Can somebody tell me why so many engineers feel the need to bash whatever format they're not using? ProTools users hate Logic. Logic users hate ProTools. Nuendo (did I spell that right?) users despise all others. I personally don't care what the format as long as the end result pleases me. I've been a ProTools guys for the longest and I like it but it doesn't bother me to work with someone on another format. I personally believe there will be several formats in Heaven . . . just tired of feeling the need to defend my friend ProTools.
I'm with Glenn and Todd on this one...when it comes to formats, people fear what they've not been able to get their hands on. We've ALL been there!!! As Bret said, we all want to keep working...you don't want to spend all your time going through format learning curves when you could be running one or two formats really well. Sometimes cost is an issue! It's the only thing that made me take as long as I did before getting into HD3. I knew Studers really well, I knew RADAR really well, hell, I was a magician on DA 88s. Then you wake up one day to find out that the #1 song in the country was recorded on an ADAT!!! (As a side note, I would now like to campaign for this being the very last mention of an ADAT on this entire site) It's either a frustration 'cause you spent more money than that person did or you're insecure because there's a piece of kit that you haven't had exposure to, and therefore don't know how to use. I worked with a producer for ages (incidently, none of you are this person) who thought that his/her trump card, talent-wise, was his/her mastery of a certain editing platform, which frankly, is retarded!!!!!!! If your reliance and confidence comes from your machines only then, in my opinion, that's a pretty sad state of affairs.
Talent and Imagination are the formats I prefer to draw from. Of the people on this site that I know well, I can think of at least one significant creative quality each person has that contrasts the others. We all have something specific to offer while using damn near the same technology, even though our computer interfaces have different brand names and our PCI cards are different sizes. We just feel more secure showing up to a gig with the kind of car we drive.
I finally went to HD3 'cause I just had to satisfy my own curiosty as to whether it would make a difference. I'm not sure it has in quality, but, due to the the fact it seems to enhance the way I want to work, I can safely say it has made a difference to my quality of life. Plus, the following scenario was becoming increasingly unacceptable;
"Hey Julian, wow, I really liked what you did on "x" album!"
"Oh, thanks, that's really kind!"
"Would you work with us on our album for two months -we'd really like to do it with you!"
"It'd be my pleasure, sure!"
"So, how do you usually record?"
"Well, I often use RADAR or 2" tape."
"Ohh...OK, umm, well, we'll get our last bit of planning together and call you back! Thanks!"
(whereas, if I had said...)
"I use Pro Tools!"
"Cool, Great!!! Do You mind if we book a studio for monday? We'd like to start right away!!!
Bands constantly ask me while we're overdubbing, "So what do you think we should get for ourselves, ProTools or Nuendo?", and my answer is now always the same, "Do You Guys Have A Song That's More Melodic???"
(btw, If it's of interest, 1 RADAR for sale!!!)
When the HD rigs started coming out 5 years or so ago I was persuaded to purchase a TDM rig that was for sale. It had three 888's, a USD and an expansion chasis with 5 cards. I spent $18,000 to purchase this unit from a producer/engineer who was upgrading to an HD rig. Since then digi has now gone to HD Accel if I'm not mistaken. Guess what, I still own that same rig and am working in 5.1 and 9.1.1 OS. Does anyone care? Does it make any difference at all if I'm working in a TDM rig as opposed to an HD rig other than that I'm too damn cheap to upgrade for no other reason than to spend good money after bad. My rig gets the job done still and that's all that I care about at this point. Yeah, the sonic quality is better in the box in an HD rig. Do any of my clients care? No. All they know at the end of the day is that I did a hard day of work for them and I tried to give them the best product I could. The point of me telling you about my rig was I spent this money because I was told it would help my business and marketability. It did nothing of the sort except give me an additional note of about $500 a month for a few years. As if business wasn't tough I had to come up with one more day of work a month just to cover the expense of having this rig.
There have been how many blind taste tests between all different formats and every single one of them has the same result, no one can tell the difference between any of them. We all hear things differently. What might be appealing to me may be harsh to someone else and boomy to another person all together. It's a crap shoot. All of these devices are tools to do what we do best and that's make the best music we can.
I was visiting an old friend once and they were mixing on nuendo. Cool system. They printed a mix and then proceeded to convert it to an MP3 and listened to it that way to see what other people would be hearing. I thought it was clever at first but then became really annoyed that we as professionals are cowtowwing to the public about what format we should and shouldn't use.
