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Tui
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806166 - 23/01/10 04:54 PM
Quote narcoman:

Stick a VM1 up infront of just about anything and it sounds "finished".




Ahhhhhh, yes, the VM1. High-end stuff indeed.





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dmills



Joined: 25/08/06
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806206 - 23/01/10 08:22 PM
A slightly different take on this:

I mainly play in the live sound game, and have some reasonably good gear available (Nexo Alpha E rig in a good room), but recently had occasion to mix a pub band on a pub stage with decidedly low/mid line gear, the difference was probably not massive to the audience (Modulo the dammed guitar being too loud for the room!), but it took me about 3 times longer to get the result.

Now, the alpha E rig was probably £40,000 more expensive then the pub rig was, but if you have a situation where you routinely have expensive talent, then that saving in time very quickly adds up to make the more expensive kit a bargain.

Even things like having kit that I KNOW I can just plug in and it will not hum (stupid as it sounds) means that I am not holding things up while I dicker about with wiring and means that promoters and artists are not getting stressed.

In terms of sound quality, Ethan is mostly right, you can get 90% of the way there even on budget kit (and if everything else is right, that is closer then most released records get), but it will cost you time compared to doing it with the right tools.

IMHO the places where it really shows (and where you generally cannot easily work around spending money) are the room, the mics and the speakers, everywhere else it is generally more about workflow then audio quality differences (or at least you can mostly work around the limitations at the cost of time).

Regards, Dan.

--------------------
Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806213 - 23/01/10 08:39 PM
I disagree with the notion that you can't take a clean recording and make it sound as low-fi as you wish. You most certainly can. But I do agree that there is a certain threshold of quality in equipment that allows it to be useful. But what I'm arguing is that threshold isn't in the sole territory of so-called "high-end" equipment. Today's average equipment is fully capable of producing professional results. That's all I'm saying.

I don't think it's practical to go and use the cheapest equipment you can find to make a recording any more than I think it's practical to use the most expensive equipment you can find. But you can certainly get the job done with average tools and if you do a good job there will be nothing that any end listener could point to and say; "That had to be done with x piece of budget gear". The argument behind such a statement is completely unfounded as is the refusal for some folks to accept that it's not even remotely as much about the gear as it is the users of the gear.

Besides all of that, a lot of the so called "high-end" gear isn't so well specified in the first place, in terms of faithful sonic representation. It just happens to be well liked for it's quirks and unique sound. That's entirely subjective stuff. Hate to break it to some folks but some of the most beloved names in preamplification for example (API, Neve, etc) aren't all that great for tracking things as cleanly and faithfully as possible. In fact things can get comparatively a bit muddy from time to time using too much of that stuff. There's some average gear that tracks much cleaner. But it's almost sacrilege to say such things in certain audio production circles. I think that kind of attitude is just stupid and it shows the basic lack of understanding that many professional engineers have about how to capture and manipulate sound. But then again, nobody every said one had to actually fully understand what they are doing to become commercially successful doing it.

Most of the older professional engineers I know have a method of working or a "thing" that they do and know well and that's about all there is to it. They tend to surround themselves with tools that fit their "thing" and they work in the way that fits their "thing". But that doesn't meant that their way is the only or even the most practical way to approach the issue. I think that ultimately this entire business of recording and mixing music comes down to understanding how to interpret and manipulate sound, using our ears. If you can hear how a sound comes to have the specific characteristics that it does then you can apply several methods to achieve a credible reproduction of that characteristic. It doesn't necessarily rely on specific pieces of gear or a specific work method. That's one of the reasons why I don't let myself get sidetracked listening to analog die hards rave on about how plug-in emulations don't sound exactly the same. So what if they don't (and for the record I happen to think they are damn close if not identical in many cases)? Use your ears and different methods to get it where you need it to be. It's not like it simply MUST be done the way you've always done it. But nevertheless that's the attitude that prevails.

I suppose the biggest audio myth of all is the one that says: "You can't get excellent results without the "best" gear". That's just totally false. The "best" gear is a luxury, not a necessity.


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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806223 - 23/01/10 09:11 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:




as is - the refusal for some folks to accept that it's not even remotely as much about the gear as it is the users of the gear.
-

Treat the tools like tools. Provided they work at all they are only as useful as you make them. If you've got the ears and the talent to track and mix well then you can get it done with average gear with no problem and nobody, including professionals will know the difference by listening to your end product.


.




Very wise words - i nicked these two separate responses from EnlightenedHand because they are sucient to the issue - 'high end' stuff.

--------------------
.. is this thing on?

