ef37a wrote:To put a tiny point in this learned company?
It should be remembered that in the vast majority of cases the makers of the pre amps, Neve, SSL, BBC! Were trying to make the BEST, low noise, low distortion, flattest response electronics they could with the given technology. To most of them the idea of a "sound" from their products would have been anathema.
Then, until the likes of the Beatles came along with their financial clout, 'Moosicians' were not allowed to bugger about with VERY expensive studio equipment, that was the province of recording 'engineers' and many were in fact graduate engineers with a love of music and often good performers in their own right. A balance engineer had to be able to read a score.
I’m not sure I agree with this cross-over between musicians and engineering.
Engineering should be your passion, albeit through an interest in music, and engineering is what you devote your life to. You are "not" a musician, engineering is a completely different mind set.
Put aside home studios, and multi-tasking etc, in a professional environment there are still two sides to the control room glass, although the knobby side is much more sympathetic than in days past.
I’ve been witness to more than my fair share of frustrated engineers/musicians with chips on their shoulders, sneering at musicians, and thinking they know better, these are the people that shouldn’t be engineers at all, and they do more harm than good, also, if I want advice, I’ll ask for it, and that’s a different thing altogether.
Great engineers are always in demand, because they love what they do, and they want to get the best possible results for their artists. I can speak for a lot of musicians I’ve worked with, and all you really want is to get on with recording with the minimum of fuss and hassle, knowing you’ve got an experienced, knowledgable, and confident engineer to back you up, who, is also sympathetic towards you and your music, but he’s not there to write your album, or get annoyed at you because he thinks you’ve made the wrong musical decisions.
A good engineer should be invisible, things should just happen, and successful bands that have their own engineers pick up on this, and take them on board.
There are exceptions, George Martin, Joe Meek, and many more, but they were almost co-writers, and producers, as well as engineers, and it was all agreed from day one.
These days we are constantly told we have to wear many hats, it’s a pain, and I still loath engineering. It’s really nice when you go into a studio and all that responsibility is taken away from you and you can just concentrate on making music, and that’s where really good engineers come into their own.