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Track Counts- the less the better in ITB Tracking and mixing?
Old 1st December 2014
  #1
Track Counts- the less the better in ITB Tracking and mixing?

I'm interested in how work flow and track counts affect the final product of an ITB mix-

I put up two songs recently- one on a CLA plugin thread, and one on a John Kurzweg thread-
The song that I put up on the CLA thread, called Sooner or Later, is all ITB mix wise- I used some good outboard gear and apogee Quartet to track though. My room is all GIK traps and diffusers- I’m fortunate to have some good instruments too.

I do hear differences when I compare OTB to ITB mixes- I think many of us do when we compare side by side- Please notice that I said side by side.

The question becomes why is that? That is what I want to unpack-
In my mind to start with, there are reasons for this that are more about workflow that contribute, and I have one theory in particular that I am leaning towards, which I will get to later.
The following are some considerations I take into account for the differences that I hear in comparing OTB and ITB- all other things equal (OTB being on a console of some sort, ITB being all ITB once recorded)


1) I think about the philosophical approach to arranging and recording that may differ right off the bat by knowing you have essentially unlimited tracks in your DAW. This as opposed to a finite number of tracks/channels with which to work, like we had back in the dizzay.
So- arrangement and selectivity of sounds,parts and elements can go out the window when tracking to a DAW because you can sort of record all of it, and then deal with it later- that means more stuff competing in your song, and ultimately your mix.

**So- I think we have to look at the possibility that unlimited tracks in a DAW may affect our recording and arranging process in such a way as to push us towards a “crowded sounding mix"**

2) Gain staging can play a role in hearing differences although, I think in general instrument and room considerations are probably more impactful by enlarge. **If you start with a good cut of meat, you are more likely to get a good final product.**

3) The temptation to pile plugins on because you can at mix- you don't do that as much with outboard gear because the number of pieces of outboard that you have available to use in a mix is finite. So in a sense, the gear limitation lends itself to letting a mix breathe a little.

**But here is a question- are we piling plugins on because we are starting with a not-so-good cut of meat? In other words, us home recordists; are we not getting the choice cuts of meat with the perfect marbling, so we feel we have to dazzle with marinades and spices- even going as far as to add souped up side-dishes?**

4) Many of us don’t have experience with many types of music in terms of mixing and arranging, so it’s easy for us to get locked in on a particular way of doing and hearing things in our studio. This ultimately leads to a sort of homogenous, one dimensional vibe, which we the listener interpret as one dimensional.

5) There is something going with analog gear that provides dimensionality and and alive-ness that is nearly impossible to replicate all ITB. Let’s unpack this a little.

When I listen to a recording I am responding to realism- the picture of that realism is a combination of perceptions-
1) Front to back depth- how far back does the singer’s presence go? Chris Martin is everywhere- both present and deep, in the song “Don’t Panic”, for example.
People talk a lot about EQ and reverb playing a role in this. In my opinion, there is something more to it- but we are assuming here that all other things are equal.

2) I’m listening to width and separation. Left to right.

3) I perceive a third plane- If you imagine the panning to be more of a cone instead of finite points, it gets interesting. Imagine a particular guitar part that you have panned at 3 O’clock to the right in your mix. Now picture that sound as a cone that is somewhat narrow inside your speaker, but then as the sound comes towards you it gets wider like a cone- now if we make this cone 3 dimensional, where as you are looking at the head of the cone coming towards you, you see a circle. (just imagine that you have a giant waffle cone emerging from your speaker and you are looking into to it from the top)

4) Height- how tall are the sounds- where does height come from- I think gain staging and mic technique are pretty huge- I think room considerations play a role in that- for example, my Gibson acoustic sounds taller to me when I lay an unfinished wooden door on the ground to track.

5) Flatness vs dimensionality- getting the idea of something from a picture versus feeling as if you are in the picture.

