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Drum replacement
Old 6 days ago
  #1
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bgood's Avatar
Drum replacement

I don't generally produce other peoples' stuff; however, long story short, I agreed to work with a songwriter to flesh out one of her tunes that she and her drummer hubby originally tracked in their home studio... Now, this isn't a thread about money... They don't really have a large budget at all, but they're hoping to get an EP put together... So, I take the gig out of curiousty (producing/mixing/tracking on somebody else's stuff) and I figure if I do an EP with them, it'll be a good opportiunity to throw what little budget there is to my little stable of session guys that track for me on my own stuff often on spec.


The hubby's a perfectly fine drummer and the quality of the drum capture the original demo was done really well.


I played around with the arrangement and knocked out scratch tracks for her to re-track her vox over. Her old man came with her here to the studio on tracking day and because I had pretty radically changed the arrangement, the subject of re-tracking the drums came up. He offered to re-do at his own home studio on his own time.... Because the drums were so well recorded on the demo, I readily accepted. After a few days of not hearing back, I put together a Superior Drummer drum track that sounded great. I sent that out to him to give him some ideas...


So.... He emails me with a link to the new drum tracks and mentions that he set up the kit in a different part of the room, using different mic technique, blah blah blah. It made me a bit nervous. I get the new drums tracks loaded into the session and they're kind of a hot mess from an engineering perspective... I don't know that I've ever heard a drum track with so much bleed and weird phasey sort of stuff. At first, I figured, "Hey, good opportunity to use my Slut worthy collection of gear and computer nonsense to fix a bad capture... But, after all of that, the drums just didn't sound particualrly good.


Tehse are working people and I know the poor bastard had to move heaven and earth around to fit this session into his work schedule... So, I couldn't bring myself to ask him to retrack.


I ended up layering some of the Toontrack Bob Rock samples on the kick and snare... Boom. Ended up sounding killer.

But, here's (finally) the question:


If he asks, do I shoot him straight or do I just keep it to myself? What do those of you who produce/mix do in a situation like this? It's not like I did a Paul/Ringo deal and called another guy in or anything... I just augmented a few elements.


Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but, more of these singer-songwriter producing gigs are coming across my inbox and I'd like to come up with a workflow (including client communication) that's sustainable and relatively transparent.


Thanks, y'all!
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
But, here's (finally) the question:


If he asks, do I shoot him straight or do I just keep it to myself? What do those of you who produce/mix do in a situation like this? It's not like I did a Paul/Ringo deal and called another guy in or anything... I just augmented a few elements.


Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but, more of these singer-songwriter producing gigs are coming across my inbox and I'd like to come up with a workflow (including client communication) that's sustainable and relatively transparent.


Thanks, y'all!
I'd just say I thought the new parts were great (and hopefully they are?) and that they really suited the new arrangement (hopefully they do?) and then, in passing, maybe, if it comes up, mention that you "layered" a few other parts to help beef up the production and give it all a more uniform (or something like that) sound?

I think most people will be grateful to know that you're trying to help them achieve a quality that might not be wholly represented by the budget they have.

R.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Betsey View Post
I'd just say I thought the new parts were great (and hopefully they are?) and that they really suited the new arrangement (hopefully they do?) and then, in passing, maybe, if it comes up, mention that you "layered" a few other parts to help beef up the production and give it all a more uniform (or something like that) sound?

I think most people will be grateful to know that you're trying to help them achieve a quality that might not be wholly represented by the budget they have.

R.
Good approach... I like it!

thx
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