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Live and let Dye - half-month summary
Old 16th November 2002
  #1
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🎧 15 years
Live and let Dye - half-month summary

Since we're halfway through our month with Charles Dye, I thought it might be helpful to summarize some of his more revealing statements:

Here are my big three:

1) Dye doesn't compensate for plug-in delay. He just doesn't worry about it.

2) Dye tracks and mixes at the same levels he did when using a console.

3) Although he uses hardware compressors and converters when tracking, Dye mixes entirely in the box, with no outboard hardware whatsoever. All EQ, reverb, compression and effects are done with plugins.

I find the three opinions above to be amazing. These underlying issues -- tracking levels, outboard vs. plugins, and plugin delay compensation -- have been the subjects of heavy discussion on the Digidesign User Conference, and apply to any computer-based DAW -- Digital Performer, Cubase, Logic... whatever.

So what insights have you gleaned from Dye so far?

Jasper
PS -- I'll include Dye's actual quotes below:

"As scandalous as what I'm about to say is—here goes. For the most part, I do not compensate for plug in delays. There! I've said it"

"I've been making records with Pro Tools as the sole multi-track for about seven years now, and in the last five many of my mixes have also been done completely inside Pro Tools with no external console or outboard gear."

"(Another controversial answer) I approach recording levels to PT the same whether I'm recording for a console mix, or an in the box mix."
Old 16th November 2002
  #2
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doorknocker's Avatar
 
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To sum it up in one word: musicality. I guess too many people worry about the math of something without trusting their ears, so Charles' point of view is extremely valuable to me...

Andi
Old 16th November 2002
  #3
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We won't know the whole scoop until someone starts a thread on what Sir Charles does on the way in to the box. ie. If something is given a heavy dose of the real 1176 on the way in then all that is needed is a little caressing with plugins. One shouldn't read this to mean "If I get all the plugins I don't need outboard gear"

Think about it


And when Charles returns, Someone ask him what his front end it for Mix in the past and now for HD.

(I'm surprised no one asked at least what converters he used to use before the HD systems dropped)
Old 16th November 2002
  #4
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Speaking of musicality. Remember when you read Charles' credits that those mixes were done on Mix system cards and not HD. (Don't know why it seems everyone is on the bandwagon to say work can no longer be done in mix systems)
Old 16th November 2002
  #5
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Good point. He also said some viable commercial recordings have been tracked on a Digi 001.

Jasper
Old 16th November 2002
  #6
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Alien Man's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Clearly Charles doesn't waste any of his time with some of the more ponderous DUC debates about "bad math" and "PT mix buss avoidence".

If you take a look at the Hard Disk Life Sessions he's making available through DgiStudio - it's also clear he's not shy about using lots of plugs when he wants to (a clear no no from the "pros" on the DUC)

I'm finding a lot of the pumped up PT stigma appears to be irrelevant to Mr. Dye. That's the most incredible thing about scanning through the posts here.

Oh yeah. . . he also doesn't hate or condem Auto Tune.

I've begun to think there's a clear old school vs new school thing going on in PT land.

Charles appears to have straddled BOTH worlds BUT - was accepting of PT early on and LEARNED to use it to it's fullest where others may have tried - got frustrated - said screw it and slid back behind an SSL.

Kudos to Charles.

The key it seems to me in ALL of his threads is his open-mindedness.
Old 16th November 2002
  #7
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I think plugins are a viable option for all of the "great" mixers of today. Most don't use them exclusively like charles. But they are a part of most arsenals this says they have to have some value sonically or else they wouldn't be an option.

I think the DUC is full of self proclaimed pro's so with that said I take everything there with a grain of salt. Ptools is in use in most studio's in the coutry and It's mostly Mix systems

There must be a reasonrollz
Old 16th November 2002
  #8
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
posted by doorknocker:
To sum it up in one word: musicality. I guess too many people worry about the math of something without trusting their ears, so Charles' point of view is extremely valuable to me...

Andi
I couldn't have said it any better.

It's all about having confidence in what you're doing - that's the main point that I personally have been soaking up from this forum.

