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Did the engineers of yester-year argue about gear the way we do now?
Old 11th September 2007
  #61
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GearBit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
Back in the 70's some people would slam the use of any synth keyboard.
Queen used to put "No Synthesizers were used on this record"
I remember that.
Then gary wright put "this record is all synthesizers" on his record.
Old 15th September 2007
  #62
Lives for gear
 
china jam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
OH i would.....





think of how awesome that record would be if sonically it rocked!

I think that somehow it wouldn't have the same appeal, to me atleast. It's half the charm that everything sounds too small, it keeps him sounding like a solo artist.

As opposed to Rufus Wainwright who sounds like a musical.
Old 16th September 2007
  #63
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

We almost never talked about gear because we were too busy talking about the latest record releases.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #64
Gear Nut
 

"Really...if you take a look at all of the time blown on discussing and inspecting circuits and components...compared with discussions and analysis of final recorded work.... you wonder how anyone has time to make any music at all."

Beautifully put.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #65
Lives for gear
 
Surbitone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
......that and the fact that many of those who ARGUE about gear dont in fact USE it! At least not professionally!.... heh


+21 thumbsup

(seemed like a good number)
Old 23rd June 2010
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
Seriously. Before DAW's and plug-ins, did engineers do blind test after blind test to determine if a particular brand of 2 inch tape sounded better than another one? Or what ips speed resulted in a better sounding recording? Or did they do tests to find out if a solid state mixer was better than a tube mixer for mixing? Did engineers of the past test which version of the 1176 was better? D? or E?

I'm not talking about normal testing before a recording session like, "which mic will work best for this particular amp".

I am talking about the nauseating tests and discussions that are similar to today's "which DAW sounds better" type of tests. You know, the pointless ones. heh

Just curious if this is something new or have these types of tests and debates been going on forever?
Wherever you get a range of people with different experience bases and characters, you're always likely to find some lively discussions.

But most of the arguments that I remember from back then (back then, for me, would be the 80s, a period during which I did a fair amount of freelance engineering and producing in a range of studios) tended to be about technical aspects and best practices -- not so much whether a given piece of gear was 'the best' of its class and such. That kind of juvenile one-upsmanship and bragging has always struck me as the hallmark of the amateur and wannabe. (But see my last paragraph for a more shaded take on that.)

In my time 'out in the world,' it seemed to me that there was much more of a sense that every piece of gear was different and so, might have its own niche use.

That said, that was a time when even relatively small studios would typically cost as much to outfit as a house. So a lot of folks who would work [freelance] in those milieus would tend to have broader (but sometimes less deep) experience with a range of gear. (Also, there were just a lot less different pieces of gear out there, so it really was possible to be moderately familiar with most of the pieces in a given studio you'd walk into cold.)


In today's project studio and home/self-recording milieu, studios are smaller, acquisition budgets much smaller, and, while an old school commercial studio might have scores of mics in its locker, these days many recordists end up having to carefully select a small subset of what's available -- and so the consumerist angle has become increasingly important -- and with far more recordists with far less broad experience, there's a much greater reliance on reviews, word of mouth, buzz, scuttlebutt, etc.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #67
Gear Nut
 

I think the problem here is the anonymity factor. Mostly no one knows who the other guy is. A lot of the threads are legitimate though. There's no doubt about that. Although I often feel this is a perfect battleground for manufactures to secretly pervert the young up-in-comer's mind to buy more **** that they don't need. Everyone is subject to this though, not just the inexperienced. Anyways, you just need a good converter, preamp, mic collection, and computer and you're off.

Back to the thread: I think people were just as dogmatic about equipment back then but they just didn't have an outlet to voice it.

Another important point: I think the experienced guys feel threatened by these young cats because the basics of recording are just that, very basic, and most people can pick them up with relative ease. I only mention that because it's underlying thoughts like that which help spur on threads like this one.

I'll lay it out there: I am new to the game...23 years old, almost out of college. Look, I've only offered my input on things in a limited way when appropriate. Knowledge is an easy thing to come by, but the ability to sort through it and see where the gems are is a relatively rare thing to possess. That's not going to change that much anytime soon. Ten years ago or so was the dawning of the information age. Now we all have to learn to decode and make sense of that information for our own lives.

