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Dumb things clients have asked for during a session Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 23rd September 2007
  #1
Dumb things clients have asked for during a session

when clients believe they have engineering savvy and ask.....
Old 23rd September 2007
  #2
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 

More of a production story than engineering, but worth telling anyway:

I was recording background vocals one time and asked what part the bass player was singing.

He replied, "I dunno... I think I'm singing the high-low-mid part."
Old 23rd September 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protools Guy View Post
More of a production story than engineering, but worth telling anyway:

I was recording background vocals one time and asked what part the bass player was singing.

He replied, "I dunno... I think I'm singing the high-low-mid part."
LOL! Wow! He sounds really versatile.heh
Old 23rd September 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 

"I need my snare to sound really huge with a lot of punch", as he's unpacking his piccolo snare. During mix down he keeps telling me "more lowend on the snare, make it sound big and fat". I finally turned around and asked why he was using a piccolo if he was wanting big and fat. He replied "because it sounds good live".
Old 23rd September 2007
  #5
famous female singer who did song for james bond movie

we are working on lead vox for her solo album

" i want to do 2 lines and record it 8 times..then I want to punch in the next 2 lines but I don't want to hear the previous 2 lines in my headphone mix..I want to do this until the song is done then I'll make a chart with track numbers over the words and piece it together word by sylable by word" 2 hrs and 1 verse in i play back all 8 tracks at once and they are so tight they are phasing..so I go why are we doing this

ARTIST --Michael Masser does it that way when I work with him

me... uhh I'll get another eng to cut your vocals [first time i bailed on a session]
Old 23rd September 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
TheRealRoach's Avatar
Bass player walks into the vocal booth, points to the pop screen in front of my LDC and asks, "is that the condenser?"
Old 23rd September 2007
  #7
another one ..and i don't mind naming names here

rodney jerkins is producing patti labell ironically[NOT] the song sucked for her..he goes

"why are we working up here when there is an SSL downstairs [ERR it was a 60 in Mitsubishi Superstar dwnstairs and the board we were on was a 52 in mainframe {yes not a joined board} 8 buss modified to 24 feeding 32, neve 8078 precusror with 1107's, custom variable input feed monitor section and massenburg automation that Alan Sides would buy a few years later] all propped up by a hydraulic car jack because the center section sagged

then rodney goes..PAtti this studio has your stuff on a 1 inch 24 track...why are you working here?

it was a mitsubishi 32 track X850 and beside it was a locked Otari mtr 90 slave

i just bit my fawking lip and smiled..then waited till the sessions were over to tell the tale to her lifetime musical director..whatta hoot and pain..fawk ..SERVICE BIZZES whatta bitch ..the client is always right
Old 23rd September 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Not necessarily a *dumb* thing, but would sorta make one feel dumb.
Ran into a guy I went to highschool with. His band had just finished tracking an album and Tom Lord Alge was mixing. This was his story.

Band comes into the studio after TLA finished mixing what was intended to be the first super hit single.

Tom asks, "What do you think of the mix?"

Band replies, "Man, this sounds great. We love it! But maybe the guitar should be a bit more up front."

TLA says, "So you don't like it?"

Band: "No, no, it sounds awesome. It's perfect. We just think that the guitar should be a bit louder."

TLA says, "So you don't like it?"

Band: "No, we love it. It's just that the guit...Uhh..."

Then the band got it.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
travisbrown's Avatar
Drummer says to me (all in the same session)

1. While tracking - "I think the click track is slowing down."

2. While listening back - "Uh, why's everyone else playing out of time?"

3. While listening back after retracking - "Uh, if the tape machine slows down during recording, that will make me sound like I'm going faster when it's playing back right?"

We were recording to a DAW, but I just nodded.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #10
who has a copy of the troggs tape?
Old 23rd September 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
robmix's Avatar
Recorded a pop rock band in L.A., drummer brings pretty much the biggest piece of **** drum set ever. Old, old, old heads, rusty hardware, bad cymbals, etc.

After we track all 12 songs for their record, packing up, the drummer says to me - ya know about the drums sounds, when you're mixing, I really like the sound of Josh Freese's drums . . . . . . .of course my reply, well, when you all find a budget I'll give him call
Old 23rd September 2007
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
jordanh's Avatar
 

these are pretty good, but theres gotta be more! Autotune stories??
Old 23rd September 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 
gainreduction's Avatar
 

Female singer from a country in southern Europe when (having a very hard time) tracking vocals:

"You know, this may sound stupid but... I can't sing 'coz I have my period"

Me: "Oh, are you in a lot of pain ?"

