Article Index

Tom Scholz talks about&

The recording process today

It s a lot ebony porn different. So-called modern technology has made the recording process so difficult and so time consuming. In some senses it s opened up recording to more people because digital equipment is so cheap, like computers. The problem is, they have such incredible limitations and are fraught with such added complication, anybody that s opened up their notebook knows how maddening it can be.

All-analog recording

There is no such thing as analog recording anymore. You can make an analog record but there is no analog delivery means. Sooner or later in the process you have to match up with the rest of the world. In my case, I stay analog until the mixdown. What I do basically is do a setup in analog mix, and then I break that down to separate sort of premix bunches, separate out the guitars, separate the vocals and the drums and mix each of those separately. Then I ll run it off in enormous painstaking complication on digital equipment that can track analog.

Tape s drawbacks

The problem with tape machines is A), it s getting hard to maintain them, and B), nobody makes tape that really fills the bill. I m doing the best I can at the moment with the last available source that I know of. So there will be a time that it will be simply impossible, that will come maybe within the next year or two.

Time between failures

Tape is far faster with far less difficulties, in real time. I m not one of these people who makes a silk s purse out of a sow s ear in the studio. Obviously as we all know there are a lot of performers who wouldn t be in business if not for all the corrective digital devices out there, and Boston is still a totally live band, and all the studio performances are real. All the parts are still punched in and out  by me. The old stuff that was designed 20 or 30 years ago, those things are workhorses. They are amazing. The time between failures as compared to my Digidesign Pro Tools  that dies every couple of hours. I won t even run that system myself. I won t do anything involving a Pro Tools session without having a dedicated engineer there who deals with the stupid software and all the trouble that comes with it. The tricks that it allows you to do as far as fooling with the actual sonic result are great fun. The problem is, the reliability is so poor and the actual basic things that it needs to do are so bad.

Hand and mouse movements

The other problem is that with digital recording, aside from the harassment and the complication, there s the problem of not having dedicated buttons, you have to pushing a button and recording a track and pushing another button and recording another track. Looking at the screen, moving your hand, looking at the mouse and watching it. When I m using the 24 track machine, I never look at it. I actually punch in and out with my foot. I ve been doing it for 24 years.


It isn t just that the sample rate is too low, it s the phase angler that drives me crazy. You record a vocal track on a good 24-track machine and what it spits out afterward, the wave forms match exactly. There s a little bit of distortion which usually is considered a benefit, but the actual wave form is true. You can take a before or after& you make an analog onto your computer and then play it back, the wave form is completely different. The reason is the high frequency and the low frequency are no longer in correct timing with each other. It actually causes a shift. It s very significant. For my purposes, where I double-track a lot of things, I double-track vocals, lead guitar and all the rhythm instruments. As I m playing I lay down the original track, and as I lay down the double, I am listening to the way to the two tracks play against each other in the phase cancellation. That s what really creates the magic with double-tracking. When it s going the way I like it, I keep going. When it s not I stop and go back and do it again. You can t do that in digital because the basic digital signal plays you back a signal that has been phase-shifted. The live guitar or vocal combined with the recorded one sounds a lot different  the live track and the played-back track are not the same. Very few people know that. Anybody can do that experiment by recording on both a good old analog machine and on their computer at the same time and then playing the computer track back to the tape. You can t get it to match up. With a tape machine, it ll either reinforce and be twice as loud or you can put it out of phase and it ll disappear.

blog comments powered by Disqus