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Author Topic: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?  (Read 26265 times)

RSettee

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #60 on: August 28, 2010, 07:25:38 pm »

Good points. I've found that trial and error accounts for alot. I've learned more, I think, by what I throw away. Alot of artists don't throw away or try enough things where they're realizing what could be, or what shouldn't be there. As long as one knows that they're either totally the way to where they want to sound, or if they're not there, that's a step in the right direction. There's nothing that bothers me more than "this doesn't sound right, and I don't have the time to correct it". Well, find a way. Make the time. Most of the bands that would contact me in the last few years would say "we don't have the money or time". To me, that sounds like "hey, we want to release music, but we don't want to put any effort into it".

With the cheap cost of top notch equipment nowadays that I would have personally killed  for in the 4 track cassette days, I don't think that audiences should have to listen to someone's half baked demos. People want to put out music, but they don't want to figure out a way to make it better.
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bob ebeling

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #61 on: August 28, 2010, 07:47:38 pm »

Seems the staring-at-a-tiny-screen-all-day generation just wants the fame or whatever it is the little screen is telling them.

Isn't that so uplifting!

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Bob Ebeling
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bob ebeling

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2010, 09:26:09 am »

You guys both make great points though that are leaning towards something I've been screaming inside about with every mix job i get these days:  EDITNG PROCESS.  or SELF-EDITING.

That seems to be getting lost faster than decent production itself and has to be either a symptom or result.

These DAW's with 100 plus track counts are killing me man.  I used to mix a song for a flat rate no matter what, now there is no way to do that or even quote a job until I open the sessions and then most often what I see is is a total nightmare.

These kiddies are losing sight of the 60's (4 tracks) and 70's (8, then 16, then 24, then two 24's synced up if you had ALOT of money).  So basically every great record ever discounting the ones from before 1998 or so were done with probably 24 tracks or less!  

I open a song sent to me to mix and it's got 138 tracks, the saxophone part in the bridge has 4 microphones on it, every guitar is triple miced and double tracked.  

I'll just start a new service Bob Ebeling's Editing Services.  Kidding.  But seriously, why are the kiddies not learning any self-editing skills anymore?

I think the best advice I can give anybody starting a new record is this:  Limit yourself to 16 tracks per song only.  I swear, the results will be so much better and you will have to make decisions and you will have to live with them and a natural ambience will form around your music because of the hard thinking you made yourself do!  
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Bob Ebeling
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RSettee

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #63 on: August 29, 2010, 10:04:47 am »

I think that if one tracks a whole bunch of things that they're not even sure that they're gonna keep,  that can be a nightmare for a mixing engineer. I've never really seen the point to having ten different snares with the possibility that they'd be used. I've recorded 80-100 tracks for some of my songs, but most of that is things like the same part, but an octave or two up or down, and usually things build up in later verses and choruses in the songs, or maybe there's a horn section in the bridge that's 20 tracks or something, or counterpoint vocal harmonies with 5 tracks for each one It's rare that something doesn't make the final mix--I come from the school of 4 track cassette and then 8 track bouncing....I think that's good discipline in what the basics should be to keep, and then what to get liberal with, later.

I'll outright erase takes that I know aren't gonna make it--i'm not really into a hard drive full of possible this and maybe that. It's a hassle to go through the takes later on and then try to remember why it was kept--but better yet, why it wasn't used.
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MDM,

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #64 on: August 29, 2010, 10:52:17 am »

if the people involved in sweetening and overdubbing aren't excellent arrangers, it only takes a few overdubs to make the whole track sound small and constipated.

Unfortunately if you are dealing with amateurs they tend to blame the mixing guy for not being able to make it sound good.

My natural tendency is to cut-out the tracks, but that usually gets me into trouble.. I don't think you get these problems when dealing with talented artists and arrangers though..

what was that interview where they described putting the 'thriller' tapes on?  something like 'I put the faders up and there was the record'
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I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy .. in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music.
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Waltz Mastering

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #65 on: August 29, 2010, 11:59:10 am »

MDM, wrote on Sun, 29 August 2010 10:52


what was that interview where they described putting the 'thriller' tapes on?  something like 'I put the faders up and there was the record'


There's also the story where Swedien did 90 some mixes for one of the songs and they went back and chose the first one...

bob ebeling

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #66 on: August 29, 2010, 02:50:41 pm »

"Record take one only because I never fuck up."
--This is one of my pals and I's running jokes, but how true it is, even if it isn't, there's always a magic you will never recreate on that first take..part of the brain that is working properly until it gets told to shut up.

Just like trying to recapture the magic of a 4-track production by switching over to a 24 track and spending a day micing the drums....  Usually though it's the guitar or vocal tone that really stops the session in it's tracks.

God bless you if your clients are able to walk the tightrope, but I must bid you fair warning, I have seen nothing get easier on the engineer lately.  But it's not only engineering to me, it seems the whole world is turning into a hand holding telemarketers apology.  We appreciate your patience sir...

