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Having 20 great mics --IS-- better than 1 great mic
Old 15th October 2014
  #31
Baz
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This is relative to (the few) big, pro facilities working with majors. For the many working at home for themselves and and small projects, it couldn't possibly be more irrelevant........
Old 15th October 2014
  #32
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As you (OP) said,
they weren't better or worse, just different
and many times more expensive doesn't mean better.
Having choices is needed when you are in a commercial studio
and you have clients and not just recording for yourself.

But if you chose your gear well, and that comes with experience,
trial and error, you can have a smaller and less expensive pool of mics
to cover pretty much any artist that comes around and have a recording
that is in no way a limitation in delvering a pro mix/result.

I also belive that limiting yourself, whether is track numbers,
plugin used, mixing time and gear is not only good for creativity
but it keeps you sharp, helps maintaining a fresh prespective
and overall is better for the mixing process.

Obviously, to have a large, expensive mic locker that you know well
is amazing and is better than having just 1 or 2 mics,
but personally I would never shootout 12 mics on the job,
that's just silly imho.
Do it on the off time, set a session to get to know your gear better,
that's the way.
like with anything else, you don't try every single compressor or
plugin on every single element every time you have to process something
when you're mixng or tracking (2, or 3 sure, but be quick and move on)
Old 15th October 2014
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz View Post
This is relative to (the few) big, pro facilities working with majors. For the many working at home for themselves and and small projects, it couldn't possibly be more irrelevant........
Yup. But this is the high end. And if people can't ask here what gets done in big commercial studios, there's really nowhere else they can ask so it's all good.
Old 15th October 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
More IS better.
in other news, it is better to be rich and healthy than poor and sick
Old 15th October 2014
  #35
Can't wait for VMC.
Old 15th October 2014
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Special Neids View Post
Having a **** ton of compressors and eqs is hard to justify these days, but I will go down fighting when it comes to defending a large microphone collection.
so do you just use one EQ & compressor for everything?

Just curious how that works.
Old 16th October 2014
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Not in my experience…

I often use the old revolutionary technique of recording all the overdubs with one mic and amp...
Ha! Sometimes I do this out of sheer laziness when I'm reamping material for mixes. I keep a dynamic and a Ribbon on stands at all times when I just don't have the mental capacity to try several different mics. Often I'll use the dynamic up close and the ribbon in the room to capture a sense of space. No one's ever known my dirty little secret until now.
Old 16th October 2014
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp11 View Post
I have completely the opposite experience, almost everything not only sounds "right", it sounds great, right away - it's only when I begin second guessing and trying different combos I begin to muddy the waters ...

To be fair, I record many of the same sources - acoustic and electric guitars and amps, acoustic pianos, rhodes, synths, lots of different percussion and some vocals (I'm a film and tv composer), so I've learned a bit along the way about what works with what and what doesn't - I also have to admit to doing a lot of what Sam C does, which is use the same mic and amp on many different overdubs - and somehow managing to make it sound just great - and "different" from dub to dub ...
We should start a club. The "Different from dub to dub" club.
Old 16th October 2014
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstory View Post
so do you just use one EQ & compressor for everything?

Just curious how that works.
It can work very well if you know what you're doing. The idea that we need to use every piece of gear ever made on every record is relatively new and silly.

Almost all the best sounding records I know were produced ona single console using the same pre and EQ. Big commercial studios have a lot of gear to satisfy the needs/taste of many different clients...not because every client need to use or try every piece of gear on a production.

Most young and inexperienced engineers today don't learn the craft in a pro environment from seasoned professionals so they don't know these things. Almost everybody is a studio owner and producer first and then learn the craft on Internet forums like GS mostly from other inexperienced people or gear sellers.
Old 16th October 2014
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Ha! Sometimes I do this out of sheer laziness when I'm reamping material for mixes. I keep a dynamic and a Ribbon on stands at all times when I just don't have the mental capacity to try several different mics. Often I'll use the dynamic up close and the ribbon in the room to capture a sense of space. No one's ever known my dirty little secret until now.
I do it because it sounds good and don't see the need to dick around trying every 'internet trick'. I also usually work with experienced musicians who are very good and just need a good chain (and mic placement) to capture what they play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
We should start a club. The "Different from dub to dub" club.
Shouldn't that be the same from dub to dub...
Old 16th October 2014
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yup. But this is the high end. And if people can't ask here what gets done in big commercial studios, there's really nowhere else they can ask so it's all good.
Is this what gets done in big commercial studios? Because I've worked in few in different parts of the world and none of the experienced guys try 12 mics or comps on anything.
Old 16th October 2014
  #42
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Sometimes too many choices can just bog things down.
Old 16th October 2014
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstory View Post
so do you just use one EQ & compressor for everything?

