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Trash for cash?
Old 4th July 2002
  #1
Trash for cash?

I do them sometimes!

Sessions that really aren't cool. But pay the bills.

I try to limit them, and NEVER talk about the act within the music industry when asked 'what have you been working on?"

I find the sessions AGONY! grudge

But survival is the main objective!

(after gear of course)

heh
Old 4th July 2002
  #2
Yes, I know exactly what you mean Jules.

Band: "Why doesn't our record sound as good as XXX band (or the band you played for us as your "portfolio" band?"

What are we supposed to say?

Us: "Well, it's a shiny turd...crap in crap out boys" madd fuuck madd


Very frustrating... grudge
Old 4th July 2002
  #3
I was going to put this in the moan zone but as we get paid for it......


Old 4th July 2002
  #4
Kev
Gear Nut
 
Kev's Avatar
 

Suck it up !
smile ... yuktyy

say ... "You guys rock"

oh yeah ... do remember to smile. think about the cash

the cash
the cash

Old 4th July 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
You know what?

THIS TOPIC SUCKS!

It's that exact attitude that makes this industry suck!

Right on down from the manager that thinks a band sucks (but still thinks he can make a few quid)
To the A+R that thinks they suck (but still think they can make a few quid)
To the producer that that thinks they suck (but still thinks he can make a few quid)

And then all these ****ing monkeys sitting around wondering why nobody buys this crappy ****.

Or in some instances EVERYONE actually BUYS it! But I don't reckon we'd be hearing any complaints then, would we? No I imagine that they'd be right at the top of the "portfolio"! Hypocrisy...

I know we all have to make a living but why can't we be constructive at the same time? Why not try to add a little bit "cool" to what your doing instead of thinking about how your NEVER going tell anybody in this crappy "industry"?

Jules, I know you were just having a moan and I don't really think you meant it the way that I've taken it but your moan has set off my moan...

Maybe you were right, this should have been in the moan zone. But then again, we do get paid for it!

R.
Old 5th July 2002
  #6
Here where it belongs! In the Moan Zone.



grudge
Old 5th July 2002
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

I must say i think Ol Betsey's got a point!!! I get quite uncomfy when i read posts that come across as 'superior' or snobby especially around creativity.

But to be honest we do all have a cringometer that can hit the reds sometimes. Career lowlights shall we say. I wonder how many people would be more inclined to fill in a 'career lowlights' bit of their profile...it sure would make funnier reading sheh mine certainly would anyway...teehee

I wonder what Jules really means what is "trash" and "embarrassing" and we are talking about human beings here....tut ?

It is human nature I suppose to wince where we feel we are operating below our real calibre, a survival instinct..just some thoughts..

Renie

PS Not sure about "Moan Zone" as a concept man..it's just too negative..what about "studio politics"?
Old 5th July 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 

This is what I do most of the time. Occasionally something will come in I'm interested in, but most of the time its a band that wants to come do 6 or 7 songs in 3 or 4 days. I try to make myself be as interested as I can in the stuff but most of the time its just not good. During these times I try to work as much as I can with giving them ideas as to how to play better, but normally it still ends up sounding like a sloppy mess. But hey, its money and as long as the recording makes them sound better then they do live I feel content.
Old 5th July 2002
  #9
OK, I am a non artist, a career engineer / producer and for the last 3 or so years a private studio owner.

I have no music of my own to get out.

Most times, I get satisfaction from the tech / creative job of engineering / producing.

I have a friend who is of the opinion that ANY attempt at music is good.

For the money only, I sometimes accept bookings from lousy acts, devoid of much talent IMHO.

I fully realize what I call trash, might well be another persons "any go at music is good".

It's just my opinion, and I am not standing over anyone with a whip and chair about it.

I appreciate my comments may be provocative to artist / engineers / producers however they were primarily aimed at folks using their gear for 'outside clients'.

Now were are here in the Moan Zone any audio industry pro / semi pro OR artist - is welcome to bitch about anything they want to. It was designed with studio workers in mind, to let off steam about gear not doing what it should, clients that annoy, ANYTHING getting on your nerves! (Including someone else's moaning topic!)

Carry on!

Old 5th July 2002
  #10
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Cheers Jules.

Just let me check.

As an:

A. An artist

B. An engineer

C. A producer

D. Label owner.

E. Previous studio owner (and looking to own again)

Does this mean I can post here?

Jules, I didn't think you were being provocative.

I just found the tone of your "And I never mention it to anybody within the industry" (p.s. we ARE the industry. You as a prospective publisher, I as mentioned above and just about everyone else that posts here because we deal with the industry) particularly off color.

