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"How Do I" vs. "What If I"
#3054913 07/19/20 06:30 PM
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While looking through Instagram, I saw another one of those "follow these steps to have your master bus limiter be ultra-bitchin' cool" semi-tutorials. And I realized this was aimed solely to the people who ask "who do I" - in this case, use a limiter for mastering. Well, first of all I wouldn't agree the advice was particularly good, but then I also realized that anyone following these steps would learn nothing about a limiter - like what the parameters do, and how you adjust them to accommodate different types of material.

If you ask "What if" - what if I turn up the attack, what if I decrease the amount of gain reduction, what if I lower the threshold vs. increasing the gain - you build up a store of knowledge you can apply to make your own unique sounds, not just copy what someone else thinks is a good sound.

This isn't a "get off my lawn" comment, I don't really care what people do...if they want to make cookie-cutter music, that's better than not making music at all. Still, I think having creativity as a goal is better than having expediency as a goal.

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Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054919 07/19/20 06:58 PM
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Same old useless interwebz click bait stuffs.

It can take time to learn to "hear" compression and limiting. Subtle use of either will be pretty difficult to detect.
Hootie and the Blowfish first album - yikes!!!!

Playing with settings is just about the only way to learn anything like that since an article must assume a particular sort of recording in the first place.
Changing one setting can change everything, maybe is good, maybe not. Maybe changing that setting means change this setting.

It was trial and error for me and I am still figuring it out.

And, I don't care what anybody does either. As long as Divine stays off my lawn it's all good (obscure reference, I admit...).


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
KuruPrionz #3054923 07/19/20 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Same old useless interwebz click bait stuffs.

Playing with settings is just about the only way to learn anything like that since an article must assume a particular sort of recording in the first place.
Changing one setting can change everything, maybe is good, maybe not. Maybe changing that setting means change this setting.

Exactly. So much depends on the material. But zooming out, what bothers me the most is that these kinds of "tutorials" discourage curiosity and experimentation. Some of the "classic" albums of all time are the result of "what if" moments that sparked creativity.

Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054924 07/19/20 07:51 PM
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Social media has taken too many people who might actually be somewhat serious about audio engineering. If someone asked the (in either form) question here rather than Instragram, he or she might get a more detailed answer with choices and options.

But maybe that's too much information for the Instagram generation. They want the fish now, not after they learn to fish.

Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054951 07/20/20 04:06 AM
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One thing I notice is how much less useful content is in public forums of all types. In the early 2000's, highly skilled and credentialed engineers were on major forums. They would freely share lessons learned from many years of experience. By 2010, most were gone - completely run out of town by people with a web browser and an opinion, and who couldn't be wrong. I learned a lot in the early years - there were voices I learned to trust, and whose opinions I found true when I tried their advice. Now, actual practitioners give the forums a WIDE berth. The people who do the work listen deeply, experiment constantly

Today, places like Gearslutz are virtually useless. The signal to noise ratio is crazy low. It is mostly hobbyists (nothing wrong with that) posturing each other about what gear they own, and there is never a mention of the music that the gear is supposed to serve (strange basis for a community). The pros are all but non-existent. So much so, that now Gearslutz pays them to do Q&A sessions. They give standard answers to basic questions and people there are amazed. I don't get it. Some of the answers you would know if you even tried to do it yourself or if you understood how the gear actually works.

This happened on the composers forum "VI-Control" about three years ago. There's still some bright lights, but I find very little of interest to even open in the thread list. It is endless repeats of the same "how to I get crazy awesome pro results from buying ONE thing?" "If you could only buy ONE thing, what you buy"? How about a clue? Have you even looked at any successful person's studio or DAW? There isn't one tool, but dozens... And they actually know how to use them. Recently there was a long thread over there by someone who opened by saying he didn't get why anyone even used compressors. It turns out he'd never spent the time to play with one and listen to the results. Somehow he decided to actually listen and play with them. Many pages later, he found out what they were, what they were good for, how the controls worked and which ones he liked. It was mind-boggling. Slag something you don't even understand - then use it with curiosity for the first time and "get it".

Some of the knowledge has gone to YouTube (Warren Huart, Rick Beato and others). But you mostly have to wade through a sea of people taking 20 min to rambling explain some simple DAW feature. Ableton corporate tutorial videos are 2-3 min long and get you exactly what you need, but most third party videos are 17 min rambles. Who has time for this?

All the information is actually more available than it ever has been. There is also so much noise, that you first have to figure out how to have a filter to find the good stuff.

Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Nathanael_I #3054953 07/20/20 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Nathanael_I
Some of the answers you would know if you even tried to do it yourself or if you understood how the gear actually works.

Something I do not understand is when someone goes to a forum and posts a question along the lines of "Will this work if I do this" and will wait hours, or even days, for someone to answer instead of just doing it, and finding out for himself. It's effing software, it's not like your computer is going to blow up if you explore a feature.

I've given up on Gearslutz, because of the self-proclaimed professionals who seem to think that the best way to display their knowledge is to engage in personal attacks on other people instead of debating ideas. I thought the purpose of those kinds of discussions was to learn things by an exchange of ideas.

I would much rather see forums where people try things, report back on the results, and hope to generate some discussion in the process. I actually thinks a lot of that happens here, and will continue to do so until it gets so many new people coming in that we have to deal with the noise-to-signal problem.

Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054954 07/20/20 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I've given up on Gearslutz

Amen


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054959 07/20/20 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Something I do not understand is when someone goes to a forum and posts a question along the lines of "Will this work if I do this" and will wait hours, or even days, for someone to answer instead of just doing it, and finding out for himself. It's effing software, it's not like your computer is going to blow up if you explore a feature.

It depends on what "this" is. If it involves buying a highly recommended $2,000 mic because he has a great singer coming in to work with him on his project, well, then I can see looking for opinions. But of course he hasn't provided enough information for even an experienced person to answer intelligently.

Another thing is that he may not know what "works" means. If he has a pedal that he wants to apply to a keyboard and has a handful of adapters and cables that, to him, all look about the same, then, sure, he can try some things. Risk of blowing something up is fairly low. But he may not understand that the reason why he doesn't hear anything is because he has a TS adapter and he really needs a TRS adapter for this particular connection.

Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
davedoerfler #3054966 07/20/20 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by davedoerfler
Originally Posted by Anderton
I've given up on Gearslutz

Amen

Edit: Reply deleted because I can’t stand braggarts- especially when it’s me.

Last edited by Markyboard; 07/21/20 01:14 PM.
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Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054985 07/20/20 03:56 PM
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Sometimes we kinda miss those much-aligned gatekeepers after all maybe a little? Meaning edited and curated content by pros in the business.

Behind the massive static field of social media, much good content yet lurks. Surfing won't get to it, but spelunking will.

nat

Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3054990 07/20/20 04:32 PM
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I definitely agree that the clickbait mentality has led to a prevalence of "hacks"/"tricks" information. I see it with students at the university level, where they often want to be spoonfed information or told explicitly what to do instead of maybe asking questions and doing research of their own volition.

That being said, I do appreciate a lot of the content being put out by known quantities (eg Dave Pensado, Fabrice Gabriel & Puremix, The Pro Audio Files etc). Watching Matthew Weiss break down his Akon mixes have been super helpful in understanding the sonic footprint of reggaeton/Afrobeats/dancehall. I can then take that information and try to recreate it on my system, or make my own artistic choices based on that guidance.


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Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3055030 07/20/20 09:15 PM
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Apparently some people are still willing to read, because the clicks on craiganderton.org continue to trend upward...slowly [very slowly!], but surely.

Last edited by Anderton; 07/20/20 09:16 PM.
Re: "How Do I" vs. "What If I"
Anderton #3055098 07/21/20 01:05 PM
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Glad to hear that your educational web page is getting some traction. Most new users seeking out (usually easy but magic) solutions coming from currently active producers and engineers involved in the making of hit records. But you (and me) are different. You've been writing continuously, publishing since the 1970sm in places that are appropriate for the times - from 20 page print 'zines through books, to the Internet, always with a technical approach that explains how whatever you're writing about works, so that what you learn can be applied to other similar products and processes. This is really special, and KTDs (kids these days) don't have the attention span to learn about things, they just want to know how someone else accomplished what they're trying to accomplish in hopes that it will get them to their goal.

You're Craig Anderton! And hopefully with more places where your name appears now people will catch on to what you do.

Me, I'm stuck in the old school. I don't talk about how a preamp smooths out a vocal, I talk about the harmonics it adds and how they affect the sound of a vocal. I don't point to a favorite compressor plug-in that I try first (because I don't have one), I suggest how the adjustments of any compressor can affect the sound so the reader knows what to fiddle with. And when it comes to explaining signal flow - well - sometimes I have to first explain that there actually is such a thing as signal flow in a DAW.

But still, both good and bad music continues to be made.

Last edited by Mike Rivers; 07/21/20 01:07 PM.

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