Originally Posted by Poirier812
I've searched for a thread like this, but haven't really found one.
It seems as though everyone wants your opinion, but if you don't say things just right they often times take it the wrong way. Whether it be an artist you produce, or if a colleague has created any type of media. I have done well so far, but I feel like a collection of tips from seasoned pros and beginners alike will help us all develop some new strategies on giving creative feedback.
Thanks in advance to anyone who posts. I feel like this topic needs to be discussed more often.
I find it's best to let the artist do whatever they want unless I'm specifically to 'produce' which I rarely am, I just keep my mouth shut and engineer. Usually wait for the question for them and answer based on that. Artist: "Was that a good take?" ..."how was that?"..... so then you can just say yeah good or , well try it again I think you can do better...
If it's an arrangement or song thing that is a touchy area. You need to make sure you are diverse before you comment to an artist. I recall back in the day when I was 17 and 18 and played metal it was early 80s and a turning point. I was not an engineer and it seemed all the studios in my area were the typical studio they had no concept of metal.
So they didn't get double bass drums or the cookie monster or sucking the mid range out of the gtr tone. For instance me and the other gtrist we used to use graphic eqs and suck out 2k-4k well what does the engineer do? he put is back in cuz Neil young is his fav gtr player or he thinks George Harrison had good gtr tone. So it became a battle. And he tell us we play to muffled and tight? Also we did stuff like tempo changes and screamed alot, they didn't' get that in 1983 84
Same with kick drum we wanted clicky tight double bass drums like Tommy Aldridge and what does the engineer do? he throws a u87s on the outside and doesn't cut the low mid cardboard cuz he likes ringos drum sound? so...... subjective
point being you have to make sure you are in tune with what the artists is after, It may be something the artist is after and is unique.
To be fair if I was producing Jack White the project would never be finished since I would stop at every take and ask "can you tune up", "do you have to play so sloppy", "can we use a jcm 800 or a boogie....? "Can you play tighter" ..Can you sing in key" or "can you redo that and sing in tune" "Can we change the s strings on that bass" etc.... so who am I? no one.... who is he? a famous gtr player who dared to be different.
Same with kobain I would have been like can you tune up? can we intonate your gtr? can you actually sing that in key ?...can we change those stupid lyrics mosquito and mullato??? "Does the drummer have to use the crash as a ride cymbal or can he use a ride cymbal as a ride cymbal" etc.... they dared to be different for a pop band. So you have to really know what you are doing before you comment or rather understand what they are trying to do and where they may be coming from before you comment.
It's all subjective. If you are a producer and you swear by what you think is good it can be a bumpy road with some artists and frankly you may be the one that's wrong?? If it's a vanilla artist like a modern country thing or coldplay thing or a R&B cliche thing it's easy to recommend things since they are not trying to be different, it's formulated cookie cutter stuff. It's the people who dare to be different who you have to tread lightly with and usually those are the more sensitive artists so you have to be careful how you say things and approach constructive criticism.