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How many gear slutz are engineers/musicians?
Old 11th July 2005
  #1
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cletus's Avatar
 

How many gear slutz are engineers/musicians?

I'm wondering how many gearslutz are engineers and musicians. I was browsing the forums and warhead came up with an interesting point. His statement was that recording can be the darkside for musicians. He meant that it can take away from the creative aspect having to record ones own music. I've heard some say that you're either one or the other when it comes to being an engineer or a musician. I agree to a certain extent but I feel that personally I am a musician and aspiring engineer. I've had a hard time doing both lately. Between interning at the studio and working my night job I haven't had the time to write but am really passionate about recording. I wanted to see just how many of us actually do record other peoples music and also write and record their own.
PEACE
Old 11th July 2005
  #2
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EngineEars's Avatar
 

I'm both here. I was always told that you had to do one or the other too, but some of my influences were guys that excelled on both sides of the desk. For the longest time I felt the only way you could be respected as both was to be a producer which combines the greater functions of creative and technical as a engineer and as a musician.

I will say however that I've seen a lot of great musician/writers shoot themselves in the foot when left to their own devices in the studio. Self-produced musicians can be the one of the greatest curse or blessing depending on the individual.

I will also say that when I work on a project that has a budget I prefer to play one role and hire someone for the other. If you can find a partner that gels with your style of engineering and you let them do their job, two QC's experts are bound to let only the best work leave the studio.
Old 11th July 2005
  #3
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Drumsound's Avatar
I'm a player as well as engineer. I consider producing and engineering my career. I mostly play in one band and I have a part-time percussion accompaniment gig, and do a little teaching.

I'd rather hire musicians than play on a record I'm recording. I'll do an overdub here or there, but I'd rather not be a 'player' on the record. Mitchell Froom does it all the time with great success. Me, I find I need to have my head in one or the other...
Old 11th July 2005
  #4
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covert's Avatar
 

I got into recording, mostly to do my own stuff without unreliable other musicians. It really can be the dark side, in that I've spent far more time running cables than playing, in the past couple of years.
Old 11th July 2005
  #5
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Most engineers I know are frustrated musicians.
Old 11th July 2005
  #6
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Velocitybmg's Avatar
 

First post here...

I have been playing guitar off and on for about 12 years...
and just recently re-discovered playing when I found out that
with a PC, you can basically be your own one man orchestra.

Having said that...I hate the process of mixing and re-cording as more often
than not it does kill the inspiration and enthusiasm you had for your music.

Keep in mind, I have very meager gear right now.

(ESP>BossCS-3>Ibi TTS>RP200>16-bit Audigy) and use Goldwave and n-track
for the most part....because they are programs that are GUI-friendly.
I hate reading manuals and tutorials.

I have become much better at getting a decent sound over the last 12 months,
but it's still a pain.

Since there seems to be no record deal with a room of producers in my
immediate future...I'll keep at it.
Old 11th July 2005
  #7
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Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 

Both here...play out anywhere from 2-5 times a week, plus the small church band on Sunday mornings.

I never turn down a gig, unless there is a conflict of time...if forced to choose, I do the studio thing....alas the choice hasn't had to happen in quite a while....
Old 11th July 2005
  #8
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I am not an engineer...I am a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music Producer.

I don't pretend to belong in the same class as many of my fellow slutz on the engineering front...I don't pretend to be interested in engineering principles...

Like I said...I am not an engineer...My skills and interests are producing (in the traditional way)...period.

But I do 'engineer' most everyday by default...I 'engineer' because I have to...have been for years. I have slowly been building my studio and fundamental chops over the past several years. My album from 1996 still sounds great..from 2001 still sounds great...the current one is sonically better but so is my gear...I do thrive to improve all of time. Even hanging out here reading posts can be learning for me on an engineering level though alot of the 'technical' things bore me.

However...even with my passion for the music..I CAN engineer a session because I do understand the fundamentals...at least I think I do. Who knows? I can get a sound from musician to CD and all of the steps in-between.

I think it is a frame of mind more than anything...I know my strengths are in writing and more importantly producing which is where I am making my living...My goal is to produce the next record without having to be engineer. I would like to focus strictly on the Artist while tracking...My workflow is nice and I know my gear so there is very little downtime around the engineering aspect of it but I would like to work with someone better skilled at it.

