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#1739093 - 04/22/07 02:26 PM Stuff that changed your life
ghaines Offline
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Registered: 06/16/00
Posts: 10
Loc: Pittsburgh,PA,UNITED STATES
I'm always asking people what gear changed their recording life. Perhaps this shows our age. Some of you may not understand some answers.

Here's mine: Mackie and Alesis. Before the Mackie Mixer and the ADAT if you wanted to record in a semi-pro fashion you had few options. For a console, you had to grab a live board from Crown, Yamaha, Carvin, etc... and they were NOISY and the mic pre amps were horrible. I mean horrible. You could find mic pre offerings from Aphex or DBX, but they were expensive and aimed at broadcast. You normally had to record on a cassette, 2, 4, 6, or 8 track cassette! If you had the bread for a reel to reel, it was a 2 track or a broken 4 track. You didn't have any good options at all. Then, Mackie shows up with mixers that had great preamps and were QUIET! And the ADAT shows up with 'pristine' sound. Look: we were so used to tape hiss that anything that was dead quite was a Godsend. No one called it brittle, cold, or harsh, because we were so used to tape hiss.

Well, that's my up hill in the snow both ways story. Please share yours.

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#1739261 - 04/22/07 09:02 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: ghaines]
thanksforhelpethan Offline
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Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 101
Loc: los angeles
Well for me it was the day I bought a Akai MPC. I had only been a lyricist untill then. But once I started fooling around with a MPC I began to see my potential in making the music to songs also. Now one year later I have a home studio with the works, Korg Triton, MPC, Pro tools, NTK mic, Yamaha speakers and all kinds of other fun goodies.

Good old MPC showed me the light.

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#1739271 - 04/22/07 09:32 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: thanksforhelpethan]
J.J. Blair Moderator Offline
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Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 329
Loc: Hollywood, CA
I dunno, a lot of us called ADATs brittle. Particularly the black faced ones.

My first really good mic is what changed my recording life. I then realized that I didn't have to try to fix everything with EQ, that certain mics just had the right sound on certain sources.

The 1176 was also a revelation. When used properly, heavy compression can really make things sound magical. Often when somebody likes a vocal sound and wants to know what mic was used, I realize that it's the compression that they are responding to, more so than the mic.
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#1739805 - 04/23/07 08:32 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: J.J. Blair]
DdubBdrum Offline
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Registered: 01/19/07
Posts: 33
Loc: Seattle, WA
haha, well its a bit different for me since i'm still a kid with a limited budget, not to mention I'm beginning my career in the digital age. None the less, multi-tracking has definately changed my recording life so far. My first recording experiences were with 2 dynamic mics and a 2 channel USB interface. Now having 8-16 channels is great, even if I don't have the nicest board or mics. Its still a step in the right direction!


Edited by DdubBdrum (04/23/07 08:33 PM)
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#1740228 - 04/24/07 02:53 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: DdubBdrum]
thanksforhelpethan Offline
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Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 101
Loc: los angeles
well I feel having talent and ambition beats having the best gear money can buy. In the 60s people had worse gear then even us budget guys have, and they made records people still love today.

So keep doing your thing bdub \:D

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#1740602 - 04/25/07 01:56 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: thanksforhelpethan]
J.J. Blair Moderator Offline
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Registered: 07/22/05
Posts: 329
Loc: Hollywood, CA
Actually, gear in the '60s was probably better. It was tube, class A, state of the art.
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#1740721 - 04/25/07 10:02 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: J.J. Blair]
miroslav Offline
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Registered: 05/23/00
Posts: 14215
Loc: NY Hudson Valley, USA
Right..there was little if any "pro-sumer", "home recording" gear back then in the '60s...or even most of the '70s.

It was all just "pro" gear...made by pros for pros!


Edited by miroslav (04/25/07 10:02 AM)
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#1740932 - 04/25/07 01:28 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: miroslav]
thanksforhelpethan Offline
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Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 101
Loc: los angeles
well then lol shows what i know ok replace 60's with 20's then haha.

