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Clean and tidy, does it produce better music?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Clean and tidy, does it produce better music?
mousegarden
I'm interested in this notion that to be a proper artist, to be really creative, you have to be sort of a bit crazy, not only emotionally, but in your domestic habits as well, your place has to be chaotic, unorganised. And this may be true, as a lot of people I admire, painters, musicians, always seem to work in total chaos, art studios that look like rubbish tips, music studios with stuff just piled up higgledy piggledy.
I'm obsessively tidy, almost to the point of OCD, but I have these periods when I just let my place go, no tidying, no washing up, no cleaning for months, then I have a blitz and clean everything up.
Looking back on my music, a lot of what I would consider as some of the best stuff I've done, was done in a time of intense emotional stress, and no proper studio, we used to just throw equipment on the floor and sit cross legged in the freezing cold, no heating, playing into the night and just sleeping on the floor when we got tired. Now, my studio is well organised, things are neat and tidy, and sometimes I feel a bit cramped, a bit castrated, like I'm frightened to touch anything in case something goes wrong.
I was much happier when it was disorganised, also, I used to experiment more, I didn't care where things were or how the "should" be put together, it was total chaos and it seemed to be a more productive environment.
This is just my personal perspective, but it would be interesting to hear if others think they thrive in a disorganised environment, rather than a pristine, well organised studio, or maybe for some of you the reverse is true, you work better when things are organised, and you hate chaos!
Muzone
I like to keep my main area organised, but for periods of chaotic creation I take a few bits of self contained gear, my h5 and headphones and just sprawl out somewhere and noodle for hours.
Then just pop the HD card into the laptop and harvest any ripe fruits.
It's what's always put me off full modular set up, too static a set up, with little boxes like 0-coast, micromod, desktop evolver I can take bits to other spaces and use either the h5 or laptop to get some sounds down.
I've always separated sound creation and track making, for me the 2 processes need a different headspace.....
mousegarden
Muzone wrote:
I've always separated sound creation and track making, for me the 2 processes need a different headspace.....


I can identify with that, I've set up a little space with a handy recorder, with things that can be moved around. I also come up with sounds, and then mix, that's a benefit of using the computer, you can store and mix as much as you like.
Fastus
Think of the studio as I would a kitchen - when I make something, there's going to be a mess... but I don't want it obstructed by a prior mess.
a100user
Yes and no for me. Certain things I like organised and tidy; cable hangers filled correctly, PSU's where they are meant to be and labelled etc.

However during a session stuff gets patched, FX get patched in, stuff all over the place.

If I like where its going it can stay like that for weeks but when I'm ready to start again it all gets tidied up and put away to start a new piece with a clean environment.
Eichburger




Good question. Where does your muse thrive. Different for all of us.

I tend to work best with a stripped down set-up that doesn't get too messy but I have to be willing to let chaos be part of the equation.
mousegarden
Eichburger wrote:




Good question. Where does your muse thrive. Different for all of us.

I tend to work best with a stripped down set-up that doesn't get too messy but I have to be willing to let chaos be part of the equation.


Ha Ha! Francis Bacons studio, a classic!
TS
I like my space to be clean and organized, at least when I first start. It gets bit messy after a while. But, I always start fresh.
mousegarden
The thing that gets me about being in a mess is not being able to find anything, I had a clear out yesterday, and found all sorts of stuff I didn't know I had hat could have been really useful in the past.
Dr. Sketch-n-Etch
I don't really make music with synths, but I do build a lot of synth crap. I find that it doesn't really matter to me very much how messy my workspace is, except that beyond a certain point I just don't have any space to work, and that's annoying. Every once in a while I have a big cleanup, and afterwards I find that I'm a little more inspired to do something new. It makes me feel a bit empowered having a tidy workspace with enough clear space to work.
starthief
One of my realizations over the last year was that I prefer having a tidy space to work or create in. One reason I prefer Eurorack over a lot of desktop synths -- I mean yeah, the front panel gets messy with patch cables. But it's organized chaos.

It even extends to having patch cables that hang relatively straight from a hanger. It bothered me more than I expected to have to extract a patch cable from a tangled wad of them a few times at Knobcon.

You would never guess this if you saw the rest of my house hihi I'm too lazy to really be a neat freak.
CF3
mousegarden wrote:
The thing that gets me about being in a mess is not being able to find anything, I had a clear out yesterday, and found all sorts of stuff I didn't know I had hat could have been really useful in the past.


This drives me crazy. I had a client awhile back who wanted me to do some work in his studio.... It was a friggin disaster zone, with piles of crap everywhere. I had to refuse the job. I can't spend 3/4 of my time kicking over shit and rummaging thru junk to get work done. Totally ridiculous. very frustrating It was like a version of TV show based on studio "hoarders".
I'm not saying it has to be spotless, but holy shit, I've seen some real rats nests studio set ups over the years.
cycad73
I generally prefer things to be clean. That being said, music happens or doesn't happen almost irrespective of circumstances. Generally I prefer also not being tired, or sick, or stressed, or physically uncomfortable. But some of the best things I've done were for instance when I had strep throat, or after not sleeping due to work, or more recently a few weekends ago when it was 94 degrees inside the studio. Now when life is good and it is 82 degrees I can't get shit done and only then I notice it's slightly too warm.

A small problem is an excuse not to create but a big problem cuts through any excuses. A big problem is a caricature of a small problem, a caricature of the very idea of "problem". When things are perfect and the music often becomes a caricature of itself (a rut: a repetition of well-established themes: no novelty, no spark...)

All of these things: cleaning, not-cleaning, making-comfortable, making-uncomfortable, perhaps they are rituals where most of the composition actually takes place. The outcome doesn't matter as long as one performs the ritual with the music as a goal. Making-messy: the figure of the outsider appears: one starts to think the outside of music. Making-clean: no distractions, directness and immediacy, the cool, clear glass of water: one stops thinking altogether and creates: is this not another form of "outside"?

Because the music itself is the focus of the ritual, these rituals intensify one's desire for the music while lessening one's attachment to past experiences/theories/ideas that get in the way of actually creating the music (Desiring is much more important than thinking.... we get everything we really want.) So regardless of the outcome: messy or clean, uncomfortable or comfortable, the session will be productive depending on how faithfully one has performed the ritual.
whjwhj
Tidy room, tidy mind.
tesserack
Yes it's very obvious when you look at those who have risen to stardom that neat and tidy is definitely related to Artistic creation.

