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ITT: Audio Myths (post it, if its made you step back and say wtf) LETS SAVE THE KIDS! Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
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Suda Badri's Avatar
 

ITT: Audio Myths (post it, if its made you step back and say wtf) LETS SAVE THE KIDS!

Ill start, im sure this one is well talked about, got this track to master from a dub step guy (yes that stuff that sounds like dial up modem) and he kept going on about how he didnt wanna lose quality of sound by using the digital fader... im trying to explain there is varying amplitude in signals all the time how is any more variation going to result in quality loss... anyway WTF!

Thanks for reading and post some myths that I should be afraid of...

Suda
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
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hasbeen's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suda Badri View Post
Thanks for reading and post some myths that I should be afraid of...

Suda
Using the same preamp for every track will have undesirable results due to a mysterious "layering effect."
Old 4th September 2011
  #3
007
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"I don't bother recording at 24bits since it's going to be reduced to a 16bit file and mp3 in the end anyways"

I've heard that one time and again, it never fails to amaze me.
Old 4th September 2011
  #4
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Now if we just put the L2 on the master fader, everything will sound HUGE
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
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We can eliminate so many associated myths if we just eliminate these 4 core myths:

1. the myth that any human being can hear the difference between files that null.

2. the myth that you don't need to put on a blindfold when comparing two things that are supposedly 'subtly different'.

3. the myth that anybody, even a Big Name, is immune from the Placebo effect and Expectation Bias.

4. the myth that being subject to the Placebo effect is "hearing things" or that you are "crazy".
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
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Another myth.... hardware will make it sound better... aka.... people who spent **** loads on old tech and rightflully so are pissed off that something a tenth of the price does the same thing. Same guys thought the daw was a fad........ bitter

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Old 4th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Concept View Post
Another myth.... hardware will make it sound better... aka.... people who spent **** loads on old tech and rightflully so are pissed off that something a tenth of the price does the same thing. Same guys thought the daw was a fad........ bitter

Sent from my HTC Desire using Gearslutz.com App
That's not quite a myth though is it? IT's a myth that you can't make "world class product" ITB. But it's not a myth that a real Massive Passive is better than the plugin.
Old 4th September 2011
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
We can eliminate so many associated myths if we just eliminate these 4 core myths:

1. the myth that any human being can hear the difference between files that null.

2. the myth that you don't need to put on a blindfold when comparing two things that are supposedly 'subtly different'.

3. the myth that anybody, even a Big Name, is immune from the Placebo effect and Expectation Bias.

4. the myth that being subject to the Placebo effect is "hearing things" or that you are "crazy".
I think that about sums it up.
Old 4th September 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
That's not quite a myth though is it? IT's a myth that you can't make "world class product" ITB. But it's not a myth that a real Massive Passive is better than the plugin.
It's true that hardware is somewhat always necessary in the sense that music starts with hardware: guitars, percussion, then transducers etc. (unless your music is completely electronically composed ITB). However, it is definitely the most toxic myth on GS; the myth that you can't mix a great record ITB (or the myth that the more expensive hardware you have the better your mixes will be). It denotes a certain level of class snobbery related to how deep your pockets are, and makes artists beleive that they will never produce anything good enough until they have access to 100k worth of electronic equipment. Which is obviously nonsense.
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by child of Gaia View Post
It's true that hardware is somewhat always necessary in the sense that music starts with hardware: guitars, percussion, then transducers etc. (unless your music is completely electronically composed ITB). However, it is definitely the most toxic myth on GS; the myth that you can't mix a great record ITB (or the myth that the more expensive hardware you have the better your mixes will be). It denotes a certain level of class snobbery related to how deep your pockets are, and makes artists beleive that they will never produce anything good enough until they have access to 100k worth of electronic equipment. Which is obviously nonsense.
sure - but that is distinct to saying certain pieces of hardware are top class and the best in the world. It's always precluded with "in the right hands". World class mixes are, of course, possible ITB. My stuff may not be the best in the world but I've mixed some of the biggest products in the world ITB!! BUT - my best sounding stuff (some of the jazz records I've done) are console and outboard based!

It's weird though - better gear CAN enable a better record. And pound for pound - the great recordings in the world have been done on the high end gear. It just depends what you're after. I've oodles of high end outboard - but most of my work is ITB....

The myth is : better gear will make a better record. The truth is - better gear enables higher goals... but you'd better be good too!! Like excellent running shoes enable the best to run better ... or better engines enable the best race car drivers to reach their potential.

Because I'll tell you what is NOT true - ITB can match tastefully and expertly used hardware. Note that this is not the same as "you can't make a great record ITB" - because you can!!
Old 5th September 2011
  #11
I got one that leaves me thinking WTF? on a daily basis.

