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Damage, Inc.
April 13th, 2011, 03:56 AM
My band and I decided it was time to record an ep...We laid down drum and bass tracks last Thursday, and I thought some of you might be interested in how we do it when every cent counts. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the studio, which was converted from a house. It's more than I expected for this area.

The drum room is the living room, complete with gobos to close it off from the other rooms. The bedroom opposite was the main tracking room, with the Pro Tools setup in the bedroom down the hall. I didn't get photos of the bass rig in the bathroom, but we had a DI feed from the bass as well as a C414 in front of the 4x10. I'm going to track guitars myself in our rehearsal room, and we're going back to the studio to do vox. I'll update the thread with more photos and rough mixes as we get them.

Here is the link to the photos from the drums/bass session:

http://www.facebook.com/e11eventhhour#!/album.php?fbid=10150270427014409&id=361494929408&aid=380648

PS: Anyone who cares enough to throw a 'like' our way deserves a gold star.

TheNetStudio
April 14th, 2011, 01:12 AM
Whatever it takes.

Besides - The songs and the performances are the most important parts anyway.

weedywet
April 14th, 2011, 03:44 PM
'every cent' always 'counts'

that's why, on the whole, I choose to spend my cents on one day in a major studio versus 2 months in my sitting room

of course this requires being ready to record together

archtop
April 14th, 2011, 03:58 PM
Yeah but low-budget and major studio


are two very different things

weedywet
April 14th, 2011, 05:19 PM
for one day?

your budget is less than $1000?

radiationroom
April 14th, 2011, 06:38 PM
By booking sessions off-hours you can get serious studio time for very little money. One studio I did business with years ago would sell time in one of their SSL 9000 equipped rooms for as low as $25.00 an hour if the session could be done at 3AM-8AM weekdays. By offering super-duper discounts for odd hours the studio could cover their utility overhead during that time period. Even better yet is if there is a cancellation and you can get your band together to record on a moments notice. Of course you need to provide your own engineer at those rates, but still there is no need for second best when you know how to track down unsold studio time. Think of it as "Priceline for Studio Time" and you should get what I am thinking here. Once studio time is gone it's gone and the studio would far rather sell it at the cost of electric than loose the money.

Just thinking outloud FWIW.

T.Bay
April 14th, 2011, 07:13 PM
Can you provide any input as to why the drums were recorded in that end of the room other than convenience?

Damage, Inc.
April 15th, 2011, 03:01 AM
Can you provide any input as to why the drums were recorded in that end of the room other than convenience?

They were already set up there, and already miked. Two great reasons!:grin: I don't think it shows up in the photos, but they are on top of a platform to decouple them from the room. I suppose every cent DOES always count, weedy...we just likely have a budget far smaller than most of you on this forum are used to.

We spent $200 for 5 hours on the drum tracks, and I expect another 5-6 hours for vocals. I'm going to mix myself (unless my mixes are absolute disasters), but I am planning on mastering at the same place ($30/track). Our drummer owns a printing business, so we'll likely have him print the sleeves and get a spool of CDs with the artwork on them from DiscMakers or something. So I would guess we'll come in at under $1000 not counting marketing.

otek
April 15th, 2011, 03:53 AM
Now, I don't mean to sound rude, but allow me a brutally honest observation: if between however many members you've got in the band you feel that you absolutely cannot shake out more than that, it's either because a) you don't believe you're worth it, or b) you don't believe professional studios are worth it.

Either attitude is a mistake in my opinion.

A while back I recorded a bunch of mostly unemployed teenagers who managed to somehow secure a personal loan to finance the record.

They got signed to a decent-sized indie label a few months after that.

I'm not trying to be a fuckwad here. On the contrary. I'm simply saying you may want to reexamine your priorities, not sell yourselves short, and not set yourselves up to fail.

Best of luck with it all. And I mean that.


otek

archtop
April 15th, 2011, 04:17 PM
O.K. Now I don't want to sound rude,

but I have seen so many guys spend SO much money "playing Rock Star".

Meaning going to a big dollar studio as if that will make a difference in their standing/clout/status.

It's no different than the drummer with all the fucking drums and cymbals that isn't very good, it doesn't matter if they are DW custom high dollar drums, his sucki-ness will trump all.


I can't believe Otek brought up a scenario of a band getting a loan to finance a record and getting a record deal.


Unicorn farts would be easier to get.

And a $1000.00 is a very very big deal to me.


But I'm more aghast at people telling you to
go somewhere else,
do something different.

When we haven't heard a single thing.


Yes audio is important.

It's my freakin' life.

But not more important than the song.

and not more important than the chops.

High dollar studios are not required
for you to make a decent recording today.

I pretty sure that I'm not the only shop around, that is a good price, with a guy that (thinks he) knows what he is doing.

So go tell those old fuckers that want you to spend more money to go fuck off.

This should be about music and fun.

Not debt and stress and worrying that you should have done it the way Michael Jackson and Axl Rose do it.

I've done a whole lot of records for a few hundred bucks that sound fine.

The bands sound like they sound.
a U-47 will not change that.

Now I need my first cup of coffee,

and get offa my lawn you punks

weedywet
April 15th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Whereas MY definition of 'playing rockstar' is :

'we need to spend a month doing guitars; that's why we do it on our own'

NOT playing rock star means being prepared to sound like you sound on the spot

Also, it's good to not 'play' producer/engineer either when you could hire a much better one

Johnny
April 15th, 2011, 06:05 PM
I don't take weedy to necessarily be saying "spend more money." The same bread will get you a day in a high end room or a month in a home...shop.

So get ready to come in and kill in one day, you're better off for the same money.

archtop
April 15th, 2011, 06:40 PM
I'm all for it.

Play music for gods sake.

Good bands can do a gig, 8 -10 songs 45 minutes.

let's say we will take 10 times as long to make a recording.

Still not very much time is needed.

weedywet
April 15th, 2011, 06:50 PM
I don't take weedy to necessarily be saying "spend more money." The same bread will get you a day in a high end room or a month in a home...shop.

So get ready to come in and kill in one day, you're better off for the same money.

That's exactly it

Damage, Inc.
April 15th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Right, that's why we did drums in a 'real' studio. We don't have the equipment to do it ourselves. Vox are going to be the same way...we'll be paying for a better mic and pre than we have available. I'm pretty sure I can get a guitar tone that I am happy with on my own, plus I can quad-track my rhythms and experiment a bit without the meter running. I guess I feel that to record guitars, I don't need the services of a professional studio. I don't need the mic, because I'm using my 57 (weedy, please stifle your obligatory groan at my mic choice! :grin:). I don't need the room, because I'm going to put gobos around the cab to remove the room sound. And I don't need a producer, because I am my own worst critic and no take that I'm unsure of would make it to the record anyway.

I ended up very impressed with Rob, our engineer from the drum session. He has quick ears and made several suggestions during the session that improved the quality of the tracks. If he thinks my gtrs suck and has a good reason why he can do them better, I'll consider spending the money to re-record them.


PS: If, after hearing a rough mix or two, you all think I'm a complete idiot, I expect that you will make it known in no uncertain terms. I do value informed opinions, that's why I'm opening myself up to criticism.

weedywet
April 15th, 2011, 08:27 PM
... I don't need the services of a professional studio. I don't need the mic,... I don't need the room, ... And I don't need a producer, because I am my own worst critic and no take that I'm unsure of would make it to the record anyway.

so just for argument's sake:

you don't think that recording at Abbey Road or AIR with Butch Vig, or Chris Thomas, or Roy Thomas Baker, or Joe Baresi, or whomever your idols might be, would make any difference at all for the better?

your sitting room with a gobo and a 57 and no input is every bit as good?

PRobb
April 15th, 2011, 08:40 PM
so just for argument's sake:

you don't think that recording at Abbey Road or AIR with Butch Vig, or Chris Thomas, or Roy Thomas Baker, or Joe Baresi, or whomever your idols might be, would make any difference at all for the better?

your sitting room with a gobo and a 57 and no input is every bit as good?
I'm not sure what the point of telling him that is.
Most people don't drive Bentleys and Ferraris. Do you think it's because they don't think they're good cars?

weedywet
April 15th, 2011, 09:12 PM
have you been reading the thread?

It's because the point is that if you can have the Ferrari for ONE DAY for more or less the same price as the Honda for 2 months, then what really matters is how long you NEED a car for.

because in a lot of cases one day with the Ferrari studio accomplishes more than 2 months at home.

I think people get attached to the process, instead of the result.
They WANT to spend weeks on something instead of only having one day of 'fun' recording... even though it doesn't lead to a better record.


and... I say it because he didn't say "I'd love to go into a studio with a great engineer and producer but I can't afford it"
what he said was:
" I don't need the services of a professional studio...
I don't need the mic...
I don't need the room...
And I don't need a producer..."

otek
April 16th, 2011, 02:26 AM
I think it is interesting that the common deciding factor for going into a studio, or not going into a studio on this particular project was given as "access to more/better equipment".

If that's all there is, you are not seeing the forest for the trees. That, or you picked the wrong place.


otek

Damage, Inc.
April 16th, 2011, 03:31 AM
Busted! Poor choice of words. Abbey Road, Butch Vig, or say, Neil Kernon or Andy Sneap are about as attainable for me right now as cold fusion. What I should have said was "since I can't afford a high-end studio or a good producer, I am making do with what I have available, and I believe I can get a worthwhile result." I am very aware that the recording would sound better and go smoother at a proper studio with a good engineer and/or producer at the helm, but for now we need some kind of product to attract the attention of such a person, as well as something to sell to finance the next, hopefully larger-budgeted recording.

My vision for this thread was to document the recording of an independent release that, while cheap and rough around the edges, gets the point of the music across. Perhaps it will instead document a guitarist who, feeling too big for his britches, released an inferior product by trying to do everything in-house.

Brendo
April 16th, 2011, 03:46 AM
it's possible to do everything yourself, yeah:

http://soundcloud.com/bthompson91/5-unrelentingneverending

but that took TONS of work.

weedywet
April 16th, 2011, 04:02 AM
... What I should have said was "since I can't afford a high-end studio or a good producer, I am making do with what I have available, and I believe I can get a worthwhile result." I am very aware that the recording would sound better and go smoother at a proper studio with a good engineer and/or producer at the helm, but for now we need some kind of product to attract the attention of such a person, as well as something to sell to finance the next, hopefully larger-budgeted recording...

see, that's VERY different.
and quite sensible

although I still wonder if you have more options than you think, especially in today's economy, if you really wanted to go the quick but professionally aided route.

otek
April 16th, 2011, 04:22 AM
You can always make a few calls. Maybe it's not as out of your range as you might think.


otek

NathanRocks88
April 16th, 2011, 05:47 AM
Sometimes studios will trade for construction services.

