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Naff Gear

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Rog, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Rog

    Rog Guest

    I have an idea that we need terrible gear:-

    It's so easy now to get hold of great sounding gear - lush reverbs, linear mics, etc. but is this a good thing?

    If every single track is recorded at maximum quality and clarity don't mixes get choked so that everything competes for the attention?

    Don't we need to use awful gear? Mics with little bass and little above 14 kHz? Guitar amps with a tiny, tinny sound?

    Give me a radio shack mic, a portastudio and a Boss phaser!

    I'd love to hear what you guys think, I started thinking about this listening to the Strokes album; anyone got it? any info on the recording process for that abum? Sounds great!
  2. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    I agree that many "clean" mixes are just not emotionally satisfying. But my take on why is a little different. I believe that the good gear allows each element the opportunity to be heard clearly without having to fight for attention. Therefore, it's too easy to have a mix in which nothing is fighting for attention. This is the utmost in mediocrity to me, and not a realistic portrayal of living, breathing emotions. There is ugliness in the world, and there should be a little bit of beautiful ugliness in a mix to give it "edge". Discomfort gives you a point of reference from which to guage comfort.

    So, bust out that MXR delay, or midiverbII... Put a pignose at the bottom of a trashcan and mic it with a 57... Sing an alternate vocal track with a megaphone in the shower (with the water running)... Punch a toolbox on every snare beat... Make it ugly, make it ROCK! :)
  3. Lets see let me write these down (1)Pignose, trashcan...........
  4. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    The Tchad Blake interview in Tape Op would be a good reference point, espescially since he doesn't call what he does lo-fi, he calls it "high contrast", making hi-fi and trashy mesh in the same mix.

    I'm itching to try reamping drums through my Smokey Amp. Love the cheap little thing.

  5. Rog

    Rog Guest

    A list of cheap 'n dirty gear would be great, Here's my contribution:

    Get an old speaker, mic it up and start attacking it - rip up the cone a little, stick pins in it.

    Here's another - Guitar stomp boxes for vocals
  6. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Oct 5, 2000
    Here's another - Guitar stomp boxes for vocals[/QB]

    When you do this, try going straight out of the board into the box & back. The impendence mis-matches can give you a little extra 'funk'.
  7. Rog

    Rog Guest

    It's great to forget everything you know and do things wrong or badly. I'm so bored with these slick (sick?) polished, overproduced acts.

    ^#$% 'em! I'm going to go and band some dustbin lids just like Tom Waits.
  8. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    At times this

    "run things through pedals" thang, irrates me for some reason..." (mostly because I have'nt tried it much!)

    I think some of it is that if you work with loops (I dont much) I've heard that you need to 'mash them up' to make em sound good... Thats followed quickly by having to 'mash' everything up to sit with the loops...

    Then there is the almost sadistic humor of some perhaps 'bored' or stirr crazy producers getting an act with the very best of gear to use a ciggarette pack sized 'joke amp' to overdub with.. (oh, but that is 'brilliant' isnt it?!)


    Rant asside - (for a second only) I did hear one good tip... Balance purchases by buying something very cheap and funky after every pricey item. Mix it up a little!

    I need to follow my own advice more... I need to get more cheap crap in my life! Thanks guys! I am off to buy a box full of broken stylaphones and a bull horn, cant wait to take a pichur for Tape Op! Oh goody! I will need a band to record that has at least one girl in it that appears to be wearing a dress made from old curtains. Can anyone lend me some heavy glasses and a band aid too! It's all coming together now I can see it!


  9. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Good point, Jules. Lo-fi just for indie credibility, or whatever the hell it is that has credibility these days, is pointless. A lot of the original lo-fi acts weren't making any grand artistic statement, they just were working with the tools they had available.

    I like funky stuff when it makes things work. Sometimes runing a sansamp bus for drums has helped me get the drums to work after guitar overdubs have drowned them out. Sometimes the mini-amp tone, all midrangey with high harmonic emphasis, is what makes your lead guitar cut through a busy bassist and a drummer who hits the skins like a ton of bricks every time. Using bad for good as opposed to bad for just bad is a fine art. Then again, a lot of us are in this because we like the power to warp, bend and fold sound. When we are spindling an mutilating it, though, yeah, we should be scolded.

    Maybe there should be lo-fi permitting, like Fletcher has suggested permitting for parametric eq.


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