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Clarity and depth of the 70's vs DAW and hard drive: Is it possible... Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 18th November 2009
  #331
Gear Nut
 

Technology = Progress...I guess, we will see...

Progress = Improvement...I think...

Improvement = ?

Can you read between the lines? Maybe, we are not all transmitting at the same frequency, and although globalization is on our tail, we still are unique human beings with different talents and obviously philosophies.

We can now take audio and cut it, paste it, etc etc with a mouse click! Very useful and it is a technological progress, with endless possibilities and for the creative mind this a fantasy journey! But the music that give us goosebumps can be just a voice and guitar, a piano and a flute, a sitar, a trumpet...yes it can also be a symphonic orchestra...but that is a symphonic orchestra!!! There is no doubt that there are so many talented musicians around the world and so are engineers. But although there are more means to communicate, communication is not improved now days, I mean the communication between people. Ten and 20 years ago it was much better (I was still a teenager in the 80's).

The problem is that live in the era of speed...yes we want everything fast and we don't have the patience to wait, to enjoy. We have too many choices and we don't want to miss a thing, so we are just scanning through everything, but without quality. I know so many people that have acute Plug-in-iasis and it is hard to get cured. All day with the plug ins, and they believe they can make music with sample replacement and synths! Then they hear a real guitar and they think it is a miracle!

Blah blah blah, philosophies, I know!

But please don't say there is nothing new to be created, that it is all been done before. Recorded music is not so old and it is dominated by a couple of countries only, and they like the control, and the money was coming! But where is the money now? Everybody is dancing around it! When music will become more International (in flavor) the combinations are endless! So many breathtaking traditional and folklore music styles and instruments in our planet. Irish, Arabian, Oriental, African, Greek, Scottish, Latin...

Music is fashion for most people (I wish it wasn't) but fashions come and go...Maybe in the future we will wear organic clothes that change colour with our thoughts or long synthetic Roman gowns...who knows!

The same way that Latin music was inspired by Spanish, and married African beats, Spanish was inspired by Arabian, the same way that electronic music was inspired by Greek folk music and Rock was inspired by Blues and Country...it is endless. It is not far the time that we will listen Bagpipes and Koto within a Rock song on the radio, there are many people experimenting in every country in every town, the explosion might take a little more...

In the meantime please share knowledge about instruments and compression at tracking, recording levels, (many people record at -6 in the DAW) and mixing and mastering without making pan cakes...There are many people who are interested in this, and all of you who have the experience can make a big difference! Thank you.
Old 18th November 2009
  #332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerraVibe View Post
The same way that Latin music was inspired by Spanish, and married African beats, Spanish was inspired by Arabian, the same way that electronic music was inspired by Greek folk music and Rock was inspired by Blues and Country...it is endless. It is not far the time that we will listen Bagpipes and Koto within a Rock song on the radio, there are many people experimenting in every country in every town, the explosion might take a little more...

In the meantime please share knowledge about instruments and compression at tracking, recording levels, (many people record at -6 in the DAW) and mixing and mastering without making pan cakes...There are many people who are interested in this, and all of you who have the experience can make a big difference! Thank you.
You're right that this thread started with regard to the technicalities of bygone recording, etc.... and how it relates to today.

However, it's evolved into a discussion about music existentialism, and that's fine too, because it's relevant to the topic, just as much as mic placement is.

Call it nihilistic, or darkly cynical, but I just can't buy the idea that some big explosion in musical ingenuity will arrive.... bagpipes on rock radio? Dropkick Murphys did it in 2001. Koto on a rock song? Queen did it in 1975.

I'm not trying to be an argumentative jackoff, but it's just my opinion - formed after 15 years doing this for a living, working on records every day of my life to survive.

