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what do you want? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 17th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

Thread Starter
what do you want?

i get bands in all the time who in their quest of recording seem to be unconscious of what they are truly after... or they might have something in mind yet dont know how to go about getting it. either sonically being able to describe it or attain it with their own tone OR musically being able to fully deploy the parts with any sort of construct or plan.

there are a few however i have worked with who are MASTERS at it. they are truly a joy to work with. it gives me freedom to explore MY realm of recording instead of flipping back and forth between their needs and my needs of my job.

anyone else having this problem?
Old 17th September 2002
lflier's Avatar

Ohh yeah, there's nothing I hate more than bands with only a vague idea of what they want sonically.

I try to head this off at the pass early on, by talking to them before they come in. I ask them what they sound like, whether there are any records they particularly admire sonically that I can hear, whether they have all the arrangements worked out, etc. If they really don't know, then I tell them they either need a producer or they need to let me be the producer. This will cost them "extra" but it will save them time on the recording budget, so it ends up being pretty much a wash if you play it right.

If I'm the producer, de facto or otherwise, then I make sure we do some preproduction before recording. Rehearsal space is cheap, the band probably already has one, if not they can use ours. We make sure everybody knows their parts, has decent heads on the drums and the hardware doesn't rattle, has a clue what amps they're going to use, etc. If they don't know their parts I tell them they've got two choices: they can go back to the rehearsal space and continue working things out until they know what they want, or they can do this in the studio and pay for it.

I find this is really the only way to work with inexperienced bands who are on a limited budget and don't know what they want. Otherwise, too often the band ends up spending money they really don't have, for something that isn't what they wanted. Being proactive about this beforehand, ensures that they understand what their responsibilities are in order to get what they want.
Old 17th September 2002
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar

I enjoy the education schtick as much as the working with visionaries... Two different challenges but both satisfying.

I have a problem with bands that don't know their direction but think they do. The "know just enough to be dangerous crew." Recording is a very easy thing to talk about but the proper execution of "vertical" recording is a difficult scenario to digest without it being illustrated first.

"That's not what we sound like live."

Sometimes it is (really), sometimes it's a good thing not to, sometimes it's bad. Y'all get the picture.
Old 17th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

Thread Starter
especially when they insist on using their ****ty ass distortion pedal boards made of plastic. what i LOATHE is when they have a "vision" that sonically sucks ass.
Old 17th September 2002
All I need / expect:

Bands who are able to perform their music live at concerts or in a rehersal room situation.


I see "recording visionary" skills as purley optional.

The "we do this, (play live) can you make a record of it" is all the brief I need before a production.

Naturally any overdub parts or counterpoint embelishment ideas they may have will be gratefully recieved and sifted through by myself as producer.

All I need is a live band.

Or solo artist, open to having a production put around them.
Old 17th September 2002
Lives for gear
Fibes's Avatar

I agree but I find that sometimes a band has five or more visions for "what" they are. Just because they can perform 5 different styles of music in the first verse doesn't mean they should... When I'm talking vision, I'm talking having a clue. Visionary things are best left to people of higher understanding, like myself or Barney Fife.
Old 18th September 2002
The only 'visionary skills' I require on sessions is for the assistant to know when we are runing out of:

Toilet Paper

I can handle the rest as a producer.
Old 18th September 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

Thread Starter
playing live is one thing... making it permanent is another.
Old 18th September 2002
Their job - My job

Any budding Jimmy Pages in the band are welcome to join me at the desk.

Old 18th September 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I run into that every so often. Seems like it happened more last year then this year. I try to ask the band lots of questions and find out what they're looking for before they book time. If someone wants a super-slick recording with 100 tracks of background vocals and percussion I'm not the right engineer for that.

I like working with people that have some kind of clue and vision of the final product. Then I can kind of push them or pull them a bit to help shape it. I don't want to be known as that guy who changes things and makes every band sound like every other band out there. There are plenty of cookie cutter studios and engineers around here. I don't want to be one of them.
Old 18th September 2002
All I am saying is- I will take what I can get 'visionary' wise. I wont shakedown bands, interrogating them for 'how they want to sound', insisting they have a clue, cause I work with VERY YOUNG BANDS (who often dont)

but I haven't mentioned this 'trick' I pull often.

I offer bands to make me a CD up of music in their scene or music they find relevant to the project - to "hypnotize me".

I usually get a 10 track CDR of **** they like and we can listen to it on breaks, and production values they may hold dear might seep in to my brain..

I wont slavishly copy it by any stretch of the imagination, but it keeps the scene the act are associated with - to the FOREFRONT of my mind during the production... Gives me an feel for the 'target market'.

Right now I am doing two bands at once, leapfrogging sessions. (cool to use the same basic patching for the backing tracks! BIG time saver!)

1) a raw / wild - Bow Wow Wow style
2) an Emo Core act that I decided from seeing them live, will get cookie cutter MTV production values applied.

Both are spec deals.

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