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Why most recording engineers suck... Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 12th February 2010
  #421
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It's well documented that Phil Collins sucks... Tony Visconti sucks... and George Martin ? Yep, he sucks too !
Old 12th February 2010
  #422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Musicfan View Post
It's well documented that Phil Collins sucks... Tony Visconti sucks... and George Martin ? Yep, he sucks too !

dfegad
Old 12th February 2010
  #423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrislpp View Post
Some serious points (maybe)

Most engineers that suck, suck because:

  • The word 'engineer' is not protected like 'Doctor'
haha so true
Old 14th February 2010
  #424
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Its like saying angrily most cars suck cause someone sold you a flakey Toyota. Theres the Ferarris and Bugattis too, beleive it.
Old 27th December 2010
  #425
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Recording engineers

This guy is a tool. I have the utmost respect for Real recording engineers who are trained. I have learned so much from working with some real pros. There is a real science and Art to Tracking, Mixing, mastering. I love the whole process. The real pros know the deal.
Old 28th December 2010
  #426
Gear Maniac
 

I think it important to state that most people suck at everything

most people suck at music
most people suck engineering
most people suck

nothing new

Being a musician, while perhaps helpful in communicating with musicians does not quite have much to do with engineering at all. In a way, most are failed musicians for a reason , in that they just played as a hobby and focused on their real passion. Recording. You can't be great at everything. But to use the word fail implies you know their goals like they wanted to be a musician which is asinine.

I have yet to meet a virtuosic musician that was a great engineer. You can't be an expert at everything.

Anyways, original poster is a ******.
Old 28th December 2010
  #427
Gear Maniac
 

Most are babyboomers, despite their tendency for essential skills like electronics and construction, most of which they were taught in school, they aren't great at it in general.

There are 1% good people and 99% mediocre, where I am from, in my area, this is generally true, so YMMV.

Some take up jobs without any real decent formal training, they get the qualifications when it is a requirement to do so, but are just in it for the money, can sometimes rip people off for tightening a nut in your pipes or replacing an expensive part that doesn't need replaced.

Then again there is a much younger generation that will have learned all they know from a 'degree' or from going to college and doing more writing than practical learning, those that just walk through the degree without any real passion, some will be great, many will not.

I've met a sound engineer in particular that built his studio in his 40s and learned from just recording every week and built up the gear from there, he hadn't much more than a general knowledge of recording and production, he was in the 99% that were really blagging it, still it was a £10k studio, so nothing U2 will be recording in.

Again YMMV

Many essential skills jobs are made up of baby-boomers that flunked school and are just winging it as they realise they have a lot of bills to pay.

But the earlier baby boomers are retired, the later ones are still there from the mid to late 50's
Old 29th December 2010
  #428
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thinking objective to the subjective, leave the ego at the door.

The biggest thing ive learned in engineering is its all subjective to the listener.
we have all heard there is no right or wrong way to get the results you want out of a recording. This doesnt mean you shouldnt strive for perfection, and yes being an audio engineer can make one ocd. It would be nice if there were an all knowing indicator that would let you know when you have a finished product, but thats why its also an artform.

All the egos, and contradicting preferences of so many individuals are just a distraction from the reason why we are audio engineers. I dont believe anyone can say "engineers are failed musicians", because audio engineering can branch out to so many directions..some not even involving music. If Recording music, it does help you communicate better with the artist, and if you are willing to learn, theres no reason you cant get proficient.

You can tell the serious, confident engineer from the amateur, self conscious one by the amount of negativity and criticism in their attitude. On the other hand using constructive criticism, means that person is actually "listening" to the sonic quality of a recording to put useful input in, to get a better product.

If someone thinks your recording is less than par and cant give any technical reasons why, its probably because they know they cant do any better and arent as educated as they claim to be.
Also, aside from learning the technical side of engineering, hopefully most people realize that they need to train their ears along as they learn all the theory behind the subject. Most people can learn the theory, but you need you ears to help you along the way. Engineering has gotten so visual with computers, people sometimes are looking at the visual representation more than trusting their own hearing.
Old 29th December 2010
  #429
The best way to be seen as a genius engineer is to work on material considered great by the listener. I can guarantee that if I produced the next Metallica album I would be considered an amazing genius and have a million dollars worth of work no matter how bad the album sounded.
Old 29th December 2010
  #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
The best way to be seen as a genius engineer is to work on material considered great by the listener. I can guarantee that if I produced the next Metallica album I would be considered an amazing genius and have a million dollars worth of work no matter how bad the album sounded.
thumbsup
Old 30th December 2010
  #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Meeker View Post
The best way to be seen as a genius engineer is to work on material considered great by the listener. I can guarantee that if I produced the next Metallica album I would be considered an amazing genius and have a million dollars worth of work no matter how bad the album sounded.

After their last attempt, anyone would be.
Old 4th May 2014
  #432
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackened View Post
Most recording engineers are failed musicians. As a musician, I have very little respect for recording engineers. The field of audio engineering is a field that should have no ego. That is a job for musicians. A matter of fact, engineering is a job well suited for a musician. I am both an engineer and musician, and being a musician gives my ear the musical training that most engineers would only dream to have.

The problem here is that engineers charge a lot of money merely to do something they enjoy, and most engineers deliver less than satisfactory results. This is the reason for the explosion of everybody and their mother having a Pro Tools rig. What musician would want to deal with some screwball engineer when for the most part, we would be better off just doing it ourselves?

The job of the engineer is to record the musician, and in the mixdown, enhance the vision of the musician in the recorded medium. As a musician, dealing with audio engineers is almost always a waste of time and money. The prices studios charge are outrageous. If most studios could deliver a great product at a reasonable price, then that would be one thing, but the truth is most studios can't.

I offer up a scenario. Band X goes into Studio Waste A Lot to record said album. Band X spends five thousand dollars in studio time tracking, and after mixdown they are unhappy with the results. Studio Waste A Lot says the mix is great, and the recording is great. What recourse does band X have. Court? Na probably not.

So, bands need to be very weary of all studios and flakey engineers. Most engineers suffer from extreme OCD. I'm saying that seriously. Also, I believe that after all is said and done, musicians should never assume that just because a studio has an SSL or Neve that they will get good results. Why do I say this? Well let's just say i've lived it.

Blackened
Hello Blackened,
Sounds like you need to hang out with some different engineers. And I am saying that seriously.

Ones that actually care about your music, and the way your work goes down. Ones that are not "failed musicians" or "jackasses of all trades".

You want to hang out with engineers that concentrate their craft differently.

Much of what you said is way too general to be true 100% all of the time.

...Not even close! It works both ways....This is a business heavily embedded with mutually beneficial relationships. And as you rightfully point out, there are plenty of sausage factories out there who will take your dollars for "pressin record".

Me? well, I was slightly off put with your comments that I shouldn't get paid my rate because I "enjoy the work". That is a mighty far reach from where I actually live. Yea...its true I do very much enjoy my work. I am quite enamored by it.

As a trade skill. Craft. Art form. An identity.

Now, if I would enjoy working with you is another story entirely. You see, even though I enjoy my work, I am still WORKING for YOU [aka the Musician or producer or whatever you are]....if I like you or not, you have contracted me for *said work. Its a business. I need to perform my job, and be indifferent to "like and dislike"...unless you ask me.

But I see no reason most days to waste my time with someone who doesn't value what I offer.
Old 5th May 2014
  #433
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synthRodriguez's Avatar
There are major incompetents in all professions.

For some reason, the ones I tend to find are dentists.
Old 5th May 2014
  #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottrod View Post
There are major incompetents in all professions.

For some reason, the ones I tend to find are dentists.
Yeah, how come I also wind up with the psycho dentists? The only good dentist I ever had was a south-of-the-border cash-only kind of thing where the friendly guy had a big cloud of liquor coming off of him but did a smooth painless job at lightening speed. Filling fell apart a couple of years later but hey.
Old 6th May 2014
  #435
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Wow Blackend! I heard your song"self centered". Sort of depressing. The fourth reich? Anna Nicole drug induced rants. Music hangs on a low d. Been done before. Your guitar is played out of sync with the drums on 8th note patterns. The lyrics sound like they need a re write. I sort of like some of your songs it,s just they are loose and don,t sound finished. Why all the anger?
Man I,m feelin sorry for you.
Old 6th May 2014
  #436
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An artist who spends money on a recording should always research who they are working with and the studio well before the red light turns on.You as an artist are to blame if you shop on the cheap without doing the homework or are not really prepared for what the process requires to realize your expectations.
Old 6th May 2014
  #437
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I read through the first 8 pages of this and was quite entertained. I was a professional touring/recording drummer for about ten years with several bands, I decided to get into audio and got a bachelors meanwhile interning, assisting, and doing live sound as well as doing session work as a drummer. I worked at several well known studios and venues in San Francisco bay area. I mostly do live sound now in austin but still do some session work and have a couple of projects I'm working on. I didn't listen to your music but I have done some great projects for around 5000 if I believed in the band and they put in the effort. Keep in mind when I'm charging 600 a day, 350 is going to the studio and I'm working 12 to 15hr days. We aren't trying to rip you off, I can't tell you how many times I have slept at the studio after a 20hr day to wake up 4hrs later and start again. If you want to consider me a failed musician that's trying to rip you off go buy an mbox and do it your damn self, if you want quality find someone that gives a ****
Old 6th May 2014
  #438
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but everybody wants a rock to wind the piece of string around
Old 8th May 2014
  #439
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackened View Post
Most recording engineers are failed musicians. As a musician, I have very little respect for recording engineers. The field of audio engineering is a field that should have no ego. That is a job for musicians. A matter of fact, engineering is a job well suited for a musician. I am both an engineer and musician, and being a musician gives my ear the musical training that most engineers would only dream to have.

