Anyone have the feeling that your best productions ever was made with minimal gear?

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.
User avatar
KVRian
1191 posts since 16 Jan, 2004

Post Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:23 am

BONES wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 5:32 pm
I actually have no half-finished songs lying around anywhere. I had one thing I had started in 2004 that I finally finished in 2018. It's the last song on our most recent album and it leaves me with a clean slate. I used to have a folder full of "ideas" but they were all terrible ideas so I deleted the whole folder a few years ago. I will either turn an idea into a song within a few days or abandon it altogether and move on to something else/better.
I like that level of commitment. I'm guessing that once you're working on a taking an idea to full song, you don't noodle with new ideas? Or if you do, is it that those ideas go into the current song or get ditched (or get queued up for the next song, but possibly suffering the fate of unused ideas)...?

Curious.

User avatar
GRRRRRRR!
11937 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:29 pm

I can work on multiple ideas at once., In fact, I find it hard to spend a whole session on one song, I'd rather bounce between two or three pieces, usually in various stages of construction. But I find I know pretty quickly when something has legs so I rarely waste too much time on something that's not going to work out. That said, I wrote a couple of songs for our last album that I pretty much finished before we decided not to use them. Now I go and listen to them and I don't really like them at all. I'm really glad we had enough material that we could leave them out and I can't imagine them ever seeing the light of day, even as "B-sides". But that is very much the exception for me.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Viper, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

User avatar
KVRAF
12469 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:50 pm

Several EDM legends have told me they miss the old days of minimal gear. In the 90's, so many influential tracks were made with nothing more than an E-mu E4 and an Access Virus A. The only instrument used on Lamb's first album was an e6400 and all the vocals were recorded with an Audio Technica AT4033.

Personally, I find that I work very quickly and effectively when I limit myself to using a single hardware synth for all instruments (plugins for drums), mainly because it forces me to commit to parts and record them to audio before I can move on to the next part.

User avatar
GRRRRRRR!
11937 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:18 pm

But how are the results? In that situation I'd always be lamenting the fact I didn't take more time. For me, the best thing about being able to do everything at home is that I can take my time. If it takes me a year to get something just right, I'm perfectly happy with that.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Viper, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRAF
22320 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:52 am

Producahs do be wantin to be productive. quickly, now

Musicians can make music in real time. It might take me months to complete the entire production but the ideas come, BAM, right now. have record enabled in all the parts. Just like when it was a tape recorder, the full-on embrace of the record button: git it now. Ideas are magical things.

One may feel as free to move on to 'the next part' committed to something or not. I enjoy the process a lot more than that suggests. I also enjoy flexibility. For instance, I had what I found a highly amusing ending to a section, in the last one.
but the section it completes was far too short. The plan was insert '16 bars' in after that first bit cadences and do more.
I got a hair up my hole immediately as I began to execute that, spun me into a completely different idea, which does not culminate in the ending. I could have become so enamored of that ending I stuck to 'a plan'; and, committed to that materially, it doesn't happen; in self-forcing the chance of that terrific bit of music (which happened because I had flexibility) vanishes. I could keep that ending and approach it later, uncommitted. over here some more 16 bars to the right, save in new project...
But the thing flows from what it flows from, and it can be let go, the world shifted out from under, I had new ideas.

So the flexibility of the modern-day DAW is the thing for me. the other thing I know from and well, and less is less for me. not being in a particular hurry to have product. A factory approach might well be necessary of course. but I'm music qua music, like it's art or something.

User avatar
KVRAF
12469 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:47 am

BONES wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:18 pm
But how are the results? In that situation I'd always be lamenting the fact I didn't take more time. For me, the best thing about being able to do everything at home is that I can take my time. If it takes me a year to get something just right, I'm perfectly happy with that.
Good results. If anything, they have grown on me and the faults I was so concerned about at the time matter less to me now.

Using Lamb as an example again, their first album isn't sonically perfect by today's standards but it has loads of character. I actually appreciate that character now more than when it was first released.

User avatar
KVRian
1191 posts since 16 Jan, 2004

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:38 pm

Thanks, BONES, on the reply and insight into your process. Cheers :)

User avatar
Boss Lovin' DR
8170 posts since 15 Mar, 2002 from the grimness of yorkshire

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:49 pm

jancivil wrote:
Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:52 am
Producahs do be wantin to be productive. quickly, now

Musicians can make music in real time. It might take me months to complete the entire production but the ideas come, BAM, right now. have record enabled in all the parts. Just like when it was a tape recorder, the full-on embrace of the record button: git it now. Ideas are magical things.

Spot on. One thing I always try to get over to people - stop f**king about with the sounds/mix at the start, get the ideas down, all of em, quickly.

The modern technology means you can much more easily refine them/add/discard anyway, but the number of people who seem to write a little bit then get stuck in messing with the sound ad infinitum is staggering.

More writing, less f**king about! :hihi:

User avatar
GRRRRRRR!
11937 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Post Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:25 pm

jancivil wrote:
Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:52 am
Musicians can make music in real time. It might take me months to complete the entire production but the ideas come, BAM, right now. have record enabled in all the parts. Just like when it was a tape recorder, the full-on embrace of the record button: git it now. Ideas are magical things.
You'd be lovin' retrospective recording, then? I'm not a musician's arsehole so I never record anything. Everything that goes into my sequencer gets put there with the mouse, even things I've worked out on a hardware synth or with my MIDI controller. I've been sitting in front of computers for so long it no longer occurs to me to record it in.
Uncle E wrote:
Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:47 am
Good results. If anything, they have grown on me and the faults I was so concerned about at the time matter less to me now.
I go the other way - things that didn't bother me at the time became glaring issues I just can't get over.
Using Lamb as an example again, their first album isn't sonically perfect by today's standards but it has loads of character. I actually appreciate that character now more than when it was first released.
I never listen to other people's music with the same critical ears I hear my own stuff through so I don't tend to notice issues and, where I do, I tend to assume it was intentional.

