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A question on Audio Fidelity...
Old 31st December 2010
  #1
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rene-lemieux's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
A question on Audio Fidelity...

Firstly, I would like say the typical, and the obvious, that is that I am very grateful that such sites as gearslutz exist, and that an engineer/ producer such as yourself is willing to participate in these discussions...

what level of importance do you think fidelity plays in the end? I was interested that you mentioned those "early" reggae records, with there exaggerated lower frequencies that they wouldn't be the same without... not to mention, the extreme inconsistency from record to record in audio quality. To bring it back to my first question, the recording of Suffragette City is one of those songs that's a little on the edgy side, production wise, the Guitars are loud and abrasive, not to mention the guitar is out of tune heh But the music is classic regardless, in fact, I think that the lower fidelity and edgy production on many of those old records adds to the overall effect... Was it intentional, or was it a product of limitation? Todays standards are very high, and the digital realm has made Hi-Fi easily achievable, you don't often hear that same kind of gritty audio quality in modern productions. Great songs are great regardless of fidelity, but how important is high audio quality, and would you say that degraded quality can add to the product, or do you think it's a myth?

Thanks for your time, sorry about my long-windedness.

Rene
Old 1st January 2011
  #2
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Ken Scott's Avatar
 

Hi Rene, I love this question and have asked Jules to open it up for a general discussion if any one else wants to put their 2 cents in.

For me there are no hard and fast rules. It's whatever works for the music. Before starting Ziggy DB passed a comment that I probably wouldn't like this album because it's more rock and roll. He was correct with regard to the latter, but I sure loved recording it. Musically it was edgier than Hunky Dory and so sonically it needed to be edgier. A tame sound would not have meshed with how the band was playing. Aladdin Sane, in some instances, took it even further. I'm thinking specifically about Cracked Actor. We initially tried just a straight forward harmonica on it, but it sounded lame so I had it put through Ronno's Marshall and suddenly it gelled.

Now something like Crime Of The Century, IMHO, had to be the absolute best we could make it, sonically. There are some grungy guitars in there but they are never allowed to take over. It wasn't that kind of album.

To me it's the difference between Sgt Pepper and the White album. After the sonic perfection of Pepper they wanted a much rougher rock and roll type of album.

I'll leave it at that for the moment and I look forward to reading other people's thoughts on the subject.

Cheers and a very happy new year.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #3
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AlexK's Avatar
 

This is such a great topic of conversation; I've often thought about this in my own time recently.

As a student, I shouldn't really be in the position of owning a 'really nice' HiFi, but as my music matters so much to me, I've invested my own money in one. I still find myself listening to a lot of music which doesn't exactly possess the merit of what could be considered 'good sound', but they still work brilliantly to my ears. Examples? Minnie Riperton 'Les Fleurs' comes to mind straight away. Heavy tape saturation all over the place, ridiculously high noise shelf, audible clipping, it's all in there.

Nonetheless, I think it's a great sounding record. I've come to the conclusion that what is classically referred to as 'good sound' isn't the only kind of 'good sound' you can achieve. As a result, good sound is something which is always important in your music, it's just a question of what makes it sound good, and that depends entirely on the sort of music in question.

Just my 2c. I'm still quite new to the whole recording world (second year at Uni) so my opinions will probably be completely different in a year's time
Old 2nd January 2011
  #4
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Fidelity

Okay, I'll bite…. Although I agree that there are no hard and fast rules, the bottom line is whether or not the fidelity (or the sound in general) supports the emotional vibe of the song.

In my world, I can divide artists into two categories: innovators & emulators. The innovators are willing to think outside the box and do whatever it takes to make a song resonate with the listener on an emotional level. There's freedom to sonically "go for it" when working with those cats. Emulators, on the other hand, want their records to sound like whatever's hot on the charts, so the sonic parameters are well defined.

I'd like to think that in both cases, the *song* trumps sonic fidelity, but at the end of the day, sonic choices affect the way that a listener will perceive the song. I'm not saying that hi-fi is better than lo-fi or "over-the-top"--I'm saying that you do the best you can with what you've got, in order to give the song the right artistic and emotional vibe.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #5
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chai t's Avatar
 

happy new year mr. scott! we're extremely fortunate to have insight into your thoughts on the matter.

due to some fabulous recordings that have lodged themselves in my mind issues of fidelity have been on my mind for the past few years. i have been thinking if i like the hi fi or for lack of a better vocabulary, the larger-than-life aesthetic. probably the best way to encapsulate the difference in my mind is comparing what keith johnson does to what tchad blake does. after a while of considering i thought i figured i don't have to choose and your statement above clarified it even more. both approaches could be part of ones palette as an engineer to apply as one feels appropriate.

cheers,

c
Old 2nd January 2011
  #6
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AfterViewer's Avatar
 

Concept VS Conformity

I listen to a lot of the new tracks posted on the Artist Showcase/Works in Progress section of the GS forum and very often feel that the artist/musicians/composers are on top of the sound/stimulus of their creations along with the recording technical support personnel that have spent time/communication with them in the studio. Things could always have been done differently and sound more in keeping with "like" composition but I crave that difference, even regarding music genre that I have an aversion to. Thumbs Up to persons like yourself to have been receptive to this aspect of your profession.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #7
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MTStudios's Avatar
Hi Ken,

This is something I've been spending a lot of time thinking about myself recently.

In your answer you said "It's whatever works for the music" But herein lies the problem. How do we tell? For the last 6 years of engineering I've worked really hard to be able to get a feel for that pristine, hi-fi sound, but finding the guts to do something different is hard.

How do you separate your own habits/character/style from the hidden desires of the music, to sound in it's own particular way? How do you find the imagination to see an instrument, song, or entire record as needing to sound anything other than hi-fi?

I mean, sure it's easy to say that perhaps a strong rhythmic guitar part would work well with a lot of attack to give it a sense of aggression, to give it the persona of someone speaking forcefully. But to do something really out there, that would, in any other song, just be called bad? Like a really harsh mid-rangey guitar sound, or a muffled reverb, or a dull snare.

Cheers,

And sorry for the scatterbrained reply.
Old 2nd January 2011
  #8
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A4722's Avatar
 

Hi Fi capture

What about recording in documentary sense? In other words, using the hi fi approach to record the "omni-fi" audio that is (or supposedly is) happening in the studio. I noticed in Ken Scotts' example that he changed what was happening in the studio, without mentioning changing the recording technique (referring to the level of quality).

Are we saying, for certain sounds/intentions, that there is no other way to convey them except through a "roughing up" of the audio "quality" whilst recording ?
Old 3rd January 2011
  #9
Gear interested
 

A question on Audio Fidelity...

I think alot of those "ruff" "edgy or whatever albums weren't diliberatly trying to sound that way.They were recorded in the most hi-fi way possible at the moment; they were just recording what they wanted to hear. You can always lo-fi sounds later if your recording digitally. If it sounds too clean for your ears, then ruff it up a bit, but going at it with that thought in mind can give you a sound like Metallica's "st. Anger" album and have your drums sounding like trash cans, and guitars that sound like they were recorded by 5yr olds with milton bradley amps.(this coming from a huge metallica fan, so im not hating on them, just a classic example of a band purposefully going out of their way to record a garage "grunge" album and have it go all wrong).
Old 3rd January 2011
  #10
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

We are always recording a performance and seeking to have the listeners believe the illusion we created was an actual moment in time.

I think audio fidelity can either serve that illusion or distract from it. It also has a big impact on the performers as they build their recordings.
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Old 3rd January 2011
  #11
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Mark Kaufman's Avatar
 

This topic opens up more questions than answers for any engineer or producer...but as a performer and as a listener, there is no doubt in my mind that a great performance will always have more impact than a great recording.

When the magic is there, you have to run with it. If the recording environment wasn't to your liking, then you might need to go ahead and rough it up. But in the choice between two takes, one which was recorded better and one which was performed better...I would never hesitate to choose the performance over the recording.

It's the show, not the TV, that people watch. Give me a great show on a noisy TV...it's always better than a lousy show in ultra-perfect High Definition.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #12
I think there was a fork in the road somewhere in the 90's, when Grunge music arrived on the scene and a lot of the producers were unknowns, "guys that did the demos" suddenly producing million selling albums. Add to that indie rock and its often child-like "naive charm" (off timing and flat vocal pitching is suddenly totally OK and accepted as "endearing") I think this new batch of producers and the new audience they recorded for were able to get past the velvet rope of A&R departments 'acceptability' a lot of material that would previously been deemed 'technically unacceptable' or 'unlistenable to..'

