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What 3 things have changed the way you record or mix ???
Old 16th June 2005
Gear Maniac
exfakto's Avatar
What 3 things have changed the way you record or mix ???

There comes a time when your staring out or even as apro when you learn a new trick that leaves you saying "****...if I only new thsi years ago" or a certain piece of gear that opened your eyes wider than anything else. Which would those be ?

My pics in order...

1-Drum buss compressing
2-Corrective or subtractive EQ
3-An excellent DA converter

which are yours ?
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
tomdarude's Avatar
- K/H O300D monitors & well treated room *wooooaaahhhhh*
- skipping Logic´s comp&eq for UAD1 & analog outboard ...*ahhh, that´s compression now I see....first time turning a pultec-knob --> WTF ???? *
- Front-end above € 500,- *...haha, now we´re talking!!*
Old 16th June 2005
1. Drum buss compression/eq
2. HP filters on friggin' almost everything
3. My first nice pres...API

I must say, these change often and the list could be miles long.

One that deserves an honerable mention is:
Letting the talent perform the way they want to not the way I want them to.
If you wanna sing into a 58 in the CR with speaker blarring go for it!
The take is always better!

Old 16th June 2005
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
1. Seing and hearing that you don't need 17 microphones to record a drum kit
2. Figuring out that headphones can really make a performance sound sterile
3. The RADAR [now it's even easier for me to mix as I go... most rough mixes of mine can be done by putting the faders up to -5 on the desk in a straight line... I used to worry about how I was hitting the tape and the effect that would have on the product, but I'm not using tape so now it's a bit easier to be mixing while I'm recording].
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear

Working for three years at a studio with a couple of really talented engineers with great ears and having to engineer hundreds of sound-alikes with them.

Getting THE right set of monitors for me.

Developing a relationship with a great mastering engineer who A) makes me look good and B) lets me know what I'm consistently doing wrong.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
audioez's Avatar

Originally Posted by Fletcher
1. Seing and hearing that you don't need 17 microphones to record a drum kit
2. Figuring out that headphones can really make a performance sound sterile
I'd have to say mixing musical acts on tv made me into a speed freak!!! No time for smurfin' around!!! Fletcher...You would love the look I get from band engineers when I tell them that we only use 4 mics for drum kit...especially when I tell these same people that I don't care about thier mic endorsements, well, maybe if they were b&k and coles.

even in the studio where I'd have the guitar players in the control room with me away from the drummer in the live room....NOW it's all about the live setting and capturing a moment that has emotion and not some loop of sound on sounds, and what not!
Old 16th June 2005
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

My "a-ha" moments

1-the first time a producer showed the keyboard player a part and the piano sound jumped from C- to A+ due to the player's touch alone

2-the first time I recorded Tony Rice playing his Martin and Gary Duncan playing his Les Paul

3-An excellent DA converter
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
cebolao's Avatar

1. KSP-8
2. URS plugins
3. Phoenix plugin

i mix ITB, and this stuff really made my mixes sound better
Old 16th June 2005
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
1.Cut and re-gian EQ tip from a friend
2. parallel compression
and most importantly
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
T_R_S's Avatar
Thanks to the Four People that have helped me...

1) Johnny Gasparic
2) Kevin Churko
3) Cory Churko
4) Mutt Lange
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
FMNYC's Avatar

i am nowhere near the league most folks here are in, but my humble contribution is:

1) i started out with a MOTU 2408 and later on got hooked up by a fellow musician with an apogee roseta AD, the moment i started tracking/clocking with it was a complete revelation.

2) the next "aha!" moment came when i got an API line mixer and started summing with that... wow.

3) i also would like to second the URS plugs mention, those things are awesome.


FM... void where prohibited.
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
Ribbonmicguy's Avatar
1. Having great mentors in my life. (Drew Daniels, Wes Dooley, Ron Streicher)

2. A Good monitoring system help me make better decision in my tracking/mixing

3. have taught me alot regarding some fancy techniques, multibus compression, parallel, sidechaining, serial compression that would take me years to discover by myself.
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
84K's Avatar
1. Waves Mastering Plugs-ins + hardware
2. Atomic Squeeze Box
3. multiple compressors on vocals with subtle distortion techniques

***EDIT**** ...Can't leave out the Distressors.
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
DirkB's Avatar
1 listening and hearing AW mixes
2 upgrading to S3a speakers
3 achieving my first strong and deep "center channel"

Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
max cooper's Avatar

Originally Posted by Fletcher
most rough mixes of mine can be done by putting the faders up to -5 on the desk in a straight line...
Currently using PTLE as I would use a tape machine, but I've been experiencing this as well. For some reason, I'm automating faders about 10% as much as I used to. Oh, wait. That's called being aware of dynamics.
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
Ribbonmicguy's Avatar
Originally Posted by DirkB
3 achieving my first strong and deep "center channel"


Explain #3 please
Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
paultools's Avatar

1. Smitty Smith

We attended Berklee at the same time. He asked to "sit in" with some guys I usually played with. Once I heard him play, I started considering other careers.

2. Phil Greene

I started working as an engineer in Boston, went down to his place Normandy Sound in Rhode Island and got a real lesson in punching on-the-fly and countless other things.

3. Frank Heller

I was loving all the new sounds coming out of Unique in the '80's and had the opportunity to watch him work. Learned a lot about vocal tracking, mixing and editing.

Thanks to the others I have stolenERRRRRRRRRRRR "learned" from, including many of you on this board!
Old 16th June 2005
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
I worked at Normandy from like '82 or '83 to like '88... it was indeed the education of a lifetime. You learned more than just skills... you learned to doubt, you learned to work tirelessly, [you learned to tolerate, even love, Phil Greene!!!], you learned that "manufacturers spec" wasn't always good enough to be "Normandy spec" [a tradition we observe at M-A].

