Music Player Network Home Guitar Player Magazine Keyboard Magazine Bass Player Magazine EQ Magazine
Topic Options
#2442900 - 10/03/12 10:25 AM Limitations
Russkull Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 647
Loc: So Cal
Originally Posted By: Russkull
There's been a couple of good interviews in Tape Op recently about how having recording limitations can actually help...but I guess that's another topic.

I just re-read this and thought I'd bring up the topic, although I'll preface by saying that I know that most of us here in the Projects can't help but be limited in our recording equipment and techniques. We're largely a different audience than the professional audio engineers of Tape Op and other such magazines.

But, I'll ask it anyway - have you ever put limitations on your recording to capture a certain sound, vibe or feel? Like only using four tracks and bouncing tracks, ala early Beatles? Or capturing a more live instrumentation sound versus built in the studio? (Again, the Beatles with Let It Be pre-Spector's mix versus Sgt. Peppers.) Or cutting back or cutting out your use of effects, EQ, plugins, etc.?
_________________________
"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug

Top
#2443147 - 10/04/12 08:53 AM Re: Limitations [Re: Russkull]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
As a matter of habit these days, when I'm working with my own band, I record the full band live with whatever I have available in the way of mics, crap or not.

Why? Each time, I learn more about controlling bleed, about mic positions that maximize one instrument to the exclusion of others directly nearby, not to mention forcing the band to have pristine interactive timing.

Top
#2443460 - 10/05/12 02:32 PM Re: Limitations [Re: Griffinator]
Russkull Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 647
Loc: So Cal
That's definitely something like what I had in mind. It also leads you to try out different mic/instrument combinations that you wouldn't think of otherwise.

For me as a "solo artist" (heavy quotations), I've limited myself on a couple of recent songs to only do what I could re-create live with a few friends. It doesn't really matter since I very rarely play anything live, but it has led me to document things better - the exact notes I played on a bass or lead guitar part, for instance. I also think makes it feel more like a band put the song together and not just one person.
_________________________
"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug

Top
#2443519 - 10/05/12 09:03 PM Re: Limitations [Re: Russkull]
Perkunas Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 75
Russkull,
I have never deliberately put limitations on any recording but I've never had kittens when faced with a limited set of options for recording. I always use what I've got or get given to me.

Because my job description has a lot of slashes...guitarist/bass player/producer/engineer etc I might be hired for one thing and then asked to put on another hat at the last moment. It happened yesterday.

I recorded a drum kit with a pair of overheads and an sm58. A client's songwriting session went much better than expected and there was an hour left over. So where the scratch demo was supposed to use a drum machine I ended up sitting behind a crappy drum kit using whatever equipment was available at the moment.

The kik ended up being recorded via sm58 and the OH's were provided by my Zoom h4n. I have just listened to the rough mix I left her with and it occured to me that, with a remix, it might not sound too bad.

I always approach these situations like a pro photographer might after being handed a Brownie box camera. The camera is limited so how can the environment be manipulated? Obviously lighting is important so the subject should sit in the best lighting available. Musically this means "move the drum kit to the best position in the room, get the gaffa out to improve the sound and position your mics carefully. This was done back in the 60's where the room was very much part of the recording process.

Where we hold the aces is in "the darkroom". I see the mixing process as equivalent to the development stage in photography.

No matter what restrictions we place on ourselves in the recording process do we extend these restrictions to the mix? Do we ditch 4 band parametric eq, compressors etc in order to get the "sound"...as you mentioned.

Man, that is so hard to even think of. In August a demo piece I recorded and mixed on a Tascam 4 track eons ago was played at a funeral. The only available copy was on a cassette tape. I remastered the tape using current technology, I couldn't help it.

So if we cut back on current technology shouldn't we have access to the technology of the time? (There is a studio in London that has amassed the old technology and it is sought after for that reason. Jack White has recorded there.)

BTW my son's studio is geared for live recording but the control room is anything but the 60's.

PS. I just heard a mix of a session I played on from a studio withh an SSL desk etc. I reckon that I could pull a better sound from yesterday's session. The difference being that the engineering was half hearted at the SSL session...need more be said?

Sorry for rambling but you have brought up a very interesting topic.
Cheers

Top
#2443521 - 10/05/12 09:22 PM Re: Limitations [Re: Perkunas]
Perkunas Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 75
Toe Rag studios is the studio that has reconstructed the 60's

Top
#2443523 - 10/05/12 09:27 PM Re: Limitations [Re: Perkunas]
Perkunas Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/28/12
Posts: 75
Here are a couple of links. Their site is down at the moment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_Rag_Studios

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6pkCdHQy0Q

Cheers

Top
#2443528 - 10/05/12 09:56 PM Re: Limitations [Re: Perkunas]
audiofreek Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 05/09/01
Posts: 782
Loc: Prince George,CANADA
I think some of the best things about track/channel limitations are reducing redundant micing and processing,lowering your noise floor,and improving overall phase coherence.
Having to make sure your performances,and recording environment are up to snuff is the hard part,cause there is no "I'll fix it in the mix".You can still cut and paste performances together though.
I haven't used this method of recording in years,but some of my favorite sounding recordings that I have made were done on 1/4" two track tape.
Perhaps if we all prepared to record this way,and kept a two track as a safety,like in the old days,our recordings would be the better for it,and so would we.


Edited by audiofreek (10/05/12 10:01 PM)

Top
#2462118 - 01/11/13 02:49 AM Re: Limitations [Re: Russkull]
Abdulsamad Offline
Member

Registered: 01/11/13
Posts: 1
I'm a not very clever spam-bot who strings random words together to make it sound like I'm participating in the thread so I can put stupid links into my post later.


Edited by Griffinator (01/11/13 03:48 AM)
Edit Reason: Duh...

Top
#2462170 - 01/11/13 09:12 AM Re: Limitations [Re: Abdulsamad]
Russkull Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 647
Loc: So Cal
Originally Posted By: Abdulsamad
I'm a not very clever spam-bot who strings random words together to make it sound like I'm participating in the thread so I can put stupid links into my post later.

Oh Griff, now you've gone and insulted Abdul! Now he/she/it will never come back to post. Our loss.
_________________________
"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug

Top
#2462188 - 01/11/13 10:12 AM Re: Limitations [Re: Russkull]
Griffinator Moderator Offline
TPS cook & bottle washer
20k Club

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 20318
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
Originally Posted By: Russkull
Originally Posted By: Abdulsamad
I'm a not very clever spam-bot who strings random words together to make it sound like I'm participating in the thread so I can put stupid links into my post later.

Oh Griff, now you've gone and insulted Abdul! Now he/she/it will never come back to post. Our loss.


Oh if only it were that simple to get rid of them... freak

Top


Moderator:  Griffinator, Griffinator