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What are the pros saying? Dynamic Microphones
Old 19th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

What are the pros saying?

I'm going kinda insane writing my EP. I'm paranoid that I need to keep writing, until I'm 1000000% sure that I got the right material. You know, in this industry you usually just get one shot, and you better make an amazing first impression. So, I'm generally just freaking out, over analyzing everything and trying real hard to make sure that everything's "perfect". I'll drop a ****load of money on this EP (at least it's a lot of cash in my little world), and I just cant allow myself to record anything before the material isnt absolutely the best it can be.

I'm starting to think that I absolutely MUST book studio time RIGHT NOW, to get this EP done. Otherwise I'll probably still be writing in 2009. A good producer will probably also help speed up the process a lot.

Anyone here experienced this "problem"? It seems as if you always take as much time to finish something as you have available. I guess that's why most bands with home studios take years to finish their albums...
Old 19th August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Maybe upload a track so we can give feedback. Where are you located?
Old 19th August 2007
  #3
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontLetMeDrown View Post
Maybe upload a track so we can give feedback. Where are you located?
Nah, music is a very personal thing to me, and I dont trust a lot of people.
Ya know, opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one
Old 19th August 2007
  #4
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max cooper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
Ya know, opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one
flattery will get you nowhere around here.
Old 19th August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
Nah, music is a very personal thing to me, and I dont trust a lot of people.
Ya know, opinions are like a-holes, everyone has one

I totally agree with that one. If any "true"artist needed the opinions of others there wouldn't be a song, a painting, a book, a symphony a ballet etc. etc. etc.......As for your initial question. A dear and wise friend of mine who has written major hits, the "real deal", once told me "it's ready when you stop cringing"! At that point let it go........and as far as perfection, short of Nature" itself as a system,nothing man-made is perfect---- Mankind never has nor ever will create perfection, it is only an illusive concept that motivates or cripples------take your choice......peace?..... and good luck........
Old 19th August 2007
  #6
Gear Addict
 
mOjO FET's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
Anyone here experienced this "problem"? It seems as if you always take as much time to finish something as you have available. I guess that's why most bands with home studios take years to finish their albums...
What exactly is your goal?

Do you want to just write good music?

Do you want to also release it?


In any case it's good to have some feedback to develop as a writer and creator and get light to where things are or could go for you.

If you want to post a small clip 20 sec. should be enough. We won't bite...

Michael
Old 19th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
"it's ready when you stop cringing"!
heh
Old 19th August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
I'm going kinda insane writing my EP. I'm paranoid that I need to keep writing, until I'm 1000000% sure that I got the right material. You know, in this industry you usually just get one shot, and you better make an amazing first impression. So, I'm generally just freaking out, over analyzing everything and trying real hard to make sure that everything's "perfect". I'll drop a ****load of money on this EP (at least it's a lot of cash in my little world), and I just cant allow myself to record anything before the material isnt absolutely the best it can be.

I'm starting to think that I absolutely MUST book studio time RIGHT NOW, to get this EP done. Otherwise I'll probably still be writing in 2009. A good producer will probably also help speed up the process a lot.

Anyone here experienced this "problem"? It seems as if you always take as much time to finish something as you have available. I guess that's why most bands with home studios take years to finish their albums...
I have been part of that problem multiple times with multiple different groups.

in my experience you gotta balance the two. you should not just book studio time to get it done. I've been a part of too many records that end up sounded thrown together because we were rushing it.
on the other hand, I've been in groups that spent years getting an album together, and it got to the point where I lost interest. its important to keep your art fresh.
Old 19th August 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mOjO FET View Post
In any case it's good to have some feedback to develop as a writer and creator
Oh I get feedback, I'm just very picky re who's opinion I care about. Again, there are probably a ton of really successful guys on here. But, the total opposite is probably also the case. So, if I'd post something, I'd have no way of knowing whether the feedback if coming from a total newbie, who just likes to bash other people's material, or from a pro, who's been around the block.

Gotta be careful with that.
Old 19th August 2007
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hangman View Post
I have been part of that problem multiple times with multiple different groups.

in my experience you gotta balance the two. you should not just book studio time to get it done. I've been a part of too many records that end up sounded thrown together because we were rushing it.
on the other hand, I've been in groups that spent years getting an album together, and it got to the point where I lost interest. its important to keep your art fresh.
Absolutely agree. I guess that's the entire problem, balancing the two. But things wont sound "rushed" with my project. I'll have a pretty decent budget and hire a producer with a track record, who'll dedicate some time to my songs and recordings. And also do preproduction with me.
Old 19th August 2007
  #11
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nukmusic's Avatar
 

Hummm... I've always found that when you network with other people...projects seems to come out better. maybe I should say "the right people"

Yes, music can be a personal thing...if you will be the only one listening to it.

