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Mix Style - Purely a function of repetition?
Old 28th March 2003
  #31
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One thing I've often noticed is that most people who are perceived as having exceptional talent tend to also have an exceptional amount of experience for a person looking their age. I think it's always a combination of the ability to bring experience to a craft combined with a natural understanding or feel for it. The proportions of these two elements vary a great deal between different individuals.
Old 28th March 2003
  #32
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Re: Mix Style - Purely a function of repetition?

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
But is it right for a mixer to impose their own stamp on a project?

Its a fine line you walk when mixing a project you did not start. At a certain point you have to give your input, but that's why you get the gig, for your objectivity as well as your creativity.
I guess my problem is with the creativity or lack of it. I try to figure out what the project needs and mix it like that. Sometimes the music needs to be kinda slick, bright and lots of effects going on. Sometimes raw is the answer. Mixing every song through "presets" isn't creativity even if that's what you do. I mean, we all have presets in our head of what we think sounds good and bad. Listen to a Les Paul through a Marshall and it sounds rocking, we've been hearing that sound since the late '60's. How could anyone say it sounds bad even if there's better out there?
Old 28th March 2003
  #33
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4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mix Style - Purely a function of repetition?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I guess my problem is with the creativity or lack of it. I try to figure out what the project needs and mix it like that. Sometimes the music needs to be kinda slick, bright and lots of effects going on. Sometimes raw is the answer. Mixing every song through "presets" isn't creativity even if that's what you do. I mean, we all have presets in our head of what we think sounds good and bad. Listen to a Les Paul through a Marshall and it sounds rocking, we've been hearing that sound since the late '60's. How could anyone say it sounds bad even if there's better out there?

Yeah but your post proves my point.

You say mixing through presets is lack of creativity, but we all mix through our own presets. And the mix engineer that can deliver it the best(or can spin it in a fresh and exciting way), gets the gigs. This is why not everyone is cut out to do it. It takes a certain resolve and mindset to accept that once the song leaves your hands you will not live with it anymore, but the artist will. It is his/her property, so your job is to find that compromise, but in the end its their say that matters. If you want to be creative and flashy that's cool, but save for your own music.heh

(Just busting your chops Jay!!!)

Tracking engineers complain over and over that the same 7 guys mix all of the records and that is why they all sound cookie cutter. But I tell you, since these forums have popped up over the last few years, all of the " tracking secrets" are coming out of the bag also. How many guys now track with the same mic/preamp combinations for their drums over and over(with the exception of Fletcher of course). Same compression chains and Eq chains. Api or Neve or Daking, with a Royer something. What about the guitar setup and bass? Its all the same. You go with what you know and what works for you(even though now 5,000 other wannbees are online buying the same gear to do the same thing). I think alot of the new recordings to me sound cookie cutter because of this reason. Its easier to blame the mixer guys or the mastering guys.

In the old days(when we didn't have the internet) you literally had to use your ears(listening to recordings you liked) and what you had and figure sounds out. That is why a record cut in one studio came out sounding different than the other. This is when you had a "sound". I think as gear starts to get expensive again, this will begin to happen. The seperation you had in the old days between pro and semi pro will grow wider again. If you want a certain sound that so and so did, you are going to have to do it at so and so(and pay), if not figure it out on your own or invent your own.

The whole instant "AE gratification" thing will subside and guys will go back in the tool shed and work.
Old 29th March 2003
  #34
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
CLA is pretty damn cookie cutter and boring. i dont think he deserves some of the stuff he does... the pop stuff he can have and do all day long because i dont listen to it... but if i see an album and he is credited for mixing it, i no longer buy the album. its way too bright for one, i kinda like the overcompressed sound but not on everything, and the music generally sounds lifeless.

the big guy who i think is beyond most others that no one hardly mentions [LAbros, AW, JJP, BC, et al] is dave fridmann. his stuff is way creative, interesting... bill laswell is another of my extreme favorites... i live for his low frequencies.

