11/24/2005

A couple of quick musical confessions.


-I couldn't use MIDI if my life depended on it. It scares and confuses me.
-I play the worst improvised guitar solos on the planet. People who have never touched a guitar will play better solos than me.
-I don't understand Ohms. They scare and confuse me. Impedances- same thing.
-When I sit down at the keyboard I always picture the key of G and have to force myself away from it.
-When I make mixing and recording decisions I always have to force myself away from recording everything in glorious stereo and just "parting" the whole mix down the middle. Everything, dude. Tambourines.
-When I record harmonies I only use consonants in about a third of them so the consonants won't overpower the line. When I'm overdubbing a harmony vocal it sounds like "...ooo... aaaa.... eeee..."
-I have a pair of fucked-up blown speakers that I like to run a mix through so I can make sure it'll sound good on fucked-up blown speakers.
-When I record piano, I like to run two separate sets of stereo pairs to four tracks. I record on the first pair until I fuck up, then I just jump over to the other set. Back and forth. I clam it bad. I do an awesome impression of a musician.
-I comp vocal tracks like crazy but I have a thing about always getting a bass performance all the way through. I'll fix a spot or two.
- I could never, ever, ever record the harmonies that I do with analog tape. All the rewinding, recording and general spooling of tape would wear the tape before I was done. It would also take weeks. I have to confess that digital rocks. I always mix real-time, though. With hardware. I need faders under my digits.

I worked with this huge Scottish front of house guy called Gungy on a big shed tour. Every pro concert mixer has a couple of songs they always throw up to get their bearings with a system and a venue. This guy's was that Kate Bush song "Babushka" and some Peter Gabriel song. This other guy always put up "Josie" from "Aja" by Steely Dan. You can see why.

I decided on "Driven To Tears" for my song. You have choose the song that you know completely.

7 Comments:

Blogger XTCfan said...

Fun fact: Andy Partridge's favorite songs to use when testing a mastering studio/setup are "Love in an Elevator" by Aerosmith, "Slave to the Rhythm" by Grace Jones, and anything from the album "Ingenue" by kd lang.

Glad I'm not the only one when it comes to ohms and impedances, Bobby. Plus, something tells me my improvised guitar solos are worse than yours.

When I play, it sounds like this:
uuvoqxuf

12:35 PM  
Blogger fgfdsg said...

There's actually some really useful information in here.

I don't understand any kind of mixing / ohms / impedance / compression etc. I'm got a book by Ted Greenwaldt out from my local library and am trying to figure it out now but my brain is still fuzzy from the drugs. I could never even operate a graphic equaliser before now.

I'm stuck in the key of G on the guitar, but usually write in Eb on the keyboard. Then i transpose everything because G seems to be my only key where my voice can hit every note well (average 10 note range here). I've got to *stop* doing it and start doing scales when i get my voice back. I use a lot of hopefully well-disguised key transitions within songs to make it sound like i have a bigger range than i have.

I'd personally pick 'The Big Sky' by Kate Bush, because if you can mix that mush to make it sound clear and distinct you can mix *anything*. How can you not like "Babooshka"?

4:09 PM  
Blogger Kevin Wolf said...

I am sooooo not a musician. All I do know, Bobby, is you fuckin' rock.

There's probably some technical musicians' term for that....

Oh yeah: mvvlge

2:11 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

"Driven To Tears is by far my favorite Police song...

"Too many cameras and not enough food / This is what we've seen." My opinion. Most of Sting's lyrics are pompous, pedantic self-serving tripe, but every once in a while he writes something great...

bbytait as in "If you want it to sound good you gotta Bobby-tate..."

8:33 PM  
Blogger teh l4m3 said...

Just writing to beg you not to break my big gay heart.

If felching had an onomatopoeic synonym, it would be efxpt.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Soundsurfr said...

Mixing engineer I worked with used a song called The Way off the album "Peace Beyond Passion" by Mechelle Ndegeocello. First time I heard it, it was him throwing it up on a honkin' pair of Genelecs in some downtown NYC space. Holy Shit. Melted my brain. Might be the best recorded/mixed album ever for my tastes. Turns out it was tracked by a guy I know (Rail Jon Rogut) which freaked me out even more. So that's my reference mix now. That and Gaucho.

Confession: I double every guitar part and pan them hard left-right. I'm at the point where it would feel like amputation if I didn't do it. Somebody help me detox out of that one please.

Another confession - I actually use that Beherenger shit. I string about 12 of those 8-input mic-pres together - the ones with the big backlit dials in the front and I hang them from my rain gutter every Christmas. Neighbors think I have the best Christmas lights anywhere, hands down.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Yeah, dude. It's a nightmare when you develop habits at th' desk. When I got my Rhodes I started immediately fake-stereo-ing it and then I realized I might as well use a fucking DX7. It's just so *pleasing* to hear that big wall.

oaufsop- the post-operative recovery period of an oaf.

6:58 PM  

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