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POV from your side of the desk?
Old 6th March 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 

POV from your side of the desk?

Enjoy these forums very much. (Noob-alert)

What a strange world you "Gearslutz" live in, up until now I've only been on the "ArtiEEEEst" side of the desk, however I'm trying to learn a little more about your craft, so I can be better at mine. (and make better use of time in the studio -tick- $$$- tock-$$$)

A few questions; (apologies if I missed the FAQ)

1) What makes a good session GREAT from your POV?

I know the standard; Be on time/sober, have your #@%^ together, invite ppl to lunch, let everyone do their job, Blah blah blah... (tell me again why I can't have all 24 of my guitar effects going on this scratch track?)
:-0

I'm looking for a few more advanced suggestions. What does it take to push a good session over the top to a GREAT session? What defines the serious musician from the weekend pretenders?

2) When do you know its time to book the "A" room?

I'm a regional artist (Southeast), working on my 3rd EP. Have spins on local college radio, plus specialty shows. I'm self funded and up to this point, I've spent around $2500 - $3500 tracking/mastering my previous EP's.

I basically give away most of my CD's at gigs. (sign-up on the mailing list and your name goes in a hat etc. etc. ) Or send them out as promo's.

However, now I feel like it's time to get more serious. I have good material, a great band (doesn't everyone), and want to step up to the next level in gear and production values.

I realize any one of you would be more than happy to take my money, however when is it time for a "Local" to book the "A" room? Surly an SSL, lots of outboard gear, and $$$ production/marketting budget isn't required. (not saying I'd turn it down though)
:-)

Rather I'm looking to up the sonic level, and work with a producer that can actually do a little more for me, know what I mean? (need more cowbell damnit!)

All replies welcome.

Peace,

Hannibal

PS. Here are a few samples of my new stuff (this is going on the new EP): Everything was tracked via Mackie to Nuendo, mixed down to a stereo wav, then to Sonic Foundry and finally run through T-Raxxs. Any thoughts? www.hannibaljones.com
heh
Old 6th March 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: POV from your side of the desk?

Quote:
Originally posted by mrjones

1) What makes a good session GREAT from your POV?
Great material and talented singers and musicians.

As to what makes a session run smoothly when you're in a band situation under budget restraints (as you seem to be), the band should be well rehearsed and the songs you're about to record should be finished (it can really be a drag recording a song when the artist and the producer, if a different person than the artist) haven't decided on all of the lyrics, decided who plays the solos, the tempo of the songs, etc. - practice on your own time), yet still remaining open to new ideas.

Get all of the equipment in shape before you get to the studio - new strings, if not complete setups on the instruments, new heads on the drums, all of the amps working correctly, batteries in the stomp boxes, etc.

Remember that though you're supposed to have fun, you're there to actual accomplish something, not to party. Oh, and make sure that SOMEONE has the authority to make final decisions - it's also a drag listening to the band argue about anything when you could be rolling tape.

All of this is from an engineer's POV (and a session bassist's POV as well - I've played on lots of band projects where the bassist either couldn't make the session or couldn't cut the session, and I was hired to be the stunt double).

If you're shopping for a producer, then most of this is in the producer's hands. There are at least a dozen excellent producers who are regulars on this forum; finding (and paying for) the right producer for you and your music is important enough to rate its own topic.
Old 6th March 2003
  #3
Here for the gear
 

What makes a good "local" producer

Thanks Dave apprecate the response;

Yes agree totally re: having your gear in shape, is paramount. I would also add; TUNE TUNE TUNE TUNE. (Between every take and after every guitar solo)

OK then what makes a good/great producer?

I'm not talking "A" list producers who only work on "Funded/Major label" projects. I'm talking the locals, who are in the pit a few steps above the musicians, also trying to get the EAR of a record company or A&R rep. (A&R rep with an EAR? Does such a thing exist?)
:-)

Atlanta is a great town for music. There are plenty of shopps around. What would be say a top ten list of "requirments" for a good "local" producer?

How about-

10. Must use the word "Dude" a lot.

9. If not dude, then "Babe" or "baby".

8. Must have been passed over for the Bon Jovi gig "back when, little Jonny was fetching coffee", and is still bitter about it. (sadly I know this guy)

7. Favorite phrase: "Don't worry we'll fix it in the mix." Double points if followed up by "Baby" or "Dude".

6. Has at least one Gold/Plat album on wall that he secretly played on/ or used a studio musician, because the lead guitarist was too hammered to get the job done. (sadly I know this guy as well) Think 80's rock band from LA. that should narrow it down.
:-)

5. Referes to cymbal crashes as "tin".

4. Always uses his cellphone in the CR and talks really loud!

3. Has his cellphone ring set to "Smoke on the Water" or "Like a Virgin".

2. Is always looking to mold & shepard a nice young hottie with large um... vocal chords.

1. Biggest claim to fame; He has Joe Peshee's<sp> home number, and isn't afraid to use id.

Bonus: Always referes to himself in the 3rd person. As in Well "Bubba" knows good music when he hears it and "Bubba" likes what he's hearing now.

:-)

Peace,

Hannibal
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