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so right and so wrong
Sufjan Stevens is awesome and punk.
You might not know it by listening to his albums - they're feats of orchestration, arrangement and craft that have the power to sweep you right the eff up in a majestic way, but he's a total recording rebel, Tape Op style. Both of his "Fifty States Project" albums, Michigan and Illinois, sound incredible - and both were made using ghetto-style techniques that most (if not all) recordists would be crippled by, - doing all your mixing on headphones, tracking an entire record with Shure SM57s and an AKG C 1000, recording your album at 32 kHz, tracking on a cheap digital 8-track and dumping it into Pro Tools two tracks at a time thru the 1/8" jack and lining them up by sight. Yow! Talking with Sufjan about his recording process really reinforced a few key things in my head - the core reasons why I believe in Tape Op magazine and what it stands for (to me, at least) - that there is no right way to record, that the most important thing are the ideas and songs and performances, that you can work with whatever you have and make something incredible, that gear is truly secondary, maybe tertiary. Is it raw material/technique/ equipment, in that order? So yeah, Sufjan's records sound so good to my ears - and he was mic'ing the kick with a freakin' C 1000 and recording it at 32 kHz. WTF?
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