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'Mix Fashion' and SELLING OUT. On any level. Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 10th March 2003
  #1
Harmless Wacko
 

...

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Old 10th March 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 

Yo, Slipperman, it could be worse - I sold out years ago, and I'm still not working enough to pay all the bills and buy any of the gear I want to have.
Old 10th March 2003
  #3
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
SM,you're totally on point!
Old 10th March 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
KBOY's Avatar
 

I Absolutely love todays productions style. I find the old bland and boring for the most part. Not to say that there are not old productions that completely kick my ass, But todays productions have this aggressiveness that I can't get enough of. I'm still trying to get a hold of it. I also feel that if you're booked to the hilt, you must be doing something right. Call me stupid but I think that if you're able to do something awesome you have to like it, or I feel it would be subpar. A thing that I find about myself is that it doesn't matter how old I get, as every new generation of music comes out I completely dig it and move with it. I'm 33 now and my cd players constantly spinning something that the average 15 to 20 year old is listening to.

I find you're posts to be the most inspiring when it comes to how to do something. Even if it is how to shove you're head into the toilet properly. You're not afraid to tell someone to try something, most tell you that there is no one answer. You go well this is what I would do. You must love the productions technics that you are using these days or else you would not be so interested in sharing them.

Make it rip my head off!!!!!
KBOY

PS...I am in the middle of producing/recording a band and the guitar setup was a Diezel into a Marshall with greenbacks, miced with a 57 and a royer. The eq treatment that you talked about over on the recpit freaking rocks, even with software eq's. At first when I was doing it it kind of hurt my ears in a wierd way that I was not too sure that I liked. But once it was in the track and a/b'd to the unprocessed tracks it was clear that this was very close to the needed eq for these guitar tracks. Hell I've been using a slightly altered version of these settings on the snare as well. The thing with the high end is kind of a pultec way of doing it. Love it, good luck and many thanks to you.
Old 10th March 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
KBOY's Avatar
 

Oh and I almost forgot. Yea, a production to me should be as completely removed from the live bands sound. Then the band needs to learn how to get as close to that as possible. Kind of like movies, Give me those blockbuster effected out fantasy land flics anyday. I live through enough reality. Most reality sucks, and most players suck...........I like playing god. Now where the sissors tool?

Peace
KBOY
Old 10th March 2003
  #6
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by KBOY
Oh and I almost forgot. Yea, a production to me should be as completely removed from the live bands sound.
That's easy - and old school to the max. Do your records with studio musicians and singers - if the record hits, hire a bunch of kids to go out and promote it. But then, who is the artist?
Old 10th March 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Curve Dominant's Avatar
Slipperman,

For some of us, a lot of what you described seems like an indigenous art-form.

You're in NYC, so you're doing a lot of urban stuff, it sounds like. It IS a somewhat Dada-esque medium.

When I first looked at the edit window in Pro Tools, I immediately thought of the modern art wing of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where I used to linger for hours at a time when I was a kid. Man Ray, Duschamp, Picasso, Paul Klee, Juan Mîro, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol...I always was enraptured by these guys and the work they did, and the freedom they had that extended so far out of the box of "normal" painting. With PT, I felt like them, but with music. I felt like an artist again, a modern artist, empowered with tools of expression, unencombered by the old paradigm of traditional recording rules and regulations.
Quote:
Now that I...

EQ violently, Compress beyond all sanity, Sample replace wherever and whenever possible, AutoTune with reckless abandon, Beat Dectectivize drummers into robots, VoxAlign singers into flawless androids, Track slip, Cut, Paste, Swap and Edit everything to BLUE BEJESUS.
I don't have AutoTune, Beat Detective or VoxAlign, but the rest...I love those capabilities, and use them, not just with abandon, but with a sense of artistic rebellion as well.

You're creating the arrangement. Claus Ogerman is not always available these days (is Claus still alive?). I find joy in taking something deluvely the vocalist ad-libbed 6 minutes into the outro, looping it into a hook, and using it as the intro to the song.

I've had singers come back to listen to an edit, and they say, "When did I sing that?? I don't remember singing that!" But they love it, because it sounds exciting and modern.

Reading your post...well, I was bummed about the part where you split with your lady and the puppies...but besides that...

I enjoyed reading your post. It's the story of a man who is becoming a modern artist, but feels the "art" part got lost somewheres. That's OK, that's part of the process. You immerse yourself in the techniques of a new medium, and the technique overpowers the content at first. IMHO, that seems a natural stage of the learning process. I went through that when I made the jump from being a singer/guitarist to programming a sampler/sequencer. The initial output was not very "artistic," but I was learning the ropes of these new forms of expression.

