NYC: Recording one band free each month- Comp&Blog

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NYC: Recording one band free each month- Comp&Blog

Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:59 pm

EDIT: Since a few people have misinterpreted my concept, I felt I should try to clarify it by adding the following sentence to the beginning of this thread:

"I would like to give a dozen independent artists a chance to be creative without watching the clock, create a blog and compilation for recording enthusiasts, and raise a few pennies for a worthy cause". End EDIT




We 'professional' engineer-types sure are a greedy bunch.

We take the money of hapless saps of musicians to pay our rent... but do we give anything back? We get on your guest lists, drink your beer and get free lunches.

Sure, we twiddle your knobs and flash your lights, but does all that sound and fury amount to anything truly constructive? ....anything.... free? It's time I gave something back to the community!

Since my schedule as a freelancer is a bit too erratic to work at a soup kitchen or anything like that, I'd like to record one song, for one band for free, every month. For (at least) one year.

I think I can spare one day a month for tracking. I do get a day off here and there! I'll fit mixing in-between paying sessions or on a day off, in it case that it can't be completed on the day of tracking. Bands can do whatever they want with the song. Put it on a demo. Sell it at shows. Post it on myspace. All that I ask is that they allow it to be posted on my website and included on a charitable not-for-profit compilation cd. If they decide they really want to commercially release the track instead, all that I ask is that they pay me and the studio.

Oddball bands/artists preferred. People who really like rehearsing are extra-preferred.

I can accommodate anything at my own project studio. If any outside studios want to donate one block of 8 hours or so in exchange for some free advertising and word-of-mouth, it might help make the project even more fun and multi-dimensional, and spread the love around even more.

Any comments or criticisms are welcome,

Justin Colletti
Last edited by fossiltooth on Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:20 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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Post by themagicmanmdt » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:57 pm

you know, i've had the same idea floating in my head for a while, but instead, the groups get to send their demos/shows to you, and YOU get to decide who you want to record the most. i mean, instead of just letting random fate bring some group into the studio, you've got some power into who you think you'll make the best song/record/etc with.

you might make enemies that way, but you might do even better with friends.

i like the idea. i'm in chicago, so no help, i know, but go for it!

how do you want to implement finding the band to record each month?
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Post by rwc » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:06 pm

This sounded like a good idea to me a few months ago. I tried it, and unfortunately, had some bottom of the barrel experiences. Some pay as much respect to the recordist as they do money to the recordist for free recordings.

You're a great guy - I'm confident it'll go much better for you than it did for me! Some of the best recordings I think I did were last minute spur of the moment things for a circle of friends and acquaintances that happened to be around, sometimes half of whom weren't aware the red light was on, that I never for a second thought of charging someone for.
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Post by fossiltooth » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:09 pm

themagicmanmdt wrote: but instead, the groups get to send their demos/shows to you, and YOU get to decide who you want to record the most.
There's no "instead" about it. You hit the nail on the head. I can't imagine it working any other way.
thmagicmanmdt wrote:how do you want to implement finding the band to record each month?
Friends, referrals from clients, myspace, TOMB, going to shows, pavement pounding, giant sandwichboard, you know, the usual.

Ideally, I'd like to do each song in a different studio and interview the chief engineer or the owner about their studio design and philosophy. I'd love to ask them contribute a technique or outlook that gets applied to the recording at their studio.

Whaddayathink?
Last edited by fossiltooth on Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Post by scott anthony » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:54 am

Sounds fun. Count me in for one, but I'd like to be involved in selecting...

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Post by the finger genius » Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:07 am

I'm also in; this sounds great. I have a mobile pro tools le rig with up to 16 inputs, so I can come to a band in the nyc / nj area.

This could be a really cool twist on the RPM challenge... if we all contribute one song.

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Post by fossiltooth » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:05 am

RWC wrote:This sounded like a good idea to me a few months ago. I tried it, and unfortunately, had some bottom of the barrel experiences. Some pay as much respect to the recordist as they do money to the recordist for free recordings.

You're a great guy - I'm confident it'll go much better for you than it did for me! Some of the best recordings I think I did were last minute spur of the moment things for a circle of friends and acquaintances that happened to be around, sometimes half of whom weren't aware the red light was on, that I never for a second thought of charging someone for.
Thanks for the support, RWC!

