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Remember When...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by karbomusic, May 10, 2005.

  1. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    A few things that I no longer see or do anymore:

    --Good compressors only having 1 knob...

    --Playing albums at 16 speed to learn solos...

    --Microphones with little switches that started the cassette recorder... (if you have one, I want it!)

    --Headphones in school where the wires were actually hollow tubes that carried sound from a central speaker in a box somewhere...

    --Beam Boxes....

    Those are my picks.... Please add more if you can think of any...

    Best regards-

  2. --- commercial music sounded good

    --- "Pro"Tools came on (I'm sorry, I hate "Pro"Tools with a passion...)

    --- people didn't make a big deal about lipsyncing or not really playing on stage (i've mixed many concerts where the drums were the only thing that was really coming from the stage)

    --- you had to understand audio to be in the recording industry

    --- tape was cheap

    --- spring reverb (actually, i have a small home-built unit i use)

    --- tape echo (not the crap they have now, the real stuff)

    --- moonshine (we had a teacher in high school who had a still... and used it)

    --- people trying to help newbs learn

    --- people modding equipment to sound better (there is an advantage to Behringer mixers being Mackies clones... ULN pres with a few changed components == XDR pres from the VLZ series)

    --- when people used correct terms (like VLZ preamps... it should be XDR preamps... VLZ is the series of the console...)

    --- the lack of an undo that didn't involve more editing (i think razorblades and splice tape are the greatest tools ever invented by man and should be used as often as possible)

    --- when it was assumed you knew how to edit tape if you were a recording engineer... now they ask you "how good are you with a razorblade?"

    --- Adventures of the Gummi Bears
  3. dynomike

    dynomike Guest

    Really? Obviously you take pride in your manual dexterity.. but!

    In today's world of (mostly) digital recording, one really does not need tape editing skills to be a recording engineer, and I don't see that as a bad thing. Considering the large amount of albums that are either tracked entirely on digital, or tracked on tape and dumped to DAW almost immediately, there really isn't the need for tape splicing that there used to be. No need to force these technical skills on people who won't get a chance to use them.

    I also find it odd that you ENJOY tape splicing.. didn't so many pros switch to digital BECAUSE of the ease of editing/shorter crossfades, etc? I think you also suggested there that the more editing you do, the better ... as long as its on tape ("should be used as often as possible"). One of the main philosophical arguments against digital recording is that the ease of editing promotes digital manipulation over actually playing well. If you're so good with the razorblade and splice tape, you're a menace to the music, man! :lol:

  4. Kevin Glenn

    Kevin Glenn Guest

    whew.. well I have to admit I am pretty old, but not that old. I never found tape editing and splicing much fun at all and i sure dont miss it.
    Thats sort of masochistic to me!! :lol:

    I guess because I have lived in both the analog and digital ages, I have a tendancy to take the best of both worlds.. sometimes I track to tape because I like the way it sounds, then transfer to digital because I dont like the razorblade.

    that being said, my remember when -

    - that "katchunk that 8-track cassettes made in the middle of your favorite song. :roll: Thanks goodness that format died away.

    - looking out the window of your car at any intersection and seeing piles of frazzled cassette tape on the ground....signs of someones frustration with an eaten tape.

    - O-scopes in every studio.

    - when electronic hardware, mainly mixers and keyboards, actually used wood in their construction.
  5. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Other things I remember (great list on top!)

    - Mics were placed more than 3" from the source

    - Multi-tracking facilities had 4 or 8 tracks to work with

    - There were no headphones except for the singer's overdub

    - As a studio hired player, you have two shots at getting it right...after the second blown line, you were gone.

    - Charts and arrangements

    - Cassette masters

    - No external preamps...everything was from the board

    - Dynamics

    - Singers saying "Can I do that again?" instead of "Can you fix that flat note?"
  6. Didn't mean it that way. What I meant was if you do need to edit the tape, you should do it on the tape.