When you see people walking down the red carpet in Hollywood for awards event or a special movie premiere or music event, the star-studded artists are so well-dressed that it's obvious that neatness, tidiness and even a pure mind are the keys to successful creation. Heck even the red carpet is spotless, and it's outside. How do they do that?
boboter
When you make music with a modular system, all the cables automatically bring a visual mess to the table. So I try to keep everything else as tidy as possible. I like to set limitations for how I produce and when things get too crowded I feel that those limitations get more vague as well. And this causes me to be less productive.

I live in Frankfurt and about two weeks ago, a bomb from WW2 was discovered in my neighborhood. So there was this huge evacuation before they could diffuse it. And of course I disconnected all the important gear and put it away, just in case that thing went off. Obviously it didn't but the mess I made while unplugging all cables and moving things around, set me back big time.

Technically I could have started to make music rather fast. But as things were still unorganized and just all over the place, it completely blocked my flow.

After putting everything in place and also re-organizing some things, I felt such a relief. Which kind of showed me how important a tidy space is for being creative.
ok1632871
I don't think there's a universal truth to it - variety is the spice of life!
mousegarden
tesserack wrote:
Yes it's very obvious when you look at those who have risen to stardom that neat and tidy is definitely related to Artistic creation.

When you see people walking down the red carpet in Hollywood for awards event or a special movie premiere or music event, the star-studded artists are so well-dressed that it's obvious that neatness, tidiness and even a pure mind are the keys to successful creation. Heck even the red carpet is spotless, and it's outside. How do they do that?


I'm not sure if you're being serious here... hihi

I worked on a project once that involved Brian Eno, he's not extreme, but he's definitely a bit messy, and disorganised sometimes. I can remember this cupboard full of stuff, every time he opened it things fell out! His home studios were far from the norm, with equipment piled up, not in racks, speakers placed anywhere they'll fit. I think he's a bit of a minimalist these days though.
My old friend Mike Skeet was seriously messy, I mean "MESSY" you couldn't see the floor in his kitchen for cables, wires, magazines, everything, electronic components just all over the place, the last thing you would want to do in there is cook or eat a meal! But he was one of thee most talented people I knew. I used to love it when I would be rummaging around on the floor, looking for a cable or something, and buried under all the crap would be a classic £5,000 microphone he didn't even know he had! He would say..."oh! I wondered where that had gone"

RIP

Mike Skeet.
tesserack
mousegarden wrote:
tesserack wrote:
Yes it's very obvious when you look at those who have risen to stardom that neat and tidy is definitely related to Artistic creation.

When you see people walking down the red carpet in Hollywood for awards event or a special movie premiere or music event, the star-studded artists are so well-dressed that it's obvious that neatness, tidiness and even a pure mind are the keys to successful creation. Heck even the red carpet is spotless, and it's outside. How do they do that?


I'm not sure if you're being serious here... hihi

I worked on a project once that involved Brian Eno, he's not extreme, but he's definitely a bit messy, and disorganised sometimes. I can remember this cupboard full of stuff, every time he opened it things fell out! His home studios were far from the norm, with equipment piled up, not in racks, speakers placed anywhere they'll fit. I think he's a bit of a minimalist these days though.
My old friend Mike Skeet was seriously messy, I mean "MESSY" you couldn't see the floor in his kitchen for cables, wires, magazines, everything, electronic components just all over the place, the last thing you would want to do in there is cook or eat a meal! But he was one of thee most talented people I knew. I used to love it when I would be rummaging around on the floor, looking for a cable or something, and buried under all the crap would be a classic £5,000 microphone he didn't even know he had! He would say..."oh! I wondered where that had gone"

RIP

Mike Skeet.
yes I was trying to be facetious, I'm glad you caught that because I was unsure whether it would work.

Here's a Wikipedia quote below that I couldn't say any better myself. But I doubt the Op premise could even establish any type of correlation between neatness for lack thereof and creativity. Which leads me to ask, Was the op also trying to be facetious?

"Correlation does not imply causation
See also: Illusory correlation
In statistics, many statistical tests calculate correlations between variables and when two variables are found to be correlated, it is tempting to assume that this shows that one variable causes the other.[1][2] That "correlation proves causation," is considered a questionable cause logical fallacy when two events occurring together are taken to have established a cause-and-effect relationship. This fallacy is also known as cum hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "with this, therefore because of this," and "false cause." A similar fallacy, that an event that followed another was necessarily a consequence of the first event, is the post hoc ergo propter hoc (Latin for "after this, therefore because of this.") fallacy."
SmokyClap
When I'm really in the zone, I'll tend to be plugging, unplugging and moving things around in order to quickly get my musical ideas recorded and that sometimes leads to a mess. Then I'll freak out after a while and clean everything up. Humans are funny.
sake
Interesting topic. For me i prefer a clean desk and surrounding. When noodling arround and recording the mess quick grows.
RhythmDroid
I think that cleanliness vs chaos isn't the issue...it's READINESS...

Whatever it takes to make sure that your setup is READY for you to make creative actions and commitments with minimal "setup" time, time to solve technical problems, or time to "get inspired" is key.

This is paraphrasing the wisdom of David Lynch in the section of his book where he insists that artists always need to have "a setup".
noisejockey
RhythmDroid wrote:
Whatever it takes to make sure that your setup is READY for you to make creative actions and commitments with minimal "setup" time, time to solve technical problems, or time to "get inspired" is key..


+1
stk
noisejockey wrote:
RhythmDroid wrote:
Whatever it takes to make sure that your setup is READY for you to make creative actions and commitments with minimal "setup" time, time to solve technical problems, or time to "get inspired" is key..


+1


+2

I enjoy a tidy well organised space (and clean and organise my studio regularly) but don't require one. I've made a lot of music, and I can't think of any correlation between cleanliness and creativity.
Once one gets in the zone, truly, shit goes lateral anyway. That's the way it works.

I don't like exposed cable runs. Really don't like them. They keep coming back to haunt me tho, because I like hardware. I think a certain level of clutter is inevitable if you're unwilling to be one of those MacBook + headphones people.
DSC
I actually feel sorry for the 'neat freaks'. Sometimes just having dust on their gear will drive them crazy. It must be difficult to focus on what you are trying to do when you have 'dust all over everything!'

When you were born, there is a good chance it was a big mess. Blood, shit, various fluids all swirled and separated in various patterns. Don't think anyone reading this just came out in a puff of magic white smoke that dissipated with no mess.

