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DAW's and truly professional results?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Loconzly, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Loconzly

    Loconzly Guest

    When Bad Company, the Beatles, the Stones, Neil Young, The Who, Van Halen, etc, etc all made those classic recordings in the 60's, 70's and 80's, they used studios employing technology that was primitive compared to the average $1,500 DAW you can buy on Musician's Friend nowadays, right? Or wrong?

    If it's digital...isn't it going to reproduce perfectly?
  2. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    When you get down to it, ProTools and other DAWs (plugins aside) are just recording mediums like tape that allow you to edit much easier. A skilled engineer can make a great album on an MBox, all the tools are there: Recording, Editing, EQ, Reverb, Automation. The quality of specific plugins is of course debatable, but once again, you have tools that are in some ways far superior to what people were using to make great albums 20 years ago, and in some ways not. In the latest issue of Mix one of the articles quotes someone as saying "They'll capture exactly what kind of engineer you are." So a great engineer (with great musicians, etc...) could make a great album on an Mbox.
  3. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    I used to have a vs880 in 1998 and thought the recordings I made with it were 'squahed' sounding- so I got rid of it- I heard some recordings a friend made in his 1880 and I thought the sound was similarly squashed. Not enough air and 2 dimentional-

    That being said, I think todays daws are way better than those roland offerings. With a couple of decen mics and pres and a good AD you can get a great sound. That is, if you have the chops. If your recording skills are not up to par you ared not going to make a great recording in a state of the art recording studio either.

    the best illustration I can think of in this whole subject is using 2 violins and 2 violin players as an example:
    The first player is a student who is playing a student violin. His results are understandingly not very good. Then the student gets hold of a 10 Million dollar stradivarious- guess what, his results are still not that good.
    The second player is a violin virtuoso. He picks up the student's violin and plays a wonderlful piece. It sounds great. Then he is given the 10 million dollar stradivarioous and he plays the same piece. The sound blows everyone away. Such a superb vi0lin in the hands of a master! What a sound!
    Its no different with studios. While an experience engineer can probaly get a good sound out of a roland 1880, give hime the state of the art studio and he can produce a masterpiece. Sorry, but the student can not achieve those results for he simply knows not what he is doing. And that's the way it is. Chops take time and experience to develop- there is not other way to get'em. Anything said on the contrary is just marketing hype.
  4. axel

    axel Guest

    i absolutely second maintigers opinion, skills and experience are more important for a good recording / engineered track, modern DAWs are capable of delievering amazing results, but a high tech studio will still deliever a higher performance if you know how to...
  5. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Guest

    It's EGO

    I've done mixes that are better in the box and mixes that are better on an SSL. A lot of mixing depends on my mood for the day what, what the song is lyricly dictating, whether it should be clean or edgy, etc.

    The classical guy is whose opinion I would see as being more vuluable, 'cause us pop guys it's all toys and ego... :D
  6. Someday

    Someday Guest

    As far as you ride the faders and avoid Pro Tools, the result is perfect
  7. ghellquist

    ghellquist Guest

    But it all depends on the music.

    Turn on the radio and listen. There are so many styles and types of music. Some of these styles probably requires say ten mics on the drums (or whatever) and that is sort of difficult to do on a 2 channel MBox. Some of the styles simply requires you to use some "voodo box".

    Personally I record classical music, and some of the very best recordings out there are made with two mics. Carefully placed in a really good room and with really good musicians. Not just any mics either, but still. The MBox is probably better than most of the equipment used over the history of classical recordings so that should not be the limiting factor.

    So what style are you aiming for and how are you going to approach the recording? I bet that you can do it on a very simple setup, say an MBox.

  8. TeddyG

    TeddyG Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Frankly, while the folks you mention from years ago sometimes used the best available gear at the time, by today's standards, it wasn't neccessarily very good.

    Noise was high, dynamic range limited, frequency respone limited, editing was difficult, effects were non-existent or terribly difficult, even for the "biggies" - it just wasn't very good. Of course, most of us, again, at the time, didn't have the "playback" gear to hear the "bad stuff" anyway, so... didn't matter much. Audio philes, at the time, laughed at the quality of the average 45 rpm record(Or threw up!). Even albums pretty much - well - sucked... And these "re-masters"? Ha! They make me cry(And not with joy, either.).

    Truth to tell, when the switch to digital began and the "old" folks tried it - many didn't like it - at all! One of the big reasons was likely that they just weren't used to hearing IT ALL and had no idea how to deal with it!

    Still, "the biggies" of today DO still use the best available stuff and, with some recordings, there can be differences - particularly with long, involved editing, effects, re-mixing, release to a wide variety of media, etc.

    The main differences in pro stuff are "speed"(Must turn-out the work fast), accuracy(The better one is the more critical one is.), durablity(Just can't "go down" in the middle of a "million dollar" session!) and, of course, bragging rights(Hard to get the million dollar folk, without the million dollar stuff.).

    Is the basic quality of a simple recording just as good on a 1000 dollar system as a million dollar system? Could be - very well may be - but don't bet your career on it... For most of us, fine. If you're serious, not only do you want the million dollar gear in the million dollar studio, but you also want the million dollar fingers and ears to put it all together right...

    Sort've like, could your stock Toyota Corolla be a competitive race car? Sure, in some races, especially with a good driver and mechanic... For other races, you just sort've have to have a better car, a better driver and better mechanic(s) to even get in the race......


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