Just curious how that works.
That's how everyone did it years ago during the much-admired, some say "best decade" the 1970's - engineers recorded and mixed entirely on one board - the mic pres were built in as were the eq's ... no one ever sat around and swapped external eq's and mic pres, there was no such thing.
Old 16th October 2014
  #44
Baz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yup. But this is the high end. And if people can't ask here what gets done in big commercial studios, there's really nowhere else they can ask so it's all good.
Thing is,Trev, he wasn't really asking anything Not to bust his balls too much but it's really a 'no **** Sherlock' kinda post *shrug*
Old 16th October 2014
  #45
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I own 34 mics.


Ive got news for you.....



NOBODY CAN HEAR an expensive microphone.



they either hear GOOD sounds, or CRAHP.
Old 16th October 2014
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
It can work very well if you know what you're doing. The idea that we need to use every piece of gear ever made on every record is relatively new and silly.

Almost all the best sounding records I know were produced ona single console using the same pre and EQ. Big commercial studios have a lot of gear to satisfy the needs/taste of many different clients...not because every client need to use or try every piece of gear on a production.

Most young and inexperienced engineers today don't learn the craft in a pro environment from seasoned professionals so they don't know these things. Almost everybody is a studio owner and producer first and then learn the craft on Internet forums like GS mostly from other inexperienced people or gear sellers.
+1 and a lot of new generation recordists haven't experienced tracking truly great performances in great inspirational spaces,instead experience performance/spaces via midi ,quantization,altiverb,ocean way plug in etc
Old 16th October 2014
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Sometimes too many choices can just bog things down.
Old 16th October 2014
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skythemusic View Post
I disagree, ****-tons of compressors are my favorite tone shaping tools. I have around 30 of them and wish I had 1,130. They are all different and to me more is more. Nothing wrong with the minimalist attitude either, it is just not where I am personally at...I treat my outboard gear as the average user of plugins treats their "tools".
Haha, I'm with you there.

I own more than one EQ and compressor. About 10 channels of some pretty nice compression and EQ overall. So I'm no minimalist by any means.

I guess all I was saying is that you're generally not screwed if you only have a few outboard/rack options. But having a lot of mics can save you a lot of work later, down the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstory View Post
so do you just use one EQ & compressor for everything?

Just curious how that works.
Most of the time, I have a clear idea of the sound and its place in the arrangement when I track it. So the way I do it is that I record deliberately, with EQ and often compression committed to from the beginning. And I mix as I go. Bouncing constantly. I find that this is nearly always better from a performance and excitement perspective.

Plus, as you're doing it, a client will usually be up-front if they immediately hear something that isn't what they want. And I'll always ask for the OK if I'm doing something that might be perceived as drastic.

In the end, most clients send me mix notes that don't require me to re-bounce stems/tracks/groups. They usually have more to do with effects (which I tend to bounce last) and basic level changes.

Also, I am not shy about sending something back out into the analog realm if I have to. If it sounds better on the way back in, I don't care if I went through another DA-AD conversion.
Old 16th October 2014
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
It can work very well if you know what you're doing. The idea that we need to use every piece of gear ever made on every record is relatively new and silly.

Almost all the best sounding records I know were produced on a single console using the same pre and EQ. Big commercial studios have a lot of gear to satisfy the needs/taste of many different clients...not because every client need to use or try every piece of gear on a production.
I agree in many ways. I have a fair number of compressors here at our sort-of commercial studio (mainly me engineering here, occasionally external guys or freelance cover)...I feel guilty I only regularly use one of the 3 Blue Stripes! But I just don't need that much compression most of the time, even when tracking a band I have too much to choose from.

