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Analog Vs. Digital...and a good day today!
Old 21st September 2011
  #1
Analog Vs. Digital...and a good day today!

Funny story I thought I'd relate to y'all. I was working on an analog project today, and one of my new-ish interns was in. He's pretty green; very cool, very smart and thoughtful, but green.

Anyway, every time I'd go to switch reels or clean the machine (the intern is so new I haven't had a chance to teach him to do that for me yet!) he'd follow me into the machine room. He'd pick up the reel I was going to be switching to, waiting for me to finish cleaning the machine, and watching him handle the tapes just had me cracking up.

Now, I'm no oldster by any means. I'm only in my late 20s, and I've only been making records for about ten years, but I've done countless records to tape and I suppose the "analog mystique" has worn off. I relate to tape as it is: a robust, sturdy, and reliable format and a means to an end. But here was this kid, barely into his 20s, handling the tape with such reverence. It was great! I mean, you could drop-kick a reel of 900, and you'd do far more damage to your foot than you would to the tape. But if you drop a hard drive, well, you're ****ed. Anyway, watching this dude hold the tape was like watching a young man hold an infant. It put a smile on my face.

And a bit later, the client started gushing about the snare sound. He was really psyched. And the intern chimes in about how great it was, and asked me what I used on it. I told him, "57, nothing special. Most of the sound comes from the player, OHs, and room". And he starts asking me about tuning (kinda low, nothing special), what drum I used (an old mid-level Ludwig), what EQ or compressor (none), that sorta thing. I told him, make it sound good in the room, get the phase right, take care with the OHs and room, and you got it. I could practically see the lightbulb go off over his head; it was awesome. Like, suddenly, he had this whole new insight on how drum sounds work.

It was an awesome day with a promising young intern, and had me cracking up, beaming with pride, and hopeful for the youngsters all at once. Good day all around
Old 21st September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 
YULOGY's Avatar
 

That's a really cool story
On a funny note, I had to help my co producer destroy about 10 reels of old 2" tape that had some of his sessions from the 70's but were in baaaad shape.
We wanted to keep the reels because.... well come on, they're awesome
Try seperating tape from reel, I daaaaaare you!!
I ruined a perfectly good pair of boots, and I reckon the tape still would've played, lol.
Old 21st September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Jeezo's Avatar


I keep saying to some of my students the crucial stage of production (that make mixing quik , fun , cool and easy) but it seems that this is the part that is more neglected nowdayz .....people start making music and they already focus on mix , mix toools and all ...

great story ...waiting for episode 2 .....fresh air in the forum
Old 21st September 2011
  #4
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camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Funny story I thought I'd relate to y'all. I was working on an analog project today, and one of my new-ish interns was in. He's pretty green; very cool, very smart and thoughtful, but green.

Anyway, every time I'd go to switch reels or clean the machine (the intern is so new I haven't had a chance to teach him to do that for me yet!) he'd follow me into the machine room. He'd pick up the reel I was going to be switching to, waiting for me to finish cleaning the machine, and watching him handle the tapes just had me cracking up.

Now, I'm no oldster by any means. I'm only in my late 20s, and I've only been making records for about ten years, but I've done countless records to tape and I suppose the "analog mystique" has worn off. I relate to tape as it is: a robust, sturdy, and reliable format and a means to an end. But here was this kid, barely into his 20s, handling the tape with such reverence. It was great! I mean, you could drop-kick a reel of 900, and you'd do far more damage to your foot than you would to the tape. But if you drop a hard drive, well, you're ****ed. Anyway, watching this dude hold the tape was like watching a young man hold an infant. It put a smile on my face.

And a bit later, the client started gushing about the snare sound. He was really psyched. And the intern chimes in about how great it was, and asked me what I used on it. I told him, "57, nothing special. Most of the sound comes from the player, OHs, and room". And he starts asking me about tuning (kinda low, nothing special), what drum I used (an old mid-level Ludwig), what EQ or compressor (none), that sorta thing. I told him, make it sound good in the room, get the phase right, take care with the OHs and room, and you got it. I could practically see the lightbulb go off over his head; it was awesome. Like, suddenly, he had this whole new insight on how drum sounds work.

