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The GEAR is not what's important. Condenser Microphones
Old 5th August 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
The GEAR is not what's most important.

Hi everyone


I had an epiphany today, so please open your mind to what I'm about to say.


The very premise of gearslutz.com is that we are all addicted, i.e, a slut, of gear.


I'm a Songwriter, and the search for the "perfect" gear has never interfered with my daily process of writing songs, while at the same time honing my vocal and musicianship skills.


Where I get bogged down is that once a song is recorded, that's when I try this plugin, that plugin, this Monitor, that Monitor, and so on and so on.


I've had several local people approach me about recording their songs, and one of them has hired me to be in charge of recording himself and those artists at his house where he has a separate bungalow in the back, and he's converted the upstairs to a nice size studio that's acoustically treated well.

Please note that their goal, as well as my personal goal, is to record really good sounding demo's. I will be the bass player, the drummer, the keyboard player if the Artist needs me to play those parts, and if he has someone else to play those respective parts, that's fine.

I am not naive enough to think that I could record an album in a Home Studio that would sound as good as a GREAT Studio, whether that Studio be at a Professionally designed Home Studio, or at a Professional Commercial Facility (read that as the Big Boys).



To continue...........



He obviously has a budget, and the first things we purchased were a MacBook Pro, LPX, a UAD Apollo Twin Duo, a MXL V67G and some JBL LSR305's.


The JBL's and MXL Mic were delivered to my house yesterday, so today I hooked them up in place of my Focal Alpha's and Avantone CV12 (which I'm using on a country song I just wrote and recorded).


When I opened the Session, several demo plugins such as the Waves JJP Signature Series Bundle, Vitamin, Vintage Aural Exciter, Abbey Road Vinyl, had expired, but I played the song without them.


With just a few tweaks by using my eq, compression, reverb, and the Adaptive Limiter in place of the missing plugins, I got a Mix that was great on the JBL's.


In fact, it was just as good as the Mix I had made with the Focals's, and the new Mix translated just as well to other systems.


I then recorded a alternate vocal track with the MXL, and by tweaking that track, as well as using an Antares Mic Modeler, it sounded just as good as the Avantone.



I have all these plugins that enhance the separate tracks and the Main Out Mix, but it seems to me that they mainly make the Mix brighter and louder.

Once you put one of those plugins on a track, then you have to put it on another track because that track doesn't stand out as much now, same thing all the way down the line.


But with the demo plugins gone, the Mix sounded just as good, perhaps better in many ways.




So what I've concluded is that WE are the power, WE are in control, not the damn GEAR!



As none of us on gearslutz can agree on what's the best mic, monitors, eq's, compressors, etc., have we all lost sight of the fact that it's not the gear with the talent, it's US!


Could any of us shoot any better with a Kimber 1911 instead of a Colt 1911, especially if all we had was the Colt, we hadn't mastered it yet, and we didn't have the money to buy the Kimber?


So IMHO, we should use the basic gear necessary to record, we should learn that gear, and we should use it until we can make it do exactly what we want, not the other way around.



What do you guys say to the above?


Jerry

Last edited by jerrydpi; 6th August 2017 at 05:23 AM..
Old 5th August 2017
  #2
Gear Guru
Let me see now ... you achieved musical results by using gear. Ok - maybe you have too much gear, so you can obsess about micro differences between said gear ...

But ultimately - you made music using GEAR - and if you did not have that gear, no music would have resulted. That seems to suggest to me that gear is required for making music - which makes it rather important to that process - is it not??

I take your point that you can achieve similar results with similar gear - and personally I have got off the brand snobbery bus.

But I still think gear (regardless of brand name and price tag) is still extremely important and the selection of that gear is a constant learning curve for me ...
Old 5th August 2017
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
Hi everyone

So IMHO, we should use the basic gear necessary to record, we should learn that gear, and we should use it until we can make it do exactly what we want, not the other way around.



What do you guys say to the above?


Jerry
I'm coming to the realization of this statement more and more as I've been blessed now to be in a financial position to obtain much of the gear I've always desired to have,...only to feel like what I've always had was already adequate and the thought or feeling like I needed this gear or that gear has been more of a setback than actually not having the gear itself.
Old 5th August 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Hi Kiwi, how's my man been, I hope everything is going good for you


I didn't mean to say that gear is not important, just that one doesn't have to keep buying similar gear when one hasn't mastered the piece he already has.


IMHO, there's WAY too much similar gear available to us now.


Sometimes too many choices are not good, ESPECIALLY for me Kiwi


I believe if The Beatles had all the gear available now, they would probably only be on their fifth album by now.


