Sound City film, lots of tapeoppery

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losthighway
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Sound City film, lots of tapeoppery

Post by losthighway » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:42 pm

I just watched Dave Grohl's Sound City film and it gave me about a million "hmm..."s that seem tapeop relevant.

-After talking about how amazing the Sound City room is for drum resonance you hear a bunch of Fleetwood Mac with really dead drums.

-The tape vs. pro tools argument comes up again and fortunately lands on the importance of talent, and vibe over all else.

-Dave Grohl is a lucky dude to get that Neve.

-Butch Vig loves that fancy new Bock microphone on people's voices.

-Taylor Hawkins, and Dave seem pretty into recording with those unusual Zildian cymbals that have a lot of holes cut out of them.

-Paul McCartney is about the coolest guy around.

-Rick Springfield sounds better with the Foo Fighters then he ever did.

-Most of the first Rage Against the Machine record is cut live without headphones, and a bunch of friends being an audience in the room.

-It's weird to see a studio culture where it's a typical situation to have a gorgeous, sassy secretary that all of the rocker dudes flirt with.

-Trent Reznor, Josh Homme, and Dave Grohl should make a full length record.

Cool movie. I think most people on here would get some enjoyment out of it.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:47 pm

I highly recommend you read "The Making of Rumours" which was the album After Sound City. They mention a whole lot of the drum sounds.

Ken Caillat engineered it. Moslty at the Record Plant in Sausalito.

They wanted dead drum sounds back then, I guess cause they were so tired of live boomy drum sounds for decades prior.

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Re: Sound City film, lots of tapeoppery

Post by roscoenyc » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:08 am

losthighway wrote: -It's weird to see a studio culture where it's a typical situation to have a gorgeous, sassy secretary that all of the rocker dudes flirt with.
Number One Reason to miss the 80's!

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agershon
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Re: Sound City film, lots of tapeoppery

Post by agershon » Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:41 pm

What I got out of the film: Great records happen when musicians go to a studio and GET TO WORK.

You got to the office to do your job.
You go to the bank to cash a check.
You go to the gym to run on the treadmill.
You go to a recording studio to record music.

The computer in my garage/studio is used for a lot of different things (not all of which I'll admit here). So, even if I plan to sit down and record music I'm distracted by a bunch of other possible time-sucks. And it's nearly impossible to coordinate the four busy schedules of my band-mates to be here with me.

Indie bands don't have the financial luxury to spend two weeks at a recording studio, away from distractions, with one ONE SINGULAR FOCUS. To record a killer record.

I believe this is one of the toughest obstacles for indie bands to overcome.

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Post by fossiltooth » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Nicely said Agershon.

I want to like this movie, but have been secretly afraid it will end up being an ode to diamond-studded buggy whips.

But if they talk so much about the people and the focus and the dedication and the process and the music and the environments, then I would probably dig it. I should watch.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:39 am

the movie's definitely not perfect, the whole last segment is pretty superfluous, but i think anyone on this board would totally enjoy it. i mean c'mon, it's a movie about a recording studio, hosted by the most affable guy in rock.

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Post by earth tones » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:33 pm

Are there any other films, specifically about audio engineering, studios or legendary manufacturing companies, that would come as highly recommended?

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Re: Sound City film, lots of tapeoppery

Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:40 pm

Just watched it. All the comments here are amazingly on point.
losthighway wrote: -After talking about how amazing the Sound City room is for drum resonance you hear a bunch of Fleetwood Mac with really dead drums.
Haha -- Yes! That stood out for me as well.

"Man. this room has such a nice decay. All that sound in-between the notes is what matters Such great resonance in here..." PSYCH!! *immediately cut to the driest, deadest sounding drums in the universe, which could have been recorded anywhere* "Yeah, we totally went there for the unique drum sound." Wha??

Also: the new Fear/Lee Ving track was surprisingly good. Probably the best, weirdest bit of music on there. And quite possibly the only song in the entire movie that Kurt Cobain would have liked.

The Reznor/Homme thing was pretty neat too. Could work nicely as the soundtrack to a nature documentary about nebulas or black holes or something. And yeah, I could have taken or left the last 15-20 minutes.

