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Stupid stuff you did while learning
Old 30th January 2003
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Curious G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Stupid stuff you did while learning

I don't normally post on the high-end forum because my studio is not a place most high-enders could call home. However, the SSL/End of World thread got me to thinking about stupid stuff I did while learning that opened my eyes to some basic truths about what we do. Anybody got a good story? Here's one of mine...

When I first started out I worked as a gopher at a studio, mostly pulling dubs. A client brought in an old full-track mono 1/4" to have copies pulled and mentioned to me that it might need a little EQ. I spent the next hour working over this tape with a parametric... when I finished I thought I'd created a masterpiece. The client came in with my boss and he listened for a minute and looked at my boss with a "just smelled ****" kind of expression. My boss turned to him and said "oh, here's the problem" and switched the EQ into bypass. Of course the tape sounds just great flat, I'd fooled myself into believing I was making it sound better. Without A/B'ing the signal I was just making it sound worse and worse.
Old 30th January 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
dave-G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Most of my stupid-stories from my rookie years stem from punching.

For example, punching on the vocal track to do some adlibs, while the perfect, 300th-take gtr solo track was still armed.

Your story remids me of another shameful dub. It was an excellent dub, actually, but I dubbed the blank tape over the master.. That went over well. tut :eek:

Does orange juice spilled into the patchbay count?

-dave
Old 31st January 2003
  #3
Don
Gear Maniac
 
Don's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm pretty new at this audio thing...So I do stupid stuff with regularity..Hopefuly not the same stuff time after time!My favorite opps is when.. I patched in one pre and was settin' gain on a different one..I could swear I heard a difference ..I'm special that way
Old 31st January 2003
  #4
Gear Addict
 
mdbeh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Put up acoustical foam in every square inch of my tracking room and made it sound like poop.
Old 31st January 2003
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I must be lucky because I've never done anything really dumb. Most of the goofs I made (and still make) were patchbay related. Patching stuff and forgetting to dis-arm the track so the headphones wouldn't pop was a big one. People would throw 'em to the ground or scream and then look at me. Of course since I'm not the one with the phones on I have no idea what they're complaining about. Nuts. Oh, and patching output to output is always a good one. I did that the other day with some stompboxes. And yes, I have managed to wipe out a vocal or guitar solo here and there because I forget to look at the track sheet when working fast. Oh, let's just keep his vocal on 19... hey where's the sol.... o...damn. Well, that song sucked anyway. That's when a good assistant can save your ass.

Oh, one time while cutting vocals (I was assisting) after moving the patchcable with the output of the vocal chain from track to track for each take I really goofed and plugged it into the console tape in rather then the multi-track tape in. It's was pretty easy to do actually. That console had the most screwed up patchbay I've ever worked with. Rather then having all like in's and out's (IE; all line in, all buss outs etc) together it went channel by channel up and down and the channels signal flow went from left to right across half the bay. The other half of the bay was the same thing but the channel flow was reversed. Sound confusing? It was. If I ever buy one of those consoles (which sounded damn good IMHO) the first thing I'd do is rip out that bay and start over with something that made sense.

Oh, and I still love punching into silence. Most of the time it's "I thought we were gonna listen to that take" or "I forget to play". And once I did manage to see a Studer B67 get dropped off the back of a truck and onto a NYC sidewalk. Thankfully my A80 made it off the truck first. Whew.
Old 31st January 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
a) deleted the wrong vocal take withing my Roland Dm800 ;
b) foam at every wall
c) mixed hihat panned to center
Old 31st January 2003
  #7
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
1/2" ATR-102

Major Label mix being dubbed to a cassette.

12" reel on the supply side... 10" reel on the take up side.

Middle of the song comes... "pop, whap... D'oh"

Fortunately for my sorry ass the mix was still up on the desk. I cut off the broken tape, ran a new print, made the cassette... and kept my ****in' mouth shut until the album hit the 'cut out bins'...

20+ years later, I think I'm OK to talk about it publicly... I hope.
Old 31st January 2003
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Jack the Bear's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One of the funniest **** ups I've ever heard was when a client rang a mix engineer to get a status on his mix....."yeah it's going great" the engineer said.

The multitrack was blank. They sent the wrong one!!

Cheers,

Tony Mantz.
Glorified tape copy boy.
Old 31st January 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
learned right after tracking a small demo what the trem "frequency selectable gating" meant and why I should not have taken my live FOH gear into a tracking session... wow did that suck...


I did not do the other one, but man was I pissed, I had an assidtant in Germany who when i told him to align the 2" to +6 promptly made it -6, took me a couple passes of vocals ( one of which was a keeper) to realize why it was sounding like ****... My bad was not aligning the machiene myslef, or at least making sure the tech had a clue..
Old 1st February 2003
  #10
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Lots of mistakes. But there's also trickery, maybe it belongs on another thread.
I used to come to work and always find cue 1+2 reversed. After a few times the bass player would say I can't hear any drums and the drummer would say I can't hear any bass and I would be giving them both what they wanted, in my very limited view of reality, untill I popped on the headphones which I hate. I would run to the amp room and replug the cues to their righteous joints.
After a month of this I finally just started cross patching them and not fixing the fixed patch. During the month to follow I would find them in different arbitrary states. I started putting laxative in the tech guys coffee and it soon ceased to happen. I remember with profound joy our conversations through the bathroom door about the mysterious flipping cue system and what he thought could be wrong with it.
Pprrgggffewwghha uh I dunno Pprrgggffewwghha
Old 1st February 2003
  #11
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by dave-G
For example, punching on the vocal track to do some adlibs, while the perfect, 300th-take gtr solo track was still armed.

