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Is it an age thing? Condenser Microphones
Old 3rd December 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
NathanC's Avatar
 

Is it an age thing?

Hi all!

First off I'll start with three apologies:
1> I don't want to start a digital vs analog argument
2> I know this is my first post, and I know it's not customary to open a new thread and offend people in your first post. It is not my intention to offend anyone
3> I'm dutch, so my english is not all that.

Here it goes.

I have been lurking here for a few weeks now and I really love this forum! There are so many skilled professionals posting here and there are so many useful techniques to be found here. It makes me realize I have a long way to go before I make it to be a good engineer.

However, I've started to realize I don't care too much for gear. The only thing I care about is results. It doesn't matter to me if things are recorded/mixed analog or digital and what gear is used. I guess I'm just not a gearslut. As a young (27) engineer I grew up listening to music from the 80's and the 90's (and on). I know what vinyl sounds like (I had a lot of records as a kid), but boy did I love the sound of the first cd's that appeared in the late 80's! I appreciate old music, but I really love the sound of today's productions. What it comes down to: I don't want my mixes to sound "analog" or like the old days. I actually love the modern sound.

Why is it that many people on this board seem to try to emulate the sound of the old days? What is there to like about it so much? If I a/b for instance an old Steely Dan album to a new Pink album, I really enjoy listening to Pink so much more (sonically). Same for analog gear. I don't use analog gear just to sound like Toto or Earth Wind & Fire. I use whatever gear at my disposal to make my recordings sound good to todays (and my own) standard. Much of the gear I use is digital, because I like the editing, flexibility and low-cost. Sound-wise I can achieve anything I like just by mixing ITB. I don't feel the need to use analog outboard gear just because the digital gear is missing something. I'm not saying digital is better, but I'm just not missing any of the analog character.

My question: is the analog vs digital (as in old vs new) debate in reality just an older engineers vs younger engineers taste debate?
Old 3rd December 2006
  #2
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
Obviously the modern sound is being made by lots of successful engineers and producers at all ages.

As far as digital versus analog, today you'd be hard pressed to find a production that doesn't incorporate both. Voices, guitars, amps, mics, pre's, speakers and our ears are inherently analog. A lot of the modern productions still use analog compressors and EQ's. The medium, be it MP3 or CD or DVD or .wav files is usually digital. So somewhere in between it has to make the switch. How early or late you make that switch is up to you.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #3
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

Why you young little whippersnapper, I'll pound your head Pink with my Steely Dan!!!!


Dude, if you get good results with your tools of choice, rock on.

Being an older cat, I prefer the sounds that made an impression on me as a kitten. So for me, that includes analog sounds, both instrumental and outboard processing. I am by no means, however, a Luddite and record digitally and use a handfull of various plugins. Whatever.... It's all about the music.


And welcome to gearslutz, you little punk...heh
Old 3rd December 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

NathanC the sound of CD's from the 1980's don't sound like CD's of today!

Today, CD's have the best emulations of analogue equipment and the best analogue equipment all over them!

I think that music reflects the pace of life and the fact that we are consumers in a consumer society from birth. Pink is now and Steely Dan are not reflective of now.

Personally I've learned to be a bit more discerning and I can get over the fact that Pink is modern and see that Pinks music has less individuality in it. The singing style isn't stylistic to her in it's phrases. Her melodies aren't as distinctive and the vibe behind the lyrics are simplistic and nothing special either.

I'd have a better time with an old Steely Dan album than with a CD by Pink! I'm a couple of years older than you but not much older. Maybe Pinks CD sounds so good to you because the pop market is saturated by fodder for 13 year old children.

Peace,
cortisol
Old 3rd December 2006
  #5
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NathanC's Avatar
 

It was not my intention to suggest I like Pink's music. I actually do like Steely Dan better than Pink, musically. I meant how the mix sounds sonically. Rather than Pink I could have inserted any major modern artist.

I know cd's from the 80's sound different than current cd's, thank god. I think music technology is evolving and I think mixes keep sounding better with each step in technological evolution. That's why I don't feel the need to emulate the sound from an earlier step in technological evolution.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanC View Post
I think mixes keep sounding better with each step in technological evolution.
You really do ????....
Old 3rd December 2006
  #7
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That's one way to put it, I guess...

