what i reference with / what i really like - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
what i reference with / what i really like
Old 13th February 2003
Lives for gear
pounce's Avatar
🎧 15 years
what i reference with / what i really like

i have been _really_ sick this week, so i think my posts are unusually moody (even by my standards)

given that, here goes another thought. kind of a two part-er. the first part has to do with how i revise my reference cd every year. i do live sound for a living and lots of recording on the side. since i go to different venues, my reference cd is invaluable. however, i don't listen to any of the bands on it in "real life". i listen often enough to know the material well, but i mean it's not my taste. so the first thought is the common question... what is on your reference cd? i tend to check stuff out based on other peoples lists and change mine accordingly. i am suprised my earlier cd's had material i now hear many flaws in, so some older material is banished.

my current reference includes...

dave mathews (some of the lilywhite stuff, NOT the ballard stuff)
dixie chicks
alison krause
crowded house
nsync (dirty pop is well produced)
fiona apple
verve pipe
michael brecker
steely dan
some other jazz and rock

lots of the current rock stuff is too compressed to be of much service. well recorded rock or some spoken word stuff would be welcome..

second part, and this is what got me _really_ thinking today. despite any gear snobbery or professional ability on my part, it's still true that many of my personal favorite bands are not well recorded. i got to thinking about this with the massive attack post on another part of gearslutz. i love them and their recordings are fine. however, a solid fifty percent of bands i like seem to be recording on super low budgets or something. they just happen to make music i like. i like some of the stuff that sneaks out on the radio. i enjoy the donnas single "take it off", but the compression on it drives me batty. i'd sure have like it more if it had some breathing room. i think the zwan stuff is recorded decently for what it is, and i dig the single. haven't heard it on any great system yet to listen critically. do we all have our musical favorites that grab our ears and hearts and dont' get our engineering brains going? i hope so.

or some people might like jazz and classical primarily and therefore tend to always hear better recordings? i dunno. it's my secret admission that i think there are some rocking bands that the big label system would have totally ****ed up. i'm glad thier indie spirit shines through, and i'll take em rough recordings and all. do other people have that seperation of job and musical loves? i had listed some of my favorite roughly recorded bands like...

die monster die
my bloody valentine
that dog
babe the blue ox

etc. there are a bunch of others. stuff that was ambitious and done on a budget. i still love the music, so that's the bottom line. i wouldn't like it any more if the recording was better to tell the truth. so, does everybody have their poorly recorded favorites?
Old 13th February 2003
7rojo7's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Once the mix engineer finishes compressing a track there's nothing left for the mastering engineer to do but to make it brighter.
If the mix engineer would stop applying undoable compression then maybe the mastering engineer would stop making it brighter.
I've used expanders to great success in lo budget mastering.
Back off 5dB leave 2 for dynamics and 3 for volume surges, if you have a relly nice compressor you can get fancy to fix over compressed mixes. Over expand and feed it into really nice compressor (no TM). it ends up sounding like DBX noise reduction, which was not bad.
but everyone should do their own job!
if you mix, don't compress your mix buss, let someone do it that haas really nice compressors and a good space do it
Old 13th February 2003
Lives for gear
pounce's Avatar
🎧 15 years
while i understand and agree about not over compressing mixes, what i am looking for in this thread is a little different.

it's simply...

what do you guys reference to? i'm always looking for well recorded pieces. they might be new, or they might only be new to me. i'm sometimes suprised at peoples reference material.

and two...

do you happen to love music that is the absolute oposite of the kind of stuff that you reference with? or perhaps better stated, are there some great bands that are poorly recorded that you love anyway? care to name some? this is how i stay true to my love of music roots. it just rarely comes with shiny fancy eleventy bazillion dollar engineering.
Old 13th February 2003
Jules's Avatar
Foo Fighters

Particularly the track Monkey Wrench.

It's trashy punky rocky

Thats my niche I guess.

Old 14th February 2003
Gear Guru
chrisso's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I can see where you are coming from, although I'm not a pro audio kind of guy so a lot of 'flawed' recording techniques go right over my head.
I think a big part of the ambience of these bands is the rough and ready sound. Often when they start to be more successful and move up to pro studios the music seems to suffer.
Having said that, I recently bought the '8 Mile' soundtrack album (to referance some urban music I was working on). I found the production to be very tiring on the ears. The sound pallette is so overwhelmingly cheesy.
The drums and bass are generally kickin ass but the rest is cheap and nasty. Even the ballads have pianos taken from 80's sound modules (sound like the Roland D110). I know the ethic is to be 'street' but with all the money Eminem has I can't understand not buying a decent Ac Piano sample set....let alone recording a real one.
Am I getting old
Old 14th February 2003
Lives for gear
5down1up's Avatar
🎧 15 years
i quit using refernce cd , cause my setup isnt a reference at all heh

i like to listen to music , all kinds of it , i like & love a lot of stuff .
doing what i would like to do is kinda unpayable for me .
( most times )
thats why i stopped complaining soundwise and work with what i have . the " sound " thats in my head isnt doable with the gear i own . i can have 2-3 tracks processed with the stuff i got .

then i am running out of equipment , hrhr .

when i work @home i dont care too much bout the sound , i like to create , thats what makes me happy

bringing my homework to a nice mixing studio easily reaches the
" high quality level " . so i am not worrying too much bout my talents .

a mackie simply doesnt sound like a neve .
a pcm 91 doesnt sound like a 480 even if thats closer than the mackie - neve comparison .

so before i dont have to get a chance to spend another million bucks , i stop comparing my soundwork with the latest peter gabriel cd heh

its all just about the idea , sound wont be a problem in the end if theres a budget paying for it , otherwise youll have to live with the sound as it is .

Old 14th February 2003
Lives for gear
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally posted by chrisso
...The drums and bass are generally kickin ass but the rest is cheap and nasty. Even the ballads have pianos taken from 80's sound modules (sound like the Roland D110). I know the ethic is to be 'street' but with all the money Eminem has I can't understand not buying a decent Ac Piano sample set....let alone recording a real one.
Am I getting old
Strange thing! And its even worse if you know they have studio talents to do most of the keyboard voicings!

In terms of reference songs/albums I could not say I have mine jet. Well I like the Smashing Pumkins "Siamees Dreams", "Adore"... If its about strange sounds I like the Primus albums. And for the more metalish I like the last tool album.

BTW the tool DVD 5.1 mixes suck big time! When you switche from stereo to 5.1 its like: Were is the low end? Were is the direkt punche? And what is that fuuhing spaciousness good for?!?
I gues rock of that kind is not 5.1 compilant!
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 457 views: 71146
Avatar for cmknight
cmknight 30th December 2015
replies: 18 views: 11054
Avatar for kludgeaudio
kludgeaudio 28th September 2020
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump