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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Reason In Audio => Topic started by: Glenn Bucci on July 21, 2004, 11:44:38 am

Title: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on July 21, 2004, 11:44:38 am
I am wondering if the cost factor on high end consoles are worth their weight as they were 10 years ago. Yes the Sony Oxford console is amazing and with it you may not need much more than what the console offers, I agree. However there are tons of high end plug ins including George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Fig on July 21, 2004, 12:56:18 pm
Keef wrote on Wed, 21 July 2004 10:44



So besides the extra faders, what does the high end console offer that the cheaper setup would not give you?




A place underwhich to lay down when the session is over Smile

I think the biggest difference is in the way that someone works on a console versus a DAW.

I'm much more comfortable with a console than clicking around.  I like being able to see all the settings at the same time on one nice big surface.

And consoles generally have more inputs and outputs than most computer based systems.  I'm referring to actual XLRs in and out, not firewires or USB ports.

I know you get infinite tracks on the computer, but how many audio inputs can you have at one time?  That has always been the limitation of computer-based systems in my eyes.

The outputs are the same deal, I find it much easier to hook up multiple headphone mixes with a dedicated console than with a soundcard.

And then there is summing.

Real gear is exactly that -- REAL.

$.02,

Fig

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on July 21, 2004, 01:09:44 pm
That is why many have two monitors with their Daw. Once monitor for the wave screen, and the other showing two mixers showing 16 channels each. I hear what you are saying, but with more and more home recordings being done (if with Rush, Peter Frampton, etc)many studios may want to save some money. Heck you can even get the new Nuendo ID controller, with the UAD and Powercore plug ins along with the SIR reverb and be all set.

But it is nice seeing all your settings on all your channels at the same time. Is it worth spending over 100K though?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Giovanni Speranza on July 21, 2004, 02:21:05 pm
The answer is:
Did you hear them? If yes, you will know.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: weihfool on July 21, 2004, 02:21:38 pm
Keef, would you consider getting a console that isn't necessarily a "selling point" console, i.e.; SSL, Neve, API,etc.?

I'm sure you could pick up a very nice, clean used console, such as older Soundcraft, Soundtracs, Trident, etc. for very little money, that would give you 48 or so inputs at mixdown so you could have some nice analog EQ's and summing(the key benefit, though I'm sure that many would debate that) for considerably less money.  

Hell, you could even pick up a brand new Daking board for around $25K and those are supposedly wonderful sounding consoles.  Use your DAW software for automation and use the EQ's and summing of the board.

That's what I'll be doing once my board is back assembled (sound workshop series 30).  

Just an idea to think about..
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Fig on July 21, 2004, 03:35:32 pm
Keef wrote on Wed, 21 July 2004 12:09

Is it worth spending over 100K though?


There are plenty of fine consoles for considerably less that 100K.

Giovanni Speranza wrote

The answer is:
Did you hear them? If yes, you will know.


ROTFLMAO!

Oh yeah, there's that  Rolling Eyes  

Keef, I think you'll want to look at the types of work you are intending to do on the gear you propose.

The types of clients that require an Oxford would not be well pleased with your proposed substitute.  Studios install Oxfords cuz they have the clientele that demand what it can do.  If your clients (or your own projects) do not require that type of device, then you are right:  there is a cheaper way.

No dis to the DM2000 -- which is fine kit BTW, but it does not make the same impression as an Oxford when a prospective client walks into the control room for the first time.  And besides, how can a band of four to six members all gather around a DM-2000? (see attachment)

What type of gigs are you doing (or aspiring to do if this is an upgrade path to your current setup)?  What kind of gear can get those jobs done?  And finally, what gear do you want to be operating for the next five years.  Personally, I'll take a sea of knobs over two monitor screens anyday.

Osci-later,

Fig
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on July 21, 2004, 04:43:46 pm
I guess if you have a pro studio, it helps get clients who have the money. I just am wondering sound wise what advantage is there, if any?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Giovanni Speranza on July 22, 2004, 07:56:07 am
ROTFLMAO meaning?
Rolling on the floor laughing....???
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on July 22, 2004, 09:11:18 am
The purpose of a console isn't sound quality. It's to facilitate performance both in front of the microphones and in the mix.

Anybody who thinks large consoles are going away anytime soon probably isn't very well grounded in how recordings are PERFORMED.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eddie Matthews on July 22, 2004, 10:15:31 am
Giovanni Speranza wrote on Thu, 22 July 2004 06:56

ROTFLMAO meaning?
Rolling on the floor laughing....???


. . . My Ass Off.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on July 22, 2004, 11:54:18 am
Bob Olhsson wrote on Thu, 22 July 2004 09:11

The purpose of a console isn't sound quality. It's to facilitate performance both in front of the microphones and in the mix.

Anybody who thinks large consoles are going away anytime soon probably isn't very well grounded in how recordings are PERFORMED.


Thank you for your reply, you just reafirmed to me the main purpose of a big console, having lots of I/O to make your work flow easier. In a pro studio, it is the way to go. However on a mid level playing field the DM 2000 or even the beloved Sony DMX R100 would be a good choice! Not sure if I would choose the new SSL 900 over these two units.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on July 22, 2004, 06:02:41 pm
Quote Bob: “Anybody who thinks large consoles are going away anytime soon probably isn't very well grounded in how recordings are PERFORMED.”


Precisely!

Best Wishes Peter


Peter Poyser
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Touchwood Studios on August 19, 2004, 01:52:04 pm
What would have people said if 20 years ago someone on a soap box would be standing a saying "Most of the music/video/film/composing will be done with computers."
They all would have laughed.
Never say Never.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on August 20, 2004, 01:01:38 am
Touchwood Studios wrote on Thu, 19 August 2004 12:52

What would have people said if 20 years ago someone on a soap box would be standing a saying "Most of the music/video/film/composing will be done with computers."
They all would have laughed.
Never say Never.

It was actually visible on the horizon 30 years ago and blatantly obvious 20 years ago! What we have today is just a cheaper version of what was being used at the high end 20 years ago.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Dave Hayes on August 20, 2004, 02:31:06 am
FWIW, the first time I stepped up to a large format console, it was a Neve VR series, and it was darn near a religious experience. I was coming from about 2-3 years experience with Cubendo and I now much prefer working on a large analog desk to clicking around with a mouse. Twisting the knobbies just works for me, in a way that even a huge control surface can't compete with.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: odysseys on August 20, 2004, 04:47:01 am
Big consoles are still the best thing,but with some organization,also mid sized studios can benefit from the current technology in computer audio.
Personally i would prefer having 2-3 racks of various preamps,some digital and analog patchbays.it's just much better to have more options in preamps if you just know how each of them sounds with different instruments,voices and generally different music.
It's nice to have a neve but you can't avoid it's homogenus sound (that stands for every console of course).But this somehow,blocks original sound to be born.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: orbb on August 20, 2004, 08:59:33 am
Also, they look cool.  Never forget the wow factor.

Bo Sweeney
Huntington, West Virginia
Home of the Marshall University Thundering Herd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: i dig music on August 20, 2004, 10:26:43 am
Quote:

It's nice to have a neve but you can't avoid it's homogenus sound (that stands for every console of course).But this somehow,blocks original sound to be born.



Indeed.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 20, 2004, 11:20:52 am
Keef,

Advantages Of Large Mixers:
First off high-end consoles are built like tanks(I.E.:meant to last at least the next 50 years, or so with good maintenance). Don't believe me. Then the next time you go into a major studio check out the machine room, & you'll see what I'm talking about(the SSL power supply/computer rack is huge, and robust). Then you've got to think about everything in the highend console signal wise being balanced in, & out just about everywhere. The dynamic range, & channel crosstalk of the highend consoles is usually much better than their smaller less expensive analogue counterparts. Last I checked I think the noise floor for the SSL 9000 K,orJ series was at least -95 below '0' ref to +4 for a single channel with max output above '0' being somewhere in the +26 to +28 region. Also think about the fact that most high-end consoles have full featured dynamics in each channel module, & the amout of buss(paths) is greater as well(like 64 for the SSL 9000 Series taking into account all multitrack, aux, & output busses)when compared to almost all digital consoles outside of say the Euphonix, Sony(Top Of The Line Model), Harrison, & now Digidesign(if you consider the ICON-Pro Tools HD systems packged together), & etc. . And the type of wiring in the in the highend consoles is of higher quality as well(usually oxygen free cabling). Then to top it off the automation systems are more powerful. You've got to remember that you can spec. an SSL console out to have 120 channels, & the automation system has to be powerful enough to automate everything in the console(recall, main, & monitor mutes, large fader moves, eq, & insert ins-outs, + 5.1 panning in the XL9000K). This is alot to offer the client. Also the center section is usually alot more comprehensive the larger the console. Personally I like working with lagre format analogue consoles. You feel powerful working behind a desk that has 80, or more channel strips at your command. What I don't like about large format consoles is having to leave the sweet spot in between monitors to make eq/dynamics adjustments, or taking the 30 minutes, or so to do recalls. Just my opinion(this has been so heavily discussed on the net before it's ridiculous but I feel strongly about this so hence the post).

'Rob G.'.

P.S.: Also you'll never have to worry about samplerate capability in the future with an analogue console because there's none  to be worried about.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Roland Storch on August 20, 2004, 06:12:52 pm
The advantage of big consoles is, like Bob wrote:
The purpose of a console isn't sound quality. It's to facilitate performance both in front of the microphones and in the mix.

So I cannot agree what you wrote, Rob.
Looking at the quality of the signal chain big consoles have to deal with a lot of problems because they have so many features.There are more puristic consoles with better performance because the layout of the board can be built with less compromises than in a big console.

Another disadvantage is not only the huge size (acoustical problem in  the studio because of reflections) but also the huge price (overpriced?).

If you take a more puristic console with better measurements, better dynamic behaviour (ragarding the signal, not a dynamic automation) and more transparency (I do not like the expression sound quality so much, but you know what I mean) you propably have a better price/performance relation.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Han S. on August 20, 2004, 06:27:09 pm
Quote:

 title=Bob Olhsson wrote on Fri, 20 August 2004 06:01 What we have today is just a cheaper version of what was being used at the high end 20 years ago.


This is the era of the compromise.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 20, 2004, 09:26:52 pm
Roland Storch,

Quote:"So I cannot agree what you wrote, Rob.
Looking at the quality of the signal chain big consoles have to deal with a lot of problems because they have so many features.There are more puristic consoles with better performance because the layout of the board can be built with less compromises than in a big console.

Another disadvantage is not only the huge size (acoustical problem in the studio because of reflections) but also the huge price (overpriced?).

If you take a more puristic console with better measurements, better dynamic behaviour (ragarding the signal, not a dynamic automation) and more transparency (I do not like the expression sound quality so much, but you know what I mean) you propably have a better price/performance relation."

                                                                                          -Roland Storch



I agree with you regarding some of your comments as far as large consoles being an acoustic problem, & their high price.  But the problem with large consoles being an acoustic problem in real case scenarios is'nt a problem.  Why, because most of the individuals that purchase these expensive large format consoles also hire expensive studio designers(Whitemark, RBDG, ADG, & etc.) to make sure that the size/shape of the console is a non issue.  And regarding purity.  Well if that's what you want then order a custom mastering console from your's truly 'George Massenburg'(if his company will agree to do so) if what you want is pure.  But if you need features more so than purity which is an 'advantage' of large mixers then buy/use the large format console.  Main line production outside of 'audio purist' jazz, & classical recordiings requires the many features of large mixers(,or Pro Tools|HD in the digital realm) therefore the wide scale use of them(large mixers).  If I'm involved in a production(Rock, Rap, Country, or R&B) that has the budget to use a large scale console I'll use one.  If called to do a jazz, or classical production, I might go one further by not even using a console but accuratly mic.ing the project in stereo with no compression, or audio treatment what so ever, just using mic's, cables, pre amp, A/D converter, & recording medium.  There are tradeoff's either way.  You choose.

'Rob G.'.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on August 20, 2004, 10:55:29 pm
The main advantage of large mixers is that they act as their own bass trap.  I mean, once a guy gets over say 350 pounds, he's going to eliminate a ton of standing waves and generally smooth out the frequency response of the room.  The problem is that it's just not that healthy, and the chicks don't dig it.

Steve
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 21, 2004, 09:55:50 am
Rob G wrote on Fri, 20 August 2004 21:26



I agree with you regarding some of your comments as far as large consoles being an acoustic problem, & their high price.  But the problem with large consoles being an acoustic problem in real case scenarios is'nt a problem.  Why, because most of the individuals that purchase these expensive large format consoles also hire expensive studio designers(Whitemark, RBDG, ADG, & etc.) to make sure that the size/shape of the console is a non issue.  





Ha ha ha ha ha! On or off the record you will not find a legitimate studio designer who will tell you that he has designed a studio with a large console that is not an acoustic compromise. You can't beat the laws of physics.

Mind you, it is possible to design a studio with mid/far fields and with a large console where the compromises of the console have been minimized, but not below the threshold of audibility, in my experience and opinion. And yes, that's what we pay the experts and acousticians to do.

And when it comes to near fields on top of the meter bridge, they are serious compromises. The only way to reduce the comb filtering to acceptable levels is to cover the console top with sonex!

BK
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 21, 2004, 03:02:19 pm
bobkatz,

Quote:"Ha ha ha ha ha! On or off the record you will not find a legitimate studio designer who will tell you that he has designed a studio with a large console that is not an acoustic compromise. You can't beat the laws of physics.

Mind you, it is possible to design a studio with mid/far fields and with a large console where the compromises of the console have been minimized, but not below the threshold of audibility, in my experience and opinion. And yes, that's what we pay the experts and acousticians to do.

And when it comes to near fields on top of the meter bridge, they are serious compromises. The only way to reduce the comb filtering to acceptable levels is to cover the console top with sonex!"

                                                                                                    -BK



I think you need to update yourself regarding current highend consoles, & room design trends.  The new Neve/88R's for example have been designed with a new shape that allows the sound to travel around the console with minimal interference to the room acoustics.  And SSL for years has made available custom options that fit on the back of the console, & in between the console wings that improve, or eradicate this problem.  There are even some recording studios out there that have cavities(traps) built under the flooring as acoutic 'relief' zones that help to aleviate this problem.  Please do a little more research in this area.  I'm not saying that the problem physically does'nt exist.  What I am saying is that people have already come up with solutions for this problem.  It 'was' a major problem some 15 years ago.  Not so much of one now(currently a non-issue if you employ a 'proper' acoustician).

And, I don't know about you but I stopped putting nearfields on the console top years ago.  I use speaker stands that are placed slightly 'behind' the console at a distance where they are still in the nearfield but height/angle wise cause console reflections (that would cause you to hear comb filtering effects) to present themselves in a place below, & behind your ears rather than within your listening position (in the 'sweet spot').  So this as well is a non-issue if you set your monitors up correctly.  Just my opinion(and scientific fact).  

'Rob G.'.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 21, 2004, 03:51:19 pm
Rob G wrote on Sat, 21 August 2004 15:02




I think you need to update yourself regarding current highend consoles, & room design trends.  The new Neve/88R's for example have been designed with a new shape that allows the sound to travel around the console with minimal interference to the room acoustics.  

(snip)




Well, that's interesting. I'd like to get some feedback from high-end acousticians as to whether these new console designs REALLY fix all problems. For example, the amount and kind of absorption that has to be put on the back of the console to avoid reflections/refractions from monitors mounted behind it.

And the measurable comb filtering off the top of the console surface (measure the time delay between the direct sound and the reflected sound off the console to the user's ears). If this has been eliminated in "modern" console designs, then either I'll eat my hat, or tip my hat to the acoustic architect that designed around the problem.

Quote:



And, I don't know about you but I stopped putting nearfields on the console top years ago.  




Hooray! You're preaching to the choir, Rob. When I have mixed in front of a large-format console (it's been about a year, remember, I spend most of my time in the mastering room)---I also take special pains to mount a pair of high-end monitors on stands OFTEN completely away from the console surface (e.g. to the right of the console, necessitating rotating your chair and turning your head). It seems strange to the producer until he starts listening! Then he's a believer.

I only mentioned the near fields because there are still many engineers who continue to mount the loudspeakers on the meter bridge, believing that the direct wave of the near fields will overcome all the other problems.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 21, 2004, 07:20:12 pm
bobkatz,

Quote:"Well, that's interesting. I'd like to get some feedback from high-end acousticians as to whether these new console designs REALLY fix all problems. For example, the amount and kind of absorption that has to be put on the back of the console to avoid reflections/refractions from monitors mounted behind it.

And the measurable comb filtering off the top of the console surface (measure the time delay between the direct sound and the reflected sound off the console to the user's ears). If this has been eliminated in "modern" console designs, then either I'll eat my hat, or tip my hat to the acoustic architect that designed around the problem. ............."
     

                                                                                                                        -BK


The SSL option 'is' partially made up of what you described.  From what I remember last I saw this modification up front, was that it was a framework that is mounted on the back side of the console(foam 'is' a part of this modification package).  Masterfonic's(Now Emerald Entertainment) 'Tracking Room' had one installed on their SSL9000J which by the way is a console/control room setup that was commissioned almost 10 years ago. And monitor placement(height as well as angle, & depth behind the console) greatly contributes 'in part' to 'the fix' of this age old problem.


'Rob G.'.

P.S.: One of the acoustic designers you may have to tip your hat to is 'Tom Hidley' who's credited with designing some of the 'top' recording studios in 'Nashville' as well as 'the world' over.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: JamSync on August 22, 2004, 12:03:39 am
Touchwood Studios wrote on Thu, 19 August 2004 18:52

What would have people said if 20 years ago someone on a soap box would be standing a saying "Most of the music/video/film/composing will be done with computers."
They all would have laughed.
Never say Never.


Those of us who had access to Synclavier in the very early 80's often said that. I think they laughed when I said it wouldn't cost $100,000 to do that in the future.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 22, 2004, 12:18:12 am
Rob G wrote on Sat, 21 August 2004 19:20



commissioned almost 10 years ago. And monitor placement(height as well as angle, & depth behind the console) greatly contributes 'in part' to 'the fix' of this age old problem.



Monitor placement, height, depth, and angle does not eliminate the comb filtering, it only reduces it. The reflections are still there, and unfortunately you're playing with their amplitude, as it is impossible to make the top surface of the console anechoic. Check out Holman's book, "5.1 Surround Sound" for the diagram of the problem (though it is as old as time; the first time I saw it was in Burrough's Book, over 30 years ago). I would say the 3 to 1 rule ought to apply to comb filtering of reflections off a console surface, though our ears are not the same thing as a "channel" and we have a remarkable ability to ignore the second reflection as it is not being mixed to mono---as Burrough's rule is normally meant to apply.

I've never worked in a Hidley Room. The only one I did any significant listening in was Glenn Meadows' Masterfonics mastering room. But, notice that a large format console was conspicuously absent in this great-sounding room. My ears are extremely sensitive to time-delay effects, and I find it impossible to believe that a console can sound as good as no console! There will be a compromise.

BK




'Rob G.'.

P.S.: One of the acoustic designers you may have to tip your hat to is 'Tom Hidley' who's credited with designing some of the 'top' recording studios in 'Nashville' as well as 'the world' over.[/quote]
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 22, 2004, 01:13:47 am
bobkatz,

Quote:"Monitor placement, height, depth, and angle does not eliminate the comb filtering, it only reduces it. The reflections are still there, and unfortunately you're playing with their amplitude, as it is impossible to make the top surface of the console anechoic. Check out Holman's book, "5.1 Surround Sound" for the diagram of the problem (though it is as old as time; the first time I saw it was in Burrough's Book, over 30 years ago). I would say the 3 to 1 rule ought to apply to comb filtering of reflections off a console surface, though our ears are not the same thing as a "channel" and we have a remarkable ability to ignore the second reflection as it is not being mixed to mono---as Burrough's rule is normally meant to apply.

I've never worked in a Hidley Room. The only one I did any significant listening in was Glenn Meadows' Masterfonics mastering room. But, notice that a large format console was conspicuously absent in this great-sounding room. My ears are extremely sensitive to time-delay effects, and I find it impossible to believe that a console can sound as good as no console! There will be a compromise."

                                                                                                                     -BK



I think we might be saying the same thing in some areas.  You say angles, & etc. do not eliminate the comb filtering effect.  I say it solves these problems 'in part'(check my previous post) not totally.  But this 'proper' monitor mounting in addition to treatment/design of the physical console, & other modifications to the control room contribute to make the console a 'non-issue'.  And when I say 'non issue' I mean relativly to the point that the mastering console in the mastering suite that 'Glenn Meadow's used previously contributed to a comb filtering effect in such a minor way as to be a 'non-issue'.  And if you want to get really technical.  Even in a room with no console whatsoever the cabinet of the speaker(via reflections, resonances, etc.) itself many times depreciates the quality of the drivers in a speaker system but if the speakers cabinets are designed properly the cabinet presence problems are still there but are minimized to the point where they are a 'non-issue'.  I do have one request.  Go, & listen to the monitoring system in 'The Tracking Room' for yourself, & see if you can detect any distortions relating to comb filter effects.  If substantial problems exist there it sure is'nt stopping engineers from tracking/mixing major hits off of that monitor system.  The sound of that particular room when last I heard the monitors was as good as I've ever heard from a highend 'audiophile' system.  And I've heard some of the best 'audiophile' speaker, or high-end professional monitoring systems on the planet in environments that have, & have not had consoles in them.  Sonically the sound of the monitors in 'The Tracking' (if still properly maintained) are on the resolution level of some of the B&W 801 series speakers which have been 'audiophile' standards for up to 15 years.  No comb filtering effect problems.  Another example is Transcontinental's 9000J room(which is right in your home town).  That room does'nt seem to have problems with comb filtering effects. Ross Alexander(whom if I recall correctly was the acoustic designer for Transcontinental's 9000J room) did a great job of designing that room.  I've used the main monitors there, & mixes off of that monitoring system translate well almost anywhere with great results even if there is slight comb filtering going on which apparently is on the level of being a 'non-issue' based upon the mixes coming out of there.  I don't think it is possible to totally eliminate comb filtering effects.  But I do belive that comb filtering effects can be minimised to the point that they are a 'non-issue'(meaning that they don't effect the quality of product coming out of control rooms with 'proper' design).  

'Rob G'.'
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 22, 2004, 09:25:11 am
You're right, Rob. We're probably taking two different slants on the same issue. If I had experienced enough well-designed large-console rooms, I probably would be more optimistic on this issue. I just have not heard too many good-sounding (audiophile quality, as you say) rooms with large-format consoles...  

The tracking room at the old Masterfonics is certainly one of the rare candidates!

And in these days of economy rooms and a proliferation of project studios, the situation is getting rarer and rarer. You're privileged to work in such a room as the tracking room at Masterfonics (now Emerald, soon to be who knows what?).
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 22, 2004, 10:37:26 am
bobkatz,

I absolutly 'hear' where you're coming from.  I've also had the misfortune to be in some poorly designed/maintained control rooms where the console was an issue(many years ago).  But I don't hear that so often these days(maybe it's the rooms I've been in most recently).  

I have a question though(you probably know better than I especially based upon you're knowledge of the Holman text, & such).  What system testing equipment/proceedure to your knowledge is best at detecting comb filtering effect, & other anomolies in control room monitoring, & tuning.  And what do you think of 'Bob Hodas', & his room tuning equipment, & techniques?

'Rob G.'.  
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on August 22, 2004, 07:16:56 pm
Rob G wrote on Sat, 21 August 2004 14:02

I think you need to update yourself regarding current highend consoles, & room design trends.  The new Neve/88R's for example have been designed with a new shape that allows the sound to travel around the console with minimal interference to the room acoustics.  And SSL for years has made available custom options that fit on the back of the console, & in between the console wings that improve, or eradicate this problem.  [...]'Rob G.'.


I think you need to look around, Rob.  Either of these consoles is a HUGE physical and acoustic footprint that's found nowhere in the real world.  There have been efforts to deaden the clangy tin panels (20 years after it was pointed out) and to divert attention from the obvious, which is:

Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.

I don't buy it.  In fact, I won't buy them anymore.

George

p.s.  Rob, you need to answer my PM ASAP.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: LawrenceF on August 22, 2004, 07:26:58 pm
There's a studio here that also serves as a school which has one of the large format SSL boards.  The room (as in music while being mixed or recorded) sounds very good.  The mixes I've heard from there do not.  Don't know if the console is a factor or not.

It's weird.  I took a 2 inch reel there (long time ago) and the mix sounded great in the control room.  When I got to the car I was sadly disappointed.  At the time it never occured to me that the size of the console could be contributing to the problem.  

Then again what do I know?  I'm just a guy who thinks he knows what sounds good.  I could never afford a $500,000 console anyway...

Lawrence
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 22, 2004, 09:26:11 pm
Rob G wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 10:37

bobkatz,

I absolutly 'hear' where you're coming from.  I've also had the misfortune to be in some poorly designed/maintained control rooms where the console was an issue(many years ago).  But I don't hear that so often these days(maybe it's the rooms I've been in most recently).  

I have a question though(you probably know better than I especially based upon you're knowledge of the Holman text, & such).  What system testing equipment/proceedure to your knowledge is best at detecting comb filtering effect, & other anomolies in control room monitoring, & tuning.  And what do you think of 'Bob Hodas', & his room tuning equipment, & techniques?

'Rob G.'.  


Almost any system that can do anechoic measurements can detect the comb filtering: TDS; Spectrafoo, MLSSA....  I have Spectrafoo and it works fairly well, but buggy. I'd like to get something more stable but I'm not an acoustician, I only play at it Smile

Maybe there's a better way, but since you usually know the suspect reflecting surface, it's a pretty concrete way.

Ask me privately about your other question.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 22, 2004, 09:34:53 pm
[quote title=I wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 21:26]
Rob G wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 10:37




Almost any system that can do anechoic measurements can detect the comb filtering: TDS; Spectrafoo, MLSSA....  I have Spectrafoo and it works fairly well, but buggy. I'd like to get something more stable but I'm not an acoustician, I only play at it Smile




I forgot to include:

The technique I was taught with TDS was to put an absorber on the suspect surface, and compare the frequency response with and without the absorber. As well as look at the time-domain response of the impulse to see if the frequency response anomalies correlate.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 22, 2004, 11:00:23 pm
George Massenburg,

Quote:"I think you need to look around, Rob. Either of these consoles is a HUGE physical and acoustic footprint that's found nowhere in the real world. There have been efforts to deaden the clangy tin panels (20 years after it was pointed out) and to divert attention from the obvious, which is:

Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.

I don't buy it. In fact, I won't buy them anymore."

