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Not competing in volume wars has cost me a job
Old 23rd July 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Not competing in volume wars has cost me a job

That pretty much sums it up.

Last edited by CorkyTart; 24th July 2006 at 03:50 AM.. Reason: It is fun
Old 23rd July 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
GP_Hawk's Avatar
Sorry to hear. It might have cost you this job, but no telling what it's
going to cost the band,. I guess they'll find out.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I'd like to find the first mastering engineer who did this and smack him around a little.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

Keep up the good fight, soldier thumbsup

Quote:
We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!
-W.Churchill June 4, 1940.



ruudman
Old 23rd July 2006
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Have it both ways and make more money

Does the record buying public generally prefer that distortion-squashed sound that jumps out of the speakers? Do marketing numbers suggest that it leads to more profit? Personally, I dislike that distortion-squashed sound, but perhaps it makes more money. I would sure like to see two versions of CDs being sold: "Hi-Fi" and "distorto-sound". I would buy "Hi-Fi". Sort of like how they used to sell "mono" and "stereo" versions of vinyl. Seems more product would be sold and mastering engineers could make a little more money too.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 
doubledecker's Avatar
Well as far as i am concerned customer is allways right.Maybe i will advise them to try and do otherwise but in the end its client who gets what client wants.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

I salute everyone who love music enough to defend it from being killed by audio.

ruudman
Old 23rd July 2006
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
ArnieInTheSky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledecker
Well as far as i am concerned customer is allways right.Maybe i will advise them to try and do otherwise but in the end its client who gets what client wants.
I have to agree. If you have the ability to squish and limit a recording and that's what the artist wants and that's what they're paying you for, then why not do it? I don't do it on my recordings but hey, if they perceive louder as better, (after you explain dynamics isn't just volume) you can't argue with them. On a side note...

I don't like the idea of putting my name on jobs where I disagree with the artist and what the artist wants me to do reflects my work. Squashing the mix for instance. I've thought about using an alias for these jobs. Like Stephen King and Richard Bachman. And Sloan used to open their own shows dressed in different clothes and costumes and under a different band name. Two different styles, two production names. Kind of dumb, but kind of makes sense!

jl
Old 23rd July 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledecker
Well as far as i am concerned customer is allways right.Maybe i will advise them to try and do otherwise but in the end its client who gets what client wants.

i agree.

drag, tho.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieInTheSky

I don't like the idea of putting my name on jobs where I disagree with the artist and what the artist wants me to do reflects my work. Squashing the mix for instance. I've thought about using an alias for these jobs. Like Stephen King and Richard Bachman. And Sloan used to open their own shows dressed in different clothes and costumes and under a different band name. Two different styles, two production names. Kind of dumb, but kind of makes sense!

jl

What if the record sells millions and everyone wants to work with the engineer who did it?

How will they find Stephen King or Richard Bachman?

Will you turn them down and say "i can't work with you because i did not agree with what the artists wanted"?
Old 23rd July 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

Soo, are we in it for the money?
Do we care about music and how it communicates?
Do we have a responsibility if we care?
Will we live through if we put words into action?
Will our eventual actions make a difference?

Run debate!

ruudman
Old 23rd July 2006
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruudman
Soo, are we in it for the money?
Do we care about music and how it communicates?
Do we have a responsibility if we care?
Will we live through if we put words into action?
Will our eventual actions make a difference?

Run debate!

ruudman
The truth: Yes and no to all of the above.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

How Zen of you


ruudman
Old 23rd July 2006
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystr Tiger
Does the record buying public generally prefer that distortion-squashed sound that jumps out of the speakers?
The record buying public will buy whatever has the highest probability of getting them laid.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
ArnieInTheSky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
What if the record sells millions and everyone want s to work with the engineer who did it?

How will they find Stephen King or Richard Bachman?

Will you turn them down and say "i can't work with you because i did not agree with what the artists wanted"?
The studio it's produced at can remain the same. Let's call it, Classy Earls Greatest Studio. Then you go by both names. If the one you don't like sells millions and your name on it is "Duke Richmond" everyone will call you and ask for Duke. If the one you do like sells for millions and your name is "Green Wilson" then everyone will call and ask for Green. You can't loose!!! Richard Bachman went #1 and so did Stephen King.

