Was Brandon correct when he rebelled against spending money on recording gear?

Was Brandon correct when he rebelled against spending money on recording gear?
0.0 0

#188

In a mix where the nature of technique is essential specifically to the drums in an obvious way I’m absolutely sure I could. The immediate question is if it is necessary.

That’s a producer call and can only go track by track. Basically, there’s a decision to be made as to weather or not the sound of the drums justifies the extra $800-$1400 it’ll cost to rent a good room.

The benefits of recording in a properly designed room are usually greater in an orchestral application, because the sound of the room itself is so much more in your face than with drums.

But yeah, if you have a project on hand, that showcases the benefit of a live room on drums, then a final mix comparison from when the drums were re-shot in a lower vs higher quality facility, then post it. Granted if you planned on trigger replacing everything, it would defeat the purpose. But if you trigger replaced everything, you should have known not to track in an expensive room to begin with. Kind of goes in a circle there. Not all producers want drums trigger replaced, quantized to oblivion or sample swapped to death. In that case, put a very good drummer, on a very nice kit, in an amazing room.


#189

Ok but that’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking if you can hear the difference.

So that would be a ‘no’ then?

You have the burden of proof mate, not me. I’m just asking the question.

[quote=“Jonathan, post:188, topic:322”]
Not all producers want drums trigger replaced, quantized to oblivion or sample swapped to death. In that case, put a very good drummer, on a very nice kit, in an amazing room.
[/quote]Irrelevant really. Doesn’t really matter what the producer wants or doesn’t want, what matters is the end result. What does it sound like? Does it sound noticeably better?


#190

?? I just said yes. Absolutely = yes.

Incorrect, the necessity of a high end drum room DEPENDS ON THE TRACK. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I thought YOU questioned MY ability to hear it. I’m the affirmative, burden of proof is on you. I don’t care if you can tell the difference or not.

Thats like asserting that I can’t tell the difference between an apple and an orange, then asking me to provide the fruit.

Yes it does, when I’m the producer and I’m getting paid to deliver something meaningful.

If an authentic performance that isn’t fucked up with stale sounding prepackaged samples is what I want, then the authenticity of the performance is necessarily part of an end result.

Again yes. Using a million dollar facility to capture the dynamics, nuances of the instrument, signature technique of the player, and acoustic relationships to the room it is sitting in (as well as its mics, preamps, and processing) can make a final mix noticeably and significantly better than cramming a drum set in a closet and drenching it with synthetic processing and copping an excuse to make yourself (as a producer or mixer) to feel better about not having the motivation to have done a better job at it.

If your client can’t afford it, they can’t afford it. So what? Do it in your living room. If its of no benefit to place drums in a gorgeous sounding room which SOMETIMES actually doesn’t make a difference, fine. Do it in your living room. But when you have a track that can benefit from some elements of a top notch facility, and you choose to not because you think you’re sticking it to system, just don’t add insult to your clients injury by pretending you’re delivering a product on the same level with ParkRoad or Disney.


#191

The ‘You’ I’m referring to is not an attack on you (as in AJ) personally. Or anyone else here. My issue is with an ignorant general mentality that does not help anyone in this profession do their jobs any better. It sets a lot of people up for disappointment. Its a mentality that will never go away, because its a myth altogether, but it nice to see people begin to outgrow.


#192

Some people may make their choices based on pre-conceived ideals and principles, I make mine based on whether the end product will benefit or not. That is the one principle I use in all recording matters.

[quote=“Jonathan, post:190, topic:322”]
Again yes. Using a million dollar facility to capture the dynamics, nuances of the instrument, signature technique of the player, and acoustic relationships to the room it is sitting in (as well as its mics, preamps, and processing) can make a final mix noticeably and significantly better than cramming a drum set in a closet and drenching it with synthetic processing and copping an excuse to make yourself (as a producer or mixer) feel better about not having the resources to have done a better job at it.
[/quote]Why is the fact that it costs a million dollars important? Isn’t the sound of the room and the resultant recording the most important aspect? I mean, I could just as easily say it’s better to use your skill to get a great drum sound than to set up a kit in a big room, get a reasonable sound then make yourself feel good about it because you spent a million dollars of someone else’s money doing it, without actually getting a better sound that you would have done in the first place. It’s all just words.

[quote=“Jonathan, post:190, topic:322”]
If an authentic performance that isn’t fucked up with stale sounding prepackaged samples is what I want, then the authenticity of the performance is necessarily part of an end result.
[/quote]Agreed. Note the absence of the words “million” and “dollars” in that statement. Performance is about the person.

