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Sounding Off: Is New Gear Better? (Ethan's article on SOS) Condenser Microphones
Old 26th November 2009
  #241
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Using great gear to record a bad room leans you toward a great recording of a bad sound!
that's why you don't lean, you stand up straight.
remember are only 2 things in this World, good acoustics and everything else.
Old 26th November 2009
  #242
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

i really want to learn something and take this thread serious and don´t want to be more than clever, ok
i relistened some albums done with a 24 track studer and a 24 track console, ok, got out what the studios got and think they worked like this
i think that many records are great
well, i don´t hunt a vintage vibe or whatever
i think the main reason for this great sounds are the great sounds before the mic
you had to record the source as best as possible, when the source sucks replace the source and there were great musicians involved
i run a small recoding studio and it´s not like this, most times
i have to record guys which play bass and guitars really much less effiecient than me (okok, i don´t want to make myself bigger) and i got to record them
i help them, well, i repare their instruments, i tell them how to stroke strings, i tell them how to play bass guitar that fits the song, well, love it, great job
but if i hear those great albums, there are people that are my hereos, people that play their instruments like it should be, also they know their sound / band sound
i don´t know, ithink it´s not the sound of one compressor or one piece of gear (just tools) that makes a record good, it helps, but it isn´t very important, really, bury me... :-)
Old 26th November 2009
  #243
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Well, yeah.

Using great gear to record a bad room leans you toward a great recording of a bad sound!

It's like a high-def photo of an ugly subject!

(Unless that's what you're after, ya might wanna soft-focus!)


I don't think most of us here are too confused over this what you say; but some statements in that article none the less border on (or are) pure misinformation or at least too broad generalizations.

I could also paraphrase your statement and say: "Using poor or sub average gear to record in a good room would make a poor (or even boring or blurred) sketch of a great sound/subject/performer,..."
Old 26th November 2009
  #244
Lives for gear
Just wanted to say, thank you Ethan for bringing things back into perspective.

While I love gear (hence the name of this forum), and I do feel that some older recordings have a certain magic partially due to the limitations of the recording gear used at the time that you can't replicate easily today without using said vintage gear or a close facsimile, you're perfectly correct of course that all daws blow away all older methods of recording from an accuracy point of view (and s/n ratio and distortion and phase shift and repeatability and versatility and plugins and, well, yes.)

What I agree with most is that yes, modern bedroom recording guys don't really spend the time or know how to best use their time to improve things. I didn't when I started out, I worked hard to improve my recordings though with the single mic and soundblaster I used to record with. To this day I'm still happy with some of those old soundblaster recordings. And it's because I really put the work into making the best of what I had around me, just like engineers did in the older days (which is actually when I learned the basics of recording....)

good article Ethan.
Old 26th November 2009
  #245
Gear Nut
 
scrizly's Avatar
 

Where does Ethan say buy *my* products? Sure there is a tiny blurb below the article credit about him and his company... but really who cares? That is there to give credibility to the article. He has offered up enough FREE knowledge on the subject over the years that I would think anyone with half a clue could figure out the guy is genuinely passionate about acoustics and wants to help people regardless of whether or not they buy his products. I just don't get all you haters... I'm glad someone called bull**** on all the snake-oil gear companies in a mag that makes WAY more money from gear advertisers than someone like Ethan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolet View Post
Where I'm from there's a well known expression that was prompted by some toilet cleaner commercial. It goes: "we from brand A recommend....brand A!"
That's the vibe I get. It's just an advertisement disguised as an editorial piece.
Old 26th November 2009
  #246
Lives for gear
 
fossaree's Avatar
i don't really think ethan is claiming people should buy his products .

right the opposite, he even has a web page where he does explain how to build bass traps and acoustic panels ... and it's very informative and its free .

;-)
Old 26th November 2009
  #247
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Somehow I get the impression you won't be praying FOR me?

Too many mixers, not enough fixers. First heard that in 1970. Still true. Don't worry your little heart out for me, there will still be more work than I can ever do when you are hunting down that last mixing gig. Say a little prayer for yourself.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
LMFBO.

Ahh. De Troof hertz!!

BIG prayer for me is more like it at this God forsaken juncture!

... And Emperor Ethan the First will outlive/outlast us both.

For a bit.

It's going to be kind of a Robespierre stylee thing for him.

That's my utterly dismal prediction.

HOHOHO.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 26th November 2009
  #248
Lives for gear
 
larry b's Avatar
 

Old 26th November 2009
  #249
Lives for gear
 
Nolet's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrizly View Post
Where does Ethan say buy *my* products? Sure there is a tiny blurb below the article credit about him and his company... but really who cares? That is there to give credibility to the article. He has offered up enough FREE knowledge on the subject over the years that I would think anyone with half a clue could figure out the guy is genuinely passionate about acoustics and wants to help people regardless of whether or not they buy his products. I just don't get all you haters... I'm glad someone called bull**** on all the snake-oil gear companies in a mag that makes WAY more money from gear advertisers than someone like Ethan.
I certainly think no harm was intended and I absolutely do not doubt Ethan's conviction or sincerety. I believe he's passionate about what he does.

It's like someone on the city council proposing a new road to be build, when his brother is a road builder! Certainly, the road still needs to be build, but there is always a (maybe unintentional) vested interest, an aura of bias.
Old 26th November 2009
  #250
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

First off:

I work with 2 small companies that make and sell custom studio equipment.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way.

I'm going to say this article flies in the face of everything you're ever going to experience as a functional tracking engineer.

Ethan's opinion is his and he is entitled to it.

But if fidelity is your goal, then we should NOT be chasing down Fairchild 660/670 reproductions, LA2As, Altec preamps, Ampex 351 preamps, reel to reel tape recorders....

Tape was indeed a bit of a limiting factor for the old school engineers but look at what they made despite their limitations.
And what they discovered and developed because of those limitations is what we all draw from when we learn recording techniques.

I choose euphonics over fidelity anyday of the week kids.

You can put an 1176 in front of me and note how inaccurate it sounds and how "colored" the transformers are. You're going to get this look from me.

Again I've never recorded a top 40 record or book hours at the Hit Factory but I get why guys chase the vintage gear or the new gear thats designed around old standards. Its not some psychosis or snake oil. We get that certain tones can only be reproduced by certain pathways and techniques. Those tones continue to be desirable, not because its retro but because rather than track guitars, drums, vocals etc..with measurement mics, we'd rather use a mic that uses a tube that was used in bomb tracking equipment, a transformer based off a power transformer and a gold sputtered diaphragm that is only accurate up to 14khz.

If you remove all of the things that make those tones possible then what do we do? (I mean apply that same mentality to guitar strings. Imagine the outcry if one brand with one guage type, one material, was all you could use for guitars, knowing that there was once 100s of choices and flavors?)

As far as the fidelity of the old recordings goes, well following this article, how could anybody stomach Nat King Cole's signal path? (Ribbon mics on vocals? Sacrilege!) Frank Sinatra (U47?? On vocals to tape??) The Beatles (U47 on a whole drum kit? Into a Fairchild? Cranked??) It just doesn't make sense.

Yeah they used what they had, but playing what if is kind of silly and childish. I love old school dub just as much as the old rock stuff. Radio shack mics, lots of tape echo, POORLY treated rooms, poor fidelity tape....Yet it sounds AWESOME!!

Sorry...this article just doesn't make sense to me.

Who buys strictly off specs when they go gear shopping?

We aren't building computers lol. I'm trying to cut a great sounding record here!

Why even bother with tube anything comes to mind. Looks like the majority of Neumann's mics are ****, good bye Ela M251. No more Gates Sta Levels or 176s...Adios Red 47, La2a.

Somehow can't see that being the case for whats left of the recording industry.

Peace
Illumination
Old 26th November 2009
  #251
Gear Nut
 
lbruun's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
First off:

I work with 2 small companies that make and sell custom studio equipment.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way.

I'm going to say this article flies in the face of everything you're ever going to experience as a functional tracking engineer.

Ethan's opinion is his and he is entitled to it.

But if fidelity is your goal, then we should NOT be chasing down Fairchild 660/670 reproductions, LA2As, Altec preamps, Ampex 351 preamps, reel to reel tape recorders....

Tape was indeed a bit of a limiting factor for the old school engineers but look at what they made despite their limitations.
And what they discovered and developed because of those limitations is what we all draw from when we learn recording techniques.

I choose euphonics over fidelity anyday of the week kids.

You can put an 1176 in front of me and note how inaccurate it sounds and how "colored" the transformers are. You're going to get this look from me.

Again I've never recorded a top 40 record or book hours at the Hit Factory but I get why guys chase the vintage gear or the new gear thats designed around old standards. Its not some psychosis or snake oil. We get that certain tones can only be reproduced by certain pathways and techniques. Those tones continue to be desirable, not because its retro but because rather than track guitars, drums, vocals etc..with measurement mics, we'd rather use a mic that uses a tube that was used in bomb tracking equipment, a transformer based off a power transformer and a gold sputtered diaphragm that is only accurate up to 14khz.

If you remove all of the things that make those tones possible then what do we do? (I mean apply that same mentality to guitar strings. Imagine the outcry if one brand with one guage type, one material, was all you could use for guitars, knowing that there was once 100s of choices and flavors?)

As far as the fidelity of the old recordings goes, well following this article, how could anybody stomach Nat King Cole's signal path? (Ribbon mics on vocals? Sacrilege!) Frank Sinatra (U47?? On vocals to tape??) The Beatles (U47 on a whole drum kit? Into a Fairchild? Cranked??) It just doesn't make sense.

Yeah they used what they had, but playing what if is kind of silly and childish. I love old school dub just as much as the old rock stuff. Radio shack mics, lots of tape echo, POORLY treated rooms, poor fidelity tape....Yet it sounds AWESOME!!

Sorry...this article just doesn't make sense to me.

Who buys strictly off specs when they go gear shopping?

We aren't building computers lol. I'm trying to cut a great sounding record here!

Why even bother with tube anything comes to mind. Looks like the majority of Neumann's mics are ****, good bye Ela M251. No more Gates Sta Levels or 176s...Adios Red 47, La2a.

Somehow can't see that being the case for whats left of the recording industry.

Peace
Illumination
Aint this the truth!

thumbsup
Old 26th November 2009
  #252
Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
First off:

I work with 2 small companies that make and sell custom studio equipment.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way.

I'm going to say this article flies in the face of everything you're ever going to experience as a functional tracking engineer.

Ethan's opinion is his and he is entitled to it.

But if fidelity is your goal, then we should NOT be chasing down Fairchild 660/670 reproductions, LA2As, Altec preamps, Ampex 351 preamps, reel to reel tape recorders....

Tape was indeed a bit of a limiting factor for the old school engineers but look at what they made despite their limitations.
And what they discovered and developed because of those limitations is what we all draw from when we learn recording techniques.

I choose euphonics over fidelity anyday of the week kids.

You can put an 1176 in front of me and note how inaccurate it sounds and how "colored" the transformers are. You're going to get this look from me.

Again I've never recorded a top 40 record or book hours at the Hit Factory but I get why guys chase the vintage gear or the new gear thats designed around old standards. Its not some psychosis or snake oil. We get that certain tones can only be reproduced by certain pathways and techniques. Those tones continue to be desirable, not because its retro but because rather than track guitars, drums, vocals etc..with measurement mics, we'd rather use a mic that uses a tube that was used in bomb tracking equipment, a transformer based off a power transformer and a gold sputtered diaphragm that is only accurate up to 14khz.

If you remove all of the things that make those tones possible then what do we do? (I mean apply that same mentality to guitar strings. Imagine the outcry if one brand with one guage type, one material, was all you could use for guitars, knowing that there was once 100s of choices and flavors?)

