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Pro tools session for the client
Old 17th August 2007
  #91
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Tony Shepperd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I don't know about the ITB guys but when you take one of my sessions to a different studio it isn't going to sound right anyway- too much outboard in the signal path- I mix analog.

Well, Jim... if you don't mix in the box, than you are not faced with the same concerns that most of us have been expressing here.
Old 17th August 2007
  #92
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funk Dracula View Post
An ITB PT session is a different animal by numbers alone. How many PT users are there in this industry now possesing the same exact "virtual" gear? (plug-ins) Thousands and thousands and thousands. How many are in your city alone? And it's the whole enchilada that is in this tiny little session file. Every single decision and tweak is all there, sample accurate. The biggest difference these days is how you can morph audio and automate EVERYTHING. Even your virtual vintage gear can be automated. Do real 1176's bypass/unbypass themselves, and go in and out of "pumping" for a dramtic effects by raising input and lowering output?

Handing over a PT session file is not exactly like handing over a recall sheet. It is like handing in the recall sheet, your million dollar large format console, and the 25 person staff it took to twist all the knobs on your outboard gear in sync with the mix to any fool with a DAW.


It's not a question of somebody seeing your session and learning how you tackle a mix. It's a question of them barely and/or not changing a thing with your mix. Like vx+2dB, or muting a cowbell out of the intro, or better yet nothing at all, and taking all the credit for that mix. That's a problem that should be addressed somehow.
If it is your mix then you should get the credit. If you do not, a polite phone call will usually do the trick. This usually works best before artwork is complete. Once Best Buy and Walmart stop stocking CD's we won't even have to worry about that. Credits won't be on paper. All in all, pick the fights that really matter.

Using the same template for a different song or project is stupidity. I would never even use my own. Not all vocals need a DeEsser. Not all songs need a dotted quarter note delay on vx in choruses. Not all projects need a sample snare, or at least not the same one. A heavy 1176 compressor on drum room mics could work for one song but not another. A slap dly on toms might work. Cutting low freq on bass might have its place, but change depending on key signature for song. Just too many variables for a recipe to work every time. TO ME MOST OF MIXING IS CREATING EXCITEMENT, not generic plug-in settings, but little volume moves, eliminating the second guitar for verse, widening choruses, adding symphonic bass to choruses. Creative choices. The list goes on.

If you are STILL uncomfortable giving your Pro Tools files to the artist/manager/record label, hold down option click on first lines of inserts, then second, so on, and remove them. In this case I would keep a copy in its entirety to myself for a future possibility.

Blue Thumb Productions-Audio Production Facilities
Old 17th August 2007
  #93
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboy2854 View Post
But you're choosing to focus on only one aspect of this issue. It still doesn't address the aspects of others making alterations to your mix without your approval, using your mix as the basis for surround mixes credited to others, etc.

As I said, this is a unique issue with many considerations.
This happens all the time in production and probably more often.
If someone alters your mix, you are a co-mixer. Bottom line they did not like something about it. It is their material/project. They do have the last say. If it is a small change, you could just appease them and fix it in the name of good PR. If there are mountains of changes and they do not have funds, and you decide not to fix the mix. Let someone else make the mountains more to the projects likings. Let someone else do it for free.
Forget the credit, you probably would not want it or deserve it. Just get paid for what you did before handing over files.

The down mix is off the 5.1, not the other way around. I treat stereo mixing and 5.1 totally differently (unless the stereo is just a down mix). Compression alone is needed much less and different. You now don't have the two speaker obstacle, you have more places to put things. Maybe more instruments can be used. Bottom end has a different punch. Phase issues are different. Anyone who uses the stereo mix for the bases to the surround mix is cheating the creative process. So again why would you want credit?



Blue Thumb Productions-Audio Production Facilities
Old 17th August 2007
  #94
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Somebody in here keeps saying you can file an SR on a mix. The only way an sr is accepted is if you are the author (and this is specific) of the audio that you are submitting on the SR...IE...you're the guy playing each track or in lieu...you're the guy owning the copyright for the noises on say, the bass track etc. There is no such thing as an sr filing of a derivative set of noises....only filing as a derivitave work where you MAKE the noises (IE...you're the guy playing on those tracks as well as mixing...or you're the guy paying the guys who are playing on those tracks and therefore "own" the noises).

If you're the mix guy...no, you don't own those unless your're really the author/ownership holder..

