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Everything posted by littledog

  1. Let's assume that you could spend any reasonable amount for an ideal stage monitoring system for your keyboard. And that it had to be something reasonably portable. What would you buy? The idea is to get something that could be set up in fairly quickly, carried with a hand truck/dolly in one trip from the van, and cost less than $2500. Doesn't have to be stereo, if you aren't someone that demands stereo. If you do think stereo is critical, than by all means recommend a stereo set-up. Could be in the form of a keyboard amp, modified PA rig, or whatever. But it should also be able to survive the rigors of the road. The idea of putting a price and size limit on things is I'm not really interested in people listing a fantasy rig with Fairchild compressors, Pultec EQ's, etc. So while there is no need to limit the choices to only really cheap stuff, try and stay a little realistic as well.
  2. Isn't it somewhat paradoxical to post a thread entitled "Shakira Porn Link", with the content: "If you see a thread entitled Shakira Porn Link don't click on it because it will give you a virus!" Does this mean if we read Phil's warning we now have a virus?
  3. ...or you could just explain it by the fact that some people are basically crabby.
  4. Sometimes you can run into a similar problem with snare tracks. On certain sections of the song, the drummer is using a side stick, and on other sections an open snare hit. You may find that the EQ, reverb settings, compression, etc. are completely different depending on whether it is a side stick section or an open snare part. You could solve this by automating everything, but sometimes I find splitting the track into two seperate tracks is even easier. I put all the side stick sections on snare track "a", and the open snare sections on snare track "b". Now it is very easy to set the volumes, EQ, compression, effects, etc. for the side stick without in any way affecting the open snare, and visa versa. You could easily do the same thing in your situation. Cut all the choruses from the main vocal track and paste them onto their own "chorus only" track. Now you can deal with each section seperately and not have to worry about one affecting the other. It's a whole lot easier than trying to find a compression setting that will eliminate the differences between the sections.
  5. You have to know what to listen for, and some compressor applications are more noticeable than others. For instance, if you were using compression to add sustain to an electric bass, that should be pretty obvious to your ears. But let's say you are using compression to keep a vocal more present in a mix. You solo the vocal track and listen with and without the compressor. Hmmm - hard to hear the difference? But now take the same vocal and listen with the rest of the mix. On the uncompressed vocal, there may be a soft part where it gets drowned out by other instruments. Now listen to the compressed vocal - it might sound pretty much the same, except that when you get to that soft part, magically the vocal seems to stay audible! Congratulations! You just heard a compressor doing what it was supposed to do!
  6. Originally posted by seaneldon talk about REALLY missing the mark there. the question was how much i work in a MONTH. my answer was 100+. before that, i stated that thursday was the only day i was off that week. doesn't mean i worked 100 hours in a week. not that i haven't done that in the past. Oops!!! Well, I said maybe I was missing something... obviously it was reading the original question! Makes a lot more sense now. Even a lazy fat-ass like me can handle 100 hours a month!
  7. Originally posted by seaneldon today's the only day this week that i'm not at the studio. 100+ 100+ hour per week? Wow! How do you do it? That's 17 hours per day, six days a week! Maybe I'm missing something here, but assuming you need an hour each day to eat, shower, brush your teeth, move your bowels, etc., that means you never get more than six hours sleep, and have almost zero time (and energy) to develop and or maintain any personal relationships, have any kind of sports or fitness regimen, read a book, see a movie, or otherwise balance your life with any non-music related interests. I guess there's always that one day off per week for some of that, but then there's laundry, food shopping, mowing the lawn, paying bills, etc. that has to be taken care of as well. If you are charging $50 per hour, that's $250,000 per year (with two weeks off for vacation) which is great, but I hope someday you can find a way cut down to a "mere" 60 hours a week (10 hour days) and create time for some other important things you might be missing, before it's too late! From a simple economic perspective, if you are in so much demand that you are working 100 hours per week, then you absolutely should raise your rates. You raise them enough so that, at worst, you off-set any lost client hours with the increased income from the bookings you still get. Wouldn't you rather work 60 hours per week at $80/hour, rather than 100 hours per week at $48/hour? You make exactly the same per week...