Edited by Stan (23/01/10 09:12 PM)


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CPU toast



Joined: 29/03/08
Posts: 23
Loc: Oregon
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806288 - 24/01/10 05:56 AM
Over my many years I have run the recording gamut from bouncing tracks
on portable 1970's-era cassette recorders designed for the spoken word - as in reccrding one recorder into the other while I overdubbed a live track - to Cubase 100%-in-the-box VSTI-wankery. Emotionally, I'll never forget the chugging mud guitar sound I got from those garbagy cassette recorders on a Come Together cover, stuff that today would sound oh-so-cool in a lo-fi hipster context (attitude is the best ADA converter, especially if you have low-jitter neurons).
My Cubase virtual stuff however, sounds so clinically antiseptic that there is no soul. I've gone back to tracking real guitars and vocals into Cubase. Humanity needs dirt in its signal chain. Music needs to have a smell.
In the future, a computer program designed by an accountant will be able to take any dismal wave file and interpolate/resynthesize/upsample it into any "high-end" equipment posture you want to emulate. Just click on pretentious, and from the drag-down menu select Neve or API or whatever.
100,000$ consoles will be in the same junk museum as those Space Shuttle parts NASA is trying to peddle on Ebay.
I love gear as much as the next head, but there is no brand that can deliver Artistic Brilliance. Thank Goddess for that.


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4597
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806290 - 24/01/10 06:56 AM
There's no doubt in my mind that some very fine pieces of equipment get us where we want to go quickly. But by that token those designs are often of the 'does one thing really well' variety. As Liz said, if you want clean and pristine then a 1073 isn't going to provide that however much it costs. Equally your Grace and Crookwoods of this world won't provide much in the way of fat harmonic distortion. So where does this leave those people without the cash for one of each? Well nowhere particularly bad, because sonics to the nth degree are not what sells records at the end of the day. You can get fantastic sounds with relatively modest gear. At least good enough for the number one slot. After which you can have what you like. But there is a caveat to all this: while some of the more affordable gear is capable of great results you need to record stuff that sounds amazing. Sometimes this is going to cost money. Not every room sounds good. A lot of amps are awful. A real piano is expensive. If you need a session player they cost money. If you're going to spend money, buying one really great amp to suit your genre, a couple of excellent snares, good cymbals, a great tele or les paul, not to mention studio time when you need it, will make far more difference than one amazing compressor. I'm talking from the perspective of someone who records bands of course, and I appreciate that not everyone works in this way.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806521 - 25/01/10 02:48 AM
Quote Tui:

Quote narcoman:

Stick a VM1 up infront of just about anything and it sounds "finished".




Ahhhhhh, yes, the VM1. High-end stuff indeed.








silly beggar !!


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narcoman
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806522 - 25/01/10 02:52 AM
Quote EnlightenedHand:


I suppose the biggest audio myth of all is the one that says: "You can't get excellent results without the "best" gear". That's just totally false.





Absolutely right - but tempered with - you're limited to the circle of results a piece of gear will achive {same with high end as well}.

Quote EnlightenedHand:


The "best" gear is a luxury, not a necessity.



Absolutely false in terms of certain goals. See my comment about SM57s and Abbey Road for extreme examples.!! If you want a U47 tone - you gotta use a U47. Just might be , though, that other cheaper sought tones will work. But that isn't my argument.


As for Lo-fi working .... depends what you choose to accept. I've worked on a couple of high selling lo-fi projects.... always record as you want to sound.


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Tui
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806582 - 25/01/10 11:28 AM
Quote narcoman:

If you want a U47 tone - you gotta use a U47.




It's the same with all things in the recording chain, isn't it. If you want the sound of a Steinway, you have to record a Steinway. A Yamaha grand is not going to sound the same, no matter how hard you try.


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Ariosto



Joined: 04/05/08
Posts: 304
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806606 - 25/01/10 12:48 PM
In the end only one thing counts. The musician.

You can have a bad musician recorded on the best equipment. Still sounds terrible.

A great musician on poor equipment still sounds great ...


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806620 - 25/01/10 01:35 PM
What does a U47 sound like in a complete mix? What does a Steinway piano sound like? Which recordings of classical piano are using Steinways and which are using Yamaha or Kawai or Estonia or Schimmel or Baldwin or Mason and Hamlin or Bosendorfer? I happen to be a classical pianist and I cannot reliably tell what kind of piano is used in any recording at all. I can tell a piano by it's feel when I'm playing it. I can get a general idea of the type of piano by it's sound. But it's quite difficult to discern exactly which piano one is using in a recording because there are so many variables at play (the tracking situation, the mix decisions, etc). But the bottom line is that it really doesn't matter. What matters is getting the sound characteristic that fits the situation. That has nothing to do with specific models and makes of gear. It has everything to do with one of two approaches. Either you audition and use gear that has the general character of what you're looking for, and that could be from any manufacturer. Or you pick gear that leaves very little character and you tweak the sound through processing with your mix tools and they could be from any manufacturer so long as they function within the capacity that you need and you know how to use them to get what you want out of them.

