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MIXING - best investment for a band on a budget?
Old 14th January 2007
  #31
Gear Nut
 

Just clarifying what I said and seconding Tousana - by marketing I mean create a buzz! You need to get your band in the strongest position possible. The worst way for an A&R man to meet your band is through an unsollicited demo.

Good luck!

D
Old 14th January 2007
  #32
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quietdrive View Post
Yeah.. but then again I am always under the impression that they could also just buy some nice additional equipment and with a bit of basic knowledge of engineering/recording easily record it on their own. The advantage here would obviously be owning the gear after the recording is done, despite to owning nothing when recording in a big studio.
I think you/they would be making a huge and expensive mistake! I mean I have worked with some indi bands and even label bands that have about a 15-25K budget for a whole cd. So doing it themselves and buying gear is not the way to go. Thats why people have years of expierence. But its sad that the idustry has turned out this way....

who really wants quality?
Old 14th January 2007
  #33
Gear Addict
 
bendecido's Avatar
 

look bruther fuk getting the gear take 3k to 5 k to any top notch indutry leading engineer and record a killa demo. I mean its 4 songs and plus its a live band. unless they do all thier parts separately how long is gonna take to track 1 song- 4-5 minutes one killa performance tracked and its done- mix it after all the tracking is done.<br>
Do this with all the songs and i guarante all youll need is 3 full days in a studio (that will cover mixing as well) if that. dont even talk about 15k save the rest of the money. U could get it done at abbey road for £3k for 3 days- thats the best in the world.<br>

People like the wailer and dem would get 4to 5 tracks tracked in a day.<br><br> I dunno what kinda sound theyre into but if you want sumin really special fly down to london- and get in touch with liam from toerag studios(east end). www.toeragstudios.com They use all vintage 60s equipment (i mean everything is old school all done on reel to reel). thats where the white stripes did theyre album elephant. ....... I mean dont really like rock as a genre but when i heard white stripes- seven nation army- I was blown away- the production, engineering is fukin amazing the perfect rock sound in my opinion. Most of this new rock nowadays sounds cheesy to me. I dont think anyone can say that the production and enginnering on the white stripes elephant album is anything but amazing. That studio and engineer is one of the main reasons they achieved that kila sound<br>

u cud fly them over to london for 2g and the rates at toerag are £450 for an 8 hour day. Chek it out. one of the best studios in the world in my opinion


peace
Old 14th January 2007
  #34
Gear Addict
 
bendecido's Avatar
 

read my post man u wanna chek out those studios. i think theyre exactly what youre lookin for
Old 14th January 2007
  #35
Gear Addict
 

i want to second damien and third tousana

yes a producer/lawyer/manager can get them a deal. yes a slick demo is impressive. but like everyone has said, not more impressive than great songs.

as for marketing/hype/buzz...or ... "fans" yea, that's the ticket. if they can pack a club or a bar, and tour, and sell CDs... the label will come to you. start working on that...
Old 14th January 2007
  #36
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
Well I've seen people try to do this before quite a few times.

It doesn't work.

The biggest reason is that the band gets too involved in the recording aspect of things and wastes their energy on that, when they should be focused one hundred percent on the performance aspect. They'll get incredibly hung up on the minute aspects of some sound without realizing that their performance is not up to par.

Also, the notion that any dummy can set up a few mikes and things will sound good is a myth. Whoever says that is probably trying to sell you something.
Old 14th January 2007
  #37
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
If you CAN'T make a pro recording with $2000 worth of gear

you are not a PRO


Of course, it's easy to set up some mic's and hit record. What isn't so easy is knowing where the songs should be, focusing on the performance and songs themselves. This is what a producer does and why I recommended one. Most bands out there are fully capable of sticking up a few mics and recording/mixing themselves, but making a really good demo/album is another story.

Just wanted to clear the air about that. I'm not saying you need a million $ studio to make a good record.
Old 14th January 2007
  #38
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

This probably a horrible idea…

First of all, why would you buy something when you need it only once?