Half of the 'engineering' principles give me a headache and I could give a **** about half of the specs and numbers with gear and so on....Acoustic 'principles' and laws? No thanks. I would rather experiment and try for a great sound. I suspect alot of people are the same.

To be honest...1/2 of the musician / engineers I know do VERY nice work...And 1/2 of the fulltime guys don't give a ****. One reality check for me was the FATCO discs a few years ago...My mixing / tracking skills as well as many other 'home studio' types easily held up against the true 'engineers' on the disc.

Rise to the occassion? Possible...but it does show that recording great audio starts with your ears and personal passion...and there are just way too many parameters involved in the outcome of a finished song.

Frame of mind...That is the bottom line for me.

P&B,
Old 11th July 2005
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

I am both and it takes a lot of discipline. I find myself looking more into equipment for my home studio(I don't consider myself a professional engineer). I just have 5 years experience. I play guitar(11years), Drums(5years). Sometimes I think to myself if I would have just stuck with the guitar I would have all the guitars and amps I would ever want. I am just one of those guys who got addicted to recording and mixing and the passion has never died. So I find myself here at gearslutz for the past year and decided to join a couple months ago. I am not going to choose one over the other. I am going to try and be the best that I can with both.

Joey
Old 11th July 2005
  #10
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Double duty

Both.
and somewhat reluctantly,a lot of live gigging lately as well..
[been luggin' stuff to gigs for years,I'm getting kinda over it]
one plus to being a drummer gives me an good understanding of rythmic edits..
If you have to chop,try to keep it human ,not a robot grid.
Although when I'm playing drums in the studio,It's nice not to deal with any techie stuff..have someone I trust run it.
I played on a drum session a while back as a favor to some buddies, and the producer/engineer didn't have clue about his PT rig ...so I ended up running the session from behind the kit..after troubleshooting his entire rig for an hour and a half.
That sucked .
But I have done late night self engineering sessions alone ..setting 8 bars preroll/coping the track back to back a bunch of times for continous takes...
and scampering out to the kit to play.. switching hats quickly.
But I really prefer doing one or the other.
I just realized I have way more guitar/amp and bass/keyboard stuff than drum gear now..
Ugh!..I need more room!
Old 11th July 2005
  #11
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

First and foremost, I'm a musician, but since moving over to production, I suppose I'm an engineer as well. I'd never consider myself an engineer by trade, yet being on this side of the glass for 10+ years, I have enough experience that my peers consider me one!

IME, it's important to be able to speak the language of musicians, and be able to present ideas to the session players, or else things take much more time and effort to work themselves out. Just the same as being a multi-linguist, you can be understood easier, and carry some respect by the folks on the other side of the glass as well...

regards,
Old 11th July 2005
  #12
Registered User
 
Anderson's Avatar
 

Both here as well...

And NOT a frustrated musician, quite the opposite. It's real pleasure to be able to write down a song, play it with my band, think about how we want it to sound, record it in the studio, and enjoy! The same goes for other artists I work/write with and engineer.

Knowing the technical side of things is a very good tool that helps to record the "ideas" you have in your head exactly like you want them, especially in terms of sound texture etc... It's harder to mix your own projects because I think it's harder to stop and be satisfied. In that case the other band members tell me...

It's not always fun, but I think you can basically do both if you still have enough time to be really involved in both. They are very complementary! thumbsup

Cheers
Old 11th July 2005
  #13
I started as a musician, I've been a guitar player for 40 years. I've been engineering and producing for the last 20. I still go out and do gigs and play on tracks for people. If its electric stuff I can usually engineer it myself, although I prefer to have someone else engineer when I'm playing. I also do most of the programming that goes on here so I can play keys well enough to get it into the computer, unless its something that requires a real piano player. Btw I require anyone who would work for me to be a musician and be able to play keys at least as well as I can. I think being a musician these days is more important than ever.
Old 11th July 2005
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

in 1963 my mom bought me my first guitar.
the following christmas she bought me a sony reel to reel recorder.
it's ALL the same field for me.
i don't care for the 'producer' handle at all (thanx, steve albini, for turning me into a cliche), but i end up doing something like producing for other peeps.
if i look at a lot of the peeps i really admire i find frank zappa, danny lanois, prince, trent reznor, etc..
Old 11th July 2005
  #15
Recording Engineer/Mixer,Producer,arranger,Keyboard player,singer here.