As far as the fidelity of the old recordings goes, well following this article, how could anybody stomach Nat King Cole's signal path? (Ribbon mics on vocals? Sacrilege!) Frank Sinatra (U47?? On vocals to tape??) The Beatles (U47 on a whole drum kit? Into a Fairchild? Cranked??) It just doesn't make sense.

Yeah they used what they had, but playing what if is kind of silly and childish. I love old school dub just as much as the old rock stuff. Radio shack mics, lots of tape echo, POORLY treated rooms, poor fidelity tape....Yet it sounds AWESOME!!

Sorry...this article just doesn't make sense to me.

Who buys strictly off specs when they go gear shopping?

We aren't building computers lol. I'm trying to cut a great sounding record here!

Why even bother with tube anything comes to mind. Looks like the majority of Neumann's mics are ****, good bye Ela M251. No more Gates Sta Levels or 176s...Adios Red 47, La2a.

Somehow can't see that being the case for whats left of the recording industry.

Peace
Illumination
Back in the day, euphonics was never the goal. It was a result of underdeveloped recording technology. We did whatever we had to do to remove color and get a more faithful reproduction of the arteest. Sometimes we succeeded, sometimes we failed, but the goals never changed until the late 1980's. Specs were VERY important back then. They were a benchmark, they told the limits of performance and it was objective. Many studio designers couldn't evaluate a large format console ahead of time so many were purchased on the basis of their SPECS. Then that same gear you all worship now was ripped apart in the maintanence shop to make it into what the facility wanted it to be, stock was not that common then. They had little resemblance to the coveted pieces you folks collect today and associate with those past recordings.

Frank Zappa bought the very first Sony 3324 DASH digital multitrack, sound un heard. I thought it sounded like crap, but Frank was more about the losing the analog tape problems he had back then. In that way, it fullfilled a purpose.

At about the same time talent dropped, color gear became fashionable. In that regard I understand the desire to mold a mediocre arteest into a digestable lifeform, but back when we were recording Stevie Wonder and Frank Zappa, that never was ever though of.

Wonder is just too good for ANY of your gear, plain and simple. How much loss and change are you willing to accept for a talent like that? Gear gets in the way of such talent. If you have ever heard him sing unamplified as I have many times, you would understand that fact.

Sure, your old 1176 and U-47 may make a Brittney or ? sound better, but what does that really say?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 26th November 2009
  #253
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post

<snip>
I understand the desire to mold a mediocre arteest into a digestable lifeform
<snip>


That phrase ALONE is worth reading this thread!

Old 26th November 2009
  #254
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Ok Jim draw your lightsaber.

Are saying you WOULDN'T track Stevie Wonder with a U47 and an 1176??

I would.

I actually prefer the older Stevie Wonder stuff to the newer to be honest and Stevie Wonder, seriously is my FAVORITE singer. Period.

I'd track him with a U47, tin cans with string. Wouldn't matter its Stevie Wonder.

But Superstition versus????

Signed Sealed Delivered vs?????

Come on man.

Stevie sounds better on tape. Sorry to go subjective but damn. Thats one rookies opinion. I know you have decades of experience over me. But I just can't agree with you about Stevie Wonder's recordings as a listener or an engineer.

Jim as well, these modifications that you speak of. Since fidelity was their goal, why didn't they just switch to solid state everything with 80% nickel transformers and be done with it?? Why keep those inferior consoles around with their transformer coupled inputs and their resistor based summing networks and worse yet transformer coupled summing amps?? Seems like alot of these "mods," back in the day didn't incorporate National opamps. I could have sworn Stevie's old material was mixed on the "vintage" sounding API stuff. Or am I just imagining all that?

Its great how decades later we can say that their goal was fidelity this and that and yet their recordings are anything but high fidelity and accurate. To the contrary. What I wonder about is why we have some of these old school guys tearing down the technology that hindered them all the way to classic material? Whats up with that? Sure its cool to laugh about problems or quirks this but to say that the old school technology is unfit for modern recordings and we should abandon it?? Is there another reason why these things are suddenly being said??

