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Clone Gear. Is it professional?
Old 10th May 2019
  #1
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KristopherSheehy's Avatar
Clone Gear. Is it professional?

You know a lot of us have probably fell victim to buying some clone gear already and with someone like me who can't afford to play with the rich boys, all I really have is clone gear. Companies like STAM, WARM, Klark Teknik, etc to name a few.

I'd like to open up a discussion to see how everyone really feels about it though. Yes, at the end of the day it is all about whether or not it SOUNDS good. But does this make us look unprofessional? If you came to my home studio, would you think I'm just playing with toys? Would you respect someone less for pulling out the WA2A over a Teletronix?
Old 10th May 2019
  #2
Here for the gear
 

If you know a guy who makes a hit with a console, original LA2A, Tubetech,... and a guy who makes a hit with just clones. Who has more talent and who do you respect more?
Old 10th May 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Don't think about it too hard. Let folks judge you by the quality of the records you work on. Let them judge you by what you bring to the table. How enjoyable working with you is. If someone comes to your studio and judges you solely on your clone gear... I say that should be more their problem than yours. What a silly person that would be, and if they don't want to work with you because of it then you're probably better off. Dodged a bullet. Purists are some of the worst kinds of people.
Old 10th May 2019
  #4
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NReichman's Avatar
 

I've heard great soundtracks come together with duct tape, toothpicks and a junky MIDI sequencer, and I've heard awful work done in million-dollar rooms...
Old 10th May 2019
  #5
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avare's Avatar
 

The sound comes from the people making it, not the equipment.
Old 10th May 2019
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Many great musicians don't even really know what a compressor is, they don't care about the brand of your gear
Old 10th May 2019
  #7
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deuc647's Avatar
 

I wish someone would have the balls to clone the GT ViPre, god that is the most elusive pre in existence lol.
Old 10th May 2019
  #8
Clones look cool and make it look like you're pro

Old 10th May 2019
  #9
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

First, it is going to depend on the client. I have never owned a public studio that was a business, but I did plenty of professional work out of my home studio, as well as engineered at plenty of other studios. I would say that 80% don't care what you use, it's about the sound. Then, some will be more impressed by seeing racks of gear or a console, but if you are clean, neat, and please the client, that 80% is satisfied. I would say 10% or so know a little bit about audio or engineering, they may know what mics they like, or know that an external preamp is important but they probably don't care exactly which one you use.

The 10% who really know, I find them to be tough clients. Often times, they are using your spot (or in my case, usually someone else's spot) as their own dream studio, with you engineering. Like they will want all the expensive pieces in use, but not really know that it's better than what you want to use. Then if their is a problem, they blame you, not the gear they choose, even if you recommend different because they think it's all the in the gear. I had a vocalist be disappointed in me, but she was not in pitch, nor in rhythm but it has to sound good through a Tube Tech CL1A or LA2A (which makes even less sense because that can cause issues) when it's not appropriate. Even some want an Avalon, just because they see it. Those people tend to think the gear matters not only more than the engineer, but some people think it should make them perform better some how. Just saying, even a savvy client should trust you and your decisions. This can be a place I need to set boundaries, like trust me first, we can try your way, and then we choose.

Note, I am not tracking people all day every day, but it wasn't uncommon for me to do 10-30 hours a week for about a decade.

As for clones, I think for the savvy, it's generally acceptable, if the piece is respected. For the non savvy, they don't care.


Then their is the second part, being a professional. That side of it is deciding your budget and your rate. If your rate is $200/hr, and you only have clones, I may question that at first, but at the end of the day, it's about how it sounds. Not everyone is going to be like me. If you are charging a more competitive rate, I would assume you would have some clones, a mix of quality budget gear and maybe some real deal key pieces, even if not the best, only to be flexible not everything is a clone. But a professional decides what is really worth it, and how to sell that service.


