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Author Topic: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?  (Read 63257 times)

Greg Youngman

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #60 on: October 31, 2006, 02:10:01 PM »

Just because a contractor has a truck load of tools to do a re-model doesn't mean he uses them all.  He may never use a few of them, but it's good to have them around just in case.  And if I hire him, I won't ask him what brand of Sawzall he has.
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Andy Krehm

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #61 on: October 31, 2006, 07:18:06 PM »

Greg Youngman wrote on Tue, 31 October 2006 14:10

Just because a contractor has a truck load of tools to do a re-model doesn't mean he uses them all.  He may never use a few of them, but it's good to have them around just in case.  And if I hire him, I won't ask him what brand of Sawzall he has.

Amen, brother!

It's taken me several years to acquire the very nice selection of gear that I now have. Every piece was carefully chosen. Sometimes I use it all and sometimes one or more gets bypassed.

Why on earth would I want to limit my self? I've already done plenty of masters when I had a very limited number of pieces to work with! I did a good job then and I do a good job now but now I can work more quickly and more precisely, when I need to. The corrective work that I can do with units like the TC 6000 just cannot be done with one eq and one compressor.

Really the main point of interest in this thread is that some engineers don't know how to use what they have and therefore are ruining mixes and masters.

bblackwood

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #62 on: October 31, 2006, 08:57:56 PM »

Andy Krehm wrote on Tue, 31 October 2006 18:18

It's taken me several years to acquire the very nice selection of gear that I now have.

And that amounts to what? Anyone with some cash can buy gear...

Quote:

Why on earth would I want to limit my self?

Exactly my point! How do you know you aren't limiting yourself by having such a dizzying array of equipment to choose from? Do you think DSoTM required 7 compressors and 4 EQs? As I stated earlier, the very records most of us love were made with far simpler chains, why do we require more?

Food for thought, that's all - I just think it's interesting that in all parts of production, sound quality is down yet we have more toys than ever...

Quote:

Really the main point of interest in this thread is that some engineers don't know how to use what they have and therefore are ruining mixes and masters.

Indeed, the most interesting comments are those concerning the lack of mentoring nowadays - I think that truly has had the greatest impact. I see so many posters advising young guys to spend the $30k on a bunch of gear and learn on their own ('just use your ears, dude') rather than use that money to live off of and intern with experienced engineers...
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Brad Blackwood
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turtletone

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #63 on: October 31, 2006, 10:32:46 PM »

bblackwood wrote on Tue, 31 October 2006 20:57

Andy Krehm wrote on Tue, 31 October 2006 18:18

It's taken me several years to acquire the very nice selection of gear that I now have.

And that amounts to what? Anyone with some cash can buy gear...

Quote:

Why on earth would I want to limit my self?

Exactly my point! How do you know you aren't limiting yourself by having such a dizzying array of equipment to choose from? Do you think DSoTM required 7 compressors and 4 EQs? As I stated earlier, the very records most of us love were made with far simpler chains, why do we require more?

Food for thought, that's all - I just think it's interesting that in all parts of production, sound quality is down yet we have more toys than ever...

Quote:

Really the main point of interest in this thread is that some engineers don't know how to use what they have and therefore are ruining mixes and masters.

Indeed, the most interesting comments are those concerning the lack of mentoring nowadays - I think that truly has had the greatest impact. I see so many posters advising young guys to spend the $30k on a bunch of gear and learn on their own ('just use your ears, dude') rather than use that money to live off of and intern with experienced engineers...


yep, I agree. But.... the emails and calls I get from would be interns are more along the lines of. "I'm looking for a studio that can teach me the ins and outs of mastering." meanwhile in their signiture they have a weblink. click on that and what do you know, recording, mixing, and mastering webpage.

"Interns" aren't looking for internships anymore, they're looking for a quick lesson. It's a shame really.
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Bob Boyd

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2006, 03:20:22 AM »

bblackwood wrote on Tue, 31 October 2006 19:57


Exactly my point! How do you know you aren't limiting yourself by having such a dizzying array of equipment to choose from? Do you think DSoTM required 7 compressors and 4 EQs? As I stated earlier, the very records most of us love were made with far simpler chains, why do we require more?

Because we're not always getting in Dark Side of the Moon quality mixes.  The more "special" mixes often end up getting the most "love".  

Different tools for different tasks, each excelling in different ways.  The key is the discipline to know the strengths of each.  It's not about having one item in the chain or 10.  At the end of the day, how does it sound?

Let's take the System 6000 for example.  For 90-95% of the stuff I master, it doesn't get utilized but when I need it, it can do some really nice things.

You can take a guy like JJP who has a ridiculous amount of gear but has also produced, recorded, and mixed some excellent work.  The key is he knows what to reach for to paint really great picture.

