Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

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losthighway
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Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by losthighway » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:04 am

I had a laugh at myself yesterday. I was dialing a little bit of the mid out of a distorted rhythm guitar track and looking at the EQ plugin reminded me of the famous 'smile curve' eq setting. Suddenly I remembered self-producing my band's demo EP in 2000. My default guitar EQ setting was low shelf turned up to nearly the maximum, high shelf turned up nearly to the maximum. Possibly the most gratuitous and violent EQ a person could do (except maybe the cut everything but a narrow mid for AM radio effect).

It's no wonder that when producing a friend's hardcore band shortly after they complained that every time the guitarist palm muted it sounded like the speakers on their boom box were going to blow!

Can you remember anything awful you did in your early years when you didn't know any better?

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:12 am

I <gasp> used plug-in presets.

Now I might start with a preset, but I never just use it as is.

If you happened to get your TapeOp mag and dug into it this month, I think Richard Chycki gave a perfect example - it's like wearing a white shirt in a room full of people wearing white shirts... :lol:
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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:38 am

Recorded a vocal with a cardioid mic facing the wrong direction.

Fun times trying to fix it later on.

Now I am paranoid about mic direction, to where if I have not used a mic in a long time,
I open their manual to make sure I know where the "front towards enemy" is. LOL.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by floid » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:40 am

2000ish. Had just recorded my ep on a boss br8. Didn't have a computer myself, so I got a friend who knew computers and stuff to help me get it on to cd. First we tried to use his standalone zip drive to get the files onto his laptop. When that didn't work, went into the mic input. Using whatever little basic audio capture app he had.
"Mix doesn't sound right," he says.
"You're right."
So we spent a hard night drinking and remixing everything on his laptop speakers until it sounded just right.
And burned a spindle of CDs to have as merch for the show I was playing the next night.

What was that little 2 channel soundcard that was popular at that point, the Layla, Sadie, something like that? Bought one of those and installed on my drummer's computer posthaste. And proceeded to make all manner of terrible master mixes, but none as truly godawful as that first one.
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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by Magnetic Services » Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:03 am

Recorded an entire song to tape with the guitar mic on a busted speaker. Sounded phasey as hell, but the take was magical and there was too much bleed to replace it. Always make sure the speaker you're miking works!

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by digitaldrummer » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:09 am

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:38 am
Recorded a vocal with a cardioid mic facing the wrong direction.
doh. I did that once too. I had disassembled a mic and put it together backward. wondered why the track seemed so "roomy". :roll:
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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by kslight » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:13 am

Go to music school. /end thread

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by mjau » Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:23 am

Early 2000's, and self-recorded my band's first ep. Got the new-fangled Ozone plugin to try, and loved the limiter and maximizer on the mix buss, so I went on to limit and maximize every track.

Then every buss.

And then the mix buss.

I won the loudness wars with that one. It wasn't even close to good, but it was a straight shot of loud, digitally-clipped hash, with enough phasing issues to make a pirate seasick.

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by drumsound » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:11 pm

I got you all beat. DIdn't have the master record button (just the channel record) on the 2". Brought the band in for playback after several "lets do another" and there was NOTHING on the tape.


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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by winky dinglehoffer » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:11 pm

Nick Sevilla wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:38 am
Recorded a vocal with a cardioid mic facing the wrong direction.
One time I was recording an electric bass track with what I thought was the mic set up for that purpose. Turned out I had accidentally plugged in an MD21 that was sitting about 8 feet away from the amp.
I used the track anyway.

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by losthighway » Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:30 pm

floid wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:40 am
2000ish. Had just recorded my ep on a boss br8. Didn't have a computer myself, so I got a friend who knew computers and stuff to help me get it on to cd. First we tried to use his standalone zip drive to get the files onto his laptop. When that didn't work, went into the mic input. Using whatever little basic audio capture app he had.
"Mix doesn't sound right," he says.
"You're right."
I just listened to a podcast about Joy Division. Their 'manager' buddy was in charge of dubbing their demo tape and sending it to every major label they could find an address for. They discovered after he mailed all of them out that he did a boombox speaker, to other boombox mic dub for each one, in some you could hear his mom telling him to come get some tea.

They were not signed on the strength of that tape.

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by floid » Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:05 am

losthighway wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:30 pm
floid wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:40 am
2000ish. Had just recorded my ep on a boss br8. Didn't have a computer myself, so I got a friend who knew computers and stuff to help me get it on to cd. First we tried to use his standalone zip drive to get the files onto his laptop. When that didn't work, went into the mic input. Using whatever little basic audio capture app he had.
"Mix doesn't sound right," he says.
"You're right."
I just listened to a podcast about Joy Division. Their 'manager' buddy was in charge of dubbing their demo tape and sending it to every major label they could find an address for. They discovered after he mailed all of them out that he did a boombox speaker, to other boombox mic dub for each one, in some you could hear his mom telling him to come get some tea.

They were not signed on the strength of that tape.
Ha. Yeah I had a very similar experience a couple years ago, which I believe I've told here before. A client couldn't figure out how to transfer/convert the rough mix files from the thumb drive I'd sent him home with, on to his phone, so he held his phone mic up to his computer monitor and "transferred" them that way. And then after listening to them a few days, decided we needed to retrack everything because he didn't like how things were sounding. Naturally, I only found out about this at the end of the redux session when he tried to "transfer" the new roughs in the same manner.
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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:51 am

losthighway wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:04 am
self-producing my band's demo EP in 2000
floid wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:40 am
2000ish.
mjau wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:23 am
Early 2000's
It was a dark time. :D

2001, my band had recorded our second record on my venerable otari mx5050, I'd just gotten an m-audio delta 1010, so I finally had 8 inputs to the computer, and this was gonna be the first record I mixed ITB. I was excited!

First step is to tranfer everything in. Hooked otari up to delta directly, transferred the tracks for one song. Freaked out. These levels look so low! The tracks are peaking at like -16! OH NO! I'm not using all the bits! I'm a conscientious engineer who cares deeply about fidelity, this is not acceptable!

Clearly I need a way to get some more gain. So I stick the mackie 24x8 between the otari and the delta and crank up the channel gains. For that sweet mackie tone. Get everything into the computer just shy of 0dbfs.

Spent the next year tying to mix and wondering why everything seemed real grainy and harsh. :roll:

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Re: Truth time- incredibly dumb things you did when you didn't know any better

Post by chrisinthewest » Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:34 am

So many hard lessons... :roll: :D

The one that really bothers me still: I didn’t get that fatheads ribbon mics were figure 8. Overheads it was like a tile room from the ceiling reflections, impossible to chill the cymbals out or get detail with EQ. When next victims wanted to record live, I decided to use them on guitar amps, facing the drummer. Guitars became premixed drum-room-guitar tracks. I thought for sure I patched things wrong for a few weeks or months. :oops:

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