Lately, a more artistic balance has begun to settle in, a fusion of the old-school musical mentality with the new-school techno-possibilities. I will faithfully record a jazz guitarist or singer in the old-school RE fashion, but then proceed to slice and dice that old-school audio into the modern art expressionism that PT allows.

I think this is the new paradigm, and the David Holmes-produced soundtrack to Oceans Eleven pointed the way for me personally. He hired a team of top-notch jazz musicians, recorded them jamming with high-end LDCs and ribbon mics, through vintage API and Neve front-end processors, and into Pro Tools. Then, he did his DJ thing, slicing and dicing in PT. Sonically, it sounds brilliant, no compromises. Artistically, it is Marcel Duschamp, Picasso, Warhol, to the max.

YMMV
Old 10th March 2003
  #8
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by KBOY
A thing that I find about myself is that it doesn't matter how old I get, as every new generation of music comes out I completely dig it and move with it. I'm 33 now and my cd players constantly spinning something that the average 15 to 20 year old is listening to.
Not I find that interesting. I'm 24 and I really don't like most of the 'modern' music that I hear. I left my CD's at home over the weekend and was flipping around radio stations in the car, most of my time was spent on classic rock and jazz. When I wasn't in the car I was in the studio working on mixes for an indie-rock band. Funny thing there is that they said they wanted it old school but when they came in to approve the first song we added more effects and crap. Go figure.

I'm a total sellout. I just haven't found anyone willing to buy.
Old 10th March 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
KBOY's Avatar
 

Yea, it is interesting. But there are always exceptions to the rule. You and I are exceptions. Most of the people I know that are my age are still stuck listening to what they grew up with. I'm a music wh*re, I get bored and I'm off to find something new and exciting. (feel the same way about women most of the time) I just happen to look at what is thrusted in my face and end up liking it.


KBOY

PS. I love gear. And now I'm starting to get it about really excentric gear. Cheap and expensive, I really need alot of money cause my gear lists have gone from 20k to 100k in the last few months. Damn!

Man, censorship......What's the difference between gearslut and gearwh*re?
Old 10th March 2003
  #10
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Not I find that interesting. I'm 24 and I really don't like most of the 'modern' music that I hear. I left my CD's at home over the weekend and was flipping around radio stations in the car, most of my time was spent on classic rock and jazz. When I wasn't in the car I was in the studio working on mixes for an indie-rock band. Funny thing there is that they said they wanted it old school but when they came in to approve the first song we added more effects and crap. Go figure.

I'm a total sellout. I just haven't found anyone willing to buy.
maybe the [problem is what we are selling?

I dunno, I need to learn to shut the hell ip more, and have an opinion less. More and more I find myself banging my head agaionst the wall because I want someone to do/sound/be great, my idea of great anyway... it gets hard to convince myself somedays that the **** I hear in my head is even worth shooting for..

when do you decide that you are A) on the track to pushing the others around you to excel, or B) completely dillusional to even think you have a clue what good is?

I am a mere 28, and this is all I love to do, More often than not I am asking myself why.. No real answers to that one, but sooner than later a gig comes up that really lights things up, and that keeps me going.

Now i just need to find a way to hold on to my wife and kids. ( no digs to you or anyone else SM, this has been a concern of mine for awhile, of course like any AE, I am trying to think up ways to keep my relationship while I sit on the couch at 1 AM posting about recording and my wife and kids are fast asleap...****, does anyone have a recipie for not thinging about work?

later all sorry if this rant is so disjointed...
Old 10th March 2003
  #11
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Steve #2,

If you start thinking about your "work" like it's work, you'll stop thinking of the "work" for sure! I know, it's an oxymoron, but it's true.

Be happy...

We're some of the lucky ones that love what we do. Think of all the people that dislike their jobs. Too many people out there go through each day hating what they do.

For me, it's more like work when I'm not working. Go figure???
Old 10th March 2003
  #12
Gear Head
 
Jakob's Avatar
 

I totally aggree with Slipperman,
about the same thing he talks about I did last summer. Im totally happy with it, because I finally got some "signature" sound. I track six rythm guitar tracks with three different amps, trigger kicks and snares and toms, use a boss sustainer pedal on the overheads, and then I need a exciter for the vocals to cut through all of this.
And everyone is raving about it, its funny but even methinks it sounds pretty good.
Oh wait:
I do not use eq, I usually just add another sound that has the frequency I need, say a Marshall to a Boogie, sampled bright snare to a fat real one and so on.

Jakob
Old 10th March 2003
  #13
Hmmmm...

