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Gear, gear, gear, what about technique? Dynamic Microphones
Old 18th December 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Gear, gear, gear, what about technique?

Okay, this isn't a rant. Honest, or I'd post it elsewhere.

It's just that the more I read this forum, the more and more I see the magic bullet threads. Personally, as a newbie growing more experienced with gear and electricity in general, it's probably pretty common. I can't imagine how a lot of true professionals see through a lot of these thread. Not that there's anything wrong with asking questions about gear, they play a big part.

But...

I'm honestly hit the dopamine ceiling on questions about gear. The song does largely remain the same. I am curious about common things that newbie music makers don't think about when recording.

Dare I say it, experience is becoming more interesting to me than gear. Simply being able to run reverb parallel through an AUX is just...a revolutionary feeling.

Does anybody have any experiences they'd like to share. I can tell you two real dumb ones I've discovered the hard way that high end gear could not help.

1. Make sure that your instruments are not only properly tuned but in order. Makeshift will only make things drastic.

2. Clean the damn tape heads before recording, the problem is not in the signal path. Put away the Advil.

3. And oh, my favorite. Is it plugged in?

Peace,
-soupking
Old 18th December 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
yeah..psychoacoustic phenomena trumps gear all the timeheh
Old 18th December 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
BudgetMC's Avatar
Do you mean Technics? They made some good stuff... and don't forget their TEAC line. I've got this cool old TEAC amp... it's killer...
Old 18th December 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetMC View Post
Do you mean Technics? They made some good stuff... and don't forget their TEAC line. I've got this cool old TEAC amp... it's killer...
I'm actually planning to use this Radio Shack keyboard that my girlfriend had around the apartment. Seriously. The sax sound has this bagpipes texture that mixes in really well. I will probably run it through at least a tube mixer and a Pultec and maybe a Eventide for more thickening and a reverb unit. Or...Maybe I'll do it plain. Don't know yet. The tubes seem to help though. Need more time for testing.
Old 18th December 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 

You ARE right Soupking...

Gear is gear and it is quite often easier to talk about gear compared to talking about the intangibles that go into making good music.

I have heard lot's of people pontificate (say it with a scholarly tone and it's better.)
PonTIFFicate

People jabber on and on about gear when they can't produce anything worth commiting to tape (OK, hard drive) in the first place.

Buying gear is often like getting your hair and costume just right.
It's the easy part.
Hair grows on it's own (hopefully) and it only takes money to buy gear.
You can't buy talent.

Still, gear is fun and it has it's own sex appeal.

It can easily be a passion on it's own.
I know of a few guys with some mighty arsenals of equipment that never use it.
I guess that they just like how it looks?

On the otherhand, I can always count on them to let me borrow stuff.... if I'll let them watch me use it!
Wierd ain't it?
Old 18th December 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
You ARE right Soupking...

Gear is gear and it is quite often easier to talk about gear compared to talking about the intangibles that go into making good music.

I have heard lot's of people pontificate (say it with a scholarly tone and it's better.)
PonTIFFicate

People jabber on and on about gear when they can't produce anything worth commiting to tape (OK, hard drive) in the first place.

Buying gear is often like getting your hair and costume just right.
It's the easy part.
Hair grows on it's own (hopefully) and it only takes money to buy gear.
You can't buy talent.

Still, gear is fun and it has it's own sex appeal.

It can easily be a passion on it's own.
I know of a few guys with some mighty arsenals of equipment that never use it.
I guess that they just like how it looks?

On the otherhand, I can always count on them to let me borrow stuff.... if I'll let them watch me use it!
Wierd ain't it?
Totally, it's ridiculous, but I want to spend hours cross referencing everything and seeing what I can get out of it. Like bouncing vocals on top of vocals, or using the big b-18 speaker with the magnet on it as a bass kick mic. Just see where the sound goes and then see what I can do with it (without using EQ if possible)

Opening possibilities by buying or having stuff is important, I won't undermine that. But opening possibilities by experience is just one notch better.

To me, that is music. I'm stoked it's the holiday season. I hope I have time to "explore the space", you know, like Gene.
Old 18th December 2007
  #7
I think it's all about what "fascinates" you, or what level your fascination settles at.

