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Old 3 weeks ago
  #61
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Nothing works like a budget to keep people in check..."Chinese Democracy" is a perfect example of how wrong things can get without limits.
great sound though
Old 3 weeks ago
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
great sound though
Maybe, but I've heard records that cost a minuscule fraction of the $13 MILLION it took to produce that album and with nowhere near the amount of drama and time that sounds a lot better...to me.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #63
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yeah, great article Tony! Most excellent!

Many of us who grew up with tape never shook that mindset. The constantly-required decisions keep brains engaged and stimulated. I think that this could be one of the bigger problems with unlimited track count. Too many engineers (and musicians too) disengage mentally during the tracking process because they think there is simply no need anymore to bother with thinking in terms of what's not needed. Throw every single idea that emerges onto a track, and sort it out in post. This ends up taking far longer than the triage approach to tracking. But worse, the final result is void of the aesthetic benefits brought to the track by those hours of performance-stage decision interaction and emotion.
Thanks, Kenny. I appreciate the comments. I'm glad to know you're making decisions as you go. I like your thought about staying engaged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Thanks again Tony for posting your article here. Yes, it's terrific!

One of my things on my "bucket list", is to get recorded by a top L.A. or Orange County AE, and I want to follow just what you outlined.
Thanks, man. Consider John Paterno when you make that record.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #64
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
$13 MILLION
well sure it doesn't sound that good
Old 3 weeks ago
  #65
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andychamp's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
(...) Too many engineers (and musicians too) disengage mentally during the tracking process because they think there is simply no need anymore to bother with thinking in terms of what's not needed.(...)
There‘s this guy I get to see work often - since we share facilities - and I can‘t count the number of times he totally zones out during takes, looking at his phone, and when the artist asks for feedback it‘s usually along the lines of „let‘s do another one to be safe“. Any band members in the CR usually follow his lead, assuming he must know what he‘s doing. And forget about „AIR“, unrecorded trial passes are the norm.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Too many engineers (and musicians too) disengage mentally during the tracking process because they think there is simply no need anymore to bother with thinking in terms of what's not needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
There‘s this guy I get to see work often - since we share facilities - and I can‘t count the number of times he totally zones out during takes, looking at his phone, and when the artist asks for feedback it‘s usually along the lines of „let‘s do another one to be safe“. Any band members in the CR usually follow his lead, assuming he must know what he‘s doing. And forget about „AIR“, unrecorded trial passes are the norm.
I certainly don't support "zoning out" and being disinterested or bored while working, paying attention to your phone while working is unforgivable, but bands need to understand that unless the sound engineer is also the producer, you really shouldn't expect him to help you produce your session. A studio session can be a minefield and may require expert diplomatic and political maneuvering, therefore making comments and offering suggestions (even when solicited) if/when you're not the producer can backfire because your intervention may be misconstrued.

When I'm hired to be the sound engineer, I perform that duty to the best of my ability but I won't put on the producer shoes.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #67
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spectacular g's Avatar
 

"Do we need this, or are we just goofing off?"

Solid Gold.

G
Old 3 weeks ago
  #68
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
... bands need to understand that unless the sound engineer is also the producer, you really shouldn't expect him to help you produce your session.
And engineers should understand that if they make a habit of mailing it in, they'll never get to be the producer.

In the engineer chair I've certainly had my share of producers who just wanted an only-when-spoken-to knob jockey, but they're the minority. And rarely good.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #69
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Sigma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Yeah, great article Tony! Most excellent!

Many of us who grew up with tape never shook that mindset. The constantly-required decisions keep brains engaged and stimulated. I think that this could be one of the bigger problems with unlimited track count. Too many engineers (and musicians too) disengage mentally during the tracking process because they think there is simply no need anymore to bother with thinking in terms of what's not needed. Throw every single idea that emerges onto a track, and sort it out in post. This ends up taking far longer than the triage approach to tracking. But worse, the final result is void of the aesthetic benefits brought to the track by those hours of performance-stage decision interaction and emotion.
Exactly why i REFUSE to use Playlists in Protools..when people keep doing alternate takes i don't want it hidden i want them to SEE their excess..cut the damn thing ..listen back keep it intoto , redo as in tacit and do again or punch in..the first time i saw this was when one of my engineers was cutting Bela Fleck and there were like 8 playlists on his instrument Oy Vey

Last edited by Sigma; 3 weeks ago at 06:32 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And engineers should understand that if they make a habit of mailing it in, they'll never get to be the producer.
I specifically addressed this unprofessional attitude in the post addressed this in the post.