Sr will be rejected if you're trying to register a "mix" and you aren't also the owner of the noises (bass playing....piano playing...singing) on the tracks. That goes for whether or not you also own the composition.

Give away the mix sessions? Build a cost into that. Or don't. Refuse to give them if you want. Or do. But whatever your thinking, you certainly do NOT own them in the sense of an SR. You certainly realize that you can never do anything with the mixes yourself....like sell them on ebay etc.
Old 17th August 2007
  #95
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
Well, Jim... if you don't mix in the box, than you are not faced with the same concerns that most of us have been expressing here.
I have mixed in the box in the past though.
Do people here really believe that giving over a session file is going to reveal the 'secret of mixing' to everyone?

If only it was that easy.

Anyway- I haven't meant to come off as arrogant here- I like to try to help people and the only way I want to come off is as being helpful.
Apologies if this hasn't been the case.
Old 17th August 2007
  #96
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
You certainly realize that you can never do anything with the mixes yourself....like sell them on ebay etc.
For sake of argument, could you sell the mixes without audio? Could you sell "mix templates from [hit record]" -- settings and routings with no audio? Could you sell an FX box with "settings from [hit record]" and thereby give those very settings some value in the open market?

Then who owns the settings? Who owns the templates? Just because they're customarily treated as a minor by-product of a (sometimes) profitable endeavor...

Waves obviously thought CLA's settings had market value -- same concept, different approach.
Old 17th August 2007
  #97
Gear Nut
 

I have to agree with most people here in that I mix each song individually so giving away the session really doesn't bother me. I don't have any "templates." Granted, I have a few effects that I will usually reach for first given a particular source (and who doesn't?), but I can't say that I rely on any particular settings from one mix to another.

To further compound the problem for anyone looking to recreate my mix ITB, I don't automate everything and bounce to disk - I generally bus everything to a stereo track and mix "live to 2-track" with a control surface. It's actually rare that I record all of my moves to automation - a bad habit really: it's a PITA when a client does ask for a tweak.

One solution to all of this is really the ideal archiving method: print/render each track with effects, edits and automation as its own audio file from track start to track finish. Hand these over to the client and tell them it is an advantage since they are not dependent on any particular DAW. This is analogous to handing over the master reel and it enables you to "keep your secrets."
Old 17th August 2007
  #98
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
my point is ..if i listened to the song and looked at the credits i would have said "what a tard i can hear a ghost track of her vocal in the intro..what a sloppy mixer"
btw the song was 'somebody loves you" from the burnin album..you ca prob check it out..unfortunately mixers deal with the hand that's dealt there are no asterics with footnotes
I tend to side with you, and that would drive me crazy. Although, the gold album is worth the anxiety. Nobody who actually bought that record even gives it a second thought. They probably think it is suppose to sound that way.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 18th August 2007
  #99
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Somebody in here keeps saying you can file an SR on a mix. The only way an sr is accepted is if you are the author (and this is specific) of the audio that you are submitting on the SR...IE...you're the guy playing each track or in lieu...you're the guy owning the copyright for the noises on say, the bass track etc. There is no such thing as an sr filing of a derivative set of noises....only filing as a derivitave work where you MAKE the noises (IE...you're the guy playing on those tracks as well as mixing...or you're the guy paying the guys who are playing on those tracks and therefore "own" the noises).

If you're the mix guy...no, you don't own those unless your're really the author/ownership holder..

Sr will be rejected if you're trying to register a "mix" and you aren't also the owner of the noises (bass playing....piano playing...singing) on the tracks. That goes for whether or not you also own the composition.

Give away the mix sessions? Build a cost into that. Or don't. Refuse to give them if you want. Or do. But whatever your thinking, you certainly do NOT own them in the sense of an SR. You certainly realize that you can never do anything with the mixes yourself....like sell them on ebay etc.
That is incorrect.

Owning an filing are two different things. There's no need to file even if you were the sole author because you can't sell it without a license agreement, but a mix being a separate copyright is an absolute certainty.

One precedent is the lawsuit against KRS One by a venue that recorded him and he released to tried to release the recordings with out paying them. He claimed that they did not have permission to make the recording and the legal summary explains that they had a verbal agreement with his manager, but no documentation. Don't hold me to the details, because the only reason I read it was to see if there was a legal precedent.

Another one that might clarify it for you is to look at your favorite album and look at the name that appears next to the year and copyright symbol. You'll see that it is the label that holds the copyright, not the "bass player".