                                                                                                              -George


1.)You say  "......found nowhere in the real world."......... .   I don't get what you're saying.  These consoles exist in many major studios(Conway-LA, AIR-UK, Ocean Way-LA, Hit Factory-NY, Larrabee-LA).

2.)The clangy 'tin' panels I've not noticed(sonically).  Not in 'The Tracking' room in Nashville,  'Studio A' at Transcontinental in Orlando,
Starstruck in Nashville, Electric Lady in New York, or any other studio that has SSL 9000J's, or 4000 series consoles.  Granted the music I work on is high volume Rap, Rock, R&B, & etc..  But that does'nt matter.  I'm always close enough to the console to detect any form of clanginess or rattle.  As a matter of fact when ever I first audition a room one of the first things I do is walk aroung the room to see how the room sounds in a variety of positions(including at the extreme sides of the console).  So it would be hard for this to escape me because I do 'look around', and listen around as well.

3.)I agree with you that the console occupies a HUGE physical/acoustic footprint in these types of installations but if it's such a problem then why do so many excellent mixes come out of these specified rooms?  This footprint is a 'non-issue' to me as an end user due to the fact that the acousticians have apparently solved the bass buildup/combfiltering problem(at least in the rooms I've mentioned, don't know about others) therefore I can't agree with you in this area.  Now how much time the acousticians spend in doing CAD designs to get around the console problem I have no idea.  But I do know what I've heard, & seen.  And the results seem tangible to me.

4.)I agree with you regarding the large console flattery effect(I'm flattered myself).  I don't endorse holding the position of use of the console to influence decisions to carry more weight, or intimidate people.  I don't encourage those types of situations although they do exist but not if I can have anything to do with it.

5.)I personally can't afford one of these large format consoles but I will employ one in production if the budget permits.  Yes things are being done more, & more in the box.  But these large format consoles are nowhere near being put into retirement just yet.  So I feel that you, & any others that might be ready to put the nails in the coffin for these large format consoles are going to have to hold off for a little bit.

'Rob G.'.

P.S.: Additionally check your email.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: djui5 on August 23, 2004, 02:45:02 am
Rob G wrote on Sat, 21 August 2004 23:13

bobkatz,

 Another example is Transcontinental's 9000J room(which is right in your home town).  That room does'nt seem to have problems with comb filtering effects. Ross Alexander(whom if I recall correctly was the acoustic designer for Transcontinental's 9000J room) did a great job of designing that room.  I've used the main monitors there, & mixes off of that monitoring system translate well almost anywhere with great results even if there is slight comb filtering going on which apparently is on the level of being a 'non-issue' based upon the mixes coming out of there.  
'Rob G'.'



  Yes..it was designed by Ross Alexander....who also recently did the acoustics in Eric Schillings home studio (which is quite an elaborate acoustical application).

Having worked in that room I can agree that there's no comb filtering problems....though there is this weird bass issue with the room caused by the gap between the racks....
The room does translate well......not sure about the mains though....I hate the sound of them and never used them as a reference much...just a "loud" thing sometimes...
That room is one of the better sounding rooms I've worked in..

Quote:


2.)The clangy 'tin' panels I've not noticed(sonically). Not in 'The Tracking' room in Nashville, 'Studio A' at Transcontinental in Orlando,
Starstruck in Nashville, Electric Lady in New York, or any other studio that has SSL 9000J's, or 4000 series consoles.



Not sure if this is what he was talking about but I have had problems with the panels on the back of both consoles in Transcon's A (9000J) and B (4000G+) rooms coming loose and annoying the shit outta me when mixing/tracking by rattling.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 23, 2004, 07:18:29 am
djui5,

Quote: "Not sure if this is what he was talking about but I have had problems with the panels on the back of both consoles in Transcon's A (9000J) and B (4000G+) rooms coming loose and annoying the shit outta me when mixing/tracking by rattling."

                                                                                                              -djui5


Funny I never had that problem in Room A which is where I was.  And I really don't see why in the 4000 room.  The monitors in that room were much smaller than the A room(JBL's if I remember vs Quested in room A).  I did'nt feel comfortable in the 4000 room.  The 'vibe' was good in the Amek Big room(even though small but great to do vocals/overdubs), & 9000J room.  I've since recommended the rooms to several different producers from my camp, & other camps.

Of note it's kind of interesting that Susan, & Eric(husband, & wife) are key individuals at two different facilities within the same state(Transcontinental, & Crescent Moon respectivly last I checked but, it's been a while).  I believe Ross Alexander did some design work at Crescent Moon as well which is a facility I'd like to do some work out of in FL in addition to Hit Factory-Miami.

When I was at Transcontinental I met this guy who had amazing producing potential(I think his name was Kabari, or Dakari).  We commented on each others tracks.  Been checking for credits for him but hav'nt seen much.  Is he still working there do you know?  Reason is if he's not still with Transcontinental I can give the guy 'alot' of work starting at about 7 months from now.

'Rob G.'.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on August 23, 2004, 07:29:12 am
Rob G wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 22:00


George Massenburg wrote



[...] [SSL4&6K and Neve's represent] a HUGE physical and acoustic footprint that's found nowhere in the real world. There have been efforts to deaden the clangy tin panels (20 years after it was pointed out) and to divert attention from the obvious, which is:

Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.
[...]


1.)You say  "......found nowhere in the real world."......... .   I don't get what you're saying.  These consoles exist in many major studios(Conway-LA, AIR-UK, Ocean Way-LA, Hit Factory-NY, Larrabee-LA).


Nooooo, those places are dinosaurs for the most part.  I'm talking about real places: millions of homes' listening rooms.
Quote:



2.)The clangy 'tin' panels I've not noticed(sonically).  Not in 'The Tracking' room in Nashville,  'Studio A' at Transcontinental in Orlando,
Starstruck in Nashville, Electric Lady in New York, or any other studio that has SSL 9000J's, or 4000 series consoles.  Granted the music I work on is high volume Rap, Rock, R&B, & etc..  But that doesn't matter.  I'm always close enough to the console to detect any form of clanginess or rattle.  As a matter of fact when ever I first audition a room one of the first things I do is walk aroung the room to see how the room sounds in a variety of positions(including at the extreme sides of the console).  So it would be hard for this to escape me because I do 'look around', and listen around as well.

3.)I agree with you that the console occupies a HUGE physical/acoustic footprint in these types of installations but if it's such a problem then why do so many excellent mixes come out of these specified rooms?  This footprint is a 'non-issue' to me as an end user due to the fact that the acousticians have apparently solved the bass buildup/combfiltering problem(at least in the rooms I've mentioned, don't know about others) therefore I can't agree with you in this area.  Now how much time the acousticians spend in doing CAD designs to get around the console problem I have no idea.  But I do know what I've heard, & seen.  And the results seem tangible to me.


Acousticians have not solved this, and in fact are still guessing about small rooms in general.  "Acousticians" can't remove a huge spectral reflection in front of a listener.  You could do as I used to do and cover the large console with 4" of Sonex.  But it's so much easier to just put it up on eBay.
Quote:



4.)I agree with you regarding the large console flattery effect (I'm flattered myself).  I don't endorse holding the position of use of the console to influence decisions to carry more weight, or intimidate people.  I don't encourage those types of situations although they do exist but not if I can have anything to do with it.


Of course you don't encourage it.  But if you really wanted to stop A&R men you'd get rid of them.  Which is what I'm trying to do.
Quote:


5.)I personally can't afford one of these large format consoles but I will employ one in production if the budget permits.  Yes things are being done more, & more in the box.  But these large format consoles are nowhere near being put into retirement just yet.  So I feel that you, & any others that might be ready to put the nails in the coffin for these large format consoles are going to have to hold off for a little bit.

'Rob G.'.



Large consoles are good for one other thing.  For overweight engineers it's a boon - everything is conveniently arrayed on front of them (even if it sounds like shit); they don't have to bend over revealing their butt crack to clients anymore.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 23, 2004, 07:50:23 am
George Massenburg,

Man you really are anti-large format console!  Well my position is still the same.  I like the large desk if for nothing else other than the wow effect, & for part of the work I like to do it gets me, & others where we need to be sonically even if it's just the quadcompressor that we're after.  Apparently I'm not the only one( who still favors the big consoles).

And while we're in discussion.  What is your alternative set up to acquiring the 'big console' analog sound digitally, or do you not desire the sound of analoge at all these days.  I'm very interested as to what you(a major trend setter) uses these days.  Is it a Pro Tools|HD rig with a 6 foot rack of interfaces, & an ICON(I would assume you being who you are that you would have probably gotten one of the first ICON's - a Beta version even).  Or do you have the huge rack but just an 8 to 24 fader controller?  If I'm forced to mix 'in the box'  I've found that the URS, Bomb Factory, & (don't laugh) T RackS plugs help me emulate some analogue character.  And of course I use your plugin when appropriate(but man does it each up processing slots).  I guess you get what you 'plug for', I mean 'pay for'.

'Rob G.'.

P.S.: 'Tony Maserati'(engineer for Mary J. Blige, & Beyonce), 'Chuck Ainlay'(engineer for Trisha Yearwood, & Steve Earle), 'Jimmy Douglas'(engineer for Missy Elliott, & Justin Timberlake), & 'Jeff Balding'(Faith Hill, & SHeDAISY) who are avid large format console users last time I checked are not 'fat' guys, unless you're talking about the sound of their mixes which in their cases would be considered 'phat'.  Who are these 'fat' guys you're talkling about?  Just kidding(as I'm sure you have been here, & there).  Additionally I, & my people can put up with the A&R guy/gal as long as they make sure that their labels business affairs dept. has the checks cut on time, & made out properly, in the right amounts(correct numbers of zero's, & etc.).
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 23, 2004, 12:08:04 pm
Rob G wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 23:00



2.)The clangy 'tin' panels I've not noticed(sonically).  Not in 'The Tracking' room in Nashville,  'Studio A' at Transcontinental in Orlando,
Starstruck in Nashville, Electric Lady in New York, or any other studio that has SSL




Try sending a slow swept sine wave out of the monitors and listen for rattles.

Quote:



3.)I agree with you that the console occupies a HUGE physical/acoustic footprint in these types of installations but if it's such a problem then why do so many excellent mixes come out of these specified rooms?  This footprint is a 'non-issue' to me as




One of the following:
a) I guess it depends on what you call an excellent mix  Smile
b) many recording engineers have learned to compensate for the acoustic weaknesses
c) the room may be designed, as you say, to minimize the problems... and it depends on your tolerance for such problems.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 23, 2004, 03:04:47 pm
bobkatz,

I'll try the sine wave technique you mentioned.  I regularly use the signal generator in Pro Tools for this when checking for blown speaker's/diaphram's, driver fatigue, and other such things.  But still I doubt that I'd miss some rattling.  I have reference tracks that during breaks(automated solo's), & such drop everything out except the drums with one containing an 808 kick that has the top filtered off, & the pitch descending to the point of what would be the free air resonance of several control room mains systems.  If that reference track can't expose 'anything' loose in a control room none will.

Regarding excellent mixes.  I'd say that Shania Twain's mixes are on a high level(even the ones done almost 10 years ago in 'The Tracking Room' if I recall the credits correctly).  Alicia Keys has a few mixes that are stellar( done at Electric Lady, once again if I recall the credits correctly).  It kind of depends on the genre of music you're listening to.  What's considered a proper recording/mix balance of a kick drum in 'Country' realm is'nt going to play well in the 'Rap' field where tracks are still 'gritty' but a 'polished' type of grit these days vs. ten years ago where if the track was'nt mostly 'grit' it was'nt considered Hip-Hop.



'Rob G,',  
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 23, 2004, 07:07:33 pm
Rob G wrote on Mon, 23 August 2004 15:04

bobkatz,

I'll try the sine wave technique you mentioned.  I regularly use the signal generator in Pro Tools for this when checking for blown speaker's/diaphram's, driver fatigue, and other such things.  But still I doubt that I'd miss some rattling.  I have reference tracks that during breaks(automated solo's), & such drop everything out except the drums with one containing an 808 kick that has the top filtered off, & the pitch descending to the point of what would be the free air resonance of several control room mains systems.  If that reference track can't expose 'anything' loose in a control room none will.




You're probably right!

Quote:



Regarding excellent mixes.  I'd say that Shania Twain's mixes are on a high level(even the ones done almost 10 years ago in 'The Tracking Room' if I recall the credits correctly).




That's your opinion. I can't listen to a Shania Twain CD for more than 30 seconds without feeling like I'm exhausted from all the squashing, overcompression and over the top-in your face...   Sounds good on the radio, though, but not because of this, despite it.

Quote:



Alicia Keys has a few mixes that are stellar( done at Electric Lady, once again if I recall the credits correctly).  




I'd have to recheck my CD collection. I can't remember what I thought of her sound, sorry.

Quote:



It kind of depends on the genre of music you're listening to.  What's considered a proper recording/mix balance of a kick drum in 'Country' realm is'nt going to play well in the 'Rap' field where tracks are still 'gritty' but a 'polished' type of grit these days vs. ten years ago where if the track was'nt mostly 'grit' it was'nt considered Hip-Hop.




Well, if David Banner's current is "where it's at", then I can do it, but I can't stand the sound. It's lot all its punch... for the sake of the loudness race.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 23, 2004, 07:26:53 pm
bobkatz,

I agree.  David Banner does'nt a catch my  attention as far as sonic excellence.  In the Rap/R&B category 'Outkast' really caught my attention sonically, which from what I heard was mixed mostly in the box but then some mixed on SSL XL9000K(large format console reigning in once again on 'Hey Ya' which was the track that caught my attention the most).  But if you want excellence no matter what genre then the Al Schmitt engineered 'Diana Krall' recordings absolutely take the cake.  Or if you listen to SACD check out the 'Red Rose Music' SACD's.  But, like I was saying great sonics kind of depend on the genre, & what that particular genre defines as good.

'Rob G.'.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Level on August 24, 2004, 01:03:44 am
1. Bling bling
2. Nice bussing.
3. Freedom from overload when pushed.
4. Can be leased, more bling bling
5. Impress your electrical co-op. They take juice to work.
6. Pretty space heater?
7. I hate to see them sit around in a warehouse.
8. You will keep the cable manufacturers in business.
9. You and your Dog can sleep under it.
and....(drumroll please....)

10. Keeps the sandman away...


PS, Rob G I thought you would (should) be annoyed with all that nasty sibilance on the Diana Krall CD's myself. She does not sound like that in person. Everything else is ok...but her voice....Uck...no one has that sound. It was uber artificial sounding. No one could ever have that sound. Nasty....SHHHHHHHsssssssssssiiiiicccccckkkkkkk

Ugly capture. Wrong mic and useage of the chain. Poor to very poor.


Uh....yes, I have heard her sing without a microphone from less than 5 feet.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 24, 2004, 01:20:13 am
Level,

Which Diana Krall CD are you tallking about.  The one that supposedly her, & her husband wrote(The Girl In The Other Room).  If so THAT's the one I don't like.  Before that one(The Look Of Love), OK,  I DO like that one.

'Rob G.'.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 24, 2004, 10:23:39 am
Rob G wrote on Mon, 23 August 2004 19:26

bobkatz,

I agree.  David Banner does'nt a catch my  attention as far as sonic excellence.  In the Rap/R&B category 'Outkast' really caught my attention sonically,





I'll check out Outkast...

Quote:



track that caught my attention the most).  But if you want excellence no matter what genre then the Al Schmitt engineered 'Diana Krall' recordings absolutely take the cake.  Or if you listen to SACD check out the 'Red Rose Music' SACD's.  But, like I




I usually love Al Schmitt's work. Did he engineer all the Diana Krall's?  Because I find her CDs to sound squashed, overcompressed, particularly in the vocal, no life left to it. I can't find my example Krall CDs in my pile, so I can't tell you if these are Schmitt-engineered examples. Is it the mastering?

I have some (in my opinion) better examples of female vocal/contemporary jazz in the Honor Roll at digido.com.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Paul Frindle on August 24, 2004, 08:41:03 pm
Rob G wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 15:37

bobkatz,

I absolutly 'hear' where you're coming from.  I've also had the misfortune to be in some poorly designed/maintained control rooms where the console was an issue(many years ago).  But I don't hear that so often these days(maybe it's the rooms I've been in most recently).  

I have a question though(you probably know better than I especially based upon you're knowledge of the Holman text, & such).  What system testing equipment/proceedure to your knowledge is best at detecting comb filtering effect, & other anomolies in control room monitoring, & tuning.  And what do you think of 'Bob Hodas', & his room tuning equipment, & techniques?

'Rob G.'.  


IMLE you only need to just listen to it Sad I have never heard a room that has not degraded considerably by the installation of a large mixing surface. The main problem is always the reflections from the surface (which is always just in front of you) mixing with the direct sound to cause the combing. This changes and moves around in its freq pattern as you move - most distressing.

Of course many efforts are made to reduce this, including angling of the console surface so that the reflections end up somewhere off your ears axis, or extra absorption measures around the front of the console (i.e. where many people used to put the seating for good reason). But in the end the problem still persists to some extent and gets back at you around the room acoustics eventually. Nearfield monitors help somewhat, but still suffer from different reflection combing effects.

When I was engineering I found a good method to appreciate it (or at least change it so you were aware of it) was to stand up from time to time. Also with practice the standing up - sitting down procedure would allow you to hear what part of the sound was caused by the combing - cos it changed more than the direct sound when you stood up. This could illustrate which annoying artefacts might not persist in the mix outside the studio environment - and you could possibly therefore worry less about them.

With solidly built high end consoles panel rattle was much less of an issue, but I have certainly come across installations where undamped metal panels around the place would resonate at certain freqs after loud excitations from percussion instruments - very disconcerting. And on a few occasions in Paris I actually did resort to gaffer tape and bits of foam rubber to tame them down when the annoyance level became too great. Of course (and as ever) some of the people in Paris thought I was mad, since they had apparently been working with these problems for years without noticing them at all? But then, I have been in complexes comprising of multiple high end recording/mixing facilities and mastering rooms which didn't possess a single pair of monitors in any of its rooms that didn't exhibit clearly audible faults of one kind or another - and people were apparently still working away merrily!

I have even been in a TV broadcast sound control room (in Germany) where the ferrous metal panels in the ceiling actually rattled due to the magnetic field generated in the wiring when the main studio lighting was faded up!! The field was so strong that the pictures on the TV monitors bent and distorted as well. I spent 2 weeks there trying to modify the new console to lose the hum that was being induced into all the mix busses - cos this was deemed a 'show stopper' - despite the rattling ceiling which had gone on for many years before. Oh and by the way, the mains substation that powered the whole darned premises was mounted in a basement room - right smack bang underneath the control room. People had been merrily working away in there for decades too.

Truly boggling! Sad

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on August 26, 2004, 05:24:37 pm
bobkatz,

Quote: "..............I usually love Al Schmitt's work. Did he engineer all the Diana Krall's? Because I find her CDs to sound squashed, overcompressed, particularly in the vocal, no life left to it. I can't find my example Krall CDs in my pile, so I can't tell you if these are Schmitt-engineered examples. Is it the mastering?

I have some (in my opinion) better examples of female vocal/contemporary jazz in the Honor Roll at digido.com."

                                                                                                         -bobkatz


You think that the vocals sound messed up on Diana Krall's 'The Look Of Love' album?  Most people don't think bad of  the recordings on that album, me included.  I guess it's just personal taste.  And once again I like her 'The Look of Love' album.  The most recent one, not at all.

'Rob G.'.

P.S.: That's also the album of her's that got a 'Grammy' for best engineering.  I'm puzzled here.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Roland Storch on August 26, 2004, 06:43:53 pm
A better headline for this thread could be: The disadvantages of large mixers. Confused
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on August 26, 2004, 11:19:35 pm
Rob G wrote on Thu, 26 August 2004 17:24



You think that the vocals sound messed up on Diana Krall's 'The Look Of Love' album?  Most people don't think bad of  the recordings on that album, me included.  I guess it's just personal taste.  And once again I like her 'The Look of Love' album.  The most recent one, not at all.

'Rob G.'.

P.S.: That's also the album of her's that got a 'Grammy' for best engineering.  I'm puzzled here.



I was so depressed by the sound of her previous albums that I didn't pick this one up.

The "best-engineered" Grammy's usually have some merit so let's hope that at least with this particular Diana album we agree.

I'll have to pick up "The Look of Love" and give you my opinion (for what it's worth) Smile

Rob, I urge you to buy the most impressive Nancy Wilson album mentioned in my Honor Roll, engineered by the great Danny Leake and mastered by the great Trevor Sadler, for an example of what I consider an "optimally compressed vocal with wonderful dynamic range and clarity".

BK
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Level on August 27, 2004, 03:57:00 am
Bob, the look of love, be very afraid of the vocal capture. Very unnatural. Artificial at best. No lips can make that sibilance.

Depth and darkness does not apply here. Imagine a can and string.

Handheld 58 would rank "supreme" in comparison.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on August 27, 2004, 04:19:35 am
Isn't "The Look Of Love" the one that Al Schmidt did in Paris with no EQ  in the tracking or mixing?  I only heard it once, and it was in an unfamiliar room over a 5.1 system, but "can and string" didn't come to mind for me.  I think her lips probably really do make those noises.  Her closeness to the mic and the airy quality of her voice accetnuate the trait.  Consider this:  many people probably love the sound of that record for the exact same reason that you dislike it.

But then, that's the way music is.  It's all very subjective.

Steve Shepherd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on August 28, 2004, 04:14:02 pm
Dear All,

Over the years I have formed, worked with, and trained many choirs, as well as being involved with solo vocalists. Because of this the numbers of singers I have been involved with actually runs into literally thousand’s in total altogether. They enjoy then, a very special place in my life experience's.

It has long been my opinion that if only we were able to reduce, or better still, eliminate completely if possible, unwanted vocal artefacts, this could facilitate an extremely positive improvement in the state of the art recording of vocalist’s as we presently know it. They are of course, so often, the very central figure in the entire recording process. And it would be a better alternative, and vastly preferable to hours of meticulous editing tiny glitches with all the associated difficulties.

There are many unwanted vocal artefacts such as lip smacking , tongue slopping, excessive internal salivation, sudden unpredictable nasal emission, as well as the more common problems of vocal plosive’s and sibilance that we are all well acquainted with.

And we should  always beware of singers that have had braces fitted as children, as this will usually create additional sibilance above the normal levels of acceptability, because of the dental modifications that have been surgically applied, which result in unnatural sound shaping to the vocal emissions, and increase the likelihood of excessive sibilance occurring.

I was relaxing yesterday, enjoying the Olympic Gymnastics of the well exercised vocal chords of Celine Dion. Mainly because someone who has helped me somewhat in the past, who I admire greatly, had produced a track for her, I naturally wanted to hear.

I should not have been surprised really, considering the power of vocal delivery involved, but you will be extremely alarmed to read, I could actually hear the good lady drawing an extremely fast, but very deep breath indeed.

I mean a breath, calculated to very quickly, but as fully as possible engorge her lungs completely with air.

It has long been my observation that if only we could break through this particularly undesirable barrier effectively, and eliminate the intrusion of this final artefact altogether, we would have the capability of producing the absolutely perfect vocal take.

Consider this absolute, an axiomatic law. Effective breath prevention measures when applied correctly ensure vocalists do not extrude unwanted vocal and nasal somatic emissions, ensuring perfect tracking of vocal presentation.

Eliminating the breathing of certain vocalists altogether seems to me to be the most important contribution a recording engineer can make to ensure a sensationally successful production, in certain particular cases.

The exuberant and character-full Celine Dion however, is not a vocalist whose stunning vocal performance I view in this way.

It is extremely common knowledge that Mr. Schmitt only uses a compressor on vocals for the tube sound, pulls only 1-2 dB from the top if he uses one at all, Limits pulling 1Db if using one, and that he received his 11th Grammy Award out of 24 personal nominations, for the very Album criticised above.

Clearly he has a lot to learn from everyone here, and I sincerely hope he will read this thread in order to further extend the depth of his understanding of the successful recording process!

In regards to the acoustical problems created by the presence of large mixing consoles, I’m disturbed to read that no-one appears to be utilising either the advantages of a ‘twin levelled’ control room floor, or a sunken console pit to accommodate the bulky mixing board.

Coupled with hydraulically operated, viscous damped, telescopic armchair seating and Penny and Giles fader extensions, the difficulties of comb filtered sound are entirely surmountable these days, and these consoles can continue thus to be used to some good effect.

It is an undeniable fact that the overwhelming majority of the very best and most successful recordings of all time, have actually been made with such consoles. This enigmatic truth is an absolutely undisputable, proven historical fact.

The problems associated with using large footprint consoles, near field monitors and ancillary studio equipment that audaciously demand an actual physical presence in the professional recording studio, control room environment, can be completely mitigated in their entirety, utilising the sunken mounted console and telescopic seating method of control room design.

Or of course, you can in fact stand on your feet temporarily when necessary to achieve the same good effect.


Best Wishes Peter


Peter Poyser
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Level on August 28, 2004, 05:44:05 pm
Hi Peter!

Vocal artifacts usually do not bother me much. I ask my vocalists to perform at about a 30 degree angle across the diaphragm rather than directly into it, and a good spacing as well. The sibilance I am referring to is not a clean SSS but one that has some undue rasp in it, like clipping an A/D converter or a weak micro-phonic valve in the microphone amplifier. "Sandpapery" comes to mind, 50 grit! (actually with plenty of square wave content in analysis) Measuring the level of said sibilance being within a very few dB of the crescendos and sometimes at the level of a good swell is very annoying at best. Perhaps I have grown rather sensitive to these artifacts but never the less, having heard Krall live on stage from a few feet in a secluded setting, centered and not in the pattern of the PA especially, if her natural voice were really that sibilant, I could have heard it actually over the smaller sized PA directly from her lips. Of course this all is a matter of taste but one knows when a recording sounds "natural" or not. Perhaps the fault may not have been the actual recording at all but one from excessive transfers between the mixdown and the mastering. Perhaps the process of converting to redbook could be the culprit. It is difficult to actually tell where this was entered into the equation for said production. I have had rather fine mastering go to the press shop and come back with a "proof" that was quite different than my actual master from time to time. This does not happen often but it certainly has happened and the fault here could very well be one out of the engineers hands. No blame given. I have many very good and 2 stellar CD transports for auditioning proofs as well as folding them in the wave editor for comparison. If the CD proof does not null the master, (in the 180 degree test) the difference is certainly non acceptable. Perhaps similar to all the compression being used on the 2buss, perhaps it is a "trend" to include this level of artifactual information. I certainly would not have allowed a master to leave here with this level of "distorted sibilance" on it. It is Akin to fingernails on a dry chalkboard. One "audiophile" did not hear it at ALL..until I pointed it out. I feel more care should be given personally but I am not one with the Grammies lining my mantle so perhaps it is just an issue with me as an individual.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on September 04, 2004, 08:40:12 pm
For a featured vocalist, do people still prefer the ribbon mic's that soften them up like on Frank Sinatra? I love some of the new Royer mic's. Personally I think a lot of Christmas CD's would sound better with ribbon mic's. Amy Grant's CD's or Natile Cole for instance.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 05, 2004, 10:48:16 am
Issued in bad form.

