You have bad GAS !!

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
deastman
KVRAF
7342 posts since 7 Aug, 2003 from San Francisco Bay Area

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:32 pm

He’s right, of course. And wrong. Sure, we’ve mostly got all the gear we need. But better gear does often sound better, or at least different. And new tools can inspire creativity. I find it slightly amusing that he lists a big room as one of the essentials. Are we supposed to develop GAS for real estate now? Or is the whole thing a thinly veiled attempt to lure bedroom producers out to expensive studios which they don’t need and can’t afford?
Incomplete list of my gear: 1/8" audio input jack.

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debra1rlo
KVRAF
9848 posts since 14 Nov, 2006 from in Uranus, playin' lollipop

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:33 pm

OP tells us not to buy a bunch of stuff, but yet is selling a bunch of stuff in Sell & Buy section also, KVR FTW! :lol:
Check out our debut CD: Gitane Demone Quartet - Past The Sun on Dark Vinyl Records (featuring Rikk Agnew & Paul Roessler)
video for Past The Sun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3eCmEiWoWE

V0RT3X
KVRAF
8120 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Alesia

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:40 pm

:lol:

gaf_thit
KVRian
623 posts since 28 Sep, 2012 from Norway

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:43 pm

debra1rlo wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:33 pm
OP tells us not to buy a bunch of stuff, but yet is selling a bunch of stuff in Sell & Buy section also, KVR FTW! :lol:
It's a trick to make it easier for him to grab all the cutesies for himself...

But even in my low-cost home studio I've come to more or less the same conclusion, but for me it's all about time, as I have to work all day and sleep all night, but I'm ok... No time for recording anyways and the gear I have now is more and better than I dreamt of 10-15 years ago, but I want that Sherman Filterbank 2 though... hmm, GAS and no free time

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AngelCityOutlaw
KVRist
182 posts since 4 Dec, 2017

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:30 pm

Incoming longpost, but
V0RT3X wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:52 am
The various 'Forums' encourage GAS... you're told by folks in
forums you need this or that piece of equipment, or console
in order to sound good, but this advice usually comes from
unknown engineers, people who usually have never recorded a
Platinum or Gold Record or CD, never worked with major bands at
their prime, and have no real history in the business.
In the Forums there's a bunch of folks who want to feed their Egos
by saying how much better their work is from yours,
and that you are a fool because you don't have XXX piece of gear
or the XX mic... or whatever.
This is the real meat of the post, honestly you could've just posted this and left it as is. There's a LOT that can be said about this.

However, I think it's a bit too narrow in focus. It applies less to just "engineers" and more to musicians in general. I can't say I've ever had someone tell me "You need X soundcard" or something.

It's important to remember that most of the time, the successful, master-of-the-craft musicians, composers, sound engineers, etc. are not going to be on forums, giving away sage-like wisdom to people for free. The reality is, the people who are usually giving the most advice/feedback/whatever tend to be the least-competent. I've lost count of the number of times I've had my work or suggestions really get chewed out, only to find out the super-confident guy ripping it a new asshole is a 14-year-old with FL Studio making ambient synth music that was lo-fi in '93...

Obviously, that's not to say that laymen or beginners are never right or never have anything worthwhile to say, and in today's world, it's not uncommon for "unknowns" to be better than "professionals", but it does mean that you can't take much of what's said on forums to heart. Unfortunately though, a lot of people fall into the trap at one time or another of trying to appease strangers on the internet. That's true beyond music.

Nobody on forums is going to make actually make you improve. At best, they'll be able to point you in the right direction. Horses led to water and all that...Improvement is self-driven and you can't beat studying under someone "IRL" who really knows their stuff and makes everyone else green with envy.

Where "GAS" is concerned, it's important not to fall into the opposite extreme, either — which is too-heavily romanticizing the "a bad craftsmen blames his tools" idea. It's very easy to wind up wasting hours of your life screwing with EQs, compressors, and other trickery to try and make your song you recorded with your cellphone mic sound like Abbey Road, your free orchestra sample library sound like the London Philharmonic, or your Marshall Micro-Amp sound like a 5150.