The myth that gear, computers and plugins can "fix anything" and make it sound good in the process. That is the "studio magic".

I have been getting a lot more bands lately, that are giving me so-so, to bad performances, and wondering why it doesn't sound like their favorite records.

It seems like more and more, people are ready to point at the studio, engineer, or producer for the things they don't like about their sound.
Yet they don't work on themselves at all anymore.

I'll admit, it could be me. Maybe I am getting worse.

Maybe I'm going deaf.

I find that more people are coming in asking for autotune, etc as well.

Several times I have even had people come in saying stuff like:

"We only rehearsed this song once...yesterday, for the first time. The singer is finishing his lyrics now, and we aren't real tight on it. You can make it sound good though with protools and stuff though right man?"

"I mean, my buddy has this plugin....."

Things like this only happened once in a while a decade ago. Now it is all the time. Sometimes it is spontaneous, and works, most times it just plain sucks.

I feel like point blank stopping them, and telling them to go home and rehearse their parts. One time, I actually did cut a session, implying nicely that they needed to work out the rough spots before throwing any more money at the project.

Luckily, they were cool with it.

When they make statements like the above, I feel like just saying "No man...you still actually have to sound good to make a good record. No amount of trickery is going to help you."

One time I did make a analogy.

I said something along the lines as rehearsing is similar to working out etc.

If you come to a photo shoot weighing 450 lbs, and expect to look like a skinny gorgeous super model, sure we can photoshop it. It will still look like a photoshopped version of a 300lb model in the end though.

You may be able to hide the weight, but it won't look natural anymore.
Should have worked out / rehearsed.

john

Last edited by NEWTON IN ORBIT; 5th September 2011 at 12:51 AM.. Reason: typo ---sorry for rant
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
sure - but that is distinct to saying certain pieces of hardware are top class and the best in the world. It's always precluded with "in the right hands". World class mixes are, of course, possible ITB. My stuff may not be the best in the world but I've mixed some of the biggest products in the world ITB!! BUT - my best sounding stuff (some of the jazz records I've done) are console and outboard based!

It's weird though - better gear CAN enable a better record. And pound for pound - the great recordings in the world have been done on the high end gear. It just depends what you're after. I've oodles of high end outboard - but most of my work is ITB....

The myth is : better gear will make a better record. The truth is - better gear enables higher goals... but you'd better be good too!! Like excellent running shoes enable the best to run better ... or better engines enable the best race car drivers to reach their potential.

Because I'll tell you what is NOT true - ITB can match tastefully and expertly used hardware. Note that this is not the same as "you can't make a great record ITB" - because you can!!
I completely agree. It's always a positive thing to have ambition to better yourself in what you do, and being aware of the tools you can use to achieve them is improtant. As you said, better gear enables higher goals, and I'm sure any worthy passionate musician or engineer is always looking for new ways to better their skills and improve their ability to translate their potential to create and play at ever higher levels of refinement.

But also, we must not just live in the future pining over that piece of gear we want but can't have. It's too easy to blame our shortcomings on the fact that we don't have such-and-such piece of equipment, which in all honesty - like Newton In Orbit just pointed out - is not a magic panacea to turn adequate soundwaves in to audio gold. I like to be appreciative of the tools I use, and get the best results I can with them, whilst remaining ambitious about constantly improving my setup so that I can improve upon things in areas which I know I can put to great use for the benefit of everyone's ears!
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
Hey, sorry, I just want to be clear here too.

I'm all for the spontaneaity thing in the studio.

Writing in the studio is great. In the old days, this happened a lot. You got into a "zone", and great performances and new parts can come from that. Still, even if it was a new idea, the musicians WORKED their asses off, to get the "magic" themselves...you know 10-15 takes at 2:30 in the morning...to get something mindblowing.

It is a mental thing, and discipline, not a computer and gear "makes it happen" thing.

Sadly, with budgets what they are now, those days are gone, so it is even more important for the musicians to have their stuff ironed out.

This is because with little to no $, the days of lavishly throwing on new creative parts and taking all night to do so, are few and far between.

Just saying.
Again, sorry if all this belongs in the moan zone. Just thought it kind of applies here as well.