Distortion seems popular all over the world, we like it for our guitars in the West and the Bollywood film industry in the East is surely wealthy enough to afford vocal chains for their recordings that are clear and undistorted - but Indian film music soundtracks seem to favour a distorted vocal that sounds like its suffering from a 1950's style technical error..!

Pop and dance music genres favour the 'mashing up' of sounds. A pop producer of mine once observed - if you start with a distorted drum loop - the temptation is to keep pile-ing on the distortion on everything else just to match it or "make it gel" - a slippery slope - but one that bands like The Prodigy have been supremely successful sliding down.

Whats my point?

It looks like anything goes, perhaps what is new is that over the last few decades or so, the global pop / rock audience for various reasons has grown USED to extreme distortion and audio "mangling"..

Perhaps in a sea of distortion a clean recording stands out now?

I dunno..

But anyway.. Lets raise a glass both to the early pioneers of distortion and also to those able to make "clean" hi fidelity recordings!

Its ALL good...

Old 4th January 2011
  #13
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Ken Scott's Avatar
 

Hmmmmm......the 90's? What about the totally overdriven mic amps on Revolution.

The fuzz box changed everything. That riff on Satisfaction, with that sound was the fork in the road as far as I'm concerned. What has changed more than anything, IMHO, is the type of distortion. It used to be a lot smoother, it first changed with the move to solid state and now with digital it's become even harsher.

Cheers
Old 4th January 2011
  #14
Registered User
 

For me, one of the main reasons the classic music of people like The Beatles, Bowie, and Elton is considered classic is because the sound and production complimented the music so well to the point that those recordings are as important as the songs themselves...

the recordings and sounds weren't just snapshots, they oozed personality...and contributed to the emotion of the song beyond just the singer and the performance...like in photography or film...some are grainy black and white, some are technicolor, and so on...and they managed to do it without being boring and pretentious nor cheesy and stupid...
Old 4th January 2011
  #15
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
We are always recording a performance and seeking to have the listeners believe the illusion we created was an actual moment in time.

I think audio fidelity can either serve that illusion or distract from it. It also has a big impact on the performers as they build their recordings.
Best post I have read in a while.
Old 4th January 2011
  #16
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timtoonz's Avatar
For me, it's kind of analogous to the art world, or to the world of film.

Sometimes you have in mind a simple charcoal sketch, other times you envision a fully 'hyper-real' 3D environment with all the bells and whistles. It starts out as an artistic choice to fit the material, but then comes the question of whether or not you can actually execute the chosen 'look' properly. Some results require more technique, and more technology than others.

And that's why I think in music, just as in film, the computer has been the biggest game changer. In the past, one new fuzz box could be a revolution, and the novelty took a long time to wear off because the technology was evolving gradually... look how long it took reverb to evolve from plates and chambers to digital boxes.

But once computers came into the picture, then every band had every instrument imaginable at their finger tips. The Sgt. Pepper orchestral approach is now as easy as opening up your favorite sampler or loop library and holding down a key. Just as in movies, where giant CGI battles with fantastical 3D monsters has become commonplace, and even boring.

I think that's the crossroads we're at now -- computers have made everything possible, and thus everything seems predictable and somehow less exciting. Pop music seems to have evolved into whiz-bang ear candy, where today's 'groundbreaking fuzz box' is tomorrow's 'shakuhachi sample'. Many of the more artistic bands have reverted back to stripped down, and simplistic productions as a reaction against all the digital mayhem. But only a few artists and record producers have the 'old school' chops to render a true '3D' audio masterpiece like Ziggy or Crime of the Century anymore. And the novelty no longer comes from the specific sounds, but from the originality, relevance, and cohesiveness of the overall 'picture'. It's the difference between Keisha and Radiohead, or Transformers 2 and Toy Story 3.