Gotta know when the tools won't cut it, too.

chk071
KVRAF
22772 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:44 pm

I miss a bit the insight that you decide for yourself whether or not you hear on everything others say though. I would never make my whole buying decisions based on what other people say, or, worse, what's written on the net. The worst example of that are probably reviews on Amazon. If I would hear on everything which is written there, oh boy, what a mess my purchases would be.

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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3614 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:10 am

It's important to remember that most of the time, the successful, master-of-the-craft musicians, composers, sound engineers, etc. are not going to be on forums, giving away sage-like wisdom to people for free
Truth.

Listen to people smarter than you. Stupid - don't listen to them at all.
t's very easy to wind up wasting hours of your life screwing with EQs, compressors, and other trickery to try and make your song you recorded with your cellphone mic sound like Abbey Road, your free orchestra sample library sound like the London Philharmonic, or your Marshall Micro-Amp sound like a 5150.
Also true. Been there, done that. My music improved a lot just by having right tools to do the job, and the software that just works reliably - but it's paid instead of free.

The problem that many people have (not only in music scene) is they don't know what they need. They can't think on their own, analyze or draw conclusions.

They just monkey someone - if #1 artist uses some gear, plugin or even just a sample, they can become as successful as this artist just by using same gear or sample. NO, it doesn't work that way. There is no magical tool that makes bad music good, or poor artist talented. It's a long, complex process and to get far you need to get better every time, step by step. Many artists spent years in their parent's basement not achieving much. But you didn't know about them by then, as no one did. You only know about artists when they already became successful.
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

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AngelCityOutlaw
KVRist
182 posts since 4 Dec, 2017

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:46 pm

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:10 am
Also true. Been there, done that. My music improved a lot just by having right tools to do the job, and the software that just works reliably - but it's paid instead of free.

The problem that many people have (not only in music scene) is they don't know what they need. They can't think on their own, analyze or draw conclusions.
This is actually a great point and one that, over the years, I've had many heated discussions with people about — specifically regarding orchestral sample libraries.

Technology has spoiled people and dumbed-down the craft.

Sample libraries in the past were extremely-limited in what they could play and sound realistic doing so. Mostly, the libraries would only sound realistic if a phrase stayed in one articulation throughout, but no real, human, musical performance does that.

At the same time, an entire generation of composers was born using those same samples, and many of them have never written music without them. Thus, such boring — or as they might call it, "minimalist" — orchestral music written for these samples became the norm. This is to such an extreme extent now, with the definition of "music" being stretched so far, that you can't tell a professional result from an amateur one anymore. In many cases, you can't even tell different composers' work apart from each other anymore.

These same people are now the ones making the sample libraries. Libraries which cater to this lowest-common-denominator of orchestral music, because that's all these people know and can do.

So people look at me like I'm insane, they argue with me like I'm the biggest asshole in the world when I say that a lot of these expensive products they've dropped money on, actually frickin' suck! They will usually come back with "it'S N0t The tOoLz itz h0w U uSE theM!"

Look at Albion Neo. Absolutely pathetic. It markets itself as the "revolution" of orchestral writing for the 2020s, and every demo that exists for it is boring af because it does not have the capability of even playing "Happy Birthday". That doesn't matter though, the aforementioned composers are still eating it up!

The main thing that has improved my recorded music and mockups in the last 5 years or so, is that I simply upgraded my virtual instruments to either better-sounding ones, ones that can actually play the music I write with no layering or other trickery involved, or both.

lwj
KVRist
339 posts since 3 Feb, 2018

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:14 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:10 am
The problem that many people have (not only in music scene) is they don't know what they need. They can't think on their own, analyze or draw conclusions.
This right here.
That’s the main driver behind it as I see it. You see it in the questions they ask too: how do I make exact sound X from artist Y? What’s the best this or that?

All that before most of them have even developed some rudimentary skills, let alone a sound or style. Not saying everyone has to be Aphex Twin.. but you know, put some thought into it at least. That’s the problem with a lot of hobby musicians.. it’s like they’re afraid to position themselves and what you end up with is a lot of middle of the road dross that doesn’t communicate anything. It’s just sort of there.

