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Author Topic: Do you process to tape or not....  (Read 10918 times)

NelsonL

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2010, 01:35:20 pm »

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 08:23

NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 05:58

h2o2 wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 23:14

Greg Dixon wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 16:55

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 08:34

grantis wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 14:18

h2o2 wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 14:10

mcsnare wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 11:55

Adding eq and compression at the recording stage is standard operating procedure and not would I refer to as pre-mixing.

Dave


Alright, Compression is often done at recording to save time.
I believe adding EQ at recording time, apart from EQ controls of guitar cab or lowcut is not that common practice however.
Regardless it is common or not, this pre-processing is detrimental to IMP idea.


Common to EQ to tape over here.  

And I'm struggling with the idea that cutting EQ to tape is detrimental to this exercise.  Please explain.

In case of struggle it is good to ask yourself questions and develop logical thinking.
For example: why it is not allowed to submit early? which reason?

I believe non-destructive editing did bet destructive one?


One reason for not submitting mixes early is so that people aren't copying each others mixes.

Getting the sounds 'right' while recording, is definitely the ideal. Leaving decisions until the mix, is something to be avoided in general. Yes, it has become common practice to not eq and compress until the mix, but that's a recent trend and just makes it harder to get a great mix.

Having the sounds close to the way they'll be in the final mix, makes adding overdubs much easier, as you know right away if the new sound is working in the track.

I'm very grateful that I started recording on 4 and 8 tracks and spent the first 8 years professionally recording to 16 tracks.

I started with a fairly small number of quality mics, great monitors, decent desk, a pair of reverbs and delays and one dual channel compressor. You have to learn to get things right as you go. Lots of decisions to make like, which tracks get the compressors while tracking and which ones in the mix.

Unfortunately mixing is much more complicated matter since there are more then a single mixing strategy and sweet spot in each track. You certainly would like to make that decision during mixing and not in a hurry during recording.




Sure, one must be judicious. But you're talking in absolutes, and I know for a fact that there are professionals who do not adhere to your tenets.

EQ, compression, gating, etc. are all fair game during tracking. Experienced engineers know when and how to use these tools without tying their hands at mix time. There are wildly differing philosophies on how much is too much etc, but your philosophy of abstinence is not the professional norm. In a sense, there really is no 'norm' so go ahead and knock yourself out. But I'd be wary of any single, proscribed way of working.

And you are talking .. you are just talking, since this is not backed by any single argument or even thought. Just to express variety of approaches is costing nothing.
You shouldn't be wary of proscribed ways if they are backed by good reasoning and you understand what you are doing and what you are trying to achieve.




You seem to think we're having a debate.

Rather than trying to prove anything to you, I'm simply suggesting that what you accept to be "the right way to do things," might be a minority opinion. Majority opinions, I realize, are not necessarily more valid. However, I've improved my craft tremendously by learning who to filter out here, who to listen to, and how to benefit from seemingly contradictory information: trying things for myself.

To be blunt, my thoughts and reasoning were more focused on not getting into heated arguments with possibly unstable internet cranks. Not that you're necessarily that person, but 'they' are certainly out there, aren't they?

Anecdotally, I had the pleasure of meeting an Abbey Road trained engineer (now a producer) at Cello one time, as he was producing my friend's band. Unlike you, that producer uses EQ and compression during tracking. If we presume for a moment, that you and this producer/engineer have the exact same skill level and experience, then you've cancelled each other's 'vote' out in the grand debate over great audio.

I guess that makes me the tie breaker.
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Daniel Farris

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2010, 01:48:42 pm »

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 10:20

While years of experience usually impress western world and this is by far most used argument in discussions (and usually the only one), in the eastern world we still adhering to logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions.


http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/30735/3686/

Quote:

I believe IMP results submitted for this imp will give better weight


Agreed.

DF
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dconstruction

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2010, 02:11:25 pm »

I am not a vet or a pro, but I've worked with J. and some others on this board, and had the distinct pleasure of providing three songs for previous IMP sessions.

I'm not going to comment on dogma, which I find uninteresting.  Also, I don't own many outboard compressors or EQs, so don't regularly process to "tape" anyway.  However, if I did own them, I would CERTAINLY use them.  Here's why:

1.) Monitoring the sounds with effects applied helps the performers, and helps the engineer (me) to get a feel for what's really being done.  Those sounds are part of the emotion, and that emotion is part of the performance.  It's good, immediate feedback.
2.) I hate choices.  Limits and constraints make me more creative, not less.  I have a studio partner who feels the exact opposite and regularly uses as many mics and channels as possible.  I hate opening up one of his projects - too much f'ing stuff.  I just mute tracks indiscriminately and move forward, applying my own brand of oblique strategies, I suppose, which are all limits and constrictions, anyway.

