R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Steve: the importance of gear?  (Read 2371 times)

copperx

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Steve: the importance of gear?
« on: March 19, 2006, 06:19:03 am »

I've been wondering over and over about a phrase you wrote in another post: "Do everything else right, and the equipment will disappear in insignificance."

As a recordist with very low budget, I would really like the meaning of that phrase to be: "don't care about the gear"; however, you have an impressive collection of microphones and outboard gear, so obviously my twisted interpretation is a bit off.

Disregarding effects and other "non-essential" stuff, we have the three needed pieces of gear to make a recording: microphones, preamplifiers and a recording medium. I would like to ask you some questions regarding these things:

* Is any piece of your gear collection essential for you? Would you refrain from making a recording if some piece was missing?

* If you had no say in the choice of tools for making a record, how would that limit your effectiveness to create a good recording? (say I give you a bunch of Chinese microphones and the simplest preamp circuit possible, in which ways would that limit you?)

* What, in your opinion, makes a microphone usable? or, why is the SM57 a "piece of shit" microphone?

* Could a preamplifier choice ruin a track? given a low noise and good headroom circuit, would any preamplifier do or are there any other characteristics that make a pre useless or a "piece of shit" for your purposes?

* When you began to explore recording I assume there wasn't a lot of the so-called "prosumer" recording gear that is available nowadays. If you have had access to the variety of low-cost gear that is available now at that time, what would you have done differently? (sorry, can't get grammar right on this one).

Thank you for your time, I find your insights invaluable.

Logged

danickstr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3641
Re: Steve: the importance of gear?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2006, 01:29:34 pm »

any good engineer with strong opinions will require that you learn to "read between the blanket statements", and that means remembering a few fundamental points.  

Good gear is expensive because it colors the sound minimally or in a positive way.  Cheap gear can sometimes stay out of its own way to a degree, but usually involves compromise that is hard to get rid of.  Bad gear choices will never be a non-issue, because they will taint the sound.

Independent sounding music can get away with crappy gear more easily than a top 40 mix.  But many hits were made in garages or bedrooms.  It is more about your experience with the gear than specific items.  You cannot rush through this process, it is a journey of choices that you have to make and live with and regret, and then not do again. Smile


Logged
Nick Dellos - MCPE  

Food for thought for the future:              http://http://www.kurzweilai.net/" target="_blank">http://www.kurzweilai.net/www.physorg.com

Teddy G.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 369
Re: Steve: the importance of gear?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2006, 07:20:03 pm »

I'm not Steve, sorry.

Now that we know that, I would prefer if you asked a question, let everyone who desires answer, discuss the question a bit, if you like, then move on to another post and another topic.

Like:

How much does gear matter?

Then I could say, "Only as much as YOU think it does - and what YOU think matters will, probably, change over time." Steve could say what he thinks, etc.


Seriously, fine questions, but, too many questions... If not for Steve, at least for me. I, along with all the rest of us, I'm sure, would like to help, but... come at us(Or at least me) a little slower...

TG


TG
Logged

copperx

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Re: Steve: the importance of gear?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2006, 07:34:01 pm »

I'm sorry, I should have addressed the questions to all.

That night I was a bit insomniac and I kept thinking about the importance of gear. I couldn't avoid hitting the forum and asking these questions. Sorry if it came as an interview.

If one or two questions are answered I'll be happy. With these forums I feel like the bothersome kid trying to discover the world  Embarassed
Logged

Teddy G.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 369
Re: Steve: the importance of gear?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2006, 07:48:41 pm »

No, no, no and again, no!

Ask away! ASK AWAY!!! I've been doing this sort of thing for more than 35 years and I still "don' know nuttin"... And, I Do(We ALL do) feel your pain...

However, just a friendly suggestion meant. These topics tend to "spread thin" anyway, through much digression, whatever...

Just "narrow" your topic, that's all. As many topics as you like! No prob! You'll just have better luck getting answers(And understanding each individually) if you try to well-define each post - that's all...

Good job! Back to it!

TG
Logged

McAllister

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1145
Re: Steve: the importance of gear?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2006, 10:07:32 pm »

Good questions.

I've heard crappy, crappy records come from great studios (if you ever want a lesson in musical bad-taste, listen to a band called "Darling Cruel". Major lable act, circa 1989, recorded at a few big-name places - Abbey Road among them. Some songs are so bad they're almost good - I really cannot get across how awful the record is).

I've heard great sounding records done on a Mackie & ADATs - but with a good band and a great engineer.

Does that help?


M
Logged
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.

John Ivan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3028
Re: Steve: the importance of gear?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2006, 11:56:00 pm »

Over time, gear choice becomes more important or, at least that was the case for me and still is the case as I grow.. At first, my rig was low end Analog and a bunch of typical dynamic mics and a few condensers of varying shapes and sizes.A few time based efx and a couple comps. 8 tracks..

Well,I learned to use this stuff to get sounds and used it for a long time. As time moved on, my recordings got better and better thanks to better use of the gear I had and the bands got better too,{that's the big one right there.}

The rig I have now is "better"in some ways  and I'm just now getting to the point where I feel I'm reaching the end of what I can get out of it sound wise.

So, to me, it's always the quality of the song,players and vibe in the room that is more important than the gear.

Having said that, you do end up digging certain pieces of gear over others for certain task's. You find that this corner of the room is great for this amp or that and you find that this or that comp is great on most bass sounds.

The bottom line for me is getting good at using what you have and as you grow, start looking for sounds. This means gear sometimes.

I would much rather record a great band with a Mackie and a bunch of 57's than a shitty band at Steve's or Harvey's or JJ's place,right?

So, you can sort of answer your own question to some degree. Do you find certain gear works on certain things when you record? It could be that you like to put a 57 at one angle instead of another for high pitched snares or, you like one delay over another on bright guitar solo's. This all happens over time and before you really give it much outside thought. {you just do it and follow your ear's}

Hey, I have an old four channel limiter that is by any standard, sort of a pile of shit . I wont even say the name because you will all make fun of me Embarassed  but, my kick snare thing has not been the same since.

It's about growth, over time..


JI...........................
Logged
"Transformation is no easy trick: It's what art promises and usually doesn't deliver." Garrison Keillor

 
Pages: [1]   Go Up