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not for me.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by vinniesrs, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    I thought I would put out a little survey, and see what engineers, both pro and hobbyists prefer, and why.
    When I walk into a studio, I want to see a mid sized console, with all the toys, a rack, or two, or six racks full of gear. Or two blondes with nice racks. :eek: )

    What do you guys like!
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Sadly consoles, tape and all that other stuff is just soooo expensive to maintain.. That's why I sold my 2" 24 track and my MCI console. I did my taxes and figured out that I had spent 5 grand in five years on a console and tape machine that were worth at that time $12K and dropping fast. It was time to do something. Now I work in the box and you know what? I don't miss all the heat, and all the bills for a big room to house it all and the down time when the power supply on the tape machine craps out and the maintenance. So when I walk into a studio I want to see lots of great front end gear, cool mics, a killer monitor system and most of all someone who knows how to record and actually gives a flying poke at a rolling donut about my project..
  3. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    :) Steve, what a fun question! :tu:

    I like to stand, and move around when I work, I try to be neat but when I am rolling I don't care where the cables are, as long as they aren't crossing power lines.

    I know where everything is in a project, and am 10 steps ahead of the client. 2 prerolls, then it's a take. When it's taken, it's history.

    I have a set of clippers for cutting tie raps, I hate tie wraps, I prefer twisty ties. I use 1/2" masking tape for cable labels and when it dries up and falls off I replace the cable.

    I cover my gear with beach towels, when not in use. I love working with my hands. Over the years I have become so used to this that the thought of using a mouse and looking at screens for everything is unimaginable.

    I am very efficient at what I do, there is no time for render, I prefer gear that works realtime, more expensive, but more efficient. By the time the client walks in, most of the dirty work is done, so I make it nice, cozy and neat.

    I set up my system flow for maximum efficiency. I like dedicated inputs. On a console I just mute what I'm NOT using. I like walking into a place where gear is everywhere. Where you look around in amazement only to discover something different at every turn. Like a curio shop.

    I go into the store room and wonder how I can implement old obsolete gear. If I find an old XT I will write a program for it to do specific function, even if it's to make labels, or print and keep records.

    I love my junk drawer. I can find anything I need there, you can't. I have used the same tweaker screwdriver, same black and yellow Phillips head for 15 years. I am superstitious if I can't find it, and I will spend a day to find it if I have to. Don't get any ideas about taking it hostage. It is well protected.

    I put the PCR upstairs so I have to run up and down to get to and from the studio. Better for your health, like it or not.

    When I work in my project studio, it remains lit up until the work is done, all of it. I may cut 10 or 12 pieces in a night, and watch the sun come up. I love to experiment, and really dig some of the old studio shots from Abby Road, and other places where people are working. The atmosphere of towering old Moog systems, keyboards everywhere, the glow of gear, big monitors, meters, interesting but effective acoustic treatments, and full ashtrays.

    Even if a place looks like crap, but is efficient and works, I don't care. However clients might, and sometimes do. You can feel your way through these decisions.

    If I see space not used it becomes storage for shelves. There is nothing like the smell of electrolyte of simmering gear. Warm gear beckons me to play. To me a warmed up studio is like the smell of home baked bread cooking in the stove.

    I hate tie wraps.

  4. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    I dunno - me - i like it all - i like walking into a room and seeing old 2" tape - but also a computer screen. I like a mouse but can't do without knobs and bells and whistles...

    I just like it all - i like to collect it - i like to look at it on a saturday evening when i'm awake just before midnight..... i love the smell of it on a warm wet summer day....... I just love it all.

    Unfortunately i can't have it all....... i want it all........ but will never pull that off....

    What i will do however is continue to buy up as much of it as i possibly can - because i do believe that he who dies with the most toys wins.....

    And i am also going to be buying like 14 or 15 burial plots - side by each - cause ya know what my friends? I AM taking it all with me..........

    Happy Hunting to you all

  5. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member

    Mar 19, 2001
    New Milford, CT USA
    Home Page:

    Great topic.