  8. Originally posted by rasputin1963 You know, parts of SERGEANT PEPPER'S even sound rugged now that they've been brought to the merciless light of digital. But surely you wouldn't call it the WORST recording ever made, would you???
  9. Also, at least in Pro Tools, putting inserts on an Aux or Group fader is different than on a master fader - on the master fader all inserts are post-fader. So the sound of, say, a compressor put on the master fader will change during a fade out.
  10. I heard "House of the Rising Sun" the other day in the car on an FM oldies station. For some reason, for the first time I noticed how awful the mix was. The loudest element was the organ. At a somewhat audible level behind you could hear the lead vox, cymbals, and bass - in that order. Barely audible was the rest of the drums. If there was any guitar at all, I couldn't hear it with the automobile engine on. It's still a classic song, and at the time it came out, everyone loved it. But it's funny how I listen to thing differently since I've gotten into the production end of the business. I wonder if the radio version I was hearing was some sort of disastrous remaster?
  11. While it may be different in other programs, in Pro Tools lowering the master fader gives EXACTLY the same result as lowering the individual channel faders - which, while counterintuitive to those of us who learned gain staging on analog equipment, is extremely convenient - especially if your individual channel faders already have a lot of automation written to them. The math is the same, and the sound is the same. So it is probably a question you should research with the tech support team of whatever software you are using.
  12. Actually, Marcus, it is entirely possible to play a functioning 7th chord using just the guide tones, which are the 3rd and the 7th. In jazz harmony, one would not necessarily add either the root or the fifth as the next choice, but instead add some variation of the 9th, 13th, and/or 11th. So a C7 chord could be voiced as E natural and Bb. A three chord voicing could add any of the following (to the E and Bb): Db, D natural, or D# (ninths), A natural or Ab (thirteenths), or F# (sharp 11). You may want to try these out sometime. It may not be appropriate for power chord rock, but who knows, it may open up another whole world of colors in your comping. And, as said before, there are many other chord colors, including sus 4, diminished, minor, augmented, and half-diminished. Complex hybrid chords, like Db/C or Db/D increase the color possibilities exponentially.
  13. Sorry, but that is about the most oversimplified and inane explanation of voicings and voice leading I've ever seen. It may have some value for playing the simplest and most primitive styles of rock, but that is about it. Here are just a few things you oversimplified or just plain ignored: Most songs are not written in the key of C. They are written in the key that allows the vocalist to sing it most effectively. Most chords in popular music are not simple triads, but use 7ths, 6ths, suspended fourths, and a variety of upper structure tensions (9ths, 11ths, 13ths). There are also diminished chords and augmented chords. Your discussion also leaves out song that are written in minor keys. Some of the most effective chord voicing is not about putting the root above the third or the fifth, but eliminating the root altogether. Keeping your voicings "small" is far less important than choosing the proper register in which to play a chord that stays out of the way of the bass. But it is also important to stay out of the way of other instruments as well - especially the singer. Musical muddiness can be caused not only by the choice of notes, but by playing in a way that disrupts the basic groove of the song. The comping instrument must be locked into the groove set up by the drums and bass - whether you are playing rhythmically in unison or a counter-rhythm. It can be questioned as to whether any of this is useful to an engineer. I would say that all knowledge of music is useful - especially if the band seems to be at an impasse, and you are able to suggest a musical solution.
  14. I agree with Pharoah that if you know what you are doing, either platform will work well. But I'm more representative of the typical end user who actually knows very little about what goes on underneath the hood. I just want to put the key in the ignition and drive to the beach. For someone like me, I think the Mac is a little easier to use.