I hooked up my friends band with robert lang studio when bob was in need of some skilled carpenters & drywallers.

It also helped that my friends band is one of the most popular acts in town. I'm sure that had something to do with it too.

T.M.
April 16th, 2011, 07:57 AM
Reading the whole thread, I feel like there's an unconscious feeling that the performance will be better at home.

I'm more and more prone to think that home recordist are (and i'm one ):

a) musicians enjoying the process of recording,
or
b) musicians thinking they won't be able to perform at their best, or be able to achieve the best result in a professional studio and in a limited time.

IMHO, the latter is reinforced by the lack of producer.

The OP said he's his "own worst critic and wouldn't keep a take he's unsure about"...
He's right : he's his worst critic, he shouldn't have to decide about his own takes.
I do that kind of thing every day, and I'm sure it's what leads my recording to be weaker. I'm certain the OP will delete some good takes because of little details on which he's focusing, although the take is the best he could do.

This wouldn't happen in a studio and/or with a producer.

MacGregor
April 16th, 2011, 10:35 AM
b) musicians thinking they won't be able to perform at their best, or be able to achieve the best result in a professional studio and in a limited time.


Last year, my nephew recorded his first dunno-how-its-called-Metal album, and he said that, despite the obvious tension, the band actually performed better under that pressure because they KNEW they'd have to nail it in 3 days.

You most probably never explore (or go beyond) your own limits sitting on a couch in a living room.

Mac
.

weedywet
April 16th, 2011, 04:28 PM
Reading the whole thread, I feel like there's an unconscious feeling that the performance will be better at home.

I'm more and more prone to think that home recordist are (and i'm one ):

a) musicians enjoying the process of recording,
or
b) musicians thinking they won't be able to perform at their best, or be able to achieve the best result in a professional studio and in a limited time.

IMHO, the latter is reinforced by the lack of producer.

The OP said he's his "own worst critic and wouldn't keep a take he's unsure about"...
He's right : he's his worst critic, he shouldn't have to decide about his own takes.
I do that kind of thing every day, and I'm sure it's what leads my recording to be weaker. I'm certain the OP will delete some good takes because of little details on which he's focusing, although the take is the best he could do.

This wouldn't happen in a studio and/or with a producer.

I think you're right.

but I ALSO think there's one more factour - and that's the the feeling that spending more time makes it better, and I can only spend more time 'at home'

it jumped out at me too, that quote about ' wouldn't keep a take he's unsure about'

the question should be, if "Butch Vig, or say, Neil Kernon or Andy Sneap " told you "no, no, that's great! we're keeping it!" would you still argue and insist? and would you be in fact better off letting go and letting him make that choice?


but I think I've made my point
I didn't mean to derail the thread

RJ Palmer
April 16th, 2011, 07:27 PM
Last year, my nephew recorded his first dunno-how-its-called-Metal album, and he said that, despite the obvious tension, the band actually performed better under that pressure because they KNEW they'd have to nail it in 3 days.

You most probably never explore (or go beyond) your own limits sitting on a couch in a living room.

Mac
.

It seems pretty common amongst bands with only a little 'proper' studio experience that they feel worried about wasting money if they get nervous and don't play well during the day or two they can afford.

But I think your nephew's experience is actually very common amongst the ones that take the leap and give it a go.

NathanRocks88
April 17th, 2011, 02:15 AM
Reading the whole thread, I feel like there's an unconscious feeling that the performance will be better at home.

I'm more and more prone to think that home recordist are (and i'm one ):

a) musicians enjoying the process of recording,
or
b) musicians thinking they won't be able to perform at their best, or be able to achieve the best result in a professional studio and in a limited time.

IMHO, the latter is reinforced by the lack of producer.

The OP said he's his "own worst critic and wouldn't keep a take he's unsure about"...
He's right : he's his worst critic, he shouldn't have to decide about his own takes.
I do that kind of thing every day, and I'm sure it's what leads my recording to be weaker. I'm certain the OP will delete some good takes because of little details on which he's focusing, although the take is the best he could do.

This wouldn't happen in a studio and/or with a producer.

option C) musicians that want complete creative control

sometimes with no regard for technical quality. sometimes.

I tried a mix for a "home recorded" rnb singer. noticed tons of BAD distortion on the vocal (caused by her overloaded preamp) and encouraged her to come with me to a tracking studio.

We got there and she froze - complaining that she "couldn't sing with a mic in front of her face":headpalm:

which makes me wonder how the hell she recorded her vocal in the first place.:headpalm:

what made it worse - she didn't like the "overproduced sound":fingerlefty: We parted ways, I kept the deposit, paid the room fee, and haven't heard from her since.

TheNetStudio
April 17th, 2011, 04:49 AM
Well, I've never worked with anybody of any note. But I have done both self producing in my studio and recording in a facility with an engineer other than me.

And I have to say that I loved the ability in my studio to try all sorts of things and work out harmony parts.

But if i had my druthers, I prefer somebody else engineering and producing. Mostly because I tend to really go for a ridiculous level of perfection when I do it myself. Take after take after take after take. And that always seems to somehow kill the emotion of the song. Given enough time and tweaking, I can completely ruin a recording by perfecting it to the point that all the emotion is wrung out of it.

Mebbee it's just me...

MSRP
YMMV

otek
April 17th, 2011, 05:19 AM
And I have to say that I loved the ability in my studio to try all sorts of things and work out harmony parts.

There is nothing to stop you from doing that.

During pre-production.


otek

dnafe
April 17th, 2011, 07:12 AM
.

:Thumbsup:

.

T.M.
April 17th, 2011, 03:37 PM
There is nothing to stop you from doing that.

During pre-production.


otek

It's probably what home recording should be used for...

A Home studio is a very good tool for experimentation, however a foreign environment like a studio could be really challenging and lead to better / different ideas.

Let's face it : being creative as a musician is totally opposed to be a sound tech.
When performing, one should be able to totally let go, but an engineer, when tracking has to be totally in control to not mess the recording of the performance.

This is a really different state of mind, and I'm convinced there are really few people able to be at their best in the two situations.

Starfucker
April 18th, 2011, 01:05 AM
I don't think that's true. Both an engineer and a musician have times when they have to let go and try wacky shit and other times when they have to be in control and perform.

And the more experienced they are, the more creative they can be while staying in control at the same time. But I don't see what that has to do with pre-production...

If you ask me, having a producer around during pre-production is much more important than being in a physical pro studio if you like a challenge and better ideas. And that doesn't have to be expensive, it can even be someone else from your band.

Also you can't keep looking for better ideas the whole time. Sometimes the best idea is to play nothing for a while... and many times, at least for me, better ideas don't come right after you hit record.

otek
April 18th, 2011, 03:26 AM
I will usually offer the band a day or two of pre-production at a reduced rate, but sometimes it isn't possible for a variety of reasons, and you have to kind of fly by the seat of your pants. I don't think that type of situation is necessarily bad, however - if the band is any good, it can be very productive and creatively stimulating to change a few things up on the spot.

I will ALWAYS do a short pre-production meet on my own dime, to ensure the band aren't shooting themselves in the foot by bringing broken guitars and dead drums to the session. Having to change arrangement detail on the fly is generally not a problem and frequently boosts creativity, but having to spend a bunch of time in menial instrument maintenance is a pointless show-stopper.


otek

curly
April 19th, 2011, 10:24 AM
I'm going to be a fucktard and tell you fools in both camps to get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!

Both camps are valid, moreso now than ever before.

You're both equally invested in your approaches and equally blinded by your prejudices.

Just make music!

Oh and by the way, while your still trying to figure this shit out
Lady GaGa 360 million views
Pitbull 145 million views
Justin whats his face 75 million views.

You getting a sinking feeling?

The focus is all wrong IMHO.

shhpeaceful
April 19th, 2011, 12:17 PM
Thanks for your well thought-out post that's brimming with insight and creativity.

T.Bay
April 19th, 2011, 02:51 PM
We got there and she froze - complaining that she "couldn't sing with a mic in front of her face":headpalm:

which makes me wonder how the hell she recorded her vocal in the first place.:headpalm:

what made it worse - she didn't like the "overproduced sound":fingerlefty:

Sometimes, you have to just hand them a '58, patch in a distressor, close the curtain & go for the 'scratchy 50's record' sound in the cue mix.

Its like trying to pee with somebody standing next to you who makes you uncomfortable.

Obviously you can do it at home without help...:beer:

If you are really clever you can also record via the LDC too.

weedywet
April 19th, 2011, 04:03 PM
I find it relaxes the singer if you go out and pee next to him/her

iCombs
April 19th, 2011, 06:08 PM
I find it relaxes the singer if you go out and pee next to him/her

While encouraging them to do the same, of course.

meLoCo_go
April 19th, 2011, 06:13 PM
I find it relaxes the singer if you go out and pee next to him/her
In the vocal booth?

Damage, Inc.
April 19th, 2011, 06:13 PM
I find it relaxes the singer if you go out and pee next to him/her

This is the kind of insider info I signed up for.:Thumbsup:

curly
April 19th, 2011, 10:44 PM
I find it relaxes the singer if you go out and pee next to him/her

LMFBO Mr Wet
Did that work with Cyndi Lauper?
How did you manage the spill?

Curly

Johnny
April 19th, 2011, 10:54 PM
In the vocal booth?

Oh, that was the vocal booth? /pariah

PRobb
April 20th, 2011, 02:41 AM
LMFBO Mr Wet
Did that work with Cyndi Lauper?
How did you manage the spill?

Curly

Girls just wanna have.....eeewwwww!

bobzilla77
April 20th, 2011, 07:10 PM
I just finished an LP recorded on NO budget. Five days in the lockout studio, five days of living room overdubs, and it's done. One of the guitarists owns a portastudio and some decent mics, and we'd already paid for the room.

Would I rather be in a studio with a trained engineer so we wouldn't, for instance, fail to notice a bad buzz on the drum mics that forced us to lose a day's worth of tracking? Damn straight!

But a real studio was not an option. Not only were we broke we were unprepared - the band haven't played together for 14 years. One of the guitarists lives in Indiana & we were lucky enough to get him in LA for 2 weeks when he had a work assignment out west followed by a two week lag.

No one knew the songs before walking in to track. I had to do every drum track by having the guitarist show me the form of the song, then start rolling tape till we had a good guitar/ drum performance. Then the bass player came in, learned the songs off the tape, and overdubbed. Then the two guitarists learned each other's songs and played on them, then leads, then vocals. It's one giant overdub, I don't think two people are playing at the same time for any of it.

