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I'm not opposed to the idea, but I think both John and the writer are hyperbolising reality in order to promote their own viewpoint and sell more software cuz milennials can't afford the hardware. ... or at least cheaper more all-in-one type solutions like the MPC - this article is pretty much a shill for that box.

"“Why? Well, because that’s what the rest of the music is suggesting. When everyone is using virtual instruments and virtual effects, there’s no oxygen.“Those frequencies are so well cordoned off, a Bassman amp with three mics put on it literally will not fit inside the song. There’s a lot of resistance to that from producers.”

If anything, there is more room for full freq guitar when everything else is virtual and synths; really depends on the arrangement actually, but the virtual stuff is tighter so that actually helps. Also, You don't have to use 3 mics on an amp and there's this thing called EQ where you can e.g. cut the bass to not build up mud and sit better in the mix. And the only resistance is from lazy/ignorant of the analog process and don't want the artists to know producers (like the sort of people who have 1 Neumann LDC and a reflection filter on a mic stand in the corner of the control room to rec vox with and never do it any other way). Of course Dr Luke is gonna want you to rec direct and tone shape you with plugs. You know half of it is serial compression to get the 'real' (relative) guitar to sound like the virtual stuff (the real reason 'there's no oxygen' - everything is compressed to snot; virtual instruments are based on already compressed samples, and then they compress again at the track and mix levels). Another part of it is being too chicken shit to commit; this way you can totally change tonal course a month later.


Also recording on an Akai MPC? When there's a session at an at least halfway proper studio? I know the tech has come a long way (I bought the very first USB audio interface available when I was 17 - I'm no luddite) but still, that's preposterous. I mean, in the article that phrase is a link to their review of the MPC ("...it’s well on the way to replacing your DAW, live or in the studio." LOL no; useful tool especially for live or sample based music production, but what a crock). I know (of, not personally) tonnes of big league producers that would disagree, and it's not just the old guys (even small time local younger guys) . Hell, I don't even think Dr Luke would be too impressed at the idea. It's not representative of the industry as a whole but rather a certain segment of it, and therein lies the misrepresentation of the article; there's a dialectic and there's lots of guys going the other way (or more hybrid) as well. I have no problem with any approach , but rather the insistence that there is only one way forward. Music Radar has always been an electronic music production rag so you have to read the article in that context.

It's like the newish Boss bass compressor pedal demo vid (on the Boss site) where the dude talks about how it preserves/enhances (I forget the specific word) his dynamic range - no it doesn't; that's the opposite of compression you idiot. Just say it done sound good and lose the technical jargon when you don't know what it means. Worse still, I get the feeling that they all know; they think we're idiots and will lap it up based on the use of a few buzz words.

If his arguments are true what he should be doing is recording MIDI vs his audio output.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just read that too. Seems like producers want the dry sound for use with plug-ins.
It makes total sense!

Makes sense. Discuss it before the session and you're set.
In my opinion the style you play is the only one that strictly requires to have the real deal.

I'm not opposed to the idea, but I think both John and the writer are hyperbolising reality in order to promote their own viewpoint and sell more software cuz milennials can't afford the hardware. ... or at least cheaper more all-in-one type solutions like the MPC - this article is pretty much a shill for that box.

"“Why? Well, because that’s what the rest of the music is suggesting. When everyone is using virtual instruments and virtual effects, there’s no oxygen.“Those frequencies are so well cordoned off, a Bassman amp with three mics put on it literally will not fit inside the song. There’s a lot of resistance to that from producers.”

If anything, there is more room for full freq guitar when everything else is virtual and synths; really depends on the arrangement actually, but the virtual stuff is tighter so that actually helps. Also, You don't have to use 3 mics on an amp and there's this thing called EQ where you can e.g. cut the bass to not build up mud and sit better in the mix. And the only resistance is from lazy/ignorant of the analog process and don't want the artists to know producers (like the sort of people who have 1 Neumann LDC and a reflection filter on a mic stand in the corner of the control room to rec vox with and never do it any other way). Of course Dr Luke is gonna want you to rec direct and tone shape you with plugs. You know half of it is serial compression to get the 'real' (relative) guitar to sound like the virtual stuff (the real reason 'there's no oxygen' - everything is compressed to snot; virtual instruments are based on already compressed samples, and then they compress again at the track and mix levels). Another part of it is being too chicken shit to commit; this way you can totally change tonal course a month later.


