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Session schedules
Old 28th August 2002
  #1
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Session schedules

Responding to the question about studio musicians made me think about this - for master sessions (that is, major label records), it's not unusual to take a whole 3 hour session to get the rhythm tracks done for one song. That, by the way, would be drums, bass, keyboards, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, usually steel and often fiddle. At the end of the tracking session, everything is done except vocals. For lower budget records (but still on the card), three to 5 songs would be completed in a three hour session. For demos, most clients are upset if you don't get 6 songs finished. And that's with no one in the band ever having heard the song before the session starts (except the leader, who usually wrote the charts in advance.

Here in Nashville, the session guys do it every day - all day. On one level, it's like doing plumbing work - if I tried to replace the faucet in my kitchen (which I need to do), it would take me most of the day, and probabaly wouldn't be much of a job. a plumber could do a better job in half an hour than I could ever do. And that's the way it is for session guys here. There are some downsides (mostly that it's pretty hard to rise to the level of 'magical' performances, but the 'standard' level here is enormously high).

Brian T could give you more examples (he works on higher budget projects than I do), but at least conside this - until very recently, the idea of editing drums together for the final take simply wasn't done here - it wasn't needed. Lynn Fuston mentioned on his board a while back that in the 20 or so years he's been engineering in Nashville, he's never edited drums to make them in time.

And truthfully I don't think that it needs to be done now, except that the producers who are pro tools fans know that they can do it, so they do. To the detriment of the music, I think. It's one of the reasons that Nashville records have gotten so bad...
Old 29th August 2002
  #2
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its s shame that one would edit a performance just because they CAN... especially of a top notch session player. it might not be a "magical" performance... but editing is travelling the OTHER direction from magical.

id take a top notch session drummer everyday over a magical performance on only one day [in the entire life of the drummer].

and i wouldnt edit the session players drums.
Old 29th August 2002
  #3
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Originally posted by alphajerk

id take a top notch session drummer everyday over a magical performance on only one day [in the entire life of the drummer].

and i wouldnt edit the session players drums.
Me neither. But It's a strange world out there these days...

And it's also why I consider musicians as 'craftsmen', not 'artists'. Not that some musicians aren't 'artists', but I consider the craft aspects to more important on any given day.

And isn't that an entirely different thread...
Old 29th August 2002
  #4
I work with young bands (17-22), hopefuly the type rock / alt rock lables want to sign. They are too young to be too much good. They just look cool and with a bit of luck have a few catchy songs, they style of which 'the kids' like and can identify with.

They need Pro Tools

Thats why I work with it.

Hairy old musicians dont get recording contracts in the contemporary pop / rock field to my knowledge but I am sure they are better musicians, thats a no brainer, when I need a session guy, I get and old (over 30) guy in.

Whatever you call it, I am involved in popular modern youth culture music. Traditionaly it's performed by...... YOUTH.

I couldn't give a rats ass about musical proficiency by and large, whats more important to me, is the sound of rebelion..

Thats MY industry.

I am in the youth / rock / rebelion buisiness and it gets re-invented in the constant quest to find a sound that is simply 'cool' for reasons sometime only known to teenagers or music that will piss kids parents off when played loud in a teenagers bedroom.

Musical quality isnt nearly as big an issue round my studio as sound quality is.

Musical quality is low down on the list of priorities I have in mind as a projects producer.

My check list

1) Radio
2) Radio
3) Radio
4) Can it somehow move the band forward in the music industry

If I wanted to work on 'quality music' I would have picked a different field.

Disposable youth pop,

Who knows, perhaps once in a while an "evergreen" or 'classic' may emerge from my efforts.

What I enjoy to listen to personally is a different matter.
Old 29th August 2002
  #5
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good thing you arent in the US doing that gig, or you'd just be a hip hop producer.

most all the ROCK bands in america are well into their 20 somethings. and the little kids dont really know what ROCK is... unless you count mudvayne as rock. or korn.
Old 29th August 2002
  #6
Yes, the USA has an older signing policy... Thats well known, bands like hootie have to soft focus the 'old dudes' in the video.. Meeting some US rockers can be a shocker for UK folks.. like the dude is FATHER TIME!

Just another reason why I may move over in a year or two.

(another being if the UK cant claw back some international rock dignity in the next few years I'd better bail while my credits are still memorable)

The UK has gone WAY too far up it's pop / bubble gum ass.

Folks that CAN play have an age door slammed in their face. Absolutely.

I'm not a musician any more (quit at 22 to go the other side of the glass), so I dont foam at the mouth about it much. I just get on with the job and that is - working with 17-22 year olds. (on average)
Old 29th August 2002
  #7
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Originally posted by Jules

Just another reason why I may move over in a year or two.

(another being if the UK cant claw back some international rock dignity in the next few years I'd better bail while my credits are still memorable)

The UK has gone WAY too far up it's pop / bubble gum ass.

Meaning no disrespect, but it sounds as though you are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

You're the producer, you've got the label contacts, why don't you try pushing the envelope back to musicality? (Not full time, of course - continue recording and selling whatever pays the bills, but find a project that you actually like and treat it like a side project.) If you can actually sell it, it can't hurt either you or the band. if you can't, at least you'll have a cool tape to play when you're old...
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