Old 09-13-2011, 04:12 PM   #2001
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I'd buy your book too, yep.
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:19 PM   #2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason View Post
...

It's about what techniques take guitar (or any other track for that matter) from "Gutiar Center or Saturday (or the living room) and make it sound like a commercial recording?"

Seems like a great are to dig into, quite related to the original title, no?

Consider there two vids of a well know blues man. One, to my ears, despite the great licks, sounds like Guitar Center Saturday tone. The second, same guy, still not in a mix, sounds more commercial and tight. But of course it seems to be part of a lesson CD or something. And of course you're all familiar with this dude's commercial work. (Billy Gibbons).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvlHZXe3H7U

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

Seems to me it's a great topic with lots of applicability.

...
This has been covered over and over in this thread. In order to make a decent recording you need to have a decent sound hit the mic. That means

1. make a decent sound
2. in a room that doesn't screw up that sound
3. put a decent mic where the decent sound appears

The first clip was done in a large reverberant space and recorded with a blinkin' camera mic. That is, with a mic mounted on the _camera_, some six or eight feet from the source which is pointing at right angles to the mic. If that is not instantly and painfully obvious to you from a moment's observation, no amount of gear will help you meet your goals.

The best way for you to develop an understanding of these fundamental issues is for you to make a few hundred recordings and observe the impact of the room and mic placement.

The worst way is for you to demand that someone give you a gear recipe.

Since you continue to insist that a gear recipe must be the answer, you'll never get the answer.

Fran
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:06 AM   #2003
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It would not matter if the thread was cleaned, it would just get clogged up again because the folks doing the clogging KNOW that if they started their own tread about their "issues" that it would die a slow death because no one gives a hoot.....

I never asked if yep approved/disapproved of my PDF's, so I would guess that it would be his call about posting them as the "cleaned collection" that represents the entire thread...
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:36 PM   #2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
This has been covered over and over in this thread. In order to make a decent recording you need to have a decent sound hit the mic. That means

1. make a decent sound
2. in a room that doesn't screw up that sound
3. put a decent mic where the decent sound appears

The first clip was done in a large reverberant space and recorded with a blinkin' camera mic. That is, with a mic mounted on the _camera_, some six or eight feet from the source which is pointing at right angles to the mic. If that is not instantly and painfully obvious to you from a moment's observation, no amount of gear will help you meet your goals.

The best way for you to develop an understanding of these fundamental issues is for you to make a few hundred recordings and observe the impact of the room and mic placement.

The worst way is for you to demand that someone give you a gear recipe.

Since you continue to insist that a gear recipe must be the answer, you'll never get the answer.

Fran
Perhaps you don't understand either.

Alledgedly a *recording* tool called "Gearbox" takes care of that for us. So assuming for a minute that the tool really does it's job, and further that "equipment doesn't matter" as some suggest, then that leaves "recording technique".

Now follow this... if the tool covers the room and mic... the gap between "tool sounds like home tone" and "tool sounds like studio recording" should be a delta acceptable to this thread, or at least I'd think.

On the otherhand, if the tool really is crap... then guess the masters of this discipline should take the manufacturers to task on it, not the users that are baffled by the seeming gap.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:41 PM   #2005
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Originally Posted by shoyoninja View Post
But what matters is not Satriani playing or the tonal quality of the equipment.

Is the WHOLE thing great or crap?
Depends on your standard.

Objectively I hear great technique with crap tone.

Whether you want to call the *whole thing* crap is a judgement call.

If your standard is liberal and you appreciate his skill: No

If you standard is, "Does this prove equipment doesn't matter" then it fails and you have to say, yes end result is crap. Because the tone is pretty poor. Even Joe makes a comment on the difficulty of playing that guitar at the very end.

For me it's not "No" or "Yes". It's great playing with the end result negatively impacted by the tools.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #2006
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I think this thread remains interesting. I see no reason to shut it & enshrine it as a permanent hallowed fucking sticky.

Unsticky it & let it do what threads do.

The pdf rocks. Keep it available, stop updating it.

Know wa mean?
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Perhaps you don't understand either.

Alledgedly a *recording* tool called "Gearbox" takes care of that for us. So assuming for a minute that the tool really does it's job, and further that "equipment doesn't matter" as some suggest, then that leaves "recording technique".

Now follow this... if the tool covers the room and mic... the gap between "tool sounds like home tone" and "tool sounds like studio recording" should be a delta acceptable to this thread, or at least I'd think.

On the otherhand, if the tool really is crap... then guess the masters of this discipline should take the manufacturers to task on it, not the users that are baffled by the seeming gap.
I don't see the term "Gearbox" in the post I quoted. I responded to that post. I was under the misapprehension that you wanted to learn how to get from making recordings that sound like the first one to recordings that sound like the second one.

Clearly you have some other objective.

Fran
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:49 AM   #2008
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I sincerely hope that yep would get his book finished, given the strong audience around this forum and outside.

Once he decides to make it done, it's up to his own choice whether to include "contributions" from other chaps or not, according to what he thinks would be the final aim of the book itself.
Editing a "scientific" book means to collect articles and opinions and experiences from others as well.

And sign the book with his own name.

But I dont see any problem to let the discussion open here, letting people to debate about the topic with the only common respect of what it's called "netiquette".

I am so grateful to yep for his great tips and advices and thanks to the other people's contribution that made this thread brilliant.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:42 PM   #2009
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OK, I am with yep on this one, and tho I had hoped that it would make it until Dec to get 3 full years in I guess that is not to be.....shame...

Anyway, who would have thought that when I started backing up the thread on 12-02-2008 that it would have lasted this long, and STILL be immensely helpful! I have learned a TON of new techniques & ways of viewing/approaching a recording situation. I also learned how easy it is to go off on tangents that contribute absolutely nothing to the task and hand, and have found that to be just as important...

So, here it is my Final Entry in the series/collection, and links to the first 2 years...


Third Year

Second Year

First Year


Thanks to everyone that contributed, and a HUGE Thank You to yep for creating the thread in the first place!
Huge thanks to Smurf for doing the gruntwork of fulfilling constant requests to do what he does.
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Old 09-17-2011, 04:45 PM   #2010
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Originally Posted by shoyoninja View Post
May I suggest just a simple clean up?

The thread is really usefull... I found it less than a year ago and it helped me quite a lot. This info is valuable and it would be a shame if it was wasted or hidden for such a small problem as off-topic posts.

Once its clean, it would be ok to lock and keep it sticked...

Yep would you be ok with that?
Mods, can it be done?
I'm totally okay with anyone re-using anything here. This is not my thread. I don't know the laws but I suspect the copyright belongs to Cockos.

It is hard for me to imagine a "cleanup" that wouldn't be uglier than the problem, so to speak. Who decides which posts are good and which are bad?

edit:

For my part, I have no interest in nor time for moderating a forum, much less a single tired old thread. This discussion does not and never did belong to me. I wrote the first post, and a lot of subsequent ones, but forum-discussions are intrinsically collaborative. The askers are at least as valuable as the answerers. The value of a forum is not to dictate answers but to provoke thought, and I am amazed, flattered, and impressed that my little rant set off such a high-quality discussion. There is lots more to discuss, but this particular discussion has long since gone to weeds, in my estimation.

My hope was originally to get across something like ten useful points per post, staggered in order of usefulness. Now it seems inverted, like ten posts per vague and rambling point. That's not a good thread. To me, it's not an interesting nor useful conversation to spend multiple pages on subjective trivialities, especially without any clear conclusions. I get tired and bored trying to listen to those conversations at a bar, never mind reading them on a computer screen.

To paraphrase someone, "talking about music is like dancing about architecture", or something like that. The most important aspects of music and the art of sound cannot be talked-though or debated, IMO. The discussion just spirals out of control and becomes nonsensical to me. A lot of people seem to like those discussions and debates, and I do not wish to inhibit them.

For my part, I have enjoyed talking about and discussing the technical practices and nitty-gritty of capturing and manipulating good sound. I love that stuff. But even my own posts have become increasingly vague and subjective and kind of stupid as this thread has unraveled.

Personally, I don't mind being vague, subjective, and stupid, in fact that's kind of who I am. But I'd rather do it elsewhere than here. There was a great discussion going for awhile that was topical, technical, and focused. But it's increasingly a sprawling mess of dancing about architecture, so to speak. And there are a million other places on the web for that.

What bothers me is that this is a great forum, but this now-pointless and rambling thread is a sticky at the top. New visitors will surely start by reading the last few pages, which are mostly pure junk, thinking that the most recent posts in the "sticky" are the best content.

Time to let this whale die, and let the carcass drift to the ocean floor, and replenish from the bottom, if at all. There is lots more to say and talk about, but not here. At least not for me, thanks.

