Famous artist to his hired-gun guitarist: "Hey, you know that cool thing you just played? Don't do that again."
Producer to struggling performer: "I appreciate what you're trying to do..."
After a day of high decibel kick drum auditioning, the famous artist suggests that he not come in until he is needed. The producer's response, delivered with a shrug, "It's your record."
I was working with a well known act that had been a trio, now working as a duo. At one point, I was asked to sing a high harmony, just out of my range - the kind of part the former member would have sung. After a bit of a struggle, I was starting to get something useable, when the talkback came on, "Hey, we were just saying how much you sound like D**." I said, "um, thanks", only to have the talkback come back with the reply, "That wasn't a compliment."
At my very first session as a session guitarist (for a jingle), I looked up and noticed a guy from the ad agency on the sofa picking his nose, digging for gold. I whispered as quietly as I could to the bass player, "Check out the nose picker in the front row." The talkback came on, "Live and in color, fellas."
the band was on take 15 or 20 of a song w/ a difficult beginning. they finally got the beginning right and, happily, kept going. the rhythm guitarist had a small break, so he waved 'hello' into the control room.
Late 90's: A&R girl to Studio Manager: Do you have 1/2" Protools?
I was doing a jingle date one time and had finished the mix and the producer calls the client at the agency and plays the spot over the phone. The agency guy goes "Sounds a little bass shy"
Another jingle session. The composer says the client wants a b52's Love Shack kind of track. So we cut a live band doing a slight rip of the song. He calls the client to see if they like it and the client goes "hmm that's not really it...you know..like a B52's/Marky Mark and the funky bunch kind of thing. (!)
I was assisting for my studio owner boss who was doing a mix for this r&b producer who said of a certain track "That's gotta have a Power Booster on it!"
My boss said "What's a power booster?" "you don't know what a power booster is?" "Its the best Sh@#t ever!" "You send the track to a (Yamaha) REv7 and bring the REv7 returns back to a couple of faders and then...you put the REv7 in Bypass! My boss and I exchanged looks and he said "uh....Ok..."
Later we double checked the schematic in the manual and yep...hardwire bypass.
I still experience a bit of schadenfreude when I see a hapless producer trying to speak into the button of the remote talkback cable.
i had a band in and the gtr player was in the live room with his amp as i was in the control room getting levels for him.
i bring up the level and started eqing his amp a bit with the mic pre's eq and the other gtr player from the band that is sitting next to me says to me as i am sweeping through some freq's "wow! listen to that compression!"
You folks are killing me from laughter!!
Thanks a bunch for making my day!
PS: I have that "can´t hear anything" almost regularly at the start of whatever post or record. Usually something not plugged in. But at least I don´t start tweaking the computer anymore then or even reghost it like I did once.
me: "your timefeel sucks bigtime, shakey as a$s" drummer: "I always stick to the bassplayer"
me: "oh. could you stick to the metronome now?" drummer: "what's a metronome?"
client: "maybe we should try another snare?"
me: "..." client: "maybe we should try another hihat?"
me: "..." client: "maybe we should try another bassline?"
(ten hours later) client: "maybe we should stick to your original mix. It was great."
dj: "the kick's gotta be HUUUUGE!"
me: "like this?" dj: "yeah, perfect, and the bass's gotta be SLAMMMIN'!"
me: "like this?" dj: "yeeeah, superb, and the pad's gotta be KILLLLAH PHATT!"
me: "like this?" dj: "yeeeeeeah, it's there, and the kick's gotta be HUUUUUUUUGE!" ...
I know a producer who once faked an entire string section, for an advert. Booked the studio, laid out the chairs, mic's, music stands, had the assistant leave some newspapers and coffee mugs out, etc...
Client turns up ... "Oh, you just missed the string section being recorded. It sounds great, check it out.."
Plays back pre-recorded synth string part, from a JV1080.
Client "Yeah, the real strings really help the warmth of the track!"
