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The Evolution of Man...and More Plugins
Old 19th July 2007
  #1
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The Evolution of Man...and More Plugins

I just realized that in the beginning man made instruments to make an array of sounds. Once this was reached and arranged every way possible and found out how groovy it was. Man then decided to record it. In doing so he had to create an entire other layer of instruments called equipment. This equipment was used to help preserve the instruments and the data that they recorded. And then came an entirely new lawyer of instruments called software because the equipment was difficult to use and maintain that mimicked the original equipment to record the instruments we made.

Everything that's ever been made has been made so man doesn't have to sing the song himself. So that man doesn't even have to make music., but instead have a switch or lever that guide it for him.

I find that amazing. Everything from compression to automation tuning. All this stuff was made to keep people from having to make music, and what's even more wild is that all this 'equipment' was made for creating it.

What a backwards mess. I don't know any other art form that has inadvertently progressed towards removing itself from...itself. That is except maybe photography.

Maybe that's part of the reason why the business is in a "downward spiral" is the nature it's relationship with man.

Wow.
Old 19th July 2007
  #2
You're witnessing DE-EVOLUTION!
Old 19th July 2007
  #3
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Pass me the bong, dude....woah, there's like an entire universe under my fingernail.
Old 19th July 2007
  #4
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Just to be half serious for a second....the ironic thing to me is that these tools don't really make it any easier at all. Tuning a vocal for example. If you're going to do it right, it can be a painstaking chore. Would be a **** load easier to just sing it, if the singer can just sing which ain't that big of a deal since people have been singing fine since man first started banging on rocks or whatever. A lot of these tools just cause paranoia and indecision.

I mean, is everyone just kicking back now while music makes itself? Seems like everyone is a slave to their computer working 10 times as hard as they used to and making music that's 10 times worse, with as much eye strain as ear strain, plus brain strain. The Beatles knocked out their first album in a day, and it will live on forever.
Old 20th July 2007
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
Just to be half serious for a second....the ironic thing to me is that these tools don't really make it any easier at all. Tuning a vocal for example. If you're going to do it right, it can be a painstaking chore. Would be a **** load easier to just sing it, if the singer can just sing which ain't that big of a deal since people have been singing fine since man first started banging on rocks or whatever. A lot of these tools just cause paranoia and indecision.

I mean, is everyone just kicking back now while music makes itself? Seems like everyone is a slave to their computer working 10 times as hard as they used to and making music that's 10 times worse, with as much eye strain as ear strain, plus brain strain. The Beatles knocked out their first album in a day, and it will live on forever.
I know, I'm a luddite so the whole thing to me is so backwards and convoluted logically that I'm surprised that songs actually exists. I get frustrated enough with software as a designer. I can't imagine introducing that kind of frustration to my favorite joy in the world.

The whole causality of it kind of blows my mind. Here you have these limiters that go for thousands of dollars for "flavor" and their original intent was simply so the engineer didn't have to rock the slider. Now it's just this thing that needs to be put on everything and debated about.

Like seriously, what's the next layer beyond software? Water? I mean I guess there's drugs, but I think that's kind of a cop out.

Vintage f#&king plugins? But not because they help, but because of their character!

As far as evolution, I'm really confounded. I've just gotten into the pro audio cult for ust over a year. before that, to me it was just music. I'm wondering how this stuff will be marketed.

I need to sit down for a minute James Joyce is buzzing me.
Old 20th July 2007
  #6
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Yeah, I think vintage character from a plugin is pretty funny.

I have a feeling once the smoke clears, and it probably already has somewhat, everyone's going to really burn out on this stuff (technology). Not turn their back, but just be over it and go back to making music and listening to music (and I sure don't mean A/B type listening). I know I'm over it.

I'm curious to know, engineers and or musicians...with the "Pro Tool" paradigm, is life easier and are you working less and are you smiling more?
Old 20th July 2007
  #7
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I agree that all the plugins and virtual instruments has made it harder. Today there are too many options and choices available. For someone who doesn't know what they want this can be a nightmare. You could go on forever and never commit to anything. For an artist that knows exactly what they're looking for these tools can make things easier.

It all comes down to musical talent. If you have it you can use these tools for great things. If you don't you're probably doomed to looking for the next new thing that will finally give you the key to the greatest music you can make. It's kinda like the if "I only had that one more piece of gear then I could make some serious music".