The flame of creativity is not dying by any stretch, but the possibilities of that creativity are simply not limitless, much as I try to convince myself otherwise.
Old 18th November 2009
  #333
N88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJGoody View Post
The flame of creativity is not dying by any stretch, but the possibilities of that creativity are simply not limitless, much as I try to convince myself otherwise.
And sadly, music often strikes me as very conservative. For all our superficial boasting, strutting, and defiance, in musical terms, we stray little from the well-worn path. Tuning, rhythm, structure...only narrow tolerances.
We aren't much interested in absorbing a creator's honesty, we just want cravings met.
Old 18th November 2009
  #334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N88 View Post
And sadly, music often strikes me as very conservative. For all our superficial boasting, strutting, and defiance, in musical terms, we stray little from the well-worn path. Tuning, rhythm, structure...only narrow tolerances.
We aren't much interested in absorbing a creator's honesty, we just want cravings met.
I have this craving for honesty.
Old 18th November 2009
  #335
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

Honesty transcends everything. Those who practice the art can see , feel or hear true intentions without effort.
Old 18th November 2009
  #336
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
Honesty transcends everything. Those who practice the art can see , feel or hear true intentions without effort.
that is what is so needed - i am just back in new york from london and in my jet lag
watched the beatles broadcast of "all you need is love" with george harrison's commentary
that the band was doing subtle propaganda for god - what an incredible
song. our songs and the depth of our music tell us who we are - we want to be deep
and intelligent and real - we want our lives to have real meaning - i want my music,
the music i work on and the music i hear to reflect that, to reflect the scary accelerating
sense of life's brevity: that fear is only turned into magic with honesty.



be well


- jack
Old 18th November 2009
  #337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
that is what is so needed - i am just back in new york from london and in my jet lag
watched the beatles broadcast of "all you need is love" with george harrison's commentary
that the band was doing subtle propaganda for god - what an incredible
song. our songs and the depth of our music tell us who we are - we want to be deep
and intelligent and real - we want our lives to have real meaning - i want my music,
the music i work on and the music i hear to reflect that, to reflect the scary accelerating
sense of life's brevity: that fear is only turned into magic with honesty.



be well


- jack

That's an enlightening collection of words and sentiments my friend.
If you can express yourself like that, and feel that way, fear becomes honey and magic becomes your meaning.
Old 18th November 2009
  #338
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
I can extrapolate on Bob O's post some- he may or may not agree with all of it but we are definitely on the same page, bigtime.

People have been mentioning various things- like hair-raising, relistening to 'The Royal Scam', or simpler arrangements allowing for a 70s thing and room for 'more technical clarity'. I am hot to get into some of what happens with this classic stuff, and WHY, because it's super easy to get distracted and lose the plot completely with this stuff.

I had an old roommate back in the day who shared with me a love for Aqualung. There was a day when we heard a CD of it and he was really shocked. There was WAY more 'technical clarity', but the hair-raising emotional quality was absolutely gone. We went back and forth between an old record and the CD, using the vocal for 'My God', and it never changed- on the CD, there was more brightness and clarity, and attention was drawn to breathy voice qualities (somewhat 'digitized' sounding) and the chest volume etc- sounds AS sounds- and on the vinyl, those things were lost and all you COULD hear was the emotion, largely conveyed through the handling of the midrange. Pops and glottals did not throw in noticable bass, you got virtually no treble breathiness to pay attention to, nothing but the guts of it- TOTALLY unacceptable by modern mix standards yet it was that which gave you chills. You couldn't hype it up without losing something.

Ironically (because all they have in common is self-indulgence! :D ) the Royal Scam vocals are just the same. I consider 'Haitian Divorce' a reference point for this. It's important to consider the recording history- Steely Dan had done an album with expensive audiophile mics and almost no EQ, 'Katy Lied', and clearly were taking things up a notch- using EQ more- but in a context where they were more aware than most of mix frequency balance through ARRANGEMENT. They were quite ready to get the initial sounds right, picking them for how they'd sit in the mix, and THEN further push them in that direction through EQ, possibly also Aphex on the mix (the Royal Scam mix sounds awfully lively for its day, with the basic sounds not fully explaining this)