Producer included their fee as part of his invoice ....
on my first session as a first engineer, many moons ago, I was recording a local band who were considered to be the best in town. When I went to get drum sounds I asked the drummer to play the snare. He proceded to hit it too hard and to fast and was totally out of context with what he was going to play in their songs. So I asked him to just play me quarter notes so I could work on the tone. After about 15 seconds of silence and everyone in the band looking at everyone else with very confused looks the drummer asked what a quarter note was. I explained it to him and then said just play me some time and I will work on the whole kit. Again 15 seconds of silence and dumb looks. Then the drummer asked what I meant by play some time......... It was then that I knew that even as green as I was I was going to be a funking genius compared to these dim wits.
I am not usually right but this time I was dead on. They sucked the ass out of sucking ass!!!!
Well... this isn't stupid, as the producers on this project are consummate professionals, but it is silly, so I will share.
A few years back, my introduction into Gearsluttiness started with session vocals. I started in high school with a couple of Disney sessions and got to do some cool stuff over the years.
Some of you may remember the "Meaty Cheesy Boys" campaign that Jack in the Box did a few years ago. It was a pretty clever Boy Band send up where the boys were singing earnestly about hamburgers and french fries.
So, we did a full three day tracking session on three full songs that JITB was going to release as a promotional thing with meals. It never materialized, I guess it didn't test well, but the songs are frickin hilarious, and you can find them on Kazaa or whatnot.
Anyways, for those of you who know Jack in the Box, and their ads, you know the voice of Jack. It turns out that the voice of Jack is actually the head of the advertising company that runs the campaign and has for many years. So, for three days, at the glorious Signet Soundelux Studios in Hollywood (also my 1st introduction to Soundelux mics) we sang earnestly about hamburgers all whilke taking direction and suggestions with none other then Jack himself coming over the talkback. Imagine trying to sing seriously about this topic, A, and, B, imagine taking serious musical direction from Ronald McDonald.
It was pretty funnny... and this thread rules. I wish I knew more idiots so I could contribute.
I haven't giggled or smiled once while reading this, although I've read some other things on the forums today that had me laughing out loud!
It's too easy to make fun of these cheeseheads- and I'm not seeing the stupidest things I've ever heard on a session. Those things were said by engineers!
1) Me: Are you SURE the bass is right where it ought to be? [after trying to explain how when the bass is right, it opens up the mix, does it's job, and doesn't interfere with the leapin' out of higher freq stuff...]
Engineer: At this point, it'll be easy for them to get that just right in mastering.
[hint- the ME's didn't feel that way about it, at all! fuuuuuuck...]
2) Me: How can you possibly get a good mic placement without even listening?!
Engineer: Actually, I've gotten really lucky in the past that way.
Now THOSE are the stupidest things I've ever heard in a session!
"can you make it sound like and elephant in a swimming pool?"
"I'd like to use my drum kit"
(this happens a lot, a bottom of the range kit that's had the same heads for five years when there's a top of the range TAMA starclassic maple with new heads, already miked up)
Me - "OK, it's as loud as Linkin Park now, I don't think I can push any louder without ruining the mix"
Them - "No, it HAS to be louder than anyone, ever."
them - "I copied from the master you gave me and it doesn't sound as good "
me - "how did you do it"
them - "I ripped it into Windows media player"
me - "as what file format?"
them - "WMA"
prospective client "As we're booking so many days (usually two or three) can we get a bulk discount?"
I was recording an Avant-Garde "Noise Rock" band. They employed 'normal' instruments but abused them to create unusual sound textures. The guitarist sawed on his strings with two metal rasps with the amp on 10 and the Sax players made squeaks and whistles with a mic jammed down inside the horn itself. They used circular breathing techniques so that they never had to stop.
To call it cacophony would not do it justice. If there is a jukebox in Hell, this record is Selection A1. (Though I would have preferred smaller doses, I actually kind of liked it.)
When it came time to mix, I was much relieved to find that my normal approach to saxes and guitars was fine with them and they liked the sound. Then at one point the sax player stopped me and said "wait, that has to come out"
"what has to come out"?
"that, right there."
I still didn't hear it
"after these bubbling sounds... there!"
after much soloing I finally figured out what he was talking about. In the heat of the jam, the sax player had accidentally closed a pad on his sax and and produced a recognizable musical tone! A C# instead of a squeak or a squawk. It had to go.