I dont care about who spends what on anything. It makes no difference to me, I don’t care enough to have an opinion on it. All I care about is getting my recordings to the highest possible level. If there is anything I can learn, any small morsel I can glean from anyone, anywhere, I’m there. I just need to see/hear it actually making a positive difference, either by example, or by trying it for myself.


What Can We Really Deduce From A Recording?
#193

Because when you build ANYTHING, you get what you pay for (if you know what you’re doing), and that’s about what you have to pay to build something meaningful to compete in the facility rental business. Again, I’m talking about studios that job themselves out to the top tier of producers and to highly experienced engineers. If you take a good look at soft cost construction alone on a building for that intended purpose, it should put in perspective how much a studio really costs.

??? Of course…in the context of a drum tracking session, the sound of the tracking room is what you’re ultimately after. But the gear that captures that sound, which is already sitting in the facility, and is already included in the $150/hr price is why you book the room! The tracking room and the gear in the control room kind of goes hand-in-hand.

?? I may just be confused on what I’m reading here. A drum tracking session does not cost a million dollars. lol. Its probably gonna run you between $750 and $1600. Split the difference, $1200 should get you a couple very nice usable drum tracks (from a high end studio).

My point was the there are applications for which a small or middle-budget room doesn’t cut it. Performance may be about the person, but acoustics and electronics are about gear. There are times when you need them both to be exceptional to get the right end result. But I acknowledge that many times it’s not necessary as well.

This might surprise you but I don’t either. But since I’ve talked to guys that build these kinds of places and heard their opinions on what makes them function at the highest levels, I at least think I understand why converted garages and living rooms will never give you the same level of performance.I’m not one to judge weather someone ‘ought’ to be tracking wherever. And there’s so many different factors affecting that in each case. And honestly, it annoys me on gearslutz when producers tell other producers where they need to go (or should have gone), as if they even know a single think about each others projects. Meh…rand over :smiley:


#194

If anyone else is curious, the quotes I received were in the $400-$500 pr square foot range. So a 2000 square feet of usable, properly designed, visually acceptable, and highly functional studio space should cost about $800k. Recording gear not included.


#195

Thanks @Jonathan , I feel such an idiot because, according to you, I don’t understand it. Sheesh. I’m such a thicko. Maybe I should just go and sit in the corner and make moaning sounds as my lack of intelligence, inability to comprehend the most simple concepts renders me incapable in the eyes of those wealthy enougyh to be able to waste moeny.

Enlightening. :rage:


#196

That only matters to the producer, not to the recording. In other words, spending large amounts of money on a recording space is no guarantee of success.

I don’t disagree with your view, but I don’t agree with it either. As it stands, it’s just words on a forum. If I’m going to accept what you are saying I need to hear (or see) the evidence for myself.


#197

Of course its not. Why or how is it supposed to be? You can buy the fanciest car parts in the world, and if you don’t know how to put them together the thing won’t drive. There are plenty of people that book time in elaborate studios that ought not be wasting their money, and have no clue why they booked time there other than it ‘looked’ like a studio in the photos online. Fortunately I’m not one of them. Its a completely a matter of application.

Its totally understandable if it isn’t a priority to you (or anyone on here). But if you want to know more about it, what I would do is study it and research it like anything else. Talk to the guys that build them. And talk to other producers about what rooms they prefer regionally. You’ll have a little trouble getting your hands on sessions from these places. But basically, you can start by researching it, but its hard to apply anything conceptually until you start spending time in these types of studios. As you said, words on a forum until then.


#198

I would only want to know more about it if I was sure I could hear the difference that it makes. Otherwise it’s a fruitless exercise.


#199

I kinda think Brandon was spot on for the majority of his postings. Most people don’t understand a few things that are super important that we really do have to take into consideration.

Super good gear may make a 2% difference at most and in some cases, it will be more of a coloration more so than something that is blatantly obvious. Now, add that 2% up within a large track count and you may hear a difference overall.

@steban don’t worry about the 24/96 thing. You won’t notice a difference. Don’t buy into the hype. 24/48 is fine. Now, if you had a huge track count…and loads of mic’d instruments, you would have a better time noticing. Most hobby guys use direct recording and track counts that usually don’t exceed 40-50 tracks.