IMO, the sounds you refer to (and going back further to the 60s/70s) sounded great...just different than the stuff out there now. What gives away/trashes an era specific mix was the use of technological 'advances' to the point of absurdity. For a while, every record released seemed to have at least one song in which a flanged or phase-shifted mix was the feature....then roto-toms...then squashing things to death eliminating any chance of dynamics...then the ultra dry no reverb/ambience at all....then the kick and snare being louder or having more power than the lead vocal...all point to specific eras, and really detract from the actual song...

Then factor in the instruments...for the longest time, there were really 3 guitar amps (Fender, Marshall, Vox), just as an example...now how many are there? Then factor in the facilities (huge caverns like Abby Rd vs smaller rooms now in abundance)...then factor in plugins vs hardware and ITB vs OTB...then factor in the age/experience levels of the people behind the glass...

I am not an expert on mixing from other eras, but I would venture to add that a HUGE part of the differences we hear today vs times gone past were the result of having to "make it up as you went along"...Even in Steely Dan's case, they all had ideas that no technology or plug in could overcome, so they had to experiment, work, sometimes even build, a solution to the problems, instead of activating a plug in. These innovations led us to where we are now I think, in that experimentation/flying by the seat of one's pants is no longer practiced much...

Therein lies (again, IMO) the biggest differences between a 2006 and a 1976 mix....how the people involved actually got there.

Ask yourself: will Pink (who the HELL is that, anyway?) or her music be remembered 30 years from now?
Old 3rd December 2006
  #8
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NathanC's Avatar
 

Midlandmorgan,

you're describing exactly what I mean: evolution of music technology. Today we have all the knowledge of the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's combined, and more. That's why we have the ability to make mixes sound better than mixes from any earlier era.
Back in the 80's I loved that gated reverb sound. Because it was new. Maybe we think it sounds like **** now, but it is memorable. I feel no desire to emulate that sound, although it sounded good then. Now it's time for a different approach, including digital DAW's and plug-ins.
Music from today will be remembered in the future too, I'm sure of that.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
I've been in this game now for 40 years (less Army time and time spent doing one or two other things to keep body and soul together) and from what I can see (which is definately a worm's-eye-view) it is the younger musicians, engineers and producers who are asking for analogue.

Go figure!
Old 3rd December 2006
  #10
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I think, aside from the people who are used to working with analog gear, it's the people who can't get the sound they want with digital who seek the "analog sound". They may be thinking that SSL console or Neve pre is going to provide them with "that" sound. Although that may partially be true, I think it's talent and creativity and not just the gear.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #11
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Matthew Murray's Avatar
 

Hey NathanC, interesting post for sure. Welcome

I too am a "young engineer" in my twenties. I've been recording and mixing my own work for 10 years or so now. It started out in the box, and those are my "technical" roots, but my musical roots dig deep into beatles, kinks, the clash and the stones. Then again, I've also got a billion modern influences, including Radiohead, Blur, The Verve, Beck, Doves, Spiritualized, etc.

What I find is that my taste, when it comes to the music I'm making, is without a doubt biased towards the sound of those modern records of the artists I love and listed above. If you pop in "OK Computer" or "Mutations" or "13", that's the sound I love. And I was finding I wasn't achieving it with my computer and a bunch of plugins. Up until a little over a year ago.

And so it was that I went on a quest and joined this forum. At first I was certain that I'd just be collecting some better mics and pres and still be doing everything in the box.

A year later, as of next week, I have five racks filled with Chandler, Phoenix Audio, Thermionic, Purple, Universal Audio, ELI, Shadow Hills, Tubetech and DW Fearn equipment. And of the stuff I've already incorporate into my work, I can tell you I'm closer to that sound now more than ever.

It's not like I'm purely going after that old, raw sound of the 60's, although I still love that vibe. But that's exactly what I'm going after -- vibe -- and there are buckets in it in the modern records I mentioned above. The difference I believe in those modern recordings is the additional quality that comes from modern noise floors and more advanced processors. But those records, I guarantee it, used tons of analog outboard, and likely all recorded to tape in some capacity. They don't sound "old" ... as in "ugly" ... they take all the good stuff from old recordings, and in my opinion, make them even more exciting to listen to. Especially OK Computer, I'd say.

The new recordings you mention (pink and things) lack musicality to us because they lack "feel" or "soul" or "vibe". Part of this is the fault of the artist, but I genuinely feel that at least a small portion of the "soul" we feel is absent from much of today's pop is due to the material's sonic properties, and not the ****ty artists (although that's the most important part). I've faced the fact: analog gear, at least at this point, allows for more of the natural "glow" of the material being recorded, or whatever you want to call it.

I'm rambling at this point because I woke up and have been drinking caesars early in the morning, which is never a good idea. But there's a point in there somewhere and I think it was this:

Just try analogue gear, or tape. It's like crack.

Or, don't, because after all, your personal aesthetic is what works best for you, and if that means completely ITB, power to ya.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #12
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True North's Avatar
 

Nathan,

I am 11 years older than you and most of my recording experience WAS with 2" tape. I grew up with LP and was a fairly late adopter of CD tehcnology. Despite our age differences I am certainly in your camp in so far as I actually like the sound and sonic qualities of recordings more so today than in years past. I just think the sound of recorings, as a whole, SOUND better today in the rock/pop idiom.

For me, it's not as much about the sonic qualities of todays recordings, but rahter the quality of music being produced and written today. Or perhaps I should say the quality of music that is being supported and pushed by the majors seems to have regressed. The landscape of record distribution has certainly changed so it may have something to do with that. In the past the lables could sign 10 acts and have 1 hit big and keep a couple along for further development. I don't think the economies of todays mainstream recording industry can support that model anymore. As a result I think we are seeing less experimentation and development being granted today than in years past.

On a similar note, the other thing that makes me scratch my head on this site is the aversion to digital formats such as MP3. Do any of you older guys remember what a pain in the ass it was to run your record player - warps, scratches, dust, needles, skips, pop, clicks ugghhh!!! I don't miss it for a second. As a kid I would have KILLED to have MP3 as an option over cassette or LP. UNLESS you came from a household with a ton of cash and an audiophile system there is no one on this board who can tell me that the recording mediums of old were better sounding than today.


P.S. Your english is pretty damn good, you should here my dutch

Last edited by True North; 9th January 2007 at 08:21 PM.. Reason: gramor, grimmer, groomer , aww never mind
Old 3rd December 2006
  #13
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[QUOTE=True North
" Or perhaps I should say the quality of music that is being supported and pushed by the majors seems to have regressed. The landscape of record distribution has certainly changed so it may have something to do with that. In the past the lables could sign 10 acts and have 1 hit big and keep a couple along for further development. I don't think the economies of todays mainstream recording industry can support that model anymore. As a result I think we are seeing less experimentation and development being granted today than in years past. "

Thats It ...
There was alot of **** music being promoted back then too , Ill bet the osmonds and partrage family (sp) probably held chart spots over steely dan . There are alot of good song writers out there you just dont hear them on mainstream radio .
I think the working method of protools has less soul than the working method of limited analog tracks .
Old 3rd December 2006
  #14
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popmann's Avatar
Quote:
If I a/b for instance an old Steely Dan album to a new Pink album
I'm curious...why not compare a NEW SD record to the Pink? In fact, let's just go back a few years and pull up Everything Must Go and MizUnderstood. Granted, I have the 24/96 version of EMG, but...Pink's record sounds like ****. Awful sounding drum samples. Cheesey synths. I love it. MUCH more than the SD...but, sonicly, you're telling me it's better sounding?

And I'll tell you that you're on crack.

I have the Dual Disc of her new one(thought it doesn't list the rez, I'd assume 24/48 at least)...and it's a fab album. While it's far improved over MizUnderstood...sonicly great? It's effective. Get an Sm7 and a Distressor and a LogicPro set up. I don't here much of anything that needs more. Ok...there's some acoustic piano here and there...bet Ivory would sound just as good.