I've worked in studios with a great desk like a vintage Neve, and I tend to stick to the desk pres in that circumstance, unless there's something specific I want (eg I might record piano or strings on a delicate track with a clean low noise preamp). Otherwise it's almost a matter of pride to only use the desk!

At the same time, I've got a small collection of outboard preamps here that I know well - I use them at different times for different reasons, and I don't feel there's anything wrong with that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Most young and inexperienced engineers today don't learn the craft in a pro environment from seasoned professionals so they don't know these things. Almost everybody is a studio owner and producer first and then learn the craft on Internet forums like GS mostly from other inexperienced people or gear sellers.
Unfortunately true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Is this what gets done in big commercial studios? Because I've worked in few in different parts of the world and none of the experienced guys try 12 mics or comps on anything.
Most of the time - no. When I've spent time auditioning mics (and I've only done 12 mics on a vocal!) for any length of time, it's always been for an album project - I've done a couple of albums at ICP in Belgium, and we did spend an evening shooting out vocal mics. It was going to define the sound of the album so it's worth getting it right! But usually - it's choose the 3 likely options, try them all, and if that doesn't work try something else. It usually works
Old 16th October 2014
  #50
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Retinal View Post
As you (OP) said,
they weren't better or worse, just different
and many times more expensive doesn't mean better.
Having choices is needed when you are in a commercial studio
and you have clients and not just recording for yourself.

But if you chose your gear well, and that comes with experience,
trial and error, you can have a smaller and less expensive pool of mics
to cover pretty much any artist that comes around and have a recording
that is in no way a limitation in delvering a pro mix/result.

I also belive that limiting yourself, whether is track numbers,
plugin used, mixing time and gear is not only good for creativity
but it keeps you sharp, helps maintaining a fresh prespective
and overall is better for the mixing process.

Obviously, to have a large, expensive mic locker that you know well
is amazing and is better than having just 1 or 2 mics,
but personally I would never shootout 12 mics on the job,
that's just silly imho.
Do it on the off time, set a session to get to know your gear better,
that's the way.
like with anything else, you don't try every single compressor or
plugin on every single element every time you have to process something
when you're mixng or tracking (2, or 3 sure, but be quick and move on)
It was 3 setups of 4 mics each with the grills right next to each other. We made sure the singer's position didn't favor the axis of one mic over another, and the singer was very experienced, and didn't move around at all. It didn't take too long, but I do think it was worth it as the results led to the use of a mic nobody expected for the session, one that really fit the singer perfect.
Old 16th October 2014
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
It didn't take too long, but I do think it was worth it as the results led to the use of a mic nobody expected for the session, one that really fit the singer perfect.
Why stop at 12, how do you know there isn't a more 'perfect' sounding mic out there that you didn't try….
Old 16th October 2014
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
At the same time, I've got a small collection of outboard preamps here that I know well - I use them at different times for different reasons, and I don't feel there's anything wrong with that!
I too have lots of outboard processors (over 30 of each EQ, Comps and preamps) and I'm not against having lots of gear choices…it's the management of said choices that is of real importance. It's great to have 50 microphones but having some idea of what each mic can and will do is another story.
Old 16th October 2014
  #53
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SamC hit the bulls eye on this thread!!!
Old 16th October 2014
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable View Post
It was 3 setups of 4 mics each with the grills right next to each other. We made sure the singer's position didn't favor the axis of one mic over another, and the singer was very experienced, and didn't move around at all. It didn't take too long, but I do think it was worth it as the results led to the use of a mic nobody expected for the session, one that really fit the singer perfect.
I'm sure it was worth it, what i said came out a bit strong
What I meant was, for important productions obviously
one has the time and the need to audition different mics
Old 16th October 2014
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retinal View Post
I'm sure it was worth it, what i said came out a bit strong
What I meant was, for important productions obviously
one has the time and the need to audition different mics
For important productions they expect you to have your **** together and not dick around on their dime and tire the artist with experiments.