Perhaps because they were being careful not to overexcite their buss/mastering processing, the sounds and ESPECIALLY the vocals aren't hyped one bit more than they have to be, and as a result the lead vocals do some astonishing things. I've never heard Steely Dan vocals be as recessed and lacking in 'sheen', 'body', all the audiophile qualities that are sound as sound distracting from the performance. Haitian Divorce sounds like it could have been punched word by word- it's a really complicated vocal melody and every note is not only spot-on, but delivered with that hair-raising quality, like Fagen was in some sort of voodoo trance. It's hard to avoid singing along to. And again, we get no 'sheen' or 'gloss', no extra bass kick on the Ps etc- nothing EVER happens to tell your ear, 'hey, check out this expensive sound quality, pay attention to the highs instead of the song!'

And yet it's Steely Dan- so it's on purpose. They CHOSE to strip it that bare, as an arrangement decision. They adjusted things to get it that way. It didn't stick- with Aja then Gaucho they found ways to hype the realities more, without forgetting what they had learned, but something was still lost. The Royal Scam can reach listeners who don't even normally like Steely Dan and wouldn't sit still for Gaucho.

By the same token, Aqualung was huge for Jethro Tull, which never returned to anything as raw, and followed it with the very 'technical clarity-last wave uncovers the newfangled way' Thick As A Brick.

Almost nobody wants to stand naked for long, but you cannot convey as much intimacy by putting on audio makeup. It's a flat-out conflict between reaching people longterm (through intimacy and sonically standing naked- again, we're talking about recordings from three decades ago competing with and beating everything since then!) and getting by gatekeepers who aren't comfortable unless you stack the deck- now, intimacy AND room sound AND transparency-n-sparkle all at once! Congratulations, now you have 1/3 intimacy and 2/3 other stuff to focus on, just because you wanted more to hear than just the song, just the emotion, just the person.

The gatekeepers include the artists themselves, sitting in mix being dissatisfied and wondering what people will make of it. Very few artists are egomaniac enough to want to deliver their raw, naked selves onto the record without finding some audio detail to bring out and distract. Michael Jackson sometimes managed it. John Lennon put his naked body on an album cover but constantly wanted to trick out his voice on recordings... one notable exception, 'Working Class Hero'.

You. don't. WANT... 'seventies open arrangements allowing for better technical clarity'. That would be losing the plot entirely. Like Gordon Ramsay saying, "have you lost the plot? have you gone a lil bit ****ing 'bonjour'?' The LAST thing you usually want is technical clarity because it is a distraction of attention from the point of the damn song. ANY thought of 'hey, clarity' is a thought spent not thinking about the purpose of the song.

There are of course exceptions. If you listen to Floyd's Goodbye Blue Sky and think 'ooh, airy and chilly and hyperdramatic', that SERVES the emotional purpose of the song completely. You CAN create art through deft engineering, but Goodbye Blue Sky is about awe and a childishly clear fresh vision betrayed by the sophistication of the adult world, it would not be the same in 'demo' form or left raw. Most songs aren't about that subject, are not that tone.

There is also a type of sound free of added layers of recognition and overtone- not just 'pick a gloss' but NO gloss or distractions. It's 'seventies' sound, sometimes derived naturally through the era's recording techniques (like Aqualung), sometimes intentionally set up that way in full awareness of what was being done (The Royal Scam).

It SELLS. But it's hard to clear through all the gatekeepers.
Old 18th November 2009
  #339
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
...on the CD, there was more brightness and clarity, and attention was drawn to breathy voice qualities (somewhat 'digitized' sounding) and the chest volume etc- sounds AS sounds- and on the vinyl, those things were lost and all you COULD hear was the emotion, largely conveyed through the handling of the midrange.
...

You couldn't hype it up without losing something.

One of my formative experiences was sending a darkish mix to an m.e. and having a very specific ref song that I wanted mine to match spectrally. The m.e. would move my song in the right direction but not go far enough, and I'd tell him 'needs more air, more lift'. He would go a little farther, but not far enough. 'More lift' I said, 'we're almost there.'

