Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

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joel hamilton
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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by joel hamilton » Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:30 am

bluepxl wrote : " love you as well, joel! and i've always admired a lot of the recordings you've worked on... especially sparklehorse. i really love having you guys around here though, because i know i can always totally trust in your experience and knowledge. "

Thank you for saying those kind words, my man!

Sparklehorse: great band, fun to record.

Mark found a silvertone mic at the dump before coming to record with me.

We wound up duct taping it to the bass, right on the body, and we got this giant hoffner sound out of a P-bass.

That microphone was free. From the dump and free.

I am a Dump snob.

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wing
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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by wing » Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:34 am

Joel Hamilton wrote:bluepxl wrote : " love you as well, joel! and i've always admired a lot of the recordings you've worked on... especially sparklehorse. i really love having you guys around here though, because i know i can always totally trust in your experience and knowledge. "

Thank you for saying those kind words, my man!

Sparklehorse: great band, fun to record.

Mark found a silvertone mic at the dump before coming to record with me.

We wound up duct taping it to the bass, right on the body, and we got this giant hoffner sound out of a P-bass.

That microphone was free. From the dump and free.

I am a Dump snob.
didn't you guys also utilize a wire recorder on like the last track or something? i remember hearing that and totally loving it. what can you tell me about that experience?

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by joel hamilton » Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:39 am

The real last track or the "babies on the sun" part of it.

I think the "babies on the sun" thing is just mark playing the optigan.

You could ask pscottm if he is ever around.

A lot of the stuff was surprisingly normal techniques applied to talented weirdos.

:)

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by gravy boat » Fri Oct 03, 2003 11:46 am

The thing to remember is: we are all recording music. It's the music that is important, not the way that it ws recorded. Gear = tools. Tools get the job done. It is easier to produce great sounding records using fabulous gear. It doesn't make the music better. It makes the process of capturing the music easier.

The point is, we all basically do the same thing. How we do it is different. I just hate it when one of our pro bretheren belittles someone because they can't afford better gear. Likewise, gear-envy shouldn't result in a sort of reverse descrimination neve bashing.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. A good song is a good, whether it ws recorded on 24 track 2" or on an answering machine.
I'm a drinking man with a guitar problem.

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I'm Painting Again
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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by I'm Painting Again » Fri Oct 03, 2003 12:13 pm

Joel Hamilton wrote:Mark found a silvertone mic at the dump before coming to record with me.

We wound up duct taping it to the bass, right on the body, and we got this giant hoffner sound out of a P-bass.

That microphone was free. From the dump and free.

I am a Dump snob.
What was Mark doing hanging around a dump? I find that excellent.
Yeah. And I would have to agree that Sparklehorse's sound is fantastic.
Props to you..I did not know that was you till now..Great work on the sound and the Music speeks for itself..I heard he recorded an entire album in his car..is this true?

I would love to know about the car thing if its true..

you dirty dumpster gear snob

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by ahmedgarcia » Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:00 pm

How about if the world had a Universal Room where all of the great gear lives and everybody could record in that room with all of the bad ass gear. That would be Ok, wouldn't. But then everyone would sound the same.

hhhhmmmmm.

Todays radio sounds the same. Maybe someone already had that idea.

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by percussion boy » Fri Oct 03, 2003 2:44 pm

SKY_AT_NO_NOON wrote:I also think that its possible to get stuck in the trap of spending on a bunch of cheaper gear rather than a more minimal setup of higher quality gear. I think people underestimate what you can do with say two nice mics and pres and a 1/2" 4trk or 1"8trk, or quality digital, etc.
This is where I'm ending up more and more. Having someone say, "Cheap outboard EQ [for example] is a bad idea, buddy" can actually be really helpful.

I think the other school is valid too, though, if it's an informed choice: "I know I'm cutting corners, but to record the bands I record, with my skimpy wallet, I need a bunch of mics, effects, and preamp channels, RIGHT NOW."

Depends what the recording situations you're in call for.

I like The Return of Soundguy too.

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by toothpastefordinner » Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:14 pm

Speaking as someone who has slowly slowly worked up from recording on 4-track with radio shack mics to an okay setup (digital tape decks, Mackie board, some mid-level pres/compressors, and a nice assortment of cheap stuff to make things sound crazy) I think it's helpful to know what the "real" stuff sounds like in comparison to what you are working with. Every time you get something that's better, it feels like you just climbed out of a cardboard box into the bright sunshine. That is what it felt like to me every time I got a nice compressor or nice pre-amp.

Also, I don't know how other people "build" their studios, but for me it has been a very long five or six year process of buying and selling mostly cheap stuff, trying to find things I liked, and recording all the while. I just record myself and I've never been in a situation where I have said, "Okay, I have $3000, how do I spend it?" It's more like, "Oh, there is this mic on sale for $200, I am gonna sell these other things I have and get it."

