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Author Topic: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)  (Read 10441 times)

j.hall

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #90 on: June 27, 2007, 04:48:53 pm »

i see your point, i just think it's so miniscule it doesn't matter.  certainly for songs like IMP 12 and others of that vibe, it's not something you scoop out.  then again, i think songs like that speak for themselves and don't require much comment.

i'd be more willing to look at the overheads then individual drums.

seems like you are skating around some albini-isms, which is not something i have ever associated with you.
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Fibes

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #91 on: June 27, 2007, 04:57:20 pm »

j.hall wrote on Wed, 27 June 2007 16:48


seems like you are skating around some albini-isms, which is not something i have ever associated with you.


He doesn't have the market cornered on that philosophy.

I started my recording carreer doing classical stuff.

The nuance of EQ on an orchestra is an eye opening experience.

Look, i jump through all sorts of flaming hoops to create an illusion, the key is to do so by planning your steps so you don't get your ass burned.

taking the time to plot the course is important, many people eschew the planning for attacking the replacement.


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Fibes
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rankus

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #92 on: June 27, 2007, 06:26:35 pm »



It all depends on the project.. and in that case I agree with both of you.!

I am currently working on two projects:

One is a down tempo Nick Cave kind of record where I took great care while tracking the drums knowing that I would be using them "organically" with little or no EQ and absolutely no samples... A perfect photo of the drummer in a room.. (i hope lol)

The other is a "power pop" record for a chick punk band where I knew from the beginning that I would be using samples and a lot of EQ... in fact on this project I actually picked out my samples as part of my pre-pro so that I could track the other instruments to "fit" the samples....

soooo.... Your both right..... Razz


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J-Texas

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #93 on: June 27, 2007, 08:01:11 pm »

rankus wrote on Wed, 27 June 2007 17:26

in fact on this project I actually picked out my samples as part of my pre-pro so that I could track the other instruments to "fit" the samples...




Now this I really don't understand. If you know what kind of sound you're looking for going into it, and samples are just someone else's technique, then why wouldn't you try to emulate that with your own style? Help me on this. This is exactly what I've been talking about.
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Jason Thompson
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Greg Dixon

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #94 on: June 27, 2007, 11:14:32 pm »

I almost never completely replace drums with samples, but I will blend them in if needed. Complete replacement rarely sounds right to me.

When I first started engineering, I definitely leaned towards the purest/documentary style of recording. I've had some of the greatest drummers over here tell me that they loved the way I captured their kit. Even after moving from analogue tape to Pro Tools, I still resisted getting Soundreplacer, as I prided myself in not needing it. I eventually tried the demo on some tracks where there was just too much hats in the snare mic and it sounded great and solved the problem. I was carefull to make sure it blended and wasn't noticeable. At the album launch, the drummer mentioned loving the way the drums sounded.

The way I look at it, mixing in samples is just like upgrading the kit. I'm just looking to enhance the performance, not make it something it's not. Of course that's not going to be everybody's approach.

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Gabriel F

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #95 on: June 28, 2007, 12:29:21 am »

I use samples all the time because i usually work in less than great situations, but the problem is when someone automatically replace everything without listening if it fits the song.
As an example i dont think a tight kick drum sample fitted this last IMP, i believe that the long sustained kick really enhanced the song, it had a velvet underground vibe i really liked.
And when working with nice gear and acoustics i like to take samples of the actual drums so you can blend them to add consistency or really fuck them with compression and fx, that way your drums have a unique personality.
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Fibes

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #96 on: June 28, 2007, 10:57:11 am »

So, now that I've been outted as a closet purist it's apparent I have to continue to tote the mail on said subject.

There are smoke and mirrors projects and there are "actual reality" projects.

Neither of them are gonna be 100% pure-bred, it's impossible without bringing the band around inside your I-Pod.

That said, it was beaten into me early on that every move you make in the studio has an impact. Whether it's mic selection or a pause before answering the vocalists question on "how'd it sound." All these little things can add up to something incredible or absolutely below the bottom of the barrel.

Experience and our gut can team up to tell us what to do but no matter what reason should stop us from doing things "just to do them."

Sure, I'm hip to the fun of science experiments in the studio during the overdubbing phase of some projects but I've never heard the WOW factor surpass people playing togther and really freaking nailing it.

So, before you reach for the snippers to yank that snare buzz out, the ring on that tom, the breath between vocal passages take a moment to ask yourself if taking that out is really needed.

See, I've learned one thing and that perfection is boring and that sometimes the more things we fix the less they breathe and i want the music i'm hearing to breathe.



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Fibes
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pg666

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #97 on: June 28, 2007, 11:57:28 am »

Quote:

Sure, I'm hip to the fun of science experiments in the studio during the overdubbing phase of some projects but I've never heard the WOW factor surpass people playing togther and really freaking nailing it.


exactly. i really appreciate your posts on this thread.

i understand the need to fix things.. or more side-steppingly put, "build on what the artist intended to do", but those aren't the type of records i go home and get excited about listening to. i think engineer-type people can lose sight of what people are actually listening for.
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Fibes

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #98 on: June 28, 2007, 01:29:51 pm »

ou
pg666 wrote on Thu, 28 June 2007 11:57

Quote:

Sure, I'm hip to the fun of science experiments in the studio during the overdubbing phase of some projects but I've never heard the WOW factor surpass people playing togther and really freaking nailing it.


exactly. i really appreciate your posts on this thread.

i understand the need to fix things.. or more side-steppingly put, "build on what the artist intended to do", but those aren't the type of records i go home and get excited about listening to. i think engineer-type people can lose sight of what people are actually listening for.



