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Is expensive gear still worth it?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #241
Lives for gear
Why are you so mad at each other?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #242
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Not at all. Just make a bold statement, and be prepared to either back it up or concede!



Sure. I just picked one band in the many Blackbird clients who are both influential and popular - way more so than your example, in every measurable way. I'd wager you'd find FAR more bands who listed the White Stripes (And Jack's other projects) as influential. You can be popular without being influential, but it's hard to be significantly influential



You DID say that because they're "so influential", it means gear isn't important, and so somewhere like Blackbird (or any studio), or engineering skills, or decent gear is pointless - because one lo fi band is influential. That's nonsensical, that's all I'm pointing out.

I don't disagree that great gear is not essential to great music. I certainly don't disagree that many genres wouldn't be improved with better gear (well - up to a point, there's maybe SOME things that could be improved!). But in many genres, great songs recorded well with great gear trump great songs recorded well with poor to average gear.

Hence the reason your statement about Blackbird didn't make sense, so I called you on it!
My original point was that Blackbird hasn’t made a more important record. Yeah it’s subjective but I stand by that. I used my favorite record as an example of something made on budget gear. Btw it’s not a “lo-fi” record though some people think so.
Hey man maybe it’s different worlds but I’ve played in bands since I was 14 (I’m 32 now) in NYC, South Jersey, Los Angeles, and f**king Delaware. Very different places. With lots of people that record meant a lot to. It’s a BIG one if you’re in a band. Metal heads, singer songwriters, noise bands, whatever. Like I said I like the White Stripes and all but when youre in a band wanting to make something original, even if you fail miserable, you usually do it with ppl who gravitate towards records that are not for everybody. Like I said it’s a big one especially if you’re in a indie band. They didn’t make one of those 33 1/3 books on it for nothing.
Like, if you wanna make original, new reggae, you should kind of know King Tubby, Lee Scratch Perry etc and not just Bob Marley.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Why are you so mad at each other?
He lives next to me and keeps stealing my newspaper in the morning. this is how I get back at him.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #244
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
yes and no.
software replacements for hardware - recording, mixing, processing has revolutionized the process and revolutionized our expectations. But large complex physical machines that do stuff and do it extremely well have not fallen by similar amounts. In most cases, they have gone up.

For $100 I can buy a software compressor that is pretty damn good and have 100 instances in my mix. Or for $2400, I can buy one Real Deal hardware compressor. Or for about six bills, I can buy a Knock-Off hardware compressor that may have taken advantage of some "modern manufacturing" - but few people will put it on an even playing field with the Real Deal compressor. Possibly because the price also reflects some corners cut - less spent on materials, design and QC.

When any process can be reduced to just manipulating information it can succumb to the power of digital technology and get better and better, faster and faster, cheaper and cheaper.

But IMO it is a mistake to assume that this carries over to physically manufactured goods and tools that depend on the physical parts of the device. The cost of a new car in 1975 was about $17,000 - in today's money. The cost of a new car now is more like $30,000 in today's money

"Modern technology", "mass-production", "CAD", "robots on the assembly line", "overseas factories", blah blah blah has NOT driven the price of automobiles down. Not even in relative dollars. It has instead gone up. And yet what could be more mass "scaled" than cars? Compared to the handful of us who buy audio gear?

Microphones are one area where "modern" technology also sees a limit. A microphone has to be a finely crafted extremely sensitive device that vibrates in sympathy with the sound waves. Like a musical instrument.

(Speaking of musical instruments: in 1975, a Gibson Les Paul was @$2500 - again adjusted for inflation - and is more like $3500 today. Are there better options in the Knock-Off department now than back then? Perhaps. But are those options the equal of the real-deal Les Paul?)

You can make a digital compressors, to deal with an already captured signal. But there are no digital mics. Well, there are so-called "digital mics" - but they are just regular mics with the converters inside the body. They vary in quality from the Neumann Solution D all the way down to some Best Buy USB mic. With the bulk of the quality difference coming from the mic part, not the conversion part.

IMO, it is a mistake to think that just because this thing and that thing have become amazingly cheap and capable, that you can assume that everything has followed that same track. It simply is not so. There are some places where you are STILL going to have to pay if you want better build, more exacting tolerances, higher quality materials, better performance.