Working with confidence in your skills, confidence in your tools, confidence in your instincts, and being persistent.

I suspect some of my posts regarding "the math" may have been misunderstood. It's just somewhat useful, in my view, as a tool of reference, like a song's key or tempo. It can show you things you gotta watch out for, so you can optimize those tools.

I bet yous guys + Charles could work with a Roland VS880 and still make great recordings.
Old 16th November 2002
  #9
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🎧 15 years
At the risk of sounding a little negative I'll say that I know scores of musicians and engineers that are consistently outputing very ****ty material all the while being "très" confident (even if only on the surface but that's a totally different can of worms) that they're doing the world the best service since the invention of sliced bread. Actually having the skills and talent is unfortunately also pre-requisite to achieving any kind of quality in our work. A little self-doubt and inclination to re-evaluate one's way seems to go a long way towards improving, at least, our set of skills and the way in which we use the tools we have. (Charles seems to display that disposition so far...)

I'll agree that most DUC'ers seem to me to be very inclined (and enjoy!) in doing a little scatological self-speleology exploration and don't generally display an extensive aquaintance with most basic principles of music theory, acoustic science, proper engineering techniques or the ability to do a little critical thinking once in a while...

That's why I much prefer hanging around this here place nowadays!
Old 16th November 2002
  #10
"1) Dye doesn't compensate for plug-in delay. He just doesn't worry it."


I find this a rather dangerous statement to hold up as any sort of trophy. It's not accurate.

I think you will find that he DID say that he DOES carefully observe the use of Time Adjuster to make any 'live' or multi mic drum tracks retain phase coherency.

It's with live recorded drum kits that one can typicaly run into trouble with plug in delay. It's a constant PITA for folks doing rock n roll but much less trouble for folks using midi or sampled drums.

Half time views! - Going great!
Old 16th November 2002
  #11
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
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Quote:
posted by groundcontrol:
At the risk of sounding a little negative I'll say that I know scores of musicians and engineers that are consistently outputing very ****ty material all the while being "très" confident
Aaahh...but you never have to worry if your material is "****ty" or not.

The marketplace will make that determination for you.
Old 17th November 2002
  #12
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You mean if it starts to sell like hotcakes you know on which side of the fence you stand?
Old 17th November 2002
  #13
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Quote:
You mean if it starts to sell like hotcakes you know on which side of the fence you stand?
Old 18th November 2002
  #14
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Charles Dye's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Very kind posts guys. Another thread I need to take more time to reply to properly.

Thanks.
Old 18th November 2002
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant


Aaahh...but you never have to worry if your material is "****ty" or not.

The marketplace will make that determination for you.
Nope, the "marketplace" has for the most part never been a great judge of great artistry, musicianship, engineering, whatever...

Once in a blue moon they get it right....but we could all name a million instances like Jonatha Brooke vs. Britney Spears.
Old 18th November 2002
  #16
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
quote:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by Curve Dominant


Aaahh...but you never have to worry if your material is "****ty" or not.

The marketplace will make that determination for you.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nope, the "marketplace" has for the most part never been a great judge of great artistry, musicianship, engineering, whatever...

Once in a blue moon they get it right....but we could all name a million instances like Jonatha Brooke vs. Britney Spears.


__________________
Kevin Perry
Nashville, TN
The inherent fallacy in that post is so obvious it's not even worth debating.

Let's just agree to differ on that point.
Old 18th November 2002
  #17
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Aw, c'mon curve thats no fun...why even have forums if we all agree to differ?

If "marketplace" means people that buy records....then my point stands. There is way more talent under the "50,000 records sold" than above it. That figure could go a lot lower...Once in a blue moon you have an artist that comes along that is both original, exciting, talented and sells a couple million records.

If "marketplace" means the working world involved in the production of records...then your right....production/engineering Darwinism will weed me out if I'm not up to snuff.

