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Old 16th November 2009
Lives for gear
Sk106's Avatar

I recorded once at a place where the engineer was sitting in sort of a screened off area at one end of the control room, with the console and all tech gear there, and the console butt end facing out to the room. He had sort of his corner, where nobody naturally gravitated towards. You had to go in behind the console into his chair where you could barely fit 2 people. Nobody was interested in sitting in there. A bit away from the back end of the console, the room had a 5 foot high big window looking into the recording room, and facing the window was the (huge) couch and table, and leisure conveniences - a TV, phone and stuff.

I loved it. It completely took all the gear- and tech thinking out of things and all people - except the engineer - automatically listened with their ears, to the music, expressions, notes, and not the sound of edits or tweaking (which is the engineer's domain and responsibility anyway). The tech stuff happened "over there" *waves towards the engineer lair* and everybody in the room were focusing on the music. We sat in that big couch, looking at what happened in the recording room, and listening to the sound (during mixing) directing and offering opinions. Nobody ever got bored, everybody felt actively involved in the 22 hour session (2 days). Not seeing parameters, lights, knobs, console .. just made you focus on what it sounded like and not what things looked like. You connected to what you heard, not to what you saw. You didn't even see the engineer or his lair, because he was .. like eight o'clock behind you.

IF I had my way, I would do it like that .. but customers tends to judge things by however it looks and works like whatever they expect to see - whether that is better or not: Themselves in the back crowded in a couple of softchairs or smaller sofa (never enough space for all to sit at the same time) not seeing anything but the backs of the engineering guys and their own reflections in the narrow control room window, just sitting there like passengers, not mentioning too much because you feel like a backseat driver if you do .. hoping their work turns out well, by the guys sitting in the cockpit, which is the center of the room with all the gear put at the center of attention.

His place was not his livelyhood, but practically it really works wonders ... at least for my way of seeing things, and the engineer said he designed that room to prevent/bring out just that which we all felt about it. Also the engineer could cram all his stuff in around him, with everything in very comfortable reach.

I loved that style.