Okay, my analogy's starting to fall apart and I'm losing my own train of thought! I guess I'm trying to say that technology has made 'fidelity' easy, but true 'quality' will always be damned hard! I think I'll end my rant there!
heh
Old 4th January 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
For me, one of the main reasons the classic music of people like The Beatles, Bowie, and Elton is considered classic is because the sound and production complimented the music so well to the point that those recordings are as important as the songs themselves...

the recordings and sounds weren't just snapshots, they oozed personality...and contributed to the emotion of the song beyond just the singer and the performance...like in photography or film...some are grainy black and white, some are technicolor, and so on...and they managed to do it without being boring and pretentious nor cheesy and stupid...
Right?..It's like "The Perfect Storm"

Great song writing, performance, production and engineering all come to a head.

It still can and is done today although the instances are fewer and farther between.
Old 5th January 2011
  #18
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Virgil's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
For me, one of the main reasons the classic music of people like The Beatles, Bowie, and Elton is considered classic is because the sound and production complimented the music so well to the point that those recordings are as important as the songs themselves...

the recordings and sounds weren't just snapshots, they oozed personality...and contributed to the emotion of the song beyond just the singer and the performance...like in photography or film...some are grainy black and white, some are technicolor, and so on...and they managed to do it without being boring and pretentious nor cheesy and stupid...
I totally agree. Even in something as simple as Yesterday you can feel the equipment working together with the song and the performance to create a classic. Paul McCartney recorded it several times live and studio later, and IMO never got the charm of the original. On the Anthology 2, take 1, half of the road to a classic recording is already there before he starts playing: you can hear that sound when he speaks to the control room and strums.
Old 5th January 2011
  #19
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MTStudios's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
the recordings and sounds weren't just snapshots, they oozed personality...and contributed to the emotion of the song beyond just the singer and the performance...like in photography or film...some are grainy black and white, some are technicolor, and so on...and they managed to do it without being boring and pretentious nor cheesy and stupid...
Exactly! This is what melts my mind, figuring out what should be vibrant full colours (a big hi-fi recording) Or maybe dulled colours, or more green, or black and white, or sepia. These recordings that are more uneven could be called characteristic, but they could also be called 'wrong' and making the distinction seems a really big challenge.

It's like a band here in Australia - Karnivool - their first album was super hi-fi, sounded amazing and ethereal, it had lots of hidden synth parts behind big heavy guitars and it felt amazing, even album reviews spoke about how incredible the production was. Then their next album, with the same producer, was much grungier. Duller snare sounds, uneven guitar tones, sometimes the vox got a bit buried, really really rough and aggressive bass sounds, and none of those hidden ethereal synth parts. The band went from feeling like they were floating in another dimension at war with the meaning of existence on their first album, to seeming more like an underground rebellion in a futuristic distopia in their second album.

And so, perhaps these ideas of, making the recording sound less like the actual instrument, works best when it's done with a narrative? Even though the audience may never realise, perhaps it works to great effect on their pre-conscious feelings about the song?

This is why I feel it's vital to know the lyrics for a song when working on it, - if the song is about being too awesome to take any crap from a woman stirring things up, the vocals had better have a strong presence and enough low end! If it's about being hurt and vulnerable maybe we can soften him up a bit, let him feel further away, etc etc.
Old 5th January 2011
  #20
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haryy's Avatar
Hey, it's nice to chat with you Mr Scott!

As a performer and engineer i always try to create a certain feel of excitement when hearing the music and the sounds and i hope that other listeners will feel the same as me. Fidelity is just a tool. Higher, sometimes lower, depending on the vibe i get from the instruments and the performance. I can't explain it further, i just serve my instinct every time. That's all.
Old 5th January 2011
  #21
Talking The Clash and so called 'crude' recording quality

After 25 years of critical listening of all genres of music, playing in numerous bands, writing original music, recording, obtaining a degree in music etc., I have very strong and opinionated ideas of what is good and what sounds cool. Certain albums have their own unique style and sound. Not all music needs or is asking for the most pristine sound quality. I'm by no means saying that that isn't something to shoot for if that is what the music is calling for. It's just that there are exceptions to all rules and we should break them if they are asking to be broken. For example, I can relate this particularily to the sound of the Clash's first album. At the time of its release in the UK in 77', the snobby and greedy U.S. music industry considered it much too crude recording quality wise for the U.S. consumer. They were right as even to this day 99% of the U.S. population doesn't get punk rock or want to listen to it. Good! Makes it that much more special for those of us that enjoy it.

