Dawg Gone Analog

It’s happening. I’ve considered and planned and anticipated this for 15+ years. But always compromised.

I’m going analog at the studio. Direct to tape. Outboard gear. No DAW. No computers needed at all.

The real deal. Why wait any longer?

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YOLO sly, yolo

Why? One Word. Workflow. [whoo!]

New Studio’s Primary Rule: NO SCREENS = EARS MAKE ALL DECISIONS. EYES MAKE NONE.

MISSION STATEMENT:  NO SCREENS.  EARS MAKE ALL DECISIONS.  EYES MAKE NONE.

Here’s some initial thoughts –

  • I will track to tape.
  • I might live-mix bounces and direct to 2-track final mixes.
  • Patchbays!
  • I can only afford 4-track 1/4″ tape decks right now, but it could be a stepping stone.
  • Most of my vintage compressors, preamps, mics and processors can finally be put to proper use.
  • Yes…. there will be a digital interface and something digitizing stem mixes from the tape machine for backup, recall, and perhaps future use. It will be also be optional, hidden by default, and have no visible screen.

The bottom line is no screens — we will get a sound from the instrument(s), work with the mic(s) and the input, track to tape, then move onto next layer using only your ears and available dials and knobs.

 

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This is the analog version of a hard drive full of plug-ins. Except these sound better. And have knobs.

 

I know I’m swimming upstream here. It’s not my first time on that trip.

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Quality swimming up the river Convenience

 

Even the founder of the magazine Tape Op, the bible amongst analog types and tape ops, said on a 2014 panel “someone buying a 1980-era consumer-level 4-track is the least exciting thing to me right now”.

Someone buying a 1980-era consumer-level 4-track is the least exciting thing to me right now – Larry Crane, Tape Op Editor

A slap down from tape jesus himself! But alas, I will work to prove him wrong. My 1980’s era TEAC 4-track tape deck passed it’s exam last night and should be ready for sessions any day now. My studio is shifting into a new mode and it’s all about workflow, limitations, and performance pressure.

 

The Grande Finale

 

A great closing track to a great record — School’s Out by The Alice Cooper Band, 1971.

These guys were one of the finest garage rock bands ever: Dennis Dunaway, Neil Smith, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce and of course the king of whatthefuck Alice Cooper. They just charged at everything like nothing was impossible, nothing was too outrageous, nothing was too uncool for school.

 

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Mark Price Appreciation Post

Steph Curry knows. Kenny Smith knows. Brad Daugherty knows. Steve Kerr knows.

There were a few years in the NBA (1989-1994: the height of the Jordan years) where the best shooter and one of the best overall point guards in the league went without much notice outside of coaches, players and fans of his team.

He was the 2nd guy ever, after Larry Bird, to average 50-40-90% in field goals, threes, and free throws for a full season, known as the 50-40-90 club.  Since then 5 more players have achieved this shooting mastery: Reggie Miller, Steve Nash (4x!), Dirk Nowitski, and Kevin Durant.

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Considered too slow and a small 6′ for the NBA, especially in those years when the league was stocked with talent, Price was picked in the 2nd round by Dallas and traded to Cleveland. I don’t remember much hype about the small white guard that looked like a 12 year old choirboy.

Since Cleveland also picked big Brad Daughtery 1st overall and talented slasher Ronny Harper at pick 8 that day, it was a haul even before they received the news that another talented rookie Hot Rod Williams would be cleared of NCAA gambling charges and be allowed to play for the Cavs.

Cleveland actually had 4 of the 5 all-rookies that year. I don’t know if that’s been done since.

The addition of prime high-flying forward Larry Nance turned the late 80’s Cavs into “the team of the 90’s” according to Magic Johnson. To be a Laker fan and read that!

So how did Price do it? By being one of the single most awesome players ever with the ball in his hands.

Similar to Steph Curry, he could shoot so fast, so accurately, so consistently that defenses just bent to his will.

Similar to Lebron James, he could utilize teammates, spacing, picks, and inventiveness to break your press and decimate your defense.

His secret weapon was his split dribble. See, the Cavs fed off of pick and rolls with their talented big men. Defenders could either plan to fight over the pick, go under the pick, or switch. As they were deciding this he attacked, dribbling directly between them and forcing them off-balance.

It worked like a charm because of his shooting skills – wherever defenders went, he had a play and could get his shot. And usually drain it, bottom of the net, or use glass.

He also impressed in the 1993 3-point shootout, at one point hitting something like 3 racks straight.

In Cleveland he wasn’t even the most famous Cavalier. They were stacked and I remember people considering him a John Stockton knockoff. That’s probably racist, like there’s only room for 1 caucasian point guard? He could out-shoot the Hall of Famer Stockton, and if he had the health and the stability of Stockton, and the mailman, he’d be right there.

Looking back, Mark Price really was the best player on those stocked Cavs teams. He couldn’t even dunk but man that dude could play some basketball. Unstoppable, made everything happen everywhere, and the model for guys like Steph Curry. Mark Price was 6′ Larry Bird, one of the best ever.

 

 

My First Laptop

I’ve been more or less living on a laptop since about 2002. I had a desktop machine as my only rig from ’87-’96 (Atari, Apple, Tandy, Gateway, Dell, IBM, white boxes, you name it…) and around 1996 I was finally able to pick up my first laptop on that new thing called eBay: an Apple PowerBook Duo 230 with a built-in modem, fax, rollerball and an extra battery. I quickly picked up a duoport SCSI adapter and was on my way.

It came from a guy in California that said he used it on the beach and hoped it didn’t have any sand in it – it did. I never managed to buy the whole desktop portion to slide the closed duo into, but it was one hell of a laptop.

This was the first netbook by about 15 years, I think. It was smaller and lighter than anything else out there even when I bought it used. The rollerball was killer, the buttons worked great, plus it had a built in modem, ethernet, and retractable legs!


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Atari Equals Childhood Happys

This is excellent. Atari has had about 200 owners since their glory years, but whoever managed to keep the vintage code safe and sound is a hero. This is a new release of over 100 classic Atari titles on iOS, along with new multi-player over Bluetooth features and a shared game launching hub. The prices are excellent and they even packaged up similar titles into Game Packs, a most excellent idea. Go Atari, whoever you are now!


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