GAS is just a symptom of that. Lots of surface skaters out there. It’s always been like that, just now with the internet you can see more of them.. if you want to.

resynthesis
KVRist
457 posts since 17 Sep, 2007 from Planet Thanet

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:12 am

With regard to passing on of wisdom, I've often found that it is the experts who are likely to pass on experience free. It's lesser mortals who seem to get an attitude.

The old mastering forum (run by Glenn Meadows I think) was absolutely excellent and attracted the great and the good of production and mastering (as well as hardware and software gurus). I think the difference over there was the signal to noise ratio and the respect that people had even when there were disagreements.

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Dirtgrain
KVRist
499 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:48 am

gaf_thit wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:43 pm
It's a trick to make it easier for him to grab all the cutesies for himself...
Yep. Buy low, sell high.

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vurt
addled muppet weed
58940 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:57 am

i buy high.
to be honest, i do most things high.

AnX
KVRAF
6159 posts since 17 Nov, 2015

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:01 am

can't remember the last time i bought any software.... hardware is very few and far between

so no GAS here, but im old enough to know better

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vurt
addled muppet weed
58940 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:07 am

AnX wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:01 am
can't remember the last time i bought any software.... hardware is very few and far between

so no GAS here, but im old enough to know better
:o :lol:

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Jace-BeOS
KVRAF
5691 posts since 7 Jan, 2005 from Corporate States of America

Re: You have bad GAS !!

Post Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:15 am

I sure as hell didn’t know what I needed, and I had no one to consult. It was magazines or nothing. No peers. No teachers. In my teens, there was hardly an internet. I started on music with DOS trackers and sounds ripped from other people’s modules downloaded from bulletin boards on a 28.8 modem!

In my early 20s, the Internet was just starting to be a resource, and I was being forced to choose among the options of yet more schooling I hated, full time work, or both! Unlike most successful artists I’ve read about over my lifetime, not only did I *not* come from “a musical family”, my family actively pushed against my interests in music and art because of their own shitty family baggage.

My development as a musician included exploration, experimentation, buying things in ignorance (and how could I have known better), reading magazines and websites/forums, and, in my early 30s, buying things impulsively (when SSNRIs were involved).

Curiously, during my most stupidly impulsive period, I never bought gear because of some forum know-it-all. It was all based on my own impressions of what a thing might do for me (regardless of the rationality of it).

I had no place to test things either. No stores in my region have ever been big on stocking synths, controllers, and software; let alone offering them for customers to try in store. Of course I’ve considered the advice of people on forums over the years. With who else was I going to interact??

[you can probably stop reading at this point]

The growth of my music gear collection has been like throwing a bunch of darts in the general direction of a nearby wall, which may/may not have a dartboard hung on it. There was no guiding principle and no one to consult. I knew what music I liked, and knew that the sounds in that music were attained by the widest collection of tools (abused and processed), and therefore I had no real target for experimentation to mimic them (as a learning process).

When I decided to spend money on my first “pro” music gear (1997 or 1998), digital synths with tiny LCDs and no knobs (and barely anything else) were the standard, and “computer integration” was a half-assed joke (actually, it still is, just as I think the 30-year-old MIDI standard is a joke). But it was all cutting edge, man! It said so in the brochures and magazines! They don’t lie! And besides, WHO ELSE am I gonna ask???

I didn’t know synthesis or filtering. All I knew was samples. I knew I needed something better, to play better samples, than an 8-bit, 8-channel PC tracker (16-bit sample support arrived in FastTracker2, but I've always found tracker mixing insufficient). I had briefly used a Sound Blaster AWE32 and SoundFonts, since “proper” samplers were expensive... but I also had no proper MIDI keyboard.

My first “professional” synth (expandable ROMpler), the Alesis QS8, was co-marketed also as a poor-man’s sampler. Cool!

...but it required loading prepared samples from computer, onto PCMCIA flash cards (which were rare and spendy), and the software to load samples to it wasn’t even finished. It sucked for usability, and took forever to load, through an old serial interface. This was all learned after I bought it and struggled with it for a few years.