I was also at a friends house a few years back and she put on some vinyl and the wah guitars started playing, no, I'm kidding, but she did put some vinyl on and I was amazed at her console record player and how amazing it sounded. Full range. The bottom end was unreal. Over the years CD's have gotten better because we record better into them. It's the same thing with SSL consoles. Remember people trying to record through them when they first came out and how thin and harsh sounding they were only to figure them out a few years and become the mixing console of choice.
We use the tools we are most comfortable with. No system is better or worse than any other, it's comfort that we like. It will always be like that and it will change again for all of us until we decide to get out of this crazy business we all know and love.
I remember working at Oceanway as an assistant for 2 years and all the guys that came through. There were great engineers and engineers that weren't as good. I also worked at other rooms around town with the same players and same great engineers and the one thing that I always noticed was the great engineers could work on any console, any format and make it sound amazing while the so-so engineer struggled where ever they went. It's about the source and the person turning knobs. A great engineer can make anything work for the most part but if you rely on your system to make you a better engineer or think you're a better engineer than you are you might need to rethink your strategy. DAW's are tools just like mics, pres and so on are tools. Make them work for you.
The thing I thought about last night while in bed about all the different DAW's was it's hard to learn all these systems. The key commands on them are so different that when switching between them can get very confusing. I think that's another reason people bash on systems they don't use. It's scary to have to use something you're not familiar with and anytime I work with someone on a system like DP or Nuendo I let them know up front I'm not well versed in them and you might want to find someone who is better at it than me unless they can handle the buld of the editing and things like that.
Once again, I'm agreeing with my buddy Glenn! EVEN IF we could tell a difference between the desktop formats we'd still all vary in terms of what we wanted to hear. The very first times I mixed for someone in Pro Tools, I was mixing some pretty badly recorded songs (not to mention, UNINTERESTING songs) and everyone wanted to know what I thought of the sound of the platform. How can You tell in that scenario? YOU CAN"T! It's bad enough trying to tell when you LIKE the music (and the SOUND of the music) whether one platform outdoes another, let alone the headache of trying to tell when you can't stand the music. All of us have different interests! I can't stand piccolo snares as the main snare in a track...it absolutely drives me mental. I like my snares thicker, say like, "You Don't Know How It Feels" by Tom Petty, "Karma Police" by Radiohead or "Bring It On" By Seal, and until I'm judging a platform with the kind of material I'm trying to make it's gonna be hard for me to make any judgement! If the snare sounded like "Don't Drink The Water" by The Dave Matthews Band, my interest is gonna wane quite quickly. If my client wants that kind of snare, I'm gonna give it to them...but they're gonna have to buy me a few Sierra Nevada Pale Ales first. (btw, Even though I haven't preferred piccolo snares in my life -I've never been a fan of Stewart Copeland's snare sounds-HOWEVER, when a drummer is playing that incredibly, the sound of the snare immediately ceases to be an issue in my mind!!! An additional btw to all of you who've heard that I just saw The Police in Cardiff and sent me messages asking about it I now issue this general impersonal reply (sorry!) -Yes, It was pretty Rocktastic!!!!!!!)
OK, Julian start an "Art of Mixing" thread! I have maintained for years that it's not about the sound, it's about the blend. I am too borderline A.D.D. inclined to spend 3 hours working on a Kick sound. Never understood that. Not putting anyone down who does it, but for me, I want to focus on the overall picture.
ok, I sat here for about 20 minutes writing something not too brilliant, and I thot hhmmm got nothing.
So my 2 cents.
I own them all DP, Logic, Nuendo, PT - got em. Got clients, friends, family, artists, posers, stars, not-stars who own one of them or the other. It is almost easier for me just to have the tool, instead of complicating MY life by trying to have some of them consolidate and send it to me. (am I the only one with clients like this still?)
I guess if it works for you - go use it, and use it well. I don't think we are at a point any more where we 'have' to spend $30K on a PT rig. With 8 core macs/pcs - UAD cards, TC cards, Duendo, that is a lot of bang for the buck - at a much cheaper rate than a 'base' PT HD rig. Huge flexibility, but the caveat, what is the most stable configuration? PT, we know that - - they all but spell it out for you - but for a price. OR do we get the headaches with one of the others - what interface, or motherboard, or video card......I could go on and on (especially for PC users)
To echo others, if it works for you, and allows you to work quickly and efficiently - get it. $30K on PT HD, or $6K on Logic/Nuendo/DP/Cubase/Sonar/Acid - whatever. Just please, use it responsibly. Have you heard some of the stuff on MySpace?!?!?!??! :P
Now I am off to install a new garbage disposal, and think about my Nuendo 4, and Logic 8 updates....and dream about the Studer A800 MkII with MkIII electronics.....and a 16 track head stack......and some API, and Neve, Langevin, Urie..........telefunken.......pultec...............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz