Take a look at this picture of a recording studio mixing board. Doesn't the forest of knobs and buttons make your fingers itch? It does mine. There are so many controls. So much power. An unmatched ability to add a touch of this or a reduction of that. In the hands of a master, this board can produce amazing recordings. Of course, the opposite is true and that's what often happens. A heavy hand on the controls can wreak sonic havoc. The best sounding control boards in the world are pure, without EQ, without compressors, with few controls. Just good old gain and pan pots, perhaps a reverb bus. If changes need to be made they're handled at the source: moving a microphone's position, changing the types of microphones, rearranging the position of musicians, etc. I think what's misunderstood in the recording world, when the quality of sound matters, is what the true value of these complex control boards is: remastering. When you remaster an existing recording you need a lot of controls because you cannot change what's already been captured. And here's the sad part. Many remastered classics aren't even as good as the originals. Which is a shame because there's a wealth of recordings just begging for the gentle hand of a caring master to bring them to life.
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