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#955091 - 03/15/01 03:29 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
d gauss Offline
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Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 3231
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i think the amount of gear people have (myself included) is insane. recording has become so overblown from the days of sam philips plugging a mic into portable ampex 350 in a backroom. if you are recording your own music, you shouldn't be tied up in the thinking process of engineering.
that's why it was cool for those of us who did the "back and forth boombox" way of recording. you could get your ideas down as fast as you could think and play them. your quality just suffered. however, having to thread tape onto a deck, bias a machine, replace tubes, patch in outboard, etc. can really suck a lot out of the inspirational process. so...
when the portastudio came out (and later the akai betatape 12 trak thingy), i thought "this is a step in the right direction. now just build me one with built-in fx and a second transport to mix to, and you've really got a portastudio!" well it seems we're getting closer to that idea with these new all-in-one type boxes from roland and yamaha. i'm all for that.

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#955092 - 03/16/01 06:54 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
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Loc: Philadelphia USA
There was a saying about rock musicians I heard once - that they play loud because they have little to say. The less you have to say, the louder you have to play.

Modern recording has become a "less = more" equation. If your musical ideas are strong and concise, you want ultimate simplicity in the process of recording those ideas. If your ideas are diffuse, you need more options. It's ironic, because Craig & I have been debating these same concepts on another thread.

If you can compose a song just walking down the street or sitting in the park or in your bedroom, what need do you have for gear, besides a pen and a small pad of paper? But if you are in the business of recording any composition that may come your way, you need any gear that may possibly be utilized to record anything. You have to decide what niche you are going to fill. It's always good to find something to focus on: why are you into music? What do you like to do? Answer these questions, and you'll find a those pieces of gear that will fulfill those desires, whether they be a Neve and a sh*tload of mics & outboard gear, or a pen and some paper, or something in between.
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#955093 - 03/16/01 12:17 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
DC Offline
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Registered: 01/17/01
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I think you need competant gear, but too many of us get into the mind set; "If I just had this (shiny new toy in the latest catalog or mag ad) then I could record so much better." We spend oodles of time researching gear instead of recording.

Like Craig said, a great engineer could do a better mix on a four track than some of us with state of the art gear. Equipment is not nearly as important as capturing a great performance.

I'm concentrating on arranging these days. So what if I don't have the greatest instruments, mics or path to disk? If the instruments stay out of each other's way and are all heard, if the backup vocals compliment the lead vocal and the song is groovin, if someone who's never heard the song before can understand all the lyrics, then that's most of the battle.

I think we all need to reach a point where we stop researching new stuff and get out our manuals and start experimenting to get the best out of what we have. And after I replace my dying dat, and find a mic that better suits my own voice, and perhaps a pristine mic pre, I swear I'm done buying stuff.... ahem....
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#955094 - 03/16/01 12:27 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
d gauss Offline
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Registered: 02/15/01
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maybe, but i read threads all the time where people are so concerned about "never using a synth preset" or whatever, because "that sound is so played out." put horowitz, little richard, chick corea, and my tone-deaf mom behind the same grand piano and you'll get very different results from each indeed. no need to tweak a thing! think about the blues brothers scene where they complain to ray charles that the action sucks on the piano they're trying to buy off him and he says "oh really?...." then does shake a tailfeather....

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#955095 - 03/16/01 04:57 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
KenElevenShadows Offline
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Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 13231
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, UNITED STATES
It may be because I am working with really budget gear in general, but every purchase I have ever made has been with a really careful consideration: "What can I purchase that will make the single biggest impact on the sound quality?". So far, I have heard a huge difference every time I have upgraded something (mic preamps and microphones, mostly). If I don't need it, I don't bother with it since I don't have that much extra cash to throw around and don't like clutter. I've gotten a nice tube mic (AT4060 modified), a couple of nice mic preamps, FMR RNC compressors, and all this has really improved the sound quite a bit.

FWIW, I record on an old Akai MG1214 12-track analog recorder, mix to a Fostex D5 DAT, and use a 1994 Micron PC with SAW+ and a 1994 AdB digital I/O card for my setup. I have a Lexicon LXP-15 as a main reverb unit and a few other odds and ends, and a bunch of microphones (everything from 57s to 421s to AT4051/4049s to a Rode NT2 and the aforementioned AT4060). Nothing fancy, but I get a good sound nevertheless (in my opinion).

