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Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:53 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:But C451/CK1s on anything musical often sounded bright and 'fierce' to me...

Which is often what is expected on rock hi hats and cymbals and probably explains why they're so popular. Certainly I've been happy with them for that application, although they sort out the men from the boys when it comes to mic preamps as they have a pretty high output.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:58 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Absolutely no idea.... :crazy:

I guess the "magic mics" phenomenon strikes again. ;)
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby RichardT » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:01 pm

. When I see amateurs (or semi-pros BS'ing it) faffing about for over an hour, I think of an old Chinese fable

I was doing a music course and the tutor was a highly trained classical pianist. During the course, he played piano pieces by sight that the students had written. Although I play piano to about grade 8 standard myself, I was just blown away by the control, intensity and power he brought to playing these pieces with absolutely no preparation. A world above us amateur pianists. Another example of the rooster principle.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:26 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:When I see amateurs (or semi-pros BS'ing it) faffing about for over an hour, I think of an old Chinese fable -

Yes and the 5 minutes compared to the hour might be explained by one having no solid grasp of what they are doing and so have nothing at their disposal except trial and error. Whereas the skilled person already understands the characteristics of the mics and the drum kit, what will work and what wont.

I sometimes work with people who are paid to record or amplify sound. In some cases it's the same people over many years. It's sad to see people having "plateaued out", continuing to make the same mistakes as they did years ago, such as not knowing how to point the back end of a cardioid mic towards a monitor to avoid feedback. From where I am, it's such a basic skill. Many are lovely people, fine musicians often, who have to work the audio gear themselves because they cant afford to pay professionals to do it, which may be the unfortunate reality, but as Sam says, it can also be false economy.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby MOF » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:22 pm

such as not knowing how to point the back end of a cardioid mic towards a monitor to avoid feedback
Where are they putting them? The only place usually available on stage is behind the mic, or at 45 degrees to that for hypercardioid.
As I don’t go to gigs, a quick question, don’t they all use iem systems nowadays, much easier to get an uncoloured mic’ sound (apart from the PA spill) and more freedom of movement for the band on stage?
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby James Perrett » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:21 am

MOF wrote:As I don’t go to gigs, a quick question, don’t they all use iem systems nowadays, much easier to get an uncoloured mic’ sound (apart from the PA spill) and more freedom of movement for the band on stage?

All the gigs I've been to over the last year have used old fashioned monitors. IEM's are great if you will be always using the same PA but if you are touring around small venues using the house PA's then IEM's don't seem to be popular.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby Tim Gillett » Sun Jul 26, 2020 2:19 am

Also it seems to work best when all band members use iems, and all monitors can be done away with.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby awjoe » Sun Jul 26, 2020 3:05 am

"I see where you're going with this. You won't catch me out that easily."

Actually, I didn't see exactly where he was going with it, and I appreciated how he got there when he did. Nice.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby The Red Bladder » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:37 pm

Tim Gillett wrote: It's sad to see people having "plateaued out", continuing to make the same mistakes as they did years ago,
The 'student' needs guidance. Another story -

Many, many, many years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I had hair, a friend and I decided to design and build a mixing desk. "How hard can it be?" he said, little realising just how hard it was going to be!

Long story short - we cribbed big chunks of design from the old black Soundscraft 'Series II' desk that was in the studio and made various improvements (or so we thought) on that design. Our desk was not as good. The phase compensation on the EQ drifted more and the impulse response on the mic-pres was not as good. It was however OK and we sold it for a modest profit and came to the stunning realisation that there must be more to designing a desk than we thought.

We spent several months building that thing and, driven by more urgent pecuniary needs, went back to repairing home organs and PA rigs.

About 30 years later I was chatting to Graham Langley of Amek fame and mentioned our failed attempt all those years ago - and in a few short sentences, he explained where we went wrong! It was so obvious and so clear - but it involved a knowledge of capacitors and how they behave (amongst other things!) that we just did not have back in the late 70s. A few words of instruction from a guru would have set us straight!
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby The Elf » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:11 pm

James Perrett wrote:All the gigs I've been to over the last year have used old fashioned monitors. IEM's are great if you will be always using the same PA but if you are touring around small venues using the house PA's then IEM's don't seem to be popular.
I can only speak for myself, but the fact I never know what the PA will be like is the very reason I take my own IEMs with me everywhere!
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby CS70 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:33 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:A few words of instruction from a guru would have set us straight!

Indeed. Most things are easy if you know how to do them.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:32 am

Recording studios are necessary, I’d use them all the time if I could afford to, I only record at home under duress.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby CS70 » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:41 am

A common attitude! I love studios and like you I would love to use them more often than I do (still, I like recording lead guitar parts at home, but that's because of the process involved, which involves a lot of fiddling til I get something I like.. and that's best done alone). Still my drummer positively hates the idea of going into a studio and record with onlooking strangers. I'm the only person allowed to record him!

It's a common issue. I'd actually made a post on my blog on similar lines as Sam's a few months ago... minus the final plug of course! :D
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:25 am

CS70 wrote:A common attitude! I love studios and like you I would love to use them more often than I do (still, I like recording lead guitar parts at home, but that's because of the process involved, which involves a lot of fiddling til I get something I like.. and that's best done alone). Still my drummer positively hates the idea of going into a studio and record with onlooking strangers. I'm the only person allowed to record him!

It's a common issue. I'd actually made a post on my blog on similar lines as Sam's a few months ago... minus the final plug of course! :D

That’s done it, I’m booking myself into a studio today.
It may actually jump start me into working and recording in a different way, and give me focus, and an aim.
So which one? I quite fancy that lightship on the Thames, whatever, it has to have a good location, a good grand piano, and a sympathetic engineer, I may take one synth, I fancy giving myself a brief, to record mix and master a complete album in two days.
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Re: Recording Studios Are... Pointless / Essential !

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:20 pm

The Red Bladder wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote: It's sad to see people having "plateaued out", continuing to make the same mistakes as they did years ago,
The 'student' needs guidance. Another story -

Many, many, many years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I had hair, a friend and I decided to design and build a mixing desk. "How hard can it be?" he said, little realising just how hard it was going to be!

Long story short - we cribbed big chunks of design from the old black Soundscraft 'Series II' desk that was in the studio and made various improvements (or so we thought) on that design. Our desk was not as good. The phase compensation on the EQ drifted more and the impulse response on the mic-pres was not as good. It was however OK and we sold it for a modest profit and came to the stunning realisation that there must be more to designing a desk than we thought.

We spent several months building that thing and, driven by more urgent pecuniary needs, went back to repairing home organs and PA rigs.

About 30 years later I was chatting to Graham Langley of Amek fame and mentioned our failed attempt all those years ago - and in a few short sentences, he explained where we went wrong! It was so obvious and so clear - but it involved a knowledge of capacitors and how they behave (amongst other things!) that we just did not have back in the late 70s. A few words of instruction from a guru would have set us straight!

Yes but that's a different situation. You already had the aptitude. You just needed someone to explain the influence of the capacitors in that application, the missing pieces of information. I was talking about people who dont have the basic aptitude, the potential for assimilating information, and building upon it. I think that's partly what Sam was discussing.

I think of someone like George Martin who was not only a good musician and arranger in his own right but knew enough about the various specialist roles involved in record production to hire suitable people. I've seen problems arise when managers "dont know enough to know what they dont know", and so when to make the decisions themselves (when it is within their competence to do so) and then knowing when they are out of their depth and need to consult others with more in depth specialist knowledge. But it's not always easy. No one can be expected to be across all specialist areas. Audio is a vast field on its own.
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