as for tracking, i try to change things up every time i track something. i went a little stint where it was all generally the same setup but i found that to be tiring, uncreative and pretty boring. now i will think what i normally would use and use that as a last option. unfortunately with limited gear, things do end up on certain things often... but CLA has NO excuse for that happening. i would love to raid his studio one night and reset all his gear, or just change all the settings to something else.
Old 29th March 2003
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
bill laswell is another of my extreme favorites... i live for his low frequencies.
oh yeah, i also love his use of space. his recordings sound ginormous.
nobody has mentioned danny lanois either. i think that both these guys an make it sound as if there is very little goin' on in the mix, when in fact there is quite a bit. just not right in your face.
Old 29th March 2003
  #36
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4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
CLA is pretty damn cookie cutter and boring. i dont think he deserves some of the stuff he does... the pop stuff he can have and do all day long because i dont listen to it... but if i see an album and he is credited for mixing it, i no longer buy the album. its way too bright for one, i kinda like the overcompressed sound but not on everything, and the music generally sounds lifeless.

the big guy who i think is beyond most others that no one hardly mentions [LAbros, AW, JJP, BC, et al] is dave fridmann. his stuff is way creative, interesting... bill laswell is another of my extreme favorites... i live for his low frequencies.

as for tracking, i try to change things up every time i track something. i went a little stint where it was all generally the same setup but i found that to be tiring, uncreative and pretty boring. now i will think what i normally would use and use that as a last option. unfortunately with limited gear, things do end up on certain things often... but CLA has NO excuse for that happening. i would love to raid his studio one night and reset all his gear, or just change all the settings to something else.
The reason I didn't mention Fridmann,Laswell or Lanois(or Scheiner,Bruce Sweiden,Alan Sides)is that they are recording engineers who mix not mixers.

When you have to mix 2-3 songs a day, it makes it convenient to have things setup the way you can work the fastest.

I think his idea to have the gear setup where it works optimally is a good one. It makes it easier to dial in sounds and do recalls. Hey I know guys that track that write down to nth degree the distances between mics and the artist so when they want to recreate the same sound with someone else they can.

Everybody uses the same sh*t anyway!! There are no more secrets. 1176 on this, La2a on that. Blah, blah,blah.

The minute someone does something cool, everybody is begging to find out how it was done.
Old 29th March 2003
  #37
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mix Style - Purely a function of repetition?

Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Yeah but your post proves my point.

You say mixing through presets is lack of creativity, but we all mix through our own presets. And the mix engineer that can deliver it the best(or can spin it in a fresh and exciting way), gets the gigs. This is why not everyone is cut out to do it. It takes a certain resolve and mindset to accept that once the song leaves your hands you will not live with it anymore, but the artist will. It is his/her property, so your job is to find that compromise, but in the end its their say that matters. If you want to be creative and flashy that's cool, but save for your own music.heh

(Just busting your chops Jay!!!)

I think there's a different between the way the engineer is preset vs. mixing through presets on boxes. Whenever I start a new project (tracking or mixing) I try to figure out the music and what it relates to. Does it hit me like a Dead Kennedys record? Maybe it's more like Garbage, Janes Addiction or possibly the Black Crowes. My presets are those records I've listened to and loved. If I can figure out where the band is coming from maybe I can figure out where they're going and help them get there. In that light, would you mix a Janes Addiction record to be really dry like System of a Down? Probably not, it wouldn't be the best thing for the music. Now, when I read the interview with CLA or TLA or whatever and he said that he's got a few 1176's and he never touches the settings on them, that reeks of both laziness and presets to me. That's the kind of preset that I think is bad because it's not musical.


Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
Tracking engineers complain over and over that the same 7 guys mix all of the records and that is why they all sound cookie cutter. But I tell you, since these forums have popped up over the last few years, all of the " tracking secrets" are coming out of the bag also. How many guys now track with the same mic/preamp combinations for their drums over and over(with the exception of Fletcher of course). Same compression chains and Eq chains. Api or Neve or Daking, with a Royer something. What about the guitar setup and bass? Its all the same. You go with what you know and what works for you(even though now 5,000 other wannbees are online buying the same gear to do the same thing). I think alot of the new recordings to me sound cookie cutter because of this reason. Its easier to blame the mixer guys or the mastering guys.
Yeah, good points but I still try and avoid that. If I don't switch things around for each tracking session I get bored. But, there are still some default signal chains I use because I've found they work well on things and with a limited mic cabinet the choices are again a bit limited. Still I don't think I've ever done two projects where I used the same mics, pres and compressors on everything. Yet, somehow it all sounds like something I worked on. I think every engineer has an intrinsic sound and style that shows a little of it's self on each project because of the human presets and the room and equipment used.
Old 29th March 2003
  #38
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor
The reason I didn't mention Fridmann is that they are recording engineers who mix not mixers.
maybe not a strict mixer but mixes the projects. sparklehorses 'its a wonderful life' has got to be one of the most creative mixes i have heard in a long long long time. he mixed that. same with the mercury rev stuff... see you on the other side is unbelievable... flaming lips stuff.

this puts him in a whole OTHER level from strict mixers.
Old 29th March 2003
  #39
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🎧 15 years
To me, as a young guy just starting out, I hear too much stuff being squashed to the point that it is damn near lifeless these days. I don't know if that is in the mastering or mixing process where it begins to loose its life. I makes me want to be different.

I think mixing boils down to the art of being able to translate energy in music and then enhance it by being creative. The best mixing jobs are when the instruments that are the enrgetic driving forces are mixed to their proper volume levels. I realize that there are conventions in different styles of music, such as how you might mix kick drum in Country, Rock, Rap, etc, but I think when these conventions are broken for the sake of energy's sake it can be very cool. Once that is in check, then different elements must be addressed as to what you can do to a mix to be creative. IMMO the energy must always be the main focus of a mix, and never taken away from the forefront as the most important thing.

Sometimes I wonder if the people mixing albums these days just lose focus and get caught up on the newest toy, or if they are just sent ****ty tracks to begin with and are really just polishing turds the best they can.

Beez
Old 29th March 2003
  #40
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe I'm telling a secret but I happen to know that at least some of those guys have been mixing 10 to 12 tunes a day for years! The sad part is that the reason they mix to a formula is because it makes things sound familiar to the focus groups who decide what gets airplay these days.

It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation that will continue until somebody has the balls to create something truly original that also contains a riveting enough message to redefine musical entertainment. This can't happen from the inside because it's controlled by bean counters who can only understand sound-alikes. It also can't happen on the net because the bean-counters run that too. I keep bringing this up in the hopes that others will begin thinking far enough outside the box to really come up with something.
Old 29th March 2003
  #41
Lives for gear
 
malice's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Maybe I'm telling a secret but I happen to know that at least some of those guys have been mixing 10 to 12 tunes a day for years!
I did several times 6 a day gigs, and bob, I miss it some times.

It is another perspective, interesting things would happen ...



Did I lost it ?



malice
Old 29th March 2003
  #42
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
This can't happen from the inside because it's controlled by bean counters who can only understand sound-alikes. It also can't happen on the net because the bean-counters run that too. I keep bringing this up in the hopes that others will begin thinking far enough outside the box to really come up with something.
i keep hopin' too. it happened a little over a decade ago with the whole "grunge" thing. the music industry had no idea what was goin' on when nevermind started to sell by the truckload. there were several cool mixers that arose out of that indie movement. then the majors came in and signed every band from seattle. same thing with the neo-trad country thing when dwight yokum, steve earle, et al came in. the sound of their records was totally against the grain of the nashville sound of the time. now we have "new country". woo-hoo!!!!
i do feel pretty encouraged tho'. there is some cool sounding stuff comin' from the indie labels. and wilco's album from last year, "yankee foxtrot hotel" was not only many critics fave of 2K2, but a lesson in how to mix roots music with a whole new vision. stunning.
Old 29th March 2003
  #43
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by µ¿ z3®ø™
i keep hopin' too. it happened a little over a decade ago with the whole "grunge" thing. the music industry had no idea what was goin' on when nevermind started to sell by the truckload....
What many people have missed about the "grunge" thing is that it grew out of a local scene where for a few years people could actually earn a living doing original material. It wasn't that the music industry had no idea, it was that it created a significant (but local) end-run around radio. Unfortunately it wasn't a revolution that completely changed what could get exposed with a reasonably high profile without going broke paying for it. That is what we really need now.
Old 29th March 2003
  #44
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Speaking of formulas, there's new software designed to PREDICT hit
records now-no kidding! See my post at Jule's forum.

Chris
Old 29th March 2003
  #45
Jr. Gear Slut 2nd class
 
chessparov's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Speaking of formulas, there's new software designed to PREDICT hit
records now-no kidding! See my post at Jules' forum.

Chris
Old 29th March 2003
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
Unfortunately it wasn't a revolution that completely changed what could get exposed with a reasonably high profile without going broke paying for it. That is what we really need now.
hmm, an interesting observation. i suppose that "reasonably high profile" is a question of degrees. but sub pop ended up selling out while drag city, thrill jockey and others do not too bad. certainly they do not sell millions but many of the artists make livings and there is an ever more present contingent of peeps that will not buy a recording unless it is an indie release. then there is the current internet radio/filesharing phenomena in the electronica genre. U will never hear artists from planet µ, rephlex, warp, ninja tune, etc. on commercial radio. but there are record stores here in toronto that sell only this kinda stuff. somebody is buying it and it does not show up on r.i.a.a. spreadsheets 'cuz these labels are not members. i went to a concert this past fall that packed out a 3000 seat venue to see amon tobin.
i suppose that's why i feel encouraged. there seems to be stuff bubbling up that has absolutely nothing to do with traditional record industry channels. it also seems as if there are recordists and mixers that are at the forefront of this movement and who are not afraid to colour outside the lines.
Old 30th March 2003
  #47
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation that will continue until somebody has the balls to create something truly original that also contains a riveting enough message to redefine musical entertainment.... I keep bringing this up in the hopes that others will begin thinking far enough outside the box to really come up with something.
dave fridmann.

hell, he even received some credit finally getting some engineer of the year award from somebody. i saw it in prosoundnews.
Old 30th March 2003
  #48
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation that will continue until somebody has the balls to create something truly original that also contains a riveting enough message to redefine musical entertainment. This can't happen from the inside because it's controlled by bean counters who can only understand sound-alikes. It also can't happen on the net because the bean-counters run that too. I keep bringing this up in the hopes that others will begin thinking far enough outside the box to really come up with something.
Bob,

The problem is once this happens, every A&R in America will be looking for the same and they will saturate the market with it.

Right now every A&R I speak with says they want something different, something with a message, something revolutinary.

translation: I need to sign some new sh*t, if not with the bad economy I will be out in the street on my ass!!!

Look its not going to change, its the dog chasing its tail.

The whole formula guessing thing Bob can also be traced back to Motown. Hey they were doing the same thing back then weren't they?heh

What's that famous question: Would a kid be willing not to buy a hot dog and instead buy this song?
Old 30th March 2003
  #49
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by thethrillfactor


The whole formula guessing thing Bob can also be traced back to Motown. Hey they were doing the same thing back then weren't they?
A LOT of what's going today on traces right back to the very same mentality Motown had during the mid '60s. This even includes "aggressive" mixing, comping vocals for days, the whole nine yards. Been there, done that and it's exactly why I'm preaching today! We and radio both got blasted out of that rut by the Beatles. We adapted and the result included Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.