So long as it's tracked cleanly you can take it anywhere. What I find a bothersome audio myth is the one that says "You can't get certain sounds without using this specific model and make of gear". That sounds reasonable, but it forsakes the argument of relevance. Who cares that you can't get the actual sound of a U47 without using a U47? Even thinking that way begs the questions: Which U47, in which room, with which placement and which singer tracked through which pramplifier and at what gain settings? There are so many variables that you can't get the exact sound of ANY microphone outside of it's specific tracking situation. But that doesn't really matter because ultimately the point is that you can get close enough that no end listener would know the difference. Furthermore, no end listener cares what gear you used. They just want the music to sound good. That has nothing to do with specific models and makes of gear.

The people that care about gear don't make or break record sales. But they do waste a lot of time and money fretting about tools that are no more special than the hands touching them.


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. . . Delete This
Here be Dragons


Joined: 23/06/08
Posts: 3888
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806642 - 25/01/10 03:05 PM
sorry Liz but I know people who can reliably identify not only what brand ( and sometimes the specific model) of piano is being played, but often which venue it was recorded in....

this extends both to consumers of classical recorded music, and performers... Granted, their expected standards of product are far higher than the average rock n roll punter.... and their listening environments are often equally superior.... and believe me, i've been in enough of them to know.....

hell even I can tell the difference between a Yamaha , Steinway and Bosendorfer... both in the flesh and most recordings.... (assuming it's not completely buried under a zillion other things... )

as to who cares...


well perhaps the artiste??? it is after all their goal you are trying to achieve.... and it's your job as an engineer or producer to bring to fruition what they hear in their heads... and if that happens to be film score sound of certain type, then yes, the ONLY way to do it is using a given set of equipment in a given type of acoustic environment.


and yes, the listeners sometimes care..... or at least a proportion of them do ....

no they don't care about which mic, or cable, or compressor... but many DO care about the quality overall.... i've been discovering that while the iPod and MP3 phenomenon on the face of it appears to imply a lowering of standards, i've found that it enables people to consume more music than they have done for a while, and there appears to be a knock on effect... in that they are then choosing what they want to listen to and enjoy more seriously , based on enjoying the content previously in a less critical manner.

this isn't just audiophile classical music nuts either... even teens are at it...

my kids use iTunes... extensively, to listen to stuff.... then make their CD purchasing decisions based on what they downloaded...

i've actually heard my 18 yr old son say that he wasn't buying an album, "coz i downloaded it, and it sounded [ ****** ]"

and look at the furor about Death Magnetic, or assorted other albums ..... the furor about the sound quality, not the quality of the material itself...




ultimately as engineers and producers, we all owe it both to our clients, and the consumers to produce the best sounding product we are able to .

not the fastest.. not the cheapest, but the best sounding...


anything less is cheapening the art for the sake of accountants convenience.

which I for one take exception to.


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hugol



Joined: 28/03/06
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Loc: London, UK
Re: Audio myths new [Re: narcoman]
      #806650 - 25/01/10 03:38 PM
Quote narcoman:

Quote HugoL:



There we go, this is basically the point of this thread. I'm sure people can train their ears to a extent to pick up on differences that the average Joe will miss, but if it's that subtle and often subjective does it really matter so much?





Yes it matters. It's why, without any doubt, the biggest pieces of music, or film or whatever - are generally not done on the cheap. The discerning individuals are on the production end - and their pride in "doing it right" is paramount in maintaining high standards. The man on the street can and does hear "the better end". Most consumer optimized recordings {my new fave words !!} - from RnB to orchestral recital are recorded with excellent professionals and excellent gear.

I agree that the pursuit of gear for gears sake is just silly. Really silly.




My statement was "if it's that subtle and often subjective". I'm saying if there's a tangible, justifiable difference then of course it makes sense to use specific kit.

Gear for gears sake is indeed silly and it's a safe bet there is a lot of this going on at all levels. Just look at the ridiculous obsession on certain other forums! Conversely other gear choices make a lot of sense.