Is it any wonder why we rip these new digital "high fidelity" remasters to shreds? Mastered without any of that nasty 15ips or 30 ips tape, those inferior transformers or paper in oil caps in the signal path. Right, if anything sucking all the soul out of gear puts more and more pressure on the new talent (engineers and artists alike) to deliver.

Thats why I'm glad you see Mercenary Audio and many others giving people another perspective entirely on what good equipment is. Otherwise, we'd all be tracking with Grace pres, recording with flaccid microphones and mixing with "high fidelity," in mind.

Thanks but no thanks, I'll just keep making "low fidelity," recordings. I'll also make sure to tell people who buy my records, especially the ones who buy the vinyl version that they are ruining the future of the recording industry. LOL


Peace
Illumination
Old 26th November 2009
  #255
Lives for gear
 
The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Back in the day, euphonics was never the goal.
Isn't "euphonics" always the goal?

(meaning: "Pertaining to, or exhibiting, euphony; agreeable in sound; pleasing to the ear")

You worked with Stevie Wonder? Respect!

btw - I always had to listen past the crappy thin sound of most Frank Zappa live recordings from the late 80's - "You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore" series or "Broadway the Hard way". Great music, but painfully "detailed" or should I say "exposed" or "too open" and also quite agressive sound with sometimes strange balance. Maybe that digital Sony had something to do with it.
Old 26th November 2009
  #256
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
Ok Jim draw your lightsaber.

Are saying you WOULDN'T track Stevie Wonder with a U47 and an 1176??

<snip>
No.

I always thought the best vox from Mr. Wonder was tracked with the RE-20.

(1176, well, YEAH!)

Old 26th November 2009
  #257
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
No.

I always thought the best vox from Mr. Wonder was tracked with the RE-20.

(1176, well, YEAH!)

No doubt. The Re20 smokes on Stevie. I'm simply putting it into perspective that he would sound awesome on a U47 and has before.

Superstition is def an RE 20 however I wouldn't call that a high fidelity microphone by any means either lol.

Peace
Illumination
Old 26th November 2009
  #258
Lives for gear
 
12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
No doubt. The Re20 smokes on Stevie. I'm simply putting it into perspective that he would sound awesome on a U47 and has before.

Superstition is def an RE 20 however I wouldn't call that a high fidelity microphone by any means either lol.

Peace
Illumination
Fidelity to WHAT?

...To what actually happened in front of the mic, or fidelity to what Stevie wanted you to hear?
Old 26th November 2009
  #259
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Fidelity to WHAT?

...To what actually happened in front of the mic, or fidelity to what Stevie wanted you to hear?
Thats what I'm saying man. I agree with you, a person has a sound in mind and should accomplish that sound for certain. However to say that one size fits all and everything else is a failure by comparison is hogwash.

We have a camp that complains about fidelity this and that and yet there is such a thing as tone.

What gives??

Peace
Illumination
Old 26th November 2009
  #260
If you wern't there, you wouldn't understand. That's what I'm getting here. Your current audio production fashion techniques and gear lust are blinding you to the end goals.

It's not about the gear! It's about that guy BEHIND the mic. Seems many have forgotten that.

If I told you some of your favorite SW tracks were cut with a AKG 414, would that lessen your opinion of Mr. Morris?

Do I love the songs on those classic albums? Yes. Do I love the sonics? No. I heard live what you all have been only hearing pieces of on those recordings. You only got about 50% of the man's sound. The rest was filtered out by that worshipped audio gear that you expect to substitute for real talent.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 26th November 2009
  #261
Lives for gear
 
Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 

Ah come on, it's all illusion you are trying to recreate, an atmosphere for a person not witnessing the live event, Live music is Live music, go see a show, a record is a record like a movie is a movie and to tell a story every sort of 'fidelity' is used, from exaggerated to get the feeling across to totally untrue fidelity or masking of certain parts.
You shoot with high shutter or 8mm or black & white for effect in atmosphere.
example when I'm in a room with a drummer it will never sound close miked to me so that's already a total distortion of the reality.
True Talent always shines, if it's a distorted 4-track cassette recording or state-of the art in any era recording.
Old 26th November 2009
  #262
Harmless Wacko
 

Holy Cow!