Churning out 'comtemporary' sounding product, IS an art form. How HIGH an art form I am unsure, "artistic job" is about as far as I can stretch with that one, forgive me if like Curve, names of classic painters aren't conjoured up in my mind!



However! This is an interesting topic in my view, as several folks on Gearslutz seem to portrey themselves as similar to old fashioned photographers, capturing the moment, slight error in the drum track or out of tune singing, "well that was YOU buster!" "Aint my fault, YOU played it".

This is far removed from most contemporary pop / rock production techniques IMHO.

SM see my "I run a Frankenstein Factory style business!" thread here:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...?threadid=3056
Old 10th March 2003
  #14
Here for the gear
 
Pink's Avatar
 

Hey Slip,

If it makes you feel any better I could let you record my album in your free time. You record it all balls-out 70s HI-FI.

"To Be Played At Maximum Volume" type ****.

Nine Inch Nails meets Ziggy Stardust recorded like Exile On Main Street.

Whaddayathink?

...anyways don't get too down on the selling out thing. There's no shame in doing something you don't like to make a living. People do it all the time.

If you weren't ashamed of banging out disposable Nu-Metal or Toss-Rock then there would be a problem.


-P
Old 10th March 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Can someone post a link to the PSW link on the guitar EQ?
Old 10th March 2003
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Slipperman, thanks for your honesty. To make the discussion of your transformation more concrete, could you give an example of, say, a well-known rock record from the 1970s and (forgetting the fact that the band & the songs might not even be marketable as new music today) discuss how that record would be mixed differently today than it was then?
Old 10th March 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

I'm not sure if I'd call it selling out, maybe listening different.

I was into the 'natural' and 'pure' thing right up until I heard Prong's Rude Awakening. This album couldn't have been made without using aggressive engineering techniques. It has everything to do with capturing the energy of a live performance, and nothing to do with reality.

Sounds like art to me.
Old 10th March 2003
  #18
Here for the gear
 
Pink's Avatar
 

Rude Awakening really helped start that whole NÜ Metal thing didn't it.

One part Helmet, two parts Prong, a little Rage Against The Machine and a sprinkle of House Of Pain. Dillute to taste.

Then dillute some more.

Never stop dilluting.

Remember that Judgement Night Soundtrack?

I loved "Cleansing" though. Super ****ing tight.

Wow!

Seeing them live wasn't bad either.
Old 10th March 2003
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
Rude Awakening really helped start that whole NÜ Metal thing didn't it.
Yup, NU-Metal, when it was actually NEW-Metal. Or, as we used to call it: COOL!


Quote:
Never stop dilluting.
Yup again, the Korn-n-Bizkit food bands are diluted to about 10 parts COOL! per million.
Old 11th March 2003
  #20
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
This is an interesting topic in my view, as several folks on Gearslutz seem to portrey themselves as similar to old fashioned photographers, capturing the moment, slight error in the drum track or out of tune singing, "well that was YOU buster!" "Aint my fault, YOU played it".
One of my favorite quotes that I borrowed from another engineer who was working with a really crappy band; Crappy band finishes a take and someone says "What'd you think of that one?" AE says "I recorded it" or "It's on tape". Classic.
Old 11th March 2003
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Re: 'Mix Fashion' and SELLING OUT. On any level.

Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman

Anybody been through this?

Am I nuts?

I'm laughing about it but.....

Well, just read my header in the introductory post from 'Jules'.

Best to all.

SM.
couple things come to mind. First, just putting a hammer into some asshole's hand doesn't mean he's a carpenter.

next, a painting analogy. Portraits are totally cool, you know? awesome, capturing someone and pasting them to the wall forever. Some guys (and gals) paint some of the most lifelike, real images of people, just pushing pigments crushed in linseed oil around using animal hair glued to a stick.

Some of the most realistic portraits came out of the dutch school...you might recognize the name Rembrandt. Prolific guy, painted lots of rich ladies and cuckolded husbands. His portraits are 'very realistic'. But, get in close, real close, and you start to see only brush strokes...big, fat, ham-handed ones. In fact, up close his portraits look like the floor of the Worcester Centrum after a monster truck mud enduro rally.

Compare this to someone like Gainsborough, or the pre-impressionist french, where you couldn't find a recognizable brush stroke anywhere...

But you back up, and Rembrandt's portraits come on fire...the subjects gaze out at you and laugh at you, mock you, whisper to you, flirt with you.

