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Topic: Studio Technique: Why don't we do it the old way?

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  1. #1

    Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    Many composers are doing everything they can to create a decent amount of distance with samples, just because they are recorded close-miced. Why don\'t we do it the old way and record our tracks or demos in the same way Vangelis, Kitaro or Tomita did and perhaps still do? Instead of plugging their instruments directly into a mixing desk, they played their sounds through a speaker system and used a couple of microphones to record them, which resulted in a ear soothing ambience and a nicer sence of distance and placement. In many ways this technique resembles how an electric guitar was recorded and still is, but without the heavy distortion, of course.
    If this technique was beneficial for synthesizers, why not do the same with sampled instruments, like for instance, samples from the VSL library. Many composers are doing everything they can to create a decent amount of distance with these samples, just because they are recorded close-miced.


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    Alex Cremers

  2. #2

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    I know I don\'t because of my monitor/mic budget...

    I wouldn\'t ruin my samples by playing them thru my monitor/mic set-up, I\'d rather use convolution...

  3. #3

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    Hi Alex,

    There are of course tools that can help you to create a nice emulation of distance, position and early reflections involved, such as Cakewalk\'s SoundStage. This is IMO still an underrated tool, that can do magic in your setup. It\'s not really CPU hungry, I have managed up to 10 instances on my previous Athlon 2100. I use it now for 2 groups of \"dry\" woodwinds and 2 groups of \"dry\" solo brass instruments.
    If configured well, it can really emulate distance and the corresponding ambience of where you put the inputs.
    I think it is a lot better than for instance Trueverb, which claims the same results.

  4. #4

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    Peter, I\'m not sure the same kind of ear-soothing effect can be achieved by using plugs. It\'s some sort of microphone side effect that\'s producing it. Here\'s hoping GigaPulse will pull off the phenomena that is miking.

    Hey, maybe it\'s my Linn Sondek that\'s causing it [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] .

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  5. #5
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    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    Oh, Cremers...mic speakers so we can sound like Yanni? We\'ve spent the last 15 years moving to digital recording to get the most pristine, noise free sound possible and you wanna start micing up speakers? My audio professor just rolled over in his grave and he\'s not even dead yet.

    Tell ya what...instead of asking something downright silly like that in here, do three things. One, look up reverb in the dictionary. Two, try micing speakers for yourself and see how ear-soothing it is. Three, invest in a carbon monoxide detector for your apartment in case some random fumes are getting to you.

    In all seriousness, it might work for Kitaro and his synths, but comparing a DX7 to VSL is like comparing a Model-T to the Space Shuttle. In many ways, putting a synth through an amp wouldn\'t make much of a difference when you hear it on tape. Putting VSL through the same process would decimate the sound quality.
    -Hudson

  6. #6

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    Convolution/Amp modeling.

    iZotope Trash (which has a lot of good clean mic and speaker models)
    Voxengo Pristine Space (it\'s not just for reverb any more)
    Tube saturation plugs (take your pick)
    iZotope Ozone\'s multi-band compression for polishing an acoustic sub-mix

    There are plenty of ways to get the \"creamy tube mic smoothness\" without leaving the digital domain.

  7. #7

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    If you insist on the speaker and mic approach, you should at least use this approach to quality:

    http://www.audioease.com/IR/Concertgebouw/blowup.jpg

    (note the speaker and mics!)

    [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I can recommend Pristine Space, I think it is really the PC\'s best alternative to Altiverb!

  8. #8

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    I\'m gonna go against the grain here... (well a little [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] )

    I also believe that doing this can provide you with a sound that you may not be able to get from a convolution plugin. It can work well but only assuming you have a good, quiet recording room, good speakers, and good mics.

    Many people use this method to produce realistic reverb but this also requires alot more effort. I believe you can see the LOTR sound design team using this technique for the Mines of Moria in the Fellowship Ext DVD.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    The reason is: Because we don\'t have to. There are a ton of great verbs out there.

    How many of us have an acoustically perfect room in which to set up mics? Just because it\'s \"REAL\" verb doesn\'t mean it sounds good. Besides what are you gonna use, a few M50\'s and C12\'s?


    Times change.... why make this harder than it needs to be?

  10. #10

    Re: Studio Technique: Why don\'t we do it the old way?

    Well, it\'s actually more about distance than it is about reverb. It\'s the same silky distance one can hear when acoustic instruments are recorded. They sound less harsh and grainy, and are placed somewhere in a room which makes quite a difference. They still use the big Lexicon to reverb it. I\'ve tried Trueverb but didn\'t get satisfactory results. I guess it\'s difficult to explain, but if you were here with me, I would play some examples from older recordings and then I\'d play a sample or synth that\'s coming straight out of the mixing desk with a plug. Guarantee you\'ll buy the former.

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    Alex Cremers

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