Also recording on an Akai MPC? When there's a session at an at least halfway proper studio? I know the tech has come a long way (I bought the very first USB audio interface available when I was 17 - I'm no luddite) but still, that's preposterous. I mean, in the article that phrase is a link to their review of the MPC ("...it’s well on the way to replacing your DAW, live or in the studio." LOL no; useful tool especially for live or sample based music production, but what a crock). I know (of, not personally) tonnes of big league producers that would disagree, and it's not just the old guys (even small time local younger guys) . Hell, I don't even think Dr Luke would be too impressed at the idea. It's not representative of the industry as a whole but rather a certain segment of it, and therein lies the misrepresentation of the article; there's a dialectic and there's lots of guys going the other way (or more hybrid) as well. I have no problem with any approach , but rather the insistence that there is only one way forward. Music Radar has always been an electronic music production rag so you have to read the article in that context.

It's like the newish Boss bass compressor pedal demo vid (on the Boss site) where the dude talks about how it preserves/enhances (I forget the specific word) his dynamic range - no it doesn't; that's the opposite of compression you idiot. Just say it done sound good and lose the technical jargon when you don't know what it means. Worse still, I get the feeling that they all know; they think we're idiots and will lap it up based on the use of a few buzz words.

If his arguments are true what he should be doing is recording MIDI vs his audio output.
I disagree. I'm an active producer who receives work from people all around the world and work on it every day and the only way I am able to do that is because I have and know the new technologies. Almost every time I get something where the artist insisted in recording using a real guitar amp the result turns out less than ideal, either because they used the best/only they could find regardless of what the song needed or simply because the studio producer didn't place the mic in the correct position. Plugins right now can deliver the same exact results except perhaps for metal music (see my response to Budda) and expand the possibilities of rethinking ANY part of the process chain once you are in the isolated environment of the mixing desk. Finally, today's ad/da converters in the cheapest USB interface are enormously superior to what the best producers had 20 years ago and they only gets better and better.
I agree with you that the article is poorly composed and Mr Mayer opinions are less than convincing but what he's doing is what works.
 

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I disagree. I'm an active producer who receives work from people all around the world and work on it every day and the only way I am able to do that is because I have and know the new technologies. Almost every time I get something where the artist insisted in recording using a real guitar amp the result turns out less than ideal, either because they used the best/only they could find regardless of what the song needed or simply because the studio producer didn't place the mic in the correct position. Plugins right now can deliver the same exact results except perhaps for metal music (see my response to Budda) and expand the possibilities of rethinking ANY part of the process chain once you are in the isolated environment of the mixing desk. Finally, today's ad/da converters in the cheapest USB interface are enormously superior to what the best producers had 20 years ago and they only gets better and better.
I agree with you that the article is poorly composed and Mr Mayer opinions are less than convincing but what he's doing is what works.
Dude, you are 1 producer, not all of them (e.g. I'm one too, though not a big name obviously, but we don't agree, which was my main point). Also, I said it was a valid approach (especially in such long distance situations ... though even then, not as a matter of course - just did a remote session for some overdubs actually and I didn't do it like that), my issues with the article are elsewhere.

And no, modern budget level AD/DA is not better than what the pros were using 20 years ago (you shoulda said 30 cuz then ADAT, LOL, but this whole argument is unfair because that was the period of pro transition from analog to digital which was a fledgeling tech - of course it's better now.. in some ways... I'd still take an ADAT over some things; the analog circuits around the converters were better and that makes a big diff). That is another insidious marketing ploy (every single rec gear review article uses that one; come on). And no, I'm not even a tape guy. Once you get to mid level, at least, then yeah, but only compared to early digital gear - it's still not 'better' than analog, just different with some workflow and cost advantages; not worse either unless you get into subjective tonal discussions (which are fair enough, that's the whole game here). My dream rig now would be a Radar system (can't afford that any more than I can afford 2" tape).

I've used plugs and virtual instruments. It's not the same. They can sound good in a surreal way, but still surreal. I know I am a minority (not alone, but a minority) in my views as regards recording. I get the appeal of digital/virtual/simulated/modelled things - you can get the sound instantly, change it later, and it will still be perfect.... problem, IMHO, is it's too perfect and everything starts sounding the same. I also don't want to get lost in the infinate tweakability of it all; if you can have a compressor on every channel then guess what - you usually will avail yourself to that. I'm more rootsy, for lack of a better word, as regards the process. The approach affects the output, and there's things that I don't like about the output when everything is always done as described/implied by that article. Frankly a large part of the problem for me is that more and more, most people are doing most things pretty much the same most of the time. I get it; easier/quicker/cheaper, but where's the exploration and experimentation; it's too fast paced (on the front end, and then endless mixing - I prefer allocating the time in the opposite fashion - spend the time in the beginning and the mixes just fall together with actually very minimal, comparatively, post processing). Slow it down and actually figure it out first; don't rush it. It may even be a false economy (it being faster), but it depends on the engineer/producer, I suppose.