    I sold all my outboard gear a few years ago and never looked back. And I don't need no stinking control surface. :D I do it all in the computer. Everything. All FX areplug-insas are all my synths and samplers. I can't imagine ever going back to 2-inch tape and editing mixdowns with a razor blade. I shudder at the thought. If I want to see SMPTE time flash by faster than I can read, Sonar has a display for that.


  6. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    Boys and their toys. It must be nice to have the option of using what you like. Given the choice, I'll go with a nice DAW every time. I can work faster and more efficiently. But gimme that analog front end; lots of pre's and compressors, FX boxes and the like.

    As a free-lance I have to use whatever is available in the facility I'm working at, mostly DAWs and ADATs. I bring a small rack or two of my favorite toys if I know I'll need them. One of my absolute favorites is the Roland CE-200 chorus. It's dirty, it's noisy and it sounds just great. Even when bouncing MIDI to track I almost always put it through a pre of some kind or a speaker and mic it; turn the effects off and run it through something like the CE-200 or a stomp box. And when using a DAW, I much prefer a control surface to control things in real time, mix on the fly and just tweak the miscues when I'm done. Music is supposed to be tactile and organic.

    I do like a clean control room though. I hate tripping over wires, mostly because I spend most of my tracking time out of the chair, grooving right along with the performers and tweaking the boxes in the racks.

    Good post Steve.

    Uncle Bob


  7. Richard Monroe

    Richard Monroe Active Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    Framingham, Mass.
    Home Page:
    I want to see kickass mics and kickass pres. I don't give a damn what they're plugged into. Good pres and mics, well used, will produce great tracks into a well maintained 2" tape machine. or a Korg PXR4 Pandora.-Richie
  8. Guest

    My ideal studio:

    I wanna see a 9' concert grand, a B-3, and kick-ass food and drink!

    As far as other gear, i kinda like blue lights...

    Oh yeah, I like stereo cue mixes - individually configured for each musician.
  9. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    May 12, 2003
    WOW! This is great. It's good to know I'm not alon in the world!
    When I originally posted, my comment about timecode screaming by at 100 miles an hour was aimed at the BRC. I don't really believe analog tape is a good option for recording now, given it's maintainance requirements and noise properties. I do like all of the analog type controls, as they are much quicker and easier than "mousing". :D
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Everyone has their own ways of approaching a task. Many will play the faders with both hands. I myself have never like this approach although I acknowledge its usefulness. I usually set up a static mix and then make individual moves writing them to automation. Before I was introduced to my first desk with automation, I would take "write tape" and stick it next to the faders and mark my moves, running the mix until I got through it without missing something.. So now in DAW I don't feel the need for a hardware control surface.. At first I missed transport controls, finding performing punches with the mouse to be kludgey and cumbersome, until I realized I could use the key pad on my computer keyboard to do this. I have several buttons set to perform the record in, out, play, stop, ff and rew.. It works fine for me and is one less piece of stuff on the computer station desk cluttering up the place..

    Nope never used it! Never heard it! I don't know nothin' about it.. It could be the best thing since sliced white bread! (really!) :D
  11. sign

    sign Guest

    Steve, you rock man! Richie, you rock too, Ethan....I have my doubts.

    My beloved favorite music was all recorded to tape. Right now I'm listening to "Close to the edge" by Yes. The church organ has just been blown away by the Moog and now the Hammond solo has just begun.

    Yesterday a band came in. I asked them to play a couple of songs so I could tweak the levels and sounds on the board.

    After some five minutes I asked them to come into the CR and listen to the sound I just recorded to the 2" machine.

    Jaws on the floor, wow.... what a great sound they all said. After 8 1/2 ours of relaxed working they went home with a 3 song demo.

    I have Nuendo, but use it only for editing some tracks, put it back on tape and away we go!

    I'm a tape slut! :D

    BTW Kurt, I have no problems with maintaining the board and tapemachine, no problems at all. If there are problems, it's always a computer :p

    Peace, Han
  12. sagreene

    sagreene Guest

    >>Those of you that use computers....Would you >>prefer faders and knobs?
    You can have both!! Ok...not totally I still have to click a bit, but I got the Logic Control, which is just a mackie control with proprietary os.

    This put me in mixing heaven! Watching the faders zooming about, automating the buses and playing with softsynth controls via the faders is just the best. A mouse simply doesn't do these programs justice. But with a limited budget it is AMAZING what you can do.

    Here's one a friend and I did - he played to a click track singing and playing into the POD and everything else came afterward.

    has a few problems...I don't really like the guitar tone now and i didn't know how to use the 'drums from hell' properly which come in at the end. I didn't mix in the close mic'd sample with the room samples but oh well...

    one mic and a computer

    >>Those of you that use faders and knobs....Would >>you prefer computers?

    I doubt it....if i could have 'real' equiptment, I'd take it. No crashing, no overloads, no compatibility problems (i'm sure there are exceptions when you go digital) - everything uses 1/4 or xlr! Seems a bit simpler, not to mention the stress of staring at a computer screen, especially after being at work all day....mmmm..projector :p

  13. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    I've been working with with computers of various stripes for over 20 years and have to work with them all day long in the day gig. I have no trouble getting them to do what I want, but I hate the damn things nonetheless. I have a midrange laptop in my control room and its main purpose is to provide a platform for basic AcidPro stuff. Beyond that, I don't want computers in my place. Eventually, I'd like to have a very nice small format, 24-channel board, a few nice outboard pieces, and a capable HD recorder.

    What I'd like to see in someone else's room? Couldn't care less as long as they're competant with the gear, can work efficiently with it, and achieve a great mix. I agree with Kurt, though. To me, the most important thing is someone who knows what they're doing and cares about my project.
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Oh Yeah.....I love the smell of Ampex shedding in the morning....Knobs EVERYWHERE!! Things that have a low-noise floor even when they're all the way up.....Great Big Bulky Mic Stands With Wheels and four and a half pound mics hangin from em....Drum setups that look like the plumber just left....Gobos with more than four wheels....A console that you could throw a mattress on and nap for a bit....MONITORS IN THE OVERHEAD SOFFITTS!!!..little tag on em says 'westlake'...machine rooms that when you open em up, the noise floor goes up a notch...A room that when you close the door you try to quiet your breathing cause it seems SO LOUD....Argon filled multipane glass set in odd angles ....babes on the couch in the lounge so bored they'd be glad to spend an hour with(gawd help em) THE MIXER GUY!!!! Accent lighting that looks like it was designed by.....well.....ME.

    And like Rick, I like to work in all kinds of positions...I like to walk around the control room, I like to be able to lean into the monitors fields to catch a glimpse of something going by...I like a clean pathway and a real nice easy-on-the-eyes setup for the outboard gear....I like 25 guitars strung and waiting when I am 'talent'...and at the end...I like to call on my co-producer to come get this mess and fix it in that IDIOT BOX<----- computerd.
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Gee, it seems I have heard that somewhere before ???
  16. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    Mine has to be loadable into my truck without assistance. Easy negotiation of stairs at the venue is a plus.
  17. Ras Judah

    Ras Judah Guest

    Greetings All,

    I'd say given the choice (i.e. the funds) I'd have mostly 'traditional' gear backed up by a couple of RADARs (Nyquist converters, of course :(

    Mind you, when it's working and in the hands of professionals (that leaves me out then ;)
  18. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    AMEN to that! I would't have it any other way. Now if they happen to have a DAW and other electronic gizmos as well, I can accept that. In fact even if they don't have much racks or analog toys, as long as they have a great room for tracking, I'll bring my own analog toys to track in their space and then take it with me where I have the choice of using a real console desk or doing the mix in the box thing like many an idiot seems to think they can do nowdays. I have heard more poor sounding crap come out of computer recordings than I ever did from those with 4-trk cassettes mixed from over a dozen bounces.
  19. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Distinguished Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
  20. mjones4th

    mjones4th Active Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    I'd like to add a different twist.

    As a customer, would you pay the same amount of money to work in streamlined studio, or a studio full of analog gear and big mixing desks? Of course all other things are equal in this situation (like engineering skills, output quality, etc.).

    The reason I say this is because my 'studio', being of the DAW variety with minimalist hardware, does not draw high-paying clients, even though its output quality is consistently good (by others' judgement, not mine).

    It just seems to me that you need racks fulla gear with knobs and stuff to draw the higher quality clientele. Whaddya think?

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