At that point he responded, to the effect of 'You're going to lose something important if I open up the track like that.' I dismissed his concern, and he finally made my song match the ref about as close as you could ask for. And I'll be damned if he wasn't right.

There was a mystery, an air of magic around my dark mix, that was completely lost when all the details came out into the open, when it vibed like a commercial track and breathed in a way that said 'polished', even 'expensive'.

When I listen to the older stuff on vinyl, I really do experience something akin to magic in the darker texture of the sound, as if there were some mysterious, arcane force at work when they recorded it and I'm not allowed to have full access to all of its secrets. This creates a very distinct feeling in me, some kind of excitement or even jealousy at what has been done.

It may simply be nostalgia, except it happens for all kinds of music I never heard or knew as a younger person. It's the sound itself, it resonates with certain parts of me that the cleaner, clearer stuff does not.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 18th November 2009
  #340
N88
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Katy Lied was kind of magical at the time, as they were recognized for their extreme fidelity. The Royal Scam didn't get as much attention, as I recall, but definitely one of their best moments. People forget that they really didn't go giant-time until Aja, and I always felt Hey Nineteen was them saying 'see you later'.

But yeah, it really is the sound, the tone, and anything can be in service to the vision. Even our favorite squashing scapegoat. One favorite song that can really get to me is completely chopped off, and it just can't be played loud enough. The arrangement is quite sparse, so that may help. I'll probably never know what an uncompressed version would do.
Old 18th November 2009
  #341
Lives for gear
 
soundbarnfool's Avatar
 

Decisive production procedure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
First off, great arrangers have been MIA for over 30 years especially since MIDI became common.

Recording also made much greater demands on musicians when you didn't have all of the fix it technology. It meant people simply needed to perform better. As a result, they got good takes faster with a lot more of a gut response to the song involved instead of the amount of conceptual over-thinking that has become common.

I honestly believe that you could hook a DAW up to a console in 1972 and make just as good of a recording so long as you used the same performers, arrangers and decisive production procedure.
Amen. But I do like the sound of tape, and it is more forgiving than digical gear. Also, with protools, etc., the temptation to think you can fix it later is almost always going to lead to a less than committed performance. Like absurd vocal comps. Which is of course one of the things Bob is saying.


Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 18th November 2009
  #342
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
One of my formative experiences was sending a darkish mix to an m.e. and having a very specific ref song that I wanted mine to match spectrally. The m.e. would move my song in the right direction but not go far enough, and I'd tell him 'needs more air, more lift'. He would go a little farther, but not far enough. 'More lift' I said, 'we're almost there.'

At that point he responded, to the effect of 'You're going to lose something important if I open up the track like that.' I dismissed his concern, and he finally made my song match the ref about as close as you could ask for. And I'll be damned if he wasn't right.

There was a mystery, an air of magic around my dark mix, that was completely lost when all the details came out into the open, when it vibed like a commercial track and breathed in a way that said 'polished', even 'expensive'.

When I listen to the older stuff on vinyl, I really do experience something akin to magic in the darker texture of the sound, as if there were some mysterious, arcane force at work when they recorded it and I'm not allowed to have full access to all of its secrets. This creates a very distinct feeling in me, some kind of excitement or even jealousy at what has been done.

It may simply be nostalgia, except it happens for all kinds of music I never heard or knew as a younger person. It's the sound itself, it resonates with certain parts of me that the cleaner, clearer stuff does not.


Gregory Scott - ubk
.
thumbsupthumbsupthumbsupheh Spoiling the mystery in the quest to impress........dull stuff!
Old 18th November 2009
  #343
N88
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N88's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
If you can express yourself like that, and feel that way, fear becomes honey and magic becomes your meaning.
It's funny. People will stand before an abstract painting, trying to get it. Watch an entire movie or TV show to see what's going on. Read the first hundred pages of a novel to see how it develops.
But music...it's usually 'click'...next please.