Totally against the way I prefer to record, but we got a record done in two weeks with no band practice. Considering one member always quit the band by the end of every band practice we ever did, this was highly positive.

Listening to the rough mixes, even knowing that it's one giant overdub, you can't really tell. And I think we got better tones to start with than we did for our last album which was done in a $250 a day room.

We're now wondering what to do about mixing. The guy that recorded it - the Producer if you will - was thinking it could be money well spent to take it to a real studio. I said, if you find a place you can afford where the engineer has mixed some records you like, that could be worth it. But just to go in there yourself and try to learn to use outboard effects in a few days is probably not smart. What's mainly worth money is someone else's expertise, where you can say "I want that part to sound airier/ harder/ more psychotic" and they know what button on the Nobnob can achieve that.

So we'll see what happens! While far from ideal circumstances, the results have,so far, turned out better than I'd expected.

Damage, Inc.
April 23rd, 2011, 07:28 AM
Looks like the point is moot, since it turns out we don't have the equipment to record at 48k/24 bit, the resolution of the drum and bass tracks. :Redface: I'm going back to the studio to do rhythms a week from Sunday, so I'll have another update then.

My plan of attack is to set up my main rhythm tone and get all the distorted rhythms done. My live rig is a Peavey Rockmaster-->Rocktron Chameleon-->Mesa 2:90 into either a Randall straight or Marshall slant, each with two Vintage 30s and two G12-75s. I'd like to do two tracks with this rig and then do two with my bass player's JCM 2000, but I'm not sure if I'll have time to do that much. We'll see what kind of tone I get before deciding if I want to throw the extra tracks in there.

plughead
April 23rd, 2011, 08:43 PM
IMNTFLBHO,

Sounds like a variety of a 'vanity' project from the outset - this is not a 'working' band that has been together gigging, touring, and creating a buzz. It's the recording that is expected to create this buzz. WHY THE FUCK should they go into debt/get a loan, if there's almost NO POSSIBLE WAY for them to return ANY PROFIT?!?

It sounds like sour grapes from the lot of pro's here, as is to be expected. You come to a bb chock full of seasoned pro's with you doing a home-brew/no budget album with a lot of guys anxious to pick up any scraps of a budget. I could easily predict the replies.

Even after you come up with mixes and post them for all to hear, guess what you'll have hurled at you? Tons of 'I could have done it better' 'sounds like a demo' and all the rest.

Don't mind the haters - do your best, and if it comes out less than stellar you only have yourself (and the other band-mates/recordists) to blame. If you get serious, decide to have the band pick up momentum and perform/tour/etc. then it might be time to take the next step and head into a 'real' studio with a 'real' budget.

Then again, I could be wrong...

Damage, Inc.
April 24th, 2011, 11:23 AM
I wouldn't call us a vanity project, merely one with a bunch of guys who have day jobs and can't leave for a lengthy tour that makes no money. Who tours before they have product anyway? We have been gigging locally for over a year now, and we have built up a bit of demand for the CD here.

And I expect that many (maybe all) of the regular posters on this forum could make a better record than me. I expect they'll tell me what's wrong with my mixes. I do, however, expect that I can get an end result that won't disappoint our fans and will help us take the next step. I already have enough faith in what we have on tape that we could get the tracks remixed in the future if necessary.

archtop
April 24th, 2011, 03:30 PM
I bet it's fine. ( the recording )

It is what it is.
we learn, we move on, we do more, we get better.

Every mix does not need to be done by a big name.

People are O.K. singing a song,

they don't feel like we must hire Lou Rawls to do the vocal,

or that we should hire Burnard Purdy to do the drums.



Why is it that people think the MIX and MASTERING are more important than the other elements?



Sure some people aren't THE BEST at some things.

should that stop them ?

More importantly, do they enjoy it?

I still can't believe OTEK told that story of a high school band getting a loan to do a BIG recording in a BIG studio.:headpalm:

I think enjoyment of life is where the focus should be.

plughead
April 24th, 2011, 08:45 PM
I bet it's fine. ( the recording )

It is what it is.
we learn, we move on, we do more, we get better.

Every mix does not need to be done by a big name.

People are O.K. singing a song,

they don't feel like we must hire Lou Rawls to do the vocal,

or that we should hire Burnard Purdy to do the drums.



Why is it that people think the MIX and MASTERING are more important than the other elements?



Sure some people aren't THE BEST at some things.

should that stop them ?

More importantly, do they enjoy it?

I still can't believe OTEK told that story of a high school band getting a loan to do a BIG recording in a BIG studio.:headpalm:

I think enjoyment of life is where the focus should be.

THAT is my point.

Well said...

weedywet
April 25th, 2011, 03:27 AM
It sounds like sour grapes from the lot of pro's here, as is to be expected. You come to a bb chock full of seasoned pro's with you doing a home-brew/no budget album with a lot of guys anxious to pick up any scraps of a budget. I could easily predict the replies.
...

really?

That seems rather counter to what the phrase "sour grapes" actually refers to.

you know, like: "I don't want to record at Abbey Road anyway..."

I haven't seen a "pro" here say "who wants your crummy project anyway..." at all.
In fact all I saw was the suggestion that someone might even do it for a lot less or free and that the project might be sold short by thinking pro level help was unattainable.
the very opposite of sour grapes.

but if being more-amateur-than-thou makes you feel better...

plughead
April 25th, 2011, 12:17 PM
'every cent' always 'counts'

that's why, on the whole, I choose to spend my cents on one day in a major studio versus 2 months in my sitting room

of course this requires being ready to record together


really?

That seems rather counter to what the phrase "sour grapes" actually refers to.

you know, like: "I don't want to record at Abbey Road anyway..."

I haven't seen a "pro" here say "who wants your crummy project anyway..." at all.
In fact all I saw was the suggestion that someone might even do it for a lot less or free and that the project might be sold short by thinking pro level help was unattainable.
the very opposite of sour grapes.

but if being more-amateur-than-thou makes you feel better...

IIRC, your comments (as well as Otek's) at the top of the thread immediately sent the OP into 'amateur' rank as they decided to track outside of a 'legit' studio. For god sake's, there was direct reference to kids getting a 'loan' to afford walking into a pro room?

Granted, a few options were suggested and some constructive input provided, by the intent off the top was dismissive at best...

weedywet
April 25th, 2011, 07:42 PM
I see suggesting "you might be better off to take your project seriously enough to find a way to go into a pro studio for a day instead of thinking you need to drag things out at home" is anything but in any way dismissive.

it's the OPPOSITE.
it's showing I take the project seriously

otherwise, if I were dismissing it, I could say go ahead and knock yourself out, it won't matter.

that's NOT what any pro here said.

you choose to continue to take the very idea that pros might have something to offer BEYOND what you get on your own at home as 'insulting' somehow.

MacGregor
April 25th, 2011, 07:55 PM
IIRC, your comments (as well as Otek's) at the top of the thread immediately sent the OP into 'amateur' rank[...]

Is he professional?

Mac
.

dwoz
April 25th, 2011, 09:46 PM
If someone gave you an envelope and said, "here, read this indi book."


And you opened the envelope and took the stack of manuscript pages and started reading.


And you found that pages were not numbered, and were apparently out of order.


And you found that the manuscript was full of typos and severe grammatical errors that obscured the meaning and made it tedious to read.


And you found that the toner had run out halfway through but they didn't bother to reprint it.


And the numerous forays into second language phrases were bad, literal translations and didn't even contribute to the story.


You'd put that manuscript down and say "why are you wasting my time like this."


Yet, we imagine that it's ok for bands to do exactly this by embracing that "indi" production credo, wherin you get to just ignore the "rules" of recording and production, and come out with whatever crap happens to hit tape when someone bothers to roll it.

I cannot even begin to express my disgust with (in years past) college radio where the band just couldn't be fucking bothered to get a quality sound...or in today's youtube world where they can't be bothered to come up with a sample nobody's heard yet.

I think that's the real story here. When the stakes are even slightly up, why would you ever go for "I was trying to sound like shit because that's my sound."

?

NathanRocks88
April 25th, 2011, 09:49 PM
If someone gave you an envelope and said, "here, read this indi book."


And you opened the envelope and took the stack of manuscript pages and started reading.


And you found that pages were not numbered, and were apparently out of order.


And you found that the manuscript was full of typos and severe grammatical errors that obscured the meaning and made it tedious to read.


And you found that the toner had run out halfway through but they didn't bother to reprint it.


And the numerous forays into second language phrases were bad, literal translations and didn't even contribute to the story.


You'd put that manuscript down and say "why are you wasting my time like this."


Yet, we imagine that it's ok for bands to do exactly this by embracing that "indi" production credo, wherin you get to just ignore the "rules" of recording and production, and come out with whatever crap happens to hit tape when someone bothers to roll it.

I cannot even begin to express my disgust with (in years past) college radio where the band just couldn't be fucking bothered to get a quality sound...or in today's youtube world where they can't be bothered to come up with a sample nobody's heard yet.

I think that's the real story here. When the stakes are even slightly up, why would you ever go for "I was trying to sound like shit because that's my sound."

?


Remember to follow the ole Cub Scout motto and "Do Your Best"

don't disappoint the den mother!

otek
April 25th, 2011, 11:26 PM
I still can't believe OTEK told that story of a high school band getting a loan to do a BIG recording in a BIG studio.

I think enjoyment of life is where the focus should be.


For god sake's, there was direct reference to kids getting a 'loan' to afford walking into a pro room?


I am sorry this comment was taken so completely wrong.

Let me give you a brief back story.

The kids had already begun working with me at that point. The deal was to record a four-song demo. After hearing the playback of the first tracks, the band was so impressed with the improvement over their earlier "home grown" demos that they somehow realized they had it within their grasp to do something REALLY good. More than that, they realized THEY were really much better than they had previously thought.

So they secured a loan with some help from their parents, to cut enough tracks for a full-length album. And ended up getting signed on the strength of that material.

As for the general "enjoyment of life", what can I say except that the band and I had an absolute BLAST making the record.

The important thing is not HOW they did it. The important thing is that they BELIEVED enough in their own thing, and took whatever steps necessary to make it happen.

I really don't get what is so appalling about that. :Confused:


otek



PS. As for "picking up any scraps of a budget", let me assure you I have no such hidden agendas. The chances of me working with any of these guys, half way across the globe, are fairly slim for a number of reasons. I am simply calling 'em as I see 'em. And I think the OP gets that just fine.

plughead
April 25th, 2011, 11:40 PM
I see suggesting "you might be better off to take your project seriously enough to find a way to go into a pro studio for a day instead of thinking you need to drag things out at home" is anything but in any way dismissive.

it's the OPPOSITE.
it's showing I take the project seriously

otherwise, if I were dismissing it, I could say go ahead and knock yourself out, it won't matter.

that's NOT what any pro here said.

you choose to continue to take the very idea that pros might have something to offer BEYOND what you get on your own at home as 'insulting' somehow.

