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PT Ruined The New Queens Of The Stone Age
Old 1st September 2002
  #61
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ol' Betsey and Recorderman, you guys rock big time.

Recorderman, you and I HAVE to meet up. We definitely have a lot in common.
Old 1st September 2002
  #62
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
plus, while i havent heard the 9k incarnation of the SSL boards... ssl isnt the greatest sonically sounding boards made. i know you made the decision to get it based on business over sonics... so i find it kind of odd how you are putting sonics up on the pedistal while an API, Neve, or 9098 are going to beat out the SSL any day of the week.
AJ,

I actually would have settled for a 4000E. As it happens, a friend that you know put me in touch with SSL regarding a deal on a used 9k that happened to be available here. I didn't qualify for the leasing on my own, but SSL guaranteed the payments so that the bank would do it. So...I ended up with a 9k by default, reckoning I could sure do worse. It was not as expensive as you might think.

IMHO, the 9k is pretty much the ultimate analog mixing console on the market. You cannot cast it in the same net at all as a 4k...a totally different beast.

As to whether an API, Neve or 9098 are better or not for tracking or mixing...I'm really not qualified to judge that, since I have literally 1000s of hours on the 9k but very few on a 9098 and none on an API Legacy or vintage Neve.

Few people have worked enough on all the boards you mentioned to be able to make an experienced comparison of any value. Off-hand, I'd imagine an API Legacy or Neve 80XX would be nice for tracking. The 9k and 9098 would be my off-hand choices for mixing...particularly the former because I know it well.

All I feel competent to state with any certainty is that, well maintained, they are all great consoles, each with their respective strengths and weaknesses, and that, all other things being equal, they all sound far better than mixing in a computer. They definitely sound better IMO than an Axiom or a Capricorn (I don't mention the Oxford because I haven't worked on one yet), which should in turn sound far better than any ordinary DAW.
Old 1st September 2002
  #63
Here for the gear
 
unclemurray's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've been keeping quiet on this whole thread but one you started dissing the drums on Grace I had to step in. As an engineer, sure those drums may have been a recorded differently. They may have sounded more even. WHO CARES! They sounded right for that record. They highlighted the dynamics of the songs without overpowering. They were indeed recorded without triggering. They were mostly first takes as well. You can actually hear the room. Not reverb; the room. I lked that drum sound so much, I have that drumset in my studio. I bought them from my friend, who happened to play on that record.

As was mentioned in a previous post, not all great songs sound great. We're here to capture performances. If the music is great, it's gonna sound grat no matter how well we do our jobs. Sure, we can help, but if led zeppelin was recorded in TDM or on 2", it's still Led Zeppelin. We're still the guys behind the glass.

p.s. back to the origins of the post. I love QOTSA. The guy who made me a gearhead engineered the first record. I agree that their new album sounds a litle flat, but there's still some good songs on there. There's some sheit too, but it would still be sheit on an SSl.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #64
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
digital is just as capable as rocking as hard as analog... because what rocks are the people playing the music, not the medium its being put down on.

and i have heard enough ****ty ass analog recordings to dismiss anything anyone says otherwise.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #65
Lives for gear
 
e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Now, this is just my opinion, not the truth from God...but the analog mix sounds considerably more real, true, open, defined, better, more like it should, and more like a record to me. Within PT (with good clock and converters), the mixes sound less true, less real, boxier, closed, less wide, less deep, the summing of the frequencies and elements is less musical and organic to my ear, the bass is less defined, and the highs are harsher. Above all, less real and true. It's like you can hear all the math going on.
Aren't these all just regular challenges of everyday mixing anyway? Width? Depth? Defined Bass? Silky highs?
Old 2nd September 2002
  #66
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Jon said

1) "Few people have worked enough on all the boards you mentioned to be able to make an experienced comparison of any value"

and

2) "IMHO, the 9k is pretty much the ultimate analog mixing machine available"

Claiming yourself to know best then lay doubt on the value of anyone else's opinion on the subject is pure arrogant bias, no less. Keep a grip on your reasoning there Jon!
Old 2nd September 2002
  #67
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Talking about Jack Joseph Puig.

I've known dude for about what, 16-18 years? Not well, but aquainted. We've worked on the same record a time or two. We were both punks back when.

The reason Puig sounds great is not the gear, though that's nice to have. It's his apprenticeship and background. It's all about the reference points.