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#1743722 - 04/30/07 08:56 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: thanksforhelpethan]
BrianK Moderator Offline
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Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
Funny enough, I started with 16 and 24 tracks. Later, I went to a friend's home to mix her 8-track recordings done there, a simple reel-to-reel and Yamaha mixer with only 2 AUX ends and minimal 3-band EQ (not adjustable freq. or Q).

I had so few choices that I learned SO much about balancing things and how they interrelate. I only had a few combinations to try - not hundreds - so I learned more because I could understand the changes affecting the mix.
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#1743824 - 04/30/07 11:39 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: BrianK]
Mike P Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/06
Posts: 27
Loc: Hollywood, CA
ADAT's pretty much ruined my life. I lost some great performances due to the tape getting stuck and broken in the heads, sync issues and overall crappy sound. Yuck.

What changed my life was my first DAT machine. I was using a Tascam 388 in the late 80's and early 90's, syncing an Alesis drum machine via FSK (not even Smart FSK!). I had a small Tascam sub-mixer for the drums but could only record 7 tracks of audio. Once I purchased a DAT machine I was able to mix all my basic tracks to DAT, dump back to 2 tracks on the 388, record vocals, dump to DAT then record additional overdubs.

Even though some sound quality was lost for each dump, it made me a much better mixer because I had to visualize and compensate for final mixes down the road. Once I bought a Tascam TSR-8 (1/2") and a Tascam DAT (the first was a Prosumer Technics), my recordings made a another huge jump. Unfortunately, that was all wiped out by ADAT's from 1995-1999. Idiot!

After that, I'd say buying a Vintech X73i (Neve 1073 clone) and a UA 1176 for tracking vocals. Hearing that sound was almost as much of a revelation as my first Les Paul at age 15! It was like "Oh, NOW I know how they get that sound!".
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#1757705 - 05/26/07 06:47 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Mike P]
Rit Offline
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Registered: 05/25/07
Posts: 6
Loc: by the dock by the bay
My Dad's reel to reel 4 track. I had my brother and sisters remake the entire Zappa Suzy Creamcheese side of Freakout, and I was only 10.
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#1763971 - 06/08/07 02:25 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: BrianK]
thanksforhelpethan Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 101
Loc: los angeles
yo Brian (or anyone), I have a noob question about freq and Q. What exactly do they do. I know they are EQ settings and I can sorta hear what they do but was hoping you could exactly tell me.

Thanks.

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#1766611 - 06/14/07 03:54 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Mike P]
Cojonesonasteek Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Austin, Texas USofA
It was my first pairs of Neve 1073s (thanks, Fletcher) and Telefunken V76s. Showed me what a really GREAT mic pre sounds like.

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#1770479 - 06/23/07 12:27 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: ghaines]
calmic Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/05
Posts: 25
Loc: Shanghai, China
Well i'm not old, yet...

... but recently, Studio Projects VTB1 Mic Pre. Its changed the way i value expensive stuff...why does my Avalon M5 cost $1300 if it only sounds $50 better???

But originally - working with a 24 track 2inch Studer (cuz digital sucked i thought) and then one weekend, finally buying my first home computer...with Sound Forge Acid 1.0!! Then going back to the studio on Monday and saying to myself, "I wish i could just move audio around with such ease"...A few years later - voila - Protools HD. But it all started with a celeron 400, 128 ram, Acid 1.0, Soundblaster live, and a 57(an SM not a chevy)

calmic

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#1774961 - 07/01/07 06:07 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: calmic]
BrianK Moderator Offline
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Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
This thread is probably NOT about how good something is, at all. It's about when something gearwise changd your life...

I'd hgave to say this happens a lot - from my first reel-to-reel recorder, first fuzzbox, Mellotron, good compressor. Etc etc, many things have moved me down this road.