Me, it's the emotional power of someone singing a song-- or the clever angle. At an open mic a week ago, this bluegrass trio (mandy, guitar, upright bass) launched into the ancient 70's novelty hit "Cover of the Rolling Stone."

I haven't heard or thought about that song in years! And I was struck by the genius of pulling it out of the hat like they did!

I had an Avant ribbon and a Sennheiser 835 and two Earthworks up front to capture it, but who cares??? It was a damn clever song to sing!

I think there are people who would rather marvel at the abstractions of gear and its potential... rather than anything that actually is done.
Old 18th December 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Lately I have been questioning the gear I have and have been trying...I mean its high end and cool and all ($2k range average), and yet I keep finding that some of it, while great, really does not fit my sound or workflow or even my needs.

I have also been listening back to some CDs I did years ago with much less, and I remember having more fun. Wether it was finding soultions and ways around the gear or how to get the most out of it...

...now I have too many choices sometimes and I get more hung up on...I should use this compressor or eq because I have it and I can...

Ok done rambling.

XJ
Old 18th December 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Paul Vnuk Jr.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
I think there are people who would rather marvel at the abstractions of gear and its potential... rather than anything that actually is done.


Well put Joel!
Old 18th December 2007
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xj32 View Post
Well put Joel!
ditto!
Old 18th December 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xj32 View Post
Lately I have been questioning the gear I have and have been trying...I mean its high end and cool and all ($2k range average), and yet I keep finding that some of it, while great, really does not fit my sound or workflow or even my needs.

I have also been listening back to some CDs I did years ago with much less, and I remember having more fun. Wether it was finding soultions and ways around the gear or how to get the most out of it...

...now I have too many choices sometimes and I get more hung up on...I should use this compressor or eq because I have it and I can...

Ok done rambling.

XJ
Nah dude, I feel you. I think that's one major reason I stay away from software. I'm busy learning this stuff, so staying primitive helps me learn and maximize my surroundings.

I'm by no means economically viable in the music world, but I don't care as long as it sounds great.

It's funny though. Gear, like dbubba referenced earlier like hair and make-up, does kind of act as an extension of self in a way.
Old 18th December 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Absolutely Joel!

I feel like I know you dude!
(does dude have a significance here?)

Everything you say seems right in line with what I think.

SOUPKING...

You live out there in L.A. where the craziness amost originated!
I don't mean "craziness" in a bad way either.
I mean the passion.

You gotta' be a mad dreamer to make it happen!
You gotta' have the passion or you'll poop out!

Trust me...
I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I build the garage into room NUMBER SIX! That is SIX studios I have built from the ground up! Not temporary project rigs... I can't even count them!

WHY? WHY? WHY?
Because it is fun!
I like to look at that stuff!
I like to smell it!
I even like to use it!

I suspect that I'll even record some stuff with it!

Gotta' be a dreamer!
Gotta' work to make them dreams come true!

Now when I was younger I'd have that room built in a few days!
Old 18th December 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Absolutely Joel!

I feel like I know you dude!
(does dude have a significance here?)

Everything you say seems right in line with what I think.

SOUPKING...

You live out there in L.A. where the craziness amost originated!
I don't mean "craziness" in a bad way either.
I mean the passion.

You gotta' be a mad dreamer to make it happen!
You gotta' have the passion or you'll poop out!

Trust me...
I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I build the garage into room NUMBER SIX! That is SIX studios I have built from the ground up! Not temporary project rigs... I can't even count them!

WHY? WHY? WHY?
Because it is fun!
I like to look at that stuff!
I like to smell it!
I even like to use it!

I suspect that I'll even record some stuff with it!

Gotta' be a dreamer!
Gotta' work to make them dreams come true!

Now when I was younger I'd have that room built in a few days!
Yeah, that's cool about your new set-up. Cool, but I bet it's really time consuming. Building my little set-up took roughly 8 months longer than planned. The last patchbay upgrade has put me to the brink of the 'passion' I'm almost burned out before beginning. Almost. I'm getting to use things the way they should be done in a practical set-up for tracking and mixing where there's nothing I can't patch to. No more hoola-hoops.