Puig paid the fairly high price of being Bill Schnee's assistant for some years. For those who don't know who Schnee is, I'll not take the time to elucidate, but suffice it to say that Bill Schnee is one of the older guys from a time when men where men, did friggin' direct- to-lathe recordings for Sheffield Labs and printed the most amazing sounds ever, which most people have never heard, unfortunately. Life changing, from a sonic "what's possible" standpoint. Schnee also has well over 100 Gold and Platinum frames hanging around. You get the idea.

Schnee is a good friend of mine. But I would *never* have worked for him. Sheesh. Old school, brutal drill sargeant scene. Way tough, awesome talent and non stop purgatory for an assistant. I remember hanging out a bit and thinking (along with many others), "Gee it's the same EQ knobs when *I* turn them. What the hell does *he* do with them to get that sound?" Schnee would eat most current 1st engineers alive as losers, just trying to be his 2nd. I lie not. And by the time he was finished doing his thing, they would agree with him.

So that's where and how Puig learned his craft, in a room full of the best tube electronics, custom made console ( 3 990 discrete opamps in the whole signal path), ultra hottrodded 2" analog decks (I sold him one of them) and probably the finest mike closet on the planet. So many C12s, C24s, Elam 251s, 47s, 49,s 67s, etc, etc, etc it would make you cry. I've worked in that room, and they don't make them like that anymore.

What I'm attempting to say is, Puig would make good sounding records on whatever you gave him. Because his reference points are already set to a remarkably high standard, passed down to him from a Grandaddy of sonic goodness. No shortcuts either. He spent 5 -10 years in 2nd engineer hell in a very, very tough gig to get it. He earned it.

BUT, and again I say BUT, the fact that he knows enough to pick great sounding gear that will work *with* and *for* him sonically is a part of the wisdom gained.

The current zeitgeist is to trade pure sonic performance for increased speed and options. IMHO, that is the very mantra of Pro Tools. I've never heard any credible audio pro with the balls to say, "Hey, Pro Tools is a sonic *improvement* over what we had!" Because it's not. Digi has fought tooth and nail trying to establish that Pro Tools sounds "as good", without ever convincing most professionals to date.

It comes down to this, IMO. There is a tradeoff to be made. On one hand you have the increased speed, greater retained options, and functional superiority (including full mix recall) of Pro Tools over traditional methods. And that may well be a plus on the musical side. But you are fighting to attain sonic results that are not a step back in terms of air and dimensionalty. Come on, be honest. It's a tradeoff.

OTOH, you have in the best of traditional gear, which is much more limiting musically speaking (arrangement tweaking, timing, tuning, etc), but which is handling much of the task of sonic excellence just by being in the chain. It's helping you, not fighting you in your sonic pursuits of punch, openess, etc. But it's inarguably inferior for editing and manipulating options.

Which is better? Whichever one covers your *particular* shortcomings the best while emphasizing your *particular* strengths. There is no one answer at this point. I've been very vocal that I think my DAW of choice, Paris, is simply better sounding than Pro Tools. Hey, it just is. I've traded off some functionality that Pro Tools has to hit a balance between the two choices outlined above. That works for my *particular* style.

Someday, maybe soon, the two choices will coalesce into one system. It's still not PTHD, by itself. Better, but not "there" yet. Some innovation will solve the sonic issues eventually and this discussion will become a moot point. But at this time, it's still a choice and a tradeoff with no "right" answer.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 2nd September 2002
  #68
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Brian T,

Thanks for a great post.

**************

Jules,

I wrote "IMHO"...as in 'humble opinion', not fact. I think this opinion is somewhat borne out by general pro consensus...it seems to me that when pros talk about mixing consoles, there is one console that is currently a standard reference. 'Course, you don't have to agree.

As I went on to explain, I don't feel competent to really judge the other desks in comparison.

**************

AJ,

I think main things that attract certain producers and artists to analog tape are (in no particular order):

- The bottom end.
- Tape compression that makes things sound bigger and brings up the ambiance.
- The smoothed highs.
- The depth.
- The idiosyncrasies whereby the sound changes depending how hard you hit the tape.

Did I mention the bottom end?

It's easy to make a believer out of a tape-skeptic. Just bring him/her into a rock tracking session with drums/bass/guitars/guide vocals going to tape on a well-aligned machine. Switch the tape machine from "input" i.e. real life, which digital will essentially capture a little smaller version of, to "repro" i.e. the sound coming back off the play head immediately behind the record head which is recording. The guy's eyebrows go up and his jaw drops.