    Also, Kevin, I'm not all that old either. I just turned 19.

    --- when concerts didn't cost an arm and a leg

    --- when radio played more than 40 songs per week
  7. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Here are a few more before I forget:

    "Import" albums

    Synthesizers before they were programmable. In other words you twist buttons for three hours, and if you want a new sound you lose everything you have just done. Arp Axe comes to mind as well as one of the very early Korg models and a few of the classic ones also.

    Real strobe tuners... Do people still use these? I have a 50's or 60's Conn model I believe.

    Hiz mics that actually screwed into the tube "PA"

    Curly guitar cables

    The original "Muff Fuzz" by Electro Harmonix

    When tortise shell pics came from a tortise shell

    When there was no such thing as an LED or LCD

    $5 advance/$7 at the door for even the biggest of bands.

    You could listen to Dark Side of the Moon in the original quadraphonic format. They made quad 8-track tapes for awhile like this where each of the 4 stereo tracks would contain part the quad mix.

    Quadraphonic headphones (don't laugh, they existed)

    Thats it for now...

    Oh yea, to go along with what brian said about radio..

    -Remember when there were "Album Stations" and "Album Hour"

  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I remember when the early 70's Fender guitars were really 'junk' due to CBS 'modernizing' the plant and you could buy one for next to nothing instead of 10K.....

    I remember 'Stereophinic Sound' records right next to the 'Mono" records in the music store....right next to the sheet music.......

    I remember when I thought Coors was the best beer on earth...........(WHUT was I thinkin???).............

    I remember when I became aware of serious multi-tracking of instruments....Jimi Hendix' Axis Bold As Love....I STILL turn out the lights in the control room and crank it........................

    I remember paying $450 for my first car, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Aire in GREAT condition......There was a small hotel suite in the back seat...big enough for me and good ole whats-her-name.....! 8)

    I remember the night The Beatles came on Ed Sullivan and the horrified looks on the faces of my Grandma,Dad,and Auntie...I felt so guilty for loving it the moment I saw it............

    I remember the night of my FIRST big 'session' and how I learned oh-too-well about pinch rollers on a Tascam 3340.............
    (good thing we had TWO)

    peace dadogg
  9. imagineaudio

    imagineaudio Active Member

    Nov 24, 2004
    ....as I sit here reading this, drinking a Coors, I chuckle....
  10. JoeH

    JoeH Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2004
    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Having worked in both worlds (analog seems sooooo far away now...) I remember:

    1. Vinyl records that began to wear out the moment you first played them.

    2. Off-center vinyl pressings.....wowowowow......

    3. Microphonic tubes.

    4. scratchy pots & faders

    5. Hours spent on tape path alignment. Repro alignment. Record level alignment. Azimuth alignment. Bias tweaking. Elevated level. And on and on and on. Don't miss that at all!

    6. China marker/grease pencil tape marks for editing. (SORTA miss that....)

    7. 80 hz head bump that everyone mistook for "Warmth".

    8. Oxide shed & buildup. Sticky tape binder. Dropouts.

    9. Cross talk between tracks.

    10. Mangled tape, worn out pinch rollers & gunky capstans.

    11. Bad MCI JH110 relays and molex connectors that sporadically just stopped working, until you opened the unit up to fix it....Problem gone....for 5 minutes. ;-)

    12. Spring Reverb units that would "Explode" when bumped or jostled. Many had no output trim, they were just hung on the preamp output of an amp or cheap vocal mixer, if they were "on", they were really on!

    13. Bad cheap transistor circuitry - late 60's, early 70's. Before Op amps and ICs, after tubes.....bad ugly nasty odd-order harmonics.

    That's my lucky 13. :) More when I think of 'em........
  11. Well, I remember those things... and still have a few....

    Like the Moog... yep, got that.