I get more frustrated with people that can't sing on key or just not having enough inspiration personally more than anything.
Old 11th July 2005
  #16
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Oldone's Avatar
Both here. There is no divide. Unless you are just a musician or just an engineer.
Old 11th July 2005
  #17
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Stick's Avatar
 

I've been both for as long as I've been doing it.

Doing commercials for years taught me to do both at the same time. You have to write it, play it, sing it, record it, mix it. And if you want to have a chance to beat out the 15 other guys writing demos, it had better sound pretty good.

Now, I think it would drive me nuts to do a vocal session with someone I'm producing without running the rig myself.

And I really enjoy the challenge of switching from one to the other and switching perspective to hear the tune from the POV of writer vs. engineer vs. producer vs. player vs. consumer.

Cool job I have.
Old 11th July 2005
  #18
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toolskid's Avatar
 

pretty much 50/50 here nowadays. Its hard to juggle touring cos of the impact it has on one-off money jobs on the engineering/production side of things. I suppose deps in both areas are the key for me!! I don't really love combining the two tho. If I turn up for a drum session I like to not be engineering from behind the kit and vice versa. They're just really different headspaces!
Old 11th July 2005
  #19
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I'm just an old folk guitar player who wanted unlimited studio time to experiment with new songs, arraignments, and sounds.......to create new music.

I started out playing "Louie Louie" on a Gibson Melody Maker, then went camping with some friends and picked up on the 12 string....and a 2340 Teac. This was around 1970-1976 era....eventially I got bored with guitar sounds and dove into midi-samples, sound modules, and midi recording with Opcode's Vision program, I also setup an 8 track recording in my house with a DA-88 and Mackie 24 x8 mixing board, and some outboard gear. .....then got into audio editing and recording with Adobe's Audition 1.5, and am currently looking at newer midi recording programs.....Maybe Cubase, maybe Tracktion 2 for later this fall or winter....not sure yet, Opcode still works, but is a pain.......

Next up on my gear aquisition list is the Marshall V-69 mic.......eta 2-6 weeks.......

I decided to put together my own studio, as the local quality studio was quoting $130 an hour......I thought it would be better to have my own place....which it has....I love having 24/7 access to a recording facility. The midi sound modules I have give me access to thousands of sounds on which to work with. With the JP-8000, I can create zillions of new sounds.......so I feel fairly well equiped with my studio for my needs.
Old 11th July 2005
  #20
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Stizz's Avatar
Well, I also started off as a musician - became a fairly decent bass player eventually, but eventually realized that my ears were the instrument that I "played" best. So I don't really think I am a frustrated musician, just a different thing. But as the world's worst singer, what I can't figure out is how easily I can hear intonation problems, yet I cannot do a damn thing about if If I am the one singing. I do however do a swell imitation of Adam Sandler imitating Axl Rose imitating James Brown.
Old 11th July 2005
  #21
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Stick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stizz
Well, I also started off as a musician - became a fairly decent bass player eventually, but eventually realized that my ears were the instrument that I "played" best. So I don't really think I am a frustrated musician, just a different thing. But as the world's worst singer, what I can't figure out is how easily I can hear intonation problems, yet I cannot do a damn thing about if If I am the one singing. I do however do a swell imitation of Adam Sandler imitating Axl Rose imitating James Brown.
Ugh... I have the same problem... my crappy voice doesn't keep up with my ears. Such a drag...
Old 11th July 2005
  #22
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cajonezzz's Avatar
 

50/50 for me too. i much prefer either playing ( drummer) or producing/engineering/coffee running with great players.

I'm SO sick of gigs, hope to be home based soon, with a little mix room!
Old 11th July 2005
  #23
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paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
I'm a player as well as engineer. I consider producing and engineering my career. I mostly play in one band and I have a part-time percussion accompaniment gig, and do a little teaching.

