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RANT ..Why do musicians think engineering is a cinch?
Old 31st July 2007
  #1
RANT ..Why do musicians think engineering is a cinch?

got session files today because i was supposed to mix...

mixes are not named in any constructive manor

audio files are missing

stuff was thrown on dvd by the indiviual protools files insead of in a single folder


lets not even get into audio quality

i love how musicians buy a digi 002 or some other recording medium and immediately think they are an engineerdfegad
Old 31st July 2007
  #2
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jeremy.c.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
i love how musicians buy a digi 002 or some other recording medium and immediately think they are an engineer
I got the serious setup man, my studio has ProTools and an MBox...


blame GC? heh heh...
Old 31st July 2007
  #3
Dan
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Dan's Avatar
 

I don't know, I've gotten some pretty bad stuff from "engineers"

Why do some engineers not know how to post in the correct forum?
Old 31st July 2007
  #4


It's nice to have good equipment available for not much money. I hope those guys keep buying gear and keep the prices down for me....

Eventually, they'll start hiring people who know how to choose and place mics and can format a bundle. It's cheaper than paying the hourly rate you poor unfortunate souls who get this crap should be charging them.




-tINY

Old 31st July 2007
  #5
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I don't know why they think that, but that's how I got into this, so I can't complain.
Old 31st July 2007
  #6
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The dman's Avatar
 

It's all the sexy gear ads in the music rags telling them that all they need is brand x and y and they'll have a pro studio setup
Old 31st July 2007
  #7
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swisha31's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The dman View Post
It's all the sexy gear ads in the music rags telling them that all they need is brand x and y and they'll have a pro studio setup
couldnt have said it any better
Old 31st July 2007
  #8
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Tibbon's Avatar
Same reason that everyone with an MPC2500 thinks they are a "producer".
Old 31st July 2007
  #9
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swisha31's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tibbon View Post
Same reason that everyone with an MPC2500 thinks they are a "producer".

Let's not forget all of those guys in those genres with "Fruity Loops". they all also think they are producers just because they have the program on their computers.
Old 31st July 2007
  #10
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
mixes are not named in any constructive manor

audio files are missing

stuff was thrown on dvd by the indiviual protools files insead of in a single folder

lets not even get into audio quality
Sounds like a normal mixing gig in 2007...
Old 31st July 2007
  #11
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True North's Avatar
 

I think most of it comes down to communication

I was a musician first but have always been highly involved in educating myself about the recording process. I eventually produced a couple of bands and recorded in quite a few high end studios. I had a huge leap in term of knowledge and experience before I started to build my own studio. Even then, it has taken me a lot longer than I thought to get some decent sounds out of my rig.

IMO There is a huge gap between what sounds ideal to one person VS another. The musicians ability to clearly convey their vision and conversely the engineers ability to listen and understand the musicians vision has a lot to do with what eventually pushes a musician to do his or her own thing.

I think that there are a lot of good engineers out there who just don't bother to listen properly or have just lost their will to care anymore about projects they become involved with - this is part of the problem.

The other part of the problem is that their are now, more than ever, a lot of bad engineers out there. Engineers who have no idea what a good sound is, much less going out there and creating one. If it's not in a loop or sample your screwed.

I have always had immense respect for good engineers but even so, there were certain elements of the job that just did not look that hard to me. I was off on interpretation of some things but on others I knew what to expect somewhat. There are those musicians who for wahtever reason have disdain and ignorance about what is involved in the process and those are the ones who are the most problematic IMO.
Old 31st July 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

I'm a musician...

My HOME studio has rediculously good gear... Cranesong, Mytek, Grace, Cranesong, Wunder Audio, Soundelux, Millennia, great monitors... The room has acoustic treatment that is not all bad... real traps etc... I have the very best instruments...

We can safely say that its not the gear.

And I bet if I paid an dedicated engineer who knew what they were doing to come in and use my rig to record me, I would achieve significantly better results...

So for one... this musician doesn't think engineering is anything short of bloody hard.
Old 31st July 2007
  #13
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I for one have enormous respect for someone who can actually engineer well unless they (far too often) THINK that qualifies them as musicians.
Why do engineers think music is a cinch? (just use this virtual-modeling-pitch&rhythm-correcting-plug-in/software on your HAK 'music')

(HAK stands for human assited komposition)

any way you slice it: using a fiddle or reason or a turntable or a washtub bass - making actual MUSIC is challenging. it takes most people YEARS of study and practice to get decent ears, rhythm, and an acceptable knowledge of harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. some are naturally musical (rare + lucky) - most are faking it BIG TIME - and the few/proud have spend HOURS in the woodshed so we can play bach or charlie parker or originals which are not hopelessly naive

if you can't HEAR the difference between a minor7 chord and a +9 chord you reallly ought to SHUT UP. just because most pop music is VERY simple on a theoretical level does not invalidate the nuances of pitch rhythm inflection which are crucial in making it SING in a way that makes it sell millions rather than staying in the garage. this is what separates 'musicians' from 'people who make sounds with music oriented devices' - even the most shallow commercial **** represents a degree of HARD WORK in the quest to NOT SUCK.