Last for me, if you have only clones, like NS10 clones, a 1073 clone, Avantones, Stam everything, then I may put you in the budget studio category myself, but if you sound amazing, and have credits on top, I am not going to question. I hate to say it but plaques on the wall speak louder than anything to most people. The only reason I say that negatively is many gold and platinum engineers, with other awards or nominations don't give the same service to a local client as a label client.
Old 12th May 2019
  #10
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SteelyDani's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmtblader View Post
If you know a guy who makes a hit with a console, original LA2A, Tubetech,... and a guy who makes a hit with just clones. Who has more talent and who do you respect more?
Both.
Old 12th May 2019
  #11
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What is the difference between a software clone and a hardware clone? Is working with vintage gear based plugins professional?
Old 12th May 2019
  #12
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frans's Avatar
There's so much variation between clone gear, the answer will be as vague.
Maybe the final question is: how do you know if the clone is as good or not as good and when to use the clone, if it's limited? I hope you're judged by results and not by bling in the rack. Who do you want to "impress" with original gear? I very well remember the day a halfway known singer admired the thing on the floor that keeps the musicians from trampling my expensive cables (80$) while he was singing into a 4000 $ mic, and 8000$ in preamps and stuff, not being able to know the expensive stuff from the cheap utility stuff.
Old 12th May 2019
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by avare View Post
The sound comes from the people making it, not the equipment.
Both really. It’s a combo platter.
Old 12th May 2019
  #14
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Cloning = stealing. I don't like to work with people who cannot develop their own designs and make them an asset in the world of good sounding equipment. Anyone filling up his studio with clones is a wannabe-engineer IMO. Why don't you buy cheaper original designs of the not so well known brands and make your own original sound with those? I cannot afford a Pultec EQ, but that does not mean I should pay another company for just stealing the design and undercutting the original maker. (Having said that, it cannot be denied that sometimes equipment designers inspire each other. If inspiration is taken from one great design and incorporated as an idea into another great, mostly original, design I have no objections against that. It brings the whole industry and our sound quality forward.)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
I do not consider gear to be professional. any piece of gear that was used and made at least 0.01 cents is considered professional. So any piece of gear can be classified as professional.
I consider people to be professional or not professional.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
I do not consider gear to be professional. any piece of gear that was used and made at least 0.01 cents is considered professional. So any piece of gear can be classified as professional.
I consider people to be professional or not professional.
Lol. I agree
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Cloning = stealing. I don't like to work with people who cannot develop their own designs and make them an asset in the world of good sounding equipment. Anyone filling up his studio with clones is a wannabe-engineer IMO. Why don't you buy cheaper original designs of the not so well known brands and make your own original sound with those? I cannot afford a Pultec EQ, but that does not mean I should pay another company for just stealing the design and undercutting the original maker. (Having said that, it cannot be denied that sometimes equipment designers inspire each other. If inspiration is taken from one great design and incorporated as an idea into another great, mostly original, design I have no objections against that. It brings the whole industry and our sound quality forward.)
What a bunch of nonsense
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
First, it is going to depend on the client. I have never owned a public studio that was a business, but I did plenty of professional work out of my home studio, as well as engineered at plenty of other studios. I would say that 80% don't care what you use, it's about the sound. Then, some will be more impressed by seeing racks of gear or a console, but if you are clean, neat, and please the client, that 80% is satisfied. I would say 10% or so know a little bit about audio or engineering, they may know what mics they like, or know that an external preamp is important but they probably don't care exactly which one you use.

The 10% who really know, I find them to be tough clients. Often times, they are using your spot (or in my case, usually someone else's spot) as their own dream studio, with you engineering. Like they will want all the expensive pieces in use, but not really know that it's better than what you want to use. Then if their is a problem, they blame you, not the gear they choose, even if you recommend different because they think it's all the in the gear. I had a vocalist be disappointed in me, but she was not in pitch, nor in rhythm but it has to sound good through a Tube Tech CL1A or LA2A (which makes even less sense because that can cause issues) when it's not appropriate. Even some want an Avalon, just because they see it. Those people tend to think the gear matters not only more than the engineer, but some people think it should make them perform better some how. Just saying, even a savvy client should trust you and your decisions. This can be a place I need to set boundaries, like trust me first, we can try your way, and then we choose.

Note, I am not tracking people all day every day, but it wasn't uncommon for me to do 10-30 hours a week for about a decade.

