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Author Topic: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?  (Read 9739 times)

bblackwood

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Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« on: April 04, 2011, 02:55:54 pm »

Originally Posted: Wed, 18 October 2006

I've been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and after having some interesting discussions with friends, I've come to wonder if Gear Acquisition Syndrome is destroying modern recordings.

Ponder it for a bit then tell us what you think - I'll weigh on it more later...
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Brad Blackwood
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Allen Corneau

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2011, 03:38:50 pm »

It sure seems like a lot of people are auditioning and buying a lot of gear lately.

How many folks have recently demo'd/bought a Foote P3S, and before that a Buzz REQ 2.2, and before that a DM Bax, and before that an API 2500, and before that...

Ok, honestly I'm slightly jealous that a lot of you folks can buy gear almost seemingly at-will.
 ???

I've been working with the same tools (except for a few plug-ins) for almost eight years now. While I feel like I have a good command of my system I'm still learning little nuances of each piece almost every week or two.

I guess I'll just live out my GAS vicariously through you people here via the forums.
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Allen
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Gold

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2011, 04:01:08 pm »

I have it bad for hand tools and audio test equipment. Not so much for mastering gear. The reason is that I'm a lousy tech and a good mastering engineer. I don't think great techs spend too much time thinking about their tools after they have what they like. I've been trying to teach myself how to do some metal working. I've torn through a lot of tools figuring out the best way to do things...

I'd like to see more olde school bragging about how little equipment was used.
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Paul Gold
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Greg Reierson

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2011, 05:22:59 pm »

I have it bad for hand tools and audio test equipment. Not so much for mastering gear.

... says the guy with the worlds coolest collection of Studer preview decks... :)


GR
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Greg Reierson
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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2011, 06:45:24 pm »

I did make Dan Zellman envious when I showed him my set of PB Swiss Tools spanner screwdrivers.
http://pbtoolsus.thomasnet.com/viewitems/classic/pb-196-screwdrivers-for-round-nuts?
No one is totally immune.

To actually answer the question, I don't think so. I like talking shop as much as the average forum addict. I try to have it not get in the way of the work or client relations. Playing with cool toys is a big part of the fun with the job. G.A.S is a problem if it gets in the way of work. I had my Prism converters sitting around for months before I started using them. I had too much in progress work and not enough time to switch for a while. I don't like jobs coming back.
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Paul Gold
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pmx

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 07:09:22 pm »

"Hi all, my name is Paul. I haven't bought new gear in a year."

not really true, but software doesn't count with GAS. I think. I made a list of stuff I'd like to buy someday, and there's nothing on there that I need tomorrow. Plus, it forces me to dig deeper into the stuff that I do have, and I can't be complaining about that with the level of gear i have.
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Waltz Mastering

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2011, 01:00:40 am »

I'd like to see more olde school bragging about how little equipment was used.
I don't like to brag but the only thing I've bought in the last 4 years besides hard drives is a soft ware limiter and a Bax.  Boring....

Jerry Tubb

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 01:01:54 am »

If you consider DAW Plug-Ins as "gear" ...then Yes!

JT
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Viitalahde

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2011, 04:41:56 am »

Well, I sometimes meet people who are way too interested in gear talk, and they also seem to believe the gear is doing the magic. I like to tease them by telling that I just added lows+highs and I didn't even see the needle moving.

Also, I know a few guys who constantly upgrade their kit (yet the amount of work done on them seems quite low), and the upgrades happen to me the things that have been a recent hot topic @ GS.

Me, I just want my kit to be at the level nothing is bothering me anymore and I can just work.
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Jaakko Viitalähde
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2011, 08:24:55 am »

I have had the same mastering rack equipment for the last 4 years. I have bought some new video equipment and we now have 4 PCs - 5 Macs and I just bought an IPAD for our Ebay sales but nothing new in the audio world. Even the equipment we use for remote recordings has stayed the same.

Part of it is the money issue and part of it is that I don't see anything that I really really can't live without.

I must be getting older...
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Thomas W. Bethel
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PBM

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2011, 02:07:34 pm »

It sure seems like a lot of people are auditioning and buying a lot of gear lately.

How many folks have recently demo'd/bought a Foote P3S, and before that a Buzz REQ 2.2, and before that a DM Bax, and before that an API 2500, and before that...

None of the above ... though I am probably guilty of recent excitement over a tri-band comp I won't mention. ;D

I have some standard pieces, central to the way I work, that I've had for quite a long while - monitoring and conversion hasn't changed all that much, still have the tc6K, Weiss, Sequoia, OCL-2 and other bits from 5 or 6 or more years ago; but changing clients and changing demands lead to new avenues - for everyone I suspect. I tend to trade up, rather than buy though ...