I always thought "better" was... err... better.

So lemme see if I'm getting this correct here...? Nobody here ever thought the impact and enjoyment of the playback pass kicked the snot outta the input pass?

Man, I wouldn't bother DOING this cock-a-mammy audio bs if I didn't persistently get under that impression, starting about 3 and some change decades ago.

Holy Cow Pt. II

The technology is waaayyyy too primitive at this juncture to bother waxing the poetic surfboard on how we're getting "reality" too come into, much less out of, our pitiable little suckers and blowers.

You guys running after that phantom "capture reality" tom-foolery as a be-all-end-all objective in audio transduction, are working on what is currently, decidedly, the worst wall in the cave.

Hey!

You can always tell which ones are my cave wall paintings.






My guys have the biggest antelopes and spears, and they always get all the best looking cave-women.

Is that so wrong?





HOHOHO.




SM.
Old 26th November 2009
  #263
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrizly View Post
Where does Ethan say buy *my* products? Sure there is a tiny blurb below the article credit about him and his company... but really who cares? That is there to give credibility to the article. He has offered up enough FREE knowledge on the subject over the years that I would think anyone with half a clue could figure out the guy is genuinely passionate about acoustics and wants to help people regardless of whether or not they buy his products. I just don't get all you haters... I'm glad someone called bull**** on all the snake-oil gear companies in a mag that makes WAY more money from gear advertisers than someone like Ethan.
I think some of the biggest snake oil on this forum is the notion that if you get a few bass traps and throw them in your basement all of a sudden you will have a good room. That kind of 'misunderstanding' helps move acoustics product, but it's not remotely the whole truth. You have a slightly deader, slightly flatter room. Getting a truly good room takes a lot, lot, lot more money than most gear.

Yes acoustics are important. But not so much the bass trap kind. The kind you can't really escape regardless of how much crap you put on your walls is where great rooms actually shine.

As for the notion of DIY, you can DIY most gear as well if you like.

DIY - Index
Old 27th November 2009
  #264
Gear Maniac
 
ChrisCummins's Avatar
 

Being 18 years old, I've never had the chance to work on a multitrack tape recorder or a large format desk, so I nave no respect for the 'traditional' techniques of mixing*. Ethan's articles have been an inspiration for me as I have long thought similarly to him, but don't have the weight of experience to justify my claims.

This message is just another thank you to Ethan for an enlightening read, keep up the good work, I am a huge fan.

Regards

* This could be a confusing statement. It's not that I don't have respect for the scores of talented people who made great records using these techniques, it's just that I don't believe that using these techniques will make my records sound great. It's better to learn from histories mistakes, not discoveries.
Old 27th November 2009
  #265
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCummins View Post
It's better to learn from histories mistakes, not discoveries.
Why not both?

Ignore either and you're putting your head half way in the sand.
Old 27th November 2009
  #266
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
If you wern't there, you wouldn't understand. That's what I'm getting here. Your current audio production fashion techniques and gear lust are blinding you to the end goals.

It's not about the gear! It's about that guy BEHIND the mic. Seems many have forgotten that.

If I told you some of your favorite SW tracks were cut with a AKG 414, would that lessen your opinion of Mr. Morris?

Do I love the songs on those classic albums? Yes. Do I love the sonics? No. I heard live what you all have been only hearing pieces of on those recordings. You only got about 50% of the man's sound. The rest was filtered out by that worshipped audio gear that you expect to substitute for real talent.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Jim does being there have as much to do with what came of it? I'm approaching it from the listener's perspective. I'm driving on the road people in your position paved. I'm saying I like what came of the early material and you're saying you don't like the fidelity of it.