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Old 09-17-2011, 10:41 PM   #2011
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It's been my pleasure to do it Mr. yep!!
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Old 09-18-2011, 04:01 AM   #2012
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If you build it they will come Yep...you built it and they came

Unsticky it or whatever...the right people will find it...for the right reasons

I printed smurf's transcript some months back and even as recently as yesterday was referring to it for inspiration and guidance.

I even stumbled on an old post the other day you made at the cakewalk forums about anechoic chambers...what vivid writing.

You're a great writer about this stuff. If you ever get published I'm buying your book.
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Old 09-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #2013
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Y'all are funny. Also, great thread!
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:20 PM   #2014
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Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
I don't see the term "Gearbox" in the post I quoted. I responded to that post. I was under the misapprehension that you wanted to learn how to get from making recordings that sound like the first one to recordings that sound like the second one.

Clearly you have some other objective.

Fran
My apologies Fran. I assumed you were up on the whole back story.

One part of it is that I've been trying to pin down whether or not amp sims like Gearbox do what they say (provide complete in the box high quality electric guitar sounds) or are bunk.

One group goes by, "It's not the tools it's the artist, equipment doesn't matter". The other pole is Gearslutz crowd.

My argument to the "Carpenter not Tools" crowd is, "Well OK, let's assume the tool (Gearbox et. al.) does exactly what the manufacturer claims, then what *are* the studio techniques that go from 'sounds home recorded to pro"?"

The actual on point responses to that sound about like... <<<crickets>>>, LOL!

Line 6 has claimed in writing, "Our sims produce exactly the same output as our modeled devices... measurably and proveably", in so many words.

So if that's fact, then application or standard recording studio methods from the point of mic output to final track should suffice...

On the other hand, if the Gearslutz are correct and you can't make the sound of a Trainwreck amp or whatever with a digital sim, then one of them with authority needs to make that case loudly and the digital sim industry needs to stop fooling folks out of thier $$$.

So yeah, I want to go from "sounds like ass" to "sounds like pro" and further believe it starts with nailing the tones, first, the the playing second, and so on.

A side constraint is that I need it to happen all "in the box" as I don't have the luxury of what you suggest, a pro studio.

So a side trek that I'm sure is of interest to many other hobbyists as well is... "Well, can it really all be done in the box to a commercial level of quality as the digitial tools manufacturers would suggest, or is that a just marketing BS?"

Haven't found what I'd call a definitive answer. And in asking some of the questions that are relevent I catch some flack along the lines of "No one cares about guitar tone details." (FWIW it's not just guitar that's of interest. Listening to radio today, seemed like not one instrument I heard sounds anything like they really sound in a real room. I'm interested in it all.)

Well, to that I say, "Tell that to the last few generations of audiences that bought all those guitar records, and the artists who obsessed over those tones and the studios that worked on them." There seem to be some folks that think that somehow "recording" exists for it's own sake and not to transcribe and/or be part of the creation process? I dunno.

Seems to me that one reason recordings sound like ass is the basic tones aren't there. So studio techniques to fix that seem to be a fair topic herein.

So when I get blasted, I tend to feel a little puzzled, especially since everyone will acknowledge that "Live" and "Recorded/Studio" are "different things".

Seems that most of the recordings that drew people into music were studio cuts, and studio cuts generally don's sound same as live, so the delta lives in the studio techniques, hence how I arrived here. Looking for answers to that delta.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:37 AM   #2015
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When it comes to amp sims, I think the best approach is don't ask, don't tell.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:28 AM   #2016
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Flmason you don't quit. I admire your tenacity, but it truly is in the wrong thread. The gear thread spinoff died a quick death, which should be a clue for you that it's a tired subject. You want to insist on taking about gear in THIS thread...for some reason. Since you clearly intend to do it regardless, I'll help you drive the thread into the depths of semantic hell:

It is quite clear to me, and I would argue to most everyone that uses them, that amp simulators do not, and currently can not, provide an exact simulation of a real amplifier. But it also doesn't matter what they sound like because there's no right or wrong way to use them.

If you want the sound of a real amplifier...use a real amplifier, understanding that this inherently limits the flexibility of the rig. If you are more interested in flexibility and having a LOT of tone shaping capability typically for a significantly lower price tag, simulators are probably your best bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
One group goes by, "It's not the tools it's the artist, equipment doesn't matter". The other pole is Gearslutz crowd.
Wrong.

This isn't an accurate portrayal of the responses you've gotten here. No one has said that equipment doesn't matter (though some have said that equipment matters less). And the statement above is a blatant mischaracterization of the responses you've gotten so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
My argument to the "Carpenter not Tools" crowd is, "Well OK, let's assume the tool (Gearbox et. al.) does exactly what the manufacturer claims, then what *are* the studio techniques that go from 'sounds home recorded to pro"?"
First of all. Yep has already provided a truly PHENOMENAL outline of what his interpretation of good studio and/or recording technique is. Unfortunately his points imply a need to experiment HEAVILY with his suggestions, and find out what works for YOU. If you want US to do it for you, I think you'll find more <crickets>...<crickets>...<crickets>...

Your excercise in assumption, that marketing from the manufacturer of a product like Gearbox is factual is just plain pointless. It's an exercise in the hypothetical. And defining what is and is not "pro" is equally pointless because it is subjective. It would be much more useful to attempt to go from "what sounds bad in your opinion" to "what sounds good in your opinion". Which is still subjective, but it does actually make it personal, as opposed to relying on the directions or opinions of others to define for you what a recording should sound like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Line 6 has claimed in writing, "Our sims produce exactly the same output as our modeled devices... measurably and proveably", in so many words.
Translation: "Our computer software uses the same algorithms that our digital amps use. And those algorithms are designed to approximate the sounds of some well known amplifiers."

Simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
On the other hand, if the Gearslutz are correct and you can't make the sound of a Trainwreck amp or whatever with a digital sim, then one of them with authority needs to make that case loudly and the digital sim industry needs to stop fooling folks out of thier $$$.
There is no authority that can stop Line 6 from conducting their marketing campaigns, this is a ridiculous pipe dream. And the most logical approach from a potential buyer would be to simply try the different options and choose the sound they like the best...and be done with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
So yeah, I want to go from "sounds like ass" to "sounds like pro" and further believe it starts with nailing the tones, first, the the playing second, and so on.
I'm certain that this is where you're encountering resistance in the form of the "it's the carpenter not the tools" responses. Nailing tone is easy, you've already highlighted that. You simply play a note and adjust your rig until you hear the tone you wanted to hear. If you can't do it, it is easily possible to change your rig so that you can get the tone you want to hear. Your "rig" can include everything between your hands, and the recording medium. Microphones, cables, amps, preamps, picks, strings, amp sims, the room, your headphones, your speakers, your PA system, WHAT...EVER. Easy.

However, playing well, with good technique, and developing your own playing style will go a much longer way towards defining you as an artist. That is what most of the people here are saying. The way you play your rig is much more of a artistic factor than what your rig is made of. This is because YOU will never play the same way as anyone else. The decisions you make when playing, the methods you used to learn to play, the physical limitations posed by your own body will always make YOUR playing different from anyone else's.

Consider this carefully: I don't think anyone here denies you the claim that tone can be reproduced. I do, however, think that most of the people here feel that tone is one small part of the whole finished product. And I would submit that dedicating 90% of the effort to defining tone in a recording that consists of hundreds of other factors (many of which will have a significantly greater impact on the quality of the finished recording than your tone) besides tone is a waste of time and resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
A side constraint is that I need it to happen all "in the box" as I don't have the luxury of what you suggest, a pro studio.
Short and sweet. It is impossible to make your in the box recording, done in your home, sound like it was done in a professional studio. Clearly.

This does not, however, mean that your in the box recording can't sound good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
So a side trek that I'm sure is of interest to many other hobbyists as well is... "Well, can it really all be done in the box to a commercial level of quality as the digitial tools manufacturers would suggest, or is that a just marketing BS?"
The statement "You can make a recording that sounds like it was recorded in a professional studio by using in the box software in your bedroom" is so clearly marketing BS that I have a hard time believing you're even questioning it.

However the statment "You can make a recording that sounds good, or even excellent by using in the box software, or good hardware, and good recording techniques, in a workspace well designed for recording" is what, I think, this thread is about. Understand your tools, understand your limits, and learn the most effective ways to work around both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Haven't found what I'd call a definitive answer. And in asking some of the questions that are relevent I catch some flack along the lines of "No one cares about guitar tone details." (FWIW it's not just guitar that's of interest. Listening to radio today, seemed like not one instrument I heard sounds anything like they really sound in a real room. I'm interested in it all.)
You HAVE found the answer though. You just don't want to admit that the answer does in fact imply that you have limitations about what you can reasonably achieve given your self-prescribed constraints. You're catching flack because you continue to insists that there is a more clear answer than everything you've already discovered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Seems to me that one reason recordings sound like ass is the basic tones aren't there. So studio techniques to fix that seem to be a fair topic herein.
This is personal choice! "Tone" is personal. YOUR tone is personal. So there is no way to FIX tone. Tone is a decision...a choice...not something that can be defined as correct or incorrect. So your search for tone will only end when YOU are satisfied with it. Studio techniques will not provide it for you, and they can not change something you don't like into something that you do like. The studio techniques Yep sought out to describe are designed to take a sound, that you (or "the artist") has already defined, and create a proper recording of it. If you want to change the tone after it is recorded, that is, agian, a personal decision that can be made for any number of reasons artistic or technical and which is again not able to be defined as "right" or "wrong", and, again, there is no answer that anyone can give you that will ensure you are doing it correctly.

You are trying to make art into formula and it can not be done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
So when I get blasted, I tend to feel a little puzzled, especially since everyone will acknowledge that "Live" and "Recorded/Studio" are "different things".
You are getting blasted because you are repeatedly stating the obvious. And then insisting that we tell you how to do somethign that is impossible.

A formula is what you want...excellent...here is a formula:

If:
"In the Box" = A

and:
"In my Bedroom" = B

and:
"Studio techniques that are situationally dependant and can not be applied to every case, especially if A and B are constraints that limit my ability to achieve the result that I define as professional" = X

and:
"Professional Recording" = Y

Then:
(A + B) * X = Y

Happy solving. We'll meet up with you in the loony bin.

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Old 09-20-2011, 09:19 AM   #2017
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Seriously though, spot on post and if flmason doesn't get it... there is no hope for him.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:48 AM   #2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth R. View Post
I'm going to be a jerk and correct you with (A+B)*X = Y.
Fixed
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:44 PM   #2019
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flmason...an expert in the perverse art of needling from the shadows then feigning ignorance...and he's 48yo
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:33 PM   #2020
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flmason...an expert in the perverse art of needling from the shadows then feigning ignorance...and he's 48yo
What are you talking about? LOL!

It's not about needling, duh! It's about getting people to think in straight lines. There's so many platitudes surrounding this stuff that goes two ways, it borders on absurd at time.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:37 PM   #2021
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When it comes to amp sims, I think the best approach is don't ask, don't tell.
LOL!

They're a real fact of life for us hobbyists. Heck was watching some Youtube where I see a freakin PODxt Pro in Iommi's rack, assuming it's really his.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRRUl3mYi2I

Now at time 00:34 there's lots of fizz when Iommi shows the riff...

At time 4:03 the engineer isolates the actual recording track, little or no fizz.

So assuming sims do what they are alledged to do, the question just generally becomes, "How to fix them just like real amps?"

If they don't then the issue becomes, "Should the manufacturers of sims be called to task?"

Simple as that.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:43 PM   #2022
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Flmason you don't quit. I admire your tenacity, but it truly is in the wrong thread. The gear thread spinoff died a quick death, which should be a clue for you that it's a tired subject. You want to insist on taking about gear in THIS thread...for some reason. Since you clearly intend to do it regardless, I'll help you drive the thread into the depths of semantic hell:
It's not about tenacity, it's about defending a point of view I feel is truly valid and correct. And cutting through a lot of what seems like fuzzy thinking.

No, I don't want to talk about gear per se, except when something is critical. In reality the whole thread is about *gear use* even if just recording software.

I really want to get to the root of getting from the ass sounding sound that comes out of real amps and sims to what we hear on commercial recordings.

Nowhere have I gotten into "Mesa v. Marshall", "Fender v. Gibson", nor even "Humbucker v. Single Coil".

What I have done is postulate that the platitude, "Equipment doesn't matter" is a false one in many cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
It is quite clear to me, and I would argue to most everyone that uses them, that amp simulators do not, and currently can not, provide an exact simulation of a real amplifier. But it also doesn't matter what they sound like because there's no right or wrong way to use them.
I vascilate. Since I can't acquire every possible classic guitar or pickup out there, I'm still unsure how much is instrument vrs. sim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
If you want the sound of a real amplifier...use a real amplifier, understanding that this inherently limits the flexibility of the rig. If you are more interested in flexibility and having a LOT of tone shaping capability typically for a significantly lower price tag, simulators are probably your best bet.
Like many hobbyists, many reasons why I simply can't from neighbors to cost.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Wrong.

This isn't an accurate portrayal of the responses you've gotten here. No one has said that equipment doesn't matter (though some have said that equipment matters less). And the statement above is a blatant mischaracterization of the responses you've gotten so far.
I think I've definitely gotten a lot of flack for suggesting equipment is a major determinant. I think on this point we'll have to agree that your perception and mine of the degree of flack differs.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
First of all. Yep has already provided a truly PHENOMENAL outline of what his interpretation of good studio and/or recording technique is. Unfortunately his points imply a need to experiment HEAVILY with his suggestions, and find out what works for YOU. If you want US to do it for you, I think you'll find more <crickets>...<crickets>...<crickets>...
Nah I don't expect anyone to do the experimenting for me. Have done it on and off most of my life. Hence the frustration level. And many who claim expert status don't really provide any true solutions.

What I get out of this thread is really things like "-18db is the new 0db" and other technicals like that. Very little of what I see in here, and perhaps it's spiritual predecessor "Slipperman's Guitars from Hell" thread or whatever it is, really talks about going from "Garage Band to Pro" sounds.

Aside from Yeps mention of distortion on vocals and drums, nothing in here has really had a significant impact on the record quality I'm having. That has been *great*. Between soundfonts and all the software tools like compressor, noise gates and all... light years beyond what could be done on the 4 track cassettes I had way back.

To my ears, the "assness" comes from the difference in timbre and tone that seems to come out of big name studios, rather than a bunch of mixing errors.

What portability problems I've experience probably come down to crap monitors.

So the assness that I believe plagues most amatuer efforts, I don't feel this thread really addresses. Nor any info I've found in years of digging really.

Seems most of what works ends up having to be "found" or tripped over. (As I've lived it, ain't sayin' that's universally true.)

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Your excercise in assumption, that marketing from the manufacturer of a product like Gearbox is factual is just plain pointless. It's an exercise in the hypothetical. And defining what is and is not "pro" is equally pointless because it is subjective. It would be much more useful to attempt to go from "what sounds bad in your opinion" to "what sounds good in your opinion". Which is still subjective, but it does actually make it personal, as opposed to relying on the directions or opinions of others to define for you what a recording should sound like.
I have to disagree here. Line 6's marketing department implies and/or states directly, constantly in everything the write that thier tools accurately reproduce the sounds of classic tracks.

Has not been my experience in over 10 years of dabbling with thier stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Translation: "Our computer software uses the same algorithms that our digital amps use. And those algorithms are designed to approximate the sounds of some well known amplifiers."

Simple.
Last time I got into a debate over thier truthfulness I extracted about 36 statements that they were recreating the tone of various classic albums before I quit.

Thier approximations are often quite bogus. Not ONE of thier models of a master volume head, actually has a master volume algorithm, LOL! They really seem to have one model, with some tweaks, when you get right down to it. But, I can't see the source code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
There is no authority that can stop Line 6 from conducting their marketing campaigns, this is a ridiculous pipe dream. And the most logical approach from a potential buyer would be to simply try the different options and choose the sound they like the best...and be done with it.
I think my point is being missed here. If thier stuff isn't up to it's claims, I'd like to see an authoritative studio guru say it in public loudly. If it really is up to snuff, I'd like to see said pro take a typical guitar, and step by step recreate a classic recording, i.e. prove it.

However I don't expect the FDA or whatever to step in, LOL!

Buying and trying is what sucks. After a lifetime of the hunt, I'd hate to sit down and total up the amount of $$$ I went through in the search. Especially in this economy, when having that $$$ might've ended up keeping me off the street.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
I'm certain that this is where you're encountering resistance in the form of the "it's the carpenter not the tools" responses. Nailing tone is easy, you've already highlighted that. You simply play a note and adjust your rig until you hear the tone you wanted to hear. If you can't do it, it is easily possible to change your rig so that you can get the tone you want to hear. Your "rig" can include everything between your hands, and the recording medium. Microphones, cables, amps, preamps, picks, strings, amp sims, the room, your headphones, your speakers, your PA system, WHAT...EVER. Easy.
It's as easy... and as hard as that. Easy to change a part... very hard to find the good permutations... which runs that cost in time and money up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
However, playing well, with good technique, and developing your own playing style will go a much longer way towards defining you as an artist. That is what most of the people here are saying. The way you play your rig is much more of a artistic factor than what your rig is made of. This is because YOU will never play the same way as anyone else. The decisions you make when playing, the methods you used to learn to play, the physical limitations posed by your own body will always make YOUR playing different from anyone else's.
I believe this is somewhat genre dependant. Some more clearly highlight artistic/playing gestures than others. To wit, many of the sounds or production styles I find "commercial" these days are the very one's people say are devoid of any talent. Yet they are no easier to clone, as it were.

{Continued...]
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:45 PM   #2023
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[Continuing...]


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Consider this carefully: I don't think anyone here denies you the claim that tone can be reproduced. I do, however, think that most of the people here feel that tone is one small part of the whole finished product. And I would submit that dedicating 90% of the effort to defining tone in a recording that consists of hundreds of other factors (many of which will have a significantly greater impact on the quality of the finished recording than your tone) besides tone is a waste of time and resources.
I've considered the general question for years. And I continue to find examples where studio results differ, with the same artist doing the playing, year in and year out, from the live and "live recording" results.


I disagree on the percentages and believe so should any thinking person. I don't think folks are clearly drawing a line between intrinsic tone and playing gestures.

Here's that Satch video again. Despite his awesome playing the tone is not there. So it still sounds like crap overall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9v5e1TTwts

Think about it. Many folks got into being musicians because the heard a sound that moved them. For me it ended up being the guitar sound in Free's Alright Now. No real playing wizardry there at all.

Many many hits fall into that category. Heck you could almost claim all U2 songs are in that box. I put this up as the counterpoint to those that try to use the Satch vid as a point:

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


In the end it's *ALL* about "the sound" I.e the tones, the timber, and the studio is just, ultimately the extended instrument.

And in the end, isn't what the studio staff does, the modifying of tone to make it work? LOL!

I have a friend who's worked with a number of big names in Nashville over several decades. I asked her about what happens in the studio with her singing... her answer, "Geez FL I don't really know, I sing...and THEY make me sound good." LOL!

She's on recordings that have charted no less!

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Short and sweet. It is impossible to make your in the box recording, done in your home, sound like it was done in a professional studio. Clearly.
Well then you've essentially established that studio equipment, including the rooms etc. trump everything else when aiming for "commercial sound".

After all if even the pro's don't have the same sound outside the studio, then the studio is the key element in that delta.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
This does not, however, mean that your in the box recording can't sound good.

The statement "You can make a recording that sounds like it was recorded in a professional studio by using in the box software in your bedroom" is so clearly marketing BS that I have a hard time believing you're even questioning it.
Well, theoretically, the concept of digital emulation strikes me as 100% valid. In *theory* all's we have to do is come up with the same waveforms and job is done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
However the statment "You can make a recording that sounds good, or even excellent by using in the box software, or good hardware, and good recording techniques, in a workspace well designed for recording" is what, I think, this thread is about. Understand your tools, understand your limits, and learn the most effective ways to work around both.

You HAVE found the answer though. You just don't want to admit that the answer does in fact imply that you have limitations about what you can reasonably achieve given your self-prescribed constraints. You're catching flack because you continue to insists that there is a more clear answer than everything you've already discovered.
What I'm insisting as simply that the actual techniques used to make the transition in sound is quite fair game here. But whenever it comes down to any specific track (i.e. bass, vocal, guitar) everyone gets all up in arms.

Strikes me as strange, since that's what it's all about... getting those sounds to work well together. *That's* the supposed real focus, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
This is personal choice! "Tone" is personal. YOUR tone is personal. So there is no way to FIX tone. Tone is a decision...a choice...not something that can be defined as correct or incorrect. So your search for tone will only end when YOU are satisfied with it. Studio techniques will not provide it for you, and they can not change something you don't like into something that you do like.
I disagree. The Iommi video and others in that series prove that *it* can be done... It *is* done, and it's what the studio is *about*.

Don't like Iommi's fizzy version tone... do like the studio tone.

Don't much care for the Stones live sound, love thier recordings... and so on.

Now no doubt art is about personal choice. But I tend to think "commercially viable art" is another matter, especially in this field. Riffle across the FM radio dial and listen to how every track has similar production values to every other track, despite genre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
The studio techniques Yep sought out to describe are designed to take a sound, that you (or "the artist") has already defined, and create a proper recording of it. If you want to change the tone after it is recorded, that is, agian, a personal decision that can be made for any number of reasons artistic or technical and which is again not able to be defined as "right" or "wrong", and, again, there is no answer that anyone can give you that will ensure you are doing it correctly.

You are trying to make art into formula and it can not be done.
I think somewhere even Yep pointed out there are accurate and flattering recording techniques.

If you can't replicate something, if you don't know the recipe or better yet the exact technical definition of the end result, so you can have many possible recipies, you got nothing but a empirical finding. You don't really "know" anything.

Music is one of the most mathematical of human artistic endeavors, by any standard, LOL! 4/4 is a formula. 12 bar blues is a formula, scales are formulas...

That said, then essentially, your definition of the recordist's job is to be an accurate recordist and that he/she shouldn't be involved in the art part of it?

Was watching the "Classic Albums" series. Seems that many artists have high praise for the artistic contributions of one Mutt Lange, though.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
You are getting blasted because you are repeatedly stating the obvious. And then insisting that we tell you how to do somethign that is impossible.

A formula is what you want...excellent...here is a formula:

If:
"In the Box" = A

and:
"In my Bedroom" = B

and:
"Studio techniques that are situationally dependant and can not be applied to every case, especially if A and B are constraints that limit my ability to achieve the result that I define as professional" = X

and:
"Professional Recording" = Y

Then:
(A + B) * X = Y

Happy solving. We'll meet up with you in the loony bin.
LOL! More likely I'll be under a bridge. Was hoping to resolve some of this before I end up homeless.

In any event, there are formulas for all these things, and when they are actually arrived at, the accurate emulations can be achieved, simple as that. After all if the same 0's and 1's are arrived at, or waveform in you're analog, if it nulls it is the same.

We may never get there, or we may hit processing power limitations, etc. but in theory it can be done.

P.S. Thanks for taking the time. Time is approaching for me wherein I may not be able to.

As an aside, what I get from your comments is:

1. Minimal digital "at home" tools can't do "Big Time Studio Sound".
2. Therefore equipment really is critical to "Big Time Studio Sound".
3. However, nothing's to say "At home sound is neccesarily bad, just inherently different".
4. The marketers are essentially full of BS, LOL!
5. You and others believe in the "fingers over equipment" argument despite #2.

Maybe some other points will sink in after I log off, LOL!

Anyway's despite someone saying I'm a "needler from afar" or whatever, that's not my intent. Trust me, every time I think I might have a solution and I conjure up an effect chain, or even write an effect from scratch, and then flip through 100 amp sims, it isn't about "needling", it's about frustration, LOL!

Thanks again.

Last edited by flmason; 09-20-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:26 PM   #2024
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One part of it is that I've been trying to pin down whether or not amp sims like Gearbox do what they say (provide complete in the box high quality electric guitar sounds) or are bunk.

One group goes by, "It's not the tools it's the artist, equipment doesn't matter". The other pole is Gearslutz crowd.

My argument to the "Carpenter not Tools" crowd is, "Well OK, let's assume the tool (Gearbox et. al.) does exactly what the manufacturer claims, then what *are* the studio techniques that go from 'sounds home recorded to pro"?"
So why don't you just start a thread yourself to discuss this very subject??

I can almost guarantee you'll get better answers and more of them if you start your own thread instead of trying to hijack someone else's.

The point you're missing is that this thread is about taking whatever sound you already have and trying to get it to sound good in the context of a recording. You might notice this theme here and there throughout the thread. The discussions go something like this:

Q: How do I bet a good acoustic guitar tone?

A: Make sure you have new strings on, make sure it's in tune, move the mic around to get the tone you're looking for, move around in the room to get the tone you're looking for, try a different mic if you have one, try double tracking, try recording with more than 1 mic, etc..

They do not go like this:

Q: How do I get a good acoustic guitar tone?

A: If you can't get a good guitar tone, go buy a new guitar and sue the company who made the first guitar for giving you the impression that it sounded good.

You see? The thread is about taking whatever sound you already have and trying to get a good sounding recording with it using various techniques like some of the ones mentioned here. What you keep griping about is that the sound you're recording already sounds like shit and no one will tell you how to record that punkass sound and make it sound like EVH on his first record. And before you go misrepresenting the responses of various posters here, there isn't anyone on this thread who doesn't agree that you can, in fact, get a better acoustic guitar tone if you go out and buy a D45 and have them add a stereo matched pair of Neumanns to your bill. Everyone agrees that if you have better gear, you can more than likely get a better sound, but that's not the point. The point is that it's possible to get a useable, decent sound out of that Yamaha in the corner with a little work. The people who can afford to run out and buy the D45 and the Neumanns will readily tell you that you still need some techniques to get a great sound even with the great gear. That's what this thread is about. If you readily admit that your amp sims blow, then stop using amp sims!! Stop repeatedly saying "my amp sims are horrid, but the company who made them says they sound great. Can someone help me make them sound great, since the company insists that they must?" My rig sounds killer when I'm recording, but I always need to do some stuff to it to make it sound right in the mix, even if it's playing solo. The difference here is that I already know that my sound is killer (it is, believe me) so I don't need to muck about with the amp tone. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that it will automatically sound that way in the recording. To paraphrase Allan Holdsworth, "the most difficult thing about recording is trying to get the sound in the room onto the tape."