  15. Sean, I guess we'll agree to disagree on this. I think it is admirable if someone can do all their recordings limited to 16 tracks, with little or no editing. I think it is also great if you don't ever need to use plug-ins because you are dealing with great musicians and have such good recording technique that you have little use for plug-ins (compression, EQ, auto-tune, reverb). Of course, most tape enthusiasts use some pretty high end outboard processing and effects. So, my take on this is: 1) The cost of track per hour of tape versus hard drive will only continue to grow wider and wider. 2) Many engineers (and clients) can make good use of the editing capabilities of computer based systems. Even many of the projects initially recorded on tape are transferred to DAWs for editing these days. 3) To even begin to get the functionalities of plug-ins, you will have to spend far more on outboard gear, which gives you better quality, but only if you are willing or able to spend for it. 4) To do 32 or 48 track projects you will need either 2" tape or multiple machines. Either one multiplies your media costs. And drastically increases your hardware costs. So, the way I see it, if you love tape - use it. But if you are just starting out and are not sure you want to work within the severe track limitations, would like to be able to edit, or can't afford the add-on costs of good quality outboard hardware, I recommend NOT going the tape route. You can always add on a 16 track machine later to do your drum recording, and dump it into your DAW for editing. There is no right or wrong here... just a need to evaluate what you want to be able to accomplish, and how much it will cost you to get there.
  16. The only problem with Sean's answer is that it is not going to be either/or. The average person is still going to need a computer for other things, including asking questions on Harmony-Central. One would also want some sort of computer and software if one was going to do any kind of editing. And speaking of reels of tape - seen what they cost lately compared to firewire drives? Or worse, break it down in terms of dollars per stereo hour of recording. And then there's the learning curve of care and feeding of a tape machine. So, basically, you buy a tape machine, spend thousands per year on tape, learn to maintain it and set aside the time to actually do it... and then you still are going to need a computer and software anyway. There is only one reason to go the tape route - you love the sound. Justifying it as more economical just doesn't add up, at least to me.
  17. The main advantage of the PC is you can get a more powerful computer for the same amount of money. The main advantage of the Mac is that it is often easier to do certain things, like add peripherals. "Plug in and play" is more than just an advertising slogan - often adding a USB device or Firewire device to a Mac does not involve adding any drivers or changing any internal settings, unlike a PC. And since you mentioned Pro Tools, in the past Digidesign has released newer versions and upgrades for the Mac platform before the PC. It's hard to know how the move of Macs to the Intel chip will affect that.
  18. Beautifully written and informative responses by blue2blue and JM350 that I cannot begin to match! But I would also like to add some other areas where digital has it all over your beloved 4-track cassette. 1) Non-destructive editing and punches: Make a mistake? Hit undo. 2) Speed and ease of backing up sessions: just drag to another hard drive or burn a data CD or DVD. No need to have a second machine to create real-time (i.e. slooooow!) back-ups that were such a pain that, yes, admit it, much of the time we would skip the back-up process altogether. 3) Editing capabilites in general: cut and paste style song arranging, flying in background vocal parts, intonation fixes, splicing without a razor blade, etc. 4) Cost of media: digital drive space is amazingly cheap. 5) Working speed: instant access to any point of a song (no rewinding or fast forward necessary). 6) Sample accurate syncing: Far better and easier than working with SMPTE stripes, which also took up a tape track and had to be isolated from other tracks to avoid some butt-ugly crosstalk. 7) Automation of every conceivable parameter, instant total recall, and accurate repeatability. 8) All the other advantages that I can't think of now 'cause I just got home from a gig and I'm fried.
  19. It's not hard to come up with a name. Just start doing stream of consciousness and see what happens. Example: Doesn't Suck Productions Distortion 'R Us Studios Tiny Sound Recording Square Wave Sound Hip Shop Recording Boring Records Mad Cow Studios Meat Loofa Recording Gravy Boat Sound Groovy Gravy Studios Smoove Groove Productions Punk 'n Funk Recording (I could go on all day - now you try.)
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