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ken long



Joined: 21/01/08
Posts: 4649
Loc: The Orient, East London
Re: Audio myths new [Re: dmills]
      #806651 - 25/01/10 03:43 PM
Quote dmills:


In terms of sound quality, Ethan is mostly right, you can get 90% of the way there even on budget kit (and if everything else is right, that is closer then most released records get), but it will cost you time compared to doing it with the right tools.




+1. Ease of use and quality of recording. Time is money. Its sometimes better spending the money on good gear if in the long run you overspend on time.

ken

--------------------
I'm All Ears.


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tomafd



Joined: 03/10/05
Posts: 3468
Loc: uk
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806659 - 25/01/10 04:04 PM
Had a very experienced producer round here the other day (44 number ones ... the man's a bona fide star) - I can't name him, but he did come out with some interesting stuff, including "you can cut, using the eqs on a Neve desk, but if you boost - you're [ ****** ], mate. The phase problems are just appalling." He loves his gear just as much as anybody, but when I asked him what was the most important part of the recording chain, his answer was ...

"The performance. followed by the performance, followed by the performance. There's [ ****** ] all that'll help you out if that isn't right. Preferably all the way through, one take. I'm [ ****** ] if I'm going to spend all night comping"

--------------------
http://anotherfineday.bandcamp.com/ http://anotherfineday.co.uk http://apollomusic.co.uk


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #806709 - 25/01/10 05:45 PM
What you have made is a very common claim by certain people. To that claim I propose a proper double blind test to see if you really can reliably identify the differences between different piano models and makes in a recording.

I honestly am willing to bet $10,000 that you can't.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806716 - 25/01/10 06:13 PM
Then tell me this. When i lived in Australia many years ago, i was based in a town about two hours out of Melbourne. And in that town there was a theatre, and in that theatre there was a Steinway Grand up on the stage.

For the majority of the time the hall was used for bingo, WI meetings, church activities and all the other usual messing about with amateur dramatics found in any other post industrial country town of about 20,000 people.

But every now and again, bands would travel the two hours from Melbourne or the eight hours from Sydney, and they would call up my old mate Joe (RIP) who had a very nice studio in town there, and they would book the hall and some gear from Joe's and they would go there and record on that Steinway, 'cos it was that good.

You'll hear it all over commercial records of the time, probably still do.

Now if there's no difference, why would they bother?

http://www.wangarattapac.com.au/www/590/1001127/displayarticle/1001442.htm l


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806723 - 25/01/10 06:30 PM
I never said there wasn't a difference. I'm saying that the end listeners that actually buy the music aren't going to know what gear you've used and they certainly won't care so long as the music sounds good, so it doesn't matter if you use a specific model or make of gear.

It's really very common for bands and professional production folks to indulge in things that straight up don't matter. If the song sounds good to the end listeners none of them are going to say: "That would have been better if only it had that Steinway from that theater in Australia". That's just plain ridiculous, though it's typical of the ridiculous things professional audio people worry about.

A piano, like any instrument, is a tool for expressing oneself through music. It ain't the piano any more than it's the compressor or the EQ that reaches the audience. Now I'll be the first to admit that I have a favorite piano. I know that piano well and I would go out of my way to use it. But I don't hold the illusion that I MUST use it to get a wonderful piano recording. It's a luxury and not a necessity.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806724 - 25/01/10 06:32 PM
But that piano was fantastic. Any pianist would play better on a piano like that. The sound from that piano was like love.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806725 - 25/01/10 06:37 PM
... And, if there's no difference then how can you bet someone 10k that they can't tell the difference?


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El Sid



Joined: 20/05/05
Posts: 276
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806726 - 25/01/10 06:38 PM
Quote EnlightenedHand:


A piano, like any instrument, is a tool for expressing oneself through music. It ain't the piano any more than it's the compressor or the EQ that reaches the audience.




sorry Liz, but it is, or it could be given the artist (or engineer).

take Glenn Gould and that piano... or even that chair he sat on... it all made the difference to him and thank god it did so that we have all those amazing recordings...

Sid


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806727 - 25/01/10 06:40 PM
Sorry, i'm not trying to give you a hard time, Liz. In fact i restore most of my isnruments from junk shops and use home made stuff, and record on prosumer gear. But that's my kick these days.


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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806753 - 25/01/10 08:06 PM
I don't think you could say to a classical soloist or a jazz trio that having a decent piano doesn't matter.

I have a good grand piano here, since when I've never used a piano sample out of choice (one or twopso-so players like midi for correcting their mistakes!).

I've also lost work because in the eyes of some players it's not good enough for them!

