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#955121 - 03/20/01 04:48 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Curve Dominant Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/29/00
Posts: 4223
Loc: Philadelphia USA
>>Head, tails ... hell, I'm gonna flip that so many times I'll get it to stand up on its side.<<

LMMFAO!!! You talk like I think, mah brutha!

BTW, that "Jus D"Orange Ou Pamplamousse" track on my mp3.com site was recorded on a Tascam 424 PortaStudio. But, I got a way with gear, so don't try that at home, kids.

http://www.mp3.com/TransluxTheater

This message has been edited by Curve Dominant on 03-20-2001 at 01:53 AM
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#955122 - 01/17/02 10:56 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
techristian Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/01/01
Posts: 1253
Loc: Windsor,,CANADA
If you don't have the music in you, the best equipment won't make a bit of difference. It will just make CLEARER NOISE.

Dan
http://musicinit.com/trader/trader.html
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#955123 - 01/18/02 03:22 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
lovesinger Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 406
Loc: DALLAS,TEXAS, USA
A worthy thread to revive. And I so loved all the nuggets expressed by the creators here! Craig has said this many times over the years and it's always a refreshing back on target tension-reliever to hear him say it again. I've seen others say this in other threads and either get greatly ignored, flamed to a quick death, or drowned with a plethora of gear name-dropping and i-didn't-know-you-were-so-ignorant-not-to-know-this-gear-can-heal-the-sick chiding. But who's gonna mess with the pioneering A man in this area?

Thanks Dan for recalling this jewel!
And thanks to all for the gems from your experience, like:
Quote:

Alndln's: I got way more done when all I had was a 4 track Fostex caseete multitracker. (so did I on my TEAC A-3440, than all the PC digi-tools I have now)

stevepow's: If your ears say it matters, then it probably does.

argomax's: I do believe that arrangement and production techniques, and fantasy in employing them, are WAY more important than the individual sounds you are using and the equipment you use for processing it.

bk's: I remember when I got my first 4 track . The new worlds I got to explore and the sounds I realized sparked this seemingly never ending fire. (sure did for me, too)

TinderArts': Having fewer choices often makes us focus more on the music, rather that the gear. This is usually a good thing.

staupep: It ... makes me smile....I have discovered my own sonic signature.

Lee Flier's: the tools you use and like DO define you and your work in some way, and will affect the end result. (stated by others also)

d gauss: if you are recording your own music, you shouldn't be tied up in the thinking process of engineering.

YuriT's: sometimes the hard work shows more.

dansouth's on-the-nose: complexity can become overwhelming. When you have to spend 80% of your time thinking about gear, you're no longer effective as an artist.
and too many more to cut and paste \:\)
For me the focus is smooth sound, and all my future upgrades must have that or no up gets graded. [if I want grunge, I can make grunge, but with some supposedly great digital gear grunginess or objectionable aliasing is the BEST they give, and while the great song may make it ignorable, I've been continually surprised that what used to be called 'cheesy' is industry acceptable state of the art]. In digi-land the AW's and Fostex recorders fill that smooth criteria nicely. But I've found nothing that surpasses even consumer-pro analog's unbroken smoothness and depth of "liveness". The Curvemeister loves his VS (and admittedly digi gets the job done faster), but I totally adore the smoothness of songs he made on the 'little' 4-track, and if he'd not told me what it was (by email, b4 I read this thread) I'd never have known.
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#955124 - 01/18/02 11:32 AM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
strat0124 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 5056
Loc: ,VA,UNITED STATES
To me, its way more exciting reading about or talking to someone who recorded their CD or whatever on modest gear, done on little cash, and with killer results. I like tech....but it doesn't necessarily equate to good tunage.
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#955125 - 01/18/02 03:22 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
G. Ratte' Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 671
Loc: NYC
Quote:

Is all this gear lust just an excuse to avoid coming face to face with making music? Do people have insecurity problems that has a ready excuse in "my gear isn't good enough?"


