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audio Inside Track: Tom Lord-Alge

Discussion in 'Fix This MIX!' started by audiokid, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I don't subscribe to SOS so I can't read the whole article. If you've read through it, without over thinking this question, what are the top things you were left thinking about after the article?

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    There's no doubt that The Alge Brothers have most certainly carved their own niches into the world of recording and mixing over the last 30 years. Far be it for me to judge them, they've done more than I could ever hope to accomplish, and their credits reads like a "who's who" of the music industry's most acclaimed artists. I guess what I'm saying is, that I don't think you get to record Peter Gabriel unless you really know what you are doing, and beyond the tech knowledge, are also exceptional with the artistic side of the craft as well. I also know that they made SSL a lot of money over the years. LOL

    All that being said, this struck me as odd:

    "People have to wake up to the issue that there is no standard in the way things are recorded or archived. If you come back to a DAW mix in 10 years, there’s no way that you can be sure that you’ll still be able to play that mix back the way you mixed it. It’s easier for me to just play back a 3348 multi-track tape than to deal with the BS that goes with opening up an old Pro Tools Session..."

    Hmmm... I didn't have access to the rest of the article either, so I really don't know what he is referring to when he says "If you come back to a DAW mix in 10 years, there’s no way that you can be sure that you’ll still be able to play that mix back the way you mixed it. It’s easier for me to just play back a 3348 multi-track tape than to deal with the BS that goes with opening up an old Pro Tools Session..."

    I would assume his BS factor would have to do with certain processors/plugs that may be missing... (?) - after going thru computer changes (and maybe platform changes, too) over the length of time he is using as an example, or, if he means to imply that DAW platforms will change in the way that they address audio... (?) I don't know... I'm just guessing, as I didn't have access to the rest of the article.

    My own knee-jerk reaction to that statement, would be to think that pulling out a 10 year old multi-track (or 2 track) tape from storage, loading it onto a deck (hopefully the same deck you used to record to begin with, at least you would think that, no?) and then making sure that all bias and alignment settings match the tape ... well, to me, that seems to be a far larger amount of BS than simply opening an old DAW project file.

    All things considered, as long as all the processing/plug ins that you used are still resident, and that whichever platform you end up with in ten years will support the project file, there shouldn't be any reason that you couldn't get the mix you originally had. The tape avenue seems like it has far more potential for issues than the DAW does - unless I'm missing something...

    I do know that I can pull out DAW projects I did 15 years ago in Sonar or PT, and they still play fine - and as long as the plugs that were used on that projects are still resident on my PC, I never have any trouble in getting old projects to play back in the exact same way that I last saved it.

    I cannot say the same thing about the 2 closets I have that are filled with 2", 1", 1/2" and 1/4" Ampex 456, 499, AGFA 468 or 3M 966 tape reels.
    They were recorded on so many different machines... with different bias settings, different alignments... some were encoded with Pre-Emphasis/De-emphasis DBX, and others were Dolby NR, ( A, SR, B, S) and while they all have alignment tones at the top and documentation sheets inside the boxes (speed, NR Type, Bias,) it would still be a monumentally big project for me to try and match those tapes to same-format machines for accurate reproduction. So, I'm at a loss to understand how he makes that particular comparison.

    What I mentioned above is what stuck out to me... what were you thinking?
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Pretty much identical to you, Donny ;) I do sense the shill factor but who knows who's behind the purse on any of these. Maybe its a royal to goodness article. I haven't read the rest of it either.

    To expand on the ten years down the road. The fact we would even want to pull out a session and not "remix" it with new plugs is so lame, I can't even believe that was put like this. All I want are the raw tracks in ten years. In fact, thats all I want now.
    I even sold two DSD's a few years back because, why would I want to preserve a two track on DSD in ten years. In ten years, I want to remix it all. Which is why I mix on one DAW and capture to another.

    I kept thinking about the two DAW system and smiling.

    I think the article will fuel a lot more "er what" .o_O
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i see no issues with recalling anything recorded on tape other than tape shedding / sticking. if the tapes are well cared for and stored properly with tones and proper documentation, they should last indefinitely. the thing about analog tape is it was in use for over 50 + years and it was very common for projects to be moved from one studio to another. those machines were built to be compatible with each other. a studio who's tapes didn't "travel" was worthless. i used to calibrate and bias my MCI 24 track at least once a day .... maybe more depending on what projects were being worked on.

    unless you are willing to keep (a) particular computer(s), i can see how it would be daunting to open old files on a newer machine with a different O/S and plugs / updates ....and you still need to fire that puppy up every once in a while so the H/D doesn't lock up and electrical components don't degrade. it's getting better but we're not there yet.

    it's not what you would want to do .... it's what you are being paid to do. lots of old projects / records have been remixed / mastered and they need to be mixed in a way that they still are familiar to the listener. just improve the sonics but keep the effects and dynamics the same so you don't upset the listener. you can't change horses in the middle of the stream ..... Jimmy Page / Led Zeppelin just reissued their whole catalog in HI REZ digital ..... Page declined to say at what rate he did it at but he did insinuate it was very high and should insure they will be playable for years into the future.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree, so why would anyone need the tracks then? Or plug-ins? Or these guys, lol, they are Mixers. My way of thinking, if you want old Led Zeppelin, use the master tracks that the ME have and transfer it to the new medium! Which at that point has nothing to do with Waves plug-ins, a DAW, etc or this article? See what I'm getting at?

    Which is why I'm thinking, if I was part of the tracks in ten years, They would want it remixed, not a new 44.1 version of Pro Fools on tape . o_O
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To add, and I've had this discussion with others over the years that left some scratching and spitting... How is anything recorded on Pro Tools today, going to be sounding better in 10 years from now?