If you go back to old school SD...you get into arguably better songs, but certainly less sonicly spectacular as a whole.

Popmann
Age:33

Last edited by popmann; 3rd December 2006 at 06:47 PM.. Reason: Add age to be funny
Old 3rd December 2006
  #15
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peeceebee's Avatar
 

As an "old guy", here's my take-
We go for the sounds we hear in our head, and use the technology as best we are able, to ty and do that.
As to whether the sounds you hear in your head are old, modern, of from pluto, that's an individual matter- I guess it's common for people to imprint on cultural institutions from their prime, but I guess there's a bell curve, with most people more or less following the norm, and a lot of other people dancing to a different drummer- and people on all parts of the bellcurve can use any technology available to them to try & achieve their ends...
Old 3rd December 2006
  #16
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanC View Post

My question: is the analog vs digital (as in old vs new) debate in reality just an older engineers vs younger engineers taste debate?
No.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #17
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

NathanC, welcome to Gearslutz.

I am 35 and even sell this stuff for a living. I also engineer out of my personal project studio for hire (I wish I took more time to develop my own stuff, I have about 5 or 6 albums worth of music sitting!). I can tell you as an engineer and as a salesman that you seem to be on the right path with many of your statements.

The one thing that will make the biggest difference in your recordings / mixes will be TIME INVESTED. Over the years, time / experience will net you the biggest gains. Better gear helps if you can afford it, although sometimes the definition of "better" is skewed on these forums (not just Gearslutz, I am not picking on this site!).

So I'm not a real young guy and I'm not old either, and at this point I can produce good results from analog or digital, expensive or entry level, if I have good musicians playing a good song in a good room. We work with what we have and can afford, with enough money left for either (A) profit for those of us that charge for recording or (B) to pursue other personal endeavors. If you choose to do this for a living, a Mackie mixer might be your best friend so that at the end of the day there is MONEY left over.

If you have a Neve or SSL and go out of business trying to pay for it then you've not balanced your income with your expenses.

It's not about age, it's about experience. I'm not saying I have tons, many here can likely smoke my skills in the studio any old day as they've been full time for many years. But what I am saying is the more experience you gain, the more you'll be able to know what you can and cannot work with. I never owned a high end tape machine, but I'd never trade my Nuendo rig for my old 8 track reel to reel that's for sure.

I'd be willing to bet Michael Wagener could out record and out mix most who post here with plug ins and a Mackie mixer. While not ideal for him, he would use what he had at his disposal be it analog or digital and make it work. Not wish for a bunch of stuff not in the room...make it work.

War

PS: I've often thought about challenging some of the outspoken "everything except high end analog fukking sucks" guys to record a project with a Behringer rig to see their reaction. Have these guys passed the point of realizing that a good engineer can make anything reasonable work? Are they just justifying their purchases in their own mind? Might be a fun challenge for some! I'm not saying high end gear isn't usually a step up sonically, but it is NOT the be all end all as many posts here would lead you to believe. Skill....time....
Old 3rd December 2006
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanC View Post
If I a/b for instance an old Steely Dan album to a new Pink album, I really enjoy listening to Pink so much more (sonically).
me too.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #19
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cdog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post

The one thing that will make the biggest difference in your recordings / mixes will be TIME INVESTED. ... I've often thought about challenging some of the outspoken "everything except high end analog fukking sucks" guys to record a project with a Behringer rig to see their reaction. Have these guys passed the point of realizing that a good engineer can make anything reasonable work? Are they just justifying their purchases in their own mind? Might be a fun challenge for some! I'm not saying high end gear isn't usually a step up sonically, but it is NOT the be all end all as many posts here would lead you to believe. Skill....time....
Great stuff War

I love the modern sound too.

42hz is the frequency for the 21st century.....
Old 3rd December 2006
  #20
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
from what I can see (which is definately a worm's-eye-view) it is the younger musicians, engineers and producers who are asking for analogue.

Go figure!

