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Punchy...and other annoying buzz words
Old 13th April 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 
GoldenBear's Avatar
Punchy...and other annoying buzz words

I've noticed musicians in the studio (and people on gearslutz) are obsessed with specific music related buzz words like "punchy". They use them constantly to describe wildly different things and it drives me crazy. I thought it would be funny to hear from you about other dumb words your clients use to describe what they want from their mix.

Let the comments begin
Old 13th April 2019
  #2
Gear Addict
 
Murky Waters's Avatar
 

Looking for trouble. Beyond the fact that many terms are commonly used and understood, words are just tools. Some people have a bigger toolbox and are more adept with them than others. The idea is to use your brain to understand what they are trying to wrench out. It's what people are trying to say that one might consider listening to, and not the particular words they may be using. I had a guy once ask me to make that 'underwater sound" on his voice. That's all he had. The onus was on me, the supposed professional, to figure it out what he meant.
Old 13th April 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Every field has its own jargon. It just naturally comes about because specific situations arise that need to be talked about but they aren't common to everyday experience so our language doesn't already have them.

The only time it bothers me, personally, is when the terms are actually just wrong uses of terms from other fields. Gain staging is one that comes to mind because gain stage means something totally different to me from audio electrical engineering. It's not a verb.
Old 13th April 2019
  #4
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greggybud's Avatar
"Fat" was a description of a deep analog synth bass from the 90s. I rarely hear that description these days.

These verbs get tossed around loosely so IMO it really depends on the person I'm talking to. Too many times I have heard a verb misused. At least I think its misused so I often ask for more clarification.

But people I have worked with, things are usually on the same page.
Old 13th April 2019
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
"Fat" was a description of a deep analog synth bass from the 90s. I rarely hear that description these days.

These verbs get tossed around loosely so IMO it really depends on the person I'm talking to. Too many times I have heard a verb misused. At least I think its misused so I often ask for more clarification.

But people I have worked with, things are usually on the same page.
I think you probably mean adjectives, but I do hear the word "fat" used a lot to describe analog synths nowadays as well. Especially moogs or things intending to sound like moogs.
Old 13th April 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
Thin
Old 13th April 2019
  #7
if you want lessons in vague words just hang around with some producers they like using broad sweep language to describe music, somebody needs to write a book called the producers dictionary, it'd be more like thesaurus for mix engineers, recording engineers and artists e.t.c so they can actually understand what they say.
Old 13th April 2019
  #8
Quote:
I thought it would be funny to hear from you about other dumb words your clients use to describe what they want from their mix.
I'm not going to call what they say dumb, as they do no know, that is why they are there with you, but I have some that are really funny.

One of them occurred a few days ago, ware the client sitting next to me said "can you make that word more sonicky" I said, what do you mean by 'sonicky" and as she was trying to explain it to me, her hands would go further apart, as she said "more sonicky."
I ask her, do you mean you want that word stretched out? She said yes. so i inserted Melodyne and stretched the word for her and now i know what 'sonicky' means for her.

CJ
Old 13th April 2019
  #9
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoepedals View Post
I think you probably mean adjectives, but I do hear the word "fat" used a lot to describe analog synths nowadays as well. Especially moogs or things intending to sound like moogs.
Adjectives...yes thank you. I never hear " Fat " used much these days. Maybe because it's more common than 20 years ago.
Old 13th April 2019
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
Adjectives...yes thank you. I never hear " Fat " used much these days. Maybe because it's more common than 20 years ago.
Yeah, I feel like the Slim Phatty gave it new life and it stayed lol.
Old 13th April 2019
  #11
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenBear View Post
I've noticed musicians in the studio (and people on gearslutz) are obsessed with specific music related buzz words like "punchy". They use them constantly to describe wildly different things and it drives me crazy. I thought it would be funny to hear from you about other dumb words your clients use to describe what they want from their mix.

Let the comments begin

"Glue"

"Musical"

"subharmonic"

"thunderous"

"jangly"

Of course I use all those terms daily as a matter of ritual
Old 13th April 2019
  #12
I find much wisdom here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murky Waters View Post
Looking for trouble. Beyond the fact that many terms are commonly used and understood, words are just tools. Some people have a bigger toolbox and are more adept with them than others. The idea is to use your brain to understand what they are trying to wrench out. It's what people are trying to say that one might consider listening to, and not the particular words they may be using. I had a guy once ask me to make that 'underwater sound" on his voice. That's all he had. The onus was on me, the supposed professional, to figure it out what he meant.
Well... I'd know just what to do for that underwater sound.



I'm all for us trained professionals who call ourselves engineers [cough] using proper terms and accurate descriptions rather than ill-defined, gauzy poetics.

Among ourselves, at any rate.

