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29 November 2011
"The trouble begins with a design philosophy that equates 'more options' with 'greater freedom.'" Brian Eno on why simpler tools are often better tools, in spite of (or even because of) their limitations.
That fancy recording console has its own limitations, but you haven't found them yet and your engineer is too inexperienced. I guess you don't remember when programming a hardware arpeggiator took most of a day and involved a lot of quite unmusical steps. In fact, it took so long that a non-musician could have learned to play the same riff convincingly. Remember debugging CV routings on the old Moog modulars? That was always good for two trips to the pub and constant lines of coke, wasn't it. No, Brian, that new software based equipment is just fine for the kids; you're just getting old and crotchety.
This goes the other way too. Nothing wrong with violas and trumpets recorded with ribbon mics, but I don't see you doing that either. In fact, set up a 70s-80s style analog studio with its racks of patch bays and drop one of today's hot DAW producers in it. They will be just as flummoxed by the complexity as you are with that fancy panel.
It's not that the old musicmaking 'systems' were that much (if any) simpler. It's just that Mr. Eno has had over 30 years to learn how to get the best out of them and he just doesn't want to take another 30+ years to learn the new stuff.