I can't see how this would adversely affect modern records - most gear talk I have with others is still ultimately tool-based - on ways of doing what we already do better (or quicker, or easier).

Cheers,

Eric

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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 04:59:43 pm »

PBM are you a distributor or something or getting a cut, every other post is about the
MLA-3. 4 people on the planet use them and they wax lyrical, it's the the tri band compression illuminati or something, lol.
 
Well I have invested in 2 bits of analogue kit this year and whilst I am happy with them and they are nice, they really are not going to be making a great deal of difference to the good work I was already doing, just extra options.

I do not actually need anything else but you know I am as gear curious as anyone
so the thought of listening to a few bits later in the year is in my mind.

So much of kit is dissapointing really to be honest, you get to a point when you realize it's what you do, the selection and application, not the boxes as such.

I could do 80pct of what I do with 4 plugins, 2 eq, 1 comp and a limiter.

You've either got it or you haven't, the last bit is just a touch of pizazz.

I am very thankful that I have more chops than gear, than the other way round.
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dietrich

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2011, 10:09:12 pm »

Part of my 'gear lust' comes from wanting to hear the differences of every 'tool'. Right now I have 2 less pieces in my chain than I did 6 months ago.

I'd audition a new pieces every few weeks if I could just to use everything in sessions to get to know its pros/cons, sound etc. Visiting dealers or other rooms is not the same as having some alone time...

I went through the same issues when I first started making electronic music many many moons ago. Buy a synth/drummachine/seq, use it for a bit and sell/trade for something else. I would actually go back and rebuy a few after many 'rehearsals'.

Difference on that gear is that I tended to often prefer pieces with interfaces that made sense for how I work even if newer versions with more features were out.
wait....
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jdg

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2011, 01:01:19 pm »

im not static, and i enjoy new and different equipment.
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John McCaig
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lowland

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2011, 03:53:32 am »

I've been working with the same tools (except for a few plug-ins) for almost eight years now. While I feel like I have a good command of my system I'm still learning little nuances of each piece almost every week or two.

I guess I'll just live out my GAS vicariously through you people here via the forums.

That describes my own situation well, just a couple of years less in the main with the exception of the Great River mastering EQ which turned up a year or so back and won't be leaving any time soon: what a solidly made, fit-for-purpose tool that's turned out to be, Dan Kennedy rules as far as I'm concerned.

Lots of things I'd like to investigate, much of which is in the monitoring department - PMC will hopefully be sending the new IB2 actives + subs to review around the end of the month, and I have a contact with a Hi Fi speaker manufacturer who wants to get into the mastering market which may prove interesting.

It must be said my gearlust (not to mention bank balance) has largely been sated, for the time being anyway, by the new room which I finally moved into on Monday. The Sterling console is somewhere in mid-Atlantic, having missed the first ship a few weeks back and things are therefore on makeshift tables for the moment, but thought of the space brings a smile to my face each morning as I leave the house for my 30 second commute. Final acoustic adjustments will happen once furniture and speaker positions are confirmed, but early sound prognosis is very good with great bass and imaging. More news (and hopefully some pics.) as and when.
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Nigel Palmer
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subvert

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2011, 09:14:26 am »

More news (and hopefully some pics.) as and when.

Look forward to it Nigel - last pics I saw were bare shell with some workman who'd caught they twinkling eye of your local OAP community...

PBM are you a distributor or something or getting a cut, every other post is about the
MLA-3. 4 people on the planet use them and they wax lyrical, it's the the tri band compression illuminati or something, lol.

 ::)

I seem to remember you taking an equally negative view about PMC loudspeakers.......




Until you bought a pair...
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lowland

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2011, 10:45:01 am »

Look forward to it Nigel - last pics I saw were bare shell with some workman who'd caught they twinkling eye of your local OAP community...

