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I have no talent for politics...
Old 7th April 2009
  #1
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Remoteness's Avatar
Talking I have no talent for politics...

How do you feel about those engineers that play the game to gain their fame without the proper level of technical prowess?

I trust you can surely appreciate the ones that have both qualities; that's a given.

What do you folks think about this phenomenon?
Old 7th April 2009
  #2
It happens in every field not just audio engineering.

Sometimes people are just at the right place at the right time to catch all the fame with out having to really do anything or know anything. Such is life.
Old 7th April 2009
  #3
I count myself among the martyrs for letting your work do the talking. Not that I don't sometimes wish I had the gift for baffling people with bull**** and using them as stepping stones and exploiting everyone in sight, but I just honestly don't know how that works and if I tried to be that way it would be more Seinfeld than Chekhov.
Old 7th April 2009
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
I count myself among the martyrs for letting your work do the talking. Not that I don't sometimes wish I had the gift for baffling people with bull**** and using them as stepping stones and exploiting everyone in sight, but I just honestly don't know how that works
I very much agree with that... (being unfamiliar with Seinfeld, I left out that bit...).
I seem to have that aversion to making money with dishonest products or services, which seems to be all too common these days. Too much money is being made with BS, in any field. And too much of it is being promoted "politically".

Daniel
Old 7th April 2009
  #5
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valleysound's Avatar
 

Makes me angry!!dfegad
I hate to say that it's who you know and not what you know! When you reach a certain point, hopefully the bad weed themselves out, but not always so!
Old 7th April 2009
  #6
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t_chance's Avatar
 

I was at a gig where a friends band was playing second of four groups. Time to rock and roll and no sound guy. They had a Mackie 24 something board and a dj was plugged into it before the show, so the system was up. Still, no mics, cords, and no FOH dude. I stepped up and to fill in, We found mics and and cords under the stage. I got the first band going after getting through a bad cord and flipping the switch to get the mix back to the house after the DJ had the tape in. We where rockin. I had my new friends band 8 piece with horns, all miced up and ready to get levels and the dude shows up to take over. I give him the layout and the band starts out. everything is 15-20 minutes late because of the circumstances, so he goes without a soundcheck. I go "on the fly" all the time so no big deal for me, but Spock is pushed aside by Captain Kirk. I don't hear the lead singer hot enough and ask the dude to solo the channel. He won't push the solo, because he thinks the channel will cut out of the mix.

dude says "Hey man, I do this for a living, I'm getting paid for doing this." to get rid of me.

The lead singer told this guy to listen to me before the show started, because they trusted me. I pushed up the fader enough to at least get some of her vox out front with out soloing because he was freaking out. I have to tell you, dude is wearing a hat that is covering his ears too. I don't hear any sax and look over and dude has the channel muted. I tell him to unmute it and he says there is no mic on the sax. I gave him the list from the setup because I set it up. I unmuted it, set the gain, and pushed it up. Wellla, sax in the mix. I told him there was a clip-on but he couldn't see it.

I was to this venue once before. A different guy was the FOH for another band and couldn't get any sound out. after about five minutes, I went over tio see if I could help out, and unmuted the channels for him.

I could work here for $40 a night to hear mostly bands that suck.
Old 7th April 2009
  #7
There's a big part of this whole world that thrives on "do unto others... the run with the cash."

Personally, I like cash, but not enough to understand that aspect of what makes people think that moral impropriety can take precedence over treating others with dignity and a sense of what is fair.

Of course too, it's fair to say that in business, it's ethical to ask for a referral.

The line becomes fine for some, when they have the "run with the cash" attitude mixed with bashing people for referral work.

Maybe honesty is antiquated and too "Boy Scout" for a great number of folks in this (and many other industries) but I'd rather not get a gig because I don't deserve it, than getting one I haven't earned.
Old 7th April 2009
  #8
Sounds like a loaded question. Perhaps it would be more productive if we discussed this in concrete terms instead of vagaries of some "engineers" somewhere out there.

Who are we talking about? Someone in particular? Or rather than risking being impolite, can you describe the type of engineers you are referring to?

What fame are you referring to?

And how are you suggesting they're getting this fame? What do you mean "play the game"?

And by "phenomenon", are you suggesting this is new. Or more widespread in the last five years? Fifty years?

If Steve or someone else could clarify, that would be helpful. Thanks.
Old 7th April 2009
  #9
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huub's Avatar
If you need explanation, you're not a professional engineer, which is fine obviously..
Politics can play a big part in getting big jobs, especially when television producers are involved, who don't nessecarily have a clue about sound..
Some people are really good at getting perceived as being good, and/or being friends with the right people and blaming others if things go wrong.. The blaming others part is the part that annoys me, apart from that.. If people are succesful, talented or not, good for them..
Old 7th April 2009
  #10
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
I count myself among the martyrs for letting your work do the talking. Not that I don't sometimes wish I had the gift for baffling people with bull**** and using them as stepping stones and exploiting everyone in sight, but I just honestly don't know how that works and if I tried to be that way it would be more Seinfeld than Chekhov.
I feel what you feel.