Thanks,
john
Old 5th September 2011
  #14
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that ALLEGED INTERSAMPLE PEAK PROBLEM
that is just nyquist theorem in action.

most digital samples will be below peak analog values.
so when you reconvert of course the analog will still be higher in spots, if you overlay the sample values on the analog signal.


the TRUE PROBLEM comes from non nyquist compliant digital signals that are sent to teh d/a. with all the non linear processing and f/x there are harmonics that will fold back /alias into the audio band since the digital is no longer bandwidth limited.

with a valid digital signal a CORRECTLY DESIGNED D/A will never cause a probem.

the D/A designer can make that reconstructed signal as BIG or as small as he wants. You can then make it even BIGGER or smaller by turning the gain knob to the right.
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
The biggest single truth I've discovered (on my own I mean, plenty of people told me this before I finally came to the same conclusion through trial and error) is that it makes all the difference if you put in the time so that it sounds pretty much right after you turn off the record button. No amount of plugins and editing has made my stuff better, but learning to track, to set up my instruments, to hear when parts are getting in each other's way, to get better at creating parts that complement each other, to become a better player, etc... all that stuff has made a huge difference. And most of that doesn't cost you a dime, other than your time.

Doesn't mean that good gear isn't nice, and that it's not possible with sufficient editing to make the most incompetent person(s) sound pretty competent. But if you work on make it sound right to begin wtih, then you don't need much of the (mojo-sucking) latter and the benefits of the former aren't fighting their way up from negative territory, they are just making a positive number more positive.
Old 5th September 2011
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
The biggest single truth I've discovered (on my own I mean, plenty of people told me this before I finally came to the same conclusion through trial and error) is that it makes all the difference if you put in the time so that it sounds pretty much right after you turn off the record button. No amount of plugins and editing has made my stuff better, but learning to track, to set up my instruments, to hear when parts are getting in each other's way, to get better at creating parts that complement each other, to become a better player, etc... all that stuff has made a huge difference. And most of that doesn't cost you a dime, other than your time.

Doesn't mean that good gear isn't nice, and that it's not possible with sufficient editing to make the most incompetent person(s) sound pretty competent. But if you work on make it sound right to begin wtih, then you don't need much of the (mojo-sucking) latter and the benefits of the former aren't fighting their way up from negative territory, they are just making a positive number more positive.
Agree 100%! I find I don't need a lot of editing/fixing if I put in the work before I hit the red button.

That's not to say that decent gear hasn't made a difference--it has.
Old 5th September 2011
  #17
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green magic markers make your cds sound better
and many more from stereophile mag

cables make a difference
oops another stereophile myth

if it costs more then it must be better
psychoacoustic effect that rich people suffer

different is better (NO! different is different not better)
psychoacoustic effect that average people suffer from
Old 5th September 2011
  #18
I think that one of the more common unconscious effects, which is at least partly to blame for many misconceptions, is that everyone *listens* much more consciously after they buy something new. So of course they hear more detail, more nuance, etc..., because it's new and they are projecting their hearing into the sound to hear what this new toy can do, something that they've stopped doing (to that eager extent) with the toys they already have, and have become complacent about and use on a daily basis.

It's the 'smoke a joint and put on an album' effect, except that in this case the joint costs $2500 to $5000. In either case some external influence has caused you to subconsciously heighten your awareness of sound, so you do hear more.

Maybe this partly lies at the foundation of so much of the "it's great this year, it sucks next year" syndrome that you see around here.
Old 5th September 2011
  #19
Gear Nut
 

This is a great thread. Lets just please not turn this into another otb/itb bickering contest. Some really good points so far. Here's some others.
You need a perfectly dead tracking room to make good recordings.
Bigger rooms are always better than smaller.
Using foam and carpet on the walls is acoustical treatment.
Old 5th September 2011
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
This is a great thread. Lets just please not turn this into another otb/itb bickering contest. Some really good points so far. Here's some others.
You need a perfectly dead tracking room to make good recordings.
Bigger rooms are always better than smaller.
Using foam and carpet on the walls is acoustical treatment.
I always liked the last one!! There is a great video of a really impressive spanish flamenco guitarist, on youtube, playing some fab music - but with loads of egg boxes on the wall!
Old 5th September 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alcoyot View Post
You need a perfectly dead tracking room to make good recordings.
+1 - I ****ing hate recording in really dead rooms! ... obviously it's good sometimes, but ... ick

///

Here's another myth - all plain digital peqs are the same ... I think that one is dying out on its own though.
Old 5th September 2011
  #22
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Here's one I'd like someone with more knowledge than I to clarify:


MYTH:
Inverted phase and inverted polarity are the same thing.