It was an awesome day with a promising young intern, and had me cracking up, beaming with pride, and hopeful for the youngsters all at once. Good day all around
You will learn more in a day interning with a good engineer than spending 5 years reading **** on the internet, for sure.
Old 21st September 2011
  #5
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Jeezo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
You will learn more in a day interning with a good engineer than spending 5 years reading **** on the internet, for sure.


Old 21st September 2011
  #6
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

I have a record player (£3 from a market stall) and people under 30 almost always remark on how much better it sounds than CDs.
Old 21st September 2011
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
[...]

It was an awesome day with a promising young intern, and had me cracking up, beaming with pride, and hopeful for the youngsters all at once. Good day all around
When I was starting out, there was a lot of focus on getting good drum sounds (understandably, it's the most complex miking for most pop/rock sessions and the easiest to muff), which was aggravated by the quite unnatural 'desired' target sounds of the late 70s and early 80s.

One day we were tracking one of the better drummers around, sitting in with another band.

Everyone crowded into the CR (this was a school) remarked on how great the drums sounded.

The instructor (who was overseeing but not engineering the project, which was part of a class) smiled and said, let's step out into the live room.

He had the drummer play for 8 bars or so.

He turned to us and said, what did you notice?

Everyone kind of looked at each other. One guy finally said, sheepishly, Well, he's a great drummer.

The instructor held his finger up in the air. Anything else?

Someone else said, Well, his kit sounds great, it's in tune, his cymbals sound great.

He held up a second finger. He then looked around the live room pointedly. It was a very large room, with high ceilings, no parallel walls, and sculptured reflectors to break up flat spaces and had been designed by an actual acoustical engineer in the 50s, as had the campus theater.*

Someone said, it's a great room.

The instructor now held up three fingers.

The key to a great drum sound, he said, is a great drummer, on a great kit, in a great room. If you've got that, you've got to work overtime to F it up.


*
The campus theater can be heard in the Elvis Costello Live at Hollywood High recordings. It was actually Long Beach City College's theater where they recorded it. There were two shows, one at Hollywood High and then a lunchtime show at LBCC. They fudged the location credit because, well, who ever heard of LBCC?
Old 21st September 2011
  #8
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Jeezo's Avatar
great story ....this will explain to some student why the NI abbey road kits are praised by many (incluging your gearslutz) : great kit , greeeaaatt room .......

this is one of the few itb drum kit that i really use (to not say the only ones)
Old 21st September 2011
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by camus View Post
You will learn more in a day interning with a good engineer than spending 5 years reading **** on the internet, for sure.
But you'd miss out on hours and hours of pointless argument or the opportunity to disprove hundreds of 'facts' yourself through failure. Where would be the fun in that?
Old 21st September 2011
  #10
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erikdrink's Avatar
Funny
Old 21st September 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Anyone who reads a few of my posts will know I pretty much track and mix to tape. I thought this thread was OK for a small footnote that, as of yesterday there is, once again, no computer in my studio.

I only dallied with using a DAW briefly in 2006 before it became obvious it was not my recording appliance of choice. However, I've had my old Mac there ever since. It was used for my email and network admin, not audio. Until yesterday, the convenient location for the router was near the studio. Now that a better router location is available and in use, the computer is out and I have more space for people and instruments.

A good day here, as well!

Cheers,

Otto
Old 21st September 2011
  #12
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jupiter8's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
And a bit later, the client started gushing about the snare sound. He was really psyched. And the intern chimes in about how great it was, and asked me what I used on it. I told him, "57, nothing special. Most of the sound comes from the player, OHs, and room". And he starts asking me about tuning (kinda low, nothing special), what drum I used (an old mid-level Ludwig), what EQ or compressor (none), that sorta thing. I told him, make it sound good in the room, get the phase right, take care with the OHs and room, and you got it. I could practically see the lightbulb go off over his head; it was awesome. Like, suddenly, he had this whole new insight on how drum sounds work.
Ahh well ...great....ok...but seriously,what plugin did you use on the snare ?
Old 21st September 2011
  #13
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Jeezo's Avatar


waves one knob ..?
Old 22nd September 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeezo View Post


waves one knob ..?


heh
Old 22nd September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter8 View Post
Ahh well ...great....ok...but seriously,what plugin did you use on the snare ?
Heh...well, I plugged a 57 into a Shadow Hills pre, and sent that to a Studer 827 running a reel of Emtec 900 at 15ips. Does that count?heh
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