Same with 64 bit programs. You only need the extra ram you can use if you are using huge sampling libraries. I run both 32 bit and 64 bit Cakewalk Sonar. I have never had an issue using 32 bit where I can use no more than 4 gig of my 32 gig of ram. For those huge East/West libraries and multiple synths, x64 to the rescue. A bit off topic there but I wanted to share anyway. :slight_smile:

Drum rooms: totally agree with you on paper Jonathan. In reality…let’s just say I’ve worked with a few acts that are big time (no I didn’t do the work I was either there or assisted) and was pretty amazed that these big famous drum rooms ran triggers as a safety net and really weren’t much to brag about. Samples are just about always used along with real kits and of course sample replacement or hybridding happens just as frequently.

Ever hear how super consistent major drum recordings are? That too perfect sound sure isn’t massive compression. It’s samples, replacement, hybrid with like-tuning etc. It’s pretty rare other than country music where you hear a real kit and all the human inconsistencies…and even they are turning more to samples etc.

I see no reason for anyone to get hosed on a drum room rental other than for a drummer that wants to capture himself for a real time demo. Even there…with the right mics, some really good impulses and the know how, I think you can hang with and come close to anything. Throw in the uad ocean way room plug…and seriously, the right kit played by the right guy, will sound close enough. Only experienced guys may notice.

And that sentence right there…“only experienced guys may notice” is something I try to preach these days. Experienced guys and musicians that know everything don’t really count in the real scheme of things, do they? I don’t consider them the buying public. We have a world blown away by the quality of ear buds and lofi…they wouldn’t know Abbey road studio vs hog and bull studio.

Not that THAT should make us think about lowering our standards. But to me, it’s almost like people feel the need to flaunt things due to price. I seriously can buy just about anything I want and all through my life have always tried to buy the best.

The best wasn’t always the answer. I’ve sold all my outboard gear and have gotten rid of so many “best” purchases, it’s not funny. Some guys will fight you to the death about what they own or paid for something simply because they feel the need to justify the purchase. I’ve heard dudes on 6 track Sansui desks annihilate studios that had the high end gear. Yeah, I know…probably engineer error. But still…know how is and always will be king in my world.

I remember a dude giving me shit about me using junk mics on a kit during a discussion one time. I told him I could mic up my old fiberglass pearl drums from 1977 with 57’s, EV pl 60’s and a 757 on the snare. He laughed at me until I posted the recording. It took me 2 hours total to get the sound I wanted counting the mic procedure and the playing/mixing of the track. I’d use that sound on my own album other than the toms which needed heads BAD.

So for me, it all comes down to know how. Good stuff definitely can make a difference in color or even large track counts. Even there, it can be subjective. I remember doing a test project on a stock Dell using a Mackie 32x8 into a Realtek that left me scratching my head on how or why it sounded so good. Hell I did 4-5 songs for Tommy Lee in a contest on that rig as a joke…I still can’t believe how decent it turned out. He didn’t pick me but it wasn’t due to lack of quality I’m sure. I played it too safe when I should have shredded like a banshee. Lol!

Anyway…great discussion here. Whatever works for someone is what they should use. But to me, when you get deeper into this…it’s so subjective, it’s more opinion than it will ever be factual.


#200

[quote=“Danny_Danzi, post:199, topic:322”]
big famous drum rooms ran triggers as a safety net and really weren’t much to brag about. [/quote] how long ago was that?

[quote] Samples are just about always used along with real kits and of course sample replacement or hybridding happens just as frequently. [/quote] But the room and ambience mics are still incredibly important. For people that don’t want the same digital reverb that every other studio under the sun is using, those room mics tracks are highly valued by some producers.

I’m in South Carolina, and there are country projects here with legitimate budgets that can afford the rooms. I personally think can be a good idea to use them. Jazz and classical ensembles also benefit from the rooms, and perhaps you’d be surprised at the amount of jazz recordings that do not use sample enhancement. Some classical ensemble want a lot more ambience, in that case use an well tuned auditorium stage, and not a studio A room. But for film scoring, video game soundtracks, and musical theater projects (where you’re recording the live orchestra for singers to sing with), I ALWAYS need a legit room for this stuff.

I just spent an entire year co-writing two different musical theater productions that are in being orchestrated now. One is ready to go to the studio in about a month, the other is about six months out. There’s no way the director, publishers, and investors are going to take their chances tracking this in a damn basement or garage.