The difference today is that up until around ten years ago record sales drove what radio would play and radio in turn drove record sales. This is no longer the case. Radio researches records using focus groups and plays only what's good for radio no matter if it sells records or not. In a growing number of cases extensive airplay leads to no record sales at all!

There IS a precedent for this but you need to go back to the late '40s when movies drove most record sales. Radio was a dead medium about to be replaced by television. Independent labels picked up on the potential of radio to be "owned" by young people and built the current record/music industry from the ground up. This is what needs to happen again although there's no reason it needs to be young people or radio. It DOES need to be something outside the control of Wall Street and Madison Avenue.
Old 31st March 2003
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
..... This is what needs to happen again although there's no reason it needs to be young people or radio. It DOES need to be something outside the control of Wall Street and Madison Avenue.
sounds like the internet to me.

hey......
wan't the guy that invented the internet also the vice president of the united states?
Old 31st March 2003
  #51
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
There IS a precedent for this but you need to go back to the late '40s when movies drove most record sales. Radio was a dead medium about to be replaced by television. Independent labels picked up on the potential of radio to be "owned" by young people and built the current record/music industry from the ground up. This is what needs to happen again although there's no reason it needs to be young people or radio. It DOES need to be something outside the control of Wall Street and Madison Avenue.
Since Wall Street and Madison Ave. pretty much control everything today how do you see this happening? I can see it on a regional level but original bands don't really draw the way they did 5 or 10 years ago and that's part of the problem.
Old 31st March 2003
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Since Wall Street and Madison Ave. pretty much control everything today..................................... but original bands don't really draw the way they did 5 or 10 years ago and that's part of the problem.
do U think that the internet is controlled by the madison/wall/military/industrial/petrochemical complex? well, maybe not the last three.
i dunno where U live but here, in t-dot, as well our sister city, austin, regional artist live music is alive and diverse. of course, some of it is word of mouth. but increasingly the internet plays a role in forming independant channels of promotion for both live performance and distribution of content. the really great thing is that this works on increasingly larger regions. in fact, the internet is almost worldwide.
i mean really, it's the fact that everybody can go online and learn how to mic up a guitar amp (and which amp and guitar) to get that contemporary nü metal sound.
i could go on but the net result is that there is a network of people that are connected. many of them are artists that also became recordists at some point in their lives (me, months after my mom go me my first guitar for my birthday, she gave me a sony reel to reel for x-mas.) and the way they have paid for their gear is by whoring themselves out 'cuz they know how to get "that" sound. eventually some of them go mad and chuck it all out the window. but U can never forget all of the tricks that U have learnt. i think that this is where the next generation of mixer icons will come from. but by then the music industry as we know it will be a burning, broken heap of cd's that will have found their eternal homes in a landfill somewhere.
who was the guy that mixed steve albini's nirvana recordings? just goes to show ya that the recording industry eats it's young. i do like the way that steve albini mixes as well tho'. now THERE'S someone whose mixes sound totally unique. at least by contemporary pawp/rawk. but i guess that he doesn't really count 'cuz he doesn't mix other peep's stuf.
Old 31st March 2003
  #53
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm pretty sure Steve Albini mixed In Utero but I could be wrong, I know Andy Wallace did Nevermind and Butch Vig tracked it.

Still, While the internet isn't owned by anyone there are still large groups that control large pieces of it. Lets say you own a site that helps bands promote their music and you make $50K a year running it. If Time/Warner or Sony came around and offered you a $250K or $500K buyout would you take it? I probably would, but then again I've already sold out. I just need someone to pay me. Live music is alive in NJ, but I'm not sure how well it's doing. The cover bands are doing great, the original bands? That depends.
Old 31st March 2003
  #54
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by µ¿ z3®ø™
do U think that the internet is controlled by the madison/wall/military/industrial/petrochemical complex?