Mess represents both creativity and frustration for me personally. I saw a picture of the main bench in my lab that was taken a year ago and I could tell immediately what I had been working on. There was a large pile of solder splatter in one corner and the tell tale stack of q-tips with rosin fluid in another. Snickers wrapper and McDonalds wrapper in another. I was focused and frustrated! Sometimes I can maintain that focus for two weeks and the rest of my environment disappears. Yes, I eventually will clean house and spend two days cleaning everything up, but not until I usually achieve my goals.
mousegarden
DSC wrote:
I actually feel sorry for the 'neat freaks'. Sometimes just having dust on their gear will drive them crazy. It must be difficult to focus on what you are trying to do when you have 'dust all over everything!'

When you were born, there is a good chance it was a big mess. Blood, shit, various fluids all swirled and separated in various patterns. Don't think anyone reading this just came out in a puff of magic white smoke that dissipated with no mess.

Mess represents both creativity and frustration for me personally. I saw a picture of the main bench in my lab that was taken a year ago and I could tell immediately what I had been working on. There was a large pile of solder splatter in one corner and the tell tale stack of q-tips with rosin fluid in another. Snickers wrapper and McDonalds wrapper in another. I was focused and frustrated! Sometimes I can maintain that focus for two weeks and the rest of my environment disappears. Yes, I eventually will clean house and spend two days cleaning everything up, but not until I usually achieve my goals.


Most of the great experiences in life, birth, sex, relationships, the arts, are usually the result of chaos coming together, and in my experience, all, yes all, of the environments I've witnessed that belong to successful artists are always a mess, and they usually don't really care about the tools of their trade either, and are quite ignorant about them sometimes, they often don't seem to care about much at all really.
PISS.EXE
many of my best recordings happened while gear was all over the place, sitting on wires all bunched up, with gear put wherever cable length would allow it. total mess and half the time trying not to knock something over on a precarious spot too.
timoka
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”
Albert Einstein

razz
timoka
there are studies that show that physical order produces more healthy choices and conventionality, and disorder leads to more creativity.
i don't think it's that easy, make a mess and then you become creative. i think it has to do with the brain and how we evolved, a naturally creative person often lacks the sense of tidiness, don't ask me why this is but so far it was correct almost 100%. i studied art and most of the work spaces of the students resembled a "typical" messy artist space. however the design departement was quite different haha, the graphics designer and type designer had clean spaces and it was like they designed their tools and workspace around their actual work. dunno, it's a different thing obvious but what was and still is obvious is that most artist i know don't really realize that their place is a mess, it's the graphic designer who tells them hihi and i think this lack of focus on the surrounding is a sign how the brain works during highly creative tasks...extreme focus onto one thing only. i tidy my studio and workspace every second week because well i was taught "nobody can work in this mess jesus christ!", but it takes only a few hours and it's a mess again. so the mess comes naturally...
mousegarden
timoka wrote:
there are studies that show that physical order produces more healthy choices and conventionality, and disorder leads to more creativity.
i don't think it's that easy, make a mess and then you become creative. i think it has to do with the brain and how we evolved, a naturally creative person often lacks the sense of tidiness, don't ask me why this is but so far it was correct almost 100%. i studied art and most of the work spaces of the students resembled a "typical" messy artist space. however the design departement was quite different haha, the graphics designer and type designer had clean spaces and it was like they designed their tools and workspace around their actual work. dunno, it's a different thing obvious but what was and still is obvious is that most artist i know don't really realize that their place is a mess, it's the graphic designer who tells them hihi and i think this lack of focus on the surrounding is a sign how the brain works during highly creative tasks...extreme focus onto one thing only. i tidy my studio and workspace every second week because well i was taught "nobody can work in this mess jesus christ!", but it takes only a few hours and it's a mess again. so the mess comes naturally...


I have a musician friend who I collaborate with sometimes, he's really tidy, and he's always "organising his space" trying to make it neater and tidier. It's not organic, it's a really tense vibe being there, and he has a problem relaxing as well, it's a bit like being in an extremely clean house you're frightened to move.
I feel like throwing some gear around, telling him to smoke a joint, or take some acid, drink a bottle of Jack Daniels anything!!! But just chill the fuck out!
TomDee
My late grandfather had a sign in his workspace/libary: 'a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind'. Always stuck with me somehow.
timoka
mousegarden wrote:
I have a musician friend who I collaborate with sometimes, he's really tidy, and he's always "organising his space" trying to make it neater and tidier. It's not organic, it's a really tense vibe being there, and he has a problem relaxing as well, it's a bit like being in an extremely clean house you're frightened to move.
I feel like throwing some gear around, telling him to smoke a joint, or take some acid, drink a bottle of Jack Daniels anything!!! But just chill the fuck out!


does he perhaps compose twelve-tone serialism hihi
dubonaire
timoka wrote:
there are studies that show that physical order produces more healthy choices and conventionality, and disorder leads to more creativity.


Can you point to these studies? I'm sceptical. I wish my studio was better organised. I'm most relaxed when things are neat around me and for me looking for things or tracing back midi cables etc can really kill creative flow. I'm often most innovative when I'm most relaxed and not distracted. Other times it's being in a novel environment that stimulates creativity. There are many factors that go into an individual's creative output at any particular time and they can change. You can find many artists who are part of the artistic canon who are highly organised. I wonder if zen or other eastern artists are considered to lack creativity. A former partner of mine who was a visual artist was insanely organised to the point of OCD and extremely creative. There may well be people who are so immersed in the creative process that things fall into chaos around them, but that is an effect rather than a cause.

I don't doubt some people prefer to be in the middle of clutter and mess, but I genuinely doubt this is a one size fits all recipe, and I think studies that try to link creativity this way are fraught with confounding variables.
timoka
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797613480186

i'm sceptical about these generalizations too.
i think one has to differentiate between creativity as a form of "physical" expression (forms of painting, sculpting etc) and creativity as a mind process with a more conceptual execution, like type design or architecture for example.
anyway, it's definitely something highly subjective and indeed part of ones personality.

ps i'm sorry i don't find the second study. i know exists, it is older and i link it somehow to a new york times article but i can't find it...
dubonaire
timoka wrote:
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797613480186

i'm sceptical about these generalizations too.
i think one has to differentiate between creativity as a form of "physical" expression (forms of painting, sculpting etc) and creativity as a mind process with a more conceptual execution, like type design or architecture for example.
anyway, it's definitely something highly subjective and indeed part of ones personality.