If we use the analogy of photography, I think it’s easier to picture (I’ll be here all week- be sure to tip your servers) this next concept.
I can take a picture with an iPhone 3G of some sort of world event- say a tanker explosion on the interstate.
The viewer will see that a tanker exploded- but of course it’s not the same as being there. Now- when a person that was not there is looking at the photo taken on the iPhone 3G, they will naturally want to “get their bearings” on what is what in terms of scale in the picture- how high were the flames? How big was the area of destruction?

How the recorder of an event allows you to get your bearings has a great deal to do with how you perceive that recording.
Arrangers and mixers are basically photo editors.

So- how good a job did this photographer do of capturing the most important thing(s) that will give the viewer some idea of the scale of the event at a glance?

Any idiot can point a camera phone at an exploded tanker- but we need scale- we need to be directed to the thing that will allow us to sense the impact of the event at a glance. That’s what great photographers do- they find the simplest visual equation that will convey what happened at the scene.
**Great photography is being in the right place and the right time, and being able to distill the variables of a moment down to the essence.**

**The tools used to convey a moment have one job- not to get in the way of the conveying process.**

**The have a second job too sometimes- to enhance the picture to make it seem more of what it is already

To me- when I think of the term “analogue” I think of having the least barrier between the viewer/listener and the object/artist.

Ask yourself this question- how is it that an Otis Redding recording from way back when, with all sorts of limitations in terms of tracks and technology, can draw us listeners in so effectively today?

Whoever was there captured the moment, and distilled it- they started with a great cut of meat and didn’t get in the way of the flavor with it- they did that because they had to, but the product is what it is.

So here is the million dollar question here- has technology drawn us away from the distilling process to the point that our recordings are suffering?
Are we blaming our tools from a mechanical stand-point when we should be blaming the tools from a functional stand-point?

Now there is another consideration-

What we know as “art” in the sense of recordings has been handed down to us and played for us on albums, CD’s Tapes, iPods and the radio- so, for example a song that sounds like a hit, sounds like it’s on the radio, right? What does it mean to sound like it’s on the radio?

Do you see where I’m going with this? Our perception of “real” art is governed by how we have had art presented to us.
Why do art galleries love to have brick walls and up and down lighting of just a certain brightness?

I took a picture of a sunset on my wife’s iPhone 4 a few years ago. One thing I’ve discovered about iPhone photography is that there is no substitute for nature’s lighting- I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. The cut of meat in this picture was perfect- an old pier, and a brilliant Florida sunset on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I sensed the magic, I framed it so I liked what I was seeing. I held the phone steady as I took the picture.

My wife loved the photo so much that she had it physically printed and framed-

Looking at the picture on my iPad the night that I took it, we could see it was pretty great- but it really gained authority to us in our artistic judgement once we had it printed and framed- even better once we hung it in our living room- it became official “art” if you like.

I’m going to upload a picture that I just took on my iPhone 5S of that framed picture in my living room.

It’s one thing to get the idea of an event- it’s another to have little or no barrier between you and the event, as presented by the artist- by giving you a picture of my picture, you get to see what I’m talking about in my description, but you are only getting a whiff of it. It’s not the presentation you expect.

Now- where the discussion gets diluted in the analog versus digital debate is that we have been listening to records presented a certain way most of our lives, and whether or not we realize it, we asses the recordings that we listen to based on this body of listening that we have grown up with.

What “sounds like a record”?

The tricky thing is that with analog gear- tube mics- tuned rooms, skilled recordists and mixers- music had the ability to become an illusion that is actually in some ways, better than the real thing- it’a like a magic trick. Each player in the scene gets a little taller- each piece gets an impressionistic "smear" that allows the listener's imagination to engage-

Perhaps the problem with digital is that it leaves nothing to the imagination- instead of an impressionistic painting- we get all the fluorescent bulbs turned on at once- it's a microscope, not a telescope.


I will save the rest for a second post in this thread- not sure why the photo got turned sideways!- at least it is on my post! damn it
Old 1st December 2014
  #2
OTB ITB part 2-

Consider this please-

How we engage with art has something to do with how that art was captured in the first place- the message and quality of the art itself is vital-

But how art is presented to us will affect our ability to make it our own.
**Art is art because it engages our imagination in such a way as to create our own little private, temporary story book- or movie scene.**

**The question becomes- for different types of art, are there good, better and best ways to present that art so as to maximize the possibility of engaging the audience’s imagination?**

In the presentation of a moment, something has to alert the psyche that what’s being presented is worth engaging with-

Imagine Saving Private Ryan captured on an iPhone 4 exclusively-
would it have the same impact?