As for clones, I think for the savvy, it's generally acceptable, if the piece is respected. For the non savvy, they don't care.


Then their is the second part, being a professional. That side of it is deciding your budget and your rate. If your rate is $200/hr, and you only have clones, I may question that at first, but at the end of the day, it's about how it sounds. Not everyone is going to be like me. If you are charging a more competitive rate, I would assume you would have some clones, a mix of quality budget gear and maybe some real deal key pieces, even if not the best, only to be flexible not everything is a clone. But a professional decides what is really worth it, and how to sell that service.


Last for me, if you have only clones, like NS10 clones, a 1073 clone, Avantones, Stam everything, then I may put you in the budget studio category myself, but if you sound amazing, and have credits on top, I am not going to question. I hate to say it but plaques on the wall speak louder than anything to most people. The only reason I say that negatively is many gold and platinum engineers, with other awards or nominations don't give the same service to a local client as a label client.
Totally... if some mixer is looking to use your room to mix and you’ve listed a bunch of gear and he shows up to find you have the gear but it’s all clones he’ll probably turn around and leave lol

But, I’m doubting that’s your client base, yah?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Lots of engineers/studios I highly respect use both original Manley/Neve etc gear and Warm Audio/Stam gear. What matters is how it sounds.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Degree View Post
First, it is going to depend on the client. I have never owned a public studio that was a business, but I did plenty of professional work out of my home studio, as well as engineered at plenty of other studios. I would say that 80% don't care what you use, it's about the sound. Then, some will be more impressed by seeing racks of gear or a console, but if you are clean, neat, and please the client, that 80% is satisfied. I would say 10% or so know a little bit about audio or engineering, they may know what mics they like, or know that an external preamp is important but they probably don't care exactly which one you use.
This.

Here's a personal example. A number of years ago a group I was in went to Nashville on a weekend recording package at Emerald Entertainment, now The Tracking Room. We were super pumped about recording for the first time in a real studio, but I/we had no idea about equipment at that point. Wouldn't have mattered to us what mics they put in front of us, or what names were on the outboards. What did matter was the experience and the result, and frankly with this being a large studio in Nashville our naive expectations were nothing short of radio-ready sound. Wasn't until years later, after I had started my own home studio and became familiar with equipment that I realized they had two of us on C-800Gs and the other two on vintage C12s. And, of the two things that mattered, the result was a disappointment. We had a junior engineer with limited time doing the recording/mix. Vintage mics going through a phenomenal board/outboards, to tape, in great rooms could not overcome his lack of talent. And if I can humbly say, we were all very good, experienced singers, so that was not the issue.

Our second project was done locally. We used Rode NT1a's in an 8x8 basement studio, no outboard preamps, and an inexpensive board. Effects on an old Alesis unit, and compression done in SoundForge. However, the result was so much better because the engineer knew what he was doing and took the time to do it right.

We were slightly embarrassed to sell the first project, not the same for the second. And as we all know, the listeners were clueless about what equipment was used.
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Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
What a bunch of nonsense
Can you elaborate on that? I was quite careful in explaining my reasoning. All you do is dismiss my words without offering any reasoning for it. Very poor.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
Anyone filling up his studio with clones is a wannabe-engineer IMO.
lol

no. anyone engineering music is an engineer, and anyone talking about it but not doing it is a "wannabe". I find your definition a little questionable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
(Having said that, it cannot be denied that sometimes equipment designers inspire each other. If inspiration is taken from one great design and incorporated as an idea into another great, mostly original, design I have no objections against that. It brings the whole industry and our sound quality forward.)
So where exactly do you draw the line? How is anyone apart from perhaps an electrical engineer or studio tech supposed to know how much of a given design is borrowed?


If a piece delivers a sound that is useable in a professional context, then I suppose it is professional gear.. but I also struggle to see the usefulness of such a distinction.