The owner of the SR copyright is whoever authored it or whoever they transferred it to. In most sound recordings, there are multiple authors. That's frequently the case with mixes, but it is possible to have a sole author of the new mix, however a mix is a derivative work.


Alan Korn is an attorney. His quote comes from a Tape Op article on this very issue:

"The Copyright Act defines a sound recording as a work that arises from the fixation of a series of musical, spoken, or other sounds, regardless of the object they're embodied on.* So*a sound recording copyright covers the particular selection, arrangement and coordination of sounds embodied that result from a specific performance or mix.** So for each particular mix of a 24-track tape, there would exist a different sound recording copyright."
Old 18th August 2007
  #100
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I have mixed in the box in the past though.
Do people here really believe that giving over a session file is going to reveal the 'secret of mixing' to everyone?

If only it was that easy.

Anyway- I haven't meant to come off as arrogant here- I like to try to help people and the only way I want to come off is as being helpful.
Apologies if this hasn't been the case.
It's not as simple as the quality of the mixes.

It's possible that the artist could pass off your work as theirs. Or, worse, their work as yours. They could tell people exactly what they did and attach your name via the template to a mix that you had nothing to do with.


There was a point '98-2001 or so, where universally, everyone I worked with credited me as a producer with out me wanting it when the results sucked. When I actually produced an made it great, the artist credited themselves.

Or there was a mix project where I did the vast majority of the work. One other person made a lot of detailed suggestions, most of which we didn't keep some of which we did. Even had we used none of his ideas, his role as devil's advocate made it reasonable that he should get mix credit. 90% of the time the artist was not present for the mixing. When I saw the album credits, all three of us were credited and it was done in alphabetical order and I ended up last.

In the big picture, that album is pretty irrelevant, but if you've had someone misrepresent what happened in credits, it's easy to see how you're setting yourself up for something weird by leting go of the session files.


I had another more recent one. I did a record and mix project. The producer told me he was going to take mix credit, and I knew it was a battle I wouldn't win. I don't think he should have taken any. While he did make comments during the mix, they were all within the scope of producing. There was one EQ change he insisted on, which I hated and he realized it was a mistake when we sent the files for mastering. Whatever, all par for the course.

The big shock to me came when I same him taking recording credit too. I can see how producer comments can blur the line, but there was not single thing than I can point to that I can see someone stretching in to a recording credit. It never occured to me to discuss this in advance and I'm sure that if you give out enough protools sessions, something that you never thought of is going ot come up and bite you in the ass. The vast majority of the time it will be no big deal.


As far as learning "the secret of mixing", I'll agree that it's not going to happen that way, but I've done everything I can to get my hands on some of the classic albums that are floating around as protools sessions. I certainly learned a lot from a raw Def Leppard session not "the secret", but it's defintely valuable for learning.
Old 18th August 2007
  #101
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post

It's possible that the artist could pass off your work as theirs. Or, worse, their work as yours. They could tell people exactly what they did and attach your name via the template to a mix that you had nothing to do with.

I had another more recent one. I did a record and mix project. The producer told me he was going to take mix credit, and I knew it was a battle I wouldn't win. I don't think he should have taken any. While he did make comments during the mix, they were all within the scope of producing. There was one EQ change he insisted on, which I hated and he realized it was a mistake when we sent the files for mastering. Whatever, all par for the course.

The big shock to me came when I same him taking recording credit too. I can see how producer comments can blur the line, but there was not single thing than I can point to that I can see someone stretching in to a recording credit. It never occured to me to discuss this in advance and I'm sure that if you give out enough protools sessions, something that you never thought of is going ot come up and bite you in the ass. The vast majority of the time it will be no big deal.
These problems surpass just taking ones template. It sounds as if the producer is out right stealing and goes on to tell you he is going to. Contracts are your only protection from this behavior. Before giving off your session files or starting a project, one could have a short mix/production/engineering agreement for parties to sign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Caffrey View Post
As far as learning "the secret of mixing", I'll agree that it's not going to happen that way, but I've done everything I can to get my hands on some of the classic albums that are floating around as protools sessions. I certainly learned a lot from a raw Def Leppard session not "the secret", but it's defintely valuable for learning.
I see no harm in this. Learn and develope your own style.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 18th August 2007
  #102
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paultools's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Somebody in here keeps saying you can file an SR on a mix. The only way an sr is accepted is if you are the author (and this is specific) of the audio that you are submitting on the SR...IE...you're the guy playing each track or in lieu...you're the guy owning the copyright for the noises on say, the bass track etc. There is no such thing as an sr filing of a derivative set of noises....only filing as a derivitave work where you MAKE the noises (IE...you're the guy playing on those tracks as well as mixing...or you're the guy paying the guys who are playing on those tracks and therefore "own" the noises).