I agree with the general premise of the thread that often people will try to cover inexperience with thinking the answer is just in another box or plug.  On the other hand, sucky mixes going in one great eq and one great comp may come out less sucky but with the right tools and the right craftmanship you might just be able to work a little magic.
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Bob Boyd
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bblackwood

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2006, 06:14:11 AM »

Bob Boyd wrote on Wed, 01 November 2006 02:20

The key is the discipline to know the strengths of each.  It's not about having one item in the chain or 10.  At the end of the day, how does it sound?

Indeed.

Realize that most of this thread is stream-of-consciousness from me - I have no agenda, nor have I formed my opinion on any of this, just want to hash it out and see where things stand...

So far, two things have resonated with me - that lack of mentoring is killing the modern engineering craft and serious experience (and the associated discipline that comes with it) is required to know when to say 'when'. Neither of these are revelations, but it's nice to see other people seeing things the same way.

Many have forgotten (or never learned) that simple is always better, but only as simple as needed...
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Brad Blackwood
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2006, 08:01:40 AM »

I have two interns from the local college.

They are both very nice people.

The one is a Freshman and is very easy to work with and does what he is asked to do and comes back and asks questions if he does not understand what needs to be done. The other is a Sophomore and is enrolled in the recording course at the college.

We all did a remote recording together last Sunday. The person from the college's recording course astounded me with her lack of basic knowledge of even the most simple things like which end of an XLR to you stick into the microphone and why can I get the cable to release. She is a strait "A" student and one of the best graphic designers I have seen in quite a long long time. As to what they are teaching her in the recording courses is beyond me.

These are not the first interns I have had and I get requests from people wanting to intern here all the time especially from people who have just graduated from a recording school. The main thing that I find amusing is that they say things like "I want to learn to be a mastering engineer I have two weeks and can work a couple of hours per night so can you show me everything you know?" or "They did not teach us how to master so I was wondering if I came in could you show me how to master and how much would you pay me for being an intern?"

The other thing that amazes me is the lack of understanding of how money is made in this business. The graduates of some of these recording schools assume that they are going to go from the school to a job and that EVERY recording studio has an SSL console or Digidesign ICON console. They also assume, and I guess the recording school must tell them this, that they will be making $40,000 per year as an entry level engineer. Most recording studios today are one or two person operations unless you are in New York, LA or Nashville. Today, with what is happening in the economy and to recording studios in general, there is not a lot of fat anywhere and most studios are cutting staff not adding them and if you are hired you are expected to be producing income very soon after you come on board.

I find that a lot of people who are applying for internships think that is is a free ride and that they will be getting coffee and snacks for big name artist and that after a couple of weeks they will be sitting behind the board and doing sessions. If you talk to the graduates of these schools and ask them questions about what they have learned you start to discover that it was mostly a quick overview of a lot of subjects and that there is not a depth of understanding about what was really going on. Certainly there is almost zero understanding of electronics or hooking up of equipment. I had one young man who told me proudly that he could align a 24 track tape deck. I handed him a scope, an AC voltmeter, a test tape and a tweeker and told him to align our 2 track MTR-10 which should have been a walk in the park for anyone who can align a 24 track machine. He looked at the equipment and sheepishly said "well I watched someone else aligned a machine I did not really do it myself" which is what I think happens more times than not.

Students from large audio schools also seem to be gearaholics and if you don't have the latest or the greatest equipment in your racks they turn up their noses or ask where the really good equipment is kept.

Sorry to be off topic but a couple of posts talked about interns and I wanted to share my viewpoint.
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turtletone

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #67 on: November 01, 2006, 09:56:44 AM »

When I was an engineer, we used to send the obnoxious interns out to get a bag of 100 hertz for a session. They'd be gone for hours.

While it seemed cruel, it also served a purpose. They quickly learned that they weren't as smart as they thought.

When I was a young assistant, I thought I knew what gear was needed  and what you had to have and do to get "Pro" results. I thought you needed all this outboard gear and effects, the console was just for faders and effects sends. One day I assisted for Elliot Schiner on a mix date. The 2"'s came in, not very many. I thought the rest must be coming. No outboard gear request was in my session setup, but I have 4 interns ready and waiting to grab tons of gear to haul in and setup. He came in, we met, blah blah. I put up a reel for him, only 24 tracks???. He asked me to patch in a couple of spx90's. I figured he just wanted to play around and see what was on the tapes. Two hours later we were printing mixes. I couldn't believe it, I refused to believe that these were the final mixes, but they sounded so great. From that day on, it completely changed my outlook. It may sound stupid, but these ahhha moments are what mold engineers to listen. It doesn't happen overnight, but over years. This can't be learned in schools, in forums, at guitar center's, or by buying equipment. It's a thought process. Then you'll be able to pick and choose your gear, hopefully.