What kind of financial consultant would recommend that?

If they get a record deal, the label would probably want them to hire a producer for the real record. No?

What would a band need recording gear for?

Does someone in the band really want to be a recording engineer after the band breaks up?

Because that's exactly what I see happening.

and…

If this band is really hot and could get a deal, the best case scenario is to make a quick demo. I assure you, if the band buys gear and records it themselves, this will not be a quick process. And it will not be smooth by a long shot. It rarely is, even with a producer as a ring leader. Listen to the piece of audio made by the Troggs years ago without a producer.

They need to focus on the prize. Get a record deal. Not a studio.

Here's what I would do…

Use $5,000.00 to hire a producer. Not an engineer or your local studio.

You can get a fairly heavyweight to do 4 songs for that price, if they believe in the band. Do some research. These guys are out there (and here) and find someone who's work you like. And if you can't find a producer who believes in the band, then they're probably not that good.

The producer would probably want a guarantee of being able to produce the record or a point if you want someone else to do it. Not a bad deal.

Plus this producer probably has some contacts in the industry that they could pass it on to secure the deal. Also very good.

You can definitely use the other $10,000 for extra stuff. Publicists, Tours, Website, Merch etc.

Gheez. What happens when this band gets hungry?

Are they gonna buy a pizza place?
Old 14th January 2007
  #39
Lives for gear
 
RCM - Ronan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djui5 View Post
They need to take all that money to a good producer and let him sort it out. For $15,000 you should be able to get a producer into a nice studio to record and mix 4 songs. No reason they can't.

Don't let them do it themselves, get a producer to work on the songs with them to make the best recording they can. Let the producer handle the budget. $15,000 is a lot for a demo. Send em out here, I'll do it
Randy just saved me the trouble of writing what I would have written.
Old 14th January 2007
  #40
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bendecido View Post
look bruther fuk getting the gear take 3k to 5 k to any top notch indutry leading engineer and record a killa demo. I mean its 4 songs and plus its a live band. unless they do all thier parts separately how long is gonna take to track 1 song- 4-5 minutes one killa performance tracked and its done- mix it after all the tracking is done.<br>
Do this with all the songs and i guarante all youll need is 3 full days in a studio (that will cover mixing as well) if that. dont even talk about 15k save the rest of the money. U could get it done at abbey road for £3k for 3 days- thats the best in the world.<br>

People like the wailer and dem would get 4to 5 tracks tracked in a day.<br><br> I dunno what kinda sound theyre into but if you want sumin really special fly down to london- and get in touch with liam from toerag studios(east end). www.toeragstudios.com They use all vintage 60s equipment (i mean everything is old school all done on reel to reel). thats where the white stripes did theyre album elephant. ....... I mean dont really like rock as a genre but when i heard white stripes- seven nation army- I was blown away- the production, engineering is fukin amazing the perfect rock sound in my opinion. Most of this new rock nowadays sounds cheesy to me. I dont think anyone can say that the production and enginnering on the white stripes elephant album is anything but amazing. That studio and engineer is one of the main reasons they achieved that kila sound<br>

u cud fly them over to london for 2g and the rates at toerag are £450 for an 8 hour day. Chek it out. one of the best studios in the world in my opinion


peace
*looks up cud in the dictionary*
Old 14th January 2007
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

If I had 15k to get signed, I'd break things down something like this:

2k to band members so they can take of some time and concentrate on the process.

6k for an experienced producer to cut 4 A&R ready tracks , said producer helps them pick out the single.

4k for epk, publicist, management etc.

3k for clothes,personal trainers and stylist (if neccesary)

Add a lot of hustle and as much luck as possible !