I like the fact people spit out nonsense. It makes me reassess my own beliefs to see if they hold water. I think a lot of people are quick to put down ignorant comments when they see them. It's rare where someone can say some bull**** and get away with it. I hope someone calls me out on my bull****. I say stop cutting the branch you are standing on. Gearslutz is mostly a really good thing.

That's my piece. Hopefully it's not too scattered in thought.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #68
I can't believe I wasted my time reading this thread, when I could have been wrapping all my patch cables with tin foil.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #69
Gear Nut
 

I like to wrap mine in cellophane. They stay fresher in the refrigerator.heh
Old 23rd June 2010
  #70
Definitely it's the internet. It has nothing to do with gear. It happens on almost all internet forums that aren't heavily moderated. It's really kind of something that the human species hasn't ever had to deal with. Before, you could only get so many people together for so long a time who were interested in a specific thing, but from very different personal and other backgrounds. You could get a few folks together regularly, or a larger number for a short period of time (conferences, which are generally highly controlled.)

The internet just provides the opportunity for large numbers of people to be exposed to others of a similar interest for long periods of time, so that there's sufficient length of exposure that even the most relaxed ones will end up there on a bad day occasionally, and as you go down the line, you get to the always on a bad day folks.

It doesn't matter what the subject is about really. I'm sure that there's a huge screaming match going on somewhere on the net right now about what the best mushrooms are for risotto. And there are probably risotto experts there complaining about all these wannabe risotto cooks coming in here and taking ****e without having spent the last 20 years cooking risotto, and obsessing about the specs of their stove tops and copper saute pans and which brand of olive oil is optimal for a rice of a given region and so forth.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by whquade View Post
I think the problem here is the anonymity factor. Mostly no one knows who the other guy is. A lot of the threads are legitimate though. There's no doubt about that. Although I often feel this is a perfect battleground for manufactures to secretly pervert the young up-in-comer's mind to buy more **** that they don't need. Everyone is subject to this though, not just the inexperienced. Anyways, you just need a good converter, preamp, mic collection, and computer and you're off.

Back to the thread: I think people were just as dogmatic about equipment back then but they just didn't have an outlet to voice it.


Another important point: I think the experienced guys feel threatened by these young cats because the basics of recording are just that, very basic, and most people can pick them up with relative ease. I only mention that because it's underlying thoughts like that which help spur on threads like this one.

I'll lay it out there: I am new to the game...23 years old, almost out of college. Look, I've only offered my input on things in a limited way when appropriate. Knowledge is an easy thing to come by, but the ability to sort through it and see where the gems are is a relatively rare thing to possess. That's not going to change that much anytime soon. Ten years ago or so was the dawning of the information age. Now we all have to learn to decode and make sense of that information for our own lives.


I like the fact people spit out nonsense. It makes me reassess my own beliefs to see if they hold water. I think a lot of people are quick to put down ignorant comments when they see them. It's rare where someone can say some bull**** and get away with it. I hope someone calls me out on my bull****. I say stop cutting the branch you are standing on. Gearslutz is mostly a really good thing.


That's my piece. Hopefully it's not too scattered in thought.
Totally LOFL.

If that was true, old guys wouldn't spend so much time shaking their heads and muttering things like, What a bunch of incredibly ignorant dumb asses who couldn't think their way out of a soggy paper sack...

heh

[I like the attitude whquade is laying out, though, in general -- and I'm putting the laughing guy smilie there to soften and friendly up the tone of what I'm saying. But I'm still saying it.]


But many/most old guys are jealous of young guys from time to time, no question.

Still, I think it more often involves cute young GFs or envy of the freedom a lot of folks enjoy in their young adult lives. By the time a guy has a studio of his own, he's probably loaded down with commitments of both business and personal natures.

You know what I envy: people who can just pick up and move to another city. That kind of freedom sounds like such a luxury.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by whquade View Post
I like to wrap mine in cellophane. They stay fresher in the refrigerator.heh
Dude, I seriously keep key cables in zip lock bags.