Retracted with apologies to George and all on his forum.

Tim
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on September 05, 2004, 02:09:44 pm
Lets face it, most people prefer to use outboard mic pre's, EQ, and compression. That of course there are the plug ins. So the real benifit of a large console is to have the extra faders. However with a push of a button you can switch banks to work with channels 25-48 and go back to 1-24 and save yourself a ton of money with the lower cost digital mixer's. By using outboard gear, including high end converters, the benifit of the big consoles (with the exception of mixes with 60 or more tracks) really shrinks. Not to mention the SSL 900 which can control DAW's as well as give you the analog sound.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 05, 2004, 04:00:59 pm
Issued in bad form.

Retracted with apologies to George and all on his forum.

Tim
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Aardvark on September 05, 2004, 04:03:43 pm
Tim Gilles wrote on Sun, 05 September 2004 10:48

George Massenburg wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 19:16

Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.




George.

This strikes me as an absurd statement.

Plain and simple.

Then again....

You really don't make records for a living anymore. Now do you?

Maybe you're starting to forget stuff.

Ya know.... Getting a little foggy.

So. In the same mean-spirited, reckless, and bullshit mindset you whipped that little gem off in...

Lemme say this....

Maybe some people who used to design hardware, now primarily design software.

Maybe those same people have figured out they can potentially spend a lot more time golfing, and a lot less time sweating, if they do everything in their power to perpetuate a technological trend that utterly eliminates a tremendous amount of manufacturing, marketing, and service issues, and results in them dramatically improving their bottom line.

Guess that just about wraps it up for me.


Tim



Razz  Razz  Razz  Razz  Twisted Evil
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on September 05, 2004, 06:25:36 pm
Quote:



Wow.

In your hilariously inept and wholly uninformed analysis of what's important, practical, sonically satisfying, and pertinent in modern record production.... You couldn't have made a better case for the continued viability of the LFAC.

Marvelous job.

Thank you.


Tim


So I guess the sound of the mic, mic pre, converter, and outboard EQ and effects are not important to you. Most studios want Great River, Buzz, GML, API, Manley, Crane Song or Focusrite pre's when recording not the mixing boards pre's.  You would rather have 48 faders to move up and down. That being more important is hilarious. Again unless you are working with over 48 tracks at a time, a 24 fader digital mixer or 24 fader controller is the ticket. Yes of course more faders are nice to work with, but for $250,000. NOT!! The EQ on the mixers don't compare to the GML or Massive Passive.

Now with Cubase 3 and soon Nuendo, you can route your external processors into a Insert in the DAW. So now it can work like a plug in. You can put a TC Ele 4000 reverb, GML EQ, or any compressor and add it to as many tracks as you want with the one unit. Another reason why the big console will continue to dwindle (with the exception of large productions.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 05, 2004, 08:44:08 pm
Issued in bad form.

Retracted with apologies to George and all on his forum.

Tim
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 05, 2004, 10:11:48 pm
Keef, the 101 recording forum I moderate is at the MARSH.

Seriously, I don't get what you are saying.

Is this another Mixing ITB vs Mixing on a console thread ?
Or analog vs digital ?

This is getting annoying.

I'm mixing on a console. I like mixing on a console. You argument about inserting outboard like Plugins is nonsense to my ears.

If you plug one comp on the lead vocal, then use a plugins for  de-essing, then another insert for, let's say your favorite outboard EQ, back to the DAW, send some rev, on it , back to the DAW, then your master insert out in a cranesong, back to the DAW (again) ...

How many conversions do you need to have your sound totaly fucked up ?

And if you like analog EQ on every track, how do you do that.

Are you buying 48 Massive passive ? GML ?

Come on

We could argue about the need of 64 pre's on large 64 frame console, there I agree with you. Some manufacturers are puting pre's as an option btw.

But if you are serious about this craft and are doing reasonably big project from time to time, then you have to admit large consoles are still usefull.

btw, you do know some studios are stil recording on 2 inches Tape recorder do you ?

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on September 05, 2004, 10:41:34 pm
I think we are missing some things in the chat translation. I am sure if we chatted in 5 min. we would agree on some things and have our pref. on other things.

Of course having a large console is nice. If you have a big project who the hell wants to jump back and forth with plug ins and different hard and software. If you have a great mixer, you have your EQ and dynamics all there. Then your work flow is easy as hell and you don't have to bull sh*% with anything. If you are doing this for a living, then there is nothing to discuss. Get what you need and do it!

I guess what point was missed was if you don't do large studio work, the benifits of the big console is not waranted as you would get by pretty easy with a smaller console/controller with using outboard gear. Plus the cost is way way less. Hell even the new PT Icon only has 24 faders unless you get a second one to work with the first unit. Sorry for the mix up/
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 05, 2004, 11:16:14 pm
Keef wrote on Sun, 05 September 2004 22:41

I think we are missing some things in the chat translation. I am sure if we chatted in 5 min. we would agree on some things and have our pref. on other things.

Of course having a large console is nice. If you have a big project who the hell wants to jump back and forth with plug ins and different hard and software. If you have a great mixer, you have your EQ and dynamics all there. Then your work flow is easy as hell and you don't have to bull sh*% with anything. If you are doing this for a living, then there is nothing to discuss. Get what you need and do it!

I guess what point was missed was if you don't do large studio work, the benifits of the big console is not waranted as you would get by pretty easy with a smaller console/controller with using outboard gear. Plus the cost is way way less. Hell even the new PT Icon only has 24 faders unless you get a second one to work with the first unit. Sorry for the mix up/


Not a damn thing I can disagree with in this post Keef.

Best regards and wishes.

Tim.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 06, 2004, 12:15:12 am
Keef wrote on Mon, 06 September 2004 04:41

I think we are missing some things in the chat translation. I am sure if we chatted in 5 min. we would agree on some things and have our pref. on other things.

Of course having a large console is nice. If you have a big project who the hell wants to jump back and forth with plug ins and different hard and software. If you have a great mixer, you have your EQ and dynamics all there. Then your work flow is easy as hell and you don't have to bull sh*% with anything. If you are doing this for a living, then there is nothing to discuss. Get what you need and do it!

I guess what point was missed was if you don't do large studio work, the benifits of the big console is not waranted as you would get by pretty easy with a smaller console/controller with using outboard gear. Plus the cost is way way less. Hell even the new PT Icon only has 24 faders unless you get a second one to work with the first unit. Sorry for the mix up/


That makes sense to me Wink

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 06, 2004, 12:21:38 am
George Massenburg wrote on Mon, 23 August 2004 00:16



Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.


George,

As a professional mixer in LA, I couldn't disagree with you more.

In my opinion, your records from the 70's and even early 80's sonically put to shame anything you've put out in the past 10 years. To me, your words say one thing and with brevity, but your history of work speaks volumes in absolute disagreement.

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 06, 2004, 02:51:08 am
Quote:

posted by Paul Frindle:
When I was engineering I found a good method to appreciate it (or at least change it so you were aware of it) was to stand up from time to time. Also with practice the standing up - sitting down procedure would allow you to hear what part of the sound was caused by the combing - cos it changed more than the direct sound when you stood up. This could illustrate which annoying artefacts might not persist in the mix outside the studio environment - and you could possibly therefore worry less about them.


Paul,

I'm happy to see we are of like minds in this respect. I like to stand up and stand away from the monitors sometimes too.

But I get even weirder than that.

Sometimes I like to lay down on the floor, and listen with the monitors above me.

Or move to the side of the monitors. so they are at a straight line to my ears, for a mono effect.

Then, I have a room about 90 degrees off-axis from the L/R axis of the monitors, which has walls which do not extend to the ceiling, and I listen from that room (which happens to be the room I sleep in, FWIW).

Then, there is the kitchen, which is about 45 degrees off axis and about 20 feet away from the L/R monitor axis, and that's another reference, at which the floor is acting as a sub.

About 20 feet away from that, down a hallway and around a hairpin turn, is the water closet - another great reference point. Listening to a mix from there, I get to hear what elements of the mix are really standing out; especially if it's while I'm brushing my teeth and the water basin is running.

I figure it this way: All of these different monitoring positions are a good way to gauge how the average listener might percieve the mix.

Since my studio IS an apartment, I know what my mix will sound like IN an apartment, at any given place in that apartment.

If my mix sounds good throughout the apartment, it will most likely sound at least OK in the car, or on the TV.

Any thoughts??
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 06, 2004, 02:57:33 am
George Massenburg wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 16:16


Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.


The absence of large format consoles will not change this part of the equation. Instead of a large physical console, we will  see 60" wall mounted plasmas displaying a UI to ever more sophisticated and arcane software. This leaves us with the same amount of "Wizard of Oz" potential. I have noticed the tendency of engineers, (particularly bad ones), and A&R guys to use whatever technology is being employed as a tool to befuddle, confuse and mystify the people they are supposed to serve, (the artist). You may be right about the future of large format consoles, but their absence alone will not be our salvation.

Wyn Davis
Redondo Beach, California
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 06, 2004, 02:59:37 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 06 September 2004 08:51



Since my studio IS an apartment, I know what my mix will sound like IN an apartment, at any given place in that apartment.



No,

You will know exactly how your mix sounds in YOUR appartment.

If mixing in appartments was the key to a better translation, I think we would all start to mix in our appartments.

Mixing environment is as critical as monitoring is. Far more important than the gear or the medium you use.

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on September 06, 2004, 08:01:27 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Mon, 06 September 2004 00:21

George Massenburg wrote on Mon, 23 August 2004 00:16



Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.


George,

As a professional mixer in LA, I couldn't disagree with you more.

In my opinion, your records from the 70's and even early 80's sonically put to shame anything you've put out in the past 10 years. To me, your words say one thing and with brevity, but your history of work speaks volumes in absolute disagreement.

Eric Sarafin


The whole music industry had changed, not only with recording gear, but with it's sound. Earth Wind and Fire's recordings blow away a lot of music done today. But to me the music of EWF is just better than a lot of what is out now. The recording industry... well that is a topic on it's own. But you know where I am going. The industry wants the "new sound" and the "new artist". We all hear the crisp recordings out there that has way too much maximizers pushing the signal to it's limit. I see us getting away from that sound slowly (thank goodness). Part of the problem was due to poor converters as tape sounded much better than the converters of the 90's with the first Pro Tools.

If you listen to a Linda Ronstadt record and then a Mary Chapin Carpenter CD, there is almost like a filter on the Linda recordings that was smooth and a little dark. Is is that we are just used to that sound that we prefer it to the cleaner more open sound of today, or do the old recordings just sound better?
We also know that live recordings of the 70's don't sound like live recordings of today due to the gear they use. I think that is one reason why the music today does not sound like the records of the 70's. The bands themselves are using newer gear that has a different sound. Taylor guitars are bright and punchy sounding. Some may like them, I used to have a Taylor 710. But after a couple of years, I wanted that smoother more balanced Martin guitar. Heck people change their strings for every session on bass and guitars. Back then they changed the strings when they broke. So of course they had a duller sound. Newer mic's are being used, no tape delay Roland units, now digital delays. So I think there are a lot of reasons why the sounds of yesteryear are different. It is the gear the bands use, and the gear the studios use.

Peace
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 06, 2004, 01:06:10 pm
Quote:

posted by an anonymous french mouse:
You will know exactly how your mix sounds in YOUR appartment.


True.

In the past, all the great studios had their own sonic "signature."

All I'm doing is carrying that tradition into the present, where all the great APARTMENT studios have their own sonic signature.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 06, 2004, 01:45:08 pm
Eric Sarafin wrote on Sun, 05 September 2004 23:21

George Massenburg wrote on Mon, 23 August 2004 00:16



Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.


George,

As a professional mixer in LA, I couldn't disagree with you more.

In my opinion, your records from the 70's and even early 80's sonically put to shame anything you've put out in the past 10 years. To me, your words say one thing and with brevity, but your history of work speaks volumes in absolute disagreement.

Eric Sarafin


But Eric, most of the records I did, I did with small mixers!  

Only two that I can recall did I use big boards outside of the GML boards (which qualify as "small" boards...i.e. minimal signal paths...no dynamics...lotta time on one's knees patching).  Those two records were: Cry Like A Rainstorm (which found me fighting an egregiously horrible Neve V every fucking step of the way) and Joshua Judges Ruth (on a Focusrite, which I used to like).  The early stuff was on small Bushnells (API's, but basically a 32 input mixer, not a big board, and no dynamics).

Interesting about the Focusrite.  Most A-list studios have gotten rid of them because clients wanted 88's or J's.  Certainly not for the sound, either.

I stand by my statement observing my work and others' across a 40 year career.  Except for some admittedly important ergonomic features (getting to a control fast, and having that control be very responsive) big boards are in and of themselves a waste of money.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 06, 2004, 01:46:52 pm
Wyn Davis wrote on Mon, 06 September 2004 01:57

George Massenburg wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 16:16


Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.


The absence of large format consoles will not change this part of the equation. Instead of a large physical console, we will  see 60" wall mounted plasmas displaying a UI to ever more sophisticated and arcane software. This leaves us with the same amount of "Wizard of Oz" potential. I have noticed the tendency of engineers, (particularly bad ones), and A&R guys to use whatever technology is being employed as a tool to befuddle, confuse and mystify the people they are supposed to serve, (the artist). You may be right about the future of large format consoles, but their absence alone will not be our salvation.

Wyn Davis
Redondo Beach, California


I agree with you 100%, Wyn.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 06, 2004, 11:39:01 pm
George Massenburg wrote on Mon, 06 September 2004 18:45

Eric Sarafin wrote on Sun, 05 September 2004 23:21

George Massenburg wrote on Mon, 23 August 2004 00:16



Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others.


George,

As a professional mixer in LA, I couldn't disagree with you more.

In my opinion, your records from the 70's and even early 80's sonically put to shame anything you've put out in the past 10 years. To me, your words say one thing and with brevity, but your history of work speaks volumes in absolute disagreement.

Eric Sarafin


But Eric, most of the records I did, I did with small mixers!  

Only two that I can recall did I use big boards outside of the GML boards (which qualify as "small" boards...i.e. minimal signal paths...no dynamics...lotta time on one's knees patching).  Those two records were: Cry Like A Rainstorm (which found me fighting an egregiously horrible Neve V every fucking step of the way) and Joshua Judges Ruth (on a Focusrite, which I used to like).  The early stuff was on small Bushnells (API's, but basically a 32 input mixer, not a big board, and no dynamics).

Interesting about the Focusrite.  Most A-list studios have gotten rid of them because clients wanted 88's or J's.  Certainly not for the sound, either.

I stand by my statement observing my work and others' across a 40 year career.  Except for some admittedly important ergonomic features (getting to a control fast, and having that control be very responsive) big boards are in and of themselves a waste of money.

George




George,

You can stand by your statement all you want, but you are essentially saying that anyone that uses a large console is doing so to intimidate. There are many, many professional mixers that use large analog consoles because we think that mixing within Pro Tools is a considerably worse alternative. Control surfaces don’t change that.

I think that your use of the term "large console" is a bit misleading. I didn’t realize that you defined a “large” console as one larger than 32 inputs, and with in-line dynamics. I personally find any console with more than 24 inputs to be a large console. So we seem to have a large chasm in what we view as “large.” For instance, I find 8068’s to be large consoles. I find the GML console that you referred to above, to be a large console. Most API’s are large consoles.

Perhaps you should be more specific in your criticism of those that do not choose to wholly embrace newer technologies the way that you have. Obviously, I’m confused as to which consoles fall under the terminology of “large.” In light of this, I’m hopeful that you can name every “large console” that you are referring to in your statement, so that I can be sure to intimidate my clients when I happen to be using one.

Thanks,

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 07, 2004, 12:54:36 am
Eric,

I think we all know a large console when we see one.  They are the ones with 60-92+ faders.  They have compressors and gates on every channel.  They have large racks that contain the power supply and the computers that are usually located in another room.  Many of them need a 30 amp dedicated circuit for power.  They cost several hundred thousand dollars.

I spent several days working at the Complex back in the day.  George's consloles were not large.  They were 28-36 channels, as I recall.  The racks were not that elaborate either, though they were of very high quality.  As I recall, most of the gear was GML, and by the end of my two weeks, I was ready to hear some other sounds, because too much smooth and transparent can be too much of a good thing.  But then I feel the same way about the Older Neve stuff.  After a couple of weeks of clicking through frequencies, I just want to sweep through SOMETHING.

I have come to apreciate that it is usually the craftsman and not the tools that makes the difference in the outcome of a recording.  Most good craftsmen know which are the right tools and seek them out.  Most even own some of their own.

Good work is being done inside of wholly digital systems.  If you want to work on a big console, I think that's what you should do.  It sounds great and It's working for you. The reality is that most recording and mixing will be done inside of computers.  That fact will not change, and the results will keep getting better.

Steve Shepherd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 07, 2004, 02:39:33 am
Extreme Mixing wrote on Tue, 07 September 2004 00:54

The reality is that most recording and mixing will be done inside of computers.  That fact will not change, and the results will keep getting better.

Steve Shepherd


Steve.

Mostly on the internet as far as I can tell for 'marquee' jobs.

A lotta propaganda is getting hurled around by folks who have much to gain from insuring that the "Illusion precedes the reality" on the 'DAW future' thing.

The sad fact is.... This is a hard time for EVERYBODY.

There's not a lotta "Legit" work to go around, and the competition is furious.

Anybody who disputes this assessment is either clueless, an enviable exception, or a lying sack of shit.

The 'DAW revolution' has brought with it a host of opportunities... and a plauge of horrific ills.

Mark my words. A lot of what going on in this era is going to be viewed in the future with the same abject horror currently reserved for such monstrosities as the ADAT and the advent of cheap LDC microphones.


In the short game.... history will be written by the victors.

It always is....

In the long run, the sonics of the recordings, seperated from the 'fashions of the day', will divide the wheat from the chaff.

That will be BOTH a function of the skill of the AE's.... and the nature of the technologies they employed.

Lotta folks around here seem to want to put all their eggs into one or the other of those 2 utterly interconnected baskets.



Best regards.

Tim
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 07, 2004, 03:00:19 am
Extreme Mixing wrote on Tue, 07 September 2004 05:54

Eric,
If you want to work on a big console, I think that's what you should do. Steve Shepherd

Steve,

Thanks for your permission. I really appreciate it. Now, I have a question for you based on your statement above.

Do you, or do you NOT, think that the only reason I choose to work on a "large console" (you've used the word "big," I believe that we have been using the word "large" here), regardless of what you define as a "large console," that I am doing so to "flatter myself," and "intimidate others?"

If your answer to this question is "Yes, I do," then please state specific reasons why based on your personal knowledge of me and how I work.

I look forward to your reply. Please keep it under 50 words if you could. The glass eye makes it hard to read really long posts.

Sincerely,

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 07, 2004, 06:14:59 am
Extreme Mixing wrote on Tue, 07 September 2004 06:54


Good work is being done inside of wholly digital systems.  If you want to work on a big console, I think that's what you should do.  It sounds great and It's working for you. The reality is that most recording and mixing will be done inside of computers.  That fact will not change, and the results will keep getting better.



Well, now let's be honest here.

If everyone could name their top five productions from the sonic excelence point of view for the past decade (and I guess I could name one of Eric Sarrafin's mixing job here, I have to give it a thought). What would be the proportion of "mixed in the box" (or even stemed in a smal console or a summing device) material ?

I agree With Tim Gilles, I feel like a big pressure all over the internet by people who seem to use more their computer than others (go figure) claiming : "analog is dead !".

I don't really know the answer here as this business seems to be in a kinda sort of transition and obviously will be save by quality or will die.

Quality,  read  : not by quantity and compromise.

As I forsee the return of better performers that will be able to survive by their live act, I see the posibility (and I might be wrong) of the big live recording comeback with artists that can judge the quality of the recording tools they will use.

Therefore I'm not sure I would bet on digital (that requires smaler console) with the confidence some members of this board seem to show.

But I might be wrong

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Rob G on September 07, 2004, 10:05:15 pm
All,

Man, I come back from 'Labor Day' Holiday, & what has this turned in to?  A 'piranna pool'.  

'Rob G.'.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 08, 2004, 12:56:03 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Tue, 07 September 2004 00:00

Extreme Mixing wrote on Tue, 07 September 2004 05:54

Eric,
If you want to work on a big console, I think that's what you should do. Steve Shepherd

Steve,

Thanks for your permission. I really appreciate it. Now, I have a question for you based on your statement above.

Do you, or do you NOT, think that the only reason I choose to work on a "large console" (you've used the word "big," I believe that we have been using the word "large" here), regardless of what you define as a "large console," that I am doing so to "flatter myself," and "intimidate others?"

If your answer to this question is "Yes, I do," then please state specific reasons why based on your personal knowledge of me and how I work.

I look forward to your reply. Please keep it under 50 words if you could. The glass eye makes it hard to read really long posts.

Sincerely,

Eric Sarafin


No Eric, I don't think you use large consoles to intimidate people.  I think you use them for the same reason that I did.  Because if you're mixing stuff with 60+ tracks, and you're going to use a console, then you're going to need a large one.  A lot of the guys who mix, (you included) have gotten really good at making them laugh and sing.  I think that is great, and if I had the option, I would be working on one everyday, as well.  I like the sound.  I like the pro acoustics in the rooms.  I like the feel of real knobs.  I like having someone to talk to.  I especially liked the receptionist at today's session.

It was on a 56 input Neve 8068 with Flying Faders.  I was next door to Ed Cherney.  It was great.  But I made my monitor mix inside Pro Tools to make sure I wasn't fooling myself into thinking I had something on disc, that wasn't there because I was listening to a double dose of Neve on all those faders split back out on to the console.  I've gotten good at mixing in the computer.  It's second nature to me now;  I don't even think about it.  I don't stare at the screen.  I listen to the music and I respond to it in musical ways.  I ride the faders, adust the pans.  I ride faders to tape, too, because that's one of the tools at my disposal.  I don't need anyone to run the computer for me.  I may or may not be as good or as well known as you are, but right now, it's not the computer that's holding me back.  I can get what I hear in my minds eye to come out of the speakers, and that's about all any of us can ask for, isn't it?

You may not agree with me.  That's OK.  I think most people would generally agree that the words "big" and "large" have the same meaning.  If we can't see eye to eye on that one, then why should I think we would concur on larger issues?

Steve Shepherd


Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 08, 2004, 01:39:22 am
Tim, Eric 'n all you other guys who have to work on BIG or Large consoles....

Puleeeeze, just admit it. Clear your conscience once and for all. The ONLY reason you use those giant things is to compensate for deficiencies in... um... well.... you know, other equipment.

Seriously though. I did not take George's comments the way some other readers did. If you insist his comments be taken absolutely literally, then I agree, he overstated his point. I have, on the other hand, been present and witnessed EXACTLY what he described; A scene where the Peter Principle becomes the primary universal force in some horrible alternate reality.

To insist there is only one way to accomplish valid, rewarding,  compelling work is to limit one's self to too narrow a vision. For my part, I always think I can make something sound great, whatever the circumstances, regardless of the limitations. I am not always right, but I make it my mission not to let the abundance of technology or lack thereof, get between the artist and their intended result. Weird sounding Pro Tools summing buss or giant spectral reflections off a console surface, notwithstanding.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 08, 2004, 03:17:12 am
Extreme Mixing wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 05:56



No Eric, I don't think you use large consoles to intimidate people. I think you use them for the same reason that I did.  Because if you're mixing stuff with 60+ tracks, and you're going to use a console, then you're going to need a large one.

Steve Shepherd


Steve,

OK. Now we're getting somewhere.

We have established that there are at least four respectable working professional mixers (you, me, Time Gilles, and malice) that do NOT, and/or NEVER HAVE used large consoles to "flatter [our]selves" nor to "intimidate others." Given this, would you or wold you NOT say that the following statement by GM is a gross over-generalization?

"Large consoles at this point in time exist only to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate all others." -George Massenburg

Before you answer, please notice the word "only" in his paragraph, which precludes us from any other possibilities.

I look forward to your answer.

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Peter Simonsen on September 08, 2004, 06:16:31 am
jesus Christ..me thinks somebody around here needs to relaxe more in life..get out in the sun..take a trip to the beach or something..*GGG*..Very Happy

Its truely amazin what makes people tick. Who cares what george thinks about people using large mixingboards..*GGG* I mean Its no big deal is it ??? says a bit more about the reciving party than the "giving" one..relaxe..get out in the sun a bit more..*SS*

Kind regards

Peter
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Kenny Gioia on September 08, 2004, 08:44:53 am
I assure you that most luddites do not prefer to work on consoles with 72 or more inputs. It is a neccessary evil when you deal with "modern" producers who can't make a fuckin' decision.

Most quality engineers would prefer 24 track recordings mixed on a 32 channel class A console with absolutely no dynamics built into every channel. That was a marketing tool. Not a need fulfilled.

Believe it or not. Most great records were made this way.

Most guys who prefer to "mix in the box" prefer to for one of 2 reasons.

1. They haven't had enuff experience on real Class A Consoles.
2. They don't do enuff quality work to afford to.

The need to try to make others feel badly about the tools that they choose and to try and convince them to work the way in which you do, shows more insecurity in the way you work and much less in the way they do.

Peace
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Fletcher on September 08, 2004, 09:15:12 am
Kenny Gioia wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 08:44

It is a neccessary evil when you deal with "modern" producers who can't make a fuckin' decision.



IV-I !!!

FWIW, everytime I've been thrown into one of those gigundo SShelL mix situations, I end up mixing the big bits into smaller bits... diving into the mute functions before damn near anything else to try and weed some kind of workable arrangment from the "let's record everything in the world and figure out the arrangment later" segment of the industry.

I wish those idiots would get forced to work with two 4 tracks for a year and learn how to not only decide what's appropriate for the song on the spot, but learn how to open up arrangements so they make a modicum more sense and maybe, just maybe, actually support the musical statement.

Last time I had to do one of those I spent the first two days turning all the loops, drum parts, and various percussion events into one nice little stereo pair of tracks that made sense from the beginning of the song to the end... then I turned the [literally!!] 23 tracks of vocals into a lead vocal and a stereo set of backing vocals that didn't fuck with the lead vocal... from there, the myriad of guitar tracks and the myriad of keyboard tracks were turned into a pair, the faux horn and faux string parts were also turned into a stereo pair [with all the fucking time they wasted on recording unnecessary dumbass shit they should have just hired Visconti to write some charts and hired some real players... good lord "string and horns in the box" suck cock], it wasn't all "one or the other", there was obviously some layering, but damn a good 85% of what was recorded didn't make the mix... that's an awful lot of shit to record to have it not end up as part of the recording... at least to me it is.

