SH Spotlight PART DEUX: Recording and mastering questions asked and (hopefully) answered

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, May 8, 2006.

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  1. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
  2. Mister Charlie

    Mister Charlie "Music Is The Doctor Of My Soul " - Doobie Bros.

    Location:
    Aromas, CA USA
    Fascinating and informative articles, luke, thanks so much for sharing!
     
  3. Metoo

    Metoo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Spain (EU)
    This is how the drums in a song of mine I recorded in 1976 were recorded as per what I am listening to in the multi.
     
  4. Metoo

    Metoo Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Spain (EU)
    Thanks for all the info you are sharing, guys. :)
     
  5. Mike Ga

    Mike Ga Formerly meredrums and MikeG

    Location:
    Wylie, Tx.
    Minimal Drum Miking

    Take a look here. http://www.earthworksaudio.com/
    I've done a bit of recording in the past with these, but not the dedicated drum system.
    Just two; L & R. They do sound good, but as I've seen elsewhere in this thread, you have to have a drummer that's really tuned into what it takes to get a good track with this kind of a set-up. You have no room for "I'd like to hear more hi-hat in the mix". You can futz with the EQ if you want, but it's not going to bring something up that wasn't there to begin with. From what I understand, EQ is to be taken away, not added, if you have good track's to start with. These being the drum track's, they better sound right. This is the foundation. The rest of the house can look like Gingerbread, but the Basement better be made out of concrete and brick.
     
  6. acjetnut

    acjetnut Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Steve

    You've mentioned before that while mastering, when you need to make compromises, you tend to focus on getting the vocals perfected. In the case of an instrumental track, are there specific instruments that you tend to focus on perfecting in case of a needed compromise?
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    A fair question.

    An instrumental that has a lead instrument like a saxophone, well I always want the sax to sound lifelike so I would tweak the sound to achieve that goal unless it seriously screws up the drums or piano in which case I'll do about half-a-tweak and leave it go at that. If the lead instrument happens to be an electric guitar it's easier to perfect the sound of the rest of the instruments as the amped guitar sound is less likely to be "hurt" by mastering choices on the other instruments. All in all it's a judgment call!
     
  8. I think your Anthology answer comes close but it's not quite right . . . because: what wrecked the Anthology project sonically was modern eq and using modern monitors, not the choice of board per se. So, you're correct that the board should be vintage, like the tapes . . . but the monitors and eq you use should not be from outside the era either. All the hardware must be appropriate to your multitrack tape.
     
  9. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    When you say "EQ", do you mean the settings, or the hardware itself?

    Personally, I think the hardware used is generally less important than having a reference point. You can use all the vintage equipment you want, but if you don't have something to reference, it can still turn out all wrong. On the other hand, while it may not be perfect, you might get pretty darn close with modern equipment while closely comparing to a vintage mix.

    One of the biggest factors about the sound of those discs was the echo chamber. Sure, they rebuilt it, but it didn't end up being anything like it was originally.
     
  10. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    Echo chambers are totally hit and miss. I've been involved in the building of various studios that had chambers and one never knew how they'd turn out. One could build two rooms with the same plans and try to make them identical but they rarely would turn out that way. I guess I can say the same for the recording rooms and control rooms as well. I did a few rooms with George Augspurger and it seemed like he always had to do fine tuning. Some times it was a major rework.

    IIRC, Dave Mancini was the hot echo chamber designer in LA in the 70's. For some reason his chambers almost always sounded very good. There was another guy Michael Retinger who was also tops in this. IIRC he was in his 80's and retired when I was in the biz, but he was considered the master. I did talk with him several times and he had some great ideas. One was to use a smaller chamber and fill it with gas to slow down the reverb time to make the small chamber sound larger.

    Btw, I certainly agree with the use of vintage equipment for mastering vintage works, but would argue that vintage monitors are not essential. After all the monitors are not in the audio chain. Of course, what is required is a mastering engineer who knows how to translate what comes out of his monitors to what will sound good in the real world. This is quite different to me than a 'guest' engineer using monitors in a mix studio that he is not extremely familiar with. That will often lead to masters in need of correction during mastering.
     
  11. Joe Nino-Hernes

    Joe Nino-Hernes Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I agree. Echo chambers either work or they don't. Unless the chamber is really advanced, you cant change the RT-60, or the decay time. I love natural reverb, but having a reverb chamber with variable RT-60 and decay time is very rare.
     
  12. Doug Sclar

    Doug Sclar Forum Legend

    Location:
    The OC
    Well our chamber at Dawnbreaker was not so great. It had no straight boundaries. Much time was spent in it with plaster trying to change countours and shapes but it never turned into much. We relied on EMT 140's, 240's and a 250 when I was there.
     
  13. Tristan

    Tristan Member

    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Steve,
    Have you ever considered actually recording a session? I realize that you're not a recording engineer by trade, however I am curious to know if you've ever flirted with the idea before?
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Many times. Pretty boring for me. The days spent on a tambourine overdub mean time away from actually having a life.
     
  15. polod

    polod Member

    Question about Bill Inglot's mastering.

    Steve, a long time ago, you mentioned Bill Inglot liked to boost a certain frequency while preparing/EQing a final master, wasn't it 8k boosted 5db or something like that? You said he liked to do this with a lot of stuff he mastered. But I can't remember which frequency was boosted of by how much?
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    You mean Bill's mastering engineer Ken Perry. He usually boosted everything at 10k whether it needed it or not. Usually +3 to 5@10k/6. Most mastering engineers do that. :shake:
     
  17. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Okay, I'll ask:

    1. Why boost at all?

    2. Any tinkering with the lower bass frequencies? If it's done, why? Good speakers can handle lower bass with ease.

    :ed:
     
  18. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    1. Why boost at all?


    BECAUSE THEY CAN.

    2. Any tinkering with the lower bass frequencies? If it's done, why? Good speakers can handle lower bass with ease.

    USUALLY -4@100-150 or so. MASTERING ENGINEERS DON'T LIKE TUBBY BASS.
     
  19. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Well...yes...:D But why are they doing it for me? I can do that for myself...:)

    I'm rather fond of deep bass, myself. The wife isn't, and she's not alone. Don't like it in the van, but in my listening room, I want to feel the bass rumble through my gut(preferably without having to adjust anything on my own).

    Silly, ain't I? :D

    :ed:
     
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