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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Technology Is Supposed to Be Inconvenient?

Yes, part of the time...and it is so worth it!

While home/office-based digital audio workstations and video editing bays will definitely speed-up, cost-down, and overall democratize the process of getting effectively professional results, it shouldn't stop you, me, or anyone else to take current technology to areas where more experienced producers, engineers, and technicians go. That scary place, where things usually fall flat and you have to start over several times. The place that the owner's manual PDF file doesn't cover. You know what I'm talking about - go there. Often.

Several years of trial and error (failures, mediocre results, and some cool stuff) sort of gave me the indication to experiment from time to time, but recently I signed up for one of those gimmicky free videos through Digidesign (the company that makes Pro Tools, which is a subsidiary of Avid, etc.). It was for a handful of free videos from, which featured tips from music producer Kenny Gioia (the guy who produced the '90s hit "Sex and Candy," and someone who apparently made the transition from analog console recording/mixing to Pro Tools and brought a lot of cool analog techniques with him).

Anyway, Gioia's Pro Tools videos gave me a lot of information that I might have found out much later (or not) - little tips to make various trivial tasks less tedious and grandiose stuff that's worth taking the time to try. For example, there's one video where he de-esses vocals the long way, without using a de-esser plug-in to automate the process. This isn't a sales job to buy/rent whatever is selling, as I just watched the free videos and don't intend to spend money on other videos (though I might sometime later...). However, viewing the videos caused my creative wheels (which are always turning) to spin even faster, so I am now in the current mindset to not only fail often, but also to take my "game" to a higher level.

I think Walt Disney once said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." William Arthur Ward said something similar: "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it." So if your technology can't help you do what you've dreamt: A. You might need some help with your technology (and Google will be your friend), or B. You might need to change/modify/upgrade your technology (and Google will be your research buddy in this instance).

But for all this talk about technology, it really comes down to the user - you, me, and to whomever this rant may be relevant.

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