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A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours
Old 7th December 2002
  #1
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EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Red face A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours

I just worked 82 hours in the last 5 days. I am beat. And won't be any easier for me for the next two weeks while we try to get all the orders out and everything done to prep for CES and NAMM shows which smack us back to back as soon as we get back in January. Before vacation starts with our annual company carne asada, beer, and parking lot soccer bash on the 20th, I will have two weeks of hellish work to plow through, and one mini trade show, the Surround 2002 Conference.

I am sure you guys put in some long hours too. You 9 to 5 people can go start another thread about how little you have to work. This thread is for the true slaves to their craft. (Is typing a craft?)

Please share your most grueling marathon work week stories and let me know that "I am not alone."

Now, thank goodness, it is an early night. Time for
Old 7th December 2002
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 

I know what you mean - a short day is in at 9:00AM. out by 7:30 or 8:00PM. A long day may have me in the studio before 8:00AM and still there at 1:00AM. for 6 or 8 days at a time...
Old 7th December 2002
  #3
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Remoteness's Avatar
I basically run 24/7 with a few cat naps in between. Sometimes I get to sleep four to six hours per day.

When I'm running on 24 to 32 hour days, I try to get a "real" 12 hour snooze before I do anything special. If that's not possible, I try to fit a bunch of 30 to 60 minute naps. It helps me stretch it out.

For me, as long as I can get 4 to 6 hours of sleep in per day, it doesn't matter if it was one long rest period or many short breaks.
Old 7th December 2002
  #4
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Knox's Avatar
 

I do 10 hours . . that's it. I USED to do 24 hour days in the studio when I was using, but I don't do that any more. Plus, I have administrative duties (office) for the business. At this age, I have nothing to prove. I TRY to pace myself in the studio. Of course there are days when there is a deadline or someone needs to get on a plane with mixes . . . (whatever it may be) and you have to do whatever it takes.

I also stop to eat . . . I don't eat at the console. I take breaks during the day as well. If the client doesn't like it, screw them. This isn't the only thing in the world. Of course, as we all know, when you own your own business as most of us do here, you ARE working 24 hours a day whether you are in the studio or the office.

I don't sleep much though. If I get 4 to 5 hours . . I'm cool.
Old 7th December 2002
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Being in live audio is bad for your health. So's being your own boss/ self employed. A very unhealthy combo.


I don't recall getting more than 6 hrs of contigous sleep for the longest while, and with the kid now....I'm lookinf forward to having him in college so I can get some peace and quiet. Only 18yrs 3 months to go...

Please let me know where I should sign up to do the 3 day week - although inactivity would probably be worse than overwork!

NYC Drew
Old 7th December 2002
  #6
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
I'm a cook and it's the busy holiday season right now, so no sympathy for you! I'm busting my ass but it's $$$ and the food is good and peeps are happy, and I'll have $$$ to spend on gear.

Squeezing in time to tweak the mixes is a bitch but it gets done anyway.

16+ hour days are a routine in December. January will be a little bit more relaxed.

Work work work. You reap what you sow.

No retreat, no surrender.
Old 7th December 2002
  #7
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Re: A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours

Quote:
Originally posted by EveAnna Manley
I just worked 82 hours in the last 5 days.
Hey, you took the gig... if you're looking for sympathy or something, try the "I did an IPO and scooted away with a couple mil before anyone figured out my company was ****" forum... then again, those scumbags have no pity for anyone.

I think you'll find that to most people that are on this forum an 82 hour week is about average... or they're seriously jonesing to get to the point where they can do 82 hour weeks working in audio.

To quote part of one of my favorite songs...


'Cause I'm devoted for sure but my days are a blur
Well your nights turn into my mornings

I've did my time in that rodeo
It's been so long and I've got nothing to show
Well I'm so plain loco
Fool that I am I'd do it all over again



I think that pretty well sums up the lifestyle...
Old 7th December 2002
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Eveanna,
Yeah, But I assume you love what your are doing - otherwise you are totally out of your mind.
Even so, you may not want to calculate your hourly wage

Right now I'm putting in my 40-50 hours at the day job - but Im not loving it.
Wanna trade?
Old 7th December 2002
  #9
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i did those 80 hours weeks for a LONG time... im done doing that. its just not worth it. life is not about working all the time.... even doing audio. i have cut back drastically. i took a month off. i spend a lot more time with my family.

8 hours is far too long to be in the studio, at least at the break neck pace i work... maybe if you dick around in the studio you have to do 10+ hours. i can get it done in 6.... if you want to hang around, argue, or otherwise **** around, go somewhere else. most people who leave my studio by 6 hours of my work approach are mentally and creatively drained.
Old 7th December 2002
  #10
Most = 36 hours straight no drugs, just ciggies & coffee



Gingseng is good, Gurana is also very good, coke is uneconomic and narcotic, speed is for morons.
Old 7th December 2002
  #11
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Most = 36 hours straight no drugs, just ciggies & coffee



Gingseng is good, Gurana is also very good, coke is uneconomic and narcotic, speed is for morons.
New gear always does it for me. I get all "giddy" tweeking unfamilar knobs.
Old 7th December 2002
  #12
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Fletcher's Avatar
Jules... coke is certainly uneconomical, and generally non-productive... but it's not a "narcotic"

Narcotic

\Nar*cot"ic\, n. (Med.) A drug which, in medicinal doses, generally allays morbid susceptibility, relieves pain, and produces sleep; but which, in poisonous doses, produces stupor, coma, or convulsions, and, when given in sufficient quantity, causes death. The best examples are opium (with morphine), belladonna (with atropine), and conium.