OK, gotcha. Thanks for your clarification. I was coming off harsh on both the OP as well as some AE's here, and I admit my haste in judging both his and the AE's perspective(s) on this topic. Forgive me seemingly confrontational stance - seems to happen too often with my poor writing and communication skills on bb's...

I guess my burning question is: WHY should a band with little to no following, NO basic support (touring/label/etc.), and last but not least - LITTLE HOPE OF SALES/ROI - go into a 'studio' to record their project? Outside of the obvious (experienced/talented AE's, hopefully GREAT room(s)/gear, and the whole 'we come here to work/luxuriate in the studio' atmosphere), unless these guys want to pony up their paycheck(s) to record something that is likely to gather dust under their beds? Keeping in mind the plan is an EP, one 'day' in the studio is not usurious, but unless the band is COMPLETELY awesome in every regard, one day is not enough time (unless it's a 16+ hr day), and I'm pretty sure you'd agree. It might be enough to get beds and a few O/D's done, but is not adequate time to actually evaluate what transpired during the day.

Now comes the 'chicken or the egg' question - is it better for these guys to do their own tracking and let a pro mix it, or vice versa? I honesty ask this to the pro AE'S out there as I wonder this myself. I would think that IF they had a good 'basic' understanding of record techniques and spent the time getting the sounds the way they want, it'd be best for them to do that and let a pro mix the project. Thoughts?

As I said earlier - if it's a 'vanity project' (sorry to the OP - no malicious intent!) then it might be better for some benefactor with deeper pockets than a bunch of poor musicians to pony up the costs and do it right. Otherwise, let them do their best in a space that is inviting and comfortable and let them be.

weedywet
April 26th, 2011, 12:00 AM
I'd be amongst the first to say that no one should mortgage the farm or sell grandma's jewels to finance a project that has little or no chance of making money.

But that's not what was suggested

Even if it WERE a 'vanity project' ostensibly the participants still want the best result possible

All I have said, and still say, is that I would rather have one day at Abbey Road, or metaphorical equivalent, than months on my own at home.

That presumed cost would be equivalent

It's just the question of whether the time constraint is the bigger issue versus the much superior environment and professional assistance.

I'm about to go into the studio with a new band for about a week.
Call me egotistical if you like, but I am quite sure they will emerge with a much better record in that week than they could make on their own in months.

plughead
April 26th, 2011, 01:47 AM
Yet you didn't answer my question:

Would it be better for them to record the album capably by themselves and hire a 'pro' afterward to mix it, or vice versa?

Inquiring minds want to know... :grin:

NTM 'a day in a studio' as being adequate to do this? I think you're pulling our collective legs, esp after a comment of having a band coming in for a week...

weedywet
April 26th, 2011, 02:53 AM
there's no definitive answer, anymore than one could ask if it would be 'better' to have a great guitar player or a great drummer


My own prejudice leans toward the recording, and then I think you'd have to try to fuck up the mix

but I know from our discussions that Mixerman kind of leans the other way.

Damage, Inc.
April 27th, 2011, 11:30 PM
I've spent some time with the tracks, and clownfucked a few gtr tracks to get a feel for what will need to go where, and to this point, I'm discovering that the more I do to the drums, the worse they sound. I don't have any radical eq or compression happening, and the drums are full and punchy. It sounds like everything is on tape the way it needs to be for mixdown. We are all pretty excited about the potential here.

plughead
April 28th, 2011, 12:59 PM
BTW, the FB link in the first post does nothing but pull up their/my FB homepage?!?

What mics/combo did you use on the kit?

If there's another link to access pics, pls. fwd along...

cheers,

Damage, Inc.
April 28th, 2011, 10:58 PM
Weird, the FB link works for me. You can always go to www.e11eventhhour.net, the same pics are on the 'photos' page. BTW, the 'Rebel Yell' on that site is a demo I recorded/mixed last year, I don't think it's a terribly clever mix any more.

NathanRocks88
April 29th, 2011, 12:38 AM
'Rebel Yell'

I'm a sucker for Billy Idol :lol:

T.Bay
April 29th, 2011, 12:39 AM
BTW, the 'Rebel Yell' on that site is a demo I recorded/mixed last year, I don't think it's a terribly clever mix any more.

Sounded pretty decent to me, maybe lacking a natural sense of room ambience around the instruments.

It's possibly the close mics being too up front in the mix, but it mostly just lacks a bit of 'air' & 'width'.

:Coolio:

NathanRocks88
April 29th, 2011, 12:43 AM
The pics of the home studio were a bit more than I was expecting.

Was the bellari preamp for the talkback mic?

Damage, Inc.
May 1st, 2011, 03:42 AM
Thanks Tbay, All we had for drums was kik, snare, and a pair of i5s for overheads. :Redface: I had a difficult time getting anything useful out of them, and tried to bring up the snare mic to compensate. Other than that, i now feel that the guitar tone is woofy and harsh, the keys aren't loud enough and maybe the vox need to come up in places. Oh well, it was just to give to clubs.

Nathan, are you talking about the purple ART pre on the desk? That was for our singer's scratch vocal; he was in the control room.

NathanRocks88
May 2nd, 2011, 08:27 PM
the purple ART pre on the desk? That was for our singer's scratch vocal; he was in the control room.

the photo made it look blue like the bellari models...ooops

Damage, Inc.
May 3rd, 2011, 03:23 AM
Did guitars yesterday. I brought my live rig in and we ran two tracks for the heavy rhythms on each song. We didn't spend too long on mic choice. Rob had an e609, a c414 and a 57 and it was clear pretty quickly that the 57 was the way to go. the 609 had some low-mid beef to it, but I'm probably going to dump some of that in mix anyway. The 414 was smooth but seemed to clip the transients so we ended with the 57 slightly off-axis. Photos are up on our facebook page, same album as the others.

Once again, Rob was very quick to notice any of my mistakes, and we more or less agreed on what I needed to redo. He has proved an expert at punching in and out in the middle of a riff, something I have yet to master. I'm going to put the tracks into my mixes Wednesday to see how everything fits. Solos, keys and vox yet to go.

weedywet
May 3rd, 2011, 03:43 AM
why would the unquestionably fastest mic in the bunch "clip transients"?, unless you had its pad adjusted incorrectly

otek
May 3rd, 2011, 05:29 AM
Hmmm. Odd.

Even unpadded, the 414 takes around 140 dB SPL. It shouldn't clip, although it may have been overloading the preamp. It does have a higher output than the other mics.


otek

Damage, Inc.
May 3rd, 2011, 08:48 AM
Dunno, maybe I'm not explaining what we heard clearly. The 414 didn't sound as exciting as the 57, I was thinking of it in terms of the diaphragm not reacting fast enough to reproduce the transients. "Clip" is probably the wrong word to use, it wasn't a distortion issue. How about "soften?"

otek
May 3rd, 2011, 10:01 AM
The 414 didn't sound as exciting as the 57, I was thinking of it in terms of the diaphragm not reacting fast enough to reproduce the transients.

I think it's more about the upper-midrange hype of the 57. The 414 is a rather dark condenser, but it would certainly be "faster" than any dynamic.

If you think the guitar tone is "woofy and harsh" now, maybe the 414 would have been a better choice?


otek

weedywet
May 3rd, 2011, 06:48 PM
whereas I think it's preselection bias

Damage, Inc.
May 3rd, 2011, 07:53 PM
Otek, I was talking about the gtr tone on the previous demo, not the one we're currently recording. Part of how I compensated for the woofiness this time around was to dial some low end back on my rig. And WW, it is possibly bias, but if Rob had pushed for one of the other mics I would have trusted him. He's more familiar with his monitors and room than me. Worst case, I would have had to re-record rhythms, and that's not the end of the world.

weedywet
May 3rd, 2011, 09:03 PM
did you choose the mics blindfolded?

Damage, Inc.
May 4th, 2011, 01:19 AM
Good point. I suppose I also wasn't thinking about the 'louder is better' trap, with the 57 appearing to have upper-mid brightness the other two didn't.

weedywet
May 4th, 2011, 04:17 AM
I don't even think it's that.
I think it's "you're supposed to use the 57"

otek
May 4th, 2011, 04:59 AM
Otek, I was talking about the gtr tone on the previous demo, not the one we're currently recording.

Ok, I misunderstood that.

I don't know what to tell you, except I've used the 414 on electric guitar many times, and I never really heard it as slow or lacking in transients. I have sometimes picked other mics, although not for that reason.


otek

T.Bay
May 4th, 2011, 11:45 PM
The thing with listening to the tone of the speaker cabinet at four feet away & placing the mic at 2", is that its gonna be different.

The trick is to make the mic at 2" sound like the cabinet does at 4 feet away.

...or actually stick your ear into the thing.

The 414EB (I think that's the one you used) is generally top class at virtually everything, way more 'desert island' than a 57, but you might have to add the presence 'bump' on a good quality EQ.

I actually prefer it that way on guitars.

Damage, Inc.
May 5th, 2011, 02:03 AM
OK, so here is what I have for one of the songs so far. I'm going to go ahead and eat my words a bit, because there is quite a bit of 800Hz or so in the guitars that I'm having to get rid of. They didn't sound that honky at the studio, I wonder if my monitors/environment are lying to me. Feedback?

http://soundcloud.com/e11eventhhour/ghostinyoureyes-05411

PS--the vox on there is a scratch track from the drum session, so it's quiet on purpose.

Damage, Inc.
May 7th, 2011, 03:53 AM
Hmm...no feedback or opinions. I guess that means it's not stellar or horrible, and I can live with that for now.

weedywet
May 7th, 2011, 05:07 AM
that's a balance only a snare drum maker could love

hardtoe
May 7th, 2011, 05:55 AM
that's a balance only a snare drum maker could love

It's a lot of snare and not enough hair.

archtop
May 7th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Dude I didn't want to be a wet blanket, but I was gonna ask if it was mixed by the snare drums' mom with the kick drum in the room helping her :)

Bob Olhsson
May 7th, 2011, 03:00 PM
...in a lot of cases one day with the Ferrari studio accomplishes more than 2 months at home...Especially if you have a really experienced driver!