Imagine seeing an art classic in someones workshop in at 1:00 in the afternoon, versus seeing it in a museum with lighting-

Ultimately, our imaginations are begging to be given permission to release and engage with the art that we are presented- and we have developed universal ways to present that art as being “official” and worthy of engagement-
There is a presentation component- like the old book report from school- a certain “dressing up for Sunday morning” component, but there is an imagination engagement component too.

1) Why doesn’t a big band just turn on all of the house lights and play their show? Why all the trouble with lighting, smoke and video? Why bother with an encore?

2) Why do film studios bother with Panavision- and sound and lighting? Why not watch Saving Private Ryan on iPhone? Why bother with the big screen, and the thundering sounds coming from the theater walls?

3) Why do art galleries present art one painting at a time, with special lighting?

The presentation and the canvas have a lot to do with the impact that the art can have in our imaginations-

This is very important to me in understanding why I hear certain things and respond to them the way that I do-

One thing I believe about recordings presented to us in DAW format is that by enlarge the artist is asking me to engage with ten different paintings at one time-

Here is what I have arrived at in my own ITB journey-

IT seems that the less tracks I use, the more realistic my ITB recordings sound-

"Rhode Island is neither a road nor is it an island. Discuss."
Old 1st December 2014
  #3
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I work with 8 track tape. With bouncing I can probably get 12 tracks worth. By necessity you have to lay things down in terms of priority. Basic instruments followed by vocals, backing vocals, maybe an acoustic or keys and percussion if there's any room left.
When I've worked with a DAW it was a case of - record the basic track, add as many things as we could think of, then decide what to keep in the mix.
Having the extra tracks can add sonic interest, but the more you add the more you have to lower the levels of the 'essential' stuff which can remove some of the impact. It also makes you less reliant on your instincts as you don't have to make immediate decisions on what is and isn't necessary.
Of course you don't have to approach it that way with a DAW, but it's tempting, whereas with analogue you have no choice.
So I'm basically agreeing with your first point.
Old 1st December 2014
  #4
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In regard to your second post. One trend I'm noticing at the moment is the idea that the best recording is where every instrument is crystal clear and you can hear every word of every line. To me that is comparable to a photo where everything is brightly lit and in perfect focus. That can work, but it's usually more interesting if some things are out of focus or in the shadows.
Again older recordings tended to do this naturally because of the order in which tracks were recorded/bounced, providing a natural sense of foreground/background (it's also why the later overdubs such as tambourines are often the clearest thing in the mix.)
Old 1st December 2014
  #5
Where is the itb soul? That should be the question.
Old 1st December 2014
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
In regard to your second post. One trend I'm noticing at the moment is the idea that the best recording is where every instrument is crystal clear and you can hear every word of every line. To me that is comparable to a photo where everything is brightly lit and in perfect focus. That can work, but it's usually more interesting if some things are out of focus or in the shadows.
Again older recordings tended to do this naturally because of the order in which tracks were recorded/bounced, providing a natural sense of foreground/background (it's also why the later overdubs such as tambourines are often the clearest thing in the mix.)
Both your posts are rocking! the art was pushed by the limitations- like a happy accident-
Geoff Emerick's book on recording the Beatles is rife with this stuff-

It's work flow and options- decision making- prioritizing!
We tend to romantize the gear as opposed to what the gear forced the artist and engineer to do
Love it
Old 1st December 2014
  #7
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Another significant difference between new and old methods is that in the past the band would all be playing together at the same time. While they were working up the track the engineers would be tweaking sounds, moving mics etc. and by the time everyone was ready to go for a take, they'd already have a well balanced overall sound. Come mix time it was mostly a matter of enhancing it.
Now most people lay down one instrument at a time, so not only is the performance less vibey, but you have to double guess everything and most will play safe, putting multiple mics on everything, a DI just in case you need to re-amp etc. Mixing then becomes massively more complex as you've got an almost infinite range of options.
Old 1st December 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Another significant difference between new and old methods is that in the past the band would all be playing together at the same time. While they were working up the track the engineers would be tweaking sounds, moving mics etc. and by the time everyone was ready to go for a take, they'd already have a well balanced overall sound. Come mix time it was mostly a matter of enhancing it.
Now most people lay down one instrument at a time, so not only is the performance less vibey, but you have to double guess everything and most will play safe, putting multiple mics on everything, a DI just in case you need to re-amp etc. Mixing then becomes massively more complex as you've got an almost infinite range of options.
See- this is exactly what I hoped for in my original thread! Excellent

Not to mention quantizing- looking at a grid-

I know a couple of guys that have become hyper-tuned to things being slightly off the grid- it drives me nuts
Old 1st December 2014
  #9
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blah blah blah yes yes old music is good, new music is bad. great thread, full of riveting original discussion. it's always nice, too, when people compare their own rushed unmastered itb bedroom recordings and mixes to records made over the course of months of full time dedicated work by teams of professionals in multi-million dollar studios, really shows an understanding of all the issues involved and it's just such a pertinent comparison to make that it makes a lot of sense to discuss it forever ad nauseum in every thread.
Old 1st December 2014
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babydaddymusic View Post
Both your posts are rocking! the art was pushed by the limitations- like a happy accident-
Geoff Emerick's book on recording the Beatles is rife with this stuff-

It's work flow and options- decision making- prioritizing!
We tend to romantize the gear as opposed to what the gear forced the artist and engineer to do
Love it
One thing that fascinates me about the Beatles is that they'd constantly commit to undo-able decisions even when they had no idea what they'd be adding on later.
eg on Come Together the echo on John's vocal is recorded to tape, along with random handclaps. At that point I don't think they'd even decided to add the keyboards. Yet when it's all done everything fits perfectly.
A similar thing happened with A Day In The Life where the basic track is recorded with flutter echo on the vocals (with the acoustic bleeding into it) and one of the earliest overdubs is congas (not what I'd have thought of.) This was before they'd even thought of the orchestra, let alone drums, piano etc. Yet the end result is one of the most astonishing records ever made. To me it's a testament to working on instinct.
Old 1st December 2014
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingbag View Post
blah blah blah yes yes old music is good, new music is bad. great thread, full of riveting original discussion. it's always nice, too, when people compare their own rushed unmastered itb bedroom recordings and mixes to records made over the course of months of full time dedicated work by teams of professionals in multi-million dollar studios, really shows an understanding of all the issues involved and it's just such a pertinent comparison to make that it makes a lot of sense to discuss it forever ad nauseum in every thread.
Except most of those classic records were made in about a tenth of the time. Otis Blue was recorded in a day. After they'd played a gig.
Old 1st December 2014
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingbag View Post
blah blah blah yes yes old music is good, new music is bad. great thread, full of riveting original discussion. it's always nice, too, when people compare their own rushed unmastered itb bedroom recordings and mixes to records made over the course of months of full time dedicated work by teams of professionals in multi-million dollar studios, really shows an understanding of all the issues involved and it's just such a pertinent comparison to make that it makes a lot of sense to discuss it forever ad nauseum in every thread.
Are many records today recorded over a period of months in multi million dollar studios?

TH
Old 1st December 2014
  #13
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by babydaddymusic View Post
Here is what I have arrived at in my own ITB journey-

IT seems that the less tracks I use, the more realistic my ITB recordings sound-
IMHO, it certainly used to be true that the fewer plug ins you used, the better things tended to sound. Also, it used to be true that digital did not generally handle bussing down large numbers of tracks very well.
Things have improved in both areas, however, if you want true analogue sound, it is still better to use analogue gear, IME and IMHO. But, digital is here to stay, without question, so I hope and believe it will continue to improve.
It would be difficult if not impossible to make records using only analogue these days anyway, because musicians simply cannot play or sing the way they used to, for the most part. Not that they aren't talented, just a different mindset and working style. (Although there are still exceptions, some records are obviously still made with analogue, but not very many). IMHO.