I think it takes recording with a lot of cheap gear and a little bit of nice gear to realize, "Hey, you know, this would all sound better if I sold these six cheap compressors and got one nice one. And ditched these cheap digital reverbs and these noisy spring reverbs and got one that was nice." The realization that one should have gotten a nice 8-track, a small-but-nice mixer, and some good mics only comes after struggling with the limitations of the bad recorder and the bad mixer and the bad mics. It makes me want to cry when I think of all the time I spent and all the tricks I tried to get a triple-tracked vocal done with an SM-57 using my Mackie pres and Mackie EQ to even be understandable, much less sound good... for almost every song I've recorded that way. Ouch.


drew
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joeysimms
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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by joeysimms » Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:22 pm

I actually just re-read the original post and really can't figure out what the fuck it's about.

an attempt to dictate gear taste and implications over choosing certain gear on a public forum?

like telling everyone in the bar why budweiser sux, why it will never taste like boddingtons, blah blah, ? wouldn't that get your ass kicked in real life? wouldn't people think you're a snob to march around the bar giving winded explanations of how cheap beer's engineered to be bad, and at the same time say, "don't have an attitude about my boddingtons"?

Granted, some will be sipping their budweiser and asking it just doesn't taste like that boddingtons they once had, but fucking-A, it only takes 1 or 2 dollars more to find out, not tens of thousands, like the cute neve console mentioned in another thread. is it really that much better? does gear really cost that much more when it's built to sound good?

I haven't read one post on this board, or any of the old TapeOp boards, that actually displays any of this supposed punk rock guilt over quality equipment. It might seem silly that people are asking for the moon when they only have $200 to spend, but it's never snobby..

.

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by soundguy » Fri Oct 03, 2003 3:50 pm

joey, perhaps we arent reading the same threads...

nitrogen beers and co2 beers definitley tend to taste different, especially comparing one made from rice and one not made from rice, but you know, whatever.

To answer your question, gear designed to sound good does in fact cost that much more money just in parts alone, lets not count the designers and staff fees. An IC used to balance a differential output can cost in the range, when purchasing in bulk, from a few cents for the crap that is in most prosumer hardware to a few bucks if you get the nice chips that everyone seems to like. To use a transformer to balance your output, if you buy in bulk to do the same thing can cost anywhere from $20 to over $100 per. If you have input transformers on your mic pre, line input, output transformers on your line out, interstage transformers etc, you can easily hit up over $500 per channel just on the cost of the iron in your signal path. And thats just transformers. Go count the amount of transformers in an 80 series neve, its almost to the point of overkill. Hard to imagine how anyone could have afforded one of those things new. You can spend $100k on an old console, but if you were to fabricate the thing yourself youd spend about the same money doing it as a one off affair if you built it to the same specification. This is the primary reason I think why those consoles tend to hover around that price point, it would cost you that much to make it yourself if you were to build it exactly like that. I think the new daking console hovers around $100k depending on how you order it, prices are on their website.

dave

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joeysimms
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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by joeysimms » Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:18 pm

Thanks for math lesson, but I'm still trying to figure out the point of the original post? And does the rnc fall into the category of something never designed to be any good? it's cheap, right?

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by soundguy » Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:30 pm

joey if youd like to have a dialogue please feel free to email me, Im no so interested in publishing yet another pissing match on this board. Too much of that crap around here and THAT was the point of my original post.

dave

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by joeysimms » Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:44 pm

shit, emailing you would mean I cared.. besides, breaking down just what makes a cheap piece of product like the rnc inherently inferior to higher end stuff wouldn't be a pissing match at all. I'd love to know, especially since I won't be able to a/b them myself for quite some time.

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by perhapsthemoon » Fri Oct 03, 2003 6:31 pm

2 Simple Truths:

When it's hot as shit outside and the sun has been beating down on you, NOTHING is better than a cold beer. And personally, I don't give a crap if it's Boddingtons, Bud, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or fooking Old Style. As long as it's cold.

When it comes to gear, yes- there's noticeable sonic differences spanning the products in all price ranges. Of course there is. Sometimes those differences are really extreme too. But ultimately, if you can capture the true essence of what you're recording and present it in an inspired and musical way, then it really doesn't matter what $6000 mic or $85 tube pre the source went through. If the vibe of it all comes across and it touches the listener, then it's a job well done- and done correctly. If it's good, then it's good.

Tastes are subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Blah blah blah.

Just hit record, ok?
*tap tap*

is this thing on?

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Re: Gear Elitism and Reactionary Guilt.

Post by chris harris » Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:34 pm

physics and technology??

I think that music is fun.

and, I for one am not necessarily striving for for that perfect equation, iron mojo sound that in the end is the holy grail and according to you guys, what EVERYONE should be striving for.

having frustration or resentment, jealousy, or feelings of superiority towards another person because of what gear they use is just dumb.

the words "elitist" and "superior" sure show up alot in this thread..

evolve.

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