Why? I don't know. It's a little hard to articulate.

But before I get carried away here just let me say that I totally understand were your coming from. We all do what we need to do to get by. It's as simple as that.

IT'S ECONOMICS.

Sorry if I ****ed with your moan... with my moan.

Peace Love Harmony

R.
Old 5th July 2002
  #11
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davemc's Avatar
 

I agree with Planet Red and Jules.
Also Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Just some ugly people think they are beautiful.
Most bands I record sound better then they do live, tone is in your fingers. I have a nice G&L axe and Soldano amp although it sounds a lot better when someone who can play uses it.

I am quite honest with bands and really try to help them as Planet Red has said.
I really cannot do you guys are great, those out of time drums well that is just art. Tuning and playing in key well that is just for losers really. I try to sometimes to bite the tongue and just get the money, then the band will bring me the latest creed CD and say why don’t we sound like this, it must be your studios fault. Then we have to go through, well there drums are in time and tight, the guitarist and bass player plays with the drums etc etc.
So I stress to bands you will sound better then you do live, although your playing ability is how good you are, unless you want me to chop up your songs to small bits and put it together and that will take a lot of time.

I normally will say go away practice and come back when you are happy you have the sound you like when you play live.

Of course the band never gets better and breaks up and forms other bands to continue the cycle.
Old 5th July 2002
  #12
"Jules, I didn't think you were being provocative.

I just found the tone of your "And I never mention it to anybody within the industry" (p.s. we ARE the industry. You as a prospective publisher, I as mentioned above and just about everyone else that posts here because we deal with the industry) particularly off color.

Why? I don't know. It's a little hard to articulate"

Ahh! Please accept my appologies!

That should be rephrased - "and NEVER talk about the act within the music industry when asked 'what have you been working on?"".

That should cure any wholey unintended slight to anyone in my post... (I will go back and edit it - thanks for pointing that out)

Have a re-read, you should be cool with that now IMHO.

My bad!

Jules
Old 5th July 2002
  #13
Kev
Gear Nut
 
Kev's Avatar
 

A crap band with a crap lead singer.

Lead singer throws Mic and Mic stand to the ground.
"It's just part of my style ... man"

yeah I must be a snob.

The Mic was a 414 ..... I don't use it much anymore.
Old 5th July 2002
  #14
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Ooops, Kev. Your not talking bout me are ya? Although I wasn't the singer on the particular day, I did drop a C12 once!

And getting back to the trash for cash...

Doesn't it make it that MUCH worse when not only is the music **** but when they have the ****ty attitude to match? God that's a f***ing nightmare.

I can generally handle it when I'm dealing with a bunch of kids playing punkrock, having fun and trying to learn a bit in the process.

But when you get these crappy arrogant f***'s, god help me. Sorry, but it's the attitude that kills me.

If I don't like a bands music, but I like them as people, I'll generally try to leave wether I like the music or not out of "music industry" conversations. I'll lean towards a more "well, it's not really my cup of tea".

But if the band are truly ******S I'll go through hell and high water to let everybody (industry included!) know how I feel. And I HOLD a grudge! evileye

And Dave, I'm sure Jules and I can relate to the band break-up/reform with different (same) members/break-up/reform again... Camden is North London's Rock n Roll mortuary

Anyway gotta get some

Cheers Jules

Peace!

R.
Old 5th July 2002
  #15
Lives for gear
 

One thing I dont understand is when an engineer just doesnt care.

If a band comes in and pays me money I feel like I have to tell them if they arent tight or something is out of key or off time. If they want to listen to my advice, they'll end up with a better recording and if they dont.... im still getting paid.

I always make myself like something about the band. Its the only way I think its fair for the paying band. Because if I just had the attitude of this music is crap (which it is a lot of the time) I wouldnt be trying my hardest to make it sound decent.

I pick up a lot of work from bands that have done a lot of stuff in bigger local studios. The bands never have big budgets and are never really very tight, so the big local studios just throw up some mics and dont care at all. This doesnt seem to be fair since the bands are still paying the same rates. So instead they come to me and I make sure I try my hardest regardless how bad they are and bands always sound better. So so far I have as much repeat clients as new ones.

People like coming to me, not because of any special skills or vast knowledge of recording but because they get treated well and I try to care enough to make them sound as best as they can.
Old 5th July 2002
  #16
Kev
Gear Nut
 
Kev's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Ol' Betsey

I did drop a C12 once!