Damage, Inc.
May 8th, 2011, 01:26 AM
OK, now that's the brutal honesty I was expecting. This is basically what I was using as a cue mix to work on guitars, so it is rather drum heavy. One unexpected item I've noticed is the bass guitar...we're only tuned a half-step down for this song, yet there seem to be a ton of ultra-lows in the bass tone that I don't hear on modern metal productions. I feel that our bassist's parts really add to the songs, so I don't want to bury him.

weedywet
May 8th, 2011, 04:15 AM
okay, I'm confused about the way you say these things

"there IS all this 800 in the guitars"

"there IS a ton of lows in the bass"

where does this stuff COME from?

who added these 'unwanted' frequencies?
how did they just 'happen'?

those are the questions you should be asking yourself

otek
May 8th, 2011, 04:23 AM
It's kind of hard to comment on something that's not finished, other than saying I am not hearing anything that sounds overtly strange among the sounds themselves.

But I am a little curious about what you are saying of the frequency content - weren't these frequency anomalies present when you got your sounds? They couldn't just magically appear on playback, unless you DID something, right? So if the bass had too much low end, I would have FIXED it when tracking the bass. Or am I missing something?


otek

weedywet
May 8th, 2011, 05:05 AM
me too

and you can't put it down to monitoring as your monitors would have to have too much bottom AND too much 800 and, and, and...

archtop
May 8th, 2011, 03:32 PM
I've had many mixes where I needed to shave a bunch of subs from the bass.

weedywet
May 8th, 2011, 05:30 PM
how come I haven't?

NathanRocks88
May 8th, 2011, 07:26 PM
how come I haven't?

33 years of recording and you've never had a mix that was too rumble-y?

weedywet
May 8th, 2011, 08:38 PM
I've never RECORDED something with bass that needed to be shelved later.

so again, when I am handed something like that I have to ask what someone DID to create the problem

archtop
May 8th, 2011, 10:25 PM
I find that amazing?

weedywet
May 8th, 2011, 10:28 PM
it shouldn't though

archtop
May 8th, 2011, 10:59 PM
Some basses are active with bass controls, and people will have them bumped/jacked.

Amps also have bass controls and settings are sometimes wonky.

I will shave the ass end out of a bass in a heart beat.

Because I've been fucked by massive amounts of subs more than once.

I also am developing a theory on how sub bass energy seems logarithmic to me,

I could be totally full of shit (you can pass that up if you want)

but the data I've been gathering from my real world scenarios seems to point that direction.

So when I'm shaving subs, it's usually not a little bit, but a rather hefty amount.

I have no idea what the #'s on the chart mean. So I'm using it as a good visual of logarithmic, and a bass signal that is subby, I imagine its RTA would look like that.

otek
May 9th, 2011, 12:24 AM
Some basses are active with bass controls, and people will have them bumped/jacked.
Amps also have bass controls and settings are sometimes wonky.

But the point is, if the active bass or amp EQ is bumped or jacked, why not see to it right away as you're recording it?

First off, if the player is hitting the amp with +10 at 100 Hz, there is no way in hell you're going to EQ yourself out of that later - the low end will affect the whole character of the amp and cabinet.

Second, since it will influence everything I do downstream during overdubs, I'd much rather have it as close as I can possibly get it, right off the bat.

Not saying I haven't tracked something and have to make a fine adjustment of a dB or two, but it's not like I'm gonna be listening to playback and then suddenly go, "holy shit, that's one hell of a lot of subs!", because it must have sounded exactly like that during soundcheck.


otek

Damage, Inc.
May 9th, 2011, 12:56 AM
I noticed the low end on the bass in tracking. I'm not saying it sounds out-of-place to me, I was just surprised that so much was there. Part of what surprised me is that Tony uses a P and a J with no active EQ, so it wasn't an issue of him adding it.

As for the guitars, the tone sounded different at home than when I tracked, which is why I wanted to hear some opinions on it. I have two EQs on them at the moment. One has a few narrow notches, the other has a fairly wide cut around 800 or so.

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 01:20 AM
For me.

I've found extra sub action will ruin' shit the fastest.

It all can ruin it.

but my system tells me about the mids and highs.

It lies about the subs.

So I got a sub and check down there furiously.

Regular amount, jacked amount, only sub, sub off.

For me.

I've found extra sub rear it head and ruin shit more than once, not just here, so I'm gun shy.

All my speakers ( 4 different sets) I use in the studio all sound different, I try to learn what works.

Listening outside the studio on different systems is a very good learning experience.


but the accuracy of most systems are real sketchy below 60hz

For me.

I've found a db or 2 at 30hz don't do shit if it's too subby, more drasticity is needed. :)

You guys can do whatever you want, I'm just sharing what I feel.

Could be totally full of shit.

I'm open to that.

I'm shooting for good on all systems.


IMO a couple of db cut at 500hz is not the same as a couple of db cut at 50hz

I believe the lower you go the more energy it has. as per the graph.

Could be totally full of shit again.

T.Bay
May 9th, 2011, 02:04 AM
What did ya do to it? Can't you have a more 'natural' drum mix?

Bass and guitar sounds are a little sterile too, some attitude & presence in both would be nice.

otek
May 9th, 2011, 08:16 AM
You guys can do whatever you want, I'm just sharing what I feel.

Arch, you're missing the point. I wasn't disputing the fact that too much subs can be a problem.

My only issue with it was WHEN the problem was being addressed. You are describing a situation where it is addressed after the fact. I submit that if it's a problem with the EQ on the amp or bass, I would much, much rather handle it when I am getting my sounds.

There's no EQ:ing yourself out of a bass amp that saturates in the low end.


otek

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 02:55 PM
With the possibilities we have in a DAW, the things I might do, in tracking, I can do in mix.

Rarely is there a producer (never a real one of any provenance)
(( a couple cats playing producer that couldn't find their ass with both hands, but thats another story))

Asking guys to change their sound/is a slippery slope unless your the producer.

Most of the people recording here should still be practicing.

Most of those not open minded enough to realize it.

They few times a couple of bands said they want me to produce.
They don't relinquish any control. I'm used to it.

I try to do the best with what we have, keep everybody happy, and move on.

My world is more about customer service, and giving them what they want, not what I want.

otek
May 9th, 2011, 03:12 PM
My world is more about customer service, and giving them what they want, not what I want.

But what if the band WANTS a ton of subs on their record, and you do your level best to dial it out of there after the fact?


otek

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 03:14 PM
Most of the bands that record with me are expecting me to be the producer. I also make sure this is talked about ahead of time.



Well there you go :)

otek
May 9th, 2011, 03:17 PM
Sorry, I edited my message as you were responding, because I found it too lengthy.

The real question I wanted to ask is above.


otek

T.Bay
May 9th, 2011, 03:24 PM
With the possibilities we have in a DAW, the things I might do, in tracking, I can do in mix.



So just do it in tracking then...

How can you produce if you never actually make a decision?

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 03:55 PM
Reading comprehension T.Bay.

I must be missing something Otek?

If they would want it, I don't go against their wishes.

I try to do what's right.

This is music ---there is no right.

Customer Service.

If they want a ton of sub, and I say I think there is too much, and they no it's what I want.

I GIVE IT TO THEM.

I sometimes squeeze stuff heavily.
I sometimes squeeze stuff very gently.

It sometimes depends on how the mix is coming together.

I can't see that in beginning tracking, and it seems silly to me to tie my hands unsuredly (I like to make up my own words too :) )

Low end is not that different.
If a cat has a saturated low end ( I take it to the veterinarian )
Thats his thing, The bigger question, is: is he the one paying and calling the shots?

otek
May 9th, 2011, 04:06 PM
I must be missing something Otek?

If they would want it, I don't go against their wishes.

I try to do what's right.

This is music ---there is no right.

Customer Service.

If they want a ton of sub, and I say I think there is too much, and they no it's what I want.

I GIVE IT TO THEM.

Sure, but you just went through telling me how you hate overcooked subs and hit the EQ hard in mix to get rid of it.

Wouldn't it be better, and more helpful to the production, to make that happen as early in the process as possible?

And isn't it MORE "right" to bring the bands attention to a possible problem right away, and give THEM a chance to do something about it?

I disagree that everything that can be done in tracking can be done in mix. If there is too much low end in the bass sound to begin with, it affects the WHOLE sound. You can't fix it simply by getting rid of the subs. And even if it were possible, why would one want to do it at the mix stage? That, to me, MAKES it more about what you want, because you are taking the band's ability to affect their sound out of their hands, and putting it in your own.


otek

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 04:38 PM
I don't see it that way.

I try not to get stuck in my ways, and be open to new sounds.
(it's has takin' me 29 years in audio to get here, I used to be way more "my way is the right way")

Maybe dudes subby sound is actually what he wants.

It's HIS sound. How DARE I say MY way is the only way,

and cut the fuck out of his lows at the board during tracking, or walk out to his amp and shave the ass end out of it, without him wanting me to.

It's all different if they ask my opinion.

Because I have many opinions about shit, too much distortion, growling, cymbal bashing, drum tuning,the list is endless, heck I disagree with you and weedy and many people on a lot of things.

That doesn't mean your way is wrong, just different.

And be assured I give credence to your guys opinion, and will try some of the stuff in the field, to get my own opinion.

But by no means do it just because so and so said so.

In my world, I need to get shit done, get on with it.

It is what it is, I try to do my best with it, I'm not turning some pentatonic scale,
"thinks he's all that" dude in to Chris Poland (thank you for showing me him) with my suggestions.


I'm the in the trenches guy.
I do whole rock records in 8 hours with mix, frequently.
(last project was 15 songs acoustic guitar with vocals overdubbed,
and mixed, total time= 6 hours)

I want to keep customers happy and wanting to keep recording here.
Not all of that comes from sonics.

otek
May 9th, 2011, 06:41 PM
and cut the fuck out of his lows at the board during tracking, or walk out to his amp and shave the ass end out of it, without him wanting me to.

The goal posts of this discussion have been moved, in fact, they're moving with every new post.

NONE of that is really the issue here.

The issue is WHEN to deal with things that are perceived as problems. And I STILL come back to my original point here - Why would one ELECT to sit through soundcheck, tracking and overdubbing with a bass sound that doesn't fit, and THEN deal with it in the mix???


otek

weedywet
May 9th, 2011, 07:10 PM
I don't see it that way.

I try not to get stuck in my ways, and be open to new sounds.
(it's has takin' me 29 years in audio to get here, I used to be way more "my way is the right way")

Maybe dudes subby sound is actually what he wants.

It's HIS sound. How DARE I say MY way is the only way,

and cut the fuck out of his lows at the board during tracking, or walk out to his amp and shave the ass end out of it, without him wanting me to.