That's what this thread is supposed to be about.

Sorry I've gone on for so long, and believe it or not, I'm not typing this essay out of anger or disdain for you. I'm trying to help you to solve your recording issues by encouraging you (as others have before me) to start a new thread to discuss the very problems you're having, because they're outside the scope of this thread, and most people (although I'm not one of them) get pissed off when someone hijacks a thread.

If you do start a thread, I'll be glad to offer any assistance that I have to help you resolve your tone issues.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:29 PM   #2025
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I really want to get to the root of getting from the ass sounding sound that comes out of real amps and sims to what we hear on commercial recordings.
Its been over 1 year since you started down this path at least in this forum. I'd imagine this search for magic tricks has gone on much longer than that. How's it working out for ya?

With all the suggestions given to you here over all that time, and all this time defending otherwise and still no meaninful distance closer; do you think it will ever occur to you that you are simply looking in the wrong place? Its as if you are obsessed with finding something that doesn't exist in anyway in the place you are looking. You are free to quote this with a really long reply but if you just say the same thing over again without results, what's the point?... just sayin... we aren't a "crowd", it might just simply be good advice.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:50 PM   #2026
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It's not about tenacity, it's about defending a point of view I feel is truly valid and correct. And cutting through a lot of what seems like fuzzy thinking.
It IS about tenacity when you refuse to view music as art and attempt to force that impression on a thread full of people that quite plainly disagree. You won't convince us that your theories are true...I promise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
No, I don't want to talk about gear per se, except when something is critical. In reality the whole thread is about *gear use* even if just recording software.
Wrong again.

The thread is about what Yep said it was about (studio technique regardless of gear)since he created the topic and all. I understand your desire to discuss the intricate details of why big studio sound sounds the way it does, but that can't be effectively done on a forum, and if it were a desire then start your own thread. Because HERE you are wildly off topic. But...I don't expect you'll stop. You have successfully highjacked the thread into oblivion at this point, why stop now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
What I have done is postulate that the platitude, "Equipment doesn't matter" is a false one in many cases.
You are misrepresenting again. No one said equipment doesn't matter. I don't think anyone in the thread would agree with the statment "equipment doesn't matter". So you're trying to disprove a concept that no one believes in the first place...WHY? How pointless does this have to get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Like many hobbyists, many reasons why I simply can't from neighbors to cost.
Then you will never sound like you recorded your music in a big studio. This confuses you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
I think I've definitely gotten a lot of flack for suggesting equipment is a major determinant. I think on this point we'll have to agree that your perception and mine of the degree of flack differs.
No, you get flack because you drove an excellent thread about recording TECHNIQUE into the depth of "gear matters most" hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
And many who claim expert status don't really provide any true solutions.
This is a backhanded jab at many of the experts who've contributed to this thread. A bit low in my opinion. But the true problem is that your ability to process what people are telling you is severely limited in scope. You are very focused on solving one small problem in a topic full of thousands of potential problems. Unfortunately 60 posts ago would have been a good time to diverge to another thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Aside from Yeps mention of distortion on vocals and drums, nothing in here has really had a significant impact on the record quality I'm having.
That's probably because you dismiss it as so much fluff. Of the hundreds of people that have posted in this thread, you are the ONLY ONE who feels that the information here is has not significantly impacted their recordings.

If you're in a crowd and there's one guy that doesn't belong...and you can't find him...YOU'RE HIM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
So the assness that I believe plagues most amatuer efforts, I don't feel this thread really addresses. Nor any info I've found in years of digging really.
Well if it ain't here you can stop looking

And if you haven't found the answers yet...in your decades of digging...well shit...why don't you try a different approach. Like stop worrying about tone, and specific gear, and nitnoid details that do nothing but waste your money (as you've pointed out several times) and your (precious) time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Seems most of what works ends up having to be "found" or tripped over. (As I've lived it, ain't sayin' that's universally true.
That's because there is no correct way to do anything musical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
I have to disagree here. Line 6's marketing department implies and/or states directly, constantly in everything the write that thier tools accurately reproduce the sounds of classic tracks.

Has not been my experience in over 10 years of dabbling with thier stuff.
Then stop using their stuff. Do you enjoy banging your head against the wall?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Thier approximations are often quite bogus. Not ONE of thier models of a master volume head, actually has a master volume algorithm, LOL! They really seem to have one model, with some tweaks, when you get right down to it. But, I can't see the source code.
And the answer behind door #1 is...Who the f*ck cares what they sound like, or don't sound like...

DO THEY SOUND GOOD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
I think my point is being missed here. If thier stuff isn't up to it's claims, I'd like to see an authoritative studio guru say it in public loudly. If it really is up to snuff, I'd like to see said pro take a typical guitar, and step by step recreate a classic recording, i.e. prove it.
Why would any studio guru give a flying jumbalya salad what Line 6 does with their marketing? That studio guru is way too busy to bother...and he probably doesn't have an opinion except to say that if you can use the Line 6 gear to achieve your goal...use it. If you can't...don't.

Quote:
Buying and trying is what sucks. After a lifetime of the hunt, I'd hate to sit down and total up the amount of $$$ I went through in the search. Especially in this economy, when having that $$$ might've ended up keeping me off the street.
Yes...yes we all know. You've spent yourself out of house and home trying to hunt down "the perfect tone". Pity you.

Wait...why would be pity you if you have clearly done all of this hunting and spending of your own accord. If it's made you happy, then there is no judgement to be made. If it has made you frustrated...I humbly recommend you stop! Especially before you have to move under the bridge.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #2027
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Especially before you have to move under the bridge.
http://shup.com/shup!/532594/soundslikeass.mp3
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:08 PM   #2028
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Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Consider there two vids of a well know blues man. One, to my ears, despite the great licks, sounds like Guitar Center Saturday tone.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvlHZXe3H7U

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

.
I think what I see here is losing focus on the most important ingrediant. I only listened to the first track, and I dug it. It is a guy, who can play, in a room, playing. Playing really good. My wife got a ZZ Top CD to expose our 6 year old. I am not a huge fan, but I enjoy it. However, this vid is just real fine playing. This is obviously guy who can play, going through a really nice tube amp in a big room. Is it the best HiFi sound? No, it sounds like an old blues record (well, the room is too big to really sound like Chess records, but ...) :-).

We lose focus so much (yea, me too, I am sometimes guilty) on what we are supposed to be doing. Recording music.

Oh, and I live in Austin, and I have never heard any playing like that in OUR guitar ctr. Some great players in town but I haven't run into any of them hanging out playing at Gtr Ctr.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:16 PM   #2029
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but that can't be effectively done on a forum, and if it were a desire then start your own thread
Created one for him here and it died quick and silent death just as predicted.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:23 PM   #2030
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Created one for him here and it died quick and silent death just as predicted.
So what is it you folks are actually into if it's not the sound you are trying to achieve, LOL!

Are you telling me that all you "recordists" have no interest in the tones of individual tracks and instruments, and the the techniques for achieving them?

It feels absurd to even type that. LOL!
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:27 PM   #2031
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I think what I see here is losing focus on the most important ingrediant. I only listened to the first track, and I dug it. It is a guy, who can play, in a room, playing. Playing really good. My wife got a ZZ Top CD to expose our 6 year old. I am not a huge fan, but I enjoy it. However, this vid is just real fine playing. This is obviously guy who can play, going through a really nice tube amp in a big room. Is it the best HiFi sound? No, it sounds like an old blues record (well, the room is too big to really sound like Chess records, but ...) :-).

We lose focus so much (yea, me too, I am sometimes guilty) on what we are supposed to be doing. Recording music.

Oh, and I live in Austin, and I have never heard any playing like that in OUR guitar ctr. Some great players in town but I haven't run into any of them hanging out playing at Gtr Ctr.
See this is what everyone is missing.

Sure, Billy's playing some nice blues licks on #1. But it sounds like Guitar Center tone.

On #2 it was cleaned up as part of, I guess, a lesson video?

And of course the commercial release of "Tube Snake Boogies" has even better tone.

Going from #1 to Commercial Release Sound is the point.

#1 is Assness tone with good playing. Eliminator is the removal of the assness in the tone. Same player, same riffs. #1 is assness, Commercial release is not.

Difference?

Studio techniques maybe?

So what are those?

LOL!