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #806778 - 25/01/10 10:04 PM
There needs to be a clear distinction made here about what I am and am not saying.

I am not saying that using a well made, good sounding instrument isn't important towards getting a high quality performance.

I AM saying that it's not necessary to use a specific model or make of piano, or any other instrument or piece of gear deemed "high-end" in order to have an instrument or tool that is well made and good sounding.

I am not saying that there isn't a unique sound to certain specific pieces of gear.

I AM saying that it is possible to get close enough to the sound characteristics of a unique sounding instrument or piece of gear that within the context of a well rendered, finished mix the end listeners won't know which specific tools or instruments you've used with any statistically viable degree of reliability. They might be able to identify something here or there. But it's not at all obvious in the context of a quality mix. Besides that, only the music matters to the end listeners, not the instruments or tools used.

My overall point is that we as production professionals and recording artists worry about things that really don't matter to the end listeners most of the time. It ends up wasting time and money in many cases and I think it's unnecessary. We also develop myths to justify our veneration for certain prized tools. I think that's largely a waste of consideration. The tools are just tools. The instruments are just instruments. They only need to work well. They don't need to sound like the music of heaven. That's what we are supposed to bring to the table as musicians and performers. Perhaps that's a lesson that could be taken away from (if anything could be taken from) the now contrived and cliche act of smashing one's instruments to pieces at the end of a performance. It's not the machine. It's the person (so to speak).


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Steve Hill
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806782 - 25/01/10 10:21 PM
Not sure I can go that far. A piano is not a sample set. A Hammond is a Hammond. A Les Paul is a Les Paul and a Tele is a Tele, and personally I can always tell whether a decent acoustic guitar (steel or nylon) has been used, and how well it's been recorded, and on a good day I could have a fair stab at telling you the make of the guitar. With other acoustic instruments, of anything the quality becomes more crucial.

Give me something decent to record and it mixes itself.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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EnlightenedHand



Joined: 18/01/08
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #806804 - 25/01/10 11:23 PM
I guess we just disagree on that bit. Not a problem.


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Ian Savage



Joined: 16/12/07
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: . . . Delete This User . . .]
      #806807 - 25/01/10 11:33 PM
Quote idris y draig:

sorry Liz but I know people who can reliably identify not only what brand ( and sometimes the specific model) of piano is being played, but often which venue it was recorded in....




Really? I mean, REALLY? If they were double-blind tested, and played a mixture of equally well-recorded snippets of equally well-timbred and highly-tuned pianos in equally good-sounding spaces? This kind of cuts to the quick of what the whole video was about, how many people swear blind (pardon the pun) that they can hear the difference when little stones are placed in the corner of the room, or globs of crap are applied to the surfaces; as has been said, move one microphone by an inch and the whole high-end spectrum that's recorded changes, so I refuse to believe that anyone has such discerning ears that they could tell that 'that's a Steinway in Birmingham Symphony, and that's a Yamaha in the Albert Hall', far less tell the model. It's as daft as me claiming that I can tell a 1957 Les Paul from a 1962 one just by listening to recordings of them; there's far too many other variables at play.

Quote:


this isn't just audiophile classical music nuts either... even teens are at it...

my kids use iTunes... extensively, to listen to stuff.... then make their CD purchasing decisions based on what they downloaded...

i've actually heard my 18 yr old son say that he wasn't buying an album, "coz i downloaded it, and it sounded [ ****** ]"




So he's downloaded it via iTunes without buying it? How'd he get away with that?


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narcoman
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Joined: 14/08/01
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Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806830 - 26/01/10 12:52 AM
Quote Tui:

Quote narcoman:

If you want a U47 tone - you gotta use a U47.




It's the same with all things in the recording chain, isn't it. If you want the sound of a Steinway, you have to record a Steinway. A Yamaha grand is not going to sound the same, no matter how hard you try.




absolutely right. In fact so damn right I can't even type it hard enough.


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narcoman
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 8519
Re: Audio myths new [Re: EnlightenedHand]
      #806832 - 26/01/10 12:53 AM
Quote EnlightenedHand:

I never said there wasn't a difference. I'm saying that the end listeners that actually buy the music aren't going to know what gear you've used and they certainly won't care so long as the music sounds good, so it doesn't matter if you use a specific model or make of gear.

It's really very common for bands and professional production folks to indulge in things that straight up don't matter. If the song sounds good to the end listeners none of them are going to say: "That would have been better if only it had that Steinway from that theater in Australia". That's just plain ridiculous, though it's typical of the ridiculous things professional audio people worry about.