Quote:
In the engineer chair I've certainly had my share of producers who just wanted an only-when-spoken-to knob jockey, but they're the minority. And rarely good.
Not playing producer from the engineer's chair does not make you a knob jockey...there are many bands/musicians and world class producers who don't want a co-producer when they're working for a slew of obvious reasons.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #71
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
Not playing producer from the engineer's chair does not make you a knob jockey...there are many bands/musicians and world class producers who don't want a co-producer when they're working for a slew of obvious reasons.
I think we're on the same page here, it's just a matter of degree.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I think we're on the same page here, it's just a matter of degree.
I am never twiddling my thumbs or reading my email at the console, but I'm either the producer or not and when I'm not I don't try to play one...producer that is. Knowing where and how far to go is one of the trickiest minefields to navigate in the commercial studio environment.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #73
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
There‘s this guy I get to see work often - since we share facilities - and I can‘t count the number of times he totally zones out during takes, looking at his phone, and when the artist asks for feedback it‘s usually along the lines of „let‘s do another one to be safe“. Any band members in the CR usually follow his lead, assuming he must know what he‘s doing. And forget about „AIR“, unrecorded trial passes are the norm.
That's terrible. I'm usually the one asking people in the control room to keep it down so we can all focus on the record. Usually it work, and then the whole band is engaged, even if they aren't playing at the moment.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I certainly don't support "zoning out" and being disinterested or bored while working, paying attention to your phone while working is unforgivable, but bands need to understand that unless the sound engineer is also the producer, you really shouldn't expect him to help you produce your session. A studio session can be a minefield and may require expert diplomatic and political maneuvering, therefore making comments and offering suggestions (even when solicited) if/when you're not the producer can backfire because your intervention may be misconstrued.

When I'm hired to be the sound engineer, I perform that duty to the best of my ability but I won't put on the producer shoes.
For most of my projects, I'm producing and engineering. On the rare occasion someone brings in a producer, I try to limit my input to tone/engineering type things, or glaring mistakes. Things like "maybe a brighter guitar tone would work, or Is that the right chord there?" I did something last summer where, if I was producing I would have suggested New Orleans style horns, but I had already had the "are we co-producing this" chat and it was made clear that we were not. The idea was never mentioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spectacular g View Post
"Do we need this, or are we just goofing off?"

Solid Gold.

G
Thanks.

In retrospect, I probably should have expanded that a bit to discuss how an experiment can sometimes not be used, but sends you down a very useful path, and isn't goofing off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And engineers should understand that if they make a habit of mailing it in, they'll never get to be the producer.

In the engineer chair I've certainly had my share of producers who just wanted an only-when-spoken-to knob jockey, but they're the minority. And rarely good.
Yo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
Exactly why i REFUSE to use Playlists in Protools..when people keep doing alternate takes i don't want it hidden i want them to SEE their excess..cut the damn thing ..listen back keep it intoto , redo as in tacit and do again or punch in..the first time i saw this was when one of my engineers was cutting Bela Fleck and their were like 8 playlists on his instrument Oy Vey
I actually usually keep playlists, but often get to the point of "thats great but lets punch a couple things." Then the playlist can be used if there was something early that was a cool idea, it can be played back to the artist as a reference.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #74
Gear Guru
I think the whole producer thing can also be how big a scale you're working on. I don't do a lot of music professionally but do a lot of VO and soundtrack work. If there isn't a producer in the room the engineer usually runs the session and is proactive. Usually even with a producer, the good ones are deferential to the operators opinion. That's why you pay well for a good room.

If I was humbly going into a music session, I always ask the engineer to be part of it FWIW. Honestly that's why I work there... Obviously on a high level there are producers and creatives involved. There can only be one voice in the room. The same engineer I will rely on will become a knob twiddler then. The real shame is when you see a so called producer/creative/artist, kill the session and shut down the creativity around them. Confusion then leads into a gazillion takes and really short clipped answers at the board!......

I trust a guy who works a board 24/7 to really know how to run that end of things, and let the creatives worry about more overall issues.....That's why we have the obligatory iPad playstation and comfy couch to keep them happy!....The best engineers I work with are marvelous with talent and the good producers will step out of the way, and only insert themselves if the session is taking too long, or the client has issues....

One of the things I like (which was hard to get used to), is in broadcast/live situations, people will be brutal in put downs and barking orders/violent disagreements. After it is forgotten and you move on.... unless someone screws up repeatedly....!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #75
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
...bands need to understand that unless the sound engineer is also the producer, you really shouldn't expect him to help you produce your session.
I think maybe those lines get blurred in smaller local studios. Most local bands neither have the money to hire a quality producer, nor do they have the experience to produce themselves. The studios that thrive are the ones owned by an engineer who can assist less experienced artists to get the most bang for their recording bucks; bring things to the table that other studios won't or can't.

Trick is to recognize the artists who will accept help, and those who will get pissed and offended. Some artists don't need any, and I get out of the way. But on the local scale, most artists need all the help they can get. If I feel I can help and they want it, I would always throw in. It makes for better recordings, smoother sessions, happier clients and more business.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I think maybe those lines get blurred in smaller local studios. Most local bands neither have the money to hire a quality producer, nor do they have the experience to produce themselves. The studios that thrive are the ones owned by an engineer who can assist less experienced artists to get the most bang for their recording bucks; bring things to the table that other studios won't or can't.

Trick is to recognize the artists who will accept help, and those who will get pissed and offended. Some artists don't need any, and I get out of the way. But on the local scale, most artists need all the help they can get. If I feel I can help and they want it, I would always throw in. It makes for better recordings, smoother sessions, happier clients and more business.
I understand this, and have no problem with this type of arrangement, but it should be made clear from the beginning for the sake of clarity. I started in the pro, commercial studio world where every session had a designated producer...who could very well be the engineer, but it was clear who was running the session and who will get what credit etc.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #77
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Sigma's Avatar
when i started i listened to the producer and just was a button pusher, but still did rides..as i got to know the person..i saw where it would be appropriate to mention stuff..first outside of the artists hearing range and then openly...with more time with the producer i could see just how much input i could put in without him taking umbrage and finally between the 2 of us it became like i was a minor co producer [without ever saying that god forbid].. whenever i cut vocals, after knowing the producer, i took the liberty to stop if i heard a crack that didn't work[ sometimes they give great emotive feel] , a bad note or poor phrasing..it saved time..eventually you became a team..same thing with tracking and overdubs.. fortunately or unfortunately i worked with basically 2 teams 80% of my time at sigma..Nick Martinelli doing dance remixes and then full productions for over a decade [he worked nights 7 pm to 9 am first on the dance stuff then 5 days a week 10-7 when he started doing full productions]..nick couldn't here intonation so he'd give me a surreptitious look when the singer was out in the tracking room..then Gerald Levert ..working from tracking to mixing for over another decade [he worked 7 day weeks 10 -15 hr days..he was from cleveland so he drove or flew in so he maximized his time]working with G was great because when we started he was 18 and i was 28 so he really leaned on me the first few years until he felt more comfortable ..in between Kenny Gamble, Budd Ellison [patti's labelle's musical director and producer], my dad [i used to engineer the sigma inhouse stuff he produced ] dexter wansel and bunny sigler [philly international producers] and tony beck [gospel stuff] rounded that out..the here and there was with teddy riley, mtume , norman whitfield, teena marie etc etc ..one off projects..it was cool because of the steady work of the producer/engineer bond [sometimes the producers would argue over who got me ..my thing was me mixing for them was most important so if i was dbl booked..i 'd have another engineer do my overdub session but i'd go downstairs to Eq the stuff then run back up to my mix session] i loved and appreciated the loyalty but it was kinda limiting because they kept me booked 52 weeks a year..lol i never got to take my full vacation time..and when i did get some, i would fly to LA or England and work so as not to screw sigma in philly but still do music..because of this i didn't get to work with a lot of local artists and talent ..it took me till i opened my own room to make thise connections

with mixing, by the middle of my first decade as an engineer, my clients just came in to do initial drops..then i'd call them at their hotel when i was done and they would come in and spend 1/2 -1 hr bringing it home with me..as a mix engineer it beacme "if you don't know my work and trust me find someone else"..lol having someone sit there from putting up the kick drum would have driven me insane..i think most producers would feel the same on the other end..baby sitting an engineer probably sucks too..

another thing i always did was , after a producer was "happy with his mix" id go i can make it better..give me an hr or 2 ..i'll have the assistant drop off my mix and if you like it pay the extra studio time..luckily i never had them not pay the extra..again if a producer is self confident he cares more about the project not how or who got it to it's finish

i worked with producers who weren't musicians and some who even had intonation issues on knowing bad notes as well as ones who were very talented musicians , back then most weren't technical on the engineering side..IMHO a great producer knows how to delegate, leaves their ego at the door and expects and also gives respect .they didn't necessarily have to be a musician or able to read music


we had a really good engineer i really felt bad for because tom moulton was the producer and basically all the engineer did was get the sounds and Tom would do ALL the fader rides..that would have driven me nuts

producer /engineer lines have always been blurred by the very nature of the work..if you think about it there were many famous producer/engineer teams

sorry for being long winded..i had breast surgery to remove a benign tumor and am on percocets and a little buzzed..hope what i said about the different relationships makes sense tomorrow when i read it LOLZ