Works every time. AJ, you're invited.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #69
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Your'e at it again man!

Give it up!

Stop trying to sell us tape and an SSL J!

(Yawn!)
Old 2nd September 2002
  #70
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Brian T,

I have to say again, what a post. I'm in total agreement.

Jules,

I was responding to your posts and those of others.

If you have something positive to contribute to this discussion, please do...but telling me to stop discussing is not very constructive.

My guidelines regarding the High End forum are thus:

You are not obliged to read. You are not obliged to agree. But, short of ad homina attacks, spamming, and God knows what, which have fortunately not been a problem here, we must allow the free flow of posts and ideas here, even if you don't agree with those ideas.

Thank you.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #71
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jon...

u dont have to sell it to me... im a believer....

Ive been sucking at the nipple of magnetic oxide since i got born into this crazy bizzness...

However i have found its also very cool to dump ya 2" into Alishad and mix from it... providing that i have done all my Neve'esque EQing to tape b4 hand.. so the magic is on tape and will stay that way once it goes into the digital domain. I would dearly love to try this with RADAR but its such a PIA format to transfer convert etc and there are very few of them here in Australia.. which is a pity cos it eats PT up for breakfast and **** it out b4 lunch IMHO and it feels like my beloved AMPEX MM1200... gee im showing my age here........

I would Lov to have a spin on ya 9K... maybe wheni head to urope alter this year we can hook up and talk the **** and make our own 2" forever T-Shirts...

I dont hate PT as such...acutaually im really starting to dig 192 sopunds from what i hear are being done @ local studios...its just that im 'old school' in my ways and im only 23!!! so go and figure??

PEACE
Wiggy
Old 2nd September 2002
  #72
Gear Maniac
 
vsl666's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
?????????? wtf

thats all well and good but we are in a thread with some supposed good engineers when *shall remain namless*
says thats jimi hendrix (electric ladyland) and the BEATLES (george hes a complete god and geoiff emeriik i can hear 100khz for crying out loud)
didnt sound all that good!!! and no one batted an eylid ?
no wonder we are all so ****in confused it must be because we are all DEAF

as well as stupid

im speachless



and will now go rethink reality

dfegad

rfuuck fuuck
Old 2nd September 2002
  #73
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wiggy,

Word. Total agreement. It's SOP for me to track to tape, then to Alsihad for editing and it stays there til the mix. Or conversely, when it's a mix job, the tracks usually come in as Alsihad files, which I send to tape and mix from there.

Get in touch when you're in Europe...

*************

Speaking of Alsihad, I wonder if MM got flack for his total point of view on that theme from the PSW mooks?

Since he started his chronicles (great fun and what an audience) and laid lower on the Alsihad theme, I bet the pressure has eased up...
Old 2nd September 2002
  #74
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, Damian...there's just no accounting for taste!

Old 2nd September 2002
  #75
Gear Maniac
 
vsl666's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i guess so

*shruggs*

i guess so

yuktyy yuktyy

tho i wouldnt have thought it was up for debate but there you go
life just is full of supprisesgrggt grggt

Old 2nd September 2002
  #76
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I would tend to think that there aren't very many "tape-sceptics" around here... Are there?

We all know that, in general, given well maintained equipment and an experienced engineer, tape CAN and usually DOES sound f**king great.

The argument wasn't "does tape sound good?" or "Do SSL/Neve/API consoles sound good?". We know they can and we know they do.

But instead of trying to justify the gear you (you as in "all you analog geezers") have or the gear you've tried or the gear you know so and so uses, just accept that, given talent, good mixes can and do come from both sides. Digital AND analog.

It's as simple as that.

Go on, admit it. You know you want to...

And boys? Can we stop bickering. Please?

We're all supposed to be lovers of the purest audio path (wether digital or analog). Followers of the road that leads us unto sonic salvation. Believers in a higher state of aural nirvana. There are many ways to ascend these giddy heights but only one true goal and that's a goal that we ALL wish to share... REALISATION OF "THE ROCK".

Peace be with you my brothers and goodnight.



