I'd love to hear from folks on the subject if getting maximum quality from minimal setups. I and others like me often use very humble rigs when recording/mixing, and we just as often smack right up against our gear's limitations. We're talking cheap mics, computers, monitors, etc. We've all heard some beautiful work done in these enviromnents. Throw down on your favorite shadetree studio tricks.
When given a choice, as a long time engineer, I would ALWAYS chose to record in a state of the art studio if budgets permit. Mixing can be done in the box in your bedroom if need be, it just takes longer and and you have to second guess yourself a lot.
Granted. This discussion, though, addresses those of us for who don't really have the option. True, when we work for a client that has the ability to employ those advantages we certainly use it. That does raise the question, though (for those of us that don't necessarily have a gazillion years experience behind the board) how does one quantify the benefit of a pro studio vs the coffee table desktop? Is it plug ins? Outboards? Mixing desk vs doing it all in the box? The commercial studio most assuredly has the edge on efficiency and ease of use, but where are the other qualitative differences? Without a doubt that professional ear and experience are the most significant factors, but in my gut I feel that some of these small home studios have the "physical"ability to approximate the professional product. So what are the aesthetic factors that make the difference??
Does any of this make sense to anyone?
By the way, I'm very grateful to you, Brett, for your input on some of my projects. I've learned from each one.
The greatest advantages of using a real studio, or at least a high end home setup (especially in the recording phase) are mic selection, outboard gear, and the acoustic spaces. It DOES make a difference, not in efficiency, but in audio quality, although you probably wouldn't realize it until you heard the difference. Actually, you DO hear the difference or you wouldn't be hoping to get the same results with a coffee top setup.
You also have the cumulative affect of recording things with inferior mics, preamps and outboard gear, one part or track at a time. If the deficiencies are multiplied by the number of subsequently recorded parts that print the room tones, noise and less than stellar audio quality. Put 24-32 tracks together, a few at a time, and you have exponentially increased problems.... every step in the chain, including experience and talent, affects the end result...it's your choice.
Some very salient points.
Brett, I hope none of the foregoing seems like I was in any way disagreeing with you. I don't at all. Appreciate your input, as always.
Sorry to be obsessive about this, but I'd like to make it clear I really don't expect equivalent results, as much as I'd like it. I'm just trying to learn how to get as CLOSE as possible with what we rec room recordists have to work with.
I didn't take it that way, but I guess my opinions can have the effect of sounding defensive. They aren't meant to be personal in nature. When I say "it's your choice" I mean it is everyone's choice as to how they want approach quality. There are always exceptions to the rule and there have been some very nice music created with minimal gear, but it is far from the norm.
"As close as possible" is a very subjective phrase. To me, getting as close as possible is still VERY far away, if professional results are what some one is looking for.
On the other hand, all of us here, at every level are often forced to use what is available with varying results. I am almost sure every pro engineer in town can attest to the fact that there have been many projects where they had to overcome less than ideal recording spaces, equipment and talent. It's why we have our favorite projects, where everything came together better than others.
Copy that. Thanks, Brett.
Any advice for acoustic room treatment on a mac and cheese budget?
This might not be on a mac and cheese budget but they really are well built and priced right...
Very nice. Thanx for the link. By the way, it was a pleasure to meet you and Kelsey last night. Looking forward to more of the same.....although not necessarily in a dark parking lot.
News from the cheap seats: I'll be posting a couple of songs pretty soon that were done primarily in my little home studio. I post these, not looking for positive strokes, but for honest constructive criticism. Please feel free to speak up on this stuff.