In other words, there just wasn't that much good gear available back then, and they were able to use what they had available at the time pretty darn good, wouldn't you agree?




Nice to hear from you again!

Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #5
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
Please note that their goal, as well as my personal goal, is to record really good sounding demo's.
Considering we live in the age of fantastic affordable gear, i really think you should raise your goals. How many times have I recorded a demo, or seen friends record a demo, and then go to a studio and it is just not possible to recreate the magic of that first demo? When you are on a song-writer's high, that is the time to capture the magic ... when the inspiration strikes. There is actually no reason that the music you track at the time and place should not end up on the ultimate song release ...

With digital recording being so affordable, I really think the lines between song writing, rehearshing, performing and recording and mixing are so blurry now they are becoming one and the same. So why not aim high.

Quote:
I am not naive enough to think that I could record an album in a Home Studio that would sound as good as a GREAT Studio, whether that Studio be at a Professionally designed Home Studio, or at a Professional Commercial Facility (read that as the Big Boys).
I am that naive. Why not be? In some cases the "big boys" are kids half my age, using the same laptop and software as me. It's nice that their talent has been recognised so that somebody has stumped up the big cash to let them play in expensive studios that have a lot going for them ... but ultimately, a lot of what these "big boys" can be done at home and acheiving exactly the same results. Not all ... but that line is extremely blurry ...


I would suggest that it is semi-insulting to suggest in a gear oriented forum that gear is not as important as talent. And it is sort of "well, duh!" for most of us.

We are all on different journeys trying to achieve different result ... so it's hard to know where everybody else is at. The amount gear out there is unfathomable ... a lot of it is garbage, a lot of it is overpriced ...

I think the ideal goal is to have exactly the right bit of gear that you need at the time to achieve the musical result you want to achieve. Sometimes that's just a guitar in your hand. Othertimes it might be a well know piece of software.

My journey at the moment is finding stompboxes that surprise and delight me. A few recent additions have totally transformed my sound for relatively small investment. Everything is relative ... I must admit there are some snobby brand names in that collection ... but compared to high end studio gear, it's peanuts. And in my opinion, the transformation in sound far exceeds the micro improvements that expensive high end gear can give me. You will notice I avoid the high end forum these days ... it cost me too much! But seriously - there is a much bigger bang for buck in the pedal arena for me ... awesome new sounds that have not existed before. A lot of high end audio gear is re-inventing the wheels that has been around for decades ...

There was a time when I was struggling to reduce noisefloor and distortion and phase problems ... now with DAWs i'm looking for ways to introduce noise and distortion and phase smearing ... so i'm looking for different gear for different reasons ...

It's all good. And sometimes necessary.
Old 5th August 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dricks123 View Post
I'm coming to the realization of this statement more and more as I've been blessed now to be in a financial position to obtain much of the gear I've always desired to have,...only to feel like what I've always had was already adequate and the thought or feeling like I needed this gear or that gear has been more of a setback than actually not having the gear itself.

Hi Dricks123


That's EXACTLY what I'm saying!



Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Kiwi,

I wasn't trying to insult you or anyone my friend


Speaking for myself, at some point, it's not about the gear anymore, it's about how good I can be with what I have.


My Songs at this point would not be any better if they were Mixed on $10,000.00 Monitors, than say, Auratone 5C's.


Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
psycho_monkey,


Do you agree with Kiwi that ultimately, a lot of what these "big boys" do can be done at home, and we can achieve exactly the same results. Not all ... but that line is extremely blurry?



Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #9
The gear isn't the point of the activity of recording. But the gear is the medium that we record through, so it has a level of importance, which is why Gearslutz exists.

I think most folks that are into recording have a strange reverence for the gear that goes beyond using it for what it does and respecting it for how it's made and designed. I don't find the gear magical. I find it well made and useful, or not. That said I have a limit to my care for the gear. That limit is right up to the point that I realize that I can do the things I want to do.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people obsess over preamps and certain names on their microphones, and converters when really they need to figure out how to move the mics to the right place to get the sound they want. They want to buy a Neumann when what they need is the right pickup pattern on their mic. They want a Neve or API preamp when what they need is to know how to get punch from choosing the right mic for the job and putting it in just the right spot for the player, instrument and room. It's a total lack of understanding of the actual practice of engineering a record. It has become like a magic shop where people seek the right spells to purchase to get the desired effect (so not the way).
Old 5th August 2017
  #10
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
I believe if The Beatles had all the gear available now, they would probably only be on their fifth album by now.


In other words, there just wasn't that much good gear available back then, and they were able to use what they had available at the time pretty darn good, wouldn't you agree?


Nice to hear from you again!