[Just stiving for technical accuracy... as you were]
Old 8th December 2002
  #13
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i think coke fits in that category aside from the producing sleep part. i've seen stupors, convulsions and death from coke... and it numbs the **** out of your nose, throat [and if "eaten", your mouth], and as for morbid susceptibility [lack of ability to resist some extraneous agent (as a pathogen or drug)]... i'd say it fits the bill.

coke is a pretty ******** high.
Old 8th December 2002
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
KarlHoffmann's Avatar
 

Re: Re: A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Fletcher
<snip>
To quote part of one of my favorite songs...


'Cause I'm devoted for sure but my days are a blur
Well your nights turn into my mornings

I've did my time in that rodeo
It's been so long and I've got nothing to show
Well I'm so plain loco
Fool that I am I'd do it all over again



Lowell George was/is the best
Old 8th December 2002
  #15
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

My days start round 10 am and end never earlier then 1 am. Usually more towards 2 am. And that 7 days a week. I don't make any difference between a weekday and a saturday or sunday.

In that laps of time I do everything, work, have a private life, eat, go out, whatever.

I think the problem with a lot of us is that we often don't feel like we're working. Or even find that there is no or little line between work and private time.

For example, is going to a gig to check out a band that wants to record with me supposed to be work or having a good time?

Or the daily amount of time that I spend on the internet, browsing for information , reading and trying to remember stuff I read .... is that work or private time??

Or while I spend time with my kids answering phonecalls, Thinking about things that concern the studio while I watch tv.

I drive around in my car a lot ... do like 80 / 90 miles daily .... I'm either listening to records / demo's / or making phonecalls during that time ....


All I know is that I enjoy life and that is what matters. I almost never complain about life ... I try to keep a positive mind of thinking.
Old 9th December 2002
  #16
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Jeremy's Avatar
 

I have adopted a new philosophy since i had chronic fatigue a few years back - ironically one of the best things that ever happened to me. I hadn't done any music for a while before that and I couldn't work at a physically intensive job for the time being. I worked up my skills as a programmer and started doing websites and databases ( before I fell asleep - actually more like collapsed) just so I could get something done while i had the energy. ACheiving something is also one of the best ways to maintain positive state of mind.
Anyway, I watched my father fading away from inoperable cancer and decided that its not the hours or days that you live but the quality of the moments that you put inside those hours. I spent three days at the world cycling championships with my father sharing one of our passions before he got too bad. A memory I will always treasure.
You all should know those special moments in a gig or a recording when the performance gives you that eerie feeling of stepping beyond the ordinary into something incredible (if not please aim for it). Or a piece of gear that gives "the sound" that inspires creative moments. That's what makes life worth jumping up and down and celebrating. If you like it's the scorecard that says you did it right once (a day? a week? a month? as long as it happens!)
I made a conscious effort to seek out those moments and as a result started teaching music at my son's high school. That's where you learn not to become jaded or bored - the energy and creativity of these people is amazing. I found showing a little faith in a non cynical, growing mind can do wonders for your perception of your own life. We now have a number of rock oriented bands and a very healthy and respected music department - particularly noted for the quality of their performances. I've drifted a bit but I guess the whole point is that you can have a long or a short day in hours but if it had some of those great moments in it you have truly lived for the day.

P.S. spent all day yesterday running PA for a Bali benefit concert for the Kingsley football club who lost members in the Bali bombing. The community response to this tragic event has been awe inspiring.

Thank you for your patience and have a great day!
Jeremy
Old 9th December 2002
  #17
Gear Head
 

I usually do 80 hour weeks 3 weeks a month and then 50 hours minimum for 1 week a month. When I work serious gigs not the ones where the bands wanna chat and party more then actually make takes, I often eat lunch in front of the recording machine and dont take any calls. I have a great rep for my work ethic. I have optimised my diet and vitamin intake and all sorts iof **** in order to do this right. I never taker vacations either Its been this way for 3 years and i know ill get burned out eventually but hey what can you do. My body gives out on me once in a while and I have to cancel a session to just lay in bed. I dont know how to say no to gigs I wanna do or work I want so I end up doing 3 5 hour sessions in a day alot, right now I am even typing this while the producer punches a solo so I can rest my ears. The only time I ever see any girls or the 2 friends I have are when I am cancelled or if I am doing gis witgh bands who dont want to be there and wanna end sessions after 10 hours. I hate to be rude to people but people who demand to only work 8 or 6 hour days are selfish I cant think of a time when bands arent at their hottest after about 6 hours when going for basics. I know some people have familys and all tht **** but I really dont get how clients tolerate that. Probably cause your authoritive about it I just dont have that skill.
Old 9th December 2002
  #18
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Knox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts

All I know is that I enjoy life and that is what matters. I almost never complain about life ... I try to keep a positive mind of thinking.
Man I am with you on that Chris. I am so tired of mopey ass, complainers. I have been through more heavy **** in the past 10 years then most people I know have been through in a life time. I refuse to moan about it . . . . it just IS. I used to think "why me" when I was young . . . . now I think "why not me?" and deal with it, try to learn from the bad **** and keep moving. Don't bitch . . no one wants to hear it.

