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RANT ..Why do musicians think engineering is a cinch?
Old 11th August 2007
  #151
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
The Working Class Hero on the Plastic Ono Band album? As far as I know. that was co-produced by Phil Spector, and there were a number of "real" engineers...John Leckie, Andy Stevens, Eddie Veal, Richard Lush, Phil McDonald.
No....the 1970 recording done on a cassette deck at his home in England prior to coming to LA.,featuring the "famous" missing verse, and in my personal musician's opinion, blows away the Spector recorded version "featuring" "real engineers", But hey, I'm not questioning the importance of engineers, I'm just saying to keep it all in perspective.......peace...
Old 11th August 2007
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
the 1970 recording done on a cassette deck at his home in England prior to coming to LA.,featuring the "famous" missing verse.
Weird, I guess I've never heard that. What's the missing verse? Is there a bootleg or somewhere that's available?
Old 11th August 2007
  #153
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henryrobinett's Avatar
To me what is missing regarding the importance of song, etc. is the obvious component of the artist who composed the song. Songs don't exist independent of the being who wrote it. So SOURCE is of primary importance. SOURCE being the originator of the music. The the music, artist (performer) on down the line.

My two cents.
Old 12th August 2007
  #154
just to beat a dead horse i had 2 sessions today..the first with a young musicain/ client who is talented and keeps focused on his part of the equation.. the second an extremely more talented/experienced and older musician/eng who has admitted he is a musician who engineers

i am standing outside the studio with first guy waiting to get in..he asks "did you bring the 4 songs we are over dubbing on?

i go "well i figured you might hear a percussion or string line in your head on another song we did so i decided to copy all the files to my external drive and bring them" [ehh not altogether altruistic..if he hears more he works more and i make more]

he made me feel great by saying "that's why i love working with you man..you just don't do what i ask, you look ahead and do what i might need or want'

second session with musicain/eng... we have a hard disc recorder that we have to copy files from..i asked days before WHAT SONGS? reply there are only 2 on there..there were 4 , there was also a DVD from a PT session that had to be flown into 1 of the songs..it had a name that was not listed on the hd of the digital recorder..
i call and dude is playing in AC and his message machine is on..i am in some group of friends studio... the clock is running [props to my friends they charged us by the song ..god forbid if they didn't]..finally i get ahold of him and he says "ohh it's such and such song.. we changed the name from what we called it on the hd recorder and BTW these are the 2 tunes to be transferred..."..AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

err and i asked him before hand what i was transferring



i was working at another gearslutz members room so if he sees this he can confirm at least the second half
Old 12th August 2007
  #155
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drmmrboy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
second session with musicain/eng... we have a hard disc recorder that we have to copy files from..i asked days before WHAT SONGS? reply there are only 2 on there..there were 4 , there was also a DVD from a PT session that had to be flown into 1 of the songs..it had a name that was not listed on the hd of the digital recorder..
i call and dude is playing in AC and his message machine is on..i am in some group of friends studio... the clock is running [props to my friends they charged us by the song ..god forbid if they didn't]..finally i get ahold of him and he says "ohh it's such and such song.. we changed the name from what we called it on the hd recorder and BTW these are the 2 tunes to be transferred..."..AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

err and i asked him before hand what i was transferring



i was working at another gearslutz members room so if he sees this he can confirm at least the second half
Yup. Funzville.

OK. There's 4 songs on here. Better call the client...

"What are the names?"
"Don't see one called ____."

Play the songs for the client over the phone...
"Yeah, that's the one. Just sax & vocals." "The rest is on the DVD."

Yikes!!!


BTW, I finished up the transfer last night Mike. I even had luck with massaging the DVD tracks. It's all nice and neat for ya, except the tracks are still named, audio_1, audio_2... LOL - Why should I have all the fun!! heh heh
Old 12th August 2007
  #156
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmmrboy View Post
Yup. Funzville.

OK. There's 4 songs on here. Better call the client...

"What are the names?"
"Don't see one called ____."

Play the songs for the client over the phone...
"Yeah, that's the one. Just sax & vocals." "The rest is on the DVD."

Yikes!!!


BTW, I finished up the transfer last night Mike. I even had luck with massaging the DVD tracks. It's all nice and neat for ya, except the tracks are still named, audio_1, audio_2... LOL - Why should I have all the fun!! heh heh
yo thanks..!!!!!!!!!!
Old 21st September 2007
  #157
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Well, this reminds me of the same argument about lawyers...everyone makes lawyer jokes and think we are "expendale"...until they crap their pants when they are facing jail time for a serious DWI.......
Old 21st September 2007
  #158
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allencollins's Avatar
 

"Why do musicians think engineering is a cinch"

maybe cuz it is? 50% of engineering these days is on the computer If you can run word and excel and work an mp3 player you can figure out protool is 1/2 hour or so.