Jerry
Thanks Jerry ... you might be right. Then again - the Beatles had masses of new toys thrust at them all the time. But yeah, not at the rate we get stuff - especially software.

It must have been awesome times to have these newly invented instruments and amps and effects made available for the very first time. It also amazes me how often the first implentation of a musical invention ends up being the holy grail for decades to come ... and I think the musicians excitement and discovery of the new sounds make the music they made very enduring ...

All the more reason to be finding the new inventions of today ... instead of trying to recreate the old gear from the past.

The Beatles are a massive inspiration on every level ... but something that still impresses me is how *imperfect* they allowed their music to be. I've studied some of George Martin's philosophies on things like acoustics, gear, tuning ... the things he considered important were often not the things that some engineers would consider important ...

But too many options are a killer. The essence of creativity is - I believe - the ability to make choices, where "logical right-brainers" have no logical reason to make a choice. This is why some people think that creativity is hard ... they can't see the logic to make the "right decision". So they have to employ people to make those creative decisions.

A painter can choose to paint the sky red. Why? There is no reason ... he/she just made a choice. And sometimes that choice was based on the paints they had available. So sometimes having limited tools to work with is all part of the creative process.

I see a lot of "right brain" logical ... "right or wrong" thinking in these gear forums. That's because a lot of engineers are right brain thinkers who have to have logic and right/wrong decision making processes. Generally, the producers I respect the most don't really think that way ... get some gear that works, and make music with it ...

Which is basically what I think you are saying ...
Old 5th August 2017
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlightened Hand View Post
It never ceases to amaze me how many people obsess over preamps and certain names on their microphones, and converters when really they need to figure out how to move the mics to the right place to get the sound they want. They want to buy a Neumann when what they need is the right pickup pattern on their mic. They want a Neve or API preamp when what they need is to know how to get punch from choosing the right mic for the job and putting it in just the right spot for the player, instrument and room. It's a total lack of understanding of the actual practice of engineering a record. It has become like a magic shop where people seek the right spells to purchase to get the desired effect (so not the way).
In that sense, it's a lot like golf.
Old 5th August 2017
  #12
At the moment my tag line is, "It's not how many cars you have, it's whether or not you can drive." So I'm with you all the way, Jerry. I'm also with Kiwi: if you have no car to drive, what difference does it make how well you can drive?

For me it's a balancing act; one which I am not always successful with. I am interested in new things. I like to write new songs, learn new stuff, etc. And I certainly like to have a go with different pieces of kit from time to time.

Music for me, at this stage of my life, is all about having fun. If music ain't fun, then what's the point? Most of the time the fun for me is writing tunes. Not too long ago I inherited a bunch of preamp tubes, and I love playing around with those... but playing with different tube tones/sounds is just some extra fun I am lucky enough to have in the process of writing tunes. Trying different VSTs are part of the fun, too.

I'm way past the point of caring if I get any more tunes published or professionally recorded. Although, if that happens, it'll be fine... it's just not the point any more. Fun is the point, to me.

So I say, whatever makes you happy, go for it. I will applaud and encourage anyone/everyone I can.

Maybe once I learn to drive really well, I'll make it a point to look for an exotic car or two. But in the meantime, I'm gonna have fun driving what I have.
Old 5th August 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Which is basically what I think you are saying ...

That's what I was TRYING (maybe not so well, huh?) to say Kiwi


Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by no genre View Post
At the moment my tag line is, "It's not how many cars you have, it's whether or not you can drive." So I'm with you all the way, Jerry. I'm also with Kiwi: if you have no car to drive, what difference does it make how well you can drive?i
Hi no genre


I'll say it again, I NEVER said gear was not important in any way.


Of course you have to have something to work with.


I was just trying to say that I don't think you/I could drive a Formula One car any better than what you/I have now.


Do you agree that how well you can drive WOULD make a difference then?


Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
Hi no genre


I'll say it again, I NEVER said gear was not important in any way.


Of course you have to have something to work with.


I was just trying to say that I don't think you/I could drive a Formula One car any better than what you/I have now.


Do you agree that how well you can drive WOULD make a difference then?


Jerry
Indeed I do, good sir.
Old 5th August 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
In that sense, it's a lot like golf.
if you can Swing, then you can swing with anything ..

if you cannot swing, then you are going to need a Bigger Ball !!!

cheers with a Cold Rolling Rock today !!!
Old 5th August 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
no genre,


PS

Are you fascinated by how fast a Formula One car can go from 0 to 100, and back to 0 (I believe in under 5 seconds)?


