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The Bet
Old 24th January 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
The Bet

Last night an acquaintance of mine (who thinks he knows a lot about music and recording) presented me with an interesting challenge: to record an entire song from scratch using only the absolute worst gear available. Now, I'm talking everything from instruments to cables to processors - the whole 9.

Obviously, I couldn't turn down this perversely intriguing proposal, so I accepted confidently and exclaimed with boozy arrogance, "Not only will I do it, but I'll buy all the gear outright and if I win, I'll dump it all onto you, to do with it whatever you please - sell it, return it, give it away - I don't care. Not my problem." He accepted... and here's the best part... not only agreeing to ALL the terms, but promising to buy me one piece of gear of my choosing, valued up to $4000 (keep in mind, this guy's family is loaded, he doesn't work - he's just a drunken idiot most of the time). Who judges it? you're probably thinking. People who don't know anything about recording, but at the same time, are intelligent enough to know that they're voting NOT for the song itself, but for the sound of it.

I'd never accept a handout - I do have my pride - but in a situation like this, I'd be doing it just for fun. I really want to prove to him that ability is always more important than gear, contrary to what he might think. Immediately, I thought of GS and figured some of you high end slutz might have fun helping me out with a list of the worst possible instruments, gear, everything...

NOTE TO MODERATORS: Please do not move this thread into Low End, because this is a high end experiment and beginners will not fully appreciate its purpose or be able to contribute effectively. Thank you.
Old 24th January 2009
  #2
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, if you start with an old crystal mic you'll have your work cut out for you.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
starseed's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Kazoo leads
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by starseed ➑️
Kazoo leads
Plastic kazoo....not the sweeter sounding metal ones!
Old 24th January 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Casey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I would hedge my bet and buy those "cheap" pieces that I could use, to get a certain sound, just in case I lost the bet. heh

So I'll start with a Danelectro "Dano 63" in Aqua.



-Casey
Old 24th January 2009
  #6
Gear Addict
 
britdick's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
try this on for size...

1) TASCAM ministudio porta 02 MKII four track: $21.50 on eBay
2) Radio Shack MB-1K Unidirectional Vocal Mic: $44.00
3) All radio shack cables/stands.
4) TDK D90 cassette tape: 4 for $1.99 on eBay
5) Either a Samson or Behringer pre/comp unit. Must be an "all-in-one".
6) Monitor thru Radio Shack Optimus Minimus speakers (preferably ONE - mix in mono) being driven by THIS amp...$70.00 on eBay.
7) If a sub-mixer is to be used it MUST be manufactured by EITHER Peavey OR Radio Shack unless something WAAAAY worse can be located. Preferably with one channel that must be "dicked-with" to get it to work.
8) All processing should be provided by ONE "do-it-all" unit either to tape OR bussed out and then recorded BACK to a track. Perhaps the BOSS RV-70 would be a terrible choice?
9) Finished mix must be dumped from ANALOG to DIGITAL using NO noise reduction and then posted on GS.

Any questions? Good luck...this should be either a visit to the dentist OR the most fun you've had in the studio in years!
Attached Thumbnails
The Bet-realisticamp1.jpg  

Last edited by britdick; 24th January 2009 at 08:47 PM.. Reason: abc
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Is it a test to show how matuure you are? Or how much time you've got on your hands.... or maybe how much bear you can drink?

What's the point?

Peace,
cortisol
Old 24th January 2009
  #8
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacious ➑️
Last night an acquaintance of mine (who thinks he knows a lot about music and recording) presented me with an interesting challenge: to record an entire song from scratch using only the absolute worst gear available. Now, I'm talking everything from instruments to cables to processors - the whole 9.

Obviously, I couldn't turn down this perversely intriguing proposal, so I accepted confidently and exclaimed with boozy arrogance, "Not only will I do it, but I'll buy all the gear outright and if I win, I'll dump it all onto you, to do with it whatever you please - sell it, return it, give it away - I don't care. Not my problem." He accepted... and here's the best part... not only agreeing to ALL the terms, but promising to buy me one piece of gear of my choosing, valued up to $4000 (keep in mind, this guy's family is loaded, he doesn't work - he's just a drunken idiot most of the time). Who judges it? you're probably thinking. People who don't know anything about recording, but at the same time, are intelligent enough to know that they're voting NOT for the song itself, but for the sound of it.