For me, I don't get gear as an excuse (although it'd be fun to have enough money to be more frivolous!!). If it helps to create the music, I get it. If it's just something to fuss over without any real benefit, let someone get it!!!

------------------
Ken/Eleven Shadows/d i t h er/nectar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
music*travel photos*tibet*lots of stuff
"Sangsara" "Irian Jaya" & d i t h er CDs available!
http://www.elevenshadows.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This message has been edited by Ken/Eleven Shadows on 03-16-2001 at 01:58 PM

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#955096 - 03/16/01 07:01 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
michael saulnier Offline
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Registered: 12/06/00
Posts: 4070
Loc: San Diego,CA,UNITED STATES
Interesting thread.

Many people feel Sgt. Pepper was one of the most innovative recordings ever and wasn't it all done on a couple of 4-tracks? Would Sgt. Pepper have been "better" if George Martin and the Beatles had access to a modern recording studio and its capabilities? I would guess that George Martin was more important to the recording than the equipment was.

If you or I were to go into the exact studio setup and make a recording would we be able to make one up to the "Pepper" standard? It depends...

It's realistic to assume we will always have new products that bring new capabilities and other products that simply refine what's been done before. There will be people who adopt the new things and make good recordings and people who will make crap with a similar setup.

Also, there will be people who will "stay with the old stuff" and make great recordings and others that make even more crap.

The difference will probably be what it always was... good engineering capturing good performances of good material... you're probably making a good recording...

weakness in ANY of the area's and you're probably adding to the cut-out bin.

guitplayer
_________________________
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Check out my music if you like...

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#955097 - 03/16/01 07:49 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Lee Flier Offline
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Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 15398
Loc: Atlanta,GA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant:
There was a saying about rock musicians I heard once - that they play loud because they have little to say. The less you have to say, the louder you have to play.


Well I don't know who came up with that "saying" - obviously not somebody who has a clue about rock music. Whoever said that oughta rent themselves a copy of the Who documentary "The Kids Are Alright" and take a listen to what Pete Townshend has to say about why rock bands play loud. Basically (I'm paraphrasing here), he says it's because they want to obliterate the rest of the world. There should no question whether you can hear anything else in the outside world, or even talk to anyone else. You're there to listen to the band!

Plus, seems to me whenever I've been to a rave the electronica is blaring pretty loud, too.

--Lee
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#955098 - 03/16/01 07:49 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
d gauss Offline
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Registered: 02/15/01
Posts: 3231
Loc: Somewhere in the Swamps of Jer...
<>

maybe, but not as good as "my dog ate it."

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#955099 - 03/16/01 08:36 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Yuri T. Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/27/01
Posts: 656
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by guitplayer:
Many people feel Sgt. Pepper was one of the most innovative recordings ever and wasn't it all done on a couple of 4-tracks? Would Sgt. Pepper have been "better" if George Martin and the Beatles had access to a modern recording studio and its capabilities? I would guess that George Martin was more important to the recording than the equipment was.

If you or I were to go into the exact studio setup and make a recording would we be able to make one up to the "Pepper" standard? It depends...

[/B]


Well, let's not forget that those were some serious 1 inch Studer 4 tracks and I think they had 2 synced up. They have as much in common with a cassette 4 track as a Tricycle to a Rolls Royce. All of the gear used to record Pepper would hold up just fine and in some ways better to contemporary equipment. The gear sounded fantastic it was just simpler and more limited than what is available today so creative solutions had to be used to create what they wanted.
By no one else and at no other time could that music have been created and i can't see any way to imagine if they had a more modern facility to work with. Cosidering the talent in and around the group a newer studio may have made the experience a bit faster and easier. But sometimes the hard work shows more.

I'm a guitarist. I've gone through a lot of amps looking for 'that tone'. Obviously choosing between a Crate and my '65 Vibrolux is a no brainer. I also have a Bogner, it was worth the $1500. Myself, the rest of the band and the audience hear the difference. Hendrix could sound good with any guitar & amp but the Marshall and Strat made his sound.

