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What to give clients... Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 31st July 2005
  #1
What to give clients...

Just finished an album that's been in the works for a few months for a band. I'm cleaning up the DAW and archiving the data and such. I recorded and mixed the project, but this project may end up in another studio with another person at the faders. What should I give them for master "tapes"?

Before the DAW days, things were mixed through outboard gear, meaning that the masters were the "raw" tracks and final mixes, as you didn't usually print each track of the mixes individually to another tape machine.

However, tracks were not tracked raw as often as these days - more outboard was used during tracking.

So, being as I use a DAW and mix ITB, should I still think old school and just give the client the raw tracks and final mixes? I'd be most comfortable with that, as I feel like the processed tracks are more time than tangabile items, and I'd rather not just give my "gear" away.

What's the norm to give the client nowadays?
Old 31st July 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Dragonfly's Avatar
 

I asked myself the same question a couple years ago. Although just as in the way a band or label for that matter would have the tape returned to them at some point, I gave the entire firewire drive to the group, although I charged them for the price of a new drive as well seeing as how it happened to be mine. Those sessions had the plugins and automation included in the session files, and whether or not they had the plugins to recall it wasn't my problem.

However, if you were worried in the case that they would have your plugs and you dont want to give away your gear as it were, I'd recommend you make mix stems and give them the processed individual tracks in a new session, plugin free. This is more or less what I do these days, and it also makes for a quick recall later if they just wanted a slight change, like a 2dB boost on the vocals.

Dante
Old 31st July 2005
  #3
Lives for gear
 
doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch
I recorded and mixed the project, but this project may end up in another studio with another person at the faders. What should I give them for master "tapes"?
'Mixed' is the keyword here I guess. If you've been hired to mix the project I see no reason to give away any of your 'secrets' should they decide to remix the project.

Being hired just to track is different I guess. Your outboard gear (obviously) will be there on the tracks sound-wise but personally I would just use plug-ins for playback purposes and hand them the raw tracks.

You don't get a track sheet with the settings of the Neve I guess when you receive an analog tracking tape.

YMMV.

Andi
Old 31st July 2005
  #4
I find myself on the less "stingy" side of the fence..

I have a few questions..

1) If you strip the plug ins off - will the whole session sound like ass / fall appart?
2) What DAW are you on and what DAW is expected will be playing back your work?
3) Are the band leaving your studio with good vibes either side / or are you a little bit pissed off they are not ccompleteing the project with you?

We have stuf leave here that gets mixed at bigger studios by bigger producers..

1) We usually render / bounce / record - any KEY plug ins / sounds that a new mixer might not be able to re-create to MAKE SURE he does get the WHOLE "production".

2) Our mix routing / eq & compression - we take off.. (unless we think it is VITAL or will be hard to re-create in which case see above)

I totally disagree with this sort of vibe - "look buddy, we worked hard to get these custom sounds with plug ins - there is no way I am giving them to you - you can struggle to get the tracks to sound as good as we had them ***k you and ***k the band for leaving this studio and working elsewhere"

Many folks have difffering and STRONG opinions on this issue.. in fact it has been discussed at length before but I am at a loss for how to search for such a thread.. This topic does make a case for a popular thread database on GS....
Old 31st July 2005
  #5
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DirkB's Avatar
 

I think this is a typical situation for a lot of DAW users. Everything (or most) is recorded without any processing and without some heavy plug in eq and compression applied, all faders up often sounds like ****.

On the other hand, if plug ins is all you have, then there is no reason why you couldn't make it sound decent without any processing during tracking. However, I would not call this "well-tracked" and if I had to hand out a project like this, I would correct some of the stuff that I know needs to be corrected. Or perhaps even better: call the mixer and ask him what he wants to receive.
All tracks begin to end, starting all at the same time is always a safe way to hand over the project.

