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A question on studio ethics, epilogue.
Old 8th May 2006
  #1
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

A question on studio ethics, epilogue.

Well, here is the result of my project from hell.

The Cliffs Notes version:

Recorded choir live in church with rhythm section plus various solo instruments.
Producer/director/arranger approves recordings on site.
Mastering engineer gives us one week to mix. "Going to Brazil" so hurry up.
Mix finished, sent to choir committee, committee suggests changes, changes made. Producer with me and gave final mix "thumbs up".
Producer calls me, wants all files. Fair enough. ME wants to mix project. Huh?
Sent ME files in his format with file edits included.
ME then wants my Logic mix. I submit question to Gearslutz. Good advice on each side of the field. I sent my complete mix.
I then receive letter demanding full refund for my work. Declared "substandard".
Submit song file to Gearslutz for appraisal. Good response from those who listened.
Wrote letter to committee saying that they hired me for a job which I did using the best gear at my disposal and my 15 years experience as recordist/mixer and 25 years as an in demand freelance musician. No refunds.
Found out after sending letter that they sent out same letter to choir and TO ALL PROFF MUSICIANS INVOLVED!!!
I wrote second letter with a decidedly more threatening tone.

And now, the rest of the story.....

I sent out a copy of the CD to all proffessional musicians involved. They thought it sounded great and should be released. (For what it was, mind you. An amateur choir recorded live in a church.)

The producer/director/arranger sent out a letter of apology to me last week saying that the fact was that the choir was unprepared to record 15 tunes in two days and that it wasn't my recording at all but their poor performance. They were hoping for a polished studio type recording. So....get this.... they are going to re-record the entire project at the....you guessed it... ME's studio! At full rate!!! With the ME playing several of the instruments himself!

Well, at least my name was cleared. I hope... People in small communities don't forget these things and the jungle telegraph is red hot. I'm good with the musicians, though.

A heartfelt thanks for the GS support through this oddball experience.

And to the unethical "ME" (cough, cough..) should you be trolling these waters, a really heartfelt fuuck .
Old 8th May 2006
  #2
krs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude
The producer/director/arranger sent out a letter of apology to me last week saying that the fact was that the choir was unprepared to record 15 tunes in two days and that it wasn't my recording at all but their poor performance.
Isn't that a surprise. What did you do, press the suck button or something?

What a nightmare.
Old 8th May 2006
  #3
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
That was a major scene from hell. It seems as though you handled it the best way you could have.
Old 8th May 2006
  #4
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espasonico's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude
The producer/director/arranger sent out a letter of apology to me last week saying that the fact was that the choir was unprepared to record 15 tunes in two days and that it wasn't my recording at all but their poor performance.
He should have known that before recording. I´m sure it´s going to happen again.

Glad to know that at least he doesn´t blame you anymore.
Old 8th May 2006
  #5
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Roland's Avatar
The only two projects I've had any problems with in recent memory:

1 A UK military band. I recorded them several times always happy with results. A change of conductor and I was drafted back in 2 years after I previously recorded them. Became obvious after about 20 mins that the band were no longer anywhere near the standard they used to be. Did the job got correct takes but couldn't get any real performance out of them.


2. Local brass band, conductors friend had recorded the previous 3 albums, but had made loads of mistakes (ie spilling carton of Ribenna on whole mornings DAT tapes), unacceptable distortion, noise. The band committee told him that they were booking me for the new recording. I turn up to the session and the band are unrehearsed, conductor is uncommuicative, its only at lunch that a member of the committee I know tells me what has gone down. The whole job was unrewarding hard slog just to get a result.

My grandfather used to tell me that there are "none such queer as folk!" so nothing much phases me these days, though I tend to be a lot more selective about whom I work with.

Obviously with the job you were doing there were various "factions" with their own agendas at work. Keeping your cool, asking for second opinion and insisting on payment calmly and collectedly displayed a professional attitude. By the sound of what the "mastering" guy is offering I would suspect that he may fall foul of them too.

Regards



Roland
Old 9th May 2006
  #6
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I searched back in the thread for the audio file that you posted (suddenly realised I'd never heard it).

Don't beat yourself up on this! The recording is good, balance sounds good (I'm only listening on my computer set up), and considering they are an amateur choir they aren't too bad. Sure it could be a little tighter, but, then is it a choir sound that is wanted or a tracked backing vocal that is wanted? The singer has a pleasant sounding voice and the musicians seem sensitive to the arrangement. If you counterpart thinks he's going to do loads better with the same people he's on a hiding to nothing, I've heard much worse proporting to be fully pro.


Regards



Roland
Old 9th May 2006
  #7
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ArcCirDude's Avatar
 

I talked to one of the proff solo singers on the project and he had an experience with this so called "Mastering Engineer" where the cat layed down a keyboard part, without the consent of the singer/songwriter, AFTER this mix was finished. He THEN claims co-authorship to TONO, the Norwegian performing rights society. Serious bad blood between them. Another guitar player friend said that he tried to pull the same thing on him, but he busted him for it. The gall of this guy!

On a positive, karma kind of note, the leader of a big band heard what happened (not from me...) and canceled an upcoming album project with "unethical studio guy" and gave me the gig. Seems his attempts at sabotaging my reputation are beginning to backfire....
Old 9th May 2006
  #8
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C Heat's Avatar
 

Praise KARMA

It will be interesting to hear the ME's (new) recording.
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