If the music is happening (which would be neccessary to get the experienced producer) something should happen.
Old 14th January 2007
  #42
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catfish11's Avatar
 

first, it ain't just the equip, it's the ROOM and recording technique

secondly, engineering and being a creative musician are most certianly not synonymous, it takes a certian mindset, they would have to determine that.

and it would take time, whatya going to do, stick a bunch of stuff in a garage, you need room treatment, then you need to build,at least a bit

and what are you going to do with the equip and space after its done?

you don't need anyway near 15,000.00 to record a 4 song high quality demo, but a good sounding room and equip would eat it up, fast

talking about production without knowing the musical context is kinda weird too, their songs could be ready to roll, or maybe not

mixing on the other hand is an art, I really doubt that without experience you would have a chance of getting a really high quality product without an experienced mixer/engineer

so unless they are looking for a career move.......
Old 14th January 2007
  #43
Lives for gear
 
7 Hz's Avatar
What most others said.

$2000 won't buy you the CABLES to hook the gear up with, so saying $2000 worth of gear is enough to record a band is just total folly IMNSHO. Lets see the equipment list for $2000 to record a band...

Anyway, studios are more than that anyway, acoustics etc.

Plus wiring it all up.

Plus years experence from the engineer who KNOWS the studio (hopefully) and knows can work fast.

Concentrate the band on the songs and the performance.

Like others said, get a good producer on board. Forget about mentioning the 'buget', get his rate and how many days he thinks to do a demo and which studio. Will work out WAY less than 15000.

The limitless time with their own gear will totally fuk it up. Go the DIY route maybe you have a demo in a year... if you are lucky.

Focus on the goal. like the man says, if you want pizza, do you go set up a pizza shop? No, you go buy a pizza from an established business that know how to make nice pizza.
Old 14th January 2007
  #44
I wonder if there are other professions where people publicly devaule their own work.

In the late 80's and early 90's labels gave bands $5k for first look demo deals to cut 3 songs. The deflation that makes people think $500 is an approprieate price for a song demo is artificial. Adjust that $15k for inlation by using pretty much any reference and $15k is appropriate.

Look at real estate and energy costs. Look at equivalent gear costs.

They want to track and mix 4 songs for the cost of and Andy Wallace for a song and a half.

How is $15k a lot of money to invest in the pursuit of $15 million annually?

Just because peopel don't know their value doens't make $15k a lot of money.

Yes there are places that charge $35/hr. Cab drivers can make $35/hr.

Engineering is a sophisticated skill that takes years to master - a similar time committment to being a surgeon. I'm not suggesting that there are other parallels, just the time committment to develop the skills.

How many people actually look at their investment, their monthly expenses, prorate that over a certina number of hours per month and mark that up by the same percentage that most businesses mark up their services? That would be your rate fir studio time. Then the rate for the engineer would be on top of that.

At that rate, an MBox Digi001 room would forr $75/hr in Manhattan and Avatar would be $5-6k.

By any rational business standard, those rates are appropriate.

Comments like "anyone can make a great record with $2k of gear are absurd."

I can make a great record with $0k of gear. Fine.

Now, let's talk about what an appropriate fee for the artistic contribution to that recording should be.

I'm not interetested in hearing about craft. If the engineer and/or producer are not making an artistic contribution, they were not the right person for the job. Let's assume the right person was hired, so they will be making an artistic conrtibution.



I find the sub text of this discussion amusing. Think of all the people who hire AW, CLA, TLC, BC, MHB, Sterling, Gateway, Godrich, O'Brien, Avatar, Ocean Way, EMI. We're saying they don't know what they're doing and are paying inflated charges and not getting their monty's worth. That those services are not with the rates. So we respect them (or don't and should) for figureing out how to have the type of success in this business that affords them those opportunities, but that they're incapable of evaluating rates. That's just worng.

What about "My friend can do the same job or better for half the price." So the friend doesn't know the value of the work and is undercharging.
Old 14th January 2007
  #45
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietdrive View Post
Friends of mine want to record 4 songs to shop to labels. They've a budget of about $15k. They initially wanted to invest most of their cash into the recordings... you know, renting a big studio with a kickass engineer.

But now I told them to buy some more additional equipment . . .
Well they certainly will not need any enemies, when friends give them advice like that!

But here are some points, I'd like to make -

1. When I built my studio, I did not buy a $100k digger, a $500k crane, a cement mixer truck, a copy of Autocad and try to do all the building myself. Only a complete fool would think like that!