I personally love having a good time and sharing some smiles but I also like to define an objective and then totally murder it with tears of bliss and rage.  The save save save thing to me is total BS and always will be, I don't care if they make 500 track rigs that record at reality, very few records have ever proven to me that more than 24 tracks is necessary.

When decisions are made now, records are being made now, and the emotion and ambience that you are forcing yourself to swim in will inform the rest of what happens for the song. It will always be more unique if three months later some golden ear cannot EQ it to sound exactly 'right'.  Motown.  Beatles.  

But that ain't 2010!  It's not modern and new!  

Well, I submit that 1979 was the cutoff then, with few and rare acceptions.  Supertramps 'Breakfast in America' and Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'...and previous to this alot of other things, Queen, ELO in 77 and 78, keep going back...hundreds of beautiful LPs.  Rock as Art.  Rock as High Art.  Painters and sculpters used to be the artists of a culture but in the 1960's and 1970's the ultimate artist, the man who's work spoke for his generation and represented that time, those men and women were rock-n-roll artists.

But things reached a perfection in the late 70's for some reason and then it was over, save for the revisitations--Radiohead's 'OK Computer', Beck's 'Seachange', the revisitations happen when the match of the artist who is ready to take the throne, to make the statement, to define what life feels like right at that time, when that artist demands to work in a certain way, which happens to be the way it used to be done.  

You have to be locked away, your thoughts must never be centered around, 'well I can save this and revisit it'.  

It's now or never.    
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Bob Ebeling
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MDM,

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #67 on: August 29, 2010, 03:38:01 pm »

I totally agree.

The great-sounding stuff was up to 1979..

I think of '82-'83 as a turning point for some reason, though that may be just time lag. Maybe it's the midi-studio, cheap mixer fenomena that dropped the bar.

it would be nice to have some photos of the big studios up until 1979 and then after 1980-82  to see how they changed.

The bands were different as well, of course.  This maybe ties in with the discussion on record companies and the '80s, artist development etc.



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I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy .. in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music.
John Adams (1735-1826) 2nd President, United States

Bob Olhsson

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #68 on: August 30, 2010, 12:29:47 am »

MDM, wrote on Sun, 29 August 2010 14:38

...I think of '82-'83 as a turning point for some reason, though that may be just time lag. Maybe it's the midi-studio, cheap mixer fenomena that dropped the bar.



Three letters, SSL, and the mentality of compressing, gating and automating the grunt out of absolutely everything.

Blackie Pawless

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2010, 01:23:35 am »

Bob Olhsson wrote on Sun, 29 August 2010 23:29

Three letters, SSL, and the mentality of compressing, gating and automating the grunt out of absolutely everything.




1000% correct. Added to that, the concept of quicker / more accurate recalls which made endless tweaking easier on SSL's.
Also on the post 1979 cut off list: drum machines and click tracks to make sure those pesky choruses didn't speed up and get too exciting. The concept of "perfect" time over feel.


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Scott Baggett

compasspnt

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #70 on: August 30, 2010, 08:41:01 am »

Agreed, but having the tools (in this case, SSL, drum machine, editing capability) does not force one to make worse recordings, it just allow those with less-than-perfect taste to go wild.
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bob ebeling

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #71 on: August 30, 2010, 10:25:12 am »

I don't know if it's simply a matter of peoples taste and sensibilities.

Let's entertain this scenario: (and not pick apart the imposibilities of it, just imagine it)  

For the next year, starting Nov 1'st 2010 thru Nov. 1'st 2011, all artists across every single spectrum and everywhere in the world will be forced to use a 16 track 2" machine.  They will not be allowed to use anymore than 16 tracks no matter what.
(Yes, 200,000,000 perfectly working MM1200 machines will be provided, with all the punch in mods actually working).

All automated consoles will be banned also.  You can use your Neve but you cannot turn on the flying faders, you can use your SSL, no automation, etc..

At the end of this year, would we not all be freaking out at the miracle that has happened to music?  Too utopian?  Obviously, but do you think it would be wonderful?
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Bob Ebeling
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Fibes

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #72 on: August 30, 2010, 03:20:04 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 30 August 2010 08:41

Agreed, but having the tools (in this case, SSL, drum machine, editing capability) does not force one to make worse recordings, it just allow those with less-than-perfect taste to go wild.




Yes.



Taste and imagination should come before convenience and dogma.



I still think there are plenty of great sounding records coming out today but they aren't at the top of the promo echelon.

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Fibes
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #73 on: September 02, 2010, 11:27:05 am »

compasspnt wrote on Mon, 30 August 2010 07:41

Agreed, but having the tools (in this case, SSL, drum machine, editing capability) does not force one to make worse recordings, it just allow those with less-than-perfect taste to go wild.



It also sold gobs of studio time as people screwed around with all of the knobs. It kind of took the place of drugs in that respect.

bob ebeling

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Re: Downtown: What Are PSW guys doing?
« Reply #74 on: September 10, 2010, 08:03:16 am »

New EBELING HUGHES short Documentary!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ4S7ViisgE

We talk a bit about our building studios in the early 90's.
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Bob Ebeling
bobebeling.bandcamp.com
Virginia
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