If the idiot who was in charge of the project was actually capable of making a decision then the whole thing could have actually been accomplished in well fewer than the 70 something tracks that exisited... ya know... the other benefit of 16 tracks [besides sounding better] is that the self important producers assholes were forced to: A) have an ounce of musicality and B) MAKE A FUCKING DECISION.

Thanks for allowing me the space to get that out of my system...
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 08, 2004, 10:22:52 am
A really salient post Fletch!

I think that those of us who have had to make a lot, using relatively little resource’s compared to that which is available today, and make it into something really good, have a lot to offer in experience, that could save many people a lot in time, money and frustration.

Personally, I find myself applying old long forgotten analogue techniques again and again to digital gear using it in ways it was never really originally designed to be used, sometimes quite instinctively, because of this background which makes you think about the important elements in a far more constructive way.

Going into a studio a laying down tracks is fine, but really knowing what you are going to do is essential, and having some rudimentary arrangements pretty helpful to boot!

Of course, some of us, have master arrangements scored on manuscript, and all the musical parts printed many months before we would ever dream of even entering a studio and pressing a record button. But still give the musician’s genuine freedom to Ad Lib, within the overall context of the arrangements, and bring the creative process's that one would have to use without a written arrangement, to the process in addition to it all.

I think people have too much in the way of money, material resources and time today, and so are very wasteful of it all, as your post eloquently demonstrates.

You have to have an ‘inner vision’ of what you are really trying to accomplish.

I suppose I liken it to knowing what you are doing really.

Quote : “Without vision the people perish”.

Forgive me for saying this, but P is a great letter of the Alphabet, don't you think Fletch?

Because.....

Proper Preparation Provides Perfectly Phenomenal Performance.

I’m sure you’ll perceive the pertinence of this point with poignant perspicacity.

Thanks again for a Prime Post!




Best Wishes Peter

Peter Poyser
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 08, 2004, 11:01:56 am
Eric,

Only, always, every, never...Nothing is ever always true, or always the only answer, or the only way of looking at a situation.  You seem to like using language as a means of intimidating others.  Why should I think you would hesitate to use a large console to do the same if it suited your purpose?

Lets face it.  If you want Al Schmidt to a mix a project, the best results will be had by putting him in that room down at Capitol that he likes, with an assitant to run the console automation, and another to run Pro Tools.  That's not intimidation, it's just the way he works.  But from the other side it can be a differrent experience.  I know.  He slapped my hand once for touching a mute.  I thought it was funny because I knew how to undo the move.  So did he.  He called in his assistant in to restore the mix.

Large mixes can't be done on a small console for obvious reasons.  But they can be done inside of a computer.  Computers can even be used to intimidate people, in much the same way as large consoles.   Have you noticed that?

Steve
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Fig on September 08, 2004, 12:01:19 pm
A question sir, if you please:

Fletcher wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 08:15


IV-I !!!



Is that the classical Plagal Cadence or is there another meaning?

Totally agree with your statements, BTW.

Best regards,

Thom "mixes on a console" Fiegle
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bobro on September 08, 2004, 02:00:11 pm
Fig wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 17:01

A question sir, if you please:

Fletcher wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 08:15


IV-I !!!



Is that the classical Plagal Cadence or is there another meaning?

Totally agree with your statements, BTW.

Best regards,

Thom "mixes on a console" Fiegle


Gotta be "Amen", hehe very good. First thought that crossed my mind was "Phrygian" have to admit.

-Bobro
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 08, 2004, 02:18:32 pm
Extreme Mixing wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 16:01

Eric,

Only, always, every, never...Nothing is ever always true, or always the only answer, or the only way of looking at a situation.


I can't understand why you use arguments as a means to agree with someone.

Quote:

You seem to like using language as a means of intimidating others.  Why should I think you would hesitate to use a large console to do the same if it suited your purpose?


According to George, you shouldn't.

Quote:

Large mixes can't be done on a small console for obvious reasons.  But they can be done inside of a computer.  Computers can even be used to intimidate people, in much the same way as large consoles.   Have you noticed that?

Steve


Absolutely, I've noticed that. And so why then should professionals that prefer large consoles be singled out as the intimidators and the seekers of flattery?

I'm just throwing it out there. You're obvioulsy feeling as if I'm attempting to intimidate you, and nothing could be further from the truth. I view you as my peer, and as such, I'm hopeful to see you at AES so that we can sit down for a drink.

Regards,

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 08, 2004, 02:27:10 pm
Eric Sarafin wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 02:17


[...]We have established that there are at least four respectable working professional mixers (you, me, Time Gilles, and malice) that do NOT, and/or NEVER HAVE used large consoles to "flatter [our]selves" nor to "intimidate others." Given this, would you or wold you NOT say that the following statement by GM is a gross over-generalization?

"Large consoles at this point in time exist [only] to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate [all] others." -George Massenburg

Before you answer, please notice the word "only" in his paragraph, which precludes us from any other possibilities.
[...]


I hereby retract the words "only" and "all".  Replace "only" with "often".  Delete "all".  I stand by the rest.

Imagine this situation.  Big record company playback books your control room.  Playing back a $750,000 budget production that's taken way too long to finish.  President & V-P A&R are hearing the record for the first time.  Under assistant A&R wasn't advised that your 72ch 9000J was taken out in favor of a tiny (24" x 14" x 4") virtual controller - this is a new technology that couples invisible probes that you wear on your head wirelessly to a controller whereby you can access 10,000 controls almost instantly with nearly complete reliability.  But there's nothing to put your feet up on.  Nothing to have your picture taken with.  Nothing to lean on.  In fact the guys from the record company are getting vertigo without something big and heavy in front of them.  They leave for Larrabee, a studio that knows perceived values and their inviolate place in record production.

I dunno. Could happen.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 08, 2004, 02:51:31 pm
George Massenburg wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 19:27

Eric Sarafin wrote on Wed, 08 September 2004 02:17


[...]We have established that there are at least four respectable working professional mixers (you, me, Time Gilles, and malice) that do NOT, and/or NEVER HAVE used large consoles to "flatter [our]selves" nor to "intimidate others." Given this, would you or wold you NOT say that the following statement by GM is a gross over-generalization?

"Large consoles at this point in time exist [only] to flatter the operator and encourage those who stand behind him (particularly record company A&R) to believe their opinions carry more weight for them, and to intimidate [all] others." -George Massenburg

Before you answer, please notice the word "only" in his paragraph, which precludes us from any other possibilities.
[...]


I hereby retract the words "only" and "all".  Replace "only" with "often".  Delete "all".  I stand by the rest.


Why thank you, George. I certainly appreciate the clarification. I disagree with your assesment that large consoles often serve this function. I agree that they can sometimes serve this function, but as Wyn pointed out, so can computers.

Quote:

Imagine this...[snip]...a tiny (24" x 14" x 4") virtual controller - this is a new technology that couples invisible probes that you wear on your head wirelessly to a controller whereby you can access 10,000 controls almost instantly with nearly complete reliability.


That sounds very intimidating!

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: orbb on September 08, 2004, 04:54:46 pm
Quote:

Imagine this situation. Big record company playback books your control room. Playing back a $750,000 budget production that's taken way too long to finish. President & V-P A&R are hearing the record for the first time. Under assistant A&R wasn't advised that your 72ch 9000J was taken out in favor of a tiny (24" x 14" x 4") virtual controller - this is a new technology that couples invisible probes that you wear on your head wirelessly to a controller whereby you can access 10,000 controls almost instantly with nearly complete reliability. But there's nothing to put your feet up on. Nothing to have your picture taken with. Nothing to lean on. In fact the guys from the record company are getting vertigo without something big and heavy in front of them. They leave for Larrabee, a studio that knows perceived values and their inviolate place in record production.

I dunno. Could happen.



Now there's an opportunity - Take one of these monster obsolete consoles, gut it, retool it so the faders move and lights blink, but otherwise leave it as a shell.  Then build a compartment in the center of it where your 24 or 32 channel mixer or your computer or controller or whatever works the program fits in (maybe even a Mackie Big Knob).  When the mooks show up, hit the switch so that the faders and lights become active; they will all be impressed and can have their picture taken with it, put their feet up on it, or lean against it.  When they leave, turn it off and get back to work.  

Remember, you don't sell the steak, you sell the sizzle.

Bo Sweeney
Huntington West Virginia
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 09, 2004, 08:49:20 am
There’s lot’s I would love to write about this subject, but haven’t, because I’m afraid it would all cut far, far too close to the bone for some people.  

I think Truth, important though it is, is not the very highest force in life, but Love!

I love both technologies quite heartily, so I guess I feel my views are pretty well balanced.  

But I’m really disturbed at the highly regressive nature of the state of the art over the pond if no-one there is using fairly fundamental improvements in control room  design and acoustics yet such as sunken console pits,  Confused  hydraulic telescopic seating  Shocked  or the (I believed) ubiquitous Penny and Giles fader extensions.  Surprised  Or not even standing up to receive an improved balance of direct monitoring!  Rolling Eyes

But if it’s Direct Brain Input you really want George.

We have the technology!  Cool

Here are some highly detailed scientific papers on the subject.

Perhaps you might cherish a secret desire to design, develop and successfully market the first fully integrated symbiotic recording console featuring DBI. And thus be the obvious candidate as the historic guinea pig for initial trials!


 http://www.smpp.northwestern.edu/~smpp_pub/MussaIvaldiMiller 2003.pdf

   http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~anandk/neuro/neurotrophic%20ele ctrode.pdf

   http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.04/desire.to.be.wired_p r.html

It’s all pretty interesting for all techno geeks isn’t it!  Razz

http://www.jetpress.org/volume8/symbionics.html

BTW George, how did you get on with the scientific papers I sent you privately about the effect of alcohol on the ability to make proper aural judgement during mixing?  Smile

Best Wishes  Peter


Peter Poyser


Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 09, 2004, 12:15:17 pm
Who spilled the beans about alcohol improving you judgement during mixing?  I was trying to keep that quiet.  We don't want everyone to know about it!

Eric,

Sorry if I came off on the defensive side.  It's not unusual to get flamed for disagreeing with others around here.  My feeling is that I need to do great work everytime, whether I'm on a Mackie or a Neve or Pro Tools.  They all have their strengths and weaknesses.  OK, there's no upside to a Mackie, unless we're comparing it to a Langley Big console.  Maybe that's the difference between large and big consoles that riled you up in my first post.

See you at AES.

Steve Shepherd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: ted nightshade on September 09, 2004, 02:02:36 pm
Let me tell you folks there's plenty of intimidation potential in all this digital stuff. May not make for any but a rather geeky photo op, but it can come off as an exclusive language the artist will never learn.

Whereas, we're all tempted to twiddle those console knobs! Even if it's not such a good idear...
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 09, 2004, 10:04:02 pm
I try to work in such a way that they are never really aware that any heavy lifting happened.  You know, all you really have to do is double click, type a little, hit return, open a dialog box, adjust a slider...  You get the picture.  Why should that seem hard to anyone?

Steve Shepherd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 10, 2004, 02:01:01 am
Quote:

poste by extreme mixing:
Who spilled the beans about alcohol improving your judgement during mixing? I was trying to keep that quiet. We don't want everyone to know about it!


Well, too late, the catss outaa the baag.

I jush got shloshed, and mixted a toon, and it shounds GREAT! (burp_)

The shtereeo shpread ish jus shtumpendusss... (burp/_)

Gonna go take a nap under the con sole now.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Level on September 10, 2004, 03:06:36 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Fri, 10 September 2004 01:01

Quote:

poste by extreme mixing:
Who spilled the beans about alcohol improving your judgement during mixing? I was trying to keep that quiet. We don't want everyone to know about it!


Well, too late, the catss outaa the baag.

I jush got shloshed, and mixted a toon, and it shounds GREAT! (burp_)

The shtereeo shpread ish jus shtumpendusss... (burp/_)

Gonna go take a nap under the con sole now.



LOL
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 10, 2004, 06:46:33 am
Quote : “I was trying to keep that quiet. We don't want everyone to know about it!”

OK Steve, I understand.  Smile

Your secret is safe with me.  Confused

It’ll go no further!   Rolling Eyes

I’ll tell no-one!  Very Happy

Errr..

I guess that means you want me to keep mum about the False Front on that really impressive ‘Outboard Gear’ racking plinth behind the console that opens up into a luxurious Drinks Cabinet, as well then.

You know the one.

The one, with the ‘dummy equipment’. False ‘front plates’ on the secretly disguised ‘cabinet doors’.  

Cool!  Cool  I love the nice mirrors inside! Rock and Roll!

But you really shouldn’t have taken a tipple  Shocked  (or four), before you screwed the two 1176 dummy front plates in place Steve.  

The fact that they are mounted vertically is a dead give away,   Laughing   and to be quite honest, has tended to draw the highly inquisitive among us, to investigate, when you are out of the room.

And anyway, when you kept bothering Fletcher, to order all those replacement front plates for you   Embarassed   (because they had hairline scratches on delivery)? Sheeesh!

It was another dead give away, as at Mercenary they already beat you to it long ago. They’ve had one for years!

http://www.mercenary.com/mershow.html

(Explains a lot, doesn't it)?

I scratched my head for years wondering just what all this outboard gear was really for? But I found out at last. It's the last refuge for the oppressed engineers daily expected to save the day.  Like Supermen, proving once again, that actual experience triumphs over absolute incompetence every time.

We do things differently over on this side of the pond, Steve.

You see.

It’s much better to fit the Drinks Cabinets behind a big dummy patch bay.  Razz

And preferably, much closer indeed to the actual Console, where it’s within easy reach and properly convenient (We have our control room priorities, ergonomically worked out by industry specialists). Time and Motion Experts.

All heavy drinkers!   Rolling Eyes  

And during installation even if you’ve had a drink and fit it upside down, sideways, anyway you like at all almost, with a patch bay, it still looks perfectly OK!  Smile

http://www.mercenary.com/helfrommanst.html

Have a Happy day at work Steve!

Or Happy Hours at work at least!

Cheers!

Hic!

Peter


Peter Poyser

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 10, 2004, 11:47:05 am
...You drink your rum and coke
Say it's all been a joke,
And you were just pretending.

I can't believe you think,
That with just one drink,
You could change the ending...

Drinking is not the best way to improve a mix.  I've seen some guys do it, but it never worked for me.

Steve



Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 10, 2004, 12:28:03 pm
Dear Steve,

Truth to tell, I am virtually, a complete teetotaller!

Apart from enjoying a glass of wine with a meal....   I enjoy a really serious joke though!

This is the scientific paper which I sent to Mr. Massenburg.

You will not be surprised that studies into this subject entirely corroborate your views Steve. This is for anyone sleeping under the console who’s interested.

FREQUENCY SELECTIVE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON AUDITORY DETECTION AND FREQUENCY DISCRIMINATION THRESHOLDS

http://alcalc.oupjournals.org/cgi/content/full/34/5/741

Alcohol is an extremely serious problem for some people, so we really shouldn’t make jokes about it at all, but then, we can’t be too heavy and serious all the time.  

I haven’t crawled into bed any day this week before 5.45 AM, so I confess I am a little blurry, but really through pressure of workload, and for no other reason at all. Honestly!

Great to meet you Steve!

I don’t know if you know it,

But you are one heck of a poet!

Best Wishes Peter

Peter Poyser

“Al slapped my hand once for touching a mute”.

What an honour! Presumably you haven’t washed it since!
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tomas Danko on September 10, 2004, 04:13:25 pm
Extreme Mixing wrote on Fri, 10 September 2004 16:47

...You drink your rum and coke
Say it's all been a joke,
And you were just pretending.

I can't believe you think,
That with just one drink,
You could change the ending...

Drinking is not the best way to improve a mix.  I've seen some guys do it, but it never worked for me.

Steve




Ah but you can't drink and then just wait for the mix to improve, no wonder it won't work for you! That way the only thing changing will be your listening impression...

What you do, is that you drink lots and *then* you start to tweak them faders and knobs, hence improving the mix.


Don't mix and drink.
First drink, them improve by mixing.

/Danko


Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 10, 2004, 10:35:07 pm
Thanks Peter.

The lyrics weren't my own.  They are some of my favorite of all time.  They were from a band, years ago whose record never came out.  Pity, because it was very good stuff.

I read a study years ago that said that alcohol was the only drug that actually changes  your perception of sound, and not in a good way!  It makes your hearing less sensative and less accurate.  I suppose that's no surprise.  It's a lot like driving.  You may think you're better, but NOBODY DRIVES BETTER WHEN THEY ARE DRUNK.  Same goes with mixing.

On the other hand, a glass of wine is different than drinking the whole bottle, and I've seen some do quite acceptable work after they have had more to drink than I could handle, so I guess it's an individual thing.

What this has to do with large mixers, I have'nt a clue, but some of the tipsy mixers, who did quite well, were also rather large...

Steve
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: natpub on September 13, 2004, 09:06:13 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Mon, 06 September 2004 22:39


I think that your use of the term "large console" is a bit misleading. I didn’t realize that you defined a “large” console as one larger than 32 inputs, and with in-line dynamics. I personally find any console with more than 24 inputs to be a large console. So we seem to have a large chasm in what we view as “large.”


hmm...

large?




index.php/fa/226/0/
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: natpub on September 13, 2004, 09:11:02 am
large?

index.php/fa/227/0/
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: natpub on September 13, 2004, 09:14:00 am
Aha, I get it now...LARGE!!! Does this include the phallic implications?
Laughing

index.php/fa/228/0/
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Rudd on September 13, 2004, 11:05:07 am
Extreme Mixing wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 03:35

Thanks Peter.

 It's a lot like driving.  You may think you're better, but NOBODY DRIVES BETTER WHEN THEY ARE DRUNK.  
Steve


"Friends don't let friends mix drunk."
---MADM  (Mothers Against Drunk Mixers)

Eric
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: JGreenslade on September 13, 2004, 11:28:12 am
It's interesting to note that the GML console doesn't have a lot in the way of slide faders, does GM have a preference for rotary controls?

The reason I ask is that IMHO, rotary faders are underrated and slide overrated. I'm currently putting (well, will be when I get my new workshop fitted...) a custom discrete console together for myself, and was thinking of the possibility of implementing rotary pots instead of slide faders. I have a soft-spot for rotary pots - after all, a lot of classic mixes were turned in via rotary mixers prior to slide becoming an industry standard.

Can't see "clients" getting into the rotary controls, but seeing as the mixer is for my own work I'm tempted to indulge, any comments?

Cheers,
Justin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 13, 2004, 05:50:50 pm
thermionic wrote on Mon, 13 September 2004 10:28

 IMHO, rotary faders are underrated and slide overrated...

You aren't alone, back when we had a choice most people I know preferred rotaries provided the knob was big enough.

That was the rub because you could get a lot more controls in a lot less space using sliders.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 13, 2004, 07:12:32 pm
natpub wrote on Mon, 13 September 2004 09:11

large?

index.php/fa/227/0/


Not really.

But the man who runs this thing is GIGANTIC!!!!

He is SO LARGE, in fact.....


That he might not need the big desk to intimidate his clients after all.





Why in the hell didn't I think of that?

LOL.

Rumblefish
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: natpub on September 13, 2004, 08:09:35 pm
[quote title=Tim Gilles wrote on Mon, 13 September 2004 18:12

the man who runs this thing is GIGANTIC!!!!

He is SO LARGE, in fact.....

That he might not need the big desk to intimidate his clients after all...
[/quote]

Oooooooohhhhhh!  That kind of large mixers!!

index.php/fa/229/0/
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Roland Storch on September 14, 2004, 03:54:43 am
Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 13 September 2004 22:50

thermionic wrote on Mon, 13 September 2004 10:28

 IMHO, rotary faders are underrated and slide overrated...

You aren't alone, back when we had a choice most people I know preferred rotaries provided the knob was big enough.

That was the rub because you could get a lot more controls in a lot less space using sliders.


But it is difficult to move only 2 rotary faders simultaniously (with exact same speed), with more than 2 it is almost impossible.

Only when mixing classical music I could imagine to use rotary faders.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 14, 2004, 10:11:59 am
Roland Storch wrote on Tue, 14 September 2004 02:54


But it is difficult to move only 2 rotary faders simultaniously (with exact same speed), with more than 2 it is almost impossible.


Only when the knob isn't big enough or the pot isn't good enough quality.

As far as I know this kind of gear hasn't been manufactured in over 40 years so to a certain degree one had to have been there to really understand what we are saying.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bblackwood on September 14, 2004, 11:26:08 am
Bob Olhsson wrote on Tue, 14 September 2004 09:11

Roland Storch wrote on Tue, 14 September 2004 02:54


But it is difficult to move only 2 rotary faders simultaniously (with exact same speed), with more than 2 it is almost impossible.


Only when the knob isn't big enough or the pot isn't good enough quality.

As far as I know this kind of gear hasn't been manufactured in over 40 years so to a certain degree one had to have been there to really understand what we are saying.

You mean mixers could easily manipulate 5-6 rotary knobs as well as they do with faders?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 15, 2004, 04:33:37 am
The key thing about this is to have a very large knob indeed!

Like a lot of things in life, it’s a matter of what you’ve actually been used to. And you’ll find having a fairly big knob facilitates everything. The size of knob makes all the difference altogether.

There are certain recording situations where ‘some people’ routinely set up levels, and establish a good overall balance, and don’t really deviate that much from the set balance, when they’ve got it down nicely. So these are good for certain types of work. It’s not exactly my ‘cup of tea’, I like long throws, and am ‘organically involved’ every second, but I think it works well for certain people, doing a certain type of recording, and rotary pots are pretty easy to maintain.

Of course, GM is talking about DBI now, and that could really make all the difference to such a design and possibly, even rejuvenate the concept. Where I fundamentally disagree with GM however, is on the matter of HOW MANY controls it’s possible to manipulate at same time, using DBI technology. It is absolutely dictated by the human element involved, which is of course, a severe limitation. Musical Arrangers know from experience (which is backed up by science) that the ‘average’ human mind is only able to fully concentrate on three main threads or distinctive elements simultaneously, at any given time. So I think GM’s concept, is clever, but his projections and assessment of the possibilities, are very clearly, overly optimistic. And with respect,I do not believe he has properly researched this topic, as thoroughly as his posting suggested.

What amazes me about this thread is the lack of sensitivity and understanding people seem to have, of the deep motivational actuators involved, as to WHY GM dislikes Large Consoles. This is the really most enlightening and most interesting aspect of this thread, and has not really been looked into and seems not to be understood at all. But this is absolutely key to understanding GM's attitudes.

Or why, someone like David Reitzas (whom I admire) would record on a Large Console, and then finish up working ITB as it were, in a comfortable living room for a major release.

http://www.prosoundnews.com/stories/2003/october/1021.5.shtm l

This thread could be really good if we all thought much more deeply about the issues involved.

Anyway, I seem to remember a while back over here, one Studio had to use the two Consoles in ajoining Studios, plus a whole load of extra channels for a Major Film Soundtrack. I think it was 250 channels of NEVE altogether.

Now come on, we’re only a small Island, if we’re talking Large Consoles, surely you can do better than that, in a country the size of America!

Best Wishes  Peter

Peter Poyser
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 15, 2004, 09:36:39 am
Issued in bad form.

Retracted with apologies to George and all on his forum.

Tim
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 15, 2004, 11:41:09 am
You know part of this is the fact that most of the people I know dislike MOST consoles. They would never use one the way the manufacturer intended and prefer large consoles only so that they have enough flexibility to patch together exactly what they want to have available.

There's actually been a huge opportunity for a truly functional new recording console design for many years.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 15, 2004, 07:55:04 pm
Quote Bob Olhsson : “There's actually been a huge opportunity for a truly functional new recording console design for many years.”

Absolutely Right! I was just thinking today as I was looking through a studio gear catalogue, If only someone made a small, but very high quality, extremely flexible mixer, it would be very useful for me, for certain things.

Mr Olhsson. You are The Voice of Reason in Audio!

Quote Tim Giles: “I think that's an embarrassingly poor attempt at a "Spin".”

Well I admit to having friends that brief our top politicians with the answers to every question they could be asked, before being interviewed on TV, but as for myself, the only spinning I do, is on a CD Player actually.  Conductors tend to make their mistakes as conspicuously as a mistake can be made. At least 150 people are going to see the mistake on one side of you, and the well educated audience of thousands on the other side, don’t ever miss much at all and make it a talking point over dinner afterwards. The bottom line is, I don’t embarrass that easily!

Tim, I think the real problem is that humour is very cultural indeed, It often fails to travel well, and it’s probably quite difficult for you to read between the lines of what I’m actually writing, and appreciate the immense potential for humour that could be made of GM’s dislike of Large Console’s.

It would seem less than polite to expand upon this specifically, here, in Mr Massenburgs own Forum.  But perhaps, if it is to be done anywhere, this is the best place of all to do it. But I don’t really wish to.

Never the less, believe me, there is a history of ironical twists, that can be seen retrospectively in this illuminatingly humorous light! I’m sorry that the Atlantic Ocean has proved just too big a gap. But I would have thought the line……

Quote : “Of course, GM is talking about DBI now, and that could really make all the difference to such a design”.

Concerning Direct Brain Input (from earlier postings) would have been sufficient clue as to the humorous intent of my message.

Quote Tim Giles : “Sensitivity indeed.”

Yes absolutely. Its sensitivity that is required in order to elucidate the full sophistication of the humour involved.

The more sensitive and aware of other people you are, as to what they think, how they feel and so on. The better placed you will be to look into their hearts and understand their motivations, and begin to understand WHY they think, speak and react in certain situations exactly as they do.

Sensitivity is an absolute requirement for musicians of taste, and people too.

Mr. Massenburg has many extremely good reasons for feeling as he does about Large Consoles. That doesn’t mean everything he says about Large Consoles is right. Not at all.

What it does mean, and more importantly, reveal to us however, is a history of Pyrrhic Victory in relation to Large Consoles. Which in all probability, had it been your or my experience, would of engendered in us, similar emotions toward them, as Mr Massenburg feels himself.

Tim! People assert themselves most when they feel most threatened. We can thus be assured, that Large Consoles have given Mr Massenberg a great many business problems and headaches, he’s not telling us about in the past. So much so, that the mere mention of them stirs deeply powerful memories of those problems, from within him. This results in his outward expressions of disgust toward them.

We can hardly blame him for feeling as he does under such circumstance’s.