I'm also an engineer, I hear the difference. I have a 1 In. 16 Track and a 32 channel Soundcraft and a little outboard gear. I'm limited by my budget and can hear what's missing. i have worked a big budget facilities. If I was just working on songwriting I would still use the cassette 4-track or a simple DAW. I try to record projects that can hold up to major releases. The hard part is being the engineer AND the musician at the same time. If I'm too concerned with gear and sound putting the musician hat on is more difficult. You have to learn to get the best out of what you have. A great engineer can take some SM-57s, a Peavey mixer and a cassette deck and given half decent acoustics make a fine recording. Given a million dollar facility a great recording. Of course what's being recorded counts the most.

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#955100 - 03/16/01 09:28 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Dylan Offline
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Registered: 02/28/00
Posts: 3671
I think that not having a specific piece of gear can be an excuse for not getting any work done. I know that I've put off projects in the past cause I was waiting for that piece of hardware or software that would 'make my life so much easier'. Now, I just use whatever I have in front of me and go with it. I could care less what software program, audio card, tape machine, mixer, whatever I use as long as I can get my ideas down clearly and effectively.

-Dylan

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#955101 - 03/16/01 09:35 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
lwilliam Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 497
Loc: Canyon Country, CA, USA
I think that a new piece of gear can be inspiring, if nothing else.

Whether I (or others) can hear the difference is less important to me, than whether the new gear will inspire me to write, engineer, or produce in an improved manner. It's a little like grabbing a different guitar or changing amps to get a new idea for a song. This area of "gear" - being part art and part science - has some intangible improvements as well as some measurable (and many times audible) improvements. I'd say that whatever inspires you to create is worth it.


------------------
Larry W.
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#955102 - 03/16/01 10:17 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Curve Dominant:
There was a saying about rock musicians I heard once - that they play loud because they have little to say. The less you have to say, the louder you have to play.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

>>Well I don't know who came up with that "saying" - obviously not somebody who has a clue about rock music.<<

I remember who said that now: it was Herbie Hancock, I think. It was definitely a Jazz musician, anyway, but that figures, because Jazz musicians tended to look down on rock. But it's like that with gear, too, I've definitely noticed it here in Philly: the guys who are always getting fancier gear are the ones with the weakest musical ideas, as if the gear will create the music for them, whereas the artists with really strong concepts of what they want to do don't want to bother with gear so much. I remember auditioning guitarists for my bands - we always knew who was gonna suck before they even plugged in, because they were the guys who would show up with huge stacks, expensive custom-built guitars, elaborate digital effects, all packed into mink-lined deluxe cases, and they would take forever to get their axes in tune with their Boeing-Douglas X-5SZ-28 Atomic Strobe Tuners. And then there was the guy who would show up with a Fender Twin, a Tele, and an old MXR overdrive, say to the bassist "gimme an A," and then just peel the paint from the ceiling with raw soul. THAT's Rock & Roll.

Another local musician I know, I watched this guy gradually build his MIDI studio up into a $40,000 rig, but he doesn't know what to do with it now, the sh*t just gathers dust. It's like this: can you compose a lyric? A melody? Write some chord changes for it to sit on? That's it - you got a song. What do ya need to record it? A 4-track cassette recorder, period.
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#955103 - 03/16/01 10:54 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Jazzooo Offline
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Registered: 01/17/01
Posts: 576
Loc: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
<,I've considered such things as the new Roland 24-track all-in-one. I was having trouble getting an answer to a very direct question, though. Are the tracks recorded as 24-bit linear digital (no compression)?>>

I'm going to answer you, then ask you a question. The answer is no--if you record in the mode that uses no compression, you're turning the machine into a 16 track, from what i understand. If you record in the slightest compression mode (MTP), then it's a 24 track (16 simultaneous tracks recording, 24 tracks at playback). The other recording "modes" are for other applications--the higher the compression rate, the longer the recording time and the more obvious the degradation to your sound. This is useful for long, spoken word programs, band rehearsals, things that are important to document, but not be squeaky clean.

Here is my question: after reading your well-written description of where you're at in terms of music and music production, why on earth would you care if there is a compression scheme that enables you to have 24 tracks at playback? In that least active mode, MTP, many people cannot even hear it. I understand that I am setting myself up here to look like a schmo, but if I'm hearing it at all, it sounds fantastic to me (I've used a 1680 for years). All I'm suggesting is that you should use your own ears in a case like this--if it sounds good to you, then the bang for the buck is pretty compelling. You can definitely get outstanding and pro-level results from the VS line, if you take the time to learn how---as with almost any piece of powerful gear made today.