I was doing some web work for a boutique cable guy and he gave me some samples of 'silent pull' guitar cables (with the trick connectors that short out when removed from the 'wrong' end and, so, don't go blamp!) and he gave them to me in those big zip locks that I presume mid-level pot dealers use for their wares. The cables have this wacky anti-twist insulation material that means I can just open up the zip lock and drop it out and it sort of spills out without tangles. I've spent way, way, way too much of my life untangling cables.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Definitely it's the internet. It has nothing to do with gear. It happens on almost all internet forums that aren't heavily moderated. It's really kind of something that the human species hasn't ever had to deal with. Before, you could only get so many people together for so long a time who were interested in a specific thing, but from very different personal and other backgrounds. You could get a few folks together regularly, or a larger number for a short period of time (conferences, which are generally highly controlled.)

The internet just provides the opportunity for large numbers of people to be exposed to others of a similar interest for long periods of time, so that there's sufficient length of exposure that even the most relaxed ones will end up there on a bad day occasionally, and as you go down the line, you get to the always on a bad day folks.

It doesn't matter what the subject is about really. I'm sure that there's a huge screaming match going on somewhere on the net right now about what the best mushrooms are for risotto. And there are probably risotto experts there complaining about all these wannabe risotto cooks coming in here and taking ****e without having spent the last 20 years cooking risotto, and obsessing about the specs of their stove tops and copper saute pans and which brand of olive oil is optimal for a rice of a given region and so forth.
Much truth there, Dean -- you ignorant slut.





heh
Old 23rd June 2010
  #74
Lives for gear
 
T'Mershi Duween's Avatar
 

The democratization of audio production has allowed the semi-pro (mostly amateurs) more opportunities than ever before. I have to believe that this is ultimately a good thing, but..

What's missing today are not endless discussions about mic pres or which plugins best emulate (insert vintage gear here) or how to replace a snare hit with cookie cutter generic flavors of the week samples...

What's missing today is the learning of the basics of audio recording, actual experience, mentoring from a qualified engineer and paying dues.

Paying dues by working your way up the ladder is still the best way to become a legitimate audio engineer/artist/producer, but I'm afraid those opportunities are quickly dwindling for the young person who has talent and a real desire to learn.

Lot's of dilettantes that expect creating/recording music is just a matter of having the right gear. I think experience and a desire to learn are more important than gear nowadays truthfully. And of course, that elusive of all skills... talent. heh

Back in the day, listening was more important than discussing gear.

Until one knows what great audio actually sounds like, it's hard to know what quality audio is.

And the skill to create great audio is something one gets from doing, not arguing over which plugin gives you the most realistic Neve sound. tutt

I'm also convinced that limitations are good for those starting out. They make you work harder. They help you understand the basics.

But now that fairly decent gear is cheap, everyone's a producer. And everyone has an opinion. And because of the nature of the intertubes, everyone now has an equal "voice" and a forum to express said "opinions".

Many young people today that are calling themselves "producers" still don't understand proper gain staging or how a mixer's signal path works, but can talk endlessly about classic gear that they have never even seen in real life, much less used.

It's hard to sift through the bullsh#it to get to the truth (or interesting wisdom from someone who is actually what you aspire to be).

On recording forums, sometimes the signal is the noise! heh
Old 23rd June 2010
  #75
Lives for gear
 
glenn Taylor's Avatar
 

I have kept some of my old 'Recording Engineer Producer" magazines.Where Roy Thomas Baker talks about recording Queen on a 40 track Stephens 2" or using different tape in the summer because of humid weather.
Remember when Summit audio was a used vintage gear list sent out every month. Thank god for the internet.
GT.
Old 23rd June 2010
  #76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
We almost never talked about gear because we were too busy talking about the latest record releases.
Well, many of are still talking about those releases...

heh



I think T'Mershi Duween's comments above are particularly pertinent in today's scene. I think that's why I had the LOFL response to the suggestion somewhere above that the basics of studio recording are simple. (Though I want to reiterate that I thought that writer's overall post was quite thoughtful and showed a good attitude.)

When I was coming up at the beginning of the 80s, it was much simpler, but as arrogant as I was (imagine), I still figured it was going to take me years to really start getting my sea legs under me and, in many important ways, I think I underestimated. Sure, it's easy to find the big red button, but before and after that comes the hard part...
Old 24th June 2010
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by whquade View Post

Another important point: I think the experienced guys feel threatened by these young cats because the basics of recording are just that, very basic, and most people can pick them up with relative ease. I only mention that because it's underlying thoughts like that which help spur on threads like this one.
Not even close, sonny. While what you think of as "the basics of recording" may seem simple to you they're not. The big problem these days is that with the closing of so many commercial studios the younger generation doesn't have the opportunities to learn the subtle differences that make all the difference.