Rather than take offence at Mr Massenburg’s views, I prefer to try to understand the background as to why he feels as he does, and I must confess that understanding that, the endless possibilities for humor do cross my mind.

Beyond that, I’m sure Mr Massenburg could well argue the virtues of new and emerging technologies, and I would have to admit some are very impressive indeed.

I am a Lover of Large Neve Consoles. But I’d rather stick with the humour if that’s OK?

We’ve had a lot of trouble in Parliament today I’m afraid, You may have seen it on the news, riots and so on outside The Houses of Parliament. It’s all about the ban on Fox Hunting that’s gone through Parliament.

So forgive me if I leave it there Tim, as I must to try to organise a live debate on the subject, and want to get Mr Basil Brush (a leading authority on the subject) who lives locally, to chair the debate between the opposing sides.  He’ll soon be booked up if I don’t move quickly. I’m sure you understand.

Best Wishes   Peter


Peter Poyser
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: The Geetar on September 15, 2004, 10:05:18 pm
Peter  Oxford wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 00:55



I must to try to organise a live debate on the subject, and want to get Mr Basil Brush (a leading authority on the subject) who lives locally, to chair the debate between the opposing sides.

Peter Poyser




Basil Brush, eh?

I suspect you are merely his puppet in this whole affair...............
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Lynn Fuston on September 16, 2004, 12:34:14 am
bobkatz wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 20:34

The technique I was taught with TDS was to put an absorber on the suspect surface, and compare the frequency response with and without the absorber.


Am i the only one that has to put pillows on top of a J to be able to hear the sound without the early reflections? And that wonderful acoustic mirror right there in the center section. Whose idea was that?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 16, 2004, 04:29:17 am
Quote Lynn Fuston: “Am i the only one that has to put pillows on top of a J to be able to hear the sound without the early reflections?”

How do you sleep at night? Does your wife understand where the pillows have gone, and why she’s lying on a flat bed with nothing to support her head?  Doesn’t she get mad? Gee Lynn, are you married to a saint? No wonder you are good at conjuring up beautiful Rose’s when required!

(Growing Roses is a hobby of mine).

Anyway, just this week, I took delivery of some thick (over 3” deep) vibration and acoustically deadening foam isolators for under the close monitors. They’re really very solid and supportive indeed, they don’t give at all under the weight (which is considerable) and I’m really completely delighted with them. They weren’t even expensive (which makes a pleasant change). They certainly make a great difference.

But Lynn, don’t the neighbours wonder why you take pillows with you to work every day? It just doesn’t give the right impression, if you know what I mean.... I live near the factory that J’s come from, and I understand all the guy’s at SSL take pillows to work, but they actually use them in a different way. It’s called the Pillow under the Console Ploy! “Hey I’m just going to check the wiring under this board, I’d better use this pillow, I brought with me to work to support my head, while I’m working, I'll be while, so don't trip over my feet!"

Z zz zzz zzzz zzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzz.

Best Wishes Peter

Peter Poyser

P.S. For anyone who doen't know who Basil Brush the leading authority on Fox Hunting is.....

http://www.flicks.com/~martin/basil_brush/basil.htm

http://www.flicks.com/~martin/basil_brush/basilNewShow.htm

Quote from Interview with Basil Brush.

What's your favourite show/advert?

BB : Show: anything on the Fox network. Advert: Chicken Tonight.

Foxes who have inspired you?

BB : Brer Fox, Charles Fox, Edward Fox, Michael J. Fox. But not Sam Fox.

Who's behind you?

BB : My right-hand man - but that's another story.

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 16, 2004, 10:18:01 am
Tim Gilles wrote on Wed, 15 September 2004 08:36

Peter  Oxford wrote on Wed, 15 September 2004 04:33

 What amazes me about this thread is the lack of sensitivity and understanding people seem to have, of the deep motivational actuators involved, as to WHY GM dislikes Large Consoles.


Really?

Fascinating.

I think that's an embarrassingly poor attempt at a "Spin".

George is entitled to his opinion.

And so am I...

And, as a person who mixes records for a living, and has, for 2 decades...

I found his statement ridiculous, irresponsible, childish and wholly suspect... Which, considering the source... made it pretty damn offensive.

That's why I called him out on it.

Bull in a china shop which doesn't serve his current agenda.

Sensitivity indeed.

SM.


First, I much appreciate Tim's going no further than the edge of being confrontational, and limiting his name-calling to "childish".  Secondly, I urge anyone who has strong feelings to make them clearly known, as Tim has.  I appreciate a clear argument based on a clear case.

Unfortunately, Tim's embodies neither.

Tim, the most I hear in your response is that you don't like what I'm saying and, furthermore, don't like the way I'm saying it.  But you at no time say much more than "I make records and I'm offended."   As a person who has designed equipment and made records for four decades, I do in fact feel that I am not only entitled to my opinion, but to rebuttals supported with facts.  If you're suspicious of what I've said, you aren't clear on exactly which statement you're suspicious of.

Now, if you wanted to change my mind - or anyone else's - you might write down what you think you gain in a large console vs a small console -  you can choose the dividing line.

My objection is specifically directed to the perception that "large console" make "big records".  Please note that I'm not touting specific "small" consoles, nor am I confusing "small" with cheap.  I spend a fortune on gear, both purchased from outside and designed/fabricated in-house.  I have divided my thoughts into into two areas, roughly put: 1> technology, and the evolution of technology, & 2> the continued market for large-scale technology.

1> Technology.  The large-scale, full-signal path analog (let's limit our discussion to analog, I think) console is extrememly hard to design well, if the term "well" is taken to mean that the individual blocks are each, in and of themselves, of sufficient quality to not necessitate going outside of the box for an expanded feature-set, and easily updated to accomodate improvements in parts and techniques.  Also, it's a great deal harder to get these blocks to work well together; note the staggering level of HF oscillation the next time you look at noise and distortion on a Neve VR.  It's taken companies such as SSL and Neve quite a few iterations to "improve" their micpres, eq's, dynamics, signal-routing & etc.  For many users, the "quality" and/or "utility" of most of the internals of these large desks still can be eclipsed by a custom, external signal chains.  On the second point, these large desks are tricky to "enhance" over time.  In fact, the direction of the business over forty years is best described by marking the growth of individual components, and well-tailored systems.  And less-and-less turn-key installations and one-box solutions.

2> Market factors.  The big desks aren't selling like they used to.  Support is probably the one thing you count on when you put down big bucks.  To take the mildest stance, noone in the industry is betting new money on building ground-up companies designing big boxes for the music recording industry.  Buying a big box for big bucks means amortizing it over far longer than 5 years.  Remember that the gold standard in console quality is less the 88-R's and J's and more the custom 8078's that are going on their third decades.  I would very much worry that these big-box companies will still be in business in 5 years, much less 20 years, unless their fortunes improve.  That leaves you holding the bag.

Tim, you don't mention it, but I wonder if you're a studio owner or an independent engineer.  Because if you're a studio owner you're going to have to pay more attention to paying back the note than almost anything else.



Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on September 16, 2004, 11:07:39 am
Lynn Fuston wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 00:34

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 22 August 2004 20:34

The technique I was taught with TDS was to put an absorber on the suspect surface, and compare the frequency response with and without the absorber.


Am i the only one that has to put pillows on top of a J to be able to hear the sound without the early reflections? And that wonderful acoustic mirror right there in the center section. Whose idea was that?



You're not the only one, Lynn. And George is right on in his opinions of large format consoles!

BK
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 16, 2004, 01:33:28 pm
Issued in bad form by myself.

Retracted with sincere apologies to George and all on his forum.

Tim
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 16, 2004, 01:47:44 pm
Tim Gilles wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 12:33


[...]

I can't speak for any of you other cats on here.... Maybe I'm alone in this mindset but....

I work hard to accomplish a state of transcendent and uplifting joy in mix.

And in the course of my work, I try to embrace my every failure as a shining opportunity to learn. And in learning, to better myself..... and in bettering myself, to(hopefully) better serve the needs of the artists who seek my creative collaboration.

And finally.... I mix because I genuinely love music, and I hope to someday make an enduring record.... a record truly worth hearing, and remembering.

A little something that says...."Yo! I was here.... I got lucky!... I had some fun!"

As a guy who routinely responds to the "Holy Shit!!!" utterances of my clients (upon entering the control room I work in every day, beholding what is IN that control room) in a fashion roughly akin to.... "Yeah.... It's a lotta expensive, blinky, junk, that keeps me from having a life..... hopefully we can make it sound like something...."



Tim, I share you feelings whole-heartedly on all of these constructive points.

But, when you say...
Quote:


I took umbrage to your statement.

I found it offensive.


Was it because...
Quote:


I view myself as an artist, and in keeping with the 'folk-lore' precedents of that walk of life....

I am both proud and happy to "wear my heart on my sleeve".

You wanna poke fun at that?


I haven't poked fun at anything.  Where did that come from??
Quote:


Go at it.

'Cause if you do..... I sure won't feel angry about this....

But I will probably feel some deep disappointment,

and maybe even a little pity.

Best regards to all.

Tim "Rumblefish" Gilles


Tim, I still don't see a support for "large consoles", nor do you address my point, except to say you're pissed off.  Presumably you're getting even more pissed off.

O.K., I made an extreme statement, and I'm perfectly willing to compromise my stance if you can give me something more solid than, "I pity you".  

Can we talk about more solid issues?  What kind of console do you have, anyway?  I can't seem to find it on your web site.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 16, 2004, 05:50:51 pm
Quote Lynn Fuston: “Am i the only one that has to put pillows on top of a J to be able to hear the sound without the early reflections?”

Quote Bob Katz : “You're not the only one, Lynn”.

Dear Bob,

I hope you and the dear one are all OK?  Keep your spirits up my friend. It only wants for G.M. to say he uses pillows under his N.F. Monitors too, and I will be looking into buying shares in a pillow manufacturer.

Personally, As you know, I’m perfectly happy with my much more professional looking, vibration and acoustic deadening foam. The company I purchased it from tested everything on the market, and these came out top in all the tests, eliminating 98% of vibration with their acoustic deadening absorbtion.

But perhaps I’m missing something here, and I’m always happy to learn, so would there be an advantage to using pillows over the professional solution I’m using?

And what type of pillow is the most suitable for this application? I attempted to look into this, and have a list of the various types available, and frankly, am slightly perplexed at the wide range of choice.

So what’s the buzz on the acoustic properties of pillows?

There’s….

Feather pillows
Down pillows
White Duck Down pillows
White Goose Down soft pillows
Polyester pillows
Natural Talalay pillows
Latex pillows  
Silicone Fiber pillows
Firm Foam pillows
Memory Foam Pillows
Buckwheat Hull Pillows  
Tempur-Pedic Pillows


I have no doubt at all, that a thorough perfectionist such as yourself, will have done a properly validated scientific study. A pillow shootout.

The same goes for Mr. Fuston.

http://www.transaudioelite.com/3daudiomiccd.html

Who is an expert capable of determining the beguiling differences in such acute comparisons with some considerable finesse.

But I have to admit that my studio experience with pillows has been completely limited to placing them in the bottom of Bass Drums for acoustic deadening. And other than that, I have no insight into pillows, other than using them to rest my weary head.

Take Good Care!

Best Wishes

Peter

Peter Poyser
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: mark fassett on September 16, 2004, 11:41:28 pm
You know what's funny about this thread?  Well, because I don't have big money for a big board, I now feel like a visionary!  Smile

If the large (or big, depending on your definiton... reminds me of Lyle Lovett's "Large Band"...) boards are not your choice, do you recommend mixing in the box?  What is the alternative?  Do you do your automation moves in Pro Tools or externally?  

I've been mixing in the box since the early 90's, and one I had in my house.  I had 8 tracks on my Cubase Audio Atari Falcon... pretty sweet.  But the interesting thing is, it completely cured me of ever wanting a large board... at least one that was not able to recall every setting instantly.  Even when I bought an external mixer, it was digital, and I didn't use it for fader moves (except for the final tweaks on the mix pass, but even then it was just controlling groups of instruments).  I only use my board for monitoring while I'm recording to my DAW, and combining of group tracks and outboard effects returns to final mix.  

Anyway, the whole point of this post is maybe the era of the big, large mixer will eventually be over because there is a whole generation of people like me who've never worked on an SSL before.  I'll leave the question of sound quality to the golden ears out there... but I certainly am very happy with the quality of sound that comes out of my garage mixing "in the box" and via digital mixer.  
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PookyNMR on September 17, 2004, 12:14:18 am
Here in Edmonton (a Canadian city of 1,000,000), there was only 1 SSL board and it got sold off to some guy in Vancouver.  We have one old Neve left in the city, but that guy can't afford to keep it either.  While there still is some decent money to be made in audio, the market in a great number of places just does not support such equipment any more.

I think LFC's will lose popularity, not becuase of function, but because the market for audio is changing.  Digital studios have changed the rates and expectations of many clients.

Nathan
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 17, 2004, 12:21:09 am
George Massenburg wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 16:18



2> Market factors.  The big desks aren't selling like they used to.  Support is probably the one thing you count on when you put down big bucks.  To take the mildest stance, noone in the industry is betting new money on building ground-up companies designing big boxes for the music recording industry.  Buying a big box for big bucks means amortizing it over far longer than 5 years.  Remember that the gold standard in console quality is less the 88-R's and J's and more the custom 8078's that are going on their third decades.  I would very much worry that these big-box companies will still be in business in 5 years, much less 20 years, unless their fortunes improve.  That leaves you holding the bag.




I can see your point George, and I agree with the 8078 statement, although you could easily add Tim's main desk to the well designed large console imho.

That say:

I personaly find the "market factors" argument really bothering.

I mean, I was pissed when my studio manager removed the Studer to put the brand new shitty digital mitsubishi paradigm for the same "analog is dead, the market (read record companies) wants digital now" horseshit.

You claim that no new better large consoles have been designed since the 8078, and I can see your point. Does it mean we have to accept it and surrender to the growth of mediocrity ?

Let's face it, sonic excelence is more and more the aim of small companies as bigger ones put an end to their Pro audio dpt, therefore we are stucked with tons of rack gear and tube mic "re-creations" while nobody's manufacturing large desk and analog tape machine anymore.

Is that what you really want ?

Because your original statement that pissed Tim sounds like you feel comfortable with this situation, and coming from you more than anyone might hit some nerves among some of us.

I was pissed too, you know ...

malice

Don't take umbrage of my response, I was trying to explain Tim's point of view.
Wink
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 17, 2004, 08:57:21 am
malice wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 23:21

George Massenburg wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 16:18



2> Market factors.  [...] [N]oone in the industry is betting new money on building ground-up companies designing big boxes for the music recording industry.  
[...]



I can see your point George, and I agree with the 8078 statement, although you could easily add Tim's main desk to the well designed large console imho.


What kind of desk does Tim use?  I can't tell from the studio's web site pictures.  One shot shows an MCI.  Enlighten me here.
Quote:


That said:

I personaly find the "market factors" argument really bothering.

I mean, I was pissed when my studio manager removed the Studer to put the brand new shitty digital mitsubishi paradigm for the same "analog is dead, the market (read record companies) wants digital now" horseshit.


Yeah, I remember that well.  The Neve-Siemans/Mitsubishi scam that Tor Nordhall foisted off on the industry was nothing less than our own version of the Black Sox scandal.  Dumping that much horrendously-bad sounding shit did to our whole industry what a drunken football team does out cow-tipping in west Texas after the big game.  It ruined it.  For nothing but greed.  Remember the lease deal that Siemans offered?  No payments until your competition is out of business?
Quote:


You claim that no new better large consoles have been designed since the 8078, and I can see your point. Does it mean we have to accept it and surrender to the growth of mediocrity ?


I didn't mean to be perceived as saying that.  There have been quite a few grand efforts to build a better console.  The 9098 was alot of work in the right direction.  And the 9K was derived from an SSL console project that did set out to build the best possible analog console; it was watered down by the time the 9K saw the light of day.  I find it hard to put the Neve V and VR out of my mind, though, because they were technically so deeply flawed in so many ways.
Quote:


Let's face it, sonic excelence is more and more the aim of small companies as bigger ones put an end to their Pro audio dpt, therefore we are stuck with tons of rack gear and tube mic "re-creations" while nobody's manufacturing large desk and analog tape machine anymore.

Is that what you really want ?


Well, first and foremost I want stuff to work right.  I would love the convenience of having everything in one place, and to be quickly and easily accessible.  But it would seem that it's just not meant to be.  You'd have to first change your thinking and separate cheap boxes and/or "re-creations" from the boxes, processors and processes that have been individually optimized to - for lack of a better term - sound great.  I want us to make decisions based more on the best sound - and maybe even the best value - and much less on artifically-established (marketting) and arbitrarily sustained perceptions.
Quote:


Because your original statement that pissed Tim sounds like you feel comfortable with this situation, and coming from you more than anyone might hit some nerves among some of us.

I was pissed too, you know ...


Pissed off I love.  It's "passive", "apathetic" and (from manufacturers) "take our word for it, it sounds great!" I'd like to bury.  Also, the thinking that since Chinese manufacturing is so ungodly cheap that somehow it's better.  That's a problem with me.
Quote:

 
malice

Don't take umbrage at my response, I was trying to explain Tim's point of view.
Wink


I don't disagree with Tim.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: MB on September 17, 2004, 09:20:10 am
George Massenburg wrote on Fri, 17 September 2004 14:57


What kind of desk does Tim use?  I can't tell from the studio's web site pictures.  One shot shows an MCI.  Enlighten me here.



"Studio A, designed by Jeff Blenkinsopp, features the Amek/Neve 9098i"

http://www.bigbluemeenie.com/A.html
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 17, 2004, 10:51:21 am
MB wrote on Fri, 17 September 2004 08:20

George Massenburg wrote on Fri, 17 September 2004 14:57


What kind of desk does Tim use?  I can't tell from the studio's web site pictures.  One shot shows an MCI.  Enlighten me here.



"Studio A, designed by Jeff Blenkinsopp, features the Amek/Neve 9098i"

http://www.bigbluemeenie.com/A.html



Well, I like the way the 9098 is built and the way it sounds.  Have nothing but respect for Rupert.

Still gonna be hard to keep it up-to-date.   But you'll need to know that for Rupert technology doesn't stand still, either.  And AMEK is a Harman International company - not a corporation known best for their altruism.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: natpub on September 17, 2004, 12:40:38 pm
Good Lord!

Now the whole match is squashed! (/sulk)

Stop being so good natured, folks! (/frown)

[edit: n/m, looks like the match is back on]
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 17, 2004, 03:25:51 pm
Peter,

I think they're talking about putting the pillows on the face of the console to stop the early reflections from bouncing  off of the control surface.

The foam thingies or a rubber mouse pad will work fine under the speakers.

I don't need the pillows on the console, because I have developed an intricate system of straps which hold the pillows onto the side of my head.  Believe me, none of those pesky reflections make it through to upset my listening experience!  If you're interested in a prototype, I can match Lynn's price of $49.95, plus shipping and handling.

Oops, better get back to work...

Steve Shepherd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 17, 2004, 03:44:05 pm
George,

Thanx for your detailed response

I can see we have more to agree with than I thought Wink

Ditto on the VR and V desk, of course. Tim Studio A desk is actually a 9098 ...

Hope it is not the last large console design we'll see manufactured.


Tim is passionate by his craft. He's a dreamer, a very "big" one.




Maybe we are short on dreamers ...


I can't help but remembering the things that made me chose to become an AE and a producer. Somehow I think that this large MCI desk and the smell of the tapes in the morning ...

I mean, the vision of a Protools wouldn't have pushed me to make coffee for $15 a day and learn from a grounchy old fart that made my life miserable.

Don't underestimate the power of a dream

Do I sound like an old fart myself now ?

Where's my cofee ?

MATT !

Very Happy

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 17, 2004, 03:45:35 pm
George Massenburg wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 18:47



O.K., I made an extreme statement, and I'm perfectly willing to compromise my stance if you can give me something more solid than, "I pity you".  

George


George,

There is a big difference between writing off the future production of large consoles for lack of interest, quality and/or economic feasibility; as compared to actually writing off the PEOPLE whom still prefer to use large consoles--new, old or otherwise. Such a write off is objectionable, offensive, and downright disrespectful to many of today's recordmakers and shop owners.

This is hard to understand, why?

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 17, 2004, 04:46:51 pm
Quote:

posted by malice:
I can't help but remembering the things that made me chose to become an AE and a producer. Somehow I think that this large MCI desk and the smell of the tapes in the morning ...


That's nice.

But for many of the rest of us, it was a love for and facination with the actual MUSIC which inspired our career choices. We like to utilize gear which makes our quest for realizing the artist's vision easier, not getting in the way. And for a lot of us now, the large console does not fit that scenario.

I'm seeing a lot of use of the words "objectionable,"  "offensive," and "disrespectful" directed at George on this thread, all because he expressed a (valid in my view) opinion. The people throwing those words around are the very same people who have been making "objectionable, offensive, and downright disrespectful" statements about Pro Tools and its userbase for as long as these forums have existed.

Which begs the question: Why the sudden demand for sensitivity and political correctness? Could it be the sheer validity of George's statement is what stirred such a controversy?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 18, 2004, 12:17:46 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Fri, 17 September 2004 22:46

Quote:

posted by malice:
I can't help but remembering the things that made me chose to become an AE and a producer. Somehow I think that this large MCI desk and the smell of the tapes in the morning ...


That's nice.

But for many of the rest of us, it was a love for and facination with the actual MUSIC which inspired our career choices. We like to utilize gear which makes our quest for realizing the artist's vision easier, not getting in the way. And for a lot of us now, the large console does not fit that scenario.


Don't get me wrong, I'm a musician. I probably played more gigs in clubs and venues than you recorded tracks in Alsihad Very Happy

I was talking about what made me chose to make music in a studio instead of being on stage everyday day. You know, the "sentiment to have found the tool that made our quest easier" shit etc, etc ...
For Tim and some of us, large console in large studios are the tool we dreamed of and now use everyday (well, Tim more than me obviously Very Happy ).


Quote:


I'm seeing a lot of use of the words "objectionable,"  "offensive," and "disrespectful" directed at George on this thread, all because he expressed a (valid in my view) opinion. The people throwing those words around are the very same people who have been making "objectionable, offensive, and downright disrespectful" statements about Pro Tools and its userbase for as long as these forums have existed.



Funny you mention that, I saw you "offended" on many occasions because some were dissing Alsihad, why can't you admit that people are simply sensitive to critics over the way they work. Music and to a certain extend the art of recording is made by passionate dudes that live for their craft.
I can understand that we are a bit "touchy" with the subject of their philosophy of work.

Quote:


Which begs the question: Why the sudden demand for sensitivity and political correctness? Could it be the sheer validity of George's statement is what stirred such a controversy?


Now that you read my response to you, you understand that there is no need to spill more gasoline on this fire.

Unless you like internet forum arguing more than I do of course...

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 18, 2004, 03:30:17 am
George Massenburg wrote on Fri, 17 September 2004 14:57


 And AMEK is a Harman International company - not a corporation known best for their altruism.


For that little gem I think you should get an honorary PHD in Applied Understatement.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 18, 2004, 05:21:56 am
I wrote most of this last night after GM’s response to Tim, but a dinner engagement prevented me from completing and posting it, so I just hope it follows on O.K. Guy’s,  so bear with me (I am on the other side of the world after all).

Quote G.M. : “Well, I like the way the 9098 is built and the way it sounds. Have nothing but respect for Rupert.”

Me too George, it is a brilliantly designed desk isn’t it! And isn’t Mr Neve just the nicest example of all that’s best in an Englishman? Or any other kind of man for that matter! Such a charmingly delightful personality, with absolutely stellar intelligence shining right out of the top of his bald head.

(I am sure you have a similar aurora too George, but having lots more hair...  It is redirected internally).

Personally, I don’t like conflict and argument at all, so I prefer to pick a person’s ideas apart using humour. Humour is a very serious business, for being able to laugh at life is a very healthy thing, and vastly preferable to the alternative outlets available. (All cats agree on this).

Quote G.M.:“I don't disagree with Tim.”

It’s great to read you saying that George! I really do mean that!

Tim may not have argued any cogent reasons whatsoever for his views, but he certainly expressed his emotions regarding what he works with, and what knows, really effectively indeed. He sounded off. That's O.K. I thought he was great! (Errr. It might be judiscious to send him the scientific paper about effect of alcohol when mixing). I hope he does a great job with such high quality gear, and I fully understand WHY he loves his Console so much!

Since all the finest recordings I’ve ever heard and certainly all the music I most love, has been recorded on LFAC’s I appreciated Tims views, very sincerely. There are plenty of overriding  arguments in favour of Large Consoles, they really do have their immovable place in the Audio world, (Thank Heaven) and it’s a very important one indeed.

I could write reams.... But I’ll spare you, as I’m sure you are aware, I really could, without any difficulty whatsoever.

But having said that. George, I CAN understand exactly why you feel like you do, indeed, I sympathise very much with some of the great difficulties and problems you have experienced in the past. After putting your entire heart and soul into LFAC’s only for the market, not to take off, for reasons you have never been fully able to properly comprehend, your views are quite understandable, your outburst’s are entirely predictable, and your deep inner contempt toward them perfectly reasonable for YOU as an individual.

This is because of a deeply seated, inner conflict. A divided self, in relation to certain of these products, It’s important to understand, WHY you feel as you do. I hope this helps. I cannot really take offence at you for this, quite the contrary.

But also I realise that today, there’s far, far more to your personal views than that, science and technology has moved on. The Audio world is languishing behind the rest of industry, dragging its feet, of course, but has none the less moved forward, to some degree. (Whether this has brought a real improvement in our records is another thread).

Surely we can all see that the way many recordings are going to be made in the future is going to change quite drastically, it already has to a large degree, and things are going to be very different in the coming years for a great many people.  There are some really high quality Project/Producer studios about, and a great many of them have different needs altogether, from what has been the long established tradition. Change for many then, is completely inevitable. The PACE of technological development is the really mindnumbing aspect which is going to force this change on almost all of us, some against our own personal wishes.

Personally, my needs this week have been best served by a quite small, analogue mixer. I’m glad I had one to hand. (I am a great believer in a good Analogue Front/Back end). The larger mixer hasn’t been used. (This week).

As professionals, its important individual’s attitudes anticipate forthcoming change, and embrace significant improvements in technological innovation. That is clear, but we also need to do so, without losing the very best of what we already have in the process. In my opinion, great LFAC’s are absolutely top of the list to preserve and improve further to secure their future market potential. Customers and Sales are the bottom line. But with change constantly whirling all about us, we surely must achieve a properly balanced view that always preserves and carries forward the very best of today into tomorrow.

