil's Advocate, I met Bruce Swedien many years ago when he was working on an MJ session. Bruce has a lunch box with two prestine Neve 1084's that he presumably takes around with him and knows their sound pretty intimately.

I had been called in because the studio had a rack of Neve 1073's that Bruce had told the studio didn't sound right. I took the rack away for inspection and found that he was spot on... they were fake 1073's, cobbled together by a so-called "Neve expert" and even fitted with fake 1073 plastic type number labels on the rear panel when aluminium labels were in use back when the real modules were new.

The modules were actually effects units like the 2068 that had been modified with a new gain switch and front panel to look like a 1073. The modules had the wrong cards in them but with capacitors hanging on the back of them to make the response somewhere in the region (but not close enough) of the EQ settings of a 1073.

I rebuilt the modules to drag them closer to original Neve specs but the point was that Mr Swedien was able to pick out that there was a problem inside them when the studio and other users had been blissfully unaware that they weren't the "Neve sound".

Old 13th September 2006
  #28
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McPhaul's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_T View Post
Hi

This is an area I claim no expertise in but my gut feel is that you are searching for the Holy Grail. Even if you found a classic recording produced either with a 1073 or, more likely, a console full of 'em... I doubt that you'd really be able to exactly reproduce the other >90% of the sound... the room ambiance, the artist, the microphone, the console, the tape machine, the brand of tape, and, most importantly, the skills of the engineer that created the sound.

Just buying or using a 1073... or any other classic module... is not a guarantee of achieving a particular sound.

That's up to you...


Thank you for saying this in the way that you did. Fletcher said what amounts to the same thing just after you did but yours is much easier to read. I don't know what ziggy hopes to gain from finding what records were recorded with what pres and I don't really care. I know that I have had the same question from time to time from an educational basis. I like to know what the piece of gear is capable of. I drive a nice car and though I'm nowhere near the driver that Hans Stuck or Boris Said or Bill Oberlan are, I enjoy an article here and there about their exploits on the track. I know that I have gear in my rack that I Can Not use to it's fullist, but I also know that I can learn and grow into it's capibilities. I learned rather quickly that buying prosumer gear does not help you learn how to work. Instead it teaches you to compinsate for bad gear.

Sometimes people ask questions on this forum because we lack just the learning tools that Fletcher promotes. If I had a Bruce Swedien or a Bill Putnam or even a Fletcher or a Geoff Tanner to work under and learn from I would do just that, Work and Learn. I spent a good portion of tonight working and learning on my own. Twisting knobs and listening to what I got and trying to improve my knowledge of the tools I have. When I think that I might want a new tool, I sometimes ask questions here. I do that because I would like to become something more than the dreaded a$$hole with the DAW that puts out $hitty sounding stuff. Yes I read as much information as I can, yes I twist knobs and learn from my own experiance and yes sometimes I might ask a question here or there that someone might thing is below them. We have all read Fletchers rants and I have found many of them entertaining and most of them truthful (including this one), but this one just seems to have hit a nerve tonight. Maybe because I am trying to learn. Maybe because I come here to pick the brain of people more experianced than myself, that when I see just one of those people ranting about the lack of knowledge instead of sharing theirs it gets to me.

Sorry to hijack the thread on a rant of my own.

As always YMMV and UTFS

Will
Old 13th September 2006
  #29
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new View Post
While the "fvcking" driver has allot to say about the outcome of the race Mario Andretti WOULD NOT have won the the Formula One World Championship in a Pinto sorry would not have happened.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy-boy View Post
I hear ya that it's the driver not the car - and I agree. Maybe Ziggy can start learning about amplifiers by just buying one, fiddling with the knobs and experimenting. Reference material recorded with the same piece of kit can't hurt.

Should Ziggy really hold off on a preamp purchase until he's read a bunch of books on amplifiers? Do you really need to understand bias to work a preamp and get a good sound? Aren't there people who have no idea what's going on inside the box but know how to work the box quiet well?
I wasn't talking about Mario driving a pinto... but put me and Mario in identically prepared cars and even I'll lay money that I don't come within 10seconds of his time on the LAST lap after I've had some time "twiddling the knobs" and getting the feel of how a beast like that is best run... the fact of the matter is the guys who "win" the races or show up in the "top 10" week after week after week are seriously skilled and talented drivers. I wasn't going to the point of ridiculous putting a Pinto into a Formula One race... but ya know what? I'll bet a guy like Mario could give a pretty serious run against those monster machines in a stock, off the lot Porsche or Ferrari... that wouldn't be too much of a stretch, and those cars cost about 1/3rd of what a Formula One car would cost.