I'd never accept a handout - I do have my pride - but in a situation like this, I'd be doing it just for fun. I really want to prove to him that ability is always more important than gear, contrary to what he might think. Immediately, I thought of GS and figured some of you high end slutz might have fun helping me out with a list of the worst possible instruments, gear, everything...

NOTE TO MODERATORS: Please do not move this thread into Low End, because this is a high end experiment and beginners will not fully appreciate its purpose or be able to contribute effectively. Thank you.
I don't understand what the bet is.
I mean, of course you can record a song with all low end gear.
how can your friend win the bet?
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Registered User
 
Rick Sutton's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cortisol ➑️
Is it a test to show how matuure you are? Or how much time you've got on your hands.... or maybe how much bear you can drink?

l
Damn, if they were out drinking bear that explains a lot!!!!!!!!!
That's a rough crowd.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
musicl's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
use the tlm 103!!!!

;D

(gearslutz in-joke)
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Maybe you should give Behringer a call..they might sponsor you. Oh no, hang on, that's unkind. Their stuff is actually brilliant.

J
Old 25th January 2009
  #12
Lives for gear
 
malaclypse's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacious ➑️
Last night an acquaintance of mine (who thinks he knows a lot about music and recording) presented me with an interesting challenge: to record an entire song from scratch using only the absolute worst gear available. Now, I'm talking everything from instruments to cables to processors - the whole 9.

Obviously, I couldn't turn down this perversely intriguing proposal, so I accepted confidently and exclaimed with boozy arrogance, "Not only will I do it, but I'll buy all the gear outright and if I win, I'll dump it all onto you, to do with it whatever you please - sell it, return it, give it away - I don't care. Not my problem." He accepted... and here's the best part... not only agreeing to ALL the terms, but promising to buy me one piece of gear of my choosing, valued up to $4000 (keep in mind, this guy's family is loaded, he doesn't work - he's just a drunken idiot most of the time). Who judges it? you're probably thinking. People who don't know anything about recording, but at the same time, are intelligent enough to know that they're voting NOT for the song itself, but for the sound of it.

I'd never accept a handout - I do have my pride - but in a situation like this, I'd be doing it just for fun. I really want to prove to him that ability is always more important than gear, contrary to what he might think. Immediately, I thought of GS and figured some of you high end slutz might have fun helping me out with a list of the worst possible instruments, gear, everything...

NOTE TO MODERATORS: Please do not move this thread into Low End, because this is a high end experiment and beginners will not fully appreciate its purpose or be able to contribute effectively. Thank you.
wow, sounds like you need to come record at my placeheh
oh, and don't forget to record in a ****ty sounding room!
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cortisol ➑️
Is it a test to show how matuure you are? Or how much time you've got on your hands.... or maybe how much bear you can drink?

What's the point?

Peace,
cortisol
The point is that it'll be fun trying to make a pro recording with crap gear. And what's this about a drinking bear?

BTW- One contest you might want to steer clear of, should it ever come up, is a spelling bee.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon Heart ➑️
I don't understand what the bet is.
I mean, of course you can record a song with all low end gear.
how can your friend win the bet?
It's really not that complicated. If the majority of people selected as "judges" think the song sounds like a crappy demo, he wins. If they think it sounds like a pro quality recording, I win. You're right, anyone can record a song with all low end gear; that's not the point. This is a matter of a creating a pro-quality recording using not only low end gear, but the absolute LOWEST end gear. He has to approve each piece that I buy in order to make sure there's nothing worse out there that I should be using.