If you're the mix guy...no, you don't own those unless your're really the author/ownership holder..

Sr will be rejected if you're trying to register a "mix" and you aren't also the owner of the noises (bass playing....piano playing...singing) on the tracks. That goes for whether or not you also own the composition.

Give away the mix sessions? Build a cost into that. Or don't. Refuse to give them if you want. Or do. But whatever your thinking, you certainly do NOT own them in the sense of an SR. You certainly realize that you can never do anything with the mixes yourself....like sell them on ebay etc.
You as an engineer are the co-author of the recording unless there is a "work-for-hire" agreement. http://www.copyright.gov/register/sr-definition.html

I have used this fact to successfully collect money that was owed me on records that were released. No money = no "work-for-hire" = no license to exploit my work. Record companies hate anything that even suggests copyright infringement, especially after they have distributed the product.
Old 18th August 2007
  #103
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools View Post
You as an engineer are the co-author of the recording unless there is a "work-for-hire" agreement. Sound Recordings

I have used this fact to successfully collect money that was owed me on records that were released. No money = no "work-for-hire" = no license to exploit my work. Record companies hate anything that even suggests copyright infringement, especially after they have distributed the product.
Is this only assuming you never got paid? If so, it seems to only help the extremely generous individuals who are willing to work initially for $0.00.

On a side note, there are some Vocalists that should credit Antares Autotune for Co-vocals.
Old 18th August 2007
  #104
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Mertmo's Avatar
 

Quote:
I used to sometimes ask them not to zero the board. I would then pull up my tape (this was before DAWs) and hit play just to see what happened. Not to steal tricks or anything like that, but just to come up with something new. Maybe it would be the lead vocal playing through their kick drum channel, or the kick drum coming through the channel they used for lead vocals, etc. Sort of a free science experiment.
I've read about Lanois doing this often just for the experiment of it.

This is a fascinating thread. I usually give everything away, but I am not working at a level that would justify the caution that some of you pros need to employ...
Great discussion.
Old 19th August 2007
  #105
Quote:
Originally Posted by paultools View Post
You as an engineer are the co-author of the recording unless there is a "work-for-hire" agreement. http://www.copyright.gov/register/sr-definition.html

I have used this fact to successfully collect money that was owed me on records that were released. No money = no "work-for-hire" = no license to exploit my work. Record companies hate anything that even suggests copyright infringement, especially after they have distributed the product.
How long does it usually take you to get a check when you take this approach?

Have you lost any clients or had any problems as a result?
Old 19th August 2007
  #106
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mertmo2 View Post
I've read about Lanois doing this often just for the experiment of it.

This is a fascinating thread. I usually give everything away, but I am not working at a level that would justify the caution that some of you pros need to employ...
Great discussion.
I routinely move tracks around in Logic (TDM) quasi-randomly- vocals to drum channels, drums to guitar and such and then bounce the results.
It can be inspired or complete rubbish.
Old 21st August 2007
  #107
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I routinely move tracks around in Logic (TDM) quasi-randomly- vocals to drum channels, drums to guitar and such and then bounce the results.
It can be inspired or complete rubbish.
hey!!! i almost did the same thing with a band (fxp army) after mixing their second recording with me. the drummer suggested that i just load their first recording and let it go through the board. crazy mix with nice side-effects. weird compression pumping the drums from left to right. wowie zowie!!!
Old 23rd September 2007
  #108
Give it up!

I'm just finishing mixing a project for a major label. Actually, I hired a mixing engineer that has a grammy. This guy is the real thing. I produce for major labels and now own my own production company. My engineer and myself both agree that if you are paid in full for the mixes, then the session file should go to the client if asked for. The final mixes are only part of the deal, the masters are the other. The individual channel tweaks on a mix become part of the multi track in a day of Pro Tools. After I just paid this engineer, he will just walk away with his check, and all of his mastery remains with my multi-track masters. I don't want to sound pro-label, but I am an active participant in the music production revolution that seems to be squeezing the labels and major studios out of existence. Please don't hold up the process; the music will just get better. Give up the files that you were paid for. Just my thoughts....
Old 23rd September 2007
  #109
Define "file you were paid for".