Too much that is great has been totally wasted already. Let’s appreciate the great gear we have, (of whatever type) and make sure our future is not beggared, bankrupted and bereft of what only, really high quality products, can supply.

Look at the Mic business for a salutary lesson if ever one was needed!

This is our altruistic contribution to the greater good, and the example of quality and standards we expect, our true heritage, we pass forward to future generations.

Some of us were around before LFAC’s ever came on the scene, and so can see this matter wholly in the round. I think there’s room for both the Old and the New.  There is in the Bible, I certainly hope there is in the world of Professional Audio Recording.

As Always, Very Best Wishes to all!

Peter


Peter Poyser  
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 18, 2004, 07:28:53 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Fri, 17 September 2004 14:45

George Massenburg wrote on Thu, 16 September 2004 18:47



O.K., I made an extreme statement, and I'm perfectly willing to compromise my stance if you can give me something more solid than, "I pity you".  

George


George,

There is a big difference between writing off the future production of large consoles for lack of interest, quality and/or economic feasibility; as compared to actually writing off the PEOPLE whom still prefer to use large consoles--new, old or otherwise. Such a write off is objectionable, offensive, and downright disrespectful to many of today's recordmakers and shop owners.

This is hard to understand, why?

Eric Sarafin


What are you saying here?  I didn't write off - I don't write off - anybody.  Tim wrote me off.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Tim Gilles on September 18, 2004, 11:36:54 am
George Massenburg wrote on Sat, 18 September 2004 07:28

 What are you saying here?  I didn't write off - I don't write off - anybody.  Tim wrote me off.

George



Many thanx to Peter for his wonderful and hilariously 'British' missive preceding George's last.

As for the 'cogent' reasons.

LOL.

Ahhh... Come on guys!!!!????? Ya want me to Think and then assemble a lucid explanation of those thoughts??? Do I gotta????  Rolling Eyes Very Happy  

Can't I just keep slugging off my bottle of Lagavulan like Peter suggested?

All kidding aside.

I never wanted to enter that discussion.

For the most part.... I've always been a "Pick yer weapon and go to war" type of guy.

Whatever is working for ya, is yer baby....

And I realized a while ago, what a low yield system ripping the other guys choice of tools usually is for me personally...


Where I REALLY dropped the ball here, was in my inability to clearly separate the "nuts and bolts" aspect of the ongoing LFAC debate, from my simple(and I hope SOMEWHAT understandable) human urge to say....

"George made(IMHO) a crazy statement."

And I only felt compelled to pipe in BECAUSE I respect George and his lifework... and I know his opinions REALLY CARRY SOME APPRECIABLE CLOUT here on the inter-not.

More LOL.

Ahh me.

Fellaz. A slew of profound apologies again for all the chaos and bedlam I've unwittingly(witlessly-HOHOHO) caused here.

It was not a big deal.

I shoulda just shut-up and let it go.

And next time, BELIEVE ME.... I WILL

Even MORE LOL.

Best regards and wishes to all.

Especially George.

Who.... And I gotta just state this for the record...  I would never DREAM of writing off.

No chance in hell.

I'm going back to lurking.

Happy to be here. I'm shutting up now. Embarassed

Tim  

PS. Many thanks to Malice and Eric Sarafin for rising to my defense here. It was both unexpected and heartwarming to see. I'm reminded of the altogether too common sight of 2 guys dragging their incoherent and obviously inebriated compatriot out of a crowded bar before somebody takes a poke at him. OK. I really AM shutting up now.  Embarassed  Embarassed
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 18, 2004, 01:44:01 pm
 

Smile

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: hargerst on September 18, 2004, 08:19:27 pm
So I stumble into this thread after four pages of posts, just to find out that the 11 foot, 1400 pound monster MCI 556D that Alex talked me into buying is really a penis replacement?  And the SSL 4048G+ he just bought for mixing is what? A penile implant?

Geez, now I feel so...

...small.

Personally, I still love our 24 Soundtracs board in the small room (actually it's a 32 channel, but we use the last 8 channels for effect returns), but now that some of these big boards are going for so cheap, why not get them, if just for the WOW factor?

OK, George doesn't like big boards, but is there any reason to believe we wouldn't hear a quality Massenburg production if George were forced to use one? I know I'm too old to go mouse chasing thru a dozen menus, so maybe for me, a board with more direct access features still makes sense.  

I'm not a fan of 20+ guitar tracks and 38 mics on the drums.  I think a lot of it depends on the type of recording you do and what you're used to.

But, like a lot of people here, I think the big stuff will slowly disappear from the major studios as the new technologies replace them.  Right now, the lower cost of the big stuff is a boon to smaller mid-level studios like ours.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: MB on September 19, 2004, 12:39:21 am
That's funny, I thought Mutt was renowned for his unwillingness to say anything at all about our craft.

Seeing how much it's enriched his life (not to mention the hottie wife), such an attitude is reprehensible.

In that respect, George Massenburg stands in clear contrast.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: MB on September 19, 2004, 04:46:06 am
Pricy, this is a bit OT and I'm not supposed to be posting here, but aren't your personal ethics based around a libertarian/self-interest philosophy?

If so then, irrespective of what George is or is not doing to move the art of AEing forward, isn't he following a ethical code you actually subscribe to? I.e. Doing whatever the fux he wants to in a free market.

I don't understand how you can criticize someone for following the logical implications of your own philosophy?

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 19, 2004, 06:56:25 am
Pricey wrote on Sat, 18 September 2004 22:20

I don't know who this Gilles guy is, but I think he just won the argument the Japanese way.  Very Happy


The object of this forum is not to "win" anything.  We're all in this together.  Tim Gilles is a learned and experienced engineer.  You should take a listen to his work as I have.
Quote:


All I know is that I've been recording and mixing in-the-box for about 5 years, and it just doesn't cut it. At least not for rock & roll. It's too linear and too invariant. It doesn't give me enough hands-on sonic control (and I'm not talking about the "control surface" issue). I'm FINALLY moving up to 2" 16-track, real outboard, and a real (i.e., discrete Class-A analog) console.


Nowhere did I say that mixing inside a DAW is in any way comparable or preferable to sitting in front of a large analog console.  Ultimately my point - put, unfortunatly in the extreme - is that you don't need size or complexity to make great recordings, and that at some point the size and complexity, if not the possible lack of value of large consoles works against you.
Quote:

 
I would sure as hell hate to see analog console design die out.


Put another way, I'd hate to see analog consoles die out.
Quote:


And now we have a legendary, groundbreaking AE giving analog a push as it teeters on the edge of the grave, because he's too lazy to BLEED for his art, like he did in the old days, and accept the annoyances and imperfections that are the price you pay for sonic greatness.

And the same guy is a major shill for Pro Tools, which IMO is a pathetic system with all kinds of ridiculous flaws and limitations.

I am, of course, referring to Mutt Lange.


So ironic that you should use the term 'shill'.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 19, 2004, 07:14:02 am
Pricey wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 00:41

I've always enjoyed George's forum, and he has infinitely more class than Mutt Lange. But I think he's contributing to a destructive trend in audio.


Wow, I sure don't think so.  And I would hate myself in the morning if something I started ended up "destroying analog."
Quote:


I'm pissed off that I can no longer buy a new 2" machine, or a quality vacuum tube, [note: depends on what you mean by "quality" doesn't it?] or a small-diaphragm tube condenser [note: like a cheapie from China maybe?], or a decent guitar amp. I have to haunt the vintage gear ads just to find stuff I can USE. Now people are saying that console manufacturers and even TAPE manufacurers might go out of business. WTF?!?

Analog needs to be improved, not abandoned. Digital is not analog and it never will be.


Which is exactly why "analog" won't disappear.  But the application of the best analog techniques will more-and-more be relegated to those places where they absolutely can't be eliminated.  To that, I can only speak for myself.  I abandoned analog recording on magnetic tape because I perceived that I myself could go no further to "improve" it.  I've never abandoned analog processing, and still spend some significant portion of my life every week going over some facet of analog design.

Over some 25 years, there have been opportunities (meaning having both resources - cash - and clear goals) to "improve" analog.  Certain large console companies (Neve & SSL come immediately to mind) at that time were far less interested in "quality" and far more interested in "revenue" and "sales".  You'll need to remember that Neve was bought - funded and run - by Siemens during that critical transition period of the early 80's.  Now, Seimens role in the "difficulties" forty-odd years earlier is pretty well documented (there was a lawsuit as recently as 1999 accusing Seimens of profiting from concentration-camp labor).  Only last week it was announced that "Siemens has hastily abandoned plans to register the trademark "Zyklon",  Great bunch of guys, huh?  Real audio enthusiasts, I'd say.

What you're looking for is the reason your beloved technology is fading.  That reason is, simply put, "greed".

That having been said....some of my most esteemed colleagues, Steve Albini among them, are quite vocal and clear in their opinion that I'm a senseless (though well-meaning) idiot, and that recording on analog tape represents the ultimate in recording production.

I appreciate that we can co-exist as friends in our field.  Not like politics or the public games where we would be obliged to just kill each other and move on.
Quote:


Mr. Gilles shouldn't be embarrassed -- George said something dumb and deserved a little chain-yanking.

I appreciate your post,

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Bridenbaker on September 19, 2004, 10:39:06 am
George Massenburg wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 07:14


Which is exactly why "analog" won't disappear.  But the application of the best analog techniques will more-and-more be relegated to those places where they absolutely can't be eliminated.  To that, I can only speak for myself.  I abandoned analog recording on magnetic tape because I perceived that I myself could go no further to "improve" it.  I've never abandoned analog processing, and still spend some significant portion of my life every week going over some facet of analog design.



There are others that are starting to hear this too - Something about analog tape that doesn't ring true. It immediately dates the sound.

I used to like everything to be fluffy and loud, but now I'm hearing some of the subtleties that only digital recording can capture - I've heard already of a few young artists up here in Toronto that won't do analog tape - They don't like the sound.

Ears are slowly changing, and the future is going digital - I still love analog summing and processing though... not convinced that digital can compete in that area yet.

Some of my favorite experiences have been mixing on large consoles - although I've been working a lot at the home studio now, which has it's own ergonomic and economic advantages.  

I love the possibilities that having a DAW at home has granted - Albums that would not otherwise have been made, and polished to a level that could not have been done on the studio clock.

Sonic considerations aside, there is no replacement for the experience of going into a commercial studio - There is a certain excitement to the whole thing, an adrenaline rush that may be just the right thing for the project.

Cheers,
Eric
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bill Mueller on September 19, 2004, 10:40:19 am
I am confused as hell by this thread. It started out talking about a DM2000 and ended up talking about LARGE consoles. Then the definition of Large changed. I have read everything Tim said and cannot find the insult that he has appologied for over and over. I must be missing something.

I always thought of a console as a collection of functions/inputs. IMO a 96 input console with eq and dynamics on every channel, complete input and output patching, 96K sample rate, 5.1 monitoring, automation, scene recall, etc, etc, qualifies as a large console, no matter what it's footprint is. In my youth, I have also mistaken a 32 input Sontec and a SSL 4048E for large consoles.

What I believe George is saying, (and I don't assume to speak for him or anyone else) is that some companies and studios build and install consoles that are larger than the needs of their customers, just for the purpose of impressing the uninitiated label exec. At first glance, I accepted this, but on further review I remember that I  have mixed quite a number of shows with dual 48 channel recorders and over one hundred channels running. I have also mixed huge bands like Pearl Jam, with 22 inputs. So, those consoles are there for other reasons as well.

More complex productions take longer to build and mix, therefor if I am a major studio owner, I want to encourage my clients to create the biggest, most complex productions possible and to take months to finish them at $200.00 per hour. Also, I think certain producers must take some responsibility here. We all know the stories of Bruce S with his rows of 24 track machines and every instrument recorded in stereo.

Acoustics is where "one knob/one function" meets "massive mix messerupper" control surface. We all need the shortest path to a overloading preamp. The options are, roll your chair to the end of the room on a super analog console, find and press two ergonomically unrelated buttons on a digital console, or turn around and hunt it down in an outboard preamp rack. I haven't seen the perfect solution yet.

George's inflamitory statements make something clear that has existed for years. He is and has always been in the camp with the project studio owners. Someone who has paid $500K for a console with 96 mic preamps may not be in the market for another outboard preamp or compressor until he has paid off the beast. However there are lots of high end project rooms who can afford to have the best analog electronics, and they go to GML.

All of this discussion makes a certain sense except the harsh words. Those are products of financial pressure from all sides. We all feel it. It doesn't matter if you are trying to buy a PT HD system for you personal studio or you invested in a half a million dollar digital dinosaur.

Best regards,

Bill
http://www.vision-play.com
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on September 19, 2004, 11:26:29 am
Pricey wrote on Sat, 18 September 2004 23:20

I don't know who this Gilles guy is, but I think he just won the argument the Japanese way.  Very Happy

All I know is that I've been recording and mixing in-the-box for about 5 years, and it just doesn't cut it. At least not for rock & roll. It's too linear and too invariant. It doesn't give me enough hands-on sonic control




Please note that George M's (and I concur) argument says nothing about advocating mixing in the box per se. You don't have to have a gigantic mixing console to get "enough hands-on sonic control." As the digital mixers grow up, you will see increasing amounts of ergonomic control, and they will still retain small or reasonable size. To my mind, process switching (layers) with a single group of 8 (or 16) faders containing all the processor controls at hand should satisfy the most demanding of mix engineers, even the ones currently in love with SSL automation.

Comments?

And on that front, has anyone played with the Digidesign Icon? It seems a step forward, though I'm still trying to get my mindset into the idea of totally fluid and non-dedicated controls. Console Presets, presets, presets, I guess is where we will all be at, shortly.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: electrical on September 19, 2004, 03:02:28 pm
George Massenburg wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 07:14

.some of my most esteemed colleagues, Steve Albini among them, are quite vocal and clear in their opinion that I'm a senseless (though well-meaning) idiot, and that recording on analog tape represents the ultimate in recording production.


George, of the things I can say about you and not be lying, that you're an idiot isn't one of them. Of the analog equipment I use literally every day (every goddamn day) the guy who makes the widest variety of I-will-use-this-every-day equipment is you.

You are clearly a genius, and I, as an open-eyed, realistic, rooted in the now of now guy, think you make the best (most neutral and flexible and thereby least destructive) high-quality analog equipment out there. So this is not a shot.

Digital consoles? Get real. Software/hardware interfaces never survive past the first iteration, but computer mixing thrives because the software can be updated (to adapt to changes in data types and incorporate features required by the customer) more quickly and less expensively than buying a new console, which is what would happen if you had a dedicated controller.

Ask anybody who bought a Neve Crapricorn.

Or think of all the other hardware designed to incorporate "Future Compatibility," or "Upgrade paths." You might be able to get a new overcompression mode on your Distressor, but what about all the non-assigned buttons on a Studer A820 remote? Future functionality? Future go fuck myself and all the money I spent, actually.

Nobody who likes making records on a computer will buy a control surface, because next year, it won't suit the new program he's using. Nobody will buy a large, dedicated digital console for his studio (some broadcast installations might, but no music studios) because the level of investment requires a certainty of retained value, and digital hardware loses its value faster than any other part of the studio.

Remember when digital open-reel machines were popular? Aren't you glad you didn't invest in one? I am.

A studio needs to be able to accommodate anything that walks through the door. If I booked time at a studio, and they showed me the control room, and it didn't have enough actual audio lines and equipment to do what I do everyday unimpeded otherwise, I would tell the manager he can fuck his new paradigm, and tell him he shouldn't conduct social/technical experiments on my session, and then leave.

I would also punch him on the way out and never come back and tell all my friends to stay away.

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 19, 2004, 03:53:06 pm
Warning: User has initiated blowhard soapbox mode.

Gentlemen,

I think we sometimes forget we are living through a time so totally revolutionary future historians will give it a name. You know, like The Renaissance, The Industrial Revolution, etc. The part our little patch plays in this much bigger picture will probably be a footnote, but for us it is everything. The technology driving this revolution will not stop. No amount of nostalgic lamenting will prevent our industry and the tools we use from being adapted and optimized for this inevitable transformation.

IMHO it is important to have the extremely talented and visionary folks from the analog world we came from contributing. There will never be a time in the future when so many talented analog visionaries are still around to contribute to this transition.

As George points out, some of the people driving the business side of this revolution are not serving anything but their bottom line. They are selfish, greedy SOBs who care nothing for what we love, only for what they can convince us to buy. We can argue about who some of those folks are, we can call them out.

I do not know George Massenburg personally, but I know some folks who do and I am confident he is one of our best hopes for contributing to something that embodies the best of what was and what will be audio technology.

I am not entirely sure what prompted George to make the comment that ultimately fueled this vigorous thread. I still do not think he meant to level direct personal attacks at any single person(s). I do understand why many readers were offended. In the future though, LFCs will be less an issue of ego and intimidation and more and issue of absolute imperatives as we move on. During the transition, there will be folks who finish their careers in defiance resisting what they see as the demise of what they love. I, for one, am glad George is not among those folks. I only wish Dean Jensen were still with us to contribute his unique perspective and genius to all this.

Inside of fifteen years I do not believe our industry will even resemble the business I have worked in most of my adult life. Will LFCs become obsolete? Absolutely, that is inevitable. Are they now? Perhaps, but not for everybody. We absolutely will not being going back to 1974, and who would want to. What is in front of us is SO exciting and so promising.

For me, the biggest downside to this technological shift is its application as a tool for the utterly mediocre to cobble together forgeries of talent. But I can live with that for now, I think the future will unfold to something better.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 19, 2004, 04:35:49 pm
Quote:

posted by electrical:
If I booked time at a studio, and they showed me the control room, and it didn't have enough actual audio lines and equipment to do what I do everyday unimpeded otherwise, I would tell the manager he can fuck his new paradigm, and tell him he shouldn't conduct social/technical experiments on my session, and then leave.


Steve,

I find it bewildering that you would imagine such a highly unlikely scenario, and post it here to illustrate your point.

Any artist or band that seeks out a "new paradigm" studio is not going to hire an AE who is so dogmatically committed to the "old paradigm" to broker their search. Such a notion, albeit very amusing, is also plainly rediculous.

Artists and bands who choose "new paradigm" studios do so out of a desire for an alternative not just to analog tape and consoles, but to what they percieve as the constraining attitudes of those who operate them.

Quote:

I would also punch him on the way out...


You may want to review the terms of your medical coverage before you attempt such a technique in Philly; but this is purely academic, since once again you are imagining yourself as the hero in a nearly impossible scenario.

Best regards,
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on September 19, 2004, 05:04:06 pm
Pricey wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 14:57

bobkatz wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 10:26

As the digital mixers grow up, you will see increasing amounts of ergonomic control . . .
You misread my post. I said, "[Digital] doesn't give me enough hands-on sonic control (and I'm not talking about the "control surface" issue)." Who cares about controllers. What I hate about digital is that it always sounds the same, and it only has what the plug-in designers put into it. With analog gear, you have more control over the sound. You can abuse it, modify it, and use it in ways the designer didn't intend.




Sorry if I misread your post. Anyway, moving on, let us not forget that we can take a digital mixer and feed and return from analog processors and abuse them in any ways we wish. I'm a big fan of, and I really like the sound quality of API consoles, but despite that, I have to apply the sense that's between my two ears:  I find it hard to believe that we can't get "the sound" we want by using, say, 4 to 6 API modules along with a more sensible-sized digital console, and plenty of real good analog and digital outboard gear. I can't justify an "all analog" system conceptually in my head anymore what with digital tracking and digital master medium. Or conversely, "if you're not using analog tape", then there is no justification for using a gigantic analog console.

In this world, all the coloration (or purity of tone) you want and which cannot be gotten through plugins now has to be obtained through outboard processing.
As a mastering engineer, I've heard it all. I've also got the ears and the experience and the skills as a recording engineer to cite a set of highly-prized purist recordings that I've done for Chesky Records that represent a sonic goal of transparency, depth, spatiality, and purity of tone. So when I hear a recording that comes in for mastering, I have some pretty lofty references I can compare it with.

I've gotten a few fantastic-sounding in-the-digital-box mixes from engineers who know what they're doing. Conversely, I've gotten tons of muddy, or sucky, or "closed-in" SSL mixes from engineers who should know better!  (And the reverse is also true). SSL any-letter-series consoles have never impressed me for their sound---the reasons they have become the console of choice are:

a) great marketing
b) some real gaffs on the part of their big competition
c) great mixing features and automation

Forget sound---I'm not in the "I love SSL sound" camp.

Anyway, I digress. Regarding the sound of "in the box" mixes. My point is that if you can cite ONE, even ONE, "really great, transparent, warm, clean, clear, open", even "nicely colored" mix that was done within the box, then that immediately exonerates "the box" as the cause of your troubles. I think that misused plugins cause half the problems of "in the box" mixes today! Start with great converters (not the 99 cent per channel variety, please!). Use your digital head, incorporate all the analog outboard that you like, and you'll get a fantastic mix with a digital console.

HOWEVER, ergonomics are another question. When digital consoles become as easy to use as an SSL, it will be the end of the equation. Maybe that day has already arrived.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 19, 2004, 05:49:37 pm
Bill Mueller wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 09:40


[...]
George's inflamitory statements make something clear that has existed for years. He is and has always been in the camp with the project studio owners. Someone who has paid $500K for a console with 96 mic preamps may not be in the market for another outboard preamp or compressor until he has paid off the beast. However there are lots of high end project rooms who can afford to have the best analog electronics, and they go to GML
[...]



Remember John McLaughlin of "The McLaughlin Group" shouting in a hugely loud trombone-like blast, "WROOONNNG"?

Especially the part about saying what I said because I'd sell more GML.  I must admit I laughed out loud.  Over time we have sold way more gear to studios with big boards.  Here's something you should know, Bill.  Building high-quality analog gear is now and has always been a loss-leader.  I suppose it all comes out even taking all the many things I do, but in and of itself I do not make money building gear.  Sidney Harman would be decidedly disinterested in GML.

More than anything else my mission is to see the artist's intention - be it the musician, and/or the songwriter, and/or the performer, and/or the artistic component of the engineer/producer be well and truly represented.  Remember, i come out of the "bum's rush" 60's ("guys, uh, I know we're not done, but we're out of time and we'll have to wrap this up right now").  If it takes a "project studio" to sort that out, sure.  More than anything else it takes honesty, integrity and a lack of pretense.

George

p.s. Big Disclaimer #2 in this thread:  The next time I do a huge scoring date, you can be sure I wouldn't be caught dead with anything less than a very flexible, very capable analog board.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: wireline on September 19, 2004, 06:44:06 pm
Pardon my low end interuption, but why hassle GM or anyone else that chooses one platform or another...


I'm fairly sure that a good engineer could excel with DAW, tape, 24000 track mixer, and enough glass to put beer bottlers out of business...

OK, our host mixes in formats some don't feel passes the noses up snob appeal...BFD...it seems pretty silly to keep harping on personal preferences...

I drive a Ford; does this means I suck?  

You may slam this poster as you wish, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled "you suck, only I am smart enough" fest...
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bill Mueller on September 19, 2004, 11:21:49 pm
George,

Sorry if I got you wrong. At least as I clearly stated at the top, this thread has me confused.

Best Regards,

Bill
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 20, 2004, 01:53:23 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 22:35

Artists and bands who choose "new paradigm" studios do so out of a desire for an alternative not just to analog tape and consoles, but to what they percieve as the constraining attitudes of those who operate them.


I just don't get it Eric...

To me Steve's post makes perfect sense to me. Artists hire people like Steve because they know his work and know what he would put into a production : talent, philosophy of work, savoir faire etc ...

Artists (real Artists) don't hire "new paradigm" studio or whatever nonsense you would call your personal joint, because they could most of the time put that much inexpensive gear in their living room themselves. If they hire YOU, it would be mainly for your talent, not your studio.

And you should know as much as anyone that a great part of your talent as an AE/producer is your ability to pick your weapon.

That is what Steve is talking about.

You just don't have the same weapons. But may I remind you that Steve appears on numbers of succesfull records. It must be for some reasons really.

malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 03:14:15 am
Rescinded
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Loco on September 20, 2004, 03:15:42 am
Bill Mueller wrote on Sun, 19 September 2004 10:40

It doesn't matter if you are trying to buy a PT HD system for you personal studio or you invested in a half a million dollar digital dinosaur.


Well, that dinosaur is the best tracking/desk I've ever used (and I badly want to try out that Studer Vista as well). It does an excellent job even if it doesn't go beyond 48K. Quick, clean, effective. The day I need to use a higher sample rate there's not gonna be a tape machine that can handle that many inputs, so I guess I'll just go for an all-Millenia/GML front end or something like that. Not my money, anyway.

Having said that, I don't feel comfortaable having to walk around a room to adjust a bit the level of a channel or mute/unmute it. Got a 9096J desk? Good for keeping my dinner warm. For the rest is a pain in the ass. Recalls? Give me a break. At the pace we are making music there's no time for analog recalls. Either use a digital desk or do it all in the box. I choose to use both.

Available gear is a lot better anyway than over 10 years ago when TFF did that amazing sounding "seeds of love" record. But don't trip over the gear and don't let technology get in the way of your creative process. Remember: It's the indian, not the Arrow.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: malice on September 20, 2004, 05:10:26 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 09:14

Quote:

posted by malice:
I just don't get it Eric...


George,

I have serious reservations about being baited by anonymous posters on your forum.

You once took me to task when I responded to such bait, and even deleted my responding post.

Please inform.



Eric,

I'm hardly baiting you

and I'm far from being anonymous.


I outed myself long ago here, at Klaus's forum and in half a dozen place at the MARSH. My infos are updated and visible.

Please, I'm sure you can find a better argument than this.

If you consider I was baiting you, what were you doing with Mr Albini ?


hmmmm ?



malice
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 20, 2004, 12:13:45 pm
I hate to bring up the Emperor's new clothes but I really don't see any "new paradigms" other than self-serving hype sourced from Silicone Valley press releases.

I just can't buy that a virtual "old paradigm" is any kind of REAL "new paradigm." We could all use a few truly new paradigms!
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bobro on September 20, 2004, 12:26:29 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 17:13

I hate to bring up the Emperor's new clothes but I really don't see any "new paradigms" other than self-serving hype sourced from Silicone Valley press releases.

I just can't buy that a virtual "old paradigm" is any kind of REAL "new paradigm." We could all use a truly new paradigms!


There IS a "new paradigm", but it's not apartment studios. It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system. Where I'm at there are many very old, Baroque to Middle Ages, halls, churches, some abandoned bunkers, etc. It hit me that crabwalking sideways up the gravel slope of low ceilings and egg-cartons is bullshit; all it takes is one strong guy or two easy guys taking it easy, and some politiking/partying with whoever has the keys, and a decent sound is there to be had.