    This is where the whole archiving to a DSD is so ridiculous to me. You track onto Pro Tools, and archive it to DSD, Tape whatever. Like its going to sound better on the DSD or tape coming from a first gen Pro Tools 44.1 , 88.2, 96 what? It is what it is. That is the source.

    I think there is some marketing here.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I love these conversations with myself!

    I think we are headed for a vinyl and tape resurgence. I wish I could read the full article.
    This is the only thing that will save this industry. And I am all for it! So, Tape and Vinyl, go go go!
    Maybe these guys are investing in that, and this is really where we are headed as a last ditch effort.
    I personally don't think it sounds better but if we think it does, and the buying populous is directed towards this, its a great thing and we should maybe be pushing the hell out of it too.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    sorry, afternoons are nap time at the home ..... i think you are missing my point. i'm not sure but i think Page is going back to multi's and remixing ...
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    No worries Kurt, I am joking here. Donny and I have an on going joke about how I start a thread and pretty much go through it all answering myself! I talk to myself all day lol! You nap and I talk to myself! What a pair of canaries we are eh!

  10. Reverend Lucas

    Reverend Lucas Active Member

    I think Chris Lord Alge is also still using a 3348. I can't wrap my head around why mixers of their caliber are still using digital tape.

    Agreed. Any advantage DSD may or not have over PCM doesn't exist if PCM is converted to DSD.
    bigtree likes this.
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    perhaps they are using them for archival reasons. i'm sure they edit on DAW and then put the edits back to the tape.

    if the damn things would sync up reliably, i would still be using ADATS ..... imo all the mixes i did with ADAT and the JH636 sound much better than anything i've ever done on DAW ...
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff


    Kurt, a DAW rocks once, I'm thinking they require a more "Less is more" approach. I'm also convinced there is something lacking on the 2-bus, but I think its more to do with monitoring.

    These guys doing the round trip is a head shaker to me. We are so far ahead of this now.

    Never the less, track and mix on the DAW and save to the adat uncoupled, Kurt? Can you monitor off your ADAT? I've never used one.
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i think it's the console.


    there's one of these for sale here for $600!
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    This article you refer to Kurt is dated along with that board. Even if it was resent, its still dated content to me. No disrespect intended but I also think a lot of these guys talking about consoles all are dated.
    (We're not talking tracking)
    I know many engineers can produce a finished product as good if not rival the best analog console on the planet for under $10,000 worth of kit. I am talking to someone as we speak who is in direct contact with a guy that has more hits than I even imagined, saying he no longer uses a console either, Kurt. Why? because it isn't worth the fuss anymore. He can do it all ITB. Anywhere he goes, he has his kit with him. Plugin and roll.

    being said, who cares... if its what someone likes, Choose what you want and enjoy it. I personally don't care what anyone uses. Music is music.

    If my kids asked me what I would do I would say, save your money and learn how to do it smarter, ITB. Thats where the business is going.

    I bet it won't be long before we are tracking all online.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    maybe this would include a console with a really sweet interface, who knows. Common sense tells me, the mass will be using pre's something like the MP32 that is connected to an online interface. I envision a group of musicians all playing into a rack of pre's , connected to an online workstation part of the music creation database that we pay to use that service. We will mix and sum it online and away it goes...

    I much prefer the old way but I see a new world coming.

    No DSD, no tape, most likely not even a computer that will host the DAW platform we choose.
    We will be connected to a DAW platform that isn't effected by our conflicts , our dated OS or computer problems. We will subscribe to use the apps that connect to a DAW license and storage system. From there, we can either mix ourselves or be part of a user group. Most likely we will want to be part of the mass because thats where the populous lives. Where songs are created and published. "Liked" .

    It will be fun to look back on this thread in 10 years.

    PreSonus is already starting this.... we just don't know it.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    This is just a long shot guess but I see this as a serious look into where we are all headed in the next decade. I think PreSonus is run by some of the most innovative people in the business. This company is dripping with musical genius. Each year they bring us closer to what we dreamed about a decade ago.

    This is a Division of PreSonus. Are they onto something huge here?

  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i was making my morning visit to the "library" the other day and i read that Chris Mara from Welcome to 1979 just sold CLA a refurbished JH 24 ....

    from what i hear/read, these guys (CLA /TLA/Mara) all have analog mixers and machines as well as other formats. they all have Pro Tools and the goal is to provide whatever the customer /clients want. they will mix itb, otb, mixing through a console or with a mouse ....... and i agree with that approach.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    As a business , sure, why not. But as a pro with one goal in mind...the best ya got
    full steam ahead.:D
  19. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Cla has his assistant do clean ups and rough balances for groups in PT and then has it routed to the 40 or so tracks on this ssl. He said that if he has to he'll go into pt and re balance and of the sub mixes, prefers the console, and OB, although said he uses a few plugins.

    He's the first person I've heard say this, but he said he does t really tweak his compressor and OB settings in general. He said he leaves the. Where they are and just buys another one if they aren't giving the sound he needs. I'm he wasn't being literal, but still his back wall in his studio is stacked and packed. He also sticks w an older console for no other reason than his comfort level with it, even if it's not the best sounding or most state of the art.
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i've heard that before ... he gets a setting on a comp and he never changes it ...... if he wants a different setting, he goes out and buys another comp. must be nice.

    "no man is an island to himself" .... if one wants to be successful in the studio biz, they need to cater to a clients wishes. it's not about what we think is best, but what the client wants.

    of course if one doesn't have clients to appease, they have the freedom to pursue which ever path they choose.

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