A piano, like any instrument, is a tool for expressing oneself through music. It ain't the piano any more than it's the compressor or the EQ that reaches the audience. Now I'll be the first to admit that I have a favorite piano. I know that piano well and I would go out of my way to use it. But I don't hold the illusion that I MUST use it to get a wonderful piano recording. It's a luxury and not a necessity.




That's a very "that'll do" philosophy. Not sure I like it too much - it's certainly not the mindset that will get you through the doors of Fox..... they're mighty fussy !! I've worked for three of the highest paid composers in the film world on occasion. I can assure you - not putting quality high on the agenda would have got me fired!!!



Without exception I always use the absolute appropriate gear for the budget and pieces being recorded. If that is a cheap upright - then so be it. If it's a $40 trash drum kit then so be it. But if it's a Josephson 700 series with Furman pre amp - then also; so be it. OF COURSE one has to be budget conscious. So yes - it makes sense to not go re-mortgaging the house to by gear for an amateur or hobby project!!

No to "gear for gears sake". Yes to gear doing the job and fitting in with the production demands. It's my job to reject certain pieces of gear for others depending u[on production direction. I treat recording gear exactly the same way as I do recording venue and choice of players {more for orchestral stuff}.

I am most certainly not of the "yeah that'll do, nobody will be able to tell" but I agree one can compromise when the budget isn't there. Cutting corners is industry destructive. Ultimate quality costs because it can!! I'm most defo with idris y draig , Steve and a few others on this one !!....

Oh - and I prize no tools...... just that the good ones - generally - cost more.


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Stan



Joined: 17/01/05
Posts: 1311
Loc: Big Rock Candy Mountain
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806838 - 26/01/10 01:11 AM
It was a bit stupid to suggest that EnlightenedHand said, or inferred, that inferior instruments or gear made no difference. EnlightenedHand was writing about how you use the equipment. So much for this site of exchange of opinion and method!!
Steve normally reads the threads. I'm disappointed in mr hill on this occasion.
and now narco is on her back!!

--------------------
.. is this thing on?

Edited by Stan (26/01/10 01:19 AM)


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Tui
active member


Joined: 02/09/02
Posts: 3310
Loc: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806850 - 26/01/10 05:48 AM
Storm in a teacup. I should think everybody would agree that

a) You can make good sounding recordings with budget gear, if you know what you're doing. Alternatively, you might deliver a crap production, using premium gear, if you don't (done that, been there, got the T-shirt).

b) The performance matters more than the gear that was used for recording it.

However, if you're after a certain sound, you need to use the gear that makes that sound. An imitation will sound like an imitation.

There's certain gear that has such a distinctive sound that it simply can't be emulated by a cheap device that has the word "Pro" written on it. Certain mics have been mentioned, but I'm also thinking of FX boxes. If, for example, you're after "that" pitch-shifting sound, you need to hook up an Eventide, for otherwise you're not going to get it. You could spend your entire budget on software emulations or a truckload of Behringer gear, but the result would still not be in the same league.

Getting the "right" sound does not necessarily mean you'll have to spend a lot of money, it's more a question of knowing where to invest wisely to get the biggest bang for the buck. This knowledge grows with experience. Eventually, you'll figure out where you can cut corners without upsetting the big picture, or where you can't.

Think of it this way. If it was really possible to buy a PC at Walmart, download a copy of your favourite DAW and a couple of free plug-ins, and end up with a big movie sound, everybody would be doing it. SSL, Lexicon, TC, Neuman and the rest of them would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.


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Jack Ruston



Joined: 21/12/05
Posts: 4597
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806860 - 26/01/10 07:57 AM
I'm sort of between the camps on this.

I think that far too many people get caught up reading threads online in which people (who they don't know) tell them that you can't think about recording a vocal without a choice of U47, C12 or <insert latest hyped mic>. These people then get fixated on a lack of these tools as the reason why their mixes don't sound the way they want. And I think what Liz is saying is that while those mics could, and probably would result in an incrimentally better sound, that's not the problem. I believe that gear is never responsible for a project working or not working. That would imply that the parts are more important than the whole. But of course it can yeild improvements and be the final factor separating the great from the best in terms of sonics.

I can also see Narcoman's point of view. If your client demands and is accustomed the best and is prepared to pay for it, then it's your responsibility to provide that. If you work for producers who track steinways with the finest mics in the most sympathetic spaces on the planet every day, they're going to notice straight away if you don't provide that. It doesn't matter that your average punter in a cinema won't notice, the producer will, and he'll fire you.

