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Common tools that never get used?

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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby James Perrett » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:12 am

The Elf wrote:One of the most difficult problems to overcome when teaching (and I'm going through one such example at the moment) is when somebody's hero - especially one with a string of impressive credits to their name - says something utterly misguided, but it is taken as being gospel - after all this guy is successful! Those received opinions take some shifting!

I shared an office for a while with a guy who had been an engineer at a major London studio in the 80's. He a few tales of big name producers who didn't want people to watch them when they were working - usually because they didn't really know what they were doing and they just twiddled the knobs until they got the sound they wanted.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:19 am

James Perrett wrote:
The Elf wrote:I shared an office for a while with a guy who had been an engineer at a major London studio in the 80's. He a few tales of big name producers who didn't want people to watch them when they were working - usually because they didn't really know what they were doing and they just twiddled the knobs until they got the sound they wanted.

Sounds like yours truly, without the big name!
I got into a major argument once, and this guy really thought I was hiding things from him, my ideas etc, I had real trouble convincing him that even I didn't know what I was doing, let alone being able to remember settings etc!
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby The Elf » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:31 am

James Perrett wrote:
The Elf wrote:One of the most difficult problems to overcome when teaching (and I'm going through one such example at the moment) is when somebody's hero - especially one with a string of impressive credits to their name - says something utterly misguided, but it is taken as being gospel - after all this guy is successful! Those received opinions take some shifting!

I shared an office for a while with a guy who had been an engineer at a major London studio in the 80's. He a few tales of big name producers who didn't want people to watch them when they were working - usually because they didn't really know what they were doing and they just twiddled the knobs until they got the sound they wanted.
Been there and seen that!

Some of those big 'names' aren't as smart as we (and they) would like to think. I once had to endure ten minutes of clenching my tongue firmly between my teeth while a 'name' explained to a band that he never used balanced cables because he only worked in mono!
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Arpangel » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:51 am

The Elf wrote:Some of those big 'names' aren't as smart as we (and they) would like to think. I once had to endure ten minutes of clenching my tongue firmly between my teeth while a 'name' explained to a band that he never used balanced cables because he only worked in mono!

But...we all know that unbalanced cables and ouputs are superior sonically (big name gear manufacturer not me)
And, as long as all the faders on your desk are at the same position you'll be guaranteed a good mix.

:blush:
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:59 am

I have to say it is a depressingly familiar story that applies to a surprising number of established 'producers' and 'engineers' of all ages and disciplines. I could tell some seriously eye-opening stories of things I've seen, heard, and been asked to help with... but professional courtesy prevents me...

To balance things up a bit, though, there are also a great many who are very switched on, very technically aware and extremely capable, of course!

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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:03 pm

And, possibly, enjoy winding bands up :D
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:09 pm

Arpangel wrote:But...we all know that unbalanced cables and ouputs are superior sonically (big name gear manufacturer not me)

You wouldn't be naiming naims would you? :lol:

To be fair, there are some specific situations where unbalanced connections can genuinely offer the best technical sound quality.

I know Bob Katz has some unbalanced connections in parts of his mastering studio for that very reason, and the German pro-audio manufacturer SPL argues the same case for the neos console's inserts...

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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Ariosto » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:18 pm

I think it just boils down to the sort of music you are recording and how that type of music is usually received and perceived by the particular audience that listens to it.

I personally like the simple approach which means I hardly ever use EQ, reverb, or compression, and other tools. But then I record mostly classical instruments and voice, so it's not too complicated for a dope like me!
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Alba » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:07 pm

I bought a little DAW controller some years ago that I never use ... Can't really find anything simpler than the mouse and a wireless keyboard.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby John Willett » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:57 pm

Dr Huge Longjohns wrote:
The third is EQ, how over rated is that! I hardly ever use that either, I just make sure the sounds coming from my instruments or mic's is OK to start with.

when I'm recording acoustic instruments here I always have a high-pass filter engaged of some sort, it's always used.

As for my field recordings, a HPF is essential, I couldn't record without one.

OK, who are you and what have you done with the real Arpangel who started this thread?

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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Alba » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:43 pm

We are all so spoiled for choice these days. I remember when every last drop was squeezed out of every bit of kit and there was always something else needed that cost a months rent.

Funny to have a thread like this, now.

Ignore me, feeling my age.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Alba » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:45 pm

String winders, i just don't like 'em.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:15 pm

James Perrett wrote:I shared an office for a while with a guy who had been an engineer at a major London studio in the 80's. He a few tales of big name producers who didn't want people to watch them when they were working - usually because they didn't really know what they were doing and they just twiddled the knobs until they got the sound they wanted.

It's not a bad strategy if it works. :)

I think technically minded people like to understand things, and know things, and see how things work in their heads, before they actually exists.

Most others really don't. Judging a fish by how fast it runs is a little pointless.

But everybody likes to be respected and seen as knowledgeable. So a fish talks about running to other fishes, and he gets just that.
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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:38 pm

CS70 wrote:It's not a bad strategy if it works. :)

It's a bit early for pantomime responses, but.. Oh yes it is! :-D

Would you be happy if your garage mechanic tried to replace your car's brake pads by randomly undoing bolts around the suspension in the hope of finding a way to achieve the goal?

It's a terrible 'strategy'... And it's also inherently slow and inefficient... Neither of which are expected of a 'professional'

Judging a fish by how fast it runs is a little pointless.

As is comparing someone who knows what they are doing with someone that doesn't...

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Re: Common tools that never get used?

Postby CS70 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:01 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
CS70 wrote:It's not a bad strategy if it works. :)

It's a bit early for pantomime responses, but.. Oh yes it is! :-D

Would you be happy if your garage mechanic tried to replace your car's brake pads by randomly undoing bolts around the suspension in the hope of finding a way to achieve the goal?


Yeah it was a big tongue in cheek.

But still, if these producers are technically incompetent and yet successful, the only meaningful conclusion is that you don't need to be technically competent to be a successful music producer, innit?.

A mechanic trying random things on the car couldn't be successful, I guess. Actually..hm... I've seen a few workshops so I'm not so sure.

Of course I totally get the irritation about incompetent bozos becoming successful (and the joy when competent not-bozos do). Lots of 'em about, and not just producers..
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