<>

Seems like quite an amazing box, just keep in mind that for $4K, you get the recorder and nothing else. Factor in a mixer and effects, for certain. Depending on what you select, you might be getting closer to that $10K threshold than you'd prefer.

<>

Maybe it's me, but any demonstration that suggests I need not one but TWO computers to record my songs and make CDs, doesn't "make it look easy" to me! "Easy" is an ADAT and a mixer. Easy is an all-in-one box like the yamaha or the Roland.

Best of luck,

Doug

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#955104 - 03/16/01 11:11 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Batman_dup1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/16/01
Posts: 311
Loc: London,,UNITED KINGDOM
Hey Curve....
Sure sounds like Herbie....
The guy who seriously dissed synths in the 1960s, then turned up with a Sennheiser vocoder, and inflicted "Sunlight" on us in the '70s.
Don't get me wrong, the guy talks shite, but plays sublime and inspired, which I, for one, much prefer, rather than vice-versa.
Gear can be an excuse, and, anything that hinders the creative process is a prime target for exfenestration........
It's yet another case of "whatever turns you on", and whether or not you're prepared to suffer the grief.......
Yodel
Ade

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#955105 - 03/16/01 11:51 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
Yo Adrien, do you have "Gershwin's World?" Herbie put it out in '98, and talk about sublime...w/ Kenny Garret, Chick Corea. Wayne Shorter, Stevie Wonder (!!!)...

It may have been Chick who said that about rock; that's actually an infamous quote that has been repeated over the years by Jazz musicians. Of course, it wasn't until the late '60's that rock and roll began to be played at the extreme high volumes we associate it with now. That's another thing that pisses me off: cats think it's rockin' if it's loud, and that is just bullsh*t. Some of the most rockin' music is played by all kinds of musicians such as bluegrass, C&W (not the lite kind we have today), yes, Jazz (come to Zanzibar Blue and see Joey DiFrancesco for living proof), Latin (Tito Puente - 'nuff said), and not necessarily at extremely high volumes. Most of the loud '80's hair bands, on the other hand, were not rockin' at all, in my opinion.
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#955106 - 03/17/01 12:29 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
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Loc: Philadelphia USA
BY THE WAY, JAZZOOO, 2 THINGS...

1. I'm w/ya on MT1. If I do hear it, and I'm not sure if I really do or if Lee Flier and Phil are just puttin' ideas in my head, I like it. It's got a nice fine-grain texture, and the stereo reverbs on the VS are remarkable - lush and transparent. I luv my VS.

2. Do you, or anybody else who's a VS user here, use the Logic VS? Does it work? Is it worth buying a MIDI sequencer for? Just curious. I don't need it badly, 'cause I can play, but it might be cool to have, especially to shut-up clients who think one actually needs sequencing software to create music.

Hope I didn't offend anybody - and if I did, go have a martini. It's Friday night.
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#955107 - 03/17/01 01:59 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Anderton Offline
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Registered: 01/28/00
Posts: 7377
>>What do ya need to record it? A 4-track cassette recorder, period. <<

Well...I appreciate the motive behind saying that, but if you're going to record on a 4-track cassette recorder, it helps to have a really good mastering engineer!!!
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#955108 - 03/17/01 02:50 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
dansouth Offline
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Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 3915
Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk:
i dont really care if it makes a difference to the end listener, it makes a difference to me.


Good point, and I agree. I remember when I recorded songs on a Portastudio. I'd agonize over the sound; it was okay, but not up to my expectations. My friends said that the songs sounded fine. But it just didn't sound "right." Now, ten years and a lot of gear and experience later, it's beginning to sound right.

Henry James said something to the this effect: if you endeavor to be less than your best, you'll never be happy. I think the same idea can be applied to music production. You'll never be satisfied with a song until it's right. It might require a lot of gear or a little, but what it needs, it needs. Why argue?