Yeah, I think it's an avoidance issue. I knew this kid a few years ago who was in a weird family situation where they were flowing him ridiculous amounts of money and he'd blow it all on gear. He had these crazy loaded-up rack setups with a zillion sound modules and high-end keyboards and a couple ADATs and a giant board in the mid-90s, and he was never recording _anything_ on it. He could play ok, didn't have much taste really. But I'd see this kid every few weeks, "How's music stuff?" ..."ah, I'm trading in my blahblahXL, gonna get a neenerBT, blah blah"
All his efforts were focused on gear, material things and playing around with it...rewiring it, moving it, swapping it around, hunting for deals. Like the guy said 2nd message, it's really expensive LEGOs.

Sometimes I'll have songs I need to be doing but instead I'll opt to spend my evening sorting out even more drum loops and hits to have at the ready...freakin' goofy, I've got like thousands of everything.
'cuz you get the feeling of making progress, moving forward in easily-quantified ways. More sound options, more synth patches, more more. Real work is trickier though, 'cuz it's not just something you add to a pile and look at and go more=better. Real music work, is an unknown amount of time and effort put into something of questionable value - "Will this song suck? Can't tell yet. Will I be entertained doing this? Will anybody else be entertained? Will this help my 'career'? Maybe I should wait for feedback on that other tune from the label guy. Maybe I should be developing my new techno-bluegrass synthbanjo chops. Maybe I should be doing volunteer work. Hmmmmm... hour to go 'til bedtime."
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#955126 - 01/18/02 04:17 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Synthguy Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/28/01
Posts: 1116
Loc: a lovely flop on Baker Street
I'm hopping to the end without reading all but a few posts, and with the quality of posters here I bet it's been said already, but I like hearing myself think, humble me. \:D

I'm sure that some of it comes from a degree of perfectionism that's in most artists. We strive for excellence, for the "big studio sound" in everything we do, and we equate that with "big studio gear." A fully blown Kurzweil K2600 has to sound way better than a fully blown K2000R, it just stands to reason. To some extent that can be true, but in ways only we might know, probably not the listener. We're spoiled by the quality of the gear available to us these days, and at the prices some of it goes for, some of us have a lot of it. It's way better in most ways than the gear used to record all the classic rock albums, but we hear some "flaw" in our stuff, and we cringe, thinking a better unit would never have let that happen. Even tho the warts on some of those classic albums were part of the charm, but not on OUR stuff, not in the CD quality world we live in - check that, 24/96 5.1 world we live in. We equate those warts with cheap, amateur quality, substandard, not worth the trouble of playing on AM radio when gripped in our most feverish angst.

I think we need to loosen up sometimes. Like someone said before, new gear can open up channels of creativity, like a new synth or guitar, tube compressor or mic. But it shouldn't be the crutch we rely on. My K2000 can emulate virtually any style of synthesis, even FM to an extent, and tho I'm saving up for a V-analog synth, it does the job really well. And there's my Fizmo... ;\)

I can do anything right now any studio wizard can do, so I just need to get off my caboose and start jamming. Right after a few more posts, a peek at the new gear and a game of Gran Turismo. \:D
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#955127 - 01/18/02 04:21 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
lovesinger Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/02/01
Posts: 406
Loc: DALLAS,TEXAS, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by gratte:
Sometimes I'll have songs I need to be doing but instead I'll opt to spend my evening sorting out even more drum loops and hits to have at the ready...freakin' goofy, I've got like thousands of everything.
'cuz you get the feeling of making progress, moving forward in easily-quantified ways.
Reminds me of rearranging the room furniture after an argument with one's spouse. Like that's gonna really make things better \:D
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#955128 - 01/18/02 07:23 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
strat0124 Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 5056
Loc: ,VA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by lovesinger:
I've seen others say this in other threads and either get greatly ignored, flamed to a quick death, or drowned with a plethora of gear name-dropping and i-didn't-know-you-were-so-ignorant-not-to-know-this-gear-can-heal-the-sick chiding. But who's gonna mess with the pioneering A man in this area?