Doesn't it make it that MUCH worse when not only is the music **** but when they have the ****ty attitude to match?
Accidents do happen .... but a C12 ! ouch.

The attitude yep I think that is the point, the attitude. It just doesn't have to be that way.

Even if I don't like the music I do find something in the people and if they are really into what they are doing and are making the effort ... I will too. This is the bit I luv to do and I guess that why I luv track laying. Making the next take better than the first and getting a new peice of equip for the next rec session etc ....

When I said ****ty band before I guess it was more about the ****ty attitude.

I convinced the band they needed a bigger roomm, for that bigger drum sound they wanted. They left me alone ..... with my 414.
I keep telling myself that 414's aren't that good anyway.
Old 5th July 2002
  #17
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 

Hey Planet Red,

You seem to be in the same place as I am. I have done some CD's that I have spent 150 hours on for 5 songs that sound worse then an 8 hour demo.

Each time I am stuck with a band that think the talent part comes from the studio, I try to tell them the hey you are not ready.

I do not want your money for something we both really are not going to happy with. I do a lot of bands that have done maybe one demo recording only before trying a CD. I find there is not that many assholes in a band. just a lot think (hope) they are at a level higher then they are. What comes back from playback is what you play, it is not that hard of concept.

What is everyone’s feeling about young bands trying to do a 6-10 song first CD. Of course good quality in only 3-4 days (around US$500). I try to say to them you will look at around a song a day with a basic mix. I tell them 3-4 days will get you 3-4 songs only and have lost work lately as I will tell bands straight up it will take this long, and I would prefer a pre-production day so we can work on your amp sounds and you can play with the kit.
I do the pre-prod day for only US$100 as some bands work out that there CD might just be th pre-prod demo.
Old 5th July 2002
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Renie's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
OK, I am a non artist, a career engineer / producer and for the last 3 or so years a private studio owner.

I have no music of my own to get out.

Most times, I get satisfaction from the tech / creative job of engineering / producing.

I have a friend who is of the opinion that ANY attempt at music is good.

For the money only, I sometimes accept bookings from lousy acts, devoid of much talent IMHO.

I fully realize what I call trash, might well be another persons "any go at music is good".

It's just my opinion, and I am not standing over anyone with a whip and chair about it.

I appreciate my comments may be provocative to artist / engineers / producers however they were primarily aimed at folks using their gear for 'outside clients'.

Now were are here in the Moan Zone any audio industry pro / semi pro OR artist - is welcome to bitch about anything they want to. It was designed with studio workers in mind, to let off steam about gear not doing what it should, clients that annoy, ANYTHING getting on your nerves! (Including someone else's moaning topic!)

Carry on!

I don't think this is beyond the comprehension of artists, artists work with duds too, creative duds like some producers and engineers with lots of gear and their potential beyond their grasp....tut
.I maybe more provoked because I also have the experience of being the artist - I'm also a producer of outside acts too fwiw I found issue with the human "attitude". If I were in a forum where artists hang and talk about other people as trash I'd get prickly too...but as i said I know what you mean you are being brutally honest and it's your point of view and this is your "Moan Zone" so you have a good one..I'm certainly enjoying the exchange between us all!!!!

Renie
Old 5th July 2002
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Man I LOVE talking about this ****.

It's the psychology of recording. Taking two groups of artists, the engineer/producer and the band, and trying create for the outside world, something that expresses both of your dreams and ambitions.

And that's what we're all trying to do right? I LOVE the feeling when it all comes together. Everybody jumping around the studio wondering how we're going to spend all our royalties when we're rich and famous! (Are any of us rich and famous yet? Well, no. But it's only a matter of time right!)

But then sometimes... it just doesn't work. The chemistry isn't right and you feel like giving it all up. Sometimes it's the attitude, sometimes the songs. Sometimes it's just because I'm a **** engineer/producer and I ****ed up.

But that's what life is all about right? Somethings, no matter how hard you work at it, just don't make it all the way. A lot like love...

Dave, I think your doing the right thing. Honesty, while it may lose you a little business in the short run, will definitely gain your more respect in the long run. And the fact that your willing to give the bands discounted time in order to help them prepare won't go unnnoticed. Sure, some ******s will always take their advance and spend it somewhere else (after you've spent so much time crafting their art/sound) but I sincerely believe that most WILL come back because they know how much you contributed.