Get what you can afford. Work as hard as you can to learn to get the best from what you have and to just get better at what you love.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
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Earcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
lol

no. anyone engineering music is an engineer, and anyone talking about it but not doing it is a "wannabe". I find your definition a little questionable.
Check out the OP once more and see that I have given my opinion in line with what he wanted to know. The whole problem with people buying clones from original classics is that they think it will make them sound like pros. Or it will make their mixes sound like great songs they have heard. When you are a real engineer you know how to get the best out of any piece of equipment and you will have your own original ideas of how to shape sound. Buying into clichés is wannabe-behavior and has little to do with engineering your own sound signature. Zombie-engineering is what I would call it. Too much of that stuff around in the world already. You can call yourself a pro when you make money with your activities, but in no way does it warrant engineering of any significance, nor does making money say anything about your artistic qualities. Is that questionable enough for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
So where exactly do you draw the line? How is anyone apart from perhaps an electrical engineer or studio tech supposed to know how much of a given design is borrowed?
Doing your homework would be the least that can be expected when being serious about sound engineering. The blatant rip-offs are even marketed under unofficial mention of the pieces they are copying. Of course when pieces are not direct rip-offs the lines may be blurry and one would have to decide for himself if he is still willing to buy into stolen designs or not and if "stolen" is still the applicable term. That is totally personal and you will not hear me about it. But since the OP asked, this is my stance in the discussion. I can see how that is difficult for all those who have invested in the products of theft and why they will bend themselves all the way backwards to find excuses for their choice, but even when lots of people profit from theft it does not make it less morally defunct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
If a piece delivers a sound that is useable in a professional context, then I suppose it is professional gear.. but I also struggle to see the usefulness of such a distinction.

Get what you can afford. Work as hard as you can to learn to get the best from what you have and to just get better at what you love.
I have known a graphic designer who built his entire business on Photoshop, Illustrator and a bunch of other major pieces of software. All pirated. His defence was: "I cannot afford to pay for those programs since I do not earn enough". Yet, he bought a house, his kid went to and exclusive college and his wife had her hair done by an expensive hair salon. Some might see the logic of his reasoning, but I couldn't and stopped working with him.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
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3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Totally... if some mixer is looking to use your room to mix and you’ve listed a bunch of gear and he shows up to find you have the gear but it’s all clones he’ll probably turn around and leave lol

But, I’m doubting that’s your client base, yah?
Well, first and foremost, I don't mix that much because it typically isn't my decision. I do hip hop so I mix my instrumentals and do rough mixes (that is typically ITB) so it really is just tracking for me.

I will just say engineers have been surprised when the find my go to vocal chain is my Rode NT1a and a GAP Pre 73. Quiet honestly, I want better, but it has done the job for so many years that I stick with it. Now it doesn't work on everyone but when it works, it works well. If I still tracked vocals like I used to, I would have bought a U87ai probably, but at this point, I really tend to invest elsewhere because now everything gets recorded elsewhere.

Just saying I don't have that type of studio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by packermans4 View Post
This.

Here's a personal example. A number of years ago a group I was in went to Nashville on a weekend recording package at Emerald Entertainment, now The Tracking Room. We were super pumped about recording for the first time in a real studio, but I/we had no idea about equipment at that point. Wouldn't have mattered to us what mics they put in front of us, or what names were on the outboards. What did matter was the experience and the result, and frankly with this being a large studio in Nashville our naive expectations were nothing short of radio-ready sound. Wasn't until years later, after I had started my own home studio and became familiar with equipment that I realized they had two of us on C-800Gs and the other two on vintage C12s. And, of the two things that mattered, the result was a disappointment. We had a junior engineer with limited time doing the recording/mix. Vintage mics going through a phenomenal board/outboards, to tape, in great rooms could not overcome his lack of talent. And if I can humbly say, we were all very good, experienced singers, so that was not the issue.

Our second project was done locally. We used Rode NT1a's in an 8x8 basement studio, no outboard preamps, and an inexpensive board. Effects on an old Alesis unit, and compression done in SoundForge. However, the result was so much better because the engineer knew what he was doing and took the time to do it right.

We were slightly embarrassed to sell the first project, not the same for the second. And as we all know, the listeners were clueless about what equipment was used.
This is a story I hear all to often. And you can tell from my comment above, I don't have a lot of gear anymore. That said, I found acoustic treatment, not just the panels, but testing, doing the math, retesting, changing things up really trumped any equipment upgrades I have ever made.