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 31st July 2005
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
allbaldo's Avatar
 

I give them raw files, sessions, and plug in settings. I include the plug in settings, so I can have a starting point if they wanted me to mix something in the future. I figure the "gear" info won't do them much good, unless they happen to record something the exact way I do...which of course is impossible.
Old 31st July 2005
  #7
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7 Hz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
All tracks begin to end, starting all at the same time is always a safe way to hand over the project.
Yup, and that makes sure that if the project get handed to a remixer, they aren't gonna freak at your 100 track vocal comp. Mix it all down to 'whole' tracks (i.e. lead vox on one track, most b vox on a stereo track ect). However, this is going to take you a while, I would say at least 4 hours per track, do the band want to pay for this? Otherwise, just give them a firewire drive with all the project files. I don't think it's nessasary to be precious with the work. The other thing is, maybe if the remix it they don't want all your eq and compression printed on the tracks, maybe they would prefer the raw takes. Really, it's up to the producer / band / remixer to ask for what they need (and pay for it).
Old 31st July 2005
  #8
Okay, thank you. I'll give all individual files and busses rendered down, as well as the raw project tracks. I will not give the session settings, but they wouldn't need them anyway since I'm providing the rendered files and busses. I'll keep the 2nd copy on hand for me with a safety copy of the session settings for recall, if needed down the road. If they do end up having some of the tracks remixed by a bigger studio then I'll have the mixer let me know what he needs and charge the band for time involved in preparing that.

Thank you for your suggestions!
Old 31st July 2005
  #9
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T_R_S's Avatar
I give the whole thing as I use so much outboard now it's impossible to recall the session with out the outboard. If we use any samles they can't have those.
Old 31st July 2005
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Personally, As someone who gets handed a bunch of stuff to mix, that i didnt track:

I wind up stripping the plugs off usually (working on a copy), and starting to mix from the raw tracks. I also would be totally bummed out if everything was "rndered" so I got someones eq's tracks. That would be a real bummer IMHO. Raw tracks should sound like raw tracks, nothing more, nothing less. There are better and worse raw tracks, but I dont need a ton of automation and plug in's and EQ all over everything. i need to hear what we are working with, and not someone's second hand interpretation that really steers the mix one way or the other before we even get into a mix. I have spent tons of time during a mix undo-ing what the tracking engineer had done. That is a waste of time, and only ego would make you think that your idea is the best one for each track. When i track stuff i know is going somewhere else, i just try to get great, big sounds to tape (or disk) that will react well to further processing. If I started making mix decisions during tracking (in that case) it would be a total mistake that then limits the flexible nature of great, well tracked sounds.

Just my opinion, but i would prefer the rawest tracks you have to offer.
Old 31st July 2005
  #11
If a key sound on the production was a wacky special effects sound - made with a DI gtr signal and say a plug in like Amplitube - IMHO it would be a total ****** that would pass that session on

a) without the rendered 'signature' guitar sound (+ the DI track)

or

b) just the DI guitar and with no note about the Amplitube settings

Old 1st August 2005
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

I always give them everything.

I got paid for the mix, they can have it.
Old 1st August 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I take the individual tracks from their drive and copy them to mine. Then I give them their drive back immediately. Then they get the stereo mix at the end and any alt mixes like TV mix, Vox only, music only, etc. No mix session. Just the stereo mixes I was paid to do.

Not sure if this is the best method or not. I would love to hear more from others.

Shane
Old 1st August 2005
  #14
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher
I always give them everything.

I got paid for the mix, they can have it.

But what happens in this case, if say, you did a great sounding mix, but the A&R guy decides to have someone else do a different mix using your multitrack mix as the basis and the new mixer uses most of your settings and moves? And then in the credits the other guy gets the credits and kudos?

Or if they decide to change just a couple of things in the mix that screws it up by your sensibilities or otherwise is something you wouldn't do, but you still get credited for a mix that you now wouldn't stand by or want to be associated with?

IMO, the concept today should be the same as it's always been, which is to say that whoever pays for the session owns the master tracks and stereo mixes, but the mix itself (i.e. settings, choices, etc.) is the property of the mixer.

Otherwise, what can happen (and this has happened to me) is the label or client can get away with doing mixes after the fact that they otherwise would have had to pay you to do.
Old 1st August 2005
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by zboy2854
But what happens in this case, if say, you did a great sounding mix, but the A&R guy decides to have someone else do a different mix using your multitrack mix as the basis and the new mixer uses most of your settings and moves? And then in the credits the other guy gets the credits and kudos?

Or if they decide to change just a couple of things in the mix that screws it up by your sensibilities or otherwise is something you wouldn't do, but you still get credited for a mix that you now wouldn't stand by or want to be associated with?