Geezus!
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:31 PM   #2032
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Originally Posted by flmason
I've considered the general question for years. And I continue to find examples where studio results differ, with the same artist doing the playing, year in and year out, from the live and "live recording" results.
That's because one is "live" and the other is "in studio". Duh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
I disagree on the percentages and believe so should any thinking person. I don't think folks are clearly drawing a line between intrinsic tone and playing gestures.
What you're so casually dismissing as "playing gestures" are the things that make a guitarist unique. Gear will process sound...but gear cannot make intelligent unique, artistic musical decisions for you. Sorry dude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Here's that Satch video again. Despite his awesome playing the tone is not there. So it still sounds like crap overall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9v5e1TTwts
I personally disagree that it sounds like crap. And here is where you and nearly everyone else on the thread diverge. When I watch that video, I see a guitarist who I could recognize anywhere as Joe Satriani. Because only he plays with his style. And I view the video itself as a piece of art. The recording is not "poor quality" to me, since it was done with a camera of some kind. It is actually quite good, for that medium. If it were recorded on a $20,000 microphone, through a Marshall stack with a professional video team there and it looked like this. I would first wonder if it was an artistic decision...and THEN wonder why the quality was so poor for that medium. And the answer would likely be because the recording engineer, and the video team did not know what they were doing, and do not understand the proper techniques to use the equipment.

Most gear available at reasonable prices today is capable of outstanding recordings. If you can't make it work...IT AIN'T THE GEAR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
This video...is a perfect example of an artist who knows what to do with his gear in order to achieve his sound. His playing may be simple, but the decision to play THOSE chords, using THOSE voicings, with THAT pick, on THAT guitar, with THOSE pedals, with THAT amp and in THAT room are decisions made based on a vision. But I can guarantee that The Edge didn't spend 10 years trying to figure it out. He very likely took his available gear (which to him is a vast selection) and chose pieces that would allow him to realize that vision. But the "vision" is something that is vague at first ("I have a general idea of what I want this to sound like") and as he creates the tone becomes more clear ("Ahh yes...that sounds good").

You NEED vision. And that entire process can NOT be summed up with a formula, no matter how much you want it to be so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
I have a friend who's worked with a number of big names in Nashville over several decades. I asked her about what happens in the studio with her singing... her answer, "Geez FL I don't really know, I sing...and THEY make me sound good." LOL!

She's on recordings that have charted no less!
Does she sound good when she sings anywhere? I'll bet she does.

But even if not, you can OF COURSE manhandle a recording into something that sounds decent. But it's so much easier to just start with something that sounds good. It almost sounds like you want us to believe that nothing sounds good until it's processed through the studio. I know from personal experience that premise is baloney...and not just a slice of baloney...it's the whole baloney sandwich.

Quote:
Well then you've essentially established that studio equipment, including the rooms etc. trump everything else when aiming for "commercial sound".
No...I most certainly have not. "Commercial sound" is subjective. There are thousands of examples of songs that by some people's measure are poorly recorded, but that doesn't mean they're not commercial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
]After all if even the pro's don't have the same sound outside the studio, then the studio is the key element in that delta.
And I can guarantee that the pros don't care either. Because they understand that a live performance will inherently sound different than a studio recording, and treat each as a separate example of their art.

Quote:
Well, theoretically, the concept of digital emulation strikes me as 100% valid. In *theory* all's we have to do is come up with the same waveforms and job is done.
But it's in theory...which is currently not provable. Yet you persist in trying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
]What I'm insisting as simply that the actual techniques used to make the transition in sound is quite fair game here. But whenever it comes down to any specific track (i.e. bass, vocal, guitar) everyone gets all up in arms.
But no one here promised you that...because they can't. But you want to insist that people TELL YOU THE SECRET DAMMIT.

Quote:
Strikes me as strange, since that's what it's all about... getting those sounds to work well together. *That's* the supposed real focus, right?
And with an infinte number of possible sounds, and an infinite number of techniques to record those sounds, followed by an infinite number of ways to mix those sounds, with a relatively infinite number of pieces of equipment to use and most importantly...and infinite number of artistic choices to be made...there is NO WAY for anyone to tell you how to "make a good recording".

If you want specifics...upload a track...and ask for advice to make it sound good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Now no doubt art is about personal choice. But I tend to think "commercially viable art" is another matter, especially in this field. Riffle across the FM radio dial and listen to how every track has similar production values to every other track, despite genre.
Bull and shit. When I filter through the FM dial I hear thousands of different ways in which the tracks have been produced. None of which sound the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
If you can't replicate something, if you don't know the recipe or better yet the exact technical definition of the end result, so you can have many possible recipies, you got nothing but a empirical finding. You don't really "know" anything.
Then stop worrying about replicating and get on with the creating. That way you are entirely free to do whatever you want. And there is literally NOTHING that you can do incorrectly, if you do it with a vision.

Quote:
Music is one of the most mathematical of human artistic endeavors, by any standard, LOL! 4/4 is a formula. 12 bar blues is a formula, scales are formulas...
Math is a small subsection of the ART of music. In the same way that paint is made of specific chemical compounds that create specific colors. But using the paint to create the Sistine Chapel is someone only Michelangelo could do.

Quote:
That said, then essentially, your definition of the recordist's job is to be an accurate recordist and that he/she shouldn't be involved in the art part of it?
Absolutely. Unless the artist wants to involve the recording engineer into the process. At which point the recording engineer would become an artist himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
LOL! More likely I'll be under a bridge. Was hoping to resolve some of this before I end up homeless.
Then you should probably stop spending money on a venture that has clearly, after 10 years, gotten you nowhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flmason
Trust me, every time I think I might have a solution and I conjure up an effect chain, or even write an effect from scratch, and then flip through 100 amp sims, it isn't about "needling", it's about frustration, LOL!
Then stop worrying about it and choose one.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #2033
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So what is it you folks are actually into if it's not the sound you are trying to achieve, LOL!

Are you telling me that all you "recordists" have no interest in the tones of individual tracks and instruments, and the the techniques for achieving them?

It feels absurd to even type that. LOL!
That's not what you are actually asking for, when answered you'll say "so what are the tricks to get that pro commercial sound". No tricks, maybe you should only learn classic textbook recording techniques for awhile. Good engineers know such and they simply apply good recording principles with no regard to tricks. Once they have used that knowledge to properly capture and mix all the tracks, it suddenly sounds "commercial" whoda thunk?

Think of it this way, trying using all the pro commercial tricks on nothing but tape hiss.... does the tape hiss suddenly sound pro?
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:03 PM   #2034
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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
It IS about tenacity when you refuse to view music as art and attempt to force that impression on a thread full of people that quite plainly disagree. You won't convince us that your theories are true...I promise.
I'm not refusing to view it as art. But all art, like it or not has a mathematical underpinning, no? The whole universe does, to the best of human knowledge at present.

I guess I'm on a thread full of, well, essentailly religious fanatics. LOL!

You seem to be refusing to look a little deeper. I'm not being the least bit theoretical when I say math underpins music, etc.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Wrong again.

The thread is about what Yep said it was about (studio technique regardless of gear)since he created the topic and all. I understand your desire to discuss the intricate details of why big studio sound sounds the way it does, but that can't be effectively done on a forum, and if it were a desire then start your own thread. Because HERE you are wildly off topic. But...I don't expect you'll stop. You have successfully highjacked the thread into oblivion at this point, why stop now.
Why can't it be done in a forum? What is there some other, better communication medium? LOL!

OK fine, let discuss "non gear specific ways of getting pro tone". Once you leave the topic of playing competence, is it even possible?

I mean at some point you have to use the words "EQ", "Compression", etc. Again, I never started any gear-brand specifics that I recall?

Yep has put himself up as some sort of expert on the removal of assness in recording. Well, OK one source of assness is this tone problem. Much like Slipperman before, no real answer has emerged.

Go google the web, it's one of the biggest questions on folks minds about this topic.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
You are misrepresenting again. No one said equipment doesn't matter. I don't think anyone in the thread would agree with the statment "equipment doesn't matter". So you're trying to disprove a concept that no one believes in the first place...WHY? How pointless does this have to get?
I'm not trying to disprove anything.

I'm making a 100% logical statement. Equipment precedes sound generation. No guitar, no guitar sound. Poor intonation, poor tone, wrong pickups for target tone, target missed.

The equipment empowers the work. It's a neccesary precursor, especially for *recording*.


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Then you will never sound like you recorded your music in a big studio. This confuses you?

No, you get flack because you drove an excellent thread about recording TECHNIQUE into the depth of "gear matters most" hell.
Let's get serious, I'm getting flack because I stepped on egos that believe in "the specialness of artists". I'm challenging cherished beliefs.

Fine, so what exactly is the magical studio technique that gets rid of fizz in heavy guitar? (Yeah, yeah, I've hear of notching and masking. Doesn't seem to fix the base tone and often ends up sounding dead.)

If you note, all's I'm asking about is recording technique in a specific area.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
This is a backhanded jab at many of the experts who've contributed to this thread. A bit low in my opinion. But the true problem is that your ability to process what people are telling you is severely limited in scope. You are very focused on solving one small problem in a topic full of thousands of potential problems. Unfortunately 60 posts ago would have been a good time to diverge to another thread.

That's probably because you dismiss it as so much fluff. Of the hundreds of people that have posted in this thread, you are the ONLY ONE who feels that the information here is has not significantly impacted their recordings.