L
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h2o2

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2010, 02:59:35 pm »

NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:35


seem to think we're having a debate.

Rather than trying to prove anything to you, I'm simply suggesting that what you accept to be "the right way to do things," might be a minority opinion. Majority opinions, I realize, are not necessarily more valid. However, I've improved my craft tremendously by learning who to filter out here, who to listen to, and how to benefit from seemingly contradictory information: trying things for myself.

To be blunt, my thoughts and reasoning were more focused on not getting into heated arguments with possibly unstable internet cranks. Not that you're necessarily that person, but 'they' are certainly out there, aren't they?

Anecdotally, I had the pleasure of meeting an Abbey Road trained engineer (now a producer) at Cello one time, as he was producing my friend's band. Unlike you, that producer uses EQ and compression during tracking. If we presume for a moment, that you and this producer/engineer have the exact same skill level and experience, then you've cancelled each other's 'vote' out in the grand debate over great audio.

I guess that makes me the tie breaker.



NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:35


seem to think we're having a debate.


I think is just a matter of professionalism to provide good argumentation in comment in professional community.

NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:35


Rather than trying to prove anything to you, I'm simply suggesting that what you accept to be "the right way to do things," might be a minority opinion.


I can accept however is difficult to check representatively and more or less objectively.

NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:35


To be blunt, my thoughts and reasoning were more focused on not getting into heated arguments with possibly unstable internet cranks.


What harm can this make? While not entering discussion you are not doing any impact and effectiveness of the discussion is close to zero. While everybody is happy this is purely "false safety" thing and a big deal of hypocrisy.

NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:35


Anecdotally, I had the pleasure of meeting an Abbey Road trained engineer (now a producer) at Cello one time, as he was producing my friend's band. Unlike you, that producer uses EQ and compression during tracking. If we presume for a moment, that you and this producer/engineer have the exact same skill level and experience, then you've cancelled each other's 'vote' out in the grand debate over great audio.


Here comes the catch...
You make decisions without listening to argumentation from both sides. Constructive discussions are usually made by exchanging series of arguments by both parties. You are absolutely right that at the end it is personal decision of everyone to take whichever party they want. But it is important not to forget that doing this without listening to argumentation is a very narrow decision.

NelsonL wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:35


you've cancelled each other's 'vote'


Cancelling may occur only in case we will have a dilema, this is in a case when number of arguments is more or less equal and they have the same strength. But the guy could just have told you: I never really thought why I am doing it like this, maybe it might be a good idea to try the other way around.
in case of dilema, if you dont find argument which is closer to you you might consider using weight.
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h2o2

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2010, 03:17:16 pm »

dconstruction wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 13:11

I am not a vet or a pro, but I've worked with J. and some others on this board, and had the distinct pleasure of providing three songs for previous IMP sessions.

I'm not going to comment on dogma, which I find uninteresting.  Also, I don't own many outboard compressors or EQs, so don't regularly process to "tape" anyway.  However, if I did own them, I would CERTAINLY use them.  Here's why:

1.) Monitoring the sounds with effects applied helps the performers, and helps the engineer (me) to get a feel for what's really being done.  Those sounds are part of the emotion, and that emotion is part of the performance.  It's good, immediate feedback.
2.) I hate choices.  Limits and constraints make me more creative, not less.  I have a studio partner who feels the exact opposite and regularly uses as many mics and channels as possible.  I hate opening up one of his projects - too much f'ing stuff.  I just mute tracks indiscriminately and move forward, applying my own brand of oblique strategies, I suppose, which are all limits and constrictions, anyway.

L

a)Which dogma you are referring to? b)Do you understand what is dogma? Smile

1) This is good argument but you don't need to print to tape for that.
2) Limits and constraints are different things, it is true that constrining yourself is helping to achieve better results because you have a vector where to move. But limiting a space of movements is detremental to creativity.
Why not trying to contrain yourself to just mic selection placement during recording? Does involvement of mixing part in recording process produce too much possibilities?
In ideal world you would try to capture musicians which play carefully selected notes and well written arrangements... would it not be a good thing to concentrate on during recording? to make extra takes or different versions which work without eq? while not trying to fix things with EQ straight away.
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dconstruction

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2010, 03:20:04 pm »

a)Which condescension you are referring to? b)Do you understand what is condescension?  Smile
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h2o2

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2010, 03:57:09 pm »

Daniel Farris wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:48

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 10:20

While years of experience usually impress western world and this is by far most used argument in discussions (and usually the only one), in the eastern world we still adhering to logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions.


http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/30735/3686/


Thanks for giving me the insight of what us ppl are reading. It was interesting for me.
But i'm afraid that we just don't share the same values to say the least...