If you plan to present it to others, early feedback during production stages might help deliver a better product to your fans.
Old 19th August 2007
  #12
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8th_note's Avatar
 

I've worked with quite a few artists who are doing their first recorded project. Here's a few questions and couple things to consider.

What aspect of your songs are you concerned about? Are you worried that the song structure isn't as good as it could be? Are you worried that your playing isn't up to snuff? Are you concerned that the hooks aren't memorable enough? Are you worried that you don't have the arrangement in good enough form? What you do from this point is really dependent on where you think the weaknesses are.

Do you play live? How does the audience react to your songs? The audience is the real judge of your material. If you're playing live and the audience is jumping up and down or stops their conversation and stares raptly at you and bobs their heads while you play I wouldn't worry too much about getting things perfect.

I agree with nukmusic. In my experience bands that collaborate well write better songs. If you haven't "market tested" your songs then getting some feedback will be invaluable.

Have you found a producer? If not, this will be a big decision. Make sure you choose a producer who compliments your (perceived) weaknesses.

You seem prepared to drop a bunch of money on this recording. One thing you might consider is doing a low cost demo so you can have a chance to hear the songs fleshed out. This will be valuable to a producer and can save you considerable time in a higher cost studio because you can be much better prepared.
Old 19th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
The best way to deal with "The Pros' is as follows:

!) witere the best material you can.

2) Record the stuff as well as you can

3) Produce the CDs and sell 7500 copies yourself

4) at which point everyone will agree the material is good.
Old 19th August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
chymer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
Oh I get feedback, I'm just very picky re who's opinion I care about. Again, there are probably a ton of really successful guys on here. But, the total opposite is probably also the case. So, if I'd post something, I'd have no way of knowing whether the feedback if coming from a total newbie, who just likes to bash other people's material, or from a pro, who's been around the block.

Gotta be careful with that.
then why did you even post here???
You must have some friends whos opinion you do respect, go to them.
Chymer
Old 19th August 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 

i'm having the same problem myself - trying to finish up an EP that i'm writing/arranging/performing/mixing/producing/whatever else...and nitpicking over every damned detail while i'm at it.

however, i find that anything short of perfection just isn't good enough. i tracked an album a couple years ago where i ****ed up on a couple of times with my guitars - no one else notices it, but i do, and the hairs on the back of my neck stick up every time i hear it. i wish to god i could've re-tracked it, but there just wasn't time for that. continue with your quest for perfection...just don't let it make you crazy like brian wilson or something.

on top of the personal quest for perfection, there's also the simple fact that the music world is competitive as all hell - and the people who go "oh yea, that's good enough", even when it's not, are the ones who don't make it. there are times when you have no other option but to do that, but i really try to keep those instances to a minimum.

on a side note...that reminds me of a friend of mine, whose "EP" i'm "producing" right now. him and his friend have a "band", but are both terrible musicians...so bad that after recording a bunch of guitar tracks to a metronome and being horribly off-time, they kept going on about how much ass it kicked. this is when i realized that i better not bother being a perfectionist with this project...because a)it will NEVER be perfect, and b)the client doesn't know care/know any better.
Old 19th August 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
The best way to deal with "The Pros' is as follows:

!) witere the best materieal you can.

2) Record the stuff as well as you can

3) Produce the CDs and sell 7500 copies yourself

4) at which point everyone will agree the material is good.


-So? 7500 records sold is the magic point where material becomes good? Wow, never knew that before, gotta remember that one! Is that kind of like --what month does a woman start showing she's pregnant?---September?
Old 19th August 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

All I can tell ya is I know how you feel.
Old 19th August 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 

no such thing as perfect

Here's what I think...on the one hand rushing something to get it done will probably make you feel frustrated with the end product however.....time isn't standing still...and...you don't only get one shot at it. Making great music is a lifelong process. If you feel you only have one record in you, then by all means spend the rest of your life making it because it doesn't matter...but if you want to make great music. Get this one done as best as you can. You will always be better and more knowledgeable at the end of a project than at the beginning. That's a good thing. Making a record to me is a snapshot of your music at a particular point in your life. All you can do now is try hard and make sure you have fun. Getting other people to help is also important. It helps you from spinning your wheels. Concentrate on what you are best at and let some pros worry about the rest.....remember music is supposed to be fun!!!!! get it done, be proud and move on to the next one.
Old 19th August 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
7500 records scanned is often mentioned as approximately what it takes to get the typical "A and R Researcher"......read bean counter, interested in what you are doing. Maybe 5K on the low side. And its probably a bit higher for some guys now.