I really hate opening doors, but (IMO) do a good job closing them and making the deal. It's just that bull**** factor that's always gets me - I don't feel good having to go that direction.
Old 7th April 2009
  #11
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by d_fu View Post
I very much agree with that... (being unfamiliar with Seinfeld, I left out that bit...).
I seem to have that aversion to making money with dishonest products or services, which seems to be all too common these days. Too much money is being made with BS, in any field. And too much of it is being promoted "politically".

Daniel

This statement is so very true I'm afraid.
You have to read between the lines to really know what's going on.
Old 7th April 2009
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
If you need explanation, you're not a professional engineer, which is fine obviously..
That was rude.

Steve Remote could have been referring to a world of things. As someone who is more than remotely familiar with the remote recording scene throughout Virginia and D.C. and is hired regularly to run and record shows every week (sometimes more than one a day), I'd appreciate it if you took my question seriously.

Sounds like you are talking about big multimedia production gigs. Someone else was talking about low-key live sound. And other discussions on GS deal with wannabe mastering engineers or cracked home studios. Or are we talking about remotesters who don't own a single condenser mic? Are we talking about some of the engineers on big-name classical releases?
Old 7th April 2009
  #13
Quote:
And by "phenomenon", are you suggesting this is new. Or more widespread in the last five years? Fifty years?
It is newer to the audio recording field, simply because of economics. Gear that might have cost $1000 15 years ago now can be had for less than $300. Any one and his grandmother with a few cheap condenser mics and a bootlegged copy of Logic can claim to be an experienced engineer. I know several fellows in my city who get quite a bit of work recording school bands and orchestras who have absolutely no knowledge of the craft. I hear about it all the time from customers who bought their recordings.

It is frustrating, but it just means that the rest of us who spend our time learning the trade should spend a little more time with promotion of our product. I am starting to do that more, and it is beginning to pay off.
Old 7th April 2009
  #14
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
If you need explanation, you're not a professional engineer, which is fine obviously..
Politics can play a big part in getting big jobs, especially when television producers are involved, who don't nessecarily have a clue about sound..
Some people are really good at getting perceived as being good, and/or being friends with the right people and blaming others if things go wrong.. The blaming others part is the part that annoys me, apart from that.. If people are succesful, talented or not, good for them..
Exactly what Huub said.

Read what pretty much every one has said and you will see where I'm coming from.
Old 7th April 2009
  #15
If we're talking about pretty much everything, then I'll join Thomas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
It happens in every field not just audio engineering.

Sometimes people are just at the right place at the right time to catch all the fame with out having to really do anything or know anything. Such is life.
Nothing new under the sun. And if people without technical prowress are making their clients/employers happy, then perhaps technical prowress isn't as critical to client satisfaction as once thought. And if it is still as important, then there's nothing to worry about, because those clients will come around eventually, right?

Hakuna matata.
Old 7th April 2009
  #16
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huub's Avatar
Sorry if I came across as being rude, I was not trying to disrespect anyone, I felt I was just explaining the original post..


Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
That was rude.

Steve Remote could have been referring to a world of things. As someone who is more than remotely familiar with the remote recording scene throughout Virginia and D.C. and is hired regularly to run and record shows every week (sometimes more than one a day), I'd appreciate it if you took my question seriously.

Sounds like you are talking about big multimedia production gigs. Someone else was talking about low-key live sound. And other discussions on GS deal with wannabe mastering engineers or cracked home studios. Or are we talking about remotesters who don't own a single condenser mic? Are we talking about some of the engineers on big-name classical releases?
Old 7th April 2009
  #17
No problem. Guess I'm still on edge from the whole professional / non-professional / etc debating...

PS. Nothing wrong with wining and dining potentional clients. Just ask Plush!

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...-years.html#15
Old 7th April 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
That was rude.
No, it was true. If you don't know what this thread is about then you haven't experienced it yet. And good for you. Maybe one day you'll be in a position to realize what so many people here already grasp.
Old 7th April 2009
  #19
Quote:
And if people without technical prowess are making their clients/employers happy, then perhaps technical prowess isn't as critical to client satisfaction as once thought.
If there is one thing that being a musician turned engineer has taught me it is that ignorant people are easily impressed with average results. I remember elementary school when I first heard the middle school band perform and though that they were the most amazing musicians on planet earth, I was approaching it from a 10 year old perspective. Now that I have a music degree and professional experience, I know they stunk . I think good engineers need to get out there and prove that they deliver a superior product, otherwise we leave potential clients to the mercy of hacks.
Old 7th April 2009
  #20
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Corran's Avatar
 

I HATE this part of life in general.

I have a 5 year plan to completely destroy my biggest competitor in the area who has had many years to politick and do completely average and subpar work. I've got to make some people realize the stuff is NOT good enough! And he charges a lot too, so it's not a budget thing!

In summary, dfegad

Anyway...
Old 7th April 2009
  #21
Step One: Get the coolest business cards in town.

Old 7th April 2009
  #22
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Corran's Avatar
 

Check!

(really I've got to scan mine one day, they're awesome if I do say so myself)
Old 7th April 2009
  #23
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
That was rude.

Steve Remote could have been referring to a world of things. As someone who is more than remotely familiar with the remote recording scene throughout Virginia and D.C. and is hired regularly to run and record shows every week (sometimes more than one a day), I'd appreciate it if you took my question seriously.

Sounds like you are talking about big multimedia production gigs. Someone else was talking about low-key live sound. And other discussions on GS deal with wannabe mastering engineers or cracked home studios. Or are we talking about remotesters who don't own a single condenser mic? Are we talking about some of the engineers on big-name classical releases?
The idea of this thread was to have an open dialog with regards to these issues.
I get the impression that most of us understood where I was coming from and responded accordingly.

Perhaps I was referring to a world of different things or may be not.
It really wasn't the point. It was more about what you got from it.
Consider applying every possible scenario to this discussion since it's an open chat among friends, associates and all GS members.
Old 7th April 2009
  #24
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
No problem. Guess I'm still on edge from the whole professional / non-professional / etc debating...

PS. Nothing wrong with wining and dining potentional clients. Just ask Plush!

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remot...-years.html#15
I posted my last reply before I've seen the latest responses.

It's true, there is nothing wrong with schmoozing your clients or potential clients.
I was referring engineers that really don't have the chops, but get their gigs by knowing how to work the client into believing they have what it takes.
This can also include deceptive or misleading websites and such.

I'm not 100% sure, but I bet Plush stays away from the potentional clients. Just ask him to be sure!
Old 7th April 2009
  #25
Quote:
I have a 5 year plan to completely destroy my biggest competitor
Glad I'm on the other side of the country. Show them no mercy!

My biggest competitors are a video production company that also happens to do audio recording (if you can call it that) and an old guy with a mixer and some mics who is practically deaf. Drives me crazy sometimes.
Old 7th April 2009
  #26
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Remoteness's Avatar
Perhaps it's time to deprogram their clients. heh
Old 7th April 2009
  #27
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matskull's Avatar
 

It almost seems to me that, where I work, you have more chances to succeed if you know how to tell a great joke then if you know how to make stuff sound good....
Old 7th April 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
I'm just glad to know that I'm not the only one experiencing this. There are a few guys here (where I live) that fall into this category. Some of them have been doing this a long time and some that are learning. I don't even mind helping out new guys some if they are willing to learn and realize that they need to. It's the guys that think they know everything and BS everyone into believing that they do that bother me.

I'm with Joel. I try to let my work speak for itself, but sometimes that's not good enough to compete with the professional schmoozers out there. I'm not good at playing politics and I refuse to learn, though that may be my demise. I want well-informed clients that appreciate the work, not clients that I have to convince with BS.
Old 7th April 2009
  #29
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Interesting...

So how do you guys feel about engineers uncutting and poaching buisness off each other? It happens occassionally here but not as often as i can imagine it happening over in the US. I rekon thats not too off topic.

I feel thats worse than shmoozing clients off their own back and luring them in. Kinda like stabbing everyone else in the back.

xcx
Old 7th April 2009
  #30
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse View Post
If we're talking about pretty much everything, then I'll join Thomas.



Nothing new under the sun. And if people without technical prowress are making their clients/employers happy, then perhaps technical prowress isn't as critical to client satisfaction as once thought. And if it is still as important, then there's nothing to worry about, because those clients will come around eventually, right?

Hakuna matata.
Perhaps technical prowress may not be as critical, but IMO technical prowess is!

So, let me get this straight; are you saying it's totally cool if you lost a bunch of dates to an engineer that had no technical chops, but had a great rap?
How does this help you or your client?

You see, if it was me I would have a problem with that situation.
At the same time I would not mind it too much if the engineer was as good or better then me and got the job because he/she was a better business person.
That's how things work - you win some and you lose some.

Low-balling to get a gig is a whole other story, but we're not discussing that here.
We should start a new thread about that since it's an important issue.
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