While some people might be impressed that you can put up 12 microphones for a test, it screams DEBUTANT to more experienced clients. How can they have full confidence in the talents of a guy who need to test 12 microphones to record one vocal take.
Old 16th October 2014
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aural Endeavors View Post
No offense to anyone, but this goes without saying
+1. But thanks for sharing your studio experience op.
Old 16th October 2014
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I do it because it sounds good and don't see the need to dick around trying every 'internet trick'. I also usually work with experienced musicians who are very good and just need a good chain (and mic placement) to capture what they play.
...

Agreed. I think we're on the same page. "Dicking around" is just a more elegant ;0) way of saying what I said in my post, i.e. "I don't have the mental capacity" to try all those mics on one source.

Having great players does make a world of a difference though. Just as an example I find I don't need 2-3 compressor/limiter/EQ's when the player knows how to "touch" his bass/gtr/keys/snare with finesse to get the right tone. Same goes for vocals.
Old 16th October 2014
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Is this what gets done in big commercial studios? Because I've worked in few in different parts of the world and none of the experienced guys try 12 mics or comps on anything.
maybe not the day you were there, but at some point I bet those guys shot out those mics, maybe more than just once or twice. You know for a fact that the day they GOT the mic, the day it arrived at the studio, they shot it out!

The shootout is often as much for the client's benefit as anything else. The singer can feel comfortable that he has "chosen" his mic and there isn't a "better" one lurking back there, untried. This has value in Session Psychology as well as Sonics. The engineer already "knows" his mics. If he hears a problem with Mic A, he very often already knows that Mic E will solve that kind of problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpKillerCable
And they ALL SOUNDED DIFFERENT. As we listened back to the vocal tests it wasn't that one was right and one was wrong... If they all sound different, more means more possibilities and in the end, a better chance at finding the mic that works best for a given source
yes, one of the reasons you book time in a commercial place is because they have a deep mic locker, among other things. It would be silly to go there and not spend a least a little while checking out some different contenders.

Of course engineers are not setting up 12-mic shootouts every time. But part of the reason they are not is because they got to know their mics earlier, perhaps over the course of years. You walk in on a given day and you see what seems to be a "quick" or even "casual" decision-making process.

Experienced singers will often tell me they want a "such and such" mic or if I don't have one of those, a mic with similar flavor. I find they are usually spot-on. They did not learn which mics best suited their voice by listening to clips on the internet or by using one mic for everything at home. They learned it in a place that gave them a selection to choose from.
Old 16th October 2014
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
For important productions they expect you to have your **** together and not dick around on their dime and tire the artist with experiments.

While some people might be impressed that you can put up 12 microphones for a test, it screams DEBUTANT to more experienced clients. How can they have full confidence in the talents of a guy who need to test 12 microphones to record one vocal take.

As much as I appreciate the OP sharing his experience I have to agree with samc here. I just can't imagine a client sitting patiently while I set up and configure mics AND preamps for (3) different sets of (4) mics. Just the time it takes to match the gain settings, get the capsules as close as possible, position the windscreen so all mics have coverage, make sure all mics are on stands "solidly" so nothing will tip over if the singer bumps one, gain match the playback of said mics etc.


My clients would be pretty peeved. And I think they would leave that session with the impression that I don't know my gear if I had to "try" so many different mics. No offense intended but It just seems a bit indulgent to guys who need to work fast and with confidence when the pressure is on to get results.
Old 16th October 2014
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
maybe not the day you were there, but at some point I bet those guys shot out those mics, maybe more than just once or twice. You know for a fact that the day they GOT the mic, the day it arrived at the studio, they shot it out!

The shootout is often as much for the client's benefit as anything else. The singer can feel comfortable that he has "chosen" his mic and there isn't a "better" one lurking back there, untried.



yes, one of the reasons you book time in a commercial place is because they have a deep mic locker, among other things. It would be silly to go there and not spend a least a little while checking out some different contenders.
I think you are missing samc's point? We all shoot out our mics at some point. Just not that amount of mics on the clients dime. I have over 30+ mics too and I know what every single one of them can do (in my room). I even make a point of shooting out mics that based on GS "wisdom" just shouldn't work, like using pencil Omnis or one tube and one FET for Glyn Johns just to see if I'm missing something. 3-4 mics is the most I would ever pull out on a vocal session and that rarely ever happens. But hey if the OP paid for it I guess it could be looked on as an "educational" session?
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