Cars, guitars and yes, microphones are in that category.
If you buy a washing machine, get a brand new one with a warranty. just learned that the hard way. Not cheap either.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #245
Lives for gear
Yes, there is a 10 year old boy who throws full cans of sodas at me, from the upstairs apartment. HHAAAA... but the second one I had a long talk with his father, who was vert apologetic.

And his father was super cool, and took care of it.

He made his son mop all the soda up with a mop..

MMM ...we had a good talk.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth House Guest View Post
My original point was that Blackbird hasn’t made a more important record. Yeah it’s subjective but I stand by that. I used my favorite record as an example of something made on budget gear. Btw it’s not a “lo-fi” record though some people think so.
Just had a flick through. Sounds pretty lo-fi to me! Filtered vocals, distant drums, whole thing crunchy and overloading when it gets louder...I agree it's got charm though!

The point is - none of this matters. It could undisputedly be the most influential important record in the world ever, that no high end studio has ever been used for a better record and so on.

It wouldn't matter because maybe the NEXT most influential record was made in a great studio. Or the next. The point is that production style might suit those songs, but it wouldn't suit everything. Some styles require higher production values.

You used this record as an example why higher end gear is pointless. I agree that higher end gear might be pointless if this is your aim, but for many styles it certainly isn't.

Even for this style of recording - subjectively somethings might sound even more appealing with a better recording! or not, you can't really say.

Sadly I'm speaking from experience, as I'm currently in the process of rescuing some quite nice songs that have been butchered by a poor recording....better gear and better technique would have made my life much easier!

Quote:
Hey man maybe it’s different worlds but I’ve played in bands since I was 14 (I’m 32 now) in NYC, South Jersey, Los Angeles, and f**king Delaware.
But all in the US...America, you're not the world....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #247
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth House Guest View Post
My original point was that Blackbird hasn’t made a more important record. Yeah it’s subjective but I stand by that.
Of course, Subjective is the key.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #248
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Why are you so mad at each other?
"If the boys wanna fight, you better let em."

Old 3 weeks ago
  #249
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by themiracle View Post
Like Nebraska and and the first Bon Iver records, aeroplane is commonly used as an example of a great record recorded on low budget gear.. and yes, these albums were impactful and considered artistically compelling by many fans (myself included) .. but they do sound fairly 'bad' objectively speaking (fidelity wise).
It should be noted in the case of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Iver, that these bands recorded subsequent albums in high-end studios. This begs the question, Why?

The low-end recordings were successful. Why not save tens of thousands of dollars by simply continuing to use a Tascam 4-Track and SM57's and the like? Check out the photos of where Bon Iver recorded after their first album. Hmm...
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Old 3 weeks ago
  #250
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildplum View Post
Is making music still worth it?
Define "worth"
Old 3 weeks ago
  #251
Lives for gear
I'll tell you one thing about boutique high end pro audio equipment.

It makes making a great sounding record darn easy!

I don't have huge amounts of high-end gear (only what I can afford) but what I do have
I've noticed there's no searching for "the sweet spot" ..... everything is a sweet spot!

(and yes that's taking "talent" as a given of course)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #252
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
...Check out the photos of where Bon Iver recorded after their first album. Hmm...
Sorry, I can't judge the quality of the studio until I see which fx plug-ins they are using... Also, do they have enough sm57 to do real 'moist pro'? *

*Reference to humor from another forum a long time ago and a galaxy away. A guy actually set up a fake studio website where he claimed to use only sm57 mics, and extolled their superiority over all other mics--it had pictures and everything. Of course, I was outraged, and it took me way too long to figure out it was a send-up.

PS. I gotta get one of those fur covered piano benches...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #253
Lives for gear
 
tymish's Avatar
 

Hey man, it's the innanet age. Everybody's famous and every phone is a recording studio, TV studio and publishing house. You should see the movie my kid made on her iPad. Who needs traning or quality gear right?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth House Guest View Post
My original point was that Blackbird hasn’t made a more important record. Yeah it’s subjective but I stand by that.
If you stand by this, then I suppose the rest of us can stand by the opinion that you are wrong, categorically, by every measurable metric, and further, that it conveniently misses the point of the thread, which would include every other record recorded on “expensive” gear as a point of comparison.

Blackbird has unquestionably made a more “important” record, in fact probably several. I stand by that.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #255
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
James Jameson had a bass that was a FU gesture because they wouldn't get him an upright. It was almost unplayable for anyone else, and he did some of the most iconic bass tracks ever played on it.