In regards to Joel's comment, I've learned that recording is really a bunch of 'serious' scratch tracks. It's strange, but true. Planned Serendipity. For a scratch the other day I just threw a EV 635a under the piano, No positioning, literally took a mic stand and shoved it in there like the Grinch with a Christmas tree. It sounded great. Nobody knew. If we were more 'serious' about our 'scratch' track that would've been a song.
Old 18th December 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Yeppers.... time consuming as hell!

My friend that I work with went to Bonnaire (Dutch Antilles) for a two week scuba diving vacation.
I figured that I'd get everything buttoned up during this time... wrong...

My littlest one is at school from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm, but that means I don't get back home until 8:35 after dropping off my other daughter at junior high.
That leaves me barely 4.5 hours because once they get home... forget it!

By the time my wife gets home at 7:00 pm I am too wore out from kids to get back at it.
Here I am jacking around with Gearslutz... instead of interfacing the multitrack and outboard stuff.

It is much further along than it was a few weeks ago.

You are right about pure serendipity.
It's all serendipity really.
People just hate to admit it.

Like I said before... we'd all be better off if we just approached our studio passion like hot-rodders.
Just do it because we love it.
Not because we're ever going to get rich from it!
Old 18th December 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Yeppers.... time consuming as hell!
Yeah, there are no time estimates in studio construction. They will only lead to frustration. Nothing will teach more patience, except maybe having half your gear go kaput during a session.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post

Like I said before... we'd all be better off if we just approached our studio passion like hot-rodders.
Just do it because we love it.
Not because we're ever going to get rich from it!
Well, that's why I record to a TASCAM 48 1/2" and buying parts for my friend to build me a stereo LA-2A. It's not the path to riches, but I like what I'm hearing.

Honestly, this sounds arrogant, but you've really got to have guts with only 8 tracks. Cuz a take is a take, that is, unless you bounce. But still, you can't afford to do it twenty times. I like how that kind of forces the moment though, I think it can create a spark of serendipity with the right people.

But that's me, and I'm crazy, and by no means a professional.

I've learned how to use my mixer at a fundamentally basic level though. I'm really starting to have fun now. Of course, now everyone wants to party at my house. Sheesh. Take a number.
Old 18th December 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

come on fellas lets move this conversation over to earslutz... you know where you are

nobody wants to hear your blasphemy...
Old 18th December 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
peeder's Avatar
 

Hum. I feel like writing a scholarly treatise, "In Defense of Pure Gear."

Once you get "sated" you start making soliloquies like this..."ya know, alls I really needed was a Mackie and a few 57's..." but after a while you push up against boundaries and start wondering how do they do that stuff?

And then you get out your credit card...
Old 18th December 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
DeathMonkey's Avatar
 

At some point, tho, you learn the colors at your command, and you can begin to get creative with them. Personally, I have no interest in getting the same freaking sounds over and over again - as a producer, part of my job is to make sure the band I am working with does NOT sound like everyone else.

I'm still going through a huge learning phase of getting my stuff to do what I want - and that does mean learning to be a good enough engineer to get and replicate specific sounds - but as I progress, I find myself looking at the ole Marshall+57 and thinking "Hells no!".

There are people who use massive amounts of gear to get the same damn sounds over and over, and in that case I agree, that just gets ridiculous. But on the other hand, gear can really inspire and transform ideas in the hands of truly creative people.

One of my favorite aphorisms is that every time I've heard a great engineer or producer speak of a truly stunning part it's almost always "well, we gave a 10 dollar radio shack mic to a monkey and hung him from the bathroom ceiling while taunting him with baloney salad", not "oh, yeah, I did the same damn thing I did on every record I've ever done".
Old 18th December 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
WHY? WHY? WHY?
Because it is fun!
I like to look at that stuff!
I like to smell it!
I even like to use it!

I sat in the dark studio early this morning before leaving for work. I was surrounded by the comfort of tiny blue, green and red lights that seemed to pulse in the darkness, reminding me that they were all there for me....ready any time I was.

I love my gear.

I picked up the old Stella and ran through a little thing that I may track later today.
Old 18th December 2007
  #20
Gear Addict
 
Mike Derrick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
...But...

I'm honestly hit the dopamine ceiling on questions about gear. The song does largely remain the same. I am curious about common things that newbie music makers don't think about when recording.

