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Have you picked out gear used on an album with your ears? Condenser Microphones
Old 9th January 2007
  #1
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erock's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Have you picked out gear used on an album with your ears?

I'm curious to see how many other people this has happened to:

So I'm listening to the album mix of "Tanis" by Lynam of the album "Slave To The Machine" and I'm listening to the vocals and I'm thinking to myself, "dang, that sure sounds like he used a Great River ME-1NV or MP-2NV"...and sure enough...I come across an interview with the guy who did the album and he said the vocal pre was a MP-2NV.

How many times have you heard some kind of sonic characteristic of something on an album and you guessed what it was, only to be right?
Old 9th January 2007
  #2
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Barish's Avatar
Not an anorak to that extent yet...


But kudos to you anyway.


B.
Old 9th January 2007
  #3
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Windtaken's Avatar
 

akg 414s...but only because i hate the sound of them on vocals
Old 9th January 2007
  #4
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musicjon's Avatar
 

Just instruments and players (Les Paul, Music Man 5 or whatever), not recording gear. Oh yeah, and Autotune.
Old 9th January 2007
  #5
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Tibbon's Avatar
Just instruments mainly. Rarely amps. Sometimes i'll hear a very obvious effect (like an eventide 910's pitch shift, which is pretty obvious). Can sometimes pick out synths, but there's SOOO many similar ones out there, that it's hard to say.

Truthfully, most of the time even when I KNOW what the gear is, and own the gear myself, I have a hard time saying, "it sounds like this piece of gear" because there's so many other pieces in the chain (plus an artist that's unique sounding). Point in case. My main vocal mic is an AT4060. Apparently it's all over the new Justin Timberlake album, and I'll agree that it sounds similar, but I don't sound like Mr. Timberlake so i'd never have made that connection.

Also, for example, I know that Trent Reznor uses (among every other piece of gear in the world), a Sidstation, a Machinedrum, and a Moog Voyager in many of his pieces, all of which I own, but I have a hard time telling where he's using what.

That being said, if i don't document my synth sounds for songs that I write, I can rarely remember which synth (software or hardware) it came from. Sometimes it's my guitar going through moog pedals, and I forgot what it was at all.


I don't think that often people even notice the difference between studios. When listening to The White Album, does "Hey Jude" stick out at you immediately as being recorded at Olympic instead of EMI studios? Never noticed it and thought "that sounds like a totally different studio and console". Was somewhat startled to find out how many studios/rooms some of the Beatles albums were recorded in.
Old 9th January 2007
  #6
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PhilRanger's Avatar
 

I can most of the time: this is a drum, this is an electric guitar, this is the voice, etc

Old 9th January 2007
  #7
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Shazardhi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
When listening to The White Album, does "Hey Jude" stick out at you immediately as being recorded at Olympic instead of EMI studios?
No, it does not... but I think that's mainly because "Hey Jude" isn't ON the White Album... heh
Old 9th January 2007
  #8
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Synth80s's Avatar
Though it was easier back in the '80s and '90s when there were less electronic instruments on the market, I can definitely pick out various synths. ROMplers are easier because signature samples never die (think Korg M1 or Roland D-50). Drum machines are easier still (Linn Drum or Yamaha RX-11 anyone?).

Huge sample libraries, tons of VA and VST instruments have made synth-spotting more difficult these days, but spotting is easier when lazy musicians/producers use the preset sounds on any given instrument (especially the "trademark" sounds).

Oh, and a Rickenbacker guitar usually jumps out at me...especially if it's a 12-string!

-Synth80s
Old 9th January 2007
  #9
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Yeah, sometimes....

I think I know when I'm hearing a PCM 42 doing its od/breakup thing,

I can almost always pick out a DBX 160vu/165/a on a bass, either in a live setting or off a record, that ****s easy. (its its doing enough that is) I did it tonite at a show , heard the bass punch, thought to myself thats dbx, look over to the booth, sure enough, di and cab mic, both 160vu's.

sm81's as oheads- b/c I hate them there and know how they sound, but mainly cause its usualy coming from a school recording....

pod or any guitar amp modeling, I can definetly tell when something has been completly modeled from a dry guitar track, ALWAYS! I will fight this to the death.

certain pedals are easy too, oh big muff, oh Fuzz Factory, def ProCo RATT oh definetly a Fuzz Face. definetly a boss delay/reverb ,..................................... oh and metal zone - dont even need to hear it, I smell, seek and destroy it.