..

That was quite amazing, I've tried playing some transcriptions of Jamerson's work. the reading is nearly impossible for me, and the playing is fiendishly difficult

JJ did had an upright, though . He played in on "My Guy" and "Baby Love.' He was always trying to get the producers at Motown to let him use it more because he really thought the electric bass was an inferior instrument (he referred to it as the p*ssy Bass)

He did keep his Fender Precision set up to feel as much like an upright as possible, with heavy gauge flatwounds and a very high action. He also played using an acoustic technique, pulling and releasing the strings with one finger.

How the hell he played some of those lines with that setup amazes me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #256
Lives for gear
 
carllock's Avatar
 

Here’s the newer cheap stuff I swear is an incredible value:

All the new Klark Teknik EQ’s and compressors
Warm Audio (entire line and even mics)
Yamaha HS monitor series
Squier guitars and basses (underrated)
Harley Benton guitars and basses
Certain Chinese saxophones and trumpets (ALIEXPRESS)
Kali Audio monitors (entire line)
Behringer (New) Synths (I’m buying entire line)
Ludwig Questlove drum sets
Gauge Microphones
Rockville PA’s (poor man’s studio mains)(eBay)
Epiphone guitars and basses (underrated)

Likely forgot many more cheap gems out there.

The above group can produce incredible Grammy level recordings...bet you $1,000,000 a capable and creative producer/ musician would blow your mind with that pile.

Honorable mention but some may call it expensive, I have to say is the SSL SiX...I paid $108,000 for my first SSL 4000, and that was on the used market, high ass electric/ HVAC bills and not including repair and commissioning...The SSL SIX is getting cleaner and just as “phat” recordings with only 8 channels summed out my daw! So to me that $1,500 for the Six is dirt dirt cheap.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #257
Lives for gear
 
wildplum's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Define "worth"
ah, grasshopper, you must listen to the space between the words.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #258
Gear Addict
 
TexasCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by carllock View Post
Here’s the newer cheap stuff I swear is an incredible value:

Squier guitars and basses (underrated)
I agree with most of your list but this one is a standout.

OT story: A couple of years ago I stopped in a Guitar Center and they had this Red Metalflake Squire Telecaster setting on a stand next to all of their amps marked down to $99 because I guess it was so glaringly ugly that nobody wanted it. It had been there so long the strings were rusted. It spoke to me like an orphaned mutt at the pound so I bought it with a coupon for $80 or so.

After cleaning it up, a new set of strings, and a bit of a setup it is my favorite guitar. That's saying alot too because I've been accused of having a guitar buying problem.

I'll never part with it!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #259
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCat View Post
I agree with most of your list but this one is a standout.

OT story: A couple of years ago I stopped in a Guitar Center and they had this Red Metalflake Squire Telecaster setting on a stand next to all of their amps marked down to $99 because I guess it was so glaringly ugly that nobody wanted it. It had been there so long the strings were rusted. It spoke to me like an orphaned mutt at the pound so I bought it with a coupon for $80 or so.

After cleaning it up, a new set of strings, and a bit of a setup it is my favorite guitar. That's saying alot too because I've been accused of having a guitar buying problem.

I'll never part with it!
My experience is the same. have around 13-14 guitars, Gibsons, Ricks, Fenders, ESPs an old Guild etc.

My Squire Bass VI is as useful as any of them and, after a little work, my Squire Jaguar is one of my favorite instruments for playing instrumentals. I got it used for $150.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #260
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post

PS. I gotta get one of those fur covered piano benches...
They add warmth.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #261
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
Hey man, it's the innanet age. Everybody's famous and every phone is a recording studio, TV studio and publishing house. You should see the movie my kid made on her iPad. Who needs traning or quality gear right?
Another fine example of Cognitive Distortion.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #262
Lives for gear
 
tymish's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
Another fine example of Cognitive Distortion.
It was a tongue in cheek somewhat sarcastic post. I actually run into this attitude professionally, i just exaggerated and made a caricature of it.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #263
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by carllock View Post
The above group can produce incredible Grammy level recordings...
Care to list examples of Grammy's that were created with that setup?