IMO, the concept today should be the same as it's always been, which is to say that whoever pays for the session owns the master tracks and stereo mixes, but the mix itself (i.e. settings, choices, etc.) is the property of the mixer.

Otherwise, what can happen (and this has happened to me) is the label or client can get away with doing mixes after the fact that they otherwise would have had to pay you to do.
This is where I was coming from initially.

The hardest thing for me is that these songs are already completely mixed and the band has been happy. A nobody A&R guy spouted some treachery and now the band is second guessing and bouncing around the thought of having it remixed elsewhere. I need to have everything ready for them right away.
Old 1st August 2005
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboy2854
But what happens in this case, if say, you did a great sounding mix, but the A&R guy decides to have someone else do a different mix using your multitrack mix as the basis and the new mixer uses most of your settings and moves? And then in the credits the other guy gets the credits and kudos?
I'm in a similar situation right now but it has to do with the Alt mixes I gave them. I gave the client the stereo mix, TV mix, Vox only mix, and Music only mix. Now the singer has decided that he can sing 3 of his tracks better So, the are going to track the Vocals at a different studio(and country) and use the TV mix of mine to do this. The will just add in the new Vox to my TV mix. What do ya do in a situation like that?

I told them not to credit me or the other guy for this hybrid mix.

Shane
Old 1st August 2005
  #17
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan
I'm in a similar situation right now but it has to do with the Alt mixes I gave them. I gave the client the stereo mix, TV mix, Vox only mix, and Music only mix. Now the singer has decided that he can sing 3 of his tracks better So, the are going to track the Vocals at a different studio(and country) and use the TV mix of mine to do this. The will just add in the new Vox to my TV mix. What do ya do in a situation like that?

I told them not to credit me or the other guy for this hybrid mix.

Shane
Yeah, that's a sticky one. Basically, since they're using your stereo TV mix and not remixing from the multitrack session, it's your choice whether or not you want to be credited. Personally I'd still take the credit, since unless this other guy is a mongoloid idiot (not necessarily out of the question), and they're only slapping a new vocal on top of everything else that you did, one would think at least in theory that they can't screw up the vocal too bad.

Another option would be to request from the client for you to hear the new vocal mix once they've done it before you decide whether or not you want any credits. Not ideal, but at least gives you the option.
Old 1st August 2005
  #18
Deleted bd1be4f
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch
This is where I was coming from initially.

The hardest thing for me is that these songs are already completely mixed and the band has been happy. A nobody A&R guy spouted some treachery and now the band is second guessing and bouncing around the thought of having it remixed elsewhere. I need to have everything ready for them right away.
If they want it remixed elsewhere, fine, but IMO do NOT give them your mix settings and choices, it does not belong to them. As mentioned by others, only process or leave any things that are key to the arrangement, such as guitar amp sim processing, or a unique effect rendered on a part or track that has become a signature or standard element of the arrangement. Otherwise, remove your EQ, compression, automation, etc., and give them the session flat.

It's not about being a dick about it, it's simply about fair play. In this business we can't expect the clients to always play fair, so you've got to protect yourself from getting screwed in ways mentioned previously.
Old 2nd August 2005
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
If a key sound on the production was a wacky special effects sound - made with a DI gtr signal and say a plug in like Amplitube - IMHO it would be a total ****** that would pass that session on

a) without the rendered 'signature' guitar sound (+ the DI track)

or

b) just the DI guitar and with no note about the Amplitube settings

So true. I guess I took for granted that if it is an intrinsic part of the sound of the song, then of course it would stay on there. I guess I was picturing eq and compression and stuff... I guess even then it would have a huge impact on the overall sound if there was a smashed room mic in the bridge or something....

Really good point about an amp farm track or amplitube or whatever.... It would really blow to get the gtr DI alone.....
I would just amp farm it anyway or reamp it regardless.....
Old 2nd August 2005
  #20
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wallace's Avatar
 

I just worked on a song for someone who tracked at a larger studio but wanted some more production help on a song. He brought a DVD with the Pro Tools session, and though it had all the plugins and sends still intact, half of them didn't work because I don't have them. Also, having PT le, I my computer could handle far less plugins than he had on HD. He's going to finish mixing at that studio, so we'll just consolidate all the tracks we did and make sure they're timed coded correctly so they can be imported back into the mix at the other studio.
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