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grantis

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2010, 04:21:38 pm »

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:20


I'm sorry but i don't like to tell you my personal info. This might be because of sexism, racism, agism, or any other "ism" currently popular in US. While years of experience usually impress western world and this is by far most used argument in discussions (and usually the only one), in the eastern world we still adhering to logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions.




Sounds like you just hate America.

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:20


I believe IMP results submitted for this imp will give better weight then a number of years of experience which does not correlate usually.




It's not a competition, although I welcome your submission to hear how you dealt with the "pre-mixing"



h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:20


Saying that I do compress vocals before tape and use some lowcut eq etc before tape. But my reasonings don't include "it's common in the industry" my reasoning is primarily saving of time and compressing vocal with 1:4 ratio is de-facto standard and you very rarely want different. But I would be very careful to what i choose to compress during recording because you simply lock yourself and your decisions and producing mixes which are awfully the same and not improving.




Ever consider that there's a reason these practices are standard?  If was NOT an ideal way to work, the vast majority of professionals wouldn't be working that way.



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Podgorny

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2010, 04:26:46 pm »

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:20


I'm sorry but i don't like to tell you my personal info. This might be because of sexism, racism, agism, or any other "ism" currently popular in US. While years of experience usually impress western world and this is by far most used argument in discussions (and usually the only one), in the eastern world we still adhering to logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions.





Well for all of their logic, I would contend that for the most part, the eastern world makes miserable recordings.

Oops.  There I go feeding trolls again.




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"Nobody cares what the impedance is; all they care about is when you can walk into the room, set up a mic, turn the knobs, hit record, and make everybody go 'wow.'"

h2o2

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2010, 04:46:43 pm »

grantis wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 15:21


Sounds like you just hate America.


In fact I don't hate it as such, at a times i get bored out of it because  of that pressure of "majority" in almost everything. But i don't hate it as a such and I see good things even in it's average narrow-mindness. For example there would be no way to concur such a big continent in such a short time while having reasonable discussions and deep philosophy.

grantis wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 15:21


Ever consider that there's a reason these practices are standard?  If was NOT an ideal way to work, the vast majority of professionals wouldn't be working that way.


If there are reasons it might be a good time to mention a couple.
Nowdays there are so many myths around and absolutely no gravity you cannot take anything as granted:)
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h2o2

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2010, 04:52:45 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 15:26

h2o2 wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 12:20


I'm sorry but i don't like to tell you my personal info. This might be because of sexism, racism, agism, or any other "ism" currently popular in US. While years of experience usually impress western world and this is by far most used argument in discussions (and usually the only one), in the eastern world we still adhering to logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions.





Well for all of their logic, I would contend that for the most part, the eastern world makes miserable recordings.

Oops.  There I go feeding trolls again.






This is true, because sound quality is not a primary concern for us. We have very strong Literature/Philosophy background traditionally. And since there is no demand there is not that many good recordings.                                        
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h2o2

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Re: Do you process to tape or not....
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2010, 05:02:54 pm »

This movie depicts problems in USA (and what we have faced here) very well:
12 Angry Men (1957)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/
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DarinK

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Re: Do you process to tape or not....
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2010, 05:05:06 pm »

Reasons & logic are great for some things.  For creating art (which is what we are doing), they can be helpful but are certainly not necessary.
Reasons have been given, and rejected.
The best reason (already given repeatedly) is that committing to sounds early on makes it easier to know what is working & what isn't.  It is easier to know if more overdubs would help or hurt.  It is easier to decide which overdubs could help, and what they should sound like.  The recording artists absolutely respond to what they are hearing.  If these sounds are not committed to tape, there can be a disconnect in the mix between the performance and the final sound.  (For example, singers will sing differently depending on the reverb they're hearing.)
The second best reason is that quick decisions are very often the best decisions, especially in creative work.  I believe many more recordings have been damaged by over-thinking than by making quick decisions.
Ultimately of course it's not about philosophy or logic, it's about using the techniques that yield the results which you desire.  It is logical to seek out the techniques used by those that have results which one finds favorable.  For me, the vast majority of my favorite recordings have been done by people working quickly and committing to sounds early on.  My personality is more one of nitpicking & taking my time & avoiding commitment, but working for years in a low-budget studio forced me to learn how to work & commit quickly.  In my own work, my favorite recordings are those where I've committed early to sounds.  So that's the way I do it.
-Darin
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h2o2

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Re: Do you process to tape or not....
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2010, 05:22:34 pm »