Back in the mid to late 70's Frank Heller used to do a radio show on WBAI in NYC... it was called the "Family Electric Theatre". They did some of the coolest stuff with radio production I'd ever heard... it's what made me want to become a recording engineer.
Old 16th June 2005
Jai guru deva om
warhead's Avatar

Top 3 Stuff:

1) Safe Sound P1 for tracking vocals (stealth compression / limiting, great sound and idiot proof)
2) UAD-1 compressor/limiters for mixing (plugs with character)
3) AEA R84 (for guitar tracking it has changed everything)

Top 3 Acquired Habits:

1) Setting up multiple delay channels in Nuendo at the start of a mixdown with 32nd, 16th, 8th, quarter and whole note combinations, and having them available instantly throughout the session. It keeps things moving and I'm finding delay more and more useful when used in the right doses. Sometimes just a tiny bit can make a track just a great standout. Automating some sends during different parts of a song keeps things interesting too.

2) Recording singers in omni, imparts a bigger sound with more perceived space, and makes the mic more workable with less proximity effect. Good sounding space required.

3) Staying away from the SOLO button while mixing in front of a client as often as possible. What works alone doesn't always work in the mix, listen to it in the mix where it will be anyhow.

I like the notion of recording drums with less mics, but typically I will still throw 10 mics on a kit but maybe use 3 to 5 tracks on a lot of songs. I think it's a good idea to have close tom / hi hat tracks available if it's needed during mixdown to support the song.

Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
RichT's Avatar

1. Listening to even the stupidest of ideas from the band / musician. You don't know it all all the time.

2. Reading Gearslutz

3. Going to see clients play live before a studio session.

Old 16th June 2005
Lives for gear
Kestral's Avatar

1. That having great gear at the front end (ie. Neve 1073, Urei 1176) and getting it right at the recording stage instead of trying to fix it with plugins at the mixing stage is a much better way to get great sound.

2. High quality AD/DA converters. An Apogee AD/DA box made a huge difference in sound quality.

3. Less is more. Less tracks but better recorded and arrange is better than layering tons of parts.
Old 17th June 2005
1. Struggling with mixes as a noob until I did my first session with "pros."
Oh, so _that's_ it!

2. My best eq starting out was an Orban paragraphic. Sure beat the board eq. Then I rented some API's and a GML for a mix. Oh...

3. Over the years, I went through a succession of monitors that annoyed me for various reasons. JBL, Tannoy, KRK, Dynaudio. And then I got the ATC-100A's.
OK. Done. Happy. Yes!

Old 17th June 2005
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar


in that order.
Old 17th June 2005
Here for the gear
Aztech's Avatar

1 The sweet spot as CLA refers to it. Where the headroom is just right.
When you maximize the signal strength. You hit the tape machine just so, the tape machine hits the console just right and you hitting the mix buss just right. Now you’re in the sweet spot, now it sounds good. You are now in a position to deliver mix's that stand out. With out this right in the block hole, you are always going to deliver a second rate mix.

2 understanding how I hear and what it is about other people mixes that I like.

3 what is musical might not be represented well, frequency wise. At what point do they coincide and at what point do they depart from each other and what am I going to do about it.
Old 17th June 2005
I think the hardest thing for me to master over the years has been compression. Maybe it's 'cause when I came up there were never enough compressors and, in most cases, the ones that were around were generally not the highest quality or had the greatest control. After I built my project studio and bought a few of my own, I realized I had a reasonably good theoretical grasp -- but little practical expertise.

But careful and sensitive compression is often the key to getting the kind of "big studio" sound that seems to escape so many of us so often.
Old 17th June 2005
1.glyn johns drum micing (less is more)
2. The first time I ran my stuff I thought sounded good out through a good analog board and realizing that the flow makes all the difference.
3. a pair of PZM's behind the drum kit impressed the **** out of me last week.
3.5 That LDC isn't ALWAYS the best vocal mic
Old 17th June 2005
Lives for gear
DirkB's Avatar
Originally Posted by Ribbonmicguy

Explain #3 please
I'm always striving for the AW very "center channel" focussed mixes with some nice depth to it. When you do it right, it's almost as if the center panned signals are coming from a separate center speaker (sometimes called phantom center).

Trying to make my mixes wide, but with a strong center channel is what I try to achieve always...
Lot's of things important (as with anything), such as phase coherency overall, solid compression, use of FX for depth etc. Great monitoring is essential, you need to be able to dig into the low mids with confidence .

Old 17th June 2005
Lives for gear
Curve Dominant's Avatar
What 3 things have changed the way you record
1. A good room,

2. Genuine talent in front of the mics,

3. Confidence that #1 and #2 will outweigh everything else.
Old 17th June 2005
Lives for gear
PlugHead's Avatar

1) a great mic pre: my first real pre (Hardy M1) made me recognize how detailed a lowly SM57 can sound...
2) not recording signals too hot, and tracking many instruments at approximately the level they'll be mixed at (faders @ unity) - everything has sounded leagues better since this discovery (along with great converters)
3) mixing, or even bussing mixes out thru a great analog chain for mastering - there is no comparison to all ITB - I can never get that "finished" sound ITB: 1/2" @ 30ips is the deal, but even out through a quality analog chain always makes me smile, and the project sounds finished!

great thread! thumbsup
Old 17th June 2005
Gear Maniac

1. When I learned how to use EQ to give the different instruments their own space. Learning to use high pass-filters changed my life.

2. Buying a Summit MPC 100 A.

3. Switching to hypercardioid when recording acoustic guitar with my AKG C-414
B-ULS. (The sound opened up, proximity problems disappeard, and the recorded files sounded like a real guitar).
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