As for the pianos in the halls etc, I'm sure there are a handful of engineers who regularly track in the same handful of world class spaces with the same handful of instruments. And I'm sure they get to know them very well and can tell you which is which. There are other factors behind them being able to tell: they know the people behind all these recordings. Who likes what, who hires what from who, etc etc.

Long and the short, there are people and times for which gear really does matter. And those for which it really doesn't.

J

--------------------
www.jackruston.com


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Steve Hill
member


Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Jack Ruston]
      #806861 - 26/01/10 08:07 AM
Quote Jack Ruston:

And those for which it really doesn't.




X-Factor winners, I grant you.

--------------------
Dynamite with a laser beam...


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narcoman
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 8519
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Stan]
      #806877 - 26/01/10 09:30 AM
Quote Stan:

It was a bit stupid to suggest that EnlightenedHand said, or inferred, that inferior instruments or gear made no difference. EnlightenedHand was writing about how you use the equipment. So much for this site of exchange of opinion and method!!
Steve normally reads the threads. I'm disappointed in mr hill on this occasion.
and now narco is on her back!!




nobody's is n her back!!! It's a discussion and certainly IS an exchange.....

E-Hand painted a nearly black n white picture and claimed you can do it all with a clean recording and sort it out at the end. It's just not true ..... you can do a great recording that way - but you can't do a designed recording, which is by far the most common way to work in the fee paying sector of the industry!! You listen to any Nice Cave recording - the vocals sound that way in the recording..... seldom mix tricks on the stuff. Same with yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, nearly all film work and many more besides. The only lot this doesn't really apply to is the Greg Wells school of thought - the Katy Perrys and pop music of the world.... and they're most certainly not the lions share of what's being worked on at any time.


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narcoman
active member


Joined: 14/08/01
Posts: 8519
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Tui]
      #806878 - 26/01/10 09:31 AM
Quote Tui:

Storm in a teacup. I should think everybody would agree that

a) You can make good sounding recordings with budget gear, if you know what you're doing. Alternatively, you might deliver a crap production, using premium gear, if you don't (done that, been there, got the T-shirt).

b) The performance matters more than the gear that was used for recording it.

However, if you're after a certain sound, you need to use the gear that makes that sound. An imitation will sound like an imitation.

There's certain gear that has such a distinctive sound that it simply can't be emulated by a cheap device that has the word "Pro" written on it. Certain mics have been mentioned, but I'm also thinking of FX boxes. If, for example, you're after "that" pitch-shifting sound, you need to hook up an Eventide, for otherwise you're not going to get it. You could spend your entire budget on software emulations or a truckload of Behringer gear, but the result would still not be in the same league.

Getting the "right" sound does not necessarily mean you'll have to spend a lot of money, it's more a question of knowing where to invest wisely to get the biggest bang for the buck. This knowledge grows with experience. Eventually, you'll figure out where you can cut corners without upsetting the big picture, or where you can't.

Think of it this way. If it was really possible to buy a PC at Walmart, download a copy of your favourite DAW and a couple of free plug-ins, and end up with a big movie sound, everybody would be doing it. SSL, Lexicon, TC, Neuman and the rest of them would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.



supported!!


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Ariosto



Joined: 04/05/08
Posts: 304
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806883 - 26/01/10 10:00 AM
As a professional string player all I can add is that I would of course probably be able to tell if I was playing blindfolded on a Strad, Del Gesu, Amati, Guadanini, Panormo, Rocca, or whatever, but I could not always be absolutely certain. I reckon my ears are as good as most.

However, someone else playing on those instruments would make it more difficult for me to tell, because outstanding players have an individual sound. So you are adding colour and other things into the equation.

It gets even more difficult with recordings because mics, and recording gear change the equation again, and the date of the recording (i.e. 1960, 1975, 1990 etc) will also have an effect. Also any close/distant miking, any added reverb, the recording venue, all these things make it harder.

There again on a bad day a certain performer may make a different sound, or on a good day a different sound again.

So even though I can tell if it's Kreisler on a Del Jesu, or Menuhin on a Strad, or whatever, I maybe can't even then always be certain. (Of course, if I know the recording well other things will give it away).

Blind tests of instruments (even with the same player), Hi-Fi equipment, mics or whatever, have led to some embarrassing results for those concerned.


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Wizard Moon Chopper



Joined: 28/10/05
Posts: 620
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806892 - 26/01/10 10:26 AM
This is a great thread. I see that the contributors' very artistic integrity is at stake with every carefully crafted opinion.

Oh to be a watercolour artist; they have it easy. You don't see them travelling to the foothills of the himalayas to collect the purest water of the first thaw (only availble on the sacred day of the spring equinox) to mix their paints.

