Do you try harder?

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Post by cjogo » Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:27 pm

I always continue to try my hardest , for every project least until the budget stops me.
whatever happened to ~ just push record......

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Post by RodC » Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:21 am

I bet....

Most of us try as hard as the band does...

Face it, if the bass player hasnt learned his parts, are you going to spend a week making sure his 1000 punch ins sound perfect? (Maybe if they are willing to pay for the hours :) )
'Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones'

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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:04 am

I give 100% and hope everyone else is on the same page.

Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

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Post by losthighway » Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:46 am

I've thought about this thread a couple times after some sessions I have done. It's a funny idea and hard to measure. I guess my most recent conclusion is that if you share an artistic standpoint with the band it is very easy to make decisions and help them sculpt something that flatters their music.

On the flip side if you don't really "get" someones musical perspective at all and you don't want to push too much, stick more to that neutral "engineer-never-producer" concept then you're waiting for them to produce. I've mixed with some bands who's music I didn't care too much for (thankfully few of these) whose idea of a mix session was sitting on the couch texting friends and asking me if I'm done yet. Sure, in that situation I can make sure that the instruments are balanced, that the kick and bass guitar have a good relationship, everything is in focus etc. But there are none of those thrilling moments of sonic collaboration that make me love my job. Maybe that feels like I didn't work as hard for them, but in fact it really means I worked harder; the whole thing was work. There might have been a better product on other projects where there was passion and *gasp*- fun.

In some uber-ethical idealized world I like what everyone has been saying about doing their best all the time. I aspire towards the same, but I also acknowledge that when working with groups of people at a creative endeavor some situations bring out your best in ways others can't. No amount of grimacing and tweaking the parametric eq, and the release time on the snare compressor is going to change that. You can scrunch up your eyebrows and grit your teeth, but you know it's not like other projects, that you might be working damn hard but it can't be your "best".

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Post by Matt C. » Tue Jul 27, 2010 1:41 pm

I agree that the effort i put into engineering on a project isn't based on whether or not i like the songs, but more about the attitude of the band and how seriously they are taking it. for example, i just finished recording four songs for this high school punk band, and i feel like i really phoned it in. this band would show up missing half their members (on both days, their drummer couldn't show up, so their bass player played drums instead. on the second day, one of their guitar players couldn't come, so no second guitar on those songs.), want to get everything done in about an hour, spend all their time telling jokes about each others' moms, etc. I think this was the first time they had ever recorded, so they were just really excited, and really happy with the results, even though i thought it was pretty bad and i was kind of embarrassed to let it out into the world. But i didn't feel up to the task of sitting these guys down and giving them a lecture about recording, and how if you lose the beat and completely stop playing drums in the middle of a song, that take probably shouldn't be the keeper, etc. Which i guess is a failure on my part, but since they were so happy with everything, I didn't feel like it was worth rocking the boat. Now i just have to live with the fact that i just finished the worst sounding recording i've ever engineered. Not a good feeling! lesson learned i guess.

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Post by Fletcher » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:05 am

RodC wrote:Face it, if the bass player hasnt learned his parts, are you going to spend a week making sure his 1000 punch ins sound perfect?
It that's how they want to spend their budget, who am I to tell them otherwise... but as the old saying goes -- "when the money's gone... so am I".

To that end, I have suggested, and employed other musicians to come in and "nail" a part when a band member wasn't "up to snuff". These are generally situations where I am producing the project.

I have found that spending a few hundred on a great player will yield better results than sitting through hours of drudgery with a less than great player... and in the end, it will not only sound and feel better, but when you add up the costs of the studio, engineer, etc., etc., etc.... it'll end up costing less as well.

One of the few times you can get all 3 -- "good", "fast" & "cheap"(er).


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