I think I would throw my back (and my lunch) out at that speed


Jerry
Old 5th August 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 

I'm sorry but tbh I wasn't about to read all of that OP and could live w/o anyone saying - yet again - "the performance is what matters most not the gear!", esp as if they just said something even remotely insightful or original. This also just in, the earth revolves around the sun.
Old 5th August 2017
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwh1192 View Post
cheers with a Cold Rolling Rock today !!!
Note to self: change avatar. :-)
Old 5th August 2017
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
...As none of us on gearslutz can agree on what's the best mic, monitors, eq's, compressors, etc., have we all lost sight of the fact that it's not the gear with the talent, it's US!...
There's a good consensus on what the best gear is and why it's the best. I think of many of the gear designers and manufacturers as artists themselves; gear is a (crucial) part of the artistic process and can make or break a recording - it's a given that talent is crucial too.
Old 5th August 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Random points:

My best gear is not decided by the name on the front or the price tag. Or by analog, hardware, or digital.

On a good day, I'm inspired and cracking out ideas.

On a bad day I'm slogging away and absorbing tiny bits of information, trying to put something together.

On the best day it all comes together, and my awesome gear and technique facilitates a truly cathartic recording of some sort.

There are many points in between, but the gear is significant in the way that your clothes are part of how you appear, as well as your shave, bath and hair.
Old 6th August 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 
robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Note to self: change avatar. :-)
Yeah, what is that stuff . . . Sam Adams? Sierra Nevada Pale?
And is it a coincidence that 'beer' rhymes with 'gear'? I think not.
Old 6th August 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
voodoo4u's Avatar
Yeah, you can get results like the big studios from a home studio. People are doing it all the time these days. But... there is a hierarchy of importance to gear and mixing that you should be aware of. Once you understand this and follow it, the rest of the gear issues fall away. #1 importance: TRAIN YOUR EARS (or "get your 10,000 hours in"). You can't get "the sound" or a good mix if you don't know what to listen for in the first place. #2 Importance (closely related to #1 ): Get the monitoring right. Use really good monitors and build a great room, wherever that room happens to be. Nulls and nodes are a massive issue in a home studio. I've seen nulls as deep as 30db+ at lower frequencies in some small rooms. You will never get it right in this kind of environment and headphones, no matter how good, can't compensate. And this is the biggest challenge, as the room gets smaller, the chances of having a linear room start to go down exponentially. You need a large control room. Minimum 3000 cubic ft and no close first reflections (like say, from a 7 ft ceiling).
I'd be willing to put money on a bet that says 80% or so of guys with small home studios who listen to a lot of gear shoot outs and are reading other people's comments, are quietly saying to themselves "What's wrong with me, how come I can't hear a big difference between mic pre A and B or C. I don't know what they're talking about, they sound so similar. What's more, I'm not sure what's better". If you can't hear it (or understand what you're hearing) you can't properly control it.

And the other truth is, there really ISN'T that much of a difference between mid to high level converters or mic pre's or EQ or compressors. Some to be sure but not so much that a good mixer in a good room with good monitors couldn't correct for.
Old 6th August 2017
  #24
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Yeah, what is that stuff . . . Sam Adams? Sierra Nevada Pale?
And is it a coincidence that 'beer' rhymes with 'gear'? I think not.
Doubtful. English pint glass.
Old 6th August 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 
robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Doubtful. English pint glass.
Bass, then.
Old 6th August 2017
  #26
Gear Guru
Where I come from, beer rhymes with gear. But I've noticed that the Brit's cannot bear it when someobody suggests that beer rhymes with bear - it is seen as a bare affront to the Queens English. So I suppose this bear of little brain will just have to grin and bear it.
Old 6th August 2017
  #27
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Bass, then.
From the color, and having been in an English pub or two, I'd guess Stella. Yes, it's French and fizzy, but it's what pretty much every Brit under 40 drinks these days. And it packs enough of a punch that it'll get the job done.

"Woyfe Beetah, please!"
Old 6th August 2017
  #28
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrydpi View Post
Hi everyone


I had an epiphany today, so please open your mind to what I'm about to say .....

So IMHO, we should use the basic gear necessary to record, we should learn that gear, and we should use it until we can make it do exactly what we want, not the other way around.



What do you guys say to the above?


Jerry

BLASPHEMY !!!!!!! BURN HIM AT THE STAKE !!!!!
Old 6th August 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
well played, gentlepeople
Old 6th August 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
From the color, and having been in an English pub or two, I'd guess Stella. Yes, it's French and fizzy, but it's what pretty much every Brit under 40 drinks these days. And it packs enough of a punch that it'll get the job done.

"Woyfe Beetah, please!"
would be cool if you could get the Beer to Slowly be gone as a Thread goes on .. this way we will have a better idea when a Thread is about to end .. !!!
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