Gotta love technology though, but I think it should be taken with a grain of salt, if that makes any sense.
Old 20th July 2007
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
I'm curious to know, engineers and or musicians...with the "Pro Tool" paradigm, is life easier and are you working less and are you smiling more?
I come from a much simpler place in this little debate.
I am not an engineer by trade....just an aging muso who has discovered all of these fancy tools late in life and is finally able to record all of the tunes that have been rattling around for some time.

I say....Praise be to Pro Tools and pass me the software.

I'm smiling.
Old 20th July 2007
  #9
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Recording has moved to the computer. Period. In ten years guys with 24 track machines are going to be like the guys with the 50's and 60's cars who gather at the retro diner on sundays.

I think the "vintage plug ins" are alomost a way to deal with this cold fact.

Here ya go mister, This cartoon of a 1176 will be of great comfort to you. See you can work the knob with your mouse! It's almost just like the old days!

BUT don't think that it's de-evolution. I think we are going from there to here

I'd like it to be alot less retro based BUT
I come from the days of tascam 38's and tascam boards. That's all I could afford.

I'll take My UADs and Tri tones and samplitudes over that crap any day.
Old 20th July 2007
  #10
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Quote:
I think the "vintage plug ins" are alomost a way to deal with this cold fact.
yeah, but what about when they become vintage. That's my question.

How far can this whole thing go I wonder.
Old 20th July 2007
  #11
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Quote:
yeah, but what about when they become vintage. That's my question.
I know, it's like nostalgia for the 80's (Stray Cats) version of the 50's
Old 20th July 2007
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post

How far can this whole thing go I wonder.
You gotta figure it will get to a place where the automation of recording becomes so good and powerful and easy that eventually all a musician will have to do is actually create music and the computer will do all the dirty work....which means the engineer can spend all his time in the diner. Well, not in the diner. Outside the diner asking for spare change.
Old 20th July 2007
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
Everything that's ever been made has been made so man doesn't have to sing the song himself. So that man doesn't even have to make music., but instead have a switch or lever that guide it for him.

I find that amazing. Everything from compression to automation tuning. All this stuff was made to keep people from having to make music, and what's even more wild is that all this 'equipment' was made for creating it.
So we should return to banging on logs with sticks? I guess I don't really understand your point? The bamboo flute, violin, electric guitar, synthesizer, drum machine, DAW; these are all products of technological development. And if you try to say great music hasn't been created on any one of these, then I respectfully submit that you really need to get out more.

As long as we realized these things are just tools for creation and not ends in themselves, then it's all good. Maybe you're happy with the tried and true. And that's perfectly cool. Everybody's got their thing. But some of us want to push things in new directions. Perhaps even make a few things better than they were. And that's cool too.
Old 20th July 2007
  #14
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To me, the point is that the technological development hasn't really made life much easier (yet). And in fact, has only added work (and quite possibly a lot of headaches and lack of joy, and perhaps often is overshadowing and killing the music to a degree, case in point is the whole mentally ill mastering thing we all know and hate).

Everyone is discovering you still need good songs, good artists, good musicians, good performances, good mic technique, good mic placement, good gain staging, good outboard gear. All the same ingredients. And if any of that is lacking, good luck with plugins and autotuning and drum replacing and quantizing and a thousand tracks of comping and all the rest. And I know that people had to use razor blades and walk 10 miles in the snow in the past, but I think there has been a period here where we have lost the point of all this a little bit, and when I listen to what's on the radio or see threads about how to tune vocals or which DAW sums the best or "easy" ways to quantize drums because drummers are so terrible these days or how to get a lackluster sound using amplitube, and on and on, it makes me think we've gotten a little lost.

But maybe I'm totally wrong and everyone is loving their computers and kicking back and digging the music.
Old 20th July 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
To me, the point is that the technological development hasn't really made life much easier (yet).

technology can make tasks easier, but making *life* easier is a job reserved exclusively for the person living it. the good news is, you have all the power. the bad news is, you have all the power.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 20th July 2007
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
technology can make tasks easier, but making *life* easier is a job reserved exclusively for the person living it. the good news is, you have all the power. the bad news is, you have all the power.
Yes, I have the power over me (and I'm willing to admit it took me awhile to realize what a waste of time a lot of this **** is, including btw, the internet, but I'm still here) but I don't have it over the general zeitgeist, which is also what I'm talking about, and that affects all of us even if we don't want to admit it.

And as far as technology making tasks easier, I don't believe that to be always true. That may be the point or the goal, but I think it fails all the time. For example, freeways.
Old 20th July 2007
  #17
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All I can possibly guess is that the entire thing (thing, defined as recording studio environment) is inevitably going into the backpocket.

"You can cut an album while taking the d-train!"

Seriously, the whole thing seems to be going into some kind of iStudio format for several reasons, but the main one seems to be workflow. From various responses, it seems that the technology makes things easier simply by making the process faster. But just like all traffic, in a professional environment this creates a lot of hurry up and wait in other areas. Like rendering vs. rewinding. The complaint that I seem to hear a lot about in the commercial creative realm is that along with options that have grown from necessity to luxury and back again is that this super evolution creates so man options at such a lightning fast speed that the whipping process tends to go full circle that some of you engineers speak of.

I think that's why the home, or iStudio situation tends to be the drift because there's not so much pressure in this process to accomplish goals.

It's interesting to think that this complete deflation of not only workflow but end result, or market, due to extreme flexibility and ease is really awesome and almost scary.

I honestly can't possibly imagine what could come after software.

Funny, I kind of feel the same way about automobiles. Everything feels like it's yearning to go full circle.
Old 21st July 2007
  #18
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Quote:
All I can possibly guess is that the entire thing (thing, defined as recording studio environment) is inevitably going into the backpocket.
Yeh, But you still need nice pres, mics, converters ect.........AND ya gotta know where to put those mics

All that engineer stuff.........You know............how to mix and compress and reverb and not to over do it ...........................or to under do it


Do you think all those skills can become automated?
Old 21st July 2007
  #19
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Quote:
Do you think all those skills can become automated?
Heck if I know. It's an interesting theory.

There's now a machine out there that will tell executives if a song is going to be a hit or not. That goes forward in eliminating subjectivity.

On the other end of the spectrum, there's plugins that shape artists so they don't have to. That also goes forward to eliminate humanisms.

As far as the man in the middle, time will only tell.

The modern DIY nature of things demands that more artists learn how to engineer their own sound though instead of getting a "deal". I think it's safe to say that synergy is in effect.
Old 21st July 2007
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsung View Post
Yeh, But you still need nice pres, mics, converters ect.........AND ya gotta know where to put those mics

All that engineer stuff.........You know............how to mix and compress and reverb and not to over do it ...........................or to under do it


Do you think all those skills can become automated?
Yes.

In the future, the engineer will look like one of those computer generated superhero girls with huge breasts. And you'll plug your mic or guitar in the usb and record your turd, and then she'll say in a sultry voice "your were flat on the line 'I wanna bang that bitch', would you like me to correct the pitch?" Or she'll say, "I have analyzed your turd and see you are going for a late 60s vibe. Would you like me to give your mix a vintage flavor as if it were recorded at Abbey Road circa 1969?"

It's already like that to a great degree, just a little crude at this point.
Old 21st July 2007
  #21
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Quote:
In the future, the engineer will look like one of those computer generated superhero girls with huge breasts. And you'll plug your mic or guitar in the usb and record your turd, and then she'll say in a sultry voice "your were flat on the line 'I wanna bang that bitch', would you like me to correct the pitch?" Or she'll say, "I have analyzed your turd and see you are going for a late 60s vibe. Would you like me to give your mix a vintage flavor as if it were recorded at Abbey Road circa 1969?"
LOL That's funny. Crude, but funny...for now.

I probably won't be able to afford it when it comes out either. I'll probably be rewinding tape in some hole that'll be reminiscent of the bathroom seen in 'The Wall'. Or playing Twister by myself cuz I'm "against the system".

I also think that kind of answers my question. AI is all that's left after software.
Old 21st July 2007
  #22
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Oh man, why did I even bother joining this thread?

Tried to throw you all a line and save this from sounding like countless "Back in my day...." old-geezer-bitch-fests that every generation throughout history has had to endure.

Have fun.
Old 21st July 2007
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefoot View Post
Oh man, why did I even bother joining this thread?

Tried to throw you all a line and save this from sounding like countless "Back in my day...." old-geezer-bitch-fests that every generation throughout history has had to endure.