Thanks timoka. Unfortunately I can't access the full article, but I wonder how they are defining creativity. From the abstract only, it seems the study is conflating a desire for novelty with creativity.
timoka
i'm not quite sure but i think creativity is quite a rigid defined term in psychology and it differs from the usual daily use of the term we know...
mousegarden
If I'm in a really tidy perfectly organised studio, one thing out of place, or a little technical fault is magnified, and it distracts me more easily. If I'm in a mess, and I'm just connecting things randomly, or just having fun, I don't think about these minor distractions. As a past sufferer of bad OCD the way I stopped that was to literally trash my flat, and make myself live with it, and it worked, simply because the little things didn't matter anymore, and I could relax. Obviously there's a middle ground, as in all things.
dubonaire
mousegarden wrote:
If I'm in a really tidy perfectly organised studio, one thing out of place, or a little technical fault is magnified, and it distracts me more easily. If I'm in a mess, and I'm just connecting things randomly, or just having fun, I don't think about these minor distractions. As a past sufferer of bad OCD the way I stopped that was to literally trash my flat, and make myself live with it, and it worked, simply because the little things didn't matter anymore, and I could relax. Obviously there's a middle ground, as in all things.


I think everyone is different.
Funky40
mousegarden wrote:
If I'm in a really tidy perfectly organised studio, one thing out of place, or a little technical fault is magnified, and it distracts me more easily.

Great Point . much overlooked IMO.
CopperHydra
Whoever you are, put that into your music. If you're clean, make clean art.

If you need to tidy everything up while you're in your studio, take everything out of your studio, then put back only the stuff that doesn't need to be cleaned and OCD'd. Or, wiggle blindfolded.

Creativity vs Distractions

Distractions win while you're in your creative "zone" and something distracting pulls you out of it, making you forget stuff you want to be working on ect.

Creativity wins when an idea comes along and distracts you from something boring/technical/leftbrain/showering, when you can focus with out forcing yourself to focus which is why I think some artists workspaces are messy. The mess accumulates because they're busy creating and tasks like organizing their materials would take them out of their creative zone.

I battle forgetting stuff with a super low bitrate mp3 recorder that's USB powered, into which I mutter and record my thoughts. Luckily I don't have OCD but I try to keep a clean workspace so I don't have to look for stuff.


That will be $0.02 please.
Thank You
555x555
+3 on readiness. But it also needs to be the right kind of readiness.

Like if your setup is ready to record some things, but a giant PITA for others, this is probably worse than having no setup at all. I think that's the hard part. It's easy to say "what am I doing, generally?" and then to set up a patch bay accordingly, only to find out six months later that you've been repeating the same setups over and over because by making some things easy, you made other things way too hard. I actually got rid of a few things I wasn't using much in order to have a patchbay that *completely* reproduces the backs of things at the front (along with the normals of the devices). Sooo much better.

I think this is why some people prefer messiness; the kind of creative freedom you have from organic, full access to everything is awesome, and figuring out how to organize and stay free is a whole other skillset than being artistic. But if you can pull it off, organized is faster.
slumberjack
nice thread! very open and honest and frankly spoken op.
i enjoy the read until here.

it gave me these toughts:

a mess is not the the same as derangement as disorder as a clutter as mixed up as chaos and so on.
in german we can use 'to be tidy a person' also for inner / psychological state of mind.
we actually also use it for to describe soundesign / arrangements.

as far as i can speak for myself and the way i approach my studio - it is located in my living space - i don't like to eat in there, sometimes i do have liquids in a glass or cup with me, i don't smoke but i('d) like to have sex in there, i sleep on the couch sometime, i sweep twice a year an hoover one a month (or every second...), cables every where but not in the between-desk-sweetspot-gear-area. the patching cables from the gear to desk a formin a big stream wink and behind the rack(s) is (where the socksmoster must live too along all the cables that form) a huge knot and unsed gear can stack almost anywhere BUT then i don't like the internet in there (because of trekkie monster).
so i'd say i don't have a mess and i have a regime, but there's a certain amount of untidiness and filth allowed and furthermore appreciated so that i get the cosy feeling of being at home rather that in space and to make sure that all the tools i'm frequnetly using are within reach of an arm's lenght.

once every while like to change the gear i've used during the last months and i put boxes on the shelf or rearrange by disarrangement - these actions always lead me to a get lost in a new song but just trying out the channels, see if there's signal and so on.

my ex sould have say i'm as double as neat in the studio than in the rest of the flat (actually back then the studio was offsite). i cannot second that fully but there are some points.
and yeah like one say before: it's like i approach MY kitchen and i would have ever been a professional engineer or producer i would clean my kitchen after every dish (probabaly there would be underpaid an apprentice who did that for me wink ). but as far as i work in longer cycles and sadly don't findy a daily routine the knifes, pan and oven doesn't get cleaned that twice a day.

i don't want to speak of stereotypes and try to avoid to generalize but on the other hand all the very straight, focused, neat and as we say in german 'tidy persons' i know and work with do very clean sounds and music. to my ears often too clean and sterile. but i also know people in a rather messy studio who work very precise and on the spot. but i don't know anybody who's doing noisy and dirty music in a clean room... Mr. Green
mousegarden
I'm in the biggest mess ever, some of you know our house has the builders in so no studio at the mo.
The result is that my head is full to bursting point with ideas I want to try out when I get my stuff set-up again, I'm on the verge of just grabbing stuff and sitting on the floor with a synth and headphones!
unexpectedbowtie
I like things to be tidy, but I'm not really a tidy person by nature. Clean, yes. Tidy... no.

I think the untidiness is actually largely a product of the 'creative' side, rather than the other way round. I always have lots of ideas and projects I'm working on - more than I have the space or time to accommodate, so our flat is always full of guitars and cables and paints and different things - which can be tough to keep orderly.

In terms of creating music, my studio is a tiny corner of our kitchen which is crammed full of gear. I prefer it to be tidy, but in general things end up a mess. It's particularly frustrating as it can be difficult to find that one adaptor you need, or the single cable you know you bought last week for a specific purpose... I'd love to have a much bigger studio setup where I could organise cables and things in neat ways, but then I'd run into the same issue of having so much miscellaneous bits and bobs that there'd be no easy way to categorise things.

So... tl;dr, I'd prefer to work in a tidy environment, but it never happens.
deepr
The smaller the studio the more organized it should be!
matthewjuran
You might agree: sensory input affects choice making. The setting changes the music. Having that bookshelf there brings the Ikea company into the room and music at a low level from your memories, and I want to be aware of that like how I try to be aware of what the compressor or reverb causes in the mix.