Furthermore, if the record sells millions on the one you don't like, you then get credibility. Your next project you can maybe sugest, "Why not a softer compression on the over all mix? I think it brings out all your creative subtleties you genius."

jl
Old 23rd July 2006
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieInTheSky
The studio it's produced at can remain the same. Let's call it, Classy Earls Greatest Studio. Then you go by both names. If the one you don't like sells millions and your name on it is "Duke Richmond" everyone will call you and ask for Duke. If the one you do like sells for millions and your name is "Green Wilson" then everyone will call and ask for Green. You can't loose!!! Richard Bachman went #1 and so did Stephen King.

Furthermore, if the record sells millions on the one you don't like, you then get credibility. Your next project you can maybe sugest, "Why not a softer compression on the over all mix? I think it brings out all your creative subtleties you genius."

jl

Yeah but then you can't boast to your friends and clients that you mastered the number one record in America.

You can't use it to justify raising your prices to your clients.

You can't use it as a calling card on your website for new clients when they are looking for an ME.

You can't put the gold records on your wall so when clients walk through your doors they know you are legit.


Bottomn line its a business.

As much as we like standing on the soapboxes and sticking up for moral causes (in this case the volume wars) when faced with the greenbacks in our face that's when the truth comes out.

Lets face it the more success you have the better your business will be.

I don't think everyone's here desire is to work with obscure projects and just get by the rest of our lives is it?


Why can't you make a loud sounding project and make it sound good at the same time?


Others are doing it aren't they?
Old 23rd July 2006
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
ArnieInTheSky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Yeah but then you can't boast to your friends and clients that you mastered the number one record in America.

You can't use it to justify raising your prices to your clients.

You can't use it as a calling card on your website for new clients when they are looking for an ME.

You can't put the gold records on your wall so when clients walk through your doors they know you are legit.


Bottomn line its a business.

As much as we like standing on the soapboxes and sticking up for moral causes (in this case the volume wars) when faced with the greenbacks in our face that's when the truth comes out.

Lets face it the more success you have the better your business will be.

I don't think everyone's here desire is to work with obscure projects and just get by the rest of our lives is it?

Hmmm.... I don't understand!? So you agree with what I'm saying? You sound like you really want your name on the project but at the same time you know you have to do what's best for your business.

You own the studio. Classy yatty yay yays. You hang the platinum albums around the studio where they were recorded at, (which is true!) You tell them all these different engineers work here, (which is also true, it's you!!!) So what if it isn't the name your buddies call you, it's your work!

You can't use it to justify raising your prices to your clients. Sure you can, when they call and say "Is duke there?" You say, "Right here! My new prices can be found online!"

You can't use it as a calling card on your website for new clients when they are looking for an ME. If they contact you in attempt to find the one who produced the beautiful sounds they heard, then I guess they have the right calling card.

jl
Old 23rd July 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
doubledecker's Avatar
I am a producer myself and thats how i make my living.In my working experience i have never heard of an engineer refusing to do what client wants(well you know what i meanheh ).Even though i have to fulfill creative responsibility to myself, my primary concern is artist and keeping artist happy.After all were here to "serve"artist and not the other way around.Plus dont forget,you are allways in a win-win situation-If that record is a hit,thats because of the artist and if it flops its because of the producer
Old 23rd July 2006
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieInTheSky
Hmmm.... I don't understand!? So you agree with what I'm saying? You sound like you really want your name on the project but at the same time you know you have to do what's best for your business.

You own the studio. Classy yatty yay yays. You hang the platinum albums around the studio where they were recorded at, (which is true!) You tell them all these different engineers work here, (which is also true, it's you!!!) So what if it isn't the name your buddies call you, it's your work!

You can't use it to justify raising your prices to your clients. Sure you can, when they call and say "Is duke there?" You say, "Right here! My new prices can be found online!"

You can't use it as a calling card on your website for new clients when they are looking for an ME. If they contact you in attempt to find the one who produced the beautiful sounds they heard, then I guess they have the right calling card.

jl

By using a surname?


I don't see Bob Ludwig, Bernie Grundman or Doug Sax hiding behind any surnames when it comes to putting their names on their work.