I think that's why I have no problem with clones myself, use what works, but more than anything, it's easy to think a studio is amazing because of the equipment. I know many who have been disappointed with mixing, more than anything, because so and so has an SLL board or something and they mixed some hits, but don't have any current credits or stand out projects.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
I have known a graphic designer who built his entire business on Photoshop, Illustrator and a bunch of other major pieces of software. All pirated. His defence was: "I cannot afford to pay for those programs since I do not earn enough". Yet, he bought a house, his kid went to and exclusive college and his wife had her hair done by an expensive hair salon. Some might see the logic of his reasoning, but I couldn't and stopped working with him.
While I understand the point you're trying to make with your graphic designer example, I would submit, with all due respect, that this is not at all applicable to the conversation. Apples and oranges. What he has done and/or is doing is clearly unlawful, and he has shown himself a person of low moral conscience and character. What he's doing is defined as stealing because he's obtained a product illegally, he has not licensed it or paid for its use. Even worse, he is using it to generate profit for himself. This is unfortunately indicative of our society today, where moral absolutes are being dismantled.

Musical equipment "clones" however, are manufactured legally, and purchased legally through proper distribution and suppliers. The only exception would be if a product has infringed upon established patents, and if that were the case the suppliers would not be around long. There is market demand for these products because many purchasers have the desire to get as close to the originals in sound and look as possible, yet because of availability and cost of originals they do not have the funds to do so. Trying to recreate an older product that can no longer be manufactured with original materials is not infringement. On the contrary, it is in many ways a reinvention. As much as you may not like that approach, it is not illegal, nor is it different from any market where multiple suppliers make similar products. Once patents expire, companies are free to utilize the same designs and manufacturing as the original patent holder. Look at almost any product you have or use, and you will find multiple companies selling similar items. It's called competition, and it's good for everyone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
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JayTee4303's Avatar
"Professional" seems to imply "respect from others" as it's used here.

First q, what others?

A very few studio owners, almost no live engineers, and exactly zero musicians I've dealt with know what an LA2a is when I show them a picture.

They know what it does,when I cut it into the chain though.

One live guy/rental house owner I've worked with knows what an M7 is, and another well respected live guy asked if I wanted to sell it. Most of the rest remain silent. They haven't heard them, they MIGHT have heard OF them, and they don't know what to say.

In my experience, the really high end stuff pretty much does sonething awesome as soon as you cut it in. You hear it, its very hard to describe, and you just... know.

The lesser stuff, well, you have to work more at it. You tweak and tweak, and in the end, you wonder if that's as good as its going to sound, or if there's more you could have done.

Generally, I'd rather have the original over a clone, and I'd rather have something off the wall, than an attempted imitation of something else.

As far as studio clients go, my impression of their impression is... it all starts with vibe. Nobody really respects a wall of lit up, silent gear. They want to hear it, and or play it, and the results depend on how they FEEL, when they do.

That's going to go to who they are, individually. A rocker might want loud and a bit rough around the edges, some grit.

Folk artists might want clear and rich and plain.

Engineers, well, ones worth their salt, will either want efficient workflow, a massive pile of options, or both.

These are generalities. Who are YOU looking to woo?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
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ionian's Avatar
Depends on the situation.

If someone is mixing something for me, I hire them on the result so I don't care how they get there.

If I am hiring a room to mix, it absolutely does matter. There's a phenomenal studio near me that's pretty much like the Gearslut holy land. The owner has 9 original pultecs. Two original blue stripes, a bunch of La3a and La2a comps. RCA comps, a ton of Neve limiters and compressors. His board is an amazing Neve board that used to belong to Phil Ramone and a bunch of legendary albums were mixed on it and the board sounds amazing. A mic collection to die for with all vintage Neumann stuff.

When I hire that room, it's because I want to use his ridiculous collection to mix with. I'm not paying to use clones.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by packermans4 View Post
This.