I may add to this list, I like this post

definite aggreement on Ric's
Old 9th January 2007
  #10
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

urei 1176's

neve 1073's especially on gtrs.

Neumann u47's on some tunes.. but i think as more and more new gear hits the market its harder to be this 'trainspotting' like.

Wiggy
Old 9th January 2007
  #11
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picksail's Avatar
 

It used to be much easier to discern recording gear on albums from way back, because there wasn't as much available.

For instance, one used to be able to spot the sound of a 160 on a snare. Though, now one could just as easily emulate that 'attack style' with a RenComp.

It used to be something like, "Not sure it could be a 160, but it has a little more girth and distortion. Maybe it's an 1176."

Do you honestly think that someone could distinguish a U47 from an E47 in a dense rock mix...
Old 9th January 2007
  #12
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tomwehrle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazardhi View Post
No, it does not... but I think that's mainly because "Hey Jude" isn't ON the White Album... heh
classic
Old 9th January 2007
  #13
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
I don't think that often people even notice the difference between studios. When listening to The White Album, does "Hey Jude" stick out at you immediately as being recorded at Olympic instead of EMI studios? Never noticed it and thought "that sounds like a totally different studio and console". Was somewhat startled to find out how many studios/rooms some of the Beatles albums were recorded in.
That's a very interesting point! About a year or two ago, I got a Sony SACD player and listened to the Stones Decca Singles Collection on the SACD layer.

It immedaeatly struck me how different for example the songs done at Chess were sounding, the RCA Hollywood studio tracks were also very distinctive, just a very different atmosphere, be it the room or the echo chambers. I then started to play a game of 'guess the studio' and actually was able to pick out most the Hollywood tracks without any problem.

BTW, I since gave up on SACD and just bought a used Studer CD player. Actually it's amazing how much better this 'vintage' machine sounds than any other CD player I tried and it's great to suddendly sonically rediscover CDs I though I knew by heart.


Unfortunately, the one piece of 'gear' that I can always pick out these days is AutoTune........
Old 9th January 2007
  #14
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juicylime's Avatar
 

I've picked out Alesis SR-16's a few times.
Old 9th January 2007
  #15
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Blast9's Avatar
LOL yeah, me too, and Boss Dr Rhythm!

I can definitely recognise the aggressive/fast "grab" of SSL comps or SSL-style comps o hi-hats, but couldn't tell you if it actually is an SSL comp

Ludwig Snares and kicks always have a certain timbre, I find
Old 9th January 2007
  #16
Gear Addict
 
UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 

I cant recognise pre'z or mics (xept if a 57/58 was used, too familiar not to recognise), but I often however recognise virtual instruments and synths on many recordings. Mainly the NI B4, that has a specific sound, apart from de original hammond sound, that I easly pick out of tracks.
Also a few years back, when the roland grooveboxes were fashonable, I could easly tell withch patch on what tune was used. Have that sometimes also with intruments (hey, that must be a fender precision, etc )
Old 9th January 2007
  #17
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Synth80s's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
BTW, I since gave up on SACD and just bought a used Studer CD player.
Please don't give up on SACD! There are only about 14 SACD enthusiasts left in the world (one of which is me)!!!

-Synth80s
Old 9th January 2007
  #18
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Tibbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazardhi View Post
No, it does not... but I think that's mainly because "Hey Jude" isn't ON the White Album... heh
Damnit, shooting self in foot. It was recorded at the same time at least...
Old 9th January 2007
  #19
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

One time I could tell that Cher had used auto tune on one of her songs.... I must be a friggin' GENIOUS! heh
Old 9th January 2007
  #20
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UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 

Damn I thought I was the only one who could hear that..... (dfegad cher)
Old 9th January 2007
  #21
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erock's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
+1 on the instruments, too.