-Bobro

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 20, 2004, 12:41:34 pm
Bobro wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 11:26

Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 17:13

I hate to bring up the Emperor's new clothes but I really don't see any "new paradigms" other than self-serving hype sourced from Silicone Valley press releases.

I just can't buy that a virtual "old paradigm" is any kind of REAL "new paradigm." We could all use a truly new paradigms!


There IS a "new paradigm", but it's not apartment studios. It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system. Where I'm at there are many very old, Baroque to Middle Ages, halls, churches, some abandoned bunkers, etc. It hit me that crabwalking sideways up the gravel slope of low ceilings and egg-cartons is bullshit; all it takes is one strong guy or two easy guys taking it easy, and some politiking/partying with whoever has the keys, and a decent sound is there to be had.

-Bobro



Bobro,

This is not at all a "new paradigm".

My first gig was carrying around an Ampex PR-10 or 351 (yup, that's right, all my myself), two Atlas booms with extensions, and a couple of U-48's to record church choirs, school bands & orchestras & etc.  The budget was often rolled into making the pressings (we had a pressing plant...ask about that sometime)

Sorry, I don't think it's "better" or "newer" because it's far "easier".  The most conservative thinking usually has "easier" leading to "lazy listening"

In any case it's certainly not "new".

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 12:44:42 pm
Quote:

posted by malice:
I outed myself long ago here, at Klaus's forum and in half a dozen place at the MARSH. My infos are updated and visible.


Denis,

OK, I checked ypur profile.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bobro on September 20, 2004, 12:54:03 pm
George Massenburg wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 17:41

Bobro wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 11:26

Bob Olhsson wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 17:13

I hate to bring up the Emperor's new clothes but I really don't see any "new paradigms" other than self-serving hype sourced from Silicone Valley press releases.

I just can't buy that a virtual "old paradigm" is any kind of REAL "new paradigm." We could all use a truly new paradigms!


There IS a "new paradigm", but it's not apartment studios. It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system. Where I'm at there are many very old, Baroque to Middle Ages, halls, churches, some abandoned bunkers, etc. It hit me that crabwalking sideways up the gravel slope of low ceilings and egg-cartons is bullshit; all it takes is one strong guy or two easy guys taking it easy, and some politiking/partying with whoever has the keys, and a decent sound is there to be had.

-Bobro



Bobro,

This is not at all a "new paradigm".

My first gig was carrying around an Ampex PR-10 or 351 (yup, that's right, all my myself), two Atlas booms with extensions, and a couple of U-48's to record church choirs, school bands & orchestras & etc.  The budget was often rolled into making the pressings (we had a pressing plant...ask about that sometime)

Sorry, I don't think it's "better" or "newer" because it's far "easier".  The most conservative thinking usually has "easier" leading to "lazy listening"

In any case it's certainly not "new".

George


Of course it's not, that's why I put it in quotes. The world-wide internet-driven proliferation of recording information and gear availability IS new, and where it's most effective, and pertinent to contemporary artistic concerns, at the level at which the "new paradigm" studios in the other thread purport to operate, is found in mobile recording. And it's not about "easier", it's about doing the best you can for the music with the possibilities you have.

-Bobro
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 01:00:23 pm
Quote:

posted by Bob Olhsson:
I hate to bring up the Emperor's new clothes but I really don't see any "new paradigms" other than self-serving hype sourced from Silicone Valley press releases.


It's ironic you post that, Bob, because you've been talking about the new paradigm on these forums for sometime. You've actually helped define it.

You're right, though, you won't find it in any press release.

Quote:

I just can't buy that a virtual "old paradigm" is any kind of REAL "new paradigm." We could all use a few truly new paradigms!


Email.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 01:24:09 pm
Quote:

posted by Bobro:
There IS a "new paradigm", but it's not apartment studios. It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system.


It's both, and it's neither. It's the fact you can include those two scenarios, without being confined to either of them.

The new paradigm isn't something that just popped up and now "exists." It's a way of looking at recording where the need for THE studio no longer need exist or be depended upon.

It's not that consoles will no longer be necessary; it's just that they no longer automatically need to be an integral part of the equation.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: archtop on September 20, 2004, 02:01:40 pm
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 10:24

Quote:

posted by Bobro:
There IS a "new paradigm", but it's not apartment studios. It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system.



It's not that consoles will no longer be necessary; it's just that they no longer automatically need to be an integral part of the equation.


maybe for you

maybe if you would have put "for  laying down only a couple of tracks"
it might have more truth.

but to track a full band AND have communication and headphones and effects?,
and to accomplish these things with speed so as to not interupt the flow of the session.?


my "Leatherman" has a screwdriver, and it usually works great when I need it.

but I like to have the right tool for the right job.




I shoulda went with the bulldozer/shovel analogy, huh

Richard Williams
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 02:22:18 pm
Richard,

True.

If I need a bulldozer, there's a 9064 just a few blocks from my crib. I just don't need it sitting in front of me all the time.

Oh, btw, the same facility just bought an ICON for their B room.

Got bull? There's plenty dozer in the hood, chile.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 20, 2004, 02:37:33 pm
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 12:24

Quote:

posted by Bobro:
[...]
It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system.
[...]


It's both, and it's neither.
[...]


It's a breath mint!!  It's a floor wax!!!

Sheesh.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 02:39:53 pm
No George, it's a dessert topping AND a floor polish.

Sheesh!
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Loco on September 20, 2004, 05:07:52 pm
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 13:24

It's both, and it's neither. It's the fact you can include those two scenarios, without being confined to either of them.


Curve, it seems to me that you are confined to that Digi double-oh-whine card looking for a way to justify its use or to make a sales pitch. You know you want an upgrade.

The good thing about a mixer is that you have all the processing right there: preamps, compressor, EQ, converters, some routing, monitoring, etc. It may not be the best on every department, but it's conveninet. Working around just an audio card is not convenient when you have a lot of gear, musicians and options around that need to be activated right away. Expensive? Yes, but you have to weight all the power that comes with it.

Example: it woul be great to have the several units of that millenia STT-1 so you can either record everything through it or process it when mixing. It's very expensive. Takes a lot of space. It would be great to make them narrower and put them on a rack side by side. How about a summing bus for them? Instant monitoring... There you go, you have a Millenia Mixer now.

And some people go the other way and put Neve mixers apart into single rack units. It's next to impossible to make everyone happy.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bobro on September 20, 2004, 05:32:14 pm
How about quoting of what I actually say when responding? The point in capitals now...

Bobro wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 17:26



There IS a "new paradigm", but it's not ARTMENT studios. It's mobile recording with a laptop/rackmount/self-contained-harddisk system. Where I'm at there are MANY VERY OLD, BAROQUE TO MIDDLE AGES, HALLS, CHURCHES, SOME ABANDONED BUNKERS, ETC. It hit me that crabwalking sideways up the gravel slope of LOW CIELINGS AND EGG CARTONS is bullshit; all it takes is one strong guy or two easy guys taking it easy, and some politiking/partying with whoever has the keys, and a decent sound is there to be had.

-Bobro




Mobility is about the PLACES, the technology whatever it is simply serves the sound in the place.

Bartok was making field recordings with portable machines in what, the 1920's. That's not new.

About "easy"- however "easy" it is now to put together a recording rig, is it "easier" to set up a session in,say, an old castle than to bop over to one of the dime-a-dozen  (here as well) "digital home studios"?  

No, it's far more difficult. But why shit on a musician with a stucco ceiling three inches above their head when, with a little more work, you can record in a space as high as angels?  

But anyway the point is places themselves. That's hip, who cares if it's new or new-again or new-as-always.  

Anyway back to the discussion about large mixers. I'm just enjoying, imagining what my grandfather would say if he heard someone say "Should I use a ballpeen, a claw hammer, a single jack or pile-driver?"

-Bobro












Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 06:21:42 pm
Quote:

posted by loco:
Curve, it seems to me that you are confined to that Digi double-oh-whine card looking for a way to justify its use or to make a sales pitch. You know you want an upgrade.


Carlos,

I always can tell that I've made a strong and valid point when the personal barbs start coming. But when they come from someone of YOUR stature, it's even better. Thanks.

Quote:

The good thing about a mixer is that you have all the processing right there: preamps, compressor, EQ, converters, some routing, monitoring, etc.


Are you talking about an SSL? No thanks, I'd rather use a 001.

Quote:

Working around just an audio card is not convenient when you have a lot of gear, musicians and options around that need to be activated right away. Expensive? Yes, but you have to weight all the power that comes with it.


Carlos, maybe you weren't paying attention earlier, so I'll reiterate.

I live just off 11th Street. I walk a few blocks north on 11th, make a left, walk one block, and it's RIGHT THERE. The SSL 9064, the ICON system, and all the vintage gear going back to the early 60's you could possibly drool over. Genelec monitors in Augsberger-designed rooms. EVERYTHING you are talking about, and more, IF I need it, which is about 10% of my work, if that.

Quote:

Example: it woul be great to have the several units of that millenia STT-1 so you can either record everything through it or process it when mixing. It's very expensive. Takes a lot of space. It would be great to make them narrower and put them on a rack side by side. How about a summing bus for them? Instant monitoring... There you go, you have a Millenia Mixer now.


No, YOU have a Millenia mixer now. I don't hear voices in the PT mix bus, I'm happy mixing ITB.

Quote:

And some people go the other way and put Neve mixers apart into single rack units. It's next to impossible to make everyone happy.


A Neve sidecar as a tracking mixer...now that, I wouldn't mind. But one of my brothers works for a guy who has one, so I guess I could just borrow his.

There's always a solution, Carlos. If you ever find yourself "stuck" with a 001, just remember you can email your tracks or mixes or sessions out to a bigger studio. Capisce? New Paradigm, baby.

And Remember, folks: It was Albini who introduced that term into this discussion, NOT The Curve.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: electrical on September 20, 2004, 08:09:51 pm
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 18:21


I live just off 11th Street. I walk a few blocks north on 11th, make a left, walk one block, and it's RIGHT THERE. The SSL 9064, the ICON system, and all the vintage gear going back to the early 60's you could possibly drool over. Genelec monitors in Augsberger-designed rooms. EVERYTHING you are talking about, and more, IF I need it, which is about 10% of my work, if that.

So you, you don't need a big console, as long as someone else has one for when you do need it.

Someone needs a big console, just not you. Unless you need one, and then that guy has one.

I guess I'm that guy, and I need one then.

If that guy off 11th street ever starts thinking like you, that he doesn't need one, then you'll both be walking down 11th street looking for a guy like me who isn't part of the new paradigm. Who has what everybody wants but doesn't have because they're all part of the new paradigm and don't need one until they need it and then I've got one.

My head hurts.

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 20, 2004, 09:15:17 pm
Quote:

posted by electrical:
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 18:21

Quote:

I live just off 11th Street. I walk a few blocks north on 11th, make a left, walk one block, and it's RIGHT THERE. The SSL 9064, the ICON system, and all the vintage gear going back to the early 60's you could possibly drool over. Genelec monitors in Augsberger-designed rooms. EVERYTHING you are talking about, and more, IF I need it, which is about 10% of my work, if that.


So you, you don't need a big console, as long as someone else has one for when you do need it.

Someone needs a big console, just not you. Unless you need one, and then that guy has one.

I guess I'm that guy, and I need one then.

If that guy off 11th street ever starts thinking like you, that he doesn't need one, then you'll both be walking down 11th street looking for a guy like me who isn't part of the new paradigm. Who has what everybody wants but doesn't have because they're all part of the new paradigm and don't need one until they need it and then I've got one.

My head hurts.



Hold on, Albini, it gets worse.

I don't own a CAR, either. But I know a guy who does, and when I need a ride somewhere, I call him and he comes around and picks me up and drives me to where I need to go.

I don't own a WALK-IN REFRIGERATOR, either. But...you guessed it! There's this guy I know, and he owns something called a market...

And I could go ON AND ON AND ON.

NOW, I hope your sitting down, because get this: LOTS of people live this way.

Now, folks in the audio trade can live this way too. Amazing! It's ONLY 2004, and this early into human development, the AUDIO industry has got this WILD WACKY NEW THING! We are, like, dude, SO caught up with the rest of civilization now.

Well...

SOME of us are, anyway.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: MB on September 21, 2004, 01:54:57 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 03:15

Quote:

posted by electrical:
Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 18:21

Quote:

I live just off 11th Street. I walk a few blocks north on 11th, make a left, walk one block, and it's RIGHT THERE. The SSL 9064, the ICON system, and all the vintage gear going back to the early 60's you could possibly drool over. Genelec monitors in Augsberger-designed rooms. EVERYTHING you are talking about, and more, IF I need it, which is about 10% of my work, if that.


So you, you don't need a big console, as long as someone else has one for when you do need it.

Someone needs a big console, just not you. Unless you need one, and then that guy has one.

I guess I'm that guy, and I need one then.

If that guy off 11th street ever starts thinking like you, that he doesn't need one, then you'll both be walking down 11th street looking for a guy like me who isn't part of the new paradigm. Who has what everybody wants but doesn't have because they're all part of the new paradigm and don't need one until they need it and then I've got one.

My head hurts.



Hold on, Albini, it gets worse.

I don't own a CAR, either. But I know a guy who does, and when I need a ride somewhere, I call him and he comes around and picks me up and drives me to where I need to go.

I don't own a WALK-IN REFRIGERATOR, either. But...you guessed it! There's this guy I know, and he owns something called a market...

And I could go ON AND ON AND ON.

NOW, I hope your sitting down, because get this: LOTS of people live this way.

Now, folks in the audio trade can live this way too. Amazing! It's ONLY 2004, and this early into human development, the AUDIO industry has got this WILD WACKY NEW THING! We are, like, dude, SO caught up with the rest of civilization now.

Well...

SOME of us are, anyway.



Obviously there's considerable irony in someone who's only released vanity projects lecturing Steve Albini on anything and in economics doubly so seeing how you didn't even know what a pecuniary gain was and yet I've seen Steve talk of Laffer curves.

Anyhoo, I think you've missed Steve's point. It's an entirely economic one. As you kids chase false idols or paradigms or whatever, he's sitting there with a scarce skillset and scarce resources that you guys are making scarcer. Capitalistic Steve loves it. Record loving Steve prolly has other thoughts...

Anecdotally and totally analogously, there's a fascinating phenomena in London right now where plumbers are making as much money as bankers. Seeing how the government and all other institutions have pushed people into getting an university education the last ten years, people forgot about who's gonna actually build the nuts and bolts of all these new paradigms.  
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Curve Dominant on September 21, 2004, 01:58:13 am
Bryan,

That was a nice post. REALLY. Not being facetious. But it didn't really address what I've been hinting at.

Quote:

A sub-project recording studio is like that Harmony. You can do some cool stuff, but . . .


I'm just not digging that analogy. It doesn't work for me.

Bear with me here, Bryan:

1) A sub-project studio (like the one in my crib) is like a small camera. It is perfectly capable of "filming" a performance of an individual vocalist, guitarist,  bassist, keyboardist, percussionist, etc., and faithfully capturing that performance.

2) A large commercial recording facility like the one a few blocks up 11th Street which I mentioned earlier, has a bigger, more elaborate camera. This camera is better suited to "filming" a live trap drumkit, live band, orchestra, string quartet, etc.

3) Then, Bobro has his mobile rig, which he can take out into the field, and record stuff that one can only capture in the field. I did this when I took a small standalone DAW out to my nephew's shack in his mom's backyard to record his drumming (very unique sound we got, not for every application, but I like uniqueness). That's the field camera.

4) My little brother Kurt is in Tokyo, and he's got this little tiny "camera" in his hotel room, that he uses to "film" a killer guitar solo, set to what all the other cameras have already recorded. And he can DO that, because I emailed him a rough mix to play to.

So, I get all that "film" together in my crib, and start to edit it into a "movie." I create something akin to what the artist's vision is. But if I get to a certain point where I feel limited, I email the entire session to Big Studio, and we pick up from there.

Hopefully, Bryan, you're following me here. I am not counting ANYBODY out of the process here; on the contrary: I want to INCLUDE everybody in the process. THAT's the "new paradigm," as I see it. Inclusiveness. We ALL have a role, and we work TOGETHER.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: chrisj on September 21, 2004, 03:52:50 am
If there's a 'new paradigm' it's people collaborating over the internet, which they could do just as well mailing tapes, but they can also do it through transferring files. It has NOTHING to do with the quality of the audio content being special, or even acceptable.
Even then it's not very new. I was (briefly) collaborating on MIDI files over the Internet back in 1996 or so, with the 'Res Rocket Surfer' project, using a 33 mhz Mac Performa 575 that couldn't even record proper audio. This isn't new but it's still kinda neat. It's only going to prove useful to people who have more than the simple ability to transfer files.
In a paradigm that includes the whole world, you're wasting your time learning how to run Pro Tools better. Have someone do it for you, and practice your chosen instrument.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Loco on September 21, 2004, 04:25:16 am
I guess we are all reading in between the wrong lines....

Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 20 September 2004 18:21

Quote:

The good thing about a mixer is that you have all the processing right there: preamps, compressor, EQ, converters, some routing, monitoring, etc.


Are you talking about an SSL? No thanks, I'd rather use a 001.


I don't see a bunch of preamps on a double-oh-whine... However, it may come to the point where you don't even need the little card and your laptop will beam the audio to your brain. That, or it will burn it into your legs.

Quote:

I live just off 11th Street. I walk a few blocks north on 11th, make a left, walk one block, and it's RIGHT THERE. The SSL 9064, the ICON system, and all the vintage gear going back to the early 60's you could possibly drool over. Genelec monitors in Augsberger-designed rooms. EVERYTHING you are talking about, and more, IF I need it, which is about 10% of my work, if that.


But there's still a 10% chance that you may need that Assburger room. Just don't send the mixers to Freshkills yet...

Quote:

There's always a solution, Carlos. If you ever find yourself "stuck" with a 001, just remember you can email your tracks or mixes or sessions out to a bigger studio. Capisce? New Paradigm, baby.

And Remember, folks: It was Albini who introduced that term into this discussion, NOT The Curve.


First thing on a studio, no babies. Leave that term aside for the groupies, kid.

Second, my two studio environments right now that work for me are a big room with a digital board blasting some Assburgers, and my laptop at the beach with HD590s on my ears. In both cases, the common thing is a good bottle of beer at hand.

Cheers!
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bif Vincent on September 21, 2004, 04:52:42 am
Eric Vincent wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 01:58

Bryan,

That was a nice post. REALLY. Not being facetious. But it didn't really address what I've been hinting at.

Quote:

A sub-project recording studio is like that Harmony. You can do some cool stuff, but . . .


I'm just not digging that analogy. It doesn't work for me.

Bear with me here, Bryan:

1) A sub-project studio (like the one in my crib) is like a small camera. It is perfectly capable of "filming" a performance of an individual vocalist, guitarist,  bassist, keyboardist, percussionist, etc., and faithfully capturing that performance.

2) A large commercial recording facility like the one a few blocks up 11th Street which I mentioned earlier, has a bigger, more elaborate camera. This camera is better suited to "filming" a live trap drumkit, live band, orchestra, string quartet, etc.

3) Then, Bobro has his mobile rig, which he can take out into the field, and record stuff that one can only capture in the field. I did this when I took a small standalone DAW out to my nephew's shack in his mom's backyard to record his drumming (very unique sound we got, not for every application, but I like uniqueness). That's the field camera.

4) My little brother Kurt is in Tokyo, and he's got this little tiny "camera" in his hotel room, that he uses to "film" a killer guitar solo, set to what all the other cameras have already recorded. And he can DO that, because I emailed him a rough mix to play to.

So, I get all that "film" together in my crib, and start to edit it into a "movie." I create something akin to what the artist's vision is. But if I get to a certain point where I feel limited, I email the entire session to Big Studio, and we pick up from there.

Hopefully, Bryan, you're following me here. I am not counting ANYBODY out of the process here; on the contrary: I want to INCLUDE everybody in the process. THAT's the "new paradigm," as I see it. Inclusiveness. We ALL have a role, and we work TOGETHER.


Eric

Would you mind terribly if I came over to your apartment? I'd like to model that signature sound.

Bif
I'm a popstar!
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Glenn Bucci on September 21, 2004, 08:46:39 am
Wow, I did not think my thread would have so many hits. Shocked

I think we can conclude that if you have a big project, there is nothing like working with a big mixer. George has said in the past, having recall on digital mixers for eq, and effects is a big benifit.

With that being said, many people just need 24 or 32 tracks to do a lot of projects. If that is where you are, the Yamaha DM 2000, Sony, Pro Controller, Control 24 or even the SSL 900 is all you really need. Of course you will want your own converters, and outboard gear to go into these units into a DAW, Radar or whatever you use.

My point was and still is, though it is great to have Neve, or SSL large console, if your track count is low, not only is it not needed, but you can get results that sound just as good on the other lower end units. Not only do we have decent lower end mixers, but we also have tons of plug ins, and they are getting pretty acceptable these days. Though there will always be some great hardware gear in the pro studio.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 21, 2004, 01:29:14 pm
Keef wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 13:46

 George has said in the past, having recall on digital mixers for eq, and effects is a big benifit.


Not everyone views this as a benefit. Benefit also means advantage.

Having instant recall can be just as much a disadvantage as an advantage. If you have recall abilities, the client will undoubtedly want to use them. If your recall abilities are at the very least time consuming, it forces everyone involved to focus make decisions and go with those decisions.

Advantages and disadvantages are wholly personal. There is no such thing as a self-evident and inalienable advantage or benefit.

Many people don't understand that we choose our clients based on what we view as advantages and disadvantages. I know you're reaction before you've had it. "I don't choose my clients! People call me out of the blue."

Wrong.

You choose your clients. Your working methods, your bedside manner, your choice in gear, your pricing, etc.. will attract the right clients for you. A band that requires heavy editing is going to seek out a producer that prefers digital methods, and believes in heavy editing. I have precluded myself from this sort of work just by HOW I work. We all preclude ourselves from different clients by how we choose to work.

I have a certain comfort zone with having clients present and forcing them to make decisions. I do not have a comfort zone with allowing them to second guess themselves to the destruction of every amount of goodness there is in a mix. So I choose tools and methods that allow for my preferences. Given these preferences, the advantage of instant recall would be a very great disadvantage to me.

There are some mixers that are all too happy to recall a song as many times as they have to. Some mixers prefer the client to be as far away as possible. A mixer who likes to work in this manner will choose the tools and the situation to allow for this. Total and instant recall would be a must, and thus would be an advantage to this style of working.

Too often, positions are argued on audio internet boards based on a limited scope of reality. We tend to forget, it's a large world out there, and there are many ways of working. There are many of us that dislike how newer digital technologies are affecting music in general, let alone how it affects us personally.

Yes, I know. It's not the digital technologies that are responsible for abuse. It's the people who use them. It's the people that abuse editing and chromatic tuning; It's the people that choose to record 126 tracks and not make a decision. And I would point out that those people attract clients that appreciate these working methods. But let's also acknowledge that the effects of the "advantages" of digital working methods have had a seemingly negative effect on our pool of musicians. In my eyes, this has not been a benefit, but rather, a detriment, and on a very large scale.

It's great that we can now take an average singer and help them to compete in some ways with a fantastic one. I certainly understand why some people might view this as a personal advantage. And it's great that the price to get into the business of recording has fallen so dramatically in the past 25 years--yet another advantage, for some. But do you realize how many more average singers and average recordings we must endure because of these advantages?

Let's not even get INTO the advantages and disadvantages of easy file exchange!

My intention is not for this to become an argument, or even a discussion on the state of the music industry and the role of digital technologies in the whole debacle. I'm just trying to make the case that one man's advantage is another man's disadvantage. One man's benefit is another man's detriment. And we should be careful about proclaiming any given benefit or advantage as globally and uniformly true.

Eric Sarafin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: electrical on September 21, 2004, 04:55:08 pm
Keef wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 08:46


My point was and still is, though it is great to have Neve, or SSL large console, if your track count is low, not only is it not needed, but you can get results that sound just as good on the other lower end units. Not only do we have decent lower end mixers, but we also have tons of plug ins, and they are getting pretty acceptable these days.


This paragraph (with a few trade nouns other than Neve changed) was first written in 1970, or whenever the TEAC 3340 4-track came out, and has been re-written every few weeks by someone new to the concept ever since. It has yet to be proven true.

I recorded many demos on a TEAC 3340 4-track in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It wasn't until I took the same machine into a real studio that I ever got my money's worth out of it. The things I kept telling myself didn't matter, like the console, the monitors, the experience of the guy helping me, the exact right piece of equipment to solve a problem, clean power, good grounding, the listening environment and the care taken to assemble all that -- turns out they do matter.

Given minimal equipment, I can make a record in a house, barn,  coal mine or places even worse -- say in a gondola on an open sewer or the Slaughterhouse in Western Mass. But I would never presume that all records are best made in those places, or that I could make records of the same caliber in one of those places that I can make in a proper studio.

The location becomes part of the record (including the apologies and excuses made for it), like it or not, and if the location is limited, those limitations will reflect in the final result.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Extreme Mixing on September 21, 2004, 07:51:51 pm
Well put Eric.  A great sax player and a good friend once told me to be careful what you get good at, because you'll wind up doing a lot of it.  We do all pick our own poison, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Steve Shepherd
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 22, 2004, 12:12:11 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 10:29

 But let's also acknowledge that the effects of the "advantages" of digital working methods have had a seemingly negative effect on our pool of musicians. In my eyes, this has not been a benefit, but rather, a detriment, and on a very large scale.



Eric,

You are SO right. In fact, I have a friend (engineer) who insists that he has not done an album in two years where any of the kids playing were more than mediocre at best, and this sorta proves your point. Having a smaller pool of good young musicians is not really a disadvantage to everyone. The couple of young musicians out there who really ARE good, are busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest and almost impossible to get on short notice.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 22, 2004, 12:38:55 am
electrical wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 13:55

 The things I kept telling myself didn't matter, like the console, the monitors, the experience of the guy helping me, the exact right piece of equipment to solve a problem, clean power, good grounding, the listening environment and the care taken to assemble all that -- turns out they do matter.



Steve,

Absolutely. Problem is try making that case to someone who has not spent much time working in a "proper studio". These folks do not understand how much difference the sweat of talented people trying to squeeze the last few percentages of improvement out of a facility or installation makes. We are living in a temporary cosmic fart bubble where the triumph of the amateur is papering the landscape with billboards that say "Its Good Enough". As long as its good enough, it never really has to be any better does it?

(insert favorite profanity here) yes it does! And as long as there are still a few people (like you) out there insisting that it matters, there is still hope things might turn out okay.

