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Author Topic: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?  (Read 11964 times)

TotalSonic

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2008, 06:02:21 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 11:03

Patrik T wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 08:00

I keep my arsenal of weapons to a minimum and a minimum of embarrasement seems to come out of that.

Same here - five total pieces of analog processing gear, little/no processing digitally (occasionally some HEDD or L2).


For me knowing the abilities of a number of additional tools I would be embarassed not having them available for the times when the mix would actually benefit from having them applied.

I'll acknowledge that many times having a multitude of processors always available, or having a number of processors that are new or unfamiliar to the engineer at once, can lead to over processing by erroneously applying them when they are not required - or "option anxiety" leading to slower and potentially bogged down session work flow.  So - yes - when adding processor options it's important to take the time to learn them first and then limit their use only to when they are actually of a benefit.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Patrik T

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2008, 11:13:50 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 00:02

So - yes - when adding processor options it's important to take the time to learn them first and then limit their use only to when they are actually of a benefit.


Probably just me, but I've always found this strange.

Not the learning thing but the limitation. IMO, a good processor will work with pretty much everything and a bad with hardly nothing.

I do not consider the phenomena of music to be overly different between genres, beats, dynamics and so on, so when people talk about X being good for rock and Y being good for electro I go a little "whutta?".

I guess it IS embarrassing with tools that only seem to work sometimes.


Best Regards
Patrik
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TotalSonic

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2008, 11:36:16 pm »

Patrik T wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 23:13

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 00:02

So - yes - when adding processor options it's important to take the time to learn them first and then limit their use only to when they are actually of a benefit.


Probably just me, but I've always found this strange.

Not the learning thing but the limitation. IMO, a good processor will work with pretty much everything and a bad with hardly nothing.


I disagree with this. Take the best sounding most versatile compressor in the world - and then apply it on a track that is already over-compressed.  It doesn't make things sound better then, does it?

Take a look at my list of "embarrasments" - you'll find mighty cheap digital tools that simply produce better sounding results in my direct experience than other processing options - but only in very specific and exacting cases.


Quote:


I do not consider the phenomena of music to be overly different between genres, beats, dynamics and so on, so when people talk about X being good for rock and Y being good for electro I go a little "whutta?".


In general I agree with you but there are in fact expectations based on what is generally practiced for the majority of that (sub)genre that if not acknowledged will generally end up with more revision requests than not.

i.e. presented with a dubstep track the client is most likely going to want a heckuva lot more low end than a client presenting a typical cumbia would.  And a client bringing in a chamber music track will generally want much more natural dynamics left in tact than your typical death metal artist would.  So often processing choices (and sometimes the processors themselves) will get made differently for these occasions. Pretending these things don't exist is slightly disengenuous to me - although I agree with you in the vast majority of cases that the same eq's and comps would work on nearly every genre.

Quote:

I guess it IS embarrassing with tools that only seem to work sometimes.


Well - my modded SPL SX2 sits off the vast majority of the time.  But on the tracks where it works for I'm seriously glad to have it.  Nothing embarassing about that to me - except maybe for the fact that something you can find on ebay for about $200 sits next to an eq that originally cost well over $5000.

Best regards,
Steve Berson


Viitalahde

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2008, 01:44:20 am »

Well, for me, 98% of the work is the basic EQ+compressor stuff, and I have a combination that works good. I don't want to keep hardware options available since rackspace is always limited (and like a minimal setup), but it's good to have a few plugins for the odd jobs.

When I need to resort to these, things are out of hand anyway..
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Patrik T

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2008, 03:55:40 am »

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 05:36


I disagree with this. Take the best sounding most versatile compressor in the world - and then apply it on a track that is already over-compressed.  It doesn't make things sound better then, does it?


Better get it out of the signal chain at that specific moment then and happily conclude that the track does not need any compression.

Quote:

In general I agree with you but there are in fact expectations based on what is generally practiced for the majority of that (sub)genre that if not acknowledged will generally end up with more revision requests than not.


I think that (too) many tools in mastering is a good source for a constant flow of revision requests.

Quote:

i.e. presented with a dubstep track the client is most likely going to want a heckuva lot more low end than a client presenting a typical cumbia would. And a client bringing in a chamber music track will generally want much more natural dynamics left in tact than your typical death metal artist would.


If a "tool" does "work" better for dubstep than chamber music what will happen if there is suddenly cellos and violas within a dubstep piece?

Time for tool #3?

Which has to be compensated by #4? Which has to be adjusted by #5? Which has to................


Best Regards
Patrik
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masterhse

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2008, 06:38:49 am »

dave-G wrote on Sat, 14 June 2008 08:48

masterhse wrote on Fri, 13 June 2008 23:18

I have a Urei LA-22 that I use very rarely for upward expansion. For some reason it works sometimes on severly squashed mixes. But don't tell anyone, it's secret.

Pretty good de-esser too!
[feigns embarrassment]

-dave


(shhhh) you let out another secret Dave ...
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: What's your most embarrassing secret weapon?
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2008, 09:45:20 am »

When it comes down to equipment I try and use the least amount of equipment that I need to in order to get the job done. HOWEVER in today's world of basement recording studios, too many processors being used and a general lack of knowledge by the mix engineer about how a good mix is suppose to sound before it is mastered, I find that I need some additional tools once in a while for some sonic surgery.