I enjoyed it overall, and I can understand why the purchase/rental is a little on the pricy side. Small market for this kind of film. The only thing that bugged me a little bit was the sound mix. It was all over the place. Kind of embarrassing at times. I had to ride the remote like crazy. I never have to do that with a movie.

Otherwise, totally worth a watch. And yes -- Grohl comes across as a real mensch in an ADD surfer-dude kind of way. Very likable. I would totally have fresh pots with him any day.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:07 am

earth tones wrote:Are there any other films, specifically about audio engineering, studios or legendary manufacturing companies, that would come as highly recommended?
Not too engineeringly, but with tons of cool history.

Tommy Dowd's The Language of Music.

http://www.thelanguageofmusic.com/
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Post by agershon » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:02 pm

Clips from Letterman last night:

Dave sits down with Dave to talk Sound City Movie http://bit.ly/ZflwD0

Sound City players featuring Stevie Nicks LIVE ? Watch "You Can't Fix This" http://youtu.be/IArjEzvUOo0

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Post by kingtoad » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:35 pm

I quite enjoyed it; the enthusiasm was heartwarming.

I do agree that the last 15-20 minutes seemed a bit superfluous and I DEFINITELY agree that the audio mix was terrible - the dialogue was really quiet and the music was rediculously loud. It was like they were trying to fool the viewer into thinking the music was EVEN MORE AWESOME than it was. "Wow, listen to how fucking loud this music is, man. Must be that Neve board."

Not great when you have a 6 week old baby asleep next to you. I felt like I was spending more time changing the volume than watching the film.

It was good despite this, though, which I guess is a credit to the subject matter and the enthusiasm behind and in front of the camera.
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Post by Leopold » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:26 pm

This was one of my client's facebook posts:
"Just checked out the Sound City documentary. A 30 minute story about a studio, followed by an hour log jam session by bloated old f*cks pining for the days when only the privileged few were allowed to record albums. Massive thumbs down"

My thing about the whole "drum room sound" thing is that, you barely hear the room sound in most of the records they mention... Nevermind...the room is barely in the mix..
And I'm sure that Neve sounds great but that "mojo" piece of gear myth is exactly that, a myth. The more records I make, the less and less important the gear becomes, but I guess they have to make it like the Lord of the Rings or something...the Journey of the Neve...

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Post by fossiltooth » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:25 pm

Hahahaha. I wouldn't be quite so negative as your client Eddie, but I think a lot of what you're saying is pretty spot-on. Still, to be fair, the "privileged few" they were alluding to in the movie were "people who were good at playing music," not "rich people."

If anything, these days almost no one but rich people get to make full-fledged studio albums -- or get their albums heard on any kind of scale for that matter. But that wasn't the case back in the day. Labels used to invest in working and middle-class musicians like The Beatles, Hendrix, Presley, Cash and Cobain. But now there's no incentive to do so. (Remember: Grohl himself certainly wasn't rich growing up. Though he certainly is now!)

Larry Crane has a great review of it here, somewhat along your lines, although much more forgiving:
I have an ok review of it out as well. Slightly more diplomatic still, but I couldn't help but share some of the same concerns under the surface
I still stand by the statement that it can be inspiring, and is certainly worth watching -- Even if you don't agree with everything it's on about. Which many of us won't.

The more distance I get from it, the more I come to think that the best title may have been "Dave Grohl Gets a New Console: The Movie." But in hindsight, I still think it was $6 well spent. (And that they could have chopped off the last 20 minutes or so.)

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Post by agershon » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:17 am

Details aside, I was inspired by the movie.

I came to my band after watching and demanded we quit recording tracks separately, at home in front of our own computers, both engineer and performer.

Last weekend we all set up in my garage and hit record. We nailed drum/bass/piano tracks for two songs in under 3 hours and IT WAS FUN.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:27 am

agershon wrote:Details aside, I was inspired by the movie.

I came to my band after watching and demanded we quit recording tracks separately, at home in front of our own computers, both engineer and performer.

Last weekend we all set up in my garage and hit record. We nailed drum/bass/piano tracks for two songs in under 3 hours and IT WAS FUN.
That is the whole point of making music, isn't it?
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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