I agree. I think those who have been around the analog machine block have a better perspective perhaps. Personally, the music I can create on PT HD surpasses that which I could produce on my MCI JH24. Therefore.......PT wins for me. IMO, it's all about the music first - sound second. I think many of the younger guys are searching......searching for something they can't yet find (experience), and so they're jumping to analog in the hopes that it will fulfill their sonic fantasies. Hey, I love analog and tape compression as much as the next guy. I just don't see going back to analog with the tools I currently have.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
meanwhile...

everyday we make CHOICES.

do i use this guitar or that one?
do I make this type of coffee or that?

this shirt or that?

drive there by this route (rhymes with shoot) or another?

I like to think I can "make it work" with whatever is reasonably available on a project.

but i still makes CHOICES.

and at EACH choice point, I try to choose what my expereince and my taste tells me is the 'better' choice.. often in terms of sheer audio QUALITY.
because part of what my experience tells me is that quality adds up.
32 high quality signals come together into a much more satisfying and MUSICAL balance than 32 crappy low quality signals... even though ONE crappy low quality signal might seem "cool" in its crappiness at the time.

is that clear?

So I'm not an analogue snob to the point of syaing I can ONLY record analogue or "digital sucks" or any other equally juvenile position.
but I ALSO am not going to repeat any of the lies about how 'digital is a perfect representation of what goes into it', or "the only reason people prefer analogue is because they're used to all that distortion' and so on.

what I AM going to do is make each choice when it present itself based on all the factours from sonics, to reliablilty, to BUDGET, to ease and speed of process, and so on.

believe me, what makes "modern" sounding records are the techniques emplyed, not the choice of analogue or digital.
Yes, thsoe things go SOMEWHAT hand in hand.. but it's possible to make 100% digital records on ProTools but use the system like only a multi-track recorder and make a very 'old school' recording in spirit.

and it's possible to make a record on 2" tape and process the piss out of everything going in, mic everything with a thousand mics, roll all the mids and lows out of everything (because that's what you read on the internet you "need" to do), edit out every little imperfection, brick wall limit the mix and on and on.. and make a very "modern" sounding record.

granted the latter is less LIKELY because the person attracted to all that is not going to be attracted to the analogue 2" to begin with.

But I've seen that too.
"We want to record the way Jimi did...but we need you to fix our drummer's time and tune our singer's vocals, and did we mention we want the mix to sound really bright like the new AFI record?"

I don't think that amongst most working professionals, there's a 'battle' going on.

EVERYONE just makes choices, and if your choices are good, people want to work with you again.

but you shouldn't interpret people's expressed PREFERENCES as a dismissal of the choices NOT taken.

I may choose to record this next record on 2" 24 tk. that doesn't mean I hate ProTools or that the NEXT record won't be done in ProTools.
It just means that I think 24 tk analogue sounds BETTER and I do it when i CAN.
Not that the alternative has to "suck"
(although somethings just DO suck!)
Old 3rd December 2006
  #22
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Murray View Post
But that's exactly what I'm going after -- vibe -- and there are buckets in it in the modern records I mentioned above.
Matthew, a HUGE amount of the "vibe" from the era you speak about did not come from the gear. All those racks of gear will not get you an inch closer to the "vibe" I am talking about. That vibe came from compromises in the rooms, a different design (room) philosopny, experienced life-long engineers, and probably most importantly - a space in time that fostered talent and musicians and handed them the tools to be creative and to think outside the box. Bands today are so "in the box" mentally that it's a miracle that anything different or creative comes out.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #23
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Bands today are so "in the box" mentally that it's a miracle that anything different or creative comes out.
Agreed, and it's going to take a new outlook on engineering a record to make it work. In the real "old days" everybody stood around a big freakin' horn to record to wax. Then straight to mono...the next big step was multi-track tape and overdubbing was born. Before that, no overdubbing.

This is the next "big step", DAW based / endless edits & replacements...and they are all tools available which will affect workflow and the outcome. The in the box mentality is dangerous and we all fall victim to it once in a while. When a guitarist says "I'll just do like 8 takes and we'll pick the best one during the mix" our reaction should be to say "no, let's do it right now" and try to salvage the act of making a record.