For the first 5ish years of my recording history I recorded all guitars direct FYI; at the time I got made fun of for it (only bass and keys can be direct bro), but I loved it for certain things (clean with modulation, not dirty parts so much). Now everyone is doing it and either plugins or reamping. I'm down, but sometimes a mic in front of a wall of speakers is the ticket and there ain't no plugin for some of the things I have done.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you think the quality of your ad/da have the most impact on your work you are delusional or you've never been a producer. I'll reduce to 10 years. Also, I'm not a dude.
 

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That's what you said not I. Stop building straw man arguments. That whole post was about process and workflow.
 

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Does he not live in Montana ? I really can't see him loading a bunch of vintage tube amps on a Jet to go to his sessions in LA. Might have something to do with his reasoning.
 

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Dude, you are 1 producer, not all of them (e.g. I'm one too, though not a big name obviously, but we don't agree, which was my main point). Also, I said it was a valid approach (especially in such long distance situations ... though even then, not as a matter of course - just did a remote session for some overdubs actually and I didn't do it like that), my issues with the article are elsewhere.

And no, modern budget level AD/DA is not better than what the pros were using 20 years ago (you shoulda said 30 cuz then ADAT, LOL, but this whole argument is unfair because that was the period of pro transition from analog to digital which was a fledgeling tech - of course it's better now.. in some ways... I'd still take an ADAT over some things; the analog circuits around the converters were better and that makes a big diff). That is another insidious marketing ploy (every single rec gear review article uses that one; come on). And no, I'm not even a tape guy. Once you get to mid level, at least, then yeah, but only compared to early digital gear - it's still not 'better' than analog, just different with some workflow and cost advantages; not worse either unless you get into subjective tonal discussions (which are fair enough, that's the whole game here). My dream rig now would be a Radar system (can't afford that any more than I can afford 2" tape).

I've used plugs and virtual instruments. It's not the same. They can sound good in a surreal way, but still surreal. I know I am a minority (not alone, but a minority) in my views as regards recording. I get the appeal of digital/virtual/simulated/modelled things - you can get the sound instantly, change it later, and it will still be perfect.... problem, IMHO, is it's too perfect and everything starts sounding the same. I also don't want to get lost in the infinate tweakability of it all; if you can have a compressor on every channel then guess what - you usually will avail yourself to that. I'm more rootsy, for lack of a better word, as regards the process. The approach affects the output, and there's things that I don't like about the output when everything is always done as described/implied by that article. Frankly a large part of the problem for me is that more and more, most people are doing most things pretty much the same most of the time. I get it; easier/quicker/cheaper, but where's the exploration and experimentation; it's too fast paced (on the front end, and then endless mixing - I prefer allocating the time in the opposite fashion - spend the time in the beginning and the mixes just fall together with actually very minimal, comparatively, post processing). Slow it down and actually figure it out first; don't rush it. It may even be a false economy (it being faster), but it depends on the engineer/producer, I suppose.

For the first 5ish years of my recording history I recorded all guitars direct FYI; at the time I got made fun of for it (only bass and keys can be direct bro), but I loved it for certain things (clean with modulation, not dirty parts so much). Now everyone is doing it and either plugins or reamping. I'm down, but sometimes a mic in front of a wall of speakers is the ticket and there ain't no plugin for some of the things I have done.
I'm not a producer. I simply disagree with the statement that it all comes out the same using these methods. As a player I have used both methods. And I have done, and enjoyed, a literal wall of amps approach several times. But the fact is. I've done it the other way and been completely happy with the results too. And I play straight ahead dirty rock where the 'organic' argument could really apply. I sound like myself no matter which technique I've used. And in the end, all I care about is how it sounds.

I also just have never seen work flow issues. At this point a lot of producers and engineers are fully adapted to either method. Especially ones in their later 40's who have been using both methods for awhile now. The ones young enough to experiment, but old enough to have used several other methods.
 

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I vote for a producer fight to the death to settle this. I'm bored, out of beer, too drunk to drive for more and need entertainment!
 
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