Thank you for summing it up so nicely.

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Fibes
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"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

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rankus

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #99 on: June 28, 2007, 02:16:25 pm »

J-Texas wrote on Wed, 27 June 2007 17:01

rankus wrote on Wed, 27 June 2007 17:26

in fact on this project I actually picked out my samples as part of my pre-pro so that I could track the other instruments to "fit" the samples...




Now this I really don't understand. If you know what kind of sound you're looking for going into it, and samples are just someone else's technique, then why wouldn't you try to emulate that with your own style? Help me on this. This is exactly what I've been talking about.



Well the reason in this case is that the sound of the genre is samples and edited to death guitars etc.  I use the picture below to illustrate my thinking... Sometimes the 3D rendering conveys what you want to convey, and sometimes the picture does... each has a place... (PS: this is a boat that I designed... I hear a rumor that Fibes is looking for a new boat...call me...)  The samples in question in this case are the same ones that folks with big names  are using.. Yes, I have tried to get there on my own and can get 95% of the way, but this is a game of inches and if your shooting for radio , as with this project, that other 5% counts big-time...(no I can't share the samples or source, sorry)

I don't feel the use of samples cheapens me as an engineer... I  I get killer sounds organically, so the use of samples are not a crutch (which is bad practice imo) they are a creative decision such as the decision to use a Tele for leads and Les Paul for rhythm. (thats just the sound of the genre I am working in on this particular project)

index.php/fa/5531/0/

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J-Texas

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #100 on: June 28, 2007, 05:51:06 pm »

rankus wrote on Thu, 28 June 2007 13:16

...this is a boat that I designed...



Aye, aye Cap'n! You've got a nice dinghy.

I'm with it man. There is a time and place for everything.

(Back to the discussion at the first of this thread.)

That's engineering with a vision! That's what I mean about a little of each e, a, p! You had something in mind starting out and built around it... I can see that.

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Jason Thompson
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Iain Graham

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #101 on: June 28, 2007, 08:00:12 pm »

True.

I have to say I never replace with samples, I simply add to what's there. I think it sounds better. It's used like EQ for me, a lot of the time. If the snare is to dull for example, I'll use Drum Rehab over a duplicate of the snare track and add a brighter sample onto what's already there. I just add enough to bring the top of the snare out a bit. It's way cleaner than adding top end to the snare mic and bringing lots more hi-hat into the equation, for me. I've also taken a clean hit of the existing snare, added some hefty HF eq onto it and used that as my sample before.

Like I said, it's not about changing things, just making the recording better, or better for the track.

There is a difference, to me, between polishing a turd, and subtly changing a recording so the final mix suits the song better. What happens if the drummer can't afford a new top snare skin so the snare is dull? Or what's the easiest, best sounding way to improve that for him?

Or for your example about the eq on the kick, what happens if the recording engineer can't hear that when he's recording it? Do you live with it because that's how it was tracked, even though the artist would have missed it on the same monitoring system? Or what happens if that mid frequency sits in some tracks of an album, but not others, and they were all tracked on the same setup?

For me, what we are essentially proving with this discussion, is that all the tools we have at our disposal while we mix are suitable in some contexts only. There is no absolutes in what we do. Sure we might eq certain instruments most times we mix, but is it the same eq every time? Or the same compression? Or the same whatever?

No, it's what suits the song and makes whatever source we're working on sit in the appropriate place in the mix that suits the song the best. Or that's the goal anyways. To get that song across as best we can for the delivery medium.

A large part of the trouble comes from the way things are advertised. An awful lot of people read the ads in the mags, see the endorsements, etc, and see them being advertised as absolutes and follow that. It teaches people half truths. If a musician reads that fixing any little problem is easy in a DAW. Not so much anyone here, but the people who walk into our studios every day.

It generally is possible, but the closer it is to being in time/in tune/recorded properly/whatever, the easier it is to fix and the better it will sound when it gets released.

I'd love to set a band up in a room, have them play a song and that be it, or maybe with some overdubs. It just doesn't happen. It's cheaper and easier to not rehearse and practice as much, and to have me fix little blemishes in the mix. Or to buy and properly maintain good sounding gear.

Unfortunately, fixing crap is as big a part of the job nowadays as knowing which end of a mic line is which. Do you refuse to do it and lose work, or just get on with it? I know which one I can't afford to do.

Excuse the ramble, it's been a busy week.
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Iain Graham

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Fibes

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #102 on: June 28, 2007, 10:10:23 pm »

It's a bit crazy when we merely become fix it jockeys.

There's a point where we can all make things better but none of us, no matter what the tool/skill set can make WOW.
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Fibes
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Iain Graham

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Re: thoughts and questions (generated from IMP)
« Reply #103 on: June 28, 2007, 10:29:13 pm »

No, I agree. I meant that's more the attitude of the client than us.

I think the one thing we can all agree on is that the smaller the amount of fixing we do, the better the product at the end.

There are times where that happens, but a lot of us can't make a living by simply doing that. Sucking it up and fixing the shite means I can do this as a living. Being good at it means I get more gigs doing it too. Which sucks in a lot of respects, but that's life.

It means the good projects are all the more enjoyable as well.

Again, it's using the technology or abusing the technology.

Edit to add there are times where this job is being involved in and documenting art, some of it great art, and there are times when it's a service industry. Smile, nod, and do what you're asked. Bitch about it later to someone who'll listen and won't blab.

Edited again because the word "all" makes a big difference to the 2nd paragraph if I actually remember to right it.  Rolling Eyes
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Iain Graham

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