Or a writer, afloat upon a raft in the indian ocean, waiting for the Squid migration, waiting to harpoon one of the elder Squiddies for it's sacred ink to fill a quill plucked from the tail of the fearsome Battling Peacocks of the African Congo.

They have it easy...

Not us though, oh no. We must seek out the purest sounds, the richest timbres. Chopping down trees that have perhaps grown for a thousand years in undisturbed rain forest to craft the finest instruments. And record those aged beauties on microphones made in Germany to the most exacting standards, matched by eunuchs kept in dark silent rooms to protect their hearing. Our performances engineered by the white robed disciples of the audio temples of the ancient and mystical town of Guildford. Our recordings pondered over by professors of music in their Oxbridge apartments on the finest speakers aligned with lasers and perched on titanium stands filled with concrete!

And why do we do this?

Well, in the words of the great JFK "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard!"

It's our responsibility to do these things!

When a writer writes, what do they do? They listen to music. When a painter paints, what do the do? When a dancer dances? Well, you get the idea there. Yes, music is the mother of all art forms, the earliest and most ancient, the highest discipline of all art.

So don't come round here, to the virtual 'church' of audio, claiming to to be an audio professional or any other kind of artist and give us this, "oh it don't really matter, just sling something together and they won't be able to tell the difference!" bollocks.

I cried myslef to sleep last night after reading some of the comments on this thread. And tbh, i'm bloody glad i did, because at least i know that I still have a soul.


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Ariosto



Joined: 04/05/08
Posts: 304
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Wizard Moon Chopper]
      #806895 - 26/01/10 10:33 AM
Quote:

Chopping down trees that have perhaps grown for a thousand years in undisturbed rain forest to craft the finest instruments.




Just to get the facts right the trees used to make violins, violas, cellos etc., are not from rainforests! BUT, the wood for bows does come from there, so I suppose you made a good point!!


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Guy Johnson



Joined: 02/05/03
Posts: 4487
Loc: North Pembrokeshire
Re: Audio myths new [Re: hugol]
      #806901 - 26/01/10 11:03 AM
Quote:

This is a great thread. I see that the contributors' very artistic integrity is at stake with every carefully crafted opinion.

Oh to be a watercolour artist; they have it easy. You don't see them travelling to the foothills of the himalayas to collect the purest water of the first thaw (only availble on the sacred day of the spring equinox) to mix their paints.

Or a writer, afloat upon a raft in the indian ocean, waiting for the Squid migration, waiting to harpoon one of the elder Squiddies for it's sacred ink to fill a quill plucked from the tail of the fearsome Battling Peacocks of the African Congo.

They have it easy...

Not us though, oh no. We must seek out the purest sounds, the richest timbres. Chopping down trees that have perhaps grown for a thousand years in undisturbed rain forest to craft the finest instruments. And record those aged beauties on microphones made in Germany to the most exacting standards, matched by eunuchs kept in dark silent rooms to protect their hearing. Our performances engineered by the white robed disciples of the audio temples of the ancient and mystical town of Guildford. Our recordings pondered over by professors of music in their Oxbridge apartments on the finest speakers aligned with lasers and perched on titanium stands filled with concrete!

And why do we do this?

Well, in the words of the great JFK "We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard!"

It's our responsibility to do these things!

When a writer writes, what do they do? They listen to music. When a painter paints, what do the do? When a dancer dances? Well, you get the idea there. Yes, music is the mother of all art forms, the earliest and most ancient, the highest discipline of all art.

So don't come round here, to the virtual 'church' of audio, claiming to to be an audio professional or any other kind of artist and give us this, "oh it don't really matter, just sling something together and they won't be able to tell the difference!" bollocks.

I cried myslef to sleep last night after reading some of the comments on this thread. And tbh, i'm bloody glad i did, because at least i know that I still have a soul.







--------------------
Oh. It's Christmas.


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Pangloss
new member


Joined: 11/07/01
Posts: 736
Loc: London
Re: Audio myths new [Re: Ariosto]
      #806916 - 26/01/10 11:30 AM
Out of interest, Ariosto, which of those fiddles would you consider to be your favourite?

I only ask because, more often than not, when I've heard someone playing a Guarneri Del Gesu (and when I've been aware of the fact - expectation bias here we come!) I have been struck by how unusually sonorous it has been.

The player, however, being by far the most influencial factor on the tone though....

--------------------
'These are my principles and if you don't like them...well, I have others' (Groucho Marx) www.ownlittleworld.net/tunes.html


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