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#955109 - 03/17/01 02:57 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
dansouth Offline
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Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 3915
Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Lee Flier:
Well I don't know who came up with that "saying" - obviously not somebody who has a clue about rock music. Whoever said that oughta rent themselves a copy of the Who documentary "The Kids Are Alright" and take a listen to what Pete Townshend has to say about why rock bands play loud. Basically (I'm paraphrasing here), he says it's because they want to obliterate the rest of the world. There should no question whether you can hear anything else in the outside world, or even talk to anyone else. You're there to listen to the band!


And today, Pete has tinnitus and is a big proponent of toning it down. I saw The Who a few years ago and the SPL was enjoyably loud, not deafingly loud. Pete doesn't smash guitars anymore either, thank goodness.

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#955110 - 03/17/01 03:04 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
dansouth Offline
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Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 3915
Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by DC:
I think you need competant gear, but too many of us get into the mind set; "If I just had this (shiny new toy in the latest catalog or mag ad) then I could record so much better."


Yes, we've all been there, but I think we learn quickly that gear is a helper, not a collaborator. We have to make the music. Gear can magnify our ideas, but it can't fill in for them.

Agree with Curve on creating a niche. If you're not setting up The Record Plant II, you don't need one of everything, and you don't need the best of everything. You only need what your projects require.

Less is more? Yes, definitely. Not because stoicism is cool, but because complexity can become overwhelming. When you have to spend 80% of your time thinking about gear, you're no longer effective as an artist.

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#955111 - 03/17/01 03:40 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
>> if you're going to record on a 4-track cassette recorder, it helps to have a really good mastering engineer!!! <<

Maybe living so close to Pete Humphrys spoiled me! Even with the VS, I'm going to Pete to "finish" the job. Really, though, I was just making a point about composing - a strong couple of songs recorded on a 4-track could lure you a production deal, or even a label deal, and you could leave the high-end recording to the pro's. Songwriters can get sidetracked by getting tied up in the gear game. Having limited options for production forces one to concentrate on the important elements of songwriting, such as melody, arrangement, development, etc. If I was an A&R guy, I'd give a prospect a 424 PortaStudio and say, "Here, if you can get your songs to impress me with this, I'll cut a check for Hit Factory." I held on to my 424 for the longest time for that reason, and only broke down and got the VS so I could snag more high-end soundtrack work, which I happen to enjoy immensely, and the VS is killer for soundtracking. I used to have to go to high-end studios to produce works for the Koresh Dance Company, and now I produce them at home in my free time, as well as the corporate and TV/film jobs. I still can't believe how much bang for the $1600 I've gotten with the VS. I don't even consider going to commercial studios anymore, unless someone's gonna foot the bill and insist on it for one reason or another, in which case I can just ring Dan South and say, "When can ya fit me in, dawg?"
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#955112 - 03/17/01 04:19 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
dansouth Offline
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Registered: 09/01/00
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Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
Commercial studio????

Voice of Bones McCoy: I'm a composer, Jim, not a record exec.

Sorry, Curve, I could never handle an account of your stature. No room for the groupies.

Give Puff Daddy a call when he gets outta the pen. Better yet, let's give his ex-GIRLFRIEND a call. Damn!

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#955113 - 03/17/01 05:08 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
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Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
>>Give Puff Daddy a call when he gets outta the pen. Better yet, let's give his ex-GIRLFRIEND a call. Damn! <<

Yeah, let's. Just one question, tho, Danno: heads or tails? Never mind, we can switch off.

We're discussing polarity issues, by the way, folks. Y'all know about polarity, right? The ground contact is a wider...ok, I'm gonna quit while I'm behind.

This message has been edited by Curve Dominant on 03-17-2001 at 02:31 AM
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#955114 - 03/18/01 11:17 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Lee Flier Offline
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Registered: 09/13/00
Posts: 15398
Loc: Atlanta,GA,UNITED STATES
Well, in case anybody was wondering (yeah, right!), I think I'm over my momentary gear lust now. I've muddled on through the project I was working on which had me frustrated last week, and I'm starting to be really happy with it now.

Gear IS an excuse, dammit!

--Lee
_________________________
What The...?
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http://www.myspace.com/whattherock

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NEW CD out April 7th! >> Get it here , or here ! <<

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#955115 - 03/18/01 11:24 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Jazzooo Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/17/01
Posts: 576
Loc: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Curve, don't use Logic myself, sorry. I know a few who did and didn't like it, but I'm sure it has its followers.