You sound skeptical.. I'd be happy to refer you to a few attorneys that will tell you the same thing. The fact of the matter is they really don't know what is good, but if there is some "proof of concept" they will tend to agree that you have some merit.

Selling 5 to 10k CDs on your own is a pretty good accomplishment IMHOP.
Old 19th August 2007
  #20
Gear Maniac
sounds to me like you are way overthinking this "ep."
just do the best you can and then make another one.
that "one shot" idea is really far from the truth in my observation. it is all a process. just keep going forward. and don't count on "making it." make your own luck.
my two cents. good luck.
Old 19th August 2007
  #21
Lives for gear
 

If you play any kind of rock music, eff stressing about the perfect EP and get your live act together. If you can't kill it live, your through. If you play R&B/pop, you better have a ginormous budget for a stylist and a video.
Old 19th August 2007
  #22
Lives for gear
 
emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
7500 records scanned is often mentioned as approximately what it takes to get the typical "A and R Researcher"......read bean counter, interested in what you are doing. Maybe 5K on the low side. And its probably a bit higher for some guys now.

You sound skeptical.. I'd be happy to refer you to a few attorneys that will tell you the same thing. The fact of the matter is they really don't know what is good, but if there is some "proof of concept" they will tend to agree that you have some merit.

Selling 5 to 10k CDs on your own is a pretty good accomplishment IMHOP.
I agree with you that selling 5 to 10k CD's on your own is a good accomplishment and not only that, when you do the numbers, your profits eclipse anything you would realize with a label, that is, if people are even buying CD's anymore.. Is your music good at that point? Well, that is purely subjective isn't it? If they buy a CD or download, they obviously like it, only time will establish the merits of a piece of music, As far as attorneys in the music biz are concerned, I've been skeptical from the "moment" these MF's have become the filtering system for songs, before presenting to labels. Is it the modus operendi of the industry today? Yes! Do, i agree or like it? No! Thanks for your kind offer, but I couldn't give a **** what any lawyer has to say about the art of music or their "stats" and "barometer of what they deem as good"unless they are equally willing to allow me to argue one of their cases in the courtroom!!......peace?
Old 19th August 2007
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
simplecarnival's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mookie View Post
sounds to me like you are way overthinking this "ep."
just do the best you can and then make another one.
that "one shot" idea is really far from the truth in my observation. it is all a process. just keep going forward. and don't count on "making it." make your own luck.
my two cents. good luck.

I totally agree with this.

What is your background? How many recordings have you made? How many songs have you written? How many of your songs have you performed for other people? I don't ask this to be flip, I'm just trying to get a handle on where you're coming from.

It sounds like you're putting so much pressure on yourself that it'll lead to creative paralysis (if you aren't there already). Maybe you ought to take a look at something like Album-a-day and take that on as a project first. It wouldn't have to be something you end up releasing. It'd be something to free up your creativity and to give you the confidence to take on a bigger project, like the "real" debut EP.
Old 19th August 2007
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

It is possible to be too uptight.An lp or ep represents what you're doing at a particular time.I've seen tons of people never get their music heard at all becaude of an infinite redo mentality.Write Record Release!
Old 19th August 2007
  #25
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
I'm going kinda insane writing my EP. I'm paranoid that I need to keep writing, until I'm 1000000% sure that I got the right material. You know, in this industry you usually just get one shot, and you better make an amazing first impression. So, I'm generally just freaking out, over analyzing everything and trying real hard to make sure that everything's "perfect". I'll drop a ****load of money on this EP (at least it's a lot of cash in my little world), and I just cant allow myself to record anything before the material isnt absolutely the best it can be.

I'm starting to think that I absolutely MUST book studio time RIGHT NOW, to get this EP done. Otherwise I'll probably still be writing in 2009. A good producer will probably also help speed up the process a lot.

Anyone here experienced this "problem"?
Well, for starters...

Picking the right producer is going to be WAY more important to the final outcome of your art then finding a studio.


That really can't be understated.


The physical studio is beyond secondary... Much, much lower on the list of importance and really, any "producer" worth their salt will have established relationships with studios (or be able to develop one) that will net deals FAR beyond what an artist can land on their own for the same time & space.

Studios generally don't give "deals" to artists as they tend to come & go. Producers typically have more staying power & they generally like to foster those kinds of relationships.

Beyond that... you need to define the goal of the EP. Is it going to be for self-release on iTunes & the like through your own label? What about distribution?

Are you thinking of shopping the finished product to labels? Major or indie?



It all matters.