Learning experience!

It’s been an okay 88-key controller at least. Even has aftertouch (channel-only; requires stupid amounts of pressure). I’m not looking forward to disassembling it to replace the battery soldered in there...

This scenario repeated several times:

1. Buy a thing I’ve learned about.
2. Discover that thing’s unique feature (what sold me on it) was not up to the task it was promoted for.
3. Wait for the product be finished (almost always software).
4. Watch product be dumped, and left incomplete by its maker.
5. Feel let down and/or bitter.
6. Go to step 1.

The Alesis QS8 wasn’t the first time (looking at you, Turtle Beach Pinnacle Sound Studio!), nor was it the last time with Alesis (looking at you, Fusion 8HD!).

This wasn’t gear lust. This was the search for those “basic tools” that did the things I needed. It was also learning what I needed.

Everything was a learning experience. Who was I going to consult? There are no professional studios here. I think the first professional mic I bought was recommended by a Sweetwater sales rep. Neumann TLM103 (it cost *considerably* less back then). It’s wonderfully sensitive, and comes from good pedigree... but...

Is my difficulty in getting a vocal tone I like (consistently; it happens sometimes but not always) based on the mic, the room (I’m not able to get a bigger room FFS!!), the connection, the amplification, the compression, the use of the mic, the processing/lack of processing..?

Without a studio pro to teach me any better, it’s all guesses, trial-&-error, magazines, websites... (I’m not big on books full of dry theory and few have ever been recommended). Short of taking out a loan and going to an expensive audio production school (I almost did this), how else do you learn?

There was never a chance that this would be a paying career for me, so it’s good I didn’t get a loan for a production school. I also don’t remotely find it glamorous or incentivizing to see an audio production program marketed with websites or pamphlets showing photos of “passionate” students with captions like “catching a rare few minutes of shuteye on a couch outside the studio”. What kind of lifestyle is that?? This kind of unhealthy work/life balance was never a goal for me.

All the time I’ve spent dealing with half-assed technology that never gets completed, I’ve seen people throw around that damned “a good craftsman doesn’t blame his tools” meme, as if people with true garbage equipment shouldn’t seek better tools, or that defects should not lead to legitimate frustration and anger. Piss right off with that bollocks.

I do love synths & keyboards. I want more of them (and I’d take ALL of them, if I had the space... and someone donated them), but I know my lust is based on a lack of experience, not hoarding or irrational belief in some perfect tool that will give magical tone. I just haven’t yet found the right combination or type of tools for my working style, and I’m not even sure what that is.

I’m most accustomed to computers, but I don’t enjoy them for synth editing or performing control changes. Mousing/trackpads, generic MIDI controllers requiring mapping all the time, even touch screens... bah.

Maybe I just need diversity.

Maybe, when I first started, I should’ve bought some of the many analog synths that were being dumped for cheap, instead of buying “modern” digital (and honestly fairly stale) stuff. But I was naive, uninformed, inexperienced, and had no connections to anyone else who cared about synths. No one to tell me otherwise. I only learned about the cheap dumping of analog gear through the internet, long after the fact, which was when they were ramping up to stupidly high prices.

Going digital/MIDI was the most convenient for me at the time. I “only” needed a MIDI synth, a computer, and a sequencer... and seeing as I’m not a proper instrumentalist, MIDI recording & editing (and later multitrack audio in a DAW) was (and probably always will be) the most appropriate tool for me to create full-blown songs.

But I’ve grown since then. I need to record vocals and acoustic sounds. I need expressivity. I need more... play.

Yeah, there’s a bit of irrational gear lust; I love synths in general. But that’s not driving me. A desire to find some fun again, amidst all the technical computerized bullshit. That’s what’s driving any lust I have now.

TL;DR: Don’t presume to know what drives every musician. But, hey, whatever, man. I’m just frelling lonesome and intellectually understimulated, so here I am writing verbose personal blogs as contributions to forum threads. :oops:
- dysamoria.com
my music @ SoundCloud

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