.

but that's okay if you do it AFTER the fact?
then it's no longer 'his sound' and it's okay for you to change it?

you seem in many ways stuck in 'your ways', it seems to me.
and you defend it because of your alleged "different world"
it's not a different world as far as the nature of sound and how mics work and so on.





I want to keep customers happy and wanting to keep recording here.
Not all of that comes from sonics.


so, hypothetically,
if OTEK RECORDING opened right next door, you think that given his approach and yours being on offer, that client's would choose you based on superior 'customer service'?
you're more responsive to client needs?
really?

or might it be that some of us feel we read the client's wants at least as well, but realise that a discussion with said client about the better way to get that result might include getting things right on the front end and not having a list of internets rules about what you "have to do ITB"?

T.Bay
May 9th, 2011, 07:39 PM
Reading comprehension T.Bay.

I must be missing something Otek?



Jigsaw analogy...

The more pieces you leave un-clicked, the harder it gets to see the wood for the trees.

:tinfoil:

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 07:51 PM
wow.

you guys are just really trying to miss the point.

I'm moving the goalpost?

I didn't know it was a competition, I thought we were just talking.

I'm not saying one way or the other is right.

I just said sometimes shoehorning shit into a mix I might shave some subs.

blasphemy apparently

Many times I might not hear it as a problem till mix time.


Please don't lump me in with your "internet rules" scenario.
to me, that is as mean as your fox news comment :)

I have really tried to lay out my reasoning behind what I do, and why. (apparently not so well)
I'm not holding anybody's feet to the fire as it being the only way.

It does appear you, Otek and Weedy, think your way is the only/right way.

Really, I'm trying to grant you as much respect as I can muster.

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 07:55 PM
T.Bay sorry for the vague smart-ass reply earlier

I was referring to I'm NOT the producer.

I don't understand your jigsaw thingy

otek
May 9th, 2011, 08:24 PM
I'm moving the goalpost?

I didn't know it was a competition, I thought we were just talking.

"Moving the goalposts" is a sports analogy, not indicative of a competition. Unless I have gotten the term wrong, it means that the core topic of the discussion is moving sideways, that comments are taken entirely out of context, or that straw men are created for every argument.

I never said I WOULDN'T fix a frequency related problem in mix if it's there. I mix plenty of stuff tracked by other people. I AM saying, however, that it does not serve the record well to leave obvious problems for the mix. I don't know what is so outlandish about that idea. To me it is one of the principal tenets of good record production - getting it right at the source. And to be honest I have never seen you questioning that before.

If the problem was that I didn't hear the problem until mix time, I'd start thinking about WHY that is the case. But that's not what got my goat here.


With the possibilities we have in a DAW, the things I might do, in tracking, I can do in mix.

and


Some basses are active with bass controls, and people will have them bumped/jacked.

Amps also have bass controls and settings are sometimes wonky.

I will shave the ass end out of a bass in a heart beat.

...were the ones that got me. Those are TRACKING problems in my world, not mix problems.


otek

zakco
May 9th, 2011, 08:37 PM
- Why would one ELECT to sit through soundcheck, tracking and overdubbing with a bass sound that doesn't fit, and THEN deal with it in the mix???


To me it is one of the principal tenets of good record production - getting it right at the source.

Totally valid point and I agree completely in principle

But...to be the devils advocate for a moment...

I have had situations where the player just doesn't get it and will not relax and play until he feels that he's hearing what he wants to hear at that particular moment. Sometimes it's lack of experience/insecurity and sometimes it's pure ego and he just wants to assert himself for no other reason than fear of appearing like a schmuck in front of his band or whomever.

In these cases where there is no producer to make the final call, I will often relent and let him hear it however he wants - bloated subs and all for the tracking session. I'll speak my mind, but beyond that, I don't see the point in arguing about it and poisoning the vibe of the session. What good is the "correct" bass tone if you can't get a good performance? I can't think of a single time that I've cut excess subs from a track (while mixing) and had the player come back after the fact and complain. This is assuming that I do a good job on the mix. Once they hear it in they're own environment, a solid mix is a solid mix...

Also, how is this different than sample replacing drums, or pitch correcting vocals in the mix? Both examples could and SHOULD be unnecessary if we (as you put it) ELECT to sit through soundcheck, tracking and overdubbing. Shouldn't we insist that the drummer tune/hit better and work with the vocalist until there is no need for pitch correction?

Just sayin...

archtop
May 9th, 2011, 09:02 PM
To be arguing about hypotheticals is weird.

I had a recent post on another forum, that sort of sums up
the mindset that I have been trying (unsuccessfully so) to bring up.

here let me go get it:



I have this one client that has sort of changed a lot for me.

Is the music good --no

Does he make smart choices -- no

but it's his project, and he knows what he wants.

[him] That word "xxxxx" is flat, raise it's pitch 20 cents

[me] Mike, it feels sharp to me.

[him] oh no, I know what I want.

[me] O.K. your the boss, I do it [it's noticeably worse]

[him] perfect



and there is common thread to all businesses.

Customer Service.

You've got to give the people what they want.


Anybody that thinks they don't need to give their customers customer service ought to try doing without them for a while.

The even weirder part is I WILL do what I feel is needed in tracking.

but I don't strangle myself with drastic decision on a whim, especially something that can easily be done after more data gathering.

For instance lets run with this heavy sub bass sound hypothetical for a minute.

Why can't I cut his subs later?

I wouldn't compress the shit out of it going in, I like to massage that in to the right zone after many listenings, why are subs different?

I've had this client that wants chorus effect on the lead vocal. ALL his lead vocals.

I am really not fond of that and told him so.
He still want's it.
He's paying.

Should I also be telling them how much their song sucks?

or should I give them what they are asking for.

Honest question?

or did I just move the ball again ?

weedywet
May 9th, 2011, 09:35 PM
To be arguing about hypotheticals is weird.

I had a recent post on another forum, that sort of sums up
the mindset that I have been trying (unsuccessfully so) to bring up.

here let me go get it:



I have this one client that has sort of changed a lot for me.

Is the music good --no

Does he make smart choices -- no

but it's his project, and he knows what he wants.

[him] That word "xxxxx" is flat, raise it's pitch 20 cents

[me] Mike, it feels sharp to me.

[him] oh no, I know what I want.

[me] O.K. your the boss, I do it [it's noticeably worse]

[him] perfect



that is an example of the opposite.

not of 'fixing things' AFTER the fact.
it's going with the client even when you think the client is wrong.

no one here is telling you to shave lows from a bass even though the client LIKES the lows in the bass.
almost the opposite.
we are saying it's either right or wrong for the project from beginning to end; not only 'later'





...
and there is common thread to all businesses.

Customer Service.

You've got to give the people what they want.


Anybody that thinks they don't need to give their customers customer service ought to try doing without them for a while.

The even weirder part is I WILL do what I feel is needed in tracking.

but I don't strangle myself with drastic decision on a whim, especially something that can easily be done after more data gathering...


whereas Otek and I give poor customer service and 'strangle' ourselves with 'drastic' decisions. right?



...

For instance lets run with this heavy sub bass sound hypothetical for a minute.

Why can't I cut his subs later?

I wouldn't compress the shit out of it going in, I like to massage that in to the right zone after many listenings, why are subs different?

I've had this client that wants chorus effect on the lead vocal. ALL his lead vocals.

I am really not fond of that and told him so.
He still want's it.
He's paying.

Should I also be telling them how much their song sucks?

or should I give them what they are asking for.

Honest question?

or did I just move the ball again ?


Otek gave you at least one reason why you are better off dealing with excessive lows up front.
another, over riding, reason is just that every step along the way will be easier when you get things sounding right before the next step.
you don't hear guitars properly with excessive lows in the bass guitar so you add or tonally adjust the guitars to be too middly or bright, and then you can't get the vocal in the track with the rumbly bass and the middly guitars so you change THAT and so on...
then you hope you can fix it all later?
that's superior "customer service"?


why you wouldn't compress things "going in" is also beyond me.
at every step, I want everything sounding as much like the record, like the final mix, as possible.
that makes every decision and every performance MUCH easier.

but still, that (compression) is largely an artistic choice. it's not addressing a PROBLEM.
putting off or ignoring an actual PROBLEM until later is a different story.
that's why you're moving the goal posts.

we are talking about something WRONG< by your own definition.
not just a choice that you might make differently than someone else.
you didn't say you LIKE lots of rumbly low end. you said it's a PROBLEM.


which is also why the singer who LIKES chorus is another distraction from the point.

T.Bay
May 9th, 2011, 09:38 PM
T.Bay sorry for the vague smart-ass reply earlier

I was referring to I'm NOT the producer.

I don't understand your jigsaw thingy

No biggie at all.

The jigsaw puzzle analogy (not the powertool kind of jigsaw) was meant to symbolize all those puzzle peices pretty much in place, but never actually properly clicked together.

Steadily, it gets more difficult to visualize the EXACT right shapes that fit the gaps the further you progress.

Not as good as Roast Chikin, I know. :beer:

otek
May 9th, 2011, 09:45 PM
Also, how is this different than sample replacing drums, or pitch correcting vocals in the mix?

It is different because with those things, you are actually modifying the performance. When changing settings on an amp, you are modifying the sound. And that's within your primary job description as an engineer.


Both examples could and SHOULD be unnecessary if we (as you put it) ELECT to sit through soundcheck, tracking and overdubbing.

First, you are taking my words out of context, and second, they are still two different things. Changing a bass sound takes a minute. Getting a performance up to a certain level can take years. The first is always doable in the space of a session. The second is very often not.

That one should always strive for the best possible performance that one can get in the allotted time frame, goes without saying.


Customer Service.

You've got to give the people what they want.

Following the band's every whim without question is not customer service. I am basing my work on the premise that I know, or should know, better. If I am not letting the band know what I perceive to be a problem, I am not doing my job.


but I don't strangle myself with drastic decision on a whim, especially something that can easily be done after more data gathering.

Getting good, basic tones for tracking is not something I consider to be "drastic" or in need of "more data gathering". I should have done my data gathering before tracking, or again, I am not doing my job.


Why can't I cut his subs later?