That's really what this is about. Are you paying for the audio file or the session files?


Historically, people paid for the two track tape, not the recall sheets. I'm unaware of anything that's change that implies that when you're hiring someone to mix the track you paying ofr the audio files and the session files. If you specify that in the agreement, then there's no question.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #110
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cajonezzz's Avatar
 

I have avoided the problem by simply taking the client drive, making a work copy to my internal, ( and a back up) and IMMEDIATELY after determining I have everything that I need to pull up the tunes, I give the drive back to the client.

i mix off of my drives, I deliver the mixes.... they approve, suggest tweaks, whatever--- and I keep an archival copy of MY work. if they want tweaks on those mixes, or remixes, or whatever--- they can call me and pay me to re do it, or they can cut me loose and take their drives to someone else and start the process over.

period.

Hasn't bitten me in the A** yet, and I've only had one client ask for the session docs.

It's intellectual property, and job insurance.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #111
jho
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Depends on your relationship and agreement with them IMO.

I tend to give them consolidated tracks with cleared automation and no plugs, if they ask.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #112
Gear Addict
 

If you've done some kind of low-ball deal on a project and they call back wanting non-mixing/recording work tell them you're happy to do it but charge full rate with a 3hr minimum for all "computer busy work".
Old 24th September 2007
  #113
Lives for gear
Sorry to drop in on this at this late date.

Like many of you, I have mixed feelings about this. Perhaps a better way of saying it is that I have mixed feelings about the motivations of some in this little biz of ours.

And my heart generally goes to the...if they paid for it give it too them.

But then......lets consider major mastering houses. Last time I asked for the curves I got a distinct "its intellectual property" message. What I wanted was to see where my room needed improvement. What they saw was "this guy want to plug our ears into his Wave's EQ.

Its really a tough one, as are many things in land digital.

Just pointing out that there are many viewpoints.
Old 24th September 2007
  #114
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by forjam View Post
I'm just finishing mixing a project for a major label. Actually, I hired a mixing engineer that has a grammy. This guy is the real thing. I produce for major labels and now own my own production company. My engineer and myself both agree that if you are paid in full for the mixes, then the session file should go to the client if asked for. The final mixes are only part of the deal, the masters are the other. The individual channel tweaks on a mix become part of the multi track in a day of Pro Tools. After I just paid this engineer, he will just walk away with his check, and all of his mastery remains with my multi-track masters. I don't want to sound pro-label, but I am an active participant in the music production revolution that seems to be squeezing the labels and major studios out of existence. Please don't hold up the process; the music will just get better. Give up the files that you were paid for. Just my thoughts....
I seriously doubt he gave you all his samples with it, if he did he probably violated his license agreement for his sample libraries.
Most engineer's are paid to a job and are not how to do a job.
I have given up sessions to producers but it's always done on a case by case basis.
I guess that's why the big debate here, there is no "one shoe fits all" solution ever.
Old 24th September 2007
  #115
Gear Addict
 
anteupaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roostert View Post
Interesting. The subject of taking entire protools mixes, not just the audio files, has been a hot topic in the record community for awhile. The argument that many engineers are making here, LA, etc.. is that the Mix engineer has a copyright for his mix. Roger Nichols has been a big advocate for this.
]

I think this that handing someone a mixed ProTools session is very different from sending someone 2" tapes and a recall sheet.... for many reasons not the least of which being that almost anybody could potentially get ahold of a ProTools rig and mess with your work. With "real" gear (i.e. a console, outboard gear, etc.) you have to have a certain degree of knowledge to operate it. Almost anyone could open up a ProTools session and poke around though and that could be dangerous.

I specify, in my contracts, that I will deliver a) a multi-track master and b) fully mixed 2 track stereo mixes for most projects I do. By multi-track masters I mean raw, unprocessed tracks (aside from any special fx type things like quick flanges or delays that are more of an element of the track than an element of the mix). The mix is the mix. If I were still recording on Radar or a 2" machine, my client wouldn't be able to go back and pull up my mix in a split second. I don't think there's anything wrong with delivering raw tracks as a multi-track as long as you're upfront about your policy and your client is cool with it.

I also have an added reason for doing this since, unless I am absolutely required to, I never mix completely in the box at this point. It's always a combination of ITB and on my Neve. I don't want someone pulling up a half processed mix at another studio (not understanding what was going on out of the box and on the board/outboard gear) and think that was my mix.
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