Also, I told him today that I just won't have time to do all of this. He said he'd take care of everything; all I have to do is make up a bad gear list and show up on the day of recording. Keep in mind, this guy is a bragging, annoying, pretentious, arrogant D**K whom anyone would want to prove wrong. Besides, it's only a day of my life and it'll be kinda fun to handicap myself like this.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Shim's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think the point is:
A) To shut up Mr. Know-it-all
B) Get Know-it-all to buy a $4000.00 piece of gear of the Op's choice

How could you turn down such an opportunity?
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Eganmedia's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well you have your work cut out for you. Finding the "worst possible instruments, gear, everything... " will be a challenge. And it actually might be difficult to identify it. A Radio Shack Highball II ( my 1st mic- circa 1978) might be a bad mic, but it will sound better than a Bell crystal telephone mic for a lot of things. A Fostex A-8 1/4" 8 track running at 7 1/2 IPS was a pretty crappy machine from a fidelity standpoint, but will probably sound better than bouncing stereo tracks back and forth between a couple of cheap Soundesign (TM) cassette decks from the mid 70s. A wax cylinder will probably sound even worse. Mutitracking it all in a parking garage next to an airport will help make it sound bad, but if you focus on using really bad musicians with broken instruments it will probably make it sound even worse in your own garage.
If you have good musicians playing good arrangements of good songs in a good room, the gear won't matter nearly as much.

Good, errr... bad luck!
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
The musicians can be good as I want; this is strictly a gear & instrument bet. Thank God.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
keep this thread alive and please post details, pictures and results!
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spacious ➑️
The point is that it'll be fun trying to make a pro recording with crap gear. And what's this about a drinking bear?

BTW- One contest you might want to steer clear of, should it ever come up, is a spelling bee.
Thanks for pointing out my typo. I will indeed enter a spelling bee competition for penance so that you won't chastise me in future. Maybe I should take some typing lessons too?

So you want to polish a turd that you make yourself huh. Nope mix engineers have never done that before. I think you should spend at least a week on this one. Go for it man and report back in a weeks time! I'll reply and you can check for spelling errors if you'd like! heh

Peace,
cortisol
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Sounds like a drunken bet to me ... how can you define anything and reach a conclusion?

I would buy a cheap PC and load it with Reaper and nothing but free plugins and samples. I think most people would think that freeware is as low as you can go (although thinking musicians know that there are absolute gems to be found). I would probably use a Creative soundcard, because they are universally condemned.

I think if you used nothing but a cassette four track, the end result would never be accepted by a modern audience. However, you can use all manner of lofi grungy sounds if they are present in a context of digital black ... it's all about presentation.

You could use nothing but Radio Shack mics (or Dick Smith or Jaycar in our part of the world). That would be considered a real low, but in fact you could get some pretty good results.

Preamp is a hard one ... it will have to be good enough to win, but bad enough to qualify. I think Behringer are despised enough to qualify ...

A cheap beginners package guitar & amp would be interesting to use ... battery powered would seem cheap ass, but could actually be more usable than AC powered amps that hum ...

If you got an old transister radio and speaker from a junk yard, you could pull off tones similar to Brian May with the home brew 'Deacy amp' that was used on classic Queen albums ...

I think the trick to winning is good engineering (as well as a brilliant song, arrangments, performance, etc, etc). Cheap gear has never really been the real obstacle.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Addict
 
britdick's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
analog!

i REALLY think this has got to go TOTAL bare-bones...truly test your ****!
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
ok.

if you really know your **** and you really want to kick ass all over this thing i think that you should:

get a serious goddamn funk and soul band a la The Dap Kings, The Poets of Rhythm, Osaka Monaurail, The Menehan Street Band, etc.

get the band to play one of their favourite, grooviest tunes for you.

get the room sounding right and tight. just because the GEAR has to be ****ty doesn't mean that you can't get the acoustics pretty. DIY and improvised traps, baffles and such are fair game.

take the care required to set the band up in the room to record it live with as few mics as possible.

if you nail all of the above it won't matter a monkey's what gear you use and you should win your drunken bet.

good luck and keep us posted!
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
anteupaudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Record a three piece jazz band (great musicians who will blend themselves) in a great sounding room. Use two mics and record direct to two track. Hell.. Use one mic on a mono tape deck if you like. If the players are great and the room is good, it'll sound great and you can win this bet without over-thinking everything and spending a bunch of money on crappy gear. Keep it as simple as possible.
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