If you up and coming ME thinks their work sucks compared to what joe musician/artist thinks who do you think they will care about most?

I guarantee it won't be you.heh
Old 23rd July 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
I don't know, it kind of makes sense to me.

Back in the 60's people started digging really distorted guitars. Then in the industrial stuff distorted drums started getting popular, and eventually it was even cool to have distorted vocals like the Strokes. Why not just put the whole mix through a bunch of distortion. People obviously like the sound of distortion. What's the big deal? Maybe I'll master my next album through a Marshall!!!

Generally before I let a customer leave with a song I just squash the hell out of it with some crappy mastering plugs. I always just use presets too... not even tailored to the music. I tell them it's a crappy mastering job, but when we send it to the REAL mastering guy it will sound great.

Well... we do send it to the real guy and when I hear the finished product I always love it. My mastering guy is really good and always makes the music sound loud AND great. But you wouldn't believe the number of clients who later tell me they preferred my master.

You guys have to understand that my master is always REALLY crappy and distorted. But it's loud. The actual masters always sound 10 times better to me.

I don't know what to think. This has been going on for like five years. Secretly in my gut Iknow that they're going to like my crappy master, so I always give it to them for approval on the mix. Then I send the mixes... sans crappy mastering plugs to my guy. And he makes them sound great.

I think that we may just be snobs. You know, like we're food connoisseurs and we aren't satisfied unless we're eating sea urchin, caviar and a pigeon stuffed with goose liver. Unfortunately most people would prefer a Big Mac.

Check out my MySpace page. The first 2 songs are a great example of my mastering job. Distorted all to hell. Then listen to the others, they were all mastered at a real mastering house (except "a streetcar named Zephyr" that was me too.) These are high quality MP3's not the typical MySpace streaming Audio.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #21
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Sucks but 'ya know...maybe your better off for losing the gig. Maybe you should be known as the 'not loud' guy.

There's LOTS of room for music that isn't smushed flat. If it's not loud enough, just turn up the volume knob 'ya know? That makes things louder!

One thing that I find works is taking some of the super smashed stuff & bringing it down 6dB, 8dB...whatever it takes to get it BACK to 0dBVU...and play that material against what's coming off the console & other records that aren't killed.

After they hear all the crackly distortion & how SMALL everything REALLY sounds after all that limting, not one person has asked for the mastering AE to kill their record.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Soo, are we in it for the money?
Do we care about music and how it communicates?
Do we have a responsibility if we care?
Will we live through if we put words into action?
Will our eventual actions make a difference?
Umm, we're just here to engineer. There's nothing righteous about it.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
ArnieInTheSky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
By using a surname?


I don't see Bob Ludwig, Bernie Grundman or Doug Sax hiding behind any surnames when it comes to putting their names on their work.

If you up and coming ME thinks their work sucks compared to what joe musician/artist thinks who do you think they will care about most?

I guarantee it won't be you.heh
Ah, I see what your saying now. But this is an option to those of us who do have moral obligations to further the quality of music prodution. We can have our cake and eat it too. Don't think of it as hiding behind a surname, think of it as a side project. Your an artist, you do different work. Different projects call for different names. Besides, how do you know Bob Ludwig isn't using an alias? Maybe he is. Maybe he's Ken Andrews!?!?

jl
Old 23rd July 2006
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieInTheSky
Ah, I see what your saying now. But this is an option to those of us who do have moral obligations to further the quality of music prodution.

Then don't charge anything for your services.

This will bring more weight to your argument.




Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieInTheSky
We can have our cake and eat it too. Don't think of it as hiding behind a surname, think of it as a side project. Your an artist, you do different work. Different projects call for different names. Besides, how do you know Bob Ludwig isn't using an alias? Maybe he is. Maybe he's Ken Andrews!?!?

jl

Bob Ludwig is Bob Ludwig.


I've said it over and over for everyone one ****ty sounding project you do, hopefully if you are good you will have a couple of good sounding ones to balance it out.

Its the law of averages.


You can't have just the one though...unless you really suck and then you shouldn' talk to begin with.


Do you think Bob L, Bernie G or Doug Sax have not done work they regret?

Of course.

But they have such a great sounding discography behind them you luck past it.