As for the 10 songs in four days. Again, honesty is the best policy. Do what your doing. Take your time to explain to them that although it's possible, it's also going to be detrimental to their career. If they want some personal demo's fine. But if they're after master quality recordings, they need to devote the time for master quality performances. And if they ARE trying to get a record deal, you might want to point them to the fact that NO A+R wants to hear 10 songs! They want to hear 3 maybe 4 really good tracks. Produced really well and that allows them to hear a bands potential. NOT 10 shoddy sketches. That's what the record company's money is for!

My feeling is that artists may be dumb, but they're not all stupid!
And that part of our job as producers to young (or old) bands is helping them understand what the business is all about. Helping them make the right descions early in their career. And hopefully come out the other side of this crappy industry with some of great memories!

WE know how hard it is. And we all know how much this "industry" can suck. But I'm also sure all of us can remember how brilliant it felt the first time we KNEW we were going to be FAMOUS!

Gotta go but thanks for the space to chat. (Sorry for the length, but when I go off on one...!)

I hope everybody in the States had a great time yesterday and that there's lots of aspirin around!

Peace

R.
Old 5th July 2002
  #20
Gear Nut
 

I work for plenty of artists whose music I don't care for, but I have resolved the issue for myself. I try to look at the work as dealing with pure audio. I like dealing with audio so it makes dealing with the all of the other problems less distracting.

I also attempt to encourage better songwriting skills. If I develop a genuine trust relationship with the artist by doing good work, I can often help them with other aspects of the music. I know that this gets into the realm of producing, but I am okay with that. I like producing too.
Old 5th July 2002
  #21
It may sound snobbish to some of you, but I won't record bands that can't play their instruments. I don't care if it's bluegrass or metal, I enjoy it if they can play. Even with the best instruments and recording front end in the world, if the player doesn't have "the touch" then it's going to sound like crap on the other end of the speakers. Sometimes a band slips through because they play me a somewhat well produced CD of their past work that sounds like they can play. So I take them on, and realize that they can't really play all that well. The drummer hits the snare sometimes softer than the high hat, the bass player can't control his bass enough to get rid of intermittent fret buzz, the guitarist is just slightly behind the beat...the kind of things you can't really correct right there and then because it's something that should be corrected through a lost art call practice that the player is responsible for.

For example, I like to use compression mostly for "tone enhancement", not making a bad player sound better. And believe me, when you don't have to use a compressor on a drummer, it's a dream come true. Strap a little 1176 or whatever on something just to put a little hair on it and it's perfect. That won't happen with amatuerish playing, and I don't think it's fair for us to take someone's money with the promise that they will sound like something major label, when in fact a $2 million studio couldn't provide them with that if the musicians aren't providing the goods on their end...there is only so much smoke and mirror's one can take. Just my $.02.
Old 6th July 2002
  #22
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 

No Nathan, I run Pro Tools you do not need to practise. I wave a magic wand and mix in a CD form your selection and say the magic word and poof you have a hit song.

Most of the bands I work with understand maybe to late that they might not have the **** together. That is why I push the pre-production deal, otherwise they book a block booking to save money of 4-5 days and day one you know it is only demo standard. So do you then:
a) Say nothing
b) cut your losses and tell them.
c) say you have a mate that works for Sony and would love this.
d) See if you can clean the mess up, although now the 1 day a song you quoted as a rough turns out to be 2 days to fix it and no days to mix it.

Most bands try D as they are already hyped doing a CD, and they wish it sounds better the next day.
I had a band that left halfway through day one of a weekend lock out as we both new it was not great. I still do a day job and only charged them for the one day.
Yeah we should be hard business types, but when they work out they are not at the level they dream they are, you do feel sorry for them.

Then I will do a band of tight musos whos demo is streaks above a CD you just finished. You can polish away and buy the gear, but the talent is the most important thing.
Old 6th July 2002
  #23
I understand that DAW world isn't a fix all. I use Samplitude and Nuendo, so I'm right there with you. My post was in response to the comments made that we as engineer's are a "****ty" part of the industry for having the attitude that we want to produce good work and not kid glove customers who don't have it together. It's really hard explaining to a band that you do want to record (when trying to network) that you do excellent work, but they heard our worst work rather than our best. This hasn't happened to me in about 4 years because I would rather tell the band to go home and practice non stop for a month or two, or tell them to go somewhere else that will put them on a treadmill (I would rather not take their money than have them leave with something substandard that a little or a lot of practice can help with). Also, the audio can't be seperated from the actual playing or singing. It just doesn't work that way.
Old 6th July 2002
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Hi Nathan,
I hope you weren't refering to me (am I being paranoid?) refering to "us" in this "****ty" industry.
Not once did I ever question people's desire to produce good work. At least I HOPE I didn't. Especially not on this forum. And if I did, I apologise.
When we talk about treating people with kids glove, well most of the people I work with are kids. If not in age (18-26) then in "studio education".