Chick: "No, no I'm ok. It's just that where I come from you're not allowed to sing in a studio if you're having your period"

Me:

Chick: "So what are we gonna do ?"

Me:

Chick: "well, after all we're in a different country now so I guess it doesn't matter, right ?"

Me: (biting my lip) "Yeah, I think you'll be fine"

Chick: "Ok, let's sing"
Old 23rd September 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 

I was recording a band that had never been in a studio before and had a lot of questions.

the singer- How do we do this?
Me - I would like to start with the drums and the bass first if that is OK?
Drummer - Ok, but how do the others now when to begin and end.
Me- you count 1,2,3,4 and hopefully they know when to end.
Drummer - Hmm..OK

The drummer and the bass player is doing a quick sound check. The bass player picks up a cheap yamaha bass and It only has one string. The D string.

Why haven't you put all strings on??
the bass player- I tend to hit the biggest string all the time and I get headache from that one.
Me- But that might be the most importent string on your instrument.
The bass player- I like this one better.
Me - OK

Later..

Drummer- I can't hear the bass!
Me - It is a line signal, directly from the bass into the computer so you need to use the head phones.
Drummer - Hmm, OK!

They start playing together.

Drummer - there is annoying sound in my headphones, I can't concentrate!
Me- (assuming it's the bass that sounded like ****)- It's the bass, try to listen to it. You don't listen to each other right now.
Drummer - hmm, OK
Drummer - No, I can hear the bass and It sound just like when we play at home.

I go there and listen. Sounded just like everything did in the room.

The drummer - Still hear the noise.
Me- hit the snare and listen if there is some ringing you dont like or something??
The drummer - Hmm, OK!
The drummer - No, not his drum.

They play together (kind of..) and the drummer is still complaining about the annoying sound. I turn down the drums in the headphones.

The drummer- great! it is gone.
Me - OK, great.
The bassplayer - I like to hear the big drum, it kind of complements my sound.
Me- OK (turning the bass drum up again)
The drummer - the annoying sound is back!!
Me - what does the annoying sound sound like?
The drummer - Like the bass guitar but darker.
Me - I think it is your bass drum. It is not supposed to sound "darker" then the bass guitars D string. The song really need the kick.
The drummer - OK, I think I will play that drum softer and not as often.
Me- OK

We recorded one song, took 6 hours to get the drums and the bass. The band was pretty happy. I gave up at the point when the bass player picked up his bass guitar from the case so I had my thoughts elsewhere.

The guitarist picks up his guitar. It was an nylon stringed acoustic guitar and since the song was some sort of mid tempo metallica wannabe-song I started to laugh because the situation was so absurd to me.

Guitarplayer- why are you laughing?
Me- thought of a joke..
Guitar player - OK, do you have a tuner?
Me- no, I have a synth (gave him an "A")
Guitar player - What am i supposed to do?
Me- Tune, I can do it for you if you want to?
Guitar player - OK

I put I microphone in front of the guitar.

guitar player- Is this microphone good?
Me- yes, it's just fine.
Guitar player - I don't like how it sounds.
Me - OK, what do you not like about your sound.
Guitar player - whimpy, no punch.
Me - OK, to me your guitar sounds like that.
Guitar player - No, try to distort it and use a compressor to make it louder than the drums. I need delay on my solo.
Me - You might want to try my guitar instead.
Guitar player - No, we are a live band and have to sound like us.
Me - OK

I ended up ging trough a sansamp and he was pleased. Not what he had in his head but pretty raw like nirvana.

The guitar player was the singer in the band and also the producer and manager as he put it.

I put up a neumann u87. When he heard his voice in the head phones he was pleased. He did the whole song and then he came in to the control room. I played the song.

The guitar player- It's not i sync, what have you done?
Me- nothing, you sound like this.
The guitar player - Put some reverb on it.
Me- OK
The guitar player - might be the signal path that is causing the delay.
Me- No, you sound like this
The guitar player- I don't like the reverb
Me- OK
The guitarplayer- Compress harder, need more of a record sound.
Me- I can put some autotune on it and move a few lines.
Guitar player - I don't want to sound like brittney.
Me- You won't
Guitar player - Put the reverb back on.
Me- I never turned it of.
Guitar player- Need more
Me- OK
Guitar player- I need to smoke, check the sync thing..