It's been rendered into such a commodity now. It's a soundtrack for my life. It has to fit where I'm at, what I'm doing, or it's out. Instead of the world shaping me, I only want to hand pick my surroundings for who I already [think I] am.
Old 18th November 2009
  #344
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steelyfan's Avatar
 

[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
the sounds and ESPECIALLY the vocals aren't hyped one bit more than they have to be, and as a result the lead vocals do some astonishing things. I've never heard Steely Dan vocals be as recessed and lacking in 'sheen', 'body', all the audiophile qualities that are sound as sound distracting from the performance. Haitian Divorce sounds like it could have been punched word by word- it's a really complicated vocal melody and every note is not only spot-on, but delivered with that hair-raising quality, like Fagen was in some sort of voodoo trance. It's hard to avoid singing along to. And again, we get no 'sheen' or 'gloss', no extra bass kick on the Ps etc- nothing EVER happens to tell your ear, 'hey, check out this expensive sound quality, pay attention to the highs instead of the song!'

You have a refined ear........and an extreme understanding of why SD are
such an important sound/ band........ to me at least. The Royal Scam is really a strangely magical experience as a whole. It contains a mysterious sensation that very few albulms have accomplished. It's such a sneaky seduction, that feeling gets in your bloodline, and the venom slowly releases it's ........."Reazlied epiphany....???" ( I'm tryin here.. lol...)" to your senses. When people mention AJA or Gaucho I understand them to be referrencing their "hi-fi" accomplishments, and seem more impressed with that than this other world. This magical Royal Scam world.

The Royal Scam and Katy Lied are my two favorites, COuntdown to Ecstacy is all masterpieces. I always liked Heavy Horses and TAB for Tull's stuff. Heavy horses just has something about it.

UBK's (about the darker mastering) and your experiences help explain my own dissatifaction with how music is recorded these days. NOBODY seems to even understand what it's ALL ABOUT. They've NEVER felt the magic so they don't even understand it's existance. Yes, they want to create something better sounding than "AJA", they want their music to sound professional........but have never tasted that sweet, majestic venom that let's you know...... this is what it's REallY all about.
Old 18th November 2009
  #345
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
I can extrapolate on Bob O's post some- he may or may not agree with all of it but we are definitely on the same page, bigtime.

People have been mentioning various things- like hair-raising, relistening to 'The Royal Scam', or simpler arrangements allowing for a 70s thing and room for 'more technical clarity'. I am hot to get into some of what happens with this classic stuff, and WHY, because it's super easy to get distracted and lose the plot completely with this stuff.

I had an old roommate back in the day who shared with me a love for Aqualung. There was a day when we heard a CD of it and he was really shocked. There was WAY more 'technical clarity', but the hair-raising emotional quality was absolutely gone. We went back and forth between an old record and the CD, using the vocal for 'My God', and it never changed- on the CD, there was more brightness and clarity, and attention was drawn to breathy voice qualities (somewhat 'digitized' sounding) and the chest volume etc- sounds AS sounds- and on the vinyl, those things were lost and all you COULD hear was the emotion, largely conveyed through the handling of the midrange. Pops and glottals did not throw in noticable bass, you got virtually no treble breathiness to pay attention to, nothing but the guts of it- TOTALLY unacceptable by modern mix standards yet it was that which gave you chills. You couldn't hype it up without losing something.

Ironically (because all they have in common is self-indulgence! :D ) the Royal Scam vocals are just the same. I consider 'Haitian Divorce' a reference point for this. It's important to consider the recording history- Steely Dan had done an album with expensive audiophile mics and almost no EQ, 'Katy Lied', and clearly were taking things up a notch- using EQ more- but in a context where they were more aware than most of mix frequency balance through ARRANGEMENT. They were quite ready to get the initial sounds right, picking them for how they'd sit in the mix, and THEN further push them in that direction through EQ, possibly also Aphex on the mix (the Royal Scam mix sounds awfully lively for its day, with the basic sounds not fully explaining this)

