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EXPERIMENT - can you hear the gear?
Old 30th June 2005
  #1
Gear Addict
 
celebritymusic's Avatar
 

EXPERIMENT - can you hear the gear?

Hi

I'm looking at upgrading some of my gear, but I am starting to question why. Is it because my songs are lacking something sonically, or is it because I just THINK I need to upgrade?

To help me decide which is true, I have decided to start an experiment. Below is a link to a song I have produced. I would like anyone brave enough to have a listen, and...

a) try and guess what gear was used for each of the instruments (mics, pres, amps).

b) rate the sonic quality of each instrument group out of 10, 10 being something that makes your ears go gooey, 1 being something that just makes you ears want to go away and die

Here are the only clues about the recording:

- drums don't count - they were played and recorded by Frank Basile from www.livestudiodrums.com, so the gear was probably damned good!

- the rest was recorded in my home studio

- the song was mixed by Robert Wawoe at Divirecords.com

- the song was mastered by Bob Katz

I don't think that the mixing and mastering of this song should bias the experiment at all, based on the old '**** in, **** out' rule of thumb - in other words, if I recorded it badly, that should still show through in the mix somewhat.

I am hoping that the results will help me decide which gear of mine needs to be upgraded, and also if it's the difference between good and bad gear that counts, or a combination of engineering, mixing, production, performance and the song itself. Also, performance or production comments are welcome, as that may be more the weak link than my gear. All this will help make things clearer.

Here's the link:

http://people.aapt.net.au/~celebrity...ieFace192k.mp3

So can you do it - do you think you can "hear the gear"?

Be free experiment, be free!!!
Old 30th June 2005
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Lanstar Zero's Avatar
 

It might help to post something better than a 96k WMA!
Old 30th June 2005
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
It is really hard to evaluate the sounds with the data compression. There's a hollow/swishy thing that makes it hard.

The balances seem really nice, though the mix sounds kind of flaccid to me. There's no motion in the mix. Even though there things that come in and out there's nothing exciting or grabbing happening. It's very pedestrian.

I also don't like the lyrics. They sound very immature to me. Bloke-Smoke etc...
Old 30th June 2005
  #4
Gear Head
 

My guess is a Rode NTK into a M-audio Tampa...

-B
Old 30th June 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
I also don't like the lyrics. They sound very immature to me. Bloke-Smoke etc...


They weren't bad, but he could probably upgrade to an outboard lyric generator instead of using a plug-in poetry editor...


-tINY

Old 30th June 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Darius van H's Avatar
 

Bass player wearing red socks?
Old 30th June 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darius van H
Bass player wearing red socks?
don't insult the red sox ok .... I'm very sensible to that.
Old 30th June 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Jason Poulin's Avatar
 

Ummm why?
Old 30th June 2005
  #9
Gear Head
 

You're going to have to have a better sampling rate than 96k. I NEVER sample at less than 192.
Old 1st July 2005
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sloop
You're going to have to have a better sampling rate than 96k. I NEVER sample at less than 192.


You are confused... with WMA files, the 96k is the bit rate of the compressed data stream. It is not the sample rate of the original, linear A/D conversion.




-tINY

Old 1st July 2005
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Lanstar Zero's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sloop
You're going to have to have a better sampling rate than 96k. I NEVER sample at less than 192.
Secondly, a sampling rate of 96k is plenty good in most cases for most people!
Old 1st July 2005
  #12
Gear Addict
 
celebritymusic's Avatar
 

Ok - I'll make up a 192 mp3 when I get home from work tonight, and post it in the original message.

Every comment helps, so keep em coming!

Shaun
Old 1st July 2005
  #13
Gear Addict
 
celebritymusic's Avatar
 

The mp3 file has been updated

OK - the file to download is now a 192k mp3 version as opposed to 96 wma!

Have fun!!!
Old 2nd July 2005
  #14
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by celebritymusic
I'm looking at upgrading some of my gear, but I am starting to question why. Is it because my songs are lacking something sonically, or is it because I just THINK I need to upgrade?

i've been mulling over how to say this more gently, but this is the best i can do. it's your music, feel free to ignore me completely, i'm just a guy with an opinion. but if i read you correctly, you are dissatisfied with your music, and since i am too, i figured i'd share, because i'm clear on what the deal is for me whereas your focus seems misplaced and you sense that, hence your post.

everything in your mix is clear and focused. what comes up for me is that there's so much shiny polish on everything the emotion is rubbed out. your scale of 1 to 10 doesn't have room for my reaction: boredom. it's too clinical and polite to grab me, and my reaction was not "i wish this guy had better pre's".

it's obvious you have a lot of talent. it feels like you're trying too hard. ease up - way up - on the exaggerated vocal character; if you're singing about leaving and loss, back it up with music that feels like loss. notch down the 'clever' factor in your lyrics, and add a dose of 'authentic.'

it's not the gear, it's the arrangement itself. it feels like there's a huge mismatch between what you're saying and what the music is expressing. if you upgrade your pre's you can get guitar tracks with more tonal personality, but that's not really helpful if the guitars themselves aren't saying something compelling.


respectfully,

gregoire
del ubik
Old 2nd July 2005
  #15
Gear Head
 

Well Put

Well put gregoire, I can't add anything to that well put together post.

csilt
Old 2nd July 2005
  #16
Gear Addict
 
celebritymusic's Avatar
 

Hi Gregoire

Thanks for your reply. I have no ego, so there's no need to be tentative. If I'm going to get better, I need to have my weak musical points exposed and dealt to.


I have a couple of questions that will maybe help me more.

- first of all, so that I can get a perspective of where you are at, what do you do in the music industry? Do you write, perform, record...?

- where is your boredom with the song derived? Is it the mix, or more the lack of performance on guitar?

- I know this may be hard, but could you outline a basic alternative arrangement idea - something that would have made the song better for you? Maybe explain where the guitars are lacking and what a better way of playing may have been - I need to step my guitar skills up !!!

- from what you have heard, where do you think my talent lies (this is not my ego talking, just so I know what I have to concentrate on more!)

OK - thanks Gregoire - anything you reply with will help me out.

Best regards

Shaun
Old 11th August 2005
  #17
Gear Nut
sound better then anything i've ever recorded
Old 12th August 2005
  #18
Gear Addict
 
tedcrop's Avatar
 

I need a bucket cause I am gonna puke.




Not because the song sucks but because I am real drunk. I need to puke so I can drink more.

But were those fake violins? couldnt tell.
Old 13th August 2005
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Absolute's Avatar
 

try to guess the gear..what preamp?

Get off the crack pipe
Old 13th August 2005
  #20
Gear Addict
 
s00p3rm4n's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute
try to guess the gear..what preamp?

Get off the crack pipe
Was that the solid-state crack pipe, or the 2-channel tube crack pipe?
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