I put on some autotune and moved most of the lines. The band enter the control room again.

Guitar player - sounds a lot better, the sync is fine now.
Me- OK, great.

I noticed they did not know what mixing was so I bounced the song as it was and gave it to the singer. They never paid me and It it was fine cause it was some sort of garantee they never would contact me again.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by steffo View Post
I noticed they did not know what mixing was so I bounced the song as it was and gave it to the singer. They never paid me and It it was fine cause it was some sort of garantee they never would contact me again.
Classic man. Do they have a myspace page so we can all hear this train wreck?
Old 23rd September 2007
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Recorded a band (almost) and started with drums and bass, to a click. Rock solid and sounded great. Next, set up guitar, ready to roll and push record.

Him: Hey man, those guys are playing out of time

I stop, look at the grid and every thing looks fine

me: No, they are right on the grid.

Him: I think you system is F'ed up

me: No I just checked it to my watch and everything is fine. (I did not say this but boy did I want to.

Him: Well just turn them off and let me play to the click

I warn him that this will not work, but he told me this his how some other guy did it. I think, ok I am up for learning something new. So, we do the track, go back listen and sure enough he is not lining up with the drums and bass. Oh and the part I did not tell you all is at the beginning the guitar play told me he does not believe it fixing parts in the system. He made me promise him I would not do this to him.

Him: See I told you your system is mess up

I show him on the grid where he is missing it, but he insisted he is right and the system is wrong. Now for the GRAND statement.

Him: I want to play it to the click and have the drummer and bass play to me.

At this point the band gets in huge fight and breaks up. heh
Old 23rd September 2007
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Juliano View Post
Classic man. Do they have a myspace page so we can all hear this train wreck?
I second that, but I'd like to hear some stories from YOU Jeff. You've worked with quite some people, so I'm sure you have some stories to tell
Old 23rd September 2007
  #18
Gear Head
 
gregkat's Avatar
Had a project studio in Atlanta in the mid to late 80's.
I would record lots of bands that were in the rehearsal facility where my studio was.
Had this one guy who called and ask if he could come over and check out the studio and what equipment I had. Great, come on over.
He said he was a songwriter/performer/producer. I proceeded to carefully go over each piece of equipment I had and explain what they were. After I had finished he sat there nodding his head and he had a quizzical look on his face. He said, "Man you have some great stuff here, but I have one question. Where do the records come out." I still laugh when I think about him. Couldn't play an instrument but had all these ideas. Ended up being a great client.

Last edited by gregkat; 23rd September 2007 at 07:33 PM.. Reason: syntax
Old 23rd September 2007
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Protools Guy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregkat View Post
"Man you have some great stuff here, but I have one question. Where do the records come out."
Ron Nevison told me of a similar story from the 70's of a guy who finished a blues vocal session asked "Where's my record?"
Old 23rd September 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 
bunnerabb's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
who has a copy of the troggs tape?
The Troggs Tapes
Old 23rd September 2007
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnerabb View Post
THANKS!! bwhahahahahhaha it'sbeeen awhile since i heard it CLASSIC
Old 23rd September 2007
  #22
.

"a fur sink"

was the dumbest request, by far...


'cause EVERYONE knows they mostly SUCK for recording....

.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #23
Lives for gear
No1> "More Adverb on the vocal"

No2 (from drummer) "When will I be Loud?"

No.3 (from guitarist, after I noticed the bass was wissing from mix) "I don't play Bass"x
Old 23rd September 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I have a MILLION of 'em!

One classic:

A reggae artist who is a big black guy and who IS NOT Jamican, but likes to smoke A LOT of dope wants to record. Usually my then business partner who was a complete ****** in the studio did his sessions, but he weaseled out of the session and put it off on me.
Mr. Jamaican Wannabe calls me and asks if I can buy a cheap Alesis drum machine and add it to the bill. OK, I knew where one was in a pawn shop.

He shows up for the session and programs a beat on the Alesis. I sync it up and start to lay the tracks to 2" seperately. For some reason the snare, kick, toms, cymbals, etc... keep moving to different outputs. He is busy smoking dopeand has cherry red eyes by now and it starting to get frustrated.

I am thinking he is changing things (it was et up behind me with a KYBD rig) and VERY nicely ask him not to mess with the unit once we have it set.

Eventually, I realize that the unit is f*cked up and is changing randomly on it's own.

I tell him that the drum machine is messed up (remember that I bought it for him.)