Perhaps because they were being careful not to overexcite their buss/mastering processing, the sounds and ESPECIALLY the vocals aren't hyped one bit more than they have to be, and as a result the lead vocals do some astonishing things. I've never heard Steely Dan vocals be as recessed and lacking in 'sheen', 'body', all the audiophile qualities that are sound as sound distracting from the performance. Haitian Divorce sounds like it could have been punched word by word- it's a really complicated vocal melody and every note is not only spot-on, but delivered with that hair-raising quality, like Fagen was in some sort of voodoo trance. It's hard to avoid singing along to. And again, we get no 'sheen' or 'gloss', no extra bass kick on the Ps etc- nothing EVER happens to tell your ear, 'hey, check out this expensive sound quality, pay attention to the highs instead of the song!'

And yet it's Steely Dan- so it's on purpose. They CHOSE to strip it that bare, as an arrangement decision. They adjusted things to get it that way. It didn't stick- with Aja then Gaucho they found ways to hype the realities more, without forgetting what they had learned, but something was still lost. The Royal Scam can reach listeners who don't even normally like Steely Dan and wouldn't sit still for Gaucho.

By the same token, Aqualung was huge for Jethro Tull, which never returned to anything as raw, and followed it with the very 'technical clarity-last wave uncovers the newfangled way' Thick As A Brick.

Almost nobody wants to stand naked for long, but you cannot convey as much intimacy by putting on audio makeup. It's a flat-out conflict between reaching people longterm (through intimacy and sonically standing naked- again, we're talking about recordings from three decades ago competing with and beating everything since then!) and getting by gatekeepers who aren't comfortable unless you stack the deck- now, intimacy AND room sound AND transparency-n-sparkle all at once! Congratulations, now you have 1/3 intimacy and 2/3 other stuff to focus on, just because you wanted more to hear than just the song, just the emotion, just the person.

The gatekeepers include the artists themselves, sitting in mix being dissatisfied and wondering what people will make of it. Very few artists are egomaniac enough to want to deliver their raw, naked selves onto the record without finding some audio detail to bring out and distract. Michael Jackson sometimes managed it. John Lennon put his naked body on an album cover but constantly wanted to trick out his voice on recordings... one notable exception, 'Working Class Hero'.

You. don't. WANT... 'seventies open arrangements allowing for better technical clarity'. That would be losing the plot entirely. Like Gordon Ramsay saying, "have you lost the plot? have you gone a lil bit ****ing 'bonjour'?' The LAST thing you usually want is technical clarity because it is a distraction of attention from the point of the damn song. ANY thought of 'hey, clarity' is a thought spent not thinking about the purpose of the song.

There are of course exceptions. If you listen to Floyd's Goodbye Blue Sky and think 'ooh, airy and chilly and hyperdramatic', that SERVES the emotional purpose of the song completely. You CAN create art through deft engineering, but Goodbye Blue Sky is about awe and a childishly clear fresh vision betrayed by the sophistication of the adult world, it would not be the same in 'demo' form or left raw. Most songs aren't about that subject, are not that tone.

There is also a type of sound free of added layers of recognition and overtone- not just 'pick a gloss' but NO gloss or distractions. It's 'seventies' sound, sometimes derived naturally through the era's recording techniques (like Aqualung), sometimes intentionally set up that way in full awareness of what was being done (The Royal Scam).

It SELLS. But it's hard to clear through all the gatekeepers.
Excellent post I hope this is what B.O meant because it's spot on. It seems to be that there is just too much going on in the upper frequencies in todays mixes to appreciate the midrange. Stop killing our ears and start soothing them with sonic bliss, not sonic hiss. It seems to be that the best sound comes from the tracking process every time. Mastering engineers of today have a problem with boosting the crap out of the high frequencies to the point of chaos. Guess what, when they are converted to mp3, what is the first thing that goes into distortion, you guessed it, the high frequencies.
Old 18th November 2009
  #346
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've been working with a great rhythm section over the past few years. (producing is my hobby) It's been fascinating to go back into the world I took for granted at Motown. I'm hoping to learn enough to pass a bunch of pre-MIDI skills on to the younger generation.

