Tape & Consoles More Popular

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Tape & Consoles More Popular

Post by akg414 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:00 am

Not sure if this too was discussed in a prior post, but I've been seeing ads for analog consoles "coming back"? I beleive it was a Neve console and some smaller SSL boards. API as well...

Here's a thought: with the popularity of ADATs, DAWs, Pro Tools, and all the other 'digital goodies" being made available over the the past 10 years, there is no doubt an increase of people getting into recording due to the equipment's lower price tags.

And with all these new people becoming engineers or producers in the newer "digital-generation", a lot of these people never really used analog consoles or tape machines. So I'm thinking that there is a curiosity or a desire to learn the other format - and this is (among other things) is driving the demmand for more and more analog equipment.

It's kind of like learning to drive on a fully-automatic car. Once you learn, there is a desire to drive an old (manual) car.

Thoughts?
- Brad

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Post by Ryan Silva » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:33 pm

I hear ya, I was just doing some research on TOFT's new boards, and they look pretty sweet. To answer your question on the trend of the industry, I really couldn?t say, but I can tell you why I am starting to move towards mixing Out of the Box. I have been recording with DAW?s for about 6 years, and have done maybe a couple of projects on tape as an artist. About 4 years ago I was under the belief that I was never going back to tape/console. I attribute this to inexperience, not to say that only the inexperienced use DAW?s, I just found that the better I got as an engineer (i.e. recording it well enough so that you don?t need an EQ and comp on every channel to complete the mix), the more I became interested in analog consoles. I still may never go to ?Tape? but I can see all my mixes going through a console eventfully.
I have some decent Pre?s and Compressors, but I lack any hardware EQ?s. So I was thinking about how much I wanted to spend on a pair of Drawmer or Great River EQ?s, and thought for the cost of about 6 good channels of EQ, I could get a whole 32/8 console.
I think that there will always be people that stay in the box, but as your recordings start to improve in quality I think it natural to fear what a plug-in is doing to your pristine tracks(not that I?ve had any).
"Writing good songs is hard. recording is easy. "

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Post by drumsound » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:46 pm

I'm sure there are a bunch of reasons. Some like Ryan are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding and approach. Some just like to do different things, some are curious. I'm sure some have had an experience different from what they were used to and enjoyed it. Many are 'searching for that sound.'

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Post by inverseroom » Mon Jan 07, 2008 3:49 pm

It all sounds good to me...I bought a mixer to have fun.

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Post by Studiodawg » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:25 am

I recently took 16 outs from my Presonus Firestudio/Digimax FS (Samplitude on laptop)...fed that to a Mackie 32*8 and did a quick mix to hear if I liked going out to a console...holy shit...yep. Now I'm scheming to set up my "big DAW" on the output side of the mixer and mixdown to it. Original tracks are 44.1/24bit and I'm thinking about having the mixdowns at 88.2/24bit...then do any finishing touches before finally outputting a 44.1/16bit CD-R...analog mixers are like reamping for ITB guys (I guess). I am honored to say I started my career on mixing boards and tape and am also happy to say that the rediscovery of using a console is like the tooth fairy bringing a present.

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Post by akg414 » Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:50 am

Studiodawg wrote:I recently took 16 outs from my Presonus Firestudio/Digimax FS (Samplitude on laptop)...fed that to a Mackie 32*8 and did a quick mix to hear if I liked going out to a console...holy shit...yep. Now I'm scheming to set up my "big DAW" on the output side of the mixer and mixdown to it. Original tracks are 44.1/24bit and I'm thinking about having the mixdowns at 88.2/24bit...then do any finishing touches before finally outputting a 44.1/16bit CD-R...analog mixers are like reamping for ITB guys (I guess). I am honored to say I started my career on mixing boards and tape and am also happy to say that the rediscovery of using a console is like the tooth fairy bringing a present.
Amen to that! I did the same thing with my Pro Tools and my 24x8. I ended up getting an 24E expander and some more DBX compressors. I even went as far as to pick up 3 ADATS (they're SOOOO cheap now) so I can have the actual "wait-time" due to rewinding. To me, it gives the performer a brief rest to collect their thoughts. For my band situation, we all use Pro Tools which is awesome - and it allows us to collaborate and add to a session. But for my own personal stuff, I'm using this ADAT/Mackie configuration. Loosing the ability to "see" your music (waveforms) is a plus in my opinion. It make you use your ears only.