Suddenly this HUGE guy with cherry red eyes is screaming in my left ear how I was doing all of this stuff on purpose and SABATOGING the session! The guy went from mellow, dope smoking Jamiacan vibe to a full on maniac with flared nostrils in mere seconds!

He told me that my studio partner should be doing the session and not me. I told him that my studio partner didn't WANT to do the session, so I did it. I didn't bother to tell him that the other guy couldn't even do a MIDI session and the guy could barely route mics to a tape machine.

Mr. "Jamaica" said he needed to go outside and think.

I locked the door after him and called the cops.

None of the gear was his, so when they arrived he just left.


BETTER YET....

A guy approaches me to record/produce a band he was managing.
He had a HUGE budget and was throwing cash left and right (he also hired me to assemble and teach them how to use $20K of P.A. gear he bought for them.)
He told me to do what it took to make them sound good,
He gave me $4K to do FOUR songs.

He eventually told me how he had a lot of money from an insurance settlement. It turns out that he was helping his mother-in-law throw a paper route in a wealth section of Dallas and prominent judge's son, high on drugs, shot her with a shotgun. He ran off and escaped. I knew the story from the papers.

The band shows up in newly bought rock star form.
They basically re-wrote early Rush songs and were not very good.
My studio partner had recorded them before and the musically was basically Rush's 2112 with different chords and word. Not very original stuff!
They were also drinking lot's of Jack Daniels like true rock stars.
These guys had probebly never even played a club gig and didn't realy even know how to operate their instruments while drinking beer.
Jack was big leap for them and my studio was nice... I wasn't going to clean up Jack Danils vomit!!!!

I spent about a week on them punching and punching parts in.
I pulled out all the stops since the manager guy seemed to want to spend money.
No one threw up.
He was happy, they were happy, but I started feeling guilty.
It sounded like well tweazed S H I T.
I was going to HELL for taking his money!

They came back a few weeks later to record four more songs and I pulled the mangaer guy aside. I told him that this band was awfull and he was wasting his money.
We agreed that the budget would be $2K on these and I'd do a "rush job."
It didn't matter what he spent because the band just SUCKED so bad!
They were just badly played, re-written RUSH SONGS!

My honesty turned him into a good friend.
This guy really looked up to me and even fired the band.
I helped him place the p.a. in a club and even set it up and ran it occasionally until I found him someone to do it. He was clueless, but I tried to teach him. It was like teaching a kid to ride a bike where you hold the handlebars and when you let go they tetter along and then fall over. Sad....

He also knew that I wanted to buy a Neve 8068 mkII for $65K (this was 1992) and offered to buy it and be another partner in the studio. My actual partner was ALL FOR IT! I intercepted the guy, took him to dinner and convinced him to stay as far away from music and recording studios as possible.

I didn't want the drug crazed, son of a judge pay-off money with the baggage from the whole thing entering my world.

I also wanted to atone myself and get a refund on the ticket to hell I reserved by accepting $4K to record a band THAT bad! I'm not even a religeous guy, but if there is a hell... I was going for sure!

$2K for four songs was fair pay for just the "baby-sitting" and the price for my studio as an "amusement ride."
Old 23rd September 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
No1 "More Adverb on the vocal"

No2 (from drummer) "When will I be Loud?"

No.3 (from guitarist, after I noticed the bass was very low in the mix) "I don't play Bass"
Old 23rd September 2007
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
txgator's Avatar
 

best post ever!

WOW

Quote:
Originally Posted by steffo View Post
I was recording a band that had never been in a studio before and had a lot of questions.

the singer- How do we do this?
Me - I would like to start with the drums and the bass first if that is OK?
Drummer - Ok, but how do the others now when to begin and end.
Me- you count 1,2,3,4 and hopefully they know when to end.
Drummer - Hmm..OK

The drummer and the bass player is doing a quick sound check. The bass player picks up a cheap yamaha bass and It only has one string. The D string.

Why haven't you put all strings on??
the bass player- I tend to hit the biggest string all the time and I get headache from that one.
Me- But that might be the most importent string on your instrument.
The bass player- I like this one better.
Me - OK

Later..

Drummer- I can't hear the bass!
Me - It is a line signal, directly from the bass into the computer so you need to use the head phones.
Drummer - Hmm, OK!

They start playing together.