Dare I say it, experience is becoming more interesting to me than gear. Simply being able to run reverb parallel through an AUX is just...a revolutionary feeling.
...
Peace,
-soupking
I think the exciting thing about gear is when you discover how to use it to your advantage in a way you never dreamed of before. So yes the experience is always more interesting than the gear, but realistically they are linked, since, perfect-for-the-song/creative results from any piece of gear gives you that euphoric feeling. And once we've mated our engineering passion/skills/techniques with the tool, suddenly the tool holds a special place in our hearts because we associate it forever with whatever satisfying sound we've created.

"oh remember such and such an album when alls we had was the poor-mans-mixer and crappola mic (the CRAP-1,) but we got this killer grunge vocal."

That's why when ya go to sell that Radio Shack mixer ya feel like a one-night-stander, a twinge of longing, of remembering the "good times."
But the lust for more euphoric experiences with other gear drives ya to the next lady! They don't call this Gear_Slutz for nothin'

Now where is my little black book?
Old 18th December 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 
soupking's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Derrick View Post
I think the exciting thing about gear is when you discover how to use it to your advantage in a way you never dreamed of before. So yes the experience is always more interesting than the gear, but realistically they are linked, since, perfect-for-the-song/creative results from any piece of gear gives you that euphoric feeling. And once we've mated our engineering passion/skills/techniques with the tool, suddenly the tool holds a special place in our hearts because we associate it forever with whatever satisfying sound we've created.

"oh remember such and such an album when alls we had was the poor-mans-mixer and crappola mic (the CRAP-1,) but we got this killer grunge vocal."

That's why when ya go to sell that Radio Shack mixer ya feel like a one-night-stander, a twinge of longing, of remembering the "good times."
But the lust for more euphoric experiences with other gear drives ya to the next lady! They don't call this Gear_Slutz for nothin'

Now where is my little black book?
That is true, gearlust has it's ebb and flow, it's wow and flutter.

But honestly, the 80% of the advice I get from this site has to do with 'know how' rather than 'know what to buy'.
Old 18th December 2007
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking View Post
I'm honestly hit the dopamine ceiling on questions about gear. The song does largely remain the same. I am curious about common things that newbie music makers don't think about when recording.

Dare I say it, experience is becoming more interesting to me than gear. Simply being able to run reverb parallel through an AUX is just...a revolutionary feeling.

Does anybody have any experiences they'd like to share. ....
Its all the the thread titles , by all means post up requests for tips and tricks..
Old 18th December 2007
  #23
Lives for gear
 
enroper's Avatar
 

I actually have a self imposed moratorium on gear right now. I got a new ( used ) preamp, and room treatment, but that's pretty much it for a while.

However, I think you can trip over yourself if you don't do it the right way from the get go. You don't want to be spending all your time switching around cables to work the last drop of functionality out of that behringer mixer. If you try to make the best choices within your budget from the get-go, you'll be a lot better off. I fortunately haven't had to sell off much of anything yet. Its all low end stuff , yea, but its just what I need.
Old 18th December 2007
  #24
Gear Addict
 

I think that the polarization of roles in the production of music is weakening. You guys know this but the real order of personel in a top quality sound recording should be this:

1. Songwriter - initial materiall is written.
2. Producer - applies expertise to the arrangement of that material and manages recording process.
3. Mixing engineer - optimizes the organisation of the tracks.
4. Mastering engineer - optimizes the final track for public consumption.
5. Packaging, Marketing - not musical but none of the former would exist of course without this.

I think that this order, when done right by separate and highly talented individuals, is the best possible situation. Now, when any one individual attempts more than one of these things can get tricky. Some can handle it and turn out great material. 1 and 2 are so extremley important and are also the most lacking by far and are so often not correctly approached and neglected. 1 and 2 might be mixed with success. 3 and 4 could also be mixed with success. Any other combination I think is going to get very complicated.

If people would think more about what they are the best at and if indeed they are talented enough in one of these areas to begin with then sticking to one of these roles would result in much less b*ll****.

I said it before and I'll say it again:

A great sound recording starts with a great song!

Hardly anyone can truly write great songs. Anyone can buy a buch of gear to compensate.
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