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Red Ant wrote:

^ back in the days of 2'' tape, you could depend in the tape to give you some compression and saturation. Which worked especially nice on bass.
These days, you either create it before the a/d conversion, or add it with emulation after.

 

So, in other words, you distort the original track?

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Red Ant wrote:

^ back in the days of 2'' tape, you could depend in the tape to give you some compression and saturation. Which worked especially nice on bass. These days, you either create it before the a/d conversion, or add it with emulation after.

 

I looked into that too.  I was checking for 15IPS machines but I got put off by the lack of people who can service them.  I was going to buy it more for mastering than tracking. 

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There are a lot of engineers (unlike a lot of the people who praise analog but have never had much experience using it) who have spent tons of time with both analog and digital, and who generally prefer digital. Anton went into some of the reasons earlier in the thread when he described the things about 2" tape and machines that he didn't miss - the calibration and alignment, SMPTE lock times, etc.

 

For me, I really appreciate that what I put in is generally what I get back out from a good digital system. With analog, it was always a bit of a guessing game. You had to guess how much of a head bump you'd get on the bottom (~100 Hz or so) with that particular sound source, and so you tried to compensate going in and hoped that it would come out the way you wanted it to. Same with the highs. With analog tape, the more you play the tape, the more highs you loose. After a month of tracking, overdubs, etc. you could lose a notable amount of top end. And when you EQ analog, you don't want to add highs if you can avoid it, because that tends to emphasize the noise (another analog issue), so you tended to print brighter going in, hoping to compensate for the loss of highs that occurs during the production process - again, hoping that it would be in the ballpark by the time you were mixing it.

 

Noise, distortion and stuff like that are things we've grown accustomed to - that we "expect" to hear, because it was present in the music we grew up with. I don't totally dislike noise and distortion, but I'd rather have the opportunity to determine exactly how much of it I want, and where - and not be forced to accept a predetermined, machine-set amount of it whether I like it or not.

 

Analog does have its positive attributes, and I still use analog tape as a "signal processor" for some things - I do like tape compression. But if I was forced to pick one recording system or the other to use exclusively, it would be digital, hands down.

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Phil O'Keefe wrote:

 

Analog does have its positive attributes, and I still use analog tape as a "signal processor" for some things - I do like tape compression. But if I was forced to pick one recording system or the other to use exclusively, it would be digital, hands down.

 

 

The digital aspect is how most of the best mixers get their material (dozens of tracks), but then its fed through an assload of analog EQ compressors etc with a few plugins used here and there.  And it's usually dumped to tape after that during mastering.

And like I said earlier, on the way in it goes through that analog stuff when it is captured with sweet ass'd pres, console strips and racks.

One thing that kinda blew me away was how cheap some of the mics are that are used on seminal albums that sound amazing.  SM57's used on the vocals for Michael Jacksons Billie Jean etc etc.  So the craft is important rather than gear (both engineer, mixer, producer and artist).  

I just wish I had more time to work that aspect.  And when I do start getting better at it, my voice or guitar suffers because I am spending too much time researching what mic Jackson used...Then there is the songwriting...Not enough hours man!

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Phil O'Keefe wrote:

There are a lot of engineers who (unlike a lot of the people who praise analog) who have spent tons of time with both analog and digital, and who generally prefer digital. Anton went into some of the reasons earlier in the thread when he described the things about 2" tape and machines that he didn't miss - the calibration and alignment, SMPTE lock times, etc.

For me, I really appreciate that what I put in is generally what I get back out from a good digital system. With analog, it was always a bit of a guessing game. You had to guess how much of a head bump you'd get on the bottom (~100 Hz or so) with that particular sound source, and so you tried to compensate going in and hoped that it would come out the way you wanted it to. Same with the highs. With analog tape, the more you play the tape, the more highs you loose. After a month of tracking, overdubs, etc. you could lose a notable amount of top end. And when you EQ analog, you don't want to add highs if you can avoid it, because that tends to emphasize the noise (another analog issue), so you tended to print brighter going in, hoping to compensate for the loss of highs that occurs during the production process - again, hoping that it would be in the ballpark by the time you were mixing it.

Noise, distortion and stuff like that are things we've grown accustomed to - that we "expect" to hear, because it was present in the music we grew up with. I don't totally dislike noise and distortion, but I'd rather have the opportunity to determine exactly how much of it I want, and where - and not be forced to accept a predetermined, machine-set amount of it whether I like it or not.

Analog does have its positive attributes, and I still use analog tape as a "signal processor" for some things - I do like tape compression. But if I was forced to pick one recording system or the other to use exclusively, it would be digital, hands down.

I`m not an engineer, but I like to play one. My best-sounding personal recordings were done on 2". It just sounds warm, and like the classic recordings I love. But I understand I can`t have a 2" system in a bedroom.:smileytongue:

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Phil O'Keefe wrote:

There are a lot of engineers
(unlike a lot of the people who praise analog but have never had much experience using it) who have spent tons of time with both analog and digital, and
who generally prefer digital.
Anton went into some of the reasons earlier in the thread when he described the things about 2" tape and machines that he didn't miss - the calibration and alignment, SMPTE lock times, etc.