R.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #77
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Funny, I just listened to the new QOTSA tonight and thought it
sucked. Then I saw this thread. WTF.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #78
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i get GREAT bottom end with digital. i dont agree with that statement. in fact, the bottom end i get with digital kills analog. i also find digital has far more "space" in it. as for the compression bringing up the ambience... that can be done digitally as well [although by choice]

i do think one has to work "harder" with digital but the payoffs are worth the extra work.
Old 2nd September 2002
  #79
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
I think main things that attract certain producers and artists to analog tape are (in no particular order):

- The bottom end.
- Tape compression that makes things sound bigger and brings up the ambiance.
- The smoothed highs.
- The depth.
- The idiosyncrasies whereby the sound changes depending how hard you hit the tape.

Did I mention the bottom end?

It's easy to make a believer out of a tape-skeptic.
Big disclaimer here. I'm a tape head and all around analog guy but... The bottom end is actually deeper on digital. Sorry but it's true. It goes down a lot farther then analog possibly can. What your hearing is the head bump which is a nice effect and "byproduct" of analog. Some people like the way the sound changes when you hit tape harder or softer, myself included. But, I also know a bunch of people that don't like that. To each their own. But yeah, for ROCK tape is tough to beat.
Old 3rd September 2002
  #80
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon

And a small few, working like the devil and investing over the years, will get very nice results with them. Not on the level of an Ed Cherney, Andy Wallace or Dave Reitzas on a 9k, but respectable and sufficient for the work they do.

. [/B]
As a matter of fact, Ed Cherney recently dropped into a friend of mine's (a Grammy winning producer in his own right) Protools studio and mixed some blues tracks "in the box". According to reports, everyone, including Ed , was quite pleased.

-Rick
Old 3rd September 2002
  #81
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
[B]
Wallace went on record a few years back...saying that despite popular rumor, he didn't trigger drums on Nevermind...but he used a snare verb sample he has for the long verb on the big snare hits. I believe him. What do you guys think?
I believe him. That record was done at Sound City on an old 8028 in the most drum-friendly room I've ever worked in. There's no reason to believe he couldn't have gotten sounds like that there.


Rick Krizman
KrizManic Music
Old 3rd September 2002
  #82
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
i get GREAT bottom end with digital. i dont agree with that statement. in fact, the bottom end i get with digital kills analog. i also find digital has far more "space" in it. as for the compression bringing up the ambience... that can be done digitally as well [although by choice]

i do think one has to work "harder" with digital but the payoffs are worth the extra work.
Yeah, Alpha, I agree with you on the bottom end deal. That's one of my favorite things about digital. You can turn the kick and bass guitar way up without woofing everything out. People who have a hard time with thin digital mixes should just try something as simple as that. With the lack of mud you can make the real low end information count.

-R
Old 3rd September 2002
  #83
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
[B]
Wallace went on record a few years back...saying that despite popular rumor, he didn't trigger drums on Nevermind...but he used a snare verb sample he has for the long verb on the big snare hits. I believe him. What do you guys think?
I believe him. That record was done at Sound City on an old 8028 in the most drum-friendly room I've ever worked in. There's no reason to believe he couldn't have gotten sounds like that there.


Rick Krizman
KrizManic Music
Old 3rd September 2002
  #84
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman


As a matter of fact, Ed Cherney recently dropped into a friend of mine's (a Grammy winning producer in his own right) Protools studio and mixed some blues tracks "in the box". According to reports, everyone, including Ed , was quite pleased.

-Rick
That he was pleased given what he had to work with has little to do with what he prefers. In a "ProTools studio" there was no choice. (Alsihad comes from "All's I had").

Ed was in town for a month mid-May thru Mid-June recording the Rolling Stones. There was ProTools+Apogee system. There was a 9k. There was a Studer A820. These guys had a choice.

Ed and I spoke a few times that month and we set up a meeting for a beer with the band which (very unfortunately) I couldn't make. Anyway, they tracked basics to Emtec 900 tape on the Studer A820 using the 9k's pres. ProTools via AD8000s was used for the tracks of lesser importance that could not fit on the Studer's 24 tracks. He was very, very pleased with the recordings that came from those sessions. Now, with a PT+Apogee system and two 3348HRs in the CR, one with Sony converters and one with Apogees, take a deep breath and ask yourself, why didn't they track to digital? (hint: The engineer chose the format.)
Old 3rd September 2002
  #85
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by RKrizman


Yeah, Alpha, I agree with you on the bottom end deal. That's one of my favorite things about digital. You can turn the kick and bass guitar way up without woofing everything out. People who have a hard time with thin digital mixes should just try something as simple as that. With the lack of mud you can make the real low end information count.

