Originally Posted by famousbass
I was called to do a bass session years ago. Asked to bring a fretless and it was assured it would be a walk in the park, pretty much what the guy saw me play live, he said.
Anyway, I arrived, got comfy, some guy who recommended calls out, "He can play anything" then the producer says he wants me to play like Pino Palladino, literally, now, for the ad, roll the tape, let's go, should be cool, just wanna capture what you feel... WT*!!! I'm feeling NOTHING right now, just parked the car!
I hated how I played that day.
How that for poor communication? How's that for being a "Producer". I felt so bad about myself I didn't send an invoice. What was the point?
What I git from it all:
As a player, I learned about the right preparation, especially asking the right Q before you take a booking.
As a producer these days, I gotta make sure the guy I book totally understands the brief, right up to the point that I give him an escape clause during the call. I ask for evidence he can cut something before confirming the booking. Why not? It's my money...
But even given all the preparation, things can still go south.
These days, there are so many amazing session guys on line, I would seriously consider having drums tracked remotely - especially, if you live nowhere near the talent pool.
I have drummers I work with who are all setup to record. I know their setups - drums, mics and rooms, and I just send them a file, tell them what drums, mics, etc. and they send me s track back. Perhaps a few tweaks back and forth, and we're done. The level of online/web/smartphone/tablet interaction is amazing now.
The vibe's all good, I know who can do what, I know what it will sound like, I know the pay scale variations. If I'm expecting something above and beyond the call of duty, I expect to pay accordingly.
Some drummers, I'll trade services with. They play on tracks, and I compose and / or produce material for their projects.
Track for track. I respect their time, they respect mine.
Regardless, though, there are still always going to be misunderstandings here and there - it's just part of life.
I hired one of the best session bassists in the US - and a good friend - a few years ago, and the track was so bad, I couldn't even use it. No matter what I did, I could not get the guy to get the feel of the track - and the sound was just not happening. This bassist just recorded a record with John Mayer.
My point is - shit happens. And it's no reflection on anyone. Sometimes, vibe and communication and sync are just not there. People have bad days, etc.
Yes, preparation is key, but busy producers and session folks don't always have time to prepare, and even if they do, things don't always turn out well. It's just life.
And it's all good. For ever shitty session, there are tons of great ones.
For the most part, I try to make peace with everyone, if possible. I don't want professionals leaving my space or project feeling negative, ripped off, taken advantage of, disrespected, etc. Just like I don't want to feel those things.