least important part of a recording

coldsnow

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2001
Location
Mogadore, OH
I know, I know they are all important. But if you had to rank in order of importance.
Mic, Mic Pre, Compressor, HD or tape, Mixer, reverbs-delays-modulation, 2-bus compressors,external eq's, two track deck.
And not to leave out converters, cables, and word clocks.
 
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blake eat world

Guest
i'd have to say that the two things in my experience that make the most difference would have to be HD or tape, and room.
 

Mixerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Here's my priority order, there's a 2-way tie for #10 in importance.

1. Song
2. Singer
3. Band or players
4. Producer
5. Arrangement
6. Room(s)
7. Engineer
8. Control room
9. Monitors and amplifier
10. Recorder or converters (for digital recorders)
10. Mic pres
11. Mic's
12. Mixing Desk
13. compressors
14. EQ's
15. 2 track machine or converters
16. delays
17. reverbs
18. Red Bull
19. cabling
20. DAW

I put the room ahead of the engineer, because I feel the engineer is beholden to the room that the Producer may have picked. But I put the arrangement after the Producer, since a great Producer understands the importance of a great arrangement.

The song is King. The DAW is $*^t. At least on my list.

Mixerman
 

Dave McNair

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2001
Mixerman,
A very fine analysis, as always. This is as a good as your mix list, maybe better. Newbies out there should study and memorize this. Quiz on Friday.
 
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blake eat world

Guest
i don't know, HD vs Analog makes a huge difference to a recording. Regardless of producer, room, monitors, amplifier(just about anything) i'd rather listen to an analog recording than a (generally) sterile digital one, and some people might be the other way around. Either way the difference is big, and is probably of the most importance to the mix chain.

The reason i even put it before producer is cause one of my favorite engineer/producers recently recorded an all pro tools album, and i lost a lot of respect for his abilities. And he was recording the same band that i loved from his earlier recordings, so no change in talent. Could've been fluke, could've been the change of formats.
 

Ang1970

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2000
I would have a hard time putting any of these in order. Each part is so interdependent on the others.

For instance, with a shitty song and a great producer, it is very likely that the producer will proceed to rip the song or arrangements apart to the point that it no longer resembles the original material in a substantial way.

A great engineer will know whether he can compensate for a shitty room or not, and possibly suggest to the producer they use a different room.

How do you say which link is the first in a circular chain?
 

Mixerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Originally posted by Ang1970:
I would have a hard time putting any of these in order. Each part is so interdependent on the others.

For instance, with a shitty song and a great producer, it is very likely that the producer will proceed to rip the song or arrangements apart to the point that it no longer resembles the original material in a substantial way.

A great engineer will know whether he can compensate for a shitty room or not, and possibly suggest to the producer they use a different room.

How do you say which link is the first in a circular chain?


This was exactly what was going through my head as I wrote this list. If a Producer picked a shitty room, I'd tell him, and book a good one. If the song sucked, a good Producer would find a good song. So I agree with you.

The list isn't perfect, and could certainly be challenged. I challenge it myself. But it does point out that the people, the material, and the spaces involved are more important than any of the gear that's being used. For me that was a very important revelation in my growth as a recordist and mixer.

Mixerman
 
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Tymish

Guest
Least important..hmmmm.....Flangers,

Interesting that cabling is near the bottom. Hell, a bad cable makes recording impossible. Then again my day job is maintaining a facility so I do a lot of cabling and may be biased :roll:
 
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blake eat world

Guest
I think i should probably see a really good producer in action before i comment on how important they are, cause up to this point i haven't.
 

Mixerman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Originally posted by blake eat world:
I think i should probably see a really good producer in action before i comment on how important they are, cause up to this point i haven't.

Have you seen a really bad Producer destroy a project? I think that illustrates the #5 slot pretty effectively.

Mixerman
 
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audiowkstation

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2001
Damn right.

I had this producer once (the artist and the producer were v e r y friendly (if you get my drift) and between the bitch sessions between them and his general lack of expertise, since I was the director and chief engineer of the project ...I fired the producer. The cats scratch vocals were superior to the $*^t that the producer wanted to do...i/e lots of eq on the mic to multitrack (urrrggghhh)...if their was such a thing as an inversion of a de esser..that producer would have used it. He wanted the balance so terrible that ...well the artist knew I had better ideas...but the relationship between those two got in the way big time.

Now...check this out...So I fired the producer...just told him that he was to show up on Thursday that we had some tracking left to do..(7 years ago)...and he left. I also stuffed a note telling him he was ruining a perfectly good session with his ideas and to take a break from the project so we could get some meaningful things happening. He got me back by attending the mastering session which was not done by me and adding more tracks in a studio...so it pays to be diplomatic with the producer. I still have the master DAT of the final mix as it left my studio and it simply ate the mastered album alive. The artist came back to me to recut all the new pressing with my DAT...so in the end the part of the project that sold the most CD's was the original DAT...Unmastered. Since then I have mastered it but the project is dead since the artist was gunned down in a senseless car jacking. This was a sad reminder of how the producer can muck up a project...and the artist had been and will continue to be sorely missed.

The communication between the project list is of vital importance and having familiarity with the equipment and studio is as well.

If we take this senario as per greatest importances and least imporatant equipment in the chain...no including personel...it would be the Loudspeakers, Acoustics and Mikes, followed by the Console, Installation integrety(cabling and AC power), then outboard gear and last would be the brand of the hard drive or DAW. Stupid mistakes like using a cassette to check your translation runs pretty high as well...it is an intricate integration. Not knowing which tools to use is of pretty high importance.

Now the funny thing. Everyone I know of hears sucky songs (^ and sucky engineering and mastering)on the radio all the time. Could it be one of the more important aspects is politics outside the studio? We sure need to get paid for our sessions and our artist need the oppurtunity to get out there. Thanks to Chris...this may be an eventual reality. This above statement seems to bring the song importance down a bunch of notches...Not to me it doesn't but to the people buying all that force fed crap...it seems to matter little IMHO.

Sorry for the long story there.....
 
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dkrausz

Guest
IMHO, as with so many things in life, I think that the integrity of any endeavor, including recording/production or anything else that involves multiple and complex steps to achieve a "whole" can be only as dependent as the strength of it's weakest link.

dk
 

Jon Best

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
If you're talking about gear as well, I would only take this analogy so far. The people involved can go a long way towards mitigating equipment limitations, but the reverse is never true.

Of course, the fact that I really tried to make everyone understand this is why I sucked at gear sales.

Originally posted by butterhead:
IMHO, as with so many things in life, I think that the integrity of any endeavor, including recording/production or anything else that involves multiple and complex steps to achieve a "whole" can be only as dependent as the strength of it's weakest link.

dk
 
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