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  • This forum is awesome. :)

    I find myself spending a lot more time here lately than in my usual part of this board (HCEG). I can't get my head around the level of competence and the generosity from folks like WRGKMC (wonder what the letters stand for), witesol and Rudolph (and others who I'll get to know in time). 


    I read a lot of posts from other people's questions and it really does inspire me to learn more about recording stuff properly (I'm more of a player, so to speak, but want to get into recording competently enough).


    Anyway, I want to say that I don't take that stuff for granted and am much appreciative of the efforts that I see here to help less experienced musicians (i.e. n00bs) . You guys rock. Thanks!

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Yamaholic --- PpP --- Old geezer with a grey beard

  • #2

    I don't know how much I've actually helped...but thanks.  

    I love toys and electronic solutions as much as the next person, but I typically focus in more on the "free" aspects of recording, using the tools you have better, performing better. Quality control on the tracks is truly an art that no mic preamp or plug-in will transcend. I also realize it's a different world and here online those kinds of topics are harder to discuss in favor of mics, preamps and the hardware side. I'm also cheap and prefer to get results with over achieving products or forgotten gear. I suppose that comes with my 35 years, 60 albums and a few thousand demos worth of experience and never quite having deep pockets. lol


    If I was to give out any advice it would be to seek out some real people higher up on the food chain and mix it up with them...in person, not on a forum. 


    • WRGKMC
      WRGKMC commented
      Editing a comment

      Got my first recorder in 1966 when I was 8 years old. It was one of those miniature mission impossible recorder with three inch reel to reels. I had more fun with that thing from doing on the street comic interviews, doing multiple voices, playing acoustic and all kinds of jam sessions. I grew up listening to everything from spike jones classics and all the variety of music in the 60's.

      I had an affinity for music and electronics and made electronics my career which was a good move on my part. So many musicians are poor and I've seen dozens of my friends get wrapped up in drug addiction and die. Its a rough business only the strong and wise survive and make anything of it.

      I did play professionally for 10 year on the jersey shore circuit. Even played Carnage Hall and CBGB's back in the day as well as ever club up and down the coast. Asbury Park was where I broke into the big times playing with many untra famous musicians. We were a local band that opened up for dozens of famous bands and I had allot of fun doing that.

      Writing and recording went hand and hand and it was allot simpler than writing scores or tabs. I did take formal lessons on violin and was in an orchestra for awhile. I was drawn to pop music when I got my first guitar.

      I started doing more serious writing and recording in the late 70's, and did my first video work. It was strange seeing myself playing for the first time and I wish I still had those Beta tapes.

      After that, getting married and having kids made purchasing quality gear difficult so it was often used reel to reels and guitars. I was an electronic tech by then and repair and maintenance was a daily routine getting the best sound quality. I also collected some gear when I was in that business doing pro gear repairs and installing sound systems in bars and disco clubs.

      Money sucked there too so I went to work for major manufacturers where I've been since.

      Now that my kids are grown up and married, I converted the garage into a studio and invested around $50K in gear over the past 20 years. I bought each item at the best price I could find it and skipped allot of lunches to pay for my collection. Also during that time I've worked with regular studio musicians recording original music mostly.

      I've been with my drummer about 15 years and we have maybe 5000 originals written together and a couple of hundred CD collections of the better stuff. We got so good playing together we could read each others minds as we played. He just got over having Cancer and came over last weekend for the first time in about a year. I did a few recordings with just he and I playing and it was so tight you wouldn't have known we hadn't played together for that long.

      Recording is something that's adaptable to many different needs. It can be for writing, making money, saving ideas, or just having fun. I personally don't have the ambition to go back on the road playing full time. I may do a little when I retire but my back is already flecked up from strapping a guitar on my back and lifting heavy gear. I can and do make some really good recordings and its nice to know you have the gear to do that. Its tedious work and I often hate the songs I spend that much time on. After a hundred playbacks and a hundred hours its like Chinese torture to me.

      My fun is composing music in one takes, the less dubbing in and fixing up the better. I see a recorder as a mirror of ones talent, a truth detector you could say. Anyone can create a frankestein recording of bits and pieces. I grew up in analog and quality studios were very expensive. I think the most expensive I recorded in was $300 and hour in NYC. You walked in there and you had to have your **** wrapped ultra tight. You made a mistake and it cost you big bucks so you didn't make any mistakes.

      Ever since I got to that level of performing I've always had the habit of tracking from beginning to end like that. It has to do with the emotional flow and ebb of the music and pacing the music so its got that live feel that jumps out and captures your attention.

      When I finally went digital it was so easy to go back and dub stuff in. I didn't have to wait for reels to rewind and you could lay down another track instantly. Recording with a full band was as simple as a single click of a wireless mouse so you didn't loose your momentum playing live.

      To me the content of the recording means more than all the studio tricks a toolbox may hold. I like a quality mix but its not essential. I can listen to a Bob Dylan tune and hear past the bad mix and shaky vocals to appreciate the feel of the music. I do that often with my own music because I know if its a good song, I can always perform it again and often times do a better job or take a combination of new styles and add them into an older version and come up with something totally cool I never though of the first time I envisioned it.

      Lastly, the most important thing is to play and record with other musicians. If you do everything solo its like masturbating. Only you enjoy it. Working with other musicians is where you adopt new ideas, ex[pand your talent, make things work, and generally have a hell of allot of fun. Eventually you find some other musicians who also write well and you get a healthy competition going and the music grows to heights you could never have imagined. That's when the recording gets real interesting. I have so many one take wonders you'd think we practiced a hundred times before recording but it was all done on the spot from pure inspiration.

      I'd get board stiff If I had to play the music more than a few times. All that stopping and going over parts when a band member makes a mistake makes a musician more apprehensive and focused on the possibility of making a mistake. In my world mistakes are purely physical. My hands get tired or my minds fatigued I start making mistakes. I simply try something else for awhile, rest up or try it again later and the notes are there. When I'm in shape my instrument is an extension of my mind and body. My endurance isn't as good as it was when I was young but I do things smarter now. If My hands only healed as quickly as they did when I was 20.

      Anyway, you learn more from doing than anything else. Even when its like being in a desert for creativity, work the hands and instrument tones and when the wave of creativity turns and cycles back at you you will be in better shape to put that creativity to its best use both playing music and recording it. then once in a while you'll create something so good, you know it must have been a gift from the gods working through you.