To me clutter can be aesthetic or lazy, I think deliberate choices (which can be choosing to not choose) are what is important. There might be a name I'm unaware of for this philosophy and the competing ones though. I am curious about the other approaches.
slumberjack
my studio is turning into a cable, clutter and gear mess and i cannot stop it because it's some much more fun to patch. like today i hooked almost all external fx up with the desk (since more than a year) for the current composition to record. and i know i won't clean up for a while. it just doesn't feel right. let me drown in sound. f*ck the world outside when i'm at the studio at least. resist.
listentoaheartbeat
I've always been most creative and productive when I didn't care about whether my workspace was messy or not. Sometimes it's obsessively tidy, sometimes it's absurdly messy. It's when I don't accept its current state that it becomes a distraction. However, the technical setup needs to be solid at all times. Troubleshooting is a total killer.
umma gumma
my place is already a shithole: I'm just waiting for the creative genius part to show itself

This is fun!
Panason
CABLES. They like to somehow twist around each other and grip each other when you try to pull them apart. The plastic material used for cable sleeves just loves to twist and grip and refuses to slide.

A solution to this is needed. I have considered vaseline. Guinness ftw!

David Lynch was mentioned. I read somewhere that once he talked to a shrink and asked him if his condition was treated would he lose creativity? The shrink answered probably yes, so Lynch didn't proceed with treament.

I don't have the space for mess and cannot even get to the back of my gear. I bought three 8-channel converters just so I can have everything always plugged in. Not even a patchbay would help with my reluctance to mess around with cables.
I currently have only one working computer (laptop) that I have to take out of the studio for browsing online on the sofa. No tablets or touch screen nonsense for me. Even plugging/unplugging the computer can be an obstacle to jumping into a music session.
I 'm going to have to buy another one so that it can be permanently in the studio ready to play.
criticalmonkey
i have 3 thoughts on this for me
1- every time i walk into a music mecca - sun studio, abbey road, and such - the one thing i notice is how functional and ready everything is - amazing things happen when organization is not a concern, it just is standard operating procedure -

2- if everything is possible, then anything can happen - and that can be overwhelming to work in, so routine comfort is super important - if i have to wonder how to make something happen then i waste energy fixing or avoiding or occasionally it can push me into a whole new thing - having well labeled patch bays make it easier to avoid the first 2 and encourage more of the 3rd

3 - if I'm doing 1 thing it is easy, everything goes. if i'm doing more than that, or with more than 1 collaborator, i really hate taking notes and trying to re-create things so i use lots of tools with recall to minimize - my gear purchases seem to be bi-polar on fully recall digital/computer or fully performance immediate in nature - prior or pending project influence is amazing
mousegarden
criticalmonkey wrote:
i have 3 thoughts on this for me
1- every time i walk into a music mecca - sun studio, abbey road, and such - the one thing i notice is how functional and ready everything is - amazing things happen when organization is not a concern, it just is standard operating procedure -

2- if everything is possible, then anything can happen - and that can be overwhelming to work in, so routine comfort is super important - if i have to wonder how to make something happen then i waste energy fixing or avoiding or occasionally it can push me into a whole new thing - having well labeled patch bays make it easier to avoid the first 2 and encourage more of the 3rd

3 - if I'm doing 1 thing it is easy, everything goes. if i'm doing more than that, or with more than 1 collaborator, i really hate taking notes and trying to re-create things so i use lots of tools with recall to minimize - my gear purchases seem to be bi-polar on fully recall digital/computer or fully performance immediate in nature - prior or pending project influence is amazing


Yeah, the worst kind of situation you can be in is when you don't know how to make something happen in "YOUR" studio for "YOU" It's and instant creativity killer trying to figure things out.
But, those studios you mentioned, like all commercial studios they have to be as flexible and adaptable as possible, things that are essential in these types of places are typically, patch bays, a large and diverse selection of equipment, staff that are familiar with lots of hardware and software, and the ability to be chameleon like, changing from one approach to another, a solo synth player, a string ensemble, a metal band etc.
As solo home recordists thankfully we don't have to take all that shit into consideration.
dubonaire
criticalmonkey wrote:
i have 3 thoughts on this for me
1- every time i walk into a music mecca - sun studio, abbey road, and such - the one thing i notice is how functional and ready everything is - amazing things happen when organization is not a concern, it just is standard operating procedure -

2- if everything is possible, then anything can happen - and that can be overwhelming to work in, so routine comfort is super important - if i have to wonder how to make something happen then i waste energy fixing or avoiding or occasionally it can push me into a whole new thing - having well labeled patch bays make it easier to avoid the first 2 and encourage more of the 3rd

3 - if I'm doing 1 thing it is easy, everything goes. if i'm doing more than that, or with more than 1 collaborator, i really hate taking notes and trying to re-create things so i use lots of tools with recall to minimize - my gear purchases seem to be bi-polar on fully recall digital/computer or fully performance immediate in nature - prior or pending project influence is amazing


Interesting comments, but in those mecca studios the plethora of choices was really to cater to different approaches. I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y. There are 100s of years of combined knowledge wrapped up in those studios.
mousegarden
dubonaire wrote:
criticalmonkey wrote:
i have 3 thoughts on this for me
1- every time i walk into a music mecca - sun studio, abbey road, and such - the one thing i notice is how functional and ready everything is - amazing things happen when organization is not a concern, it just is standard operating procedure -

2- if everything is possible, then anything can happen - and that can be overwhelming to work in, so routine comfort is super important - if i have to wonder how to make something happen then i waste energy fixing or avoiding or occasionally it can push me into a whole new thing - having well labeled patch bays make it easier to avoid the first 2 and encourage more of the 3rd

3 - if I'm doing 1 thing it is easy, everything goes. if i'm doing more than that, or with more than 1 collaborator, i really hate taking notes and trying to re-create things so i use lots of tools with recall to minimize - my gear purchases seem to be bi-polar on fully recall digital/computer or fully performance immediate in nature - prior or pending project influence is amazing


Interesting comments, but in those mecca studios the plethora of choices was really to cater to different approaches. I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y. There are 100s of years of combined knowledge wrapped up in those studios.