I could have sworn that engineering is a service based career. If the record labels and the fans dig the way the album sounds, for example old school Motown, bass that nobody could compete with (Here There and Back Again, Geoff Emerick), then why would you change anything?

Chicken grease on bass strings gets laughed at by modern bassists every now and then, but James Jamerson cut hit records and those guys troll conversations.

As far as Steveland Morris aka Stevie Wonder is concerned, I have no opinion of him based around mics and signal chains. Whatever the heck he tracked Sir Duke with sounds killer. If it was an AKG 414 through whatever to whatever then that sounded awesome. As far as a mic with a brass CK12 capsule being tracked to tape through whatever signal chain, I find that you still are trying to drive home your point about why gear needs to be modified versus how to make a hit record.

Gear back then was inferior. Fine Jim, I can live with that. I'd love to hear what somebody could accomplish with a PT rig and lots of this high fidelity gear and try to recreate Superstition. I just think you and I disagree.

I think perhaps the problem here is that as an engineer we sometimes are always looking for the next best thing. Or next "better," thing and we can quickly lose sight of the fact that we are in the way of not only crafting art, but that we are also going to make or not make money based on the art we craft. Our art happens to be audible art, so the way it sounds to the listener is ultimately more important than what we think it sounds like from the control room, regardless if we've been there with Stevie Wonder or just been there at home listening to Stevie Wonder. Just saying.....

Peace
Illumination
Old 27th November 2009
  #267
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCummins View Post
Being 18 years old, I've never had the chance to work on a multitrack tape recorder or a large format desk, so I nave no respect for the 'traditional' techniques of mixing*. Ethan's articles have been an inspiration for me as I have long thought similarly to him, but don't have the weight of experience to justify my claims.

This message is just another thank you to Ethan for an enlightening read, keep up the good work, I am a huge fan.

Regards

* This could be a confusing statement. It's not that I don't have respect for the scores of talented people who made great records using these techniques, it's just that I don't believe that using these techniques will make my records sound great. It's better to learn from histories mistakes, not discoveries.
Would you care to expand on what experience you're referring to? Recordings? Albums?? Simply put, you can do the same thing with me that I did with Ethan, according to allmusic.com we both have never cut records.

Yet you are talking about his experience.

So please educate me.

As far as knowing people who have experience in the industry, one of my good friends was an engineer for Dinosaur Jr and was also a staff engineer at Electric Ladyland for a good while and has worked with people ranging from Mary J Blige to ?uestlove. I trust his opinion over Ethan's. He nearly fell out of his chair laughing reading that article.

It was almost as funny as the time Tony Belmont busted ADK's chops about hiring an Australian Rocket Scientist to perfect their new mic capsules.


Peace
Illumination
Old 27th November 2009
  #268
Lives for gear
 
Batchainpuller78's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
It was almost as funny as the time Tony Belmont busted ADK's chops about hiring an Australian Rocket Scientist to perfect their new mic capsules.
What and no crack at the Belgian electronics designer??? heh
Old 27th November 2009
  #269
Lives for gear
 
Nolet's Avatar
 

I hope the folks at Universal Audio take Ethan's implied advice and bring out a plug that replicates that specific Soundblaster AWE32 sound of lore.
Old 27th November 2009
  #270
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batchainpuller78 View Post
What and no crack at the Belgian electronics designer??? heh
Hey you can't be funny all the time lol.

I find that I may have to bow out of this thread so I don't present the idea that the companies I represent are staffed by flame monsters.

I jus loves me some vintage Stevie Wonder.

And to compare a modern AKG to the old school ones is pretty ridiculous.

There's no comparison. Gotta tell it straight ya know. We ain't talking that thing you can buy at guitar center. We're talking old school brass capsule, lots of vintage tone there.

Look at the price difference, we're not see psychosis.

Peace
Illumination
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