The problem here is that engineers charge a lot of money merely to do something they enjoy, and most engineers deliver less than satisfactory results. This is the reason for the explosion of everybody and their mother having a Pro Tools rig. What musician would want to deal with some screwball engineer when for the most part, we would be better off just doing it ourselves?

The job of the engineer is to record the musician, and in the mixdown, enhance the vision of the musician in the recorded medium. As a musician, dealing with audio engineers is almost always a waste of time and money. The prices studios charge are outrageous. If most studios could deliver a great product at a reasonable price, then that would be one thing, but the truth is most studios can't.

I offer up a scenario. Band X goes into Studio Waste A Lot to record said album. Band X spends five thousand dollars in studio time tracking, and after mixdown they are unhappy with the results. Studio Waste A Lot says the mix is great, and the recording is great. What recourse does band X have. Court? Na probably not.

So, bands need to be very weary of all studios and flakey engineers. Most engineers suffer from extreme OCD. I'm saying that seriously. Also, I believe that after all is said and done, musicians should never assume that just because a studio has an SSL or Neve that they will get good results. Why do I say this? Well let's just say i've lived it.

Blackened
With all due respects, your post is possibly one of the most ill-informed and specious rants I have encountered on any forum, let alone Gear Slutz.

The most glaring element in your post is a complete absence of logic. If, unlike yourself, one were to spend more than ten seconds considering your argument, it would become clear that the reason a lot of musicians become sound engineers is because, funnily enough, "Sound Engineering" tends not to be on the school curriculum for starters. It is only when one gets to secondary school that "Music" even becomes a discrete teachable subject. As in my case, I began playing the piano, and then clarinet at home through private tuition, and then ultimately progressed to studying for a Music degree. I also attained Grade 8 Piano. It was only then that whilst session playing that I was offered the opportunity to learn the craft of sound engineering "on the job" - something that almost never happens these days. Whilst doing this I continued session playing. In a natural progression, I gradually shifted from a session pianist to a sound engineer. Sound Engineering appealed to me more because I suffered badly from stage/studio fright. It has always been a deficiency in ego, in not wanting to be the centre of attention as a musician that made working behind the scenes, but still within the field of music, that made sound engineering a perfect choice for me.

The idea that musicians should be endowed, or by some peculiar idiosyncrasy, are, by default, endowed with "ego" is spectacularly wide of the mark. Not all musicians are either Mariah Carey divas, or Kanye West narcissists. There are entire swathes of people who fit the job description of musician who are more often than not painfully shy, diffident and rather low on ego. I have quite a lot of musician friends who battle daily to pursue their love of performing in spite of crippling confidence issues and doubt - from violinists to choral singers to drummers. They still have extremely vibrant and successful careers. The same can be said of many sound engineers I have encountered. They have often moved into sound engineering for the same reasons I did.

Your post betrays a startling lack of understanding of basic psychology and human nature and proclaims statements that have absolutely no basis in fact. Yes, there are sound engineers with big egos, there are musicians with big egos, there are window cleaners and nurses with big egos.

I'm not sure whether to feel sorry for you, or whether to write you off as a very silly person. It's conjecture, but I wonder if you feel that you have been treated badly or not given due "respect" by a sound engineer, or whether you are merely suffering with a peculiar petty jealousy. All I know for certain is that each time I re-read your post the more absurd and inane it becomes.
Old 8th May 2014
  #440
Gear Maniac
 

Totally agree with the OP. Most engineers I've known are too lazy to go into the live room and move a mic.... Let alone care for the sound. Don't get me started on live sound engineers as well. Music is music, recording is creating.... Not hard to do it all yourself and get it made how it was intended.
Old 8th May 2014
  #441
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I essentially agree with the OP.