The music industry has always and continues to be primarily concerned with maximizing profits. No, they were not really concerned with distributing one of the most classic rock n roll albums ever (e.g. The Clash's 1st album). Look it up yeah Rolling Stone rated it #77 out of the best 500 rock n roll albums ever and London Calling was #14. So yeah, the industry like any other profit machine in the capitalistic, market based economies that are reality really only consider the 99% of the population that can only digest and deal with pop music that is pristine and overproduced. Safe, soapy and easily forgotten for the most part. There's a humanity and essence to that Clash album that is hard to explain. It's raw sounding and that is one of its appeals as it compliments the lyrics, attack, drive and fury of the band. If you haven't critically listened to it, I urge you too. To me, that sound is awesome. I especially love the guitars. Probably used relatively cheap gear I suppose. I try to recreate that sound at home as best I can for my original punk songs. I know many will disagree and maybe laugh and shrug my opinion off. Oh well, to each his own. That's what makes us all unique, different and cool in our own way.

Thanks Ken for the posts and sharing your experiences, insights, and wisdom. Classic stuff Mate! Clash is my favorite, and Beatles is right behind them. The English always made/make the best music.
Old 5th January 2011
  #22
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A4722's Avatar
 

Rendering...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
For me, one of the main reasons the classic music of people like The Beatles, Bowie, and Elton is considered classic is because the sound and production complimented the music so well to the point that those recordings are as important as the songs themselves...

the recordings and sounds weren't just snapshots, they oozed personality...and contributed to the emotion of the song beyond just the singer and the performance...like in photography or film...some are grainy black and white, some are technicolor, and so on...and they managed to do it without being boring and pretentious nor cheesy and stupid...
Yes, it all goes hand in hand.

What I am asking is : if 24/96k was the norm back then, would we revere these songs and/or react to them in the same way ? (Lets say that there was no previous "classic sound" to reference the above songs to)

Is it impossible to convey/invoke certain feelings without the specific gear? Is it that human feelings/motivations are linked to the technology of their respective age and these "classic songs" would not have come about otherwise ?
Old 5th January 2011
  #23
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doorknocker's Avatar
IMO some recordings like say a lot of early blues stuff like Robert Johnson or some of the 'Nuggets'-type of 60ies pre-punk one-hit wonders are 'enhanced' by the limited frequency response/lack of polish. As great as Robert Johnson's music is - I think it's actually our brains that 'enhance' it even more because we add the missing pieces that go with the myth of the man: scenery/adventure/mystic

In a sonical sense I think it often works best for relatively sparse stuff because our ears can still make out the musical gestures that may get lost with a muddy and limited recording of a bigger ensemble/arrangement. I think that is exactly what Ken was talking about above regarding 'Crime of the Century'. If you picture the same song done as a Lo-Fi piano/voice demo it still would be excellent because these are friggin' great songs but it would miss all the bliss and beauty of the 'big screen' and that's why I think that COTC is one big argument that attention to detail/hard work and spending a lot of time in tracking is worthwhile.

And then there are recordings that are great despite their sonic quality. I never liked the way that 'Layla + other assorted love songs' sounded yet I think it's one of the greatest rock records ever made.

Of course the greatest artists are able to blend these approaches and 'Hi-' or 'Lo-Fi' depending on the mood/intention/message of the song or combine it at the same time like a painiting has has a fore- and background and blurrier elements that enhance the brighter ones which don't even need to be super-bright to shine in this context.
Old 5th January 2011
  #24
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damianschwartz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
For me, one of the main reasons the classic music of people like The Beatles, Bowie, and Elton is considered classic is because the sound and production complimented the music so well to the point that those recordings are as important as the songs themselves...

the recordings and sounds weren't just snapshots, they oozed personality...and contributed to the emotion of the song beyond just the singer and the performance...like in photography or film...some are grainy black and white, some are technicolor, and so on...and they managed to do it without being boring and pretentious nor cheesy and stupid...
I totally agree with that, i love "treated" sounds, for me it´s not a matter of hi fi, i think a distorted and grungy record could be HiFi on its own way. Talking about reagge i love some of the early Bullwackies records (Jah Batta for example) or some of the early King Tubby productions, i think they just had a different approach to sound balance and quality, just that, and they would not be the same without noise and heavy basslines. I think that works when it´s what the engineer and all the crew are looking for. Even though there are some records i feel they coulded be much better, like "There´s a riot going on" from Sly, i love their stuff, songs are all great, but the recording quality sometimes take me out of the mood.
Old 5th January 2011
  #25
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soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Great topic. So much a matter of taste.

