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Your biggest revelation/game-changer/purchase in 2010?
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
Your biggest revelation/game-changer/purchase in 2010?

2010 is nearly complete and I was thinking about how each year I feel like I get 100% better at recording/mixing. I feel like there have been similar threads in the past, but let's make this 2010 specific and pose a couple of questions:

What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?

What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?


For me, gain staging was a big one as well as just realizing that when mixing, my drums were usually too loud. Sidechain-compression was helpful as well.
As far as gear, going from a 5 year-old PC to a newish MacPro (5 times more powerful) really lets me do what I want without any hesitation/limitations (yet). The API 2500 (hardware) is a game changer for me sonically. Amazing all-around compressor and I couldn't live without it on the 2-bus ever again. PT9's ADC also helped my latest mixes sound noticeably 'tighter'.

Can't wait to see what next year brings
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
bryan k's Avatar
Quote:
What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?
Proper gain staging while working ITB.

Quote:
What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?
Slate Digital VCC. It hasnt changed the workflow, but by simply slapping one instance of the VCC channel on all tracks made it night and day difference that a great Analog pro sound can be done ITB.
Old 29th December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 
Chris White's Avatar
 

The UAD Manley Massive Passive EQ. There is simply no smoother, more gentle, more pleasant EQ, and now we can have it in a software form which sounds pretty much identical to the hardware (close enough that Hans Zimmer replaced his six hardware Manleys with 10 virtual ones), for a fraction of the price. That was a major game changer of 2010.
Old 29th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
judah's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post


What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?

Coles 4038. 2 of them.

Distressor. 2 of them.

Avedis MA5. 2 of them.

TK Audio BC1. Just one. More than enough.

PTHD. HD2. That makes it two cards.
Old 29th December 2010
  #5
AEA R44CE. Mind blowing.

.
Old 29th December 2010
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Best tip? Turning off the computer screen and using my ears.

Best purchase? My new Zed R-16, which complements the above. I now have my monitor to the side of my mix position so I'm mainly focusing on faders, knobs and the sound coming out of my speakers.

I'm new to this way of mixing, but so far I love it. Feels the way it should be.
Old 29th December 2010
  #7
Best tip is spend prep time to listen for the best spot/speaker/distance when mic'ing a cab. Listen for the optimal gain the head produces before it breaks up. Basically, it's Slipperman's manifesto on getting killer guitar tone/sounds. Probably, old hat for most here, but I never put much stock in this part of the elec guitar process. Just put a 57 in front of a cab and call it a day.

The best purchase is without a doubt the ELI9 Mike-E. I don't know why people aren't storming their local Sam Ash, Guitar Center, etc. demanding this preamp. My gawd it is incredibly versatile -- bass DI, acoustic guits, vox (fuhgeddabowtit) -- it does character, clean and even slammed ol' skool Kinks type vocals. I dunno if it took the Distressor a while to gain the acceptance it enjoys today, but I see no reason why this pre shouldn't earn a similar place within the tiny, cruelly demanding heart of every slut.
Wheels
Old 29th December 2010
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Ernest Buckley's Avatar

What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?
I returned to the way I used to record... performing a song all the way through instead of trying to record the verse, then the chorus, then the bridge. For some reason, just singing a song from top to bottom gave me better all around grooves and feel. Obviously this is the way we used to do it but I forgot. So 2010 was the year of remembering.

What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?
Its not slutty but the ATH-M50s headphones really improved my mixing. The best purchase of 2010. I also purchased a GR 500 series mic pre but it did not change the game, just added some flavor.
Old 29th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Colonel Blues's Avatar
Main trick : gain staging ITB ! I'm from "tape years", and used to track a bit too "hot"…

Best gear : Golden Age Pre-73, soooo lovely !
Old 29th December 2010
  #10
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post
2010 is nearly complete and I was thinking about how each year I feel like I get 100% better at recording/mixing. I feel like there have been similar threads in the past, but let's make this 2010 specific and pose a couple of questions:

What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?