...i dunno where U live but here, in t-dot, as well our sister city, austin, regional artist live music is alive and diverse. of course, some of it is word of mouth. but increasingly the internet plays a role in forming independant channels of promotion for both live performance and distribution of content...
The Internet is totally controlled by Wall Street and most of the internet corporations think advertising is their ultimate "business model." The third problem is that ALL of the technology is patented and those patents are owned by a shrinking number of corporations who are in the position to pull the plug on anybody who won't pay up.

That's a strike-out in my book. Beware of large corporations who tell people music should cost less or be "free." Be VERY worried about the implications of corporations who own key patents and are trying to take over the music business from the major labels. The majors are a drag but NOTHING like it was in the 1920s and '30s when patents eliminated most independent competition.

The Texas scene remains a very important place for talent to have an opportunity although the word I hear is that it's a lot less open than it was a few years ago. It's time to fan the embers in all of the live music scenes. This includes our living rooms. That's where the real power lies, not in technology.
Old 31st March 2003
  #55
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by µ¿ z3®ø™
who was the guy that mixed steve albini's nirvana recordings? just goes to show ya that the recording industry eats it's young. i do like the way that steve albini mixes as well tho'. now THERE'S someone whose mixes sound totally unique. at least by contemporary pawp/rawk. but i guess that he doesn't really count 'cuz he doesn't mix other peep's stuf.
yeah... unique like every other kids mixes on a portastudio from their demo recorded in a garage.

now theres someones mixes who sound totally like ****.
Old 2nd April 2003
  #56
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i try not to approach any mix the same. the fun of this job is the adventure of each piece of music. i think that individual style has more to do with the way each individual hears and approaches the art. hopefully we each put a little of ourselves in each mix and that is what comes through.it's only my opiniion.
Old 2nd April 2003
  #57
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
now theres someones mixes who sound totally like ****.
i'm interested in hearing your criterion for evaluating mixes.
to these ears, played back over a high resolution, dynamic, wide bandwidth system his stuff is a simulacrum of a live band playing in a real space with a high degree of timbral accuracy. certainly nothing like the muddy, mucky sound normally heard from a portastudio.
what is it that U don't like? i realise that there is a lot of controversy surrounding steve's work. courtney love blames him for in utero not selling as much as as nevermind. the record companies don't like him 'cuz he's indie. and U?????
Old 2nd April 2003
  #58
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I know I'm late getting into this, but I just found this thread, and the concept of genius is one that I've long been fascinated with...

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Alphajerk. Yes, you can point to hundreds of very gifted performers in every field, but these still make up only a miniscule percentage of the world's total population, and the gifts of the true geniuses can not be explained purely by upbringing and/or training.

In general, in the nature versus nurture arguments, most feel that genetics gives the individual a range of potential, and then nurture determines where in that range the individual actually performs.

Let's take athletics as an example. Genetic factors determine the muscular-skeletal configurations (which include bone density, joint suppleness, ratio of fast twitch to slow twitch muscles, body size, etc.), as well as a range of abilities involving hand-eye coordination, relflex speed, intelligence, concentration abilities, and a host of other factors. No one is saying that Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Pele, etc. didn't work harder than anyone can conceive, but if they didn't have certain unique genetic configurations also working in their favor, there is no way they could have achieved the same pinnacles no matter how hard they worked.

Let's take a simple example: sprinting. If you have a genetic predermination for more slow twitch muscles over fast twitch, you might be able to be a decent marathoner, but you will NEVER be a world class sprinter, no matter how much you train. And if you don't have enough slow twitch muscles, you will never be a world class marathoner. This is not something you can alter by training - this is genetically predetermined.

Now, that's not to say you can't vastly improve your sprinting or your marathoning with a lot of hard work, proper diet, etc. With all that you can get to the top of your genetically predetermined range, but eventually you bump up against your genetic ceiling. (Of course, most of us never work hard enough to get even close to that ceiling, no matter how low it is!)