Last edited by Sigma; 3 weeks ago at 06:00 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #78
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I'm really fascinated by traditional/pro studio situations so thanks for posting that @ Sigma
Old 3 weeks ago
  #79
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Sigma's Avatar
Hey enjoy talking about music..the
producer/engineer relationship runs the full gamut man ...never has been some set in stone thing..ideally its a relationship that fits like 2 puzzle pieces..it makes the picture come to life
Old 3 weeks ago
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
Hey enjoy talking about music..the
producer/engineer relationship runs the full gamut man ...never has been some set in stone thing..ideally its a relationship that fits like 2 puzzle pieces..it makes the picture come to life
Very true, but it took time for you to develop the relationships you had with the producers you worked with, you didn't just walk into the studio on the first day and assume the role of co-producer, and that is the part (of the relationship) that's set in stone for me. My argument is that we have to establish the relationship first.

Just curious, but did you work with Thom Bell?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #81
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Sigma's Avatar
Lol funny the last ojays album for PIR .there were 2 producers and engineers..Kenny used my dad and Thom used me ..I was surprised because I'm more in line with Kenny's " it's all about feel " as opposed to Thom who first wants musical perfection..Kenny was a singer..he just had huff hand out basic chord charts while Thom wrote every notation and it had to be played correctly..but in the end he and I got along great...I never figured that one out..after he left that year my dad hung up his spurs and I did all Kenny's stuff..as a person I got along great with Kenny..we'd talk philosophy..eat Chinese ..take sessions laid back..never rushed..where Thom it was like drill work..fun but fast pressure...Kenny and I still talk today i Mastered his daughter Idia last month..and when Phyliss Hyman died, Kenny called me while I was away on vacation and I came right back to quick mix an album worth if stuff that was in the can unreleased..haven't talked to Tommy in years but he did do a interview on a doc being made about sigma

between PIR and then work with dionne warwick etc etc ..he made over a billion bucks..not bad huh?

Last edited by Sigma; 3 weeks ago at 09:46 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #82
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I understand this, and have no problem with this type of arrangement, but it should be made clear from the beginning for the sake of clarity. I started in the pro, commercial studio world where every session had a designated producer...who could very well be the engineer, but it was clear who was running the session and who will get what credit etc.
Sure, different world. I started there also, as an artist, and we always had clear-cut producer and engineer hats in the rooms. There were things like credits and points at stake. Also, the credibility for the artist of a "brand name" on the work, and the strict protocol of the elitist, exclusive studio hierarchy.

We were working somewhere, and an assistant started making (we thought, good) suggestions. The producer was out of control... like "OK guys, you're 95% of the way there," when we were 10 takes past peak. And, the engineer/owner was encouraging him, just to rack-up hours. This unwary assistant started suggesting that further takes might not improve. He made it to dinner break that day, and was gone.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #83
Lives for gear
 

Sigma, just wanted to say... I'm very glad that tumor was benign.
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #84
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Sigma's Avatar
thanks Chris i had the same thing 13 years ago in my other breast..that was tiny this sucker was the size of a baseball..blood filled in and they had to draw out about a cup of it..gonna take 3 months to heal...on percocet so when i posted i got a little long winded.. edit lol i know i still must be buzzed because i epeated my self . plus it's almost 5 am and i havent slept yet
Old 3 weeks ago
  #85
Lives for gear
 

Sure thing Mike T.!
Wishing you well, on the healing process too.

BTW my all time favorite version of the National Anthem, is the one Marvin sang, at the 1983 Basketball NBA Basketball finals. Shoot, with just a simple rhythm track and just his voice, I would've run out and bought that single... If it came out the very next day. As you may know, it's there on YouTube.

I'm practicing to sing it in that style, over this Memorial weekend.
It may end up, as a work in progress though, cause Marvin "made it seem" so simple-but it's not really!

Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #86
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Sigma, just wanted to say... I'm very glad that tumor was benign.
Chris
I think Sigma needs to keep the Percocet and posts coming! Lotta gold there! Get well man!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #87
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
I think the whole producer thing can also be how big a scale you're working on. I don't do a lot of music professionally but do a lot of VO and soundtrack work. If there isn't a producer in the room the engineer usually runs the session and is proactive. Usually even with a producer, the good ones are deferential to the operators opinion. That's why you pay well for a good room.