That's right, Ben, ladies of a certain age living in Essex were positively bereft when the build finished.
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Nigel Palmer
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studjo

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2011, 02:03:33 am »

I think the availability of every piece (or plug in) of equipement for cheap is destroying part of the music (and the bizz). In the good old days you learned your console inside out while nowadays I'm still figuring out how my Trakkers work (I own them since 8 years or so but I also bought loads of other stuff ...)
Now think about a teenager with a computer rig - within a blink of an eye he got a 160 channel, 48bus, every EQ known to mankind and the biggest tape recorder ever built with all the autotune and time cutting possibilites ... how should that teenager learn to craft a pleasing sonic experience out of an SM57? - way too many variables IMVHO ... but I'm still sure every now and then a teenager might succed - those guys are pretty stubborn   ;D
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Alécio Costa - Brazil

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2011, 10:22:44 am »

I think that the main problem is that most do not read books, study, research.
They want fast results, every project meets insane deadlines, no pre-production, small budgets.
Poor arrangements, weak musicians, bad acoustics and here we go...
Add all this and we have a pile of reasons to justify why most of the stuff released today sounds so bad.
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subvert

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2011, 12:13:12 pm »

Add all this and we have a pile of reasons to justify why most of the stuff released today sounds so bad.

We're all going to grow old grumpily lamenting the state of music and trying to teach our children and others of a younger generation that 'things weren't always this way....'
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lowland

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2011, 02:48:15 pm »

I'm working with a 25-year-old Russian producer who's turning out music that sounds as if someone twice that age was at the helm, with all the maturity and musicality you could wish for. While he enjoys all the bells and whistles at the good studio where he's based, that's a relatively recent development. He's used to getting by with much less while achieving results on a similar level, proof for me if any were needed that it's the human element rather than the technological one that makes the difference.
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Nigel Palmer
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dietrich

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2011, 04:16:50 pm »

We're all going to grow old grumpily lamenting the state of music and trying to teach our children and others of a younger generation that 'things weren't always this way....'

I find that exposing some younger audio/music people to hardware with good interfaces and workflow they start to slowly come over and the lust does begin.

everything is a tool. old and new need to always keep that in mind
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Patrik_T

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2011, 07:06:19 am »

.
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Grant Craig

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2011, 11:59:11 am »

I dunno.  Personally, I've never been able to afford good equipment until recently, so in my case, having GAS is benefiting my recordings. 

I will say that when I'm shopping for a specific piece i need (whether a mic pre or compressor or something), sometimes I spend too much time focusing on the shopping, than the music making.  But once the proper piece is accurately chosen and acquired, it's always a benefit. :)
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chai t

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2011, 09:48:46 pm »

As to the fetishizing over gear- although inherent to many technology-based crafts, I dont think it destroys the craftsmanship per se. It is true(im speaking only of my experience) that it tends to drag my focus from the task at hand. Instead of trying to focus my energy on helping something become more expressive, I tend to waste time wishing i had gear I'm probably never gonna be able to afford.

We have a saying in my country that it's not the bow but the Indian behind the bow. That said, attitudes towards the bow can greatly influence it's use.

Peace.
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2011, 10:55:36 am »

I also hear it in mixing.

Over emphasis in applying trendy gear, forgetting to make a nice open spacious mix.

Skill of the engineer is a far bigger asset than what's in the rack.

JT
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Scott Hull

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2011, 06:10:55 pm »

We were just discussing today how cool it was when all we had was a Sontec and An OE-Duo (neumann eq) and a NTP compressor.  It still sounds fantastic.

Gear isn't as much at fault as indecision.

PG has it so right i think.  I read a book about a master wood craftsman.  He used his chisel for everything.  Turning screws, opening cans, cutting the heads off small bolts... but when he needed it sharp for just the right detail job - he pulled out his stone and put a perfect edge on it every time.   The tool wasn't precious, the craft was.   
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Ryanwill570

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2011, 07:46:32 pm »

I'm seeing this first hand. and YES.  I think it maybe making a lot bands calling it quits ealry too because they can't get a decent recording from anybody. 

In part because people don't take the time to focus on every aspect of preamp, mic, console or whatever and somehow expect all these awesome brand names to do the job for them.   Another reason because they might put so much focus on their gear and not there studio's acoustic improvement and signal chain.   

True Story, I know a younger guy who has all the top notch mics and preamps I'll only dream about getting. (Mojaves sm 7b, 421,2 UA LA610s, Avalon whatever, 16track tascam reel to reel, pro tools HD2...and a ton of other stuff production related.  It's really sad and I think he feels overwhelmed with all this stuff he has to take on to be a legitimate engineer.   He has had trouble turning his project studio into an active business because he has cranked out some mixes that are really really rough and he may be unaware of the fact.  I am pretty sure he doesn't know how to use a simple compressor plugin on drums but loves making the LA610 "do the work for him" by pumping kicks, snares and vocals to hell. 

I helped him switch from cubase to pro tools HD for a couple of days and he had some signal chain issue with his monitors.  Crazy noise was making it into his monitors because he ran the D/A output through this pretty big console and then finally out to his 3 pairs of monitors...
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