Because running bass through an amp with all the low end controls on the shitloads sounds different than cutting subs in the mix. If he needs to dime all the low end controls to get "his sound" out of the amp, then I need to work with mic placement and EQ until the bass sound works for the song. In some cases that might mean preserving most of that low end, in other cases not. The point is that by the time we do basic tracking, I ALREADY have a bass tone that works for the mix, and I don't have to cut his subs later. The guy gets the sound he wants, right then and there.



otek

Johnny
May 9th, 2011, 09:45 PM
Sometimes there's a "soar" knob that actually works, and you crank the snot out of it til the client's happy?

zakco
May 9th, 2011, 10:17 PM
It is different because with those things, you are actually modifying the performance. When changing settings on an amp, you are modifying the sound. And that's within your primary job description as an engineer.
I suppose that is true in the case of ottotoon but I think my analogy holds true in the case of drum samples...eg: adding a brighter snare sample to get a little extra top without affecting the hats. The point of that is I DON'T want to affect the performance and this is one way to achieve that without changing the apparent dynamic of the hats or asking the drummer (who is probably struggling as it is) to adjust his technique. I surely don't ask permission from the drummer to add the sample later, nor do I (for obvious reasons) slap it on in real time while tracking.


Changing a bass sound takes a minute. Getting a performance up to a certain level can take years. The first is always doable in the space of a session. The second is very often not.

Again, no argument in principle, but I guess the point I was trying to make is that on some occasions, things are not so cut and dried. Changing a bass tone may only take a minute but convincing some players that it should change can take substantially longer and does not always end well. Sounds arrogant, I know, but there are times when I know better what will work in the larger context of the song than they do and simply doing it later is the best way to reach that goal with a minimum of pain along the way.

To summarize, I'm NOT saying you're wrong about any of this - All good fundamental tenets of audio production. I guess I just don't see things in as clearly black and white terms as you do, but that's fine. I don't work with your clients and you don't work with mine, so our experiences are bound to differ...

Z

weedywet
May 9th, 2011, 10:37 PM
at one point I worked in a kind of a weird studio where many things were a bit flaky.
And their clientele, and so mine, was to a large degree semi-pro or wanna-bes and demos and such... not usually the A list players and often with an amateur producer.

And I developed a slew of lousy habits.
things that I was convinced worked because I "had to" in this room, with these people and so on

then when I moved on to a better studio I had to unlearn all the bad habits - and that almost always meant doing things a lot simpler or just doing less.
I in fact returned to doing things the way I had done previously in my career at other 'better' places and if I had been a bit older and smarter I would never have changed them.
Because I rapidly found out how poorly the oddball techniques were serving me, or my clients.
They weren't better ANYWHERE. and they weren't necessary ANYWHERE.
they were just what i had been convinced of at the time

today, I would walk into any place and still start from a basic place in my own work that will serve me well, AND make the client happy, because it's based on something real.
not from superstition.

zakco
May 9th, 2011, 11:30 PM
their clientele, and so mine, was to a large degree semi-pro or wanna-bes and demos and such... not usually the A list players and often with an amateur producer.

You've pretty much described maybe 75% of existing small-mid sized studios operating outside of a major music center. I would go as far as to say that there is predominately NO producer on most of the projects coming out of these rooms. The house engineer (read: "owner, receptionist, janitor, bookkeeper and resident psychologist") is effectively yet unofficially the producer. I say unofficially because it's a tough spot - offer no help (or refuse to use bad habits :)) and a trainwreck gets released with the studio name on it. The alternative is to do your best to gently and subtly guide the clients along as to reach a result that you can live with. It's an uncomfortable feeling much of the time for sure.


when when I moved on to a better studio I had to unlearn all the bad habits - and that almost always meant doing things a lot simpler or just doing less.

Yes. I remember the first time I finally got to track a truly great session drummer. A real eye opener in the sense that all you need to do is make reasonably good mic/placement decisions, keep it out of the red and everything pretty much takes care of itself.


today, I would walk into any place and still start from a basic place in my own work that will serve me well, AND make the client happy, because it's based on something real.
not from superstition.

If you found yourself working with amateurs again, I suspect you might be surprised how quickly bad habits start sneaking back in...

I don't think there is fundamental right and wrong here. Some of us have careers that only entail working with absolute professionals in top notch environments. Some of us work exclusively with stressed out amateurs in basements with 6 foot ceilings.

I happen to fall somewhere in the middle of this. In order to live where I do and make a reliable living in this business, my studio is open to the general public. I'd call my clientele a "melting pot". Some "world class" people and plenty of "trailer class" folks :grin:My habits change from job to job. I don't see them as bad, just what is needed to get the job done in the best way I can, given the situation at hand.

Z

archtop
May 10th, 2011, 12:07 AM
Now I'm convinced you guys are just looking for trouble.

Thats fine.

I still love you.

weedywet
May 10th, 2011, 01:41 AM
If you found yourself working with amateurs again, I suspect you might be surprised how quickly bad habits start sneaking back in...


no
that's the part I know isn't true.

I've been in those situations and I know now that the basic don't change.
you just have to avoid being fooled or diverted.

NathanRocks88
May 10th, 2011, 01:50 AM
it must have sounded exactly like that during soundcheck.


otek

that's pretty much what happened with the sample I posted in the "death metal" thread.

The bass player set his tone the way he would at a show.

which was all LOWs, zero MIDS, and nothing but string slap for highs. no growl or bark. just mud with the crashing of strings on frets. :headpalm:

Im sure in the bass players vision, he sounded just like sepultura. If the tracking engineer at the session would've had his ears turned on that day, it might of turned out ... like sepultura.


I'm sure everyone has encountered the artist that says "This is my sound and I'm not changing it"

archtop
May 10th, 2011, 01:51 AM
my superstitious mixes are the most magical.



Yes I knew it was wrong,
but left it there the whole time :headpalm:


They were paying to me to do something and asked for something,

But we all know I know better so I told them to go fuck themselves.
:headpalm:

NathanRocks88
May 10th, 2011, 02:05 AM
This is an informative argument.

But you guys are fighting like a married couple :vuvu:

weedywet
May 10th, 2011, 02:18 AM
that's pretty much what happened with the sample I posted in the "death metal" thread.

The bass player set his tone the way he would at a show.

which was all LOWs, zero MIDS, and nothing but string slap for highs. no growl or bark. just mud with the crashing of strings on frets. :headpalm:

Im sure in the bass players vision, he sounded just like sepultura. If the tracking engineer at the session would've had his ears turned on that day, it might of turned out ... like sepultura.


I'm sure everyone has encountered the artist that says "This is my sound and I'm not changing it"

Yes.
and then it's his decision and that's what goes on the record... HIS record.

on the other hand, I have often brought someone in to the control room to hear a playback and ask "IS that what you want your guitar to sound like"? because a lot of the time the sound in his head isn't what's going on to the recording and he will be happy to work to get it.

Happier than going home with a disappointment of a recording.


I have a bass sound that some engineers feel they should change straight away. And I have to tell them to forget it, I sound the way I sound; not what they think a bass guitar is 'supposed' to sound like.
But that isn't based on a fantasy. I know how to get my sound on tape and working with the drums... if you don't...

archtop
May 10th, 2011, 02:34 AM
Nathans right.

@ weedy

yes dear

:lol::lol::grin::grin::beer:

otek
May 10th, 2011, 07:52 AM
I suppose that is true in the case of ottotoon but I think my analogy holds true in the case of drum samples...

So adding a drum hit that, in many cases, was recorded by someone else, at a different time and a different location, using another drummer, is NOT altering "your" drummer's performance? Sorry, I don't buy that.


Sounds arrogant, I know, but there are times when I know better what will work in the larger context of the song than they do and simply doing it later is the best way to reach that goal with a minimum of pain along the way.

So basically what you are saying is that you will ignore the guy anyway in the end? You are right, that DOES sound arrogant. Not to mention disingenuous. Don't forget that when you say "a minimum of pain", you are talking about your own convenience. They are not paying you to make things convenient. They are paying you to get results.

What if it's not the low end, but the amount of gain used, or a chorus pedal before the amp? You're not going to EQ your way out of that in a million years.

I would MUCH rather have the discussion with the bass player right then and there, include him in the production choices and make him part of the process. I have yet to meet a bass player, or any musician, who didn't want that.


The alternative is to do your best to gently and subtly guide the clients along as to reach a result that you can live with. It's an uncomfortable feeling much of the time for sure.

I don't think it is uncomfortable. I think it's what record production is all about. Although for me, i try to shoot for something at least marginally above "what I can live with". :D


Some of us have careers that only entail working with absolute professionals in top notch environments.

I'd like to meet that engineer or producer, because I've always wanted to hang with an alien or a fantasy creature. :D

Seriously, NO ONE I know of that's any good spent his whole career doing ONLY that. Everyone started low at some point. Weedy is a musician who came up in some pretty impressive studios, but I am sure he has plenty of stories about recording in less than optimal places with less-than-great musicians. And even after you've attained a certain level of experience and reputation, the vast majority of recordists and mixers will still work under less than ideal circumstances from time to time.


My habits change from job to job. I don't see them as bad, just what is needed to get the job done in the best way I can, given the situation at hand.

Where I put the mics, what equipment I have to work on, and other parts of my approach might change, but I never change my fundamental philosophies about making a record. Getting things right at the source, and working directly with the musicians are among those, and I will never compromise on that.


on the other hand, I have often brought someone in to the control room to hear a playback and ask "IS that what you want your guitar to sound like"? because a lot of the time the sound in his head isn't what's going on to the recording and he will be happy to work to get it.

Exactly.


I have a bass sound that some engineers feel they should change straight away. And I have to tell them to forget it, I sound the way I sound; not what they think a bass guitar is 'supposed' to sound like.

True, but I also expect that IF you were called in on a session, where a producer you respect suggested you grab your Status bass and get an "Entwistle-esque", gritty distortion with lots of high end, I also have a feeling you would work with him to achieve that goal. Yes?


otek

Starfucker
May 10th, 2011, 07:53 AM
I've been trying to follow this thread for a while and would like to add that an artist will be much more open to advice from a "famous" producer than from "some local guy" with a studio.

But I guess it's part of the job to build trust if you're recording music.

otek
May 10th, 2011, 07:59 AM
an artist will be much more open to advice from a "famous" producer than from "some local guy" with a studio.

But I guess it's part of the job to build trust if you're recording music.

Exactly. And the key to that is communication. Once you start a dialogue with the band, they will quickly realize what you are about, and that you care about their results.


otek

weedywet
May 10th, 2011, 05:18 PM
True, but I also expect that IF you were called in on a session, where a producer you respect suggested you grab your Status bass and get an "Entwistle-esque", gritty distortion with lots of high end, I also have a feeling you would work with him to achieve that goal. Yes?


otek

well actually, that's where I usually am starting! So it's the guys who think every bass is 'supposed to' sound like dark reggae where I might have a problem.
WIth me it's honestly more of a live thing usually, because in the studio I am part of the discussion already.
Naturally, I'm not going to play on a folk singer-sognwrtier record with the Hiwatt on 11 and full treble.
But once AGAIN, what the bass needs to be is part of a discussion with the producer.

otek
May 10th, 2011, 05:21 PM
well actually, that's where I usually am starting!