Here's a personal example. A number of years ago a group I was in went to Nashville on a weekend recording package at Emerald Entertainment, now The Tracking Room. We were super pumped about recording for the first time in a real studio, but I/we had no idea about equipment at that point. Wouldn't have mattered to us what mics they put in front of us, or what names were on the outboards. What did matter was the experience and the result, and frankly with this being a large studio in Nashville our naive expectations were nothing short of radio-ready sound. Wasn't until years later, after I had started my own home studio and became familiar with equipment that I realized they had two of us on C-800Gs and the other two on vintage C12s. And, of the two things that mattered, the result was a disappointment. We had a junior engineer with limited time doing the recording/mix. Vintage mics going through a phenomenal board/outboards, to tape, in great rooms could not overcome his lack of talent. And if I can humbly say, we were all very good, experienced singers, so that was not the issue.

Our second project was done locally. We used Rode NT1a's in an 8x8 basement studio, no outboard preamps, and an inexpensive board. Effects on an old Alesis unit, and compression done in SoundForge. However, the result was so much better because the engineer knew what he was doing and took the time to do it right.

We were slightly embarrassed to sell the first project, not the same for the second. And as we all know, the listeners were clueless about what equipment was used.
So... I hear stories like that and I never believe them... were the tracks recorded in the premium room distorted or recorded poorly? Were they unusable? If so, fine...

Usually, the real deal with these stories is group ponies up for a real tracking session... it’s not engineered by a famous engineer or mixer... just a normal engineer or — God forbid, a young engineer... the engineer probably helps audition a few mics, makes sure levels are good, doesn’t really do much EQ or compression... tracks and then burns a disc of tape or whatever faders up... no FX, no fairy dust or mix magic. Because, that’s what he was paid to do... the act feels let down because they paid a ton of cash (in their opinion) for a super easy gig for the engineer (again, their opinion) and that although the house was certainly very clear what was included in the contract, the act feels sort of ripped off because the tracks weren’t more “polished”... again, it’s an experience thing... they’re actually paying for the room and the engineer’s time, etc. I mean, some guys think the stripper actually digs him... some new cats think their stuff is so cool that of course the engineer wants to throw in extra time and make a faders up tracking date into a full bore vocal production session...

... but, when you go to you pal’s basement, he’s got nothing but prosumer gear, time to burn and is happy to play around and mix...

In other words, amateurs go into a lot of professional settings with naive expectations... but, performances being equal, I bet if you took those tracks recorded in Nashville and did the same ones over again in your buddy’s basement snd handed both sets off to a professional mixer he’d take the faders up pro ones all day.

Not ragging on anybody... but, man, I’ve heard this same rap soooooooo many times and it’s always from new cats... always.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
So... I hear stories like that and I never believe them... were the tracks recorded in the premium room distorted or recorded poorly? Were they unusable? If so, fine...

Usually, the real deal with these stories is group ponies up for a real tracking session... it’s not engineered by a famous engineer or mixer... just a normal engineer or — God forbid, a young engineer... the engineer probably helps audition a few mics, makes sure levels are good, doesn’t really do much EQ or compression... tracks and then burns a disc of tape or whatever faders up... no FX, no fairy dust or mix magic. Because, that’s what he was paid to do... the act feels let down because they paid a ton of cash (in their opinion) for a super easy gig for the engineer (again, their opinion) and that although the house was certainly very clear what was included in the contract, the act feels sort of ripped off because the tracks weren’t more “polished”... again, it’s an experience thing... they’re actually paying for the room and the engineer’s time, etc. I mean, some guys think the stripper actually digs him... some new cats think their stuff is so cool that of course the engineer wants to throw in extra time and make a faders up tracking date into a full bore vocal production session...

... but, when you go to you pal’s basement, he’s got nothing but prosumer gear, time to burn and is happy to play around and mix...

In other words, amateurs go into a lot of professional settings with naive expectations... but, performances being equal, I bet if you took those tracks recorded in Nashville and did the same ones over again in your buddy’s basement snd handed both sets off to a professional mixer he’d take the faders up pro ones all day.

Not ragging on anybody... but, man, I’ve heard this same rap soooooooo many times and it’s always from new cats... always.
Let me start by saying I respect that you are likely a professional at what you do. But if that's not ragging, I'm relieved you didn't indulge.