Excepting the one sentence in your last post, I'm sure we approach (as does most everybody on this forum) our recordings with a similar desire for success.
The last album I worked on (am still working on, in fact) was in pre-production for two months. I would spend a couple of hours, a couple of days a week, down at the bands rehearsals working with them on arrangements, tempo's, lyrics and anything else that I thought would help the band feel comfortable and get the best results when recording their first album. Big studios with big desks and big rooms (or even small studios for that matter. A studio is a studio.) can be pretty bloody intimidating the first time around.

(If I can play good cop / bad cop for a moment...)

Unfortunately sometimes we don't have the time to be this thorough. No budget etc. But as Jules' original post said, we gotta make some dough.

I'm lucky, as I believe you are, in that I can fish in a few ponds for my dinner but some people aren't so lucky and they gotta do what they gotta do. And gotta work on whatever comes through.

And please let me explain. In my responses to the this post, I was in no way insinuating that anybody HERE was a part of the "****ty" treadmill that I moaned so much about.

In my eyes, regardless of the band, how can a true GEARSLUT ever be happy knowing that he hasn't at least tried to get the best possible results out of something he so clearly loves (HIS EQUIPMENT!)? He can't.

So... I've had my moan and I hope everybody knows where I'm comin' from. It's no big deal, just my opinion.

I think I'm gonna go read some of your guys' great posts about micing kick drums with speakers and **** and find out which one I need to have to get that sub thang of lurve goin' on.

I'm serious, I learn so much cool **** from you guys. These posts and the others you guys post on other forums have really helped me. In both practice AND philosophy. Cheers! heh

Peace Love Understanding

R.heh
Old 6th July 2002
  #25
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e-cue's Avatar
 

I NEVER do gigs with ayeholes. What good can come from it? (money? is that all?) They'll just wanna work with you again. After a year or so of telling ayehole producers/artists that I was already booked, they stopped calling. (and I try not to disapoint them, so I gave them an engineer's number that will do a great job and doesn't mind putting up with the b.s.) And then I was 'stuck' with all the cool people I enjoy working with. If I HAD to work with pricks all the time, I'd get burnt out, and it would cost me my career.
Old 6th July 2002
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

life's too short to hate your job
Old 6th July 2002
  #27
I pass on a LOT of business to other engineer / producers.

Last one was one of my long term clients

The Manager / Lawyer / wanabee producer - insisted on co-producing!

Nope!

besides his take on my getting a cut on $30,000 they banked on a track I did as a DEMO that was in a Dysney movie was... er ... "no"!

TAKE A WALK!



I got a TXT message on my phone from the engineer I recomended, saying "I will get you back for this!" (the manager is a major PITA)
Old 6th July 2002
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
What?

He tried to take a percentage of your advance from the song they used in the film? LIKE HE WAS YOUR MANAGER TOO? What a little slime ball.

"Industry"? I rest my case. There's some great guys out there but... pretty few and far between.

But you better watch out for your mate though!

Just imagine you get cd through the post, sounds really good. Like Flaming Lips or something (maybe he adds that they sound a little like an English version of Mercury Rev just to throw you off the track). Says he's REAL busy and asks you if you can help him out and work on it.

Turns out he's sneakily sent you a few pre-release Lips songs but Dumpy's Rusty Nuts (for you guys in the US, this is an infamous English rock band) shows up at your studio instead!

You never know, does this guy hold grudges?



R.
Old 7th July 2002
  #29
No no, a song I produced as a demo, got used (my mix) in a Disney movie and the band / manager recived a $30K payment

He did not have my permission to use my production commercially, and refused to come forth with a token 'bonus' for me (my idea) before comencing new works. Negotiations between us about it, lead me to belive him to be at heart, a stingey, snake in the grass, MOFO. So I told him to F**k off.

(I would prefer folks not try to play "general after the war" about the above mentioned senario as I haven't got the energy to give the full (& tedious I assure you) background on the whole story. Take my word for it.. Try to expert be on this one....not.)

Old 7th July 2002
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
vsl666's Avatar
 

Thumbs down its hard to care ...

lets face it 98% of music is a complete waste of space

sorry but enuff of the rose tinteds

if i get to work on 2 things i care about as long as i live i will count it as a succsess

..just looking on the bright siderollz
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