With so many new engineers and wannabe Nashville producers coming out of recording schools, the market is completely saturated. We know. Maybe it was a mistake to spend thousands of dollars on recording school to learn the basics, but what's done is done and we're all just trying to get in. Some of us can BS our way in by our looks or our dashing personalities but in all honesty, the most talented engineers/producers/musicians aren't always going to be the most "normal" looking social butterflies. And it seems like there are so many pro's out there who aren't willing to give up their trade secrets just yet. There's so much information online and sometimes it's hard to know what is important and what's just junk.
In my case, I've learned all about ProTools (I sometimes wonder how much the school makes by such adimant Avid plugs) and a bunch of plugins and some other random bits but I want to know what I need to know and here is where I'm starting:
What vintage/historical hardware components should I be familiar with? I'm talking mics, compressors, eq's, consoles, etc. What do I need to know about them? How do they sound and why? Who used them? Are there remakes? Are the remakes any good? What plugins are modeled after them?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your reply! I'd like to focus on country/bluegrass, southern rock, christian...along those lines. Where would I find information on the type of gear they used on these "cornerstone" recordings?
Alex Kramer said:
The answer to your question very simply lies in the style of music that you are doing. Whatever it is, find out what they were/are using on the "cornerstone" recordings of that genre. In many cases the old world is obsolete, and plug ins are the beginning and end of it; the way of the future. Of course, this also very much relies on the genre in which you are interested. In any case, it will be important to understand the historical perspective of the genres that you are focusing on, stylistically, technologically, etc. etc. I know this was kinda broad, but I hope that helps a little!
This is an interesting question, I've seen it asked on forums here and there, and people talk a lot about they used this gear or that gear, and they'll hand me an EP and ask what I think. Usually I think they should have worked a little harder when they wrote the tracks. Ok, that's a little harsh, but in reality, I've rarely heard what I thought was good music that was made or broken by the equipment that was used. Some of the best music I've ever heard was from bands who very few people ever heard of, played live with a little reverb and maybe some compression, otherwise the sound was very raw. The reason the music was good was because the bands were tight, they'd worked together, and they were playing good music to start with.
That said, I've had some very good music put into my hands and said wow, just a little more production on this and it could really stand out. Again, the problem wasn't that they didn't use good enough equipment, or equipment that was up to the task, the problem was the engineers were the artists, who really didn't know enough about engineering to do what they wanted to to do, so the engineering wasn't very good.
Yes, there is equipment that can make an already good track shimmer like a dewdrop in spring sunlight, but it can't polish junk, and most iPods can't reproduce the shimmer. So learn the equipment, but make sure you look at the price tags too, and understand that you don't HAVE to have it.
All of that said, I enjoyed the thought process behind your question, and the reply. As far as where you can find information on who used what, there is a limited set of that information available at sound on sound.