But when we're talking to musicians (or 'worse,' the general public), they're going to be reaching for almost everything they're trying to say, looking for the right word they might have heard once or just stabbing forward.

In those cases, we have to step outside our love of order and precision, of clarity and explicit definition, to make the jump to understand people with legitimate feelings about what they hear -- but who have almost no vocabulary with which to express them.
Old 13th April 2019
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoepedals View Post
Every field has its own jargon. It just naturally comes about because specific situations arise that need to be talked about but they aren't common to everyday experience so our language doesn't already have them.

The only time it bothers me, personally, is when the terms are actually just wrong uses of terms from other fields. Gain staging is one that comes to mind because gain stage means something totally different to me from audio electrical engineering. It's not a verb.
I'll admit I've used this bit of idiomatic jargon as freely as the next guy. Like you, I knew the noun from my generalist understanding of electronics and quickly made the jump to the jargonized verb without even thinking about it while studying recording tech in school in the early 80s. I knew the process of properly setting gain at each controllable stage well before I heard the term used in a studio setting, so I didn't even think twice when I heard someone talk about properly gain-staging the signal path.

Me, I'm a LOT more bent out of shape by mixer and other device makers marking polarity switches as 'Phase.'

Old 13th April 2019
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
Transient. I don’t see what a seasonal worker has to do with anything
Decibel. I don’t like bells in my music
Frequency. I don’t see how often I play something has anything to do with what’s wrong
Level. I’m proudly anti intellectual
Old 13th April 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'll admit I've used this bit of idiomatic jargon as freely as the next guy. Like you, I knew the noun from my generalist understanding of electronics and quickly made the jump to the jargonized verb without even thinking about it while studying recording tech in school in the early 80s. I knew the process of properly setting gain at each controllable stage well before I heard the term used in a studio setting, so I didn't even think twice when I heard someone talk about properly gain-staging the signal path.

Me, I'm a LOT more bent out of shape by mixer and other device makers marking polarity switches as 'Phase.'

Yeah, I mean...it still bugs me lol. I think it especially bugs me when guitarists have, say, 3 overdrive pedals and they refer to each one as a "gain stage." Or when the "stage" part is used to mean something like "setup" as if you were staging a production. And yet...there's not another efficient term for this as far as I'm aware, so I totally get it.

I've definitely been guilty of the "phase" one from time to time, myself. I try not to...
Old 13th April 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muser View Post
Transient.
I see this one misused all the time, honestly. Especially in conjunction with the term "fast." As in, "This preamp sounds fast. It has great transients." When actually the preamp is just clipping a lot and generating harmonics by distorting.
Old 13th April 2019
  #17
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Digital
Old 13th April 2019
  #18
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cavern's Avatar
 

Can't polish a turd.
Disgusting little buzz word.
Old 13th April 2019
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Muser's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoepedals View Post
I see this one misused all the time, honestly. Especially in conjunction with the term "fast." As in, "This preamp sounds fast. It has great transients." When actually the preamp is just clipping a lot and generating harmonics by distorting.
It's like Keith says. there's ways of being fast.

Old 13th April 2019
  #20
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avare's Avatar
 

"Sterile" as a negative.
Old 13th April 2019
  #21
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zvukofor's Avatar
Phase. Phasey. It seems like 95% of people using these word do not understand at all whats that “phase” exactly means.
Old 13th April 2019
  #22
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Poinzy's Avatar
 

"Clinical".
Old 13th April 2019
  #23
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zvukofor View Post
Phase. Phasey. It seems like 95% of people using these word do not understand at all whats that “phase” exactly means.
I would take phasey as that something sounds a bit like there is a phaser working ie some comb filtering is going on.
Old 14th April 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Another one I hate is: just kissing it (the needle when compressing)
Old 14th April 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxMulderFBI View Post
Another one I hate is: just kissing it (the needle when compressing)
It's a lot more PC than CH
Old 14th April 2019
  #26
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Creamy Smooth !! ICe Cream and Sound !!
Old 14th April 2019
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Smear - as if.

In the context of describing equipment or an instrument - Minty - Sorry but if I see that word I won't buy it. I don't care if it's a " Minty " 61 strat for $ 40.00
Old 14th April 2019
  #28
Gear Guru
 
jwh1192's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBHan View Post
Smear - as if.

In the context of describing equipment or an instrument - Minty - Sorry but if I see that word I won't buy it. I don't care if it's a " Minty " 61 strat for $ 40.00
so Minty Fresh is out of the question !!! hahahah
Old 14th April 2019
  #29
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bash's Avatar
 

buzz
Old 14th April 2019
  #30
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jwh1192's Avatar
and what about colors .. can you make it more "Magenta" !!!
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