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It's about 3 things, performance, microphone and preamp.. Change my mind.
Old 16th September 2019
  #31
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I remember by about 2006 in London (I was moving around a few studios by then) HD rigs were pretty much the standard in all but the smaller/cheaper studios.
Same here. Lots of people got HD but still had some of the old stuff -- you could plug your old 888/24 into a port on the 192 and get more "free" I/O, but it sounded a bit different.
Old 16th September 2019
  #32
Lives for gear
 

There is only one thing that matters....and that is envisioning the final mix.

And that must occur before before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown.

Mic, performance, preamp mean nothing if someone hasn't first envisioned where this little piece of to-be-recorded music is to exist in the imaginary Sonic landscape.

Which is why so much recorded music is so bland, cliche, sterile, unimaginative, and short-lived.

You are either a producer or you are not. If you are an engineer...and you have no pre-vision....or have no producer guiding you....then you are working blind. And you will sound pretty much like the pack.

And this...is the truth of "it's".
Old 16th September 2019
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Same here. Lots of people got HD but still had some of the old stuff -- you could plug your old 888/24 into a port on the 192 and get more "free" I/O, but it sounded a bit different.
Haha yeah. Just for the hihat, funk mic and scratch vocal....
Old 16th September 2019
  #34
Gear Nut
 

Someone said the voice (or instrument) and the listener's ears are the two most important pieces of gear. The further away from those, the less important.

That implies the room(s) are next important. Since this is Gearslutz, mics and speakers are definitely up there, though.
Old 16th September 2019
  #35
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
There is only one thing that matters....and that is envisioning the final mix.

And that must occur before before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown.

Mic, performance, preamp mean nothing if someone hasn't first envisioned where this little piece of to-be-recorded music is to exist in the imaginary Sonic landscape.

Which is why so much recorded music is so bland, cliche, sterile, unimaginative, and short-lived.

You are either a producer or you are not. If you are an engineer...and you have no pre-vision....or have no producer guiding you....then you are working blind. And you will sound pretty much like the pack.

And this...is the truth of "it's".
M-hm. Let's hear yours.
Old 16th September 2019
  #36
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
There is only one thing that matters....and that is envisioning the final mix.

And that must occur before before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown.

Mic, performance, preamp mean nothing if someone hasn't first envisioned where this little piece of to-be-recorded music is to exist in the imaginary Sonic landscape.

Which is why so much recorded music is so bland, cliche, sterile, unimaginative, and short-lived.

You are either a producer or you are not. If you are an engineer...and you have no pre-vision....or have no producer guiding you....then you are working blind. And you will sound pretty much like the pack.

And this...is the truth of "it's".
From my granted primarily irrelevant humble home recording POV, there would still be times where neither I nor the artist know initially where exactly the tracks are headed. 'A work in progress for example.

At that point we'd be providing good capture, to not box us in, with perhaps 'tilts towards our best guess forward.

On the other hand maybe that would end up qualifying as what you call a demo'. :>)
Old 16th September 2019
  #37
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
There is only one thing that matters....and that is envisioning the final mix.

And that must occur before before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown.

Mic, performance, preamp mean nothing if someone hasn't first envisioned where this little piece of to-be-recorded music is to exist in the imaginary Sonic landscape.

Which is why so much recorded music is so bland, cliche, sterile, unimaginative, and short-lived.

You are either a producer or you are not. If you are an engineer...and you have no pre-vision....or have no producer guiding you....then you are working blind. And you will sound pretty much like the pack.

And this...is the truth of "it's".
I actually think that planning the whole thing out "before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown." is what has a tendency to turn out productions that are "bland, cliche, sterile, unimaginative, and short-lived." You're not giving the production room to breathe and grow. You need to be open to change as the work is progressing.
Old 17th September 2019
  #38
I have found that anytime I try to make an absolute statement about music and/or recording, something happens the next week that blows my theory to shreds.

I think most everyone here agrees that song and performance are of the utmost importance. Though listening to the radio these days I’m not so sure about anything anymore.
Old 17th September 2019
  #39
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Hyder boy's Avatar
 

Yeah, it’s about three things...
Arrangement Arrangement Arrangement
Old 17th September 2019
  #40
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Paraphrasing Jim Williams : "We are in the golden age of affordable gear, unfortunately performance talent is in a serious decline". In the event a singer is capable of totally selling a given lyric their front end capture with decent quality mics and pres is as important today as it was in the 50s with Frank Sinatra and Patsy Cline's U47s. In the real world great recordings are made with world class gear: not with entry level cheap stuff. The good news is once you get past the expense of front end mics and pre amps world class processing is affordable for all of us today.
A smart protocol for a quality recording generally requires the singer to possess the technical skill to work with a given mic's peculiarities. This is a key element in developing a confident performance. Session ready skills are at least equal if not more important than performance talent in the recording process.
Hugh
Old 17th September 2019
  #41
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

1. Song - without a good song, you're just making noise.

2. Performance - without a good performance, your good song has no feeling.

3. Mics - not necessarily the most expensive mics but the appropriate mics for the job.

4. Engineer - I've heard some pretty dismal recordings come out of high end studios where the Engineer just wasn't up to the task.