2. There seems to be some cart v. horse thing going on here. They do not seem to have management yet, so spending $15k on recording is somewhat premature (well, barking would be the better word for it!)

3. They should spend some of that money on a decent EP recorded at a local studio and then get their butts out there and gig, gig and gig - and sell the EP at the gigs and use that to get some management.
Old 14th January 2007
  #46
Lives for gear
 

I'm also in agreement that you should just convince them to get a good producer and have everything done professionally. I used to work with a guy that was in a band and had his own recording rig at home. Him and his band literally spent the last 7 years tweaking there latest album. They started this band probably 12 years ago and they are just releasing their second album and I must say it's the most sterile boring production I've ever heard, lifeless. So I'm of the opinion that a band shouldn't attempt to do something serious(rough mixes and getting ideas down is ok) unless they really want to waste an unusually large amount of time on actually putting something out there.
Old 14th January 2007
  #47
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
I wonder if there are other professions where people publicly devaule their own work.

In the late 80's and early 90's labels gave bands $5k for first look demo deals to cut 3 songs. The deflation that makes people think $500 is an approprieate price for a song demo is artificial. Adjust that $15k for inlation by using pretty much any reference and $15k is appropriate.

Look at real estate and energy costs. Look at equivalent gear costs.

They want to track and mix 4 songs for the cost of and Andy Wallace for a song and a half.

How is $15k a lot of money to invest in the pursuit of $15 million annually?

Just because peopel don't know their value doens't make $15k a lot of money.

Yes there are places that charge $35/hr. Cab drivers can make $35/hr.

Engineering is a sophisticated skill that takes years to master - a similar time committment to being a surgeon. I'm not suggesting that there are other parallels, just the time committment to develop the skills.

How many people actually look at their investment, their monthly expenses, prorate that over a certina number of hours per month and mark that up by the same percentage that most businesses mark up their services? That would be your rate fir studio time. Then the rate for the engineer would be on top of that.

At that rate, an MBox Digi001 room would forr $75/hr in Manhattan and Avatar would be $5-6k.

By any rational business standard, those rates are appropriate.

Comments like "anyone can make a great record with $2k of gear are absurd."

I can make a great record with $0k of gear. Fine.

Now, let's talk about what an appropriate fee for the artistic contribution to that recording should be.

I'm not interetested in hearing about craft. If the engineer and/or producer are not making an artistic contribution, they were not the right person for the job. Let's assume the right person was hired, so they will be making an artistic conrtibution.



I find the sub text of this discussion amusing. Think of all the people who hire AW, CLA, TLC, BC, MHB, Sterling, Gateway, Godrich, O'Brien, Avatar, Ocean Way, EMI. We're saying they don't know what they're doing and are paying inflated charges and not getting their monty's worth. That those services are not with the rates. So we respect them (or don't and should) for figureing out how to have the type of success in this business that affords them those opportunities, but that they're incapable of evaluating rates. That's just worng.

What about "My friend can do the same job or better for half the price." So the friend doesn't know the value of the work and is undercharging.
I see your point but we're not devaluing our industry. The industry has become devalued.

I'm not going to mention names but I know a few A players who would do it for $5,000 and rights to record the record. Some of them will do it for free.

Look at song writing. Years ago an artist might pay a writer to write them a song. I believe that scoring a movie means that you get paid when your hired.

But no Pop artists are paying one dime to have songs written for them. It's all spec. That's the market. I don't like it either but I'm not going to recommend that a member here pays for what others are getting for free.

The fact is that 15 thousand is way too much to pay a producer for 4 songs by the current market.

Some markets go up, some go down. Would you pay $600 for a VCR today?
Old 14th January 2007
  #48
Is this a serious investment for their career? Then don't worry about having gear at the end. Make decisions that give you the greatest likelihood of success. $15k is a good budget. There should be enough to do basic tracks in a real studio, overdubs at home with a simple and inexpensive setup since you'll only need a couple mics at a time, and then mix with a good engineer at a real studio again. You should still have some money left over to help with publicity.