yup........
Old 1st February 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
kosi's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One day, we had to record a narrator for a radio show, a preproduced show for the whole month. I asked my new assistance to do the recording, cause I thought, easy job, nothing dangerous to happen. I went away and after I came back in the afternoon, I asked my guy, wether all was okay. He said "yesss, I'm in the middle of the editing, already" They recorded for about 4 hours. He played me the recent track and I asked him: Sounds a little bit "roomy" and he said: Do yu think ? I went to the recording boot and the mic was pointed to the wrong side !
We had to call the speaker again and rerecord all the session again...

Another day, I was putting a new delivered tape on a bobby out of the box and in the second, when I walked to the tapemachine, the bobby fell out and the 1 hour tape was funnily spreading over my feet. Too bad, the show should be on air 5 minutes later

cheers, kosi
Old 2nd February 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Alécio Costa's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey, my assistant did that twice ! once the mic was pointing to backwards and another time, low cut on and at bi-diretional!
Old 2nd February 2003
  #14
Ted
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
In my old studio I had the ole MCI tape based automation. For the young guys around here this required you ping-pong between tracks 1 and 24 updating the new pass each time. This was stored on the 24 track, 22 track really. You would do a pass on 1 then throw it to 24 along with your new update and so on.. It was very easy after lots of updates to forget to take the track you were pinging from out of record. I had a major session that had to be finished by the next morning. We finally got the mix right where we wanted it. This was after many, many, passes. It was 3:00 in the morning. I said " Let's do one more pass on the vocal". I reached up, put 24 in record, and hit record. Suddenly I didn't hear the automation kick in, I looked up and both 1 and 24 were in record! The whole thing was lost. I have done that more than once. It sucked! Ever done that Fletcher?

Thanks,
Ted.
Old 2nd February 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Good one!
Old 2nd February 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sm.. Nice...
Ted, I have only done one record with that type of auto, and boy do i know what you are talking about...


I am the guy who had the nickname 1&1/2 sidesticks for 2 years ( cause after arming track 3 to do a pass of automation ( yes we were using tracks 1 and 24 for auto) during a very long day 1&1/2 was all the hits left on that particular track.... thank god for a producer who had great time, out came the sampler, and he played them back in real time... at least I had one left to get the sample from!
Old 2nd February 2003
  #17
I decided it would be ok to pull off the removable head shield on a Telefunken 2" while the tape was still rolling just before doing some edits....

WRONG! tut

I tore one inch wide, 4 inch long triangle tear in the middle of the tape. A passing senior engineer helped me flatten out the creased flap and stick it back together with editing tape.

Worked & sounded just fine!
Old 2nd February 2003
  #18
Gear Nut
 
verbular's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Not really sound related, but.

My first experience with a computer was this 512k Mac, no hard drive, just floppy. Peeked in on other people using it to play games (I think there was a gold one, a X rated one, and Tetris). Being young, I obviously wanted to play the X rated game.

So, late at night, when no one was around, managed to play game. Wanted to turn the computer off, but couldn't find the eject button for the floppy..........I completely freaked out and stayed at this place till the next morning till someone arrived, so that I could apologise.

The first bloke that came in goes (laughing hysterically) "oh, you're in deep ****"........then ejects the floppy as it should be done.

Since then, I have evolved a bit, hopefully.
Old 2nd February 2003
  #19
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
While a band was warming up, I searched around in the live room and control room, trying to figure out why sound wasn't getting into PT. I mean, the mics were all plugged in to the mic input panel, the mic input panel was connected to the mic preamps rack, the preamps were powered on and set for a small amount of gain, the thigh bone's connected to the -- leg bone, etc.

After a full half hour of scratching my head and wandering around like a lost mime, I managed to look at the patchbay and actually have a moment of clarity (I had looked at it a few times but for some reason it did not compute). I hadn't patched any of the preamps into the A/D! BOY, DID I FEEL STEEEEEWWPID!! hee hee ha ho he haa

I gave the band a free hour. There was no way to live it down, but only two out of the four of them actually noticed.

This was my second session ever at my studio the way it is now. The first session went much more smoothly, which you'd think it'd be the other way around, but ...

I attribute this magical episode to having done a lot or rewiring the week before and getting to accustomed to staring at the ground, thinking of how I'd routed the lines.
Old 3rd February 2003
  #20
Gear Nut
 
ojay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yep, all of the above.

Erase vital takes.
Line up tape to the wrong level.
Try to cut tape but cut finger instead.
Patch stuff in the wrong place and then figure it out before the engineer does, but stay silent and ignorant.
Delete vital audio before backing up.
Not clearing the mix pass in flying faders so that when the engineer gets ready for the automation on the next mix all of the faders fly to their previous state.
Not understand lining up DAT machines to 0VU and boosting the input gain to full wack thus creating the most horrible amount of noise.
Forget to give someone thier change for their food or dropping the food budget on the street and not realising.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!
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