Now, let's switch over to the area of geniuses. If you are interested, there is an outstanding discussion of geniuses, (and WHY the average person can't be one merely by studying hard) in the introductory chapter to A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasser. One very nice bit of imagery she uses, is to look at the problem of trying to find a path to the top of a mountain whose terrain is full of hostile obstacles. The vast majority of us stumble around trying by trial and error, or else perhaps try to follow the directions and experiences of those who tried the mountain in the past. The genius has the unique gift of standing on a neighboring mountain, and seeing the problem from an entirely different vantage point.

The ability to view a problem from a wholly unique perspective, or from a different dimension, is an intuitve gift that can be developed, but not really taught. It's almost like someone trying to explain three dimensional manipuilations to someone who lives in a two dimensional universe. ("Well, the solution is easy if you look at the problem from above ... oops, I forgot... here there IS no "above"...). And that is a good analogy - compared to true geniuses, we are lacking an ability to operate in the "extra" dimension.

The beauty of intuitive genius is that it often is not at all dependent on nurture. Sometimes the some of the most creative thinking is done BEFORE the genius has had a chance to study the historical efforts of his/her colleagues, as such study can actually dim or diffuse the pure intuitive light. There have been examples of child math geniuses who were discovered in backwards villages who literally had NO math training at all, and yet still clearly exhibited a high level of talent in manipulating numbers and mathematical concepts.

So, while no one is saying that you shouldn't work at your craft, or that even geniuses have to work hard to reach their full potential, in the end we all will fall within the range of genetic gifts we are born with. And some are born with more than others.

Going back to the Tiger Woods example, no one is denying he worked harder than most of us can even dream about. But if we took a Tiger Woods clone who had never played golf, and took a clone of me - and left both with a few buckets of balls at a golf resort for a month - at the end of the month who do you think would be the better player?

More to the point, I'm sure we have all met musicians that had monstrous technical chops, or were outstanding composers, etc. Sometimes that's because they practiced more than we did. But as often, it's because they are able to get MORE out of an hour of practice than we do. That's called talent.
And while talent can be developed, you can only go so far if you aren't born with it.

I'm sure that there are some who would insist that anyone could play chess as well as Bobby Fischer if they only studied it enough. I would disagree. And so would almost anyone who knew a lot about chess. But more to the point, is that Bobby Fischer was able to play chess better than all but a handful of people in the world BEFORE he ever really studied much at all!!! And that, clearly, is something the average person could never do.

Finally, while you can train to acquire purely technical skills, it is not possible to train oneself to come up with ideas that are revolutionary. There has to be an intuitive component as well. Beethoven did not revolutionize music simply because he worked harder than anyone else. As a matter of fact, he rebelled quite a bit against his father who was trying to push him into the child prodigy mold...

You don't revolutionize an entire culture merely because your parents started you off young.
Old 3rd April 2003
  #59
Harmless Wacko
 
🎧 15 years
Boy have you guys turned this into a great thread!

I'm pretty much with you 'littledog'.

It's why I'm always gonna be the second string!!

I just gotta keep hoping all the real talent retires.

HOHOHO.

Personally I have always releshed the role of the 'Less gifted underdog'. Makes me bust my butt. Drives me to learn, overcome and achive.

I often think if mix ever got easy for me, I wouldn't enjoy it as much as I go. Who knows.... Maybe just my little rationalization... Ever see that movie "Rudy'? That's me. HAHA.

Best to all.

SM.
Old 3rd April 2003
  #60
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by µ¿ z3®ø™
courtney love blames him for in utero not selling as much as as nevermind. the record companies don't like him 'cuz he's indie. and U?????
first thing ive heard from her that makes sense when speaking of nirvana. i cant even listen to the album its so bad. i dont like him because i think his recordings suck.

i think the new tape op summed it up well. cant remember the guy who was talking about him. i dont believe the studio should be a place for being a "librarian" or "documentarian"... he should be a ****ing remote guy recording live shows.... maybe he missed his calling and should of been a grateful dead taper. i see the studio as an instrument to take things further than reality.

p.s. i think his tones suck too. no bottom, ****ty vacant top, nasty ass midrange.
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