DarinK wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 16:05

Reasons & logic are great for some things.  For creating art (which is what we are doing), they can be helpful but are certainly not necessary.
Reasons have been given, and rejected.
The best reason (already given repeatedly) is that committing to sounds early on makes it easier to know what is working & what isn't.  It is easier to know if more overdubs would help or hurt.  It is easier to decide which overdubs could help, and what they should sound like.  The recording artists absolutely respond to what they are hearing.  If these sounds are not committed to tape, there can be a disconnect in the mix between the performance and the final sound.  (For example, singers will sing differently depending on the reverb they're hearing.)
The second best reason is that quick decisions are very often the best decisions, especially in creative work.  I believe many more recordings have been damaged by over-thinking than by making quick decisions.
Ultimately of course it's not about philosophy or logic, it's about using the techniques that yield the results which you desire.  It is logical to seek out the techniques used by those that have results which one finds favorable.  For me, the vast majority of my favorite recordings have been done by people working quickly and committing to sounds early on.  My personality is more one of nitpicking & taking my time & avoiding commitment, but working for years in a low-budget studio forced me to learn how to work & commit quickly.  In my own work, my favorite recordings are those where I've committed early to sounds.  So that's the way I do it.
-Darin


About first part is answered above (it is not necessary to print to tape your monitoring) in fact most consoles are build non-destructively. Destructive recodring might be more common while using low cost DAW with audio interface.
The second argument is quite personal. With my personality i need quiet and calm atmosphere to achieve the best results. It's intuition for the most part sometimes it "clicks" fast sometimes not so fast. But for the most part those are just ideas in the head you don't try every single combination in the arts, because it will take forever.

I would be skeptical about relation of modern mixing to the art. Because there is not much variety left in it. And constant repetition is killing any art. "mastering" is killing the "mixing art" for the big part. Producing awfully similar recordings.


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Greg Dixon

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Re: IMP 24 BEGINS
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2010, 05:24:42 pm »

h2o2 wrote on Wed, 10 March 2010 05:20


I'm sorry but i don't like to tell you my personal info. This might be because of sexism, racism, agism, or any other "ism" currently popular in US.

j.hall seems more tolerant of this than the other moderators on PSW, but it's usual practice around here to have your real name in your profile. The discussions are usual more civil when people have to actually 'own' what they say, rather than being anonymous.

h2o2 wrote on Wed, 10 March 2010 05:20

While years of experience usually impress western world and this is by far most used argument in discussions (and usually the only one), in the eastern world we still adhering to logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions.
I believe IMP results submitted for this imp will give better weight then a number of years of experience which does not correlate usually.

Obviously experience alone is no proof of competence, but it is a start. There are very few people working in the industry long term, who aren't good at what they do. I also believe it is foolish not to learn from those that have been making great records for years. I'm interested in what you say about "logic and strength/number of arguments in discussions." You seem to be dismissing the logic and strength of the arguments offered by others members of this forum.

h2o2 wrote on Wed, 10 March 2010 05:20

Saying that I do compress vocals before tape and use some lowcut eq etc before tape. But my reasonings don't include "it's common in the industry" my reasoning is primarily saving of time and compressing vocal with 1:4 ratio is de-facto standard and you very rarely want different. But I would be very careful to what i choose to compress during recording because you simply lock yourself and your decisions and producing mixes which are awfully the same and not improving.



Personally, I think that while the mix is of extreme importance (and my favourite part of recording), the tracking is more critical.

h2o2 wrote on Wed, 10 March 2010 08:46



grantis wrote on Tue, 09 March 2010 15:21


Ever consider that there's a reason these practices are standard?  If was NOT an ideal way to work, the vast majority of professionals wouldn't be working that way.


If there are reasons it might be a good time to mention a couple.
Nowdays there are so many myths around and absolutely no gravity you cannot take anything as granted:)



Reasons? If you know what you're wanting, why would you wait until the mix to get that sound? Now, I rarely eq while tracking, preferring to get the sound right with mic choice and placement. However if I can hear something that's still not right, I don't hesitate to add eq or compression as needed. The signal chain is part of the sound along with whatever is being recorded. It's all part of the sound, so optimize it along with everything else.

As I said yesterday, I believe as a general rule, that the less that you have to do in the mix, the better the mix.

I was recently given some songs to mix that had 80 tracks of audio. It was like wading through mud, just getting started. Thinks like multiple guitar parts, each recorded with 3 mics on 3 tracks. If they'd committed to bussing each part to a single track while tracking, it would have made the mix much quicker and taken very little extra time while recording.

Tracking should be about simplifying the mix, not making it more complex.
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