For some reason, my ears can spot a Tele in like .6 seconds, even if its through a high gain amp. As for amps, JCM900s and Hughes and Kettner (Triamp and Duotone...Triamp mostly) amps are pretty recognizable to me also.

This is fun. We should make a game or something out of this.
Old 9th January 2007
  #22
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GearHunter's Avatar
 

Guitar-sounds, usually. I can pick out the guitar, the amp, the mic and sometimes the pre.
Old 9th January 2007
  #23
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analogbass's Avatar
 

Not too hard to make out synths & drum machines from many of the 70s-90s productions, then it got more complicated. Early 80s it was almost all linn, oberheim & a little roland drums in urban music, along with vintage synths.

Less was more-those old sounds were a lot better. Today there are so many options, most of which suck in comparison.
Old 9th January 2007
  #24
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pkautzsch's Avatar
 

I think on classical recordings I do recognize Neumann M50 immediately. And with SDCs I can at least tell if it's Neumann or Schoeps - and if it's neither, it's probably DPA
Old 9th January 2007
  #25
Gear Head
 

yes drummachines, and some waves plugins, like metaflanger and enigma, and some lexicon 91 or 81 dont remember which right now

and also there's some synthlayers that just sound so moog. but sometimes im wrong there.
Old 10th January 2007
  #26
Gear Addict
 
JesseJ's Avatar
 

Yeah the 'obvious' ones like standard guitars like les pauls and stratocasters, popular amps and mics, specially on guitar and bassdrums. Some classic guitarpedals and basstones are quite distinctive. Some older rack gear is quite distinguable too. PCM41 or space echo and like that... Some classic compressors and eq. Some brand of tape have also a distinctive sound when driven hard, but thats uncommon to hear.

Of course it can go totally wrong if it's an clone/copy/emulation/sample/virtual gear, but I don't think that matters, the point is that you hear and know how to achieve the same result if wanted.

And I must recommend not to talk about this ability among people who are not in the business or they laugh at you. tutt People think that this simply cannot be done!

Also when listening to records, a little gear history helps a lot and gives a lot of hints. Where and when was it recorded, and by whom.. also in many genres of music, theres the 'standard' gear to use on certain tasks, which definately reduces and narrows down the suspect list...
Old 10th January 2007
  #27
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qubi's Avatar
 

"trainspotting" preset keyboard patches and drum machines is fun (damn I'm a gear nerd!) but pretty obvious.. as far as outboard my knowledge isn't that extensive, but i've come to recognize the 1176 pretty well, and the sound of API is beceoming more familiar..

oh, and some plug ins, like suppa trigga..
Old 10th January 2007
  #28
Gear nut
 
kernelpanic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazardhi View Post
No, it does not... but I think that's mainly because "Hey Jude" isn't ON the White Album... heh
But mainly because it was recorded at Trident

Excuse me, I just need to take my hood down....
Old 10th January 2007
  #29
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Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHunter View Post
Guitar-sounds, usually. I can pick out the guitar, the amp, the mic and sometimes the pre.
Yup, me too. In fact, we used to play a game in the studio and I was the only one there that could tell you what guitar, amp, mic (s), hell, even what type of pick... Really. Nylon, shell, metal, etc. About 95% of the time I could tell you what strings were used and if they were "fresh", worn a day or two, or wayyy old AND I can always hear if the strings are coated or not.

As far a gear, kinda the same thing, I could always identify the chain. Really. Guitars, Vocals, Strings, Drums, always could tell. Should have played that game for $$$!

BUT, and there's always a but, right? I could only do this in the control room on playback. CD's, Dat's, etc., were a little more difficult because of the mastering and my % fell off a bit. No matter what, I was close. I believe if I had Mastering experience, I'd have the sound down post-mastering- THEN I WOULD ALWAYS play that game for $$$.

Man, it will suck if my hearing goes like my eyes have lately! If that happens, let's hope the memory and common sense goes too so I can sell off all my high-end gear, go Behringer and LOVE Mono!heh
Old 10th January 2007
  #30
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

this thread should be a reality check for some people : )
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