As 'fer the songs... ehhh...

It's really, REALLY hard to make everything "perfect" when the goals haven't been defined. See above!!!

If your hunting around for a producer then you need 'workable' demos of the songs. Could be anything from a simple piano/vocal demo to something more developed... At that stage it doesn't matter. You need to allow some room for development along the way... happy accidents.

When I did the Hero Pattern record a few years back, they didn't have demos so I loaned 'em an SM57 to hang in the middle of their rehearsal space...

Good enough.

Just gotta hear the songs. Can everyone play? Are there "issues" to work around or through?! Are they good to go?!?! Book a few weeks somewhere & start blasting tracks or do we need several weeks of pre-production????

Keep in mind that any producer you end up working with will 'change' things to some degree... could be anything from ripping the songs apart stem to stern or more simple things...double the last chorus, shorten the bridge, add a Moog line to the bridge & shakers in the second verse.

The higher up the food chain 'ya go (read: major labels) the MORE they're gonna change things.
Old 19th August 2007
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
I'd have no way of knowing whether the feedback if coming from a total newbie, who just likes to bash other people's material, or from a pro, who's been around the block.
You'll know.

And...just for the record, GS is a truly great place to post tunes....if you are at all interested in receiving input and/or comments from a vast international cross-section of audio aficionados.
Old 19th August 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
I'm going kinda insane writing my EP. I'm paranoid that I need to keep writing, until I'm 1000000% sure that I got the right material. You know, in this industry you usually just get one shot, and you better make an amazing first impression. So, I'm generally just freaking out, over analyzing everything and trying real hard to make sure that everything's "perfect". I'll drop a ****load of money on this EP (at least it's a lot of cash in my little world), and I just cant allow myself to record anything before the material isnt absolutely the best it can be.

I'm starting to think that I absolutely MUST book studio time RIGHT NOW, to get this EP done. Otherwise I'll probably still be writing in 2009. A good producer will probably also help speed up the process a lot.

Anyone here experienced this "problem"? It seems as if you always take as much time to finish something as you have available. I guess that's why most bands with home studios take years to finish their albums...
I don't know what to say, other than, whatever you do, don't get stuck! Good luck!thumbsup
Old 19th August 2007
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Do you have a way to do preproduction demos? This will let you listen to the songs taking shape. It brings you out of your own head enough to make decisions. Actually listening back to something is a lot more revealing than whatever is going on in ones own head, no matter how many times you've played the song.. it allows you to stand back and for the song make a real impression on you.
Larry
Old 19th August 2007
  #29
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

If your material is not ready, you can burn up an insane amount of wasted time
trying to discover your art in a professional studio.

Working with a producer in pre-production greatly reduces the time needed to
complete your project in the studio, but they have to eat too, so what are you looking at for a budget?
Old 19th August 2007
  #30
Lives for gear
Peace?...of course. I don't even disagree with you.

My point is thus. I've been in this a long time, and NEVER in the history of the industry have A and R departments been so pathetically staffed. There only a handful of folks left who who have any clue as to what is "good". What currently rules is what "sells". Not that it always didn't, but now more than ever the gap between "good" and "sells" is wider than ever.

And yes, attorneys are hardly qualified to tell you what is good. But of course they can agree with you that if you sold 10k there is enough eveudence you can expand on that that they are willing to suggest to their label folks that they look at you.

Which by the way is certainly not an endorsement of what I think is right or good. it is just the current state of affairs. Personally I think that at this point in time tring to make a deal with a major for a rock act is a total waste of time. If you do R and B, hip hor, reggaeton, etc, you are probably still ok dealing with the weasels.

So the question is...how do you know when its ready? Its ready when you think it is. Be brutally honest with yourself, listen to what other people you respect...and follow up on their suggestions. Test market in your local area. Tour as much as you can. learn the promo game.

to some extent everyone is their own label today.



Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay View Post
I agree with you that selling 5 to 10k CD's on your own is a good accomplishment and not only that, when you do the numbers, your profits eclipse anything you would realize with a label, that is, if people are even buying CD's anymore.. Is your music good at that point? Well, that is purely subjective isn't it? If they buy a CD or download, they obviously like it, only time will establish the merits of a piece of music, As far as attorneys in the music biz are concerned, I've been skeptical from the "moment" these MF's have become the filtering system for songs, before presenting to labels. Is it the modus operendi of the industry today? Yes! Do, i agree or like it? No! Thanks for your kind offer, but I couldn't give a **** what any lawyer has to say about the art of music or their "stats" and "barometer of what they deem as good"unless they are equally willing to allow me to argue one of their cases in the courtroom!!......peace?
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