 

For me, I really appreciate that what I put in is generally what I get back out from a good digital system. With analog, it was always a bit of a guessing game. You had to guess how much of a head bump you'd get on the bottom (~100 Hz or so) with that particular sound source, and so you tried to compensate going in and hoped that it would come out the way you wanted it to. Same with the highs. With analog tape, the more you play the tape, the more highs you loose. After a month of tracking, overdubs, etc. you could lose a notable amount of top end. And when you EQ analog, you don't want to add highs if you can avoid it, because that tends to emphasize the noise (another analog issue), so you tended to print brighter going in, hoping to compensate for the loss of highs that occurs during the production process - again, hoping that it would be in the ballpark by the time you were mixing it.

 

Noise, distortion and stuff like that are things we've grown accustomed to - that we "expect" to hear, because it was present in the music we grew up with. I don't totally dislike noise and distortion, but I'd rather have the opportunity to determine exactly how much of it I want, and where - and not be forced to accept a predetermined, machine-set amount of it whether I like it or not.

 

Analog does have its positive attributes, and I still use analog tape as a "signal processor" for some things - I do like tape compression. But if I was forced to pick one recording system or the other to use exclusively, it would be digital, hands down.

 

And the Bay City Rollers sold millions of albums.

My main feeling....is and ever will be, the sound. So analog is more "difficult" to set up.

 

"All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get"

-Confucius.

 

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Red Ant wrote:

Methinks quickie is conflating "music" and "sound" - thereby moving the goalposts yet again, and further away.

 

I think we`d all love to have a giant console, 2" tape, 2 huge racks of vintage effects, the space, etc....but that is, unfortunatly, like using tubes in computers. It works, but it`s just too expensive, and too huge.

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Red Ant wrote:

A good laptop actually cannot produce ANY music - you need humans for that. A good laptop (plus a modicum of decent gear) can however allow people access to music-creating abilities hitherto available only to very few. This is a good thing.

 

Yeah.

For us.

('Record Co./Studio' Mafia: RIP)

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Red Ant wrote:

"^ sometimes that isn't an option, for reasons that have little to do with music".

I'm hep, Anton. Been there, done that, T-shirt. Egos, politics, financial reasons, etc could have played a role there in that decision.

Fortunately, I'm in a position to refuse to work that way for quite some time, though. I don't think one is doing someone who can't cut it in a professional environment a favor by artificially correcting their lack of talent. Just my opinion ;)  

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Red Ant wrote:

@Zig - tracking in the studio is the most natural thing to me, it's my comfort zone. I get a little nerves before a gig sometimes, but that only lasts till the opening note, then I'm in the zone again
:)

 

Usually takes me a couple songs to settle into it but I'm a relative newbie at this still! Some people say if there's no nervousness, the show is flat,,,??

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^ not sure i agree. Certainly not for the music I tend to play - being nervous and jumpy isn't usually condusive to having a deep, relaxed pocket. Excitement - yes. nerves - not so much. I suppose if one was playing super aggressive punk or metal, it even ska, where it's ok to rush every beat ;)

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Red Ant wrote:

"tracking in the studio is the most natural thing to me, it's my comfort zone. I get a little nerves before a gig sometimes, but that only lasts till the opening note, then I'm in the zone again :smileyhappy: "

Lol, Anton. Same here after all these years. There's nothing wrong with a minor screw up during a gig once in a while as long as you make up for it a few bars later, either musically or visually.

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Red Ant wrote:

Well, it may not have done the drummer any favors, but the rest if the band were pretty ecstatic
;)

I want to get the CLA Steven Slate drum samples but I have been waiting for the ilok madness to die down with the downtime issues. 

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I kind of knew you'd disagree, Anton :D

And I do plenty of major saves before I'm ready to commit too. But I'd still call that the first mix, unless I'd started from scratch with a radically different approach to the track in the meantime.

For me anyway, the reverbs that I select during the first hour, along with the ballpark EQs, and general feel and design of the mix, are always pretty much done. Once I start fiddling around making major changes, it's either a case of having to start from scratch (mix #2), or having to go back to the beginning of mix #1.

Mix #3 is where I usually start to notice the law of diminishing returns coming into effect.



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gubu wrote:

I kind of knew you'd disagree, Anton
:D

And I do plenty of major saves before I'm ready to commit too. But I'd still call that the first mix, unless I'd started from scratch with a radically different approach to the track in the meantime.


For me anyway, the reverbs that I select during the first hour, along with the ballpark EQs, and general feel and design of the mix, are always pretty much done. Once I start fiddling around making major changes, it's either a case of having to start from scratch (mix #2), or having to go back to the beginning of mix #1.


Mix #3 is where I usually start to notice the law of diminishing returns coming into effect.





No offense intended, but it sounds like simply a lack of experience issue. After a while, you kinda "know" where you went wrong and can go back and usually with relatively minor adjustments effect major improvements.

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^ I would suggest more dynamics and more "scene changes". Perhaps a drum/bass/vocal breakdown in the last verse? Maybe a bridge/middle eight section?

My rule of thumb for pop song construction is Lennon/McCartney. Works for just about any style - I'm really talking about song structure and "story arc". Think of it as a mini-movie - you want to tell a story, build and release tension, etc...

I'm really not much of a songwriter, but you give me a song idea and I can arrange the hell out of it - just ask redEL34 ;)

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Inexperience is one of a multitude of reasons why I'm not a pro. You sure it's not my gear?! :D

I still say that the first couple of sound design ideas are the keepers when mixing though, just like takes. Like you say, once you know where you went wrong, it usually only takes minor adjustments to make major improvements, and I'd call that a single mix/sound design.
But yes, I'll hardly be competing with you guys for jobs any time soon!

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