They don't do their mastering thinking "i have to be worried what so and so engineer will think about this".


Their biggest concern is making their clients happy.



This is a business.

And our business is to provide sonic services for people who demand them.

We aren't the artists or performers.

We are just sonic operators/distributors.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Ruudman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
Umm, we're just here to engineer. There's nothing righteous about it.
Many of us wear several hats when playing the game (write/produce/arrange/play/mix). Conflicts of interests are bound to happen every once in a while.
Or maybe I'm just an old dog, barking at polluted sound.

Money rules, but it's still a short term rule.



ruudman
Old 23rd July 2006
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
ArnieInTheSky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
We aren't the artists or performers.

We are just sonic operators/distributors.
You're right, we aren't artisits or performers. That's not what I'm saying.

Would I take $15000.00 to record a record featuring five eight year olds slapping themselves in the head for their new album? Yes, (and I'd compress the hell out of it too!)
Would I show that to my next client and say, "Here's an exmple of my latest work!"No.

Altria owns Kraft Foods inc. and Marlboro. Who wants to buy Marlboro Mac n' Cheese or Kraft Cigerettes?

jl
Old 23rd July 2006
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArnieInTheSky
You're right, we aren't artisits or performers. That's not what I'm saying.

Would I take $15000.00 to record a record featuring five eight year olds slapping themselves in the head for their new album? Yes, (and I'd compress the hell out of it too!)
Would I show that to my next client and say, "Here's an exmple of my latest work!"No.

Altria owns Kraft Foods inc. and Marlboro. Who wants to buy Marlboro Mac n' Cheese or Kraft Cigerettes?

jl

But what if the head slapping record sells millions anyway?

Makes you a house hold name?


Will your new clients care about the 50-100 weekend warriors that you got to sound great?

Nope.


They will care that you worked with that head slapping group on Sony and that means to them you are legit and may impart that same magic on their record.

Its a name game.


The people that pay well want to hear names and see gold on the wall.
Old 23rd July 2006
  #28
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scraggs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Why can't you make a loud sounding project and make it sound good at the same time?

Others are doing it aren't they?
not really, no.

i submit that any record pushed to the current state of the art of 'loud' (i.e RMS levels traversing the vast expanse between -6 and -4dbfs the entire time) is going to sound like ****.

just sayin'.
Old 24th July 2006
  #29
Gear Addict
 
bobby yarrow's Avatar
 

3 thoughts:

1. Were you the mix engineer? If a band is worried about loudness in the final product, the mix has to sound like ****, and not in a loud way. I know there are a lot of guys "mixing for mastering" -- the mix sounds awful, but you squash it to death and it comes together. So, unless you were the M.E., dumb band.

2. If I got to pick, instead of a hi-def format (dvd-a, etc), I rather have the industry switch to double releases. 1 package for those intending to listen to 128K mp3's on earbuds, and 1 package for people with even middle-of-road home hifi setups. Nothing can sound its best on both.

3. In the end, I do try and accommodate the band, tho I don't work with bands I don't like.
Old 24th July 2006
  #30
Lives for gear
 
dreamsongs's Avatar
 

OK, it's another "volume war thread". What a surprise...!

The problem with this "volume war" is that it's a real issue. It's not something imaginary. I have lived it in the flesh and in person in many a listening session..

If the volume is set on a boombox/car stereo or whatever the person "making the decisions" hears it on, and your CD comes in substantially lower in db's than the previous one, "you've got problems"...

What I'm saying is that unfortuantely these days, if it sounds louder it sounds better. It could potentially hurt your chances of placing or getting that project noticed. Sad but true...

BUT, as Thrill pointed out and I agree. You can still make a project sound pretty F*****g loud and not have it distorted where it's disturbing. One thing doesn't take away from the other.

It's really no excuse to lose clients or projects over this. If they want loud, give 'em f*****g loud and sleep well. At least you're keeping up with the current fad and it won't come back to haunt you later !

If you're in it to make money then do what it takes to pay the bills. Put your morals aside. There aren't that many breakthroughs as far as sonics and engineering. There are no hidden magical secrets. It's experience and skills using the gear that counts.

It's easy to be good. It's very hard to be great...

"The great ones just know how to do it better than the rest..."
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