outlawing guitar tuners and vocal fix-it boxes would improve the general quality of music everywhere.

p.s. throw your drink on any DJ using an ipod. my ears hurt.
Old 31st July 2007
  #14
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thermos's Avatar
Because most people can't afford engineers. Simple as that. I have a friend who uses an m audio ozone keyboard as an interface, plugs a $99 akg mic into it and gets cooler music/sounds than 80% of those bozos out there. Anyone serious/good will take it seriously no matter what limitations they are stuck with.
Old 31st July 2007
  #15
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

sounds familiar.

Gotta love "engineers"

I always say to those folks when I get them in like that to:
bounce the files
as mono files , in mono, solo'ed, from zero
and stereo files, as de-interleaved files, solo'ed, from zero.

and name them as what they are on the bounce.
Old 31st July 2007
  #16
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contempo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall View Post
blame GS.... this is where I got the big idea years ago that most tracking engineers are a wrench in the gears.... I've changed my mind since then... But it does get hard to justify upwards of 50 bucks an hour to do something that somebody feels they can do themselves... now good competent mix engineers.. thats a whole different thread. Worth their weight in gold and few and far between.
I've seen guys toss up a 1/2 track in the garage and promote themselves as a "Studio" and you guys think I'm a Redneck
i started as a musician (still am) and got sucked into engineering when my bands recordings didn't sound good... playing good money to some crackhead who was generally NOT paying any attention and it showed when the results sounded like poo, that was about 15 years ago. since then i've worked with LOTS of great "name" engineers and 'ya know, it REALLY DOES make a difference. i sure learned tons from them and do some producing on the side for baby bands.

think of it this way...building a record or EP isn't that much different then building a car or a house. there are skills to be learned and implemented. there are skilled trademens and complete hacks.

it's just more obvious when you hire a hack plumber or electrician. audio? i think some folks are just amazed that they can play something, record it, and hear it back even though it sounds like crap. that's good enough??!

sure. fine. good enough.

nice to live in the age of "good enough".

spend the time & money to get it tracked well and you won't need a 'golden ears' mix AE to fix your poo pile.
Old 31st July 2007
  #17
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Oh, to answer the question....


its because the good ones make it look ssooooo easy...
Old 31st July 2007
  #18
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Tibbon's Avatar
When I was working 12 hours a day engineering sessions I was an engineer.

Now I have a 'home studio'. I am no longer an engineer. I'm a guy with some equipment.

The photography business has a derogatory term of GWC (Guy with Camera)- meaning that it's just some guy with a camera, who is generally just wanting to use the camera as a tool to see girls naked that they normally couldn't sleep with. They have the tool, but lack the skills, portfolio, or talent of a real photographer.

GWhS- Guy with home-Studio.
Old 31st July 2007
  #19
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Background: I'm a young dude and certainly not the most experienced, but I'm pretty confident in my work. Nothing incredible.. but "solid," I suppose. I'm in the process of working at a local studio and hoping to go full-time in a number of months. While we build the tracking studio, I'm trying to pick up some mixing gigs along the way.

Rant: A friend of mine actually had the nerve to tell me that "anyone can mix." He was being dead serious. As if slapping a compressors and reverbs in Pro Tools and twiddling the faders was a cinch. That I was being ridiculous to try to charge money to offer a solid mix to musicians recording themselves at home. His argument was that a friend's band sent their stuff out to two studios and it still didn't sound good.

Since when did a couple incompetent studios set the standard for everyone else?

I'm still amazed that he said that. It makes me wonder how many people share his attitude.
Old 31st July 2007
  #20
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An engineer to me is the most important part. A great engineered recording can speak on it's own before touched by the ME.
Old 31st July 2007
  #21
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoiseflower View Post
Oh, to answer the question....


its because the good ones make it look ssooooo easy...
I was thinking the same thing.

War
Old 31st July 2007
  #22
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thenoiseflower's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by i51423 View Post
Since when did a couple incompetent studios set the standard for everyone else?


Old 31st July 2007
  #23
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Tibbon's Avatar
Being Humble

I'd FAR rather say, "nah I'm not an engineer, I just happen to be able to get a few demo things done" and have someone call me on being too humble/modest than saying, "Dude I'm the next big producer with all the beats the kids want".

Erring on the side of arrogance and overstating your skills rarely does you well in the long run. That's not to say I'm not confident. I know that I like what I do. Since I'm just doing my stuff, that's all that matters at the moment.
Old 31st July 2007
  #24
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Unclenny's Avatar
This is my favorite discussion, whenever it surfaces.