I'll bet you 10 to 1 that Rembrandt never sat on the loo, masturbating, wondering whether he had sold out because he was just too damn busy...

zowd

p.s. wanna buy some wicked high end nearfields?
Old 11th March 2003
  #22
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by Jules:
Churning out 'comtemporary' sounding product, IS an art form. How HIGH an art form I am unsure, "artistic job" is about as far as I can stretch with that one, forgive me if like Curve, names of classic painters aren't conjoured up in my mind!
Those were not classic painters I mentioned - they were moderns.

The uproar over Duschamp's "Nude Descending A Staircase" (one prominent critic of the day dismissed it as "an explosion in a shingle factory") has parallels to the indignation expressed towards the Neptunes et al by some of our more "traditionalist" colleagues.

My point was this:

The language of contemporary music is an evolving one. As the tools evolve, the techniques evolve, and the vocabularies evolve.

Some nut gets his hands on Pro Tools, and does things with it that "we're not supposed to do." But it's a new sound, exciting, unique, and peeps respond to it. They respond to it because it's contemporary. And it's contemporary because that nut decided to choose that technique in that point in time. So it becomes a part of the evolving vocabulary of the artform.

I realize I'm at risk of getting into hot water with present company, most of whom are RE's, by talking about this stuff. But these evolving techniques are becoming the vocabulary of...RE's, and not just the artists. IF ANYTHING, it's the innovative-minded RE's who are driving the evolution, NOT the artists.

I KNOW I'm about to make some progress in my on-going practice of becoming a RE, when some singer or musician says, "Can you make it sound like _____" and it's some weird or wild or crazy idea I never thought of, and I'm like, "Hmmmm...MAYBE..." and we set about figuring out how to do that. Because I know we're about to expand on the vocabulary of our art when we start to explore those possibilities.

And that's what it's all about: Exploration. You never know what you're going to find when you go exploring...what a vocal track can sound like, what a "hook" can sound like, how an arrangement can unfold, how one guitarist can sound like three, how one drummer can sound like a whole percussion ensemble, how a cheap sampling groovebox can sound like the string section of a classical orchestra...

Reading through this thread, I see a split, and a disconnect:

On the one side, I see those for whom these new tools and techniques are used to "polish turds."

And on the other side, I see those for whom these new tools and techniques are used to stretch and expand on the artform.

There will always be a market for both approaches. Where one draws the line between the two is purely subjective.

YMMV...peace and love.
Old 11th March 2003
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Re: Re: Re: 'Mix Fashion' and SELLING OUT. On any level.

Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman
LOL.

Well dwoz. If I was going to take a beating from anybody here....

I'd like it to be you.

Sounds like you and my mom are of the same mind.

HOHOHO.

Righto. Back to work.

SM.

PS. How much for the 'Dwoz-O-Sonics'? Actually. Forget it. Cost is not an issue. NO free lunch.
You want selling out? I'll give you selling out. In a past life, in a distant galaxy far away, I was a graphic/computer artist/photoshop guru. One week of my life, that I can never get back, was spent working on a plate of mashed potatoes. A picture of mashed potatoes. I pushed that soggy mess of pulverized root vegetables around that plate all week, this way, that way, brighter, softer, starker, more butter, less butter. Finally at the end of the week it ran in about 30 magazines across the country, probably 95 million copies of my frickin' potatoes, one or more of them probably even ended up at your house.

That week was taken from me by a little piss-hole effeminate ad agency art director, and I regret loosing that week.

Why?

Because a blob of potato on a plate cannot become anything better than a blob of potato on a plate, no matter how much you try. In other words, that week was spent enabling the fear and indecision of a damaged excuse for a human, not on improving the damn potato.

When you've done your ginsu knife job on a mix, you've done more than just stroke some Record Co. mook's inferiority complex, you've taken a dripping glob of suet and turned it into a filet mignon. That's worth being proud of.

What do you think Emeril Lagasse does all day? He takes slabs of rancid meat that you'd hesitate to feed to the dog, and turns them into magical displays that people will stand in line to purchase and consume, with gusto.

Does my art-buying public appreciate the subtle and sublime way that I mix alizerin crimson and cadmium yellow with copal varnish to attain that scintillating skin tone? No...they just are amazed that someone could achieve such a good likeness of elvis on black velvet, riding a bengal tiger.

still zowd, in spite of your attempt to blow my cover.

p.s. the dwoz-o-sonics are, unfortunately, a little bit above your price range. (that's what I tell everyone...)

zowd.

Ok, now I got the answer. If you take the route you've taken, then you've become part of the creative force that brews the tempest in the teacup...if you take the purist route, you are the person that chronicles that tempest. The creative force person can work with anybody, the purist can only work with someone who has independently arrived at something worthy of brewing.
Old 11th March 2003
  #24
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by zowd:
Ok, now I got the answer. If you take the route you've taken, then you've become part of the creative force that brews the tempest in the teacup...if you take the purist route, you are the person that chronicles that tempest. The creative force person can work with anybody, the purist can only work with someone who has independently arrived at something worthy of brewing.
Interesting.

