The Art of Reading Between The Lines

ad_tv_at_universal_studios.jpgAfter a while when you have read enough postings, you start to get an inner system of catching postings that actually have an indirect or otherwise misleading nature. I give you an example of a couple of those that I’ve seen in all kinds of variations out there in music-centric forums.

A classical one that shows up frequently is that someone first asks how to do mastering of tracks, and then later someone tells: don’t do it, better let professionals handle it for you. Then there’s either a reference to a mastering house, or the poster is promoting his or her own mastering services. So it’s clear what’s going on — direct marketing and trying to steer customers towards them. Usually such marketing is nasty and just backfires.

Another variation is when someone asks about how to use a specific product, plug-in, amp, and so on, in a somewhat different scenario than expected. Let’s give this example, using a keyboard amp as a bass amplifier. Some might say, that’s silly. However, a lot of modern keyboard amps go down to 30Hz or below, and work just fine, and with a pre-amp in front you could key in all kinds of amplifier models where all you need is to amplify the pre-amp settings. What happened was that someone had not even tried out keyboard amps, do don’t know enough information about such scenarios, but still just post something about not doing it, as everyone is using specific bass amplifiers…. Actually, in a good discussion someone might later reply that watch out for open-ended cabinet constructions, the bass levels might destroy the cabinet and so on.

Or then someone is telling that using a specific plug-in in a certain way creates bad sound. While maybe the whole idea behind the plug-in is to distort the sound in a certain way, and that’s what others want to use it for. There’s really no objective answer today concerning how people use effects and plug-ins to achieve all kinds of sounds. And that’s fine.

There are all kinds of variations of answers; you might distill the problem ones related to laziness, hubris, subjectivity, not knowing but still answering to get more postings on a forum (me too posts),  and so on.

It’s good people provide advise on blogs, forums and mailing lists. However, you always need to do a little bit thinking yourself and see if an answer makes sense or not. Nobody is perfect (that includes me.)

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