I play my own music ....and record it myself. I have recorded myself since I wrote my first tune back in the 70's.

I'm not a pro at either....don't gig anymore and don't expect to sell any records in the near future. But for the last four years I have been VERY serious about learning the engineering side.....it has taken that long just to get something out of my little MBox that is listenable.

So........at least for me.......there is now a blurred line between the making of the music and the capturing and processing of it, where it is ALL music.

That said........professional musicians should write and play music and let professional engineers do their thing.

For all you other guys like me......knock yourselves out.

SoundClick song info: Right Here With You by Lenny and the Scapers - Song info page with MP3 music downloads
Old 31st July 2007
  #25
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As much as I am an advocate of the accessibility of digital technology being available for artists to get the music down, it can be a double edged sword.

We've had some things come through that were the worst imaginable. Many were for major projects by some major songwriters and producers.

It's like every songwriter with an MBox is instantly a producer/engineer.

It's a totally different playing field now.

If we want to see change then we have to help educate those particular clients. In most cases they just don't know any better. This shouldn't stop them from doing their work. I could never imagine turning away something that could excel to greatness.
Old 31st July 2007
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
got session files today because i was supposed to mix...

mixes are not named in any constructive manor

audio files are missing

stuff was thrown on dvd by the indiviual protools files insead of in a single folder


lets not even get into audio quality

i love how musicians buy a digi 002 or some other recording medium and immediately think they are an engineerdfegad
Maybe you should start making business with real musicians?...
Old 1st August 2007
  #27
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andychamp's Avatar
When they f*** up their own recordings they're "just not the technical type, but that's cool because it's more of a vibe thing and today's music is sooo overproduced anyway"

But it's my/your/our fault that their record doesn't make it big, because it was mixed completely wrong even though they gave you top-notch material to work on.
And the money they paid you (between 1 and 10% of what a big commercial facility would ask) was waaaay too much for the shyte you delivered.

Not to sound snobbish, but I refuse to mix anything if:
- I didn't record it myself, or
- I can't be sure it was recorded by someone I know and trust, or
- I didn't instruct the band on how to best record themselves with their equipment and listening to some test recordings.

Polishing prefabricated turds is bad for the rep, because sooner or later the polisher will be blamed for the turd at the core.

But I start seeing a backlash: musicians start to realise (sometimes after bitter experiences of their own) the benefit of having someone doing the recording who's at least as proficient with his mixer as they are with their instruments.
Old 1st August 2007
  #28
my main point is that..creative musicians generally focus on that aspect [playing music]

an auteur whether involved in film or music is a RARE thing

many of my 80's/90's clients hired musicians from the 80's /90's[in the 90's] who now have bought rigs and think they are engineers and can record said clients product..
[uhh i was ill for awhile and out of the circuit]

i beg to differ

glad the poor rock bad i am recording [and MIXING by myself] needed me to start mixing their product or my day woulda been a waste
Old 1st August 2007
  #29
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Although I wouldn't call myself a Recording Engineer, I would definitely consider myself an engineer. I mixed live sound for over twenty years, from those three eight channel Tapco mixers linked together we used for high school assemblys and dances to the 48x8 channel Soundcraft Consoles with huge racks of gear and massive PA's and lighting hauled around in 28' box trucks...

So for the last couple years I've slowly been building a recording setup to record my own tunes.. I play guitar fairly well
(I own 16 guitars 2 basses a five piece drumset 3 guitar amps, 1 bass amp, midi keyboard) but can't read a note but I still consider myself a musician....I record thru a Mackie 1604 into an Aardvark Direct Pro 24/96 breakout box into Cubase SX on an Athalon 3300 with 1 Gig of ram (definitley gotta go 2 gig) with pretty good results... my 5 piece, piece of crap drumset sounds pretty good after inserting a few plugs on mixdown, and I've been told my mixes sound better than what a guy around here charges 50 bucks an hour for...when I figure out how to upload some tunes I'll post a link for some critisism....but I feel because of my live engineering skills my luck with getting good results on the fly when some guys show up to jam looks easy to my buddies... I'll never be able to afford all the fancy mic pre's and high end mics, but I can and will be able to produce very listenable well ballanced mixes...and for me that's satisfying enough...

Peace!
Kenny -~~~~
Old 1st August 2007
  #30
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I am also just a guy. I used to be a guy who was way better than my gear. Then, I found GS. Needless to say my gear is now way better than I am. I have much learning to do. I now have no excuses. As far as musicians thinking it's easy..I blame Protools LE.

Every jagoff I run into says..

"I might want to record with you at some point, but I think I'm just going to use my buddy. He's got protools and went to community college for audio engineering. Do you have protools?"

me: "No, I've got Sonar 6.0, but it's just as good as..."

him: (interrupting) "yeah..I think I'll just go with him for now. I mean..he went to school for it and....he's got protools."
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