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Thread: Having an Objective View of Your Abilities

  1. #1
    Supercreep's Avatar
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    Having an Objective View of Your Abilities

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    This thread may not be directed to you, so grains of salt are recommended.

    Gear is nice. Having the right bit of kit for the right project is of supreme importance - whether it's a mic, a guitar, or a cymbal.

    Having a well-treated room is important, too. A well-treated room is going to sound more open and balanced than an untreated one. Money spent on room treatment is generally money well-spent.

    Now for the rub: If you have a tin ear, none of this is going to help you turn around a decent product.

    If you don't have an ear for pitch, and your instruments are out of tune with themselves and other instruments, your recordings will suffer.

    If you are a "producer", and don't have a knack for arrangement, or understand how to incorporate space and silence into an piece, your client's recordings will suffer.

    If you are a musician in a band, and you lack the ability to transpose chords, use different inversions, or envision and arrange your parts as pieces of an ensemble, your recordings will suffer.

    Before you spend a fortune on things that will expose and highlight deficiencies in your technique and approach, work on identifying deficiencies in your technique and approach. That is, put the horse in front of the cart.

    With all of that said, you are in the right place to learn, and the world is full of internet know-it-alls just like me.

    Jump in and make it happen.

  2. #2
    gecko zzed's Avatar
    gecko zzed is offline audio illusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercreep View Post
    Before you spend a fortune on things that will expose and highlight deficiencies in your technique and approach, work on identifying deficiencies in your technique and approach. That is, put the horse in front of the cart.
    All true, but, predictably, easier said than done.

    One of the confounding factors is that it is your brain and imagination that tells you what you are hearing, not your ears . . . something sounds good because you want it to, not because it is.

    Another confounding factor is your ego: it's got to be this way because that's how I want it to be, and I refuse to accept that an alternative may be better.

    Sometimes, though, we do perceive the problems that we have with performing, recording or mixing, but misplace the source, often shifting the blame from ourselves to the technology ("it doesn't sound good because I haven't got a decent pre-amp", or whatever). This is a handy side-step, because it absolves us from having to look at ourselves, and justifies a spiralling investment in gear.

    Underpinning all this is the current thirst for instant gratification . . . "What do we want?" "Perfection!" "When do we want it?' "Now!". Many people have forgotten that quality results (in any field) demand expertise and knowledge, which take time and effort to acquire . . . "I haven't had much experience in recording, but we want to record a band demo by tomorrow. How do we get a good commercial sound?"

    Time and patience is needed, as is objectivity. Don't heed the comments of friends and relatives; they tell lies.
    http://homerecording.com/bbs/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=45599&dateline=1256715193
    I have a theory about that

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    Gecko has exactly the right idea.

    I guess what I'm driving at is that there needs to be a certain level of honesty in self-examination. The good news is that, on a certain level, you know when you're fooling yourself. In addition, if you honestly can't find anything wrong with your own work, you're not listening.

    Cut out the BS and it's really about capturing a performance without letting gear and process (and ego, as Gecko rightly noted) getting in the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko zzed View Post
    All true, but, predictably, easier said than done.
    As is anything worth doing.

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    Richard Monroe is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    This thread touches on 2 of the things that I try to live by. The first is that you have to think about the signal chain from the beginning, not the end. If you have a good performance of a good song in a good room on a good instrument, you put the right mic (not the most expensive mic) in the right place, plug it into the best preamp you have, don't clip anything and push record. If you don't have all of those things, plugins won't help you.

    Secondly, if you are going to self-produce, you have to have a realistic image of yourself, and know what you can and can't do. If you think you are a superstar, you need a producer to tell you that you aren't. If you really are a superstar, you need Simon Cowell to tell you that you aren't.-Richie

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    kelly7898 is offline Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supercreep View Post
    This thread may not be directed to you, so grains of salt are recommended.

    Gear is nice. Having the right bit of kit for the right project is of supreme importance - whether it's a mic, a guitar, or a cymbal.

    Having a well-treated room is important, too. A well-treated room is going to sound more open and balanced than an untreated one. Money spent on room treatment is generally money well-spent.

    Now for the rub: If you have a tin ear, none of this is going to help you turn around a decent product.

    If you don't have an ear for pitch, and your instruments are out of tune with themselves and other instruments, your recordings will suffer.

    If you are a "producer", and don't have a knack for arrangement, or understand how to incorporate space and silence into an piece, your client's recordings will suffer.

    If you are a musician in a band, and you lack the ability to transpose chords, use different inversions, or envision and arrange your parts as pieces of an ensemble, your recordings will suffer.

    Before you spend a fortune on things that will expose and highlight deficiencies in your technique and approach, work on identifying deficiencies in your technique and approach. That is, put the horse in front of the cart.

    With all of that said, you are in the right place to learn, and the world is full of internet know-it-alls just like me.

    Jump in and make it happen.

    Thank you for the post.
    Hi guys, Im a newbie. Nice to join this forum.

  7. #7
    kcearl's Avatar
    kcearl is offline I see deaf people
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    all good advice..


    just remember though...Beethoven composed completely deaf lol



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    Bristol Posse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
    all good advice..


    just remember though...Beethoven composed completely deaf lol


    Yeah, I always liked the concept that just stopped him from having to hear the distractions to the music that was already in his head

    I like this thread. I have been having simillar thoughts recently and have cut my self off from buying any new gear/software and concentrate on 1) practicing/playing and singing more to get the material right first, 2) getting the best out of what I have by using it to it's best effect by learning it inside and out and 3) realising I have to get better (not the gear) if my songs are to get better

    it's been a month and the gear aquisition cold turkey is starting to ease (a little)
    Last edited by Bristol Posse; 03-16-2010 at 20:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Posse View Post
    Yeah, I always liked the concept that just stopped him from having to hear the distractions to the music that was already in his head

    I like this thread. I have been having simillar thoughts recently and have cut my self off from buying any new gear/software and concentrate on 1) practicing/playing and singing more to get the material right first, 2) getting the best out of what I have by using it to it's best effect by learning it inside and out and 3) realising I have to get better (not the gear) if my songs are to get better

    it's been a month and the gear aquisition cold turkey is starting to ease (a little)
    Psssst....Wanta buy a microphone?
    ♫♪♫ I have a fever and the cure is cowbell ♫♪♫ .......... *LIVE FREE OR DIE* .......... ♫ I'm all ears ♫

    ☼ Mucho Loco Henry Areebah! ☼

    Any mic you buy will be perfectly suited to your needs, until you use it long enough to learn that it's not.

  10. #10
    Bristol Posse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moresound View Post
    Psssst....Wanta buy a microphone?

    Arghhhhhh

    Now I have to call Dr Drew

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