Most of these are plug-ins and I keep them in reserve for those hard to fix problems that I run into ever so often. YMMV
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TotalSonic

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2008, 04:01:38 pm »

Patrik T wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 03:55

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 05:36


I disagree with this. Take the best sounding most versatile compressor in the world - and then apply it on a track that is already over-compressed.  It doesn't make things sound better then, does it?


Better get it out of the signal chain at that specific moment then and happily conclude that the track does not need any compression.


Exactly!
Quote:


Quote:

In general I agree with you but there are in fact expectations based on what is generally practiced for the majority of that (sub)genre that if not acknowledged will generally end up with more revision requests than not.


I think that (too) many tools in mastering is a good source for a constant flow of revision requests.


It certainly is a dangerous trap that one must be careful to avoid.  Experience with mastering in general and the processor you are using in specific is the way of avoiding it.  

Quote:


Quote:

i.e. presented with a dubstep track the client is most likely going to want a heckuva lot more low end than a client presenting a typical cumbia would. And a client bringing in a chamber music track will generally want much more natural dynamics left in tact than your typical death metal artist would.


If a "tool" does "work" better for dubstep than chamber music what will happen if there is suddenly cellos and violas within a dubstep piece?


In this case then generally then these would be overdubbed elements and the essential character would still be of a dubstep track.  i.e. big @ss synth bass, some organic and electronic elements cutting in and out, and vocals on top.  Anyway - I was referring to a generally expected frequency spectrum balance particular to a subgenre and not to having specific processors in mind for a genre in my example.

Quote:


Time for tool #3?

Which has to be compensated by #4? Which has to be adjusted by #5? Which has to................



It doesn't have to work that way and I myself never work that way.  

Instead:
Ears are the guide.  Sometimes an esoteric unusual processor will do some magic for very specific cases where a specific unusual problem is occurring in the mix.  The other times then I agree with you that a minimum of simple tools does the job the best.  What I disagree with is approaching anything with an absolutism as to what can or can not work.  Open minds help in this case.  Spending time outside of sessions investigating potential tools and then spending extra time learning the select few tools that have potential to be of actual use thoroughly before applying them in a session helps to eliminate potential faults of overprocessing or bogging down the session's work flow.  

There are examples of tons of tracks I work on where there's just 1/2db tweaks from 2 bands on my "go to" analog eq and a db of limiting and it's done.  Then there are less frequent examples of tracks where in order to get the client happy with the master I have to do tons and tons of processing - sometimes with unusual processor choices.  Whatever works is all good by me.  

Again - please don't misunderstand me - I most often use a small number of processors and I don't add new processors to my options very often.  But there are indeed tasks like declicking, transient recovery, sibilance removal, etc, that I find are soemtimes necessary tasks in todays mastering sessions.  I like to have tools available to do these things - and just an eq and a compressor will not let you do these.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Andrew Hamilton

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2008, 04:10:07 pm »

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 16:01


Again - please don't understand me -




Sounds like great advice.   Laughing





Andrew
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TotalSonic

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2008, 04:13:53 pm »

Andrew Hamilton wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 16:10

TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 15 June 2008 16:01


Again - please don't understand me -




Sounds like great advice.   Laughing



Hee hee! - fixed that typo - but on second thought - maybe it's a much easier approach to posts on internet forums!

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Mickey Tee

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2008, 07:57:57 am »

Masterer wrote on Fri, 13 June 2008 18:46

I have 3 "producer" buttons on my console labelled "beer" "tits" and "ass". When necessary i'll hit one of those and watch as everyone feels the love.

Works every time.


Sorry to be pain, but that is about the unfunniest thing I ever read here; painfully lame imo

sorry
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tom eaton

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2008, 09:50:16 am »

Levity can do some impressive things during an otherwise pressured session.

A joke that makes everyone in the room laugh can be a terrific tension release if there have been moments of disagreement previous...

Half the job is about managing the personalities in the room.

tom

cerberus

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2008, 03:03:57 pm »

i suppose that if one ever had to do a session where clive davis walked in and sat down...
one would need to have iron balls; and some very esoteric buttons
to push with extreme confidence. even female m.e.s.

jeff dinces

Garrett H

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2008, 09:14:46 pm »

Mickey Tee wrote on Mon, 16 June 2008 07:57

Masterer wrote on Fri, 13 June 2008 18:46

I have 3 "producer" buttons on my console labelled "beer" "tits" and "ass". When necessary i'll hit one of those and watch as everyone feels the love.

Works every time.


Sorry to be pain, but that is about the unfunniest thing I ever read here; painfully lame imo

sorry


The problem is Masterer has people ask him to make the bass 'more spry,' and when that happens, he has to have the appropriate tools for the job.  So, the BTA-1 is the tool in those situations.

Just sayin'
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David Glasser

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Re: What's your most embarrasing secret weapon?
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2008, 10:37:05 pm »



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