#201

That may just mean they are hedging their bets, giving themselves a comfort factor. As Danny says, it comes down to know how, not gear.


#202

No. This has a lot to do with the gear. Think about how difficult it would be to record an orchestra in a basement or a garage. Not only would it be unprofessional to cram that many people in a living room, the wiring, mixing, monitoring…why drag that all that shit into a garage when a studio room already has it in place. And it still wouldn’t sound as good because large loud ensembles sound horrible in undersized rooms. Have you ever recorded an orchestra? You need 40 pairs of headphones. For christ sake, just go to a proper room with a good console, that already has the projectors and the conductor cues already in the system.

There’s nothing you can know about gear that will make 40 top rate session players in a bad room sound as good as the same 40 people in an amazing room with thousands of dollars worth of state of the art mics and a half million dollar console.


#203

Might be time for this PIC again…


#204

The thing is though, you keep blurring the lines between quality and workflow. An expensive mic, in my view, doesn’t improve workflow. In fact, often it has the opposite effect because I’m too scared to use it on certain sources. The sound of a half million dollar console isn’t something I care about at all. The workflow of being able to track 100 mics at once and have 40 headphone mixes is what is important to me if I’m tracking an orchestra. Being able to give the conductor exactly what he needs is what is most important.

Whether I need a console or an iPad to do that is irrelevant to me.

Now, are there solutions to these issues that don’t require a big old expensive console that aren’t a pain to work with? I’m not sure.

But I think the reason you keep getting push back in your posts is because is because you keep interchanging workflow and quality. There is some overlap, but I don’t see them as being the same thing at all.


#205

In an orchestral recording, the room is both sound and workflow. Its workflow in the sense you can’t fit an orchestra in a garage. Its sound in that its part of the source. May not matter if you put an SM58 an inch off the one on a blaring loud guitar amp. It does for an orchestra.

The mixer is sound and workflow too. I won’t go into the workflow details, since most people will grant that’s pretty strait forward. Its sound quality in that a Behringer or Alesis won’t sound the same as an Neve 88R or an API vision. The 88R may not me 1000x better (however you’d measure that), but they are better.

If you had the budget to build a gorgeous state of the art room, and put a Behringer in it, you didn’t think your studio out very well.

Why not if its that much easier to reach your end sound faster - because it requires a lot less processing and fiddling around to get it to sit in the mix? Why not if it works more consistently on a wider range of sources? Why not if one mic has multiple patterns?

I’ve never believed you MUST use an expensive mic. But if you have a good mic and a breathtaking outstanding mic in the same closet (as most high end rental rooms do), why not put the best stuff you can on the source, if the cheaper one has no clear advantage over the expensive one?

Then is your personal issue really the mic? Or could it actually be the sources?

This may be confusing the premise a little bit. I was responding to Aj’s comment about the producers of the theater project I was working on, asserting they may only be going to a room because its comfortable and familiar, and not coming down to the gear thats in the room.

You might be misunderstanding what I’m really trying to say. I’m not suggesting that the famous 88D at Skywalker is the only mixer that COULD be used. Hell, I do think that if you put a Behringer X32 in there, you’d still get a damn good recording, because their room and mic locker can go head to head with anyone else on the market, and their guys are the best around at what they do. I’m not contesting that a low end mixer is downright unusable. My point was that the 88D is already sitting there and ready to go, and Leslie Ann Jones and her team are already intimately familiar with that console, so why the fuck bring a Behringer to a tracking session if you rent that room for a day???

That’s what I meant when I was saying part of the value of paying for a studio like that is the workflow, the acoustics, the mics, and the outboard gear. All together. But yes, I do think that board sounds noticeably better than a Behringer.

Sure. Thats possible. AJ made his point clear. I’m a little confused if @Danny_Danzi and yourself believe there are absolutely zero sonic benefits to tracking a film score at a studio that was built for it, in a room that was designed for it, equipped with hardware that was specifically selected to accommodate orchestral clients.

The dub rooms and cinematic mixing rooms are a different story, because they’re purely digital. That is definitely a workflow only advantage (minus the acoustic superiority and monitoring advantages over a normal room).

Edit: Sorry. That Skywalker Neve is an 88R, not an 88D. The 88D is the digital.


#206

Speaking of Skywalker, they just posted this on their Instagram: Try recording that in your living room lol.


#207

[quote=“Jonathan, post:206, topic:322, full:true”] Try recording that in your living room lol.
[/quote]

Yes, that would be unbearable.