If you're in a crowd and there's one guy that doesn't belong...and you can't find him...YOU'RE HIM.
Yes, Yes, and the world was flat at one time too.

Most of the problems Yep has discussed come down to things that *should* be in a recording software's user manual, I'd think.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Well if it ain't here you can stop looking

And if you haven't found the answers yet...in your decades of digging...well shit...why don't you try a different approach. Like stop worrying about tone, and specific gear, and nitnoid details that do nothing but waste your money (as you've pointed out several times) and your (precious) time.

That's because there is no correct way to do anything musical.

Then stop using their stuff. Do you enjoy banging your head against the wall?

And the answer behind door #1 is...Who the f*ck cares what they sound like, or don't sound like...

DO THEY SOUND GOOD?
Read what you wrote. "Whe the f*ck cares what they sound like, or don't sound like... DO THEY SOUND GOOD?"

You have to care if you want to get from not sounding good, to sounding good, LOL!

It's all about what it sounds like. It's sound recording for cryin' out loud.

For me, and this may be just me, it's even a bigger waste to fight with tooling that doesn't do what you need. Hypothetically, something humans are good at is tool making.

Familiar at all with shotgun shooting and the difference between the English and American ideas on gun making for same?

In America you buy an off the rack gun and learn to shoot it as is for the most part.

Over in England they fit you with a try-gun, take measurments, you come in for a second fitting and they make the gun work well for you.

In many of those kind of endeavors I've found the English way works best for me. But that's just me.

At this point only conclusion I can draw is, "No one really knows, they just fiddle with stuff until they find what works."

Not much "Engineering" there I'd say. Just a large body of trial and error, no?


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Why would any studio guru give a flying jumbalya salad what Line 6 does with their marketing? That studio guru is way too busy to bother...and he probably doesn't have an opinion except to say that if you can use the Line 6 gear to achieve your goal...use it. If you can't...don't.

Yes...yes we all know. You've spent yourself out of house and home trying to hunt down "the perfect tone". Pity you.
Nah, not perfect, just similar to what has come before.

Sorry if we don't share the same ideas about honesty in marketing.

About that "Pity You" comment, Bite Me, LOL!

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Wait...why would be pity you if you have clearly done all of this hunting and spending of your own accord. If it's made you happy, then there is no judgement to be made. If it has made you frustrated...I humbly recommend you stop! Especially before you have to move under the bridge.
Well, the bridge has a possiblity of coming either way. That's not joking. If something doesn't turn, I am going under in the near term. With winter coming too. Debating at what point to get in the car and head for a warmer clime.

At this point, just making a last stab at some of these things before I can no longer.

Maybe *you* shouldn't care if *you* are happy, but I'm guite sure there are 1000's if not 10's of 1000's out there who are on "tone quests" and most of them that continue on at some point will recognize that studio process has some effect in this.

Why would I want to stop, what and be a quiter? I thought artists were supposed to be more dedicated than that.



Bottom line is, we're talking about sound patterns represented by 0's and 1's... if we really know what we want, any number or ways might get there. But, helps to know what we really want.

That's how I ended up getting into this thread. Trying to *really* know.

Perhaps you're right, it's not here.



BTW, what's wrong with you people? You act like someone is forcing you to read and respond to this thread.

You don't want interaction, you generally buy a book, right? LOL!
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:10 PM   #2035
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Originally Posted by karbomusic View Post
That's not what you are actually asking for, when answered you'll say "so what are the tricks to get that pro commercial sound". No tricks, maybe you should only learn classic textbook recording techniques for awhile. Good engineers know such and they simply apply good recording principles with no regard to tricks. Once they have used that knowledge to properly capture and mix all the tracks, it suddenly sounds "commercial" whoda thunk?

Think of it this way, trying using all the pro commercial tricks on nothing but tape hiss.... does the tape hiss suddenly sound pro?
Oh Karbo, I use the word "tricks" as a colloqualism.

I have more than one book on the topic.

I'm sorry Bro, but how is double and quad tracking not a "trick" since the band can't do it live? How are things like using detuners and autotune, not "tricks" (or techniques if you prefer)? How is using the inherent distortion in a compressor not a "trick"? And so on.

There's a whole catalog of these things, no?

First "trick" I learned on a 4 track was actually about composition. Bass track made guitars bigger, LOL! Slipping a piano track underneath does it sometimes too. Etc.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:31 PM   #2036
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I'm sorry Bro, but how is double and quad tracking not a "trick" since the band can't do it live? How are things like using detuners and autotune, not "tricks" (or techniques if you prefer)? How is using the inherent distortion in a compressor not a "trick"? And so on.
Where does being correct about the above (assuming you are) get you? Nowhere. If it did you would have never needed this thread to begin with and 2000 posts in it still is getting you nowhere. Let it go man, dedicate all this energy into another approach before it starts appearing anymore uselessly OCD than it already does.

If you want techniques, memorize a thousand of them and get real good at using them. Then later have the ability to know which of those thousands is the right one for the right track at the right time. Mark my words you'll never find it via formula route.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:33 PM   #2037
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Why can't it be done in a forum? What is there some other, better communication medium? LOL!
It can be done in a forum, just not in this thread.




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Originally Posted by flmason View Post
Yep has put himself up as some sort of expert on the removal of assness in recording. Well, OK one source of assness is this tone problem.
Here's the one thing you refuse to consider as the Ultimate Source of ALL ASSNESS: It's you. Instead of creating, you insist on copying, and because you can't copy you blame magic tricks that you don't know as the culprit instead of your lack of talent. It's you.

You don't want help, you want sympathy for your endless quest for elusive "tone". It's nothing more than an excuse so you don't have to admit that the real problem is a lack of talent. Don't make recordings! Blame it on not having the right "tone"! Don't make progress, regurgitate the same dead horse arguments you've been beating on for a year. Your recordings sound like ass because there's nothing worth recording.

Prove me wrong.

Make a recording. Something simple. Spend an hour. Just you on guitar. Forget about tone. Post the recording. Let others help you with ideas to make it sound better.

Bah... but you won't do it. You'll post a bunch of excuses why you can't instead, because you don't want help, you want sympathy.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:58 PM   #2038
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Make a recording. Something simple. Spend an hour. Just you on guitar. Forget about tone. Post the recording. Let others help you with ideas to make it sound better.
Do that. Let's be practical about this.

At some stage you need to stop worrying about the yellow you used for the Dandilions and consider how the picture will effect the room, once it's on the wall.

Without question, you can make great sounding *songs* using guitar sims and prosumer gear.

If you really want to chase guitar tone completely ITB, try using Nebula programs for the whole chain, amp->pre->tape->desk->eq->comp->tape etc. That's about as close as you can get to studio sound (whatever that is) using only DI guitar and algorithms, IMO.
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:07 PM   #2039
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That's because one is "live" and the other is "in studio". Duh.
Really, no shit? So since they are both recordings, neither is truly live... ya think there's some studio technique involved?

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
What you're so casually dismissing as "playing gestures" are the things that make a guitarist unique. Gear will process sound...but gear cannot make intelligent unique, artistic musical decisions for you. Sorry dude.
There's so many tunes on the radio right now wherein the playing gestures are inaudible, I just don't know what to say. Yeah, some genres are aren't like that, but a lot of plain ol' current pop is about removing such things.

Consider that one of the most used tools going is a compressor... something that is often used to *remove* dynamics. Or essentially make the dynamics flatter because the artist didn't do it flat to start with.

So one distinction between commercial sound and garage band is obviously, reduced dynamic range, flatter evener sound levels, a crushing out of extraneous gestures.


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
I personally disagree that it sounds like crap. And here is where you and nearly everyone else on the thread diverge. When I watch that video, I see a guitarist who I could recognize anywhere as Joe Satriani. Because only he plays with his style. And I view the video itself as a piece of art. The recording is not "poor quality" to me, since it was done with a camera of some kind. It is actually quite good, for that medium. If it were recorded on a $20,000 microphone, through a Marshall stack with a professional video team there and it looked like this. I would first wonder if it was an artistic decision...and THEN wonder why the quality was so poor for that medium. And the answer would likely be because the recording engineer, and the video team did not know what they were doing, and do not understand the proper techniques to use the equipment.
Well, if you folks can't hear the chintzy tone, nothing I can say can make you hear it that way. Won't try. Can't believe everyone has such a hard time separating "tone" from "playing gesture". Seems plain as day to me. Yes, I follow your point about the camera mic.

I will say everything you mention above is an equipment thing. $20,000 mic, Marshalls, et. al. All $$$ items.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Most gear available at reasonable prices today is capable of outstanding recordings. If you can't make it work...IT AIN'T THE GEAR.
Oh I can make it "work". But what do you do when you play a D on the 5th fret as written, bend it to try and make it growl as original artist does... and it has a buzzy sound rather than a growling sound, and 72 other amp sims have the same basic tonality coming out of them? Even the one supposedly emulationg "star player's" amp?