There was a time, and I remember it well, when I actually used to use studios, they were awful places. Nobody seemed to like being there, from amateur to professional musicians, we all hated the damn places. That was back in the 70's, as far as studios go, the worst time ever.
Unless you were a successful band with a deal who could afford your own sympathetic engineer, you were guaranteed to be pulled through a hedge backwards.
Engineers were dogmatic, self opinionated, bitter, chip on shoulder, and hated you because you were a successful musician, but in their eyes you had no talent and how dare you be in a better place than an engineer like me who has acres of talent and isn't being recognised for it. They looked down their noses at you, always hated your music, and made life as miserable for you as they possibly could. Me...while recording... "Can I have some reverb please" Engineer..."I wouldn't advise it, just play without it, we can ad it when we mix...Me...but I'd like to hear it now while I'm playing...Engineer...we never do that, can't you play without it? Me...look, no, I f*****g can't, I want to play the reverb, besides, who's paying for this f*****g session, just f*****g do it!
At this point one of us would walk out, never to return.
I tell you, that may seem exaggerated, but a lot of studios had that attitude back then, the engineers were always right and musicians were literally the scum of the earth, even though we were paying their wages.
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y.


I am convinced that they are bullshitting everyone to some extend. The top tier routine is more mundane than its reputation, at least from what I have seen. That is not to say that there aren't productions that pushed the limits in terms of finesse, fully embracing that extra 1% on all ends. But it's super rare I reckon.
synkrotron


Long video... Stick with it...
dubonaire
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y.


I am convinced that they are bullshitting everyone to some extend. The top tier routine is more mundane than its reputation, at least from what I have seen. That is not to say that there aren't productions that pushed the limits in terms of finesse, fully embracing that extra 1% on all ends. But it's super rare I reckon.


You could be right, I honestly don't know. I think it may apply more to things like mic'd drums and guitars etc. I think electronic instruments arrive at the mixing desk already 90% cooked compared to those instruments. But some of these guys are highly sought after and it can't be all snake oil.
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y.


I am convinced that they are bullshitting everyone to some extend. The top tier routine is more mundane than its reputation, at least from what I have seen. That is not to say that there aren't productions that pushed the limits in terms of finesse, fully embracing that extra 1% on all ends. But it's super rare I reckon.


You could be right, I honestly don't know. I think it may apply more to things like mic'd drums and guitars etc. I think electronic instruments arrive at the mixing desk already 90% cooked compared to those instruments. But some of these guys are highly sought after and it can't be all snake oil.


Well, that's because they are good at recording and mixing, which is a craft involving a lot of skill and knowledge. Microphone placement alone is incredibly sophisticated. However, it's when they talk about how using specific devices (that most engineers don't have access to) makes all the difference that I smell bullshit. Gear gets glorified all the way from hobbyists to top tier engineers, and more often than not it is simply all about solid craftsmanship.
mousegarden
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y.


I am convinced that they are bullshitting everyone to some extend. The top tier routine is more mundane than its reputation, at least from what I have seen. That is not to say that there aren't productions that pushed the limits in terms of finesse, fully embracing that extra 1% on all ends. But it's super rare I reckon.


When I was assisting classical sessions, the bullshit that was flying around was unbelievable. There was no way that any listener or buyer of the CD would even detect, in a million years, the unnecessary and minute changes that producers took a whole day to labour over.
"I say, we must have a Bricasti on that Aria, I couldn't possibly tolerate anything else, and that phrase in bar five of the chorus, it's slightly ahead of the beat by about 1 millisecond, can you edit that out?"

Bollocks.
dubonaire
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y.


I am convinced that they are bullshitting everyone to some extend. The top tier routine is more mundane than its reputation, at least from what I have seen. That is not to say that there aren't productions that pushed the limits in terms of finesse, fully embracing that extra 1% on all ends. But it's super rare I reckon.


You could be right, I honestly don't know. I think it may apply more to things like mic'd drums and guitars etc. I think electronic instruments arrive at the mixing desk already 90% cooked compared to those instruments. But some of these guys are highly sought after and it can't be all snake oil.


Well, that's because they are good at recording and mixing, which is a craft involving a lot of skill and knowledge. Microphone placement alone is incredibly sophisticated. However, it's when they talk about how using specific devices (that most engineers don't have access to) makes all the difference that I smell bullshit. Gear gets glorified all the way from hobbyists to top tier engineers, and more often than not it is simply all about solid craftsmanship.


Oh I agree. A lot of the ones I have been watching don't say it makes all the difference though, they say it makes the best difference. But I do agree that you can still get there without them. If I ever produce something I think is worth getting professionally mastered or stem mixed more like it, I have a few engineers in mind and they don't have ridiculous control rooms, but they do have a reasonable and focussed range of some quality outboard gear. Three of them are in Germany and one of them is in North America, and they all seem pretty humble to me.
Panason
mousegarden wrote:

" and that phrase in bar five of the chorus, it's slightly ahead of the beat by about 1 millisecond, can you edit that out?"

Bollocks.


Wow. I had no idea people listen to classical music that has been edited on a computer. That's some weird dystopian shit... unless it is for film/tv soundtracks?
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
I'm always blown away when I hear mixing and mastering engineers talk about using outboard X to get an extra 1% of finesse on sound Y.


I am convinced that they are bullshitting everyone to some extend. The top tier routine is more mundane than its reputation, at least from what I have seen. That is not to say that there aren't productions that pushed the limits in terms of finesse, fully embracing that extra 1% on all ends. But it's super rare I reckon.


You could be right, I honestly don't know. I think it may apply more to things like mic'd drums and guitars etc. I think electronic instruments arrive at the mixing desk already 90% cooked compared to those instruments. But some of these guys are highly sought after and it can't be all snake oil.


Well, that's because they are good at recording and mixing, which is a craft involving a lot of skill and knowledge. Microphone placement alone is incredibly sophisticated. However, it's when they talk about how using specific devices (that most engineers don't have access to) makes all the difference that I smell bullshit. Gear gets glorified all the way from hobbyists to top tier engineers, and more often than not it is simply all about solid craftsmanship.


Oh I agree. A lot of the ones I have been watching don't say it makes all the difference though, they say it makes the best difference. But I do agree that you can still get there without them.


Some techniques are about that 1% and nuances can add up to make a real difference. I don't want to call that into question, actually. But there is more bullshitting and snake oil in mixing and mastering than most people think, especially when it comes to gear. As someone who has worked as a low-key mastering engineer in the past I was astonished by the level of ignorance some seasoned pros were trying to hide behind esoteric gear and fancy verbiage.

Quote:
If I ever produce something I think is worth getting professionally mastered or stem mixed more like it, I have a few engineers in mind and they don't have ridiculous control rooms, but they do have a reasonable and focussed range of some quality outboard gear. Three of them are in Germany and one of them is in North America, and they all seem pretty humble to me.