Sadly. this weeding out is very slow some times. I know guys who have been around for years making $10-20k on small custom records that sound like they were done on a casette portastudio...
Old 18th November 2002
  #18
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
I know guys who have been around for years making $10-20k on small custom records that sound like they were done on a casette portastudio...
Awesome! I guess there is still hope for my 'style.' heh grggt rollz
Old 18th November 2002
  #19
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by groundcontrol
At the risk of sounding a little negative I'll say that I know scores of musicians and engineers that are consistently outputing very ****ty material all the while being "très" confident...A little self-doubt and inclination to re-evaluate one's way seems to go a long way towards improving, at least, our set of skills and the way in which we use the tools we have.
Good point.
Old 19th November 2002
  #20
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
posted by Ckevperry:
If "marketplace" means the working world involved in the production of records...then your right....production/engineering Darwinism will weed me out if I'm not up to snuff.
You got it! Thank you. That's what I was talking about. Not teeny-bopper hit phenoms exclusively. There's a lot more than engineering skills that goes into that equation.

You could be doing TV post, or whatever. Is the phone ringing? If it is, that's "the market" telling you your work is not "****ty." "****" has no value. If your work has value, it cannot be "****," no matter what some golden-ears thinks.

To that end, one has to respect the engineering skills required to make a multi-million selling CD of a mediocre singer. Knowing how to draw out that singer's attractive vocal characteristics, while artfully concealing their weaknesses. Britney is a case in point. Love her or hate her, you gotta admit: somebody did something right on those recordings. The marketplace made that determination, and you cannot argue with the market response. The people got what they wanted. This is the cornerstone of free-market capitalism.

We are not arbitors of taste, for good reasons. As Dave Bryce told me over dinner earlier this year, "We are not the audience." His point was that most folks listen to music either in their cars, on the TV, or on computer speakers. They do not share in our gear lust; nor do they possess our golden ears. As Charles posted on another thread, "Always know your audience."

Which might touch on some of the bafflement a lot of audio guys have in viewing Charles' "in the box" approach to PT. Because they have Neve/SSL/Whatever consoles...and they think it's all about the console. It's not. It's about supply and demand.

YMMV.
Old 19th November 2002
  #21
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
Which might touch on some of the bafflement a lot of audio guys have in viewing Charles' "in the box" approach to PT.
When Charles is at the Hit Factory, like any engineer at a good studio, I'm sure he uses the console, together with ProTools and other gear in the studio, like most pros do -- using the strengths of each. It would be very unusual not to.
Old 19th November 2002
  #22
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Renie's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant




We are not arbitors of taste, for good reasons. As Dave Bryce told me over dinner earlier this year, "We are not the audience." His point was that most folks listen to music either in their cars, on the TV, or on computer speakers. They do not share in our gear lust; nor do they possess our golden ears. As Charles posted on another thread, "Always know your audience."

Which might touch on some of the bafflement a lot of audio guys have in viewing Charles' "in the box" approach to PT. Because they have Neve/SSL/Whatever consoles...and they think it's all about the console. It's not. It's about supply and demand.

YMMV.
Eric,

Just picking the thread up here really.

I remember reading an interview with Nile Rodgers who said all his big records were uphill battles with the record companies, they all doubted the market awareness was there but he knew the music was right, and he was bang on.

He knew his audience, his own musical intuition.

He must be one of those rare people who have managed to tap the vein of the spirit of the times and be musically capable of delivering to it.
Old 20th November 2002
  #23
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Eric,

Just picking the thread up here really.

I remember reading an interview with Nile Rodgers who said all his big records were uphill battles with the record companies, they all doubted the market awareness was there but he knew the music was right, and he was bang on.

He knew his audience, his own musical intuition.

He must be one of those rare people who have managed to tap the vein of the spirit of the times and be musically capable of delivering to it.



__________________
Renie Coffey | riverattic
Renie,

Points well taken.

In this game, uphill battles are a given, the one thing we can mos def count on, always.

Especially when it comes to tapping into the spirit of the times. Because what the mass media "thinks" is the spirit of the times is often stuck in the past.

So artists have to struggle to bring peeps up to date. And this struggle gives the artistic life its meaning and its power.

With the power of soul, anything is possible...

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