How can a thing based on time (phase), and another based on electrical impulse (polarity), be the same? Sure they may create the same type of effect by inverting the shape of a waveform, but they aren't the same thing. This is like saying electricity is the same as magnetism--sure, they become the same force at high energy levels, but they are still different.
Old 5th September 2011
  #23
We use a Soundcraft 32Ch which has a +48V phantom button for every 8 channels. (Live use)
A friend mentioned to me once that he uses one condenser on Ch1 then the other on Ch9 (which means 2 sets of 8 channels were phantom enabled) because there will be more power going to the mics...resulting in better quality sound. When I asked why, he said that the phantom power on Ch2 thru to Ch8 will not be able to churn out the full +48V power/current required.
Old 5th September 2011
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by thxsound1138 View Post
We use a Soundcraft 32Ch which has a +48V phantom button for every 8 channels. (Live use)
A friend mentioned to me once that he uses one condenser on Ch1 then the other on Ch9 (which means 2 sets of 8 channels were phantom enabled) because there will be more power going to the mics...resulting in better quality sound. When I asked why, he said that the phantom power on Ch2 thru to Ch8 will not be able to churn out the full +48V power/current required.
I'm not sure about the particular soundcraft, but it would seem that that would be partially mic dependent? Different condensers have considerably different current draw and voltage tolerances - some really need close to 48v, others can get away with as low as 11v. Some draw >4mA current, others closer to 1.
Old 5th September 2011
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by oudplayer View Post
I'm not sure about the particular soundcraft, but it would seem that that would be partially mic dependent? Different condensers have considerably different current draw and voltage tolerances - some really need close to 48v, others can get away with as low as 11v. Some draw >4mA current, others closer to 1.
The guy isn't a sound engineer at all, he's a computer tech manager or sumthin like that...but he helps around at the church where I go.
Ah well, everybody wants to be a sound engineer...but not everyone can...
Old 5th September 2011
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boschen View Post
MYTH:
Inverted phase and inverted polarity are the same thing.
You can achieve a polarity inversion via Fourier transform by shifting the phase angle of every frequency in a signal by 180degrees.

It's not a fact/myth thing imo, it's an "is it being done via (F)FT or not" thing ... i.e. ... are you inverting polarity, or are you shifting phase ... but that's rather too pedantic for some people
Old 5th September 2011
  #27
Is 'chicks dig guys with lots of tatoos' one of them? It certainly seems to be believed widely out there.
Old 5th September 2011
  #28
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About two years ago, I had one of my misconceptions overturned in a quite dramatic fashion.

---

I had just finished a stressful marathon session: I had been up for thirty-two straight hours, and I was at that hallucinatory stage where little black orbs materialize and drift through the field of vision; during the session, the client's rhythm guitar and bass tracks were hilariously poor, and I had to re-track it all by myself; the client had a teddy bear attached to a leash and seemed to be pretending it was an actual dog, and would randomly start sobbing and yelling "sniffles, why oh why, sniffles!" At this point I thought we were finished. But as I was getting ready to leave and get something to eat (in those thirty-two hours, I had nothing to eat), a goat busted through the door.

"Bahhhhh!" the goat said, "Friday Friday Friday!"

I was a bit numb from the tiredness, and naturally, I assumed I was either dreaming or hallucinating, so I didn't react much. The client picked up my Les Paul.

"Put that down mother****er," I said, "what do you think you are doing?"

"Hakakahkahkakhakhka," he said, spinning the Les Paul in the air so rapidly it morphed into a sort of semi-opaque, whirling blade, "bwuhuhwhhhhhhhhhuuuu."

The goat spat a fireball at me and I dove to the ground.

"What the **** is going on?" I asked.

The goat marched toward me. "Bahhhh, Kickin’ in the front seat, Sittin’ in the back seat." It spat another fireball. This one hit the ceiling and incinerated some of my soundproofing.

At this point the client had transformed into a slice of pizza and was now putting pepperoni on itself. I covered my mouth in panic.

"Gotta make my mind up. Which seat can I take?"

My hot intern, Jessica, opened the door. "Check out the news!"

I turned on the TV.

"Well it looks like Hades, Lord of Darkness, has complained that something has really got his goat...Har Har har that Hades...now back to Ollie with the weather."

There was an explosion, and it kicked up a lot of dust. When the dust cleared, I saw my Neve console, like a Transformer robot in disguise, had assumed the shape of a human-sized battle robot.

"Neve Ultima, attack!" It shot a beam of lightning, which immediately destroyed the goat. I ate my client.

---

And that cleared up my misconception that Neve consoles were inferior to SSLs.
Old 5th September 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
Is 'chicks dig guys with lots of tatoos' one of them? It certainly seems to be believed widely out there.
Only in California. The rest of the world laughs at MOR californians and their oodles of tattoos!!
Old 5th September 2011
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lrmusic View Post
"Neve Ultima, attack!"
---

And that cleared up my misconception that Neve consoles were inferior to SSLs.
Haha I lol'd
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