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are you proactive or reactive in getting sounds?
Old 17th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

are you proactive or reactive in getting sounds?

i feel that im pretty proactive. on certain occasions i am reactive if i stumble on something that wasnt what i intended yet worthy of capturing... sometimes though its simply filed away mentally for another day.
Old 17th September 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I can go either way. Sometimes I know what I want to hear and sometimes I don't. When I don't I reactive. Sometimes harshly. madd
Old 17th September 2002
Lives for gear

I try to work as quickly as possible, especially when I hear the playing start to sound good. If the mics aren't exactly right and I know it, I'll roll anyway. I'll take an average to bad sounding recording of a great performance over a great sounding recording of an average to bad performace any damn day.

Usually, the band doesn't care too much if they can feel what they felt playing it as they listen back. Chances are the listener will hear it too, especially since the general public cares less and less about the fidelity of audio. Energy over precision. There must be a perfect ratio in there somewhere.
Old 17th September 2002
I always disliked hearing "I know how it should sound"

I always prefer "I have an idea how it should sound"

Or let's just try it.

I am not a pre-visionary producer

I am instinctive / reactive

I make **** up as I go along.

The Director Alan Mendes , the Brit play director who's first film effort won him an Oscar for American Beauty, once said.

"when we do a play, I assemble the cast, and on the first day we all sit in a big room and discuss how we are going do it. On a film set, if a producer asked a director - how do you see this next sequence? And the director said, 'I was going to try a few things out', he would be fired ON THE SPOT."

Film directors need to have THE WHOLE MOVIE in their heads from the beginning. I personally find that concept horrific when applied to music recording as it doesn't take into account accidents and cool discoveries made along the way. But that is only IMHO. My methodology is (of course) conveniently suited to my scatter brained personality. Perhaps in truth I am a tad envious of those producers that can have such forward thinking to have 'the whole record' in their heads from the start of a production.

Old 17th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

see, i see film and recordings being apples and apples... while plays and live music being equivilant.

i like to start with a good idea of the end product. without that, things get confused along the way and experimenting becomes endless to a point and the album lacks overall focus.

now im not saying have a game plan and stick to it fully. but with a good idea going in, it makes the experimentation more productive when the time is right.

also, my plans can change while recording. but i usually have the proactive idea immediately for the OD rather than search for an idea when the time comes. while rough tracking i tend to keep some paper on hand to jot down ideas of things i would like to try in OD's later on. then upon listening back, i decide what sorts of sounds i want to be proactive in going after.
Old 17th September 2002
lflier's Avatar

Hi Alpha! Nice place ya got here! heh Finally made it over here, I've been meaning to but geez, these forums are a major commitment to me, ya know?

Anyway! To answer the question I would say I am both proactive and reactive. I'm proactive in the sense that I usually have an overall picture in my head about the sound we're going for. But, it's not too specific, it leaves plenty of room for things to happen along the way. I can tell if I think we're straying too far from the mark, but otherwise I tend to incorporate cool things that happen in the course of experimentation.

Nice to see all youze guys here!

Old 17th September 2002
Gear Addict

jules, thanks for the interesting analogy to film. maybe this explains why film directors are more ego-driven than music people (or am i wrong?) -- because they have to have the whole idea in their heads and shape the project to it, rather than having a give-and-take like music producers.

i must disagree with one thing you said: david mamet is very much an american, and he did not direct american beauty, alan mendes did. i don't know which of them said your quote.

Old 17th September 2002
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar

There's the big picture and then there are the details.

I usually have a good grasp of the big picture from the get-go but the details/happy accidents are what I live for.

I'm sick about experimentation, I love it and want to get faster at the basics to allow for more wacky overdub time. It's easy to get a good picture of a bands sound the key to a good record is to have subtle thematic sounds/concepts that tie it all together.

I just finished a record that has ebow on 7 out of the 10 songs. It just worked that way... The funny thing is I haven't used it succesfully in a year at all, except for this record. It was the first thing the people at NPR asked the artist about. "what is that sound/instrument?" "It's absolutely haunting." I tried it the other night with another artist and became frustrated...
These details have a way of revealing themselves and in the case of this Ebow incident, I had to fight myself to not overuse it, but further into the project I had to remind myself to go ahead and use it if it worked. It did, 7 out of ten times.
Old 17th September 2002
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

Having worked in film, it's a major oversimplification to think that directors have a firm concept.

They always MUST begin with one on order to raise the funding for production. At that point they generally have absolute financial limits on how much they can shoot. When they run out of money, it's time to start editing. The whole concept frequently goes right out the window because they couldn't shoot everything needed to tell the original story. The great directors end up with better films than were first envisioned.

Music recording often works the same way. The idea is to capture and sell the excitement of the artist as a recording but the form that eventually takes can be all over the map.
Old 17th September 2002
"i must disagree with one thing you said: david mamet is very much an american, and he did not direct american beauty, alan mendes did. i don't know which of them said your quote.



It was the American Beauty Director - Brit Alan Mendes that I got the quote from. Thanks for the corection! (now edited!)

Old 17th September 2002
Gearslutz welcomes Lee Flyer!

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Old 18th September 2002
Here for the gear

Ahhhhhhh....finally got through all the security...

With all you forum bums hangin' out here...I can understand why!

It was gettin' kinda lonely over on MusicPlayer the last week or so...I finally found the invitation to alpha's party!

I guess with all the gear I picked up the last mopnth or one can question my gearslutz memebrship. heh

Proactive or reactive sound acquisition...?

Depends...but usually one leads to the other...and then vice versa!

alpha...where's the bar?
Old 18th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

Originally posted by miroslav
alpha...where's the bar?
right behind you. we got the hottest bartenders here serving up the tastiest drinks.
Old 18th September 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Well, I'm really more of a beer person myself. Pass me a Sam Adams...

Usually I don't have too much of an idea before the band starts tracking. The last time I did preproduction for a band was a few months ago and I was just the engineer. That project could've been really ****ing cool but it turned into a disaster because of the "producer". madd

I ask the band what CD's they like the sound of and try to get an idea of what they're looking for when we cut basics. After that anything goes.
Old 21st September 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
I get more proactive as the record progresses. During basics I try to get a good sound that vibes with the band and the sources that I'm given. I swap mics, tune drums, and even adjust amps to get a cohesive sound.

I also make notes for possible overdubs. One thing I like to do is use the bands instruments and amps for the basics and use my stuff for overdubs. I love to set up four or five amps and have a bunch of guitars around. I also have four or five mics at the ready.

During mix down it's almost all me. I usually get the mix 90% there and then start taking directions from the peanut gallery.
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