If you don't, it turns into one big non-committal edit fest and the focus is lost.

I mention the 8 guitar take thing because I allowed this to happen on an album I'm wrapping up now and had one hell of a time deciding what to use during the mix on this one song. Live and learn...I just don't always remember!

We're at the beginning of the next form of making records and there seem to be great growing pains. Maybe there should be more threads dedicated to workflow for these new kinds of sessions and not having bands get hung up on staring at LCD screens and suggesting "can you just bump that back and cut it?" rather than "er...I can play that better".

War
Old 3rd December 2006
  #24
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanC View Post
... Music from today will be remembered in the future too, I'm sure of that.
Sure, it will be remembered, but for what?

- Music squashed into oblivian and distorted
- Auto-tune
- mp3's
- The level of musicianship conistently getting worse (not to worry... we've got ProTools)
- All of the life edited out of performances
Old 3rd December 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanC View Post
My question: is the analog vs digital (as in old vs new) debate in reality just an older engineers vs younger engineers taste debate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
from what I can see (which is definately a worm's-eye-view) it is the younger musicians, engineers and producers who are asking for analogue.

Go figure!
im 21 and i love using analog gear. thats what reeled me into this business. ive never wanted to grow up and sit behind a computer for work. i am a very hands on person. its how i learn and its what i do for fun. when i was younger i took radios and cd players apart for fun. my goal though is not to make records that sound like back in the day. nor do i want to make records that sound modern. i want to make records that sound great and new. whatever that means. whether its using plug ins or analog. there are a few plug ins that i like to use but i have way more fun walking back in forth around the room plugging in patch cables and turning knobs.
maybe its just me. i like having something tangible in my hands, something with parts that i can feel. that makes sense to me. 1's and 0's and computers freak me out.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #26
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Agreed, and it's going to take a new outlook on engineering a record to make it work. In the real "old days" everybody stood around a big freakin' horn to record to wax. Then straight to mono...the next big step was multi-track tape and overdubbing was born. Before that, no overdubbing.

This is the next "big step", DAW based / endless edits & replacements...and they are all tools available which will affect workflow and the outcome. The in the box mentality is dangerous and we all fall victim to it once in a while. When a guitarist says "I'll just do like 8 takes and we'll pick the best one during the mix" our reaction should be to say "no, let's do it right now" and try to salvage the act of making a record.

If you don't, it turns into one big non-committal edit fest and the focus is lost.

I mention the 8 guitar take thing because I allowed this to happen on an album I'm wrapping up now and had one hell of a time deciding what to use during the mix on this one song. Live and learn...I just don't always remember!

We're at the beginning of the next form of making records and there seem to be great growing pains. Maybe there should be more threads dedicated to workflow for these new kinds of sessions and not having bands get hung up on staring at LCD screens and suggesting "can you just bump that back and cut it?" rather than "er...I can play that better".

War
Warren, I agree! Everyone's looking for the "easy / cheap" solution. Musicians are lookiing to autotune, editing and the engineer to make them sound good instead of woodshedding on their instrument or voice. They're more worried about getting signed than making good music. Engineeers are thinking that analog tape or the next great mic or pre will solve all their problems instead of working creativly with what they've got. They're more worried about what kind of transformer is in their gear than how to get what they have to sound great. Where are the innovators? Well....I think they're out there, but they're hiding right now.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #27
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman View Post
meanwhile...

everyday we make CHOICES.

do i use this guitar or that one?
do I make this type of coffee or that?

this shirt or that?

drive there by this route (rhymes with shoot) or another?

I like to think I can "make it work" with whatever is reasonably available on a project.

but i still makes CHOICES.

and at EACH choice point, I try to choose what my expereince and my taste tells me is the 'better' choice.. often in terms of sheer audio QUALITY.
because part of what my experience tells me is that quality adds up.
32 high quality signals come together into a much more satisfying and MUSICAL balance than 32 crappy low quality signals... even though ONE crappy low quality signal might seem "cool" in its crappiness at the time.

is that clear?