A good foundation is important. One interesting thing has been that sample delay is far more critical with rhythm section basics than recordings made with sequencers or overdubbed one instrument at a time. There's a lot of subtilty involved.

I do find I need to comp the living daylights out of most singers to bring them up to the same standard of communication the musicians committed to on the basics. Pitch and time don't seem to be issues as much as phrasing and pronunciation. Then we redo the vocal once they've heard what they are capable of from the comp.
Old 18th November 2009
  #347
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Pitch and time don't seem to be issues as much as phrasing and pronunciation.
Very often the case it seems, as few 'hear' how to surf it into a forward pointing slot. Tis why I rate Amy Winehouse higher than most today.......phrases like ninja.
Old 18th November 2009
  #348
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by N88 View Post
. Instead of the world shaping me, I only want to hand pick my surroundings for who I already [think I] am.


I remember quiting a really good job years ago, a job most folks would be proud to say they had. I wrestled with my own demons for a long time and constantly keep asking myself why am I letting this place change me so.
Fearing, "I'll never be who I'm supposed to be, I'm really a lie".

It was that I wasn't in control of my daily surroundings, when I KNEW what really made me happy, the things to surround myself with that empowered me to advance as a human, as a spirit. They were available at my finger tips, still I choose.......... security.

It was written off as a learning experience (my job, the "compromise".)
I sold paintings and played drums in a couple bands, recorded music , learned alot about me, answered my own questions.

After two years, I got another job, I dig it, music waits for me everyday after work (and my wife). Hopefully, when bills recede and life seems too easy again....... I'll come to my senses again.
Old 18th November 2009
  #349
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
... few 'hear' how to surf it into a forward pointing slot....
once they "get" it after hearing a good comp... watch out!
Old 18th November 2009
  #350
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
[QUOTE=steelyfan;4796633]
Quote:
The Royal Scam and Katy Lied are my two favorites, COuntdown to Ecstacy is all masterpieces. I always liked Heavy Horses and TAB for Tull's stuff. Heavy horses just has something about it.
Funny you should mention Heavy Horses- I actually made a drumkit product (StealthKit) SPECIFICALLY because of that album. (harmless to mention it, nobody buys my drumkits but I use 'em)

The track 'Journeyman' has that quality for me. I tore that thing apart in critical listening, figuring out how it was done. It's a really dark, fluffy hi-hat, a very middy bass- strangely non-audiophile, slightly weird mix but somehow so compelling. Some of it might be by accident- I don't believe for a second they'd have had the bass that middy if it didn't have a flange on it, and it probably wouldn't be as dark if it wasn't last on a side...

I still struggle with this stuff. I'll make a drumkit and take great pains to make it work like 'journeyman' and then when I start working with it, immediately start hyping the highs... I'm convinced there are best practices to getting compelling seventies-style mixes but it seems to take incredible nerve to follow them, because mixing itself seems to make you listen for sound as sound and it's hard to get past that... maybe I need to get into working a lot faster.
Old 18th November 2009
  #351
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Maybe back then music was emotional and touching because people wanted it to be that way.....now they just want big A-list fame, hot wife or a pair of fake tits and loadsa money to spend on coke.
Old 18th November 2009
  #352
N88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
I remember quiting a really good job years ago, a job most folks would be proud to say they had. I wrestled with my own demons for a long time and constantly keep asking myself why am I letting this place change me so. Fearing, "I'll never be who I'm supposed to be, I'm really a lie".
I know what you mean. You have to keep perspective. If you're out of balance, you probably don't have much positive to contribute anyway.
But to clarify, my comment [It's been rendered into such a commodity now. It's a soundtrack for my life...] was meant from the perspective of those who aren't interested in listening for what an artist is expressing.