Last edited by edva; 1st December 2014 at 04:31 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 1st December 2014
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks View Post
Are many records today recorded over a period of months in multi million dollar studios?

TH
i'm sure there's some point you're making with this post, i just can't decipher what it is. but let me guess, you think it's important for me to know that old music made on analog consoles sounds better than new music made with computers. it's very important that i agree with that, right? i'm sure i'll come around to that point of view eventually if i stop listening to what my ears tell me when they perceive recorded sounds, and start pretending that the rock and roll era was some golden moment in music history rather than a period where 99.999% of recordings sounded like a wet sock. i'm very close to changing my mind on this!!!
Old 1st December 2014
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingbag View Post
i'm sure there's some point you're making with this post, i just can't decipher what it is. but let me guess, you think it's important for me to know that old music made on analog consoles sounds better than new music made with computers. it's very important that i agree with that, right? i'm sure i'll come around to that point of view eventually if i stop listening to what my ears tell me when they perceive recorded sounds, and start pretending that the rock and roll era was some golden moment in music history rather than a period where 99.999% of recordings sounded like a wet sock. i'm very close to changing my mind on this!!!
No you're confusing me with some other old guy lol. I think the song is the most important thing and could care less...about analog, digital, at home, at the big studio, etc.

Song guy here.

TH
Old 1st December 2014
  #16
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This is like comparing religions - the ITB/OTB thing. In this case it's kind of under the guise of track count, but still the same thing. What are we hoping to learn here? Everyone will have their preference based on their own needs, experiences and workflow and who can fault them?

So someone uses 10 or 100 tracks. What then? As long as the song "maker" (writer, producer, etc) feels a song needs 8 or 150 tracks ... then that's what's needed. Is this song good? Does it sound good? Do you like it and wanna hear it again?

I've been around here just long enough to know these kind of threads unfortunately devolve back into the "Cold War" of ITB/OTB.

No offense to the OP.
Old 1st December 2014
  #17
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ok, wow, actual sensible answers. i've been hasty to assume that people were still interested in playing this sport again, maybe things are trending in a positive direction on this forum after all!
Old 1st December 2014
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
Where is the itb soul? That should be the question.
"Soul" is the product of people.
Old 1st December 2014
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingbag View Post
i'm sure there's some point you're making with this post, i just can't decipher what it is. but let me guess, you think it's important for me to know that old music made on analog consoles sounds better than new music made with computers. it's very important that i agree with that, right? i'm sure i'll come around to that point of view eventually if i stop listening to what my ears tell me when they perceive recorded sounds, and start pretending that the rock and roll era was some golden moment in music history rather than a period where 99.999% of recordings sounded like a wet sock. i'm very close to changing my mind on this!!!
You might not like it, but that's the stuff that's enduring and probably for a reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepingbag View Post
ok, wow, actual sensible answers. i've been hasty to assume that people were still interested in playing this sport again, maybe things are trending in a positive direction on this forum after all!
If you're not interested you could always start your own thread. You could call it "How come 90's music had so much mojo?' I'm sure you'll get loads of responses.
Old 1st December 2014
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
IMHO, it certainly used to be true that the fewer plug ins you used, the better things tended to sound. Also, it used to be true that digital did not generally handle bussing down large numbers of tracks very well.
Things have improved in both areas, however, if you want true analogue sound, it is still better to use analogue gear, IME and IMHO. But, digital is here to stay, without question, so I hope and believe it will continue to improve.
It would be difficult if not impossible to make records using only analogue these days anyway, because musicians simply cannot play or sing the way they used to, for the most part. Not that they aren't talented, just a different mindset and working style. (Although there are still exceptions, some records are obviously still made with analogue, but not very many). IMHO.
Yes that I've observed the plugins as well. When I first went digital. The outboard gear wasn't used. Now, I track it in. Because it reminds me of the tape days. the only thing was the VU meter was changed to that dbfs and it took mea little bit to find on my own.

and yes talent don't seem to "have it together or else its gonna cost em more" additude.

its more like : "oh he'll fix it in the DAW" additude

also, it seems the newer generation of these "engineers" are missing some of those tracking fundementals we learn from others.....

and It might be rude, but starting a thread that says : "Professional mixes sound better than ones from DIY'ers"; would be a too much of a reality check for some,..
Old 1st December 2014
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
Where is the itb soul? That should be the question.
Think of it this way, the job of the engineer is to carreograph the tracks to the vision of the song. Extending the vision to connect to the listener emotionally.

Thats soul.
Old 1st December 2014
  #22
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YOU put the vibe and soul into a song and recording. Analog or digital doesn't matter, none of the formats will take away the soul of the performance if used properly.

The same problems exist in both an analog and digital production. It all comes down to songwriting, production and arrangement skills. It's not like tape and a console will make any messy arrangement sound fantastic. It will be an analog mess instead of a digital one.
Old 1st December 2014
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
YOU put the vibe and soul into a song and recording. Analog or digital doesn't matter, none of the formats will take away the soul of the performance if used properly.

The same problems exist in both an analog and digital production. It all comes down to songwriting, production and arrangement skills. It's not like tape and a console will make any messy arrangement sound fantastic. It will be an analog mess instead of a digital one.
This is right on the money. Finally someone who shares my outlook on this whole recording revolution. OTB, ITB, etc, none of that crap matters. 99.99% of a song's success depends on the songwriting, performance, production, and arrangement skills.

The reason the music sounded better in the past decades wasn't because of OTB, or analog gear. It's because more attention was put where it counts, and it was the song itself.

A common guitarist is always after the best possible tone, and always asks the question of how they can make their guitar sound better. The best answer is to learn how to play better, why waste time on more and more guitars, and pick ups, which have nothing to do with how you play. Your audience doesn't listen to your sound quality, they just listen to the musical notes. Producing/Recording/mixing is an art itself. If you want your mixes to sound better, learn to "play" better.
Old 1st December 2014
  #24
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I agree with both of the above
Old 1st December 2014
  #25
Every mix will have unique challenges and sometimes you just get lucky, or sometimes one song just turns out better than another. This thread sounds like OP just jumped to the conclusion that less tracks made his mix better. It could if the additional tracks aren't improving the song/mix. With regards to "3rd plane, flatness vs dimensionality", etc. I think that's getting over-philosophical. If you want to capture depth, try using close + far mics which works great on drums/perc. Sometimes you mix an album and one song pops out above the rest because it's just a better song. Ask another engineer which song is better and they'll probably like the one you hate.
Old 1st December 2014
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzaholic View Post
The reason the music sounded better in the past decades wasn't because of OTB, or analog gear.
I agree with most of what you said, however, this one "blanket" statement is not 100% correct, IMHO. To me, at least some small percentage of the quality of the sound was indeed due to the type of equipment used. The sound is different.
Now, due to changing tastes, set against the backdrop of what today's music sounds like, that difference may or may not matter to most people today, or may not be appreciated by most people today, or may not be liked by most people today, but, there is a difference.
For example, and of course anyone may disagree, but would DSOTM or Rumors or Sgt. Pepper have sounded as "good" had they been made ITB? Personally, speaking only for myself, the answer is easily "no". Of course, YMMV.
Old 1st December 2014
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
...
For example, and of course anyone may disagree, but would DSOTM or Rumors or Sgt. Pepper have sounded as "good" had they been made ITB? Personally, speaking only for myself, the answer is easily "no". Of course, YMMV.
I think George Martin was asked that same question about Sgt Pepper and gave the same answer.
Old 1st December 2014
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveE View Post
Every mix will have unique challenges and sometimes you just get lucky, or sometimes one song just turns out better than another. This thread sounds like OP just jumped to the conclusion that less tracks made his mix better. It could if the additional tracks aren't improving the song/mix. With regards to "3rd plane, flatness vs dimensionality", etc. I think that's getting over-philosophical. If you want to capture depth, try using close + far mics which works great on drums/perc. Sometimes you mix an album and one song pops out above the rest because it's just a better song. Ask another engineer which song is better and they'll probably like the one you hate.
As I understand it the OP isn't against unlimited tracks per se, he's just saying it influences the result. Agree on the depth thing. As Bob Ohlsson often points out, mic bleed can also be helpful in creating a sense of space as well as gelling a mix.
Old 2nd December 2014
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babydaddymusic View Post
See- this is exactly what I hoped for in my original thread! Excellent

