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-   -   Who uses their EYE'S as well as their ears? (

Ol' Betsey 19th May 2003 08:10 PM

Who uses their EYE'S as well as their ears?
(Sorry, momentarily distracted by the hail storm commencing outside my flat in London. Don't you just love the English Spring?)

Anyway, reading what John and HiFi said over on the Hardy thread got me thinking...


I have never once in my years of owning the M1's wish I had the put the full metering on ...
This last week I was recording a band and ran out of pre-amps. One of the kids had this cheap little Joe Meek box that I decided to use as an extra pre for one of my mash-it-up ambient mics.

Setting it up I realised that what I was seeing couldn't really be too related to what I was hearing (stuck in the red but not sounding pushed at all) so I just cranked it all up till this thing really started crying and then backed it off until it was more or less just a grumpy little face in the back seat. All the while the meters still said virtually nothing to me. Sure, they were flashing a bit but that's about it.

Another example would be Mr. David Derr's Distressor. The meters can be telling you your whacking the shiggy out of it but it still doesn't sound like 15-20 db of compression. Ok, I know they're not VU's but my point is the same, to some of us unseasoned, umm, pro's, that can be a little scary. I know, I know, just use your ears blah blah blah...

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no meter freak and unless it has to do with something pretty dang critical (like digital conversion) I usually just use my ears but, and here's the question:

When, if ever, and this assumes said equipment does in fact have metering, do you find yourselves relying on said metering, either LED or VU, of said equipment?



BevvyB 19th May 2003 08:55 PM

******** weather

Fuzzy Logic 20th May 2003 05:00 AM

I rely on my eyes more towards the back end of the session day.
my ears can trick me after 8 or 10 hours

out1ear 20th May 2003 05:02 AM

my most used pre's(a custon neve clone) don't have any metering, so I don't really have a choice. I don't mind a little red in protools as long as its not I listen alot and look a little I guess.

jbchef 20th May 2003 08:42 AM

I still consider myself a newbie in recording (no grammys yetboing ). I'm very conservative and 'extra careful when setting level. I hear differences when driving my preamp hard, but hard clipping distortion is something I avoid in my signal path. I like aggressive sounding, going over to the red, but I still keep my eye on the level so that it didn't clip in digital.
However, if I also read my manual, trying to figure out when the 'peak' light is on, how much decibel do I have left.

After knowing all the 'rules, I still would refer to my ears. If it didn't 'clip' or colors the sound distastefully, I wouldn't touch the knob.


Deleted User 20th May 2003 04:13 PM

Ears first of course, but if you hear any nastiness, meters are helpful for finding which piece of gear is clipping quickly.

juniorhifikit 20th May 2003 06:27 PM

Meters on gear are great, but I only look at them when something sounds bad. I trust my monitors (Genelec), and the Hardy's have sooo much headroom that they're never the culprit when things crap out. If everything is cal'd at unity gain, then the meters on the tape machine (or ProTools) tell me everything I want to know. As far as editing, I've learned (or been trained like a puppy) to use my eyes these days. DAW's are like that. And it's more efficient to have two senses working than one; though I started with only the sense of sound when cutting tape. Or using the AMS Audiofile for that matter...I digress...

stuntmixer 20th May 2003 09:28 PM

This speaks to something I have been thinking about recently. I used to mix back into the computer. I could, therefore, see my mixes as they happened. I found that, despite my better judgment, I would make decisions based on what I saw (usually decisions about transients, trying to get more RMS by further treating peaks, etc,)

Now, I mix through a Lucid to a Masterlink so there are only LEDs, and I am a better mixer for it. I guess I found seeing the mix too distracting. I felt obligated to try and make it "look mastered".

I transfered a couple of mixes ifrom the Masterlink into the computer the other day and was amazed to see that they looked great. I had acheived a hotter level and more natural balance of transients vs. RMS without any visual aid (duh, go figure).

Has anyone elso noticed being effected by "seeing" their mixes.