In 40 minutes of the most intense insane sounds I ever heard, that was the only edit.
I was an assistant at a studio that became infected with a severe case of "thats what she said when the bed broke". At a staff meeting it was decided that enough was enough and we should cut it out.
The very next day I was assisting on a vocal session when the following dialog occured
Engineer: Do you have your voice in the cans?
Singer: Well, its in but its soft.
Tongues were bitten in half and several people exploded.
played in a jazz trio in a previous lifetime. Vibes, Piano and me (drums).
at some point during a session the piano player got into a discussion with the vibes player about the scale mode they would improvise / accompany each other. Phrygian, Lydian ... vibe player insisted they would take the Lydian scale mode instead of the phrygian because blah blah blah ....
5 minutes into the discussion I get involved from behind the drums : 'guys, can you please make up your mind so I know how to tune the skins ... '
i am begining to enjoy coming home after work and reading all of the new posts in this thread each day!!!
so, a while back i was recording a heavy metal band and we were going to be doing a 10 song album from the ground up..
so the band shows up and the drummer sets his oversized kit up and i am getting mic's up as usual........about 10 minutes after i begin getting the mics out, the bass player comes into the room and starts yelling at me.....now let me tell you what he looks like......... he has on super tight pants that look like he bought them from the singer from ratt, a t-shirt with the sleeves cutt off so that he can expose his indian ink tattoo on his bicep that reads "mr. metal"(no bulls@@t!) and his hair looks like one of the guys from the rock band cinderella....now back to the story. anyhow ,he comes in the room and starts yelling at me.......(what you are about to read are actual quotes)....he says in a yelling voice "THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!...IT DOSENT TAKE THIS LONG TO GET A DRUM CHECK........." keep in mind that at this point i hadnt even plugged a single mic into the snake yet, i try to explain to him that yes,in fact it does if you want things to sound good......he than lashes back at me and says...."WHEN I WAS GIGGING WITH DAVID LEE ROTH AT THE CATHOUSE THE DRUM CHECK TOOK 10 MINUTES........THIS IS BULLSHIT!!!......"
at this point mr. metal is pacing around the studio huffing and puffing going on and on about how long it takes to put up mics at the cathouse club and they are wasting money on a drum mic setup.
so i keep doing my thing, setting up mics and than he begins yelling again cause he is now in the lounge yelling at the rest of the band about the "problem".
i than hear "mr. metal" say.."F**K THIS......IF THIS TAKES ANY LONGER I F**KIN QUIT,ILL WALK OUT OF HERE RIGHT NOW!"........
well, mr. metal ended up staying in the band and we got all of the bed tracks laid to tape. after he heard the drums upon playback for the first time he began praising my work saying that it sounds f@@kin great and im the man and going on and on and hitting me on the back calling me "buddy".
the whole time the band was tracking the bed tracks mr. metals girlfriend aka mrs metal would say silly things to the band when they would come back into the control room to listen to each take.
they would listen and she would say "ok guys..you can do better than that.....go back in and lets rock it"
i sat through a whole day of this....14 hours or so.....it was great....
so the session is now over and i am giving out rough copies to the band. they want to book time for the following weekend to begin overdubbs. our studio is booked at that time and they had to have that weekend to do it..........here is where this long story gets really good............since i cant get them in when they want to, i tell them they can take the 2 inch reels with them and book time at another studio to do the dubbs, than we can mix it here later. they all agreed and booked time at another studio.
so then a week later i get a call from the producer of a court tv show called "power of attorney". he says that mr. metal is sueing me on the show and they want to fly me to ca. to tape the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i said hell yea!!!!!! the reason mr metal and crew were suing?...when they took their reels to the other studio the engineer there told the band that the engineer who worked with them before....(me)....ruined all of the reels and the entire project had to be re-recorded cause the reels were not "TAILS OUT"!!!!!!!
the producer of the court tv show asked me about all of this and i explained it to him and they decided not to accept "mr.metals" case for the show.
this is not the end of story though.....so mr metal took the case to small claims court and we went and the judge ruled in our favor and gave mr metals band nothing....man were the guys in the band pissed!!!!!!!!!!!
when i have more time i will tell a story that is even better!!!!!!!!