You can't just hand a demo to a label and think you'll get signed. They get heaps of stuff every day, much of it good. Yours needs to sound better and be better. Also, to stand out, you need to have a buzz going, preferably with some verifiable (a la soundscan) sales, radio play, touring outside your local market (hopefully opening for somebody they've heard of) etc. You need to give them a "no-brainer" package. You're up against some very stiff competition. You can afford no mis-steps if you want to succeed.
Old 14th January 2007
  #49
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo View Post
You can't just hand a demo to a label and think you'll get signed. They get heaps of stuff every day, much of it good. Yours needs to sound better and be better. Also, to stand out, you need to have a buzz going, preferably with some verifiable (a la soundscan) sales, radio play, touring outside your local market (hopefully opening for somebody they've heard of) etc. You need to give them a "no-brainer" package. You're up against some very stiff competition. You can afford no mis-steps if you want to succeed.
Very true. The last thing an A&R wants to tell his boss is that the demo is great. The band is great. The drummer plays in perfect time. The singer sings in perfect tune. The songs are great too. You're going to love this band.

Why?

Boring.

The industry is full of and run by people doing nothing more than talking.

Yap Yap Yap.

Being good or even great is not interesting. It's a tough sell.

Gimme a story. Gimme something I could tell my boss, his sister, everyone in marketing, printing etc. I want a story that comes before the music. Most people hate to hear this, but it's absolutely true. It's very hard to make it by just being talented. Ask Ashlee Simpson.

Think about it. Would you listen to my demo if I…

1. Told you it was really really good

or…

2. I told you it was produced by the bass player in U2, one of the songs was co-written by Billy Corgan, George Martin's nephew is the lead singer and the band was opening for My Chemical Romance on their European leg of their tour.

Would you listen then.

Have a story or create one!!!!!
Old 14th January 2007
  #50
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

I would say that it's easy to destroy a good song with bad production. Have heard so many examples of that. And for god's sake, don't let the band produce and record themselves!!! Pay someone to be the "Asshole" and take unconvinient decisions.

It's so much more to recording/producing than just playing the song in a studio.



///Jamzone
Old 14th January 2007
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
Becareful saying that . I have many enemies here. Lot's of folks here think you need an 80's series Neve to make a good product or protools with a rack of apogee converters

NOT!


If you CAN'T make a pro recording with $2000 worth of gear

you are not a PRO
OK who's supposed to be the pro, the guy's in the band who have some cheap recording gear and are going to GC to buy what some idiot salesmen is going to tell them to get?
And what, their supposed to learn right away how to record drums right, how to record vocals right, and guitars and whatever else? Their going to know how to track everything so that a mix engineer can make this sound like everything they imagine, or even just competitive. First off let's just say you take half the money for gear. What are you recording on, oh gee you have to buy that too. 8 channels of pre's for anything good is around 4 grand, now you have to buy some mics, at least one real mic there's another 3 grand easy . Wait you need cable, you need to hook this stuff up. And you're going to make a record . Please.

My advice would be to find a talented producer who believed in them, and go into a studio and record. Failing that find a studio where someone they know has made a real recording and get them to help.While they're doing that they can learn about recording by watching and learning so they can eventually make their own recording. When you go to an A&R office there are piles of CD's of artist trying to get signed, you have to compete with those recordings most of which are done by someone who has a clue.
Old 14th January 2007
  #52
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Pay a name producer 14,999 $ and record in a mbox or something. Will give better results than anything else.
Old 15th January 2007
  #53
Lives for gear
 
cajonezzz's Avatar
 

You can get some serious guns out here to produce, and that includes them wrangling world class studio time. All in with a killer producer guy, about 3k a track.

At least a dozen others that don't have the credentials as 'producer guy' but have the same skills, if not some hipper, AND have access to world class tracking places 1500 a track.

If the band has momentum at ALL, and dosen't have a good demo, for that matter, a saleable EP for shows if they are playing live... they are nuts.