    I have a '63 Conn strobe tuner I bought from an auction for $1 at the high school I went to when they switched to the handheld Peterson. You have to hit it a few times for F# to work though. It sits there locked while the rest are spinning. You hit it, it starts spinning like the rest. Everything works perfectly.

    Funny you mention the curly guitar cables. I just bought a 3/4 size 1951 Harmony that hasn't been played since before Vietnam (until I got it). I know, I overpaid for it ($120) but it has the ballsy blues tone that I wanted for a couple of songs. Hehe, the string were still left on there with minimal rust, and there was an unopened pack of Martins with a manufacture date of August 1969 (the day was faded so much I couldn't tell if it was a 13, 16, 18, 23, 26, or 28). Anyway, it had a curly guitar cable. It coiled to 5 feet but expanded to 25. Had the old riveted connector covers too. Oh yeah, it sounded better than my Monster 500's. Not sure on the brand, as that wasn't printed any where on the cable.

    Got an original Muff Fuzz available for my use. He said I won't get it to keep until the auction after he dies.

    How old are you? LED's are REALLY old. LCD's on the other hand....

    If you mean DSOTM quadraphonic as in 4 track mixed as 4 tracks (LF-RF-LR-RR), then yep, I got that. I also got some old quadraphonic headphones. And people think the surround sound headphones that some gamers (me included) use are high tech....

    Anyway, I remember that you had to have talent to make it in the music industry at one time.... not this BS we have now of who can be the best tool out there....
  12. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Wow, started to mention Martin strings but didnt

    If it is like mine, the calibration switch is hanging as it is spring loaded. Just give it a good flick and it should start working. Also, don't forget it won't spin till the tubes warm up. I hit mine for a year before I figured that out!

  13. axel

    axel Guest

    remember when, musician and producers / engineers still had creative and experimental (and spontaneous) ideas and not did the clean that is and will sell perfect aproach without soul...
  14. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    name 1

    I'll help you:
    La2a? = not
    La3a, La4a, etc: ? = not
    Fairchild, 1176, any dbx, neve, etc = not
    innovonics? = not
    ect. ect. etc.
  15. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Are u sure some of the old PA style rack compressors didn't have this? u know an just an input gain, no thresh etc... or am I just gettin old which is a distinct possibility... I definatley ran something similar years ago, now could there be 1 other knob somewhere, maybe but can't remember. If I can find the name I will post it.

  16. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    dbx...their "Overeasy" line...really pretty decent in live apps.
  17. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    no...the over easy line had a small pot and a slider.
  18. One knob? (I call pots knobs)
  19. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Definately not DBX overeasy, this would be old, silver faced, one big analog meter and what I thought was one input gain "pot"... would have been around in the 70's /80's & old school solid state.. Its been that long so maybe I just don't remember the other knob... would have been quite large 3-4 rack spaces maybe... Of course the company I remember having it then had a bit of handmade gear so who knows what it was... I do think though there was no ratio or threshold, attack/release, just increase input gain for the amount of compression. Sorry if I'm not more specific, its been a very long time.

  20. MadMax

    MadMax Distinguished Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    A little late to the party, but...

    1. You could test your tubes at the local drug store... and probably get the replacement there as well!
    2. A "can" was an empty "bud" can for $10.00 - (Actually glad these days are gone, but what replaced it is stupid in comparison.)
    3. An early "release" was an event
    4. You actually had to have talent to be a working musician
    5. Being in a garage band was cutting edge AND cool
    6. Creativity wasn't garageband
    7. Live to 2 track was about as good as it got - if it wasn't a good take, you played it until it was!
    8. Real horn sections
    9. REAL strings
    10. Moog
    11. Melotron
    13. B3
    14. Drummers who played with style - not a plug-in track
    15. We didn't have to try to get "that analog sound"... it already was.
    16. A local electronics parts house that stocked all kinds of GOOD parts
    And probably what I miss the most... discrete circuits that you could actually repair with parts from that local electronics repair parts house.

    Gawd I'm old...


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