One thing I am wary of is that initial burst of enthusiasm you get when you happen upon something really cool. I always want to listen to a song a thousand times, until I am heartily sick and tired of it, before I decide if it really is as good as I/we thought it was to begin with. That's why I like to spend months with a song before I decide that it's good enough to go, even if it hardly changes after the first few days.
NOVAkILL : Zenbook Duo, Core i7, 16GB RAM, Win10, UR44C | Studio One | JP6K, Union, Hexeract, bx_oberhausen, Odyssey, TRK-01, Vacuum Pro, Invader, Concept, GR-8, Viper, Equator, VG Carbon | Uno Pro Desktop, Uno, Rocket.

KVRAF
5382 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:12 pm

"Some" of my earlier stuff was done on minimal equipment. However, if I'd done that early stuff with all the gizmos I have now - it'd be a shitload better. I have no doubt about it. And most of my earlier stuff was much improved by getting my hands on some serious synths. I made some reasonable tracks on a 303 and a Yamaha PSR home organ thingy (no seriously - it's possible). But I made some even more reasonable stuff once I'd got a couple of Junos, Jupiter 6, OSCar, 909 and a Lexicon.
There's minimal and there's minimal. My minimal now involves seriously more outlay than my youth. I can make music with a ukelele and a pair of sticks - but I don't need to or want to.

I can't redo some of the real early stuff because all the data and disks are now obsolete and I never transferred them. Not sure I really want to redo them anyway - it was a different time and place and mindset. I wanted to get off my tits and jump up and down with saucer-like pupils. Now I want to nod my head slowly with a glass of Bumbu rum or port to more subtle sounds.

Would I start over again with minimal equipment and the bare bones flush of youth and inspiration?

Shit, no. :hihi:

KVRAF
5925 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:04 am

Time constraints and minimal gear. For example, during my impoverished student days, my former recording partner and I would rent most of what we thought we needed to record onto two 4 track Portastudios (2nd was rented) for a month. We'd crank out 13-14 songs in that month, with at least half being new. Now, the psychological pressure is gone and 'doing it when I feel like it' hasn't worked well for me.
I like synth pads. I don't know what to do with the hundreds I currently have. Too many choices for me has not worked well. Learning to use orchestral libraries and their various articulation schemes is time consuming and a buzzkill.
Jai Guru Deva....Om.....

KVRAF
2543 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 9:08 am

Wouldn’t know, never went maximal!

User avatar
KVRAF
12469 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 10:12 am

kritikon wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:12 pm
But I made some even more reasonable stuff once I'd got a couple of Junos, Jupiter 6, OSCar, 909 and a Lexicon.
There's minimal and there's minimal. My minimal now involves seriously more outlay than my youth. I can make music with a ukelele and a pair of sticks - but I don't need to or want to.
The Lexicon is a big one. I wish I had splurged on something as basic as a PCM60 earlier on. If any youngsters are debating between a great reverb and a synth, Relab, Seventh Heaven, or Blackhole will make ALL your synths sound better. The best part of the Moog One is its built-in Eventide reverb.

User avatar
KVRAF
12469 posts since 22 Nov, 2000 from Southern California

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:29 am

Bombadil wrote:
Sat Jun 26, 2021 8:04 am
I like synth pads. I don't know what to do with the hundreds I currently have. Too many choices for me has not worked well.
Minimal gear at the highest quality possible would be a good context. We don't need hundreds (or even thousands, as is likely the case for most KVR members) of pads, we just need a few that are so face meltingly good they inspire us to get more work done.

KVRAF
5382 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 12:59 pm

Uncle E wrote:
Sat Jun 26, 2021 10:12 am
kritikon wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 6:12 pm
But I made some even more reasonable stuff once I'd got a couple of Junos, Jupiter 6, OSCar, 909 and a Lexicon.
There's minimal and there's minimal. My minimal now involves seriously more outlay than my youth. I can make music with a ukelele and a pair of sticks - but I don't need to or want to.
The Lexicon is a big one. I wish I had splurged on something as basic as a PCM60 earlier on. If any youngsters are debating between a great reverb and a synth, Relab, Seventh Heaven, or Blackhole will make ALL your synths sound better. The best part of the Moog One is its built-in Eventide reverb.
Yeah, no doubt about it. I remember A/B'ing an old track years ago. Pretty well the same mix with same instruments on the same mixer with A done on an Alesis quadraverb, B done on a Lexicon....night and day. For its time the quad was ok and nostalgia makes me think of it fondly, but no way I'd use it for absolutely anything now.

Moog One has Eventide verb?! I never knew that. I'm generally not a fan of the Moog sound but credit to them for this. That is a huge thing...I quite like the very much improved fx on the Korg Wavestate over the older Wavestation but when I do big fx-laden patches in a mix they still sound too obvious and overpowering so that I still cut the fx often and put my own on. Now if only Behringer had put Eventide on the 2600 instead of that crappy spring reverb...

(Actually the B spring reverb is OK, but anything good can made betterer with Eventide :hihi:)
Last edited by kritikon on Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Return to “Everything Else (Music related)”