Have fun.
La-de-da your highness. Your post was the most cliche and predictable of the whole thread. Who was the first old geezer to say "As long as we realized these things are just tools..."

Buh-bye.
Old 21st July 2007
  #24
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Quote:
Oh man, why did I even bother joining this thread?

Tried to throw you all a line and save this from sounding like countless "Back in my day...." old-geezer-bitch-fests that every generation throughout history has had to endure.

Have fun.
Hey man, at least it's free.
Old 21st July 2007
  #25
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What a load of bollocks.

A good song is still a good song regardless of the century it was made.

We are lucky as recordists that we have tools to make our lives easier, but they are no excuse to become lazy.
Old 21st July 2007
  #26
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Yeah..I have to say weed as got the best you

I kid..but

Recording itself is not natural. Im sure someone said "whats the world coming to? Now you can just press a funny button and music comes out..this will kill the act of performance"

Moving the fader instead of using a compressor is cheating too. Thats not the real performance..its been altered to correct

I do agree with the notion that Rap and other music, in which you can just take a song someone else has already completed and just talk over, is not musical talent. But the public, however stupid in regards to skill, has deemed it worthy enough to buy. Very unfortunate for those who have virtuoso skill.

PS..this is where I put a disclaimer to those in rap who actually compose. There are musically skilled people in rap. These people also look down on the unskilled in their own genre.

Anyway, plugins are in the same catagory as the tape machine. Its gear..there is no distinction. It has also been proved that a digital copy is much closer to the original performace than a taped copy. Anyone who has recorded a live source going through their monitors and listen to a recorded copy a few seconds later could atest to that. The Tape is colored copy. The Digtal copy sounds virtually identical to what came through their monitors live.

Color is actually a deficiency. One we like in some cases. Once plugins, who have already replicated even surpassed many processes, conquers color, distortion and the other deficiencies of known gear, its all over the anything outboard because it easier to use, uses no material resources, can replicate itself into unlimited copies, and will not have to withstand conversions

Just as people have claimed in every era that this "new thing" will never take over--they will be wrong. No matter what time or station we are in life--we always believe we are right. Think about science--they are always telling us "we now know"-only to say years later, "we now know". If they looked back a their track record they should honestly say--"we never knew and probably dont know now"

In 100 years...(insert answer here)
Old 21st July 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Anyway, plugins are in the same catagory as the tape machine. Its gear..there is no distinction.
Totally, it serves a purpose.

Absolute, I want to say thank you for keeping this thread on track. No harm, no foul.

This thread is not a rant. It was never intended to piss anybody off. This is campfire you guys.

And to bug people some more (I guess). I'll start another sentence using the word 'interesting'. Observe.

(And even though I'm a bit smart-ass three sheets into Friday night, I do have my sincerity...)

I think it's interesting how the mistakes in these machines we make, the color that is, or imperfections if you will, end up being the interest in the aftermath of the invention. Or at least that's how a lot of vintage gear is sold. Like it starts out being something "altered to correct" a situation. But the error on top of the functionality is what makes it groovy. Kind of like the problems with your truck (if you have one) that don't function quite right but for some reason serve a use.

It's almost like we look to humanisms or distortion, imperfections in the machines themselves to reflect what we're doing or something.

Wow...No wonder I'm a gearslut. I really dig this sh!t.
Old 21st July 2007
  #28
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Hey

Good post...I do understand what you were trying to saythumbsup

BTW..for anyone-- below is great interview link with Dave Pensado. He really is a different kind of thinker. He talks about the Synth and the Boss 808 and other new things that were introduced into audio and his take on these things really made a lightbulb go off in my head


Sound.org : Visions Of Sound

Its worth the download. Dave if your reading. Love ya dude
Old 21st July 2007
  #29
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Quote:
Its worth the download. Dave if your reading. Love ya dude
Wow...That Dave character is quite something. He sounds like an amazing person to work with. Real honest. And I think honesty it worth it's weight in gold. In fact, if that's what this post is about than 'cling cling'. Cuz it's important to realize past fascination in what is a very obscure artform. I try to impose that on everybody who's like "wow, that sounds good!". I'm like no...It's tubes and tape. You're hearing it for the first time. It's getting there.

It's funny. My tech friend who worked at Royaltone was there during that session before Perry bought it.

Heh, small world.
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