But it seems you're assuming the "creative force" cannot see the tempest for what it is, and chronicle that view.

And it seems you're assuming the purist has an objective view of the tempest, free of judgement.

It's judgement that kills us. The problem with purists, is that they bore us to death with judgement. And sentimentalism. And nostalgia.

Likewise, the problem sometimes with moderns, is that they kill us with emptyness...all form, no substance.

So, we're locked in this struggle between these two extremes, and it's totally unnecessary. When the lyricism drives the innovation of expression, you find the third way. Getting beyond "good and evil" is the key. Freeing ourselves from judgement.

??
Old 11th March 2003
  #25
Lives for gear
 
malice's Avatar
 

I don't know Slipp, I tend not to imagine thoses records could be mixed differently.
I don't like todays productions most of the time. Not that I live on the past, but my taste goes to not using Autotune, don't snip the drums in 258 pieces to Quantise etc ...

But your name is on a hell of more record than me, so wada I know ...

I try to make the records I like, as I hear them, and get enough money to pay the bills and buy some gear I need (well, that is still to be proved).

So far I did not so bad, without asking myself : is this sound the most trendy ever made ? could I floor the mooks a little more if I mix like that ? would I be more succesfull doing it differently ?

I just do it first to please myself and the artist (in that order).

That might sounds a little simplistic and presomptuous (in that order too), but that is how I see it...

malice
Old 11th March 2003
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Quote:
Ok, now I got the answer. If you take the route you've taken, then you've become part of the creative force that brews the tempest in the teacup...if you take the purist route, you are the person that chronicles that tempest. The creative force person can work with anybody, the purist can only work with someone who has independently arrived at something worthy of brewing.
So on the one hand you've got the Albini-esque archivist dispassionately sticking his mic in the face of the natives, and dutifully 'capturing the moment.'

And on the other hand you've got the Peter Gabriel-esque 'artiste' dancing with the natives, experiencing the moment.

I'm with ya, let's go dancin' Dwoz...
yuktyy
Old 11th March 2003
  #27
Gear Addict
 
mitgong's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman


WHAT are the major differences in common 'mix topology' between the eras.

Some are glaringly apperant and some are more subtle methinks.

OK. Here's one: When did the "click", as a component of the "kick drum sound" first appear? When did it become compulsory?
Old 11th March 2003
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
Interesting.

But it seems you're assuming the "creative force" cannot see the tempest for what it is, and chronicle that view.

And it seems you're assuming the purist has an objective view of the tempest, free of judgement.

It's judgement that kills us. The problem with purists, is that they bore us to death with judgement. And sentimentalism. And nostalgia.

Likewise, the problem sometimes with moderns, is that they kill us with emptyness...all form, no substance.

So, we're locked in this struggle between these two extremes, and it's totally unnecessary. When the lyricism drives the innovation of expression, you find the third way. Getting beyond "good and evil" is the key. Freeing ourselves from judgement.

??
Au contraire, my dear altered dominant. I make no suppositions or assumptions about what either kind of participant can or can't 'see'. Being in one pigeon hole or the other is a function not of philosophy per se, but of action. When you start employing interventionist methods, whatever your motivation, you're becoming part of the creative process...perhaps a simple lackey following commands, or perhaps a core contributor. The idea is, a Creative Interventionist who chooses to act as an archivist is now an archivist. When he/she goes the other way, they're back to being a Creative Interventionist.

I see no reason to impose some kind of dichotomy here, either. It is, after all, a completely subjective problem domain.

zowd
Old 11th March 2003
  #29
Here for the gear
 

Thanks, Slipperman, for seriously considering my question. I propose the following records to choose from, only because I know them well:

Aerosmith: Toys in the Attic
The Who: Who's Next
Jethro Tull: Aqualung
Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks (I consider this a rock record)

Of course, please feel free to choose any other record. I'm just trying to keep this thread on your radar. Also, I suppose some allowance will have to be made for the fact that gear exists today that can do some things, or at least do them more easily, than they could be done then.
Old 11th March 2003
  #30
Lives for gear
 
covert's Avatar
 

radio radio

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Not I find that interesting. I'm 24 and I really don't like most of the 'modern' music that I hear. I left my CD's at home over the weekend and was flipping around radio stations in the car, most of my time was spent on classic rock and jazz.
The trick is to find the oldies station. That way, even if you really hate the song, you know it will be over in less than three minutes.
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