I think for instance that on a lot of the old blues records, particularly the historical recordings of Robert Johnson, the limits of the available technology of the time almost act like a sort of beautiful patina. It's hard (for me anyway) to imagine that stuff sounding any other way. The same for the old opera 78's of Caruso et. al., etc.

But some of the Chess recordings of Howlin' Wolf - like Smokestack Lightnin' - seem really hi-fi to my ears and that sounds absolutely right too.

What's cool is that nowadays we have so many (too many?) choices. Of course that's a double edged sword type deal...

And now I will just add a little rant about autotune: it makes people sound like robots. I guess that's OK once in a while but it kinda gets on my nerves when everybody sounds that way.

OK now I feel better.

Jordan Chassan
Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 5th January 2011
  #26
krs
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krs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
IMO some recordings like say a lot of early blues stuff like Robert Johnson or some of the 'Nuggets'-type of 60ies pre-punk one-hit wonders are 'enhanced' by the limited frequency response/lack of polish. As great as Robert Johnson's music is - I think it's actually our brains that 'enhance' it even more because we add the missing pieces that go with the myth of the man: scenery/adventure/mystic
I totally agree with this, Pablo Casals another good example
Old 6th January 2011
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

Good read and thanks for doing this Ken.

I think certain music demands certain sounds. There are no rules but you know it when you are there. I'm mixing Chicago style blues for a new TV show. While it's not "amazing" music we have found that some things just seem to work. We don't record the harmonica through the C-12. It has more vibe through one of those sure Green Bullets. The guitar that really speaks is the mid "60's Stella guitar, tuned down a whole step.

Love reading through your comments and thought process.

Steve
Old 6th January 2011
  #28
Gear interested
 

With all that is being said about new technology that has seemed to help the less talented, and perhaps take the talented into a new direction I have a question about fad recording. At what point does a fad become a standard? I know it all depends on the style of music etc etc. However as an engineer I get the auto tune request a lot. I know this was brought up before, and I know my example is more based on a case by case scenario as to what the client wants. But (putting auto tune aside) when does that new trick, if you will, become a technique? And how often does the new thing turn into something that stands the test of time? I feel like many of my clients songs will say "that was recorded between 2005 and 2010". I am also very new to the field I am young and am growing every day. I'm here to learn so be kind
Old 6th January 2011
  #29
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Iron Man's Avatar
I humbly like to think that "hi-fi" is my normal goal, and anything less would just be used as effects to support a specific song.
Old 6th January 2011
  #30
Fezzle
Guest
Innovation and Destruction

I think that the industrys changed alot since the introduction of accessible home setups to the degree that theres a big shift in the approach of makin music, massively due to the influence that the tools have on us.
As a clever guy i met said called Tom Jenkinson, " I started makin better music when I accepted I could not be a complete master of my tools, an that they were also my master, and we were collaborators " .
I truly believe there a big cooking pot brewing up one hell of stew, in the next decade we'll see music that reflects more of a surrender to technology, and as a result creators will find they can get their heart and spirit to hard disk.
I believe this because of the big difference in discipline when recording a live setup with practised musicians, to the musician who writes and produces work on a computer.
I'm also in firm agreement with mr Scott that one of the biggest advantages decades ago was technological limitation, thus forcing practicioners to make key decisions and stick to them.. rather like making an arrangment with somebody before mobile phones arrived. There may have been less choice.. but Im pretty sure alot more got done
In terms of edgy productions and distortion. Sure I agree, who cares if it sounds great, if it reinforces the vibe and imprints emotion better.. It is better .. but I wonder how many records like that were meant to sound like that..

stike
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