If I was humbly going into a music session, I always ask the engineer to be part of it FWIW. Honestly that's why I work there... Obviously on a high level there are producers and creatives involved. There can only be one voice in the room. The same engineer I will rely on will become a knob twiddler then. The real shame is when you see a so called producer/creative/artist, kill the session and shut down the creativity around them. Confusion then leads into a gazillion takes and really short clipped answers at the board!......

I trust a guy who works a board 24/7 to really know how to run that end of things, and let the creatives worry about more overall issues.....That's why we have the obligatory iPad playstation and comfy couch to keep them happy!....The best engineers I work with are marvelous with talent and the good producers will step out of the way, and only insert themselves if the session is taking too long, or the client has issues....

One of the things I like (which was hard to get used to), is in broadcast/live situations, people will be brutal in put downs and barking orders/violent disagreements. After it is forgotten and you move on.... unless someone screws up repeatedly....!
Good records are really about team work. Each person is a piece of the machine, but is very important.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
I think maybe those lines get blurred in smaller local studios. Most local bands neither have the money to hire a quality producer, nor do they have the experience to produce themselves. The studios that thrive are the ones owned by an engineer who can assist less experienced artists to get the most bang for their recording bucks; bring things to the table that other studios won't or can't.

Trick is to recognize the artists who will accept help, and those who will get pissed and offended. Some artists don't need any, and I get out of the way. But on the local scale, most artists need all the help they can get. If I feel I can help and they want it, I would always throw in. It makes for better recordings, smoother sessions, happier clients and more business.
This is pretty much my world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
I understand this, and have no problem with this type of arrangement, but it should be made clear from the beginning for the sake of clarity. I started in the pro, commercial studio world where every session had a designated producer...who could very well be the engineer, but it was clear who was running the session and who will get what credit etc.
When there is the artist and literally one guy running the studio (in my case) its pretty clear. You can usually tell in initial tours and meeting how the sesion needs to be run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
--Clipped for space-

producer /engineer lines have always been blurred by the very nature of the work..if you think about it there were many famous producer/engineer teams

sorry for being long winded..i had breast surgery to remove a benign tumor and am on percocets and a little buzzed..hope what i said about the different relationships makes sense tomorrow when i read it LOLZ
That was amazing. Thanks, seriously.

Good luck healing and getting back to work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
Sigma, just wanted to say... I'm very glad that tumor was benign.
Chris
Agreed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Sure, different world. I started there also, as an artist, and we always had clear-cut producer and engineer hats in the rooms. There were things like credits and points at stake. Also, the credibility for the artist of a "brand name" on the work, and the strict protocol of the elitist, exclusive studio hierarchy.

We were working somewhere, and an assistant started making (we thought, good) suggestions. The producer was out of control... like "OK guys, you're 95% of the way there," when we were 10 takes past peak. And, the engineer/owner was encouraging him, just to rack-up hours. This unwary assistant started suggesting that further takes might not improve. He made it to dinner break that day, and was gone.
I'm always paranoid that a client will think I'm doing things to rack up hours. I hate reading things like this.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #88
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
This unwary assistant started suggesting that further takes might not improve. He made it to dinner break that day, and was gone.
It's almost always their mouth that gets them gone. Second place by three lengths goes to tardiness.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #89
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's almost always their mouth that gets them gone. Second place by three lengths goes to tardiness.
Yep. It’s so serious I did a stint at a high end post facility in San Francisco about 13yrs back. As an assistant, we weren’t even allowed to address the clients unless they asked you a specific question! Even then you had to be VERY careful how you answered.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's almost always their mouth that gets them gone. Second place by three lengths goes to tardiness.
This brings the conversation full circle now...and as I've been saying, I do not assume anything and I don't start giving suggestions and opinions without some explicit understanding about my role and responsibility in that regard. This is the way I operate regardless of the band/musician...international superstar with lots of hits and awards, or young kid just starting out.

I will head off technical disasters and will bring something to the artist's/band's attention if I thought they were not aware, but I'm not going to assume the role of producer. Do you want to come in and listen to what you just did before we move on, or would you be more comfortable with a little more voice in your headphones...that sort of thing.

I have too many anecdotes of how things can go sideways not to heed/follow this principle.

Last edited by Samc; 3 weeks ago at 09:12 PM..
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