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Band wants your opinion of someone else's work...
Old 15th August 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Band wants your opinion of someone else's work...

Let's say that you work with a band on a regular basis as their live mix guy, they know you do studio work too, and they ask for your opinion on their latest CD.

Perhaps they have some misgivings after getting the first batch pressed, and maybe they didn't get you to do the mix of the CD as they wanted the studio guy who recorded it to mix it and master it, or maybe they didn't know that someone else could mix the studio multitrack, or even that someone else could master it…


So if they asked for your opinion, how honest would you be, and how far would you go in your honest critical appraisal?

Would you offer technical commentary only (e.g. the overall loudness is way below comparable commercial or independent CDs in the same genre), would you offer somewhat subjective comments (e.g. there is too much room sound and the dynamics are so uncontrolled that it sounds like a demo), would you offer mix criticism (e.g. the guitar is not loud enough here for the musical function you might be expecting it to perform, or has a poor tone), or would you go so far as to offer the opinions of a producer (e.g. in the third tune in the second bar of the repeat the saxophone high note is a bit flat, and he could have done it better)?

Interested to hear how you would approach this, especially for a client who seems to like your work.
Old 16th August 2012
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave C View Post
Let's say that you work with a band on a regular basis as their live mix guy, they know you do studio work too, and they ask for your opinion on their latest CD.

Perhaps they have some misgivings after getting the first batch pressed, and maybe they didn't get you to do the mix of the CD as they wanted the studio guy who recorded it to mix it and master it, or maybe they didn't know that someone else could mix the studio multitrack, or even that someone else could master it…


So if they asked for your opinion, how honest would you be, and how far would you go in your honest critical appraisal?

Would you offer technical commentary only (e.g. the overall loudness is way below comparable commercial or independent CDs in the same genre), would you offer somewhat subjective comments (e.g. there is too much room sound and the dynamics are so uncontrolled that it sounds like a demo), would you offer mix criticism (e.g. the guitar is not loud enough here for the musical function you might be expecting it to perform, or has a poor tone), or would you go so far as to offer the opinions of a producer (e.g. in the third tune in the second bar of the repeat the saxophone high note is a bit flat, and he could have done it better)?

Interested to hear how you would approach this, especially for a client who seems to like your work.
I'd tell him what I think, as objectively as possible.
Old 19th August 2012
  #3
No sugar-coating here. If you have a rapport with the band then honesty is a given. Be objective, they'll thank you for it!
Old 20th August 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave C View Post
Let's say that you work with a band on a regular basis as their live mix guy, they know you do studio work too, and they ask for your opinion on their latest CD.
Tell them exactly what you hope and expect the engineer who made the record will tell them when they ask him what he thinks of the live sound you get for them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave C View Post
Would you offer technical commentary only (e.g. the overall loudness is way below comparable commercial or independent CDs in the same genre), would you offer somewhat subjective comments (e.g. there is too much room sound and the dynamics are so uncontrolled that it sounds like a demo), would you offer mix criticism (e.g. the guitar is not loud enough here for the musical function you might be expecting it to perform, or has a poor tone), or would you go so far as to offer the opinions of a producer (e.g. in the third tune in the second bar of the repeat the saxophone high note is a bit flat, and he could have done it better)?

Interested to hear how you would approach this, especially for a client who seems to like your work.
those are ALL decisions the producer was responsible for.

and really, they are also all taste decision, not absolutes.
Even the overall level - lots of us quite purposely avoid crushing the record to achieve the silly (and consumer player distorting) levels of some current records.

if the band produced themselves, that's who they have to 'blame'.
so are you in essence criticizing them?

if the guy you are talking about was hired as the producer, then it's his taste versus yours.

they hired him.

the way to have them continue to "like your work" is to continue to do YOUR work.
Old 21st August 2012
  #5
It's way too easy to slip over the border from "objective actual truthful factual assessment" into "catty little this-and-that-ism," you can see this all over if you look around.

I'd ease into the conversation by asking what they think about it, and then frame your comments as if the person who decided things is standing there silently listening.
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