(BTW - your question about EQ would be best in a new thread). A good question - start a new thread and we'll all jump in.
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#1777764 - 07/06/07 07:16 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: BrianK]
rush666 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 7
Walking into the guitar store and hearing some kid play, that made me feel liek I wasted the last year or so of my time trying to learn to play guitar. I realized that learning music is pointless and to just focus my time on making sure I have money so when I'm older I won't be living with my parents

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#1779210 - 07/10/07 09:13 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: BrianK]
Bill@Welcome Home Studios Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 9613
 Originally Posted By: BrianK
This thread is probably NOT about how good something is, at all. It's about when something gearwise changd your life...



My band did their first live studio session, at a small radio station. Changed my whole world.

Bill


Edited by Bill@Welcome Home Studios (07/10/07 09:14 AM)
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#1792129 - 08/06/07 05:53 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Bill@Welcome Home Studios]
BrianK Moderator Offline
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Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
That EQ question is best if you start a new thread - then we can all pile in "on topic" with answers and help...
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#1818439 - 10/02/07 08:01 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: BrianK]
audiorulez Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 06/20/07
Posts: 745
Empirical Labs EL-8 Distressor. Give me racks and racks of em.....

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#1823132 - 10/11/07 08:42 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: audiorulez]
BrianK Moderator Offline
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Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 228
Loc: Los Angeles,CA,UNITED STATES
Mellotron.
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#1855218 - 12/11/07 08:58 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: ghaines]
devils.master Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/07
Posts: 4
I dont think there is any stuff that change my life, But i think that PSP is the one which i have to name for these kind of gadgets.
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#1877933 - 01/23/08 06:55 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: devils.master]
Bald Ego Offline
Member

Registered: 11/17/07
Posts: 7
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC Canada
It's always the NEXT piece of gear that changes my life.

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#1979033 - 08/10/08 09:45 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Bald Ego]
Mortal Engines Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Portland, OR
Looking back on it....in late 1991 I bought a Sony DAT machine...the consumer one: with just RCA ins and outs. I got a TON of mileage out of that thing....it helped me get my electronic noise stuff on to a couple of local CD compilations and when I moved up to Portland in 1994 there were a couple of other electronic tweakers who really liked being my friend because I had something digital to mix down to (or sometimes just record direct). This eventually got me on a nationally distributed CD compilation and boy....it all went to my head after that.

http://www.myspace.com/mortal_engines

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#1983537 - 08/23/08 10:30 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Mortal Engines]
2leftears Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 10
Loc: Dallas, TX
A pair of UA LA-610's started an avalanche of purchases for my home room: mics,(Neumann,Telefunken,Earthworks,Crowley&Tripp,
Senheiser&Shure),Converters,(Apogee),Plugins<(UA)and acoustic treatment. I was never able to "get it right" at home until those I used the UA's.

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#1983561 - 08/23/08 12:02 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: 2leftears]
Mortal Engines Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/11/08
Posts: 147
Loc: Portland, OR
That has been my new "bump" of inspiration as well...I recently bought an Apogee Duet and an LA 610 and now am looking to get some more stuff like, REALLY good mics.

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#2001340 - 10/13/08 05:52 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Bald Ego]
MASSIVE Mastering Offline
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Registered: 12/16/04
Posts: 73
Loc: Chicago (Schaumburg, Hoff Est....
 Quote:
It's always the NEXT piece of gear that changes my life.

No doubt. Geez, with early digital technology, every other month was life-changing. Then with every "next generation" of digital technology.

Then going back to solid analog technology...

But the biggest single "how did I ever do this before..." item?

Tearing down the Sonex and installing broadband traps.
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#2017963 - 11/29/08 10:12 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: MASSIVE Mastering]
Paul K Offline
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Registered: 05/16/06
Posts: 3609
Loc: Ithaca, NY
Band-in-a-box

Like turning on a light switch, it made my practicing very productive.
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#2070716 - 05/03/09 09:22 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Paul K]
billy_lkid Offline
Member

Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 5
It was my api lunchbox whit API 512C,API 550B.API 525 IT SOUND AMAAAAAZZZZIN

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#2090773 - 06/26/09 12:55 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: billy_lkid]
Roscoe East Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 56
Multitrack, period, changed my life.