Hilarious....I hear ya! Craig isn't selfish at all, and has been a cyber mentor here for those of us laboring trying to magnetize our collective creativity. I know if I asked a serious question, he'd give me an honest and thoughtful response. There is comfort in that.
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#955129 - 01/18/02 08:48 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
techristian Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 11/01/01
Posts: 1253
Loc: Windsor,,CANADA
I must also admit that at times I can also get caught in the EQUIPMENT WEB. Just 6 months ago I picked up the 700 mhz Compaq and after I got the Roland Studio Pack on the Labor Day Weekend I began to realize that I might need more POWER. So last week I built a 1.4 ghz P4. This week I also added a better video card. Now I think I need more memory and so on and so on......

All I want to do is make music with this thing and I don't want "LOW ON SYSTEM RESOURCES" popping up EVER AGAIN! But I suppose that it will never be a "perfect system" so I should just get used to occassional LOCK UPS and SYSTEM FREEZE. Don't even ask me if I even want to try Windows XP. I have enough headaches already!

This is not a perfect world and I suppose if I'm in the middle of a GREAT GROOVE and the thing dies I should just REBOOT and come up with ANOTHER GREAT GROOVE.

Dan
http://musicinit.com/pvideos.html
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#955130 - 01/18/02 08:49 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
chessparov_dup1 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/08/01
Posts: 219
Loc: Aliso Viejo,CA,UNITED STATES
Gear doesn't kill music-people do!

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#955131 - 01/18/02 09:36 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Synthguy Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/28/01
Posts: 1116
Loc: a lovely flop on Baker Street
One thing I need to do every saturday is go into Craig's "show us what you got" thread and listen to your guys' stuff. I know you people put a lot of work and dumped your souls into your music, and I look forward to working my way down the list, one by one, and one day adding something of my own to it. In the meantime I can grouch over your equipment list and suffer severe gear envy. \:D
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#955132 - 01/18/02 10:11 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
halljams Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2689
For me it all comes down to tone.

Tone of vocals, guitars drums ambience.
I'm still discovering what i like most in relation to tone in other instruments than guitar, because most of my life i have just concentrated on the one instrument. Only in the last 4 years or so have i been getting really analitical about what i do and don't like with other instruments.

Subconciously though, tone has always had an enormous impact on my taste in music.
I have always been drawn to sonically exceptional recordings.

Now i am starting to dig more variety.

Latley i just love to listen to early Conway Twitty rock and roll. It was produced really slick in my opinion but the limitations of the time just makes it so pure.
I just really love the sound of his voice and gritty glow all around it. I wish i knew what that equiptment was.

Anyway, when i write something and go to put it down, there is nothing more depressing to me than hearing it playback and not hear it come out sounding as good as the best recordings i have heard in that style.
I want top top notch for my creations. I want fidelity and i want to be able to manipulate fidelity as a an artistic tool.

This is my quest in learning about recording; to be able to give my music the extra impact of making it a great sonic experience.

I agree with the concept that a great song is great even on a 4 track, but who's gonna sit and listen to it over and over in a good set of headphones or home system and bask in the glory if super great sound if it sounds like shit.

In fact i think it is disrespectful to a great song to not give it a chance to really shine through the use of really great production and production tools.

So given that, i want to learn all i can about my different options and new technologies etc.

I think also that it is just a very very long learning curve that people go through for a number of years and it is easy to be obseesd by it cause it is stimulating and fun and just like playing with toys so who wouldn't be obsessed by it.

The thing is, eventually you gotta make some music and it is there, at that point where we find our place in all of this.


(Just a side note on the loud rock musician issue, Bullshit!
I've heard some stunning guitarists with plenty to say blow my fucking head off with volume. so there )
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#955133 - 01/18/02 10:18 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
lwilliam Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 497
Loc: Canyon Country, CA, USA
This is a great thread that I must have missed when it came out last year... a lot of gems in here.

I think gear lust comes in waves...I'm drooling over the PT HD system - but probably will buy an used MixPlus or something down the line, but I was fine only a couple of weeks ago.

There comes a time/level where you're equipment is "good enough". Should I buy a Massenburg-built mic pre, or is my upgraded Studio Technologies pre good enough? It's good enough for right now. I limit my new gear to something that will make things easier or quicker for me - or something noticeably better-sounding than what I have.

OK, I still need a PCM91 or two; and an M3000; and an Eventide (the new single-rack space unit is very cool);

OK, I still need those Genelecs - or Westlake Audio, or Blue Sky or something better than my Tannoys;

OK, I still need that nice Taylor 800 series

OK, I really do need a Triton; and Gigastudio (and a PC for it); and ACID Pro;

OK, I still need a Martin D-28 to compliment the Taylor; and a 2nd one (maybe a D18 would be OK) for high-strung or slide parts; oh, and a Dobro; and a mandolin;

OK, I still need SOMETHING from Manley;

OK, I still need...TO WRITE THE MUSIC THAT USES ALL THIS STUFF!

OK, I still need...to send it out there to everyone who will listen;

OK, what I REALLY need is a couple of years of 28-hour days.

I'm OK, really...I'm OK...once I get back from NAMM, I think I'll be OK...Yeah, that's the ticket...
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#955134 - 01/18/02 11:54 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
henrysb3 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/03/01
Posts: 1026
Loc: on the move
I wish I could send a capsule of this thread to a friend of ours who we worked with for maybe too long before taking an extended break. You can buy all the effects in the world but it will never make a Les Paul sound like my '66 tele. Nor, maybe should you want to, as my little lightweight squealin' baby can't approach the LP's live sustain and sweetness. Many better players than I have held that axe and made it sing, and I treasure the vibes left therein.

Anyway, this friend is a gear nut, and has the kind of career that allows him to indulge in stuff most of us have never seen in person. He got so much PA equipment that we would overwhealm the crowd at a local coffee house before the switches were turned on. One of the guys in the band observed that we never played thru the same system twice. We were like roadies on a big tour for a small virtually no-pay gig. I saw singles play that same room with an all-in-one single speaker PA that did the whole show quite well.

When we started recording, the arms race began all over again. We went thru three recorders, two mixers, and God knows what in the rack. There was this mic and that mic and finally, the PREAMPS. After spending night after night watching him trying to figure out the new gear, we did some recording and a LOT of listening to the same thing over and over and over again. After months of this, the PREAMPS became an issue. All vocals, even the ones we liked, were trash because first the Mackie 1604's pre's were excrement. Didn't sound bad to me, but the mixes lacked bottom and overall fullness. This was not a preamp problem. Soon, another rack appeared with megabuck pre's and new mics. The learning curve was more like the switchbacks going up Pike's Peak. We were informed that none of what we had spent months recording and rerecording would stand up to this new boutique stuff. After treading water, our music finally drowned in a sea of gear.

It's what I tell my daughter all the time: there's a vast difference between what you need and what you want, and sometimes what you want is the opposite of what you need.

I agree with Tedster that if you want top quality, your money might be better placed in the hands of a good engineer who knows his/her gear and room. That way, you can be the player and not the electron wonk. The Beatles would have been great without George Martin, but with him they produced musical icons that have made the test of time and will continue to do
so.

Now will someone tell me how to set up my new outboard hard drive? It has kickass preamps...

"It was dirt, dirt in the fuel line. I just blowed it away."
Michael Pollard (I think) from the movie "Bonnie and Clyde"

Henry
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Is busy dyin'.

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#955135 - 01/18/02 11:58 PM Re: Is Gear an Excuse?
Duhduh Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 1602
Loc: Costa Mesa, CA
Quote:
Originally posted by hiraga:
We're just too old to play with LEGO..



We are?!?!

\:D \:D
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