This is the main difference between old school and newschool engineers IMO. Not the tools they use but the thought process behind the tools they pick to use.
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Michael Fossenkemper
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2006, 12:10:15 PM »

bblackwood wrote on Wed, 01 November 2006 05:14

Many have forgotten (or never learned) that simple is always better, but only as simple as needed...


Brings to mind the old adage: "the tailor that cuts the best, cuts the least".

I find that many times, the least amount of mastering you can do to a mix to get it up to par, the better... a matter of philosophy.

Why Re-Invent a mix? If the producer wanted it heavily manipulated, he probably would have done it in mixing.

*** I think the Loudness Craze has inspired a lot of MEs to over-use processing ***

I also think that having lots of juicy gear can be a bit of a security blanket for an ME.

When it's really the Skill and Experience of the ME that builds Confidence.

The same philosophy can apply to using Automatic processes to make Repairs:

Take De-essing for instance. Why run a whole song through the DS process when you could probably fix the offending 3 or 4 esses manually and be done. The mix might sound better as a result. I've yet to find a De-esser that I like better than doing it with a little EQ, and repairing the worst offenders manually ITB. If the esses aren't really all that bad (painful to the ear), they may not need repairing anyway. (some would argue that the Weiss and/or Quantum units handle the job very well)

Same goes for LF Plosives, why HPF the whole song, when a bit of selective EQ will do.

Same goes for De-Clicking, fix the bad ones manually, don't filter the whole song.

Noise Reduction is overrated as well.

Multiband Compression doesn't impress me much either.

"Perfection" may well just be over-rated too !

No, I'm not advocating letting a bunch of sloppy junk slide through, just don't use a Machete when a pocket knife will do.

Experience can teach you that sometimes less ~ is~ more, but not always.

And like my pal Bill Johnson says, "the enemy of good is better".

Just philosophizing today : - )

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robot gigante

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2006, 06:40:54 PM »

I use one EQ and one compressor most of the time.  Sometimes I use two.  It depends.

I've been lucky enough to work with an intern who is humble and only interested in interning.  The only frustrating thing about this intern is that he has an amazing set of ears and intuition, so it's hard to have him only as an intern, because there's not enough work/rooms here for another engineer.

He also interns at another studio and I think I would trust him over most of the people there.  I'm sure he will have a promising career if he sticks with it.

There are a lot of records being destroyed out there for various reasons, but I think it's not all storm clouds.

However...

I've gotten work from people who have been established in the business a long time and although they have fine gear I would say they are not subject to G.A.S.   What I've gotten from them, whether to mix or master is pretty horrid sometimes where it should have been a piece of cake to get an ok sound if they had a pair of ears.  I think about these people and then I think about my intern who I think could engineer circles around them and I think that you either have it or you don't.  I'm not too sure what to do about the people who don't, but still stay in the business.  Especially since the intern for example is way too humble to self-promote like these guys do.

So is G.A.S the problem?  Or is using a gear list as a crutch for no talent and as a selling point to attract clients?   I have a fear too that this kid will get frustrated in this climate of tin-eared self promoters and choose a different career- I wonder if the state of things is these days that intelligent, talented young people will move to doing something else.  Maybe that's what's destroying modern records as much as anything.
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Gold

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2006, 08:33:17 PM »

robot gigante wrote on Wed, 01 November 2006 18:40


So is G.A.S the problem?  Or is using a gear list as a crutch for no talent and as a selling point to attract clients?   I have a fear too that this kid will get frustrated in this climate of tin-eared self promoters and choose a different career


This is certainly nothing new. I know a few people who managed to get through a whole career without knowing very much. It's showbiz.

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Paul Gold
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greg charles

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2006, 09:20:55 PM »

Here is a classic example of GAS.

http://cikira.com/gear/

For some reason she hasn't recorded much with all that gear...I wonder why?
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jtr

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2006, 09:21:16 PM »

I'm sitting here trying to craft yet another contribution to this thread, but as I type there are lots of animated advertising graphics for gear flashing on and off all around the screen.

No disrespect intended to our sponsors, this is almost too funny to be scripted.
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turtletone

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2006, 10:33:48 PM »

greg charles wrote on Wed, 01 November 2006 21:20

Here is a classic example of GAS.

http://cikira.com/gear/

For some reason she hasn't recorded much with all that gear...I wonder why?


Cause she's way to hot to work around.


Insert pervy laugh.
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Michael Fossenkemper
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: Is G.A.S. destroying modern records?
« Reply #74 on: November 02, 2006, 04:13:11 AM »

jtr wrote on Wed, 01 November 2006 20:21

I'm sitting here trying to craft yet another contribution to this thread, but as I type there are lots of animated advertising graphics for gear flashing on and off all around the screen.

No disrespect intended to our sponsors, this is almost too funny to be scripted.


Hey Jim,

Kinda reminds me of that 1965 Russ Meyer film:

Faster, Engineer! Buy! Buy!

JT
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Terra Nova Mastering
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