5. Preamps - This item is pretty easy because we have some pretty great choices today for not a lot of money. You can spend tons of money to get that last 2% but if all of the previous items aren't in place it's not going to get you anything.

I would mention converters but again, today's options make that discussion a mute point. Spending a lot of money there will put you in the irrational audiophile cables territory.
Old 17th September 2019
  #42
Lives for gear
 

slightly off topic but i'd like to share a memory:

years ago, i got invited to a birthday party of a famous psychologist who became friends with yehudi menuhin; he also joined the party, bringing along one of his rather expensive violins (in a plastic bag btw) - later that evening, he played a few tunes pretty much in a street musician's manner, rushing over more complicated parts but everything con sentimento! he was incredibly funny and entertaining and we all were completely floored by his presence (he possibily could have played pretty much anything in any possible way).
mr menuhin seemed to be very well aware of his effect on the party people (which included numerous intellectuals and artists) and seemed to enjoy it a lot!

___


now if this would have been recorded, i'm not sure whether the discussion would have been about what gear to use (i think one better uses all great gear on a great artist!) but about whether any of this what we experienced would translate to the recording and if so, what led to this; here i'm pretty sure i'd relate to dozens of other factors, none of them dealing with gear...
Old 17th September 2019
  #43
I can speak with absolute authority on this subject.

The order of importance is debateable:

1. The obscurity and price of your cables.
2. The number of transformers and valves in your vocal chain.
3. The physical attractiveness of your talent
4. Lava lamp
5. Pro tools. All other DAWs are pretty much useless.
6. How much foam you put in the booth
7. Following The advice you got at Guitar Center.
8. Ability to fix it in the mix.
9. Liberally applied Waves plugins.
Old 17th September 2019
  #44
Gear Addict
In reality, sound quality hardly matters, I've got tonnes of punk and post punk which I still listen to today - regardless of the sonics. The Velvet Underground - which is an audio car-crash in places - still gets a regular airing in my house. The worst sounding track I've actually bought with my own money is undoubtably "The United States of Whatever" - by any measurable metric, it's terrible - it's still on my playlist! If you like the song (or the message) even people like me who love "good" sound can put up with pretty much anything. The song, the vibe, the passion is everything.
Old 17th September 2019
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I actually think that planning the whole thing out "before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown." is what has a tendency to turn out productions that are "bland, cliche, sterile, unimaginative, and short-lived." You're not giving the production room to breathe and grow. You need to be open to change as the work is progressing.
I completely disagree!
Old 17th September 2019
  #46
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCat View Post
1. Song - without a good song, you're just making noise.

2. Performance - without a good performance, your good song has no feeling.

3. Mics - not necessarily the most expensive mics but the appropriate mics for the job.

4. Engineer - I've heard some pretty dismal recordings come out of high end studios where the Engineer just wasn't up to the task.

5. Preamps - This item is pretty easy because we have some pretty great choices today for not a lot of money. You can spend tons of money to get that last 2% but if all of the previous items aren't in place it's not going to get you anything.

I would mention converters but again, today's options make that discussion a mute point. Spending a lot of money there will put you in the irrational audiophile cables territory.
Define "performance".
Old 17th September 2019
  #47
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Shannon Adkins's Avatar
 

For me, in between performance and mics are the song, and ears/mixing ability of the engineer.
Old 17th September 2019
  #48
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I completely disagree!
I figured you would. I'm not saying there shouldn't be a plan, and a path, but we're not building engines, we're creating, with our artists. There should be room for changes, spontaneity, pivots and any number of things that might not have been in the original plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Define "performance".
Seriously?
Old 17th September 2019
  #49
Gear Addict
 
TexasCat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Define "performance".
Rehearsed, in time, in tune, good phrasing, well just a "good" performance.

What's the point in recording a "bad" performance?
Old 17th September 2019
  #50
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
There is only one thing that matters....and that is envisioning the final mix.

And that must occur before before tracking. Before a mic is connected. Before an AC switch is thrown.
Good Luck.

I know this is how Hitchcock made movies, and how Mozart finished music in his head before jotting it down with a quill.

But that ain't how popular music works. You have to leave space for serendipity to intervene. That's always some of the best stuff.
Old 17th September 2019
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I completely disagree!
I figured you would. I'm not saying there shouldn't be a plan, and a path, but we're not building engines, we're creating, with our artists. There should be room for changes, spontaneity, pivots and any number of things that might not have been in the original plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Define "performance".
Seriously?
Yes...define it. There are guys who equate that with a band in a room. And that for suuuuuurrrre is not necessarily the way many hits are/were made.

If a guy says a requirement is "guys in the room performing..."..... I ignore and move to find some other more interesting reply.

So yeah....anyone stating "performance" as key on the track about to be recorded.....I say....define performance.
Old 18th September 2019
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwdummer0 View Post
Discuss..
Sorry, without reading the thread, doctrinaire or not, I have to say that it's everything.

It's a chain that begins before the microphone (and, arguably, maybe all the way back at the songwriter's secret lair) and ends in the listening room. Obviously, we can't control all of that chain and, depending on circumstances and projects, some things loom more important while others are less so -- but all that can change with the next artist, the next project.

Pretty predictable answer, huh?

There's a reason.
Old 18th September 2019
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scragend View Post
In reality, sound quality hardly matters, I've got tonnes of punk and post punk which I still listen to today - regardless of the sonics. The Velvet Underground - which is an audio car-crash in places - still gets a regular airing in my house. The worst sounding track I've actually bought with my own money is undoubtably "The United States of Whatever" - by any measurable metric, it's terrible - it's still on my playlist! If you like the song (or the message) even people like me who love "good" sound can put up with pretty much anything. The song, the vibe, the passion is everything.
I think one should say in PUNK, the recording hardly matters...it’s very different for other genres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasCat View Post
Rehearsed, in time, in tune, good phrasing, well just a "good" performance.

What's the point in recording a "bad" performance?
Well - if the attitude is cool (see punk above!).

It’s all about the aesthetic - someone trying and failing to play well ends up sounding like a shred video, someone who can play really well who can’t let go of all that sounds like a fraud if trying to play punk or something.
Old 18th September 2019
  #54
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Yes...define it. There are guys who equate that with a band in a room. And that for suuuuuurrrre is not necessarily the way many hits are/were made.

If a guy says a requirement is "guys in the room performing..."..... I ignore and move to find some other more interesting reply.

So yeah....anyone stating "performance" as key on the track about to be recorded.....I say....define performance.
You know ONE person can still perform, right?

I also forgot that you AND ONLY YOU know how every record ever was made.
Old 18th September 2019
  #55
Gear Maniac
 
hebjam's Avatar
 

Editing. For a bunch of the artists I’m into. If your editing skills are good enough you can take almost anything and turn it into something
Old 18th September 2019
  #56
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hebjam View Post
Editing. For a bunch of the artists I’m into. If your editing skills are good enough you can take almost anything and turn it into something
Yuck
Old 18th September 2019
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Yuck
Autechre? DJ Shadow? Venitian Snares? Amon Tobin?

(if he's talking punk, then I'd kind of agree with you!)
Old 18th September 2019
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post

I also forgot that you AND ONLY YOU know how every record ever was made.
Not all of them. Detail-wise though, around 35-40 or so chart hits.

Last edited by thenoodle; 18th September 2019 at 08:27 AM..
Old 18th September 2019
  #59
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Chevron's Avatar
 

Interesting topic. You shoulda mentioned the melody and song in the title though.

When you have a great melody and chords, even a ****ty performance and recording can be very cool - but marry a great song, performance and recording and you're away.

I used to say the order of importance is like this :-

- The song
- The performance
- The microphone
- The recording space
- The preamp
- The converter
- The beverages on offer
- The DAW
- The studio dog
- The colour of the carpet
- The artists manager
Old 18th September 2019
  #60
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
Interesting topic. You shoulda mentioned the melody and song in the title though.

When you have a great melody and chords, even a ****ty performance and recording can be very cool - but marry a great song, performance and recording and you're away.

I used to say the order of importance is like this :-

- The song
- The performance
- The microphone
- The recording space
- The preamp
- The converter
- The beverages on offer
- The DAW
- The studio dog
- The colour of the carpet
- The artists manager
I must say, since I got a (studio) dog/puppy, people who come in the studio are x10 happier when seeing my pup.
Happier = beter vibes = good feeling = beter vocal performance = beter song


Oh yeah nearly forgot, "Happier Ears", I ain't blasting no more
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