To borrow an analogy from W. Wittman, it's like cooking roast chicken - a very easy thing to do badly, but a dish that top chefs spend years learning to perfect.

http://thewombforums.com/showthread....=roast+chicken
Old 24th June 2010
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Totally LOFL.

If that was true, old guys wouldn't spend so much time shaking their heads and muttering things like, What a bunch of incredibly ignorant dumb asses who couldn't think their way out of a soggy paper sack...

heh

[I like the attitude whquade is laying out, though, in general -- and I'm putting the laughing guy smilie there to soften and friendly up the tone of what I'm saying. But I'm still saying it.]


But many/most old guys are jealous of young guys from time to time, no question.

Still, I think it more often involves cute young GFs or envy of the freedom a lot of folks enjoy in their young adult lives. By the time a guy has a studio of his own, he's probably loaded down with commitments of both business and personal natures.

You know what I envy: people who can just pick up and move to another city. That kind of freedom sounds like such a luxury.
No Sh*t! Right now I'd LOVE to be able to move to London and rent Jules' old studio for a fraction of what a similar facility would go for here in SF - but I've got over a freaking TON of equipment I'd need to either move or sell and replace!
Old 24th June 2010
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCM - Ronan View Post
+1
plus get rid of the anonymous bull****, Most of the big time people who participate don't really hide who they are.
Old 24th June 2010
  #80
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Goat View Post
Ug: "Bang on hollow log with rock."
Zug: "Use big stick. Warmer tone."
So would that be an ana-log?
Old 24th June 2010
  #81
Old 24th June 2010
  #82
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
To borrow an analogy from W. Wittman, it's like cooking roast chicken - a very easy thing to do badly, but a dish that top chefs spend years learning to perfect.
Nice analogy.

I was in the studio last night working on turkey burgers and oven fried potatoes.

Starting to get that right anyway......
Old 24th June 2010
  #83
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mershi Duween View Post
The democratization of audio production has allowed the semi-pro (mostly amateurs) more opportunities than ever before. I have to believe that this is ultimately a good thing, but..

What's missing today are not endless discussions about mic pres or which plugins best emulate (insert vintage gear here) or how to replace a snare hit with cookie cutter generic flavors of the week samples...

What's missing today is the learning of the basics of audio recording, actual experience, mentoring from a qualified engineer and paying dues.

Paying dues by working your way up the ladder is still the best way to become a legitimate audio engineer/artist/producer, but I'm afraid those opportunities are quickly dwindling for the young person who has talent and a real desire to learn.

Lot's of dilettantes that expect creating/recording music is just a matter of having the right gear. I think experience and a desire to learn are more important than gear nowadays truthfully. And of course, that elusive of all skills... talent. heh

Back in the day, listening was more important than discussing gear.

Until one knows what great audio actually sounds like, it's hard to know what quality audio is.

And the skill to create great audio is something one gets from doing, not arguing over which plugin gives you the most realistic Neve sound. tutt

I'm also convinced that limitations are good for those starting out. They make you work harder. They help you understand the basics.

But now that fairly decent gear is cheap, everyone's a producer. And everyone has an opinion. And because of the nature of the intertubes, everyone now has an equal "voice" and a forum to express said "opinions".

Many young people today that are calling themselves "producers" still don't understand proper gain staging or how a mixer's signal path works, but can talk endlessly about classic gear that they have never even seen in real life, much less used.

It's hard to sift through the bullsh#it to get to the truth (or interesting wisdom from someone who is actually what you aspire to be).

On recording forums, sometimes the signal is the noise! heh
This is SO TRUE!!!

I see it at my mastering facility all the time. In fact I'm mixing a record right now because the guy went through two other mix engineers and no one could nail it. He spent months on end trying to get his project mixed. I refused a good 5 times (I don't do this anymore). Finally after he played me the last mixes he paid for, I said okay I'll do it. He was throwing his money away with bull**** artist. 20 hours later and all 10 songs are done, he couldn't believe it... he was "shocked".