After that, I guess random-access hard disc recording & editing yielded the biggest change, though I'm still not convinced it's for the better!

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#2092657 - 07/02/09 05:54 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: DdubBdrum]
DJdroppedIt Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/09
Posts: 6
Loc: London
Totally agree buddy! kind of take multi tracking for granted a little now! still longing for the day we i get to produce in an old school studio to get that natural fuzz sound though!


Edited by DJdroppedIt (07/02/09 05:55 PM)

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#2163575 - 02/11/10 06:50 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: DJdroppedIt]
coltfourty5 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/10/09
Posts: 34
Being taught at a young age of my career about mixing on NS-10's at low volume. I carry the same pair (I own several to last me to when I'm too old to mix anymore) along with a Hafler amp to every session I go to. If I bring nothing else, I bring my trusty NS-10's.

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#2165689 - 02/17/10 04:24 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: DJdroppedIt]
BJK Offline
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Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 4
Loc: Watauga TX
A 4 track TEAC reel to reel purchased in the 70's. Multi tracking realized for a teenager!

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#2206502 - 06/30/10 07:37 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: Roscoe East]
d2718 Offline
Member

Registered: 06/29/10
Posts: 3
Originally Posted By: Roscoe East
Multitrack, period, changed my life.

Yeah. In high school, a mutual acquaintance loaned to my friend and me a four-track that his uncle wasn't using (I think it was a Tascam, but I can't remember). That changed it all for both of us; suddenly it didn't matter that our "band" had only two people in it. We made endless recordings on that, a Marantz four-track that we eventually bought, a Tascam 388 (we felt like total badass pros with eight channels of reel-to-reel tape; I even asked my family for Ampex tape for Christmas one year), and eventually several members of the Cakewalk series of multi-tracking software.

He went on to get an audio engineering degree; I studied Math and wrote my thesis on digital audio compression. I don't think either of us would still be into music if it weren't for fortuitously stumbling across recording equipment when we were still young and had copious amounts of free time.

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#2211825 - 07/15/10 09:13 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: d2718]
Griffinator Offline
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Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
When I figured out, after attempting and failing to properly mix a session on monitors that were available on-site several times on one gig, that whatever speakers you are most intimately familiar with are the ones you will mix best on. I took the session back to my studio, with my trusty old JBLs, and one-offed a beast that everyone was thrilled with.

It's a damned shame, those JBLs died horribly in a flood I had in my basement back in November last year.

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#2269430 - 02/01/11 04:11 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: DJdroppedIt]
soundbeing Offline
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Registered: 01/30/11
Posts: 32
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
learning how to use compression. in my early years of recording my ears weren't sensitive enough to hear the difference between each tweak of the knobs. i had some presets that i would go to and that was it. but as i learned about threshold, attack, release, etc. my ears began to hear those tweaks bringing life or death to a track. its amazing what you can do with a good compressor and the know how to use it.
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#2281010 - 03/09/11 01:26 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: ghaines]
egolftrolleys Offline
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Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 1
Hi Everyone! My name is clive and I'm new here.

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#2614131 - 07/25/14 03:14 AM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: egolftrolleys]
Tattoo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/17/14
Posts: 91
For me it was not equipment itself, but the subjective scientific testing of equipment that changed how I think about equipment.
Key things are:
-Test 1 thing only.
-Test using only ears.
It takes a bit of effort, but saves lots of money.

One other very important thing I learned is to dismiss small differences. They don't matter, so focus on thing that do make a big difference.

Do you have bad gas?

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#2661181 - 02/01/15 08:22 PM Re: Stuff that changed your life [Re: ghaines]
bleedingspawn Offline
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Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 20
Loc: Illinois
BR1180CDR
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