Now I really want to know who they are. smile
slumberjack
listentoaheartbeat wrote:


Some techniques are about that 1% and nuances can add up to make a real difference. I don't want to call that into question, actually. But there is more bullshitting and snake oil in mixing and mastering than most people think, especially when it comes to gear. As someone who has worked as a low-key mastering engineer in the past I was astonished by the level of ignorance some seasoned pros were trying to hide behind esoteric gear and fancy verbiage.



i think the room is the most important. it has to be large enough on sonically perfect with no modes at any frequency. then second comes the monitoring.
from there i guess you can come almost anywhere with good eq, verb and compression.
dubonaire
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.
slumberjack
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


mixing at bieger, pre master at freund, cutting at betke, sure that would be a superior chain. for a two sided 12" w/ one song this would be with 1180€ excl. german vat also superior... smile
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.
dubonaire
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.


Yeah I'm too far away to attend a session. I imagined that Dubplates & Mastering would be not so communicative, but could be a way to get your records sold in Hardwax.
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.


Yeah I'm too far away to attend a session. I imagined that Dubplates & Mastering would be not so communicative, but could be a way to get your records sold in Hardwax.


We did attended sessions at Calyx. The main benefit was that we could establish a dialog with the engineer that continued via email. The session itself was not overwhelming but still interesting. Listening to our music there was cool. But my label partner is in London, so we stopped doing attended sessions. Communication with D&M has actually been the best we have experienced so far (well, just first contact and scheduling but still). Not sure if it would help getting records into Hardwax, D&M is a service provider after all that does not select like Hardwax.
dubonaire
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.


Yeah I'm too far away to attend a session. I imagined that Dubplates & Mastering would be not so communicative, but could be a way to get your records sold in Hardwax.


We did attended sessions at Calyx. The main benefit was that we could establish a dialog with the engineer that continued via email. The session itself was not overwhelming but still interesting. Listening to our music there was cool. But my label partner is in London, so we stopped doing attended sessions. Communication with D&M has actually been the best we have experienced so far (well, just first contact and scheduling but still). Not sure if it would help getting records into Hardwax, D&M is a service provider after all that does not select like Hardwax.


Yeah that last comment was a bit of a throwaway line. But I guess they do have links and might let Hardwax know if they've mastered something good. I'll be interested to hear how it goes with them. Do you get to choose the engineer?
listentoaheartbeat
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.


Yeah I'm too far away to attend a session. I imagined that Dubplates & Mastering would be not so communicative, but could be a way to get your records sold in Hardwax.


We did attended sessions at Calyx. The main benefit was that we could establish a dialog with the engineer that continued via email. The session itself was not overwhelming but still interesting. Listening to our music there was cool. But my label partner is in London, so we stopped doing attended sessions. Communication with D&M has actually been the best we have experienced so far (well, just first contact and scheduling but still). Not sure if it would help getting records into Hardwax, D&M is a service provider after all that does not select like Hardwax.


Yeah that last comment was a bit of a throwaway line. But I guess they do have links and might let Hardwax know if they've mastered something good. I'll be interested to hear how it goes with them. Do you get to choose the engineer?


I think you could do that, but we are just going with whoever they assign. Will report back!
mousegarden
Panason wrote:
mousegarden wrote:

" and that phrase in bar five of the chorus, it's slightly ahead of the beat by about 1 millisecond, can you edit that out?"

Bollocks.


Wow. I had no idea people listen to classical music that has been edited on a computer. That's some weird dystopian shit... unless it is for film/tv soundtracks?


I never worked on one session NOT ONE! that wasn't edited, most are edited to f**k.
The purist ideal of "capturing a beautiful performance in one take" is a myth.
And then you hear classical people slagging off pop production techniques, that's the kettle calling the pot black.
slumberjack
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.


Yeah I'm too far away to attend a session. I imagined that Dubplates & Mastering would be not so communicative, but could be a way to get your records sold in Hardwax.


We did attended sessions at Calyx. The main benefit was that we could establish a dialog with the engineer that continued via email. The session itself was not overwhelming but still interesting. Listening to our music there was cool. But my label partner is in London, so we stopped doing attended sessions. Communication with D&M has actually been the best we have experienced so far (well, just first contact and scheduling but still). Not sure if it would help getting records into Hardwax, D&M is a service provider after all that does not select like Hardwax.


Yeah that last comment was a bit of a throwaway line. But I guess they do have links and might let Hardwax know if they've mastered something good. I'll be interested to hear how it goes with them. Do you get to choose the engineer?


I think you could do that, but we are just going with whoever they assign. Will report back!


yes you can. i did ask for rashad but got grinser done the laquer cut.
felixer
mousegarden wrote:
the engineers were always right and musicians were literally the scum of the earth, even though we were paying their wages.

but the engineer is usually right. and a lot of muscians are scum. i've seen small desasters happen when you do it the way the muscian wants it. i had this band once that insisted on doing the vocals at the same time as the instruments. i explained that usually you do the vocals as overdubs. but they insisted. so naturally both the instrumental parts and the vocals suffered. up to the point where the bassplayer had to redo both his bass and his vocals. this took more time and effort. and then guitarplayers. always insisting that live it goes wonderefully but now, in the studio something is wrong. until the singer remarked: 'but you always fuck up that part live, you just don't notice'. ah, thank you very much. and on and on it goes ... nowadays muscians find themselves so very great that it hurts. obviously the engineer has a lot more experience. and often more musical knowledge. so go with that, if you are smart. and adding reverb to the monitors is something you do all the time, esp on headphones. that guys prob was inexperienced. you had a lot of that in the 80ies. guys who just got a load of gear and had it working, but only just. and often came from a background of synthpop where there are no live drums. i remember mixing an album where they had a girl helping me who told me she had just done her first live session. after working at that place for 3 years ...
timoka
slumberjack wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
dubonaire wrote:
listentoaheartbeat wrote:
Now I really want to know who they are. smile


I thought you would. I don't even know if they would have time for me, but it's Tobias, Stefan Betke, Hannes Bieger and Shawn Hatfield.


Stefan mastered our last record with good results, even though communication was not ideal from my perspective. However, it seems like most mastering engineers in our niche don't engage in a dialog before getting started unless you book an attended session. I think good mastering should always involve one quick round of mix feedback and some discussion of direction. But maybe most clients don't have expectations like this. We are going to try Dubplates & Mastering for the next one, but Stefan is definitely someone who we will come back to.


Yeah I'm too far away to attend a session. I imagined that Dubplates & Mastering would be not so communicative, but could be a way to get your records sold in Hardwax.