By the way, I think the anti-Steely Dan trend is stupid. Their sound was unique at the time, they were counter-culture, and subversive. Those who rag on them now seem to see everything through the Aja lens.
Old 18th November 2009
  #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrislpp View Post
Maybe back then music was emotional and touching because people wanted it to be that way...
It was that way because the folks who bought radio and TV commercials wanted entertainment to aggregate large audiences. Today they want to separate audiences into narrow demographic groups which cuts anything inspiring an emotional response out of getting enough exposure to develop an audience. The public hasn't changed but the infrastructure that exposes most people to new music has changed very much for the worse.
Old 18th November 2009
  #354
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[QUOTE][QUOTE=chrisj It's a really dark, fluffy hi-hat, a very middy bass- strangely non-audiophile, slightly weird mix but somehow so compelling[/QUOTE]

Well, that's what it's all about. To strive for strangely compelling is WAY more ambitous than keeping up with the Jones', or just trying to create a mix that sounds modern, or even old school. When the mix is about a FEELING, and not about balance, trends ,era, technology , gear, etc...then it seems to have that honesty we've talked about. Spending plenty of time with this attitude and aesthetic...... I can tell you .....DON'T expect enthusiasm or comaraderie but from only your closest peers and friends. LOL..........

It's a sound lovers subject, leave things for future artist to discuss, even wonderful mistakes......which can sound way better than rehearsed expectation.

Denny Dias stayed up till 4:00 a.m with Nichols one night mixing "King of the world". They had that **** so freakin blended and balanced that after listening to it back to back 4 times and never remembered it going by........decided they needed to remix it, adding a bit more "bumps" and "pebbles" in the road, other wise, there was nothing to wait for to come by.
Old 18th November 2009
  #355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Quote:
Today they want to separate audiences into narrow demographic groups which cuts anything inspiring an emotional response out of getting enough exposure to develop an audience. The public hasn't changed but the infrastructure that exposes most people to new music has changed very much for the worse.
And it's a shame when you hear a new song when that "target" audience is so ovious. JUST enough of THIS and THAt, and never......


Jezz, I sound so negative today.
Old 18th November 2009
  #356
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
... JUST enough of THIS and THAt, and never...
Nothing's going to get better until we first look the monster in the eye instead of pointing fingers at record labels and others who have rejected us without our understanding why.
Old 18th November 2009
  #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Nothing's going to get better until we first look the monster in the eye instead of pointing fingers at record labels and others who have rejected us without our understanding why.

I know why. That's why I don't live in that world.
Old 19th November 2009
  #358
N88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Today they want to separate audiences into narrow demographic groups which cuts anything inspiring an emotional response out of getting enough exposure to develop an audience.
This has been a fact for a long time now. They test song bits on sample groups of listeners, tossing out the high and low scoring pieces. If there's nothing to turn you off, and no where else to go for something that turns you on, they wager you'll just stay put.

The whole system needs to be circumvented, and so far the various internet possibilities, which basically amount to user and support groups, aren't doing it.
Old 19th November 2009
  #359
Motown legend
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N88 View Post
...The whole system needs to be circumvented, and so far the various internet possibilities, which basically amount to user and support groups, aren't doing it.
Exactly. I haven't much hope for the internet because it's economic model is carrying narrowcasting to the extreme. Narrowcasting or "the long tail" is the problem, not a solution.
Old 19th November 2009
  #360
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Interesting Aqualung should come up..I adore the track Mother Goose... just interesting to note that. NO acoustic actually sounds like that, i wish they did, it is compressed to hell and back, I'd guess with a LA2A, it has that sound.

On the vinyl, it has exactly the right pluck and bite, the CD it just tips over into a slight *brightness*, that robs the bottom, such there is, it's unbelievably rolled off in some way. The Cd also sees the *soundhole tone* becoming a tad boomy, whereas, the vinyl has just the right body and punch...

I lvoe how, on Mother Goose, the electric comes in with the rhythm part. they way the acoustic and electric compliment each other is astounding. That to, seems to be knocked out of kilter, conically, on the CD version.

And there's the rub, Aqualung isn't technically *hifi* at all. it's actually quite processed in many ways. However, that processing blends smoothly to give of a whole, that the CD fails to live up to. Maybe, the devil is in the detail, sums it up perfectly?
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