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Hands up for fun in recording on location
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Hands up for fun in recording on location

Let's have a show of hands to see how often you have fun like this when recording: it seems to have been a very loose, productive session in a small home studio setting.

Having those guys around woulda helped a lot, I'd venture to enough time to re-write lyrics while the tape's rewinding or the reel's getting changed over !

Old 1 week ago
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tourtelot's Avatar
I don't know. I was privy to be involved with some sessions back in the day and some were "loose" and fun and some were, well, not.

Just like today, right?

Old 1 week ago
I did some work for Leon Russell back in the early 1970's. It was some guitar stuff. I visited his place in an Encino ranch house. It was converted into one big studio. That's were he did all his work back then. He had one of the first fully loaded 24 track studios in a house.

I remember the easy going ways, the fun, the laughs, the lack of a clock on the wall and just a bunch of good folks doing what they did best in a very friendly, comfortable environment. That sold me on the home studio long before most ever thought about it.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
I don't know. I was privy to be involved with some sessions back in the day and some were "loose" and fun and some were, well, not.

Just like today, right?

yes...except today you're likely to be doing a lot more screen-staring, clock-watching and editing on the fly ? Multitrack tape back then imposed a very obvious and uncontestable "wordclock" on proceedings: rewind/ffwd and changing reels, the pressure of dropping in precisely for overdubs, far less or no 'fixing it in the mix' ....these were the ceremonial constants that had to be observed by all.

For some, while still learning the ropes, that was living on the edge...and thus the 2000's are too routine, automatic. For others, exactly the opposite. Name me an industry that hasn't been similarly affected by changes in the info-tech landscape ?

The musicians seemed to be having fun...I'm sure the engineers and tape-op(s) were fully engaged to avoid accidental erasures (of such celebrated players !), maybe not so much levity for them ?

I'm quite sure Jim Keltner had fun playing the refrigerator though....
Old 1 week ago
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
I think most of the denizens of Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording can relate to the vibe in the Wilburys' video. It is the challenge and reward of capturing a fresh performance in the moment. Sometimes its more work, sometimes pure pleasure, but if it goes right it freezes the ephemeral in a wonderful way. I think the restrictions of remote and live performance act the same way as the "uncontestable wordclock" of tape. And I am pretty sure the Wilburys' engineers were working hard, sweating the details, all the while digging the groove.

Last edited by jimjazzdad; 1 week ago at 02:06 PM.. Reason: grammar
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
yes Jim, I think a lot of it's about sufficient preparation and lining your ducks up in a row for success prior to the event...including publicly sweating over the small stuff right here sometimes, before an unfamiliar location situation presents itself.....

Lord knows there are enough wild card factors which can prevent the 'ephemeral transcendant' from being captured: below par performances, traffic noise, last minute changes to mic stand location, equipment breakdowns, aircon intrusion...the list is endless.

It all coalesces down at the the fun end of the spectrum when our skills, equipment, experience/mindset and the performance itself are as good as they can be.

it's probably healthy that there's a sense of minor apprehension and reserve regarding the successful outcome of a field recording endeavour...when so many variables are at play. I always liken it to the thrill of big (or small) game hunting or fishing...the satisfaction inherent in exercising all of ones' faculties and skills to bag a keeper and bring it on home.

If it ever gets boring and routine and predictable...that's the time to find another sport. Of course we all want to retain a high average strike rate, like Plush and Doug T and Norsehorse and Dave Spearritt ...I bet those guys never break a sweat out in the field, cool dudes indeed ....and if they ever make a subpar capture, we never get to hear about it....!
Old 1 week ago
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tourtelot's Avatar
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I bet those guys never break a sweat out in the field, cool dudes indeed ....and if they ever make a subpar capture, we never get to hear about it....!
Oh my God! I am always terrified on a higher profile date. Literally terrified. There is SO much that can go wrong, far away from home-base. And it has always gotta go right. I always spend (many) unpaid days "getting my ducks in a row", testing, talking, testing some more, tweeking. Hopefully, my apprehension on the day is perceived as head-down-hard-work and not as "man, that engineer is nervous."

And then, there's putting it back together at light speed, smiling the whole while, when it goes bad. Ugh!

And this is after 45 years of doing audio as a profession.

That part never changes.


Germain to the thread, you all ought to have seen Dave Brown change out 14" rolls of 2" tape, multitracks flyin' at 30ips, on the RPS truck during many a live concert recording dates. Talk about cool under pressure. Never failed to impress me even as I saw it many, many times.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
We did a BBC Omnibus about a Japanese Prog Band recording in a Devon cottage in the wilds
We took a Scully 8 track and as much kit as we could from BBC Tech stores
2 weeks literally f ing about with tape delays ,flangeing, phasing, Leslieing ,and reverse Nagra
Great Fun
Later we recorded a Weekend of Music Concrete at a Manor House in Somerset , and then a session in a Car scrap yard...
Lunatic stuff
The jazz fusion one was more 'musical' but less location fun, it was in a theatre.
Old 1 week ago
A good friend from Cincinnati asked me to drive down and record his folk group. It was in house in the suburbs. I took down my Allen and Heath mixer, a Tascam DA-88, some Genelec monitors and enough mic cables, microphone and stands to do the recording. We, my intern and I, drove down the night before and recorded all day Saturday and Sunday. It was a GREAT gig with really nice musicians who were prepped and ready for the recording sessions. I got home late Sunday night and started on the mix-downs on Monday. We got some GREAT recordings and everyone had fun. I will always remember, fondly, those musicians and the weekend. I will also remember the GREAT food and libations that we had on Saturday night. To the OP thanks for the post it was a good memory jogger.
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