Reading Geoff Emmerck's book on how he recorded the Beatles with 4-tracks and all that old tube gear, didn't help me stick to a DAW-only system either!! :wink:
- Brad

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Post by everydaymystic » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:49 pm

Tape will always exist as a viable medium to record great sounding tracks. Conventional mixing boards will always exist because they can sound amazing and, lets be honest, they look real cool. But i think that these are the tools of a recording machine that has grown tired. Pro Tools and its relative ease of use is putting the power back in the hands of musicians. Which i believe is a good thing. There are arguable drawbacks you can levy against recording in a digital environment. You can say that "this" is better or "that" is the right way something is recorded. And those would be opinions. But the truth of the matter is that songs are the most important element missing from music today. The medium used to capture the performance is irrelevant if you don't have a decent song. The resurgence of tape (if it does in fact exist) is its moment of lucidity just before it takes its last gasp. :kotzen:

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Post by chris harris » Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:51 pm

I don't know if the last post was supposed to be funny... but, I LMAO!

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Re: Tape & Consoles More Popular

Post by Scodiddly » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:01 pm

bradjacob wrote:Not sure if this too was discussed in a prior post, but I've been seeing ads for analog consoles "coming back"? I beleive it was a Neve console and some smaller SSL boards. API as well...
I'm not going to disagree with the premise, but...

"I've been seeing ads for hula-hoops 'coming back'" :lol:

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Post by akg414 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:26 am

everydaymystic wrote:Tape will always exist as a viable medium to record great sounding tracks. Conventional mixing boards will always exist because they can sound amazing and, lets be honest, they look real cool. But i think that these are the tools of a recording machine that has grown tired. Pro Tools and its relative ease of use is putting the power back in the hands of musicians. Which i believe is a good thing. There are arguable drawbacks you can levy against recording in a digital environment. You can say that "this" is better or "that" is the right way something is recorded. And those would be opinions. But the truth of the matter is that songs are the most important element missing from music today. The medium used to capture the performance is irrelevant if you don't have a decent song. The resurgence of tape (if it does in fact exist) is its moment of lucidity just before it takes its last gasp. :kotzen:


Everydaymystic -

I would have to disagree that this is tape's "Swan-Song". Of course I haven't got my arms around the actual metrics, but there is a huge number of audio professionals who either still cut to tape, or mix their digital tracks down to a tape format before shipping them off to mastering.

I do however agree with you 100% about today's lack of song writing and musicianship. But if we peel the onion, we can see that this is a complex topic. But I'll drill down a little further:

Song writing - it is my opinion that song-writing suffers a strategic gap because many bands out there are "writing" their songs in Pro Tools. (Pro Tools will be the example I'll use for DAWs). It seems there is a trend to sit down at the computer and noodle around with the vast amount of toys (I'm sorry - tools) and come up with material that way. To me, this is where musical sincerity is lost. The emotional leakage is lost. (Exhibit A: St. Anger - Metallica). Songwriting (to me) is something that needs to done before one hits the studio.

Musicianship - I'm sorry, but it's true. There's a trend today of bands going into the studio and giving poor performances. They even forgo tuning their drums correctly. Why? Because there's a digital "tool" to replace the sound anyway. These so-called tools (that we "need") let us grid-edit, quantize, auto-tune and we're good to go. They even have guitars that tune themselves. Thumbs-up Gibson, how very "clever"...

The fact is that there are more and more tools coming out everyday that automates and removes the musician or engineer or even the audience - from their respective roles. These tools hide behind the guise that their purpose is to free up a musician's time so they can "focus" on writing or playing. Or so the engineer can do things "simpler" or "faster" (and I really like) "become more creative". I'm sorry, but don't most people agree that having less of something makes one more creative or inventive?

And for what? Was there ever, a big enough problem that engineers were "not recording fast enough"? Were musicians ever struggling to find enough time to write or play properly? Was there ever a problem so big that we need all these tools? Not really. But companies who make and sell products (for your money) - will lead you to believe that's the case. And all this so-called technology has even trickled down to the audience. They've removed the ritual of stepping into a record store and looking at albums or shopping for some new music. I myself have a million great memories of hanging out in record stores, meeting other bands or signed artists, even hooking up with chicks!! But instead we can simply download poorly quality 128 bit MP3 files! (but I digress...)

Analog consoles and tape require (arguably) more work to use. But at the end of the day, does digital sound better than analog? I think the answer can be found in the vast number of digital tools that try to reproduce the sound of tape. If you were to ask a tiger-team of top engineers/producers, I think you'd find that they use (and prefer) to mix on a real console and record to tape at some stage of the recording process.

