Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

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Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sun May 12, 2024 7:29 am

Since so many here seem to be affected by his passing, I thought I’d drop this here. Written by Brian Beattie, an old Austin friend about how his band Glass Eye spent a few days recording with him.

Steve Albini was a menace to society

At the end there’s a list of studio tricks that Steve provided. I played briefly in a band with Scott Marcus, the drummer from Glass Eye, and remember trying out a few of these with Craig Ross and Frenchie Smith.

If you want to dig further, there’s also stories of him recording Daniel Johnston, Okkervil River and a few others.

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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by BoringPostcards » Sun May 12, 2024 7:48 am

Reading now. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by rank » Sun May 12, 2024 8:12 am

That was a great read.
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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by JSett » Sun May 12, 2024 10:07 pm

I'm sure there's been discussion about it all over in the Misc section (I'm blocked from it so wouldn't know) but Steves sudden passing has been a weird thing for me and so many others. I spoke to him a few times on the old PRF forum and he was super helpful and supportive, but also expertly concise and brutally honest.

His fingerprints reach much further than he probably ever realised. Every single DIY band, scene, engineer, alternative music listener etc has more than likely had SA affect them in some way wether or not they know it. We lost a fucking real one and it sucks.

Rest In Phase, Steve.
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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by crazyzeke » Mon May 13, 2024 8:19 am

Steve Albini wrote:In stereo, this can make you come in your pants.
Cracked me up with laughter. He was always really good at capturing spatial depth especially on drums so it figures he'd know a cool trick like the spinning mic. Good write up by Brian and testament to Steve's character. His abrasiveness was more of an asset than a problem, and tended to scare away fakers and morons so it worked out pretty well for him, I'm sure. He's said a lot of interesting/entertaining things over the years. He didn't suffer fools gladly or take/deal in bullshit, and I can respect that.
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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by fuzzjunkie » Mon May 13, 2024 5:48 pm

The spinning mic trick was something we tried. I thought it came from the Beatles though when we did it? I remember a story of them swinging a microphone around John or something like that. Albini’s method is slightly different from that story though. I think?.

We also put ambient mics up near the corners of the room. I’m not sure if it’s based off Albini’s suggestion or not? Another time I remember my AC-30 being out in the stairwell with a mic in front, another behind and a third at the top of the stairs on a boom pointing down. In some of those cases a sub mix (side-chain?) would run through a Distressor on the “all buttons mashed” setting. So much for “compression is for pussies!”

The one thing that he recommended in an old Tape Op article that I always wanted to try and never did, was ribbon microphones. I remember suggesting that once and was shot down as they were “too delicate.”

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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by bipedal2 » Wed May 15, 2024 6:02 am

Thanks to the OP for sharing that.

I suspect most folks who drop by this thread will already be familiar with Albini's The Problem With Music article, but if not, it's worth a read or three. Sure, the business model has changed a lot since that time, but the gist of the argument is still powerful.

All my observations of his work are from afar as a music fan, but in his work as an engineer Steve struck me as a person who may not have personally cared much for a lot of the music he recorded, but he cared very deeply that the music got recorded, and that the final "product" of the art was ultimately up to the artists.

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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by i love sharin foo » Fri May 17, 2024 4:22 pm

I have to say that I still can’t quite grasp the fact that he’s gone. The new record is great. It’s tough to listen to though knowing the book is now closed. The only other that has affected me like this was Tom Petty. I feel like both were very down to Earth, normal people. Champions of art and the people that create it. Like they had true reverence for artistic freedom. For something other than cashing it in for money. We needed them. Still need them. I guess they will still live on inside of us, but it’s still hard, knowing that the world as we perceive it got smaller. I figure I’m not alone.
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Re: Steve Albini was a Menace to Society

Post by interceptör » Sat May 18, 2024 5:17 am

bipedal2 wrote:
Wed May 15, 2024 6:02 am
I suspect most folks who drop by this thread will already be familiar with Albini's The Problem With Music article, but if not, it's worth a read or three. Sure, the business model has changed a lot since that time, but the gist of the argument is still powerful.
Damn that was powerful stuff.

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