So I'm not an analogue snob to the point of syaing I can ONLY record analogue or "digital sucks" or any other equally juvenile position.
but I ALSO am not going to repeat any of the lies about how 'digital is a perfect representation of what goes into it', or "the only reason people prefer analogue is because they're used to all that distortion' and so on.

what I AM going to do is make each choice when it present itself based on all the factours from sonics, to reliablilty, to BUDGET, to ease and speed of process, and so on.

believe me, what makes "modern" sounding records are the techniques emplyed, not the choice of analogue or digital.
Yes, thsoe things go SOMEWHAT hand in hand.. but it's possible to make 100% digital records on ProTools but use the system like only a multi-track recorder and make a very 'old school' recording in spirit.

and it's possible to make a record on 2" tape and process the piss out of everything going in, mic everything with a thousand mics, roll all the mids and lows out of everything (because that's what you read on the internet you "need" to do), edit out every little imperfection, brick wall limit the mix and on and on.. and make a very "modern" sounding record.

granted the latter is less LIKELY because the person attracted to all that is not going to be attracted to the analogue 2" to begin with.

But I've seen that too.
"We want to record the way Jimi did...but we need you to fix our drummer's time and tune our singer's vocals, and did we mention we want the mix to sound really bright like the new AFI record?"

I don't think that amongst most working professionals, there's a 'battle' going on.

EVERYONE just makes choices, and if your choices are good, people want to work with you again.

but you shouldn't interpret people's expressed PREFERENCES as a dismissal of the choices NOT taken.

I may choose to record this next record on 2" 24 tk. that doesn't mean I hate ProTools or that the NEXT record won't be done in ProTools.
It just means that I think 24 tk analogue sounds BETTER and I do it when i CAN.
Not that the alternative has to "suck"
(although somethings just DO suck!)
Great Post, William!!!
100% agreed.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #28
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

My question: is the analog vs digital (as in old vs new) debate in reality just an older engineers vs younger engineers taste debate?

YOU SAID IT RIGHT MY FRIEND !!!!! THATS WHAT IT IS, WHAT A SHAME.

I have a few things that i perfer, or would like to still perfer.

1. I just want to record on any format the rest of my life, but fu?k a mouse, im not recording all day with a mouse. I would give up engineering before i sat with that in my hand all day.
2. I wished all CDs. / Cass etc could sound like the Vinyl sound, thats not old, its just Vinyl, i love to take my records that are on Vinyl and put to CD, they keep that sound...damn i love it. Instead of a glass master, why dont they make a Vinyl master ?
3. I just love making a artist sound great and they leave with a smile on there face after a session.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #29
Gear Nut
 

I know it's not exclusively an age thing, because I know many young musicians, high school kid guitar player types who are really into the seventies/sixties sound, and they are analog freaks. Maybe they drank the kool aid but they hear something they like there.

One of my guitarists is 22 and he's another analog devotee.

I suggest it has something to do with the kind of music. For those of us who are trying to recapture the fire of great rock and roll analog is at least a fetish, but I doubt we're all deluded!

Hank Waring who mastered all Bob Marley's records, Born to be Wild, X, told me a theory he had that because digital is like subliminal railroad tracks due to uniform byte size it lends itself better to heavily percussive music. Music that depends on the flow of the instruments and the sonorous interaction of harmonics and reverb etc (epitomized by Lee Scratch Perry?) Hank thought would always sound better analog.

It's a sensual thing.
Old 3rd December 2006
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
NathanC's Avatar
 

I'm really happy to see there's not a war going on here, but a constructive discussion instead. That is exactly what I was hoping for.

There is one more question I've been thinking about for quite a while now. Can clients usually tell what gear is used? Can they tell the difference between API or Neve, between ITB or OTB, or even between Soundcraft or SSL? Frankly, I don't think so. It's all in what you do with it. Maybe it's easier to mix with brand y, but I think you can achieve good results with brand x too. (as long as we're not talking really crappy gear, that is).

My point in this post is: I like reading about gear this and gear that, but it's the techniques I really care about. Gear doesn't turn me on. Ways of achieving a sound I'm after do. And mostly I do that in the digital domain, because I feel comfortable around computers and DAWS and plug-ins.
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