I'm actually starting to think about teaching recording... NOT Pro-Tools or Logic (that's not recording)... actual recording techniques... just what I was taught back in the day... starting with signal path integrity, transducer technology and physics... then working from there.

There is such a strong need for this...

Bob Ohlson is right, we talked about the actual "recordings" more back in the old days, partly because everybody had their own sound. Not this boring **** we have today where everybody sounds like everybody else! Or is trying to... Yawn!

Everybody was excited to hear a new record from their favorite artist because many times the recording would have a different sound all together (depending on where they recorded it and with who) and people listened for it and talked about it. I'm thinking of the difference in Tom Dowd recordings and people like that here. Depending on the artist, you would never think it was the same engineer or sometimes even the same studio sometimes! And the recording could be a hit or a miss but it still made them exciting.

As for gear, we were all striving for the best we could afford but back then a good board and machine was equal to a mortgage payment... in fact my monthly nut for the studio was way more than my mortgage payment at the time.
Old 24th June 2010
  #84
Lives for gear
 
Barish's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
......that and the fact that many of those who ARGUE about gear dont in fact USE it! At least not professionally!.... heh
Shpot on

B.
Old 24th June 2010
  #85
Gear Maniac
 
pashatom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
We almost never talked about gear because we were too busy talking about the latest record releases.
Yeah you had that luxury. Then they invented piracy. That all but killed that. Maybe that explains why there's so much talk about gear.
Old 24th June 2010
  #86
Lives for gear
 
Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 

didn't a lot of people actually design or built their equipment back then? (of course back when??) as they had no ****load of audio companies supplying "studio" gear.
Or modify broadcast equipment for "studio" use?
Or you had the big label or studio that also designed & built the recording equipment?
Old 24th June 2010
  #87
Led
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Led's Avatar
I think they talked less about gear. Each place had their own sounds and tricks...you didn't want other studios knowing all your secrets.
You'd read stuff in mags but opposing studios didn't really get together regularly like people do on the internut. Everyone was too busy working.
Old 24th June 2010
  #88
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'Mershi Duween View Post
Paying dues by working your way up the ladder is still the best way to become a legitimate audio engineer/artist/producer, but I'm afraid those opportunities are quickly dwindling for the young person who has talent and a real desire to learn.

Lot's of dilettantes that expect creating/recording music is just a matter of having the right gear. I think experience and a desire to learn are more important than gear nowadays truthfully. And of course, that elusive of all skills... talent. heh
Regarding the payment of dues.........

Things are different now. I do not know that from experience but rather from a few years of following these discussions. Young folks may not be able to pay their dues as easily in major studios like many of you did.........

..........but they can still pay them by putting in countless hours in their own humble basement or bedroom studios and honing their skills by putting their products out for constant peer review.

These days, absent a good hands-on teacher, a young and hopeful engineer (or even an older one ) with the desire to learn and some raw talent can make themselves a place through a lot of hard work and study.

For those of us who are on our own in this quest, this is a good place to study.....and the discussion of gear is an important part of that.
Old 24th June 2010
  #89
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryst View Post
Seriously. Before DAW's and plug-ins, did engineers do blind test after blind test to determine if a particular brand of 2 inch tape sounded better than another one? Or what ips speed resulted in a better sounding recording? Or did they do tests to find out if a solid state mixer was better than a tube mixer for mixing? Did engineers of the past test which version of the 1176 was better? D? or E?

I'm not talking about normal testing before a recording session like, "which mic will work best for this particular amp".

I am talking about the nauseating tests and discussions that are similar to today's "which DAW sounds better" type of tests. You know, the pointless ones. heh

Just curious if this is something new or have these types of tests and debates been going on forever?
Before the Internet, there was nowhere the amount of crap (aka:"knowledge") being shared. Everyone used what they either had the $$$ to afford or what they actually had experience using. Today, Joe Schmoo hears this piece of gear is killer and spreads that "fact" all over the place even though he has never used and doesn`t have the $$$ to actually afford it anyway... hes just going by what he has read or from another GearSlut.

With that said, engineers who have made recording a profession do prefer one tape over another because they have actually used all of them. Some tapes boast the mids while others are more flat or have a bigger bottom. Sounds silly but do some HW and you`ll find it out. The endless debates are a product of the medium in which we communicate.
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