View Single Post
Old 18th January 2005
Lives for gear
Ruphus's Avatar

Originally posted by maskedman72
i was mixing a song and the singer told me he wanted me to make the track "sound like sex".

does anyone have any idea what piece of gear does that?
Yep, those vibrating sticks made in Taiwan. They have that certain buzz that you might hear in summer nights when the neighbours have their windows open. heh

Here is one, maybe not that funny, but it was sort of interesting to me.

Imagine a guy that you thought to be not that bad as the second guitarist on a Spanish duo and whom you invited to track him for nada, so that you might get something other than your own chit for a studio demo and him to get a couple of good sounding demos for himself.

So, the guy comes over days later and you two first drink a cup of coffee together, talking about what to do.

First thing he makes clear is that AE is secondary and that everything must be arranged to the artists convenience. Next you two go in the studio / living room and he wonders whether boutique gear and SD mics could make a difference to the pocket size Fostex and 200$ AKG that he has at home. And when recognizing that you have prepared for tracking in the ( good sounding ) room, he asks repeatedly why not to track in the booth, so that you explain the same thing two, three times to him.

Then he wants to record his own piece and none of the classical Spanish ones that you have heard him playing slick already.
Heck, you agree.

He takes his guitar and starts playing, you suggest to try one of your guitars instead cause his sounds like a piece of chipboard. He takes them, confirms how good they sound, but "I think mine suits better to the music" looking at your wondering face "we musicians know within seconds which instruments fits best for the music" ( knows that you play guitar too, but anyways, as "we musicians" says so ... )
Returned to his guitar he sits on the optimally positioned chair while you put the heads on for to position the mics. After about 3 minutes as you´re close to the best spot of the main mic he jumps up fretfully already. "I can´t sit that long, why does that take so long". You hurry up and sit behind the screen for a trial track.

After he is through one time you ask "don´t you want to tune it at all?" He "Why? It sounds ok, doesn´t it?" Then he tries tuning for a second and goes on. You repeat "the guitar is still out of tune". He: "no, it´s fine".

We track his awfully played piece 3 times before he jumps up again "Ok, I got to go now".

And on his way out he mentions one more time something like "the musician is the most important one in the studio."

The funny thing is that I set down afterwards EQing it and slicing that crap into pieces.
After days it has indeed improved 300% and I send it together with the best of the original takes over to a friend of mine. He reflects like "You have done magic to the original sound, but the detuned guitar hurts my ears. And that playing ... Why do you waste your time with such a sh!t? Your own recordings sound so much better."

I launch the tweaked example in MediaPlayer and compare it to some clips of my own and suddenly I don´t understand myself anymore. Why TF have I spend time with this!?

Life is a msytery

As a teacher of another discipline I have experienced what the difference is when you instruct people for nada in contrast to when you cost them 50 bucks for 45 minutes. And when I was educated for that profession the assistents always used to remind us: "Never give lessons for free. People cannot appreciate the value and mobilize the adequate respect for the lesson that way."

Why the hell are we so banal and predictable?

( Hope it won´t sound too bothered though. Actually I´m in good mood. )