I think for about 5-8k they can do the lions share of an EP.... big release quality ( not including mastering, and mixed by a mid name solid guy) and have their demo and something to sell....
Old 15th January 2007
  #54
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juicylime's Avatar
 

I'm in a similar position to the OP's "freinds" and I have to say that this thread is chok a block with top drawer advice and sensibilty. Good stuff all round folks!
Old 15th January 2007
  #55
Lives for gear
 
Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose Mrochek View Post
Pay a name producer 14,999 $ and record in a mbox or something. Will give better results than anything else.
I completely disagree.
getting a name producer doesn't guarantee you anything.
Least of all a great sounding demo.
Old 15th January 2007
  #56
Lives for gear
 

!!!! UPDATE !!!!
!!!! UPDATE !!!!


Had a talk with the guys who's band and demo we are talking about here, and they've come to the conclusion to do the whole thing in a real studio with an experienced producer/engineer.

However, they dont want to do some kind of contract with any producer (eg promising him that he'll be able to produce the record in case they'll get signed). So is 15k still too much to cut the demo?

I mean, the guys dont want to rush the whole thing. They want to take their time and make sure that they get it right. So no BS "lets cut the tracks in one weekend" type of thing. Plus, the tracks still need to be mixed and mastered.

So how do you guys think they should budget the whole thing? How much should they spent on:
1. recording
2. mixing
3. mastering

?????

Again: 4 songs & the budget can be up to 15k.

Appreciate the input.
Old 15th January 2007
  #57
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
talented producer .
Never met one in the state of massachusetts, Maybe they have them
in your area.

Paying a 'producer' is a waste. At the level this guys band is at
any producer they can afford is not gonna know his ass from his elbow

Find a good engineer and put the money towards an Entertainment lawyer
with major label contacts.

Making it in music is all about marketing not about talent or production


in 1987 I would say put the money in production but today's major label releases
don't require a whole lot of production or sound quality.

Listen to Nickelbacks new cd. It sounds horrible. You could get a better sound
than that just being a better band and writing better songs. And that wouldn't
be that difficult.
Old 15th January 2007
  #58
Well! I know we are in GS and there is so much Tech here!!!
everybody is talking about gear , recording well and mixing!!!

Well I think you can record very well a bad arranged and messy structured song...and make sound this chaos and weak arragement decently.

But why don't you hire a Producer/Engineer.

An engineer only is just part of the game.

A good producer will make the songs and the band so much better.
Good arragements make the songs SOUND better and cool.


I know the band is good...but musical tricks, structure, the correct tempo, the right inversions, some chord changes and some studio and mixing tricks are some of the things a good producer will do!!

So Find a PRODUCER/Engineer ..not an engineer only o an engineer that wants to be a producer!!!!!
Old 15th January 2007
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
Making it in music is all about marketing not about talent or production
I agree totally ...in most of the cases in the last years!
Old 15th January 2007
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by quietdrive View Post
!!!! UPDATE !!!!
!!!! UPDATE !!!!


Had a talk with the guys who's band and demo we are talking about here, and they've come to the conclusion to do the whole thing in a real studio with an experienced producer/engineer.

However, they dont want to do some kind of contract with any producer (eg promising him that he'll be able to produce the record in case they'll get signed). So is 15k still too much to cut the demo?

I mean, the guys dont want to rush the whole thing. They want to take their time and make sure that they get it right. So no BS "lets cut the tracks in one weekend" type of thing. Plus, the tracks still need to be mixed and mastered.

So how do you guys think they should budget the whole thing? How much should they spent on:
1. recording
2. mixing
3. mastering

?????

Again: 4 songs & the budget can be up to 15k.

Appreciate the input.
1. recording 3K (if they are so good that budget would be enough for studio time in a great place(around 2 days: Top Studio ) ..
2. mixing 8 k
3. mastering 1k
4-Photo session and press kit : 3K

5k more that enough??? well how many songs?
There is never too much..but with 15K you should get a great result!!
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