Grammy's are all about the songs, the performers, and the management, but still, if you can provide a list of grammy's with the gear you listed, that would be awesome.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #264
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tymish View Post
It was a tongue in cheek somewhat sarcastic post. I actually run into this attitude professionally, i just exaggerated and made a caricature of it.
I know, I know. I think at this point we all can recognize the sarcasm on this thread. But I am on this new "Cognitive Distortion" soapbox because more and more, that is what GS is becoming. It's like the CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News of gear
Old 3 weeks ago
  #265
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Cognitive Distortion is a political realm insult--noone knows what it actually means. I see no benefit to bringing political discourse here--surely we have our own insults.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #266
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
sounds like the name of a Fulltone or Skreddy pedal. I'm surprised it hasn't already been taken.

how about some psychology quotes

"What’s a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves."
Old 3 weeks ago
  #267
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
sounds like the name of a Fulltone or Skreddy pedal. I'm surprised it hasn't already been taken.

how about some psychology quotes

"What’s a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them? Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves."
That is the definition I was referring to (obviously). If you look at the subcategories I posted earlier, I was not referring to anything "political" Some people just find what they want to find, which ironically enough, adds to the Cognitive Distortion
Old 3 weeks ago
  #268
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
Cognitive Distortion is a political realm insult--noone knows what it actually means. I see no benefit to bringing political discourse here--surely we have our own insults.
If you have ever studied psychology, you would know what it means.

"noone knows what it actually means"

Oops, there we go speaking in absolutes again
Old 3 weeks ago
  #269
Lives for gear
 
ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod View Post
If you have ever studied psychology, you would know what it means.

"noone knows what it actually means"

Oops, there we go speaking in absolutes again
Sure, all this discussion needs to be less tedious is more pedantry and a DSM to boot. (warning, ironic not literal)

Yes, it has a meaning, and no, I do not believe it is used in political arguments in its proper clinical sense. In any case, my remark was ironic and not intended to be taken literally. I think most people using it intend to accuse those who do not see things their way as having cognitive distortion--a lack of access to reality or rationality. Like many over the top insults, it can as easily backfire on the accuser as target the accused. PS. I am not going to debate the finer points here--I just wanted to show that I know from whence I speak--within the bounds of my own cognitive limitations of course.

Wiki: "A cognitive distortion is an exaggerated or irrational thought pattern involved in the onset and perpetuation of psychopathological states, especially those more influenced by psychosocial factors, such as depression and anxiety.[1] Psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck laid the groundwork for the study of these distortions, and his student David D. Burns continued research on the topic. Burns, in The Feeling Good Handbook[2] (1989), described personal and professional anecdotes related to cognitive distortions and their elimination."

And, yes, from what I recall, Dr. Beck identified binary thinking or thinking in absolutes as an example of a cognitive distortion.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #270
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
Sure, all this discussion needs to be less tedious is more pedantry and a DSM to boot. (warning, ironic not literal)

Yes, it has a meaning, and no, I do not believe it is used in political arguments in its proper clinical sense. In any case, my remark was ironic and not intended to be taken literally. I think most people using it intend to accuse those who do not see things their way as having cognitive distortion--a lack of access to reality or rationality. Like many over the top insults, it can as easily backfire on the accuser as target the accused. PS. I am not going to debate the finer points here--I just wanted to show that I know from whence I speak--within the bounds of my own cognitive limitations of course.

Wiki: "A cognitive distortion is an exaggerated or irrational thought pattern involved in the onset and perpetuation of psychopathological states, especially those more influenced by psychosocial factors, such as depression and anxiety.[1] Psychiatrist Aaron T. Beck laid the groundwork for the study of these distortions, and his student David D. Burns continued research on the topic. Burns, in The Feeling Good Handbook[2] (1989), described personal and professional anecdotes related to cognitive distortions and their elimination."

And, yes, from what I recall, Dr. Beck identified binary thinking or thinking in absolutes as an example of a cognitive distortion.
I think you and I would get along a lot better if you let on when you wish not to be taken literally. Sadly It seems a convenient excuse for you when narratives don't go your way. The same goes for your use of the word "pedantry". You have a pattern of twisting and turning arguments to benefit yourself. For example: "I think most people using it intend to accuse those who do not see things their way as having cognitive distortion". See what you did there? As a side note, this tells me that you don't fully understand the concept of cognitive distortion.

Perhaps you can change your name to "Warning, ironic not literal"?

Lol, just joking my friend, just joking.
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