Today's digital equipment is so cheap and readily available, that it enables the masses to set up a studio and record their own music. And no doubt, there are "laziness-causing" side effects as I've gone over.


Look, at the end of the day, digital sounds great. And so does analog. but I think there's more of a desire to either (be on) or (sound like) analog.

Thoughts?
- Brad

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Post by akg414 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:16 am

Ryan Silva wrote:I hear ya, I was just doing some research on TOFT's new boards, and they look pretty sweet. To answer your question on the trend of the industry, I really couldn?t say, but I can tell you why I am starting to move towards mixing Out of the Box. I have been recording with DAW?s for about 6 years, and have done maybe a couple of projects on tape as an artist. About 4 years ago I was under the belief that I was never going back to tape/console. I attribute this to inexperience, not to say that only the inexperienced use DAW?s, I just found that the better I got as an engineer (i.e. recording it well enough so that you don?t need an EQ and comp on every channel to complete the mix), the more I became interested in analog consoles. I still may never go to ?Tape? but I can see all my mixes going through a console eventfully.
I have some decent Pre?s and Compressors, but I lack any hardware EQ?s. So I was thinking about how much I wanted to spend on a pair of Drawmer or Great River EQ?s, and thought for the cost of about 6 good channels of EQ, I could get a whole 32/8 console.
I think that there will always be people that stay in the box, but as your recordings start to improve in quality I think it natural to fear what a plug-in is doing to your pristine tracks(not that I?ve had any).
I agree totally. Even though I love the sound of tape, I don't have a tape machine (yet), so I record to a digital medium. Be it Pro Tools or ADAT. In my configuration, I'm trying to get back to a more manual process. Using ADATs as my "tape-machines" and a Mackie 8 bus with outboard gear. I still love Pro Tools (don't get me wrong) but the meat and potatoes of what I've used Pro Tools for was digital capture of tracks and editing. I can import my ADAT tracks into Pro Tools and edit them when needed. But for mixing (and tracking) I like using the console because for me, it's easier to dial up EQ and levels. Plus it limits the number of EQs - thus requiring me to use better mic technique to achieve better tracks to work with. But this is me and my personal desire. I LIKE to record. I LIKE to turn the knobs and move faders - as a lot of people do. The reliability is amazing. And there's no boot-up time, it's ready as soon as you turn it on :wink:

Again I use the stick-shift example - you can buy a modern car with all the luxuries, but some still prefer a stick shift with manual mirrors and door locks, for that sole reason - it's all manual.
- Brad

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Post by audiogeek1 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:42 am

I tend to do a lot of mixing inside the box. I do mostly Post Production and Mastering anymore. But when I mix music it is in the box because of the long distance issues of me being one place and my clients being somewhere else. I do this so I can recall my mix.

A few months ago I was working with a band and we were just finished tracking. I printed the mix I had going on the analog console back to Pro Tools to make some ref copies for the clients and myself to see if we were really done tracking etc... Well when we decided to get down to mixing we went back to my place which currently has Pro Tools with outboard gear but no console other than the mackie 1202 doorstop that is being used as a paper weight currently. Anyway I got a mix going inside the box the mix ended up being similar to the mix I had on the analog console but lacked some of the emotion of the consoles mix. I do not know what it was but it was something. The final mix I did was more pollished and had a little more punch and clarity to it. But the rough mix from the console was what we chose to use on 6 of the 10 songs and on 2 of the other songs we edited in the bridges from the console mix into the Pro Tools mix.

I think what I am trying to say is that mixing with a console you are able to trust your first opinion much better. I can have a great sounding mix going in about an hour or 2 on a console that just needs a little refinement.

Just a few more thoughts.

Mike

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Post by drumsound » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:25 am

bradjacob wrote:Again I use the stick-shift example - you can buy a modern car with all the luxuries, but some still prefer a stick shift with manual mirrors and door locks, for that sole reason - it's all manual.
I use a console, a multitrack tape deck (and a RADAR) and a stereo tape deck. I also drive a car with a manual tranmission, without power windows or locks. It's a convertible without a power top even...

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Post by chris harris » Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:32 am

I walk everywhere. And, if I want to hear a song, I just have to remember it the best that I can. ;)

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Post by akg414 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:38 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:I walk everywhere. And, if I want to hear a song, I just have to remember it the best that I can. ;)
LMFAO!!! :lol: :lol:
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