The other half of engineering is mic placement and getting sounds. How hard is that? not very.

The bottom line is if you own a studio and charge money, engineering should be a cinch to you. If it's not, you shouldn't be charging money for it then. You should advise your clients to go to someone who does find it a cinch.
This isn't brain surgury. 90% of recording is common sense.
Old 21st September 2007
  #159
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
This isn't brain surgury. 90% of recording is common sense.
I agree. That is why there is no excuse for poor engineering. Engineers that don't pursue excellence SUCK!

Wow! Did I just rant within a rant?
Old 21st September 2007
  #160
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Engineers are getting paranoid that they soon will not be needed anymore.

Little do they know, they arent needed now.

Great musicians and songwriters make the music world go round.

Not button pushers and phase checkers.

An engineer without any musicians, is a night watchman.

You're not doing much of anything without musicians, except maybe
a remake of "Sounds of Silence", the silent version.
Hey, great noise floor!! but where's the ****ing music?

TK
Old 21st September 2007
  #161
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ajcamlet's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano View Post
In my experience, artists are loathe to scrap work they've spent a lot of money on. Not that it doesn't happen, but you're going against some serious psychological (on their part) obstacles:

1) The rock 'n roll legacy involves a lot of artists and players (Motown! Zeppelin's first album! Motley Crue "Too Fast For Love!") doing records in short order. [Artist/client] is forced to reckon with inability to s^&t "gold" and possible implications. Or artist shifts blame to previous engineer/producer/studio.

SLIGHT PROBLEM: >YOU'RE< not saying they can cut a record in hours either...why is that?

2) The instant the tracks are scrapped, the determination has been made that [artist/client] should've paid his/her rent with that money. If the tracks are re-used and built upon, they were good for SOMETHING.

3) In relation to 2), [artist/client] has to make a leap of faith, subsequent to having an obviously negative experience, to TRUST YOU...that you'll do better. To leave behind the only tangible framework for their new material requires yet another leap of faith.

4) Engineers know the power of digital audio manipulation -- and this power has been upgraded to near-mythical status in the eyes of the public (of course, there will never be a Grammy for "best vocal edit"). [Artist/client] may wonder (not usually out loud), "if I'm paying you, and you're the best around (or around HERE), why can't you make this track work?" With some people, this isn't an issue. With others, it's near-insurmountable. Or it becomes a case of circular reasoning, and from the engineer's perspective, it feels like the artist just has TOO MUCH faith in you -- you [engineer] can't MAKE a bad sounding record, so there's NO WAY that THIS record's gonna sound bad, either! Ouch! OK, bring on the "waveform donors..." -- then everyone go out to dinner while I stay here and edit this...
totally spot on--ALL of the above. With regards to #4, they usually expect it to happen in 5 minutes or less, and if it doesnt, then your obviously underqualified!
Old 21st September 2007
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post

The "trick" to being a good engineer is learning how to listen, much the same as the trick to being a good musician.
I think this is what it comes down to.

A lot of guys on here talk ish about guys like me who perform all my parts, engineer and mix my own stuff in my little home studio. I don't really know what I'm doing that well, but I've bought the gear that I NEED, and am learning how to use it.

I use my ears. I know I like the sound of all of my instruments, I've bought mics that sound good for the money, I like the sound of Steve Massey's plugins, and this is what I use.

I have only 2 pres and no other outboard. I mix ITB like a mo-fo. I'm happy with my sound so far and that's what's important.

A really good musician SHOULD be able to make a good sounding recording.

I started recording in the first place because I was paying "professional" engineers a lot of money to get finished products I was never happy with. I spent $10,000 and now I've got a very modest home project studio and I'm getting WAY better sounds than they were.

The thing is I LOVE recording. I LOVE mixing. I want to do more.

I think it's unfair to say that musicians somehow can't be as good at engineering as gear junkie engineers.

I don't understand how a non-musician does it to be honest with you. How the hell do they know what a snare drum is supposed to sound like, or where to fit a lead guitar in the mix? They use their ears.
Old 21st September 2007
  #163
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TheRealRoach's Avatar
Quote:
I think it's unfair to say that musicians somehow can't be as good at engineering as gear junkie engineers.
I also agree with this statement. I think the best engineers are the ones who come from musical backgrounds... and i don't just mean kinda know how to play guitar and how to work stomp boxes, but rather the kind that have music theory backgrounds, formal training at some point, the *vocabulary* to discuss musical ideas...