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#955116 - 03/19/01 04:20 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
dansouth Offline
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Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 3915
Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
>>Well, in case anybody was wondering (yeah, right!), I think I'm over my momentary gear lust now. I've muddled on through the project I was working on which had me frustrated last week, and I'm starting to be really happy with it now.

I WAS wondering. You GO, girl! Mix those tunes!! Show that AW who's boss.

>>Gear IS an excuse, dammit!

Johnny couldn't go to school yesterday because he was wiring up his new gear.

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#955117 - 03/19/01 12:37 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Yuri T. Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 02/27/01
Posts: 656
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant:
__________________________________________________________________________
....we always knew who was gonna suck before they even plugged in, because they were the guys who would show up with huge stacks, expensive custom-built guitars, elaborate digital effects, all packed into mink-lined deluxe cases, and they would take forever to get their axes in tune with their Boeing-Douglas X-5SZ-28 Atomic Strobe Tuners. And then there was the guy who would show up with a Fender Twin, a Tele, and an old MXR overdrive, say to the bassist "gimme an A," and then just peel the paint from the ceiling with raw soul. THAT's Rock & Roll.

quote:


AMEN Curve!! I used to run live sound and when I saw a 12 space rack for a guitar amp I knew the sound would be as big as a gnat. My little Fender Vibrolux records better than almost anything else I've used. a little Vox kills too. It's like recording gear, a simple signal path sounds the best. 80% of tone is the hands, feet, mouth and brain, the rest is the gear.

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#955118 - 03/19/01 01:39 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Tedster Offline
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Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 5935
Awright, Curve...I agree, Yuri.

And Craig, I think Curve has a point with the four track. The way I take it...for me, anyway...have enough gear to compose your tunes, and get a halfassedly decent sounding demo. For me...that means taking the rest of your bucks to someone with the right gear who knows how to use it.

I sorta equate owning megabucks of gear with owning a plane...for someone who can't fly. Expensive, and how often are you going use it for yourself, especially if you can't fly? Better to own a plane if you're providing a service. Otherwise, rent a ride from someone who knows how to use it.
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#955119 - 03/19/01 09:19 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Anderton Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/28/00
Posts: 7377
>>Really, though, I was just making a point about composing - a strong couple of songs recorded on a 4-track could lure you a production deal, or even a label deal, and you could leave the high-end recording to the pro's. <<

Okay, to get a deal and to release a finished product are two different things. My heartwarming "you don't need gear" story goes to David Arkenstone, who used a Commodore-64 sequencer, a TX7, and a Casio CZ-101 to record a demo (onto cassette) that got him a major record deal with Narada records. He has since sold hundreds of thousands of CDs. But he recorded the finished product in "real" studios!
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#955120 - 03/20/01 03:46 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
dansouth Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 3915
Loc: Metuchen,NJ,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant:

Yeah, let's. Just one question, tho, Danno: heads or tails?


Head, tails ... hell, I'm gonna flip that so many times I'll get it to stand up on its side.

Yes, certainly, you can hide behind gear, you can buy so much gear that you never get anything done because you spend all of your time figuring it out, you can procrastinate because you think you don't have the right gear. But none of these scenarios can be blamed on the gear itself. Gear never promised to deliver a finished project, to bring you acclaim, or even to make you happy. Gear just a set of tool, and it's up to you to learn those tools and apply them to your vision.

Is all you need a cassette 4-track? Well, it's a start, but don't expect to score the next James Cameron film on it, or you'll be laughed out of town.

Is it "all you need to get a record deal?" That depends. If your songs are VERY good, you are a very talented performer, AND if you get some lucky breaks, then yes, you can probably get someone to hand you a letter of intent based upon a Postastudio demo. Whether you'll actually make any MONEY from the ensuing contract is another matter entirely. Record companies are very good at keeping all of the proceeds for themselves.

If, on the other hand, you'd like to avoid making a deal with the devil, or if you'd like to have complete control over your productions and use the big names only for distribution, then you'll need the ability to produce your own CD. If you're going to record your CD in a studio, you don't even need a four track, although it will help you rough out your ideas in advance and save you big bags of dough in the long run. If you plan to make your CD's in your own studio, you'll need better gear than a Portastudio. You'll also need a lot of talent, patience, taste, and expertise, and I have yet to find a music store that sells any of THOSE commodities.

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