I hear what you're saying. It will be very important to vet the potential artists for attitude and quality of music, otherwise the project is doomed to failure. Luckily, I live in a bit of a 'cultural center', and I have a pretty good reputation with all the artists I've worked with. By sending out some emails last night I already have found a couple of genuinely good bands who are interested, and got positive responses from a couple of studios that seem willing to donate time.

As with all projects, finding the right collaborators is the most important thing. Period. Aside from that, it's all about perspiration. Doing instead of just talking. Always tough... cause I sure love hearing the sound of my own voice! :wink:

Scott and fingergenius: Thanks for the interest! I'm still trying to figure out how to involve others in a way that makes sense and will be fun for everyone involved.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by fossiltooth » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:14 am

Oh yeah, many thanks to drumsound and toaster3000 for recently proving, through their examples, that blogs can be informative and fun to read. Thanks folks! I hope I'm not being too audacious in assuming someone somewhere will be interested in mine. :wink: Even if it's posted on my own site instead of the TOMB.

C'mon! a different band, different studio and different set of techniques each installment? And you get to hear a finished product each time? And we donate any proceeds to charity?

I would read that!
Last edited by fossiltooth on Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Zygomorph » Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:45 am

I like this idea.

In fact, I like it so much, it's about all I've ever done. I think that there are many non- or semi-professional (and even full-blown professional) audio engineers out there who have always considered their work to an artistic pursuit with or without the benefit of patrons. A analogy I've always found helpful is to consider record production/engineering with portraiture of any medium.

Anyway.

My curious manner of thinking would add the caveat that the recording itself would fall under some sort of alternative copyright standard, like GNU or something, and that we could create a bittorrent network to distribute the material online. Information liberation, you see: make it free from the very start, for everybody, while at the same time acknowledging the creative collaborative effort between the bands and recordists. And who says that we have to record "bands" per se?

The other twist on this is for anybody with access to audio engineering-ers to "curate" a live show of bands he happens to admire, and record / distribute as per above.

And look at what happens when you do have a patron who lets you do what you want, and you sublimate all those arbitrary and old notions as to who does what when you make a record:

He just made it possible for us to be ourselves and go right ahead with it because he was Andy Warhol. In a sense, he really did produce it, because he was this umbrella that absorbed all the attacks when we weren't large enough to be attacked... and as a consequence of him being the producer, we'd just walk in and set up and do what we always did and no one would stop it because Andy was the producer. Of course he didn't know anything about record production?but he didn't have to. He just sat there and said "Oooh, that's fantastic," and the engineer would say, "Oh yeah! Right! It is fantastic, isn't it?"

That's Lou Reed talking about Andy's involvement in The Velvet Underground and Nico apart from paying for the thing. For better or for worse, we can all be Andy now. But for how much longer? Our economy and our civilization may be giving us just this one opportunity to do these crazy things now and never again.

So where shall we plant the ideal seed?

! jms ?

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Post by fossiltooth » Tue Feb 05, 2008 6:10 pm

Thanks for helping me brainstorm, everybody.

Here's what I've decided in a more concise form:

1- I will donate one day to record and mix one song for one band each month for 12 months.

2- I will create a blog detailing the process and compile all 12 songs onto a non-profit cd release.

3- I will try to create some revenue through web ads, compilation sales and donations, and give all of that revenue to a charity. (I dunno... something music related? Any suggestions?)

4- I would like to record each track for this project at a different studio each month, and involve the studio owner or chief engineer in some way... and then publish an interview about the studio, its business model and design philosophy.

5- It will be fun.

6- Everyone will earn a tax-write-off.

7- I will call it "Twelve Sessions" or "Project 12" or something incredibly cheesy like that.

8- The world will never be the same (!!!)

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Post by andris » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:33 am

This sounds like fun, when are you thinking of starting? Is upstate in your range? Speaking of blogs, check mine out when you get a chance www.andris.vox.com let me know how I can improve it.
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Post by rwc » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:23 pm

andris wrote:let me know how I can improve it.
Don't use apostrophes on plural shit. This drives me nuts because it's so overused even by the smartest and utmost professional engineers. Apostrophes are possessive. As in, the sm57's body is strong. I have 3 sm57s. The DBX compressors I have rock. The DBX compressor's power switch is fucked up.
6- Everyone will earn a tax-write-off.
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Post by andris » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:28 pm

Thanks for that note, I removed the extraneous apostrophes.
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