Not to mention quantizing- looking at a grid-

I know a couple of guys that have become hyper-tuned to things being slightly off the grid- it drives me nuts
But this premise is flawed. You've put the ITB/OTB into a specified frame so the question can be answered for you in the manner you intended.

The most redundant part of this line of reasoning on GS, for me, is that there seems to be a preconceived notion of an engineer illuminati lurking behind the shadows who will always say "a plugin will never work for this application," or "_____ $200 compressor will never work. You need a $2000 comp."

You may not be saying this directly, but to me it echoes this sentiment.

When in reality, considering the size of this online community, someone will _always_ pop up to say this affordable piece of kit (plugin OR hardware) will totally suffice for your budget.

And the reality that [i think] most people know is: PEOPLE ARE GONNA USE WHAT THEY CAN AFFORD. AND, this forum is actually pretty great about making that easy (por ejemplo: an 1176 would kill! in this application.. "I can't afford an 1176." ... "Cool; try an RNC." This happens all the time)

Even just a cursory reading of the forums will tell you: people aren't working this way (every track one at a time) more than ever, because people are over the map. Some people do work this way. Some dont. Some go back and forth.

And certainly more of this is possible with a DAW, but you certainly could have done one track at a time on a deck; punch ins, pre rolls, loop playback, splice edits, spot erases... Lotsa options on the real money kit.

Sure this only goes up to a point with a 16/24 track 2", but there seems to be confusion between the limitations of a medium and the decided workflow.


Nobody is forcing anyone to track one instrument at a time with 5 mics on the Marshall cab into protools. Don't do it and your problem disapears.
Old 2nd December 2014
  #30
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I think this is really a working style/philosophy issue. I started on 2 16-bit ADATs, eventually a 3rd. I got very comfortable with 16 and then 24 tracks. I hated the sound of the ADATs and the Mackie console. We replaced the console, and made other mic and outboard upgrades as we went. The boss was all for reinvesting in the studio. I eventually bought my first 2" machine and put it in the room, then a 1/4" deck. When I bough him out, they came with me. The console was replaced, but I opened my room with just the 24-track and 1/4". I eventually added a RADAR because people wanted digital (mostly they wanted to not pay for tape). I was still in a 24-track world.

I finally broke down and put in Pro Tools last year. My biggest reason was that I wanted mix recall. I would explain to people that once I was told a mix was approved and moved on to the next song that the old mix was gone. There would still be people who would ask for the second line of the second verse to be louder, but they wouldn't decide this until the rest of the record was done. We'd had the "do you want to pay me to take recall notes?" conversation, and they didn't want to spend that money. Anywho, I bought and learned Pro Tools.

When I'm making a record, I word exactly as I always did. Sometime I end up going over 24 tracks, but mostly I don't. I don't even think about it. I hear the song and I make suggestions for other parts, I try to make a compelling mix. I record the band at once with isolation, or sometime all in the room. I try to make it sound like MUSIC made by PEOPLE.

I do use some of the nice little features, like playlists. On tape I'd have to record 2-3 vocals and leave an open track to comp to. Or I'd record a take and punch a few things that needed it. I can use playlists and not keep an open track for the comp. I still punch into track often, and I erase a lot of things as well. If we hate something SHIFT/COMMAND/B and away it goes.

I like the automation, and recallability. I don't think what I do sounds all that different. I use the console for summing, and some outboard things, including an analog mix buss compressor. All outboard gets recorded into PT and the mix bus comp is the only thing that needs recall (it's switched).
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknatronik View Post
Where is the itb soul? That should be the question.
On the live room floor!!!
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