Unless you are working with people who can truly take your music to a higher level, you might as well do it yourself.
Old 9th May 2014
  #442
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Attached Thumbnails
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Old 9th May 2014
  #443
.

The bottom line is that everyone sucks.

If you want something done, do it yourself.


From the producer and engineer POV - there are SO MANY lazy, entitled, dysfunctional, narcissistic musicians -
I'm just SOOOOOO thankful I'm not in that world anymore.

As always, there are a FEW great musicians and a FEW great engineers that can make the whole thing worthwhile.

But everyone else sucks.

As always, YMMV.


.
Old 9th May 2014
  #444
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Let's be quite clear what is going on here -

There are no bad musicians, just bad engineers who are so uncaring and incompetent, that they record all the wrong notes!
Old 9th May 2014
  #445
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Let's be quite clear what is going on here -

There are no bad musicians, just bad engineers who are so uncaring and incompetent, that they record all the wrong notes!
I think the issue is that, generally speaking, the musician(s) hire the engineer(s).

So it's about wasted time and money. And musicians generally don't have a whole lot of either to waste.

If engineers had to pay all the time for session musicians, and the great majority were lousy and had egos to boot, I suppose they'd have a legitimate moan.
Old 10th May 2014
  #446
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLKjr View Post
I think the issue is that, generally speaking, the musician(s) hire the engineer(s).

So it's about wasted time and money. And musicians generally don't have a whole lot of either to waste.

If engineers had to pay all the time for session musicians, and the great majority were lousy and had egos to boot, I suppose they'd have a legitimate moan.
Yeah ok.

I'd say this gripe is more about a crappy band with crappy tunes who received a polished version of their crap and thusly blamed the engineer for being unable transmogrify said crappiness into gold.
Old 10th May 2014
  #447
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It's not quantum physics: if you think recording engineers suck, then do it all yourself. If you do it all yourself and you're not getting the sound you hear and want in recordings done by recording engineers, then your arrow of "suck" has hit the wrong target.
Old 10th May 2014
  #448
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Porto View Post
Have you ever heard the demo for VHI ? Crap guitar sound, Very little lead guitar work and lot's of doubled rhythm tracks.

It was Templeman who helped design the VH guitar tone. It was he who convinced Eddie to play more lead guitar, and it was he who had Eddie play more interesting and embellished rhythms, which ultimately needed no doubling.

In fact, listening to the demo, they sounded like a very mediocre band with a good singer.


Come on man. Unless he actually taught EVH how to play the parts he wasn't doing anything some other engineer wouldn't have / couldn't have. But, EVH was doing things nobody else could. EVH plays and sounds like that no matter who is pushing the faders. He didn't just suddenly learn to be one of the best guitarists in the world after working with the guy. You can't "encourage" somebody to be the best guitarist in the industry. He was already that good. Big deal, he obviously recognized the talent was there (not very hard to do!) and suggested he showcase the talent more. Not exactly the suggestion of a visionary, basically an observation that any engineer with a clue would have made.

A low budget demo from the late '70s sounded like crap? There's a real shocker. The band sounded better after signing to a major label and recording in a professional studio? It would have been unnatural if they didn't.

That post of yours kind of confirms the OP in a way. Actually giving more credit to the engineer than the guitar player . . . when talking about Van Halen? You're actually giving all the credit to the engineer. Why didn't he just the play the guitar himself? Engineers are cool, some are great, but the artist is the artist.
Old 11th May 2014
  #449
I saw Van Halen in '77 and I really, really, really thought they sucked. A bunch of guys with bouffant shags prancing around in pastel lycra tights to a lot of tweedle-tweedle.

I was utterly amazed to not hate their first album.


I would find it hard to believe that a producer could make over a band that much (the album must have been in production in the general time frame I saw them). But then Ted Templeman took the boho wildman, Captain Beefheart, and milked a 'lite rock' radio hit (at least in SoCal) out of him. (That was, "Too Much Time" -- a bit on the ironic side, to be sure, but it got pretty heavy rotation on AM radio for a while here; I often amused myself by imagining the unsuspecting lite rock fan secretary who brought home the Clear Spot album, dropped the needle, and was immediately confronted with the no-doubt profoundly confounding "Low Yo Yo Stuff.").
Old 13th May 2014
  #450
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Out of curiosity, I searched youtube for early Van Halen.

Found an early demo that was apparently produced by Gene Simmons, and then the same official song produced by Templeman from their second album I guess.

The demo sounds like Van Halen to me.

Who were the engineers on either one? I dunno.





Also, while reading about Templeman a little, I came upon a web series called Yacht Rock. Looks to be rather amusing.
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