Drummer - there is annoying sound in my headphones, I can't concentrate!
Me- (assuming it's the bass that sounded like ****)- It's the bass, try to listen to it. You don't listen to each other right now.
Drummer - hmm, OK
Drummer - No, I can hear the bass and It sound just like when we play at home.

I go there and listen. Sounded just like everything did in the room.

The drummer - Still hear the noise.
Me- hit the snare and listen if there is some ringing you dont like or something??
The drummer - Hmm, OK!
The drummer - No, not his drum.

They play together (kind of..) and the drummer is still complaining about the annoying sound. I turn down the drums in the headphones.

The drummer- great! it is gone.
Me - OK, great.
The bassplayer - I like to hear the big drum, it kind of complements my sound.
Me- OK (turning the bass drum up again)
The drummer - the annoying sound is back!!
Me - what does the annoying sound sound like?
The drummer - Like the bass guitar but darker.
Me - I think it is your bass drum. It is not supposed to sound "darker" then the bass guitars D string. The song really need the kick.
The drummer - OK, I think I will play that drum softer and not as often.
Me- OK

We recorded one song, took 6 hours to get the drums and the bass. The band was pretty happy. I gave up at the point when the bass player picked up his bass guitar from the case so I had my thoughts elsewhere.

The guitarist picks up his guitar. It was an nylon stringed acoustic guitar and since the song was some sort of mid tempo metallica wannabe-song I started to laugh because the situation was so absurd to me.

Guitarplayer- why are you laughing?
Me- thought of a joke..
Guitar player - OK, do you have a tuner?
Me- no, I have a synth (gave him an "A")
Guitar player - What am i supposed to do?
Me- Tune, I can do it for you if you want to?
Guitar player - OK

I put I microphone in front of the guitar.

guitar player- Is this microphone good?
Me- yes, it's just fine.
Guitar player - I don't like how it sounds.
Me - OK, what do you not like about your sound.
Guitar player - whimpy, no punch.
Me - OK, to me your guitar sounds like that.
Guitar player - No, try to distort it and use a compressor to make it louder than the drums. I need delay on my solo.
Me - You might want to try my guitar instead.
Guitar player - No, we are a live band and have to sound like us.
Me - OK

I ended up ging trough a sansamp and he was pleased. Not what he had in his head but pretty raw like nirvana.

The guitar player was the singer in the band and also the producer and manager as he put it.

I put up a neumann u87. When he heard his voice in the head phones he was pleased. He did the whole song and then he came in to the control room. I played the song.

The guitar player- It's not i sync, what have you done?
Me- nothing, you sound like this.
The guitar player - Put some reverb on it.
Me- OK
The guitar player - might be the signal path that is causing the delay.
Me- No, you sound like this
The guitar player- I don't like the reverb
Me- OK
The guitarplayer- Compress harder, need more of a record sound.
Me- I can put some autotune on it and move a few lines.
Guitar player - I don't want to sound like brittney.
Me- You won't
Guitar player - Put the reverb back on.
Me- I never turned it of.
Guitar player- Need more
Me- OK
Guitar player- I need to smoke, check the sync thing..

I put on some autotune and moved most of the lines. The band enter the control room again.

Guitar player - sounds a lot better, the sync is fine now.
Me- OK, great.

I noticed they did not know what mixing was so I bounced the song as it was and gave it to the singer. They never paid me and It it was fine cause it was some sort of garantee they never would contact me again.
Old 23rd September 2007
  #27
Moderator
 
Oroz's Avatar
 

One time a drummer asked for a click. I set it up. We start to record and after a few bars he starts to drift out of time and then the song shifts to a whole new different tempo, it had nothing to do with the click what so ever! I got very confused but to make long story short, this guy recorded with the same click (and tempo) through the whole album but playing to a different tempo . I told him since the beginnig that he was out time to the click but he wanted to continue to record in that manner so I letted him be. It was kind of weird and funny at the same time. I guess that he wanted to tell his friends that he recorded to a click track or something like that but he didn't know nothing about playing to a click, that's for sure.
Old 24th September 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
Dumb things clients have asked for during a session
do you have any chandlers?.......
a guy asked me today. I'm still laughing
Old 24th September 2007
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
do you have any chandlers?.......
a guy asked me today.
i told him yes, but when he got to the studio he looked up and said "all you have is track lighting, how am i supposed to get in the mood?"

it was then i realised he meant "chandeliers".................. heh


cheers,
wade
Old 24th September 2007
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
do you have any chandlers?.......
a guy asked me today. I'm still laughing

I don't get the joke.....?
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