What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?

For me, gain staging was a big one as well as just realizing that when mixing, my drums were usually too loud. Sidechain-compression was helpful as well.
As far as gear, going from a 5 year-old PC to a newish MacPro (5 times more powerful) really lets me do what I want without any hesitation/limitations (yet). The API 2500 (hardware) is a game changer for me sonically. Amazing all-around compressor and I couldn't live without it on the 2-bus ever again. PT9's ADC also helped my latest mixes sound noticeably 'tighter'.

Can't wait to see what next year brings
funny you would say that.. I got a pair of the API 527's and was really happy with them.. I stumbled onto a pair of old 525's and ..WOW they make be want some more API stuff.. viva la 2-buss
Old 29th December 2010
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Bruno B's Avatar
 

Nice thread.

Best solution:

1. Incorporating 88-key synth onto the mixing desk so I could face the monitors while recording on my fav hammer/weighted MIDI controller.

2. Ikea LED lights.

Best gear:

1. 2010 iMac 27" Quad i7. The overall power, minimalist all-in-one design with no cables, nearly silent, huge beautiful screen, can lift it and move it wherever... I'll never go back to boxy-design desktops again. Having just sold an old G5 and Apple LCD Display, it was interesting that the display held its value way better than the G5.

2. M-Audio Keystation 88es. 88 keys, $200. Paired with the iMac it's sleek, powerful, affordable, portable.

Honorable mention:

PT9 and using Reaper as a Re-Wire plug-in (for running VSTs, etc). This will be perfect for composing/mixing once I get better at re-wiring Reaper into PT...

-Bruno
Old 29th December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
 
djanthonyw's Avatar
 

VCC.
Old 29th December 2010
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post
What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?

What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?
Best trick/solution/tip? Hands down, it has to be learning how to use MIDI!!!!! (and just two days ago learning how to use the "through" port, lol!) 2011? I'm thinking about printing up the manual for my M3 and learning how to use it.

one piece of gear? This is tough... It's a toss-up between my AKG702's and my Bottlerocket stage 1 with B8 and B7 heads... honorable mention goes to the rack mount, 2 surge whatevers (no more flipping each thing on individually, and leaving something on when I'm done... which ALWAYS seems to happen), my heavy-duty mic stand with one of those foam dealies behind the mic, and my 4-hub B*******r headphone amp (don't want to get blasted for the name tutt)
Old 29th December 2010
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Gear wise it's the Crane Song HEDD and the Retro Instruments 2A3. Both are absolutely amazing pieces of gear and have a large hand in the sound I love. Cheers. - paul
Old 30th December 2010
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
emmymusic1's Avatar
 

best tip.. proper gain staging ITB.... the best purchase i made was proper acoustic treatment.. and an apogee symphony i/o of course
Old 30th December 2010
  #16
Lives for gear
 
JoaT's Avatar
Best purchase: Alesis HD24XR - Finally!
Best tip: A friend thought me how to restore the keyboards of old analog synths. Has made me a good amount of cash already...
Old 30th December 2010
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Blues View Post
Main trick : gain staging ITB ! I'm from "tape years", and used to track a bit too "hot"…

Best gear : Golden Age Pre-73, soooo lovely !
this what I want to learn and perfect!!!! gain staging ITB

I need help...!!!!!!!!!!!!!! tutt I hope this is not no no...

I hope ppl don't expect ppl just to know this.... I need a mentor on this subject guys

break it down for me... layman terms... I'm a hard worker but I need somewhere to start

mixing christian hip hop, RnB (rythmn and bible)



using Cubase 4 moving to 5 maybe in a year
plan on getting the UAD Package and adding the UAD ssl package and UAD struder plugs

and getting a distressor with British mod...

yeah I got some money saved up...

and a plan...just want to make a good go at this... learn,study,learn, study,practice,practice... perfect!!!!!!!!!


reading

the mixing engineer's handbook by bobby O.