I had you pegged wrong. :D I've only heard you play with the "darker" tones.

Be that as it may, you answered my question.


otek

weedywet
May 10th, 2011, 05:22 PM
I've been trying to follow this thread for a while and would like to add that an artist will be much more open to advice from a "famous" producer than from "some local guy" with a studio.

But I guess it's part of the job to build trust if you're recording music.


sure.
But I also started by being the engineer with the opinions :)
It's part of how I ended up producing.

it isn't "fame" that makes the big difference as much as having a personality people will work with.
The band WITHOUT a real producer is actually looking for help, whether they say so or not.

What you cannot do is jump back and forth from "i know what to do" to "let them do what they want"
you should either become the de facto producer or not.

and if you ARE, then there is no reason to postpone decisions.
that's becoming the de facto bad producer.

archtop
May 10th, 2011, 06:07 PM
sure.

as much as having a personality people will work with.

wait, you just got on my case for that



The band WITHOUT a real producer is actually looking for help, whether they say so or not.


I love your crystal ball, it matches your eyes



and if you ARE, then there is no reason to postpone decisions.

that's becoming the de facto bad producer.

It's either Black or white, there is no in between.

because everybody knows, a decision postponed, makes you a bad producer.




O.K. I'll quit poking a stick at the bear now.


It's all in good fun, I mean no harm.

zakco
May 10th, 2011, 07:53 PM
Don't forget that when you say "a minimum of pain", you are talking about your own convenience. That's YOUR assumption made without being in the room. The bass player is but one member of a band. The convenience might be more widespread than you are suggesting.


They are not paying you to make things convenient. They are paying you to get results. In my experience, "Results" are achieved in many ways and often not without some degree of flexiblilty from everyone involved.


What if it's not the low end, but the amount of gain used, or a chorus pedal before the amp? You're not going to EQ your way out of that in a million years. Don't think anyone would argue with that. Certainly not me...


I would MUCH rather have the discussion with the bass player right then and there, include him in the production choices and make him part of the process. I have yet to meet a bass player, or any musician, who didn't want that.
Absolutely. However, on rare occasions, this discussion doesn't end up in the intended territory. I'll say it again - these are the times that I'm talking about.


I don't think it is uncomfortable. I think it's what record production is all about.

I think you misunderstood this. The "uncomfortable feeling" I was talking about is not what record production is all about. It's about being a studio owner and NOT wanting the producer credit for a given project, yet still wanting to see it through to something that doesn't reflect badly on your studio.


Although for me, i try to shoot for something at least marginally above "what I can live with". :D

Doesn't everyone?


Seriously, NO ONE I know of that's any good spent his whole career doing ONLY that. Everyone started low at some point. Weedy is a musician who came up in some pretty impressive studios, but I am sure he has plenty of stories about recording in less than optimal places with less-than-great musicians. And even after you've attained a certain level of experience and reputation, the vast majority of recordists and mixers will still work under less than ideal circumstances from time to time.

My comments about this were not intended to be taken literally...you know...make an overly dramatic statement statement to outline a broader, less absolute reality. I thought that was obvious. Apparently I suck at getting my intent accross. Maybe I need to use more smileys.

The problem with discussions like these is the use of absolutes, and the focus on semantics. I don't personally believe that any of these points are 100% applicable in every situation. I've defended a position that is really the exception rather than the norm. After re-reading my own posts (and reading your responses), I think I've overstated that point to some extent. Except for a few details that we could go round and round endlessly with, I get your points and agree. But I've already said that more than once...

I commend you both (WW and Otek) for your staunch adherence to your fundamental principles. You are obviously more disciplined than I am...:grin:...

Carry on gents...

Z

weedywet
May 10th, 2011, 09:41 PM
wait, you just got on my case for that



I love your crystal ball, it matches your eyes



It's either Black or white, there is no in between.

because everybody knows, a decision postponed, makes you a bad producer.




O.K. I'll quit poking a stick at the bear now.


It's all in good fun, I mean no harm.

you can joke, but that IS still true

archtop
May 10th, 2011, 10:36 PM
I like Zakco, was trying to bring up there are no absolutes.

weedywet
May 11th, 2011, 12:21 AM
none?


it becomes a meaningless discussion

whether you want to call it "absolutes' or not is irrelevant

certain attitudes will serve you better than others

putting known problems off until later is not one of them

absolutely

NathanRocks88
May 11th, 2011, 06:12 AM
putting known problems off until later is not one of them



isn't that how our gov't operates? and look where it's gotten us!

:tinfoil:

otek
May 11th, 2011, 10:01 AM
That's YOUR assumption made without being in the room. The bass player is but one member of a band. The convenience might be more widespread than you are suggesting.

If so, I suggest there is a larger problem than too much or too little sub bass. Because what you're describing appears to be a situation where no one is communicating, and no one is producing.

It is pointless to argue about the "once a year" situation where one might be forced to take another path, because there are certain principles which will work better ALL the time.

If you come into a carpentry forum, and suggest that the back end of a screwdriver (or an SM-57 :D ) is the best way to pound in a 4" nail, the regulars would have just cause to flame you, because in their world, a hammer would do the job a hundred times better. That you ran into extraneous circumstances at some point which prevented you from using a hammer, does not change that basic fact.


I think you misunderstood this. The "uncomfortable feeling" I was talking about is not what record production is all about.

That's not what I said. I said I do NOT find it uncomfortable - referring to "gently and subtly guide the clients along as to reach a result that you can live with". Except in my world, it's not always going to be gentle and subtle, and as I indicated, I tend to shoot for something better than merely acceptable. I may not always get there, but that is my goal.


My comments about this were not intended to be taken literally...you know...make an overly dramatic statement statement to outline a broader, less absolute reality.

Fair enough, I misunderstood you there. Although you'd be surprised at how many times comments similar to that one are bandied about with 100% seriousness. :Roll eyes:

Smilies do help. :D


The problem with discussions like these is the use of absolutes, and the focus on semantics.

But I truly believe that some of these things ARE absolutes. That doesn't mean one doesn't fail every once in a while, for reasons that are sometimes beyond one's control. The danger is taking these exceptions and making them the norm. I see that every day on the internets.

The suggestion that prompted this discussion is that it is somehow better to live with an obvious problem, and deal with it later, rather than right here and now. I find little room for semantic interpretation in that. It is simply not a very good idea. Even in carpentry. :D


otek

zakco
May 11th, 2011, 03:23 PM
If you come into a carpentry forum, and suggest that the back end of a screwdriver (or an SM-57 :D ) is the best way to pound in a 4" nail, the regulars would have just cause to flame you, because in their world, a hammer would do the job a hundred times better. That you ran into extraneous circumstances at some point which prevented you from using a hammer, does not change that basic fact.
Point taken.


That's not what I said. I said I do NOT find it uncomfortable - referring to "gently and subtly guide the clients along as to reach a result that you can live with".
Again, I guess I didn't explain this well...the only part that is uncomfortable to me is explaining to the client why I am NOT willing to accept the producers credit on their project (even though I essentially was) and why I won't feature them as a featured artist on my website etc...but I suppose that's an entirely different topic in itself.


you'd be surprised at how many times comments similar to that one are bandied about with 100% seriousness. :Roll eyes:

Smilies do help. :D

What can I say...I'm a shitty writer and I have a tendency towards sarcasm and dramatic overstatement. Makes me really popular around the home sometimes...


The suggestion that prompted this discussion is that it is somehow better to live with an obvious problem, and deal with it later, rather than right here and now. I find little room for semantic interpretation in that. It is simply not a very good idea.

I'd never suggest it's "better", but I've found that picking my battles for each moment can lead to a smoother session sometimes and that can have its benefits of its own...ahh there I go again...:headpalm:

Z

T.Bay
May 13th, 2011, 09:59 PM
The question I want to know from any studio I walk into is...

Can you make it sound like a record through every step of the recording process, including ALL of the cue mixes.

Yes or No?

I am not interested in excuses about latency or leaving decisions until the mix stage.

Either you can inspire the performance, or you can't.

Damage, Inc.
May 19th, 2011, 04:22 AM
Here is what I have for one of the other songs. I still have only a scratch vocal at the moment, but I feel I'm homing in on what I want for a balance between the other instruments.

http://soundcloud.com/e11eventhhour/murderyourmemory-051811

T.Bay
May 19th, 2011, 02:36 PM
Here is what I have for one of the other songs. I still have only a scratch vocal at the moment, but I feel I'm homing in on what I want for a balance between the other instruments.



There is still some competition between instruments in the low mid area.

Snare sounds like its in a different room/building altogether, drums need more 'glue' especially in the verses.

Intro is 8 bars too long for my taste (4 from each section).

From my own personal 'production' point of view, the (albeit scratch) vocal melody is the weakest link in the song.

Damage, Inc.
May 19th, 2011, 08:11 PM
Yes, I agree the bass and guitar are still fighting; I think some low mids need to be carved out of the guitars. I plan on removing the snare plate and bringing up the room for the verse, but I haven't done any automation yet. Maybe less snare verb overall. The second half of the intro has a keyboard melody that isn't there yet, thus the length.

T.Bay
May 20th, 2011, 12:40 AM
Instead of carving stuff out of the guitar try 'mid Q' boosting the stuff you like with a quality EQ.

I also tend to like a pedal or pre-amp (Sansamp Bass Driver/Ampeg) for tone shaping bass so as to shape it without punching holes in it.

Overhead/Room mics blended with 'long pre-delayed' reverb might give you the 'size/ glue' on drums.

Don't forget to EQ the reverb to blend with the room sound.

nobby
May 21st, 2011, 11:54 AM
The lead vocal is buried under the rhythm guitars.

Damage, Inc.
June 6th, 2011, 11:32 PM
At this point, we have one song completely done (I think), and I have posted a mix for it. As always, comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

www.facebook.com/e11eventhhour (Unoriginal Thoughts)

nobby
June 8th, 2011, 01:19 AM
That's more like it :Thumbsup:

Damage, Inc.
June 8th, 2011, 01:23 AM
Thanks, appreciate it. I know most of you could do a better mix in five minutes, but to my ears, it gets the point of the song across. I have the guitar tone more to my liking on a couple of the other tunes; I used three different guitars for different tunings, and they all sound different in the mix.

Damage, Inc.
June 15th, 2011, 06:41 AM
No other comments on this one? After a little bit of living with it, I think the cymbals are a bit loud in the heavy breakdown part; it seems to me like they're getting in the way. I'm also thinking about putting Transient Monster on the drum buss rather than compressing each mic separately.