-R
Guys,

Spec'ing out flat below 30Hz is musically useless...you'll need to HPF that stuff. Analog tape has a musical low end roll-off that, on my favorite machine, starts around 35Hz. That same machine exhibits head bumps at 55Hz (+1db) and 110Hz (+0.8dB)...that's not mud, that's musical low end. It has a shallow, wide valley in the 250-400Hz region, with the epicenter at 325Hz. That's mud, so there's less of that.

There is also a very gentle rise starting from flat at 10kHz to, say, +0.5dB at 16kHz and +2dB at 25kHz. That's air.

From your comments, it sounds like you guys tried analog and ran across a poorly-aligned machine (don't let the studio assistants align them, do it yourself). Alignment makes a big difference.
Old 3rd September 2002
  #86
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Alignment makes a big difference.

It does ... I bought a 2 inch MCI 16 track . When I first started experimenting with it I thought it sounded like ****. Allignment makes a world of difference. Now it sounds quite good realy.
Old 3rd September 2002
  #87
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by jon


Guys,

Spec'ing out flat below 30Hz is musically useless...you'll need to HPF that stuff. Analog tape has a musical low end roll-off that, on my favorite machine, starts around 35Hz. That same machine exhibits head bumps at 55Hz (+1db) and 110Hz (+0.8dB)...that's not mud, that's musical low end. It has a shallow, wide valley in the 250-400Hz region, with the epicenter at 325Hz. That's mud, so there's less of that.

There is also a very gentle rise starting from flat at 10kHz to, say, +0.5dB at 16kHz and +2dB at 25kHz. That's air.

From your comments, it sounds like you guys tried analog and ran across a poorly-aligned machine (don't let the studio assistants align them, do it yourself). Alignment makes a big difference.
Well, I'm going to have to differ. The bottom end on a good digital system sounds superior to me as compared to analog. I've used pretty much every 2" deck ever made at some point and owned a bunch myself. I modified a Studer A80 Narrow 24 track into the first transformerless Studer ever made. Sounded fine, too.

I spent quite a bit of time modifying both the bias and erase frequencies of a number of decks, including RC80 and ATR102s, optimizing for distortion and noise floor. Other various techie endeavors as well. In short, a bit of a fanatic about analog multitrack fidelity.

I do know a bit about proper analog alignment. I've used about every deck made. And I think the bottom end of digital can get and stay deeper, punchier and tighter than analog.

IMO, any magic in analog is in the middle and especially the top.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 3rd September 2002
  #88
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Brian,

What do you consider a good digital system (I'm interested to know. For example, Michael W. likes the R-1, others like the Radar24)...and do they still use analog much in Nashville? (I saw that analog tape was used for a number of recent Billboard country hits, but otherwise I don't know}.

Perhaps a middle ground description would be thus: aside from the deep sub stuff, analog usually sounds like it has a bigger apparent bottom end (esp. at 15ips but at 30ips also), whereas digital specs out a deeper response nearly flat down to 0Hz. For faithfully reproducing ultra-deep sounds and their dynamic punch under 40Hz, it has an advantage.

Analog adds heft, size and depth. Digital reproduces the under-40Hz stuff and doesn't transform the low end or the transients.

Some engineers don't like the transformation analog produces. That's cool and understandable. Yet...in discussions and interviews with producers and artists who like tape...the subjectively bigger bottom end seems to be a major, major factor.

Of course, each analog machine has different head bumps, bass response roll-off, and some are much more 'flat' than others.

AJ, I know you're not looking for it, but since you mentioned it, how do you get the sound of tape compression with digital...
Old 4th September 2002
  #89
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs


Big disclaimer here. I'm a tape head and all around analog guy but... The bottom end is actually deeper on digital. Sorry but it's true. It goes down a lot farther then analog possibly can. What your hearing is the head bump which is a nice effect and "byproduct" of analog. Some people like the way the sound changes when you hit tape harder or softer, myself included. But, I also know a bunch of people that don't like that. To each their own. But yeah, for ROCK tape is tough to beat.
Yep!

Guys, all things being equal and with high-end gear, if you had to choose between tracking digital and mixing analog, or tracking analog and mixing digital...which would you choose?
Old 4th September 2002
  #90
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
On my rig, 2" xfered to digital, then digital straight through to mix iis beautiful.

BT
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