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The Shaping of Young Minds?
Old 6th January 2006
Gear Maniac
BJohnston's Avatar

The Shaping of Young Minds?

I've started a new project involving some young kids. I think that they are around 15 years of age. Anyway, before we started recording they met with me about a month earlier to go over some details. I try to do that with all of my clients. Long story short they were completely unprepared. Drum tracks took forever. They weren't very familiar with the material and his timing was awfull. I tried all I could to help out the poor guy... tips on how to hit the drum, timing, blah, blah, blah...In the end though it's really up to them to play their parts. To their credit they stayed enthusiastic about the whole thing. I've doctored the tracks as much as possible. To do things perfect it'd take 2 or 3 days worth of editing for 1 song. I'm charging them a flat rate. At this point I regretting that decision as they are making out realllllllly well on that deal. I think we spent close to 8 hours cutting the drum tracks alone. My role with this project has been more of coach trying to coax any sort of acceptable performances from these green kids. Trying to be more of a big brother type of a figure and explaining the process as we go. I'm sympathetic yet frustrated. I've been nothing but honest with them about where they are as a band and as players. What do you when you know that the end result is going to be a garbled up piece of garbage? There's only so much time that I can realistically spend on this lost cause.
Old 6th January 2006
Lives for gear
cajonezzz's Avatar

that's the danger in quoting the flat rates... I do it all the time, but I always have a good idea how the artist plays... and I round up on the guesstimated hour to pull it off.

dangerous terrritory for an inesperienced producer, and or inexperienced muso's.

grin and bear it, and next time beware!

good luck!
Old 6th January 2006
Gear Maniac
BJohnston's Avatar

PHP Code:
I wish you and the band all of the luck!!!!

I appreciate that, sincerely. I've been recording and producing for about 12 years off and on. I've just recently built my own place and have begun to try and make a name for myself. I started quoting flat rates because I thought it'd be a good way to get some business. The area in which I reside isn't necessarily the most artist friendly place in the world by any means. I've recently moved back after years of moving around, playing in bands, recording, and producing. Once I settled in I began talking to bands and getting them interested in what I'm doing. For the most part it's been really good. I'm staying busy and making a little money. I want to be fair and help out however and wherever I can. At the same time, in this matter, I've shot myself in the foot a bit. I'll take it on the chin. BTW, they are completely happy and somewhat blown away with what we've done so far. So I guess it's been a successfull adventure.
Old 7th January 2006
Gear Addict
rvwainscott's Avatar

It will pay off

It isn't bad business to do this with such a young band. These kids will mature as musicians and will be back to see you. Furthermore, they will play their stuff and talk you up to all the kids that they know. I try when I can to cut young kids a break because it can earn a lifetime client plus I love to see the "kid in the candy store" excitement that many of these young artists have.

Good luck

Robert V. Wainscott
Full Clip Audio
Old 7th January 2006
Lives for gear

if you think the stuff is something YOU can shop a deal with, then spend two days fixing the drums---if you're just doing it to get paid, you just make sure your clients are satisfied, or you feel theyve gotton their moneys worth---its that simple----i pulled a very similar stunt just recently--i charged a flat rate for an artist with a development deal for what i called a "master." the "master" ended up being a full year's worth of writing sessions, a collaboration with another producer, where we co-produced two additional songs, and to this day i'm being asked to recall the original song, for mix issues which i dont even know if i can fix ( or if they NEED to be)...i recalled it at least 5 times, and at this point, i feel i'm being taken advantage of, so i tell them look---i've done alot of work here, and i have other projects that ARE paying me, i cant just be "raising the adlibs in the 3rd chorus" every freakin week....and the vocals aren't "cutting thru" because the artist was uncapable of singing it right!!! there's no plugin for "intensity"
Old 7th January 2006
Gear Maniac
BJohnston's Avatar

PHP Code:
if you think the stuff is something YOU can shop a deal withthen spend two days fixing the drums---if you're just doing it to get paid, you just make sure your clients are satisfied, or you feel theyve gotton their moneys worth---its that simple 
There will definitely be no deal shopping here. I spent about 6 hours editing drum tracks. 2 hours editing bass tracks. It could use even more touching up. There isn't 1 single bar of groove between the bass and drums. It's a 6 minute song. They are completely happy with what we've done. It could be turned into something okay if the vocals come together. We'll see.
Old 8th January 2006
Lives for gear
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar

I also think it is great what you are doing. You can count on the fact that at least one of them will be back again to work with you. Most likely (not to be a pessimist), they will all find their separate paths as the years go by. Helping them out this one time could end up scoring you 4-5+ projects in the future. Sometimes being a successful businessman means shortchanging yourself to invest in the future.
Old 8th January 2006
Lives for gear
No4PCs's Avatar

I agree dont let me drown.
Good producer always trying make the best for clients and/or friends.
Old 8th January 2006
Lives for gear
Riad's Avatar

I had the same experience last year, never again. As someone else noted, I will charge a flat rate IF I know the performers, or have a history with them.

Even now, I don't think I'll take very green musicians because it's difficult for everyone to win in that situation.

Best of luck,
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