If you look back in my message, you'll see that I had already used the word naive. That indicates I know more now than I did at the time, and recognize our expectations in some ways were not realistic. Yes, we were amateurs to recording, but not amateurs to singing. (A year later we were national semi-finalists on an internationally broadcast cable network in an "American Idol"-type competition.) Yes it was a junior engineer, who had no problem waxing on about his role in Garth Brooks' live album. No, we didn't audition mics...he just set them up. And only one of us had a mic that actually fit the vocal. Yes it was "faders up" on everything but two songs, where we sat in on the mix...and those are the best two. No, the tracks were not distorted, but that's not the point. We were a four-man vocal group, exchanging leads and harmonies and when the faders are all up, that means key parts, blending etc. disappear into the background and impact the how the song is intended to sound...like totally buried phrases. Yes, we knew it was a "weekend package" with limited hours for recording, but no, we weren't told ahead of time that the mix would be slam-dunked. Again, I'll happily admit that we were naive about a lot, but we were also lead to believe the product would be done to our satisfaction and professionally. That was part of their salesman touting the studio. And the contract also required that we purchase all product from them (in-house CD-Rs with inkjet printed inserts). We ended up spending more than $7K with the studio before we were given the masters. I think they made out ok using up dead studio time, cheaper resources, and limited production in a package designed and promoted for us "amateurs".

And my point in relating the story is to give an example of how just using recognized equipment (non-clone) doesn't automatically mean a great result. How it won't necessarily mean anything to the "amateurs" the studio is recording. Rather, that the right experience and skill set can make recordings on clone equipment sound great.

And you don't have to believe me, but I know what happened and what was on the contract. I still have it. The reality is, whether or not the Nashville tracks were better didn't matter, it's the way the songs ended up being mixed that made one project sound great and the other mediocre.
Old 4 weeks ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by packermans4 View Post
Let me start by saying I respect that you are likely a professional at what you do. But if that's not ragging, I'm relieved you didn't indulge.

If you look back in my message, you'll see that I had already used the word naive. That indicates I know more now than I did at the time, and recognize our expectations in some ways were not realistic. Yes, we were amateurs to recording, but not amateurs to singing. (A year later we were national semi-finalists on an internationally broadcast cable network in an "American Idol"-type competition.) Yes it was a junior engineer, who had no problem waxing on about his role in Garth Brooks' live album. No, we didn't audition mics...he just set them up. And only one of us had a mic that actually fit the vocal. Yes it was "faders up" on everything but two songs, where we sat in on the mix...and those are the best two. No, the tracks were not distorted, but that's not the point. We were a four-man vocal group, exchanging leads and harmonies and when the faders are all up, that means key parts, blending etc. disappear into the background and impact the how the song is intended to sound...like totally buried phrases. Yes, we knew it was a "weekend package" with limited hours for recording, but no, we weren't told ahead of time that the mix would be slam-dunked. Again, I'll happily admit that we were naive about a lot, but we were also lead to believe the product would be done to our satisfaction and professionally. That was part of their salesman touting the studio. And the contract also required that we purchase all product from them (in-house CD-Rs with inkjet printed inserts). We ended up spending more than $7K with the studio before we were given the masters. I think they made out ok using up dead studio time, cheaper resources, and limited production in a package designed and promoted for us "amateurs".

And my point in relating the story is to give an example of how just using recognized equipment (non-clone) doesn't automatically mean a great result. How it won't necessarily mean anything to the "amateurs" the studio is recording. Rather, that the right experience and skill set can make recordings on clone equipment sound great.

And you don't have to believe me, but I know what happened and what was on the contract. I still have it. The reality is, whether or not the Nashville tracks were better didn't matter, it's the way the songs ended up being mixed that made one project sound great and the other mediocre.
When I said I don’t believe... I mean I don’t believe that’s the whole story... in general, not with your particular deal

if you got faders up and the vocals were captured on individual tracks, that can all be mixed later by an actual mixer or producer... unless what you’re saying is that the deal you signed with that Nashville studio included a whole vocal mix deal... which would be a little strange, but, anything’s possible
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