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 22, 2004, 09:39:13 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 12:29


[...]
And we should be careful about proclaiming any given benefit or advantage as globally and uniformly true.

Eric Sarafin



Or, equally important, false.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 22, 2004, 11:35:31 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 12:29

  There are many of us that dislike how newer digital technologies are affecting music in general, let alone how it affects us personally. ...do you realize how many more average singers and average recordings we must endure because of these advantages?


I was one of a tiny group of people who urged Stevie Wonder to perform all of his own parts on his productions. While it was the obvious best possible move for Stevie, his success working that way created a disaster for music in general. People not having his years of experience working with ensembles or his encyclopedic knowledge of American music and musicians don't stand a chance of approaching what Stevie can do.

The ability to punch in a part also seriously impaired the quality of recorded music. The energy of an entire ensemble and an engineer HAVING to get it right within a limited amount of very expensive time comes right across in the final product.

Most great recordings EXCEED people's concepts of how the music ought to be. The moment you can control everything is the moment that the magic gos away. Talent might well be defined as the ability to respond and the quality of one's response to the unexpected. When nothing is unexpected, the music gets really boring. This is precisely why Spielberg still insists on actually cutting film when he edits.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Peter Simonsen on September 22, 2004, 04:51:36 pm
Quote:

 title=Eric Sarafin wrote on Tue, 21 September 2004 18:29
You choose your clients. Your working methods, your bedside manner, your choice in gear, your pricing, etc.. will attract the right clients for you. A band that requires heavy editing is going to seek out a producer that prefers digital methods, and believes in heavy editing. I have precluded myself from this sort of work just by HOW I work. We all preclude ourselves from different clients by how we choose to work.Eric Sarafin



Now this is about some of the very best understanding I have seen in a very long time. Ill second that.

Kind regards

Peter
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: PP on September 22, 2004, 05:43:51 pm
Quote : “I drive a Ford; does this means I suck?”

Not at all Ken, there are some very good reasons why one might choose a Ford over other manufacturers. Probably the most significant being, easy availability and cost of spares and servicing wherever you are in the country. This is the advantage of the popular and commonplace over the eclectic, elitist, premium models.

A lot of people have been pretty impressed with the new GT model.

Errrr...  The one that uses the engine from a Ford pickup. It’s a great car though. No doubt about it!

http://www.fordvehicles.com/fordgt/time_line.asp

The thing is, do you really want to be the same as a zillion other guys?

Is actual reliability, driving performance, and residual value due to depreciation important?

And are you likely to enjoy the drive of your life in such an automobile?

Let’s look at the facts and examine the evidence.

The JD Powers survey for 2004 puts Ford’s best placing at No 100 for customer satisfaction.This is paying customers own feedback on their experience.

Henry Ford’s ethos spawning the company declaimed. “You can have any colour you like as long as it’s black”

The underlying implication was that you the paying customer have no choice. The manufacturer dictates what the consumer can buy. The product is designed and built to HF’s parameters, and those are what are on offer. And all that’s on offer.

So let’s think about black paint for a while.

Many manufacturers have traditionally charged a significant premium for black paint finishes (even on pianos) this is because today the basecoat colour is overlaid with a high gloss isocynanite clear coat finish. And with black in particular the result is that any imperfections are clearly visible in every highlight critical area of the vehicle. Consequently, proportionately more black finished cars require expensive re-working than any other colour (apart from silver in which imperfections when worked often turn black in colour).  

But the fact is solid black basecoat itself alone is traditionally the absolute cheapest colour of any available for manufacturers to buy.

It’s Ironic (I’ll have to write a lyric with that as the title).

A short while back I was talking to a German friend that works in a factory on the eastern edge of Germany. He told me that in their Factory they had a rack with 100 Devilbiss spray guns, each for a different colour spraying parts for cars. When I asked WHY they had so many spray guns, he said this.

“In my company the most important person is not the worker, the manager, the managing director, the chairman, or even the shareholder.

The most important person is the customer!

What the customer wants, the customer gets. ANYTHING the customer wants, the customer gets.

In my company, THE CUSTOMER IS KING!

Can you notice a difference in attitude between these two company ethos’s towards the customer’s needs, wishes and requirements?

This is the essential and salient point of this post.

This particular company also happens to be the most profitable company of its type in the entire world. There is always a waiting list for its products, and their residual values and depreciation are very enviable. Often people order their products and sell them on new at a profit.

What’s the relevance of this to audio?

Well in a recent interview Mr Massenburg stated this. “Those who are motivated by entrepreneurship and profit create products that are distinctly different from those created by people motivated by need”.

“The market has taken over the creation and development of boxes, just as conglomerates have taken over record labels and radio, the loss of creativity in both domains is palpable”.

Quote : “I drive a Ford; does this means I suck?”

Well not at all Ken, but are the base line attitudes and ethos of the company whose products you have so readily identified yourself with, carried over into your recording work?

I hear a lot of ‘Ford’ music about, when I’m really wanting to have a Rolls Royce musical and audio experience.

Mr Massenburg implies in his bold statements a higher and better way that is more individualistic in nature and character.

And I for one think he’s got a really great point!

This is another reason that LFAC’s are important. Perish the day when we all are using the same mic’s, pre’s, compressors, converters, software and DAW’s.

(Drive Carefully)

Best Wishes

Peter



Peter Poyser

“Well, I like the way the 9098 is built and the way it sounds. Have nothing but respect for Rupert.”

George Massenburg.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Sahib on September 22, 2004, 07:30:16 pm
Although throughout the thread the subject on analogue v digital comparison was on and off discussed, I have really enjoyed the hot discussion on page 13 until it got back to cars again and see if I can manage to take it back to the topic. If not I WILL CONTINUE MY MONOLOGUE.

It was very interesting to read the varying views and the analysis of analogue versus digital technology and how digital technology changed the music industry (and our lives) for good and/or bad. I am an electrical and electronics engineer as well as being a musician and whenever the topic of new technology comes up, I always note that the criticisms are always directed towards hardware. One more important issue is always missed. The music education. I see the whole thing a bit like the two sides of the coin. One side is advancement of hardware and the other side is the availability of music education.

My problem with the new technology is that it did not better the creativity, it simply bettered the facility. In my opinion it also killed the interactivity. But it shouldn't. At the end of the day if a new equipment is smaller in size and better at functionality then why are we still getting mediocre results out of it? Sure, the sonic quality might be just as good  but why is the end product still mediocre?

Same for the music education. Everywhere is full of music schools giving degrees in bass playing, composition or recording technology or anything that you can think of and every year thousands of instrumentalist, singers, engineers etc. are graduating with merits. Now every young guitar player you meet is able to play 200 notes a second, yet the music is still getting worse rather than better. When I started playing guitar back in late 70s we did not have the instruments that are now easily available to everybody on a high street music shop. Now even the cheapest guitar has a built in quality and cheapest effect unit has mind boggling functions. Yet still we are unable to produce a sound that would top 70s funk.

I can only come to the conclusion that the problem is not the technology but is the people who use it. There are many examples of people who produce excellent music with the new technology but in my opinion not enough to challange the ones that were produced and being produced on the old. Same goes for the musicianship. I do not know, perhaps we need time but the way the things are going it is not getting any better. Therefore I can only speculate that this whole thing will come to the point that there will not be such thing as sellable music as it seems like everybody plays the same thing and  every back room is a recording studio. Worst of all we have an increasing generation of people whom are content with mp3. Romans gave us the roads that led to their extinction and I fear that we are heading that way too.

Cemal Ozturk
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: bobkatz on September 22, 2004, 10:39:44 pm
Speaking of acoustic problems with large consoles. What is wrong with this picture?


Mix Magazine August 2004 page 45 (I think, plus or minus 2 pages), the Digidesign Icon ad.


BK
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: pipelineaudio on September 22, 2004, 11:04:47 pm
"Same for the music education. Everywhere is full of music schools giving degrees in bass playing, composition or recording technology or anything that you can think of and every year thousands of instrumentalist, singers, engineers etc. are graduating with merits. Now every young guitar player you meet is able to play 200 notes a second, yet the music is still getting worse rather than better. When I started playing guitar back in late 70s we did not have the instruments that are now easily available to everybody on a high street music shop. Now even the cheapest guitar has a built in quality and cheapest effect unit has mind boggling functions. Yet still we are unable to produce a sound that would top 70s funk"

I remember this myth starting around 90 or 91 when thebig huge anti-technique fad started. people would say things like " all skill , no soul" etc...

So we got ten years of cant play anything to save their lives crap musicians. Now you say schools are turning out players? Where are they? Certainly not any of the young bands I see coming thru town or into the studio. Where do I find these colonies of guys who might have a chance in hell of playing the same thing twice in a row?

I see the opposite. I see singers with autotune onstage

I even see a recording studio advertising THIS:

"How would you like to find a studio that does vocal pitch correction, digital editing, radio quality mixing, and complete digital mastering??"

as if they are anticipating the suckage of the musicians about to show up
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Wyn Davis on September 23, 2004, 01:11:33 am
Sahib wrote

One more important issue is always missed. The music education. I see the whole thing a bit like the two sides of the coin. One side is advancement of hardware and the other side is the availability of music education.



Sahib brings up a point that is very sore with me, the state of music and arts education.

In my city and state education in music and the arts has all but vanished. While I was growing up, going to LA Unified public schools, there was a full time band teacher and a full time choir teacher in EVERY elementary school. It started in elementary school and continued through high school.

Today, if you don't have the money to buy private lessons or to go to a private school, forget about arts education. My wife is a Kindergarten teacher. In her school district there is one music teacher for every five elementary schools. The teacher rotates through the schools, one day a week. She says they feel lucky to have a music teacher at all. The same applies to the choir or "Chorus" teacher.

The value of early music education along with the encouragement of someone who can help young people build an appreciation of incrementally acquired skills built on patience, effort and practice cannot be overstated. I think it beyond outrageous that our national government has programs that leave behind so much that kids really enjoy and need. It is truly a national disgrace.

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 23, 2004, 01:33:17 am
The singers using Autotune on stage are TV stars and not music stars. Before AutoTune, TV and movie stars often had session singers singing their parts.

Our problem is that very few real music stars are making it these days. Why is that?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Sarafin on September 23, 2004, 01:59:53 am
Sahib wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 00:30

 But it shouldn't. At the end of the day if a new equipment is smaller in size and better at functionality then why are we still getting mediocre results out of it? Sure, the sonic quality is just as good if not better but why is the end product still mediocre?


The end product is always mediocre because of the people involved. However, the sonic quality of today's digital technology is NOT just as good, and it's definitely not better!

In other words, I will have superior results recording a rock band on a 2" machine and mixing on an 8068, an analog console that was built nearly 30 years ago, than recording and mixing in Pro Tools. And it's not because I need to learn how to work within Pro Tools. It's because the system is inherently flawed, and destroys audio, no matter WHO the operator.

Every year I read and hear the same thing. "Yeah, digital sucks but it's getting closer." I've been hearing the "it's getting  closer" bit for 15 years now. Every new release of Pro Tools is supposed to be the mark of sonic quality, and yet somehow they always seem to improve it. High sample rates have turned out to be a joke. And higher bit rates are almost useless because the consumer won't fall for the old format upgrade trick again.

If you want to blame mediocre records on people, I will be the first person to stand behind you. But please don't assume that the sonic quality of gear is better now than it was 30 years ago. In general, it's not.

Other than that, great post.

Eric Sarafin.
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Peter Simonsen on September 23, 2004, 02:29:32 am
Bob Olhsson wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 06:33

The singers using Autotune on stage are TV stars and not music stars. Before AutoTune, TV and movie stars often had session singers singing their parts.

Our problem is that very few real music stars are making it these days. Why is that?


Bob,

exactly..why is that..?? I have signed my name on a complaint against  television who on prime time will only put on people who cant sing (wanna bee tv stars)..in "reality shows" like ...Idols, Star for a night,  etc...now I do not  care so much that they sent the shit..I can decide if I wanna watch or not..the thing I have against it is..all the real music stars we just don't see/hear on television anymore !!! and if we do they are getting like 1/2 an hour  late at night where 90% of the working population has gone to sleep.

Kind regards

Peter
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Sahib on September 23, 2004, 03:56:45 am
Eric,

I take your comment on board. Perhaps I sould have said 'The sonic quality might be just as good... ' as I never intended to indicate that it is or it is not. At the end of the day there are far better qualified people that would agree or disagree with you. Therefore I have amended the post.

Bob,

The answer to your question in my opinion is that now unfortunately, everything is served for the lowest common denominator. This is not only in music and arts but growingly in everything else. I do not think the aspiration for better is being promoted anymore. Look what is happening, suddenly some idiot labels Nicole Kidman as a movie legend. Hold on a minute! She might be a movie star but what is the criteria for a movie legend? What is next? Some guy with a computer operating from his back room gets two songs in the charts by fluke and suddenly becomes a legendary producer.

Cemal Ozturk
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Bridenbaker on September 23, 2004, 04:59:44 am
"just as good"?

Most of the digital front end systems these days could be really good, but they have compromised analog stages - very small, surface mounted electrolytics that pretty much undo any advantage that digital might have - before the sound is even converted.

Unfortunately, this is the current industry norm, and it takes a true designer to get around the temptation of cranking out the 1000's  of units you can do with a good ad campaign, biased endorsements and cheap parts.

The good ol' analog 2 inch and consoles are certainly not exempt from this either -  the really good sounding decks and desks that  I've heard have been customized to replace or bypass some of the electronics entirely

Recording engineers could learn a lot from the audiophile community - quite a few of the  mythological practices which are very common in "high end" studio gear (such as using "balanced" lines for short cable lengths) actually do little for the sound.

Check out some audiophile books and mags, here's a good one:

"The complete guide to high-end audio"    
by Harley, Robert.   
Acapella Pub., 1994.

Getting a sense of how the gear is actually put together can help identify why some gear sounds great and some doesn't.

Same goes for software - All the DAW's that claim to have more mixing bits than the other guy, but still manage to skew the high frequencies with innefective math....  (Might have finally found a DAW that doesn't do this, and pretty much they all do - Not sure, but its looking good sofar)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a good design is a good design - Doesn't really matter if it's analog or digital....

It's just that we've had decades with analog to figure out which one's are good - The tried and true classics... Digital is young... we don't have this kind of perspective yet, and it's a minefield...

You can get great results without a large console such as SSL... there are more options than ever before, but right now it can be a long road find out how.

Cheers,
Eric

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: George Massenburg on September 23, 2004, 07:25:24 am
Eric Sarafin wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 00:59


The end product is always mediocre because of the people involved. However, the sonic quality of today's digital technology is NOT just as good, and it's definitely not better!


I have disagree with you.  Others will, too.  And I think that we're going to have to leave it at that.  

And it's clear that even if you and I sat down with records, tapes (yes, records & tapes) and CD's to listen and compare what we hear, I'll bet we still couldn't come to an agreement on what's "quality" and what's not.
Quote:


In other words, I will have superior results recording a rock band on a 2" machine and mixing on an 8068, an analog console that was built nearly 30 years ago, than recording and mixing in Pro Tools.


Depends on how you define "superior", and depends on how you deploy your tools. This thread was about large consoles.  Now, you're regressing back to the well-worn analog vs digital battle.  There are a pile of records that are made both with an 8078 and ProTools.  Of course, you feel better about recording on an 8068 and an analog tape recorder.  But it's just as likely that you felt better about it all going into the session.
Quote:


[...]
Every year I read and hear the same thing. "Yeah, digital sucks but it's getting closer." I've been hearing the "it's getting  closer" bit for 15 years now. Every new release of Pro Tools is supposed to be the mark of sonic quality, and yet somehow they always seem to improve it. High sample rates have turned out to be a joke. And higher bit rates are almost useless because the consumer won't fall for the old format upgrade trick again.


You're saying alot of different things here.  But in general...

 1. Digital audio is getting better, whether you as an individual like it or not.
 2. You can't measure anything but the popularity of ProTools by the sales of ProTools.
 3. For some very serious users (not to mention reearchers) high sample rates are far from a joke.
 4. Digital platforms in communication are an inevitable future.  We can look back at a technology break that's stretched out to some twenty years.  If we've learned anything, we've learned that we've been slow to learn how to measure real digital audio performance.  Improvements haven't come and aren't going to come from that relatively small, but strident, coterie that is convinced for all time that at least as far as rock and roll is concerned "digital" is the work of the devil.
Quote:


If you want to blame mediocre records on people, I will be the first person to stand behind you. But please don't assume that the sonic quality of gear is better now than it was 30 years ago. In general, it's not.
[...]


I'm not in the least swayed by most of your statements, and one still has to place the responsibility for the making of mediocre records on the people that make and market them.

On the other hand, if the "gear" that you're refering to is professional recording kit in general you may be right.  It's not getting any better, either.  

But overall it seems to me that the average quality of gear out on the market (which is to say value for dollar spent) taken across the great arc of technological evolution is clearly improved and improving.  And there's always the context; from the point of view of a world with a population of 6 billion people the tiny hairs we're splitting in an arcane corner of so-called Pro Audio is pretty much off the radar.

George
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Bob Olhsson on September 23, 2004, 03:13:28 pm
Sahib wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 02:56


Bob,

The answer to your question in my opinion is that now unfortunately, everything is served for the lowest common denominator.

I'm unaware of an era when this wasn't the case. It's just that SOME of it used to be really good by any standard including the level of sales.

I think it's a cop out for us to take the elitist stance that "the masses" can't possibly like anything that's good enough for our own "holier than thou" taste. (I realize this isn't at all what you were saying.) How do we return to a world where the cream rather than just the amount of financial backing involved rises to the top?
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: JGreenslade on September 23, 2004, 03:34:14 pm
Quote:


I think it's a cop out for us to take the elitist stance that "the masses" can't possibly like anything that's good enough for our own "holier than thou" taste.



If I had a pound for every A+R / Manager-type who's invoked that stance to me in justifying the release of copycat material... Arrogance amongst industry insiders must be an issue that needs to be addressed. Just because Joe Schmoe buys the most "visible" product doesn't necessarily mean they won't appreciate something more ingenious, but they do need to hear it in the first place...

Justin
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: electrical on September 23, 2004, 04:56:54 pm
George Massenburg wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 07:25


On the other hand, if the "gear" that you're refering to is professional recording kit in general you may be right.  It's not getting any better, either.  



I think, and I know George will agree, that the potential for good sound in a digital domain exists, and is sometimes achieved. For this reason, I think debates about the sound quality of the two paradigms (old school analog tape, outboard and desk v. new school computer, computer and another computer maybe) are not enlightening.

New school technologies and products become obsolete so quickly that no one will ever have the opportunity to optimize his technique to take advantage of any particular technology or product, as this takes longer than the "learning curve" to become competent.

Old school technologies can take advantage of decades of accumulated experience that remains applicable.

New school technologies are valuable precisely because they change all the time, to incorporate the features and capabilities required by a fluid and aggressively-reaching clientele. If they were to become static enough for their performance to be optimized and generate a pool of experience, they would lose their principle asset.

Because of this rapid rate of change, there can be no archival format or storage, as the rest of the computer industry changes in a similar fashion, making old sessions irretrievable.

Remember that new school sessions incorporate not just a recording program (and its associated file types and proprietary code), but many smaller units of similar code from a slew of providers, some of which will require update or verification/anti-piracy "maintenance," and most of the companies that provide these services will go broke and disappear, making their products useless in the future.

There are also hardware problems with obsolete subordinate technologies that are just as crucial, like data storage drives, device drivers, port types, communication and interface technologies -- even the goddamn connectors and power supplies.

I run every session like it is the most important thing to ever happen, because for at least a few people in the room, it is. I want to give them a permanent master that will outlive them. This is impossible in the new school paradigm, but it is inherent in the old school one.

The continued defense of digital recording hinges on the canard that it is "young" and "still developing the answers." I suggest that it is always to be so, and that a solution to my principle obection to it is impossible, as the preceeding 30 years of development have borne out. Regarding the permanence and interchangeability of the masters, "We'll figure that out later," essentially means "we can't figure that out."

If I were to take as received truth that new school techniques are "just as good" or even "better" in sound quality, they are still so fundamentally crippled by their technically-chimerical nature that I cannot in good faith conduct sessions that way.

Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Sahib on September 23, 2004, 06:31:16 pm
Bob I think you are doing yourself a disservice by saying that we are taking an elitist stand. I do not believe we are. In fact totally opposite.

What I am trying to say is that now the masses are somehow fed by complete mediocrities and in result increasingly becoming mediocre in acquiring good taste in music . Of course it is possible that this is not really how it looks from the masses' point of view but if you are brought up with a wine that is like turpintine, than you would naturally call a good wine a sweet shit. Therefore the demand to music from the masses become in line with the quality of the music that is fed to them. So back to your question. How do we return to cream? I do not know, that will depend on who is making the decision.  May be there is no big brother that we can blame to. I am not saying anything but simply referring to page 13 where Eric and few following guys make interesting comments.

Anyhow, I would also like to make two important points.

1. When I am referring to bad taste in music today I am not referring to the advent of digital technology. If you serve shit in analogue domain it is still shit.

2. I realise that the topic is actually the advantage of large mixers and if the forum master wishes to terminate this conversation I will do so.

Cemal Ozturk
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Barish on September 23, 2004, 06:45:29 pm
Well you can only argue over the benefits of large mixers so far. In the end it all comes down to musical quality which is not only determined by one piece of equipment.

Sahib wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 00:30

I can only come to the conclusion that the problem is not the technology but is the people who use it. There are many examples of people who produce excellent music with the new technology but in my opinion not enough to challange the ones that were produced and being produced on the old.

...

Worst of all we have an increasing generation of people whom are content with mp3.

Cemal Ozturk



I will agree with my dear elder brother on these points. Indeed, while us the anoracs of music recording technology cut each other's throat on whether analog is better or digital is, the ordinary listeners' expectation is down to a crappy 128k mp3 quality. Almost all of the ordinary music listeners I know around me -apart from a few audiophile friends- are quite content with mp3s so it doesn't make the least difference for them whether the music presented to them has been recorded on analog tape or pro tools or radar. All they are interested in is a good songwriting with the perfect balance of originality from and familiarity to the one before.

I certainly understand and appreciate the fact that as far as music makers are concerned the key to survival in the industry is to be hip and equipped with the best equipment available because that is the only way for record label execs who have no interest in knowing the intangible qualities of the music as well as tangible qualities to judge whether they are getting their money's worth, and there are serious amounts of investments involved in this and for some it's crucial to hold on to their investments' reputation and they certainly don't want to be outdated overnight, while some others find it easier to close the gap by speculating that the newer the better. Alas, an equipment is only as good as the listening ear can hear it.

But as a songwriter that writes songs for more than 15 years I must say that no amount or type of equipment can replace the quality of a good songwriting with a focused integrity and familiarity but in the mean time originality and again I must admit that we do not get that many good products on the surface as often and many as we used to get. The reason to that is not that there aren't as many good songwriters/performers today as there used to be, but is rather because, as my bro pointed out earlier on, the facilities today are so much better in favour of average users that it's getting harder for superior ones to have their music heard. There's so much shit around that you really have to fish out for what you want. That's why the sonic quality expectations got lower and lower and lower. Because on either side of the river (music makers and music buyers) the criteria for quality had been seriously compromised.

I was talking to a bassist friend a few weeks ago, whom is not among the brightest players I've seen so to speak, and he said at some point that when he was into playing an instrument in the 80s and saw Eddie VH and Toto and that generation musicians play he said to himself he'd never be able to play that instrument as it was supposed to be played, he was so scared. But, he said, then a band called Nirvana came up and he looked at them and said "yep, I can do that!" and he started doing it. When I reacted by saying "yeah but that compromised and lowered the quality of skill once involved in top level musicianship and made that compromise perfectly acceptable" he said "who gives a tosh? At least I can play something and be perfectly accepted now." The fashion today is that you are allowed to push your computer recording system and bitrates and sample rates because it is hip but if you try to push your musicianship or performing skills that's called "wanking".

"Be average but get the best tools."

Yes, the trend at the beginning of 90s was that mediocrity, or okay I'll soften it, being average was not that bad after all, which led to today's acceptance that mediocrity is now "the standard" and the technical/sonic expectations are shaped accordingly.

Funny enough, even though I still miss those days when everything was big and pushed to its limits by human force and not by processor power, I'm looking at it and thinking "thank god we didn't get our material out back then because there was no effin' way we could have made it among those monsters. At least today we have a chance."


At least that's the way I see it from the point that I stand.

Mahcem Ozturk
Title: Re: The advantage of large mixers?
Post by: Eric Bridenbaker on September 23, 2004, 08:38:50 pm
electrical wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 16:56




I think, and I know George will agree, that the potential for good sound in a digital domain exists, and is sometimes achieved. For this reason, I think debates about the sound quality of the two paradigms (old school analog tape, outboard and desk v. new school computer, computer and another computer maybe) are not enlightening.



this is a really good point - the two sounds (Analog and Digital) are not directly comparable - they're different and both can sound really good.

electrical wrote on Thu, 23 September 2004 16:56


New school technologies and products become obsolete so quickly that no one will ever have the opportunity to optimize his technique to take advantage of any particular technology or product, as this takes longer than the "learning curve" to become competent



Working with computers in any capacity can become very frustrating because of this factor. I wish I could spend more time working on the mixes instead of upgrading/cross grading/retooling etc... But the reason IMO is because digital does keep getting better, especially on the software front.

Curious as to your opinion here:

What do you feel are the main causes of this rapid pace?

Quote:


New school technologies are valuable precisely because they change all the time, to incorporate the features and capabilities required by a fluid and aggressively-reaching clientele. If they were to become static enough for their performance to be optimized and generate a pool of experience, they would lose their principle asset.

Because of this rapid rate of change, there can be no archival format or storage, as the rest of the computer industry changes in a similar fashion, making old sessions irretrievable.



C'mon Steve... It's just good ol' PCM - simply Data. Remember that we used to have wax cylinders and '78's.... we've managed to retrieve those.  What makes digital so different? If anything, archiving, backup and duplication is easier in the digital domain.

Quote:


I run every session like it is the most important thing to ever happen, because for at least a few people in the room, it is. I want to give them a permanent master that will outlive them.


Word!!
Quote:


This is impossible in the new school paradigm, but it is inherent in the old school one.


Not Word! Absolutely Not.... IMO digital is the sound that will prove to have more longevity in the long run as a true archival technique - clarity... transparency.. those will do justice to a great performance.

I love analog tape, but I feel putting that sound on a recording becomes more of an album/production/engineering art sort of decision, and there's certainly nothing wrong with making great records... I just don't buy the "timelessness of analog above all" argument..

Cheers,
Eric