We did attended sessions at Calyx. The main benefit was that we could establish a dialog with the engineer that continued via email. The session itself was not overwhelming but still interesting. Listening to our music there was cool. But my label partner is in London, so we stopped doing attended sessions. Communication with D&M has actually been the best we have experienced so far (well, just first contact and scheduling but still). Not sure if it would help getting records into Hardwax, D&M is a service provider after all that does not select like Hardwax.


Yeah that last comment was a bit of a throwaway line. But I guess they do have links and might let Hardwax know if they've mastered something good. I'll be interested to hear how it goes with them. Do you get to choose the engineer?


I think you could do that, but we are just going with whoever they assign. Will report back!


yes you can. i did ask for rashad but got grinser done the laquer cut.


everyone asks for becker and feeds the hype around him, a experimental electronic music record almost HAS to be mastered by him, ridiculous imo.
rashad becker is very good, grinser is a very good mastering engineer too and so is almost everyone working at this level. i had such a fu*%ed up relationship with this mastering thing that i didn't realize how little it actually matters IF your mixes are good, and that's the thing there, you don't want the mastering engineer to take over artistic control and that means usually that if you're not happy with the master, chances are high that you should fix the mix. anyway, the real important part is the cut and afterwards the pressing, who cares if you had the best master if the pressing plant fuckes up and customers complain which happens so often today with all these new records coming out.
timoka
oh sorry i just realized how off topic the mastering topic is...anyway,
my studio looks like shit.
felixer
how did we get from ideas to mastering? that's a long way out.
a lot of mastering is bullshit. adding/substracting 1 dB is bullshit as the system the customers will listen at are all very different. it might sound great at the studio but that doesn't mean anything.
i've seen it with clients who always get a good rough mix after the recording sessions and some complain it all sounds like shit. but then someone comes along who says:'but everything sounds like shit at your place'. well, thank you very much. and if asked what kind of hifi they have they become evasive ...
so even musicians often have a bad soundsystem at home. i know it was like that for me as i spend my money on instruments and not on hifi gear. but then again i didn't complain! Mr. Green
boxxgrooved
Great topic. Quantum theory suggests that existence itself with nature's perfect mathematical laws sprouts from total chaos.

The Buddhists hold that the beautiful Lotus flower that grows out of the murky swamps is a symbol for man's eternal goal.

I think creativity can certainly come from a messy studio. But I also believe that tidyness is next to Godliness. Oscillating between these two is the 'middle way'. Nothing is absolute
slumberjack
timoka wrote:
the real important part is the cut


to get that right i let only cut at d&m. mastering i prefer to be done by people i know tbh.

so back on topic now.

how about posting some messy studio pix? i'll start with that tomorrow after i cleaned up and after i threw all those empty pizza boxes out. hihi
boxxgrooved
slumberjack wrote:
i'll start with that tomorrow after i cleaned up and after i threw all those empty pizza boxes out. hihi


I heard empty pizza boxes placed in the corners of the room are great for diffusing standing waves. If you turn them inside out the irregularities of the pizza residue helps immensely
slumberjack
boxxgrooved wrote:
slumberjack wrote:
i'll start with that tomorrow after i cleaned up and after i threw all those empty pizza boxes out. hihi


I heard empty pizza boxes placed in the corners of the room are great for diffusing standing waves. If you turn them inside out the irregularities of the pizza residue helps immensely


you made my day! you name says it, you must be a master of boxxes.
Panason
Styrofoam take-away boxes piled on top of the pizza boxes are even better. The heavy oils in the leftover sauce give a full fat sound!
felixer
this is the fallacy of eggcartons. anything that breaks up the regularity of the room will do a decent job of killing standing waves. but if you want to look at pizzaboxes all the time, be my guest
slumberjack
boxxgrooved
slumberjack wrote:
you made my day! you name says it, you must be a master of boxxes.


Yes I cut grooves in boxes put knobs on them and pretend to make music hihi
matthewjuran
Being well fed might have more effect than surroundings. I think personal struggles can help make good and having a sorted place is one to do.
biscuitdough
boxxgrooved wrote:
slumberjack wrote:
you made my day! you name says it, you must be a master of boxxes.


Yes I cut grooves in boxes put knobs on them and pretend to make music hihi


Ah yes, the famous "groovebox". At least the pads don't wear out on yours.
mousegarden
felixer wrote:
this is the fallacy of eggcartons. anything that breaks up the regularity of the room will do a decent job of killing standing waves. but if you want to look at pizzaboxes all the time, be my guest


Leave the pizza's in the boxes, they'll soak up lower frequencies, especially the stuffed crust ones, may get a bit smelly after awhile though.
locust_locust
I try to keep things as neat as I can but studio entropy is a real thing, at least in my studio.

I'm reminded about this quote:

"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." Gustave Flaubert

(The only reason I know this is it was quoted in 'The Real Frank Zappa Book'.)
jmax313
Fastus wrote:
Think of the studio as I would a kitchen - when I make something, there's going to be a mess... but I don't want it obstructed by a prior mess.


BUT I need to clean up, I go insane if my place is messy after creating.
felixer
you start from where you are.
Panason
Virtual tidying up is good ....

I recently created a folder on my Mac, named it MANUALS, threw in all the manuals for all the gear and software that I have, and added a shortcut to it in the Finder's sidebar....

Now there is no excuse to not RTFM!
mousegarden
locust_locust wrote:
"Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work." Gustave Flaubert


That is so true, spot on.
Idunno
I was reading a thread somewhere on how to relax when playing an instrument with many folks saying that they play their best performances when they are most relaxed. Then someone popped up and said the opposite, that he played his best and most inspired and urgent stuff when he is sitting uncomfortably on the edge of an uncomfortable chair in the most uncomfortable of positions.

I somewhat go along with that. If it's an instrument I'm less familiar with then it helps to be relaxed and comfortable, but if it's guitar (my main instrument) I don't wanna get too comfortable as I'm liable to play boringly.

I can't say that whether my house/studio is tidy or not makes any difference though. If it's too messy then that might restrict me somewhat.
lisa
My apartment is really messy. Not unclean but cluttered. Ten times worse since I became a parent. The two year old seems to live for cluttering.. any free floor space is to be covered in junk.

My rack table is very uncluttered though. My Eurorack, a drum machine (I rotate them every 3-5 weeks), a mixer, cables, a lava lamp and nothing else.
synthpriest
felixer wrote:
you start from where you are.


makes sense! Guinness ftw!
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