I make a serious point with all of the artists I work with to hire in musicians for everything (horns, violins, percussion). And I've also made of point of having the "no drum quantizing, no vocal tuning, no edits that I couldn't perform on a tape machine" talk. Ever since adopting that policy the quality of work and output has skyrocketed. If i wanted to sit in front of a computer clicking away at the keyboard for hours at a time i would've found a job as a customer service rep at a call center for some hi-speed internet company.
Old 21st September 2007
  #164
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It doesn't matter what anyway says...there are no rules...da proof is in da pudding.
Old 21st September 2007
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd View Post
Engineers are getting paranoid that they soon will not be needed anymore.
Absolutely. Get rid of those farts!

Of course, drummers died off about 25 years ago, as did complete orchestras and most other weirdo instrumentalists. Piano tuners all committed suicide, as well as the morons that make those out of tune pianos. Who needs 'em!? Losers.

All anyone will ever need is ITB!
Old 22nd September 2007
  #166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindside View Post

I think it's unfair to say that musicians somehow can't be as good at engineering as gear junkie engineers.

I don't understand how a non-musician does it to be honest with you. How the hell do they know what a snare drum is supposed to sound like, or where to fit a lead guitar in the mix? They use their ears.



the statement was "why do they think it is a cinch?"
Old 22nd September 2007
  #167
Gear Nut
 

The Catch 22;
Here's the scenario that has been put out to musicians over the last 10 years;
"Hey, everyone can afford to make a record if they have their own rig." (some merit)
"Hey, you can only afford to make a record if you know how to engineer and produce and have your own rig." (less merit)
"Hey, you can't just be a musician nowadays, ya gotta be an engineer and producer, beacuse all the other musicians are engineering and producing, because they're not getting enough work, because everyone's just doing their own records at home. And so they don't need to hire musicians anymore."
Okay, I know this is from the sideman angle, but it has happened. And the biggest loss is good sounding recordings and people actually playing together.
Oy
We all know the cool advantages of having recording at your fingertips for creative purposes. (Didn't we always have that? Hello, Tascam and Fostex?!) I'll save the dough I would have spent on HD and hire a great engineer.
And, one more thing. Who are all these people producing??!!
Old 22nd September 2007
  #168
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 

I think the bottom line is that some people "get it" and some people don't. If someone's ear isn't developed well enought to hear the difference betwwen in key and off they're certainly not going to hear the difference between a good recording and a bad one. It's like a good guitar tone. There are lots of people out there who think they have good tone, but from an outsiders perspective it's easy to see what's wrong with it- too much distortion, scooped the mids too much trying to get that Dimebag sound (no offense to Dimebag fans- it worked for him), bass up way too high because they think all that sound on the records is coming from the guitar. So you offer a few pointers, maybe tweak the settings a little, and even though it sounds better now they'll never admit it! Some people can't connect the dots that what sounds good when an instrument is solo'ed sounds like garbage when the rest of the band is brought in. Or gets completely swallowed up. I've had piano tracks that I rolled off everything below 800Hz. Sounded awful by itself. In the context of the song, which had lots of heavy guitars, it was perfect. Just the thing to still be audible but not muddy things up.

The thing most musicians miss is that an experienced engineer has had years to develop a bag of tricks, things that aren't obvious to a newbie. It's not just about placing mics or getting good levels. Yeah, anyone can plug in a mic and move some faders. Getting things to sound like a record is another matter entirely.
Old 22nd September 2007
  #169
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfreq33 View Post
I think the bottom line is that some people "get it" and some people don't.
Totally agree. I know some good musicians that just don't uderstand tone at all. I have a friend that will rip a guytar a new a-hole, but the treble knob on his amp is always cranked to 12. It kills me. Everytime I play through his amp, I adjust the eq, and everytime he bitches about it.

My band played with a metal band last night who's guitar player was using this awful Peavey solid-state junk head. His tone was so thin and tinny, it was hard to listen to. He wasn't bad, but his tone sucks. And to make matters worse, their drummer was playing a piccolo snare!

Another band we played with once used all Line6 combo amps.

Like you said, some people just don't get it. It sounds good to them. Sometimes, as you suggested, they get a product or something built up in their head and like the idea of it so much that they won't let their ears tell them it sounds bad. And if someone else tries to tell them, they get defensive.

I've been in bands with guys like that, and it's hard to deal with. Kind of embarassing sometimes. You can't help everybody, I guess.
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