I'd rather hire musicians than play on a record I'm recording. I'll do an overdub here or there, but I'd rather not be a 'player' on the record. Mitchell Froom does it all the time with great success. Me, I find I need to have my head in one or the other...
I personally think producing/playing is 100 times easier than engineering/playing, with engineering/producing falling closer to the producing/playing end. There are too many things to pay attention to with the eng/play senario, and I think that is something that frustrates the musician/songwriter types who are trying to record their own stuff. It's hard to get into that zone of creating when you are constantly worried about levels, gain structure, and tone. Nothing kills inspiration faster than having to deal with technical issues. How do you songwriter/engineer folks deal with it?

Cheers,
John
Old 11th July 2005
  #24
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Good point John. Mitchell is lucky enough to you have guys like you and Husky and Tchad on his team.
Old 11th July 2005
  #25
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audioez's Avatar
 

musician first!!! How can you deal with musicians and not be able to speak the language?? I know there are some exceptions, but c'mon...
Old 11th July 2005
  #26
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PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno
I personally think producing/playing is 100 times easier than engineering/playing, with engineering/producing falling closer to the producing/playing end. There are too many things to pay attention to with the eng/play senario, and I think that is something that frustrates the musician/songwriter types who are trying to record their own stuff. It's hard to get into that zone of creating when you are constantly worried about levels, gain structure, and tone. Nothing kills inspiration faster than having to deal with technical issues. How do you songwriter/engineer folks deal with it?

Cheers,
John
This is the million dollar Q: for me it's one or the other (musician OR engineer), or if all the parts are played/recorded by me alone in the studio, it's fine - otherwise, it gets too stessful, and one aspect suffers...


good point John!
Old 11th July 2005
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Well, for me I just keep plugging away. I try to get things all setup, and in ready to record mode, at a moment's notice, so when the inspiration hits, you're ready. In the meantime, read up, wire up, and know your equipment well. Make lots of trial recordings, and go for constant improvement.

Learning how studio equipment works, I think is a must for all musicians, and will only help you in a pro studio setting.....and even with live gigs, you'd better know what an eq is.....

Once everything is setup, and the inspiration or mood is right, at that point, it's just a matter of hitting a couple of buttons....and you're rolling....

I also think it's a good idea for musicians to try their hand at dj'ing in front of a live crowd....you'll learn alot about music, musical tastes, and the general public, what sells, what doesn't sell, ...."show business" and the "music business", in general, it ain't as easy as it looks..........even go check out a karaoke bar once in awhile....you'll soon see why you need to know your gear.
Old 11th July 2005
  #28
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cletus's Avatar
 

Like I said earlier I do both. I am still dealing with the learning curve for mixing and what not. I have tons of songs and sing, play guitar, and bass on most of my stuff. I think because I'm just begining my journey into the world of recording, that it's taken up most of my time. I'm obsessed with getting my studio up to speed. I originally intended to do demos at home but now I'm on my way to being able to do decent albums with the gear and knowledge I have. Ultimatley that's what it's about for all of us I think, good musicians/writing+good engineering +good gear= good music.
PEACE
Old 11th July 2005
  #29
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enharmonic's Avatar
 

I am an engineer, though I am not comfortable with calling myself that due to the fact that I learned from guys that I call engineers, and I am not on their level. They are exceptionally talented individuals (Drew of this forum was one of the guys who taught me). They are artists behind a desk, whereas I am simply proficient.

I am a musician first and foremost...vocalist and guitarist. I became an engineer to have a better understanding of the recording process as a musician, not to record other people. I ended up recording other people, and found that for the most part, I just don't like people enough to do it for a living. I can't be that guy who takes any gig he can just to crack his nut. Many of you are fortunate enough to not be in that position, but I'd say that 80% of us aren't

I've yet to record an album of my own material that I have been happy with...meaning that I am still trying to reach the point where what I hear in my head is what comes off the tape. My last record came close...but I think I needed more time to properly realize the material. Now that I have my own setup, I can take that time. I'd like to get back to recording on a limited basis for others, but I only want to be bothered with things that I actually like, and people that I can see myself getting along with for more than an hour or two.

Old 11th July 2005
  #30
Here for the gear
 

musician/engineer here

Hi I am both. I work as a second Engineer here in Bakersfield. Annie Thomas is the main Engineer. The name of the studio in Nippdog. We stay pretty busy. Lots of karaoke singers here who want to be rock stars.
Don Kidwell
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