Ziggy shouldn't hold off on a preamp purchase until he's read a bunch of books on amplifiers... but Ziggy should hold off on purchasing maintenance intensive "vintage" gear unless he has a tech on call or knows how to wrench is own ride. I'm not saying I'm any kind of genius, but when I was a kid I had a hot-rod I built myself that I used to run in unsanctioned drag races on the service road to the local expressway in NY. Any time I would lose a run I would make sure to bet the guy that just beat me double what I had just bet him... then we'd all end up heading back to the White Castle, I'd do a little maintenance... change the plugs, change the plugs to a different type of plug, open the gap a little more than suggested or close the gap a little more than suggested... check the timing with the new plugs and maybe run it a degree or two off spec for top dead center [blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada] then go win my fvckin' money back.

These days I can't even find the oil filter on my car but that was the days before pollution controls when you had an engine sitting in a big hole under the hood, connected to a transmission which was connected to a drive shaft which was connected to the differential which was connected to the shaft that turned the rear tires and made the car go fast. There were no computers in the things, there was no logic. A punter who knew what he was doing could get inside one of these machines and make it run... unlike today where you buy a car off the lot and drive the fvcking thing.

A NEVE® 10xx module is a thing of beauty... but if you don't know how to check the plugs between races you're going to have one of those pretty hotrods that were all over the place in the late 70's that would be a good 7 seconds behind a car like mine in a ¼ mile race. Top fuel dragsters usually run the ¼ in the "mid 4 second" range, my car would run the ¼ in the mid 10 second range (when I took it to the track the classification was "class C gas")... the "TransAms" of the day with the big hood scoops with mock air dams and rear spoilers could do somewhere around 16-17 seconds if you dropped the exhaust, ran open headers and corrected the timing for the lack of backpressure... which most of the mooks that ran them at the track had no idea how to do.

My point being that to get the most out of 1073's, 1081's, API's, Helios, Calrec, the Canadian NEVE® (I forget the name), Sphere, blah, blah, vintage, class A discreet, old school "Brian Wilson slept here" modules you best know how to get the most out of them or you're going to look like the guys we used to laugh at with the bitchin' TransAm's and Camaro's that were slower than fvck but looked awful cute and probably got them laid because they had such a "fast looking" car.

BTW, the "amplifier blocks" I was talking about are internal building blocks inside the modules... not something where you can "fiddle with the knobs" without having the unit open on it's side [which is something I've done in a session but highly doubt any rational person would do such a thing].

To set the record straight, I am NOT a tech by any stretch of the imagination but I have learned a couple/tree stupid tech tricks I can employ during the course of a session to get a sound or a texture that compliments the music... I once read an article where some engineer who had been working on a Little Feat record realigned the track(s) onto which Lowell was going to play slide. The alignment was to 9db>250nWb/m on like Ampex 456 [in other words "0" was the absolute MOL of the formulation] and he mentioned that he used to slam it onto the deck which was part of getting Lowell's slide sound. He also mentioned that he could only align one track at a time that way or he ran the danger of frying the record head [which apparently he learned the hard way].

My point being that he knew the machine, he knew the tape formulation would take it and from this knowledge he found a way to abuse the hardware in a very musically pleasing manner.

To quote the statue in front of Faber College... "knowledge is good"

My apologies to the readers for not being as succinct and clear as Mr. Tanner with these thoughts... then again he is a professional / published writer and I'm just a recording engineer with too much time on my hands who prefers to rant on the internet instead of taking Prozac... it's just the way **** be.

Peace.
Old 13th September 2006
  #30
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
BTW... we take interns at both M-A and THE METHods and applications LABoratory on a regular basis... both for "school credit" as well as minimum wage pay. Just like the old days they start out as a runner [but are invited into the control nearly from the beginning], then learn how to make cables, label patchbays, document sessions [patches employed, mics employed on what instruments, blah, blah, blah] and eventually get to run their own sessions.

It's run more like "audio bootcamp" than any kind of "trade school" kind of thing... like the first thing the kid's are taught is how to listen and execute EXACTLY what the engineer requested... then they're taught how to do gain staging, how to think outside the box, how to develop listening skills, etc.

Most drop out within a couple of months... some of the ones that have stuck it out through the whole process have gone on to have great careers [one of them has way more gold/platinum albums on the wall than I ever will]... so if anybody wants a shot at learning in our joint don't be bashful and send over a resume... if you need to move to be in proximity to the studio that's your business but the fact of the matter is that the offer is open to qualified applicants [90% of what makes a "qualified applicant" is not having your head up your ass at the interview].

Just thought I'd add that to retort the comment about how I wasn't "teaching" with my prior rants.

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