After all . . . none of it is THAT bad that I'm going to ruin my life and make others miserable moaning about it. It's all an attitude isn't it? And a choice. I f I choose to be a miserable bastard . . then that's what I will be. No one ever said life was going to be easy did they? So why moan and bitch like a spoiled rotten little kid that didn't get the train set he wanted at Christmas when things go bad?

Glad to read your post.
Old 9th December 2002
  #19
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by C.Lambrechts


I think the problem with a lot of us is that we often don't feel like we're working. Or even find that there is no or little line between work and private time.

For example, is going to a gig to check out a band that wants to record with me supposed to be work or having a good time?

Or the daily amount of time that I spend on the internet, browsing for information , reading and trying to remember stuff I read .... is that work or private time??
That's a tough call. I think that making work not feel like work is key. Last Wednesday I went out after a day in the studio to the place that I do FOH at almost every weekend for a meeting with a client. It was open mic night and the guy running the PA came over to ask me some questions and I didn't want any part of it. I was there to see see friends, hear some music, have a drink or three and set up a schedule for tracking my next project.
Old 9th December 2002
  #20
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

a sudden flue attack is allways a good reason to take a day off and stay in bed

ok ... back to bed now
Old 9th December 2002
  #21
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madrigal's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
I think that making work not feel like work is key.
Absolutely! I don't do this full time - I have a "real" job that pays the bills, but even after sometimes 10+ hours at that, it always feels great to come back home and do something musically creative and interesting, something I'm really passionate about. Yeah it's tiring, but when it goes right it's better than any high, coke or ginseng(!) or otherwise.

Also, since I'm effectively working two jobs and want to maximise the time I spend at the one I love, I try to be hyper-organised when it comes to recording, whether I'm doing my own stuff or clients'. If I'm recording someone, I always storyboard the song intensively to make sure we get as much of the arrangement and ideas finalised as possible. Sometimes that means telling clients who haven't thougth enough about what sounds/words/music they want to come back in a few days when they're thought it over more, and sometimes it means cutting back on spontaneity a bit, but it does allow me to get a lot more done in the limited time I have.

Anyway, a day of 16 + hours sleep now and again makes up for all the 20 hour days!
Old 9th December 2002
  #22
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Fibes's Avatar
 

If you truly love what you do why would you want to do anything else?

82 hours huh?

2 Hours overtime isn't that big of a deal.:eek:
Old 10th December 2002
  #23
Lives for gear
Re: Re: A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours

Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
Hey, you took the gig... if you're looking for sympathy or something, try the "I did an IPO and scooted away with a couple mil before anyone figured out my company was ****" forum... then again, those scumbags have no pity for anyone.
I think you'll find that to most people that are on this forum an 82 hour week is about average... or they're seriously jonesing to get to the point where they can do 82 hour weeks working in audio.
I think that pretty well sums up the lifestyle...
Ha Ha Fletch, I thought you were gonna say if to Eveanna,
"If you are lookin for sympathy you find it in the dictionary between **** and syphilis"dfegad ha ha sorry its the budwiser talking, ya thats it.
The above is courtesy of my uncle who also says, if you are not at home doing what you want to do then you are working.
So I guess its best to like what you do.
I'm still practicing I guess(less than$40 per hour after 20 years), I record bands out of my house so I never leave the studio, but I know my gear, own my gear and have no life but what else is there?
daniel
Old 10th December 2002
  #24
'2 Hours overtime isn't that big of a deal."



get well soon Chris!

Old 10th December 2002
  #25
Moderator
 
EveAnna Manley's Avatar
 

Aw you guys, I never said I didn't love my gig... a three-day holiday weekend about kills me with inactivity and depression sometimes. yow!

This time of year is super busy and it is easy for me to get overwhelmed by the piles of stuff I need to get done. It never all gets done...


Back to work!

Old 10th December 2002
  #26
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Mike Jasper's Avatar
I'll add this quote from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"I believe that no matter what your occupation is, a person only has four quality hours each day. That's why doctors scare the hell out of me."

Jasper
-- You can only work so many hours a day and two's my limit.
Old 10th December 2002
  #27
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Re: Re: Re: A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours

Quote:
Originally posted by FOURTHTUNZ
"If you are lookin for sympathy you find it in the dictionary between **** and syphilis"
You may consider that line very stolen....
Old 11th December 2002
  #28
Lives for gear
Re: Re: Re: Re: A Slave to the Gig: Working Long Hours

Quote:
Originally posted by Fletcher
You may consider that line very stolen....
Fletch, I'm not sure who first uttered it but ya gotta admit, thats some good poetry
daniel
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