I need to get the recording engineer handbook too..
soon I promise lol...

sorry about my rant .. I get excited
Old 30th December 2010
  #18
Gear Head
 

Most practical purchase this year were Mixcubes.
It helped with balancing, especially vocals, and hearing how
cluttered my mid-range can get.

Most enjoyable purchase was my TG2.
Cranking it on room mics, overheads, elec. gtrs, and drum loops
makes me smile.

Oh, and Kel mics, because they are well-built and handy to have.
Old 30th December 2010
  #19
Lives for gear
[B][B]
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post
What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?

Recording ITB, and keeping the recording levels low
Quote:
[What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?
The AEA R84 ribbon mic, hands down.
It is so easy to place this mic a couple feet away from the source and get an awesome natural sound.
Old 30th December 2010
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post
What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?
- proper gain staging in the box
- more mono tracking
- back to basics
Quote:
Originally Posted by solo-bration View Post
What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?
- Gibson Custom Shop Re-Issue 53 Gold Top w/ P90s and Bigsby
- Vox AC4TV 10"
- Soundtoys Plugin Bundle (Especially Echoboy, Crystalizer and Decapitator)
Old 30th December 2010
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
tobias schuch's Avatar
 

What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?

Too hard to choose just one...

- Gain staging itb
- Turning monitor off and spending more time listening & less time looking (and making a shortcut to turn my screen off)
- Mono tracks..... I do a lot of work (production & mixing for other artists) based around synths. I couldn't believe the amount of space that opened up, size that magically appeared and clarity/definition that my tracks gained by turning all stereo synths to mono. Also, mono drums + stereo percussion is teh sex.
- OTB compression and EQ. Holy ****, i would work so hard itb to get a fat and upfront vocal sound but it would always still sound too unnatural/strained/hard on the ears. Using a hp filter itb -> api 225 - api 550a - fatso cut down my mixing time on vocals from 30 minutes to about 30 seconds, absolutely amazing.


What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?

- Focal twin 6's + gik panels. I can finally hear what i'm doing! Still not as well as i'd like, but definitely a lot better than my bm5a's in a completely untreated room. Reverb tails for days... heh
Old 30th December 2010
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Giving every thing it's own space in the mix generally via eq, also taking the compression ratio down on vocals and getting less dynamic takes to begin with.

multiple de-essers
Old 30th December 2010
  #23
Lives for gear
 
filipv's Avatar
URS Strip Pro.
Old 30th December 2010
  #24
Gear Addict
 

BX_Digital by far.

Learning how to work with M/S and record M/S was an epiphany!!!
Old 30th December 2010
  #25
Gear Nut
 

1. Refining my gain-staging in digital, as well as refining my use of HPF and LPF.

2. SSL 4056 G+SE (and the new outboard) and Heil mics.
Old 30th December 2010
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Using a ribbon - in my case a Sontronics Sigma - around 2 feet in front of a well adjusted amp... i have always been afraid of guitar recording - now this has become one of my best disciplines
Old 30th December 2010
  #27
RiF
Lives for gear
 
RiF's Avatar
Best gear purchases:
- Distressor
- ADAM A7x

Best tips:
- Use hardware comps. They really changed the way I work with plugins. NOW I start to understand how compression works, because I can hear it.
Old 30th December 2010
  #28
UAD a800
UAD emt 250
Old 30th December 2010
  #29
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Recording the music rather than mixing it. Back to how I used to do it !
Old 30th December 2010
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Fergies Watch's Avatar
What was one technique/trick/tip/solution you learned this year that felt like an epiphany or game-changer to your work?

better gain staging

constant reminder of **** in **** out being the most fundamental thing in recording, and that no amount of plugins or tools will make a difference to that.


What was one piece of gear that made the most noticeable difference in your sound/workflow this year?

GAP pre -73
my ears ( do they count ? )
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