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Jim Feeley

The "Less Suck" Fader

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2 hours ago, Jay Rose said:

Wasn't Les Suck the guy who invented overdubs?

 

Ha!

 

And for those of you who can't see and don't remember the classic Far Side cartoon (by Gary Larson, a guitarist):

 

farside_fixed-jpg.236406

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Thanks Jim. I'd forgotten that one. At the time, it must have been taped to many mixing consoles.

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

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Years ago before knowledge of how a recording console works was so accessible, there was a tradition of adding "Producer Busy Box" knobs to the producer's desk end of the console that of course did nothing.   Many were unlabelled, with the engineer deciding on the spot what sort of non-control would appeal to his current (officious) client.  There were knobs labelled "Enhance", "Air", "timbre", "coherence" etc, with my all time fave being "More Oboe".

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I used to have a battery powered (LARGE) Simpson VU meter mounted in a box with a pot sitting on my monitor mixing desk that was labeled "FUNOMETER" and it would go up and down depending on many factors; like if I was getting mic stands thrown at me or there was a cute woman sitting next to me on the road case that doubled as my seat.  It was often easy to tell what sort of mood I was in from time to time simply by reading the attitude on the meter.

 

Judas Priest always made the meter go up and KISS always made the meter go down.

 

I also had two non-working pots on my Midas panel labeled "bottom" and "funk" which were two words bandied about frequently in those days.  Worked with a lot of R&B bands.

 

D.

 

PS.  I LOVE "more oboe."

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Great stories. Ya, I saw a few producer boxes in the studios I passed through. 

 

And from the 90s (or so?), remember the late lamented Funk Logic? Especially their Algorithmic Prosecutor?

FL_AP.jpg

Funkerator_CU.jpg

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A long time ago, I had a buddy come up with a box that would keep clients' fingers off the faders during mixes. We called it the ProducerMatic. It had a multi position switch on the left, with labels like "funky", "bright", and "hip". On the right side, we had a single fader labeled "more" and "less". To seal the deal, we put the largest piece of multi connector cable we could find coming out of the back. Did it ever work! Unfortunately, it was tossed during a move, and no pics survive.

The Good Old Days.

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In 1975 in Nashville at the Opryland music theme park on a show called "Showboat '75", I added to my array of three Shure SR101 consoles a pot labeled "translucence". The music director was amazed at the subtle artistic difference it made. 

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54 minutes ago, Glen Trew said:

In 1975 in Nashville at the Opryland music theme park on a show called "Showboat '75", I added to my array of three Shure SR101 consoles a pot labeled "translucence". The music director was amazed at the subtle artistic difference it made. 

Glen wins!  I wish I'd thought of "translucence"!  The "funky-bright-hip" thing is an example of a classic "Busy-Box"--well done.  Funk Logic stuff was beautifully made rack-filler.  They also made a very nice (and very practical) panel for mounting two of the "Really Nice Compressors" or "Really Nice Levelling Amps" that FMR audio makes (this is going back 18 years or so).

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In one of the venues I used to work, to quiet an insistent and nosey producer, they always had to wire mics/stands to a horn section that needed no sound reinforcement whatsoever. The six XLR's just ran under the bleachers to nowhere, and the guy was happy for many seasons.

 

 

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I used to route a couple of channels from the board into the LA-3 limiters, with the outputs patched to nothing. When the producer wanted “more” of something, I would just crank the threshold on the limiter so that there was around 10 dB of limiting. Just seeing the needle move usually made them happy.

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Wow Jay, that operator's manual is a masterpiece!

 

I think perhaps if the audio thing doesn't work out for you, you may want to write the 6th or 9th book of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Universe Trilogy.

 

I never got so fancy as to create boxes for clients to play with, but I think anyone who spent any time at a mixing board perfected "ghost moves", fader or eq tweaks that were totally for placebo effect...

 

Cheers,

Brent Calkin

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On 7/10/2018 at 3:21 PM, Jay Rose said:

I suppose it's time to throw in this broadcast equipment manual, which I wrote for one of my client's April Fools a few years ago.

 

Here's the cover.

PAPManualCover.png

The rest follows the strict format of other 25-Seven manuals of the time... except the functions are somewhat impossible in this universe.

 

Jay, I just saw this gem. Would you allow me to post the link to one of the soud groups I belong to on Facebook (Freelance Sound Mixers & Recordists for TV/Film)?

 

Cheers,

BK

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