In some cases I've found pickup change works. Sometimes not.

I can hear the fizz in Iommi's "live recording" for the Classic Album series. Don't hear it in the release... SAME PLAYER, not even me. So some studio technique may be in effect.

And if it revolves around your above suggestions, it's equipment diffs.

I mean geezus, when you get it down to one note or one chord inversion and the sound isn't the same, it *is* the equipment.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
This video...is a perfect example of an artist who knows what to do with his gear in order to achieve his sound. His playing may be simple, but the decision to play THOSE chords, using THOSE voicings, with THAT pick, on THAT guitar, with THOSE pedals, with THAT amp and in THAT room are decisions made based on a vision. But I can guarantee that The Edge didn't spend 10 years trying to figure it out. He very likely took his available gear (which to him is a vast selection) and chose pieces that would allow him to realize that vision. But the "vision" is something that is vague at first ("I have a general idea of what I want this to sound like") and as he creates the tone becomes more clear ("Ahh yes...that sounds good").
Yes, essentially he "finds" it, rather than preconcieves it. Fine when you are breaking new territory. Not so good when you are trying to recreate an existing flavor.

Point of history, Edge claims Bono gave him an Echoplex and that's when his diversion into being "Mr. Delay" occurred. Sounds almost accidental.

But *now* "Edge Delay" is an established sound. (Basically dotted 1/8 delay to be technical... hmm... sounds like a formula to me. So much so thier drummer had to use click tracks...)


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
You NEED vision. And that entire process can NOT be summed up with a formula, no matter how much you want it to be so.
Well, maybe not *a* formula, but it is the sum of many.

Heck Grand Unified Field ain't here yet either...

If you can't define it in objective terms, you really don't know what you have. If you can at least narrow it down to a repeatable recipe, well then at least you can repeat your discovery.

Geez, isn't all scored music one big formula sheet?


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Does she sound good when she sings anywhere? I'll bet she does.

But even if not, you can OF COURSE manhandle a recording into something that sounds decent. But it's so much easier to just start with something that sounds good. It almost sounds like you want us to believe that nothing sounds good until it's processed through the studio. I know from personal experience that premise is baloney...and not just a slice of baloney...it's the whole baloney sandwich.
Not sure how she sound everywhere. Given her employer(s) she probably does though.

No I agree. I spent years tuning my old analog rig and very much, when I bought a 4 track, wanted the sound in the room to come back out of the stereo. I wanted an accurate recording as my ears hear it, not the mics.

But then what I'd actually done in retrospect was imitate studio albums sounds with my analog rig... then sat mics in front of it, LOL!

So sure, if you have the sound you want "live" already, you probably want "accurate"...

But, since it seems many tools in use sound live, nothing like thier ultimate ends on studio recordings, I still have to come back to, "The processing is where the difference lies". Simple subtraction, I'd think.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
No...I most certainly have not. "Commercial sound" is subjective. There are thousands of examples of songs that by some people's measure are poorly recorded, but that doesn't mean they're not commercial.

And I can guarantee that the pros don't care either. Because they understand that a live performance will inherently sound different than a studio recording, and treat each as a separate example of their art.
Well, it's my belief that if the studio recording represents the artists vision, then the goal should be to get the live sound as close to the recording as possible. But that is of course, an artistic judgement.

On the other hand, if the "live" sound is the artist's vision, then the reverse is true.

But ultimately I'd think the two should converge, no matter which direction the artist chooses. Strikes me as a matter of intergrity to the audience, unless one comes out like the Stones often do and say, "Well folks recording is just a different thing." Now clearly it is, but I think it's somewhat ingenuous if an artist puts up a studio album as a true representation, knowing it's not.

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But it's in theory...which is currently not provable. Yet you persist in trying.

But no one here promised you that...because they can't. But you want to insist that people TELL YOU THE SECRET DAMMIT.
No, not at this point. I don't think anyone in attenance really knows, as you cite. Or they just aren't saying. A truly commercially succesful artist may rightly see such things as where his monopoly on his sound comes from.

What I'm insisting is that if there really are no methods, we don't know much. On the other hand of we really know, defining methods should be possible. Or perhaps not method but targets.

To illustrate... many commercial mixes have a clear frequency graph that runs from -3db to -6db slope to the right. Approximately pink noise curve. So's knowing that... I can aim for it with whatever tools I have at hand.

A specific example. Frequency analysis of "Eruption" shows a fairly flat frequency graph of to 5.2Khz.... then fairly sharp shoulder. Something I can aim at.

Graph of DLR singing "Runnin' with the Devil" Looks low shelved in a way wherein the second harmonic is stronger than the tonic. Again, finding *that* out helped my vocal tweaking for dense mixes.

I believe that pursuing such knowledge is a good thing.

[Continued...]
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:09 PM   #2040
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[Continuing...]


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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
And with an infinte number of possible sounds, and an infinite number of techniques to record those sounds, followed by an infinite number of ways to mix those sounds, with a relatively infinite number of pieces of equipment to use and most importantly...and infinite number of artistic choices to be made...there is NO WAY for anyone to tell you how to "make a good recording".

If you want specifics...upload a track...and ask for advice to make it sound good.
Well, see the above, I'm not even wanting recipies, because I long ago realized that there's all those permutations and there are more suck permutations that great permutations.

What's at issue is, "What's the real secret", as in the frequency graphs mentioned above.

At this point, I'm actually tearing things down, probably won't be recording for a while. Things really are going south. Wasn't joking there.

Given the crap of my latest results it's probably not even worth posting. What would I post. "Here listen to this A above middle C from sim X... it lacks the timbre, harmonic content and sustain of same note played on a Trainwreck amp?"

That's what my research attempts are getting down to at this point.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Bull and shit. When I filter through the FM dial I hear thousands of different ways in which the tracks have been produced. None of which sound the same.
Well, sure, as I zero in on specific songs the diffences in individual tracks, genre's etc. are clear. But, if but for the stations processes, all come across as if put out by the same people, to the same overall standards etc.

Not surprising since many "textbooks" mention the technique of "reference recordings". That practice alone is going to enforce similarity in mixing.

Now go into specific genres, and the similarities are even greater, otherwise you'd be talking about two genres.

No sure of the entire contents of Red Book standard, but perhaps that plays in too?

In any event, sound like it all comes through the same "prism" for lack of a better word, which may just be the station processes and my speakers.

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Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Then stop worrying about replicating and get on with the creating. That way you are entirely free to do whatever you want. And there is literally NOTHING that you can do incorrectly, if you do it with a vision.
Yeah, but suppose you want a pinstripe and your brush is a damned 2" drywall brush, LOL!

It's a fine artistic ideal to say, "It's art, it's wide open". But human audiences and tastes... and at this late date, comparison to the existing backlog... come into play.

At this point there are established, well, almost traditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Math is a small subsection of the ART of music. In the same way that paint is made of specific chemical compounds that create specific colors. But using the paint to create the Sistine Chapel is someone only Michelangelo could do.
Nah, it's the other way around. Math is the language of all. Although some do debate where math exists as a separate something... or just luckily describes everything.

Essentially it's a descriptive language. So it's not really a subset of anything. Much like Logic (and Rhetoric if you want to believe Aristotle) Math is a science that applies to other sciences (and art of course, as art is just an application).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Absolutely. Unless the artist wants to involve the recording engineer into the process. At which point the recording engineer would become an artist himself.
Well now this is the point. Someone like me, an admitted no talent hobbyist with a passion is both "artist" and "engineer" and using plugins as part of the tone generation process connects "recording" and "artist-ing" at the hips.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Then you should probably stop spending money on a venture that has clearly, after 10 years, gotten you nowhere.
And golf gets a lot of folks nowhere to, as do any number of cash burning hobbies. But sure, would be sensible to quit. Did stop for 10-12 years at one time. Can remember waking up in the middle of the night debating with myself... "Dimarzio Super Distortion or Duncan JB.... ah shit, I don't want to debate this crap anymore."

So's...been lets see, turned 49 today... 49-12... been 37 years since that first date stamp in the Mel Bay book I started in, LOL!

Were I to hit the lottery, this damn pursuit would be one of the first I'd set about to nail down. Once I do, chances are I'd quit. Serves little purpose at this age. Especially having no commercial goals for it.

Perhaps it's an instrumentalists defect, but seems to me most guys I know that are into it at all have several guitar, amps, other toys, Apparently this stuff can be an addiction, LOL!

But yes, undoubtedly there are many other things I could've put the time and money too that would've yielded more good in my life. Hindsight's 20/20.

If I'd have expected this end result, probably wouldn't have started, LOL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzmo0815 View Post
Then stop worrying about it and choose one.
Ironically they all sound like the same Line 6 distortion with different EQ curves. None of them are the desired choice.

If none are the target, the desired choice isn't present.

Last edited by flmason; 09-21-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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